SIX Philosophical Essays Upon Several SUBJECTS: VIZ.

  • I. Dr. Burnet's Theory of the Earth.
  • II. Wit and Beauty.
  • III. A Publick Spirit.
  • IV. The Weather.
  • V. The Certainty of Things, and the Existence of a Deity.
  • VI. The Cartesian Idea of God.

By S. P. Gent. of Trinity-Colledge in Oxford.

Quid est praecipuum? Erigere animum supra minas & pro­missa Fortunae. Nihil dignum putare quod speres. Quid enim habet dignum quod concupiscas? Qui à divinorum contemplatione quoties ad humana recideris, non aliter caligabis quàm quorum oculi in densam umbram ex claro sole rediere.
Sen. Nat. Quaest. lib. 3.

LONDON, Printed by I. H. for Tho. Newborough at the Gol­den Ball in St. Paul's Church-yard. MDCC.

TO THE Reverend and most Ingenious Mr. Jeremy Collier.


BY many Titles you claim my poor Endeavours, but by none more than that of the Example you have given me; on which account, how much soever the World is oblig'd to you, I, for my part, must acknowledge my self more especially indebt­ed; since of our Moderns, none [Page] has afforded me a more perfect Idea of Genuine Eloquence and Reason than Mr. Collier. Kind­ly therefore receive a Creature thus in an inferiour Sense your own; encourage its Address, and protect it from the Censures and Criticisms of a squeamish Age: Protect it, I beseech you, la­bouring under so great Disad­vantages, as its Author's Imma­turity, the Impediments of his present Circumstances, and the burden of its own Defects; Ob­stacles that must have prov'd in­superable, but for the benign In­fluence and Condescensions of that Learned President and Society under whose Discipline I live, and by whose Instructions and Con­versation I endeavour to improve.

[Page] Instead of troubling you with any occasions of my ensuing Per­formances, I shall only inform you of the occasion of a remark­able Omission, I mean my neg­lect of Mathematical Arguments, of which the World is become most immoderately fond, looking upon every thing as trivial, that bears no relation to the Compasses, and establishing the most distant parts of Humane Knowledge; all Spe­culations, whether Physical, Lo­gical, Ethical, Political, or any other upon the particular results of Number and Magnitude. Nor is it to be question'd, but the Dominion of Number and Mag­nitude is very large. Must they therefore devour all Relations and Properties whatsoever? 'Tis plain­ly unreasonable. In any other Common-wealth but that of Learn­ing, [Page] such attempts towards an absolute Monarchy would quickly meet with Opposition. It may be a kind of Treason, perhaps, to intimate thus much; but who can any longer forbear, when he sees the most noble, and most use­full portions of Philosophy lie fallow and deserted for oppor­tunities of learning how to prove the Whole bigger than the Part, &c.

I expect also some Doctrines of that Essay, which treats of the Certainty of Things, and the Demonstration of a Deity, will be disrelish'd by a Party of Men amongst us at this time not incon­siderable. But the Author assures all such, that as he understands his Inferences in that Essay to be just and sure, however agreeable [Page] to this or that Hypothesis, so he has neither taken advantage of a­ny Errors, nor from any Acquisi­tions of Mr. Lock, having not read that Gentleman's elegant Es­say of Humane Understanding, till some time after he had compos'd his own Discourse, wherein he resolv'd to quit all Authority for the simple Evidence of his own naked Reason.

And here I cannot chuse, but hint, how much it were to be wish'd, your self, Sir, would put an end to the Dispute now prosecuted by that Gentleman. I am confident a Iudg­ment so penetrating, adorn'd with a Rhetorick so powerfull, might ea­sily decide that subtile Controversie both to the satisfaction of the Anta­gonists and their Readers. But, I confess, I cannot handsomely urge this mòtion, when I recollect how [Page] vast a design you are already form­ing, a design which will redound as much to the Credit of your Coun­try, as did once the Athenian Co­lumns, the Egyptian Pyramids, or the Roman Registers to the Glory of those States, and from the pur­suit of which, to detain you longer, were altogether unpardonable in,

Good Sir,
Your most Oblig'd, and most Devoted Humble Servant, Sa. Parker.

THE FOUNDATIONS OF Dr. Burnet's Theory OF THE EARTH, Consider'd in A CONFERENCE BETWEEN Philalethes and Burnetianus.


GOOD morrow, Sir, You look somewhat pale; methinks, and heavy about the eyes this morn­ing.


And so, Philalethes, would I always con­tentedly, for such a surfeit of pleasures as I en­joy'd last night.

[Page 2]

Dry, Sober, and Philosophical ones, I suppose; for a little of any other serves your turn.


Philosophical if you please, but not dry. O thou prodigious, incomparable, divine Bur­net! thou foiler of all Philosophers, High-Priest of Nature!


Nay, if you're there-abouts, I ask no more Questions, but should be glad if you could govern your self so far as but to learn my Pre­scriptions against your Night-mare.


Prescriptions! I hope you will not un­dertake to do more than so many eminent Ma­thematicians and Vertuoso's have done yet. The sortress you would beleaguer is altogether im­pregnable; and let the fate of others teach you, that whosoever attempts the Theory, had as good strike at a Spirit.


However, with your permission, I will venture the consequences, but shall premise this in your favour, that I think all Characterizings and personal Representations ought to be care­fully avoided in the dispute. I'm sure that will never confute a mistake, how much soever it may lessen the Lapser. Nor will I remind you of any thing hitherto urg'd by the Learned and Ingenious against your Theory; only give me leave to communicate a thought or two of my own, and be free to find what flaws you can.


Very fairly proposed, and you shall be as fairly heard.


I thank you. Then know in the first place, it has been my opinion all along, that the work might be cut much shorter. I was never a Friend to multiplying Problems and [Page 3] Propositions. The Theory is from first to last a plausible pretty Chain of Physical Effects, wherein you need ruin but one link to ruin the whole. Make but one breach, and your impre­gnable Fortress is lost. Compasses and Slate may as well hang in their places, for a little good Logick and natural Philosophy are suffici­ent to make head against the Mischief. Yet because the surest way is to strike at the root, I shall examine your Theorist's foundation, and presume if he be catch'd tripping there, you will easily give up his After-conclusions.


You may depend upon't.


Very good. Then if I make it appear that the form of the Ante diluvian Earth was not different from the form of the present Earth, you will no longer maintain that the Deluge was brought to pass by the Dissolution of any form of the Earth different from the present.


No longer I promise you; but yet I shall be at a loss for any better Hypothesis to clear those difficulties, which otherwise the No­tion of an Universal Flood must necessarily carry with it.


As for that, further Speculations may in time bring forth a satisfactory Hypothesis: but if they should not, thus much we know, That the Flood was either the ordinary Effect of second Causes, though the measures of their Operati­on be hidden from us, or if it could not be such an Effect, that it was the direct and immediate Atchievment of Omnipotence it self, and let that hush all your Scruples.


That were self-resignation with a Ven­geance: What? Shall I be oblig'd to acquiesce [Page 4] in a Miracle, because I cannot fathom Nature's measures?


Mistake me not. I say fathom 'em if you can: if that's deny'd, enquire whether the Supposal implies any Contradiction or Absur­dity in respect of Nature's usual proceedings. If it does not, take it for granted 'twas no more than the result of ordinary Combinations: if it does, you may be confident 'twas Miracle all, and then trouble your head no further.


I submit, be pleas'd to proceed to your Argument.


The Theorist you know presumes it in­fallibly certain, that the Earth rose out of a Chaos at first, and that such a Chaos as him­self describes (Theor. Book 1. Chap. 4.) a fluid Mass, or a Mass of all sorts of little Parts and Particles of Matter mix'd together and floating in confusion one with another. And this Sup­position he lays down as a Postulate, whereas I must tell you, it ought to have been offer'd with such restrictions as render it wholly unservicea­ble to his main design. For why must this Cha­os be a fluid Mass? Why might it not be as well a drift or shower of Atoms yet unamass'd, disorderly dancing one amongst another, and at various distances?


But this is no better, Man, than out of the Frying-pan into the Fire. You dread the pernicious Doctrines of the Theory, and there­fore take Sanctuary in those of Epicurus. In good time I beseech you consider the Poet's Ma­xim, Dum vitant (you know who) vitium in contraria currunt.

[Page 5]

God forbid using of Epicurus's terms should make me his. All that I would have a­mounts to thus much. That the Chaos or mate­rial Elements of our Earth which were origi­nally created by a Divine Power, and after­wards by the same Divine Power so dispos'd and compounded as to form this Sublunary World, might as well be a Company or Chorus of A­toms of divers kinds dispers'd and dancing in the great Inane, without any just order or distribu­tion, as a fluid Mass of mixt Particles.


What becomes then of the Authority of the Ancients? who (not to cite'em particu­larly) understood by their Chaos nothing but a mere Hotch-potch of matter, a rude, undigest­ed Mixture or Collection of the several Seeds of things animate and inanimate.


'Tis e'en as good as ever 'twas, that is, in my opinion none at all (sacred Authority al­ways excepted whereto my Hypothesis is not that I know of any way repugnant) for if the Tradition of the Ancients avails any thing in the present case, it therefore avails because they liv'd at a less distance of time from the Chaos: but alas! neither their earliness, nor the credit of their Tradition qualifie 'em to be better Judges than we of what neither they nor their Fore-fathers could know more than the latest of their Posterity: and 'tis impossible they should be better acquainted with the Chaos than their Offspring, unless they and the Chaos had been Cotemporary. Not to mention how much they are indebted to Moses for their Notions, as also that most of your Authorities are either properly Poetical, or else pure Hypothesis, and Theory like your own.

[Page 6]

Do you not believe then that the Pri­mitive Inhabitants of the Earth might at least give a better guess from the Contemplation of it in its Infancy, and most simple condition (supposing even its first form the same as its present) than we who behold it at so great a disadvantage, and almost in its ruins, what might be the Constitution of the Chaos?


By no means, 'till you can prove Har­mony a good Comment upon Disorder: for whether your Chaos or mine were the true, the first People of our world could, I suppose, see no farther into a Mill-stone than their Suc­cessors. No doubt they were equally Strangers to all beyond the Superficial parts of our Globe as our selves; consequently as much in the dark a­bout the distribution of the Chaos, much more about the state of it before that distribution. Nei­ther did the righteous Man and his Family, that we know of, make any remarks at the time of the Deluge which might give us some light into the matter, or granting they left a Tradition behind them relating thereto, and lost many Ages ago, which however there appears no manner of reason why we should grant, still I say those remarks must be very imperfect, and contribute little enough to our knowledge of the Distribution of the Chaos, nothing at all to our knowledge of its Constitution before that Distri­bution —But I entreat you oblige me not to any longer Digression upon this Topick, which else will lead us very much out of our way.


I shall not, but pardon me if I observe to you that unless your dancing Atoms will an­swer all the ends of our fluid mass, I shall hold [Page 7] it reasonable to pay some deference to the Au­thority of the Ancients which at least confirms the original state of Nature to be such as is fair­ly solvable according to our Hypothesis of the Chaos.


With all my heart, when you can al­ledge a just cause why my dancing Atoms as soon as they are gather'd into a body will not serve the true genuine purposes of a Chaos as well as the Theorist's fluid Mass.


Admitting therefore your Conjecture, I cannot conceive of what use it will be to you in the present Disquisition.


Of singular use, believe me; for the Atoms or Particles of my Chaos being free and separate, and not sorted into distinct Orders and Species, nor allotted their proper distances from each other, 'tis very probable many less Detach­ments of them would unite distinctly from any greater Combination, and being united into such smaller Masses, would in time encounter the larger Combination (such an one as we may understand to consist of the grossest matter of all being the likeliest to reach the Center soonest) and by their accession render the Superficies of it however Spherical and regular in it self (which according to our Supposition it could scarce be to a Nicety) very uneven and mountainous. All this would be but a natural result, and yet re­quires a more immediate Interposition of Pro­vidence to frame the great ball of our Earth so regular as it now appears to be; as indeed all Events in the natural World do, and ever did, and the Deluge no less than the rest, notwith­standing the large Province you would assign to [Page 8] second Causes. Thus we see what a doughty Postulate your Theory leans upon.


Still we stand both upon the same bot­tom, and if I should assent to your Hypothesis you cannot, I think, deny but you have as much reason to assent to mine. Only this advantage I retain above you, that those Conclusions which the Theory infers afterwards from my Hypo­thesis, are so just and apposite, and otherwise so perfectly inexplicable as to turn the Scale on my side, and strengthen not a little the probability of our Proposition.


As for the inexplicableness of those Conclusions, I have spoke to it already, and need only admonish you to beware of such circu­lar Argumentations. The Conclusion is good because the Premises are so, and the Premises are good because the Conclusion is so.


To whom do you apply that?


To no worse a Friend than your self. The Flood came to pass by the disruption of that Crust of Earth which inclos'd the Abyss. How could that be, unless there was such a Crust? But there was such a Crust form'd when the Chaos was digested into Order. Why do you believe so? because the Floud which en­sued upon the dis-ruption of this Crust is best accounted for upon such a supposal. And yet bating this Argument, I do not see but my Scheme deserves to be as fairly receiv'd as that of the Theorist, consideratis considerandis. But I am ready to quit my own Notion of the Chaos, offer'd only to shew the precariousness of the Theorist's, and supposing the state of the Tohu bohu to have been such as he describes it, I hope [Page 9] in the next place to convince you that the di­tribution of its parts could not be such as he would have it, not that Incrustation, upon which he builds so confidently, be effected after such a manner as he imagines.


Heroically threatned! make but your words good at last, Et eris mihi magnus Apollo.


You may remember the Theorist ha­ving delineated his Chaos, presently after, takes notice that from such a Chaos 'tis impossible should arise a mountainous, uneven Earth, for that no Concretion or consistent State which this Mass could flow into immediately, or first settle in, could be of such a form or figure as our present Earth, neither without nor within; not within, because there the Earth is full of Cavi­ties and empty Places, of Dens and broken Holes, whereof some are open to the Air, and others cover'd and enclos'd wholly within the ground.


And pray are not both of these unimi­table in any liquid Substance, whose parts will necessarily flow together into one continued Mass, and cannot be divided into Apartments and se­parate Rooms, nor have Vaults or Caverns made within it?


Not at all unimitable, if I may be a Judge, for let us but conceive the agitation of the Parts of this liquid Chaos to be pretty quick and violent, which why it should not I know of no better reasons you can give than I can why it should; I say, suppose their agitation somewhat of the quickest, and your Theorist's Axiom will appear a plain mistake, unless he will please to exempt some of the main constituent Principles of this sublunary World out of his Chaos.

[Page 10]

I cannot apprehend what you would drive at no more than why you should doubt of the comprehensiveness of our Chaos. I know no reason why we ought to exclude either Fire, or Air, or Earth, or Water, I mean the consti­tuent parts of them, and if you will consult the Theorist's own description of his Chaos (Book 1. Chap. 5.) you will see he is much of the same mind.


I am glad to hear it; I was almost a­fraid the two former Elements would get no House-room, at least that commodious Utensil, Fire; and the more, because in that same De­scription of his which you cite, he has forgot to reckon it amongst his principles of all Terrestrial (I suppose by that word he means sublunary) Bodies.


But do not you know the Theorist is so liberal of that Element, as to furnish out of the Centre with it even to profuseness?


With just as good a pretence as Mr. Hobbs himself has sometimes acknowledged such a thing as a Law of Nature, but yet by the constant Tenour of his Argumentations would abolish the very meaning of it▪ Thus the The­orist tolerates a Central Fire, and at the same time forgets how upon the secretion of his Cha­os he tumbles down all the course miry rubbish directly thither. But this only by the by: so long as he is reconcil'd to any mixture of Igne­ous and Aethereal Particles I am content, see­ing the consequence runs thus, That these Igne­ous and Aethereal Particles being driven, and put into motion in common with the rest may not unlikely occasion rarefactions, at least in [Page 11] concurrence with the sulphureous Particles. This I presume may pass with you for a Result natural enough.


Not so very natural neither, 'till you can make out the necessity of your quick and vi­olent motion. Did you never see Water and Ashes mixt in a Kettle before 'twas hung over the Fire? if you ever did, I much question whether you could find a motion so brisk among the parts of that Liquid, as to cause rarefacti­ons.


Pardon me, Sir, if I think the case quite different in the Chaos, not only because its parts are suppos'd to be ten Thousand de­grees more minute and mobile with respect to each other than the gross ones of common Wa­ter and Ashes, but also because in such a com­position before 'tis hung over the Fire, there are no such ingredients as igneous Particles, nor yet any sulphureous, at least at liberty. But up­on the insinuations of the igneous Particles you may behold how the more subtle parts of the mixture are easily rarefy'd, and the gross ones crowded one upon another. In like manner I cannot but believe the grosser and earthy parts of the Chaos by the rarefaction of the Igneous and Aethereal would gather into Cakes and Masses around the Spheres of rarefaction, which if pra­cticable, then might the interior parts of the Chaos be divided into Apartments and separate Rooms, and have Vaults and Caverns made within it, for the Masses so form'd being une­qual, irregular and disjointed, either of them­selves or by Explosions, when the rarefaction is violent and restrain'd, encounter and tumble up­on [Page 12] one another, by that means falling into greater Masses, and those greater Masses being craggy and cliffy, and settling among one ano­ther no less irregularly, must necessarily leave within them those Vaults and Caverns, so little expected by the Theorist.


Very good. Then it seems you fancy the Chaos boyling up like a Mess of Frumen­ty?


Not so fast, my Friend. But this I i­magine that what an overproportion'd degree of heat (to use again your own Similitude) pre­vents in a Mess of Frumenty, viz. The clotting or coalition of the grosser parts, that would a degree of heat proportionably less very natural­ly effect in the Chaos. Nor do I think it can be doubted but a Concourse of principles, so contrary, will beget Fermentations, and by those Fermentations the more feculent parts must needs be separated from the finer and lighter in­to Masses of various Bulk and Figure, which if granted upon your Theorist's own terms his Hy­pothesis unavoidably perishes.


As how, I beseech you?


Why if the grosser parts must be colle­cted into Masses before the Descent of any of them towards the Centre, as the case will stand if they were collected by and during the Fermen­tation, then will they upon their Descent lodge themselves so immethodically one upon another, and ruinously, as both to form Hills and Emi­nencies on their Surface, and leave hollownesses within their Substance, and so the Primaeval Earth will be e'ery whit as ill shap'd as that we poor Mortals inhabit, even in spight of the The­orist's [Page 13] lucky invention. Nay further, I see no reason why, if we should excuse all Fermentati­ons whatsoever, the grosser Particles should not either in their common state of Fluidity, or in descending, gather into such Masses of different Form and Size, according as larger or less num­bers of 'em encounter'd, and according as their postures and modifications differ'd which circum­stances, as they must be very various and uncer­tain in a Mass so compounded as the Chaos, and withall so disorderly in the motions of its parts, so they cannot but be the cause of horrible irre­gularities and deformities both upon and within the great collection of the pond'rous solid parts. within we shall have Chasms, Gulphs and La­byrinths: a'top vast rugged Cliffs and wide ca­pacious Chanels.


Do not, dear Friend, celebrate your Triumph before you have conquer'd. How much soever you may flatter your self, I have yet a Quere in reserve that perhaps may dispose you to lay down your Arms at last.


What may that be?


Which way these Masses are bound up and fasten'd together, so as not to be wash'd asun­der again by the motion of the free parts of the Fluid?


Either by Hitching, and Articulations, no matter how accurate, as it may frequently happen, or else by the Astriction of that Oily matter which the Theorist assigns after the Di­stribution of the Chaos for the foundation of his great vaulted Crust.


But is Oil of so glutinous a Nature?

[Page 14]

For the uniting of earthy Particles, your Theorist has thought it so upon another occasion as well as my self.


But he first took care to gather it into a body, and fetch it to such a Consistency as might handsomely sustain the impression, and support the weight of that shower of Particles which was to light upon it.


How unwarrantably he compass'd all that we shall presently evince. In the mean while I would gladly be inform'd why oleagi­nous Particles meeting with earthy and gross in a common Fluid may not couple and hold them together very tightly and effectually, espe­cially if it be consider'd that it is the property of Oily Particles to concorporate when they en­counter, and consequently that by their Com­binations they become so much the better capa­ble to collect and retain such dispers'd Particles of Earth as come in their way. But this is certain, that during its state of Fluidity the Oily Parts of the Chaos when earthy occurr to them, must adhere pertinaciously to the earthy, so that in the distribution of the Chaos they cannot disengage themselves, but are oblig'd to subside along with them, and what will you do now for a Sphere of Oil a' top of your Water, when the parts of your Chaos are to be digested into order? Yet without it you must utterly de­spair of a Crust, and without a Crust, of an u­niversal Deluge occasion'd by the disruption and dissolution of it.


I confess, Philalethes, you have shock'd me a little, yet perhaps if you will give me lei­sure to weigh your Objection more accurately, [Page 15] I may come to find out where the Fallacy lies.


As much leisure as you please, only before you set about the matter, let me desire you to take another Animadversion of mine a­long with you; That however plausible or ex­act any Physical System or Hypothesis which va­ries at all from express accounts of the Divine Oracles may appear at first glance, when you have look'd a little deeper into it, you will find the Philosophy of it very empty and incongru­ous. Nor do I design this to the disparagement of the Theorist, for whose excellent Parts and Learning I profess my self to have as profound a Veneration as even his coràm Vindicator. And now I ask your Pardon for detaining you so long with a Dispute which indeed the Theorist him­self has according to the Rules of equitable In­terpretation determin'd before-hand in favour of me, for if for confirmation he so willingly appeals (as he often does most willingly) to the testimony of the Sacred Writings, 'tis to be pre­sum'd his pleasure that his cause should stand or fall thereby, and then I think 'tis impossible for any body to read in Genesis, but he must perceive that ingenious Gentleman has fairly cast him­self in his own Court.

