SCIRE / I tuum nihil est: OR, The AUTHORS DEFENCE OF The Vanity of DOGMATIZING; Against the EXCEPTIONS OF The Learned THO. ALBIUS In his Late SCIRI.

No doubt but ye are the Men, and Wisdom shall dye with you! Job.

LONDON, Printed by E. C. for Henry Eversden at the Grey-Hound in St. Pauls-Church-Yard, 1665.


IT may perhaps seem to some incongruous, that my Reply is not written in the lan­guage of the Objections; and I should have thought so too, had the Objections spoke the Language of my Discourse. But since my Assail­ant takes the Liberty to recede from my Style, I know no reason obligeth me to humour his. And 'tis less improper for a Book to differ in fashion from ano­ther that opposeth it; than from that of which 'tis a part and vindication. And this Answer were suffici­ent for the seeming impropriety: But yet I have Rea­sons more considerable to excuse it. I must confess then, that by that time Sciri was extant, I was grown so indifferent to those matters, that I had [Page] much ado to perswade my self to a Review of what I had written; and could have ben content to have left it without any other vindication, then what it could it self obtain from the good nature and ingenuity, of impartial perusers. And in this coldness of humor had without doubt deserved it, but that my Booksel­ler importun'd me for another Edition: which re­quest of his having consented to, I saw my self under a necessity of decorum to return something on an oc­casion, in which silence perhaps might have been ill­manners to an ingenious and learned Adversary. But though the constraint of these circumstances over­came my aversness to writing any more on a subject, with which I thought I had done for ever; yet could it not prevail against the humour I had of troubling my self no more then needs in a business, to which I was driven, rather then inclined or perswaded. So that after I had resolv'd an Answer; it had been more difficult to have drawn my self to put it into any other drss, then what is most easie and familiar. Which yet was not the effect only of the indisposition and laziness of my humour; but a dictate of my discreti­on. For the truth is, I foresaw the occasion would not engage me in any thing, that I could think worthy of the universal Language; except I should have written a Discourse, and not an Answer. Besides which, had I used another style I must have been more diffuse in reiterating what I had said in the [Page] opposed Essay; otherwise those that understood not English, had been uncapable of my justification; and my self, and those that do, nauseated by the repeti­tion. These then were the chief reasons of my con­tinuing the Language I began with; which I con­fess I was the more easily perswaded by, because there are late great examples of like practice, whose fashions 'tis no discredit to imitate. And to all I might add, that I love not that my Discourse should wear Linsy-Woolsy.

[Page 1] SCIRI, A. Sive Sceptices & Scepticorum à Jure Disputationis Exclusio.

Remarques on the Title. G.

I Should never have thought my self concern'd in a Book, that wears such a Title; but that I found my Name in the first page made an un­grateful adjunct: and the opposing a discourse I had publish't, profest the occasion, and mark it aim'd at. How unjust 'tis to suggest that I am a Sceptick, is I think clear enough from what I have said already, and shall make more fully appear in the process. And how little kindness I have for the disputing way of procedure, I have publiquely declared. How proper then that part of the Title is in this application, any one may pass an easie judgement. But to what purpose old Cato stands there, with that instructive oracle in his mouth, which I remember ever since I cap't verses, Contra verbosos: I was posed to conjecture. Especially since the insignificant prattle, and endless garrulity of the Philo­sophy [Page 2] of the Schools, which this Gentleman seems to vindi­cate, is none of the least offences to those whom, whither they will or no, he will have be Scepticks. In consideration of this, and some such other misapplyed appellations, I thought that this learned Man had an other notion of Sceptick then was usual; and casting mine eye over his late Purgation, pre­sented to the Cardinals of the inquisition, I found that his Scepticks were some of the modern voluminous [...]sputing Peripateticks, whom in that part of my Discourse where I deal with the Aristotelian Philosophy, I bestow a particular Reflection on. These it seems by the solicitation of their complaints against his Writings had obtain'd a general con­demnation of them from the Pope and Consistory of Car­dinals; whom therefore in his Appeal to the said Cardinals he accuseth of ignorance, corruption of the Aristotelian Do­ctrines, and tendency to Heresie and Atheism. And that these are the Scepticks of our Philosopher, appears also from several passages both of the Praeface and Body of the Di­scourse I am rejoyning to. But then upon what account the celebrated Gassendus and the Author of the Vanity of Dogmatizing should be comprised under a common name with these, with whom they have so little confederacy ei­ther in Doctrin or Design; I cannot yet find the least ground for conjecture.

A. Junioribus Academicis.
ETsi non dubitem validioribus & magis opportunis auxiliis obviam itum esse exitiali illi Pyrrhonicae contagio, quod nova audere non ita pridem occaepit; ta­men, quia nil publici cauterii adactum ad ulous Glanvillanum jam biennio integro aestuofum audiveram, [Page 3] visum est filentibus potioribus ad meam infirmitatem devolutum esse onus, iniquitatem indisciplinatae illius calumniae Universo Philosophantium choro impositae, si non avertere, certe aperire, & plumis disertioribus lace­randam exponere.—Page 1.

UPon the supposal then that I am a Sceptick, the lear­ned G. Gentleman invades my harmless and peaceable Essay as a deadly Pyrrhonical contagion, and an enemy to Science. But with what ingenuity I am charg'd, with what I have so frequently disclaim'd, I appeal to the professions of the Discourse it self to evidence: which whether they are arguments of a Sceptical aim and temper, let the Dogmatist judge between us. And though my Apology for Philoso­phy may perhaps be defective in point of Judgement and Argument, for the clearing of what I undertook to vindi­cate; yet both the design and menage of it, one would think, should have secured me from suspicion of endea­vouring to discourage Philosophical enquiries, by introducing a despair of Science. For on the contrary, one of my chief designs was, to remove that sloath and laziness which in these later ages hath cramp't endeavour, and made men con­tent to sit down with their slender acquists, as Certainties and Demonstrations which are scarce Probabilities. I desire it may be taken notice of once for all then, that I have nought to do with that shuffling Sect, that love to doubt eternally, and to question all things. My profession is freedom of enquiry, and I own no more Scepticism then what is concluded in the Motto which the ROYAL SOCIETY have now adopted for theirs, NULLIUS IN VER­BA.

