[Page] A NEW TREATISE OF Natural Philosophy, Free'd from the INTRICACIES OF THE SCHOOLS.

Adorned with many Curious Experiments both Medicinal and Chymical.

AS ALSO With Several Observations useful for the Health of the Body.

LONDON, Printed by R. E. for J. Hindmarsh, at the Golden-Ball over against the Royal. Exchange in Cornhill. 1687.



THe First Part of Physick, wherein is treated of the Causes and Principles of Nature.
  • CHAP. I. Of the Efficient Cause, and of its Essence and Differences.
  • CHAP. II. Of the First Cause.
  • CHAP. III. The Perfections of the First Cause.
  • CHAP. IV. Of Second Causes, and their Actions.
  • CHAP. V. Of Accidental Causes.
  • CHAP. VI. Of Sympathy, Antipathy, and the Effects de­pending thereupon.
  • CHAP. VII. Experiments about Iron and the Loadstone.
  • [Page] CHAP. VIII. An Explication of many other Effects which are commonly attributed to Sympathy.
  • CHAP. IX. Of Portative Remedies commonly called Amu­lets, of Quick-Silver, Gold, Silver, and Copper.
  • CHAP. X. Of Natural Phoenomenas, which are attribu­ted to Antipathy.
  • CHAP. XI. Of Emeticks, Sudorificks, and Specificks.
  • CHAP. XII. Of Poysons, and Toxicks.
  • CHAP. XIII. Of Sublimate, Arsenick, and other kinds of Poysons, and their deadly Effects.
  • CHAP. XIV. Of Antidotes.
  • CHAP. XV. Of the true Causes of our Diseases.
  • CHAP. XVI. Of the Causes of our Health.
  • [Page] CHAP. XVII. Of Formal, Exemplary, and Material Causes.
  • CHAP. XVIII. Of the First Matter.
  • CHAP. XIX. Of Atoms, and their Nature.
  • CHAP. XX. The Properties, Magnitude, Figure, Weight, and Motion of Atoms.
  • CHAP. XXI. The Difficulties arising from the Doctrine of Atoms.
  • CHAP. XXII. Of a Disseminate, Congregate, and Separate Vacuum according to Gassendus.
  • CHAP. XXIII. Of a Congregate Vacuum, against Aristotle and Cartesius.
The Second Part of Physick, wherein is trea­ted of the Coelestial World, and of those things which are above Man.
  • CHAP. I. Of the immense Spaces which are without the Heavens.
  • [Page] CHAP. II. Of the Heavens, and their Nature.
  • CHAP. III. Of Stars, and their Substance.
  • CHAP. IV. Of the Figures and Magnitude of Stars.
  • CHAP. V. Of the Motion of the Stars.
  • CHAP. VI. The System of the World according to Ptolomy Examined.
  • CHAP. VII. The System of the World according to Co­pernicus Examined.
  • CHAP. VIII. Of the Motion of the Earth.
  • CHAP. IX. Of the Sun, the true Centre and Heart of the World.
  • CHAP. X. Of the Moon and its Changes.
  • CHAP. XI. Of Planets, Comets, and the Fixed Stars.
  • [Page] CHAP. XII. Of Meteors in the Air.
  • CHAP. XIII. Of Winds, Tempests, and Whirl-winds.
  • CHAP. XIV. Of Thunder, Lightning, and the Thunderbolt.
  • CHAP. XV. Of Aurum-Fulminans, which imitates Thunder.
  • CHAP. XVI. Of Hail, Snow, Frost, &c.
  • CHAP. XVII. Of the Rainbow, Halones, and Parrhelis.
  • CHAP. XVIII. Of the Air, its Substance and Qualities.
The Third Part of Physick; of those things which are beneath Man, (viz.) of the Earth, and Terrestrial Things which are called Inanimate.
  • CHAP. I. Of the Earth and Water in General.
  • CHAP. II. Of Terrestrial Inanimate Bodies in General.
  • [Page] CHAP. III. Of the various Qualities observed in Com­pound Bodies.
  • CHAP. IV. Of Special Qualities which arise from the Composition of Bodies.
  • CHAP. V. Of the Quantity, Weight, and Figure of Compound Bodies.
  • CHAP. VI. The Difference betwixt Natural, Artificial, and Compound Bodies.
  • CHAP. VII. Of Mettals and their Formation.
  • CHAP. VIII. Of Gold, the King of Mettals.
  • CHAP. IX. Of Silver, Copper, and other imperfect Met­tals.
  • CHAP. X. Of Lead, Tin, and Iron.
  • CHAP. XI. Of Quick-Silver, Arbor Diana, or the Sil­ver Tree.
  • [Page] CHAP. XII. Of Minerals.
  • CHAP. XIII. Of Salts.
  • CHAP. XIV. Of Subterranean Fires, aend Earthquakes.
  • CHAP. XV. Of Waters and their Differences.
  • CHAP. XVI. Of the Sea, its Ebbing and Flowing, and of the Saltness of the Sea-Water.
  • CHAP. XVII. Of Springs and Rivers.
The Fourth Part of Physick: Of those things which are in Man, and of Man himself, as he is a Compound Physical, and Ani­mate Body.
  • CHAP. I. Of Life in General.
  • CHAP. II. Of the difference of Lives.
  • CHAP. III. Of the Vegetative Life; common to Man and Plants.
  • [Page] CHAP. IV. Of the Nature of Seeds, and their Propaga­tion.
  • CHAP. V. Of Nutrition, which is common to Plants and Brutes, as well as Man.
  • CHAP. VI. How and with what Food an Embryo is nou­rished in the Womb 'till the time of its Nativity.
  • CHAP. VII. How a Man is nourished after he is Born.
  • CHAP. VIII. The Sensitive Life of Man and other Animals.
  • CHAP. IX. Of Seeing, its Organ and Object, (viz.) Light.
  • CHAP. X. How illustrated Objects are visible.
  • CHAP. XI. Of Hearing, its Organ and Object.
  • CHAP. XII. Particular Questions about Hearing.
  • [Page] CHAP. XIII. Smelling, its Organ and Object.
  • CHAP. XIV. Of Tast and its Object.
  • CHAP. XV. Of Feeling.
  • CHAP. XVI. Of Speech, the Pulse, and Breathing of Man.
  • CHAP. XVII. Of the Motion of the Heart.
  • CHAP. XVIII. Of the irregular motion of the Heart in Ani­mals, and in Feavers.
  • CHAP. XIX. Of the Circulation of the Blood.
  • CHAP. XX. Of the inward Senses, and the inferiour Ap­petite.
  • CHAP. XXI. Of Sleep, want of Rest, and Death.
  • CHAP. XXII. Of the Death of Brutes, Plants and Mettals.
  • CHAP. XXIII. Of the Rational Soul and its Powers.

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY; OR, Natural Science FREED FROM The Intricacies of the Schools.

THE desire of Knowledge is na­tural to Man, Curiosity is in­separable from his Spirit, nei­ther is he ever at rest, until he hath attained to the perfect know­ledge of things, that is, until he be­comes a Wise Man.

Science is the Knowledge of things by their Causes; therefore there is no Man Wise, who is ignorant of the O­riginal Principles, and Causes of all things occurring to him; and since it is impossible for any Man in this Life to attain to a clear, distinct, and an undubitable knowledge of all things; therefore there is no Man that is ab­solutely Wise: Those who have the Reputation of being Wise and Excel­lent [Page 2] Philosophers, have obtained that preheminence, in regard they are less ignorant than others.

Sciences differ according to the di­versity of Mens Conditions and Profes­sions. The Noble Man is conversant and wise in the Art of War, the Physitian in the Precepts of Medicine, and the Advocate in matters of Law and Right, but all these Sciences (nay Theology it self) cannot subsist without Philosophy, especi­ally, without that part of it, which we call Physick, or natural Science.

The First Part of Physick, wherein is Treated of the Causes and Principles of Nature.

BY Nature is understood the Uni­verse, composed of Heaven and Earth, and all that is found between both; this is the Object of Physick, this every natural Philosopher ought to know; and because this Knowledge cannot be obtained, without knowing the princi­ples and causes of things, hence it is e­vident, that a Natural Philosopher ought to use his utmost endeavour to enquire into the principles and causes of Nature, and of all things which happen in this World.

[Page 3] I shall not examine here, whether there be any difference betwixt a Cause and a Principle; for every principle, after its manner, I conceive to be a cause of that thing whereof it is the principle, and no Man doubts but every cause is a principle, and that all niceties concerning this mat­ter are altogether useless.

Philosophers do commonly reckon all Causes to be but Five in number; they give the first place to that which they call the Efficient Cause, which is that A­gent which produces the things that are in Nature; and gives them their essence and existences: In the next place, they rank the Material Cause, being that sub­ject, which receives the impression of the efficient and operating cause. The third is called the Formal Cause, which gives a being to every thing, as the most Noble and principal part of it. The fourth is called the Exemplary Cause, ac­cording to whose rule the efficient pro­duces its action, when it operates by Knowledge. The fifth and last is the Final Cause, which is the end, for whose sake the efficient produces its effect. In this first Part we shall speak of all things which concern these several Causes, not o­mitting any thing which shall be thought necessary to the knowledge of them.

CHAP. I. Of the Efficient Cause, and of its Essence and Differences.

THere is such a relation and connection between the Cause and the Effect, that we cannot have a true notion of the cause, unless at the same time we have a conception of the effect; so in general, we say, that a cause is nothing else but that which gives being to ano­ther thing, which is the effect of it; which way soever it happens, accor­ding to the Five Causes before men­tioned.

All Philosophers do agree, That of all Causes the Efficient is the most Noble; because, properly speaking, this alone hath Effect, though it be produced after seve­ral ways, as we shall shew hereafter.

If the Efficient Cause acts by a power proper to it self, then it is called the Principal cause; but if onely by the force and impression of another, then it is ter­med the Instrumental cause: So we di­stinguish betwixt the Painter, and the Pencil; though both contribute to the production of the Picture.

Also the Universal Cause, which pro­duces [Page 5] many effects (as the Sun, the Stars, and the Elements) is distinguished from a Particular Cause, which is determinate to one effect in particular: Of this kind there are many sublunary causes acting in this inferior World.

There is also a difference between the Total Cause, which produces its effect without the help of another, and That Cause which cannot act alone, but only produces part of the effect.

There are also necessary and free cau­ses, the first acts necessarily and without choice; as Fire, the Sun, and all created causes, except Men and Angels, for they act by a Free Will, wherein consists the es­sence of Liberty.

The Efficient Cause is likewise either Physical, or Moral; the Physical acts real­ly and immediately, as Fire consuming a House with its Flame; and he that sets fire to it for that purpose, is the next moral cause; and he who advises it, is a moral, but a remote cause, of the conse­quential burning. But if the Fire hap­pens by chance, and by the imprudence of one that carries a Candle in his hand, and some sparks fall into the thatch, which takes fire, whereby the House is burnt; here this Man is only an acciden­tal cause of the Burning.

[Page 6] Lastly, it is rightly distinguished be­tween the First Cause, which is Author of Nature; and Nature created, under which are comprehended all second causes, and such are all Creatures.

As to the Efficient Cause whereof we speak, it may be observed, that when it acts by Knowledge, all the said causes, af­ter their respective manner, do concurr to the production of one and the same effect: As, the Painter drawing his Pi­cture, is the principal cause, the Pencil the instrumental, the End proposed by the Painter is the final cause, and the Idea directing, is the exemplary cause; the form and disposition of the parts of the Piece that is painted, may be taken for the form of it, the Colours, and the Cloath whereupon they are laid, may be reck­oned the material cause, because they are the constituent matter of the Work. But if a Limner in his anger throws his Pencil (as it is reported to have hapned to him who had in vain endeavoured to represent to the life a high mettled Horse Foaming at his Mouth) or if a Limner undesignedly and by chance touches the Picture, which thereby (as it befell the former in his anger) is made better, the representation more agreeable, the lines stronger, or more piercing, this would [Page 7] be only an effect of an accidental cause.

There are some things to be observed in an efficient cause (when it acts) which are inseparable from it, such as these, the nature of the Agent, the existence of the cause, the power which makes it act, the intervening act, the effect which is produ­ced, the subject whereby, into which, and wherein it is produced; as we shall see in what follows.

CHAP. II. Of the first Cause.

THE existence of the first Cause, or first Princple, is so evident, and so necessary, that it is like Truth known by it self, and ought not to be supposed liable to any difficulty; especially amongst Christians, who are illuminated by the Light of Divine Revelation. And since a Man that submits himself to Faith, hath not thereby renounced the light of Rea­son, it will not be amiss to confirm this truth with natural reasons, lest any doubt should remain in Spirits less tractable.

Which the better to effect, I suppose a Truth so well known, that no Man can deny, unless he hath a mind to be [Page 8] thought ridiculous and infatuated.

This Truth so obvious, that it ought to pass for a Principle, whereupon, as a sure foundation, the existence of the first cause ought to be built, is grounded upon our own proper existence; there is nothing so evident, nothing so certain, than That we are in the World; this truth is confirmed by the testimony of all our sen­ses; whatsoever we think, whatsoever we say, and whatsoever we do, will not suffer us to imagine that our existence is an illusion: Therefore it is certain, and more than evident, that we are in the World; but that we are in it from our selves, or by our selves, or by casu­alty or chance, or by the necessity of being, is absolutely impossible; so that it is necessary that we are in the World, by the means and assistance of a certain other Being, who as the Author, was also the free Principle of that essence which we possess.

This Principle is necessarily either a first or second cause; if the first, then you shall see that we are agreed, and that the true existence of the first cause, which some would deny, is rightly built upon the truth of our Being, which no Man can deny; if we make the cause of our being to be a second cause, then it must [Page 9] be confessed, that this second cause is pro­duced by a third, and the third by a fourth, and so in going upwards, as they do in the Genealogies of ancient and Noble Progenies, at last we find the head of the Family; that is, the first cause, who by his great Atchievements, purchased to himself the Quality and Title of No­bility, and left those Titles to his Illu­strious Family. It is likewise true, that there is no Family so Illustrious or so An­cient, but the Genealogy of it termi­nates in one private person, who gave it both its Name, and Original, and which was the first Cause of its Nobility; no certainly, unless we erect a ridiculous and an infinite Genealogie; or, like the Egyp­tians who imagined themselves to be older than the Moon, will say that its Origine is as unknown as the Head of Nilus. In the same manner, after we have by way of ascent to our Fathers, and An­cestors, examined what kind of Author we had of our being, whom we may call the first cause of all things which are in us, we do necessarily find a certain Being which was before all things, and which is the effect of no other causes, and which is the Cause of all things which are in the World, and consequentially the first, who is that God whom we adore.

[Page 10] This demonstration doth abundantly convince any Person, who hath in him the least spark of the light of reason: It is ridiculous to say, that we our selves were the cause of our Being, because from thence it would follow, that we did exist before we had a being, that we gave our selves that which we were not in poses­sion of, and that the cause and the effect was one and the same thing, which is im­possible. It is no less an errour to affirm, That we are in the World by Necessity; for if we were so in the World, our exi­stence would never have had a beginning, and we would have been immutable and independent, and infinite in every kind of perfection, which is repugnant to experience and right Reason.

That perswasion of Epicurus and his Followers is no less ridiculous, That the first Authors of our existence were produced by Chance, or by a fortuitous occurrence of Attoms. This opinion of it self falls to the ground. Let it be suppo­sed, that the World was produced by this fortuitous occurrence of Atoms, yet still the question will be, Whether these Atoms were Created, or Uncreated? If created, they acknowledge a Cause of their exi­stence, and this cause must own another, and so ad infinitum; which cannot be [Page 11] maintained; for then the World would be eternal, and thence to this present time, there would have been an infinite number of rational Souls in the World: Aristotle who supposed the eternity of the World, and the immortality of the Soul; yet did deny the Transmigration of Souls, and would allow nothing in Na­ture to be actually infinite; whereby he makes himself guilty of an absurd contra­diction.

The same Aristotle stumbles upon ano­ther Contradiction, in Relation to the First Cause; for if the World be Eternal and without a beginning, this Second Cause is of no use; for the same Reason which proves the World to have a be­ginning, proves likewise the existence of the first cause; on the other hand, the same reason which proves the existence of the first cause, does at the same time prove, that the World once had a begin­ning; and doth demonstrate that it was not Eternal.

In the same manner, Epicurus is guilty of an absurd contradiction, when he says, that Atoms, (which, according to his opinion, he makes to be the causes of all things) were produced and created by another: But if he says these Atoms were Uncrea­ted, and that they were Eternal Beings, [Page 12] necessary and independent; then every Atom must be some Divinity, and that they are both the efficient and material cause of all things, which is impossible, because the opposition and relation, which is necessarily betwixt a principle acting, and the subject whereupon it acts, do im­ply a necessary distinction.

CHAP. III. The Perfections of the first Cause.

THey who are throughly satisfied with the existence of the first cause, must of necessity attribute to it all the Perfections which are or can be in the World; that it is not only the most perfect and most no­ble of causes, but also it ought to be sup­posed, that all the effects which it hath produced, or is yet capable of producing, are in its Being in all perfections, and that every one of them is infinite, and (as it is the first cause) in the unity of its Being; for it is necessary it should have the perfections of those beings which it hath, or can produce; for otherwise, it would or could communicate that which it neither hath, nor can have.

The first cause would not be absolutely [Page 13] perfect, if it were not eternal; for so it would have had a beginning, and might have an end, and then it could not be the first cause, in so much that it derives its existence from that which was pre­existent to it; and by consequence, this cause which we suppose to be first, would be a second cause, limited in its being and perfections, as in its duration, and it would seem to have a dependence upon another: Whereas, when we suppose it to be the first, all others must depend upon it, and be subordinate to it; whence it follows, that these qualities of the first cause are inseparable from it, Independence, Eternity, Infinity, and Supreme Autho­rity, and that we cannot conceive any first cause, but at the same time we acknow­ledge the existence of God.

This first Cause, or to say better, this first Being, which is God, must necessa­rily have that perfect Unity which admits no multiplication either of Na­ture or Perfections. Certainly, if God was not one in his being, but had several Natures, the number of them ought to be infinite, and that none of these Beings in particular would be infinite, because when the perfection of one cannot be the per­fection of another, there will not be one to be found but will stand in need of the [Page 14] perfection of the other, that is, in whom there would not be requisite that per­fection which the other Beings do pos­sess.

I add moreover, That all these suppo­sed Beings would be opposite, indepen­dent, and all Supreme, which is impossi­ble; or that all would be subject to one or other of them, which is ridiculous; whence it follows, that there is but one only God, who is one in his existence, incapable of any multiplication, and who is the Primary and Universal Cause of all things.

The great number, or rather the infi­nity of perfections, which we appre­hend to be in the First Cause, is not repug­nant to the Supreme Unity, because that does not divide the being; and they are but one and the same thing, though we give them several Names, and do consi­der them under several Ideas, which we are forced to correct, since without that Unity there would be necessarily a composition of parts, which would be the cause of the whole Compound, and which would precede its existence, which cannot be the ingredient of that com­position without something else interve­ning; they might also be divided and separated; so, by the dissolution of the [Page 15] parts, the compound would cease, which is plainly inconsistent with that Idea which we have of God, who is simple in his Nature, Independent, and every way Incorruptible.

The first cause is not only One, and without its like in its Essence, but also one, sole, and without a second, in that action by which the world was produced: And for this reason this action is called Creation, supposing nothing but meer nothing out of which all things were made by the only power of God, with­out the help of any other, having either the quality of an Agent or a Subject.

The world being produced by this first cause, remains subject to the will and pleasure of it. And in the same manner as it was produced by the sole act of this first cause, so it is preserved in the same State by the sole influence of the same cause, who as it did not want any other second cause in the Creation of the Uni­verse, so neither doth it stand in need of any assistance in the conservation of it.

Being and Nothing are so opposite to one another, that the Philosophers al­ways had it for a Maxim, That out of nothing nothing could be made; which is to be understood only in reference to [Page 16] second causes; and not in respect of the first, whose power is infinite, and who can do what he pleases; this power in the creation of the Universe was not ap­plyed according to the extensiveness of its activity, because it pleased God to terminate the being, qualities, and num­ber of second causes, which are crea­ted.

The Creation was no necessary action, for the first Cause did not Create the World but at such a Time, in such a Place, and in such a Manner as seemed good to it self; so it made all those things with the highest Liberty, there being no other cause either equal or supe­rior to it self, who was able to compel, perswade, animate, or incite it to the Creation of the world.

The World it self could not terminate a necessary action, because it could not be Eternal, for every thing that is of ne­cessity is eternal, neither had it ever a beginning, nor can it have an end, be­cause it is against the nature of a crea­ted being, which is limited in its qualities and duration, no less than in its natural Substance.

If the first cause was free in the Crea­tion of the world, thence it follows, that all things were made by direction of rea­son [Page 17] and understanding, and by conse­quence, according to a certain Idea and Rule: But because the first cause operates after an independent manner, it could not have the Type of its production any where else but from it self, neither could it act by a rule distinct from its own be­ing; so God is not only the efficient, but the exemplary cause of all things.

For the same reason it may be said, That the first Cause, which is God, is the final cause of all things, for when he, as an intelligent and free cause, produ­ced the World, he did propose to himself an end answerable to his Dignity, that is, himself and his own proper Glory; so that the first cause is necessarily the ultimate end of all its effects.

CHAP. IV. Of second Causes, and their Actions.

ALL Creatures are called second Causes, because they depend upon the first, neither do they operate but by the Command and Impression of the first; this First or Universal Cause does act Uuniversally with particular Causes, but after a manner agreeing with the [Page 18] Nature of every particular thing, and according to the power which was given it when it was created; which does not alter the Nature of the Causes, nor the necessity or Liberty of their actions.

This power of acting, which is granted to second Causes, is not a quality diffe­rent from their Nature and Being: So the Power which the Atoms have of moving themselves, doth not differ from the Atoms themselves; the power of burning or heating doth not differ from the Fire to which it is inherent, unless it be in the manner of our conceiving things, and of speaking of them accor­ding to our conceptions.

So it is of an Action which terminates from the cause to the effect, and which is nothing else than a certain relation, or an actual subordination, which is found betwixt the cause and the effect.

This action is never without motion, or to say better, action and motion is one and the same thing, thence it is that a thing rests when it is without action, and then it begins to move it self when it begins action; so according to three ways of acting, there are found in the nature of things three kinds of motion. The first is made without Sense or Rea­son, which we may see in Stones, Met­tals, [Page 19] Plants, and the Heavens. The second kind of motion is made by sense and knowledge, as are seen in all living Creatures: The third kind joins Reason to Sense, as we observe in man acting by Phancy, who proposes an end to himself, distinguishes between Good and Evil, and hath the liberty of prosecuting the several Objects presented to his view either with love or hatred.

As an action is not indeed distinct from the cause acting, nor from the effect which it doth produce, so motion doth not differ from the thing moved, or from the thing which moves it, but both of them Is, accordingly as they change their condition, or cease to rest, which from the Creation was never done, with­out a certain local motion of the whole, or some part thereof; so, the notion of rest is opposite to the notion of muta­tion and action, as well as motion.

CHAP. V. Of Accidental Causes.

THere are many causes which are cal­led Accidental Causes, for, properly speaking, they are not true causes; which [Page 20] sort of causes happens four manner of ways; first, a Musitian draws a Picture, not as he is a Musitian, but as a Painter; so that the Art of Painting is the true cause of this work: And as the Art of Singing contributes nothing here, since it falls out by chance, that the Art of Singing, and the Art of Painting meet together in this Man, and since the Art of Singing is no way requisite for the ma­king of the Picture; in this respect, we may say, that the Musitian is only an acci­dental cause of the Picture which he hath drawn.

Secondly, a remote or indirect cause is called an accidental cause; as when we say, that the Sun is the cause of darkness, because darkness is occasioned by the ab­sence of the Sun; Mirth is the cause of Sadness, and Peace arises from War: As a Man endeavouring to save his Friend, whose Life is in danger, and thereby un­willingly exposing him to a certain death, is the indirect or accidental cause of his death: As he, who perswades his Friend to cross the Seas, whereby he is cast away.

Thirdly, an opposite cause (which produces an effect quite contrary to that which it ought to produce) is an accidental cause, as it was with the subjects [Page 21] of such Tyrants as persecuted the Church, and thereby procured Glory to Martyrs; and as those, who were the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, obtained us Life, de­stroyed the Synagogue, built the Church; they fulfilled the Prophecies, and laid the foundation of the Gospel.

In the fourth and last place, That is an accidental cause which produces a parti­cular effect not foreseen, and according to the course of Nature unavoidable; if it hath respect to an intelligent cause, and the effect be agreeable to wish, the Hea­thens did point at this by the name of For­tune, and according to their way of speak­ing, we say such a thing is the effect of For­tune; as when a Man is digging up the Foundation of a house, and by chance finds a Treasure; but if the effect be otherwise than prosperous, then it is misfortune, or the chance of Fortune: As when a Tile falls from the top of a House upon a Mans Head that is passing by, and Kills him; here the Tile is the Physical and acciden­tal cause of this Mans death, which was in­evitable according to the course of second causes, having either their free or ne­cessary motions: These accidental causes gave the Heathens occasion to frame to themselves a Blind Goddess, which they called Fortune, to whom they did attribute [Page 22] an unconstant, an uncertain, and a various disposition of good and evil; to this Man's good, to that Man's prejudice: Of all errors this is not the least, neither was it entertained by any, but the ignorant and the meaner sort of People

The wiser sort in that age did aim at a cause of all the effects which happen in the World, that was less feigned, and more solid; this they would have to be Fate, and that what without any reason was ordained by this universal and chief cause was ine­vitable; so when any great misfortune happened, as the loss of a Battel, the defeat of an Army, the change of State, the subversion of a Common Wealth, or the sudden death of some Illustrious Per­son; all this was ascribed to Fate; and they did commonly say, Sic erat in Fatis, this was the inevitable will of Fate; so the Fates would have it: And when any person undertook any great Enterprise, as it was said of Aeneas, being in search of the Golden Fleece, (if the Fates call thee) that is, if the Fates favour thee; thou shalt attain thy end.

The great Wits of our Age are al­most of the same Opinion, concerning all the various successes of Prosperity and Adversity, and all things which come to pass in this Life; as if humane Prudence [Page 23] had been of no use, and Divine Provi­dence without any care had been idle.

But that we may speak like a Christian Philosopher, supposing the existence of the First Cause, and having demonstrated that it hath all the perfections of the Chief Cause, since Wisdom and Power are the two inseparable perfections of the Su­pream Being, and indeed so necessary for the conservation and government of hu­mane affairs; we ought to conclude, that nothing happens in this World, which is not decreed, foreseen, directed, and perfected, by the wisdom; and strong hand of some Supream Cause, which so ex­actly directs all things, that they come to pass, according to the end that was proposed in the production of them, and indeed all those things, by means un­known to humane Wisdom; yet not­withstanding, in respect of God, who is the first cause, they are certain and in­fallible, who established the infal­libility of effects, in such manner, that causes in their motion, should be neither forced, nor too violent: There is no­thing but what God soresees, nothing but what is absolutely inevitable, and free causes act always freely, in actions which ought to be free.

CHAP. VI. Of Sympathy, and Antipathy, and the effects depending upon them.

THe wonderful effects which we see in Nature, whose true and natural causes are not easily found out, obliges Philosophers to have recourse to Occult Causes, and to attribute all these effects to natural Sympathy and Antipathy, which happens amongst the several Bodies whereof the World is compounded; but if you press these Philosophers to tell you, and to explain wherein this Sympathy and Antipathy doth consist, they will give you no other reason, but onely tell you, they are done by certain occult and unknown causes, to which they ascribe all those effects, whose true causes they do not at all know. But they would do much better, plainly to confess their ig­norance and say they know nothing of the matter.

That we may the better understand what may be said upon a subject so nice and delicate, and give a reason▪ of those wonderful effects which are attributed to Simpathy and Antipathy, without the help of occult causes; in the first place, [Page 25] I suppose that the difficulty which occurs in explaining an Effect of this nature, doth arise from this; That the Mind is not able to know the truth of things, but by the Senses, which are the gates through which the Objects enter, and form their Ideas in our understanding; but because there are abundance of things which e­scape our senses, it is no wonder, that it is so hard to give a reason of things which are so remote from the reach of our sen­ses; as for example, Iron moves it self, and that by way of local motion, and joins it self to the Load-stone; we do not see that which draws the Iron to it, though we see it attracted, but we know not by what ways or means it is done; but if we explicate this, and such like Effects, by saying they are wrought by Sympathy, obscure and occult causes, we deceive our selves; for that is only a shelter, and the true way of hiding our ignorance, which we are loath to disco­ver, for there is no man in nature so blockish, but after this manner can resolve all the Phoenomena in the Universe. If it be asked why the Needle turns always to the North Pole? is it enough to say that there is a Sympathy betwixt this Needle which is touched with the Load-stone and the Pole, and that the cause of [Page 26] this Sympathy is obscure, unsearchable, and past finding out: But if this be the way of Philosophising, I refer it to those who are competent Judges of the mat­ter.

Therefore that we may give a more in­genuous and solid Reason, in the second place, I suppose that there are no Bodies but that continually emit certain subtile particles and imperceptible corpuscles which are dispersed through the air, and are at sometimes carried at a great di­stance, unless they justle with other Bo­dies in their way. By the help of this principle, we find the reason why a Dog follows the foot-steps of a Hare, or from a heap of a thousand stones, he readily knows that stone which his Master threw, and picks it out, and by his command brings it to him. From this dispersion of corpuscles, we find the reason how the contagion of the Plague, either from the person infected, or from the wind blow­ing from that Region, is carried a great way of, as also the reason that the smell of Rosemary is perceivable at a hundred miles distance, as Sir Kenelme Digby ob­serves; and likewise the wonderful cure of persons wounds, which are far distant, by the means of the Sympathetick Powder; so likewise of the fermentation of Canary [Page 27] Wine, brought into England, which fer­ment here at the time of their Vintage, when the Vines in Spain flourish and are in the budd, and such like.

I suppose farther, that all these small corpuscles do differ as to their figure and magnitude, and that they are not equally received by this or that body; so one man is infected with the Plague, in the same place where are many others un­touched. For the same reason, the beams of the Sun do melt Wax, and not Lead, unless they are collected and united by the help of a Burning-glass, or the like; and the heat of Fire melts Mettals after a very different manner.

Lastly, I suppose that it is somewhat difficult to give a solid and sufficient rea­son of all the Experiments which daily occur in the nature of things. Truly we are surprised with no small admiration, when we see Iron move at the presence of the Load-stone, and to approach it, as if it were endued with a kind of sense and knowledge; the Palm-Tree of the male kind is barren, unless the female be planted near it, but if they be separa­ted by a river, they both lean to one a­nother, as if they would embrace each o­ther. If you strike the string of a Lute in one corner of a Room, it shall cause [Page 28] the string of another Lute, tuned to the same heighth, and placed in an opposite corner, to give a sound; but not another. The Cock always sings and claps his wings in the same moment that the Sun ascends above the Horizon; all Effects which we see from Sympathy afford us matter of admiration, and compel us to acknowledge That Sympathy to be the Daughter of ignorance.

The same thing may be said of Effects which are attributed to Antipathy, no less amazing, and no less difficult to be explained; who can without much dif­ficulty explain the natural aversion that is between the Colewort, and Vine, so that if it be planted near a Vine, the Vine will give back, and so will the Golewort on the other side? who can give a Reason that Sheep should shun a Wolf though unseen? or that a Drum made of sheeps­skin, should not sound where there is in place another Drum made of a Wolfs­skin? or that when we are seen by a Wolf, before we see him, we are hoarse. who can give a reason that the Basilisk should kill by sight? and other Effects of this kind, which are frequently observed. But because that Phoenomena of the Load-stone before mentioned, seems to me to be a matter most worthy of considera­tion, [Page 29] I shall treat of this subject in a par­ticular Chapter by it self.

CHAP. VII. Experiments concerning Iron, and the Load-Stone.

THe Load-stone is a stone sound in Iron Mines, not much different from the Nature of Iron, wherefore the particles which proceed from the Load-stone, have a kind of agreeableness with the pores of Iron, so these small corpus­cles going out of the Load-stone, and mee­ting with the Iron in the way, do rush into the pores of it by troops; but because all cannot enter at once, a great many re­main without, and these are as strongly beaten back by the particles of the Iron which they meet with, as if they were of the number of those corpuscles, which being at liberty, do return of their own accord, which at length do send these by a reflective motion to the Load stone whence they first came: hence it is that Iron is drawn towards the Load-stone, principally by the agitation of those mi­nute magnetick corpuscles moved in the concavities of the Iron, and being shaken [Page 30] together by the sundry motion of those corpuscles which are twisted one within another, those corpuscles which do return, by reflection are complicated and annexed to those which are in the pores of the Iron, or else have passed them through, and cannot be returned or moved towards the Load-stone, unless they draw along with them those corpuscles to which they are annexed, and which cannot follow, unless by their motion the Iron be carried with them; so the Iron follows, and is moved towards the Load-stone, except the Iron be bigger than the Load-stone, for then the corpuscles which proceed from the Load-stone are not so many, nor by con­sequence so powerful, as to draw the Iron, or the impression which they make upon the Iron is not strong enough to cause a renitency to pass that side by which they ought to be beaten back.

This is the reason that the Load-stone draws no other Body but Iron, because other Bodies do not return the Atoms, neither are their pores well fitted for those Magnetick corpuscles.

By the same reason it does appear that the Load-stone ought not to approach to the Iron, but the Iron to the Load-stone: It may be said, that hard and solid Bodies, such as Iron is, cannot emit such a [Page 31] great number of corpuscles as other Bodies, which like the Load-stone, are less solid, and more porous. Also there may be a reason given why the Load-stone being rubbed with Garlick, or Oyle, doth not so easily draw Iron to it, especially if you also rub them with it; because these strange corpuscles by their Oyliness do hinder the emission of the corpuscles out of the Load-stone, and also their entrance into the Pores of the Iron, and do break their elastick force.

We may observe many other Effects of the Load-stone. As for example, That Iron put upon a Table, is moved by the ver­tue of this Stone which is placed under the Table, for it is certain that the spirit, or corpuscles of the Load-stone, which moves the Iron, penetrates through the vacuity or pores of the Table, as if by small and invisible threads it had been tyed to the Load-stone; it is the same thing if the Table be of Marble, or Glass, provided it be not greasie, nor too thick; which proves the porosity of Bodies.

We see another Effect of this Stone in a Needle, which being touched by it, always turns towards the Pole, we suppose for this reason, because there are whole Mountains of Load-stones found under the Poles, dispersing their spirits through [Page 32] the Universal World. Spirits which are entangled with those, which do adhere to the Magnetick Needle, whose force is lessened, as the Spirits of it are dissipa­ted; especially if the Compass be set in a place where there are pieces of Iron, to which the spirits stick, and leave the Needle, which had taken no greater quantity of them than what was requisite according to its Capacity.

That which is most wonderful in this Stone is, that we see it draws Iron on one side, and rejects it on the other, so that it appears in every Load-stone that there are two Poles of the World; the North Pole attracts Iron, the South Pole repels it; because the Spirit of the North Pole enters in at the Pores of the Iron, but the Southern cannot, for it strikes against the Iron, and drives back too much its Elastick Particles. This Explication presupposes the Being of Spirits, and Atoms, and their Figures and Motions; and as also, small occult vacuities which are dispersed through all Bodies, as we shall shew hereafter.

CHAP. VIII. An Explication of many other Effects, which we endeavour to attribute to Sympathy.

I Do not design in this place to shew all the Effects which do proceed from Sympathy, and to give the reason of e­very one of them in particular; I conceive such a Labour, besides that it is very dif­ficult, is moreover useless, for an Expli­cation of one, will serve to explain the rest; therefore instead of all, it will be sufficient to Explain some few of them.

That which first presents it self to our consideration, is the Sympathetick Pow­der, the Sympathetick Wood, and the Sympathetick Ointment, an Amulet, and the Medalls, which are of the same Na­ture, which they call Talisman. Sir Kenelm Digby Reports, that the Sympathetick Powder will cure a wound, when the person wounded is distant a hundred, nay two hundred Miles, so that the Cloath be dressed, to which the Matter or Blood sticks which proceeded from the wound; but principally there must be care taken, that the wound be kept clean, and that the Cloath be kept in a temperate place, [Page 34] for if it be thrown into a place which is too warm, it will cause an inflammation in the wound; no solid reason can be gi­ven of this Phaenomenon, so wonderful in it self, but that it is by a continual enter­course of the Spirits proceeding from the Bodies, which by continual motion, are coming and going, and keeping a tye or bond betwixt the Bodies, and though our Senses are too gross to perceive them, it doth not therefore follow, that there are not such things; as it appears by the example of the Spider descending, or a­scending, and drawing after him an in­visible Thread which proceeds from his Body; so that he being in one end of the Chamber, remains firm and fixed to the other end, by the same thread, by which he bears himself up, and is moved from one part to the other: I confess it is hard to conceive that there should be a Thread of Communication betwixt the Wound, and the Blood which issued from it; But that is neither impossible, nor incompre­hensible, though the Phenomenon is not plainly infallible; because this Thread being broke, or interrupted, the wound cannot be cured, unless we take again fresh Blood, and excite it by the means of this Powder, whose Spirits do drive those which are in the Blood, and mixing them­selves [Page 35] by the strength of the Powder, do carry and communicate its vertue to the wound, and that at a considerable di­stance, but not indifferently, not at the distance of a hundred Miles, as it is con­monly believed; it is certain if that were done by Sympathy, the Effect would be the same, at any distance, neither would it ever deceive us.

I cannot produce any more sensible or just reason to explain the Vertues and Effects of the Sympathetick Powder, which depend much upon the due preparation of it; they do not extend themselves so far, nor are they so infallible, as some would have, for the reasons by us al­ledged.

The same thing may be said of the Sympathetick Wood, which stops Blood, if a little of the Blood which runs out of the would be put upon this Wood, where so soon as that Blood is dryed the Flux of the other Blood is stanched, and this they say is done by Sympathy; but the true reason proceeds from the invisi­ble adherence whereby both these Bloods are so subtilly connected together by the astringent Vertue of this Wood, and by this Thread of Friendship, composed out of Atoms variously twisted together, communicates it to the Blood which flows [Page 36] in great quantity, whereupon this Flux, if it be not too vehement, is stopped.

If this Effect did arise from Sympathy it would never deceive us, because no­thing can oppose Sympathy; but it is not infallible, as experience shews us.

Of all the Effects which hold us in su­spence, that which we call the Divining-Rod is not the least, for it is very strange to see a Rod which is held fast in the Hand visibly to incline, and bend it self towards that place where there is any Water or Mettal, and more or less as the Water or Mettal is nearer to the Su­perficies of the Earth, or is more remote from it, and more deep in the ground; and that which is most stupendious, is that this Rod which does it, shews no mo­tion, but in the hands of those who have obtained a particular vertue to this pur­pose, which distinguishes them from o­thers, though it cannot be said who gave them this power, nor why this Rod hath this motion in the hands of one Man, and not in anothers.

Concerning this Subject, the cause of this motion is to be considered, which cannot be attributed to Sympathy, for Sympathy is a necessary Cause, and then this motion would be always, and in the hands of every body, which yet we see [Page 37] is not done. Therefore the most natural Cause is to be enquired into, which I de­duce from these Mineral or Aquatick Spirits, issuing from those places where­in the Mettals or Waters are; which meeting with the Rod, whose Pores are fitted for them to lay hold on, attracts it by a Perpendicular motion, which is na­tural to them, and bends it as it were with a Silken Thread, or a Golden Chain.

The difficulty is about the hand which holds the Rod, for every hand is not qualified for this purpose; nor is every Tree fit for it, unless it be Hazel, or some other of the same quality with it: As to the Hand, it is certain that the Hands as well as the Men do differ, and that the Spirits proceeding from them are different, and so it ought not to be looked upon as such a wonder, that there should be Spirits which retain the Rod, and hinders this motion, and that they should proceed from the hand of one, and not from the hand of another; and that every sort of Wood is not fitted to re­ceive the hold of all Atoms. Of por­tative remedies, which are called Amulets, I say nothing, but what experience taught me concerning them; and of the manner how Quick-Silver sticks to Gold, and Sil­ver [Page 38] to Copper, which forces me to write a particular Chapter concerning them.

CHAP. IX. Experiments concerning Portative Re­medies, of Quick-Silver, Gold, Sil­ver, and Copper.

THere are certain Remedies by Phy­sitians called Amulets, which give ease to Humane Bodies in many Distem­pers, as long as the Person carries them about him, as experience teaches us of a Spider shut up in a Nut-shell, and hung about the Neck, is good to cure all Dis­eases of the Lungs; the true Nephri­tick Stone being carried about one, cures the Stone; a little Bone of the Thigh heals the Sciatica; Quick-Silver, or a Toad hung about the Neck, is a preser­vative against the Plague; the Tooth of a Dead Man carried about you shall cure you of the Tooth-ach; Oak-Moss gather­ed at a certain time, and an Elkes hoof cure the Epilepsie: There are such as preserve Children from having the Small-Pox, and others, which being tied to the wrist cure the Tertian, and Semitertian. So there are many others, whose Effects [Page 39] are ascribed to occult causes, and to the Sympathy and Antipathy of things.