Your Servant.

That Wit and Beauty are na­turally the Concomitants of Vertue.

IT has always surpass'd the skill of our Wits to define their own Excellency. What Mr. Cowley and Mr. Dryden have at­chiev'd in the Undertaking is perhaps bet­ter known and (if I may dare to say so) less considerable than to challenge the mentioning at present. It seems to be altogether as intimate an affection as even simple Perceptions either of Understanding or Sense, and though very clear­ly known to it self, yet never can shine out be­yond its head. I confess that numerous party of Mankind, who are no more than qualified to listen and admire, may command a faint Idea of it. They know there is something tickles in such a certain choice and order of words, but how the Pleasure is first form'd, and by what art insinuated, they apprehend but very imperfect­ly. Nor does the Vanity of the Polytheism of the Ancients appear to me more surprizing and extravagant than their founding a whole College of Gods and Goddesses for the Super-intendency of Wit, seems (with respect to Polytheists) consistent and reasonable. For besides its strange variety of Feature, and the force of its Influ­ence, the manner of its presenting it self resem­bles [Page 17] not a little a divine Impulse: it darts in up­on the Imagination unpremeditated, and often violently. Its motions are rapid, and so capa­cious its embrace, that the farthest points of di­stance lie within its clasp, and every thing be­tween 'em dances after its pleasure like a Puppet to the strings. It amuses the Understanding and checks it in the Carreer of a sound or false rea­soning. How often has the Poinancy of a sin­gle proposition, or the quaintness of a reply de­termin'd Life and Death? No more than O! Solon, Solon, rescued a Monarch almost in the very article of Fate, and snatch'd him from the Pile already kindled, to the embrace and confi­dence of the Victor. King Athelstan's Cup­bearer, at whose instigation amongst others, that Prince had some years before murther'd his Bro­ther, at length became the instrument of Di­vine Vengeance against himself, and that by a pure Lapsus Linguae, for chancing to slip one day when he reach'd the Ewer, but recovering himself on the other Leg, that's as it should be, cry'd he, designing only to out-jeer the miscar­riage, one Brother helps t'other; but the words, it seems, made a far different impression upon the King, and easily admonish'd his conscience to do justice upon the person that utter'd 'em. Kingdoms and States have sometimes been trans­form'd by an Elegancy. Almost a Troop in season has taken Towns, and routed Armies. Now so singular a Privilege as this 'tis certain it most especially concerns the great Distributer to conferr critically.

Where Events of such consequence depend upon it, both his Justice and Omniscience en­gage [Page 18] him to exactness. Were it a light ordi­nary concern, he might sometimes seemingly recede from the direction of the Plummet, and by an After-decree correct the deviation: But true Wit is a gratuity too valuable to be put in­to the hands of those who are ready and resolv'd to pervert it when conferr'd to the worst pur­poses. Like the sweetest and most volatile Per­fumes it becomes by abuse most offensive and pernicious, and diffuses as wide, if not wider than before. Yet this reasoning will by no means hold universally. Exceptions present themselves too frequently for such a compre­hensiveness, and no where to our shame more frequently than at home, even to such a pass, that Dissoluteness and Irreligion are made the Livery of Wit, and no body must be conscious of good parts, but he loses the credit of them unless he take care to finish 'em with Immorali­ties. However, as much as these Examples crowd in upon us, there is this yet to be said, that the gloss is too slight to hold. They may ring the changes a while upon words, but the sense and the sound expire together, and the Organ of hearing is no sooner compos'd again, but the minds of the Audience recollect them­selves, and nauseate the emptiness of the Quib­ble. I dare say, no body ever yet read the Ob­scenities of my Lord Rochester, or the Omnis e­nim per se of Lucretius, but upon cooling saw the Cheat, and grew, at least in his heart, out of Love with it. Dactyl and Spondee cannot take fast hold enough. The murmurs of a Cascade may lull us in a Grotto, but when we are once come abroad, any reliques of the noise in our [Page 19] ears serve only to disturb us. So that what Pro­vidence might have prevented in the Cause, it has utterly defeated in the Effect, and our Beau|'sprits must think of giving warning to their Li­centiousness, and listing under Vertue, if esteem is their Scope. Indeed the conditions of their Depravity are such that the Habit endangers the Faculty. There is so much of the Absurd in all irreligious Notions, as is even apt to ob­scure and confound the fancy, or however re­duces its pittance of Elegancies to Oxymoron and Hysteron-Proteron. A civil War presently breaks forth between the Judgment and Imagi­nation, the former will be continually bearing down upon the latter, continually bearing down upon the latter, continuall mortifying its pertness, and disappointing its motions. But then if Intemperance goes hand in hand with Prophaneness, 'tis a desperate case. For Wit is no more proof against the Fumes of Luxury and Indigestion, than a Feather against Smoak; in spite of Fate they waft it all away, and 'tis out of reach before you think on't:

Quin Corpus onustum
Hesternis vitiis animum quoque praegravat u­nà,
Atque affigit humo divinae particulam aurae.

Some Genius's, 'tis true, retain their alacri­ty longer than others. Some can hold out a Trojan Siege; others perhaps scarce a twenty-years course of Bestiality shall effectually reduce, and there are of a third sort that are almost ob­noxious to one Bottle extraordinary. Nay I have generally observ'd, that the more refin'd [Page 20] the Genius, the more suddenly extinguish'd. Many acute Persons instead of being elevated, find themselves rather doz'd by the operation of Wine. Many again grow Bacchanals in an in­stant, and had need only clap spurs to their I­magination to make it run away with them. A few tempers 'tis confess'd are Masters of the Me­dium; but none always. Assiduity in the pra­ctice will effect at long run what Circe compass'd with a single Charm. 'Tis recorded of Alex­ander the Macedon, that he was a man of Stra­tagem and singular Acuteness, and the progress of his Arms declares him no worse a Politician than Commander, but when for some time he had abandon'd himself to Sensuality and Supine­ness, he not only lessen'd his Authority amongst his Soldiers, but soon became guilty of the gros­sest follies 'twas possible for him to commit, de­stroying his best Friends, burning his own Ci­ties, crowning his own Captives, insomuch that had he liv'd a few years longer, instead of weep­ing for want of a world to conquer, he might have whimper'd for the loss of that he had con­quer'd already. And much better it is, never to have had, than at length to have forfeited an eminency of Understanding. He who was born with common Intellects, neither knows the worth of Wit, nor the want of it. He 'scapes all notice, and takes none. He values no Cha­racter like that of a downright Dealer, and prefers a Shop Beesom to the Bays. Whereas he that makes Ship-wrack of his Talent meets with a Destiny much severer; he carries his Ignominy in his forehead, and sinks from a Fa­ther of Jests into the matter of 'em. There's [Page 21] not half the inconvenience in being beggar'd or cashier'd. They are misfortunes common to the Wit with the Blockhead, and where cir­cumstances and conditions do or may jump, the multitude behave themselves towards a sufferer the more candidly for their own sakes. But they never have any mercy for him whose losses are foreign to all of their own Capacity, espe­cially if he has brought the Calamity upon him­self, and that by methods only befitting them. This they think a just occasion for Triumph, and therefore insult without measure upon such a Proselyte to Stupidity. ‘D'you see that poor Dog there? (cry the Journey-men and Prentices as you walk the Street) since I re­member him, he was a modest, sober, gentile, pretty Gentleman, and moreover a man of as clear a head, and as clever a Tongue as any within forty Miles of him, 'till we got him in­to our Club, fox'd him ev'ry bout for a Twelve-month together, and now we've drunk the Bastard out of his Wits, we are e'en resolv'd to drink him out of all his Money too, and then turn him over to the Boys and the Bailiffs.’ Besides, no Wit is so lively as that which is accompanied with a Complacency and Lustre of mind. Their Bosom-Monitor will be troublesome to Rakes of Railery. Remorse never fails to balk all their good things. Good Wits, as Plutarch has observ'd, and before him Aristotle, are the most subject to Melan­choly of any people in the World, but loose ones lie under a double Shagrin, and till they reform, are like to play their parts but very awkardly.

[Page 22] The same is to be said of Beauty as of Wit: all the difference is, The one engages by the Ear, the other by the Eye. But Beauty is a charm of a more universal sway. A fourth part of Man­kind, I believe I may safely say, are, if not ut­ter Strangers to the notion of Wit, yet little affected with the Gallantry of it. And in ge­neral those who are without it themselves, are apt secretly to envy their Neighbours too much to be generously and heartily delighted with it. But in Beauty the case is far otherwise. No­thing of that seems acquir'd; and we may ad­mire without reproaching our selves that excel­lency in another which is perfectly fatal to him. Not that I think Wit altogether an acquir'd Excellency. For my present purpose, it is e­nough that those who want it at home so often mistake it for such abroad. Ideots and Infants experience the force of Beauty, nay better per­haps than Philosophers. The Peasant takes the infection assoon as the Prince. In a word, the Dominion of Beauty reaches to both the Poles, and 'tis withall so despotick as often to endanger the great Charter of our Reason. Therefore Providence will be sure to interest it self more remarkably in the assignment of this property than of the other. But how does this Argu­ment comport with the daily testimony of our eyes? Have not Traytors, High-way-men, and Prostitutes Complexion and Feature as taking as Saints? Yes verily, more taking than those of one sort of Saints. Nay we generally incline to fancy a Padder in the Cart, or a Curtezan without her Mask, singularly handsome. And [Page 23] sometimes too, yet not so often, a Rebel shall carry an attracting Countenance, though in our Country, I believe, more instances might be brought of the contrary. But here we ought to make ample allowances for Compassion, Pre­sumption and Prejudice. We hope to mitigate the Prisoner's fate by helping out the blemishes of his defects by our Illustrations of his good Qualities. Again, we understand to what vi­olent and frequent Temptations a blooming Beauty is expos'd; and thence infer the Wo­men of the Town cannot be ugly. And then as for Traytors, God knows they too usually pass with the Multitude for either the Messen­gers of Heaven if they prosper, or if otherwise, for the Martyrs of its cause, not to appear at least Angelical. Whereas these false Opticks laid aside, we shall fairly discern an air very disobliging in each of these lewd Master-pieces. Guilt, Discomposure, and Depravity pass the Pores of the Cheeks, and tarnish all their genu­ine Lustre. For it must be remember'd that all the Irregularities of Passion and Appe­tite are equally a Distemper of the body as of the Mind, and imprint their foul Characters in the Countenance as well as in the Consci­ence. The Soul after its fall cannot rest till it has involv'd the body in its Forfeiture, and re­sents it at a high rate that the Servant should fare any better than the Mistress. Yet these acquir'd Deformities are most visible in sudden and violent cases. Indignation does the seat in a trice, and creates a new face as readily as a Mirror represents it. The Forehead gathers, the Eyes flash, the Cheeks whiten, the Teeth [Page 24] are set, the Mouth trembles, and the Foam boils at each corner of it, and thus the fair Me­dusa's metamorphos'd into a Gorgon. Nor is Lust less active: the Blood overflows the Face, the Eye flames, and dances, the Postures of the Body are light and various. All Grace and Decency fly off, and the man personates the Monkey without looking so well. Of Intem­perance the consequences are little better. It entails a ridiculous Inflammation upon the Cheeks and Nose, and fastens a perpetual Small Pox upon the Countenance. It scares a man from all use of his own Looking-glass, and ren­ders him one to every body else. Envy poisons the Visage, but the Poet may interpose not unseasonably upon this head,

Pallor in ore sedet, Macies in corpore toto, &c.

Paleness intense besets her Meager Face;
Her strutting Ribs extend their Vellum Case:
Her Eyes obliquely cast their noxious Rays,
While on her Heart an inbred Venom preys.
Perish'd her Teeth, and Gangreen in her Tongue,
Nor smiles, but when with Indignation stung.

A very exquisite Beauty indeed! and yet as much as here seems to be of Fiction, the Vizard is no more than natural. Avarice very much favours Envy. 'Tis a famish'd raw-bon'd Vice, and happier only in this single respect, that it is ever so sollicitous about the Dust, as to remain utterly unconcern'd for any thing else. Prodi­gality makes a fine show for a little while, ap­pears bright and gay, and keeps its colour so [Page 25] long as it keeps a Support in the Pocket, but makes a wretched figure in rags, with fallen Cheeks and a lank Belly. Instances innumera­ble might be tack'd to these, if they were not notorious enough of themselves. Yet one more I must not omit, the Dissembler. And 'tis plainly impossible for him to have, or at least to preserve any good looks from Forehead to Chin, and Ear to Ear. 'Tis a mere Posture-Master: And artificial Convulsions ruine a good set of Features sooner than natural. The most pliant parts of the Face, which are the Eyes and the Mouth, carry a great sway in its Symmetry, and are the principal Organs of Dissimulation. These are turn'd, and wreathed, and modell'd some­times different ways at once, that to me it seems a Miracle that all Hypocrites don't squint, but come off without inverted Pupils, Sparrow-Mouths and blubber'd Lips, especially, whenas it happens sometimes, two opposite Species of Dissimulation concenter in the same person, at one time pretending himself worse than he is, at another time better. But the first of these, which Theophrastus has incomparably characte­riz'd is much more easily practis'd, much more compatible with comely Features, altho' less in use than the other. But old men, I have observ'd, have the slight on't beyond all else, the Philoso­phy whereof I cannot understand, for where, I wonder, should they have a Modicum of Spirits active and subtle enough to vary countenance and complexion? Such an Atchievement, if I mistake not, requires strength of Nature. To create Faces, and (if I may so speak) Counter­faces, implies vigorous Blood and a Skin yet sup­ple. [Page 26] However 'tis certain we play our parts best in the last Act, except down right Dotage overtake us, although that too's dissembled of­ten enough.

But to return to the main Argument, and summ up the Evidence; I know of nothing that can encourage the great Endower to conferr or continue these Excellencies of the second Mag­nitude so much as a right use of them; nothing that can provoke him to with-hold or remove them so much as a perverse one. It asks no ex­traordinary Energy of Omnipotence to make a man either a Fool or a Thersites. A slight alte­ration in the Brain, Blood or Nerves brought about by a natural course will do the business. If this be so, 'tis best looking to our selves, for when the genuine brightness is lost, borrow'd Lines and bought Charms expose more than re­commend. At last to turn Dry-Nurse to the Children of other People's Brains argues both impotence and indigence Spanish-Wool upon the Wreck and Ruins of Beauty sits worse than fresh Vermillion in an old rusty Head, though an Original of some eminent Master's. But Vertue infallibly conveys to us both Wit and Beauty. 'Tis confest indeed Socrates had a flat Nose, and St. Paul a contemptible presence, yet no question the Effulgency of the Proto-Mar­tyr's face descended to a sufferer so eminent as St. Paul. And as for Socrates, we know his re­penting Country-men soon after his Death ere­cted a Statue in honour of him, which but for the Vertues of the Original had been only a most severe aggravation of his Sentence. Not that I imagine good Manners make a new face, [Page 27] but what then? may they not brighten a native coarseness? may not the serenity and transport of the Mind add life to the Eyes, and smiles to the Mouth, and colour to the Cheeks? and not only so, but elevate and prompt the Imagi­nation? 'Tis no less than a necessary effect, and he that thinks otherwise, may perhaps retain the Graces of his Phiz, but has foregone t'o­ther thing already, that's certain.

Yet at last, as the most ingenious Mr. Collier says, no man's Face is actionable; and I may add, nor his Dulness outlawry. Let it suffice that the observation holds true in the Main. When the odds are so considerable, 'tis a madness to venture, and the more so, because when the Cargo is once sunk, there's no diving for't ever after. However the broken Merchant may in time rig out again, but a Wit or a Beauty Bankrupt remains a Bankrupt at least to the day of Judgment. The Brain untun'd very rarely and very late, if at all, settles to rights a­gain, and faded Beauty must be acknowledged all the world over a desperate case. In short, we mistake Vertue, when we conceive her home­ly and rough-hewn, disaffected to all the Race and Ornaments of Wit, and more injurious to a man's person, than Dislocations or Diseases, whereas on the contrary, nothing can so fairly merit, nothing so certainly provide, nothing so effectually, and to so long a period preserve both Quickness of Parts and Comeliness of Form as VERTUE.

Of a Publick Spirit.

THere cannot be a clearer Confession of the heinousness of Offences against the Publick, than every Catiline's pretending to be a Patriot: 'tis true their own Interest often, if not always counsels it, for what blunder so unpardonable in the Po­liticks of those men who aim at the subversion of Government and Laws as to practise nakedly and without a gloss. But still as they vaunt and pride themselves in appearing instrumental to the common Good, they evidently bear wit­ness to the dignity of the Vertue, and expose the monstrousness of their own proceedings: so that one would admire not so much how the Plebeian world comes to be impos'd upon by the Sophistry, as how such pestilent Assertors can dextrously manage the matter between their Words and their Actions. However these In­cendiaries, at least if they chance to be under­stood before they have crown'd their enterprize (for if they can once grasp the end of their hopes they are sure of a good title) in the proper no­tion of 'em are odious and detestable every-where. Yet at the same time whole thousands may lie in a Common wealth mere mortify'd Limbs, and as unnecessary as Lap-dogs. Men of ample Capacities and Fortunes may without any dis­paragement lurk in their soft retirements, and [Page 29] when a Storm gathers or breaks upon the state, when Tyrants and Invaders are pillaging and proscribing, 'tis but a commendable and sober caution, forsooth, to keep close and supinely contemplate the Destruction, or rather to make ones self even not so much as a Spectator. But should the Retirer exert the strength of so much as his little Finger in the service of his Country, should he run the Risque of having the Crusts of his Cheshire Cheese, or the Drippings of his March Beer confiscated, he'd presently suspect he had forfeited his Patrimony for a Fool, as if to be wanting to his Country were not an indi­rect kind of Sedition, and not to abett her cause, to strengthen and animate that of her Enemies. What opinion, I wonder, of Piety to his fellow-Citizens must such a man have embrac'd? how must he look upon Political Duties as mere Pla­tonick Ideas? a sort of pretty, airy, fabulous, ro­mantick Whimsies, and nothing but Brats of the Imagination, obligatory upon none but Su­perstitious and Hypocondriacal Consciences? Thus therefore he argues, ‘What, am I in­debted to my Country more than my Coun­try's indebted to me? so long as my interest is wrapt in hers, I thing my self bound to expose my self for us both, but when the Po­sture of publick Affairs does not immediately affect mine, ev'n let my Neighbours shift for themselves, and the people at the Helm steer just as they please. For what's the King and his Council to me? and how can I help it, if Constitutions will change? alas! Omnium rerum vicissitudo. Providence decreed it, and 'twere impious to resist its Decrees, and so [Page 30] for my part, I'll not trouble my head with the justifiableness or unjustifiableness of mat­ters, but study my own convenience and re­pose, and let the World rowl on as it pleases.’ Behold Sir Sociable Self-love in Epitome, a little nasty inconsiderate Drone, without courage e­nough to put him upon Action, and yet without sense enough to frame his Excuse. And then how discreet the Resolution! for a Powder-Mon­key to talk of enjoying himself under Hatches, when he knows the Pilot's about to drive him upon a Rock, because indeed he knows himself to be a Powder-Monkey. But does he believe his insignificancy will be his security in the com­mon danger, a Pass-port through the Waves? Such a decree of Providence, I'm sure he has no reason to depend upon. Or does he fansie his Hammock will serve him for a Long-boat, and that he alone shall swim to shore upon his back without striking? 'Tis a jest to talk of so­lacing at home and indulging Genius in the midst of publick Distractions and Confusions. Every Individual must be a party in spite of his Teeth, and obscurity of condition instead of exempting, makes a man more the object of Rage and Oppression, and I dare say, if your Suburb-Gentlemen would but carry along with them this Maxim, That he whom at first a publick E­vil least respects, in the conclusion becomes most obnoxious to it, although then least of all able to divert it, we should have them bestir themselves in the first place. They would scowre up the old Muskets and Head-pieces in the Hall, shake off the delicious Lethargy, and take the Field before the Veterans. The first Alarm [Page 31] would fetch 'em out of their Quarters, and self-preservation would work Miracles. And cer­tainly nothing can be more obvious than that an Innovator will be tempted to lay the severest burthens upon them, of whose Pusillanimity he has had such experience, and whom he very well knows to be always unprovided against his En­croachments. Nothing can sollicit an usur­ping power so much to exercise its violence more upon one man than another, (excepting in the Case of Competition) as meanness of Spirit joyn'd with littleness of condition. Be it so, yet these Neutrals are prepar'd to gratifie the Publick, and establish their own reputations some other way. One perhaps by laying out the Cash he knows not how to dispose of, upon publick Edifices and Endowments. 'Tis but erecting an Hospital, a Country-School, or a Chapel of Ease, and then he counts so highly of his merit, that Heaven, he presumes, may ve­ry well compound for a thousand Tergiversati­ons and Compliances: as if, like the Masons of Babel, he hop'd to build his way up thither. Another sets so much by his Intellectuals, that he thinks the fruits of his Understanding may expiate for the perverseness of his Will and Af­fections. Upon this Presumption he veers to all Points, deserts a Cause, or espouses it, as he holds most convenient, and thinks if his Vo­lumes of Arts, Sciences, Languages, and Anti­quities keep pace with the black Volumes of his Trespasses, he bids fair for future Glorifica­tion. And if he can dandle some mens curiosi­ty, and perhaps do a little serious good in the opinion of others, instead of seeming a Cypher [Page 32] in his Generation, he looks upon himself a main prop of the State, and in the high road to Preferment and Esteem. A third pitches upon a different method, distributes his Money, his Loaves, and his Small Beer ev'ry Market-day; and whether he be a Guelf or Gibelline, for Turk or Pope, Monarchy-man, Fifth-Monar­chy-man, or no Monarchy-man, Whig, Tory, or Trimmer, all, or some, or none, he has made such Friends both in this World and in the next, that he need not question, but he shall have very good usage here, and no uncomforta­ble reception when he leaves us. Such Refu­ges as these give birth to that abjectness and indifference of temper so universally both affect­ed and applauded. Now the summ of all is this, They don't much care, if they benefit the Common-wealth a little, when they are to re­ceive the interest of their own Benefaction, pro­vided also they may take their own measures: but if any Mortification's to be undergone, if the prick of a Pin must be endur'd, Fire and Sword may consume a whole Continent before they'll stir a foot from their Dormitories. Now for my part, I think these men might as well declare openly and ingenuously against a Go­vernment, as remain thus reserv'd and unactive, for as silence in general is interpreted Consent; so in a publick Cause, it may justly pass for an approbation of the worst Practices, since 'tis not to be doubted, but he who has not courage enough to assert and suffer in the interest of the Community, has not integrity enough to be trusted in its concerns; although Perfidiousness and Disingenuity more than enough to make its [Page 33] Enemies depend upon him. On th'other hand, what spectacle so glorious as a generous Maintainer of his Country's true Liberties, courting all Hazards and embracing all Mis­fortunes for her preservation and advantage, quitting the little dirty satisfactions of Life, loathing and deriding the dull empty excuses and alleviations of Deserters, yet never to be brow beaten out of his Modesty, good Hu­mour or Chearfulness. He receives the worst indignities with a smile, indulges and caresses the very Enemies of his cause, and will do any thing but take their example: for Complacency and Orderliness ever accompany the Generosity of a Publick Spirit. Then too the shyest part of Man­kind will readily repose a confidence in him, who relinquishes all present enjoyments and conveni­ences, rather than the Greatness and Constan­cy of his mind. No secrets but those of Tray­tors in their proper trade shall escape his hear­ing; so safe a repository is his breast, that how much soever the sentiments of those who know him may differ from his, they had rather dis­burthen their minds to him than to one another. Nor is he only Master of their thoughts, but often works them insensibly into a concern and esteem, if not for his cause, yet however for himself, at least so far, as to have his necessi­ties reliev'd, and his Principles valued, for Pro­vidence never omits to preserve such a force of humanity in the bosoms of most Revolters, as may sollicit a provision for perseverers. But then what inexpressible exultations does the brave man conceive within, when he calls over [Page 34] his principles and practices, while his Consci­ence entertains him with such Musick as this? ‘Happy Hero! whom no allurements of Riches, Pleasure, and Parade; no tumults of Fa­ction, no menaces of Tyrants, no inflictions of those Threats can prevail upon to renounce thy regard of the Publick! Triumph, for e­ver triumph within thy self, and commise­rate the weakness of those Wretches, who either want judgment and consideration e­nough to learn the momentousness of that duty, or (which is worse) have not the heart to perform it. 'Tis true, they de­serve thy Indignation and Contempt, and have too much Charity for themselves to have almost any just Title to any body's else: Yet deny them not thy pity and good wish­es; nay condescend even to familiarity and respect. But be sure remain proof against all their gay promises and all their stupid Satyr. Let Curtius, Cocles, and the Hora­tii haunt thy imagination, and refine upon their Vertues with the more excellent Prin­ciples of thy own Religion. Thus reign as perfect as the Stoicks Pattern, and wan­ton in the glorious transports of thy noble Soul.’