[Page 4] So that there was no need of so solemn a warning to the Universities against my innocent discourse; whose greatest fault is, that 'tas been so unhappy as to be mistaken. For the Ulcus Glanvillanum (as my learned Assailant is pleased to call it) contains none of the supposed venome. Nor will it inspire any but supine and passive tempers with any other spirit then that of more diligent research, and careful pur­suits of nature. I am not therefore concern'd in the Questi­on our Author propounds to his junior Academicks to this purpose: Whether they would be severely wise for the con­duct of their Manners and Religion, or enticingly Rhetori­cal, pleading for Ignorance and Uncertainty, and whistling their dependants into apparent precipices? Since one of the greatest quarrels I have against Confident Opinion, is, that it renders the Dogmatist conceited, not wise. And is so far from being serviceable to good manners, that it mischie­vously corrupts them, sowring Mens spirits with Envy, ill Nature, and Moroseness; and mingling their Religion with Schism, bitrer Zeal, and Sedition: And these are worse pre­cipices then a modest and reserv'd belief can betray Men in­to. To what follows within this period, I'le say no more, then that there's a Medium between being Blind and In­fallible. And vanitas Dogmatizandi, is not well explained by vera pollicendi.

A. Viro non irascor, qui magno ingenio & eloquentiae cum annis maturandae flumine non vadando,—pag. 3.

G. IN this clause the learned Gentleman acknowledgeth my confession of certainty in Faith, and hopes of Science from experiment; neither of which can consist with a cri­minal and dangerous Scepticism: which yet he seems not [Page 5] willing to have me free from, adding, that I point at one, as the ground of my expectation, whom this learned Man will have believed a Favourer of the Pyrrhonian Nihil Sciri: The person aim'd at in this Reflection, I conceive, is Des-Cartes; though I confess, I remember not that sentence mention'd in his writings; for after the proposal of what might be expected from experiment and the progress of en­quiry, I adde, That those that are acquainted with the fecun­dity of the Cartesian Principles will dispair of nothing. And if that great Man, possibly one of the greatest that ever was, must be believed a Sceptick, who would not ambitiously af­fect the title? And to give the Pyrrhonians one of the noblest and happiest wits that hath shone upon the world, is to yield a greater advantage to their Cause, then would be done by a thousand profest assertions of it So that had I been guilty of such a Concession, I might thence more reasonably have been judged a Favourer of the Scepticks, then by any thing I have writ against the Dogmatists. For I am apt to think, that Mankind is like to reap more advantage from the Igno­rance of Des Cartes, then perhaps from the greatest part of the science was before him, and I cannot forbear pronoun­cing him the Phosphoros of that clear and useful light, that begins to spring in plentifully upon an awakened world. So that though the following expostulations are proper and sea­sonable in reference to our Authors Peripatetical Scepticks, yet are they most improper and injurious, if they have any aspect on Des-Cartes, or those that endeavour to promote that free and useful way of Philosophizing which he hath insisted in. But I add no more on this occasion, because 'tis possible I have mistaken the person intended by my As­sailant. However, if the Reflection be not directed to him, 'tis to the excellent Gassendus, who is presently after intro­duced, under the Title of the Great Interpreter of Epicurus; who hath as little reason to be suspected of Criminal Scepticism, as the other. It is well known that these great [Page 6] men were Inquirers, and it becomes not such to be swearers, nor is it therefore reasonable to conclude them Scepticks.

A. Aliud offendiculum est complurium Modernorum effraenis impudentia, qui Aristotelem—pag. 7.

G. I Am glad to find my learned Assailant justifying all my censures of the Modern Aristotelians; only he accuseth them of one fault which I seldom find among them, viz. modesty in proposing their opinions; which our Authour inveighs against as a criminal diffidence. But for my part I think the greatest number of that spirit can plead Not guilty to the accusation. And for those of them that are less assured in their sentiments, I should not reckon it among their crimes, to be wary and sparing of assent in notions so lubricous and uncertain, as are those they deal in. Though I confess, to keep such voluminous ado about acknowledg'd uncertainties, is a very reprehensible vanity. And doubt­less the unprofitable toyes of these later Peripateticks, have offended many against that Philosophy. But whether most of them are not the genuine derivations of the Hypothesis they claim to, may without difficulty be determin'd by any that will consider the natural flatulency of that aery scheam of notions. And I think they have no great reason to pretend to ingenuity or judgement, that accuse Aristotle for the faults of his Sectators. But from this last period of sence, I desire chiefly it may be noted, that our learned Author pleads not for the Modern Aristotelianism, which yet obtains in most of the Schools of Christendom: All the advantage I shall make of which at present is to question, Whether the reseuing men from an over fond value of such small wares, and the preventing the expence of time and [Page 7] pains upon such solemn trifles, as our Philosopher deserved­ly calls them, be like to be a prejudice to their persuits of more useful Knowledge, and the Furtherance of Science?

Vos modo novi palmites surgentes in Vinum quod A. laetificet corda hominum, memores quod—pag. 9.