I do not question the truth of these ex­periments, because I am certain as to the greatest part of them, having tryed them. Without doubt there are many o­thers which I do not know of, and which nevertheless others might have seen, but this I know, that the aforementioned Effect is not infallible, and when it hap­pens, it is done by the emission of certain Spirits or Atoms proceeding from those Remedies, and penetrating the Pores of Mans Body, and giving strength to the Animal Spirits to resist internal Poysons, or resisting the external Poysons, and fix­ing and hindring them from hurting those who carry the Amulets; I shall say no­thing of Medals; which are called Talisman, importing good Luck to those by whom they are carried about them, nor of white Magnets, which procure the kindness of all People, and the favour of a Mistriss: I give little credit to such things, neither can I easily believe all things which are said of them; and if Stars ought to have place here, rather than Demons, all is done by the means of Atoms.

Now I come to that which I am bet­ter acquainted with, and of which I can speak with more certainty, I mean of [Page 40] Experiments concerning Quick-silver and Gold; it is certain that if any Man hath Quick-Silver in his Body, or any where a­bout him, that the Gold-Ring which he hath upon his Finger, or which he holds in his Mouth will turn white, because the Quick-Silver sticks to the Gold; and if this Gold-Ring be thrown into the Fire, the Quick-Silver flyes and evaporates; and if the same Ring be again put upon the Finger, or held in the Mouth, it will still grow white every time, as long as any Quick-Silver remains in the Body.

This Phoenomenon is commonly ascri­bed to a Sympathy which is betwixt Quick-Silver and Gold; as if the Quick-Silver should hastily go to the Gold and embrace it, or that the Gold did draw the Quick-Silver to it; but Gold enclo­sed in smooth Glass does not turn white, no more doth it then when Quick-Silver is enclosed hermetically in a Glass, there is no Sympathy to call it forth thence, no more than out of a Box or Bladder wherein it is kept: we ought not there­fore to say that it was the Sympathy of these two Mettals which was the only cause by which the one adheres to the o­ther, for though we should grant that there is a Sympathy, that is, an agreeable­ness, proportion, and likeness between [Page 41] these two substances, not in their imagi­nary qualities, but in the figure of their Atoms; nevertheless it must be confes­sed that the attraction of Quick-Silver to Gold, is by an emission of their Spirits and Corpuscles, near after the same man­ner as we observed of the Load-Stone and Iron.

There is no less a connexion betwixt Silver which the Chymists call the Moon, and Copper, which they call Venus, than there is betwixt Mercury, that is in their Dialect, Quicksilver, and the Sun, that is Gold. If one Ounce of Silver be disol­ved in three Ounces of Aquafortis, made of Nitre and Vitriol, the Silver is reduced to Water, neither is it ever after seen, and if we would recover the Silver after such a dissolution, you must take leaves of Copper, and put them into an Earth­en Vessel, and pour upon them one pint of common Water, then to this Water put the liquor in which the Silver was dissolved, and it will turn it as white as Milk, and in the space of two or three hours, the Silver will leave the Aqua-fortis, and joyn it self to the Copper in the form of Curd or white Moss; when the water is clear, throw it all out the silver sticking to the Copper is dry­ed and reduced to a mealy Powder, and [Page 42] this is called Calx Lunae, or Silver Calcined.

As to this, we must take notice, that if in stead of Copper, you put in leaves or pieces of Gold, Silver, Lead or Tin, the Experiment will not answer expe­ctation; neither will Silver stick to them as well as to Gold, whence we must ne­cessarily conclude, that there is a certain Sympathy or peculiar connexion between Silver and Copper, as there is betwixt Gold and Quick-silver, so that we grant, that if the transmutation of Mettals be not impossible, no Mettal can be sooner changed into another, than Copper in­to Silver, and Mercury into Gold: The difficulty is in knowing the true cause of a Connexion or Affinity which is so remarkable.

It is commonly said to be done by that sympathy or agreeableness which is between these two Mettals. But in saying that, we say nothing, for we must en­quire farther into the cause and founda­tion of this Sympathy, so that we are forced to search for another Cause of this Effect, and to say that Silver is not join­ed to Copper, but by the means of a certain local motion of the Particles of the Silver, which are dispersed in this great quantity of water, and are con­gregated to joyn and unite themselves [Page 43] to the Copper; there is no other cause of this local motion, besides the Spirits and scent of the Copper which are disper­sed thorow the water, and there meeting with particles of the Silver which are wandring, separated, and dispersed, are fixed to them by reason of the conformity of their Pores; when the Corpuscles of the Silver are loosed, and set at liberty in the water, they leave it and descend, be­ing forced downwards by the concur­ring Particles of the Water, and lea­ving no vacuity, wherein the Particles of the Silver may be contained, they find the Atoms of the Copper, emit­ting themselves like the Odors of Aro­matique Bodies, and mutually entangle one another like littlè hooks, they go di­rectly towards the Copper, and falls up­on it as it lies in the bottom of the Ves­sel; this Explication doth imply the Do­ctrine of Atoms and their figures, weight, and motions, as it shall appear in follow­ing Chapters, after we have discoursed of Antipathy.

CHAP. X. Of Natural Phaenomena which are at­tributed to Antipathy.

THere are observed to be many Ef­fects, for which no Reason can be given without the help of this feigned An­tipathy. I'le instance to you some few, which I shall endeavour to explain.

In the first place occurs the sight of the Basilisk, who kills all whom he sees, which they say is by Antipathy, which is betwixt it and other Animals. But it may be said rather that it is done by the emission of certain venomous Spirits, which penetrate the Eyes of those which were seen by the Basilisk. The nature of this poison cannot be explained, unless we know before what is said of Poisons else-where. I thought that the deadly Effects proceeding, which we attribute to Antipathy, did deserve a particular tract by it self, because Poison kills only by a Contrariety betwixt us and it, so there is nothing more to be said of these matters, only that we are to discover and declare the Principle of this Con­trariety: Of the Basilisk of whom we speak, I shall only say that the Spirits issu­ing [Page 45] out of his enraged Eyes, do kill those Animals which they meet with, because the Spirits do penetrate them by their subtilty, and sharp figure, like Needles, which pierces the Heart, as the Poison of Vipers, and such like, not so accute, nor so deadly, nor so ready in their effects, as that of the Basilisk. In reference to this matter there are many things which oc­cur, that are worth consideration. In the first place, it is certain that the Basilisk is not ingendred but in moist, deep, and dark places, as in the bottom of Wells, where there is nothing but muddy, thick, stinking Water, as Histories do re­late to us, that some have died only by looking into those Wells, or in going down into them, in order to cleanse them. In the second place, we do observe, that if you take a Glass and hold it against the Basilisk's Eyes, those Spirits which issue from his Eyes, reflecting upon the Glass, are sent back from whence they came, and do kill the Basilisk: It cannot be said that the Basilisk doth hate himself; but it must be said that the Venomous Spirits, reflecting from the Glass, do conceive a more violent motion, and do forcibly enter the Eyes of the Basilisk, and do drive back the other Spirits which are issuing out of, or are extant in, his Eyes, [Page 46] so that they penetrate his Brain and Heart, and thence occasion his death. In the same manner, as Vapours do often arise with so great violence from the Hypocondria, the Mesentery, and the Stomach, into the Head, that they cause an Apoplexy, Epilepsie, Diziness, or Lethar­gy, and sometimes they are carried with such subtilty and violence into the Heart, and presently penetrate it; whereby Men dye suddenly.

It is also observed, that several Men, and other Animals were killed by a Basi­lisk, from the corner of a deep and dark Dungeon where he was ingendered, and nourished up to the bigness of a Toad, it was contrived that one should enter in­to the Dungeon to kill him; care being taken, that he who was to enter for that purpose, should be covered with a Glass before his Eyes, by whose interpositi­on the Basilisk might be seen, though he could not see the Person approaching to­wards him. By this means, he who ente­red saw the Basilisk, and killed him, with­out receiving any hurt to himself; which without doubt did proceed from this, that the poisonous Spirits issuing from the Eyes of the Basilisk, could not pass free­ly thorough the Glass, but were fixed in the substance of it, so that they could [Page 47] not hurt the Person who was so covered.

Another Effect which is ascribed to Antipathy, and must be spoken of in this place; is that which we meet with a­mongst some Vegetables, as betwixt the Colewort and the Vine, betwixt whom as we observed before, there is not the least agreeableness, and that if they be planted near one another, they do in­sensibly give back, and lean sidewards, as if they really hated one another, This effect cannot be ascribed to any thing but to the emission of the Corpuscles and material Spirits of both of them, which do rush upon one another, and mutually repell by the irregularity of their figures. This truth is apparent in the juice of Cole­worts, which if taken by a Man when he is Drunk, he presently comes to himself, and is sober; because the Corpuscles of the juice of Coleworts do blunt the Corpus­cles of the juice of Wine; in the same manner, we find by experience that Spi­rit of Opium, or Laudanum, Cures the Chollick, Head-achs, and all other kind of pains; nay, it eases the Tooth-ache, and blunts the sharpness of Choller; it Cures the Phrenzy, and procures Sleep; so there's need of the greatest care in using the Narcotick Medicines, because it often falls out that the Vital Spirits are so stu­pified [Page 48] by them, that they are deprived of their Motion, which causes a deadly Sleep.

But that we may return to our so much believed Antipathy, which is betwixt the Colewort and the Vine, I observe, that it hath not the above mentioned Effect; and that neither the Vine nor the Cole­wort do lean sidewards, if there be Cloth or Paper set betwixt them; and though the same Antipathy remains, it doth so manifest it self, because the Cor­puscles flowing from both sides are stopped in their way, neither do they pass through the Cloath or Paper; So the truth of that assigned by us, and the weakness of that Reason which is grounded upon Antipa­thy, clearly appears without any further Scrutiny.

There is a Third Effect which is ascri­bed to Antipathy, and it is observed in the use of Medicines, as well Internal as External; some whereof are Catharticks, some Sudorificks, and others Specificks: The External of which we speak, are those which we carry about us, which by their Antipathy, drive away the Malign air, and preserves from the Plague, and other Contagions; as prepared Quick-Silver, and a Toad dryed and shut up in a Box; this Phenomenon is not in the least [Page 49] to be ascribed to Antipathy, but to the pestiferous Spirits or corpuscles, which ap­proaching towards us, do find Subjects apt for their reception, and are fixed in them, but they do not approach us, at least in such a quantity as is able to hurt us; which most evidently appears, in that Prepared Quick-Silver, or the Toad, being once replenished with these Conta­gious Atoms, become useless, and they ought to be changed and renewed; and I know by Experience, that Quick-Silver prepared white, and shining like an Ada­mant, or Polished Silver, and being carried about a Person who is frequent with Sick People, in time becomes black, so that afterwards it is useless to him that carries it about him, because there are no small Vacuities left to retain the airy Poisons, unless he renews it by a­nother Preparation, whereby it may be made as White, Transparent, and as Useful as it was before.

Moreover Quick-Silver turns black, more or less, sooner or slower, according to the proportion of the lesser or greater malignity which is in the air where he lives, because these Antidotes can never hurt; nay, if rightly prepared, they do not only withstand the contagious Air, when they hinder its nearer approach [Page 50] towards us; but as it is evidenced by ex­perience, they do suppress inward Va­pours ascending up into the head, which occasion many of our common Distempers: It were to be wished that Sacred Persons, and Princes, whose Lives are so dear unto us, (to the end they might preserve their Health, and not be any way subject to any danger of this kind,) would carry these Antidotes about them, and that those who have free access to those Sa­cred Persons would advise them to it; and likewise demonstrate the use and vertue of them.

I proceed to Purgative Remedies, This carries off Choller, That Phlegm, Others Melancholly, and Others do Purge the Blood and all the humours. It is hard very often to give a reason why Rubarb and the Leaves of Sena do Purge Melan­cholly; Jallap and Diagridium purge out Phlegm and waterish humours.

Whether this be done by Sympathy, which attracts the Humours from the se­veral parts, or by Antipathy which ex­pels and exterminates; but it may be said that it is done neither way, and that a matter of so small a moment, did not de­serve that strife betwixt the Followers of Galen, and Paracelsus, for their Axiomes concerning contraries against contraries, [Page 51] and like to like, contribute nothing to the explanation of these Effects; for I take it to be a certain and constant truth, that every purgative Medicine doth com­prehend in it certain Spirits or Corpus­cles which are venomous, that is acute, sharpned, pungent and biting, so that Nature being stirred up by them, and thereby the internal Parts and Mem­branes being touched and agitated, the Animal Spirits get together by troops, in order to assist the part affe­cted, and they draw along with them the foreign Humours, which are less fix­ed; and then Nature by the help of these Spirits doth discharge it self, and expel them by their proper ways: But to say that Rubarb makes choice of extermina­ting Choller, or the Leaves of Sena of carrying off Melancholly, is ridiculous. It is true, that after a Purgation with Rubarb, the waters proceeding from the Body are yellow, and after the use of Sena, or Cassia, they are black; yet it does not follow from thence, that This purges Choller, and That Melancholly; they are only the superfluous humours which are discharged, neither doth the Body afford any thing, besides that which it hath; whe­ther Sena or Rubarb be taken, the colour of what is Purged, proceeds from a tin­cture of these Medicines.

CHAP. XI. Of Emeticks, Sudorificks, and Speci­ficks.

OF all Medicinal Remedies those seem most admirable to me, which are called Emeticks or Vomitives, which have in them a great deal of Poison, and likewise abound with Arsenick Spirits; Amongst Minerals, Antimony and Arse­nick are of this kind; so are the Herb Asarum, and other Herbs, amongst Ve­getables. It is evident that all these Sim­ples and Minerals, consisting for the most part of many sharp and corrosive Cor­puscles, do not purge the Body, but by pricking and irritating of the Membranes, and that some times with such vehemency, that the Belly and other contiguous parts being Ulcerated thereby, there happens a breach of the internal continuity, &c. which occasions the death of the Party who is thus affected. It is apparent, that it ought to be acknowledged for a certain truth, that these sort of Medi­cines ought to be used but very seldome, but if necessity requires the use of them, none but the gentlest are to be ap­plyed; it being taken for a constant [Page 53] truth, that those Persons who use these Remedies too-often, do never enjoy a perfect Health, and that their Lives are always short and crazy.

Let us consider an Emetick, and especially Antimony, which being well prepared, performes wonders: I mean, by a good preparation of it, that it be freed from a great quantity of its perni­cious and poisnous Corpuscles. As to this, it ought to be prepared by Judicious Artists, for if it be so ordered, that the Antimony Purges neither upwards nor downwards, and that it retains only a Sudorisick Vertue; being thus qualified, it is very proper, and very useful, to pu­rifie the Blood, to increase the Animal Spirits, the natural heat, and radical moisture, for reasons which I shall shew hereafter. But if these Venomous, Arse­nick, and corrosive Corpuscles be not se­parated from the Antimony, it may prove to have very ill effects, in that it imposes violence upon Nature: It is not to be administred but by a prudent and most expert hand; though the sub­stance of it be not taken, but only the Wine wherein it is infused.

But your crude and Diaphoretick An­timony which the late. Mr. De L'orme cal­led his Milk of Pearls, is very comforta­ble [Page 54] to Nature, and may be safely used with very good success; but to find the Cause of that Effect, the Learned are very much puzled. I shall endeavour, according to my Principles, to shew the Reason of this Effect: It is made in this manner, take Crude Antimony, and thereof make a Starry Regulus, which is all as one if it be not Starry; of this melted Regulus you are to make a Cup, put Wine into it in the Evening, pour out the Wine the next Morning, and you will find that it hath lost nothing either of its tast or colour; yet notwithstanding, it is very Purgative. That which is to be admired at, is, that this may be done continually every day, without any remarkable diminution of the Cup, or loss of its Vertues.

If the Wine loses or receives nothing, as it seems it does not, how then can it be Purgative, or Emetick, and if the Cup communicates to it either its substance or Vertue, how then is it possible, that ei­ther one or the other is not in the least diminished? According to our Princi­ples I return this answer; That the Wine every time it is put into the Cup, doth take from thence certain Corpuscles, or invisible Spirits, wherewith it is impreg­nated, and That little is sufficient to give the Wine a Purgative Vertue, and to [Page 55] stir the Membranes of the Ventricle, and the inward Parts, in order to Evacuate the peccant humours; which is evident from this, that the Wine according to the proportion of time it hath stood in the Cup, is either more or less Purgative, though the Cup suffers no sensible dimi­nution in its Substance, yet not withstan­ding, it is certain that it will suffer some small diminution in the course of some Years; which it were worth while to observe.

I have spoken above of a Regulus Starry, and not Starry, that I may let the Reader see somewhat that is strange in the Confection of Regulus, when it is well Prepared with Mars, that is, with Iron; there is to be seen a great Star upon the upper side of it, which hath Five Rays, like the Rowel of a Spur: I confess that in this strange Phoenomenon there is something that is wonderful, and which is beyond the reach of Humane understanding, especially if we observe, that this Star is more bright, and its Rays better formed, if the Regulus be Prepared either Tuesday or Friday, espe­cially if the Sky be clear and serene; and if it be made between Seven or Eight of the Clock in the Morning, or Two or three of the Clock in the Afternoon: and that I [Page 56] may build one Wonderful thing upon a­nother, it is certain, that if in the Pre­paration of Regulus, Tin be added with Iron, there will be seen two Stars upon the Regulus, with their distinct Rays di­spersed into one another, and if the Re­gulus be driven to the last degree of per­fection, the Star disappears, and there is seen in the room of it a little thin Net, like a Fishers Net: I am so far from de­livering any thing upon the Credit of o­thers, that I set down nothing but what I my self have done and seen.

Having let you see the manner how it is done; there remains only that I should give such a Reason of it, as may in some measure satisfie the Readers understan­ding; I do not Brag that I am able to do it, for there are few Men which are ra­tional; I mean who are contented with Reason, nevertheless you shall have my thoughts of the Matter.

No Man doubts but that Iron repre­sents the Planet Mars, Copper Venus, Gold the Sun, Silver the Moon, and Tin Jupiter; if the Qualities of these Mettals be compared with those of the Planets, as the Heavens do incessantly influence the Earth, and the Earth sends back its Cor­puscles to the Heavens in the form of Va­pours, in the same manner do the Hea­vens [Page 57] return them to the Earth in Rain, and Dew; and though there is a general Commerce between the Heavens and the Earth, yet no Man will deny, but that there is a certain invisible and particular Commerce betwixt them; and that we may not speak of things so general, there is a more special Commerce betwixt the Sun and Gold, and betwixt the Moon and Silver, Mars and Iron, Venus and Copper; so every Planet hath a special influence upon its Mettal, and the Na­ture of it, by the means of the invisible Atoms and Corpuscles which proceed from the Body of the Planet, which plain­ly appears by all the former instances, and amongst the rest, for that the day and hour of the Planet, contributes to the for­mation and perfecting of either the single or double Star, as we have observed about the Starry Regulus. These things being supposed, I conceive that while Anti­mony is Melting with Iron, there is much Vapour and Smoak arising, and this is most certain, that the Smoak eva­porates in such plenty, that it is trouble­some to the Artist, who is obliged to stand at some distance, if he will have a care of himself: These Vapours and Smoak do ascend up, which being met with by the Spirit and Corpuscles of their [Page 58] Planet, do mingle with them, and de­scend upon the Mettal and penetrate it, because, being melted, it is open.

Therefore these emancipated Spirits do return more pure than they were, and do so well intermix themselves with the open Mettal when it is melted, and that they draw others to stick unto them, whence the Spirit of the Planets, though invisible, descending from the Body of the Planets, not being able to enter into the Regulus when it is removed from the Fire, and begins to coole, are forced to stick upon the upper and superficial part of the Mettal, and there form the Figure of the Planet or Planets from whence they did proceed, and when Copper is put to it, there appears a double Star, and this Star is the more elevated, when the Spirits of the Planets are more copious, which they are at the day and hour where in the Planet Rules.

All these things agree with experience, for the single or double Star doth not ap­pear till the Mettal begins to cool, which requires about the space of an hour; and this Star is formed by degrees, which is strange, nay, to be wondred at; whence it appears, that there is an agreeableness between Mars and Iron, and betwixt Venus and Copper, and that there is an [Page 59] influence of their Planets upon these two Mettlas by the intervention of their Cor­puscles.

As for the Net (which we spoke of) it shews the Conjunction of the Planets of both Mettals, having the Sun in the middle, and I am not able to give any o­ther reason for it; unless that when the Mettals, which are melted with the Anti­mony, begin to grow cold, and that when the Star enters into the Body of the Met­tal, and disappears, there are still remain­ing certain Corpuscles of the Planets of both Mettals, which are interwoven in the middle of the Mass, which makes this Net, whereof the Fables seem to leave us an Idea: We must confess by the by, that there are certain things in Nature which surpass our understanding, and that we ought not to imagine with our selves that we are able to satisfie all the Learned in every thing.

But to go on with this Chapter, I ob­serve likewise, as there are Mettals which rejoice at the Commerce which they have with the influence of some Planets, so there are parts found in our Body which correspond with Particular Planets; as the Heart with the Sun, the Brain with the Moon, the Liver with Mars, the Spleen with Saturn, the Lungs with Jupi­ter, [Page 60] and the Reins with Venus; so we see that Gold, which is the Terrestial Sun, is a Soveraign Cordial, or a Medicine for the Heart, and truly universally for all Bodies, as the Coelestial Sun is for the whole World; as I shall shew when I come to discourse of Mettals Silver in the same manner is a Cephalick Medicine, whereof are made wonderful Remedies for Diseases in the Head; the same may be said of Iron in respect of the Liver, when it opens its obstructions, and fortifies; Copper affords a Spirit which wondefully heals the Reins, and also Venerial Di­stempers. I shall speak something of e­very Mettal in its proper place, and we shall more plainly see how every Mettal doth administer a Specifick Remedy for that part which it hath relation to, as experience shews.

As for Sudorificks, I will not speak of them. Medicinally in this place, neither will I explain the matter whereof those Remedies, so benificial to Mans Body, are made. It is sufficient for me to speak of them Philosophically; and it being sup­posed (which I have not seldom seen) that one only Grain of Powder plainly insipid, and of the Colour of calcined Gold, given in half a Glass of Wine, doth provoke Sweat in abundance from [Page 61] the whole Body from head to foot, with­out any violence or alteration: This I have seen, and have done it, and can do it again at any time when I please. Nothing remains, but that I should give the Reason of this Phoenomenon, and that we know whether it ought to be attri­buted to Sympathy or Antipathy.

I suppose, and I know it very well, that this Powder is compounded of the Spirit of Gold, and all other Mettals reduced into one; so that it ought not to be ad­mired, that the Atoms of which it is com­posed should be so penetrating, that they are carried from the Stomach, through the whole Body, and that in their passage they fix the most subtile Corpuscles of hu­mours, which pass through the Pores in the likeness of Vapours, and meeting with the cold outward air are reduced to the likeness of Dew, which is called Sweat. There are other Sudorifick Powders, but they are more violent, because they are less subtile, and less penetrating, and whose Atoms are not so apt to rarifie the Humours, and to draw them to the ex­tream parts of the Body with so much facility, and with so little danger, as that doth which we spoke of before

CHAP. XII. Of Poisons, and Toxicks.

THere are several sorts of Poisons and Toxicks; some whereof do come at us with an infected air, others are communicated to us from Animals, or some Nutriment. It is not my purpose in this place to shew all the differences of them. It answers my purpose to reduce them to Five, from the occasion of those things which I ought to speak of, about the Antipathy that is betwixt Poisons and our Bodies.

Therefore I chuse three kinds of Poi­sons or Toxicks, and I shall endeavour to explain the manner how they act upon our Bodies with the assistance of that fictitious Antipathy, the Refuge of Igno­rance: The first is the Poison of the Heart, because it immediately assails this Part; such is the Poison of a Viper, or the Plague, the breathing of the infectious air draws and conveys the Plague to the Heart; since we cannot say that the Air is carried into the Heart by a contrary quality, whence therefore doth this a­rise from Antipathy, or Repugnancy? And after what manner doth the air, [Page 63] which gives life to the Heart, and matter to the vital Spirits, bring death to it? which sometimes invades it upon a sudden, when the Poison of the Plague is Violent, but ordinarily a Man doth not dye so suddenly, and the Poison only by the mo­tion of the Heart, disperses it self thro' the Veins, and corrupts the whole Mass of Blood, and Bubo's, and Pustules arising are the marks of it: But when the Poi­son goes out by suppuration, the person infected is sooner cured.

It is very hard to say, what Poison is, for if we say it is a contrary Quality, or Air corrupted, we talk foolishly; we must know wherein that Corruption doth con­sist; if it be corrupted, it is no longer Air, or if Air be a corruption, it is a Qua­lity, so that still there remains the same difficulty: Therefore to use no circum­locution, we say that deadly Poison essen­tially is nothing but certain Atoms or Cor­puscles, which are very acute, and croo­ked, figured like little piercers or small Nails, which penetrates, cuts and divides the vital parts, and by this motion in­terrupts the motion of those Spirits which give life. And that I may explain my Opinion right upon this Subject, I mention those things concerning Poisons and Atoms, which as far as I know, have [Page 64] not hitherto been mentioned by any Body, which is, That Poison is nothing else but certain loose and emancipated Atoms, for many of such Atoms being loosed and separated from the Body we call Poison.

As to that, we are to observe, that be­ing compounded in that manner which we are, our conservation doth consist in the composition, and as long as that lasts we live, and so our destruction doth pro­ceed from the division and dissolution of our Bodies, so that Corruption is nothing but a solution of the Body: This solu­tion doth not happen but from emancipa­ted Atoms, who by their incomprehensi­ble subtilty, do find an intermediant space in the most solid Bodies, and if these be not speedily driven out and dissipated, or are repelled by certain aiding Corpus­cles, they will occasion Diseases, Griefs, and lastly Death.

Therefore Poison is not a pestiferous quality, nor is it the Antipathy of the air, or of any thing, whereby they per­secute our Temperament; nor is it cor­rupted Air, but they are hard Atoms which are set at liberty, and emancipated; whence it does appear, how the Plague may be brought to us from places remote within a short space of time, and how it may lye hid along while amongst Cloaths [Page 65] in Chests; also the Reason is obvious, why Bleeding and Purgation are not necessary in the Curing of the Plague, and why only Cordials and Sudorificks are convenient in a Contagion.

The same thing may be said of the Poi­son of Vipers, which is nothing else but some Atoms divided and separated from the whole, which entring that part which is Bit by the Viper, do creep presently through the whole Body, and divide, se­parate, and cut it, and at last dissolve and confound it. It is therefare incredi­ble, that that Poison should proceed from a Great Cold, because there are Bodies which are much colder, which yet are not Poison; besides that cold doth not so readily, nor from so small a beginning, destroy the whole Natural constitution of Man's Body.

Therefore I take that to be which wholy destroys us, is to dissolve our Body, and that nothing can dissolve it but free'd and emancipated Atoms, whence Distem­pers do derive their Original, and Death, the consequence of it: I say it follows, that it is impossible but that there is Poi­son in all our Diseases, and that we can­not enjoy a full and perfect Health, as long as we have in us the least Atom of that kind, which I say are emancipated; [Page 66] these are so many Enemies which we cherish in our Bosome, being the Prin­ciples of Division, Dissolution, and Death.

But some will ask, whence come these emancipated Atoms? who emancipates them? and after what manner are they found in the Vesicle, which is broke, where the Viper Bites, or in the Spittle which enters our Flesh by the Biting of this Creature? I answer, That they are Atoms not firmly complicated, which get abroad, or they proceed from some dead Body which is dissolved into its first prin­ciples, as it happens with the Plague; some of them get loose, like Servants who wanting a Master, do seek to be busied and employed in some business, and as long as they stick to no body they may be called desolate and depraved Atoms, which are continually moved, drive o­thers, and dissolve them by their reitera­ted concussions; so a little Poyson doth suddenly extend and disperse it self through the whole Body, because these Atoms by their emancipation being made Venomous and Pestiferous to Eman­cipate others, and confound the whole Body, and in this sense it's most true, what the Physiicans say, that the corrupt Humours of the Body do degenerate into [Page 67] Poison, because these moist parts of our Body are more apt to break and divide than the solid parts of it; they are also the first which begin to be corrupted and divided. I know not by what instinct of Nature we commonly say when we ap­prehend any Distemper, that we are ill Composed, and of a Body that is Crazy and full of Humours, that is wholly ill Disposed, because in truth the emancipa­ted Atoms do disturb it, and hinder the Union and Composition of its Parts, wherein the state of perfect Health doth consist.

Some will say that I have handled this Matter after a strange and odd kind of Method, but if Truth and Reason confirm my Explication, as I hope it does, they have nothing to say against me, but I speak those things which were never said before; or that I do not proceed in the same manner, and the same Course in the Progress of this Philosophical Tract; wherein I will sincerely endeavour to bind my self up to the Truth, without having any Regard to the Prejudices of the Schools.

I return to Poisons, and after I have Discoursed of Pestiserous and Viperine Poison which attacks the Heart, it will be time to say something of those which [Page 68] immediately invade the Brain, and from thence the Heart, the Center of Life, be­fore I address my self to either general, or particular Antidotes, which deserve a particular Chapter by themselves.

Therefore I say according to the com­mon Opinion of Physicians, That there are Toxicks and Poisons which imme­diately beset the Heart; as I have said of the Pestiferous and Viperine poison, and others like them, there are others which attack the Head, such as the biting of a mad Dog, Opium, Solan, and other Nar­cotick and somniferous Simples. There are also Poisons which rush into the Li­ver, and corrupt the whole Mass of Blood, as the Venerial poison, and o­thers of the same kind. Th [...]s diversity is ascribed to Antipathy, and an Aversion, whereby Poisons are carried to certain parts of our Body, but the foundation must be shewed, whereupon this Anti­pathy is built; the water sticks, neither can any solid reason be given, why the Poison of a mad Dog attacks the head, or that of the Viper, the Heart; Besides that this Antipathy is not sufficient to explain the Nature of Poisons, though we may confess, that they have an aver­sion to our Nature, because they endea­vour the destruction of it, and do pro­cure [Page 69] the separation and division of our Bodies.

It being supposed (as indeed it is) that a Mad Dog biting a certain part of our Body, doth leave in that part a certain Spittle or Foam, which enters the wound (for unless there be a Wound, there is no fear of danger) the venomous Atoms being dissolved and emancipated, and as it were raving mad, do insensibly and by degrees creep through the parts of the Body, and finding no softer parts than the substance of the Brain, and by conse­quence easier to be divided and destroy­ed, do produce the dissolution of it; and therefore it must be granted, that if the Brain could not so easily be dissolved, and that the fluidity of its substance were not the reason why it so easily receives the impression, that is the action and motion of the emancipated Atoms; the poison of a mad Dog would produce but little disturbance in us. It must not be said that that poison ascends the Head by Sympathy, and ruins it by Antipathy; but accor­ding to our Principles, it ought to be confessed, that the Atoms of the spittle of the mad Dog, being loosed and eman­cipated, are as apt to destroy the other parts as well as the Brain, if the Sub­stance of the brain did not consist of cer­tain [Page 70] Corpuscles, yielding to these fo­reign Corpuscles, whereby they enter in­to the vacant spaces of them, which having entred in at these little chinks or fissures, they raise a Tumult and con­fusion in the Castle.

This truth is evident in slow poisons, which stagnate as well as that whereof we speak, until the emancipated Atoms of it find out some part, whose Vacui­ties give them free entrance, or they meet with some Corpuscles, whose little Hooks or Angles do either accelerate or retard their motion: For these emanci­pated Atoms being not received nor fix­ed, but by weak Corpuscles, are like a Bird having only his feet entangled in the Birdlime, endeavours with all his strength to get himself free, or like a Man, who is to be thrown into Prison, and is withheld only by one Arm, uses his utmost endeavour to obtain his liber­ty; so it is with free and emancipated Atoms, which are partly withheld by these tender little Hooks, whereof the Brain doth consist, whence arises a fu­rious agitation in the Brain it self, and at length madness; for indeed the mad­ness is in the Dogs Brain, to which some emancipated Atoms came from abroad, or from some dead Carrion which the [Page 71] Dog did eat, or from the Air in the Dog-days, being then too much rarified, or from too much dryness of the Brain, proceeding from too much drowth, and these Atoms go forth with the Spittle, when the Dog bites some part of our Bo­dy, and in time produces the same con­fusion with that in the Dog.

The third sort of Poison which I pro­mised to speak of, is that of the Venerial Disease, which sets upon the Liver, and without a prolix declaration of the ex­ternal causes which produce it, it will be sufficient for me, if I will declare in few words, that which is necessary to know, wherein they do consist, and why Poison is so pernicious, that it corrupts the Li­ver, and infects the whole Mass of Blood, and afterwards, tho' slowly, ruins the whole Constitution of the Body, and the Oeconomy of its constituent Parts.

It is frivolous to say, that the Vene­rial Disease and its Poyson, doth consist in an Antipathy to the Liver, and the Mass of Blood, for the Cause and Nature of this feigned Antipathy, cannot be assigned. But in my Opinion there is no difficulty in the matter, for by the com­mon consent of Physicians, this Poison is nothing else but a malign quality, pro­ceeding from the Vapour raised from [Page 72] the corruption of the Spermatick Blood, which corruption is occasion'd by a mix­ture of divers Seeds. This Principle be­ing supposed, we do reject this feigned maligne Quality, for it cannot be said what it is, or from whence this maligni­ty arises, but we acknowledge this Va­pour, and admit the Corruption of the Seed, and we say (not mentioning, the malign Quality) that there are certain Atoms excited by Heat and Motion, which do exhale and free themselves from the loose and corrupt Blood, and finding the Pores of mans Body, and of the natural parts to be open and di­lated, do creep and insinuate themselves into them, and in process of time, do penetrate into the Spermatick Vessels, from thence into the great Veins, and from thence into the great Vessels and the Liver, being the Trunk of them, which they by dividing do alter, and by separating do Corrupt, whence, at length there follows a corruption of all the Blood.

The subtilty and continual motion of these emancipated Atoms, appears from the Gout, sometimes from the Reliques of the Venerial Distemper; for these Atoms do penetrate into the marrow of the Bones, and fix them above the Ar­ticulations, [Page 73] where they find an allume­nous matter, to which they stick: But because these Venerial and other emanci­pated Atoms are not fixed, therefore they are moved in those places where they are, like a Captive fetter'd in Pri­son, looking about him, which way he can most conveniently make his escape; hence it is, that the pain of the Gout doth not cease until these Atoms are dis­charged, either by Transpiration, Sweat, or some other Evacuation, or that they are wholly accumulated by other Bodies, of the same figure; or that they are al­together stopped in their motion by a condensation of those alluminous matters, whence the Gout becomes knotty and in­curable.

CHAP. XIII. Of Sublimate, Arsenick, and other sorts of Poisons, and the deadly Effects which proceed from them.

THere are two sorts of Sublimate, the one corrosive, the other sweet. The first is a most violent Poison: The o­ther is a most excellent Remedy for Worms in Children; however, it is not [Page 74] without some malignity, and therefore, it is given but in very small Doses; and as to the first, fortified by the Corrosive Spirits of Salt and Vitriol, the least quantity of it cannot be administred, without inconveniency, nay Death it self. In this place we are to enquire, where­in doth that Poison, which is so powerful consist; for as soon as Sublimate is swallow­ed down, it produces Ulcers, Blisters, and excoriation in the Tunicles, or Coats of the Ventricle, they [...]re seized with an inflammation, over-run with a Gan­green; and unless a good Antidote be taken, (as I shall shew hereafter) death it self is the consequence of it; but let us see by what malignity that Sublimate produces these deadly Effects, and where­in the force of this Poison doth consist.

That we may be able to comprehend this Truth, and discover wherein the malignity of this Poison doth consist; it is to be supposed, That Sublimate is an artificial Poison, being a Compound of the most subtile Particles of Quick-silver, Salt and Vitriol, sublimated together, in the form of Crystal or white Powder, like Sugar: So that the Venomous and Corrosive Sublimate, is made neither of Quick-sil­ver, Salt, or Vitriol alone, and apart, but there ought to be the Spirit of Salt [Page 75] and Vitriol to separate the Quick-silver, and that though before it was fluid like water, is to be reduced into dry Earth; which is done by reason that these two Spirits do separate the Mercury in the sublimation, and in some manner kill it, and do penetrate it, as if they were Poi­son to the Quick-silver it self, they cor­rupt it, and force it to change its disposi­tion, because they divide it, and reduce its Corpuscles into small stings, whence it is that they are so sharp, penetrating, and Corrosive: Which doth not happen, if the Quick-silver be sublimated by it self; for then it ascends in its own fluid and gliding Nature, and in this manner it may be taken inward without any danger, and also when the Sublimate is sublima­ted with Crude Quick-silver.

This being supposed, I conclude, That Sublimate is a Poison which suddenly ope­rates in our Body, to the destruction of it, because its Corpuscles are reduced in­to Stings, like the Corpuscles of Fire, Salt, and Vitriol, which does sharpen the Corpuscles of the Quick-silver, wherefore they produce the same effects in the Body, as Fire or the Caustick Stone swallowed do, for it presently burns every thing that it touches, and Ulcerates the whole Stomach, Gullet, and all the Parts [Page 76] through which it passes; because its Cor­puscles being so sharpened, do penetrate and dart thro', like flames of Fire; there­fore Antipathy hath nothing to do in this place, no more hath that feigned Maligne and Occult Quality, as the less learned would fain alledge: All that is observed concerning this Subject, ought to be ascribed to the Disposition, subtilty, and figure of the Corpuscles, which ren­ders them Corrosive and burning.

The same thing may be said of Arse­nick, except only that Arsenick, is the work of Nature, and Sublimate that of Art; for in truth, Arsenick is a perfect Mineral which is found in the Earth, and Sublimate, is prepared by Artists in sublimatory Vessels.

The Effects of Arsenick, as well the White as the Red, is near the same with those of the Sublimate, and both of them by right may be ranked amongst the most prompt and violent Poisons, in respect of the sharp and penetrating Particles, whereof they do consist. There is nothing which disappoint these Effects, except proper Antidotes made use of in time, which change this disposition, and blunt the sharpness of those Corrosive Corpuscles.

Nevertheless, by special preparations, those Venomous Corpuscles may be ta­ken [Page 77] away, both from the Sublimate, and the Arsenick: And by our fortifying and changeing of the Compound, a most ex­cellent Remedy, for the health of Man, may be made of the most pernicious Poi­son, as the Triacle is made of Vipers Flesh, which is the best Antidote, as we shall see in the following Chapter.

CHAP. XIV. Of Antidotes.

ART, together with Nature, sup­plies us with as many sorts of Anti­dotes, as there are Poisons: The Viper, no less than the Scorpion, carries its An­tidote; if the Serpent begins to creep out of the Earth, Nature affords us the Leaves of Ash (which buds at the same time) to heal its bite; the same ground which bears a Thora, hath also near an Anthora, which is its Anti­dote.

There are also external Antidotes, which do avert the Plague, and preserve the Body from the Conragion, as we said before, speaking of Amulets, where we did declare how this may be done, and how the Body may be preserved from [Page 78] every Malignant Air, without any ficti­tious Sympathy or Antipathy.

Antidotes are general, and special, or specifick; they are general which resist every Poison; they are particular, which are appropriated only to certain Poisons. That it may be rightly explained how An­tidotes do work upon Poison, and how they hinder its operation, we must sup­pose, that all Poisons and Toxicks, are reducible to two kinds; the first doth consist of emancipated Atoms, which are properly Poisons; under the second, are comprehended Toxicks, as Sublimate, and the like; and that consists in sharp pene­trating, cutting Particles, such as the Particles of Fire, which Burn, Ulcerate, and Tear the inward parts of the Person who takes them: These things being supposed, it will be no hard matter to explain the Nature of Antidotes.

Having made this difference between Poisons and Toxicks, it is certain, that there are Antidotes against Poisons, and that they are diverse, according to the diversity of the Toxicks: Hence we see that Triacles, of all the Antidotes which we have, is most proper, and most spe­cifick against the Poison of Vipers, be­cause Triacle is made of Vipers flesh, and the emancipated Atoms proceeding from [Page 79] it, finding the Particles of that Flesh, sit to receive them, do adhere to them, and are imbodied with them, and in this manner losing their motion, they lay a­side their malignity, and remain fixed and quiet, in the same Condition as they were, before their emancipation, they can no longer offend the Heart, or effect any Division of it; so it is in the case of Pestilent Poisons, which we draw as we suck in the Air, wherein, after a great Contagion, these emancipated A­toms are found, and with whom, they enter into our Bodies.