O ravishing Harmony! what Mind so fri­gid, but at this would sicken for further oppor­tunities to signifie its Zeal? or in case, even the main and last stake of all must be parted with, the gallant man collects his vigour, redoubles his Fortitude, calmly submits to the [Page 35] pleasure of Heaven, bequeaths his Friends and Family to its protection, receives the fatal blow, forgets on a sudden his past Calamities, and feels himself Divine.

Of the Weather.

ABout three Months since, invited by a Friend to share the pleasures of his rustication, and enjoying a short re­spit from a knotty concern, I scorn'd to decline the proffer, but was attended all my Journey long, and the best part of my stay at his house, with a most uncomfortable season of Weather, enough to have made me repent my forwardness, but that the good Coversation of the Family, and some Parlour-diversions we found out amongst us, diverted the Spleen, till such time as matters mended, which fell out, I remember, one night at Eleven of the Clock, when my Companions had all betaken themselves to their repose; but I resolving the Moon should not shine so seldom to so little purpose, e'en took a solitary walk of a Mile, and at the Mile's end arriv'd at a large stump of a Tree, by some honest lazy Hind, hatcheted into an Elbow Chair. Here I squatted, and after a little bles­sing my self for my being once more restor'd to the open Air, fell to meditating upon the past dismal Scene, when from an hollow Tree, just over against me, starts forth a person of a sage and serious Countennace, wrapp'd in a Morning-Gown, with a large Ruff round his Neck, a Broad-brim'd, high-crown'd Hat upon his head, under his right arm a Terrestrial Globe, and un­der [Page 37] his Left a load of Books. This appearance did not a little terrifie me: my Hair bristled, my Blood curdled, and Nature had for certain done a diskindness to my Breeches, unless I had been animated in the nick by the courteous ad­dress of my Visitant, who entreated me not to fear, for that he presented himself with no o­ther design than to assist me in my Contempla­tions. I was, said he, formerly your Country­man, in an age when Letters and Ingenuity, which are now so coldly encourag'd, were am­ply honour'd and rewarded, as well as Plain-dealing and Honesty, and for my own part, as I always lov'd the latter (though I know what some people have thought of me) so I made it my business to promote and improve the former. Who I am, these Volumes will teach you; and at the same instant he display'd the Title-page of the uppermost, wherein was in capital Let­ters to be read, NOVUM ORGANON. But to pass directly to the present business, conti­nued he, which by what I overheard of your Soliloquy, I understand to be the unaccounta­bleness of the Weather, I must first entreat you to dismiss all fear, and in the next place, know that notwithstanding by that nearer admission to Physical secrets which since my retreat from this neather world, I have obtained, it might suffice, should I simply relate the measures Na­ture has taken in bringing about these unusual Events, yet because I am to discoutse with such a Being as can draw no Inferences, but upon sight of their Connexion with Premises, and because by that Being, the matter is to be sig­nified and publish'd amongst others of the same [Page 38] Species, I shall not only make appear the rea­sonableness of my Assertions by their just depen­dance upon one another, but give you the liber­ty of interposing, when any Scruples arise. I confess, when I carry'd Flesh and Blood about me, being much inclin'd to amplifie the several parts of Philosophy and Learning, I introduc'd a considerable number of obscure Terms, especi­ally in my Book of the Copiousness of the Scien­ces, but then I always expounded their mean­ing, and am now as desirous both to express my self intelligibly, and maintain my Arguments rationally. Nay more, to make appear with what Candour and Condescension I design to treat you, before I lay down any Hypothesis of my own, I request from you a concise ac­count of the Sentiments of your Vertuosi upon this point, which we departed Philosophers sel­dom trouble our selves about; not that they lie beyond the Sphere of our apprehension, but our own Illuminations are so great, that all the Acquisitions of Mortals, as extraordinary as you imagine some of your latter to be, are less valued by us than poor Aristotle, and the School­men by the generality of you. Here he paus'd, ex­pecting my Narrative, toward which I thus set forward: In the first place, I would not have your Lordship presume my Catalogue of Opinions compleat, for since no one Vertuoso, that I know of, has hitherto communicated his Sentiments upon this Question to the Publick; a shrewd Sign they are little interested in Acres or Orchards, I can answer your demands no otherwise than by enumerating the several pri­vate Conjectures, which, as my Friends tell me, [Page 39] have been made by sundry of the Learned. In­deed one would almost conclude either Life or Fortune lay at stake; else in despite of the Itch of Curiosity, that next these, has the power­fullest influence upon our Latitudinarian Vertu­oso's, they could as soon have kept Lent, or in­vented an Hypothesis for Transubstantiation, as left this argument untouch'd. Besides, these violent and frequent alterations in the Weather serve for a perpetual Monitor, by discompo­sing their Constitutions, blunting their Inventi­ons, and splenetizing the poor Gentlemen all­over, Like Quevedo's Necromancer in the Bot­tle, they're loath to uncork and come abroad for fear of the mischiefs reigning without, al­though too, most of them are Evils of their own brooding. There, they think, they may lie snug, and swim daintily in Metaphysicks, which once reckon'd the Dyet of Philosophick Camelions they have now, if you'll believe 'em, beat up to a Consistency, and render'd more substantial and solid than the Creed it self. I am unwilling to particularize Persons; though if I were to name any, it should be the dull Bogtrotting Abstractor, that by a worse bar­gain than the foolishest Hag in all Lapland, pawn'd his Soul in prospect of reputation, and in the conclusion lost his purchase. But I beg your Lordship's pardon for my Digression, and now pass to the Conjectures that have already been made amongst Friends about the Question we are upon. The first and most common is, That by some unlucky shove, our Globe of Earth has been justled out of its primitive Position; that the North Pole has suffer'd no inconside­rable [Page 40] Declination, and that to this Declinati­on is owing all that excessive Cold Rain and Wind which we on the Northern Side have felt for so long a succession of Years. Nothing but this, as the Defenders of the Hypothesis main­tain, could possibly beget such wonderfull Changes, and rather than forego the least mat­ter that may advantage their cause, they pre­tend to trump up the device of the old Astro­nomers, who having by means of an accurate tradition learn'd that the fix'd Stars had shifted their Site within a certain term of years, as­crib'd it to such an unheeded Jogg. But me­thinks, what was objected to those Sages then, may as reasonably be thrown in the dish of these: which way such a thing might happen without being perceiv'd, and whether they thought all Mankind were in that minute so fast, that the Jolt could not wake them? I was pro­ceeding, but his Lordship cry'd, Hold; and setting down his Globe upon the seat, look you, says he, it is evident I cannot depress the North-Pole of this Globe, which now exactly answers our Elevation, but the Position of it, with re­spect to the fix'd Stars and the Courses of the Planets will be necessarily chang'd; so that if the Depression were of Thirty Degrees, the Stars, which before were Vertical to the Twen­tieth Degree of Northern Latitude, would be manifestly remov'd Twenty Degrees Southward: nothing like which appearing in the face of the Heavens, that alone refutes the assertion. Nei­ther could Sun and Moon rise and set as they us'd to do; whereas these Speculators must have lost their Eye-sight by the great improve­ment [Page 41] and use of their Glasses, unless they have observ'd the contrary. Presumers indeed! that fancy 'tis but giving the Earth a kick, and the whole difficulty's solv'd. I would also know from what causes this Convulsion should arise. Nature is not given to starting: her motions are equal, orderly and gentle. All things cir­culate by an insensible Transition. There is no surer sign of Inconstancy and Irregularity than Abruptness. The cap'ring of a Beau, and the catchings of a dying Man, though effects of opposite Principles agree in this, that they are alike the Symptoms and Consequences of Di­stemperature. The Celestial Bodies are all con­stant to the same degrees and lines of motion, and the spiral progress of the Sun was never to be charg'd hitherto, unless on the score of a Miracle, with interruption or deviation. Be pleas'd, therefore, to proceed to the second. I shall, reply'd I, acknowledging you have more fully convinc'd me than I had my self of the absurdity of that opinion, the next, to which is, in my judgment, ne'er a jot a more ratio­nal, being chiefly adapted to the extravagan­cies of the Cardanists, men that value no other Solutions than those fetch'd from the Postures of the Stars, or Conjunctions of Planets: not that they have yet erected a Scheme, or parti­cularly examin'd the state of the Heavenly Bo­dies: but they are sure the whole matter may be illustrated this way, and care not a Straw how the Heavens are accommodated, as long as they can accommodate their Notions to them: as for example, are Mars and Venus in Conjun­ction? 'Tis a sure signification of an extraordi­nary [Page 42] Wenching-Season at Venice and Naples, be­cause, forsooth! the familiarity of those two Planets is so very notorious; in Hungary, of success to the Turks, denoted by Mars superi­our to Venus; or of the contrary, Venus ex­pressing the effeminacy of the Sultan, and Mars the power and vigour of the Emperour. In England, a Peace, a Plot, or any thing that falls out. But I ought not to forestall your Lordship, considering you, since your Manumis­sion from Mortality, may have taken a Voyage, as by a late Author we understand of Monsieur des Cartes, through the Regions of the Upper Worlds, and learn'd what their Correspondence and mutual Impressions are. Be that so as you suspect, or otherwise, said he, 'tis sufficient that by knowledge atchievable in this world, you may learn the ridiculousness of their Pre­tensions, who would make you believe they can interpret the Language of all Revolutions and Aspects over their heads, as easily and certain­ly as the Pythagoreans undertake to prick down their Harmony; a Crew that do no more than disgrace all humane Learning and Philosophy, but infest and undermine the Common-wealth. Thus Ephemerides and Almanacks are become a Political poison; a man cannot look what day of the Month 'tis, but seditious Dogrel stares him in the face. Nor will ever any Conjun­ction be more auspicious, than of such miscre­ant Heads with Pillory or Halter. Besides, what order or disposition of the Heavenly Bo­dies will these men pitch upon, as effective of such consequences? or how will they prove such a disposition so effective: Since they themselves [Page 43] have not done it, much less will I, Sir, trouble your head with examining particularly what have been the motions and postures of the hea­venly bodies for these dozen years past. In ge­neral, I know of no such extraordinary Con­junctions as such extraordinary Effects require. Have Orion and the Pleiades been in Trine with Aquarius? or has Virgo been troubled with a Diabetes so long? Proceed, I beseech you, Sir. Others, answer'd I, seem rather inclin'd to be­lieve that the last Comet was the Parent of all our unseasonable Weather; and this comes from very judicious persons, who not unjustly suspect, that the main Effects of a Comet are late and rarely to be perceiv'd till a considera­ble time after the appearance. And for my own part, I do not only think this Conjecture probable, but further believe, that instead of civil, they always portend natural Changes. Battles, Rebellions, and State-Revolutions seem to have very little affinity with their fiery Strea­mers, unless in the destructiveness of the Ele­ment, and the irregularity of the motion. Your judgment of Comets, reply'd his Honour, is very apposite; but I am sorry your men of such a sin­gular sagacity should link an Effect to a Cause before they have discern'd the dependance of one upon the other. 'Tis venturing too far, and laying a Brat to the next comer. We ought to be cautious in pronouncing so near relations, especially when they succeed one another at so long a distance of time; from which circum­stance we may pretty securely gather, that if a Cause, Comets are however a remote Cause of such Innovations, and if Naturalists will [Page 44] solve Effects by remote Causes, at that rate a man may be said to be the effect of Beef and Mut­ton. Comets may indeed have miraculous In­fluences, but who can be confident of their apt­ness to produce those Events, much less, of their begetting them immediately, and without the intervention of other Causes. Though least of all, methinks they should be the cause of abun­dance of Rain, as rather suited to dissipate all collections of moist Bodies, and proving too of­ten the fore-runners of excessive heats, and those Epidemical Mischiefs which are thence deriv'd. Once more I therefore return to your self, and demand the next Hypothesis. There remain yet, said I, some behind, but I desire another may content you; and that such as is by some contended for with no less vehemence than any of the rest. However, 'tis but a partial Solu­tion, and reaches no further backward than last Christmas, about which time you may remem­ber the Czar made us a visit, and brought along with him all the Winter and bad Weather in Muscovy. Then could not, cry'd Verulam, Ex­periment convince this Sect, for I dare say, had any of them approach'd within breath shot of that mighty Prince, they would soon have per­ceiv'd he had brought them over more Heat than Cold. However if he brought it, yet since he has not carry'd it back again, 'tis fit we make a further enquiry into the reason of its continuance: and because you say you are cloy'd with other people's Notions, avoiding Pream­bles, I shall now begin to you my own Lecture, your kind attention first bespoken. You have heard, I make no question, and read much a­bout [Page 45] Central Fire, and may have observ'd that notwithstanding Philosophers disagree among themselves as to the material Causes, the means of Perpetuation, and several other circumstan­ces, so far they all consent, that there certainly is such a thing. And indeed the existence of a­ny part of nature is perhaps the ultimate object of natural Philosophy. Essences and Forms are an intricate sort of concern, and will never be effectually unriddled till Matter may be reduc'd to an indivisible, yet discernible Minuteness. This is the only sure method to come at them; they lie more closely immur'd, than Gems in the foundation of a Rock, and nothing less than a total dissolution of their subject can bring 'em to light. This I speak with respect to you Mortals, for I am not to tell you what advan­tages the casting my Carcass has brought me, least you should follow old Empedocles's steps, and caper out of the world the better to come acquainted with it. The Experiment indeed look'd brave, but Central Fire is no such lam­bent Flame that a wise man should like to wal­low in't. Elementary or not Elementary, gray Beards will singe by't. And therefore of the ma­ny Vertuoso's who have exercis'd their Wits upon this subject, none have been since so frolick some as to make such a desperate proof of those Flames. Instead of sensible Demonstration all rest satisfied with their own rational Inferences. Plato for his part troubles himself with no more than the confession of its Being. Aristotle per­sues the matter further, and tells you in his se­cond Book of Meteorologicks; the eighth Cha­pter, the cause of this fire, which he takes to [Page 46] be the accension of Spirits upon violently en­countring one another in Air very much atte­nuated. Lucretius in his account of Aetna speaks much to the same purpose, and counting from even Thales, that trusty Friend of the ele­ment of Water, down to Father Kircher and Burnet, you will find the number of those who deny Central Fire to be very inconsiderable. Some, 'tis true, have plac'd Water in the room on't, and others Adamant, but upon no other account than to support an Hypothesis, for which your peremptory Systematist boldly di­storts Nature, and stuffs her inside with any thing that may best serve his turn. Thus when a great Ox is made to bear up the World, a Tortoise must be added to sustain the Ox. Not that I advise you to lay too great a stress upon Authority, especially in cases which admit of a better proof, as does the present. The System of things, when we behold it, at first view sug­gests as much, and that very remarkably. Ve­suvius, Aetna, Hecla, the Philippine, Molucca, Canary Islands, and a thousand other places be­sides in the several quarters of the World are evident and unexceptionable Arguments. Those inexhaustible Sources of Fire cannot but have a deeper root than is ordinarily imagin'd, even Borellu's Arguments notwithstanding. Add to this, how necessary such a common Stove must be for the propagation and preservation of all Beings animate and inanimate. The Sun, 'tis true, is a great Cherisher, but he plays only a­bove-board, and seems rather to consummate and polish, than primarily generate. So cold a Birth-place as the Surface of the Earth, espe­cially [Page 47] for Plants and Trees of a tender Consti­tution, would be apt to chill the Embryo, un­less a moderate warmth rose from beneath as well as descended from above. And the Fruits, those Sweet-meats of nature, as a certain Bard very elegantly sings, must be utterly spoil'd in the confection, should the Dame be too sparing of her Fewel, which yet why she should, seems very unaccountable, seeing she is so plentifully furnish'd with it: as I could shew at large by an Induction of particulars, but choose rather to refer you at your leisure to Dr. Burnet's second Part of his Theory. Though Father Kircher's remark being short, I shall here give you, be­cause he was eminently acquanted with the low­er Labyrinths of the Earth, and had in a great measure anticipated Purgatory e'er he left the upper. How is't possible, says he, such an a­bundance of Sulphur, Bitumen, Naptha, and all sorts of Minerals should be found so com­monly, and that in the cold confines of Hor­ror and Darkness, quite beyond the reach of the Sun's Influence, unless the Womb of Nature supply'd a secret invigorating Warmth? The observation's good, and as we cannot conceive for what end she should lay in such a vast stock, unless for the sustenance of this mighty Flame, so the readiest and most likely course of prepa­ring and concocting these large portions of mat­ter seems to be by the action of Central Fire. Not to mention the gradual increase of heat, which the illustrious Mr. Boyle in his Treatise of the temperature of the Subterranean Regions has taken notice of. Nor need I send you fur­ther for proof than to the common News-papers, [Page 48] which have been daily full of terrible relations about Aetna and Vesuvius; how violent their late Irruptions have been, and what vast quantities they have discharg'd of Stones and Ashes, lay­ing utterly wast all the adjacent Parts, and frighting the Neighbourhood out of their Hou­ses and Wits. The poor unkennell'd Fryars thereabouts I dare say are ready to bear me out in my Assertion, and convinc'd to their cost of the reality of Central Fire: Which being by this time made good, I have yet farther to ex­plain, how this Fire not only lasts, but encrea­ses. How it should be continually fed is a question somewhat difficult in appearance. It must have continued so long, and consumed in that time so great a portion of Aliment, that you will be apt to wonder with your self which way the stock should last out till this time; a Riddle as perplexing as that of many a beggarly Beau's li­ving up to the condition of a Peer of the Realm. And indeed if that matter which sustains the Central Fire were as suddenly to be consum'd as such a ones fortunes, the Central Fire of ne­cessity had been extinct long ago, for it cannot live upon tick, and no sooner misses its usual Food but vanishes. Hence it is easie for some to infer, that the Aliment already dissipated by the Flame, must according to the Laws and Order of Nature's Revolutions be converted a­gain into matter suitable to maintain the Fire as it did before; yet what may be done without these Transmutations I shall presently discover, but before I attempt this Discovery, must de­sire to hear your Scruples about any thing alrea­dy offer'd, that I may, as 'tis but just, endea­vour [Page 49] to remove 'em. I made answer, that what he had said carry'd in it a great deal of probability; that I was sufficiently satisfied of the Central Fire, and did not at all doubt of his being able to state the measures of its Con­servation: Yet notwithstanding that I had these two Queries to propose, first, Why the Centre of the Earth might not be solid and of Stone: next, Why if not solid, it might not however be a Pool of Water; about which two points I thought his Lordship had discours'd more spa­ringly than he needed. The Arguments, said he, which I have already brought to confirm your belief of a Central Fire suffice without any other to answer both your Queries, no more being requisite to prove the Centre of the Earth nei­ther Water nor Stone, than evincing it to be Fire: but because you may be more fairly sa­tisfied, I shall not decline to bring some further evidence of the Supposition. And I am sorry it is my misfortune that the Argument I shall now urge is of that kind, against which I my self have so strenuously inveigh'd. However, now I am become sensible of my error, and declare that I think the Tendencies and Ends of things contribute mainly to the knowledge of their na­tures. Accordingly I would gladly know to what purpose the Centre should have been ei­ther a Rock or a Puddle. If indeed this mighty Globe could have been fashion'd no otherwise than a Snow-ball, or had been destin'd to the office of a Water-bottle, something like it might be presum'd. For as for any further use of one or t'other, I can by no means understand what it should be. Those inmost Regions ought mu [...]h [Page 50] rather to be the seat of the first Springs of Moti­on and Vertue, than a mere dead pond [...]rous Quarry. Perhaps you'll tell me 'tis sixt there for Ballast. But how it should serve for such, is to me as unintelligible, as if you should say it's there for a rowling-stone. Instead of poizing, I look upon such a Mass as rather fitted to unpoize, and break those Mystick Chains upon which the body of the Earth hangs. I grant indeed that of whatever matter we constitute the Centre, we shall be equally puzled to find out a stay. That fine Ethereal Gulph in which the Earth swims, is of so yielding a temper, that Waters far more capable of supporting Gold than that its Trea­sure. However if any one Species of Matter be more convenient than another, Fire being the lightest and the most active should certainly be it. You have, I presume, been often an eye-witness of its power to carry heavy Bodies through the Air. Your Bombs, which have been invented since my Halcyon days, are a sin­gular Specimen of this. And that Element which forces such pond'rous Matter so rapidly through the air, cannot but most suit with its hanging in it. Then as for the use of Water, that's acknowledg'd to concern more immedi­ately the provisions of Life, and a Pool situate so low, could neither furnish us with Fish, if it entertain'd wholesome, nor serve for the Sun to exhale Vapours from, or us to sail upon. To those who would make it a Cistern for the sup­ply of Ocean and Rivers, I need only hint that natural property of all Water never to trans­gress the level of its own Superficies, unless when Violence is offer'd it. Thus your two [Page 51] Questions are, I hope, satisfactorily answer'd, and if you have any other doubts remaining propose 'em, or expect me to proceed. I thank'd his Lordship for his fair dealing, and acquainted him I had no more Objections to enter, for as for what some surmiz'd that there is nothing but a large Cavern at the Centre fill'd with Mists and Exhalations: the grounds of their belief appear'd to me so slight, that I would not trouble his Lordship to discuss them. Then his Lordship thus again put forward, Ac­cording to that which I lately offer'd, I shall next instruct you in what manner the Aliment of this Fire is perpetually provided: and this I cannot better do, than by beginning at the O­peration of the Fire it self, which penetrating the Pores of the matter lodg'd next to it, and seve­ring the various Particles of it, devours as many of 'em as are light and manageable, but sends up the moist and phlegmatick through Chinks and Passages of its own creating into Regions near­er the Earth's Superficies, or where it can obtain a vent, quite out of it. The order of which Analysis exactly corresponds with that of the Chymists, for first of all rise their two Mercu­ries and Phlegm, and then their Sulphur and Salt. The only difference is, that the Chi­mist's Fire being much less vehement than the Central, and the inclosures of the Central con­fining the sulphureous, implicated, and heavier parts, that they cannot rise as in an Alembick, such sulphureous and heavier parts are by the power of the flame so broken and intermixt, as to become constant nourishment for it. And thus, as is evident, it does not merely sustain it [Page 52] self, but propagates too, and diffuses upon the ruins of its Neighbours. By what stated de­grees it prevails, is hard to guess, there being no mover in the world more undisciplin'd and inconstant: besides that the Aliment it self is variously and unequally digested. Sometimes a large Vein of nothing but pure Sulphur occurs, and then the Fire becomes most furious on that side. Afterwards perhaps succeeds a more Phleg­matick sort of Earth, and then again it slackens and languishes, at the same time, perhaps, gain­ing ground on another more unctuous part, (in consideration of which, we may now very rea­sonably expect, after so tedious an Extreme of Wet and Windy Weather, the contrary Ex­treme of Calm and Dry, at least for some time, and in some of the Northern Climates:) and in a word, as it encounters matter more or less obnoxious to its force, it becomes more or less violent. Thus it is likely that within these Twelve or Fourteen Years past, it has met with larger Magazines of the more combustible kind under the Northern Regions of the Earth, by the accension and advantage of which it is near­er arriv'd, and with much greater vehemence, to the superficial part of the Northern World, where causing those moist and phlegmatick Par­ticles, which it has from the beginning drove up before it, together with what others were properly and of course allotted to those superfi­cial Regions themselves, and also a large quan­tity out of the Ocean and Rivers to exhale, it easily produces those Events, of which I shall now give you a particular Account.