THough I confess I have not so great a value for the G. Aristotelian learning, as some others; yet I am none of those, that would disswade junior Academicks from the study of that Philosophy. Especially, I think Aristotles Logick and Rhetorick are to be acknowledg'd; though, I am not of the opinion of Averroes that he was the inventer of either. And doubtless that reverence and observance is due to the Statutes of those Universities that recommend this Author; yea and the Antiquity of that Philosophy (though it be far from being the antientest) will commend it to the Students of uni­versal learning. Besides, I would have nothing avoided or condemn'd till it be understood: And were I more an ene­my to that Philosophy then my Assailant can suppose I am, yet should I not disswade the learning It; since primus sapientiae gradus, est falsa intelligere. Only, I think, 'twould be very injurious to Knowledge, if Aristotle should ingross men, and should his Placits be all receiv'd as the dictates of universal Reason. There are other Hypotheseis more antient, and possiby more useful, that deserve to be enquired into. And 'tis an enlargement and enobling the minds of men to acquaint them with the various Scheams in which things have been represented. My design was not then to discourage any from inquiring into the Aristotelian Doctrines, especi­ally as they are in their original: But to prevent mens sit­ting down for ever on his Composures, and making [Page 8] his Placits the infallible measures of Truth and Nature. Let Aristotle be studied then, but not adored. Let him have the first of our Time, but not all; the advantage of prepossession is great, which yet Free Philosophers I presume will grant him; only let Pythagoras, Democri­tus, Plato, and the more antient Chaldaean wisdom, have their turns to be inquired into, and let the great and il­lustrious Moderns have theirs. 'Tis an unaccountable va­nity, to spend all our time in raking into the scraps and imperfct remains of former ages, and to neglect the knowledge and clearer notices of our own, which (my Lord Bacon makes the third, but reckoning in the Aegypti­an) is the Fourth, and perhaps greatest enquiry of Lear­ning. For many have gone to and fro, and Science is in­creased.

Methinks 'tis pity that so many improveable wits as frequent the Universities, should be hindred from enqui­ry; and tyed up to the writings of a single Authour, from the knowledge of the Sentiments of the Philosophick world, and studying the more instructive volumn of the Universe. Doubtless, since the dayes of Aristotle, the face of things is alter'd, and new Phaenomena are disclo­sed, which his Hypotheseis will no more suit, then the Coats of Children will a body that is at full and advanced stature. Besides, the greatest spirits of our dayes, proceed in another way of enquiry, which, if there were nothing in't but the fashion of the learning of the Age, it were however fit to be known by those that lay any claim to ingenuity, and have leisure for such researches. And it seems to me an unpardonable kind of sloath, (especially in youth that useth to be busie and inquisitive) to be con­tentedly ignorant of those great Theories that make such noise in the Age they live in; and to spend all their time in that which will signifie little without the walls of a Colledge. For the wiser world is of a differing [Page 9] opinion from our Philosopher in the assertion of this Para­graph, viz. that no progress can be made in Sciences with­out the Aristotelian Grounds; and I think will hardly be brought to believe, That those that have quitted those foun­dations must be alwayes to seek for Principles, and necessari­ly come short of Science. For to think that the Principles of any Man should be the only and infallible measures of things, seems a fond overvaluing credulity that hath nothing to warrant it. And he that phancies that all succeeding mankind cannot light upon Principles as happy and likely, as those of Aristotle, but must eternally despair of Science, if they proceed in any other way, then he hath prescribed them; hath no pretence for so bold a judgment of Possibi­lities.

[Page 11] ACTIO PRIMA.

SCepsin infaelici naturae aborsu antiquitùs natam, A. & ipsiusmet pudore è linguis disertorum ubi diu habitaverat elatam, & fidei Christianae constantiâ tumulatam, à vermium & insecto­rum epulis raptam, magicâ quadam operâ vivis resti­tuere conatus est Petrus Gassendus, acerrimae vir Sa­gacitatis, nitidae Eloquentiae, copiosae facundiae, suavissi­morum morum, & diligentiae admirandae. Idem (quod his omnibus majus est) Catholicae fidei tenacissimus, & nusquam pravorum áogmatum suspectus, cùm tamen haec Sceptica infinitorum Errorum & omnium Haere­seôn mater sit, & illa ipsa seductrix Philosophia, & inanis fallacia, quam cavendam Apostoli monitu do­cuêre Sancti. Hanc vir ille, caetera magnus, in ex­ercitatione suâ paradoxâ adversus Aristotelaeòs, non ut priùs tectam & scortorum more in tenebris vagantem, sed effronti vultu & fucatâ formâ turbis & foro osten­tare ausus est.

2. Illius exemplo, apud nos linguâ vernaculâ ean­dem exornatam produxit Vanitatis Dogmatizandi Author; ipse quoque & ingenio pollens & Eloquio. Neque enim à vulgaribus mentibus timenda sunt gran­dia [Page 12] infortunia. Haec mei laboris est occasio; proposi­tum verò, si lumen caelitùs affluat & vires calamo ministret, hanc cadaveream scientiae aemulam in sua sepulcreta compellere, & inominatis dentibus roden­dam tradere. Agedum igitur, quaesiti nodum evol­vamus.

G. THe Scepticism which the constancy of Christiani­ty lay'd in it's Grave, I dare say the Illustrious Gassendus would never have redeemed from thence. The Scepticism which consists in Free­dome of inquiry, that noble pen recommended, and adorned; but did not restore: for Campanella and the great Verulam were before him; yet, Avicenna and others of his spirit among the Antient Peripateticks, were Free Philosophers. But what that Scepticism should be, that is consistent with so sharpe a wit, so neat and copious an Eloquence, such sweet manners, and admirable diligence, such firmness and fledfastness in the Faith, and so unsuspected an Orthodoxie, as are ascribed, and deservedly, to that great person: And yet be the source of infinite Errorus and Heresies, that sedu­cing Philosophy and vain deceit, against which we have the Caveat of an Apostle; is beyond the reach of my con­jecture. And I am the more confounded when I am told, That this Mother of Heresie, this vain deceit, is nothing but an endeavour to lessen the imposing Authority of a vain­glorious Heathen, whom some excellent persons, both Fa­thers and Philosophers, have accused, as one impious in Manners, and worse in Doctrine and Belief. A suppressor of the more antient and more valuable Wisdom: And one, that from a proud and insolent Tassus contemned, and con­tinually quarrel'd with his betters: Yea, and who grew so [Page 13] far into this humour and contradiction that he would fre­quently unsay and contradict his own Assertions. One, whose credit grew up in the night of Barbarism and Igno­rance; and whose Principles are repugnant, many of them, to the nature of things, and the Fundamentals of Faith: I say, that an attempt to redeem the free▪born spirits of Men, from an unworthy vassallage to so stigmatiz'd an Autho­rity, should be to this Learned Man so criminal and dan­gerous a business, is, I confess, to me, occasion of some sur­prise and wonder And if this be the faulty Scepticism Gassendus, and the Author of the Vanity of Dogmatizing, are accused of; let those that have a mind to pass their censure, make the worst they can of the Imputation. That Gassendus was no Sceptick in the old and common notion, is ap­parent from the voluminous pains he hath taken in the building up a Body of Philosophy upon the Principles of Democritus and Epicurus; and if he was not so fond of the Principles he undertook to illustrate, as to boast their cer­tainty; proposing them not in a confident and assertive form, but as probabilities and Hypotheseis: I see no reason why his modesty should be made his crime, and be so severely animadverted on.