Triacle, and Cordial Confections, are commonly used; whose Corpuscles are disposed and figured in such a fashion, as that the Pestiferous Atoms, running through all the Parts of our Body, are con­nexed with, and do wholy adhere to them; whence there is a full and absolute Cure, or partly; which allays the violence of the Distemper: But without doubt, or contradiction, the true Antidote of the Plague, is changing of the Air, or correcting of it by good Scents, which being attracted within us, together with the Air, do attemper and correct it, and their Corpuscles do check the im­patience, and the too-free motion of the emancipated Atoms.

[Page 80] The Poison of a Mad Dog is very hard to be cured; and as that sort of Madness is accounted incurable, and is publickly attended with a very deadly and fatal issue, we are forced to bind those who are infected or suspected, and at length to smother them between two Feather-beds.

The ordinary Remedy is to send them to the Sea, to throw them into it several times: Experience teaches us that that kind of Remedy is not altogether use­less, but is to be accounted amongst those which are most safe, though it be not altogether infallible. The an­tipathy of the Sea-water hath no room here, and it were vain to alledge it in the confirmation of this practice: There­fore I say, that, according to our Princi­ples, the emancipated Atoms procee­ding from the spittle of the mad dog, while they penetrate the substance of the Brain, or at least begin to penetrate it, or to be turned round its foldings, to enter into its Cavities, are interrupted in their motion, so that they cannot enter into the Cavities of it, nay and they are thrown partly out by those strug­lings which the Patient must necessari­ly suffer when he is cast into the Sea: I do not, nor will not deny, but that [Page 81] there are Atoms or Corpuscles procee­ding from the Froth of the Sea, which entring into the Patients body thro' the Pores, made open by the agitation, or by breathing in of the Air, and being comunicated to the blood, do with their cubicular figures, fix and withstand the emancipated Atoms which produce the madness or nearly dispose the body to it: To comprehend in a word all that can be said concerning this matter, whatsoever can heal or give ease to a Distemper so dangerous, it does it only by hindring the Motion of those loosed Atoms, or by quite expelling them out of the body.

The same thing may be said of the third sort of Poison, that is, the Venerial, which is called the French dis­ease, That also hath its general and specifick Antidotes: Quick-silver is com­monly used for this business, and that by reason of that antipathy which is betwixt it and the disease, it is most cer­tainly held to be the one only Remedy for it: Others use Sudorificks, as Guajacum, Salsaparilla, or animal or Mineral Bezoar, or the salt of Vipers: Others are only contented with one Remedy, which is Mercury perfected by Nature, and ra­dically divided by Art; also the more industrious do use Philosophical water, [Page 82] prepared from the Beams of the Sun and Moon.

But tho' we may provide an excel­lent Remedy against this Distemper; nevertheless it must be confessed, that it is not radically taken away, but by the help of those things which expel the Venerial emancipated Atoms, from the Centre to the Circumference, whe­ther it be done by sweat, or by an in­sensible transpiration; this doth not happen by Antipathy, or some occult quality, but by the motion of the Par­ticles of the Medicine, which strike against these miserable Atoms, and drive them out by those most conve­nient ways, that is, the Pores of our Body.

Therefore let us proceed to those Antidotes which are opposite to Toxicks, not by Antipathy, or some occult qua­lity, but by their different figures: Therefore who will say that Milk hath an aversion to Sublimate or Arsenick, though it be a most speedy Remedy, and that no less than Oyl which doth resist Poyson, because descending into the Ventricle, and in its passage touch­ing the Gullet and the orifice of the Ventricle, as well as Milk doth lessen the motion of the Corpuscles of the [Page 83] Poison, and blunts the sharp points and corners of them, and defends all those Parts. But of all things a Vomit is most useful in this Case, being assisted with the help of Milk, or Oyle Slackning the Tunicles of the Stomach, and making the Passage more easie: For if a Vomit should be given without smoothing and besmearing the Passage, the Venome in coming out would Excoriate all the parts that it touched, by its sharp-poin­ted, Saw-like, and Hooked Particles; which are covered by the Particles of Oyl or Milk going out with them, and are so prohibited and hindred from hur­ting.

In the Conclusion of this Chapter I do observe, that Corrupt Humours in our Body (as Physicians do affirm to us) do degenerate into Poisons and Toxicks, but they are silent as to the Reason of this Confusion, and all the manner of avoiding it. First, they ascribe this Corruption to External Causes, or to inward Occult and Maligne Qualities, or to the excess of certain Qualities, (as Cold, Hot, Dry, Moist) or to certain unwholesom Diet, and to ill Digestion, or lastly, to Ob­structions, hindring the necessary distri­bution of them: But truly it is not de­monstrated from thence, that crude and [Page 84] an undigested Diet, or Corrupt Humours, do degenerate into Poison, therefore the true Cause of this thing, and the solid Reason of it, must be enquired into.

To this purpose, I do suppose, that the Humours or Nourishment being any man­ner of way divided, may be said to be Corrupted, because I acknowledge no dif­ference between a division and a corrup­tion of a thing; but in a separation which is not total, there remain some Bodies which are neither Poisons, nor Toxicks, though they Oppress and Obstruct the Parts, and hinder the intercourse of the Spirits, as it happens in Phlegm, Melan­cholly, and Slimy Humours, which are joyned with the Earthy part of the Ex­crements. Besides these Bodies, there are other Corpuscles which with their Hooks, Sharp points, and Stings, do pierce, prick, and penetrate Man's Body, and the Mem­branes of it, as also the Veins, Muscles, and Nerves, and do Corrode the Stomach; and in the same manner with Poison, do occasion Ulcers, Imposthumes, and Pustles. These are those which the Physicians do call sharp, biting and Chollerick Hu­mours; whereof (that I may end this Tract concerning Sympathy and Antipa­thy, and the Actions depending thereon, and without these Occult Causes assign a [Page 85] true and an Efficient Cause of all our Di­stempers) I am compelled to treat in a Chapter by it self, and in that which fol­lows shall be delivered the General means whereby the Causes and Roots of all Diseases may be Removed.

CHAP. XV. The True Cause of our Diseases.

THe Effects of our Diseases are perni­cious, and have their Origine ei­ther from within or without; the Causes of them sometimes are so obscure, that the Original of them cannot be discovered; and though we define a Disease to be a dis­position against Nature, or an inordinate Constitution of those Qualities which are Constituent of a Right Temperature, yet for all this, we are not Wiser or more Learned than we were before: Therefore after I have Discoursed Physically of the Causes of our Diseases in General, it will not be amiss to trace òut the Particu­lar Causes of them.

That this Doctrine which may be ac­counted new, may the better be under­stood, I suppose, that we are never subject to any Disease, but whose immediate [Page 86] Cause is either some Poison or Toxick. 2ly. This Poison consists only in emancipa­ted Atoms, and Toxicks in loosned Cor­puscles. 3ly. These Atoms are not eman­cipated; nor these sharp Corpuscles loos­ned, but in the Corruption of Bodies, 4ly. Corruption is nothing but a Total or Par­tial Division and separation of Bodies. 5ly. There is no new Generation by which a new Body is made, but by a precedent cor­ruption or Division of another Body, which ceases to be in Nature, when one or more other Bodies possess the Room of it. So when Meat in the Stomach is turned into Chyle, when the Chyle in the Li­ver, and the Branches of the Vena Porta is changed into Blood, and lastly, when the Blood is changed into our Substance, as Flesh, Muscles, Nerves, and other Parts of our Body, by the last degree of Concoction, there is necessarily a Corruption of the Meat, which begins to be divided and separated by Chew­ing of it in the Mouth, and it is digested and separated, or Corrupted in the Ven­tricle: Chyle, to the end it may be tur­ned into Blood, is altered in the Bran­ches of the Vena Porta, and the Meseraick Veins; and thence it is wholly and per­fectly Digested, that is, Corrupted, Con­cocted, and Divided in the Liver, un­less [Page 87] that hath lost something of its own Substance. The Blood designed for Flesh, is filtred out of the Veins into the Arte­ries, and Circulates until it be sufficient­ly purged, and freed from Foreign Bo­dies, and then it is changed into the Sub­stance of our Body.

This Doctrine being supposed, I say there are made in us Three Principle Corruptions, which are the Concoctions or Digestions whereof we speak: and I say moreover, that there are Atoms in every one of them, which are emancipated and loosed, as likewise Corpuscles, flying and deserting more or less, as the Digestion is the better performed, that is, as the Pure is more rightly separated from the Impure.

Therefore it follows, that we cannot be nourished, unless we take together in­to our Bodies the Causes and Seeds of many Diseases; It follows likewise, that these Diseases are diverse, according to the difference of the Corruptions of the emancipated Atoms, or the loosed Cor­puscles, and that these Atoms are Poi­sons, and the Corpuscles Toxicks, which do produce Diseases by their violent Mo­tion, and they labour so with Reite­rated Corruptions, that they deprave, separate, and divide all the Parts of our Body.

[Page 88] Here we may behold the just Cause of the Pains of the Stomach, and of the Wind Chollick, and also of the Wind proceeding from the first Concoction of our Meat in the Stomach, these winds are the Corpuscles or the more subtile Parts of that Corrupted Nourishment; and when the more subtile and sharp Corpuscles are received into the Body, they do, proportionably to the Nourish­ment which is taken, produce most trou­blesome and dangerous Pains, and velli­cations, such as we observe in the Chollick. And if it should happen, that amongst Corpuscles there should be abundance of emancipated Atoms, they do ordinarily betake themselves to the Brain, whence do arise Apoplexies, and Lethargies; or if they penetrate into the Muscles and Nerves, they occasion the Palsie, which ordinarily follows these bilious Chollicks.

This Indisposition degenerates the Dis­ease into a Vomiting, and Loosness, when the Wind or the subtile Particles, the loosed Corpuscles, and the emancipated Atoms are so plentiful, that all the Symmetry of the Humours, the intercourse of the Natural Spirits, and the whole Anatomy of the Body are overthrown by them; whence it is conspicuous, what great Con­fusions, Winds, Vapours, and little [Page 89] Bodies, and depraved Atoms are capa­ble of producing in our Bodies: And that I have concluded upon good Rea­sons, That there is Poison to be found in all our Diseases; whether we consider them in their Beginning, when we perceive our selves grieved, indisposed, and to have lost our Appetite; or that we take a view of them in their progress, when those Winds, those little Bodies or lit­tle Atoms are advanced in the Body, and do work a Division; or lastly, if we consider the end, when these Poisons and Toxicks, and these Corpuscles being freed from their Chains, and these eman­cipated Atoms bear the sway, by the con­fusion of the Principal Operations, they are the Cause of Death.

In the second Digestion, which is in the Liver, we find Winds and Vapours, which are called Flatus's; and some­times those loose Corpuscles, and also the emancipated Atoms; these Winds do produce a murmur and Flatus about the Liver, Spleen, Hypocondria, and the Reins; and the Corpuscles which are lodged there, do prick and exulce­rate the inward [...]rts, and are the Cau­ses of Imposthumes, which are so hard to be Cured.

Besides the emancipated Atoms Fly­ing, [Page 90] do sometimes ascend up to the Head, where they beget Vertigo's and Buzzing in the Ears; and also Convulsions by their vellications in the principal of the Nerves; Thence proceed Epilepsie, and other Diseases, which have the same malig­nity; which in the Opinion of all Men, be­ing not a Quality, is a Poison, that is, the Atoms of the Blood are emancipa­ted, which are a Poison to the Brain, and especially to the Membranes and Nerves.

From the same Fountain proceed Sha­kings, and the duplications of continuant Fevers, as the Periodick Fits of intermit­tent Fevers do happen from loosed Cor­puscles and Atoms which are emancipa­ted in the first Digestion in the Sto­mach, by reason of a Fermentation which they make. These loosed Bodies are also the Causes of Swellings in the Feet, Hands, and other Parts; as In­flammations, Erysipela's, as also Itch and sore Puscles do arise from Atoms which are emancipated in the last Digestion; as for the Dropsie we may say that it de­rives its Original from Atoms which are emancipated in the first and second Concoction, for they penetrate the sub­stance of the Liver, and render it unfit to produce a well constituted Blood.

[Page 91] Sudden death is often occasioned by the sudden motion of the flying Atoms, which escape in the circulation of the Blood; and the emancipated Atoms opening the heart, and by this passage giving an opportunity to the vital Spi­rits to make their escape, is the cause of that present death which follows it.

CHAP. XVI. Of the Causes of our Health.

IF that be true, which I suppose, That all our Diseases do not arise from Natural Qualities, nor from Antipathy, which is in the nourishment we take; and that they are nothing else but a confusion, and an inordinate constitu­tion of the Spirits, humours and parts, and that this confusion doth proceed from the impetuous and disorderly motion of the Winds, Corpuscles and emancipated Atoms, as I said before: Then it is certain that our health, which consists only in the just inter­course of the Spirits, and a proporti­onate mixture of the humours, doth not proceed but from things constituting and preserving this just temperament, [Page 92] and by the same it is conserved.

As there are many things which destroy Health, so there are also a great number of those things which restore and confirm it. The things which destroy it, are those which ra­rifie the humours, and occasion winds which dissolve bodies, and do emanci­pate Atoms: Those which restore it, are such things, or such remedies, which hinder the division, rarefaction, and dis­solution of the Humours and Parts of our body, or since it happens that necessarily there is a corruption in every digestion, and a division of the aliment, chyle, and the blood, as we observed before from the same Prin­ciple, it necessarily follows, that every thing that preserves Health, hinders the alteration of it, and also restores it, being lost, which drives out of the body these Winds, these Corpuscles, or these injurious Atoms: And that also which removes these Seeds, or internal Principles of our Diseases out of our Bodies, doth not produce that Effect by a certain Vertue, or Physical quality, or by a certain Antipathy, as it is said of Rubarb and Senna, but by motion and action which is made upon these rarified bodies, these loosed Corpuseles, [Page 93] or emancipated Atoms, proceeding from every digestion in the bodies of those which are most healthful.

This Motion is performed either by Purgatives or Emeticks, or by Sudori­ficks, the two former of these are fitted to eject those which arise from the first and second digestion, and Sudori­ficks do expel Corpuscles or Atoms of the third digestion, but here is no room to shew the differences of these Re­medies; however we must trace out the manner of those Operations.

I said a while that Medicaments do operate only by a vellication of Mem­branes, Nerves, and Fibres, and which is produced by sharp Corpuscles flowing from the Medicines, and sticking to the aforementioned parts, whose motion is communicated to the subtle Foreign bo­dies, that is, the Excrements of every particular digestion, whereby these mat­ters are driven forth the nearest and most commodious way for evacuation. I'le make an end of this Chapter, with an Example of a familiar Remedy, by Means whereof every man may pre­serve his Health, without either blee­ding or Purging; nevertheless, I do allow that bleeding sometimes is necessa­ry, and very useful to evacuate those [Page 94] emancipated Atoms or Corpuscles, which are loosed in the veins, from the digestion in the Liver, especially when they being shut up, and cannot find their way out, they stick to the Pleura Membrane, and prick and vellicate it, and thereon produce an inflammation, known by the name of Pleurisie, There­fore in this Distemper, as also in con­tinual Fevers, Bleeding and Sudori­ficks are by no means to be omitted.

The same thing may be said of using Purgative Remedies or Emeticks, to evacuate earthy Excrements, as flegme and slimy humours arising from the first digestion; and also Serosities or Choller, and Melancholly being the Ex­crements of the second Concoction, but because the defects of the first Con­coction are not mended or repaired in the second; and the first is more per­fect, as the Ventricle is more pure and more clean, and cleared of that viscous Flegm which disturbs its acti­on, and hinders digestion. Without either envy or prejudice, I do here produce a vulgar Remedie as most useful to preserve or restore Health, if it be rightly used as it should be, as I have found it by experience, besides that it manifests the Truth of my Prin­ciples, [Page 95] which supposes every evacuati­on to be made by motion and vellica­tion of the sharp Corpuscles or pene­trating Atoms.

Therefore I take every morning a Goose Feather; fit and slender, as it is in its own Nature, I put this gently into my mouth, and I thrust it further to my jaws, and hold it there for some time, and I draw backwards and for­wards, and I perceive a vellication made by the Feather on my Jaw, Palate, and the other Parts adjoyning, and likewise after this vellication, I do observe that Water, Phlegm, and viscous humours, being dissolved, do flow in great quan­tity for the space of a quarter of an hour; And all this is done without any violence or danger, hereby I find that the Head is lightsome, and the Sto­mach freed and disburthened, and that thereby the Appetite is increased, and that the Corpuscles which before ascen­ded to the Brain by way of Vapours are evacuated, incarcerated, or invol­ved in the viscuous humours which are flowing, and afterward the first di­gestion is better made; and it is evi­denced by experience, that as the ven­tricle is less burdned, so our Sleep is longer, sweeter, and less interrupted: [Page 96] Were it not that I fear to exceed those bounds which I proposed to my self, I could make many useful Observati­ons upon this Subject. But I must remember that I do not speak of Me­dicine, Remedies, Health, and Diseases, but by chance and occasionally, and it is sufficient, if I oblige the Publick and the Learned with the Doctrine of Atoms, and that I be helpful to Them as well as to the Sick, by the means of those Remedies which I discover, and which I freely propose: And though I offer many things which were neither said, taught, nor writ before; nevertheless I beg the Readers pardon, for that I add no more to this matter, for I am afraid if I should, to be tedious to him, and if I have enlarged my self too far, I hope he will forgive me; it were hard to say less of these things, except a man would say nothing at all of them, besides that it is grateful to every man to speak and write of those things which he loves, and are agreeable with his Profession.

CHAP. XVII. Of Formal, Exemplary, and Material Causes.

FOrm and Formal Cause is one and the same thing; and when we say there are two sorts of Forms, that is only according to our manner of conceiving things. So we say there are two sorts of Formal Causes, the Sub­stantial and Accidental.

But all these Forms are imaginary, neither do true Philosophers acknow­ledge any other Substance to be in Natu­ral Compounds, than Matter, except only in man; nor any other Form than the di­sposition of the Parts, because all these Forms are altogether useless.

Moreover these great Sticklers for Forms, cannot say what they would mean by a Substantial or Accidental Form, Therefore we do with a great deal of Justice lay aside these fictitious Forms, as being but Chimeras, and of no use.

The Exemplary Cause may be refer­red to the formal, because it is the Idea and inward form of that which we frame in our Spirit; so the formal Cause of a Picture, is the disposition of its parts, [Page 98] according to the disposition and ordina­tion which it then had in the Spirit of the Painter. The same may be said of all ra­tional Agents, which are endued with understanding.

There is no difference be twixt Matter and a Material Cause, and there are two sorts of material Causes, as well as of mat­ter; That is the First matter, out of which all bodies are composed, and into which, by an Universal Division, they may be reduced; the Second, is nothing else but Bodies made of the first, and upon which the efficient Causes do exercise their activities.

Therefore it is apparent, That there is nothing in the World, but what is a Com­pound, and that there is no Compound without matter: It is also certain, That there is nothing made without an Efficient Cause, which acts upon Compounds and destroys them, that of them others may be made; because the matter of the first, serves for the composition of the second; the Matter which goes to the compositi­on of the first and second, is the first Matter, or Material Cause of the Com­pound, and that Matter which serves the Efficient Cause for a Subject and Patient, is called the Second Matter.

Both of them may be an efficient cause, [Page 99] for Compounds do act upon one ano­ther, as the Elements which drive one another backwards and forwards; that which drives another is called the Agent, as that which is driven is called the Pa­tient; and if there be any thing which resists it, and drives back another, this regress of the motion is called a reacti­on; so one and the same thing, may be the Subject and cause of Motion; and that to give and receive, being the Prin­ciple of Agent and Patient, may Be at the same time, but in divers respects.

CHAP. XVIII. Of the first Matter.

ALL Philosophers do unanimously agree, That there is a first Matter in the World, which was produced from the beginning, and tho' it can never be altered by any Change, yet it is to be seen in all the Generations and Cor­ruptions which are in Nature; this doth suppose, that the first Matter did exist before the Generation of the Com­pound wherein it is found, and that it still remains, and survives the Corrup­tion [Page 100] of it; as fire is made of Chips, the Matter of the Fire was in the Chips, and it is found partly in the Fire, partly in the Smoak, and partly also in the Ashes: It is agreed by all Men, That nothing is made out of nothing, and that there is nothing in Nature, which can be re­duced into nothing, so that the first re­mains one, and the same in all the Revo­lutions which do happen. Therefore in respect of Matter, we may justly say, that there is nothing new in the World, since the Creation of it, and that this Matter, in its Nature, is incorruptible, so that to explain the Essence of this first Matter, is all, and the one only difficulty: If we hearken to Aristotle, he makes It the Subject of all Forms, and that It is nothing but a passive Power, or a meer Capacity of producing, and receiving them in its Bosom; He says in another place, that Matter in it self hath neither quality nor quantity, nor any Essence, beside that which it received from that Form which perfected it: But this expli­cation gives us no Idea of Matter, nei­ther doth it teach us any thing of the na­ture of it; on the other hand, according to this Doctrine, we may say that Mat­ter is something, and we may say at the same time, that it is nothing; and that [Page 101] it gives that Being to Form, and receives the same from it; and lastly, that it hath distinct parts without any quantity; which seems to be impossible.

They were more in the right, who said, That the first Matter was nothing else but the first Elements, into which Compounds by a total dissolution are reduced, also these Elements ought to be simple, and indivisible, for other­wise, the first Elements are not such as we suppose them to be: It follows, from this Doctrine, that neither Water, nor Air, nor Earth, nor Fire, are the first Elements of things, because they are Compounds: Therefore we must look out for other Elements, which are simple and indivisible; those things which the Chymists would fain establish, that is, Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, cannot be taken for the First Elements of Bodies, since they are but Compounds of many other Bodies. I am of the same Opinion concerning Descartes his three Elements, which he would have to be the principles of things, which is impossible, because they are divisible.

Therefore we must acknowledge, that only simple and indivisible Atoms, are the first Matter, and first Principles and Ele­ments whereof Bodies are composed; Out of [Page 102] these Atoms are Corpuscles made, out of these Corpuscles small Masses, out of Masses grea­ter parts, & then of these parts greater Bo­dies, whereof the Universe doth consist; In the same manner, going backward in an analytical method, the World is divided in­to great Bodies, those into parts, parts into small Masses, Masses into Corpuscles, and last­ly, these Corpuscles are divided into Atoms.

CHAP. XIX. Of Atoms and their Nature.

THat we may solidly evince the ex­istency of Atoms, we must sup­pose, that every compound may be divi­ded into so many parts, as there are which make the compound, Therefore di­vision ought necessarily to cease, when there is a failure of parts to be divided; on the other side, there is no end of it, as long as there are Particles to be divi­ded; one of the two we must allow; that is, either that a body cannot be so exactly divided, but that there always remain divisible parts in infinitum; or, that there are parts after a certain num­ber of Divisions, which will not admit any further division; Aristotle stands for the former, but Gassendus and the Anci­ent [Page 103] Philosophers do defend the latter and according to this last Doctrine, af­ter all the Divisions are made, nothing can remain besides Atoms, that is, indi­visible Beings, which are the first Ele­ments of Natural Bodies.

I confess, it is hard to imagin a cor­poreal thing to be indivisible, because we see nothing in this World, which is not divisible, but this makes nothing against Atoms, which are Corporeal, because they compose Bodies, and are Indivisible, because they are the first, and most simple Elements of Bodies: Hence arises ano­ther difficulty, because it cannot be ea­sily explained; after what manner a thing that is divisible, is composed of parts which are indivisible.

Impartial minds do not find so much diffi­culty in conceiving this matter, as those do, who follow the prejudices which they have received: First, these Men who are thus so prepossessed, do not consider, that there are many things which escape our Senses, and yet are most real. Secondly, they do not consider that that which compo­ses a Body, is not a compound, as we see that Unity makes number, tho' it self be not a number: Letters, whereof Nouns and words are framed, yet are neither the one nor the other. The drops [Page 104] of Water whereof Rivers do consist, are not Rivers; so Atoms though they are invisible and indivisible, yet they com­pose Bodies which are visible and divi­sible.

Aristotle and his Followers, do teach us, That a small body, as for Example, a Millet Seed, is divisible in infinitum, and that it contains an infinite number of Parts; which being supposed, it may be concluded, that there are as many parts in the Millet Seed, as there are in the whole Terrestrial Globe: Also accor­ding to this Opinion, we must grant, that a Body cannot be divided into as many parts, as really it may, and that neither the hither or further end of a staff can be found, nor that there is a Circle or perfect Piramid, nor that the parts of a Body can be immediately divided. All which consequences as they are abso­lutely necessary, so they are all equally absurd.

Descartes did endeavour to free himself from this difficulty, by saying that the number of the parts of the Millet-Seed, was neither finite, nor infinite, but on­ly that they were indefinite: But the evasion is ridiculous, and these two Phi­losophers are forced to confess, that e­very part of the Millet-seed hath its ex­tension, [Page 105] and if their Number be either infinite or indefinite, then their exten­sions also will be either infinite or inde­finite at the least, which is absurd to affirm. I add no more, to avoid Schola­stic Intricacies and distinctions.

CHAP. XX. The Properties, Magnitude, Figure, Weight and Motion of Atoms.

AN Atom is a corporeal Being, simple, invisible, and indivisible: Solidity constitutes its Essence, or essential pro­perty, which distinguishes it from Spi­rits and Vacuity, which have no power of resisting.

Atoms do necessarily avoid all our Senses, because these are composed of many distinct and gross parts, whose Object ought to be composed, e're it can be perceived by the external Organ, which nevertheless doth not destroy the truth and reality of A­toms, because small Corpuscles do escape our Senses, as we observe in Dust which sticks to our Cloaths, and also in the Cor­puscles of a Ring, which is wasted and diminished by time and use, in the Cor­puscles of a Stone, which is made hollow [Page 106] by the drops of Water which fall upon it in divers occult parts, in a Mite which cannot be seen without the help of a Microscope, and lastly, in small Cor­puscles, which are seen to move in a Chamber, by the help of the Sun-beams; that we may omit many others which are smaller, which without doubt we could see, if our sight was sharper, as I shall mention in my Animadversions a­bout Experiments of Miscroscopes.

Though Atoms are most subtle and inperceptible, yet they have their par­ticular extension, magnitude, and figure, from whence their differences do arise; for the figure of some of them is round, as the Atoms of Water, Oyl, and Quick-Silver; others have cubicular fi­gures, such are the Atoms of Sea-Wa­ter; and others are Pyramidal, as those whereof Nitre doth consist; there are some which have sharp points like needles' as Fire, whence we are to suppose that there are others variously figured.

This difference is necessary to distinguish Compounds: And as these Atoms, as to their solidity, or invisibility, and indivisi­bility (which are their inseparable Proper­ties) are alike; so also if they did not differ in their figure and thickness, all bodies would be of the same likeness.

[Page 107] Weight is the Principle of the said Natural Motion, insomuch as it doth re­sist a violent motion: That I mention here, that we may know whether motion of Atoms hath an internal or an external Principle, or whether Weight be de­termined only to one Motion, or that it be indifferently inclined to many: And whether the motion of Atoms do tend to some Center: And whether it be continuant or interrupted: And lastly, whether it be perpendicular or horizontal, Parallel or declined, right or parabolical, or circular.

In order to resolve well this diffi­culty, I suppose that Atoms may be considered in a double State, The First State of them is before the Composi­tion of the bodies which are made of them, which may be called the State of Liberty: The other is that which they have in the bodies which do con­sist of them; which may be termed the State of obligation or servitude.

If Attoms be considered in their First State, their motion is perpetual: So that an Atom that is loose and freed from any composition, is essentially in motion, which ought not in the least to be won­dred at; for Motion in respect of a free Atom, is the same that Under­standing [Page 108] is in respect of an Angel [...] which is never without knowing, un­less his Intellect is bound and clouded.

From this Principle it is evident, That Atoms are in continual motion, unless they are hindred, or that there is some obstruction in the way, or that there are other Atoms resisting and repelling of them, or that they find such as will stick unto them, or that they insinuate them­selves into the Atoms of certain bodies, or or that they enter into some compositi­on, whereby their motion is stopped.

Nevertheless, Atoms in Compounds are not altogether void of motion, be­cause they are not so straitly imbodied together, but that they have some motion, like Vibrations and Palpitations, according to the liberty which is granted them by the disseminated Vacuities; nay, some of them sometimes do attempt their e­scape, especially in porous bodies, which therefore are sooner corrupted and pe­rish, than other Bodies which are more solid, and more close. It is yet more evi­dent in living bodies, out of which the animal Spirits, which are but the bodies of Atoms, and most subtile Corpuscles, are dissipated by transpiration, whence a­liments are necessarily requisite, for to supply the Spirits of the whole body, [Page 109] which are dissipated by motion and a­gitation.

This motion of Atoms, or the least Corpuscles, in living bodies, may be de­servedly accounted the Image of their first liberty, and tho' they do but seldom enjoy their full liberty, yet they are apt to raise the greatest commotions, in or­der to be freed, and to gain their liber­ty; this is the origine of many distem­pers, as in Acute Fevers, the Atoms or Corpuscles of the boiling blood, or ob­structed choller, are carried and dri­ven into the Brain, where they produce watchfulness, Deliriums, and Phrensies.

According to this Principle, that which we said before may be concluded, That many Distempers do arise from mi­nute Corpuscles, and emancipated Atoms. For These being driven forwards by other Atoms, and forced back, do run into the membranes, Periostiam, Meninges, or intestines, and cause Pains, which they call the Collick, Headach, Gouts and Rheumatisms; So that this solution of Corpuscles, and emancipation of Atoms in our Bodies, are much to be feared, and to prevent this danger, all motions of the body which are too violent, must be avoided; for these are the external cause of the confusion of the Spirits, [Page 110] and the emancipation of the Atoms.

The emancipation of Atoms, and al­so of the small Corpuscles, which are composed of those Atoms, are to be fea­red no less in the great than little World, for the Winds are nothing else but eman­cipated Atoms, which by their impetuo­sity, being driven backwards and for­wards, do force all bodies which they meet with in their way: It is these A­toms which agitate the Air and the Sea, and cause Earth-quakes, and also over-turn all things which resist their motion: Therefore, the motions of Atoms, are neither equal nor every where alike, but they do vary according to the diver­sity of Bodies whereby they are driven, or as the figures of them are more or less fitted for motion, or otherwise, ac­cording to the proportion of Vacuities, which are dispersed in bodies; So that some Atoms are moved quicker, and o­thers slower, not because some are hea­vier than others, but because they are driven backwards and forwards, or are stopped by others which do fix them, with the greater or less violence.

CHAP. XXI. Difficulties arising from the Doctrine of Atoms.

THE first which presents it self, is in relation to the Being and Nature of Atoms, therefore it is hard to con­ceive, that an Atom is corporeal and material, and at the same time, that it is indivisible, or that the same being indi­visible, should at the same time have its grossness and extension; but this diffi­culty proceeds from nothing else, but the prejudice of our Senses, which can conceive no Objects, but as they are di­visible and gross, neither can they give to our Soul, (which is an indivisible be­ing) an Idea of an indivisible thing.

It is only our Soul which is indivisible, as well as an Atom, is able to conceive the nature of them, which being eleva­ted above the Senses, can correct the Errors of them; therefore I say that an Atom is not a body, according to the Notion which we have of it; that it is a compound Being; but I affirm it to be a simple Being, and also Corporeal; that is to say, simple, because it is indi­visible; and corporeal, because it hath a [Page 112] certain extension, and makes up the com­position of bodies, which, in the total di­vision of them, are reduced again into Atoms.

There are two other difficulties which do arise from the former, for, if an A­tom be indivisible, after what manner can we propose to our selves, that it hath extension, or how can it be an ingre­dient in the composition of divisible bo­dies? To which it is answered in few words, That extension is according to the nature of the thing extended, for if the thing extended be divisible, in the same manner is the extension, and so on the other side; so it is of the rational Soul, which is possessed of the whole body, and exercises its operations in all the parts of it, nevertheless it is, like an Atom, indivisible, and though it be di­visible in respect of the space it occupies, yet it hath an internal extension, which is indivisible: It is the same thing which Divines are forced to say of Angels, and some Philosophers, about their Physical tumid points.

But some will say, that Atoms are like neither to Souls, Angels, or Physical Points, because they have parts, and these have none, because that which doth consist of parts is divisible, it follows al­so [Page 113] that an Atom is divisible. To this difficulty, I answer with the Divines, That Angels and our Souls, which are Spi­rits; and also with Philosophers, that physical Points which are material, have no real, but only potential parts; that is, an Angel and the rational Soul, in respect of the operations which they exercise, and the space which they occupy; and the tumid points, in respect of the space which they fill up: Indeed an Angel and the Soul have two powers, whereof the one is the Intellect, the other the Will, which being no more but an indivisible substance, which are capable of under­standing, and willing; yet no Man will deny but that they, notwithstanding their indivisibility (which at least, is equal to the indivisibility of an Atom) do fill up a divisible space; as no Man can doubt, but that an Angel can be at the same time in the four corners of the Room, and likewise can be in the middle of it, and that it hath a foursquare figure, by communication with the four Angles or Corners, and that it can quit this, and assume another figure at its pleasure, which cannot be said of tumid points, and Atoms, which are destitute of Under­standing and Will: The rational Soul being equally indivisible with an Atom, [Page 114] Angel, or point, doth wholly possess a great body, no less than it did then when the body was little; therefore it does dilate it self without being divided, because in its nature it is simple and indivisible, and is without distinct parts.

This is the Opinion of Aristotle, and in­deed it is the most common Opinion. But if the Soul were not by its own sub­stance extended through the whole bo­dy, and had its seat only in the Heart, as Empedocles would have it, or in the Spleen and the Stomach, as Van Helmont places it, or in the Glaudula Pinealis of the Brain, according to Cartesius, or in the Striate bodies of the Brain, where the common sense is, or the sense it self, as it is called by way of excellency, and in the Callous parts, because there it forms the Ideas of things, and judges of them, and in the cineritious part of the Brain, because there it performs the functions of the memory, according to the Opinion of Duncane; It is certain, that all these parts which are taken to be the feat of the Soul, are divisible, and that they have distinct parts and figures; so the Soul, as it is indivisible, occupies a space or place which is divisible, whence I con­clude, that the indivisibility does not hin­der, but that a substance may have a cer­tain [Page 115] indivisible extension, but divisible as to the place which it possesses, or that it may have Angles and figures, in re­spect of place, though its substance es­sentially remain one, simple, and indivi­sible; Delugo and his followers, do apply this Doctrine to tumid points; and truly, I conceive I may take the same li­berty to apply it to Atoms; from this Principle, which is, that an Angel, or the rational Soul, are neither more simple, nor more indivisible than a material Atom, as we have supposed it, and laid it down as a Principle.

To these I add, that it is not sufficient that any thing be divisible because it hath Parts, but they ought to be Physically distinct and joined together by a Physi­cal Union, nor that each of these Parts should be of the same Essence with the whole Compound whereof they are parts. But it is certain that the Parts of an Atom are not Physically distinct; for the one could neither be, nor cease to be without the other, no more than the two Essential Perfections of Man, that is to be an Animal and Rational Creature: And briefly the Parts of an Atom are the Parts of a Simple Being, which are in Unity, but not in Union: and by Con­sequence really inseparable; which is no [Page 116] hindrance, but that the Mind of a Man may be able to conceive some kind of interval, and some diversity betwixt the Parts of an Atom, in the same man­ner as the Animal and Rational Na­tures are represented in a Man, as if they were two Physically distinct things.

Gassendus Reasons from another Prin­ciple which is very solid, and built upon the solidity of Atoms, but upon the insolidity of a Vacuum; he takes an Atom to be indivisible because it is solid; but that that Solidity and Bodies like­wise are not Divisible, unless by reason of the void spaces which are found in them, and which do desert the Interval; by which the Body may be divided 'till we come to those Bodies, which, having no Vacuum within them, can be divi­ded by no Natural Cause, because a Vacuum having neither solidity, nor any power of resisting, is the Passive Prin­ciple of every Physical Division. By a Vacuum I understand the intermediate space betwixt the Parts: And as that which has not a passive Principle of Mo­tion is immoveable, so also that which hath not a Passive Principle of Division, is indivisible; And that we may wholly si­lence all the Cartesians, I do affirm an Atom to be indivisible, because there is [Page 117] no interval in it, by which means some Agent may divide it, in the same man­ner, that they deny that God is able to remove the Universe, because they say there is no other place wherein it can be posited; which I would willingly grant them, if there was no place with­out the World. It is necessary that they should agree with Gassendus, if there be no interval in an Atom.

The Question is, If three Atoms be placed together in Order, whether the middle one doth touch the other two which are on both sides of it? This be­ing supposed, it must have two sides, and two several Faces. I also ask, whe­ther an Angel being immediately placed betwixt two Angels, together with a third, in a straight Line of three Foot long, whether one of them be touched by one on this side, and by the other on the other side? And since there is the same difficulty, it requires also the same Answer.

But I answer directly, and say, That all these, for Example, square sides of an Atom and their Faces are not Parts Physically distinct, but only simple Be­ings, and Physically Indivisible, as the Philosophers do Teach, that there is in Man a principle of Sense, and a Prin­ciple [Page 118] of Reason; though these two are but a simple Being, and indivisible like an Atom, and the sole difference doth consist in the respect of their divers Ef­fects, and of our Spirit, which finds an interval where really indeed there was none.

CHAP. XXII. Of the Disseminate, Congregate, and Separate Vacuum of Gassendus.

THe Doctrine of a Vacuum is con­trary both to the Doctrines of A­ristotle, and Cartesius; the First was of Opinion, that it was impossible that Na­turally there should be a Vacuum, be­cause, saith he, the Universal Nature is against it. The other Ridicules this Fear of Nature, though notwithstanding he teaches that there can be no such thing as a Vacuum in Nature.

Gassendus on the other side affirms three sorts of Vacuums, the First of which he calleth a Dispersed Vacuum, which he saith must necessarily be in all Bodies, and this Doctrine he endeavours to prove by Motion, which cannot be done but in a Vacuum: For that truly [Page 119] no Body can be moved in a space that is taken up by another Body, because there is no penetration of Bodies, and there­fore cannot be moved but in a void space.

The Cartesians do endeavour to elude this difficulty, by saying that there is a yielding, subtile, and fluid matter, which is not able to resist the Motion of a solid Body forcing the same. But that this is but a flight evasion, a poor shift, appears from hence, that this mat­ter is uncapable of yielding, unless it were filled with small empty Pores which are dispersed thorow, which be­ing condensed and pressing themselves together, do suffer it to yield, and when it is condensed so far that there is no Vacuum, it yields no farther, but it re­sists Natural Agents, though of great force. So we see air, condensed and compressed in an Iron Tube doth resist a Staff which we endeavour to thrust in­to it, therefore air, which is a matter apt to yield, ceases to be so, when there are no more Vacuums dispersed in it, neither can Bodies enter into it, without a peneration of the Dimensions: whence it appears, that there is no such thing as a yielding Matter, and that every Mat­ter in its Nature is equally solid and re­sisting.

[Page 120] To this Demonstration I add further, That not so much as a Gnat cou'd in the least move it self, unless there was a Vacuum in the Air, (which is a matter [...] of it self apt to yield,) but that at the same time the Region of the Air, nay and the Heaven it self must be in motion; because if all things be full of bodies, the Gnat cannot be moved but by driving the ambient Air, which Air also drives the next, and that again the next, and so in a right line to Heaven it self; and if the World according to Cartesius's Doctrine had no bounds, this motion wou'd have an infinite continuance, which wou'd be a thing both absurd and ridicu­lous in the highest degree.

This Philosopher did believe that he was able to elude this Reason, by suppo­sing this motion not to be in a right-line but Circular; but besides that the Air is not moved but in that manner that it is driven, and that indeed it is forced in a right line, but not circularly, as it is supposed it ought to be moved, it is most certain that this circular motion, by altogether supposing all Privation of a Vacuum in this Element, is impossible: For if there be no Vacuum, all things are Full: If Full, the first part of this sup­posed Circle cannot be moved, because [Page 119] it finds no place through which it can be moved: Therefore it ought to remain immoveable with all other things, which are in the Universe, unless there were a Vacuum, through which it might com­mence its motion.

Gassendus builds the Truth of these small dispersed Vacuums upon the truth of the figures of Atoms and their angles, because Angles cannot but leave void spa­ces in Bodies, as we see a great many Grains of Corn do leave void spaces in the Bushel wherein they are contained, and do touch one the other. I confess that these Vacuums are replenished with Air, but Vacuums which for the same reason are amongst the smallest parts of the Air or Atoms, can be replenished with no matter; and if they be replenished with it, I do demand whether the parts of this subtile matter have figures? which if they have, they cannot be united and joyned together without a Vacuum, which if they have not, neither have they Extension, nor are they material ac­cording to the very Principle of the Cartesians.