[Page 53] And first, the perpetual and amazing Show­ers of Rain which of late have, for instance, water'd our Island, arose primarily, we may presume from this cause, in as much as by its situation it is peculiarly liable to the inconveni­encies of Vapours discharg'd from the Ocean as well as of others from it self. Hence it comes to pass, that the Markets every where abound with Complaints and Sighs no less than the Hospitals; that a Vine leaf is as rare a thing as once the Grapes; that Green passes for the most fashionable Complexion amongst so many La­dies; that Physicians, of all people, gather most Money next to the Collectors of the Taxes; and that the Apothecaries get more by the Fruite­rers than of old by the Wine-Coopers. For it is hardly conceivable what a flight of Vapours daily issues from under and about Great Britain, which either being collected into Clouds, imme­diately and directly fall in Showers, or else by the Sun at the short intervals of his appearance and action are rarified and deflected to the Pole, whence when once gathered to a preponderous Body they return, and become the material cause of our extraordinary Showers of Rain, and Storms of Wind. Nor does it follow hence that no o­ther Wind could blow besides the North, for the Collection of Vapours in revolving is bro­ken and parted into a great many lesser Clouds, which as they variously actuate one another, and are actuated by the heat of the Sun, im­pel and move the Air differently, and often ob­lige it to change its course, especially where high Rocks and Mountains obstruct its passage. It is no wonder therefore if the Sun be grown such [Page 54] a stranger, when Fogs and Gloominess inter­pose so impregnably, that 'tis as much as he can do to make a peeping-hole through 'em once in a Month, and instead of fructifying barely satisfie his Curiosity. Nor is this the Fate of Great Britain only, though no Climate has had a larger share on't: France, the Low-Coun­tries, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Swedeland, and almost all Tracts of Europe to the North have felt the same calamity. The Vintages on one side seldom answering expectation, nor the Crops on th' other: but over and above all Ex­cesses of Rain and Wind they have suffer'd very remarkably by terrible Tempests, Thunder, and Lightning, &c. to the destruction of Cattle, Houses, Men, besides frequent and dreadfull Earth-quakes. And these may be justly ascri­bed to dry Exhalations, the matter of which a­bounds under those Regions, and is expell'd a­long with the moist Vapours by the approach of the Central Fire, through which means it fortunes often that Lightning and Hail fall in the same Tempest. For that Heat which is de­riv'd from the accension of the dry Exhalations in Thunder and Lightning cannot prevent the congealing of the cold Vapours, which perhaps are so intimately confederated and congeal'd be­fore-hand, that the sudden and violent accension of the Exhalations, instead of melting or disper­sing 'em serves only to precipitate their Descent. Accordingly, without the blind Salvo of Antipe­ristasis many a funking Boor may have had his Pipe lighted by a Flash this minute, and beat out of his mouth by a Pellet of Frost the next. In violent cases the concurrence of two contrary [Page 55] extremes ought not always to be look'd upon as a Paradox. Indeed without repugnancy the very notion of violence ceases. Thus have I brought you acquainted with my Hypothesis re­lating to the strangeness of the seasons for so many years past in most of the Northern Cli­mates, but shall not desert the argument yet, till I have mention'd an observation or two con­firming my opinion: First, that the Eruptions of Vesuvius and Aetna have within our last twenty years been more violent than ever. To give you a punctual History of them down from that time would neither be edifying nor entertaining, especially to one, who, I make no doubt, is inquisitive at least after the more general occurrences of the material World. And many say the Pope has been so miserably scar'd, that in order to their Pacification, he's delegating half a dozen Cardinals to turn all the Tuscan Sea into Holy Water. However what dreadfull Effects such Enormities may have wrought, is easie to be guess'd by recollecting only the ancient Accounts that have been left us of the latter of those Mountains, at a time when 'twas far less furious, and amongst others, that incomparable one of Virgil:

—Horrificis sonat Aetna ruinis, &c.

—Near the Shoar
With lowd Convulsions Aetna's bowels roar.
Oft from its Iaws in tow'ring Vollies rowls
Thick sooty Night, with Show'rs of livid Coals.
Bright Spouts of wavy Flame it belches high,
Which with a lambent Summet court the Sky.
[Page 56] From Earth's deep Womb its rushing Fire a­scends,
And off the noisy sides vast rooted Masses rends.
Oft it disgorges with a deaf'ning groan
Ribs of it self in Oar of scalding Stone.

This very description seems enough to shock an ordinary Courage, but I am afraid even so vast a Genius of Poetry, of whose Memory I ask pardon for my injurious Translation, would have found it exceed his power to form a just design of it, as its condition is now. I cannot tell what surer proof you would have of the Pre­dominancy of Central Fire, unless you were to feel it your selves. Another observation that not a little strengthens my Hypothesis is this, That although a small share of your Fruits have ripen'd to a due perfection, yet you have had as great or greater shows in your Fields and Gardens about the beginnings of the Summers as formerly. The Blades have rose, and the Ears multiplied most successfully. The Trees for some Autumns have been almost over-loaden; and abroad the Vineyards thick-hung. But the main thing of all, a just Maturity has never or very rarely follow'd Crude and green they have prov'd at the best, and the Reliques of 'em con­tinue so upon the Boughs till the next hard Frost mortifies the Stalks. Much the same for­tune, or rather a little better has come to the Harvests. But how should your Springs and Summers prove so promising, and your Autumns so treacherous, unless the Central Fire were be­come now more capable of assisting the Sun's in­fluence during the two first Seasons, and invali­dating [Page 57] it upon the return of the latter. A third observation, and that my last of this kind may be, that the Frosty Seasons are much longer and severer, (the present Winter excepted) than of old. It may look perhaps paradoxical that the predominancy of the Central Fire should be the cause of this: and yet it seems to be so, though remotely; for the heat of the Sun being by the means aforesaid excluded, the Frosts on the Surface of the Earth must com­mence earlier, continue more intense, and end much later, especially penetrating a great deal deeper into the Collection of moist Vapours re­tir'd upon the Central Fire's approach toward the Earth's Surface. Thus, what with Rain and Floods one part of the year, and Ice and Cold the rest, you may expect in time to see your Country Holland compleat, and the next Ge­neration, believe me, shall all be Scaters. Then perhaps the Physicians and Apothecaries may blow their Fingers, and the Surgeons, grown so poor since your Civil Wars, come once more into play. But I have already been too tedious upon the Efficient Causes of your unseasonable Weather, and shall now directly pass to the Moral Occa­sions of it, in all respects as extraordinary as the other, in the consideration of which I shall not be so particular as I might, my term of ab­sence from a better place being almost expir'd: and besides the generality of Mankind had ra­ther hear the natural History of such Calamities than any rebukes for deserving them; that is, they would have their Curiosities satisfied with­out awakening their Consciences, which indeed neither ought, nor in Questions of this nature [Page 58] can be done. The bare recollection of such Evils will necessarily beget horrour in those that procur'd 'em, especially where the Provocati­ons have been universal, as among you of this Island, which, I believe, can vie with any Con­tinent under Heaven for Vice and Impiety. I could be very prolix upon this Topick, but I know 'twill be in vain, and I should purchase nothing else by my admonishments, but to be call'd a preaching, canting Shadow, and dis­miss'd for a damn'd foolish Apparition, stop their Vitals. If I were to cry, Repent, you'd answer me, 'Tis time enough: If I tell you You're har­den'd, ye excuse your selves by saying, 'Tis then too late. Thus most ambidextrously ye keep on the old pace; and to stop you in your Career makes ye but the more impatient to be upon the Wing again. The practical part of Religion, I confess, had been laid aside long before my time, yet our Faith stuck by us, and though we too often made a may-game of the Ten Command­ments, we retain'd a sincere Veneration for the Creed. Yet that, in process of time is, it seems, gone after the other, even from I believe in God, to the Life Everlasting. In short, ye are once again as true Saxons as Austin first found you, bating the business of Idolatry: For yeare by this time better vers'd in the Argument à Majori, than to trouble your pates with any other, after ye have deserted the true God. And were but your Actions a little more Saxonick, 'twould be some­thing however of a Palliation. But ye scorn it. Rapine, Oppression, Fraud, Rudeness, and Treachery were detestable names to the genera­lity of them: And now a' days forsooth! these [Page 59] are British Virtues. He that would live must be eminent in one of them, and he that would thrive, in all of them. Then here's the jest on't i'th' upshot, that all these foul crimes must be wrapt up in Hypocrisie; for ye dote so wretchedly on your wickedness as to turn ev'n impolitick in't, and keep the old trade of Dis­simulation on foot, when ye desire your Villai­nies should be proclaim'd. Heretofore fine plau­sible Pretences were of mighty use, because then there was at least so much integrity abroad as might often baffle and confound an open oppo­sition; but now 'tis high time, one would fan­sie, to lay aside the Cloak, when a Rascal's sure to be a loser, should he be mistaken for a Fair-dealer. —But hark! the Cocks crow, and day-light spreads. I must away; however let me leave this one Truth more behind me, That you must never expect the Weather should mend till your selves do. And thereupon back stept his Lordship into the hallow Tree, and I directly to my Lodgings.

A Demonstration of the Cer­tainty of Things, and of the Being of a God.

AS there is not a more valuable Privilege bestow'd by the gracious Donor of all good things upon any part of his Creation than that which the Possessors of it call by the name of right Under­standing or Reason, so could there not have been a greater Curse inflicted on rational Beings than if what they term right Reason were nothing but Delusion and Infatuation: for beside that Principle, which is unalienable from a rati­onal Nature, of eschewing all Error as such, the consequence would have been either, that we must have pursu'd false Ends through sincere Means, or real Ends through false Means, or lastly false Ends through false Means; and the effects of either of these had prov'd intolerable, the more because the inconvenience would not have attended two or three Counsels of our Lives only, but all our Motions and Endeavours whether of greater or less Importance: nay so miserable had been our state, that if we could have been sensible of it, no more comfort could have been had than remedy; and if insensible, the whole drudgery of the Delusion must have been first entirely finish'd, e'er we could so much [Page 61] as know we had taken such pains to be disap­pointed. Annihilation were certainly more e­ligible, or at least not to be is as good as to be in vain, for if an end is unattainable, it is all one in the effect, as if there were no pursuant to attain it. It nearly concerns us therefore, as many as are conscious to our selves of possessing this Principle, to examine the Pretences of it, and whether it is infallible in all its Determina­tions or only in some, and if but in some, which they properly are: to inform himself whereof I do not think it by any means necessary for a man to strip off Flesh and Blood, to benumb himself all over, to give his person the lye, to close up his Eyes and forget his faculty of feel­ing. For this is endeavouring to reduce him­self to that sleeping state in which the great Ad­visers of this method suppose the most subtile delusion. 'Tis a mere waking Dream, and Na­ture must undergo many a bitter pang before she can wreath her self into the Monster. When with half the trouble I can state a Principle or an Axiom in my mind that shall be never the worse for my being in my senses, which there­fore if they may not be credited, may however be decently neglected. And although in the formation of abstracted▪ Ideas they often divert and interrupt us, yet they are undoubtedly a far greater hinderance when so much violence is offer'd them. If lest to themselves they might perhaps sometimes retard, or bring us out of the way: they might interpose their gross compounded Objects, and mix again those simple Conceptions which the Understanding has with much labour refin'd and sorted: they [Page 62] might confound Notes of Discrimination with Notes of Identity, reverse general Ideas, and detain us with the sensible Properties of Indivi­dual. Nay further, they might counterfeit the Species of Objects, and surprize and perplex us with their Incoherences: yet if we attempt to discipline and restrain them, much more utter­ly to discard and null them, they grow twice as troublesome, and instead of diverting the Mind by fits as before, perfectly distract it, and find it so much trouble in subduing and governing them, that unless it were capable of more Ope­rations than one at once, it cannot pursue the contemplation of those Notices and Ideas, for the more accurate perception of which it relin­quishes all the Benefit and Instruction of the Senses. Thus for instance, when I take upon me to abstract the individuating Properties whereby this man differs from that, and he a­gain from a third, and so forward, in order to constitute an Idea of such a number of Proper­ties as are common to the whole College of In­dividuals, which is the Idea of a Species, the presence of any of those Individuals before our eyes may solicit the Soul to return to a com­pound Contemplation of it, or else the Imagi­nation may of a sudden re-unite what the Intel­lect had separated, may perversly range the Concretes before it, and so retard the Operati­on: but then if all these Individuals are to be reduc'd to the State of a Species, and at the same time our Faculties must be continually upon the Watch, continually suppressing and chastizing the Insolences of sense; if the Intel­lect must look two ways at once, mark out her [Page 63] Lines and form her Planes, while she repulses a Sally; this would be hard service indeed, and she would find her self at last necessitated to at­tend altogether one of the two, or atchieve but half of either. And of this the Cartesians ap­pear eminent examples against themselves, who endeavouring to form an Hypothesis in despite to their Senses, meet with so violent an opposi­tion from them, that while they are disputing the Field with them, and subjecting the Rebels to the Understanding, the work of ratiocination halts, and many times as soon as one Premise is handsomely plac'd, a sudden strife of the Senses for liberty shall commence, against which the Understanding must make head, and after the Fray is a little over, forgetting her self, she presumes she had before laid down two Premis­ses, and in that assurance demurs not to draw a Conclusion: or perhaps, when she has stated both her Premisses, the senses begin to heave, and she must correct them, upon which she lo­ses the judgment she had pass'd upon the Ideas of her Premisses, and so fetches a wrong Infe­rence from them. Thus in essaying to demon­strate the Immateriality of the Soul from the Essence of it, as being contradistinct to that of the Body, they propose to prove, that the bo­dy may not exist, but the Soul must, and from thence infer, that the Souls Essence cannot be the same with the body's, and that therefore the Soul cannot but be immaterial: now the possibility of the Non-existence of their Bodies, which at first they barely propos'd they present­ly after presum'd, which such curious and scru­pulous Reasoners could hardly have done, but [Page 64] that by the untractableness of the Senses their Intellect was so disturb'd and annoy'd, as upon recollection to look upon that as warrantably presum'd, which was but gratis suppos'd: ac­cordingly it is made a foundation for a further Conclusion, that the Soul is immaterial because its Essence is distinct from the Bodies which is material: and here again a short skirmish with the Senses seems to have interven'd between the Premisses and Conclusion, else it could ne­ver have been, that such cautious Philosophers should derive the evidence of the latter from the former, because if they had carry'd it along with them, that at most they had but evinc'd the possibility of their Body's not existing, and the certainty of their Soul's existence, they could never, unless for the reason I have now given, have alledg'd it as a necessary consequence from such Premisses, that the Essence of the Soul and Body are contradistinct; since 'tis obvious to every one who will faithfully connect these Premisses with this Conclusion, and that in their full and proper Sense and Extent, that if the Body as truly exists as the Soul, they cannot differ on the score of Existence, and that untill the Existence of the Body can be prov'd utterly false as well as questionable (not that I think there are any grounds for attempting the latter) it cannot be necessarily concluded from possible Premisses, that the Essences of the Soul and Bo­dy are contradistinct, nor from that conclusion as founded on such Premisses, that the Soul is immaterial. The occasion of which and many more mistakes in men so diligent and jealous could be no other than the many Advocations [Page 65] and Diversions they received from their Senses, and therefore they ought to be a warning to us not to pick any Quarrels with our Senses in or­der to the stating solid Principles, nor to hold for an Axiom, that the Corruption of the Sen­ses is the generation of Reason.