Nor doth the Author of the impugned Essay yet see any cause to be ashamed of having followed his example in an affair so innocent; to say no more on't. And he cannot yet decern how that discourse could yield an occasion to this learned Man of opposing Scepticism, which he may lay in the dust without concernment to the Vanity of Dog­matizing, or it's Author: who is no otherwise interested in the Paragraphs that follow for the asserting Science, and opposition of the Scepticks, but only to wish our Author his desired success in the undertaking. I am not therefore concerned to take notice of any thing further, till the Second Section of the Fourth Action. For though possibly in the intermediate discourse, some things are said, which are not [Page 14] so cogent, and othersome which might appear obnoxious to one that would be quarrelsome; yet because I wish well to the design, and attend not an assault, but defence, I shall pass all that without any other Remarque; but; that if this learned Gentleman had thought Gassendus and my self Scepticks in good earnest, his proof which must suppose the certainty of some principles, had been precarious; or, if not, needless.

Ipsae jam loquantur querelae, illae nempe quibus qua­tuor a tertio Capitula, cumulavit—pag. 51.

G. IT seems the learned Gentleman had a desire to make an occasion to solve the motion of the Sea, and Magnetick Attractions; since in my discourse I gave him none, having only mention'd them as things I would not insist on, and confest them better accounted for then less acknowledg'd Mysteries. Whether the reason of these darke Phaenomena be well assigned by this Philosopher; I'le not put my self upon the occasion of inquiring. That they are the certain and infallible causes, I suppose this learned Man's modesty will not permit him to affirm; and if they are but confest probabilities, here's no opposition to the Scepticism of the Author; which allowes ingenious and hopeful conjecture in resolving the appearances of Nature: though he fears, few Accounts will amount to Certainties and Demonstra­tions. So that though for mine own part I acquiesce in the Cartesian solution of these Magnalia, as an Hypothesis that may content one, that is not restlesly and unreasonably inqui­sitive: [Page 15] Yet even in that, when I would look deep, I de­scern objections which perhaps will very difficulty be sa­tisfied: And which speak those ingenious offers to be but attempts, no absolute performances. And if this acute Philosopher think the impulse of the external Winds a sufficient cause of the Flux and Reflux; I shall not go about to disturbe him in his satisfactions. That will ease one Man's mind, that will leave an others restless. Only I cannot well apprehend how so constant and regular an ef­fect as the motion of the Sea, should depend upon so uncertain and proverbially inconstant a cause as the winds are. Or, if there were no difficulty in that, yet the learned Author may please to consider, that this is but the next cause of the Phaenomenon, the cause of which, perhaps, is more hardly assigneable then the other. And the nature and original of the winds, is, it may be, as abstruse a Theory as any in Philosophy. For in assigning Causes, in the second or third, commonly we are lost and non­plust, which is no inconsiderable evidence of humane Igno­rance and Deficiency.

Tertio itaque eloquentissimae dissertationis capite objicit ignorantiam illius rei quae notissima—pag. 57.

MY learned Assailant is now descended to the difficulties G. I propounded, and judge not yet satisfactorily ac­counted for; concerning which I affirm not, that they are doubts that cannot possibly be unriddled; for this were to discourage, and not to awaken inquiry: but that they have [Page 16] not yet been sufficiently explain'd, or explicable by any yet extant Hypothesis; a sad argument of intellectual defici­ence, that after so much talk and indeavour after Science, the whole world should yet be to seek in matters they have the greatest advantages of being acquainted with. I am not therefore an enemy to any Essayes can be made to­wards the explication of the difficulties proposed; but should heartily embrace any hopeful offers for the clearing of those mysterious Theories. So that if this learned man propose any thing that may be probable; though it come not near the title of certainty or science: I have so great a kindness for Ingenuity, and such a desire for the quieting my anxious and inquiring mind, that I shall give it an en­tertainment not like the usual ones of angry Disputants, who cannot endure any thing that proceeds from an Anta­gonist; but such a one as may evidence, that Truth is wel­come to me, though it comes in a way of opposition to the petty interest of mine opinions. To the business then,

If to suppose the soul a distinct substance from the body and extrinsically advenient, be a great Error in Philosophy, al­most all the world hath hitherto been mistaken: so that if this Gentlemans opinion be true, he hath confirm'd the Scepticism I endeavor to promote. But if we enquire into the Philosophy of the Soul, as high as any accounts are given of it, we shall find It's distinction from the body to have been the current belief of all the wiser Ages. For,

(1.) The highest times of whose Doctrines we have any History, believed it's Praeexistence, and therefore certainly asserted it's diversity and substantial distinction from the body it informs. Of which briefly. We have Praeexistence among the Chaldean Oracles,


[Page 17] And afterwards more clearly


And Psellus in his Exposition of the Chaldean Theology, tells us, that according to their Doctrine Souls descended hither; [...]. And again Zoroaster, speaking of souls,


Besides which (2.) Trismegistus is express in the asser­tion of the same Doctrine; of which a testimony or two perhaps will not be impertinent. In his Minerva Mundi, he brings in God threatning those he had placed in an happy condition of life and enjoyment, with bonds and im­prisonment in case of disobedience. [...]. And they transgressing, he adds, [...]. And in another place, assignes this for the cause of their incarceration; [...].