To all that has been said, we may joyn an Experiment about the rarefacti­on and condensation of bodies, and the confirmation of disseminate Vacuums, [Page 120] for Example, take a Glass-Phial with a long neck, which being well heated, put it into a Vessel full of Water, so that the end of the neck of the Vial may go a little way into it, we shall certainly see that the water presently ascends to a certain height, as the Air in the Vial is condensed, and gives way.

From this Experiment I conclude two things in defence of a Vacuum. Where­of the first is, That the air is before ra­rified in the Vial, and that the parts of it are more dilated: (But this rarefaction of the air cannot be done but by the help of the great and more copious Vacuums:) The other is, That the Water could not ascend in the Vial, unless the air did give way, and was condensed: But air cannot be condensed, unless the parts of it close nearer together, and that they could not do without a Vacu­um; therefore we must conclude, that air is condensed by the help of Vacu­ums, which are partly taken away, and lessened as well in Quality as in Num­ber; as it happens in a Bushel full of Corn or Salt when it is moved, by which motion it is not a little condensed; and the Atoms of Fire beget a dilating Moti­on to the air in the Glass, but Cold produ­ces a condensing Motion, and as it is con­densed [Page 121] and becomes more gross, the aiery Atoms do also draw the Water as it were with small hooks, or the ex­ternal air lying upon the Water makes it ascend by Reason of the Vacuum which gives place, or at least does not resist the weight of the Air.

But perhaps they will say that there is no Vacuum in the air, but that many Particles of subtile matter do go out from the Vial, and give place to the ascending Water. But this answer gives no manner of satisfaction, because there is no body to force this subtile Matter, neither is there any way through which it may pass, as also there is no Cause assigned why the Water is forced upwards. As to this, we must have re­course to the small empty spaces which are found in all Bodies, which Bodies are more or less fluid or solid, as they have more or less of Matter or Renitency, as there is the greater or lesser number of those Vacuums, whereof we speak, disper­sed through them.

CHAP. XXIII. Of a Congregate Vacuum, against Ari­stotle and Cartesius.

GASSENDUS is not only against these two Philosophers concerning a Dispersed Vacuum, but also about a Congregate one which is very remark­able, and is to be found about divers Compound Bodies. Aristotle who fights for Quality, or Accidents distinct from Substance, rejects a Vacuum as a thing which Nature can no ways endure. But Cartesius speaks yet more hardly of it, for he affirms that the Production of it in the World, does not only exceed the power of Second Causes, but even of the First Cause it self.

Aristotle endeavours to prove his Doctrine after this manner, to wit, That in his Opinion a Vacuum would inter­rupt and hinder the Motion and Action of Natural Causes: For if indeed Light and Heat be Accidents, the Sun could not produce either of them in a Vacuum, or through it, though there was never so little of it in the Air, equal to the least imaginable point; for according to this Opinion, they are Accidents, and [Page 123] have need of a Subject, which a Vacuum does not afford them. Descartes Builds upon another Foundation, for he ac­knowledges no difference between Ex­tention, and Matter extended; and therefore he affirms that there is no di­stance between two Walls, betwixt which there is no air nor Matter, but that they would fall close together: Which how ridiculous it is, we shall see by what follows.

I affirm therefore, That Nature doth not abhor a Vacuum, nor that it is im­possible that there should be a Vacuum in Nature; for indeed there is no ground for this imaginary fear, and the Experiment which I bring, will most so­lidly demonstrate the Existence of a Vacuum.

This Experiment was made at Cler­mont by the late Mr. Paschall, a Man well esteemed by all that knew him, he took a Glass Tube four Foot long, divided in­to Inches and Lines, open at one end only, through which being filled with Quick-Silver, and then put into an Earthen Vessel full of Water and Quick-Silver, immediately the Quick-Silver that was in the Tube did descend, and stuck at the height of Twenty five Inches, and Five Lines and a half, and [Page 124] remained visibly in that State for the space of Five Hours.

This Experiment was afterwards made in several places, two or three times, I, and several persons of Quality and Lear­ning being present, and indeed every time it did more or less sink down, accor­ding to the highness or lowness of the place where the Experiment was made, without any visible alteration in one and the same place; I conclude, that the space which remains above the Quick-silver, is a Vacuum, and that nothing but Light is contained within it, we must therefore say either that Light is not an accident but a body, which fills the space, or else that this space is a Vacuum, and that Light is in it without its subject.

It may be said that the Glass being porous, the Air or some other Body more subtile, might enter into the Tube, and replenish the space left by the descending Quick-silver; but that cannot be, because the Quick-silver descends on a sudden, and the Air could not so suddenly enter in without breaking of the Glass: But if it did enter, why does not the Quick-sil­ver descend to the very bottom, but re­main suspended at a Certain height?

From this Experiment it appears, That a Vacuum, according to the conception [Page 125] which Aristotle hath left us of it, is not impossible to be in Nature. Secondly, that the external Air by its weight pres­ses upon the Water and Quick-silver in the Earthen Vessel, for otherwise all the Quick-silver contained in the Tube, would fall down to the very bottom. Thirdly, that the same Air hath a greater pres­sure in Vallies than in Mountains, espe­cially upon those that are very high, be­cause here it is more subtile and rare, and more dilated by disseminated Vacuums, whereby its weight is lessened, toge­ther with its strength and resistency.

The Opinion of Cartesius is yet more ridiculous, who affirms, That a Va­cuum is impossible even in respect of the Divine Power; which Opinion is no less impious than it is rash, for no Man can deny, but that God is able to reduce into nothing, the Air that is contained in the Vial, and also to hinder any o­ther body from coming into its place. Descartes says, that this Hypothesis is impossible, and that if this Air was anni­hilated, the sides of the Viol would im­mediately touch one another, because says he, things betwixt which nothing inter­poses, do touch one another; That is true, that when nothing was there, no­thing could be there, or when things [Page 126] come together to be joined; But we suppose here, that the parts of the Vial remain in their first State, as indeed they do, if they are not any ways mo­ved, which they do not, God Almighty hindring; and whosoever denys that God Almighty is able to hinder this Mo­tion, and this Contiguity; in so supposing is ridiculous and rash, prescribing Li­mits to God Almighty's Power.

There is moreover a separate Va­cuum, that is, a space beyond the World, which some do call an Imagi­nary space, in which God hath not in­deed produced, but nevertheless can produce something. Of this we will speak in the Second Part, which we now Begin.

The Second Part of Physick. In which is Treated of Coelestial Things which happen above Man.

THE World in General is a Theatre of the Wonderful things of God, and a Collection of all things which he hath produced, whereof the World is the Lowest, and least Noble; but the Heaven the most High, and the most Noble; We do now here propose to [Page 127] speak of this Coelestial World, and of all those things which are above us.

CHAP. I. Of the Immense Spaces which are with­out the Heavens.

DESCARTES hath absolutely concluded that there is no space without the Heavens, because all are full of Matter, and that the World is not encompassed about with Bounds and Li­mits, by way of a Circumference.

Aristotle and his Followers affirm, That the World is bounded by the Exterior and Convex part of the Heavens; and beyond that, there are void and imagi­nary Spaces, in which there is nothing Real. Gassendus and his Disciples are of the same Opinion, concerning the Li­mits and Circumference of the World; but he denieth that there are imaginary Spaces without the Heavens, and he says indeed, that they are Vacuums, and yet nevertheless that they are real; and this is it which he calls a Separate Vacuum.

The Opinion of Renatus Descartes is [Page 128] intollerable; because the World is limited in its being, as well as in its duration, that is to say, by a fluid space, or by time; it is therefore limited in respect of place, which is a permanent space which it pos­sesses, even to the Circumference, (that is to the Convex Part of the Heaven) otherwise the World would be Infinite, and absolutely immensurable in its exten­sion; and indeed if the World had not Limits, in respect of time, or that the instant wherein it begun could not be found out, it would be Eternal. In like manner, if we acknowledge no end of the World's extension, we may say it is immensurable: But if the whole World be immense and indefinite, as Descartes would have it, if it hath neither Figure nor Extream Parts, it must evidently follow, that it is Infinite, for that which in all its parts is real, or hath any part which we cannot count its last, is abso­lutely and actually Infinite in its exten­sion: But if Descartes will play with the word Indefinite, and say indeed, that the World is Indefinite, because it hath no end in its extension; but yet from thence it does not follow that it is Infi­nite. I would ask him to tell me the diffe­rence betwixt an Infinite Line, and an Indefinite one, and also between the im­mensity [Page 129] of God, and the Indefiniteness of the World? for if the World is Inde­finite, the same thing may be said of it, that Trismegistus said of God, to wit, that it hath neither Centre nor Circum­ference; whence it follows, that this World Occupies all Spaces, and that it is immoveable, nor can it be moved out of its place, and that God cannot Cre­ate another World without Destroying this, because there is no Room in which God Almighty might place it. All which Consequences are inevitable, and the Principle of it more than rash.

The Opinion contrary to the for­mer, which is Gassendus's, and which we embrace, is more firm and agreeable to Reason; for it teaches That this World is limited in respect of Place, and that it hath both a Circumference as well as a Centre; beyond which there are void Spaces, in which God Almighty could produce another, or more Worlds, grea­ter, or equal to this of ours wherein we dwell, if he pleased.

From this most true Opinion it is concluded, That God fills by his Immensity all infinite Spaces, and that he is really in them, and that He is no ways limi­ted by the Circumference of the Hea­vens, and that He can there produce a­nother [Page 130] World, remote from this of ours; and according to this Hypothesis, this distance or that interval will have its di­mensions, although void and immaterial, yet mensurable.

From thence it is concluded, That since space is (as indeed it is) immutable and immoveable, it is the proper place of Bodies, actually, or potentially as they do or do not exist; for if a Body be in it, the space is filled, otherwise there is a Vacuum, as we suppose, beyond the Hea­vens where there are no Bodies, so that I say that the place and extension of Bodies is a permanent space, in like manner as time the measure of the du­ration of things is a fluid space.

CHAP. II. Of the Heavens, and their Nature.

ALL that can be said of the Heavens and their Nature, relates to their Substance, Figure, Number, and Mo­tion.

The Substance of them is the same with that of the Inferiour World; for there are not two sorts of matter essen­tially distinct, and all Material Bodies [Page 131] are equally solid and impenetrable; in that the essence of matter consists: And al­though there be some kind of difference between Terrestrial and Coelestial Mat­ter, it cannot yet notwithstanding be thence concluded that they are of a se­veral Nature; because all the diversity proceeds from this, that the Atoms of the Coelestial Matter are more subtile than the Atoms of the Terrestrial Mat­ter, and more exact, more moveable, and more perfect in respect of their Figures, and the more perfect Bodies compoun­ded of them, and their Mass better uni­ted, and lastly, the whole Body more compleat.

This Doctrine may be illustrated by the Example of Letters, for those which Compose a Word, and which are accurate­ly delineated and written, do not dif­fer from those which Compose the same Word, and are ill delineated and writ­ten; the first nevertheless are better, more exact, and more elegantly for­med; which happens, in respect of the same Hand which makes them, according to the difference of the Pen or Ink, or the Design of the Writer, who makes longer, or rounder, or after any fashion he pleases. I say therefore, that the Heavens which declare the Glory of [Page 132] God, differ as much from the Earth, as a Printed Book from a Manuscript. Atoms like Letters are the same in both, which although they are of the same Author, do not agree in their Fi­gure and shape, because Almighty God would have it so, in order to the Fair­ness and Beauty of the World.

The Figure of the Heavens appears round to us: This Figure is most perfect, and therefore accounted most fit for Motion, and nothing perswades us to affirm the contrary; but on the other hand, all things perswades us that the Figure of the Heavens is round, since it encompasses the Earth which is round. And since we observe the Stars to have their Nocturnal Risings and Settings, which could never happen, if the Hea­vens were not Round.

The Number of the Heavens cannot easily be found out; there are some who say there are Eleven, others reckon Nine, but the greatest part conclude that there are only Three; that is to say, the Heaven of the Planets, which they say is wholly Fluid, in which they swim like Fishes in the Water; the next that follows according to this Opinion, is the Firmament, altogether Solid, where all the Fix'd Stars are placed like [Page 133] so many Golden Nails, or Diamonds set in Blue; but the third is the Imperial Heaven, the Seat of the Happy, partly Solid, and partly Fluid: because the blessed Bodies ought to dwell in a place where they may move, and freely breath the Air of Paradise. This Opinion seems the rather to be embraced by me, because it is most consonant to the Holy Scrip­ture; wherein we read that the Apostle Paul was rapt up into the third Heaven; whereupon, from thence he testifies that he was lifted up into Paradise.

Lastly, the motion of the Heavens is uncertain: For it is a received Opinion, that the Heaven of the Planets, or at least the Planets themselves are moved about the Earth, as also the Firmament with the Fix'd Stars. But others teach us, that the Firmament as well as the Sun is im­moveable, and the Planets together with the Earth, as being a Seventh Planet, are wheeled about the Sun. This we ex­amine in the following Chapter.

CHAP. III. Of the Stars, and their Substance.

AS Mettals and Stones are the Or­naments of the Terrestrial World, so are Stars of the Coelestial; some of which are called Fixed Stars, keeping always the same place; other wandring Stars or Planets, always changing place, and in their Reciprocal Conjunctions and Oppositions coming nearer, or go­ing further of; the first are fixed to the Firmament or Starry Heaven, the others to the Heaven of the Planets.

The Substance of the Fixed Stars and Planets is of the same Matter with the Heavens, and the Earth, for there are not two first Matters, but there are many differences to be found amongst the Com­pounds of the first. Between these Com­pounds there are Degrees of Nobility; even as we see upon Earth, that Gold is more Noble, more perfect, and more precious than Silver, Silver than other Mettaline Bodies; Rubies, and Diamonds than other Precious Stones. In the same manner it is in the Heavens, where the Sun which is the most perfect of the Planets, and each Star hath its particu­lar splendour, which doth not happen [Page 135] from the diversity of matter, but from its depuration, which consequentially arises from its distance from terrestri­al and opake Bodies. How many dif­ferent Pictures can one and the same Painter make out of the same Colours, only by a different disposition of them? how many different sorts of Books can there be made out of the same Sylla­bles and Words by Transposing of them? what then hinders, but that we may grant the Author of Nature power to make out of so many Atoms diversly disposed, so many Bodies dif­fering in Elegancy and Clarity, as are the Stars or Planets? The matter there­fore is the same of the Heaven and the Earth, of the Dirt under our Feet, and the Stars above us. Whereupon a cer­tain Ancient and Eminent Philosopher said, that the things above are like the things below: and so on the contrary. And we know very well that Gold, as Precious and Beautiful as it is, is of the same Matter with Lead, and there is nothing requisite to the making of Gold, besides the depuration of the Atoms which are its first Matter.

I do here endeavour to deliver an Idea of the Substance of the Stars, upon an Ex­periment grounded upon melted Met­tals, [Page 136] and yet flowing in the Crusible; for Gold falling into Aqua-fortis is like a black Powder, Silver dissolved with the same Aqua-fortis, and precipitated by Sea Water, or separated by the means of Copper-Plates, is reduced into a Calx, or White, or Greyish Earth: Tin cal­cined, becomes yellow like Oker; like­wise Lead Calcined, becomes yellow, white, black, and red, as we will; Copper is turned into Verdigrease, or into a yel­low and red Powder, and in like manner I­ron into a red powder called Crocus Martis, where by the way it appears how Com­pound Bodies become different, and vary, without the change of their first matter, by an only separation and division of their Parts, Corpuscles, or Atoms.

Yet if you take these Mettals so Calcined, each by it self, and put them into a Crusible in a Melting Furnace, with a strong Fire, this Powder will return into Mettal again, and shine and sparkle in the Fire; you see then that the same matter is in a threefold different state, for being a solid Body, it is after­wards reduced to a Powder, and then a­gain it is turned into a fluid matter, mel­ting and sparkling in the Fire.

And this is the thing from whence I frame the Idea, which I promised, concer­ning [Page 137] the Fixed Stars and the Planets; for nothing better represents the Na­ture of the Sun and its Substance, than Melted Gold flowing in a great Crusible, nor nothing better represents the Fixed Stars, than the same Gold melted in lesser Crusibles; there is nothing more like the Moon, than Silver melting in a Crusible. The same thing may be said of Lead, in respect of Saturn, and of Tin in respect of Jupiter, and of Copper in respect of the bright and sparkling Venus: So also Iron melted with the Matter which Fluxes it, leaves an Idea of the Planet Mars, yet with­out this Mineral which Fluxes, it bet­ter shews its refulgent redness. So it may be truly said, that the Sun is like melted Gold, and the Moon like mel­ted Silver; and so of Saturn, and the rest.

CHAP. IV. Of the Magnitude of the Stars, and their Figures.

SInce the Substance of the Stars is like melted Mettal, it may be like­wise concluded, that the same is like­wise round, because a melted Mettal is always round, unless it be hindred by the Mould in which it is cast, or by the Crusible in which it is melting, and since there is nothing that compels Stars to assume another Figure, than that which is Natural to them, and which is the most perfect of all Figures, which is most agreeable to the first mat­ter, out of which they are made by the Author of Nature; we ought to grant that they are round. As to their Magnitude, Astronomers represent them to be immeasurable, and they take their Hypothesis from the Rules of the Op­ticks, and from the experience of those great Optick Tubes; the Invention of which is attributed to Campanella, but the Restoration and improvement of them to Anthony de Reïta, as appears by his Book En­tituled Oculus Enoch & Eliae. The Sun is commonly taken to be an hundreed and [Page 139] sixty and six times greater than the Earth, and the Earth to be three times as big as the Moon, and the other Stars are some bigger, and some lesser; I would not dwell long upon a matter so far above us, especially when I con­sider the weakness of all those things which Astronomers tell us concerning them, and the dissention which is a­mongst the most Learned about them.

Epicurus is quite of another Opinion, for he says that the true Magnitude of the Sun and Stars is not much greater than they appear to us; because, says this Philosopher, since we see them to have Natural Colours, it follows then, that we see them in their just Magni­tude; and he adds, that we never see Objects in their true Magnitude, but when we discern their Colour, Figure, and Circumference: He endeavours to prove this his Opinion by the Example of fire, which we behold truly as it is; greater, or lesser, accordingly as it Flames: and after this rate, fixed Stars would not be much greater than they appear: The same thing may be said of the Planets also, because they are less remote from us than the Fixed stars.

I should not much dislike this Opinion, [Page 140] if it were not rejected by the whole World, and that the Shades, Paralax­es, and Eclipses evince the contrary. Therefore we embrace the most recei­ved Opinion, and positively affirm, That the most experienced, with the help of all their Optick Tubes, are not able to delineate the true and just Mag­nitude of the Planets, much less of the Fixed Stars, whose shadow is small, and they a great way distant from the Earth.

CHAP. V. Of the Motion of the Stars.

ARISTOTLE endeavouring to avoid or shun all the difficul [...] which occur in great plenty, concer­ning the Motion of the Heavens, thought he was easily able to explain it, together with its swiftness and regu­larity by the help of an Intelligent Mover, sent by God as an Adjutant Form, to move, push on, direct, and order the Heaven, and each Planet in all their Motion.

This Doctrine seems to be at once both very easie, and very clear; for [Page 141] if Heaven and the Planets have really a kind of motion, (of which there is no doubt,) there is nothing more easie than to have recourse to an Angel, who, by Gods Command, is the mover and directer of it. But we should soo­ner agree upon the Point, by having recourse to God, the Author of Na­ture, and saying, that He as the first Author hath impressed this motion up­on the Heaven, and the Stars, from the beginning of the World, and that he doth continually conserve it as the First Cause, by his general concurrence, without using the Ministery of Angels to perform it, which would be no more necessary, than to assign a helping Angel to the motion of Animals, and the Vegitation of Plants, which no [...]an will go about to do, unless he de­ligns to make himself ridiculous.

¶ This Opinion supposes the Earth to be in the Center of the World, im­moveable, and that the Heavens are wheeled about this Center upon the two Poles of the World: The Asserters of this Opinion do affirm, That the Impe­rial Heaven is fixt, and immoveable, of a round or square Figure, and that the Firmament observes the motion of the Primum Mobile; and by the im­pression [Page 142] of it, is rapidly moved from East to West, together with the Fixed Stars which it violently carries along with it.

As to the Planetary Heaven, they who affirm it to be Fluid, do also teach us that the Planets do likewise in this vast space move with the like liber­ty that Fish do in the Water, or Birds in the Air, excepting only that the motion of the Stars is regular, and that of Fish and Birds is not. They who make to be as many Heavens as there are Planets, or that every Planet hath its Orb, are forced to confess, that either their Heaven is fluid, or if it be solid, that there are passages and ways through which they are carried; and to explain these appearances, they are under a necessity of feigning certain Circles which they call Epicicles, or Excentrix; from whence arises unexpli­cable confusions; whilst others say that these Circles are only imaginary.

But they who affirm the Sun to be im­moveable in the center of the World, who conclude that the Earth is in its place a Se­venth Planet, and hath a Motion round it as well as the rest, and that the Firma­ment and the Fixed Stars (which are an­nexed to it, and implanted in it, and seen with their Orbs to wheel round over [Page 143] our heads) to be like the Sun, equally immoveable; are forced to explain the motion of the Planets, and find no little difficulty in explicating their ap­pearances; we will enquire into those which are chiefly built upon truth; by examining first those two most Fa­mous Systems of the World, I mean that of Ptolomy and Copernicus.

CHAP. VI. Ptolomy's System of the World Ex­amined.

PTOLOMY and Aristotle with their Followers, affirm the Earth to be in the Centre of the World immovea­ble, encompassed round with Air, which they think is next environed with Fire; and so in order there are Orbs of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupi­ter, Saturn, and of the Fixed Stars encom­passing one the other, called the Firma­ment: then the Ninth Heaven, which they call the Chrystaline; and lastly, the Primum Mobile, which by its incredi­ble rapidity carries all the other Hea­vens with it, from East to West.

This Opinion seems to me to be ab­surd, [Page 144] because it supposes the Heavens, and especially the Primum Mobile, to be of an immense Magnitude; so that the Earth would be but a point in respect of Heaven. Yet Ptolomy will have these immense Bodies, and vast Machines to be moved round this point of Earth, which seems little consonant to reason, which dictates to us, that little Bodies are much more readily moved round greater, than great Bodies round less; and we commonly say when we are roast­ing Meat, that the Meat must turn round to the Fire, and not the Fire turn round it. It is therefore more commodious, and more consonant to Reason, that the Earth which is only like a point, or a Gnat, should be moved round the Heavens, than the Heavens should turn round about it. Most wisely therefore hath the Creator of the Universe dis­posed things in such a manner, that the Reasons of them are conspicuous every where; that we may say that God does not only produce Works which are good in their substance; but also that he hath done good unto all that he hath made; that is, exactly in Number, Weight, and Measure.

Besides this General Reason which destroys and over-turns the Opinion of [Page 145] Ptolomy and Aristotle; we may take a­nother from the incredible rapidity of the Heavens motion about the Earth; for if their Opinion be true in this Hypothesis, and according to the reck­oning of Astrologers, we must confess that the distance of the Primum Mobile from the Earth, is above an hundred thousand Miles; from whence may be computed the greatness of this Hea­ven, and the manner of its motion, that it should perform and compleat its Circle in the space of twenty four hours; whereas all People agree in this (viz.) That the Earth compleats forty Miles in every hour, when in the mean time its Circle is but a point in respect of the Primum Mobile. We must conclude therefore, that its swiftness is incom­prehensible, and that every one point of its Circumference, compleats each hour more than forty times an hundred thou­sand Miles, which is incredible. To all these I add another difficulty which I have concerning this Opinion, in ex­plaining the manner, and the little Hooks by which the Primum Mobile car­ries the inferiour Orbs along with it from East to West; and that the Hea­vens and the Planets go to this Pole, but come back from the other, and [Page 146] then at last return to their first point, by the sole Collibration or Ballancing of the Ninth Heaven or Chrystalline: To which if we add the solidity of the Coelestial Globes in that manner as Ptolomy has affirmed, then neither Aristotle nor Tyco Brache with his Epicycles, and Excentricities, will be able to take away these difficulties, or avoid horrible con­fusions; lastly, these Philosophers could not explicate the regular or irregular motion of Commets, unless by appoint­ing Angels to guide them, which is ridiculous.

CHAP. VII. Copernicus's System of the World Examined.

THis Philosopher, and many other Modern ones have built Systems of the World after another manner; for they place the Sun in the Centre, and will have the Earth and the o­ther Planets to wheel round it, as we have said heretofore.

This System would be sufficiently enough confirmed by refuting of that which Ptolomy, Aristotle, and their Fol­lowers [Page 147] have framed; but onely this like­wise labours under its peculiar difficulties, The first of which is the experience of our Senses, which seems altogether repugnant to this System, for according to this O­pinion, we must conclude the Heavens which seem to move, as also the Sun it self, to be immoveable; and on the o­ther hand, the Earth to be in continual motion, which seems to be immove­able.

But this prejudice is very uncertain, nor do our senses always so exactly and infallibly distinguish the motion of Bo­dies, or Bodies that are in motion, as experience teaches: That when any one goes on Ship-board, and the Ship sets Sail, the Shoar and the Houses go away from him: For to this Man the Shoar seems to go away from him, though indeed he goes away from the Shoar. Which happens from hence, that the Eye does not discern the motion of the thing which is moved, when it moves along with it; which happens to a Man at Sea, who does not at all take notice of the motion of the Ship which is un­der Sail, because he himself is carried on by the same motion.

To this Opinion also is opposed the experience of a Stone thrown up into [Page 148] the Air, and there falling down upon the Head, or before the Feet of him that threw it; For if the Earth is really wheeled round and moved, while the Stone is moved, it ought to fall far e­nough from him who threw it. For we must conclude that the Earth is not turned round, and by consequence that this System of Copernicus is false.

To this difficulty Descartes answers, That a Stone must so descend, as if the Earth was not in the least moved, be­cause both from the same Vortex, and by the same impression, the Stone as well as the Earth is carried round.

To this very same difficulty Gassendus answers after another manner, saying, that the Stone falls before the Feet of him that throws it up, because it receives two motions from the hand of the thrower, (to wit, one Horizontal, and the other Perpendicular) which since it hath received, it ought to keep al­so, and to describe a Curve, regular, and parabolical Line; and after this manner fall down at the feet of him that threw it, if he (viz.) threw it up streight, and the Wind not contrary to it: Just as we see in a great Bullet tumbled down from the top of the Mast, falls streight down to the bottom of it, [Page 149] though the Ship Sails with a very vio­lent Wind.

Lastly, it is objected, against the Doctrine of Copernicus, That if the Earth be moved about the Sun, it would sometimes be nearer the Fir­mament and the Pole, and sometimes farther off; and then that for that reason the fixed Stars, especially the Pole Star, must sometimes appear bigger, some­times lesser, which is contrary to ex­perience.

But they who defend this Opinion, make answer, that the mighty distance which is betwixt the Earth and the fix'd Stars, is the Cause why this dif­ference is not observed. But indeed, in that manner that I shall explain the motion of the Earth, this Objection will appear to be of no moment.

CHAP. VIII. Of the Motion of the Earth.

COPERNICUS attributes to the Earth three motions, the first of which is called Diurnal, by which the Earth is moved about its Axis, as a wheel, from West to East, when as the Sun seems to be moved from East to West. Another motion is from one Pole to the other, according to the latitude of the Zodiack, that is, from one Tropick to another; which moti­on is called Annual or rather half-yearly, because the Earth in Six Months time runs through the whole Latitude of the Ecliptick, and after other Six Months it returns to the same point from whence it had departed at the beginning of the Year: So it passes through the same Line twice a Year, to wit, at the time of the Aequinoxes. Lastly, the third mo­tion is made round the Sun, whereby ac­cording to this Philosopher's Opinion, we are sometimes nearer the fixed Stars, and sometimes farther off.

There are not wanting some who attribute a fourth motion to these three, which we call a Libration from East to West, and so on the contrary. But [Page 151] to explain all the Appearances, the two first would be sufficient, were we not compelled to take in the other two likewise. The Diurnal Motion of the Earth by which it is turned and whee­led round its Axis, and which is per­formed from West to East in Twenty four hours time, is hard enough to be explained, but here's the Comfort, that there is no less difficulty found in the Opinion of Aristotle and Ptolomy about the explaining the Motion of the Hea­vens which ought to be performed in the space of four and twenty hours.

Therefore to clear up this difficulty, I suppose, if we should be compelled to have recourse to an Intelligence, as a Mover sent by God for this purpose: We have as much reason to assign one for the motion of the Earth, as well as Aristotle, to assign many for the motion of the Heavens and the Planets.

By the same right we might have run back to the first Cause and its ge­neral Concourse, after the example of Cartesius, who is not ashamed to call in This to help him in explaining the motion of his Materia Subtilis, and the Vortex surrounding the Earth; as also of all other Natural Motions, which God, saith this Philosopher, hath pro­duced [Page 152] from the beginning, and always preserves without diminution, but only that this motion does transmigrate from one Body into another, and as much of it as is lessened in one Body, is in­creased in another: This is the Carte­sian Opinion. But we are endeavouring to explain this motion of the Earth by more Natural Reasons.

I say therefore, and suppose that the Sun is immoveable in the Centre of the World, and yet notwithstanding, that like a Wheel it turns round about its proper Centre; and this is that mo­tion which is called Circum-Rotation; and by this motion it disperses on all sides, on every part these Corpuscles which produce Light and Heat: These Cor­puscles compose that great Vortex which is about the Sun, and which with it is carried round, and moves the Earth which is plac'd in the same Vortex with it; like as a Stone is moved by the motion of a rapid Stream, and this same Vortex carries other Planets along with it, accordingly as they are more or less immerged in it.

According to this explication, one may fancy the Sun to be like the wheel of a Clock, which moves that which is next to it another way; for when [Page 153] one Wheel is moved towards the right, the other which it carries with it, must of necessity be moved towards the left: So whilst the Sun by its Circum-Rotation is moved from East to West, the Earth must likewise be moved from West to East.

The other motion of the Earth is that which is called Annual or half-yearly, and which arises from the Li­bration of the Solar Body, and of the Vortex which drives the Earth from the part of the Pole, and makes it daily go a degree farther; and so the Annual as the Diurnal motion each day de­clines one degree onely, from a Paral­lel, from whence arise the vicissitudes of days and Seasons; But if the Earth returns by the same steps, as I may so say, it happens because the Sun by its daily Libration drives it on from one part; and then after six Months as­suming an opposite Libration, it draws it back for Three Months, and for the other three Months which makes up Six, it drives it forwards, so that the Rotation and the Libration of the Sun makes a double or a triple motion of the Earth, without the former's chan­ging either its place or its Centre.

All that we have hitherto said, ac­cording [Page 154] to the mind of these Authors, doth not as yet satisfie a Spirit curious to know the truth. So here are other dif­ficulties remaining which must be taken away by more sensible and more Na­tural Reasons.

First, Though we affirm the Sun to be immoveable, and the Earth to be wheeled round about it; or though we affirm the contrary, there remains nevertheless, that we give an account not only of each of these motions, but also of the motions of the other Planets. It is demanded what is the internal or external Cause of the Earths motion? If it be answered, that the Sun by its Libration is the Cause of it, as we have said, and as our Opinion is; it remains that we demonstrate the Cause, whether internal or external, that gives the Sun this motion: By means of which being librated from one side for Six Months, it is also librated for as many from the other side; and by this so re­gular motion, it sometimes draws the Earth towards it, and sometimes drives it from it, as we shall see in the fol­lowing Chapter, what can be said about this Matter.

CHAP. IX. Of the Sun the true Centre, and Heart of the World.

THe Sun being placed in the Centre of the World, is like the Heart, inspiring Life into all things, and pre­siding over all the Works of Nature whatsoever, even as the Heart in an hu­mane Body is the Principle of its Life and all its motions; this is that admi­rable Machine, which without being mo­ved out of its place, moves the Spirits, Humours, and all the parts, of our Bo­dies; in like manner, the immoveable Sun by his double motion, shakes and moves the Earth as well as the rest of the Planets. One only difficulty remains in explaining the motion of the Heart in the Microcosme, and of the Sun in the Macrocosme: But being about to treat else-where of the Earths motion, we will here only speak of the Suns mo­tion, which I call a wheeling of it round about the Earth, and afterwards we will speak of its Libration.

Elsewhere, we have said the Sun to be, not only of the same Nature with Gold, but to be Gold indeed, melted [Page 156] in the Centre of the World, and Cu­pellated by the Fire of the fix'd Stars, which are every where about it: No wonder therefore that it is wheeled round like melted Gold in a Crusible; and there sparkling, and purified. That this Hypothesis which will bring no lit­tle light to many things, may be better comprehended, I will bring an Experi­ment to confirm this Doctrine, which seems new indeed, but nevertheless it cannot be denied to be built upon the foundation of indubitable Experience.

I say therefore, that if you take Gold and put it into a great Crusible, with Lead, Copper, or other Mettals; and make a Fire every where round it, these Mettals will be melted together, and compose a sparkling smoaking Bath; this Bath or melted Matter is in per­petual motion, and so soon as the mat­ter is made hot, it wheels round its Cen­tre without intermission. It would be much more conspicuous if this melted Matter in the Centre of the World were equally distant from all the points of its circumference; for this being supposed, no man will deny, this mel­ted Matter fixed in the Centre of the World, and Fire being put to it every where, and on all sides, to remain in [Page 157] fashion as in a Crusible, and to have the same motion of Circum-rotation and Libration which we attribute to the Sun.

All the Obstacle we meet with at first sight consists in this (to wit) how this solar melted Matter can remain suspended, not falling down on any part. Secondly, By means of what Fire it remains always melted. Thirdly, How it comes to pass that since Gold so soon as it is cupellated or refined, remains in the Crusible in a fix'd Mass, yet the Sun which is like to this Gold, is neither fixed, nor stands it still imme­diately, but being wheeled perpetually round its Centre, it continues in mo­tion, and is Librated in the Cupel without any intermission.

To the first of these difficulties I answer, that we ought not to stand up­on it, because they who place the Earth in the Centre of the World, do teach us, that if a great hole were made through the Earth, even as far as our Antipodes, and if a Mill-Stone were thrown into it, it would stop in the middle, which is affirmed to be the Centre of the World, and there remain suspended; for to move forwards either way would be to ascend: The same thing may be [Page 158] said likewife of Water or other Liquids which would remain suspended. If there­fore the Sun be in the Centre of the World, why should it seem a wonder that it should remain there so suspen­ded, since that may serve him instead of a Cupel?

As to the other difficulty which be­longs to the Fire. I answer, that there is no want of that, because we have the fire of thefix'd Stars encompassing the Sun every where on all sides, and keeping this same Gold in cohtinual fusion, as if it were under a great Winters Glove bored through every where with little holes, as we find in essaying Gold. I do not say with Epicurus that the fixed Stars are really little holes and apertures by which the empyrial Heaven which is altogether Fiery, transmits its Ardors; but I affirm, that these are either little empty holes, or else filled with so many Diamonds, or Chrystals, through which the heat of the Coelestial Flames pass through; or else that they are as it were so many Carbuncles, or burning Coals. This is sufficient to convince them of great ignorance, who have affirmed these Coelestial Fires to flow from the solar Globe, and to be borrowed thence; whereas on the contrary, they are Coe­lestial [Page 159] Fires and Flames, which passing through this great Globe of the Heavens causes the Gold in the Cupel in the mid­dle of the Universe to be boyled and wheeled round by an equidistant and e­qually distributed heat.

I confess as to what belongs to the third difficulty, it is very subtle, and supposes a very fair Experiment: For in the course of all my curious Labours, I have wondred how Gold after it had a long while smoaked in the Cupel, and circulated to expel in smoak all For­reign Bodies mixt with it, does at last stand still, and remains suddenly fix'd in the bottom, and is so condensed, that it cannot be melted again by the strongest fire, or made to circulate, unless Lead be added to it either with or without some o­ther Mettal; for by the addition of these Bodies it is at the same time mel­ted, and by the same degree of Fire, and begins a new to boyl, to be librated, and to be turned round as before: and it will continue so as long as the Lead or other foreign Matter is in it: From whence we may conclude, that so long as the Sun like melted Gold is wheeled round its Centre, mixt and infected with foreign Corpuscles which it receives on every si de, as being placed in the Centre of [Page 160] the World, and of the Planets, which like imperfect Mettals furnish it with Corpuscles which are exhaled and are e­mancipated, and being mixed with it cause it to wheel round, and supply it with matter for motion, and so long as he returns them back in the form of smoak, like a Vortex, excepting only those which are digested and turned into Gold, which he reserves within himself, and does farther digest and circulate; and when they are sufficiently subtilised and purged, although involved with grosser fumes does send them forth; which meeting with the Vortex of the Earth, penetrates into the pores of it, and are changed into Gold, Silver, or some other Mettal; according to their greater or lesser purity, and according to the various disposition of the Matrixes or Beds wherein they lodge: So long I say we may conclude, that from these fumes which are sent towards the Sun from im­perfect Bodies, are made a liquid and Mercurial Water, out of which, in the Bowels of the Earth, Gold and other mettals are made.

The experience which we acquire by essaying Gold, (although after a rude manner, in comparison of it with this great Natural Cupel) shews us this [Page 161] this truth before our eyes; for I have with pleasure tryed, that the fumes ari­sing from the common Cupels, being collected in an Alembick, are condensed into a clear viscous, pulverulent, or gritty, and consequently mettalline Water, whose value the curious may be able to know.

I represent therefore to my self Gold wheeled round in this great Cupel, which is the Sun it self placed in the middle of the World, and which emitting subtile fumes, receives other more gross, which it so long and so often circulates, that they being in the bosome of the Earth, (the matrix of seed, and only habitable Planet) purified and collected, do there make Gold, Silver, or other mettals. So the Sun is the Father of Mettals, and especially of Gold its Legitimate Off-Spring; whereas the others are only Ba­stards, and being defiled in the Matrix or Womb, they cannot attain to the Dignity of Gold, unless they are free'd from their original impurity.

He then that can tell how to purifie and consecrate these solar influences, which are the fumes of this admirable Cupel, hath found out a great secret in Nature, extreamly profitable both for Health, and Wealth. Let me tell you [Page 162] an Experiment which I did not see, but heard related, by the late Monseigneur Bezancon, a Gentleman well known in Paris, who professed himself an eye-witness of it.

He said that when he was Governour of Provence, he sav'd a Man's Life that was un­justly Condemned to dye, who in a grate­ful acknowledgement of it, shewed him a thing wonderful. This Man, said he, took a Vessel, in which put three simple things, and buried them in the Earth, in a place exposed to the Sun-Beams, (which are the most subtile fumes) and having taken a Concave, Parabolick, or Burning-Glass, which he placed opposite to the place wherein the Vessel was put; the Sun Beams being collected and concentred, descended into the Vessel in troops, in which, at length was found a very clear yellowish, and gritty Water; which being boyled in a Bolt-head, was brought into a Powder, and afterwards being put into a Crusible with Borax, turned into Gold: This was performed three several times. From this Experiment we must gather, whether or no the Sun Beams do supply Water and Flames ser­ving to the production of Gold, which, as I have said, is the legitimate Son of the Sun, and is in the Earth the Image of its Father.

[Page 163] But to make an end of this digression, I conclude that the Sun will so long per­severe in its Cupel in continual motion, and Circum-rotation, till these Planets shall deny it Vapours, for then it would receive no foreign Matter, but would be throughly purged, and so would be wheeled round no more, but would remain Fixed. The World it self, with its motion and circulation would be at an end, as well as all Generations, which proceed from this continual circulation, by which the seminal and Luminous Spi­rits are dispersed every where through­out the World.

I add another reflection concerning the Sun's motion, like the motion of Gold in the Cupel; to wit, that whilst the fire of the superiour Stars do without intermission heat the Body of the Sun, foreign Corpuscles through its Pores enter into it, nor is it ever at quiet till they go out again; for as much as the Figures of these Foreign Bodies can by no mean be accommodated to the figures of the Corpuscles of Gold, for they drive one another backwards and for­wards (and from hence arises the Equili­brium, and agitation of the Atoms of Gold, which is in motion) and seeing that they cannot have a perpendicular [Page 164] motion, unless they forsake the rest, they are compelled to turn round like a Horse in a Mill, which goes on, and thinks he goes? streight forwards, when­as he continually treads the same steps, in the same Circle: But to do this, there must be a propulsion on every side; for Gold would not be turned round in the Cupel, if Fire were only applyed to it from beneath, and not from above, and quite round it; which ought to be well taken notice of.

We will say then that the Sun can­not be moved about its own Centre, that is the Centre of the World; unless at the same time it moves the ambient Bodies, by the assistance of the Corpus­cles coming out of its Globe like so many streams of Light, just as we see Rivers of Water flowing out of the Sea, and yet the Sea is never the less for this Ef­fusion, no more than the Sun is lessened by a continual effusion of his Light; be­cause it receives in as much as it pours out, and these Waters return back to the Sea, as these Corpuscles of Light do to the Sun, by a continual Circula­tion.