And yet on the other hand it were not safe with Epicurus to confide wholly on the Senses, to yield an implicit assent to all their Informa­tions, and to be directed either in the search of Truth or Good solely by their conduct, al­though I think there is no harm in being so much a Stoick, as to impute those errors which result from the Impressions of the Senses so long as they keep their natural Disposition and Tenor) not to the Organs, but to the Objects: however as long as between the one and the o­ther we are in some cases liable to be deceiv'd, a wise man would use their assistance warily, and be sure to look upon them as bare instruments, not free Agents: for we are naturally dispos'd to commit our selves to all determinations in­differently of a free Agent, and no less ready by reason of so near a relation between them to confound the Senses with the Intellect, being very prone to be guilty of the same Metonymies in the common cases of Life. Thus the Pain­ter himself will tell you that his Pencil will draw a small Line, and such Drugs will make a good Colour if mixt together; the Countryman that his Plow-share cuts the Glebe; and the Shep­herd that his Crook pulls his Sheep: and this way of speaking being familiar to us when we talk of the instruments of Mechanicks, we have unfortunately contracted a habit of expressing [Page 66] our selves by the same figure when we discourse of those instruments of our Understanding, the Senses: which we are also the more easily in­clin'd to through our not observing what I mention'd before, the true nature and just bounds of the relations between our Senses and Understanding. But when we consider them as instruments only, we regard them proportio­nably, we decline all assent to them till such time as circumstances are weigh'd, and all those conditions answer'd, without which their Te­stimony is exceptionable; such are the suitable Site and Distance of the Object, the due Tem­perament of the Organ, the thickness or rare­ness of the Medium, and the like. So when a Mountain appears a Cloud, the distance of the Object is to be enquir'd; when the colour of the Plumes varies on the neck of the Dove, the nature of the Medium, when the Snow seems yellow, the disposition of the Organ: and when all these conditions are duly examin'd, we shall learn what grounds we have to assent, and by becoming acquainted with the defects of our Senses be able to form judgments as certain from them in cases wherein they are faulty, as in ca­ses wherein they are faithfull: for if we can tell what is wanting to the perfection of a thing, we cannot but know withal the true state of that thing while under such an imperfection as clear­ly as if that imperfection were away, we should know the state of the same thing in its perfecti­on; an instance of this is that choice one among the Academicks of an Oar half under water, of whose real Figure, notwithstanding so plausible an appearance, I can as confidently judge as if [Page 67] the whole were out of the Water, seeing I know my eye to be in that case incapacitated to repre­sent to my mind the true state of the Object, and withal understand how far and wherein its representation deviates from a just one: whence I can deduce sure Inferences either in relation to that appearance which I know to be false, or to that state of the Object which I know to be real. But beside this, another Discipline no less per­nicious has obtain'd as generally almost among the Learned as the former among the Plebeians, of confounding the Senses one with another, a miscarriage occasion'd by that admir'd Theo­rem, That all the Senses are concluded in that one of feeling, which by an easie consequence disposes us to believe it necessary that whatsoe­ver affects us by one sense, would, if in like manner apply'd to the Organs of our other Sen­ses, affect them also, and that therefore when an Object has past the Test of one, there is no further need to examine it by the rest, because all are affected after one manner, so that if any thing acts upon my Faculty of seeing, it ought to be a sufficient evidence, that it is in the pow­er of the same to act as effectually upon my Fa­culty of hearing, &c. till at length we come to imagine that whatsoever our Eyes represent to us under the Figure of a Palpable Substance, is in it self such. Thus while some Philosophers have beheld the Azure of the Sky, they have been mov'd to fansie it a solid Arch compacted as it were of Blew Stone, or some such kind of matter, whence arose that wild System of solid Orbs, by which the Ancients made a mere Pa­per-mill of the Heavens; although I confess we are not so often by this means deceiv'd in the [Page 68] general intrinsick properties of Substances, as in their external modifications, in the discern­ing of which we should not behave our selves so like Infants, if we would not so often rely upon the Authority of one Sense for the certainty of that which can only be prov'd by another Sense. How often have we known wise people scar'd with the lustre of Phosphorus, rotten Wood, and stinking Fish, only because they suppos'd such an Affinity between the Senses, that if one receiv'd such an Influence from its Object as is proper to that Sense, the other would also up­on trial receive those Influences from the same Object which are proper to them? Now where these two Rules are observ'd, that we look on the Senses as bare instruments, and that we do not confound them one with another, I think we may safely trust to and rely upon them, for the first will prevent our assenting too soon, and the latter will be a means of knowing when it is time.

But the most simple way of reasoning is cer­tainly the best; for although the Authority of the Senses is not to be utterly rejected, nay, al­though it is for the most part to be receiv'd; yet if more simple evidence can be had, the Un­derstanding is doubly gratified, and the Will by far more plyant; for evidence is as precious to the one, as it is prevalent upon the other: the first is not capable of any clearer information, nor the latter of a stronger impression. Whence it comes to pass, that it is impossible for a man to be a Sceptick. He may indeed affect the name, but cannot be the thing: because when he would seem to deny an Axiom, he must be understood [Page 69] to want evidence, and to have it at the same time: to want it, because he says so, and to have it, because he can bring no other argu­ment for his not having it than a bare denying of it, which is none at all. 'Tis true indeed, every man knows best how he feels himself af­fected at any time, but if his Neighbour find it out of his own power to evade the force of such and such a proposition, he may assure himself that the same proposition can be no more eva­ded by the Pretender to Scepticism than by himself, unless he believes that Pretender's Un­derstanding and Will to be of a quite different constitution from his own, or else that such a Pretender is endow'd with neither, or deny'd the use and liberty of them, or last of all that the Pretender's faculties transcend his own, and that by vertue of a more sublime apprehension he understands that to be false, which to ano­ther appears necessarily true. In one of these three conditions the Pretender must be, if he can really within his own breast deny the truth of an Axiom that is properly such: for if his Faculties be exactly of the same kind and extent with his Neighbours, it is impossible but what affects those of the latter in such a certain de­gree, must affect those of the former in the same degree, seeing where the cause is one, and the Patients on which an Effect is to be wrought by that Cause are the very same in kind, the Effect must also be the same: for else two different Effects could be produced, caeteris paribus, by the same Cause, which in a Cause suppos'd to move at least one of the two Patients fatally and inevitably as soon as addressed to that [Page 70] Patient (and such is the self-evidence of a pro­position to the Faculties of the Pretenders Neighbour in our case) cannot be, because if address'd to one of the Patients it unavoidably begets in it such an Effect, it must as unavoidably, when address'd to another Patient, perfectly the same, beget in it the same Effect: otherwise its Effect would be necessary and yet not neces­sary, which the Pretender's Neighbour knows of himself cannot be true, nor can the Preten­der's faculties be of a different kind, provided they be of the same extent as his Neighbour's, (for if they are larger or narrower, we are to consider them as supposed to be such afterwards) because there can be no Species of Rational Fa­culties distinct in Essence and Nature from his own, for whoever has a power of Apprehending, of Judging, of Concluding Coequal with his, must apprehend, judge and conclude as he does, for if he have distinct powers equivalent to these, he must apprehend, judge and conclude by the help of those powers in the same degree as his Neighbour, and if he cannot, his powers are not equivalent, and are therefore to be consider'd, when we shall speak of them as suppos'd less. Do his Faculties therefore differ from ours on­ly in order? that is, Does he judge before he apprehends? or conclude before he judges? in that respect again, his Rational Powers will be inferiour to his Neighbour's, and therefore they cannot be of a different kind from those of the latter, and equivalent to them. Neither may they be superiour, since if they surpass the Be­liever's either in alacrity of Perception, strength of Judgment, or security of Ratiocination, [Page 71] which is what I mean by Superiour, instead of disbelieving what his Neighbour cannot but assent to, his knowledge of it must be more clear and ample, and his conviction much ful­ler than his Neighbour's, who assisted with that poor capacity that he is endow'd with, finds himself oblig'd to acknowledge the truth of manifest Axioms, and plainly perceives that they cannot be false: how much rather then must the Pretender be sensible of their evidence, being assisted with Faculties so much larger and perfecter, in as much as that which approves its own certainty to Faculties less capable of ap­prehending it, must approve it no less, for the reasons already alledg'd, where we demonstra­ted it impossible, that Faculties exactly of the same kind and extent should be alike affected by the same Impressions, to Faculties more capable of apprehending it? Nay, must over and above approve it self so much the more effectually to them, as they are degrees more apprehensive of it than the less capable: for carrying in it self the unquestionable tokens of truth, so that as soon as it reaches the apprehension, it con­vinces the judgment, it cannot offer it self to a more eminent apprehension, but it must be more intimately known to it, nor convince at the same time a clearer Judgment, but with a proportionably greater evidence. For notwith­standing that evidence which convinces the As­senter be to him so clear, that nothing can be clearer, yet it is not to be doubted but that Fa­culties more exquisite can more readily conceive and easily entertain such evidence. However it is sufficient for us, if the evidence but equally [Page 72] convince both. But may not the Pretender's Faculties be inferiour? May they not be fewer? May they not be less perfect? And indeed it seems a difficult matter to prove him a Master of Right Reason, who declares himself proof a­gainst the first Principles of it. In this security it is that the Pretenders hug themselves. It looks like an errant Impossibility, that their Fa­culties should lie thus naked and expos'd to eve­ry Body's else. But they are deceiv'd, and as little able to conceal their own abilities as they are averse. The disguise will not stick on long enough for them to enter upon their part, but betrays them e'er the very first act. For the As­senter knowing by himself that first Principles or Axioms exercise only the Judgment or se­cond Operation of the Mind, and terminate in it, may resolve himself, that if that Operation is in the Pretender's power, he cannot but ap­prehend the certainty of those Axioms which of themselves and antecedently to any Ratioci­nation imprint a security of their Truth, and that this Operation is in the Pretender's power, himself evinces, when he forms that Propositi­on by which he declare himself unaffected with the evidence of those Axioms; for he who de­nies that this thing can be predicated of that thing, is oblig'd to such an act of examining the relation between one Idea and another, as we call Judgment, and furthermore by exerting this Act demonstrates himself to have the pow­er of assenting or dissenting, seeing he that de­nies such a relation to be between one Idea and another, or affirms that there is no such relati­on between them, expresses by that very act an [Page 73] assent to the latter proposition, or a dissent to the former. Nor matters it any thing whether this act be called an Act of Assent or Dissent, for either of them consists in a Persuasion of Mind, be that Persuasion either of the one kind or of the other. He therefore that pronounces a Proposition in which he denies the truth of another Proposition, at the same time signifies his Persuasion, and no more than both these ca­pacities is requisite to the being such a Patient as the Assenter's first Principles or Axioms when offer'd, necessarily affect in such a manner and degree. But suppose the Pretender is not per­suaded of what he pronounces. If he is not, then he is either persuaded of the contrary, and so becomes one with the Assenter, or is altogether unaffected, or at best but dubiously with either Proposition, and neglects or discredits no less what himself pronounces than what the Assenter pronounces. But this he cannot do, as being qualified to pronounce such a judgment, for in pronouncing it he unites and divides Ideas ac­cording to his own choice, and choosing to unite this Idea with that, or divide it from it, is an Act of Assent or Distent. Unless therefore the Pretender, when he pronounces his Judgment is suppos'd to be acted by a blind Principle, and his words to be no more than sounds form'd by a fatal motion of the Organs of Speech, not the Interpreters of an Intelligent Being, (which being suppos'd, we make the Pretender uncapa­ble of being a Sceptick as much as before, for if he is only a blind unintelligent Nature, he can­not perceive in himself an indifference to the force of the Proposition in which consists his [Page 74] Scepticism) the whole extravagant Mask drops off o'course. Not that if he could keep it on ever so long, the Assenter is concern'd to force him to common sense against his Will so long as himself is sincerely satisfied of the truth of such undenyable Propositions, and upon Propositi­ons of this kind, we now purpose to proceed.

The Propositions which I shall expect to be granted me, are these two,

  • Whatsoever affects, has a being.
  • Whatsoever is affected, has a Being.

Nor will I yet dare to assume them, although clear enough by their own light, without as­signing just reasons for so doing. The truth of the first is no way to be question'd, if that which assects can affect only by application of it self to that which is affected, and this it must necessa­rily do either immediately to that which is im­mediately affected by it, or by communication of other intermediate Afficients. And more certain nothing can be, than that That which is nor can­not so apply it self. As necessarily also must eve­ry thing that is affected in any manner exist, be­cause that in order to be affected, it must be such a Patient as is capable of receiving and sustain­ing the Afficient when it applies it self, which a mere Negative cannot be. And this without reducing the matter to any Axioms of the Schools cannot but be so far convictive.