(3.) It was also the opinion of the ancient Jews, that Souls were first created together, and resided in a place they call Golph, a Coelestial region. Ad therefore 'tis said in the Mishna, Non aderit Filius David priusquam ex­haustae fuerint universae animae quae sunt in Golph. So that they believed all generations on earth to be supplyed from that Promptuary and element of Soules in Heaven; whence they supposed them to descend by the North-Pole, and to ascend by the South. Hence the saying of the Cabbalists, Magnus Aquilo scaturigo Animarum. And probably that other Omne malum nobis ex Aquilone. From which tradition 'tis likely also Homer had this notion,


(4.) What was the opinion of Pythagoras, Plato, and the greatest of the Greek Philosophers in this particular, is no­toriously known to all men that know any thing of these matters. And I need no testimonies in so clear a business. It appears then from the allegations I have produced, that the most valuable wisdom of the antient world asserted a Doctrine which necessarily inferres and supposeth their opi­nion of the Souls being a distinct substance from the body. Which also

(2) Must be supposed by all that believe it's natural Im­mortality. For separability is the greatest argument of real distinction; especially that, which the Schools call mutual. Now the Souls immortality is a truth that hath had an una­nimous reception from the better and wiser world. The Aegyptians, Chaldaeans, Assyrians, Indians, Jews, Greeks, and universally all that ever had a name for wisdom among the Antients, believed it. And what hath been the appre­hension of latter ages, I need inform no body that is capable of judging in such inquiries. A Councel of the Church of Rome it self hath determin'd it, and recommended it's proof and demonstration to all Christian Philosophers. But what need of more? 'tis the belief of Sir K. Digby, and our Au­thors own. And how real separability can consist with iden­tity and indistinction, I know no possibility of apprehending. For that a thing can be separated from it self, can never be believed by any, but those that make a Religion of absurdi­ties.

[Page 19] (3.) The Sacred and Mosaical Philosophy supposeth the like real distinction; of which the expression of God's breathing into Adams nostrils the breath of life, is sufficient evidence. Yea, and all the Arguments that are alledg'd to prove it's immediate creation, do strongly conclude it an other substance from the body. Yea

(4) Aristotle himself affirmes it; for saith he, [...]. And again, [...]. Elsewhere, [...]. And yet more clearly, [...]. And once more, [...]. Other testi­monies I could bring to like purpose, but these are suffici­ent to evince that if Aristotle be consistent with himself, he believed the real distinction I contend for; And his Peri­pateticks I'me sure unanimously affirm it. To all which if I can add Sir K. Digby's opinion, I shall bid fair for our Authors assent to my conclusion, that 'twas Aristotle's, and the Truth.

(5) Then, That noble and celebrated friend of our Au­thors, affirmes in his Immortality [that the soul is a sub­stance, and a substance besides the body.] Yea, almost all that discourse of his leans upon that supposal. Yea

(6) Our Philosopher himself in his Peripatetical Insti­tutions, affirms as much as ever I supposed. For he saith that ['Tis most evident that the mind is something of an other kind from Quantity and Matter, that 'tis noble and wholy opposite to the nature of Quantity, that 'tis a substantial Principle of Man, and no mode or determination of divisi­bility, and that there is nothing common to Body and Spirit.] Besides which, in the Fifth Book of the same Institutions, he discourses of the Souls separation from the body, and asserts it to be evident, that it perisheth not with it; because it hath actions that belong not to a body, but hath of it self the vertue of a being. And that it's power of existence is not taken away when the body fails, the soul being apart from [Page 20] and besides it. And that matter is not necessary to the Souls existence. Many other expressions there are in that discourse to like purpose, which seem to speak the Souls real distin­ction from the Body in as great variety of phrase as diversity and distinction can be spoken. So that how such passages consist with the doctrine of it's Identity with the body, I confess I am not Metaphysical enough to comprehend. And I believe very few else can perceive the consistency besides this Philosopher; whose Metaphysicks of whole and part, have yet been entertain'd by none that I know of; and therefore though this should be acknowledged a good ac­count, yet 'tis an Argument of the weakness of humane un­derstanding that it hath not yet comprehended it.

I think by this time 'tis clear then, that the supposition of my procedure, the Souls distinction from the Body, is not peccant; except all the world, both Antient and Modern, hath been mistaken, and our Author also: which if it be granted, 'tis an instance of what I plead for. If not, my supposition is good, and the emergent doubt unanswer'd. And if our learned Author yet thinks it plain, that either Man is no being, or that the soul and body are not two, I must acknowledge such Palams to be the Dogmatizing I suppose. And I am willing to put it upon the issue, whether it be so to any body else but this Philosopher.

But (2) besides all this, it seems to me very clear from the nature of the Things themselves abstracting from Au­thority; That the Soul is a substance distinct from the body. For I think,

(1) 'Tis strongly concluded by the common Arguments that prove it immaterial; for perception, perception of spi­rituals, universals and other abstracts from sense, as Mathe­matical lines, points, superficies, congenit notions, Logical, Metaphysical, and Moral▪ self-reflection, Freedom, indifferen­cy and universality of action: these, I say, are properties not at all competible to body or matter, though of never so pure [Page 21] a mixture. Nor is it conceiveable how any of these should arise from modificaiions of quantity being of a diverse kind from all the Phaenomena of motion But

(2) If the soul be not a distinct substance from the body, 'tis then a certain disposition and modification of it; which this Gentteman in the 10 Lesson of his Institutions seems to intimate, saying, [That since the soul is a certain affecti­on—which is introduced and expell'd by corporeal acti­on—] he thence inferrs some thing that is not to our purpose to relate. And if so▪ since all diversities in matter arise from motion and position of parts, every different preception will require a different order and position of the parts of the matter perceiving, which must be obtained by motion. I demand then, when we pass from one con­ception to another, is the motion, the cause of this diversity, meerly casual; or directed by some act of knowledge? The former, I suppose, no Man in his wits will affirm; since then all our conceptions will be non-sense and confusion; chance being the cause of nothing that is orderly and regu­lar. If therefore there be a knowledge in us that directs the motions that form every distinct conception: I demand con­cerning that knowledge, Whether it be in like manner di­rected by some other, or is it the effect of meer casual mo­tions? If the former, we must run up in infinitum in our in­quiry: and the latter admits the alledged absurdities. There is no way then of defending the assertion of the souls being matter, or any modification of it: but by affirming with Master Hobbs a certain connexion between all our thoughts, and a necessary fate in all things: which who ever affirmes, will find difficulties enough in his assertion to bring him to mine, That there's a Vanity in Dogmatizing, and Confidence is unreasonable.