CHAP. X. Of the Moon and its Changes.

THe Moon is like an Optick Looking-Glass, in which Light and the Corpuscles flowing from the Sun are con­centred and gathered together; from whence for divers respects and changes they are sent towards the Earth.

One of the Antients affirmed the Moon to be a Planet, very near and fa­miliar to the Earth, it is moved about the Sun, because it is in the solar Vortex by which it is carried round, and in it three kinds of Motions are observed (viz) its Annual, Monthly, and Diurnal, from these divers motions, divers Aspects, in respect of the Sun and it do arise, from whence are its various yet constant ap­pearances.

Its Figure is round, but its Mass is partly solid, partly fluid, like Earth and Water; its roundness appears at Full and New-Moons; without this roundness we could never see its increase or decrease. Its solidity is the Cause why the Light of the Sun is from thence reflected to us, even as by reason of its fluidity, we observe in it obscure parts [Page 166] like Spots, because they do not reflect the Sun so much as the solid parts do; but if in the Body of the Moon there are some parts higher than others, in the shape of Mountains or Hills, the Sun Beams do there produce small shadows, which are ob­served by the help of Perspective Glasses.

That it cannot be half so big as the Earth, is proved by Optick Principles, Shades and Paralaxes; in respect of it self it is always in the full, because one half of it is continually illustrated by the Sun: But it does not always appear full to us, but only at the time of its Opposi­tion and Recession from the Sun, and then also in respect of us it may be Eclip­sed; because our Earth at that time is directly placed between it and the Sun, and by its shadow makes the Moon more or less obscure, as it is nearer or farther off and as it is more or less opposite to it. These two opposite points, in which, when the Moon suffers an Eclipse, those great Lights are found, Astrologers call the Dragons Head, and Tail. But as the Earth by its interposition is the Cause of the Moon's Eclipse, so also by the interpo­sition of the Moon betwixt the Sun and the Earth, is produced an Eclipse of the Sun; which is either greater, or less, according as the Moon is more or less [Page 167] posited between us and the Sun, or is nearer or farther from us.

Lunar Eclipses can happen naturally, only in the time of Full Moon; but these of the Sun, in the time of New Moon. An Eclipse of the Moon may be Total and Universal. But that of the Sun can never, without a Miracle, be so at the same time; but this is not a real defect of light in the Body of the Sun, as it is in the Moon, which is a dark Body, and possesses only a borrowed Light. We may hear what Astronomical Philoso­phers and Astronomers say of it.

I told you before that the Sun is like melted Gold, I told you likewise by the way, that the Moon might be compa­red to melted Silver; but I think it may be truly said that its Matter, as to its Circumference, is more like to real Silver; but be it as it is, it continues in the manner we see it, suspended in one massie lump, a most subtile Aetherial mat­ter, full of many empty spaces, being by the Creator shut up in its Circumfe­rence, which hinders the Moon chiefly from changing its place, and from be­ing immerged more deeply in the Sun's Vortex, whose Atoms are indeed more thick and gross: By reason of its vacui­ties there is no fear that it should de­scend [Page 168] nearer the Sun, or be able to resist the impression of its Vortex, any more than the Earth, which has plenty of Pores, Cavities, and empty Spaces, without which it would too much resist the solar Vortex, and would be able to get nearer its Centre, that is, the Sun. But its empty Cavities hinder that, like Air contained in a Bladder, which hin­ders it from sinking to the bottom; and as the hollowness of the Quils of Birds bear them up in the Air.

The Moon in her daily motion finishes her Course round the Earth in the space of twenty four hours: or rather the Earth performs its daily motion about the Sun, and its own proper Centre, in twenty four hours time, the Moon being carried away by the same Solar Vortex with the Earth, is daily retarded some degrees, whereupon we say it rises every day later and later, until by this resist­ance or retrocession in twenty nine or thirty days it hath compleated its Month­ly motion: And besides this Retrocession it is moved by the Libration of the Sun from one Tropick to another, and twice in every Month runs through the Equi­noctial Line; after the same manner as the Earth does it twice every Year. There can be no Annual motion of the [Page 169] Moon, unless about its own proper Cen­tre. But I will wander no further about a matter meerly Astrological.

CHAP. XI. Of the Planets, Comets, and Fixed Stars.

SATURN, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, are Five wandring Stars, called Planets, of the same Nature with the Sun, but less pure; whose Corpuscles are sent and driven towards the Body of the Sun; they are likened to divers melted Mettals, and sparkling in Chrystalline or Adamantine Cr [...]bles, and the Fire melting them, is that of the Sun and the Fixed Stars.

If it be asked why they are not joy­ned with the Sun? I answer, that they consist of a Matter full of many empty Spaces, and besides that, they daily dis­burthen themselves upon the Body of the Sun, and supply it with matter for depuration and resining: which the Sun sends back to them more subtilised, and they distill down these seminal and Met­talline Spirits upon the Earth. They [Page 170] are diversely whirled about by the so­lar Vortex; after which manner they obtain divers motions, as Astronomers teach us. Who affirm the Planets Mars and Venus to be less than the Earth, and the three others much greater; al­though according to their Opinion, the Diameter of the Earth is three thousand five hundred Miles, but its circumference seven thousand Miles; including the wa­ter, which together with the Earth, make up one Globe.

Comets according to Aristotle are Planets or Stars, produced De Novo, from Exhalations: By which saying, this Philosopher is compelled to place all Comets under the Moon, which is found to be an Error, by the experience of a great many Comets which have ap­peared above the Moon, and the Sun too; whither Exhalations from the Earth can never reach: All the time of their continuance they have a regular motion, for the explication of which, Aristotle could never assign them an Intelligence to guide them.

Seneca, the Antients, and Copernicus, teach that Comets have been produced from the beginning of the World, and the reason why we do not see them so often as we do the Planets, is because [Page 171] they are elevated too high above us, and since they have an excentrick motion, according to this Opinion, they some­times, and for some continnuance of time appear, that is to say then, when they descend into the Heaven of the Planets. But all these Opinions are very uncertain.

This is my Opinion, that if the Sun is Gold melted in the Cupel (as I really believe;) and that from thence Fumes and Vapours arise; it is no hard matter to conceive that in the Solar Vortex, and in the Corpuscles exhaling from the Sun, a great part of them are very gross, thick, and inflammable; which taking Fire, make these Comets we speak of; whose motion is regularly directed by the Vortex of the Sun; yet nevertheless this does not hinder but that some Co­mets may be generated nearer us, from Terrestrial Exhalation.

The fixed Stars are fastned to the Firmament as so many little Suns, they are as immoveable as the Heaven in which they are included; nevertheless like the Sun they move about their Cen­tres, although this motion be neither use­ful, profitable, nor necessary. And so nothing compels us to say that they are actually moved.

[Page 172] They are all said to be bigger than the Earth, and to be in number 1022; the Heaven in which they are, is said to be solid, clear, and transparent like Ice; and this is that Heaven which was made in the midst of the Waters, and which any one may represent to himself like a great Circle of Water congealed in the form of Chrystal: But according to my foregoing Hypotehsis, I had rather say that the fix'd Stars are like so many round holes or Rings, furnished with so many large Diamonds or Carbuncles, which serve as a Medium or Vehicle to the light and heat of the Empyrial Heaven, as we have said already.

CHAP. XII. Of Meteors in the Air.

ARISTOTLE hath constituted two sorts of Bodies, to wit, Sim­ple, and Mixt; he placeth Meteors under these latter, but he calls them imperfect mixt Bodies, because he did believe them not to have a substantial form, as perfect Bodies have, nor to be produced by the ordinary way of Generation.

This Doctrine is contrary to our [Page 173] Principles; for we say that those Me­teors which we see in the Air, are in their kind and condition perfect Bodies not differing from others, neither in respect of Matter, which is one and the same to them all, nor in respect of sub­stantial form produced in the formation of them; for we acknowledge no such forms, but as unprofitable, and Chime­rical. All the difference which we take notice of betwixt them, ought to be ta­ken upon the account of their forma­tion and different conditions under which one and the same Matter, that is to say Atoms, do meet together by a disposition of their parts, by an addi­tion of strange Bodies, by an introdu­ction of Vacuities, and by a conversion of their Figures. After this manner are formed Clouds, which are the Meteors of the middle Region of the Air, and which have Water, Air, and Earth for their Matter; for from the Vapours of Wa­ter, and the subtile particles of Earth, together with the Air with which they are carried up, Clouds are formed, which are sometimes so thick, that they rob us of the Suns Light, which happens when more of Earth, than of Air or Water goes into their composition: On the other hand sometimes they are so subtile, that they [Page 174] can hardly or not at all be seen by us, which happens when air obtains the chief place in their composition: for in a word, Clouds are nothing else but a congregation and mixture of Corpuscles or little Bo­dies of Earth, Water, and Air, which are the proximate Matter of them; the Vor­tex of the Sun, the Motion of the Earth, and the Winds, are the three concurring Causes of their mixtion and elevation into the upper Region of the Air.

Other sorts of Meteors are Rains de­scending from the middle Region of the Air, and generated from the solu­tion of Clouds; that is to say, when Water, which hath the greatest share in their formation, freeing it self from the particles of Earth, and parts of Air, thence forward distill as it were by an Alembick, which happens, because its particles being incrassated by the cold­ness of the Air, the water is separated from the Air, and falls down again to the place from whence it came, in the form of little drops: From this Rain proceeds the Earths Fruitfulness, for it never descends, but it brings some por­tion of the little seminal Bodies flow­ing along with it. In Rains therefore is contained Salt, and the Balsom of the Stars, which Basilius Valentinus speaks of, [Page 175] and from hence all Vegetables bud and increase. The Curious enquirers into Nature may try whether I speak truth or no, and whether they may not find a Salt as white as Sugar, if they take away by Distillation the unprofitable parts with which it is involved.

Dew is almost of the same nature with Rain, only it is more pure, more sub­tile, and more fruitful, by reason of the Seasons of the Year which chiefly enjoy it, (viz.) at the time of the Aequi­noxes, when the Sun and the Earth are nearest to each other, which happens when the Earth passes the Aequator; wherefore at that time it receives and carries along with it a greater number of solar Corpuscles, depurated by his mo­tion, than Rain, or Dew it self that falls at other times. Dew falls down in round drops, because its Corpuscles are round, and its Atoms are of the same Figure with the Sun, whether whole or in parts.

Dew penetrates the Earth, and moist­ens those places where there are sel­dom Rains: But the Sun's shining Beams presently carry it away along with them into the Vortex; in the mean time, part of this Salt or Bal­som of the Stars contained in the Dew, remains upon the Herbs and Flowers, [Page 176] where we observe a kind of Viscousness like Sugar, or Honey; thus Bees gather­ing this Dew, lade themselves with it, and make Honey of it: This Dew in the Hot Countries of Palestine, Aegypt, Arabia, and Calabria, is condensed into little Grains which are called Manna From this same Matter Sugar is made in the Madera-Islands, and in both the Indies, where it is found inclosed in Reeds. Lastly, after the same manner Pearls are formed and nourished in Shells. He that studies to know the wonders of Dew, and the vertue of the Spirits it contains, may extract from thence ad­mirable secrets for health, but for no­thing else that I know of.

CHAP. XIII. Of Winds, Tempests, and Whirl-winds.

WInds are the same thing in the Air, as Billows are in the Sea, or as Floods are upon Land. And indeed they do sometimes disturb and move the Air so violently, that the best rooted Trees, and strongest built Houses, are now and then pulled up by the Roots, and overturned by them: And yet Winds are nothing but Air agitated, nor Tem­pests, but Air floods, or violent Agitati­ons of the Air.

[Page 177] Some Philosophers seek for the Cau­ses of these Agitations of Air, in the Rarefaction and Condensation of Bodies; and to illustrate this Effect, they bring an Experiment of Air rarified, and going out with great force, out of a large glass Bottle, and of Air condensed in ano­ther Phial or Glass, in which the least opening being made, the external Air breaks in with great Force and Noise; of both which Experiments, I with o­thers have been an Eye-witness. We took therefore, a great round Bottle, and placed it in a cold place, and then co­vering it with a double Skin made wet, it was placed to a gentle Fire; which by degrees being thorowly hot, and the Skin prickt with a Needle, the Air or Wind broke out from thence with so much violence, that it blew out a Candle two Paces distant from it, more than once. The same Tryal was made with another Bottle, in which Pease were put, and the Hole shut with the Thumb, which afterwards being taken away, the Air immediately with the Pease, burst out with so much Violence, that they like Pistol Bullets entred into a Deal­board. A second Eperiment was like­wise made, a Bottle was placed in a hot place, and well stopped with Leather, [Page 178] which being brought into a cold place and the Skin pierced through, the ex­ternal Air for half a quarter of an hours time, rushed into the Bottle with so much noise and hissing, that it seemed to in­danger the breaking of it.

I confess these Experiments have left us an Idea of Winds and their vehemen­cy, but there always remains this one difficulty, (to wit) what should be the Principle of this rarefaction and conden­sation of the Air; for in the first Expe­riment, refrigerated Air is shut up in the Glass Bottle, and dilated with heat, and then it goes violently out of the lit­tle hole that is made; but how can Cold condense, and Heat rarifie and dilate this Air? Lastly, what is it that presses it, and forceth it with violence to seek its Exit? And as to the second Experi­ment, in which rarified Air is condensed in the Bottle; how being rarified, can part of the Glass remain empty? And lastly, from what Cause is the external Air forced to break in with so much precipitation. All these things I men­tion, that it may be seen that these dif­ficulties do not escape me. As to the first instance, I say that Cold condenses Air, in as much as it makes the vacuities dispersed through it lesser and more [Page 179] closely shut together; so that there is [...]uch more of matter in refrigerated Air, than in the same made Hot: But that this Doctrine may be rightly apprehen­ded, we must know in What Heat and Cold consists; for when Cold conden­ses the Air and presses it together, it performs it by its close, solid, heavy, and plain particles, as shall be treated of elsewhere.

Secondly, Heat rarifies Air by an in­troduction of its Corpuscles, which are almost destitute of all solidity, by which the vacuities of the Air are increased, and enlarged.

Thirdly, the Air rushes forcibly out of the Bottle, because their Corpuscles are compelled to dilate themselves, which they cannot do; nay, from hence they break the Glass Bottle, unless a hole be made in the skin. It is true also, that the Air going out of the hot Bottle is altogether Cold, for they are the Corpus­cles of Cold which go out, and the noise with which they break out proceeds from the plain figures of the Corpuscles of Cold, which cannot pass through the litle round holes without being en­tangled together, and dashing one a­gainst another; besides these Corpus­cles being plain, they are subtile [Page 180] also like little Razers; thus in the Win­ter time we see the hands and feet of such as are tender hurt with Chops and Cliffs.

To the second Experiment I say, that the Air in the Bottle being rarified by the help of Heat, is afterwards compressed and condensed by the help of Cold, pas­sing through the substance of the Glass, and breaking of it if it be not looked after. Secondly, the cold entring in, drives out or into the sides the particles of Heat, and the Glass on the part of its Orifice remains without Air, and the dis­seminated Vacuities are gathered toge­ther into one Vacuum. Thirdly, the external Air enters with precipitation, because it is pressed against its Nature by this great Cold; and finding a place where to betake it self, it possesseth it immediately. We must here observe that rarefaction is never made on the one side, but condensation is made on the other; and so on the contrary, and this is the first or immediate Cause of Winds, when the Air is rarified by heat in subterraneous places, and Caverns of the Earth, and breaks out with violence, or when it be­ing condensed, other supervenes with vi­olence rushing towards it

Another Cause of Winds, or rather of Tempests and Storms by Sea and Land, [Page 181] are the emancipated Atoms of which we have spoke already; and which by justling one another, more agitate the Air from divers parts, diversly opposite, from whence comes the reciprocal meeting and incursion of winds in the Region of the air, which when they happen near the Earth, they cause fearful and dangerous Whirl-winds.

This Opinion concerning the emanci­pation of Atoms, supposes that in the dis­solution of greater Bodies, the lesser Par­ticles and Atoms are emancipated, and procure themselves liberty, so that enjoy­ing their own power they run through the Air, and easily and vehemently move it. These emancipated Atoms in the great World are not only very much to be fear­ed where they use greatest violence, but also in the little World, where they pro­duce most Diseases, as are Horrors, Fits of Feavers, and their duplications, Transla­tions to the Brain. Diliriums or Light-headedness, and Phrensies: To Cure which, Sudorifick Medicines opening the Pores, and driving out those sharp-poin­ted Atoms, are chiefly to be commen­ded.

CHAP. XIV. Of Thunder, Lightning, and the Thun­der-Bolt.

THunder, Lightning, and the Thun­der-Bolt would be more stupendi­ous, were it not that there is something on Earth, from whence we learn the manner how these things are done above us.

The first thing which gives us light concerning these three Meteors, is the shooting off of a Gun, for the Thunder-Bolt is represented by the Bullet, the Fire coming out of the Muzzle represents Lightning, and the Report from thence holds the place of Thunder.

Another thing which gives us a lively and more just Idea of them, is Aurum Ful­minans, which like the Thunder-Bolt carries its stroak downwards; three Grains of which, though never so little made hot, takes Fire, and gives a greater Report than two Ounces of Gunpowder. I will shew you its preparation in the fol­lowing Chapter, and give you an ac­count of it, and I will endeavour to Ex­plain how it comes to Thunder, and [Page 183] how the Thunder-Bolt falls.

Epicurus attributes the falling of the Thunder-Bolt to the apertures which the Winds produce in the Clouds, but the Lightning he thinks arises when the Thunder-Bolt, by reason of its violent motion in the Air, takes Fire, or, saith this Philosopher, the Flame of the Light­ning is excited by the mutual meeting of Clouds, which are Bodies made hard by vehement Cold; or else that it is excited by the blowing of Winds, or by the heat of the Stars, which sets on Fire the Ni­trous and Sulphurous Matter collected in the Cavity of the Clouds.

The sound of Thunder may be divers ways. First, by the revolution of a strange Body contained in the thickness of the Clouds, and rolled through it, as we see a solid Body shut up in a Pot, excites a sound and murmuring noise if the Pot be moved. The same noise may like­wise proceed from the breaking or bur­sting of the Clouds, as well as it does from the bursting of a blown-Bladder, or Paper suddenly and forcibly extended, or the Sail of a Ship torn by the violence of the Winds.

In like manner, this sound may be caused from the mutual meeting together of hardned Clouds, like that we hear, [Page 184] when pieces or flakes of Ice dash one a­gainst another, either in the River or on the Bank; after the same manner also Woods indeed stirred by the Winds, the flowings of the Sea interrupted, Linnen and Paper suspended in the Air, by their violent motions excite sounds, like the sound of Thunder.

We may say besides, that the Thun­der-Bolt being throughly lighted, and falling upon a moist Cloud excites a great noise, such as we hear when red hot I­ron is thrown into Water, or melted Mettals into Oyle, Urine, Honey, or the Lees of Wine: where we also find a certain kind of murmur, and at last we percieve so great a noise or sound, that it threatens the breaking of the Vessel. But this mighty noise may be ascribed to the vehement separation of the Salt, Nitre, and Sulphur, which being mixt together are included in the Thunder-Bolt, and the Cloud, as Gun-powder is in Guns and Mines. For the violent and sudden separation of Nitre and Sulphur forcibly seperates all Bodies near them, which can­not be done without a mighty sound. Therefore that we may the better compre­hend the Nature and wonderful effects of this Meteor, I will make the following di­gression concerning Aurum Fulminans.

CHAP. XV. Of Aurum Fulminans, or Gold imita­ting Thunder.

EXperience shews us upon Earth a much more Natural Image or Re­presentation of Thunder, than that which is seen in the effects of Gun-pow­der; and the noise and disturbance which this Gold when set on fire produceth, doth so properly imitate the horrid noise of Thunder; that for this Reason it is called Aurum-Fulminans. I will here give you its preparation, and I shall endeavour to give the Reasons of its wonderful ef­fects, and apply them to the production of Thunder and Lightning.

Take therefore (for Example) one Ounce of calcined Gold, or leaf Gold, or else Gold dust, and put it into a Bolt head, and pour to it three Ounces of Aqua Regis, which being done, place it upon hot ashes, and the Gold will dis­solve, and be reduced into Water; to which pour on a sufficient quantity of fair Water, and after that a few drops of Oyle of Tartar, for then that will cause an ebullition or boyling; which being over, the Gold will fall to the bottom, [Page 186] in the form of Dust; then afterwards pour off the Water that swims a top by gently stooping the Vessel, and dry the powder in the Air, so have you Aurum-Fulminans, for it produceth all the Ef­fects we told you of.

The Reason why it so soon takes Fire, is taken from the Atoms or Corpuscles of Nitre, which are in Aqua-Regis, as also of the Sulphur, Vitriol, and Sal Armo­niack of which it is made; these Sulphu­rous, and Acid, and Volatile Salts are united together, and the precipitated particles of Gold, (for as much as the particles of the Salt of Tartar possess their place) dissolve their Union, and force them to give way and be separated; so that nothing remains in the Water but a dissolved Salt, part of which adhering to the Atoms of Gold, falls to the bot­tom with them, as the increased weight of the Powder evinces: These same Par­ticles therefore which remain in the Pow­der, stick to the Gold, so that Heat pene­trating this, and dilateing this Matter, produces a sudden and violent separation; hence it is that the Spirits of the Volatile Salts being made hot, rarified, subtilised, and set on fire, the Gold which before was fix'd, being accompanied with these Spirits, flyes away with a Thundring [Page 187] noise, by reason of the contrariety that is between the alcalous Salt of Tartar, and the acid Salts, as it happens in Gun-powder, where the Alkali that is in the Charcoal produces the same Effect as is seen in this Thundring Gold; except­ing that the stroak of the Gold and its explosion is made downwards, by reason of its fixity and weight.

We see the same in the Thunder-Bolt, for the stroak is made downwards, the Flash is seen, and the noise is heard: Besides the Thunder-Bolt produces won­derful Effects, such as are consuming of Wine in the Vessel, melting of the Sword in the Scabbard, the Scabbard and the Vessel being both untouched.

Therefore I conclude, that the stroak of Thunder moves downwards, as well as Aurum-Fulminans; because these ter­restrial Particles predominating, they fix the Volatile Spirits of the Salts, and pre­cipitate them downwards. The Flash ari­ses only from the rarefaction and eman­cipation of the solar and Coelestial Parti­cles therein contained; but the noise in Aurum-Fulminans, as well as in Thunder, is produced by the violent separation of the more solid and more fixedly-adhering Particles or Atoms. But Thunder con­sumes Wine in the Vessel, the Vessel be­ing [Page 188] unhurt, because it consists of emanci­pated Atoms, which are therefore so sub­tile, that they penetrate the Vessel, sub­tilise and rarefie the Wine, and convert it into Atoms, which pass through the Vessel, and flye away into the Air; but in Aurum-Fulminans the strength of the Volatile Spirits not being sufficient to raise the Gold on high, it is carried downwards.

The Principle of this wonderful Effect relies upon this Truth, (to wit) that subtile Bodies are more subtilised, Vola­tile Bodies more Volatile, and fix'd Bo­dies rendredmore fix'd.

For this Reason, the Powder of pro­jection so called, being cast into melted Mettal that is not fixed, penetrates it, and sixeth it by its own fixity: But this Experience is not yet found, but is still to be found out; so that no Experience can be taken from a thing that is not e­qually as certain and as common as Au­rum-Fulminans, and Gun-powder; which if there be such a Powder, and it be such as they report it, it is a Miracle, both of Art, and Nature.

CHAP. XVI. Of Hail, Snow, Frost, &c.

HAIL descending from the Clouds, and falling down with violence, is composed of Drops of Water hardned by Cold, and it falls down with violence, because it is expelled the Clouds by a strong expression; almost after the same manner as your smallest Shot are dischar­ged out of a Musquet.

Snow is Water congealed in the form of Froth; the slakes of it in its falling are puft up, and filled with Air, which makes it very porous and light: it con­tains also many terrestrial particles, as appears in dissolving it, it is white, but may be made black by a sole inversion of its Atoms. There are also in it many fiery particles, which warm the hands of those that long handle it.

There is another kind of Hail also, which falls in the Spring time, it is like your smallest Shot, or your Seeds of Coriander: This only differs from Snow in the purity of its parts, or in as much as it hath more Vacuities in it than there are in Snow; and on the contrary, Snow has more of Air and Fire in it than this [Page 190] kind of Hail, but both of them are, by the help of Heat disolving their parts, reduced into Water.

Hoary Frost is Air incrassated by Cold, and congealed upon the boughs of Trees, upon the Hair of Travellers, and upon the Herbs of the Field; and it is called white Ice: In this Chrystalline whiteness a bloody redness is included, which may be extracted out of this Hoary Frost, and which, if it be well prepared, conduceth very much to Health.

CHAP. XVII. Of the Rain-Bow, Halo, and Pareliae.

THe Rain-Bow is the most beautiful of all Meteors, and the Miracle of Nature; it is seen when the Sun either rising or setting darts his Rays upon a Cloud full of little globular suspended drops of Water, which by diversly break­ing and reflecting the light, produce that diversity of Colours which we observe in it, which ceases either by a different po­sition of the Cloud, or by the absence of the Sun.

This Meteor appears like a Beautiful Arch, adorned with all manner of Co­lours, [Page 191] which happens for as much as the Sun looks only upon its superficies, and then when it is rising, or setting, and the Clouds are either in the North, or in the South.

Some will have these Colours of the Rainbow to be only appearances, and by no means real; but this is an Error, for there is nothing hinders but that these may be equally as real as all other, though they are not so lasting.

An Halo is the appearance of a Circle about the Moon, which ariseth from a gross and thick Cloud, upon which the Lunar rays fall directly, so that its middle is made pervious to them, and broke through by them, though the circumference be not, which is therefore the appearing Circle, and which is not as it is vulgarly imagined, nigh to the Moon, but it is in the expansion of the Air, and far remote from the Moon.

Parheliae are counterfeit Suns, formed in the Clouds, either by the reflection or refraction of his Beams, just as we see them in Water, where sometimes many Suns are seen, though there was never more than one. We may say likewise, that the Clouds in respect of us are like those prospective Looking-glasses, which represent many Images of one thing pla­ced [Page 192] upon a Table, which one thing is only real, and all the rest imaginary: Yet this does not hinder, but that these Parheliae may be true Lights, and Suns Painted without Artifice.

CHAP. XVIII. Of Air, its Substance, and Quality.

AIR is that Element out of which the Meteors are formed which we speak of: Its substance is most subtile, and most fluid, by reason of the Vacui­ties dispersed through it. It is neverthe­less thicker and heavier in the lowest Re­gion, by reason of the mixture of Corpus­cles coming out of the Earth and Wa­ter.

Some think it only a mixture of the little Bodies or particles of Earth and Water; whereupon the quality of the Air we breathe in, depends upon the Climate which we inhabit: So that Air is not every where alike wholsome, but very unwholesome in Moorish and Fenny Grounds, from whence ordinarily gross and malignant Vapours, thick and pu­trid Clouds arise, which we take in when we draw our breaths.

[Page 193] The very same Air we breathe in, and which, when we take our breath, preserves our Lives by its wholsome gales, is able to bring Death to us, when it comes la­den with sharp particles, which in their passage vellicate the Lungs, and cause most vehement coughings.

Oftentimes also emancipated, pointed, and penetrating Atoms flow in the Air, which entring in at the Pores of the Body, disturb its whole Oeconomy or frame: Others ascending by the Nostrils to the Brain, stick to its membranes, and pro­duce Pains and Convulsions, and are the Causes of violent Head-achs, Vertigoes, and Apoplexies: And there are some also which penetrating the Organs of hearing, cause hummings and noises there, which continue for some time, because their particles are of a figure fit for adhesion.

The Air most malignant, and most to be feared, is that which is pestilent, by reason of the Atoms which come out from putrid and corrupt Bodies, as we have said elsewhere.

The fluidness of the Air does not a­rise from its not being compounded of solid and material Atoms, but from its being rare, or loose; and it is rare, be­cause its parts are far distant from one another: This distance necessarily is [Page 194] space, this space is again either full or empty; if empty, we have rightly con­cluded that there are desseminate Vacui­ties, if full, it must be material. Let there be therefore material Atoms, all which mutually touch one another, and all things will be solid, and there will be nothing fluid in all Nature, unless we ac­knowledge dispersed Vacuities, from whence the rareness and fluidness of Bo­dies arises, as shall be more fully di­scoursed of.

The End of the Second Part of Physick.

The Third Part of Physick. Of those Things which are under a Man; (viz.) of Earth, and things Terrestrial, which are called Inanimate.

HAving discoursed of those Things which are, and happen above us, it is time now that we speak of those Things also, which are under, or be­neath us, as also of all Things worth taking notice of in the Earth and Wa­ter, which constitute one Globe, which [Page 195] we call Terrestrial. But in this Part we will consider Terrestrial Things only as they are inanimate, according to the common Opinion.

CHAP. I. Of Earth and Water in general.

THE Earth as hath been said, is a Pla­net habitable, having three Motions: The First of these is about its own pro­per Centre, which is not the Centre of the World, for the Circle of the Earth is Excentrick: This motion is impressed upon it by the Solar Vortex, as a greater Wheel carries a less along with it, and this is called its Diurnal motion. Ano­ther is about the Sun, as the Centre of the World, to which it is Concentrical, and requires a Years time to return to the same point; and this arises likewise from the Solar Vortex, for the Earth, being driven on by the Flux of the Centre of the Universe, cannot be mo­ved about its proper Centre, without sensibly making an Excentrick Cir­cle: And from this two-fold Motion of it arises the other third, (viz.) from one Pole to the other in the space of one six Months, and returning back again in the [Page 196] space of six other; which happens, be­cause it can go no farther, nor pass the Tropick, unless it recedes from the So­lar Circle, for here it hath only the Lati­tude of the Ecliptick. For if it should recede, it must ascend too, for whatsoever recedes from the Centre of the Universe, in respect of that ascends, and so like­wise from its proper Centre.

The Earth in all these motions carries the Water along with it, for they both make but one and the same Globe, which is altogether exact and regular on the Seas part, but less accurate on the Earth's part, by reason of the Vales and Moun­tains. And though it be true that the Earth does not seem to us to be of a round Figure, yet it is proved by Expe­rience; for that teaches us, that the last part of the Ship which can be seen by those on shoar is the top of the Mast, and the first Things they on Ship-board see as they approach their Haven, are the tops of Towers: From whence it may evidently appear, that the Sea is as it were a Belly, and eminence, which insen­sibly is lifted up into a convexity, that so with the Earth it may constitute one entire Globe.

Earth and Water are two immedi­ate Principles of all Compounds which [Page 197] are to be seen in this lower Region of the World; yet notwithstanding, not they, but Atoms are the first Elements, as it is said else-where: There is more­over a lesser number of Vacuities in Ter­restrial than in Aqueous Bodies; and this is the Cause that the Earth is more solid, and the Water more fluid, that is to say, less solid than the Earth.

CHAP. II. Of Terrestrial Inanimate Bodies in general.

THere is nothing Simple, but God, an Angel, the Rational Soul, Atoms, and a Vacuum. God is essentially Simple in a simplicity of Essence, Power, and Act; for whatsoever is in him is an act, his Es­sence is no ways compounded, nor his Power idle, nor his Action ever interrup­ted. An Angel is simple in respect of es­sence, but his power is not always in act, nor his action (at least the same) with­out intermission. The Rational Soul, which is a Spirit laid in pledge, or at least a Physical Compound with an Organical Body, is simple, because it hath neither Integral, Physical, nor contained parts; [Page 198] but it self is a Physical Part, saving only that its powers are often idle, and its actions are changed and interrupted; A Vacuum is simple, for since it is neither a Spirit, nor Matter, nor any thing else but a capacity of receiving a Body, and it hath an essential emptiness; it can­not be called simple, but for as much as it cannot suffer composition by reason of its imperfection. Lastly, Atoms are simple, because they are indivisible, and the first Elements of Bodies, out of which all compound Bodies are framed.

I acknowledge no other Elements, no other substantial material forms in Bo­dies; for they are not only unnecessary, but impossible: Yet it doth not follow from thence, that the diversity which occurs between Bodies constituting the World, and which are the Compounds of the lower World, is no other than meerly accidental, and not at all essential: for, according to our Principles, we deter­mine one composition to be substantially distinguished from another, by Atoms, which are the first Principles of its composition, and essentially by the man­ner of composition, that is, by the dis­position and ordination of its Atoms, Corpuscles, and all its parts.

They who conclude that there is no [Page 199] Physical Compound without a substantial form, think Matter alone with its diverse Figures, and in all its dispositions, can­not possibly be the Cause of the special Properties which we observe in every one Body, and that therefore a form di­stinct from Matter is required to pro­duce qualities proper to every one com­pound Body. As for Example, Earth is in its Nature dry, and Water is cold; which could not happen, unless Earth did obtain a substantial form, which is dryness; and Water such a one as Cold requires. This is that form which re­stores dryness to the Earth, and Cold to the Water, when they are put out of their Natural State and condition, to wit, by introducing moisture into the first, and heat into the latter.

This Objection how strong so ever it may seem, is nevertheless but vain; for we say that neither the moisture of Water, nor the dryness of Earth are Accidental Qualities; so that this ought to gravel none but those who acknowledge Acci­dental Qualities distinct from Matter.

Ours is quite another Opinion, and our Language quite otherwise: For we firmly conclude, That all Compound Bo­dies which are in the World, are com­pounded of Matter, every thing else [Page 200] being excluded, and that all contingent changes in them arise from Matter new­ly added, or taken away, or changing place, or by some confused Atoms or Cor­puscles brought thither from else-where; or lastly, by the more notable parts chan­ging place, or other ways disposed by the Action of external Agents.

CHAP. III. Of the various Qualities to be observed in Compound Bodies.

THere is a difference betwixt the Qualities of Simple Elements which are Atoms, and the Qualities of Bodies compounded of them; for the First as well as Atoms are immutable and incor­ruptible; the others as well as the com­pound Bodies are mutable and fleeting. For indeed Propriety follows the Nature of that Being of which it is the proprie­ty: So that if Atoms are immutable by their solidity, the same must be said of their Qualities; but Bodies compounded of many distinct Parts, are forced to be changed, as often as their parts change places, or are wholly separated.

That which is corrupted, as well as [Page 201] that which is generated De Novo, is a Composition; for as corruption is a divi­sion of substance, so generation is a composition of it.

To Explain this Opinion, There is nothing more commodious than the ex­ample of Syllables, and Words: For truly Letters are immutable indeed, and according to their different place they vary a Syllable or Word without chan­ging their figure, substance, and essence, remaining always the same, in what state or disposition soever they are placed; and it is certain that the Twenty four Letters serve to the composition of all Syllables, Words, Sayings, Discourses, nay, of all the Books which are Compo­sed in the World. And even as words, Sayings, Syllables, Discourses, and Books themselves are changed, the Letters being still the same unvaried; so also the greater and lesser compound Bodies are changed and corrupted, the Atoms being unchanged, and remaining the same; nothing new happens to them, unless it be that they are no more the parts of one compound, but may be of a second, third, and others, successively to the end of the World. When all Generations, Corruptions, and Motions in things of Nature shall cease.

[Page 202] Letters are the true Image of Atoms in respect of the compositon or division of Things: And as the substance, es­sence, and quality of Words depend up­on Syllables, and Syllables upon Letters and their disposition: So after the same manner, the substance, essence, and qua­lity of Bodies, arises from Corpuscles or smaller Bodies, and the diversity of These from Atoms and their various disposi­tions.

From these principles may be taken a­way a question no less agitated, than un­profitable in the Schools: (viz.) whether in the corruption of Bodies a reduction or resolution of the compound may be made, even unto the very first Matter. To this it may be answered, that this reduction is continually made, in respect of some emancipated Atoms, but not in respect of all Atoms, for the division is not always so general, as that all the A­toms should be entirely separated, and the small number of those which flye a­way is scarce able to be taken notice of; besides that, they almost all mutually ad­here together, or it is seldom but they meet with others, to which they remain affixed, or with Bodies into which they enter, or on which they are stayed.

CHAP. IV. Of the special Qualities depending upon the Composition of Bodies.

OUR Doctrine rests upon two gene­ral Principles, that is to say, the Doctrine of Atoms, and of a Vacuum. Atoms are the first Elements of Bodies, because forsooth, in their universal and radical division and solution they are reduced into them, and the division can proceed no farther. And a Vacuum is necessary to the explaining the motion of Bodies, and to the giving a reason of the diverse and particular qualities of every one compound Body: For there are Bodies thin and thick, transparent and diaphanous as Air, and Glass; thick and dark as the Earth; and lastly, dry, and moist, hard, and soft, solid, and fluid.

We will begin with thickness, and thinness, the Parents of so great difficul­ties to the Followers of Cartesius, and Aristotle: and I determine one Body to be more thin than another, when it is endowed either with greater Vacuities, or with a greater number of them; so Air is thinner than Water, and on the other [Page 204] hand, Water is thicker than Air, because Air has more and greater Vacuities than Water; and this is thicker than Air, because this has fewer, and lesser.

They that reject a Vacuum, and set up a Plenitude, find themselves very much intricated, when they are compel­led to say wherein the thinness and thickness of Bodies consist? for if they say that either of them is a quality, or accidental form, brought out of Matter in power, or out of the power of Mat­ter, they conceive not what they say, nor can they assign the Nature of these imaginary forms. But if with Cartesius they say, that there is much more of the Materia Subtilis, or subtile Matter, in thin Bodies, than there is in thick and condensed Bodies; I would ask them, why this Matter is more subtile and de­licate than all other Matter, for as much as all Matter is equally gross and solid? But then they will say, that this Matter is highly rarified. Yet nevertheless the same difficulty remains still, (viz) how it comes to be more rarified? They will say that it arises from this, that its parts are not so much compressed, there­fore they will be at a greater distance from one another: For that Cause there are Vacuities, and Intervals: For unless [Page 205] they be granted, the parts are alike com­pressed in That, as well as in condensed Matter. If they are alike compressed, than they are not more remote from one another; and lastly, if they be not more remote from one another, they are no more rarified, and so this subtile Matter will be no less gross than any other.

We therefore explain the thickness and thinness of Bodies in a more easie Method than these Philosophers, and the reason which we give of them is more clear and more Natural than theirs: It is the same thing concerning clear, bright, and dark Bodies; and we say a Body is more or less pellucid or transpa­rent, as it possesses a greater or lesser number of Vacuities, or as they are pla­ced in a right or oblique Line; so Air, for Example, is pellucid at a certain di­stance, by reason of the great number of its great Vacuities; and Glass is tran­sparent, by reason of the Vacuities di­spersed through it, which are placed in a right Line, and are very long, as they are observed to be by the help of a new Microscope.

The moisture and dryness of Bodies arises from a Mixtion of Atoms, or Par­ticles either of Air or Water predomi­nating: For if the Aqueous Particles [Page 206] predominate, the Composition is moist; if on the contrary, the Earth is more eminent, it will be dry; and it may be justly said, that moisture is nothing else but moist Bodies, which are Air and Water, as they insinuate themselves into Compounds, which are therefore moist by reason of their presence, and dry when they are evaporated: After the same manner as it happens to Wood which hath a long time lain in the Wa­ter, and becomes dry by the evapora­tion of that Water which it was full of. A Linnen cloth dipped in Water, and taken out from thence, is more heavy, because its pores are filled with Water, and it remains moist, and equally heavy, until the Corpuscles of Water are exha­led and evaporated, which suffices to make it afterwards dry and light, with­out the addition of two Physical Acci­dents, distinct from Matter. Water therefore, to speak properly, is not moist, but the moisture it self that moi­stens all things.

From the same Fountain the hardness and softness of Bodies arises; for a Body is soft when it yields to the hand that touches, and the less it resists, the softer, it is, but if it hath no sensible resistance, it is fluid like Air, but if it hath a little [Page 207] more than that, then it is Liquid as Water, in which if with your hand you thrust a Stick, it enters and goes even to the bottom. It is otherwise in a soft Body, as Wax, and Flesh, into which indeed one may thrust ones Finger, but it finds some kind of resistance, and there are always found some compressed Par­ticles that strongly resist: All which a­rises from the disposition of the little Bodies, Atoms, and dispersed Vacuities, for an Atom being in its own Nature Solid, is resisting and impenetrable to another; and if all things were so filled with Atoms, as that there should be no Vacuum, all things would be hard and impenetrable; nor would softness, fluid­ness, or liquidness be found in any Body, but there would be every where hardness, and an impenetrable resistency; but a Vacuum which alone does not resist, as it is more or less mixt with Bodies, ren­ders them less resisting, more soft, more liquid, and more fluid: to which may be added the figure of Atoms, which is more or less fit for Motion, and which admits of more or less intervals or Va­cuities.