Seeing therefore I am conscious to my self of being in the number of those things which find themselves affected, I am certain, that I truly and really exist, and that not only as to that part of me which is a Judge of the reality of my being affected, but as to that part also [Page 75] which is only capable of being affected, not of being a Judge of it, because whether the latter part, by which I design the purely sensitive part, is or is not consummated but by the former or purely cogitative part, a question which might admit of a long dispute if it were necessary, it is certain, that I am truly and properly affected in both parts. That I am affected in the first, the very doubting of it evidently proves, much more, as I have already shewn, the denying of it; it being impossible, but that he which su­spends his Judgment, must find himself no less affected by the matter of his suspense, than if it were become the subject of his Assent or Dissent, for although it does not affect him so as proper­ly in the event to dispose or determine his Will, yet it makes him equally sensible of the pre­sence and application of such matter, as the same would do, if become a Subject of his As­sent or Dissent: which it does, as has already been evinc'd when such matter passes once into an Affirmation or Negation. And because that Operation of the cogitative part, by which it conceives the certainty of its being affected, is indeed a Judgment consisting of an Idea of Af­fection either in general or special, the thing af­fected, and the act of affecting, for whoever conceives thus much of himself, I am affected, must apprehend such a thing as Affection impli­ed in the word Affected, something also affected declar'd by the person I; and lastly, the appli­cation of the former to the latter: and seeing that there is no man, whether he doubts, af­firms, or denies, (and one of these three every man as to his cogitative part must do) but con­ceives [Page 76] or feels the certainty of his being affected, it necessarily follows, that that portion of the cogitative part truly exists, which exerts the Act call'd Judgment, and not this only, but because (which has been prov'd above) in all Acts of Judgment is compriz'd an Assent or Dissent, and these appertain to the Will, that the Faculty of the Will no less truly exists. And as for the Imagination and Memory, the first of them consisting in simple apprehension is so contain'd in the Faculty of Judgment, that it is evident he who is possest of the latter, must be as truly endow'd with the former, but whe­ther those Sensibles about which this Faculty is conversant be true and sincere, we shall present­ly examine. The Memory is indeed all consci­ousness, being no more than a power of resto­ring the perception of Affections already past, but so far as it is distinct from simple apprehensi­on or Judgment, it is no more than a bare secu­rity of having receiv'd such and such Impressions; which security where ever it is lodg'd, is its own Testimony, and he that has it cannot but know he has it, because if he denies he has it, he must form to himself such a Judgment, as will evi­dently shew that he has it, for in forming such a Judgment, he must, in the first place, consi­der himself as the subject of which he denies such an Attribute to be predicable, then the Attribute it self; and lastly the extent of relati­on between them, so that unless he can conceive all these together, he must have it, which yet he cannot conceive together, because if he could, a due order of Succession in the terms of such a Judgment were not absolutely necessary, both [Page 77] the Relatives and the Relation between them being so to be conceiv'd at the same instant as any one of them: Whereas such a Judgment cannot be form'd as shall consist of fewer terms than these, nor the dependance of these terms pronounc'd, unless they be dispos'd in a certain due order and succession. The necessity there­fore of such a succession being thus evinc'd, it appears, that he who denies himself to have Memory, must consider himself being the first term in such a Judgment, not with the other terms in the same instant of Conception, but as the first of the line and the others in their order distinctly afterwards, and when he has reflected upon each of them, must to perfect the Judg­ment compare and weigh the relation of the Pre­dicate with the Subject, which is not to be ef­fected without restoring that Perception or Ap­prehension of the Subject wherewith he was af­fected, when in the order of his Reflections he first consider'd that subject as the first term of the Judgment, and this is Memory. The same argument will hold, if instead of denying he pretends to doubt whether he has Memory or not, for I cannot conceive within my self thus much, I doubt of such a thing, but by a Judg­ment, in which the case is all one as before: Thus the certainty of the Existence of all the Faculties or Portions of the cogitative part of me is demonstrated upon the foregoing Princi­ples, and consequently of the whole. Many more arguments might be fetch'd to inforce these now alledg'd; but perhaps one is more than necessary, nothing being more out of the power of a thinking Being than in good earnest [Page 78] to persuade it self that it is no Being. Nay even supposing it possible that it should be veri­ly persuaded that it has no Being, it cannot but when it feels it self so persuaded, be at the same juncture assur'd that it really is; so that while I suppose such a thing possible, I must suppose it impossible, and that being a direct contradi­ction cannot be true; therwise the Principles so lately granted might be true and not true, and whatsoever affects or is affected be and not be. We are therefore next to examine whether there is the same security of the real Existence of the sensitive part, and this upon the same Princi­ples. Certain it is that I perceive my self af­fected as well in this part as in the other, but whether or no this Perception is intirely owing to the cogitative part, or cannot be wrought without the intervention of Organs external to that and Corporeal, may by some Scepticks be offer'd as matter of Dispute, because if such Perception can be effected without such Exter­nal Organs, those Organs may be no more than mere Phantom, Emptiness and Delusion; and on the other hand, if it cannot be effected but by such External Organs, those Organs must be both distinct from the thinking part, and as properly existent as that. To proceed therefore regularly, it is necessary that we contemplate what those Affections are which are proper to the sen­sitive part, and whence they arise. In themselves they are such as can only inhere in, and arise from Beings extended; of which we shall here­after prove that by the laws of its nature it can­not be other. Nor is the consequence of this Demonstration to be evaded, for if these Affe­ctions [Page 79] of the sensitive part can only inhere in an extended Being, and arise from the Essential Properties of an extended Being; and if all ex­tended Beings must be real, the sensitive part must therefore be real and truly distinct from a Being uncapable by it self of receiving immediate­ly those impressions unless in a far more imper­fect manner, which it ultimately receives and consummates by vertue of the Affections be­longing to that External Being which consti­tutes the sensitive part, provided it be also de­monstrated, that that Being which constitutes the cogitative part is indeed uncapable by it self of receiving immediately those Impressions, un­less in a far more imperfect manner. And this I question not but to perform in its proper place. In the mean while to prove that the Affections of the sensitive part only inhere in, and are proper to an extended Being: I think the first thing to be done is to enquire what they are, and that by Particulars according to the vulgar Division of them, by which they are distributed into the five external Senses, and the common internal: where yet it ought to be remembred that external is not oppos'd as before, to a Be­ing Incorporeal, seated within the External, but to an extended one (extended so far as it is properly sensitive, as shall be hereafter shewn) more External with respect to the Incorporeal Being than what is here call'd internal. The first of these is the power of perceiving the Di­mensions and Complexions of Objects, both which are proper to no Beings but what are extended, for all Dimensions whether incom­pleat, as a Point, Line, or Superficies; or [Page 80] compleat, as Prosundity in conjunction with the former, cannot be conceiv'd but in a sub­ject capable of such Dimensions: not but in more abstracted Speculations those Dimensions may be contemplated without particular regard had to the Subject of them, but if we consider them in the relation which they bear to a Being extended, we shall easily learn how inseparable they are from it, and therefore how necessarily that Being wherein such Dimensions are found is extended; and again it is no less evident that Objects carrying Complexion or Colour must be also extended, because all Colour, whether it arises from the Modification of the superficial parts of a Body; or whether it be what the A­ristotelians call a Form, (if indeed they are to be distinguish'd) or whatever its Essence is, must be co-extended with a Superficies, insomuch that when the Intellect abstracts it from a real Superficies, it cannot be conceiv'd any otherwise than circumscrib'd and expanded to certain Bounds and Limits on all sides as a Superficies, and because it cannot be conceiv'd without the Dimensions of a Superficies, nor a Superficies out of a Being extended, supposing, as I said before, we consider both the former, in the rela­tion which they bear to the latter; we cannot but conclude that Colour or Complexion, where­ever it is found, must be in a Body truly and re­ally extended. I say therefore, as Dimension and Complexion are proper to no Beings but what are extended, and from these inseparable; so we are also sure, that the sensitive part, by which we obtain the Perception of these Pro­perties is it self extended, because thus much is [Page 81] certain, that either the Intellect by its intuitive Faculty does immediately obtain these Impressi­ons of Dimension and Colour, or if not, either it must receive them from the Objects them­selves without the Interposition of any other extended Being, or by the conveyance of some other, unless it be granted that some other In­corporeal Being is the Author of this commu­nication; and then that as being an Afficient or Operator must exist, if a Finite, independence on, and by vertue of an Infinite, as the sequel shall demonstrate; if an Infinite, so much therefore of our Argument is made good with­out further study. Now the utmost our Intel­lectuals can archieve by their intuitive Faculty of it self, is to feign an Object to be, and to be present, not to perceive it properly as real and present. It can form an Idea of Dimension in general, or any one kind of Dimension, as also of Colour in general, or any particular sort of Colour, but then this Idea shall be variable at pleasure; the Dimensions shall be larger or less, of this Form or that Form, and the complexi­on of this kind or that kind, as the Soul plea­ses; whereas the Figure and Colour of those Objects which affect us, as to what we call sight, are not in our Power nor Subject to that Faculty which can vary those particular Dimen­sions and Colours it self has form'd at discretion. These latter affect us without any antecedent counsel or resolution of the Soul, whereas the Faculty of Imagination cannot set to work with­out being first determin'd by a plain Act of the Will: so I cannot beget in my self the Perce­ption of any figure without a motion first made [Page 82] in my Soul to form such a Conception, and a tacit consent also to pursue that motion, where­as we often find that Figures and Colours too surprize us, and are not, as in other cases, to be remov'd or chang'd at the decree of our Will. Seeing therefore they affect us, and not by our own procurement, and seeing the varia­tion of them does not depend on our own Fa­culties, 'tis evident they must so far, as things are so and so figur'd and colour'd, be distinct from them, because whatsoever is figur'd and colour'd, must, as has been shewn above, be extended; and that the Faculties of the Soul cannot be, as shall be shewn hereafter: altho' if they could, it would avail nothing against us, as shall be also shewn hereafter. Nor mat­ters it as to the question in hand, whether that which appears to be just so and so figur'd and co­lour'd, really is so, but whether it only appears in such a manner to be so figur'd and colour'd as that by the power of my Intellectual Faculties I cannot make it otherwise, and as that it offers it self unsought and unlook'd for so dispos'd. Esse and apparere in this case are one, and if we are not able to vary these Dimensions and Colours which affect us, though they may not perhaps truly and properly, as they are of such a parti­cular kind belong to such a Subject, it is De­monstration as they are Dimensions and Colours in general, they exist in some extended Being distinct from my Intellectuals. And by this Principle it is easie to solve those Difficulties which may be started concerning Dreams and Lunacy, for although those Difficulties, if ad­mitted, are not, as the Cartesians and Malbran­chians [Page 83] have surmiz'd, any valid Objections or Exceptions to general rules of certainty of the Senses, it being very sufficient, if they are at such certain times, and on such certain occasi­ons true, when by particular attention they have been found to be so, because indeed, any one instance for us justly pursu'd to the Consequen­ces we fetch from it, is of force to confirm all that we shall contend for, yet because no room for cavil should be left; I think upon these terms it is apparent, that as to the general properties of the Objects of Sense, they are as faithfully represented to our Senses in our Dreams as at other times. The Subjects of those Proper­ties, 'tis true, are not in reality present, but those Impressions which were a little before made upon the Organs hold good, and affect the Soul when no longer diverted by impressi­ons, which though weaker, and therefore una­ble to destroy the more durable, do, neverthe­less, while an entrance is open for them, pre­vent the Soul's being affected with any other. Now it is absolutely necessary that these impres­sions of such long continuance made upon the sensitive part, be either made by that, of it self, or else by Objects of the sensitive part; if by it self, and it be prov'd, as it shall, extended and distinct from the thinking part by arguments un­denyable in themselves, and fetch'd from diffe­rent instances, the Objection leaves us as to this part of it in the same place where it found us: if by Objects of the sensitive part, no more is requir'd than to prove from instances more cer­tain and unquestionable, and indeed most cer­tain, that all Objects of the sensitive part must [Page 84] be extended, which leads us again back to our general rules. And indeed, unless the Objecti­on evidently carry'd in it such a repugnancy to our general Rules, as that it could not be sol­vable upon the Suppositions made by us in them, let it be never so difficult to be accounted for in it self, it avails nothing against the force of those general rules: for granting it be solvable upon those Suppositions, as to what we are concern'd for in it the possiblity of its Being so is equally consistent with our general Rules of certainty, as they are principles from which such and such Conclusions are to be brought; as if the Ob­jection had been ever so easily solvable in those Questions which may be started about it consi­der'd in it self, so that it is to no purpose to urge, How do I know but my senses may de­ceive me, when I'm awake, as well as when I'm asleep? because, although perhaps the true and real manner of their so affecting and disposing us as we find they or their Objects, or some­thing like what we mean by them does, is un­known to us, yet I can assure my self, that for ought I perceive of them (and I can judge no­thing at all of them beyond that, unless by ge­neral Rules of certainty) that we should be affe­cted after such a manner by them, is not only consistent with our general Rules of certainty of the Senses, but altogether conformable to them, and more than a probable Argument of that which we are presently to evince, that the Organs of Sense are distinct from the thinking part no less than the Object. Indeed we can­not say, but the Objection may prove that for such Objects to be just then present, when as in [Page 85] a Dream, we really imagine them to be so, is not absolutely necessary; but it cannot infer that Objects properly and truly such, at least with respect to their general Properties, such as we in such circumstances take them to be, need not at one time or other to have been really pre­sent: perhaps too, these general properties might not then have been united as in my Dream, suppose of a Chimaera; but one in one Object might have made deeper impressions than any other in the same Object, and another in ano­ther, but that alters not the case supposing, as we experience when awake, the Soul has a pow­er of joyning and mixing these selected parts and properties. And all this, according to the common Notion of the Origin of Dreams, which, as I have said already, whether con­sonant to these or those Physical Principles or not, most certainly suffice to account for all those difficulties which at present concern us with relation to certainty of the Senses, and therefore the Objection grounded upon those difficulties stands no longer in the way of our general Rules. And as for the manner how the Impressions of Objects are so fasten'd upon the Organs, as to affect them after so long a time, we are as much excus'd from searching into that, as into the manner of Objects moving our Organs when we are awake. It is enough, if by our general Rules we become sure that at both times they truly act so upon us. And in­deed since only Bodies have obtain'd those general Qualities which the Soul perceives her­self affected with, as from those Bodies; and since, as we shall prove hereafter, the Soul her­self [Page 86] is a Being unextended, it cannot be, that the Soul should be so affected, as to the Perception of those general Qualities, unless by such Beings as have only obtain'd them, and those are Bo­dies: I say, as to the Perception of those gene­ral Qualities, as Colour and Dimension in gene­ral, not the particular dispositions or sorts of them, as whether the Object wherein I am sure is Colour and Dimension in general be Red or Green, &c. Crooked or Streight. For here, though not often, we sometimes may err, as in the particular Colours of a Prism or the figure of a stick half under Water. Wherein yet we may know by the Rules of certainty al­ready laid down, that there really is Colour and Dimension in general, and that therefore their Subjects are Beings truly and properly ex­tended: so that whether awake or asleep, those general properties of extended Beings which af­fect us must be lodg'd in Beings truly and pro­perly extended, which is as much as serves for our present purpose, although even supposing the Soul to be material, if it be one solid Piece of matter, it cannot be affected, as by proper­ties of extended Beings, unless by the applicati­on of a Being truly extended to its own Superfi­cies; or if it consists of many parts of matter, either each part (whether it be mov'd or not mov'd) must be endow'd with the power of per­ceiving such properties, or only certain of them: if each part, the same application either of some other part of it, which in respect of the per­ceiving part, is no more than its Object; or of some extended Being distinct from all parts of the Soul is still necessary to affect in such a man­ner [Page 87] because no part of matter can be affected with such Qualities as are proper to Matter, but by receiving the Impressions of them from some other portion of Matter. And this must be, ev'n supposing such Matter to perceive by a perceptive Quality unknown to us, for if it be a perceptive Quality at all, it must be such an one as we make the Soul to have, supposing it immaterial, and consequently subject to the same Laws as are proper to the other. Nor shall we, I hope, need to say any more as to this Objection in our Examination of the o­ther Senses. To proceed then, as the Soul can­not by her intuitive Faculty alone, so perceive these Objects of Sight, as she finds she does per­ceive unalterable by and independent on her Fa­culties; so cannot the immediate application of the Object to her Faculties effect those Perce­ptions without the commerce of extended Or­gans: and here we have two things to prove, That the Soul cannot perceive those general pro­perties of extended Beings distinct from her self, but by the intervention of extended Instruments united to her by the most intimate Union, that an unextended and extended Being are capable of, and that these Objects are by no means so united: from whence it plainly follows, that there are other extended Instruments by inter­vention, of which the Soul perceives those ge­neral properties, and these we shall prove to be the Senses. Now the most intimate Union that can be between unextended and extended Beings is of Composition; for that which is extended, allotting it never so many occult properties, can­not be unextended while 'tis extended; and [Page 88] the most intimate Union of Composition is, when one of the Beings united cannot be affected, but the other must be affected also; supposing the Beings united to be consider'd as passive which we have already shewn the Soul, when she per­ceives the general properties of Objects, as in the Objects must be, and therefore whatever is united to her by a most intimate Union of Com­position, if such an Union, as I understand, be a most intimate, must with her be passive too. And indeed those things which cannot have one Being in common, can be no nearer united than necessarily to affect or be affected in common; since whatsoever is not essentially uni­ted to any thing else, must be essentially distinct from it, and whatsoever cannot be conceiv'd without its Extension, as all extended Beings (whether in that Extension consists their Essence or not) must be essentially distinct from whatso­ever cannot be conceiv'd with Extension, which we have promis'd already to prove hereafter of the Soul; and whatsoever is essentially distinct from any thing else, can obtain no nearer an al­liance than that of acting and suffering with it: So as that in the latter case, the one cannot be affected but the other must be affected also, un­less when one is passive, the other may be active: but that cannot be, for in order to this, they must be so far disunited as that one, viz. the ex­tended Being must, in cases of Sensation alrea­dy specified, affect the other by an extrinsecal Impression, or such an Impression as must imply, that that which impresses is no more united to that which is impressed upon, than the Object of Sense is to the perceptive Faculty of the Soul, [Page 89] and that's not at all, for the properties of Di­mension and Complexion in those Objects could not be perceiv'd, as in a distinct and separate State from that which perceives them, in which yet, for reasons lately alledg'd, they cannot but be, unless they were at least so far divided from it, as that it should not be united to their Super­ficies, which it is impossible for it to be, while it plainly perceives that Superficies to be extra se, and withal, that it cannot be ty'd nearer to any Superficies, with the Perception of which it is as distinctly affected, as with that of an Object, than at most, barely to be surrounded by it, which is far from any Union of Composition. Not yet can the application of the Object's Su­perficies to the perceptive Faculty, without the intervention of extended Organs united to the perceptive Faculty by the most intimate Union of Composition, produce such a Perception, be­cause the utmost that the Imagination of her self can effect, is, as was observed before, to feign Objects real and present; nor can the Su­perficies of the Object, by approaching only, dispose that Faculty which is not else dispos'd to take any notice of it; for unless that Object can so affect the perceptive Faculty, as to pro­cure in it that real Perception of it self, which the Faculty is no more than able to feign, it's approach conduces not at all to the begetting such a Perception: and thus much it is certain it cannot, unless there be, at least, in this ex­tended Object, a power of exciting, which pow­er must either subsist in it independantly of it, or as an accident move and operate only in con­junction with its Subject: not the first, because [Page 90] this power being on such conditions, an unex­tended Being must beget still that Perception, either by the approach of that extended Being, which is its Subject, or by it self: the one it is no more able to do, than the extended Being approaching the perceptive Faculty without a­ny such assistant, nor yet by it self, because un­less it has in it self the Notices or Perceptions of such general properties of an extended Being, it cannot by a mere confus'd and blind Sollicita­tion cause our perceptive Faculty to acknow­ledge such general Properties, which consider'd (as we consider it now) in it self, it has not, and consequently cannot move us to take notice of them, and therefore the perceptive Faculty does by other means receive those distinct and clear Impressions of Dimension, Colour, &c. than by that which has them not in it self, nor yet effects those Impressions by the means of that which has such properties in it self. But then, supposing it only an accident, it's effect cannot exceed that of its Subject, viz. a bare brute ex­tended Being; and by the mere accession of this, which yet is all the Operation conceivable in a bare brute extended Being, the immaterial Fa­culty can be no more affected, than if the ex­tended Being had not approach'd, no more be­ing in the Faculty, as has been prov'd above, than at most to feign the Object real and pre­sent; nor any vertue in the immediate impres­sion of the extended Being, by which alone it can procure a Perception of its own general proper­ties in the perceptive Faculty. Because there­fore the accession of the Object cannot produce a Perception of its general properties in the Fa­culty; [Page 91] nor the Faculty by her-self form those independant and distinct Perceptions which she has of Objects, some other extended Instru­ments more intimately united, are requisite to the begetting such a Perception, and these are the Organs of Sense, which are more sensibly and closely united, than that those general pro­perties, by which we know Objects to be distinct from the Faculty, are so by the Faculty to be perceiv'd in them. And the same security we have for the rest of the Externals, Hearing, Ta­sting, Smelling, and Feeling, of the last more especially, because in it we are affected after such a manner, as to perceive those general pro­perties peculiar to the Sensation of this Sense, as Dimension, (which is common with this Sense to that of Seeing) Hardness, Softness, Roughness, Smoothness, and the like; and which are not to be found, but in a truly extend­ed Being, as in two distinct Superficies, that of the Organ reaching the Object, and that of the Object pressing the Organ, an evident Demonstration upon those Principles we have already laid down, as well of the certainty of both their Extensions, as of their being distinct from each other. But this, with the other three Externals, I shall leave (for brevity sake) to be examin'd by the Discipline of Certainty already offer'd, and therefore offer'd in general terms; declining particularly the discussion of the three other Senses, because all the Objects of them are primarily Objects of the other two; and as to those general properties which are as­signable to them, as Tast in general, Sound in general, Odour in general, fall under the same [Page 92] Doctrines with the former; only this may be necessary to observe once again, that the surest means of escaping error, is to try and judge on­ly of those properties which the Judgment shall, by due methods understand to be appropriated to each Sense, by that Sense. What these me­thods are may easily be collected from what has been said before. As little occasion have we al­so to add any thing of the Internal, Common Sense, which by Aristotle and others is call'd so, because conversant about sensible Objects, [...], Arist. de A­nimâ li. 3. cap. 2.) not as being corporeal▪ as follows, [...], (see beside the Comment of the Coim­bra Doctors) by whom it is defin'd, that Sense, by which we distinguish the several properties, which we acquire a Perception of by the five Externals, and can be no other than that per­ceptive or apprehensive Faculty which is to be prov'd immaterial, for there is no distinguishing one thing from another, but by a clear and di­stinct apprehension of each.

What we are next to prove, is the reality of extended Beings, and the Immateriality of that Being which perceives or apprehends and judges of them. Whenever we conceive an ex­tended Being as able to affect us in the manner lately mention'd, we must conceive something more than length and breadth alone, because they cannot alone affect us with those general properties which we perceive in Objects long and broad, for if they affect, they must really [Page 93] be, and yet they cannot really exist, unless they have also Depth as well as Length and Breadth, a proposition of it self so evident, that it ad­mits of no further Illustration. And indeed it is high time to desist from this Demonstration of the Truth of the Senses, which I have not drawn out to such a length, as believing any just Scruples are to be raised about them, but to re­move those unjust ones, which other have be­got in the minds of many. In order to prove the latter, viz. the Immateriality of the appre­hensive and Judicious Part, I will not pretend to define all the properties that may accrue to a Being extended, and boldly to exclude Cogitati­on from among them, but shall make it my bu­siness to evince from what we certainly know of an extended Being, that Cogitation cannot apper­tain to it. Now thus much we plainly know of an extended Being, that it cannot be such, unless it have three Dimensions, Length, Breadth, and Depth; and nothing Long, Broad, and Deep can move it self, unless by virtue of some other power lodg'd in it; which power, as it is to be the Inciter of its extended Subject, can­not but be so far independant of it, as to be able to move without it, because the motion of that is antecedent to the motion of its Subject, and if it be so far independant, it must necessarily sub­sist in a state distinct from its extended Subject, since it is a most gross absurdity to suppose, that Faculty whereby the Being in which it rests is incited to move, should be incapacitated to move, unless with that Being wherein it rests; and yet if it is not, it is plain it must subsist di­stinctly from it, because all properties, the foun­dation [Page 94] of whose Existence is their Subject, can­not but move along with their Subject; for in­deed, to suppose such to move without their Subject, is to set them free either more or less from their Subject, and to allow them to move only in proportion to the degree of such their Liberty and Alienation. Now every act of Per­ception, if it proceed from any thing extended, must be wrought by motion, for all alteration must be the effect of motion, and whether that which properly perceives, be extended or not, the condition of it is in some degree alter'd, it be­ing conscious to it self of a different state from what it had before: as when it has perceiv'd a Triangular Body, or (suppose) none before, and afterwards perceives a round one. If that from whence therefore this alteration arises is lodg'd in a Being extended, Motion is lodg'd in it, and if Motion, it must be either that in­dependant Power discours'd of before, or an ac­cident only concomitant with Extension: grant­ing the first, by what has been so lately offer'd, we prove it to be distinct from the Being ex­tended, and so immaterial, but if you will have it to be an accident only Concomitant with Ex­tension; upon this Supposition again, it cannot move or be mov'd, but along with its extended Subject, and in the same Species of Motion, that is, it can only change Site and Place, since an extended Substance in motion differs from one at rest no more than relatively, or with respect to something without it self. For we will suppose a Cube divided into ten thousand Cubes, and every one of these subdivided into twice as many more, till of one solid Cube it becomes at last a heap [Page 95] of Atoms; and next let us suppose these Atoms so dispos'd to play amongst one another, that each of them shall (if you please) have a quite different motion from all the rest. What changes would ensue in this Cube of matter? None certainly intrinsecal. But that Portion of the Cube, which before its division lay con­tinuous to one certain Angle of it, upon the Intersection would relinquish the Superficies whereto it was continuous before, and apply its own naked Superficies to another; suppose that of the Instrument, or in what part it might not be contiguous to the Instrument, to the Su­perficies of any intermediate matter whatever. The Division and Subdivision thus atchiev'd, and all the Particles thrown into Motion, what other alterations are like to arise? Still none, for every of the mov'd Particles continues in­trinsecally the same; and the relative difference too is the same as it was in the Division, this single circumstance excepted, that in the Divi­sion the changes of each Particle's Site might be fewer and slower, which in the commotion they shift oftner and quicker; so that a Body mov'd, and a body at rest, are materially and intrinsecally the same; but by reason of Moti­on, one Body looses that relation of Vicinity which it had to another Body, and renews it with a third. But beside, the power of Perce­ption must be essentially united to that of Judg­ment; for as it is evident, that those Ideas of things, which the judgment compares, are the very same with those which we receive by sim­ple apprehension, only more in number, and Parts so mainly constituent of every Operation [Page 96] of Judgment, that there can be no such Opera­tion effected without them, so cannot that pow­er, whereby single Ideas are barely contempla­ted, be indeed distinct from that which con­templates them in the same manner, only in greater numbers, and under their mutual Rela­tions: seeing where the Operation is essentially one, the Operant cannot be more; for altho' two distinct Efficients may concur to the pro­ducing one Effect, yet that Effect must ne­cessarily be compound, so as that the portion of the Effect wrought by one Efficient, may be distinct from the portion of the other Efficient, but every act of Judgment is simple, and one portion of it, viz. that of comparison, cannot be separated from the other of Ideas without being lost. The Unity of the Efficient there­fore being thus prov'd from the Unity of the Ef­fect, all that we have to prove is, that every act of Judgment must be truly and properly Moti­on; and every act that has in it succession must be Motion, not that of Bodies out of one place or position into another, which yet is analogous to it so far as it is successive, but the continua­tion of a complex act through all its parts, or that Transition which in every judgment we make from one simple Idea to another: and this power of Motion, if seated in matter, must be independent of it, as acting without it, be­cause before it, for the other brute properties of matter are of necessity perfectly unactive and montionless, till agitated by this power indepen­dent of them. But there might yet another ar­gument, as well as a further confirmation of this be fetch'd à Posteriori, from the Wisdom of [Page 97] God, when that and his other Perfections have been first prov'd from the Existence of even the smallest Particle of matter, which according to the method we shall now pursue, may be clear­ly and directly prov'd.

Having therefore thus demonstrated the Ex­istence and general Properties of all Beings im­mediately affecting either our sensitive or think­ing Faculties, as also the certainty of the Ex­istence of those Faculties, and difference of their Nature, we come next to enquire how they obtain'd this Existence and these Properties; whether they gave them to themselves, or re­ceiv'd them from some other Cause. Most evi­dent it is, that they exist according to a certain Line, Succession, or Course of Moments, and that as to order of Time as they now are, so a little before they were; which Line or Course being trac'd by the moments whereof it consists to the utmost Length that our or any Multipli­cation of such Moments can reach, will at last terminate in some certain Point, beyond which Moment the Existence of such Beings is not to be referr'd, and in which they first began to be. And this Beginning it is impossible they should have had from themselves, because they could not affect till they were; and if not affect, not effect; whence it follows, that they had some primary distinct Cause subsisting from Eternity, not extended, because a successive Existence is inseparable from Extension, for we can no soon­er perceive an extended Being, but we must con­ceive it as existing in time, because every ex­tended Being is apt for, or capable of being mov'd along the parts of a Line, the measure [Page 98] of Motion, by which we thus demonstrate the Succession of its Existence.


Let (a) be the Being extended; (f) (l) a a Line along which (a) may be mov'd, while (a) exists upon the space of the Line (f) (l) between (f) (h), it cannot exist also upon the space between (i) (b). And yet seeing it is ca­pable of being mov'd along the Line (f) (l), till arriv'd to the space between (i) (b), it is no less capable of existing upon the space between (i) (b), but not till it has left off to exist upon the space between (f) (h): and yet it could not be capable of existing upon the space between (i) (b), after it had existed upon the space between (f) (h), unless it had existed be­fore between (f) (h), and so many moments of Existence after its Existence between (f) (h), as its Motion should last through the several spa­ces, till it might arrive at that between (i) (b), which Succession of Existence being trac'd back to the utmost extent that any Multiplication can attain, will at last terminate in some certain point, and therefore beyond that require a Cause which might subsist from Eternity. Beside, without Motion, this extended Being could ef­fect or affect nothing; and yet this first Mover, if an extended Substance, could not have self-motion by the Demonstrations already offer'd upon that Argument.