But of this I have had occasion to discourse more in an other Treatise, and I shall not repeat what I have there written, or what others have said on the subject. Especially [Page 22] since perhaps this learned Gentleman will not think himself concern'd in the Proof of this Conclusion, he having in his writings asserted it. But whether he have not unsaid it a­gain in this, I appeal to any equal Decerner. And that the soul should be a substance of another kind from mat­ter, that hath nothing common with it; a substance separable from all body, to which matter is not necessary, and actually in the other state divided from it: (all which and more to like purpose our Author hath in some of his Books af­firmed;) and yet not be a distinct substance, but really the same with the body to which it is united; which he asserts in this; I say▪ how these so opposite affirmations can be reconciled, I have either not wit, or not charity enough to help me to imagine. I know this Authors doctrine is, that there are no parts before separation and division, and therefore no real distinction. But whether things in their natures so divers as body and spirit, which almost in nothing, even according to this Philosophy, communicate; are not essentially divided, though not locally distant, I am willing to leave to the Readers judgment. And I would fain know whereupon the separability of the soul and body is founded, if not upon the real distinction of their natures: so that though this notion may be less obnoxious when it relates only to substances of the same kind, and quality; yet when it concerns those that are so essentially distinct, as body and spirit, it seems most strangely lyable. Yea though it should be supposed a Truth, yet it must be acknowledged unconceiveable; which sufficeth to satisfie my Conclusion.

A. Ne (que) me terret distinctio (quae pueris philosophiam garrientibus in sacco parata est) Entis perfecti & imper­fecti—pag. 58.

[Page 23] THe distinction of the Schools of a Being perfect and G. imperfect, is not I think so childish and impertinent as our Author would have believed. For though Ens Im­perfectum in the Metaphysical sence, be non-sence and a con­tradiction; yet in genere Physico, as they speak, 'tis no ab­surdity: since a being may want some circumstances of natural compleatness and perfection; and yet be Metaphysi­cally compleat and perfect: so that to affirm the soul an imperfect Being nakedly in it self, is to say no more, then that 'twas made with a natural aptitude, and congruity to a body by union with which 'tis perfected and compleated, being then furnish't with the requisites of its nature; which in like manner may be said of a body in humane form, viz. that 'tis defective and incompleat till it be furnished with the principle of Hu­mane actions, for which it was designed. So that there's no ab­surdity in affirming, That a thing may be one in a Physiologi­cal and natural sense; and two in a Metaphysical; And so out Philosopher's inference is no sequel. A.

2. Quando itaque petit, Unde Anima veniat? Repo­nendum est, An dubitet unde Homo veniat?—pag. 59. G.

THe Foundation of our learned Authors Answers to the proposed difficulties being overthrown; and it being made secure enough, That the soul is a distinct substance from the body; 'tis a pertinent and material enquiry to ask, whence the Soul is? And if our Philosopher will call this the Man according to the Maxim, let the question be pro­posed in his own phrase, and there's no danger of an ab­surdity.

A. Ne (que) Majorum quamtumvis Reverendorum me qua­tit Authoritas; non dico illorum qui—pag. 59.

G. IT seems the learned Gentleman would fain reconcile the Authority of the Church asserting the Souls Creation to his main conclusion, that 'tis no distinct substance from the body; and to his inference thereupon, that 'tis improper and impertinent, to inquire whence It came. But whether what is said be a clear salve or a shuffle, let it be determin'd by any equal judgment. For either by Homo quatenus in­tellectivus, our Author means something that is the same with the body; or really distinct and diverse. If the for­mer, he hath not satisfied the Authority of the Church, which affirms, the Soul as a distinct substance, to be the immedi­ate subject of Creation; founded upon that clear distincti­on in the inspired writings [The body to the dust, and the Soul to God that gave it.] But if he mean the latter, he hath not provided for his own assertion and hypothesis. Be­sides (2.) If man as intellective be created, then either he means the whole man, or only that by which he's intel­lective; the former is against all sense and experience. And the latter overthrows all our Author's Answers, with the Proposition upon which they are erected. For if there be some thing in man which is the subject of divine power and action; and some other thing that is the subject of natural production and generation; it seems to me appa­rent that these must be two things really distinguish't. For the same thing cannot be created and naturally produced. For Creation supposeth the production of the whole ex ni­hilo, both sui & subjecti (as the Schools phrase it) with­out the co-operation of any thing with the divine super­lative [Page 25] power: whereas all generation, according to truth and the same Hypothesis, at least supposeth one of them, and is perform'd by natural agents. And I think the case is plain enough when 'tis brought to this, Whether the same thing can be produced of something and nothing, with created assistance, and without it? Since the Actions then are so infinitely diverse, I think I shall not be reprehensi­bly Dogmatical, in affirming the terms distinct. What the Gentleman says more, seems to be involv'd, and looks like a designed evasion. And if [one action produceth a man, a Creature equivalent to a Beast and Angel] I demand, Whether this one action be divine or natural, from God or the generant? If the former, every man is as immediately created as the first. And the latter quite excludes crea ion, and supposeth God no otherwise to act in giving being to our Souls, then in each common production. 'Tis necessary therefore that the terms produced be distinct, when the Actions whereby they are produced are so vastly diverse; and that the Soul have an Origination different from the Formation of the body, of which 'tis more pertinent to in­quire, then easie to return an Answer.