CHAP. V. Of the Quantity, Weight, and Figure of Compounds.

THe same three Properties which constitute the Essence of A­toms, are found likewise in Compound Bodies: Atoms have a certain quantity or grossness, and obtain also weight and Figure, but they differ only in respect of their Figures. This magnitude or grossness of Atoms, which we find out by reason only, is visible to the Eye in com­pound Bodies.

The quantity or grossness of compound Bodies arises from the addition and ga­thering together of Atoms, and of little Bodies which are thus formed of them; which again is lessened by taking away the same Atoms or little Bodies.

Besides this General Cause of great­ness, magnitude, and grossness, we yet acknowledge two others, (viz.) an Ex­teriour, and an Interiour; the first of these regards Artificial Compounds, where the Artificer as an External Cause encreaseth or diminisheth Matter as he thinks fit: But it is otherwise in Natu­ral Compounds, whose Magnitude and [Page 209] thickness arises from the magnitude of Corpuscles, and their grossness, and from the figure of the Atoms determi­ning Bodies to such or such a magnitude: So that each Tree, Fruit, and Animal obtains a Natural and determinate mag­nitude and grossness, in respect of the magnitude and grossness of the little Bo­dies, and the figure of the Atoms con­tained in their Seeds: Hence it is that Giants beget Giants, nor do Dwarfs ever come from Tall Parents: But if in either kind the individuals are unequal to their Sires, it happens accidentally, by reason of hindrances caused by contra­ry Agents, or by a defect or an excess of Matter, or lastly, by an intromission of many strange Bodies which in some particular individuals produce this irregu­larity.

Figure is the propriety of Bodies; which if they be artificial, the Artificer is the Cause of determining it according to his purpose, either by adding or ta­king away some particles or small Bodies; but if the compound Bodies are Natural, they obtain their Natural figure, which depends upon the figure of Atoms and Corpuscles. After the same manner wa­ter is round, because all the Atoms of which it is made are round.

[Page 210] The Weight of Bodies arises from Mat­ter, that is, Atoms; for that Body in which there are Ten hundred thou­sand Millions of Atoms, is heavier than another in which there is not so great a number; provided the Vacuities are equal, or the Air it self being in their Pores be in an equal quantity: But if you take two Bodies of the same Mag­nitude and Extension, That precisely will be more heavy wherein more Atoms and lesser Vacuities are found; and conse­quentially the Other more light.

The Motion of compound Bodies pro­ceeds from external Agents, driving them on with a greater or lesser force; and the easiness, or difficulty of the same motion proceeds from the figures of Atoms, and of all Bodies, and from the inclination which they receive from half emancipated Atoms which agitate all Bodies. So we see that round Bodies are more easily moved upon a plain, and again, those that are pointed, more ea­sily enter into the Pores of others. But this pointed figure is sometimes occasion­ed by the Artificer, although not altoge­ther from his hand; for it is confest that he cannot make an absolute perfect point out of a Matter whose Atoms are all of them round: From whence it appears, [Page 211] that the Figure and Position of Atoms doth very much contribute to this; but if a Body Naturally ends in a point, as fire does, it is because all the Atoms of which it consists, are all of that Fi­gure.

CHAP. VI. The difference between Natural and Artificial Compounds.

THose who reject Atoms, and are the Asserters of substantial and acci­dental forms, imagine with themselves, that according to our Opinion there cannot be an essential difference assigned between Natural and Artificial Compound Bodies; because, say they, they both con­sist of the same Atoms, and are alike made from them three ways. (viz.) by Addition, Detraction, and Transposition; after the same manner as it comes to pass in the composition of Words, Sayings, and Discourses, which are made by a various addition, detraction, and trans­position of Letters.

This is the very same Example which we have brought, nor do we desire any other; for from hence it is manifest, how [Page 212] from the same Letters, without the ad­dition of any thing else, Words, and dis­courses essentially different are framed: And after the same manner, out of the same Atoms Nature formeth Compounds essentially different; so that there is no need at all either to admit or have re­course to either substantial or accidental forms, which are plainly useless in Na­ture.

We may here observe, and add fur­ther, That all Letters are not fit to Com­pose the Name of KING. By a parity of Reason, all Atoms are not fit to make Gold; so that all things are not made of all: But, as by the help of twenty four Letters we express a great number of dif­ferent and contrary things; so, after the same manner, Nature out of the same Atoms Composes Mettalline Bodies, Plants, and Animals; by adding, taking away, and transposing of Atoms; yet not indifferently, but such and such A­toms, of such and such a figure, for all Atoms are not fit to enter into the com­position of all kind of Bodies.

From hence is the First difference be­tween Natural and Artificial Compounds, I mean from this addition of Atoms un­known to the Artificer, yet which Na­ture hath known rightly how to chuse; [Page 213] so the Artificer makes an Arrow out of all sorts of wood; but Nature does not make this wood out of all kinds of A­toms.

Secondly, Artificial Compounds de­pend upon an intelligent Cause, which in its mind conceives an Idea and end of its operation; whereas the works of Na­ture depend upon a necessary Cause, which operates without any Idea.

Thirdly, Art takes perfect and com­pound Bodies, and gathers them toge­ther, as a Builder collects and ga­thers the Materials out of which he frames a House; whereas on the other hand, Nature first divides Bodies, and takes those Atoms which are left after dissolution, and fits them to the work it designed; and out of them, by the addition of some others which it meets withal, and which are in state of free­dom, it produces new Compound Bo­dies.

There is a difference therefore be­twixt Mixtion and Composition, as there is betwixt the combination of Gold and Silver, and the generation of these Met­tals whether in the bowels of the Earth, or in Glass Vessels, where (if it be possi­ble,) there is a transmutation of one thing into another: For this combina­tion [Page 214] does not in the least vary their Na­ture, and they are easily separated, which does not happen in things which Nature alone, helpt by Art, rightly and duly composeth.

CHAP. VII. Of Mettals and their Formation.

IF those things which are above us are unknown to us, no less are those things also which are beneath us, and which happen in the shade and in the dark; and it may be truly said that the production of Mettals in the bottom of Mines, is the most obscure mystery in Na­ture; and without any manner of tri­fling, to speak like a Philosopher, all that can be said concerning this subject I reduce to the Cause producing Mettals, to the Matter from whence, and the Manner whereby they are produced.

The Principal Cause, Chief Agent, and Parent of all Mettals is the Sun, the Pla­nets and fixt Stars concurring likewise to it: the Fixt Stars by their heat keep the Celestial Gold in fusion, and turn it round in the Cupel in the Centre of the World, that is the Sun; from whence [Page 215] issue bright fumes without ceasing, out of which proceeds light, and which car­ry Heat, together with seminal Spirits, which penetrating the Pores of the Earth, generate Gold in the very Bow­els of it: So Coelestial Gold, that is the Sun, is the Parent of Terrestrial Gold, as it is of all other Mettals, by the re­flection of its light upon each Planet, each of which, together with the Sun, pro­duceth its particular Mettal. And the Earth performs the Office of a Womb, which furnisheth the greatest part of the Matter out of which Mettals are produ­ced, and nourisheth them afterwards: But the Sun bestows seminal Spirits all pure for Gold, but mixed with the Spi­rits of other Planets, for other Mettals.

But that this generation of Mettals may be rightly understood, we must call to mind that out of Letters Syllables are formed before Words, Words before Speeches, out of which all Discourses are compounded.

Nature does the same in the produ­ction of Mettals, for she begins with lit­tle Bodies, out of which she makes the three immediate Principles of Mettals, (to wit) Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury.

Of which, Salt is the grosser, Sulphur the more unctuous, and Mercury the [Page 216] more fluid and moveable part; and out of these three, by divers preparations, digestions, sublimations, and fixations, she makes a Mettalline or Mineral Body.

But it might be said, as it seems to me, that the Spirits or Corpuscles flow­ing from the Stars, purified in the Sun, and received into the Earth's Lap, are incrassated, and brought into clear and limpid Water; which Water is that viscous, sweet, and Mercurial Matter, which after some few Ages is elaborated and digested, till at last it becomes a yel­low and fixt Earth, in which the Spirit and seed from above resides; which Spi­rit makes all the Corpuscles of water it meets withal like to the former, which piercing into the Veins of the Earth, and finding a Matter that is pure, encrea­ses the Golden Mine, until it meets with dead Earth which hinders its pro­pagation. But if the Mixture be impure, and strange Matter mingled in it, instead of Gold, it only produces Silver, Iron, or Copper, which are imperfect Mettals.

From this Doctrine I conclude first of all, That by Nature producing Mettals, ought to be understood this seminal Spi­rit consisting of Corpuscles flowing from the Fire of the Stars, and working these Miracles under the Earth. Secondly, [Page 217] That Mettals enjoy a Mettalline Life, and after their way, a Vegetative also; that they are generated out of Mettal­lick Seed: Gold out of the seed of Gold. And that this Mettallick Embryo is nou­rished by the Air of the Stars, by the Spirit and Dew of the Heavens; that it grows, buds, and puts forth branches like a Tree, which Metallourgists call a Mettalline Tree, furnished with boughs, Trunks, and Roots, which could ne­never be, without a vital Principle in­cluded in it. Which things will more clearly appear, by what shall be said hereafter; and especially in the experi­ment about the Tree of Diana.

CHAP. VIII. Of Gold, the King of Mettals.

THere are Seven Mettals, (viz.) Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Tin, Lead, and Quick-Silver; which Chymists call, Sol, Luna, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury; because they suppose each sin­gle Planet operates upon each Mettal; which is done as I told you by a remis­sion of Coelestial Spirits which are in the Solar Globe, and out of its Vortex are car­ried [Page 218] into each Planet; who, accord­ing to the various opposition of the Sun, recieve more or less of his light, and send it towards the Earth, as being the womb in which pure, and impure Mettals are formed, according to the purity or impurity of the subterranean Lodgings.

First, Gold is the Chief and Noblest of all Mettals, it is the chiefest and principal work of Nature, and the hea­viest of all Mettals; because the Met­tallick Corpuscles are so firmly shut and united together in it, that very small numbers of Vacuities are left in its com­position; and in respect of bulk, there is a much greater quantity of Matter in Gold, than in other Mettals.

Notwithstanding this great solidi­ty, and firmness of Gold, yet never­theless there are some small Vacuities between its Atoms; for there is nothing absolutely solid and without a Vacuum, but an Atom in particular; besides Atoms, since they have Figures, cannot be united without leaving some empty spaces; for unless it were so, Gold could not de di­vided, no more than an indivisible A­tom: There are therefore Vacuities be­twixt the Atoms of Gold, though but very small, and also betwixt its Corpus­cles, [Page 219] and lastly, between its little pie­ces.

From this well-grounded Principle, I discover the difference of the dissolutions or divisions of Gold. The least and grossest of them all is that which is made by melting it with other Mettals; when therefore it is melted with some, or with the least of the Seven; it is mixed with them, and divided into infinite Particles e­specially if it be mingl'd with a great quan­tity of an imperfect Mettal; as for Exam­ple, if an Ounce of Gold be melted into ten pounds or more of Lead or Copper; but the division of it is apparent from this, that not the least quantity of this mix­ture can be brought to the test, but some portion of Gold will be found in it.

Another separation is made in respect of the small masses of Gold, which is made by the help of Aqua Regis, which divides Gold after that manner, that it may as in the first Division be melted with any Mettal; so in this second, it becomes like the Water in which it is dissolved and divided: But since it is only separated into very small masses, it is easily again reduced into a Body, and to be melted with Borax, and fit to be­come the massy Gold it was before.

The third Division; which is called [Page 220] radical, (although it be not so) is made by a proper dissolvent of the Philoso­phers, which is a Water clear, sweet, pure, and not at all Corrosive; fetch'd from the beams of the Sun and Moon; in which Gold is reduced into a clear and heavy Water, and is as easily melted as Ice in warm water; and then lastly, Gold cannot be said to be reduced to its first state, that is, body, unless this Wa­ter be turned into Earth, and this Earth be made fusile, fixt, tinging, and fit to elevate inferiour things, making poor people rich, and to make that perfect which was not actually so, although it was potentially.

I say this division is hardly radical, be­cause it doth not proceed from a sepa­ration of its Atoms: For Gold is only brought into Water, and that is sufficient; for to bring it into Atoms were to destroy it, and it would be to no purpose; and this I think exceeds the power of all Na­tural Agents: For God only is capable of reducing Gold into its first Elements, and to cause it to be no longer Gold, either Natural, or Philosophical.

CHAP. IX. Of Silver, Copper, and other imperfect Mettals.

SIlver is a Mettal much less perfect than Gold, because its Atoms are endued with Figures scarcely so perfect, for there are mixt with it, particles re­flected from the Body of the Moon, nor is that Mettal so heavy as Gold, by rea­son of Vacuities dispersed through it, which are both greater, and more nu­merous in it than in Gold; for which reason Aqua-fortis dissolves it without hurting the Gold.

It is true indeed, that Aqua-Regis dis­solves Gold without touching Silver, but that ariseth from the different disposition of Vacuities in these two Mettals, and because the Vacuities of Silver are too vast for the subtile Spirit of Aqua-Regis, which passeth through them without di­vision, and from the magnitude of these Vacuities in Silver, arises a greater sound from Silver, than is given from Gold.

For the same Cause, a greater and clearer sound arises from Copper, than from Silver, by reason (to wit) of its [Page 222] greater Vacuities, into which, not a few Bodies of Air penetrate; which by their motion produce this sound. And for the same reason That is also lighter than Silver; for as much as Metallick Bodies are not so strictly bound together by reason of strange Corpuscles of impure Sulphur mixed with them, hence it is, that Copper is not so flexible or ductile as is Silver. They are both of them softned in Rust, because Silver has too little and Copper too great a quantity of Sul­phur; wherefore they mutually temper each other, and the particles of each lose their acrimony.

Silver may be made potable as well as Gold, and as potable Gold is the best Medicine in Diseases of the Heart; so potable Silver is a wonderful specifick in affects of the Head. These Medicines are potable, and extreamly profitable to Health, when they are dissolved the third way we spoke of, and are brought into water, by a sweet water, and a Friend to Nature, and which the Sun and Moon make use of as a Bath. As to Copper, from it is drawn a potent and innocent Sudorifick Extract, performing wonders in Chronick Diseases. The Spirits of these three, united by a fourth, make a most excellent Medicine.

CHAP. X. Of Lead, Tin, and Iron.

IRON is heavier than Copper, be­cause its Vacuities are not so great, and besides it is burthened with much strange Earth, the Corpuscles of which enter into its Composition: It is the only Mettal hard to be melted, because of this not mettalline Earth it possesseth also many Corpuscles of a dry and not fusible Sulphur, and very little of Mercury, (especially crude) which melts Mettals; so that to melt it there is required a bo­dy abounding with Mercury, such as is Antimony: But if it be mingled with a Sulphurous Body, it is brought into a red yellowish Saffron-colour'd Calx, out of which are made the powerfullest Medi­cines for obstructions of the Hypocon­dria. The Salt of it is sweeter than Sugar, and the Salt of Antimony is like it; nor is there in Nature above one Salt that exceeds it in vertue and eminen­cy. These three Salts are the restorers of the radical moisture.

Tin is a Mettal abounding with much Mercury, much Salt, and but a little Sulphur; the Salt of it is the sweetest in [Page 224] the World: the Particles of these three substances leave many Vacuities in the mettalline Body, from whence ariseth its greater sound and lightness.

There are three wonderful things to be observed in Tin: The first of which appears in its calcination, in which we see the weight of this Mettal encreased, although many Vapours rise up from it; and one would think that should much abate its gravity. This according to our Opinion arises from this, that the Pores of Tin are opened in calcination, that the compound is inverted, and a great many Atoms enter into them and fill them, and leave fewer Vacuities than there were before; and so upon that account there is more Matter or weight.

Another that I observe, is, That the Calx of Tin is very hard to be melted, and indeed so very hard it is, that the wished for end cannot be obtained, un­less you add a special Melter: But this difficulty arises from strange and immet­talick Particles which have parted the body of Tin, and have entred into its Pores, and hinder the re-union of the parts of this Mettal in melting.

The third is, That Tin when it is mixed with other Mettals, calcines them, and hinders their refining; and [Page 225] on the contrary, makes them Volatile: which ariseth from the irregularity of its composition; from its fixed Salt, inca­pable of being melted; from the subtilty of its Atoms, and the aptitude of its figures, arising from their easily being divided.

Lead as it is more sweet, so it is more sociable, it purifies and refines Gold and Silver from all impurities and foreign mixtures: It is the heaviest of all Met­tals but Gold and Quick-Silver, because there is a fewer number of Vacuities di­spersed through it: After the same man­ner, and for the same reason, in calcina­tion it is increased as Tin is, and it is easily melted, because it abounds with a crude and indigested Mercury, which makes all Mettals fluid and fusible: It may be separated also from its terrestrial part, and from its very sweet Salt.

There are many things more worthy of note which I observe in Lead. The first of which is its weight, not much dif­fering from that of Gold, and arising from that, because this Mettal is in a manner almost altogether Quick-Silver; as also that the void intertities are filled with terrestrial and impure Matter, which hinders the fixity of the Quick-Silver; from whence an ill and imperfect coagulation [Page 226] precipitates it self; but he that can separate this Quick-Silver, and digest it by an agreeable Sulphur in a Vessel ap­propriated to this work, hath found a most excellent Remedy against most Dis­eases: For the aforesaid Cause this Met­tal is lighter than Quick-silver; and if Quick-silver be poured upon Leaden-Bullets laid at the bottom of a Pot, the Bullets will ascend, and swim upon the Quick-silver, as Ships upon the Sea.

Another thing that I observe, are the various colours found in Lead, which are conspicuous only by an inversion of A­toms, and division of Bodies; as Black, White, Yellow, Red, and all the Co­lours of the Rain-bow.

A third thing, lastly, is the Salt of Lead (which the Chymists call Saturn,) which powerfully refrigerates, and is of great use against the too libidinous provoca­tions of Venus, for it quite extinguisheth them. It is extracted by the help of Vi­negar, from whence it becomes sweet, and loseth its acrimony; which happens only from the mixtion of the Atoms, as does the milky whiteness, which upon this occasion, the Vinegar is endowed with.

CHAP. XI. Of Quick Silver, and Arbor Dianae, or Silver-Tree.

QUick-Silver, the last, and, to appear­ance the most imperfect of all Mettals, because it neither endures the stroak of the Hammer, nor melting, nor indeed any other Tryal, is yet most per­fect, because it is nearest to Gold, that is, to the most perfect Body; the A­toms of it are round, and in continual motion, they adhere so loosely together that they may be separated with never so little Fire; and be sublimed into a Mass, of white or chrystalline Powder: It de­generates likewise into Poyson, by a sole inversion of it, and by being sublimed with an addition of Salts. It can also be reduced into its first State, if the Ar­tist so pleaseth; and it may be truly called Protheus, every moment putting on a new shape, and receiving, and exhibi­ting various qualities, and colours, ac­cording to the diverse preparations which it undergoes.

There are three kinds of Mercury or Quick-Silver, there is (to wit) a Met­talline, a Mineral, and lastly, a common [Page 228] Quick-Silver; the first of which is ex­tracted out of Mettals, the second out of Minerals, and the third is the Vulgar Quick-Silver; which last is also of three sorts, (viz.) either running, or sublima­ted, or precipitated; the sublimated is again, either corrosive or sweet; it is sweet (to wit) when the sublimated is mingled with running Quick-Silver; for if these two are a second time sublimed, the corrosive becomes sweet, because the sharp points of the Sublimate are softned and blunted by the round particles of the crude Mercury, which destroys the sharp and sharp-pointed Atoms of the Sublimate. It is therefore needless to look for Physical qualities in the names of sweetness, or acrimony, since the only mutation of Atoms is sufficient to make that Matter sweet, which before was sharp, and sowre.

This Mettal is call'd Mercury and Quick-silver, because it is in perpetual motion; so that it seems, as it were, to live: And to make manifest that there is in it a certain Internal, and hidden principle of Life, we need only examine what happens in the making of the Sil­ver-Tree, or Arbor Dianae, whose pre­paration is as followeth.

Take one Ounce of fine Silver, and [Page 229] pour upon it in a Bolt-head, three Ounces of Aqua Fortis, and let these be left in hot Ashes, till the Silver be turned into Wa­ter, then take nine Ounces of Quick-sil­ver, divide them into three parts, and put them into three Bolt-heads, or other Vessels; to which pour on first warm Water to the height of four Fingers, and then the solution of the Silver, ta­king care of each of the Vessels, and of the Matter contain'd in them; which afterwards let them stand all night in the Window, and, in the morning, in every Vessel you will see little Trees, rightly distinguished with a Trunk and Branches.

There seems here indeed a certain Principle of Seminal and Vegetative Life, since these Trees are shaped after the manner of Plants, although there is some difference: From whence it plain­ly appears, that Mettals have their Seeds likewise, and as well as all things else are generated out of Seed. But how this comes to pass I shall not now explain, because I shall speak of it elsewhere, in the gene­ration of Plants; where I shall give an account of their coming out of the Earth, and of their growth. What is specially to be taken notice of, is, that these Trees are produced in one Night, which is never seen neither in Fruits, [Page 230] nor Corn. And all that can be said upon this occasion is, that from this very thing the motion of Atoms, and the various disposition of Corpuscles (which by their dissolution in so little a time form these Trees,) is best of all demonstrated. These Trees would without doubt bear their Fruit if we knew how to water them with a water of their own kind, and to transplant them into a Earth convenient for them.

CHAP. XII. Of Minerals.

MInerals possess the next rank to Mettals: The first of which is Antimony, called the Lead of Philoso­phers, containing in it self an Arsenical Sulphur, which is Poyson by reason of the subtilty of its Corpuscles; by means of which it vellicates and corrodes the inward Membranes, as also produceth Ulcers, after which follows a Gangreen, with a corruption and division of the Parts, as also of the whole Body, and then Death.

From hence it is that the scent or fumes of Antimony melting in a Cru­sible, [Page 231] and drawn in by the Nostrils, is deadly; for its sharp and rough Parti­cles hurt the Brain by their continual motion and agitation: Yet notwithstan­ding the harmfulness of this fume, it conduceth not a little to correct places infected with the Plague, because one Venom sixeth another, and hinders its activity. Gold is purified by Antimony, for both being melted together, and the Antimony being evaporated by the Fire, the Gold remains most bright and most pure; Antimony carries along with it all the foreign Particles of the Gold, in as much as they adhere to the Atoms of Antimony; from this also is made a vomiting Wine, wonderfully purging the Body, yet not without some violence, by reason of its vellicating the inward Membranes.

The Mineral that next follows, is Cinnabar, compounded of Mercury and Sulphur, it is found in Gold-Mines, espe­cially in Hungary, from whence it is brought to us; there is found in it some portion of Gold, but volatile and indi­gested; Mercury is separated from it by distillation, in a Retort, because the Mercurial▪ Atoms do not closely adhere to the Sulphurous ones, and this Sulphur is foreign, crude, and not very well di­gested; [Page 232] but if the seminal Spirit could without hindrance have caused that the Sulphur should have been by degrees se­parated from the Mercury, and the Mercury digested by a central and A­stral heat, Nature would have produced Gold out of it, but the impure Sulphur hinders the action of the seminal Spi­rit in that place where the Cinnabar is found, although below, or round a­bout it Gold may be found ready made; having Branches like the Branches of Trees: There is an artificial Cinnabar also, made of Sulphur and common Mer­cury, from these mixed and sublimed we see a most beautiful red is made, by a sole inversion of the Atoms.

The third Mineral is Emmery, or the Smiris-stone, which is a Marcasite found in the Gold-Mines of India, from whence it is brought into Spain; out of it is ex­tracted the best and purest Gold, whose Corpuscles were wrapt up in the Parti­cles of a crude and unprofitable Earth: The same may be said of Lapis Lazulus, or the Azure-colour'd Stone.

Litharge and Tutty are not properly Minerals, because they are not digged out of Mines: For the first is only the grosser part of Gold, Silver, or Lead: But Tutty is the purer part of Copper, [Page 233] the Atoms of which, being set at liberty, ascend, and stick to the Arch of the Fur­nace wherein Copper is melted.

The fourth Mineral is Vitriol, contain­ing in it self Saline, Sulphurous, and Mercurial Corpuscles, all of a different fi­gure. The Spirit which is distilled from it consists of Atoms so acute, as that they cut thick humours, and hinder vapours from ascending to the Brain: It penetrates likewise into imperfect Mettals.

Arsenick is a white and Chrystalline Mineral; there is a yellow one also called Orpiment, and a third, which is red, called Sandover; all these three are very violent Poisons, for the reasons above alledged.

Sulphur also is a Mineral, easily taking Fire, as being of a Fiery Nature; it dis­olves and melts Iron, just as a burning Coal does Wax. There is extracted from it a Spirit, an Oyle, or Balsom performing wonders in Diseases of the Breast. There is also another Sulphur in perfect Mettals which is incombustible.

CHAP. XIII. Of Salts.

SALT is the Principle of Savours, because the Saline Atoms have Fi­gures fit to affect and vellicate the Or­gan of Taste, that is, the Tongue▪ and Pallat; Sea, or common Salt is made out of Sea-water, by the help of evapora­tion; this very same Salt is dissolved in Water, a certain quantity of whose spa­ces it fills; all which being filled, the Salt falls to the bottom, unless something else be put into it, as Nitre, or the like, which the water carries with it over and above; from whence it appears, that the vacuities of water are not all equal, and that there are some of them which the Atoms of Nitre can enter into, but not the Atoms of common cubical Salt.

Common Salt, Vitriol, Nitre, and the like, have Atoms, not only sharp or pointed, but also like little hooks, adhering to Glass it self, though endued with few and very small Pores; and what is wonderful, Sea-Salt, or Vitriol, or Nitre, or all of them together dissol­ved in water, and the water evapora­ted [Page 235] by degrees, the Salt or Salts we see ascend according to the heighth of the Glass, to the very brims of it, whither when it is come it descends on the other side, to the very bottom of the Glass, so that it is quite covered with Salt.

From this Experiment, three things are manifest: First, that there are lit­tle cavities in Glass. Secondly, that Salt like Ivy is endowed with little hooks. And Thirdly, that Salt grows, and creeps up according to the heighth of the Glass, just as the Sap of Trees, and nourishing humour ascends from the Roots to the Trunk, and from thence afterwards to the higher Branches, as shall be said elsewhere.

Husbandmen experience this to be true, when they burn their Stubble; that so the Rains falling upon the ashes, may carry along with them the Salt which is to penetrate into the Earth, from which afterwards Seed, and the fruitful­ness of the Earth ariseth: Salt does also preserve Bodies from Corruption, by creeping into their Pores, and by that means hindring the Air from entring in, which would divide and dissolve their parts, or cause a fermentation in them.

There are a great many kinds of [Page 236] Salts, (to wit) sowre and sweet, and acid, and bitter, and as many others as there are Tastes: Which ariseth only from a different disposition of their A­toms.

As Salt is found in all things, so from them it may be extracted; and they who extract Salt out of the Earth for the making of Nitre, do afterwards expose that Earth to the Air, where it is im­pregnated again with Salt, either from the Air or Rain.

Salts have as various motions as they have Figures, which appears in the eva­poration of four Salts dissolved together in Water; for they do not only, after the water is evaporated, remain at the bottom, but also each of them chuseth to it self a proper place, and fastens it self to it, without mixing at all with the others, by reason of the irregularity of their Figures.

From the Salt of Urine is extracted a Spirit, which mixt with Spirit of Wine, composeth a Body hard enough, because those Spirits by filling each others Va­cuities, are hardned; for nothing becomes▪ hard but in as much as its vacuities are either filled or made less.

From Tartar a Salt is extracted, which is the Salt of Wine, out of which cal­cined, [Page 237] and dissolved in a cold place, is made an Oyle, which being mixed with Oyle of Vitriol, a great boyling ariseth, and that being over, a white powder falls to the bottom, called Tartar Vitrio­late; for all the moisture of the Tartar enters into the vacuities of the Spirit of Vitriol, and the Salt of Tartar re­covers its first state, that is, of a white Powder. But the strife betwixt them proceeds from the disagreeableness of their Atoms, by reason of which, they very much justle one another. That Salt which is called Sal▪ Polychrestum, is not of less usefulness, because it drives out peccant Humours extreamly well. It is compounded, that is to say, of Ni­tre, and Sulphur: D. Seignette adds to it moreover another Salt, and indeed I must say, that that has succeeded better than all others; and that his Sal Poly­chrestum is a very innocent, and a most excellent Remedy.

CHAP. XIV. Of Subterraneous Fires, and Earth-Quakes.

THere is no Man can doubt, but that there are Subterraneous Fires, the Mountains of Hecla in Island, Aetna in Sicily, and Vesuvius in the Kingdom of Naples are invincible arguments of them; as there are the Fires of the Stars above us, so there are Fires below us, called Subterranean, lighted beneath the Earth, from the beginning of the World; or at least, Bituminous and Sulphurous Mat­ters were never wanting beneath the Earth, no more than Coals or Bitumi­nous Stones, which easily take Fire, and Flame.

Therefore the setting them on fire was not at all difficult, for there need­ed only one little spark arising from the striking together of two Flints, or from a Lamp or Candle, which Miners carry along with them into the Pits, that so they may the better work there: The same also might happen by Light­ning; or lastly, Fire might be kindled of its own accord, by a fat and unctuous humidity; after the same manner as wet [Page 239] Hay, and such like Bodies, heat and take Fire.

From these Subterranean Fires, the heat of Mineral Waters ariseth; nor is there any fear that these should extinguish these Fires, for Bitumen burns in water, as the Experiment of Camphire teaches us.

Earth-quakes are produced by winds, that is by a troop of emancipated Atoms which shake the Earth; places most ob­noctious to these, are the Sea-Coasts, by reason of Winds and Tempests creeping into the Bowels of the Earth, through the holes made hollow by the Water. But these Earth-quakes arise when the Earth recedes never so little from the Centre of its gravity, or is interrupted in its motion about the Centre of the U­niverse, that is, about the Sun; or else, when it is driven to and fro by the Solar Vortex, and this is a fourth motion of it, by means of which it is sometimes nearer the Sun in a streight and perpendicular Line, from whence sometimes happen in­tolerable Summer heats, or mild Win­ters, or on the contrary, as we may have experienced.

CHAP. XV. Of Waters, and their differences.

THere are many kinds of Waters seen, which I here propose to speak a little of: The first of them is that which is called the common Elementary Water, whose Atoms are round, and vacuities plenty, and triangular. This may be rarified, and condensed, as the Corpuscles of Fire entring into its Va­cuities, either dilate them, and remove the parts of Water from one another; or the particles of cold compress them, and shut them up by their gravity, or else expel from thence the particles of Air, which had insinuated therein: Sometimes water is so closely shut up by Cold, that it is congealed, and brought into cones of Ice, from whose lightness appears the quantity of Air that has got into the Pores; and from its hardness is manifested that the vacuities of this Air are very much compressed.

Another Species of Water is that, which is called destilled Water, and which by the help of Alembicks, is ex­tracted out of all kinds of Simples, which is thus done; the Particles of Water [Page 241] which are in Plants do free themselves, and are driven upwards in the form of Vapours; which striking against the Head of the Vessel are incrassated, crushed together, and condensed into little drops of Water, which fall down through the beack of the Alembick: After this manner Rains arise and fall upon the Earth; and from hence we may learn that Vapours are nothing else but Water rarified, and that in Nature there is a continual Circulation, whilst Water ascends, and descends; it ascends in the form of Vapours, and makes the Clouds; and it falls down again in Rains and Dew.

A Third sort of Water is called Aqua-Fortis, extracted out of Mettalline Salts, so that, to speak properly, it is not Water, but Spirits, that is, the most subtile and most acute Particles that are in the Salts, and by force are freed from them, and which forsaking their terre­strial parts, carry only the watery parts along with them, with which they compose a sensible and fluid Body. This Water dissolves Mettals, and brings them into a corrosive Liquor: So we may see what Saline Corpuscles are able to do when they are freed from their Earthy part, nor shall we any more [Page 242] wonder at the effects which proceed from serosities and salt Phlegm in humane Bo­dies: We may from hence also learn from whence the intolerable pains of the Gout, Gripes, and the Cholick do arise; for these are corrosive Spirits freed from their Earthy part, which become so sharp and penetrating, that they pierce through the parts on which they fall, pulling and tearing them asunder.

The following Species of Water is that which is called Aqua-Vitae, which is no­thing but the more subtile Corpuscles of Wine, which are of a Fiery and Sulphurous Nature, and do very easily burn, and take Fire, by the means of fermentation.

An Aqua-Vitae is extracted out of all kinds of Grain, Pulse, and Plants: It is a wonderful thing truly, that we see a Linnen Cloth dipped in Aqua-Vitae, and set on fire, and yet nevertheless it is not burnt, nay not so much as scorched: Which proceeds from this, That in Aqua-Vitae there is a kind of Salt, whose Corpuscles sticking to the Linnen, de­fend it from the burning heat of the Flame, which applies it self to the Sul­phur only; not being able to touch the Salt, or the Subject to which it ad­heres.

Under the fifth Species of Water are [Page 243] comprehended Mineral Waters, so call­ed, because they contain in them a great many Mineral Spirits, as various as the places through which they pass, and as va­rious as the Mettals and Minerals which they meet with in their passage: Amongst them some are hot and boyling, because they run through places in which Sul­phur and [...]itumen are heated: Of these there are a great many in France, but the most Natural and sweetest of them are the Waters of Bourbon, which con­duce very much to the Breast and Sto­mach, and to the whole Body, by opening their Pores and vents, taking away by transpiration Head-achs, Rheumatisms, and Pals [...]es; and they might deservedly be called an Universal Medicine, because besides the Vertues above described, they possess wonderful ones also in the Stone of the Kidneys, and curing Fits of the Mother; unless that they too much irritate Ulcers and inward Apostems, as also they discover them if they lie hid.

I have Chymically extracted out of these Waters a Salt as white as Snow, and altogether like to Sal Polychrestum; and I can affirm that Nitre also and Sul­phur are contained in them: For this Reason, their sharp Particles enrage in­ward Ulcers, and for the same Cause, [Page 244] sharp-pointed Dock-Leaves being ca [...] into the Wells of Bourbon, the Salt hin­ders them from withering. After the same manner as the Salt of the Aqua-Vitae keeps the lighted Handkerchief without being hurt, as we observed before.

There are also other hot Waters, which instead of Nitre are impregnated with Vitriol; whereupon they purge by Stool much more than the others, but they are not altogether so safe.

Of these there are many kinds, but all the Bourbon Waters are alike, except the Waters of Jonas, which are not to be reckon'd amongst the best. Moreover the Waters of Bourbon-Lancius in B [...] ­gundy are the hottest, and have some parts of Nitre and Sulphur, but the greatest part of Bittumen; wherefore they serve for Bathing indeed, but not at all for Drinking, because they purge only by transpiration, and plentiful Sweats.

There are also a great many cold Mineral Waters in France, and amongst the rest those of Passy les Paris, which besides that, they as well as other spurge by Stool and Urine, they have this peculiar quality, that they cure Agues, and cool in Burning Feavers; they open inward [Page 245] and inveterate Apostems, they open Ob­structions of the Liver, Spleen, and Bowels, by the help of the Spirits or Corpuscles of Iron which they carry a­long with them out of the Mines through which they pass: Some of these are stronger, some sweeter, and lastly, some decayed.

CHAP. XVI. Of the Sea, its Ebbing, and Flow­ing, as also of the Saltness of Sea-Water.

THe Sea goes about the Earth like a Circle or Girdle, and the Earth is like an Island in the midst of it: But if by the Author of Nature cavities had not been digged in it, in which the Sea might be placed, it would overflow the whole Earth.

The first thing in the Sea that offers it self of Note, is the Saltness of its Waters, Originally produced from sa­line massy Bodies, produced at the be­ginning in the Earth, and melted by the help of the Waters, which from thence as now they are, were impreg­nated with Saltness. The heat of the [Page 246] Sun does not a little contribute to th [...] saltness, consuming its humidity and Phlegm, as do also the Salt which Rivers and Floods wash out of the Earth in their passage thither: From whence it appears, that it may be truly said, that all the Salt which is contained in the Earth, is carried into the Sea, and drawn out of the Earth by the help of Rivers, and Waters derived from them, and running through the Earth, whilst they are filtred to constitute Fountains of fresh Water. Now if we could filter Sea-Water after this manner, there would never be any scarcity of fresh-water in Ships, and long Voyages.

Another thing that I observe in the Sea, is the Ebbing and Flowing of its Wa­ters, in some places so very remarkable, and regular in their turns every six hours.

There are some who have thought that Rivers entring into the Sea on one part are the Cause of its flowing, but falling into it from another part, are the Causes of its Ebbing. Others have at­tributed this effect to winds, but the greatest part to the motion of the Moon, and to the condensation and rarefaction of the Lunar Air. This is the Opinion of Antonius à Reita, extant in his Book [Page 247] entituled Oculus Enoch & Eliae, where he supposes that rarified Air presses the Sea, and lifts it up on both sides like Mountains, from whence there a­riseth its Flowing: Which Air being afterwards condensed, the Sea begins to subside, and the Waters to return to their first State, that is, they Ebb. He endeavours to build this Opinion, by this Argument, (to wit) that this mo­tion is most observable at the Full of the Moon, at which time the Air is very much rarified, and at the new of the Moon when it is very much condensed.

For my part I would rather say that the Ebbing and flowing of the Sea ariseth from the Earths motion from one Tro­pick to the other: For it cannot possi­bly in its diurnal motion move a degree forwards daily as it doth, without dri­ving the Waters from one part, and attracting them from the other.

According to this Opinion a reason may be given why its ebbing and flowing is only from South to North, and from North to South, and that they are lesser between the Tropicks: Besides, there is nothing contained in this Opi­nion which is not very probable. But if there are some irregularities observed in ebbing and flowing, they arise from [Page 248] Islands, Rocks, Straights, or Promo [...] ­tories, which very much hasten, retard, or lessen this motion; and partly upon this account, that is to say, by reason of the Straights of Gibralter, there is no notable ebbing and flowing in the Mediterranean Sea; besides it is seated between the two Tropicks, and is nei­ther too much Northerly, nor too much Southerly.

CHAP. XVII. Of Springs and Rivers.

THere are two kinds of Springs, (viz.) those that sometimes run, and those that run always; the first proceed from Rains, but these a­rise from the Sea: But to speak pro­perly, the Sea is the source of all Springs, and Fountains; for Rains arise from Vapours raised out of the Sea by the help of the Sun, and then falling down by drops, out of which arise the first sort of Springs, which are not per­petual.

But perpetual Springs are derived from it more immediately, by the help of some subterraneous Watery Store-Houses [Page 249] which are filled by aqueducts pro­ceeding from the Sea.

It is commonly asked why Sea-water is salt, and yet Spring-water which comes from it is sweet? To which difficulty it is answered, the aqueducts rising out of the Sea run through subter­raneous Sands, by which the Water in its passage [...] filtred, and deposits its Salt, or else the Salt is precipitated and falls to the bottom of these subterraneous Watery store-Houses, as we see in Salt-Pits, or after the mixing of Oyl of Tartar and Spirits of Vitriol; or that the Atoms pass through imperceptible aqueducts through which the saline A­toms cannot pass, by reason of their square Figures: So water is made fresh by the help of straining: Or lastly, by the means of distillation. So water be­ing raised up in Vapours, and then con­densed, distils into other receptacles which recieve it, and send it to others, till it comes to the place where the Spring breaks out.

It seems a Wonder, that Springs ari­sing out of the Sea should be able to a­scend to the tops of Mountains. To which difficulty it may be answered, that the Water of the Sea is equally as high as the highest Mountain, because [Page 250] the Earth and Water make but one Globe, and the Mountains of the Earth do ap­pear to us to be high and lofty, only in regard of the Plains and Vallies in which we are placed, and from whence we look upon them: But the Sea is higher than the Plains and Vallies, if you conceive it all Universally, because it makes a per­fect Circle: And if a Line should be drawn encompassing the whole terraque­ous Globe, it would be found a perfect circle, without any irregularity.

From this supposed principle it is e­vident, that Sea-water does not ascend, that it may find an exit out of the tops of Mountains, but that going out of them it descends, and produces Rivers in the middle of Plains, and bottom of Vallies.

And this They ought to mind, who have said that Water ascends out of the Sea to our Mountains, three ways, by which it is wont to be raised; (to wit) by the means of Pumps, Pipes, or wool­len Cloth; so they say Sea-water may be drawn up to the heighth of Moun­tains, by help of the Beams of the Sun, and Stars; or by Channels or Pores un­known to us, and made in the shape of Pipes, and disposed of after the manner as we see all the Wine in the Vessel [Page 251] taken out from thence by the help of a Pipe; or lastly, Sea water may insinuate it self into a spongy and light Earth, which imbibes it, and causeth it to ascend and flow; after the same manner as we see all the Water contained in a Bason, to ascend to the brims of it, and by degrees to go beyond, by the help of Cotten, or a little Woollen Cloth: As pleasant and as subtile soever as this fancy may be, I think my Opinion is better grounded, and more agreeable to truth.