[Page 99] And this prime unextended Cause must be also Infinite, not only possessing Perfections e­qual to those of its own Effect; but all others whatsoever, or all Perfection possible, and that because its Existence is necessary and eternal, for to all manner of Perfection there accrues, at least, a Possibility of Existence. So that whatsoever Perfection is missing in the Effects of this prime Cause, cannot but exist in the Cause it self; see­ing, as we observ'd before, all Perfection carries in it at least a Possibility of Existing, which yet it could not, unless it may exist in the Prime Cause, in case it cannot in its Effects. There is no absurdity at all in affirming, that whatsoever is a Perfection may exist; so far from that, that it is impossible to feign any Perfecti­on wanting such a Possibility: but if it may neither exist in the Effects nor prime Cause, (sup­posing that to be single) it is an absurdity to say that such a Possibility is essential to all Perfecti­on▪ And although in the Effects of the prime Cause, whatsoever is possible may not be found, and indeed cannot, for they are all notoriously limited, the Extended by their Superficies, and the Unextended by the defect of their powers; and whatsoever is limited either way, must be capable of Univocal Additions; and when those are obtain'd, still of greater; so that something of Perfection will ever be wanting to them: yet in the prime Cause it self, whose Existence is necessary, all manner of Perfection must, be­cause of its Possibility of Existence, truly and really exist; for it could not be in its own nature apt to exist, unless it had been so either from Eternity or from a certain Period of Time: now [Page 100] although the Perfections of the Effects of the prime Cause are in their own Nature capable of existing only within a certain Period of time; yet whatsoever Perfection may possibly exist in the prime Cause, whose Existence is necessary, cannot but truly and really exist in it: Now all Perfection whatsoever carries with it such a Possibility; as for instance, the power of crea­ting a new World out of nothing, or a new or­der of Effects answerable to that already created is such a Perfection, as may possibly be in the prime Cause of those Effects already extant. But yet it could not possibly be in this prime Cause, unless co-eternal with it; seeing if it were tem­porary, it must be only the Effect of this prime Cause, and not of the Essence of it, nor co-e­ternal with it, unless it necessarily existed, be­cause all Eternals exist by necessity. Neither is this to say, that what is most perfect, must therefore exist, because Existence is one of the Perfections of that most Perfect, whereas indeed it is inseparable from even the least Perfection. No, all that I contend for amounts to no more than, That in a Being of necessary Existence, and in such an one only, all Perfection possible must as necessarily exist. Not but from the considera­tion of the nature of the Effects already in Be­ing the Infinity of the prime Cause, is no less conspicuous, supposing it no derogation, as in­deed it is not, from the Majesty of the prime Cause, to say, that it cannot create more kinds of Beings than what are already created. Kinds, I say, which are these, a Spirit and a Bo­dy; and in truth it implies a mere Con­tradiction, to say there can be more Kinds of [Page 101] Beings than these; for whatsoever is, must ei­ther be extended or not extended; if the for­mer, 'tis a Body; if the latter, 'tis either an Intelligent Spirit, or a blind, unintelligent E­nergy. And by these, I mean a Spirit in ge­neral. Now more sorts of Beings than these there cannot be; and a contradiction, I say, is the Effect of supposing there can; because ad­mitting a third Kind, it must be of such Beings as are neither extended nor unextended, which 'tis evident cannot be any Beings at all. But of these Kinds the Cause that first produc'd 'em, can, at pleasure, produce new Qualities and Numbers, since it is perfectly, and in all respects the same that it was from Eternity; it being impossible, but that whatsoever exists from E­ternity must be immutable, because its Existence is necessary. Nay further, all Quantities or Numbers of Substances anew created, be they never so great, a Cause of Eternal Subsistence can produce in one act, because it does not ope­rate according to the Succession of the parts of time, although to us it may seem so to do, whose comprehension is so narrow, in compari­son of it, as not to collect any manner of Exi­stence or Operation, but what is successive, ei­ther from the notice of our own Existence or, Operation, or those of other Beings falling un­der our observation. So soon as such Substan­ces are created, they cannot, 'tis true, exist, but according to such a Succession; but the act of Creation, as it is the act of the Creator, is no more concern'd with any order of time than the Agent: So that if a thousand Worlds not yet created were to be created with respect to the [Page 102] Creator, they must be created together with that World already created. All which is no other than consonant to the Principles of those many Philosophers who define Eternity a Possession at once of all Past, Present, and to Come. To be sufficient therefore to create all Substances that can be created without a Contradiction, and this at once, certainly appertains to no less than a power Infinite; for although the Quantities and Numbers of the Substances created, let them be never so great, must be Finite, yet the power of creating as many more remains in the Creator. Nor seems it any diminution of the Cre­ator's Perfection, that the Quantities and Numbers of the Substances created must be Finite; since if they might be Infinite, they might not only rival their Cause, but oblige him to confer that upon Beings not existing from Eternity, which only accrues to Beings existing from Eternity; for nothing can be Infinite as to continuance, unless a necessary Existent; and nothing Infinite on other accounts unless Infinite as to continu­ance, because every thing else must be the Ef­fect of a Being of Infinite continuance, and that Effect must be less perfect than its Cause, as partaking, even of substantially and essential­ly the same as the Cause, of but a portion of its Cause, which yet a Temporary Being cannot of an Eternal, because whatever is Eternal in such a Being, is in its own nature incommuni­cable to a Temporary Being: and yet no Effect of an Infinite Cause can be less perfect than its Cause without being Finite, by which it ap­pears, that to suppose the Quantities and Num­bers of the Substances created may be Infinite, [Page 103] is to suppose the Cause of them may be guilty of a most gross Absurdity and Contradiction; and not only so, but that it may likewise be mu­table, though of necessary Existence. What I have said of Substances, holds equally of their Properties. And this argument it self might suffice to demonstrate the Infinity of each Per­fection in the Creator, which may be found in a more imperfect degree in the things crea­ted.

The Eternity of the All perfection, and par­ticularly of the Omnipotence of this prime Cause being thus evinc'd, we are yet to reflect a little upon the necessity of all those Possible and Eternal Perfections being united in that one prime Cause; and here it must be remember'd, that if they are not united in the same Infinite, they must either as to one part or kind of them be Finite or Infinite: not Infinite, for what can be a bolder contradiction, than that one share of such Perfections should be Infinite, when there remains a great deal of Perfection not u­nited to it. Finite therefore. If Finite, in some measure defective; if defective, wanting that principle, which, where ever it is found, constitutes that Being altogether perfect, viz. a necessity of existing, the want whereof must be therefore the foundation of Imperfection, be­cause Perfection is constituted of Reality, being only a Plenitude of Existence, so as that, for in­stance, the Perfection of a Body is no more than the real Existence of its Extension, and of what­ever else goes to the constituting of a Body; and the Perfection of its Extension, &c. consists in its being real or positive, for nothing is further [Page 104] perfect than it is positive; nor whatever com­poses the Essences of things any otherwise con­summate, than as those Constituents are true and genuine Existents. It cannot therefore exist necessarily, and if not necessarily, not from Eternity; whence it is clear it must be essenti­ally united to all other possible Perfection, that is of Eternal Existence (Essentially, I say, be­cause there can be no Union of Composition be­tween two Beings, unless each is in its own na­ture able to subsist by it self.) So that all Per­fection, whose Existence is from Eternity, must be collected and essentially united in one Eter­nal, most Perfect Cause of all other Beings whatsoever.

I know not whether I need particularly in­sist upon any further Eviction of the Omnisci­ence of this prime Cause, that being inclusively prov'd by the general Argument so lately hand­led in proof of his All-perfection: but yet be­cause this Attribute is a proper foundation for the Demonstration of his Providence, it may not be amiss to consider it in it self. So slight is the acquaintance we have with Spiritual Be­ings of a limited nature, and much more with that of an unlimited one, that what we learn concerning them, we acquire partly by general Rules of Entities, partly from certain general Properties of the Spiritual Beings themselves. That the prime Cause must in it self have In­telligent Faculties, there needs no other Evi­dence than that certain Effects of it have. That part of its Productions which is call'd and known to be the Rational and Thinking, have receiv'd of it considerable Abilities in that kind. [Page 105] We apprehend, we know, we think, and are admitted not only to the Contemplation of our selves and Fellow-Creatures, but even into the Sanctum Sanctorum, to the Contemplation of the prime Cause it self: yet not without great restrictions; it being the Prudence of the prime Cause to bestow but a scanty Portion of that upon its Creatures, which as it would be in them the similitude of it self, so it would tempt them to presume upon their own dignity, and consequently to be forgetfull of his. (Not to mention here the event of our first Parents Lapse.) However such a portion of Understand­ing we can boast of as serves to signifie the Do­nour an Intelligent Being also: and as the In­telligent part of his Creation bespeaks him In­telligent, so that with all the other parts of it bespeak him infinitely so, because indeed they could not have been at all, unless that which gave them their Being had thoroughly and most intimately known the Ends and Essences of them, because a Being independent, existing from E­ternity, and therefore necessary and immutable, could not be mov'd to exert the act of Creation, unless by more than a brute Principle of Moti­on, which Motion must either have continu'd from Eternity, and so the Effects of it have been Eternal, the Absurdity of which we have alrea­dy refuted, or have been an arbitrary or volun­tary Motion arising from a Principle of Intelli­gence. Nor can it be, but that these two Prin­ciples should operate for ends; seeing this vo­luntary Motion could not have proceeded from the Intelligent Principle, unless the Intelligent Principle upon notice or conception (if I may [Page 106] so speak) of things, found, at least, some end to urge that voluntary Motion; so that as every the least Effect of that Motion must have been for an end; so must it also have issued from an Intelligent Principle in the arbitrary Mover: whence it is evident this arbitrary Mover or Cause must have a perfect and absolute know­ledge of all its own Effects. But here I would not be understood either to define the Intelle­ctual Powers of the first Cause, or the Man­ner of their Operations; when all I attempt, is to shew, that the least Effect of the prime Cause must flow from a voluntary Motion (to which although infinitely more perfect, that imperfect one of our Wills is somewhat analogous) arising from an Idea of that which is to be the Effect of that voluntary Motion, and that Idea also infinitely more perfect than any of ours. And as this arbitrary Cause cannot but have the most entire and absolute knowledge of all its own Effects, so must it be no less acquainted with whatever is possible besides, because it compre­hends in it all such Possibilities; and whatsoe­ver it so comprehends it must it self be consci­ous of, seeing those Principles of Intelligence and voluntary Motion already mention'd, can­not be, as perhaps in Inferiour and Finite Ra­tionals, distinct from the other Faculties and Attributes, but on the same account that such Principle are asserted at large to be in the prime Cause, they must also be annex'd to what­soever of it is found to be of eternal Existence; seeing whatsoever is found to be so, is alike in­dependent of any foreign Impulsor as the prime Cause understood at large, alike necessary and [Page 107] immutable, and accordingly a Being alike Intel­ligent and Arbitrary.

Again, as this prime Cause is infinitely pow­erfull and Wise, so it must be infinitely Just and Mercifull too, and that because its Effects are the Objects of its Love, as well as the Off­spring of its power, for so long as they exist, they are certainly precious in its esteem, and not only when they were first created, but even as long as they continue in being, it cannot but repute them good. In truth, unless they were so, their All-wise Cause would fall under the imputation of acting in vain, and be oblig'd in its own Justification to annihilate the universal System, or at least such portions of it as were of no value in its sight; by which Rule, as we may be assur'd of its general Concern for all, so of that Concern's being proportionable to the particular value of each Member: so that eve­ry such Member in its particular Station is con­sulted, and provided for according to its Dig­nity, the measure whereof is best to be learn'd by examining how large its capacity is of being benefited by the first Cause, for there is no­thing more certain, than that the first All-wise Cause rather than act in vain and to no pur­pose, will benefit it and bless it to the full mea­sure of that Capacity: Yet not without condi­tions too, where and so far as the Effect is qua­lify'd for entring, or has actually enter'd into them. Wherefore in cases even of Degeneracy in such an Effect, the small remains of that Per­fection which it receiv'd at first from its Cause, are still valu'd by its Cause, nay even when it seems good to the Cause, that its Effects should [Page 108] undergo any Severities, it cannot but either com­pensate for them afterwards, which for the rea­sons already given, it is oblig'd to do, when conditions are observ'd; or if it consigns over the violators to a perpetual punishment (not to insist upon any other defence of its Justice therein) I know not why we may not believe that the Effects even by the Laws of their na­ture, decline through degeneracy into such a state of Misery, and acquire such a Disposition, that upon being translated according to the or­dinary course of things into a new Station and condition, they necessarily become miserable, part­ly thro' those Defects which they owe to them­selves, and partly from impressions from without, which could not affect them, if the nature of the Effect had undergone no change by its Degene­racy. Lastly, Nothing is a more easie Demon­stration than of the Providence of the first Cause from the certainty of its Justice and Mercy. In­deed it is most conspicuous in every part of its great Work, wherein the whole contrivance ap­pears so admirable, the subserviency of this to that so regular, and the distribution of proper­ties so just, that of all Miracles, the order of Nature, which we daily behold, is certainly the greatest. Nor does there seem to be any necessity of betaking our selves to the more sim­ple methods of Demonstration, when if we would never so fain, we cannot extricate our selves from evidences of such a Providence. And when Democritus had modell'd his Atoms, and Epicurus had, as he fansied, put them in a right way to gather into a Body, what did it avail them? They neither could be Atoms till they [Page 109] were made so, nor move a point on, till the first Mover set them forward. But then what if the Beauty, Structure, and Order which en­su'd, could not arise from any such Principles, as it is plain they could not? For supposing ne­ver so great variety in the figures of the A­toms, that one Species of Motion, viz. Casus declivis, could not by any means beget such a multiplicity of Forms, but only generate a so­lid, flinty Mass; solid and flinty, I say, be­cause no manner of concourse could so strongly compact the Atoms as that. Indeed it must have fasten'd all of them so close together that nothing could have broken so many free distinct Bodies off the Rock, but the Supervention of an Almighty Arm: nor yet could each such Frustulum have been so modify'd and temper'd as we find, unless by the same: So that the Founders and Maintainers of these Principles, instead of mending the matter, only made more work for themselves, and brought their Parti­cles so fairly together at last, that when they should have been got asunder again, nothing but a superiour Agent, being that which they made sure of escaping, could separate them. For alas! Chance has not strength enough. If she might bring them together, she could do no more afterwards, but leave them together. Be­sides, what is this Chance at last? So far from being a Cause, that it never can be any thing but a Coincident. For granting these Atoms fell thus together; did they chance, I beseech you, to fall together before they did fall together? And still it's all the same thing, whe­ther these Atoms encounter in one kind of Mo­tion [Page 110] or in many; for if in many, so as that they gather into many distinct Bodies, each of those Bodies must be superlatively compact, seeing that motion, which is to bring them together, will bring them as close together, as they can be brought, when there is nothing to interpose. But what shall at last animate some of these lumps, and temper all of them? Let the Ato­mist therefore take his choice, whether he will have one great Mass, or many little ones. But I digress too far, it being my present design not so much to confute Error as demonstrate Truth; although indeed the latter is much at one with the former, especially in the dispute before us. Yet the reigning sottishness of that opinion so star'd me in the face, while I would discourse upon the Providence of the prime Cause, that I could not handsomely forbear a rebuke, the continuation of the Effects of the prime Cause being no better accounted for by this barren, childish Hypothesis than their O­riginal; for as they could not give themselves a Being, but must necessarily have receiv'd it from an All-perfect Cause; so (not to mention the necessity of perpetual Creation, in order to the Subsistence of such Effects, sufficiently evinc'd by others) from the nature and Attributes of this prime Cause, I think I have clearly de­monstrated, that it certainly governs and is con­cern'd for all, even the smallest of its Effects, and this All-perfect first Cause is GOD.

But now where appears that little half Ani­mal the Atheist? No longer, I hope, setting up for a Philosopher, when for ought I know, the Brutes even of the slowest apprehension may [Page 111] claim Pre-eminence in the Schools before him: The Brutes, whose every motion betrays a con­sciousness of a Truth, which nothing but the darkest blindness of Soul can escape. The Brain must be clouded thick on all sides, or so dazling a Lustre could not but strike it. Is this then the penetrating Man? the subtile in­ventive, Verè adeptus? a Prodigy in good ear­nest! if he could raise Effects without Causes, and begin to build his Houses from the Tiles. But alas! there is not one Phaenomenon in all nature to be so much as plausibly interpreted, but upon the confidence of a first Cause. Those Accounts of Meteors which we have receiv'd, are perhaps the fairest and easiest on all hands of any other Physical Notices, whether we con­sult Cartes, Gassendus, Aristotle, or the Stoicks, (Comets only excepted) and yet no Vapours could be so much as exhal'd, or any condens'd or rarefy'd, but by the interposition of the first Cause; for if transmutations analogous to those in the Alembicks of our Vertuosi require such peculiar and most exquisite Instruments; how much rather do they require an Omnipotent Author and Cause to give an Efficacy to these Instruments? And indeed the first blunder of the Atheistical Philosopher has ever been his mi­staking Instruments for Efficient Causes; for not discerning the difference between that which acts only necessarily, and that which acts arbi­trarily, the poor Beetles have all along excluded a Deity by confounding the first with the lat­ter. Yet there's the mischief of it, these Peo­ple cannot but be lost to all sound Reason and Sense, before they straggle into such unaccoun­table [Page 112] delirious Notions; and how is it possible to correct Error, when instead of any Candour and Judgment, you have nothing to treat with but obstinate Conceitedness, profound Igno­rance, and desperate Indocility.

DE Cartesianâ DEI Ideâ EPISTOLA, Ad V. Cl. D. Antonium Le Grand, Quâ respondetur ad Cap. XIV um Apo­logiae ejus pro Ren. Cartesio con­tra S. Parkerum, Archidiaconum (tunc temporis) Cantuar.

Ornatissime Domine,

PErlectâ haud ità pridem Apologiâ tuâ Sermonis nitore pariter ac moderatio­ne conditâ, imprimis studium quo in­calueram Veritatis, exigere visum est, ut instituta tua, maxime verò quae de Cartesia­nâ Dei Ideâ tradideras, pro virili refellerem; cum scilicet nihil praestet amicum aliquem male consultum Veritatis basin primitivam demoliri ut suam substerneret, quàm apertè ipsos adversarios ariete sua conquassare. Quinimò me tandem in certamen planè arsisse fateor cum causam Veritatis defendi non posse perspexerim quin desideratissimi Parentis memoriam manes­que simul vindicarem, quos non vindicasse Ado­lescentis [Page 114] ignavi degenerisque sit. Itaque cum ad omnia tua respondere nondum vacet, accipe benigno quaesumus animo quae de capite Apolo­giae tuae decimo quarto scribenda habuimus, quo Cartesium tuum Divinae Substantiae Ideam ob­tinuisse contendis, quae aliunde profiscisci quàm ab illo cujus sit Idea nequiret. Priusquam ve­ro ista discutiamus, paucis investigemus oportet quid per vocem Ideam nos intelligere debemus. Platonem in usum introduxisse constat, de quo D. Augustinus in Octaginta Quaestionum libro— ‘Ideas primò appellâsse Plato perhibetur, non tamen si hoc nomen antequam ipse institueret non erat ideò, vel res ipsae non erant quas Ide­as vocavit, vel à nullo erant intellectae, sed a­lio fortasse atque alio nomine ab aliis atque a­liis nuncupatae sunt:’ Quae quidem eminentis­simi Viri conjectura verisimilior ab una parte vi­detur, ab altera minús. Nam Philosophorum antiquissimas familias de rebus id intellexisse quòd varias suas formas seu species habeant, quarum unaquaeque genus certum aeternâ necessitate con­stituat, nos neutiquàm dubitemus: num verò eo­dem quo Platonici modo intellexerunt, nimi­rum prout in Divinâ Intelligentiâ delitescunt, haud immeritò controvertamus. Neque tamen hinc ita inferendum puto quasi maxima pars ve­terum Philosophorum omnesque ferè quos Grae­cia Barbaros esse voluit, Magi, Gymnosophi­stae, Druides, Deum aliquem extare inficiaren­tur. Atqui tanta erat de Deò apud hos opini­onum varietas & pugna, siquidem M. Tullium amimadvertisse memini Lib. 1. de Nat. Deorum, ‘Cui vero esse (Deos) dixerunt, tantà sunt in varietate ac dissensione constituti, ut eorum [Page 115] molestum sit dinumerare sententias;’ ut ejus­modi species tanquam in Divinâ Intelligentiâ conversantes apprehendisse, cum notitia quam Attributorum Divinorum habuerunt adeò im­perfecta ac dimidiata esset, non ita facilè cre­dendum sit. Quomodocunque autem rem i­stam se habuisse existimemus, Platonem Termi­num ipsum adinvenisse liquet. ‘Mentem vo­lebant Platonici rerum esse Judicem, (ait Ci­cero Academ. Quaest. lib. 1.) solam cen­sebant idoneam cui crederetur, quia sola cer­neret id quod esset simplex, & uniusmodi & tale quale esset. Hanc illi Ideam appella­bant jam à Platone ita nominatam, nos rectè speciem possumus dicere. Sensus autem om­nes hebetes & tardos esse arbitrabantur, nec percipere ullo modo res eas quae subjectae sen­sibus viderentur, quae essent aut ita parvae ut sub sensum cadere non possent, aut ita mo­biles & concitatae ut nihil unquam unum es­set constans, nec idem quidem, quia conti­nentèr laberentur & fluerent omnia. Itaque hanc omnem partem rerum opinabilem ap­pellabant; scientiam autem nusquam esse censebant nisi in animi motionibus atque rati­onibus Qua de causa definitiones rerum probabant, & has ad omnia de quibus discep­tabatur adhibebant.’ In Oratore etiam in e­andem sententiam haec idem; ‘Ut igitur in formis & figuris est aliquod perfectum & ex­cellens, cujus ad excogitatam speciem imitan­do referuntur ea quae sub oculos ipsa non ca­dunt, sic perfectae Eloquentiae speciem animo videmus, effigiem auribus quaerimus. Has rerum formas appellat Ideas, ille non intelli­gendi [Page 116] solùm, sed etiam dicendi gravissimus au­tor & magister Plato, easque gigni negat, & ait semper esse ac ratione & intelligentiâ con­tineri.’ Eademque prorsùs ab ipso alibi, quin & à Suidâ, Hesychio, Apuleio, Alexandro ab Alexandro, Ficino in Platonem, aliisque testi­bus quàm plurimis accepimus. Atqui quamvis is sit hujusce Idearum disciplinae fructus, ut D. Augustinus neminem absque eâ Philosophum esse posse asseveraret; nihilominùs proximi à Platone Philosophiae Magistri illiusque ex parte institutorum haeredes, Aristoteles & Xeno­crates, hic generales Ideas in genera ac species, ille in exemplarium disciplinam convertendo lae­serunt, adeò ut mox plurimum nativae Authori­tatis amitteret. Quid quòd Idearum ipse ve­nerabilis autor de iis tam incertè & allegoricè differeret? [...], (inquit Laerti­us) [...]. Ne­que verò multò pòst, [...] (in­tellige [...]): tantâ siquidem Ter­minorum ambiguitate gestire videbatur ut inso­mnium moribundi Platonis per quod in Cygnum migrâsse, Aucupesque ex arbore in arborem transvolitando defatigare sibi visus est, enarrans Olympiodorus Simmiae Socratici explicationem satis lepidam apposuerit, scilicet Interpretum turbam quam Aucupes referre judicavit nun­quam aliquando deprehensuram, [...]. Ad haec nonnulli forsan istam Idearum naufragii causam subnexuri sunt, Aristotelem acerrimè seipsum opposuisse; non levi profectò injuriâ: etsi enim [Page 117] Xenocraticis Ideis hostis insensissimus esset, at­tamen, sive quòd honorem habere Magistro [...]vi­deri voluerit cum praesertim contempsisse adeò exprobrârant illi Xenocratici, seu quòd suae Ge­nerum & Specierum Doctrinae quam expolitius Idearum Doctrinae genus esse censebat aut in­servire aut saltèm satis aptè convenire perspexe­rit, longè humaniùs excepisse videtur: at quam­vis hanc Aristotelis & Xenocraticorum litem multùm officere contigit, optimo tamen illius usu hominum recentiorum industriâ revocato & illustrato, penitùs delere nequivit. Idearum hanc definitionem D. Augustinus instituit, sunt principales formae quadam vel rationes rerum, sta­biles atque incommutabiles, quae ipsae formatae non sunt, ac per hoc aeternae & semper eodem modo sese habentes, quo in Divinâ Intelligentiâ continentur. Cum quâ & aliorum consentiunt definitiones. Veruntamen id insuper adnotandum sit quòd Platonici de Divinâ ipsâ Essentiâ esse docuerint, cujus rei cum Alcinoum qui Ideam [...] defiinerit, Themistiumque Ideam cum Dei naturâ confundentem; tum Plotinum in Libro de Pulchro, ubi de Deo disseruerit, quòd sit ipsa omnium Idea universalis; nec non Proclum, Jamblichumque autores recepimus: imò etiam ipse Plato in Timaeo & Parmenide istue disertè tueri videtur. Has autem Ideas, si D. Augustino credamus, anima negatur in­tueri posse nisi rationali eâ sui parte qua excellit, id est, ipsâ mente atque ratione quasi qua­dam facie vel oculo suo interiore atque intelli­gibili.