3. Ex hâc Veritate derivamur ad sequentes duos A. nodos patentissimè solvendos.—pag. 60.

IN this and the following Paragraphs our Author suppo­seth G. his Doctrin of the identity of the soul and body for an Answer; And I think after what hath been said, I have as good reason to suppose mine of the diversity for a re­ply. But how the definition of a Part enervates my enqui­ry, I cannot imagine, since if [Parts are, out of which by composition are made one] And the body and soul be supposed [Page 26] parts of the Man (which may well enough be allowed upon the account of what hath been said) I see not but why we may inquire, how these parts, whose natures are so different, can be compounded and united.

A. Currit idem Error in sequenti difficultate, quae lu­get nesciri quomodo Anima moveat corpus,—pag. 61.

G. WHether my supposal be an Error, we have seen al­ready; if it be not, our Philosophers Answer is so. And whither the implyed assertion that the Soul moves not the body be not one, I appeal to any man, that under­stands he hath any claim to such a being. For though ma­ny of our actions, and possibly more then are suspected, may be allowed to be meer Mechanick motions; yet the experience of all the World attests, that our wills deter­mine and excite not a few of our corporeal motions. What else means the distinction of the Schools of actions impe­rate and elicit? And how is it that we can speak and move at pleasure, and in spight of all corporeal impulse, desist from external action! And if Man be a meer Mecha­nicks Engine, farewel Free-will, Virtue, Vice, Laws, Re­ligion, rewards and punishments. A clock were as capa­ble of these, according to our Philosopher's Hypothesis, as an humane Automaton.

A. Vere enim Unum membrum animatum movet aliud, sed non aliqua substantia quae sit pura Anima—pag. 61.

[Page 27] ▪TIs true, one animate member moves another, but the G. motion must somewhere begin. And though those which are purely corporeal in us are excited by material agents; yet others we find, which derive from an higher Principle, viz. a free and unconstrained will. And it seem strange to me that men should be so much in love with their pri­vate speculations, as for their sakes to confront their own, and all the worlds experience. What follows, no body that I know, affirms, viz. [That a substance which is a pure Soul moves a member wherein there is none].

But to what concerns other Animals, the learned Author knows, that the Platonists assign them Souls in­dependent on their Bodies; and the Peripateticks, substan­tial Forms distinct from matter, which are the source and Principle of their Actions. So that according to either of these Hypotheseis, the question may as pertinently be pro­posed concerning their kind, as our own, and will be as difficultly answered. Indeed the excellent Monsieur Des-Cartes, and his followers that affirm, all bruit Actions to be Mechanical, are not concern'd in the inquiry. And if this be the belief of our Philosopher, I'le not indeavour to disturb his Hypothesis. Only this I'le add to our purpose, That though we suppose the Actions of Beasts to be fa­tal and material, yet there's no reason to infer the same of ours, since we feel it otherwise. And 'tis no very rea­sonable method of arguing, to conclude from an opinion of things we can but conjecture, to the denyal of things we certainly feel, and know. So that though, as our Au­thor insinuates, there may perhaps be no kind of corporeal Actions in our selves, which are not in bruits; yet 'tis not therefore necessary to inferr, that they proceed from a like principle in both: much less that we should conclude, that none of our own actions are begun by a principle distinct from the body and immaterial; because we believe that [Page 28] theirs are not so. On the other side methinks the Argu­ment will be stronger to inferr, That because we feel a substance distinct from matter to be the cause of some of our motions; that therefore there may likely be an incorporeal substance that is the principle and spring of some of theirs: And 'tis better to conclude from certainty to conjecture, then from conjecture against certainty.

A. 4. Ultimae, quas in hoc capitulo plangit, tenebrae collo­catae sunt in ignorantiâ illius motus,—pag. 62.

G. THe difficulties about the direction of the Spirits con­cern not only Man, but all other Animals, supposing them to do any thing by a principle of Knowledge and Ani­madversion. Or, though we judge all their actions M cha­nical, yet the Account will be more difficultly rendred that way, then by supposing them to act by an animadversive principle. For how such an infinite variety of motions should be regularly menaged, and conducted in such a Wilderness of passages and distinct avennues by meer blind impellents and material conveyances, I have not the least shadow of conjecture. And though Des-Cartes hath made the best attempts in this kind of any hath yet appear'd in the Theory, yet there are Mechanical difficulties in the way of his So­lutions, which perhaps will never be well satisfied. But our Philosopher confesseth here the defect of his Anatomy; and though he thinks himself secure of the general Cause, yet the particular Direction he acknowledges wonderful, and not yet sufficiently discover'd.

Verùm Author casum proprium Homini constituere vi­detur, A. ostentans voluntatem & fortassis—pag. 63.

TO prove that the Will is not alwayes moved by some G. precedent passion, and consequently that the Soul is the immediate principle of some of our actions, I make this double offer:

(1.) 'Tis clear from experience, that, though many of our volitions are motions from the Passion, yet some of our Determinations are from the Understanding and immaterial Faculties. And sometimes we set our Wills to determine in things that are purely indifferent, to make tryal of our Liberty; when we find not the least provocation or incite­ment to the action from any emotion of the body. And indeed to suppose every action of the Will to depend upon a pre­vious Appetite or Passion, is to destroy our Liberty, and to inferr a Stoical Fatality with all the dangerous consequences of that Doctrine▪

(2.) Our Author's proof that there is no dispassionate volition, is an insinuation, that there is no Knowledge without an impulse from the Phantasms; a Conclusion which may be easily disproved, by those highly abstract Specula­tions which the mind of Man sometimes entertains it self with, when it puts off all the cloathing of the Imagination, and raiseth it self to a temper for those noble enquiries a­bout God and Immaterials: And if there be no Intellect [...], as Aristotle speaks, for ought I know, we lose one of our chiefest Arguments for our Immortality: Besides which, I suppose our learned Author will not think it for his credit, to be told, that he is in the very rode of the Hobbian Hypothesis; which will clearly enough appear, [Page 30] if we consider these his Assertions; [That the Soul is no distinct substance from the Body, that it contributes nothing towards its motion; that our Wills are moved by prece­dent or present Passion, which doubtless is excited by some­thing that is not in our power; that all our Intellections are from Phantasms, and consequently, nothing else but ele­vated sense, and that all both natural and free actions are performed by motions deriv'd from the heart] I say, who ever considers, how these symbolize, yea, and are one with the main Principles of that irreligious Philosophy, must with­out an excess of Charity, suppose our Philosopher to have shaken hands with the Leviathan.