By what hath been said, it is apparent hitherto, that Sea-water supplies Matter to Springs and Fountains; these do sup­ply Matter to Rivulets, and Rivulets to Streams and Rivers, which empty them­selves into the Sea; from whence they come out to moisten the Earth, and that, as I said before, by a continual fluid circu­lation.

It may be lastly asked, what may be the Cause of this circulation, and from whence proceeds that force, with which we see Floods and Rivers to run down­wards? For to say that Water will seek after its proper Centre, is to flye back again to an Occult Cause, and to re­nounce our Principles. I conclude there­fore, that the Atoms, Corpuscles, and drops of Water are of a perfect round [Page 252] Figure, and since they have a certain inclination without hindrance nothing can keep them back, but that without interruption they do and will drive one another forward even to the World's End.

The Fourth Part of Physick. Of those things which are in Man, and of Man himself, as he is a Com­pound, Physical, Animated Body.

WE are now come at length to our Fourth and last part of Physick, wherein according to what we proposed, we are to speak of the things which are in Man, whom now we consider as a Body animated: Which compels us to speak of the Soul, and of Life in general, and afterwards descending to special, we will explain the Life of Man as he is ra­tional, and we shall endeavour by Na­tural Reasons to prove the immorta­lity of his Soul.

CHAP. I. Of Life in general.

LIfe, as we have said elsewhere, ap­pears only by action and motion: So those Beings which have most of acti­on and motion, obtain also most of Life: And we say a Man is dying, when there is but little motion left in him, and dead, when it is quite abolished.

Every motion is not a vital motion, for that it may be so, it must be Inter­nal of the thing that acts, and proceed from a Principle that is not external: Wherefore the motion of a Stone that is thrown into the Air, is not a vital motion, because it comes from an exter­nal Cause; (to wit) from the hand of him that throws it.

I say further, that it must be the mo­tion of a Compound Body, if it be a vital motion; and for this Cause, the motion of Atoms is not so, because they are simple and indivisible beings, neither capable of Life nor Death. And for as much as Atoms are not Compounds, tho' they compound Bodies; so they are not said to live in the least, although without their impression and ministery [Page 254] there is no Life, nor no motion in the Bodies we speak of.

Life therefore is an action and mo­tion of a Compound and Organical Body arising from an internal and seminal Principle: And in this sense Met­tals may be said to possess a certain kind of Life, since they obtain a certain motion of vegetation, by which they grow: and we may determine this mo­tion to arise from an internal and semi­nal principle, though it be abstruse e­nough, and the Organs of Life scarcely appear; so that it is a very difficult mat­ter to distinguish them in Plants, and in some Animals, as in the Fish called a Muscle, and in Oysters, which are ne­vertheless endowed with a more perfect life than Mettals and Plants. We shall in the following Discourse tell you wherein this Life consists, and how Mettals and Plants dye as well as other living Creatures.

There is a great difference between Life and the Principle of it, tho' not in like manner between Life and motion, or vital action. For Life is the action and motion of divers Beings gathered by Nature together, and uni­ted after such a manner, as that the parts of it move one another, as we see [Page 255] in Machines; and what the Pullies and Springs are in these, the same are the Spirits in Natural Compound Bodies, that is, the most swiftly moving Atoms.

From this Doctrine is collected, first of all, That there are Atoms more swift, and fuller of Motion than others, by rea­son of their subtilty and figure, such as are Coelestial, Fiery, and Luminous Atoms, to wit, such as Heaven, the Stars, Fire, Heat, and Light are com­pounded of: This we judge by the com­pound Bodies that are made and framed out of them: For humane Spirits in­structed with material Senses, is not a­ble to penetrate into the essence of A­toms, and their special difference. But we determine that the Atoms out of which Heaven, the Stars, and Light are made, have Figures, and activities great­er, more perfect, and more fit for mo­tion, than those that compound cold and heavy Bodies, although (when the thing is well considered) it may arise from their greater liberty, and more perfect Fi­gure.

Secondly, according to our Principles, we must say, That the Vital Spirts so called, are nothing else but a certain number of Atoms free from all composi­tion, and such whose Figure and condi­tion [Page 256] renders them unfit for service and slavery: This Doctrine supposeth that there are two sorts of Atoms in Nature, some of which like Common-People are destined to Imprisonment, Service, and Bonds; but others, like Nobles to li­berty, and command over others: Now those whose Lot it is to be like the Com­mons, are made to compose the Ma­chines of our Bodies, and they are such as entangle one another, and are linked and bound together in the formation of Bodies; whereas those which cannot be bound nor undergo Slavery, are destined to move the whole Machine of our Bo­dies, as not being fastned to any part, but running through all parts, and be­stowing every where motion, sense, and disposition: These are what are called Vital Spirits, because they bestow Life, that is, motion: These Atoms there­fore are not Life, but the Principles and Authors of it.

Sometimes Atoms that Compound Bo­dies get out of Service, and as often as occasion offers, and Bodies [...]uffer division, are emancipated; for in all separations and corruptions of Bodies some Atoms do flye away, and like the first seek to recover Liberty; and when it happens that these Fugitive Atoms are mingled to­gether [Page 257] with those that are essentially free, from thence arise conflicts in our Bo­dies, and from These, Ill dispositions and our Diseases, which there is no help to be hoped for, nor any cure, unless these rebellious and emancipated Atoms are restored to their first confinement, or else driven out of the Body, that so by this means the Spirits may remain pure and altogether free in their motion, and not be interrupted by these irregu­lar Atoms which are the common distur­bers of Nature and Health. And for as much as some Atoms continually flye out of those Bodies which we use for nou­rishment, by reason of divers degrees of Corruption which they are forced to un­dergo before they can be changed into our substance: So it is certain that there is al­ways in us some principle of a Disease to be found, and that we never in this World enjoy a perfect Health, and that those are only most healthy who are less sickly than others: As I have said elsewhere, that there are no Men abso­lutely wise, but that they that are called wise, are less ignorant than others.

But moreover, if Captive Atoms are sometimes free'd by emancipation, so on the other hand, those which are not used to be detained, are sometimes in­carcerated, [Page 258] and involved with others, nor can they stir beyond the limits of their Prison: And there are some which in like manner are so included with others by the Providence of the Creator, and necessity of Nature, and some only by accident, and the power and plenty of Matter encompassing them. So the Atoms shut up in the Heart, that they may give motion to it, and to the whole Body, were incarcerated at the beginning of its formation, or rather being cast into seminal Bands when God created it; afterwards they are transla­ted out of this first Prison where they had little or no motion, into another, where they enjoy a more free and wan­dring motion, as shall be more fully dis­coursed of in the following Chapters.

The third thing that flows from this Principle, is, That these same Atoms are the Cause of Motion and Life, and that there is more of action, and more of Life, where these are in greater plenty and number; provided the Corporeal Machine be disposed to motion: For one of the principal Springs being broke, the vital Atoms lose their action, the great­est part of them exhale and withdraw themselves, and others wandring about, continue Vagabonds without any order or method.

[Page 259] So that it is necessary that the parts of a Compound Body should be disposed in some Order, which when wanting, the vital Atoms exert no motion; but this order of parts would be to no pur­pose, unless the vital Atoms were pre­sent to give them motion: The same thing we observe in a Clock, where an integrity and just disposition of the Wheels are required, together with the force of a Spring to set all the Wheels in motion.

Although there be a great proportion and likeness between living Natural Bo­dies, and these artificial Machines, yet nevertheless there is a great difference between them, for Atoms are Natural Springs, and exist Originally in the seed out of which the Body is produced, and they themselves are the Artificers of the Machines which give encrease to it, and dispose the Parts of it in such manner, that they may there exercise their mo­tions, and this is that great Artifice of Nature, which operates by seeds produ­ced from God, which exceeds all that e­ver Art can devise.

CHAP. II. Of the Differences of Lives.

THe difference of Lives are only known by the difference of Vital Actions, of which there are four kinds, (to wit) the Mettallick, Vegetative, Sen­sitive, and Rational.

Man the little World, enjoys a Life, under which all others are comprehen­ded, and chiefly in him we observe a ve­getative Life, as in Plants, and a sensi­tive as in Brutes; besides which two kinds of life, He possesseth a third of his own, which is a rational Life; He is nou­rished, that is, and grows like Plants, he is begotten of another, he is sensible as an Animal, and he speaketh and reasoneth as a Man; all these different operations which we see in Man, perswades us to consider him especially, and to begin with the life of Plants, which seems less considerable than the sensitive and ratio­nal, and which comprehends under it, their generation, growth, and nourish­ing, which three are equally conspicuous in Man as in Plants, though in a more noble and more eminent manner.

CHAP. III. Of the Vegetative Life, common to Man and Plants.

THe Life of Plants appears from their growth which supposeth Nutrition, and both these suppose a Birth, and this implies a Generation: For whatsoever grows in a vital manner, and by Nature is nourished; so likewise whatsoever is nourished, hath a birth, and every thing that is born, is begotten. We will there­fore begin to speak of Man's generation, and of the first forming of him.

The Generation we here speak of, is the production of a thing out of Seed, under this generation are comprehended. Conception and Birth, as Separation and Death are included in the Corruption of things. This is that which is not found in the Works of Nature, whose concep­tion is made in the mind of the Artificer, and its Formation depends upon his hand, but all that is external to the work, which may be afterwards broken and divided; when in the mean time it cannot be said that we take away Life from it, or bring Death upon it. So that whatsoever is Begotten, to speak [Page 262] properly, Lives, and whatsoever lives is produced out of Seed: Now Seeds are created from the beginning, and by the Author of Nature ingrafted into every Plant, and kind of Tree bearing fruitful Seed: So we see that there is a perpetual propagation and encrease of individuals in every Species in the Earth, as well as in the Waters and in the Air.

All and the only difficulty remains in explaining the Nature of this Seed, and the manner of its propagation. These two are Mysteries in Nature, which seem to surpass all humane reason: Nevertheless I will give you my medita­tions of them. And first of all, I suppose we may consider Seed in general, and as it is to be found, as we have said, in Met­tals, Plants, Animals, and Man. For after this manner being looked upon in general, it is nothing else but a Medium disposed by God to the propagation of these four several kinds in the World, so that one Substance as to its kind pro­duces its like in the same kind; as Met­tal is produced from Mettal, and a Plant from another Plant, &c. From whence appears the fanciful Folly of Chymists, who strive to multiply Mettals without a Mettallick Seed, and to produce Gold without its peculiar Seed: For the same [Page 263] thing that in general Seed, is in re­spect of the four named generals; the same in special, is Seed in respect of the individuals which are produced of it.

For indeed to produce Plants, the Seed is only to be sought for in the vege­table Kingdom: So in like manner to produce Corn Seed is required, that is, a grain of Corn; to produce an Apple, there is need of the kernel of an Apple, or at least a Sien of it, which contains in it part of the Spirits and seminal Cor­puscles, which insinuate themselves into the wild Stock of the Tree in which they are ingraffed or inoculated, and pro­duce the same effect that a grain does which is thrown into Earth fit to receive it.

This is that vegetative Seed which we here speak of; and in this regard we consider Man, as he is partaker of the life of this Species, and begotten out of Seed. Nevertheless we are to distin­guish the two substances in Man; (viz.) the material part, which is his Body; and his spiritual part, which is his Soul, Created by God, whereas the other is begotten. So that we here speak of Man onely, as he is a material Compound, without medling with his Soul which is immortal.

[Page 264] These things being supposed, I turn me to the two difficulties, which I have obliged my self to explain, and I design them a peculiar Chapter.

CHAP IV. Of the Nature of Seeds, and of their Propagation.

THe Learned Fernelius affirms that Seeds contain an Astral and Coele­stial Spirit, but Galen, that they contain something Divine. These great Wits have spoken most wisely, and have con­sidered the seminal Spirit as a thing sur­passing the Capacity of our Spirits; but what is much tobe lamented, they have left us in admiration, and ignorance.

Therefore I try as well as I can to resolve these difficulties, that I may perform my promise.

First of all, therefore, since Matter is every where one and the same, nor does the Astral and Coelestial differ from the Terrestrial, as we have said elsewhere, but only in this, that Atoms which make Coelestial Bodies, have Figures different from them which compose ter­restrial Bodies, and that the Particles of [Page 265] those are better and more strictly uni­ted than these: I say we must not con­clude with Fernelius, that the Elements of the Stars are different from the Ele­ments of the sublunary World; nor with Galen, that that divine thing in the Seed, is a certain part of Divinity: But we must confess, that Seeds are Bodies composed of many parts, not only in respect of the sperm and diverse coverings in which the seminal Spirit is shut up and kept, but also in respect of the seminal Spirit it self, which is not a Simple thing, but a Body compounded of most subtile A­toms, excellently figured, made, and proportioned, that as an Original they may serve to the forming all Copies afterwards in the propagation of the Species. These are the Atoms, as I said, shut up, yet without Bonds or Servi­tude.

This Doctrine is agreeable to our Principles, and as we have compared A­toms with the first elements of Grammar, which are Letters; we say likewise, ac­cording to this Opinion, that Letters may be made and written so exactly, as to serve as a pattern to make others by: in like manner, among Atoms there are some so well made and formed, and dis­posed in so just an order, that they may [Page 266] serve for Samples and Patterns to others; and in this manner I conceive of Seeds.

I come now to the next difficulty, which represents the multiplication of every individual, by a sole dilatation of Seeds: but the manner how this dilatation is made, is not easie to be explained; but I apprehend it after this manner.

A grain of Corn, which is a Seed, is thrown into the Earth, where it putri­fies, and is dissolved by an acid menstruum which contains in it a Spirit, whose A­toms are partly of the same Nature with the Spirits of the Seed, or at least are subtile enough to penetrate into the va­cuities of the husk of the Grain, and sperm in which the seminal Spirit is shut up, which Spirit (the coverings of it being dilated by these apertures) frees it self from the Prison wherein it was detained, and the Atoms and Original Corpuscles begin to drive on one another, they being themselves driven on by the Atoms of the acid or dissolving Spirit, which acted the first part in the Play, and received its motion from the others: For whatsoever is moved, is moved by another, and so successively the parts of the World, Particles, Corpuscles, and Atoms mutually drive on one another, and this motion began with the World [Page 267] and will continue 'till the end of it, when God will fix all things, and put a stop to all generations.

So that these seminal Spirits being thus loosed, and endowed with liberty by the acid Spirits, are still driven on by them, and being pressed, rise upwards, and form a stalk with a very slender top, by the concourse of the Salt of the ma­nure, and out of the corruption and di­vision of dissolved Atoms of the neigh­bouring Bodies which they luckily meet withal, or which are thrown into the Earth near that place on purpose; this is what Husbandmen know very well, who for this reason Dung their grounds, and burn the stubble.

But if they knew how to steep their grains, or seeth Corn in an acid dissol­vent; or water their grounds with it, there would be none found so barren, but would become fruitful, nor would the Husbandman be a little pleased with his plenty of Corn, and from thence the truth of our Principles and Experiments would be manifested.

Man, who is generated out of Humane Seed, and like plants receives his first formation, does in this case very much excel them. For as in his dignity he ex­cels all things that have material life, so [Page 268] also he is begotten and conceived after a more Noble and more Eminent manner; and we may say with Plato, that a Man of all wonders is the most wonderful, not only in his perfect being, but also in his first Formation. This Formati­on is indeed a Miracle of Nature; which cannot be more naturally explained, than by saying, That the Womans Womb after having received the Man's Seed, is shut up by the Contraction of its Fi­bres, and the seminal body, finding there an acid juice, putrifies and is corrupted, in the space of Eight or Ten Days: The Seminal Spirit thus extricating it self, and joyning with the Blood that is there, and even now at the beginning being joyned to the Womans Seed, out of Two is made One, partaking in the Conception of Father and Mother, which is then afterwards formed by the help of this acid Blood which dissolves it, and is the Cause why these two semi­nal Spirits are joyned together, and out of two, compound One only Being, which is called Embryo.

The whole Wonder consists in this Ordination of Parts, which are disposed in so elegant an order, that there is no man in the World able to give them so just an order and disposition; and now, [Page 269] behold what I think of this business.

Besides the general providence of God, which I acknowledge in all things, and besides that particular one, which he takes care of Man as of his own Image, I cannot but return to the motion of Spi­rits or seminal Corpuscles which form a Body fit to undergo their operations. As many as proceed from every one part of the Body generating, produce a part in the Body generated; and form it like themselves: The Corpuscles or seminal Spirits derived from the Eyes, form Eyes, and we may say the same of the other parts of the Body; this sup­poses Seed to proceed from all parts of the Body, and from hence we gather, that their parts who exceed measure in the Venerial act, are all weakned, es­pecially the Brain, which is sometimes so shaken together, that it heavily de­cays, and the powers of it are dissolved: So that these sort of Men often dye, seized with Epileptick Convulsions, Palsies, Tremblings of the Nerves, Ar­thritick Pains and Defluxions. It remains therefore to know how the parts of the Eyes form the Eyes, the parts of the Brain the Brain, and the parts deri­ved from the Hands and Arms, the Hands and Arms of an Embryo: For we [Page 270] see that the Blind beget Blind, and the Lame the Lame, unless the Mothers Blood supplies this defect.

I say therefore that in the resolution or dissolving of the seminal Body, there is necessarily caused a motion of Corpus­cles mutually driving one another to and fro, each possessing that place which gives them its Figure, by which they are detained in a due site, nor can they abide elsewhere. So the Corpuscles which form the Eyes, are of that Figure that they cannot be placed elsewhere, without a violent concussion of these mu­tually self impelling Atoms, and these concussions are sometimes the cause why when the Women are hurt, the Child is not at all formed, and that by reason of the sole inordinate motion of one Corpuscle, which either does not, or be­ing hindred by others which cause this motion, cannot find a place due to its Figure.

It is plain therefore that seminal Cor­puscles have the Figure of that part from whence they are derived, and the whole humane Body is no otherwise shut up in a small part of Matter, than an whole Oak in an Acorn, and an Apple in a Kernel.

The example brought by me above [Page 271] concerning the divers kinds of Salt dis­solved in water, which in evaporating part asunder from each other, and each possesseth his place, not without a dif­ference of Figures, will give some light to this my Doctrine.

CHAP. V. Of Nutrition, which Plants and Brute Beasts have, common with Man.

NUtrition is a vital action, and so proper to Living Creatures, that as there is nothing nourished that is not Living, so there is no Living thing that is not nourished.

All the difficulty lies in the manner of Nutrition, for no Man doubts but Ani­mals and Plants at the beginning of their existence are nourished, and grow, which could not be, without the addition of new Matter, which is changed into the substance of the thing Living.

This addition of Matter takes in, its attraction, preparation, digestion, and its distribution through all the Parts of the Body nourished.

These opperations appear in Plants, wherein it is amiss to attribute that to [Page 272] Nutritive, Attractive, Digestive, and Distributive Qualities, which may be explicated by the motion of the Atoms or seminal Corpuscles contained in the Seed.

But because Nutrition is much more conspicuous in Living Creatures, and es­pecially in Man, it will be necessary to explain the Reason how that is perform­ed in him in the first State after Con­ception; and afterwards, when the Or­gans are formed: For there is need of Aliment, that the Organs which are just formed, and tenderer then, to be sufficient to undergo their Operations, may grow and be encreased. So that at the very moment he begins to live, there is a necessity that he should be nourished.

CHAP. VI. How and with what Aliment an Em­bryo is nourished 'till the time of his Birth.

THe first thing that is done after the laying together of the parts of the Embryo, and the disposition of its Or­gans, is, the infusion of the Rational Soul, which God in one and the same [Page 273] moment Creates, and gives to this little Body as its Lodging, Forty, or some­times more days after its Conception: what is done before the infusion of this Soul, to speak properly, is nothing else but a disposition of the Organs to re­ceive it.

This admirable Structure begins from the Heart, Head, Bones, and other par­ticular Fundamentals; and when it is already compleated, and the Soul infu­sed, the seminal Atoms Presidents of the formation of the Body, persevere in per­forming their works, taking as Com­panions of their Office these Particles of the Mothers Blood which may serve to nourish the Infant, being sensibly solicitous for its increase, 'till the time of its Na­tivity. Yet nevertheless it is very diffi­cult throughly to declare the true Reason of the Nutrition and Life of the Infant for seven or eight Months together.

Gassendus recounts three Opinions of the Antients concerning this thing, the first is of Alcmaeon in Plutarch, affirming the Infant to be nourished by all parts of the Body, drawing in by the help of the Pores a necessary Aliment.

The second Opinion is by the same Plutarch attributed to Democritus, this Philosopher teaches, that the Infant is [Page 274] nourished in the Mothers Womb, in the same manner as it is nourished when born, to wit, by the Mouth, and this is the Cause he says why the newly born seek the Breast with open Mouth.

The third is Aristotle's, Galen's, and many others, who conclude that the In­fant takes no nourishment in the Womb but by the Umbilical Veins, which ta­king their Original from the bottom of the Matrix, insinuate themselves into the middle of the Abdomen or Belly, where being collected into one Trunk, they lead on the Mothers Blood into the hol­low part of the Liver, where part of it is carried into a Branch of Vena-Cava, and part into a Branch of the Vena-Porta, and the two Arteries which accompany the Umbilical Veins, having passed the Liver, each of them apart go to the two Branches of the Aorta or great Artery, and carry the Arterial Blood which they bring thither, that it may all be distribu­ted through the whole Body of the In­fant, and changed into a substance fit for its Nutrition.

This Opinion is confirmed by the re­futation of the two former. For the first is false: For if the Infant was like a Sponge, it would not be nourished, but swelled, by the Water or serous humour [Page 275] in which it swims, and which is contain­ed in the Amnion. The second Opinion is not probable: For the Infants head is placed betwixt both knees, nor can it suck the Caruncles, which are covered with a Skin, as is supposed, unless at one and the same time it should attract the water wherein it lies hid, or penetrate the Membrane in which it is involved.

The third Opinion standing firm, which I believe rests upon a better foun­dation, nor does the Infants Stomach generate Chyle, nor its Liver Blood, the Mothers Blood subministring all those things: And from hence it is, that a Woman with Child communicates to the fruit of her Womb the purity or impu­rity of her Blood, her good or ill nourish­ment, as also her Health and Diseases; and these Diseases are hereditary, not but that there are some which proceed from the Fathers, whose impure Blood, licen­tious living, ill nourishment, and frequent excesses afford matter to these evils.

Besides, we may say, that the Infant in the Mothers Womb does neither live nor breath, but by the Mouth, Heart, and Lungs of the Mother; from whence it comes to pass that the Infant for the most part follows the Mothers affections and inclinations; and seeing that in the [Page 276] state wherein it is in the Womb, it is tyed to its Mother in so strict a bond of Union, it is impossible that she alone should be feaverish, nor that the big­bellied Woman should dye, the Child remaining alive and healthful.

CHAP. VII. How Man is Nourished after he is Born.

AMan Born hath need of Nourish­ment: now nothing can nourish him which hath not some Spirit of Life: So Roots, Plants, Corn, Pulse, Flesh, serve to the nourishing of a Man, and all this business is performed by the benefit of Atoms and vital Corpuscles passing from one Compound Body to another.

This Nutrition is necessary to encrease the substance of the born Infant, and so there is need of a new Compound Body to serve it for Aliment: And this Compound Body must of necessity perish and be destroyed, that so it may nourish the other Compound Body that is to be produced.

Such a Compound Body is Milk, being [Page 277] Blood made white, and fit to nourish the Infant; and the same Blood where­with the Infant was nourished in the Womb, being brought by the Epigastrick Veins to the Mammillary's, is there prepa­red, and by a sole inversion of the Atoms, or a different combination of the Corpus­cles, this Blood is turned into Milk, which by the Childs Sucking being drawn into its Mouth, is received into the Stomach where the first digestion is perfected, and without any other Mystery, the Chyle becomes Milk by the sole inversion of Atoms, their site being changed: more­over, this Chyle brought by the branch­es of the Vena-Porta (according to the Antients Opinion) to the hollow part of the Liver, is converted into Blood, and becomes what it was just before; this demonstrates the circulation of Com­pound Bodies, which are turned from one thing into another, the first Elements of things always remaining in their own Nature in such a number of mutations. Blood being in this manner prepared in the Liver, is carried from the greater Ves­sels into the lesser, and out of theseit distils like Dew into the Parts of the Body, and is there converted into a substance homogeneal to the Parts that are nou­rished, and by this addition of substance [Page 278] the Body is nourished, and encreaseth.

This addition differs much from that, by which Stones take their encrease; for this accretion proceeds rather from an external Agent, than from an internal Principle, and is almost totally performed in the superficies; whereas in Living Bo­dies, Animals, and Man especially, it is done by Internal Agents which make part of the Compound, and Universally extend themselves into all the inward parts which are nourished.

We must constitute also another kind of difference between the reason why Plants and Animals are encreased, and the manner how stones and Mettals themselves take their increase. And in Animals indeed, three divers States are to be considered.

The first is of Augmentation, in which an Animal by Nutrition acquires more of substance than is dissipated, which happens in a Man from the time of his Nativity to the Age of two and twenty.

The second is a State of consistence, where the Animal by aliments acquires so much substance as it loses in taking pains, which happens to a Man from two and twenty to forty four.

The third is of decrease, wherein a Man loses and dissipates, more substance than he acquires by aliment, and this [Page 279] happens to a Man from forty four to the sixty eighth year, and longer.

Aliment therefore is the support of Nature, without which it could not make up the losses which we suffer by the evaporation of the more subtile parts, or by a Consumption of the moist, or by an alteration, loss, and ablation of the solid parts: But besides that, this very thing discovers that continual loss which the substance of Living Bodies makes, by reason of the opposite motions of Atoms which mutually drive one another to and fro, some reciprocally moving others, and the more fixed those that are less fixed: It does also constitute a difference between this, and the Life of Mettals, which doubtlesly increase inwardly, and outwardly, by reason of an internal and external Principle, and new addition of substance: But some contingent loss or dissipation is not repaired by this Ad­dition, which we may see in Plants, and more distinctly in Animals.

The Life of Animals, which in some things they have common with Plants, doth yet differ from it in many circum­stances, which do not occur in Plants, for Plants have neither Bones nor Teeth to take and chew their Meat, but they take their aliment by sucking, without [Page 280] chewing, by which very thing the first digestion and resolution of aliments is performed.

Hunger and Thirst precede this chew­ing, which does not appear in Plants. Hunger is the desire of a solid, and Thirst of a moist Body. Sharp-pointed Atoms move Hunger, and the Corpuscles of the acid Liquor which velicates the tunicles of the Stomach. Thirst hath its begin­ning from the drying up of this acid Li­quor, its moisture being consumed by the heat of the Liver, or by violent Labour, by reason of this dryness the Orifice of the Stomach wrincles it self up, and the parts of the Jaws, Palate, and Tongue perceive pain and pricking; to which it requires no other Remedy but Li­quor, when the Atoms fill the wrincles and tissures proceeding from the eva­porations of the humid parts.

CHAP. VIII. The Sensitive Life in Man, and other Animals.

MAN would not be in the number of Animals, if he did not enjoy a Life of sense as well as other Animals, but he is an intelligent and rationable Animal, and by a special priviledge bears the Image of his Author.

He possesseth a Spiritual and immortal Soul, than which there is no other sub­stantial form in the World, and conse­quentially, only Man is compounded of Matter and Form. So that all those sub­stantial Forms which go by the name of vegetative Souls in Plants, and in Brutes by the name of sensitive Souls, are no­thing else but vain illusions, since Atoms and Corpuscles are the internal Princi­ples of all the sensitive operations which we distinguish in Living Creatures.

Five of these operations are thus num­bred, (viz.) Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching. To these we may add respiration in all Animals, or the greatest part of them, and Speech specially in Man.

These operations are not made after [Page 282] the same manner in all Animals, for Man the noblest of them all, is neither sharp­er sighted, nor quicker of hearing than the rest: And in the same respect the other Senses are much more perfect in o­ther Animals than in Man. The Lynx is sharper-sighted, the Hare hears more distinctly, the Dog smells better, the Ape enjoys a more exquisite taste, and the Spider a more delicate touch: For all these kind of Operations are purely Na­tural and Animal, and do not depend upon the Will or Reason, but upon the sole disposition of Atoms, and the con­struction of the Organical Parts.

CHAP. IX. Of Sight, its Organ and Object, (viz.) Light.

SIGHT is the chiefest and most noble of all the Senses, whether we consi­der its Organ and Object, or the ope­ration of it by it self, and the necessity of it. The Eye is the Organ of Sense, its object is a coloured and lucid Body, for without colour and light there can be no seeing.

The Eye is made up of three tunicles, [Page 283] (viz.) the Horn-like, the Grape-like, and the Net-like: This last is in the bottom of the Eye; the Grape-like Tunicle has a perforation called Prunella, and the horn-like is the outward covering of the Eye, some part of which we call the white of the Eye.

The Eye enjoys likewise three transpa­rent humors, (viz.) the Watery, Chry­stalline, and Glassy: the Optick nerve, rooted in the Brain, and applying it self to the bottom of the Eye, brings hither the Spirits or visual Corpuscles woven together out of a luminous substance. The particulars belonging to the compo­sition of the Eye Anatomy will teach: Let us speak something of the Object of Sight, and first of Colour.

Colour which Bodies exhibit to us, is nothing else but light reflected and in­terrupted by the Angles of the Atoms, and the very small Cavities in the extre­mities of Bodies, as also a diverse refle­ction and refraction of that Light, upon which the variety of Colours depends.

Experience favours this Doctrine, for Galls being broke and thrown into arti­ficial or Natural Vitriolated-Water, give a black colour like Ink; and here­by is known whether Waters contain any high of Vitriol, Iron, or Copper: For [Page 284] Mineral-Waters when they pass through an Iron Mine by an addition of Galls grow black, but others not; and this blackness is not any Physical and acciden­tal quality produced in Water by the throwing in of Galls which are not black; but this change arises only from a new position of Atoms and Corpuscles, where­by the Rays of Light are bended and bro­ken after a new manner.

The same thing happens if you mix Minium which is red in its own Nature, with Wine-Vinegar, for that will turn white; and the yolk of an Egg mixt with Turpentine looks altogether like a white kind of Cream. Now in all these and other Experiments nothing hap­pens besides a perturbation of Atoms which take a new place, and reflect or refract Light after another manner, with­out any production of any new Acci­dent.

Nor is Light any accident or Physical Quality, as the Disciples of Aristotle will have it, but a real effusion and spreading of Corpuscles, which flow from the sub­stance of the Sun and upper Stars, and more or less penetrate through the emp­ty spaces of the Air, as the Air is more rarified, or more condensed.

It will be convenient to remember [Page 285] here, that we place the Sun in the Cen­tre of the World, and say that the Sun is of one and the same substance with Gold, Gold melted and purified, and that its glittering and rayes is properly that which we call Light, and which is reflected upon all the Bodies of Planets, amongst which, the Earth only is suppo­sed habitable; these Sun-Beams are no­thing else than that which we call Light, so Light is a certain thing compounded of the Atoms of Gold, by a mutual connection amongst themselves bound together, and which tye all the parts of the World to their Centre the Sun. From whence it is easily gathered, how all things act by vertue of the Sun, and that the Sun it self also is an helper that Man be produced from Man.

The truth of this our Doctrine appears from those things which we brought from Monsieur Bezancon's Experiment. Light therefore is of the same Nature with Gold and the Sun, and is therefore Gold, or the Sun rarified, and Air in the day-time is full of this dispersed Gold; so that in breathing we draw in some A­toms of this rarified Gold, which brings Life to us, in bringing to us the Princi­ple of Natural Heat, and radical moi­sture.

[Page 286] No wonder that Aurum Potabile is of so great esteem, and sought for by every il­lustrious personage to restore Health: But since true Aurum Potabile is scarce, by reason of the defect of a solvent, and of a Natural and Radical Vehicle, God provides for this, by giving us Light, which we take in by the Air, which serves instead of a Vehicle to it. Light there­fore is our Life, and preserves it; and we say of a Man that is dead, that his Light is extinguished, and of a Man tha lies confined in a Dungeon, that he dwells amongst the Dead.

Upon the occasion of this Sentence which I have thought fit to confirm, I observe that Light is the Universal Spi­rit of the vulgar, varying according to the Subject it meets withal; and that the same is that famous dissolvent from which only, or by the addition of com­mon Gold, may be made the Universal Medicine. But for as much as to the ob­taining this effect there is required that this Light be made liquid, and out of it be made a living Water, and Stream, or Rain of Gold, which few can perform: From hence it is that few possess this supream Remedy.

I observe, Secondly, that Light ex­cites the seminal Spirit, which is of the [Page 287] same Nature, and is contained under divers Seeds, and divers coverings, and that the same light produces in us and reproduces those Spirits which are called Vital and Animal, and which are nothing else than Luminous Corpuscles which are always in motion, whilst they take Air, and toge­ther with the Air, the Light annexed, without which their motion ceaseth. We see also that a Man dyes for want of Air, and by the hindrance of respiration; and these Spirits are more dulled by Night than by Day, and so do partly fail in the Body, the Light failing: And unless there did still continue some Luminous and Solar Spirit in the Air, or if the Stars did not afford a sufficient quantity of it in the Night, in the Night it were impos­sible we should be able to escape Death.

Besides we may observe that by this Light, which penetrates and creeps through the Bowels of the Earth, Mettals are pro­duced, for it is their Seed lying invisibly hid in their Bodies: We may say like­wise, that every Living thing receives Life from this Light, so that we live by Gold only, we subsist by the benefit of Gold, and all things are filled with Gold, that is, with the Sun rarified, and expanded through all things, through all the most secret places, and through our very [Page 288] Hearts, whose motions will cease when the Light of the Sun and other Stars shall cease; whose motion will likewise cease at the end of all Ages.

By the help of this Doctrine we un­derstand what the Antients meant, when they said all was full of Jupiter and Gold, and that the Commerce of Heaven and Earth was bound together with a Gold­en Chain: That the Universal Medicine cannot be extracted but out of the water of the Beams of the Sun and Moon. By this means also we comprehend the truth of the saying about Apollo and his Golden hairs, and we shall know that which the Philosophy of the Antients could not explain, to wit, from whence the motion of the Spirits in our Bodies proceed, and in what the Life which we enjoy does properly consist: And so even the new Philosophy will no less La­bour in explaining the Essence of Life, unless it follows these our Principles.

As many as shall have been sufficiently illustrated by this Light, will here find a Secret for the Nobility, by which for many years they will be able to preserve Health and Vigor beyond the ordinary term. I say enough of this thing to move Illustrious Wits, as being enlightned People, to enquire into the Nature and [Page 289] Effects of the Light and Colours which we see, which the Sun produceth in the Rainbow, and in the Peacocks Tail, where, by the help of a Microscope a thousand Golden threeds are seen.

Nor is there any reason why we should stand amazed at the sight of these Co­lours, since they are nothing else, than Light reflected and refracted, wherein all Colours are contained, as I have said; for it is of the same Nature with Gold, out of which all Colours may be produ­ced, although the yellow only is appa­rent. They who have divers ways dis­solved Gold, and Mercury, or crude Gold, have there found all of them as many Co­lours as ever they had seen, and many more Colours than they knew.

CHAP. X. How Illustrated Objects are seen.

ARISTOTLE and his Scholars will have Vision to be made by certain Qualities commonly called the Intentional Species, which, as is reported, joyn the visive power, that is the Eye, with the Visible Object, and the Powers represent the Object. These Species ac­cording to this Opinion are discernable, and are in the Air as in their proper sub­ject: [Page 290] but this is not to be endured, for if these are accidents, and have Air for their Subject, the Air being changed by the least breath of wind, the accident would pass from one Subject to another, which is refractory to the Principles of these Philosophers. These species bring in a great many other difficulties, which relate to their Nature, Production, Pro­pagation in the Air, Eduction, Extension, and Reception into the Eye; all which cannot be solved without captious con­tensions, and when all shall be throughly canvased, no body will be e're the wiser, from whence it happens, that all these ac­cidents which are neither Bodies nor Spi­rits, I am forced to send back to School with their Doctors.

Some believe Vision is made by an e­mission of visual Rayes out of the Eyes; but neither will this Opinion subsist, in as much as it supposes, that to see an Object ten Leagues distant from us, it is of necessity that the Eye should send Cor­puscles thither, and even to the very Heavens, to see the Stars there.

Gassendus would have vision made by the Species or Figure of the Object, com­posed of Corpuscles or most subtile A­toms proceeding from the Object, and received by the Eye: But it cannot be con­ceived, [Page 291] that a Man placed in the midst of a Plain can continually emit (without diminution) Corpuscles from every part, or that these Corpuscles can be in the Air without perturbation and confusion at the same time, whilst other Objects emit an infinite number of theirs; and all this transmitted in a right Line through the vacuities of the Air, from whence it follows that through one, and that a little space of a Vacuum in the Air, that vast number of Atoms or Corpuscles must pass without penetration and confu­sion. Gassendus answers, that the difficul­ty arises from this, that we do not e­nough conceive the subtilty of Atoms, nor the rapidity of their motion.

This reason does not satisfie, since we know that the Vacuities of the Air are not greater than Atoms. How then can a thousand Atoms of Matter pass in a right Line through one only Vacuum, no bigger than one single Atom, without penetration? This difficulty, besides some others, hath moved some Philoso­phers to say that the Eye is a natural see­ing-Glass, endued with such a convexity as those Glasses have which are put into perspectives, by which we see things a great way distant.

These Philosophers say, that Light, [Page 292] wherein is contained every kind of di­vers Colours, as it is determined upon the Objects by the angles of the Atoms, does also comprehend all kind of Objects too, and represents them with all variety of Colours, according to the divers deter­mination of the Objects: Or to say more truly, that Light represents it self to the Eye, as it is determined by Objects, and it is certain we see nothing but Light, and Colour, that is Light with its determina­tion; and when we distinctly see an Ob­ject, its extention and Figure, that pro­ceeds from nothing else than that we see Light determined by the dimensions and circumstances of the Object.

The Nature of Light therefore is solely to be considered, and it will no ways hin­der, but that we shall avoid all the difficul­ties of the others, by embracing an Opi­nion which rests upon truth, which very well, and with the consent of all, con­ceives that Light is seen by it self, nor is there need of any Species to see Light: and since we, to speak properly, do not see the Objects, but Light the Object of Sight, there is no necessity, that the Object should transmit Accidents or Corpuscles, as if Light could not be seen of it self.

From this Doctrine, that which ap­pears new, follows, that Light is to be [Page 293] considered in a threefold State; and first of all in the Quality of the Object; secondly, in the Quality of the Term.

The first state is Light, determined by the Object, the second is Light expanded in the air, the third is Light received by the Eye, and represented with all its de­terminations. And this is it which we call the Image of the Object in the Eye, as it were in a Glass.

In prosecuting this subject, we might have treated of the reason why we see Ob­jects by the help of perspective Glasses multiplying their Figure; or by Micro­scopes, a new invention, by the help of which many things are discovered which before lay hid, such as are Worms in Wine Vinegar, Gnats in Water and Dew, as also, Pores in Glass, and a thousand little Ani­mals in Seeds. But of these I shall say no­thing now, since I have done it already in a little peculiar Tract, which I will Print the first opportunity, where the applica­tion of the Principles of my Physick will be seen to explicate more illustrious things which are discovered by the help of Microscopes, if the Reader pleases to spend his time to see and judge of what I say concerning these things.

CHAP. XI. Of Hearing, its Organ, and Object.

THe Organ of Hearing is the Ear, composed of a Cartilage and hol­lowness's, wherein the air insinuating it self by its motion causeth sound. Besides these external and apparent Particles, there are others also internal, which are composed of Membranes, as also some little Bones and included air, the audi­tory Nerve doth also run down thither, that it may bring the Animal Spirit, ne­cessary to all the Operations of the Sen­ses.

The Object of Hearing is Sound, to wit, the motion of two or more Bodies mutually meeting one another; and as no Body that wants Heat and Light is the Object of Sight, so no Body that wants motion can be the Object of Hear­ing: Or rather, as Light alone, without the intervention of any other Medium, is the Object of Sight, so is motion the Object of Hearing, so that there is no necessity to have recourse to the preten­ded Quality which is commonly called Sound; nor to any intentional Species, no, nor so much indeed as to Corpuscles sent out a great way off.