[Page 118] Cum jam compendiariam hancce Idearum Hi­storiam conscripsimus, deinde considerandum subit quid suas esse Ideas designavit Cartesius; quem etiamsi utpote virum definiendi peritissi­mum, claram & dilucidam significationem tra­dere expectandum esset, nihil tamen aliud ex illo quàm Platonicas allusiones ac descriptiones percipimus, eo scilicet viri acutissimi consilio, ut cum suum super iis Judicium obscurum & ambiguum reliquisset, exortis subinde Objecti­onibus, ad sensum sibi commodissimum inter­pretari liceret. Quam conjecturam ne injuriâ ac invidiosè proferri existimares, non abs re fo­re videtur, si nonnullas ex illius Idearum defini­tionibus colligemus, collectas inter se compara­bimus. Tertia Meditatio haec habet, Nunc autem ordo videtur exigere ut priùs omnes meas cogitationes in certa genera distribuam, & in qui­busnam ex illis Veritas aut Falsitàs propriè consi­stat, inquiram. Quaedam ex his tanquam rerum imagines sunt, quibus solis propriè convenit Ideae nomen, ut cum Hominem, vel Chimaeram, vel Coelum, vel Angelum, vel Deum cogito: aliae verò alias quasdam praetereà formas habent, ut cum volo, cum timeo, cum affirmo, cum nego, sem­per quidem aliquam rem ut subjectum meae cogita­tionis apprehendo; sed aliquid etiam amplius quàm istius rei similitudinem cogitatione complector, & ex his aliae voluntates sive Affectus, alia autem Iudicia appellantur. Iam quod ad Ideas attinet, si solae in se spectentur, nec ad aliud quid illas re­feram, falsae propriè esse non possunt; nam sive Ca­pram, sive Chimaeram imaginor, non minùs ve­rum est me unam imaginari quam alteram. At­que paulo inferiùs isthaec; Quae omnia satis de­monstrant [Page 119] me non hactenùs ex certo judicio, sed tantùm ex caeco aliquo impulsu credidisse res quas­dam à me diversas existere, quae Ideas sive imagi­nes suas per organa sensuum vel quolibet alio pacto mihi immittant. Ecce Pictorem, & Imagines! quibus nec Angelos ipsumque Deum accensere dubitavit. Nonne enim (teipsum appello) tri­partitam ille intellectualium operationum divi­sionem instituit? nonne primo in divisione mem­bro Ideas illas tanquam rerum imagines attri­buit? nonne ipsum imaginationis opisicium pri­masque simplicesque rerum repraesentationes ju­dicium praecedentes, easdem esse decrevit? Nunc verò Pictorem factum tandem Philosophum au­diamus. Ego passim ubique ac praecipuè hoc in loco ostendo me nomen Ideae sumere pro omni eo quod immediatè à mente percipitur, adeò ut cum volo & timeo, quia simùl percipio me velle & ti­mere, ipsa Volitio & Timor inter Ideas à me nu­merentur, ususque sum hoc nomine quia jam tritum erat à Philosophis, ad formas perceptionum Mentis Divinae significandas, quàmvis nullam in Deo Phan­tasiam agnoscamus. Quaecun (que) nunc denuò nostrae apprehensiones simul in Ideas evaserunt, hac ipsa etiam de causa quòd nullus Phantasiae locus esse debeat, ad quam, ut Ideae propriè pertine­rent, ab eximio Philosopho, dum Pictor esse voluit, sancitum est. Cum itaque haec omnia tam confuse & obscurè Philosophus, siquid Philosophi Defensor apertiùs & enodatiùs ellcu­erit, videamus. Habes, Cartesi, (ne tantae tuae felicitati non gratularer) eruditissimum ac per­spicacissimum Apologistam qui diligentiâ summà omnia Magistri sui defendat. Quomodo autem in hac re defensu [...]us, quomodo tantâ sua soler­tiâ [Page 120] illustraturus est? Per Ideam (ait) id omne intelligitur quod alicujus perceptionis est forma, a­deò ut Idea aliud non sit quam mentis conceptus, sive res mente concepta & intellecta. Alibi vero idem ad hanc rationem, Quandoquidem Idea sit id ipsum quod ratione evincitur, ut & alia quae quolibet modo percipiantur. Eôdem itaque denuò relabimur, altera siquidem definitio quae quò formaretur Idea, non solùm ut res perciperetur, verùm etiam ut intelligeretur, requirit, quan­quam nonnihil ab illa Magistri dissideat quâ i­maginatio jus Idearum obtinuerat, clarior ta­men & sibi convenientior erat, donec altera tan­dem superveniens subitò supplantavit, quippe nunc Idea non amplius tantùm esse persistit, quic­quid ratio evincat, sed & quaecuque praetereà volueris quae quolibet modo percipiantur. Spa­tiosum sanè exercendi campum! Primùm quippe Idea fuisse perhibetur tanquam rerum imago, deinde fit res quaelibet quam ratione in­tuearis & cognoscas, denique res quaevis, quo­cunque modo istam percipias. Nullâne itaque de causa Theologum interrogâsse Magistrum putas, Nôsti quid sit Idea, quas Latini rerum formas, Graeci [...] vocant? vel si putas, an à vobis propulsare potestis quod ille mox obje­ctavit, Et tamen quid sit Idea, saepius lacessitus, aut quae & quales suae (Cartesii) sunt, nunquam quâvis descriptione explicare vellet? Quid e­nim faceret Theologus? num secundùm priscam vocis significationem, an secundùm novam ali­quam vestram intelligeret? Atqui secundùm priscam vocis significationem intelligere certè non potuit, ni [...]artesianam & Platonicam de I­deis opinionem unam esse cognôsset? quam nec [Page 121] esse abundè liquet, siquidem Platonicae solâ men­tis attentione, vestrae & mentis attentione & quolibet alio modo percipiantur. Quinetiam Plato, ut existunt in Divinâ Intelligentiâ con­templatus est; Vos autem, ut vobis à rebus immittuntur, quarum sunt Ideae. Quantò igi­tur illo quam hoc nomine puriores sunt, tantò quidem, quantumvis à sensibus abhorreas, prae­judiciorum quamvis tyrannidem planè extinxe­ris Ideae Platonicae vestris justiores erunt ac sim­pliciores. Theologo igitur juxta genuinum vo­cabuli sensum interpretari ne licuit; qui verò res secùs interpretabuntur quàm alii solent interpre­tari, pro iis, ut ipse submonuisti, nunquam pos­sumus satis. Neque verò ille proptereà disquisiti­onem istam intermitteret; nam quem novum sensum veteri Termino Magister imponeret, a­pertissimâ ratione definiturum expectârat: quo­circà cum in tantum definitionum allegoricarum ac incertarum cumulum offenderit, è quibus aliae aliis latiores, nec duae quaevis eâdem vi normâ­que essent, aegriuseulè tulisse quid mirum? Nôsti ergo, inquit, quid sit Idea? Quoniam sae­piùs iacessitus, quid sit Idea, nunquam dicere, aut quae & quales tuae sunt, nunquam quâvis de­scriptione explicare velles. ‘Quî, tu respon­des, explicaret? reverâ Ideae nomen adeò simplex est, omnibusque ita evidens, ut per alias voces magis perspicuas vix explicari pos­se videatur.’ Quî Ver insignissime, e­venit, ut postquàm jam tres quatuorve vestras definitiones in medium eduximus, Idea tandem adeò simplex conceptus sit, ut definiri non ferat? quae res ne tibi cederet in opprobrium, aliqua­lem saltem hanc definitionem exarâsti; Ideae [Page 122] sunt formae uniuscujusque nostrarum cogitationum cujus immediatâ perceptione earundem cogitatio­num cognitionem habemus. Ergo nonne Idea plusquàm nota recognitionis esse videtur? quip­pe quòd Idearum munus sit naturam genusque rerum quarum sunt Ideae exhibere, ad unum omnes consentiunt; quin tu nudam tuarum co­gitationum Identitatis notationem distinctam re­rum, de quibus cogitas, naturae & affectionum delineationem esse contendes? Recognitio illa sanè indicio sit conceptus nostros esse tales qua­les sunt; non verò esse Ideas rerum quarum esse concipiuntur. Quid enim? Si contemplan­do animae Ideam, Ideam istam id esse quod de illi­us essentiâ concepisti tecum recognoscas? Ni ta­men vera sit animae Idea, archetypon suum ma­lè exhibebit, ideóque Idea esse nequibit, cujus naturam Magister statuit, quòd sit imago rei. Atqui nihilominus Apologistam malè habent ista Theologi cum Philosopho expostulantis, ‘Tu igitur quâ formâ quâve specie sit immensa numinis Majestas, intelligis? Si intelligere te ais, cur figurâ quâdam non descripseris, aut fando explicaveris?’ Enimverò quis Deum (tu reponis) sub aliquâ figurâ aut sibi aut aliis unquam repraesentare potest? Atque profectò te opinari quòd ita repraesentari non possit, mihi omninò arridet: quodsi Magister non minùs apertè sen­tentiam suam exposuerat, Theologo in istam ulteriùs inquirere nihil opus esset. Cum verò Ideas suas tanquam imagines rerum descripserit, cum inter has tanquam imagines rerum, Homi­nes, Chimaerae, Coeli, Angeli, etiam Numinis imaginem reposuerit, nos quaeso quâ praerogati­va excipiemus? quâ de communi Picturarum [Page 123] apparatu tollemus? At posteà contra quendam objectorem profitetur Renatus se per Ideam Dei nihil intelligere, nisi quam Divinorum attributo­rum notitiam inter contemplandum assequa­mur. Ergò quanta & cujusmodi sit ista-notitia, in sequentibus ostendemus. Intereà quaeramus quo obsecro consilio tam vehementèr Theolo­gum id in Cartesio castigantem, quod tu in Theologo, redarguis: cui quemadmodum Car­tesium omnium Idearum dignitatem exaequare, sic tibi Theologum puram intellectionem ab i­maginatione non distinxisse minimè complacuit. Si verò in eundem, in quem tuus Cartesius, er­rorem devenerit Theologus, vel te neutrum ho­rum, vel non hunc magìs quàm illum corripere omninò decebat. En verò cujusmodi specimen quo differentiam Idearum Intellectùs & imagi­nationis aperires, ipse adduxisti! Dum Trian­gulum imaginor, non tantùm intelligo illam esse figuram tribus lineis comprehensam, sed simùl eti­am istas tres lineas tanquam praesentes mentis acie intueor, & illud est, quod propriè imaginari ap­pellamus. Si verò de Chiliogono cogitare velim, equidem bene intelligo illud figuram esse mille late­ribus constantem ac intelligo Triangulum esse figu­ram constantem, tribus; sed non eodem modo illa mille latera imaginor, sive tanquam praesentia con­templor: quasi aliquis, quin Intellectûs & Ima­ginationis Ideae longè inter se discrepent, quin illae quàm hae multò magis sint perspicuae, dubita­ret: quid autem est, quòd Imaginationem tam parvi ducas, quasi minùs in isto actu eliciendo quàm in alio quocunque mens versaretur? quip­pe cum mihi, inquis, siguram Trianguli propo­nam, non modò intelligo Triangulum esse figu­ram [Page 124] tribus lineis comprehensam, sed & has tres lineas tanquàm praesentes intueor. Quòd si rem sic habere tueberis, vel actus intellectionis & intuitionis in unum confundes, cum tamen idem distinctos esse subinnuas, vel si sunt plures, ne­cesse est hic post illum exeratur, quemadmodum etiam Chiliogonum seu Myriogonum apprehen­di poterit, eo duntaxat apprehensionis discrimi­ne, quòd alterum per imaginationem citiùs at­que faciliùs quàm alterum effingamus; cum tres Trianguli lineae primo intuitu, anguli autem My­riogoni gradatim perlustrentur. Quòd si cor­pus animo conciperes, conceptique superficiei partem unam post aliam ita distribueres ut mille angulos prae se ferret, integram tunc ipsius My­riogoni picturam per imaginationem tibi exhibu­isti. Quid verò demùm absurdi foret, siquidem actum quo apprehendamus Triangulum esse figu­ram tribus lineis contentam, & actum quo quasi tribus lineis constitutam intueamur, unum esse judicaremus? quàm primùm enim Triangulum talem figuram esse apprehendamus, nobismet ut talem imaginationis operâ repraesentemus. Sed de hac re plus satìs; ad summam j [...]m definiti­onem deveniamus, quae, ni falleris, Ideae tantae tuae quanta sit summi ipsius Numinis, miraculum liquidò evincat; Dei nomine intelligo substantiam quandam infinitam independentem, summè intelli­gentem, summè potentem, & à qua tum ego ipse, tum aliud omne si quid aliud extat, quodcun (que) extat, est creatum. Atque sanè omnia ista rectè intel­ligis, attamen nos s [...]e deludimur, cum enim ef­fulgentissima tam immensae Ideae repraesentatio­ne beares, quid hoc, nisi Deum, ut verè est, rem non definiendam definire, & cujus propte­reà, [Page 125] si vobis fidem habebimus Ideam adipisci ne­quimus? Nec certe est, quòd de Terminis ne­gativis conqueratis, siquidem amplissima nostra positiva conceptio ad rem ipsam minimè qua­dret. Animae, si placet, jam cunctas simul sa­cultates exercebo; intellectum vehementissino ni­su delassabo; voluntatem sensusque penitùs sub­mittam: at infinitum aliquod amplexu meo sus­cipere prorsùs negatur. Myriogoni quidem spe­cies mihi tanquam ipsius repugnantiae. Idea suit, diuturnâ tamen attentâque dispectione ve­rum & accuratum de illo conceptum elaboravi: cùm autem demens easdem rationes inirem quò cujusdam infiniti notionem nanciscerer, nullum planè initium, nullam reperiendi spem reperire possum; quinetiam reperiendi studio meipsum ferè tandem derelinquo. Nae certò certius esse cognovi quòd infinitum quoddam existit; cùm verò tantam naturam describere mihi sumam ig­norantiam ipse meam in propatulo deridendam eloco: cum infinitam, independentem esse defi­nio, non esse concipiendam, non comprehenden­dam agnosco. Annon igitur Theologus istud Quandam summo jure reprehendit? Quid enim hoc est, quàm quae fuerit (ista substantia) te omninio nescire? At nisi obscurus esse vellet Car­tesius omittere non licuit. Cur, quaeso, non licuit? quid enim? Deum esse substantiam quandam respectu generis, vel numericè voluit. Atqui istud tantam quidem viri imprudentiam argueret ut nobismet nullo pactò suspicari per­mittamus; cùm tamen adeò supervacaneum fo­ret si numeri notam esse designavit, ut Magi­strum illum definitorum Coryphaeum in hanc definitionem ingessisse videns etiam oculis vix [Page 126] mihi persuadeam. Enimvero si unitas necessa­rio in infinitate seu infinitâ excellentiâ includa­tur, adeò ut infinitum id quod tu definire audes non nisi unum esse possit, quid signis pluribus individualitatis opus est? Suffecerant isthaec, Dei nomine intelligo substantiam, infinitam, in­dependentem, &c. Ergo tu videsis quò demùm absolutissima, quam jactâras, Idea recidit. At modo mihi tantum spatium temporis assignes quo maximam rerum officinam oculis pererrem, nec incertiora Autoris indicia me percepturum confido quàm si adesse operanti ipse potuissem. Itaque ne tu sodès imposterùm notae nescio qua­lis operi impressae mentionem facias. Phidias aut Zeuxes imaginum solâ excellentiâ opificem indicari expectaret. Oculos animumque, vene­rabilis Antagonista, circumvolve. Nil nisi ve­nustas, ordo, utilitas ab omni parte salutant. Vulgare aliquid elige. En! terra succum gra­mini largâ sui erogatione ministrat, gramina vice propriâ alimentum bovi, bos & se & operam su­am villico, villicus de frugibus uberrimoque proventu sundi Domino, deinde uterque tantae felicitatis largitori Deo. Unaquaeque Mundi materialis profectò omnibus caeteris inservit A­romus, quae nisi extaret, locumque suum tene­ret, universa fortasse peritura esset oeconomia. Plurimae etiam istae commotiones & translatio­nes quae rerum quotidiè cernuntur, nisi omni­potenti intelligentissimáque providentia regeren­tur, mille abhine saeculis rerum naturam in Chaos multò magis turbulentum ac soedum re­solvissent quàm ex quo emerfisse perhibetur: te [...]uissima quippe materiae mica siquidem se mo­vere [Page 127] posset, nisi tamen ille motus artificio Di­vino temperaretur, rebus anarchiam universa­lem inferret, ut nullus sanè dubitem quin si una Oceani gutta quae consilio Dei in superficie esse debuit, in imo subsideret alveo, systema mundi nitidissimum penitùs interiturum sit. Imò ut pars quaeque toti, sic cuique parti reliquae omnes juvant. Haeccine ergo parùm sufficiunt indicia artificis artificisque infinitae excellentiae. Obli­viscere aliquantisper innatarum Idearum; pro­di ex Musaeo & Thecarum umbrâ, in hortis de­ambulato, singulum florem sensibus mentique ità elocutione tacitâ praedicantem attende, Deus existit, etenim me produxit, qui idem sapientis­simus est, optimus, omniscius, me etenim quàm suaveolentem, quàm formosum, quàm delectabilem effinxit! Filiola mea explicuit, co­loribus depinxit, ordine disposuit, à primis us­que incunabilis eduxit, teneriora stamina mitis­simè fovit. Quid nunc mihi dicis, Antoni plurimùm colende? Annon ista floris plus va­lent quàm vestra Idea? Nae Magister tuus à re suà longissimè aberravit, cum Clauderet oculos, aures obturaret, avocaret omnes sensus: quos qui­dem multò potiùs omnes exercere debuisset; nec si duplò totidem haberet, eorum opem in tanto negotio menti invidere, unde multò felicius atque opportuniùs quam ex istâ Cerae liquefa­factione (scomma procul absit à verbis) profice­re licuisset.

Habes à me quid ego de vestrâ numinis Ideâ sentiam; quin & for sàn aliquando quid sentiam de reliquis Apologiae tuae Theorematibus habebis, [Page 128] siquidem Veritatis atque Parentis Autoritas ani­mos addiderit, sine quâ nec jam ulla mearum virium fiducia effecisset ut in D. Antonium Le Grand insurgere auderem, cujus & acuminis & eruditionis fama me multò faciliùs quàm Joannis Austriaci nomen infantes Belgicos deterruisset. Intereà autem, ne plus aequo lacessere nunc vide­rer, vivere rectéque valere jubeo.


The Reader is desir'd to correct with his Pen the following Errata, and to excuse any other litteral ones that may occur.

Pag. 2. lin. 23. for that read they. Ibid. l. 24. for it r. they. p. 5. l. 1. de­le of. p. 10. l. 2. for nor. any: Ibid. l. 19. for out of the Centre r. out the Centre. Ibid. l. 26. for Central r. Centre of. p. 8. l. 30. r. as fairly to be receiv'd. p. 17. l. 29. for Troop r. Trope. p. 21. l. 16. dele Gentile. p. 22. l. 19. after Beauty r. no less. p. 23. l. 23. for all the r. all p. 24. l. 26. for than natural r. than what's natural. p. 25. l. 8. for good looks from, &c. r. good looks from Forehead to Chin, and Ear to Ear, 'tis, &c. Ibid. l. 19. for whenas r. when as. p. 29. l. 19. after Ideas r. ia Logick. p. 31. l. 26. for ex­piate for r. expiate. p. 48. l. 3. for Irruptions r. Eruptions. p. 99. l. 35. for from r. within. p. 101. l. 13. for Qualities r. Quantities. p. 102. l. 26. for of r. if. p. 106. l. 30. for Principle r. Principles. p. 107. l. 24. for be­nefited r. benefitted. p. 111. l. 33. for People r. Persons.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.