[Page 295] I say therefore, that as Light is seen by it self, and Truth immediately and without any other intermedium is known by it self, so Motion is apparent of it self, without the pretended Qualities of Aristotle, or Corpuscles of Gassendus, except those of the Air, which are in motion: For they being wanting or stirred up by an opposite motion, little or very little is observed of it. The motion therefore of Bodies, is the Object of Sounds, but there is a necessity for a fluid Body to be present, that it may be violent­ly moved to and fro, which happens in irregular Sounds, or with Method and Measure; as in Musick, and the use of Instruments. This Fluid Body is some­times intercepted by two Solid Bodies, and is forced to go back with violent motion.

CHAP. XII. Particular Questions concerning Hear­ing.

THe first Question is concerning the Penetration of Sounds, and it is asked, How it comes to pass that a Sound constant in Motion can more easily pene­trate through a thick Wall, than through Glass or Water?

I answer, that the thickest Walls have great Cavities, into which the Air in­sinuates it self, or lies shut up in them whilst they are Building: After which manner without doubt it is shut up in Guns made of melted Brass, which is the cause that when they are tryed, they sometimes burst asunder, which hapned about two Months ago at Niverina in a Field near St. Germans. Air therefore is more easily shut up within Walls whilst they are Building, than in Guns whilst they are casting: And this included Air, receives its motion from the external Air, and communicates the same with that which is found in the Breech or adverse part of the Gun. Which thing does not happen in Glasses, which have but very small pores, into which the Ex­ternal [Page 297] Air cannot enter, only Light and the most subtile Air enjoying this privi­ledge.

From hence it follows, that Bodies which have none, or but very small Va­cuities, and contain no Air, or but very little, are more surd, and less resounding, as Gold, and Lead, however Lead is more surd than Gold, although it hath more frequent vacuities, but they are less regular; for since it is endowed with more Pores than Gold, it ought to give a greater sound than Gold. For to the making a sound, it is not sufficient that the Body contains Air, but that the Air be so bound up that it cannot sind a way out: and as to the sound of Bells, that depends upon the Air intercepted between the Clapper and the Bell, and wandring round the compass of the Bell, before it can get out, and drive on other Air, yet so, as that it presupposes Air shut up in the Pores of the Mettal.

The second Question regards the pro­pagation of Sound; or the sound of Bells and Guns are heard a great way off: But the reason of this is not diffi­cult to be given; for the Air violently driven on, because it is easily moved, gives a sound according to its motion, greater, or lesser, and because the motion [Page 298] of Air is not momentaneous, so the sound likewise is not in a moment brought to the Ears. Certainly the Air that is impelled, drives on other Air on every side, until that circular motion ceaseth, as we see when a stone is thrown into a Pool the wa­ter is moved in circles: This motion in re­spect of Sight is not in the Air, we see the stroak ere we perceive the sound, for Light is determined in a moment; nor does a contrary wind hinder Light as it doth sound; for Light does not depend upon the motion of the Air, and the Light of the Air is fixed, in the same man­ner as the Centre of the World, from whence it draws its Origine, to which it is firmly and immoveably annexed, at least that it be not condensed and grow thick.

The third Question regards the re­petition of Sound, and is called Eccho; and it is nothing else than a repercussed and reflected motion of the Air by hard Bodies, or retained and renewed by o­ther Air shut up in the Cavities of Bo­dies, and if there are many Cavities in a streight Line, there are made many re­flections, and the Eccho is multiplied, and that more or less distinctly, as the re­flections are more or less perfect, and the Ear more or less distant from the an­gle [Page 299] of reflection, which is always formed right forwards, and is streight, unless there be some hindrance, and hath al­ways a certain and determined Distance.

Fourthly, it is asked how it comes to pass that the strings of two Harps Tuned alike, although they be distant two or three paces from one another, the one being struck, the other will give a sound? I answer, that the air of one being struck into motion, does by its motion excite the motion of the other, which is consti­tuted in the same state, or tuned alike. For here to alledge Sympathy, would be nothing else but to flye to the Sanctuary of Ignorance.

Fifthly, It is asked, Why some sounds are sweet and very pleasant, and others on the other hand harsh and dis­pleasing? It is answered, that this pro­ceeds from a diverse motion, and from the ruggedness and smoothness of Bodies, as also from the smiteing of the Air that is driven to and fro.

Sixthly, it may be enquired from whence the noise in the Ears proceed? and it is answered, that this inconveni­ence proceeds from a motion of the interior Air, against Nature, which some­times happens from the breaking in of foreign Corpuscles, or from the solution [Page 300] and emancipation of some Atoms, or from the Pulse of the Arteries, or motion of Vapours, which striking against the Drum of the Ear, make that humming noise of the Ears.

Lastly, it is asked why some People hear better than others? and we may an­swer, that this proceeds from the impu­rity of the interior Air: For not to say any thing of those that are born deaf, or have their Organs ill formed, or have no interior or included Air; or of Old Men, in whom this Air is dissipated, or of those whom a kind of thick humor falling upon the Organ after a long Disease makes Deaf; or who are wounded, or have an Imposthume in their Ears, I say that those who have most of this interior and purer Air, have their Ears more accurate, and their Hearing more distinct, if withal the Auditory Nerve be well Composed.

CHAP. XIII. Of Smelling, its Organ, and Object.

SMELLING is an action by which we perceive and distinguish Smells; the external Organ is the Nostrils, the [Page 301] internal are some glandulous and spongy parts like Teats, which descend from the Brain to the Nostrils, or the Olfacto­ry Nerve; or Odours which affect the Spirits contained in the Nerve, and move them; and these Spirits being mo­ved and stirred up, carry the sense of the Odor to the common sense.

The Object of Smell are Odours, in quality not distinct from Bodies, but are rather Atoms or sulphurous Particles going out of Bodies, their Figure is hooked and adhering; from whence it comes to pass that they adhere like Oyle or fatness; and are preserved a long time in Chests among Cloaths, especial­ly Woollen ones. And therefore conta­gious Particles lye hid for many Years in Ward-Robes; and they who frequent­ly Visit those that are Sick of the Plague, do not use Woollen Garments, but Linnen ones, to which the contagi­ous Particles do less adhere.

From this Doctrine it appears, that Smells are little Bodies which issue out of all Compound Natural Bodies, espe­cially Living ones; by reason of their frequent agitation; and which have Pores more open than Bodies not ani­mated.

Besides, it appears that these Cor­puscles [Page 302] do never go out of Bodies in greater number, than when they are a dissolving; after which manner, a smell exhales out of Gold and Silver dissolved, excelling that of Musk and Amber. From Antimony dissolved, an Oyle is drawn of a very grateful smell, and by another way a Sulphur is drawn out, not to be endured for its stink.

And by the help of these Odoriferous Corpuscles Dogs Hunt Hares, and find out their forms, and by this means they discover their Masters foot-steps: It is an argument that this is done by the help of these Corpuscles, because they are dissi­pated by Wind, and hindred by Dew, and Experience teaches that those that handle Musk, carry the smell of it a long while about them: From whence it is known that these very small Bodies are adhering, and that they have hooked Fi­gures, and that they do please and tickle according to that proportion which they have with the Organs.

CHAP. XIV. Of Tast, and its Object.

TAST is a Sense Natural and pro­per to Animals, and by the help of that they distinguish Savours, making a difference between the grateful and the ingrateful. The Organ of this sense is the Tongue and Palat, and it is done by the help of Spongy Flesh, and of Nerves which terminate in the Tongue, and [...]arry the Animal Spirit to the Organ, and the Savour to the imagination.

Savour the Object of Tast, consists in certain saline Corpuscles of Aliments, or other Bodies, out of which they come, and pleasantly or unpleasantly vellicate the Tongue and Palat, according as their Figure is more or less rough and pungent, or smooth and round, and more or less adequetated to the Organ.

Since Savours are Corpuscles of Salt, it follows that they differ according to the diversity of Salts, to wit, that they are sharp, sweet, bitter, sowre, and the like, according to the Nature of the Salt that bears rule in their Composition, and according to the quality of Corpus­cles coming from elsewhere; which [Page 304] change the Natural Savour of things, as Wine, by the addition of Water, lo­seth both its strength and Savour, al­though in this condition it is more grate­ful to some, than when pure Wine.

From whence we know that the di­versity of Tasts does not proceed from the sole diversity of Savours, but also from the diversity of the Organs; and hence it is, that all people do not relish alike one and the same thing; nor have all People a Tast equally delicate, from whence it comes that some are delighted with those Meats that others abhor.

The Organ also is sometimes so ill disposed, and the Tongue burdned with so great a quantity of ill Humours, that things of the most grateful Savour seem insipid, as also things not very sweet seem bitter; which thing happens in a double and a continual Tertian Ague, by reason of the dominion of Choler.

CHAP. XV. Of Feeling.

FEELING is a general Sense ex­tended throughout the whole Body, and is made by the help of Membranes, such as the Skin, the Scarf Skin, and the Skin that covers the Bones called Periostium, and others that are internal; and this sole sense distinguishes every thing that by its contiguity brings plea­sure or Pain. The Object of it is Hot and Cold, Soft and Hard, Moistness and Dryness. Concerning these diffe­rent qualities of a Body we have treated elsewhere; excepting Heat and Cold, as which are not Physical accidents, but two particular Bodies. Heat is a heap amassing or flowing together of sharp pointed Corpuscles which penetrate into solid Bodies, and do there cause a Divi­sion, and do dissolve the more perfect Bodies; and this is what we call to be set on Fire, and to be burnt: For Fire does not burn Wood, but by dissolving, nor dissolves it but by burning.

Cold is an heap amassing and flowing together of Atoms and Corpuscles of a blunt and plain Figure; and hence it is [Page 306] that Cold does not penetrate into the Body but with pain and torment, as also it excites a frequent motion of the Parts, or shivering. Besides there are not wan­ting some Particles so gross as to stop up the Pores of the Body, and to drive the Heat into the inward parts, which we call Antiperistasis, by reason of which the included Heat becomes stronger, which is the Cause why the Heat of the Stomach in Winter time is greater than it is in Summer, and why Wells are warm and reak like Smoak. For the same Reason, Heat being shut up in our Bodies by the external Cold, some­times such like fumes are raised up in the Brain, which are not without a great deal of danger.

Feeling is several ways performed, and first of all by application, where Body is moved to Body, and Hand to Hand, by penetration, in making a solution of that which was whole; as a Needle pricking the Hand.

Secondly, Feeling is made by sepa­ration, one Body coming out of another, which if occasioned by Nature, is always accompanied with pain, as in non-Natu­ral ejections.

Thirdly, this Sense appears in the motion of those Bodies which are con­tained [Page 307] by others; for sometimes they move themselves with so great force, and do so press, rend, and tear, that they excite pains not to be endured, as in violent Head-aches, the Pleurisie, and pains of the Gout and Cholick.

CHAP. XVI. Of the Speech, Pulse, and Breathing of Man.

VOICE is common to all perfect Animals as well as Men, but so is not Speech, or an articulate Voice. Brutes express their sense of things by Natural Voices: and Men their interi­our Speech, to wit, Thoughts, by out­ward Speech as its Interpreter: And this is done by the motion of the Tongue, as also of the Air after a certain manner driven to and fro between the Teeth, and the fluctuating windings and turn­ings of the Throat. This motion is natural and voluntary: For Discourse or Speech is an expression of an action of the Soul, to wit, of Thought: But this Thought cannot be outwardly made manifest, without the command of the Will, or the strength or weakness of the Imagination.

[Page 308] The dilatation and contraction of the Lungs, as also the action of the Mus­cles of the Breast serve to the formation of Speech, and a Voice becomes sweet and harmonious, when the Lungs and the aforesaid Muscles act methodically, as also when the Air is duly reflected, repelled, and interrupted by the passages and turnings and windings of the rough Artery, and where the Corpuscles of this Natural little Tongue are less rough and more free from strange Bodies. The Diaphragm, Stomach, and Belly move when we speak, and follow the motion of the Lungs, and the Muscles of the Breast.

The Pulse is nothing else but a per­cussion of the Arteries, upon the variety of which, the difference of Pulses depends. The Cause of the Pulse according to A­ristotle, is the Natural heat of the Heart, according to Galen it is the moving fa­culty; according to Harvey, this motion of the Heart, and Pulse of the Arteries depends upon the circulation of the Blood, which we will examine in the next Chap­ter.

Breathing comprehends two actions, Inspiration, and Respiration, by the action of the first, the Lungs receive the exter­nal Air, and by the help of the last [Page 309] they drive it out. The first is made by a dilatation of the Lungs and Breast, as also by the motion of the Diaphragme, by which the Lungs are opened like a pair of Bellows, and are by that means filled with Air, the second is made by a pressing downwards of the Diaphragme, by which the Lungs are unlocked, and the Air driven forth.

Breathing conduces to the tempering the heat of the Heart, and to the exci­ting and preserving Natural heat, be­sides it conduceth to the forming the Voice, to perceiving Smells, to expelling Excrements, and dissipating the fumes of the Blood, and lastly to produce vital Spirits, in promoting their motion, by which it happens that we dye when brea­thing ceaseth, or when we take our last Breath.

CHAP. XVII. Of the Motion of the Heart.

THat I may rightly explain the mo­tion of the Heart, I suppose it is moved by two different motions, the first of which is Natural, the second a­gainst Nature. That resembles the mo­tion [Page 310] of Machines and Clocks, which are moved by help of Strings and Wheels. So the Heart is the principal and chief Wheel of this animated Machine, and moves and drives on all the others, and takes its motion from the weight and im­pression of certain Fiery and Coelestial A­toms, which like the Silk-Worm are shut up in the Seed and its covering, and which give motion to it, until they flye away from it, which slight of the Atoms Death follows, and an end of motion.

The Authors of the circulation of the Blood, deduce the motion of the Heart, from the Bloods entring into it, saying that the Heart is opened by the motion commonly called Diastole, the Blood entring into the Heart; and that by the motion commonly called Systole, the Blood returns back, and this returning, is the Cause of those two motions; but it is more reasonable to say, that the motion of the Heart hath its Principle in its self, for it is Vital, and the passing through of the Blood is rather an effect than a Cause of this motion, for the Heart opens it self before the Blood en­ters in, nor does the Blood go out, but as it is driven by the opened Heart.

The second motion of the Heart is ac­cidental, and against Nature, and pro­ceeds [Page 311] from the intemperies of the Blood that passeth through the Heart, and which impresseth this febrile motion, whether as being more hot and subtile than it should be, or having certain fo­reign Corpuscles mixed with it, or being too thick and viscous, or else offending in quantity, it overwhelms the Heart; and hereupon depends the difference of motions, contrary to Nature, as also the difference of Pulses and Feavers; from hence proceeds the palpitation of the Heart, intermitting Pulses, Convulsions, Suffocations, and sudden Death. And it is commonly said that the Life is in the Blood, nor does any thing hinder why we should not say that Death is in it too, when it is corrupted, or very sharp and corroding, or unfit for motion, and containing such like Bodies as lie hid in Venoms and Narcoticks.

The motion which is observed in the Hearts of Animals taken out of their Bodies; as for Example, that of a Viper, which continues a long while, does not disanul Circulation, but only lets us see that Circulation is not the Cause of the Natural motion of the Heart, and if you stretch it never so far, it is only its con­dition which makes it continue, and keeps the same in its Natural state.

[Page 312] Whatsoever we say concerning the Heart and its motions, does not make up that Idea which we conceive in our mind, nor does it satisfie the mind of the Reader, who expects we should ex­plain from whence this motion of the Heart while it is in its natural state pro­ceeds, and what is the Cause of its immo­derate motions.

That I may therefore satisfie the Rea­der, I Affirm the Natural Motion of the Heart to be in the motion of the Vital Spirits, shut up in the central Vacuum of the Heart, where they are detained by little Membranes, made firm by the inter­weaving of Fibres, and of thin threads, so that they cannot escape out, since the Pores of these membranes have a Figure opposite to the Pores of those Spirits or Vital Atoms: And seeing that Atoms en­joy an actual motion, and which can no more be separated from their Essence, than Intelligence from an Angel or sepa­rated Soul, or the Inclination from the Will, it follows, that they are always in motion, and by their motions by turns dilate the Heart.

This Doctrine supposes what has been said of Vital Spirits, being as it were the internal Principles of Life and Mo­tion, as also of the essential and proper [Page 313] motion of Atoms, and of Bodies com­pounded of Atoms; but it is convenient that we remember that we have said, that motion is Natural to Atoms, and that God who hath created them essentially moveable, preserves their motion and moveable Nature in the same action that he Created them.

Besides it may be convenient to re­member, that there are such a sort of Atoms which may be detained, and con­stitute the parts of a Compound Body, and others, which are not Naturally such, yet may be shut up, such as those are, which we have said are shut up in the central Vacuum of the Heart of Li­ving Creatures: And these indeed are shut up by the decree of the Creator, and the determination of the seminal cover­ing.

The Comparison of an Angel, and the Rational Soul seems to contribute much to the illustrating this Doctrine. An An­gel is a certain indivisible, spiritual thing, and an Intelligence free from Matter; and the Rational Soul is no less a certain indivisible Spiritual thing, endowed with Understanding and Will as an Angel, yet they differ in this, that theSoul is consined, or, as being a part of the Compound, can be consined by a material Body, whereas an [Page 314] Angel neither is nor can be confined, which notwithstanding does not hinder but that it may be shut up into a Body, as it were an assisting Form, yet it hath not any respect to an internal and substan­tial Form. Besides I look upon an Angel, and consider it under the no­tion of Atoms naturally free, and the Rational Soul under the notion of those which are subject to confinement. It is true, that a Rational Soul going out of this Dungeon or Physical Prison, by reason of the Corruption of the Body, which permits it a free exit, is like to an emancipated Atom, which being free from the bonds of the Composi­tion, never returns thither again, un­less that be restored to its pristine, or to a better condition.

CHAP. XVIII. Of the Irregular Motion of the Heart, in Animals, and of Feavers.

I Cannot but say something of the inordinate motions of the Heart, stirred up by divers Feavers, and from that Occasion, discourse of the difference of Feavers, their Causes, and Remedies.

Feavers are either Diary, (viz.) an inordinate motion of the Spirits which are agitated and disturbed by emanci­pated Atoms; or they are Hectick, which attack the Fleshy and Solid Parts: And these Feavers are excited by e­mancipated Atoms, which insinuate themselves into the substance of our Bodies, and are the Cause that the Cor­puscles of the Radical Moisture are driven away, and exhaled; by reason of which, the Body is sensibly dryed.

The other Feavers consist in the Humours, and in their fermentation and ebullition, and when this fermentation never remits, the Feaver is continual; where it keeps its periods by turns, it is an intermitting Feaver, and it is [Page 316] called either a Quotidian, where it comes every day, or a double Tertian, or Quartan, as Phlegme, Choler, or Melan­cholly predominate. When it comes one day and not the next it is a Tertian, when it remits for two days it is a Quar­tan, when it rages for two days to­gether, and remits the third, it is a double Quartan: And all these Fits, or redoublings, are owing to eman­cipated Atoms, or relaxed Corpuscles, which provoke, move, and stir up this or that humour, which cannot be done without an agitation of the Heart, and a manifest Pulsation of the Arte­ries.

That which in this Subject is diffi­cult to be explained, consists in the regular Fits and intermission of Fea­vers; that is to say, what is the beginning, and what the Cause of this Flux and Reflux, and of this periodical Motion and State of Rest, and how it comes to pass that Phlegme ferments daily, Choler but every other day, and Melancholly after two days of rest.

Physitians say this motion proceeds from the diversity of humours, and that Phlegme has its motion and fer­mentation every day, Choler every o­ther day, and Melancholly every fourth [Page 317] day. But the Physical Philosopher ex­amines this difficulty more nearly, and the Sick Person has reason to rest sa­tisfied, when the Physitian knowing the Quality of the Feaver, administers Remedies which evacuate the offending humours, and prohibit the generation of the new; and by this means, the Cause being taken away, they raise him up, and restore him to health.

The Physical Philosopher who en­quires into the true Causes of the mo­tions in Nature, and does not like the Physician precisely respect the Health of this or that Person; but endeavours to discover the truth of all things, sup­poseth first, that there is no humour in our Bodies which goes on from Rest to Motion, unless it be stirred up by some Agent and Mover. So it is que­stioned, what may be that Principle by which Choler after twenty or twenty­four hours rest is stirred up, and what should excite the fermentation of Me­lancholly, after it has sat down quietly and unmoved two days, or there a­bouts.

Physicians who are truly Philosophers, and ought to be so, teach us, that in a Cachochymick Body there is always a new generation made of these sort of hu­mours, [Page 318] and when they are already ar­rived to a due state of plenitude, some sooner than other some, and some­times where there is a complication, many of them go on together to a fer­mentation; and that all this proceeds from the different Nature of humours, and their more easie or more difficult motion, as also from a greater or les­ser quantity of one or more humours.

But it may also be asked, what is the Principle of this agitation or fer­mentation in that State of Plenitude, and for what Cause these Febrile mo­tions are so very regular and periodick? Here, and every where, we will speak Bona Fide, and without a Fallacy, and say according to our Principles, that the Atoms asserting their Liberty, with every dissolution of the Aliment, Chyle and Blood, as we have said elsewhere, do by their sharp-pointed Figures tear the Internal Membranes and Tunicles of the Stomach and Intestines, as also excite those horrours and tremblings at the beginning of the Fit, and which are longer, or shorter, and more, or fewer, according as their Figures are more or less aculeated and rugged, or smooth and orbiculate.

According to this Principle we may [Page 319] say, that the Atoms, from the first di­gestion of the Stomach challenging to themselves a Liberty, and being weary of the covering of Phlegme and Salt­water, do daily stir up this agitation; but those, which in the dissolution of Chyle, withdraw themselves from ser­vitude, and which abound with a Sul­phurous Water, which we commonly call Choler, do stir up a motion more slow by a day than the former, and as many as are emancipated after the third Concoction and dissolution of the Aliments, and are wrapped up in adust Blood, or that black Excrement which they call Melancholly, do pro­duce this Febrile motion two days slow­er than the first, according to these different dissolutions.

Where we must first of all take no­tice, that the shakeings in the motion of these differing humours are not equal, nay, not in the very Fits of one and the same Feaver, proceeding from one and the same Cause, but which hath different degrees of activity: To which thing, be­sides what we have said, the Quality of the Food given to the Sick Person in the time of the intermission doth much contribute.

Secondly, the Fits of one and the same Feaver are not so very regular, [Page 320] but that they frequently are perceived sooner or later, as the Atoms the disturbers of Health are sooner or la­ter set at liberty. To which thing the regimen of the Sick persons man­ner of Living does not a little con­tribute.

Hence it follows in the Third place, That the true Remedy of intermitting Feavers doth consist, First, in an order of Living. Secondly, in an evacua­tion of peccant or strange humours, which hinder, retard, or interrupt, or precipitate the digestion of Ali­ments, which must be well observed by an experienced Physitian; and Lastly, the Parts which serve to the first Con­coction are to be strengthned, because their faults and defects can never be corrected afterwards.

Moreover if it shall happen that there are some emancipated Atoms, as without doubt there are more or less of them in all Bodies, they are to be expelled by transpiration, or their Figures to be inverted by Remedies cal­led Febrifuges. For Experience teach­eth us, that there are some of those sort of Remedies very profitable, which are administred with extraordinary good success, and which are not fruit­lesly [Page 321] administer'd by me: And I have now some of these sorts of Remedies found out by me, and administered, which in one day have Cur'd the Quartan and double Quartan. I speak the truth; but I should injure the truth, if I should go so far as to say that my Remedy is infallible: For truly I believe, and not a few of the most eminent and ablest Physitians of the Faculty in Paris are of the same Opinion with me, that there is not a Remedy which can be called infallible and made publick. Of which thing, in the occasion of the fermentation of humours, I will a little more specially treat in my Philosophical Reflections, which in a little time will see the Light.

I only add this here, that the Heat which follows the shakeing, does pro­ceed from an agitation of the Spirits, stimulated by the violent motion and repeated stroke of the emancipated A­toms, which are at last expelled through the Pores of the Body, as the Rebellious Angels were thrown out of Heaven by the more powerful good Spirits.

CHAP. XIX. Of the Circulation of the Blood.

AS many as have delivered them­selves from the prejudices of Antient Physick, and Vulgar Philosophy, have taught, after Harvey, That the blood in our Bodies is moved in a circular motion, from the extream parts to the Centre, and not from the Cen­tre onely to the extream parts, as was heretofore believed.

Gassendus does not disapprove this O­pinion, although he does not embrace it, for Reasons alledged in a particu­lar Treatise set forth by him. I use his Reasons to establish it, as being bet­ter founded in Reason, and more a­greeable to the disposition of the Veins and Arteries. Let us see therefore how the Circulation of the Blood is made, according to Harvey, and the most Learned Physitians. The Blood, say they, passeth into the Heart, from the Vena Cava, and Arteria Venosa by two Valves, where they are ended, and as often as the Heart dilates it self, a drop of Blood falls into each of its Cavities; and as often as the Heart [Page 323] contracts it self, the Blood passeth in­to the Lungs from the right Cavity, through the Vena Arteriosa, and from the left Cavity, into the Aorta; so that the Blood is moved from the ex­tream parts of the Body, to its Cen­tre, into which it is carried by the Vena Cava, where it exonerates it self in the Right Cavity, from whence it passeth into the Vena Arteriosa, and drives on the Blood which is contain­ed in that, through Anastomoses already discovered, and through Pores less sen­sible into the Arteria Venosa.

And as much Blood as the Arteria Venosa hath received, so much of it deposits into the left Cavity, from whence passing into the Aorta, it is carried into the extream parts of the Body, through Branches which go to the Branches of the Vena Cava, from hence the Blood being brought into the Trunk, continuing its journey by the same way it returns to the Heart, and by the same reason as I said, it wonderfully and without inter­mission performs the Circulation.

This Circulation of the Blood re­lies upon some Experiments, the first of which, is taken from Blood-letting: For Chyrurgeons when they Bleed a [Page 324] Vein, tye the Arm above the Orifice, and if they put their Finger upon the Vein on the other side of the Liga­ment, the Blood is stopped immedi­ately: From whence it is apparent, that it comes from the extremity of the Fingers to the Trunk, and not from the Trunk to the extremity of the Fingers, but by Circulation, of which we are discoursing.

The Second Experiment is made, if a Vein be tyed in a part of the Body, separated from the Artery: for it will be emptied on that side towards the Trunk, and it will be swelled on the other side; on that side, that is to say, from whence the Blood according to this Opinion ought to proceed.

There is nothing therefore so cer­tain as this Circular motion of the Blood, and its passage into the Heart, but here are three things to be obser­ved. First, that the motion of the Heart does not depend upon this Circulation of the Blood, although it conduce to its conservation and inor­dinate motion, as this Circulation is made more or less hastily, and as the Blood is more or less temperate in the disposition of its particles, and [Page 325] in its saline serosities which serve for a vehicle to it, and render it more fluid.

Secondly, that the Circulation of the Blood as the Moderns indeed will have it, may be performed three times in an hour, yet so that all the Blood does not enter into the Cavities or Ventricles of the Heart, as not once every hour, but either sooner or la­ter, according to the greater or lesser quantity, or greater or lesser subtilty or mobility of the Blood.

Thirdly, I say, that the Blood in some cases, cannot pass out of the Arteries into the Veins, through the extremities, that is, when the extre­mities are cut off; in which Case, it goes on another way, through insen­sible Pores, which they call Transpira­tion, or Transudation.

CHAP. XX. Of the Inward Senses, and the Infe­riour Appetite.

BEsides the exteriour Senses of which we have spoken, there are also found to be in Man interiour Senses, (to wit) the Imagination, common Sense, and Sensitive Memory. The first forms a lasting Image of Objects.

The Second judgeth of the agreeable­ness or disagreeableness of them.

The third retains and preserves these Images or Ideas; which is manifest in Dogs, who represent to themselves persons absent, and distinguish both between the good and the evil that hath befallen them, witnessing that they remember the thing by running away if they have an opportunity, or by Fawnings.

Appetite follows the interiour Senses, and is common to all Animals, and which is performed by the weight of Atoms, whereby it comes to pass that an Animal hath a propensity, and is driven to seek for that with which it is delighted, and to abstain from that [Page 327] which might bring trouble: So that Delight and Pain are the two great im­portances of the Life of an Animal. Pleasure according to the Opinion of Epicurus, depends upon Corpuscles which have a soft, round, and agreeable Fi­gure, especially to the Brain, as to which the Object is represented by the imagination, and from which it is car­ried by the Senses: Pain on the con­trary, and both of them are perfor­med by those Corpuscles, whether they come to, or go from, or continue.

In Morals, we will speak concerning these Passions, as the two Scales of sen­sitive actions; in the mean time I may here say, that the interiour Senses re­ceive these Corpuscles, which bring pleasure or pain by the ministery of the exteriour Senses; from whence it comes, that those that Sleep, or are Lethargick, or Apoplectick, feel no­thing, though they are pricked: For the Brain is filled with strange Hu­mours, which hinder the motion of the aforesaid Corpuscles, or else that mo­tion is stopped by Vapours, brought from the lower parts to the Brain, which happens to those that are asleep.

CHAP. XXI. Of Sleep, Wakefulness, and Death.

SLEEP is the Image of Death, for all the Senses are at rest, nor is there any motion left but that of the Heart, Lungs and Arteries; this Rest proceeds from Vapours arising out of the Stomach, which by their clammy­ness, humidity, and viscousness, do stu­pifie the Animal Spirits, and Sleep is sweet or restless, according as those Vapours are sweet, or abound with Corpuscles, or are stirred up from Choler, or other things of an irregu­lar Figure, or where some emancipated Atoms make the disturbance.

The mixture of these Atoms is often the Cause of Light-headedness, Madness, and Hypochondriac Melancholly; and they likewise produce watchfulness, by an inversion and confusion of the Ideas in the imagination; from whence it hap­pens that we see that which we never see directly; and sometimes Monsters and horrible things.

This motion of the Images or Ideas is sometimes so very violent, and there [Page 329] is so great a Troop of these emanci­pated Atoms in the Brain, that those that are asleep, do sometimes rise out of Bed, Talk, climbe up Walls, Bathe themselves, and then go to Bed again, without ever waking all the while.

Death is commonly called a perpe­tual Sleep, and in Animals (excepting Man) it is nothing else than a total dis­sipation of the Vital Atoms, or a cessation of motion, in which their Life consists. In Man these things are not after the same manner, although however all these things cease in a dying Man, either im­mediately, as in a violent Death; or by degrees, as in a Natural Death; we must confess nevertheless, that in that respect something else is to be accom­plished, to wit, the separation of the Soul which God gave him, and which returns unto him that gave it.

Before we go any further, and that we may make an end of this Chapter, and be as good as our Word, I am forced a little more specially to discourse con­cerning the Death of those things which have Life: For whatsoever is Created and Compounded of many Parts, and Liveth, is subject to Death.

Man, who is Compounded of a mate­rial and Organical Body, like other [Page 330] Beings, dyes at last; but because he hath an immortal Soul Created after the Image of God, he only dyes that he may live Eternally with God, if he be Faithful; and his Death is no more than Sleep, and a passing into Eterni­ty.

What a Christian Philosopher ought to think of this Soul I shall declare in the last Chapter of this Book: Here I will say something of his Body, as also of its Corruption and Dissolution. The Rational Soul never goes out of this Mortal Body before the motion of the Heart is stopped; this motion, which is not voluntary, ceasing, Life can no longer continue, since it consists in this motion.

If the Rational Soul was only in the Brain, as Duncan and some others will have it, it would be hard to tell why it should depart, upon the cessation of the Hearts motion, whilst the rest of the Parts are in good order. As for my part, I consider it in its Spiritual Na­ture, believing that he must have too mean an Idea of this Spiritual Substance who confines it to the Brain, and to the smallest part of it. That Opinion which affirms it to be present every where in the whole Body, although it operates more particularly in the Brain [Page 331] and Heart, seems to me to be more Reasonable, and for this Reason, the Soul acting in the Heart, the Organ cea­sing, it departs in the same Moment.

It may seem a wonder to not a few, that the Rational Soul should so depend upon the material Body, but since it so seemed good to the Author of Nature, we ought to rest satisfied. The Body is endued with Organs for the sake of the Soul, and the Soul is created for the sake of the Body, and one is made for the other, and the Conjunction of these two make a compleat Man. One part onely does not make a Man, nor does a separate Body make up the Essence of a Man; and indeed a dead Man is not what he was, 'till he Rises again. The Soul therefore is annexed to the Body by such a sort of Tye, that it cannot act but by Organs. So that he sees nothing when his Eyes are out, he hears nothing when his Ears are stopt, and the chief Organ being deficient, the Soul departs because it can do no­thing.

This Chief Organ, to wit, the Heart, is deficient many ways; it may be stop­ped and suffocated for want of Air and respiration, for the Atoms of Light im­planted in the Heart at the time of a [Page 332] Man's Conception, (the commerce of the Solar Spirits being intercepted for want of Air,) do sometimes suddenly stand still, they flye away, finding a passage through a solution of the con­tinuum, or through Pores made fit by a burning Feaver in the Heart, all the Water of the Pericardium being dryed up: Thick and viscous Blood does sometimes stop the motion of these Vital Atoms. Poyson also does by its acute Particles pierce through the Heart, and give an exit to these Spirits of Light, which are tyed to those which the Sun bestows upon us, and are at­tracted by them, returning thither from whence they came.

Let us see now what the Body does in the Grave; it putrifies there, that is, it is dissolved, some Corpuscles or Atoms withdraw themselves, some part of the Body is changed into Worms, some of the Vital Spirits resisting. It is a folly here to imagine any substantial form of the Dead Carcasse, or to acknow­ledge partial forms of the Bones, Flesh, Veins, Arteries, and such like things, Subjects to the form of the dead Carcasse, or alone without this Form. These are Illusions and Chimera's. Matter is the same, and all the change that happens, [Page 333] consists in this, That when the Ra­tional Soul is absent, there remains no­thing besides matter; the Organs by little and little lose their Figure, and having lost their Composition, they lose their action, that which was com­pounded is dissolved, and the greater part goes into Dust and Ashes; the Luminous Spirits recede, and follow the motion of the Spirits of their kind: some Parts or Corpuscles joyned to the putri­fying Body, purtifie in the place where they are: Experience favours this Do­ctrine.

A certain Servant to a Noble-Man, whose Nose had been by great mis­fortune newly cut off, freely parts with his own Nose to serve his Master. This Nose being put in the place of that which was newly cut off, took Root, and grew together, after such a manner, with a Cartaliginous Flesh, that it seem­ed to be Natural. About twenty years afterwards, the Servant dyes in a far Countrey, and was Buried, and as by degrees he putrified, so after the same manner, this end of a Nose began to putrifie, to be corrupted, and to fall off, parting from that part to which it had so long stuck without withering, whilst the Servant lived, the part following [Page 334] the condition of the whole.

I say moreover, that the least parts or Corpuscles which proceed from a Body, the Body being Dead and Corrupted, they also are Corrupted, and joyned in commerce with Atoms of the same Na­ture, which they do, by inviting them to joyn and come together.

And here's an Experiment which every one can understand. It is very well known, that he that puts on a Garment, or touches it, leaves upon it his Scent, that is, Corpuscles which proceed from his Body, and which constitute part of it; and by the help of these Corpus­cles a Dog is able to know his Masters Handkerchief, Hat, or Garment from ten thousand others. This being suppo­sed, if the Dead Man's Garment or Gloak be put into a Press or Chest, first, and for some days, when the Body that is Buried begins to putrifie, there will be a considerable noise and disturbance in the Press or Chest, enough to fright­en Children, and other folks too, and the Corpuscles of the dead Body being attracted by those that are going away, by their motion make this noise among the Cloaths: And whereas this attracti­on is made in a streight Line, and these Corpuscles cannot pass through the [Page 335] Bords, but obliquely, the Wood suf­fering violence, makes a noise as if it were crackt. Any one may trye this, and know whether this Experiment made by others be true or no: I see no rea­son to doubt of it: From hence appears that invisible Bond of the Parts with the Body from whence they did proceed.

A third Experiment may be made, which will serve to the illustrating this Subject. Take a piece of Veal, or any other Flesh from the Shambles, and with it rub the Warts of any ones Face or Hands, then afterwards fling it upon the Dunghil, or Bury it, and as that putri­fies, the Warts will fall off, which de­notes that the Corpuscles of Flesh retur­ning to their whole or greater part, and being violently attracted, do in the same manner attract the Warts, and make them go away, which some Learned Men say they have Experienced.

We may admire in all these things the Providence of God, who hath Created Atoms, and out of them hath compoun­ded the Universe, wherein we find so great a number of wonderful things, which are the subject of our admiration, and convince our Ignorance.

CHAP. XXII. Of the Death of Brutes, Plants, and Mettals.

SEeing that Man dyes, other Animals cannot escape Death; let us see wherein it consists.

The Followers of Aristotle are very much puzzled in explaining the Death of a Dog, for when it is destitute of all Sense and Motion, it is dead without doubt, yet in the mean time it hath all its parts and Organs. What therefore happens to this Animal? Its Soul is se­parated from its Body, say they, and the Spirit of Life is not in him; they do the Beast much honour who speak thus in his Favour. But what becomes of this Soul? Is it corrupted or annihila­ted; or does it subsist apart in some other place, or is it taken into some other Body? No, by no means, say they, it is not, it is destroyed, and that's suffi­cient. So it is sufficient to People who don't seek after the Truth: For if this Soul be a substance as they say it is a material one, it is impossible but it must go into some other thing, or else be re­duced [Page 337] into nothing. It is reduced into nothing say they; therefore it is annihila­ted, therefore it is Created and made out of nothing, which is Ridiculous, and unbecoming a Christian Philosopher. It is true, this Opinion is very common in the Schools, but this Errour is de­tected, and they who are wiser than o­thers, say with us, that the Spirits of Life, or Corpuscles of Light being al­together dissipated or hindred in their motion, do withdraw and return to their Original, and Copulate with o­thers which are in the Air, so dyes a Dog, without the loss of that which God made; the Parts are separated, the Spirits seek the Air, the Body the Earth.

Plants dye like other Living Crea­tures, but their Death very much dif­fers from the Death of Animals, for as much as their Organical Parts do not appear so as they do in Animals, nor does a Plant dye so easily as an Animal: For a Plant is not dead so soon as it is pulled out of the ground, its Life continues to the extream dry­ness, or evaporation of the Radical moisture, which contains all the Spirits of Life; and though the Plant be cal­cined, or burnt to Ashes, part of the [Page 338] Spirits will remain in those Ashes; for the Lixivium that is made, or the Salt that is extracted, gives all the Savour of the Plant; and where that Lixivium is congealed by the Cold of the Night, the Figure of the burnt Plant will ap­pear in the very Ice.

But what is more to be observed, is, that a Plant dryed in a Kilne, and put into a particular Water whose Vir­tue is Universal, receives its pristine Greenness, Leaves, and Flowers; with­out doubt in this dryed Plant some Vi­tal Spirits were shut up, which are re­laxed by the Spirits of this Water, or the Vital Spirits exhaling, give way to the Spirits of the Water we speak of, to take their places. This Water is endued with Vital Spirits, which can fill the place of those that exhale in us, and with this sole Remedy Life may be prolonged, and the losses of ruined Old-Age be repaired, by filling up the Vacuities of the radical moisture which is dissipated. But you will say, where is this Water, it is to be found in Light, according to our Principles, and certainly no where else. This Wa­ter is the true Elixir-Vitae, and the Universal Medicine of the Antients, and it is meet that we use it to the pre­servation [Page 339] of the most Sacred Persons.

Mettals have a more abstruse Life than Plants, nor is their Death more conspicuous: Their Life consists in a certain disposition of Parts, which permits a free motion to the Atoms of Life and Light. This is the State of Mettals in their Mines, and when they are melted, this Liberty is lost, by the intervention of the Atoms of Fire; and when after melting they grow cold, they may be called Dead, for they are deprived of motion, nor do they perform any action. Gold melted when it is grown cold is dead; it Lived in the Mine, it is dying whilst it is melting, and it is dead, when cast into Ingots.

In vain therefore do the Chymists seek for the Living among the Dead, Common Gold is dead, and good for nothing but to make Money of; but if any one can dissolve this Body, and bring the Dead to Life again by the benefit of that resuscitative Water which we spoke of before, he may prepare a Medicine, profitable to hu­mane and Mettalick Bodies.

It is said before, that Stones want Life: But this I meant, that they not a Life so notorious as Met­tals, [Page 340] whose Life hitherto is yet obscure enough; for I have Learnt being convinced by Experience, that the greatest part of Stones are multiplied, and encrease, according to all their dimensions; and that Sand is turned into Shells.

And this very thing is the Cause that I conclude, Light to be the Spirit of Life, that by the benefit of it all things Live, the very Stones also take their Life from hence, Seeds owe all their Vigour to Light, and seeing that Light is woven out of thin threads of Gold, all things therefore Live by the Spirit of Gold. But the Soul of Man is Spiritual▪ and a Ray of Divine Light, and owes its Life to God and his Word, as also it is an Immortal Sub­stance, as we shall say in the next and last Chpater.

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