Briefly then, 'tis confest, that the Mechanical way of con­veyance and direction of the Spirits in Animal performances is yet undiscover'd, and that the channels and particular pas­sages of Mechanical motions (which all ours are supposed to be) is yet occult and manifest. And though this Gen­tleman affirms, the Heart to be the Fountain of animate Operations, yet 'tis but an unapproved presumption; and the greatest Master of Mechanicks that ever was, the Il­lustrious Des-Cartes has deriv'd all these motions from the brain, in which he's follow'd by the greatest part of profoundest Speculators; so that it seems we are not certain of the first spring of the motions we enquire of; much less can we certainly determin the minutes and particula­rities of direction: and if any of our actions are deriv'd from our Souls, which our Author seems unwilling to hear of, though I think I have made it sufficiently evident, the difficulties I urg'd upon that supposal have not had the least offer towards solution.

A. 5. Caput quartum Sensationis & Memoriae in­explicabiles esse naturas objicit.—pag. 64.

[Page 31] I Am no further concern'd in the beginning of this Secti­on, G. then to mind this learned Gentleman how different his apprehension of Des-Cartes his Hypothesis of the manner of Sense, is, from that of his ingenuous and applauded friend Sir K. Digby; who calls not his opinion a fanstatical con­jecture, but thus Prefaces to the recital of his Hypothesis. [Monsieur Des-Cartes, (who by his great and heroick at­tempts, and by shewing mankind how to steer and hus­band theit reason to the best advantage, hath left us no ex­cuse of being ignorant of any thing that is worth the know­ing) explicating the nature of Sense—and then goes on to declare his opinion of this matter, which he concludes with this character; of a colour very diverse from our Au­thor's [This then is the sum of Monsieur Des-Cartes's Opi­nion, which he hath very finely exprest with all the advan­tages that opposite examples, significant words and clear method, can give unto a witty Discourse; which yet, is but a part of the commendations he deserveth, for what he hath done on this particular: he is over and above all this, the first I ever met with who hath published any concep­tions of this nature, whereby to make the Operations of Sense intelligible, Certainly, this praise will ever belong unto him that he hath given the first hint of speaking ground­edly, and to the purpose upon this Subject; and whosoever shall carry it any further (as what important mystery was ever born and perfected at one?) must acknowledge to have deriv'd his light from him.] This is the censure that excel­lent person gives of Des-Cartes, and his Opinion, which his dear Friend our Author, hath with so much severity reflected on. And the learned Knight professeth himself of Des-Cartes's mind in all the other circumstances of this Hypothesis, ex­cept the Subject of this Motion. So that I wonder that our Philosopher should so far forget himself, as to put such a [Page 32] slurre upon the judgment of his admired Friend, by speak­ing so contemptuously of a Notion that learned Man had so much, and so deservedly, applauded. What follows is al­ready answer'd.

A. Sed nè nihil novi dicat, calumniatur sensu solo non posse agnosci quantitates rerum, distantias,—pag. 65.

G. OUr Author in this Period, wonders at my Assertion, and I wonder as much at his wonder; which is not oc­casioned by any affirmation of mine, but by a mistake of his own: for my doubt (as plain as I could express it) is, How, since there is nothing in the Brain, the seat of Sense, to represent external objects but motion, (for which I have the suffrage of his noble friend, whose method he professeth to follow) how, I say, we should by that know figures, distances, magnitudes, and colours, things of ano­ther kind from motion; which therefore cannot represent them, but by some knowledge in the Soul, which we are not aware of; and how the scant and narrow images in the Brain should notifie the vastest objects, in their large dimensions, without some secret Inference and Geo­metry in the Soul, is unconceiveable: But what this Know­ledge is, we know not. This is the sense of the difficul­ty propos'd, which, how it is explicated by the Optical de­monstrations the Gentleman talks of, the Opticks of my un­derstanding cannot discover. For the rest I dare venture it without an Answer.

6. Proximus in Memoriam labor expenditur. Illi­us A. explanationem ut impossibilem declaret,—pag. 66.
7. Imprimis, decîdi à moventibus sensum quasdam ex­uvias & corporis delibamenta, quoad tactum,—pag 68.

I Take not upon me to determin of Possibilities; and there­fore G. from the present ignorance of the nature of Memo­ry I infer not, that it will never be explained hereafter: Only I affirm, that no Hypothesis extant hath yet made it ma­nifest; which is sufficient for my conclusion of the present nar­rowness of our Knowledge, though not of my Assailants of the impossibility of enlarging it.

But our Philosopher thinketh the nature of Memory suf­ficiently explained already, and the account he gives is that of Sir K. Digby, which was one of the four that I examin'd in the Discourse impugn'd. This is the Hypothesis which our Author hath adopted, and undertook the defence of; with what success, we shall discover when we have exa­min'd the Answer he makes to my Impugnations. Which after a large recital of the Hypothesis he descends to in the ninth Section.

9. Attamen, perturbat novum Naturae miratorem A. multitudo objectorum cavis cerebri—pag. 72.

THe difficulty I urg'd against the Digbaean account of G. the Memory, was, that 'tis inconceiveable how those active particles, which are the images and representations [Page 34] of things remembred, should keep their distinct and or­derly Situations without confusion or dissipation in a sub­stance wherein there is continual motion? to which the learned Gentleman returns; That 'tis as conceivable as how the Rays of Light should come in a direct line to the Eye; or how the Atomical Effluvia that continually flow from all bodies, especially the Magnetical and Sym­pathetick, should find their way to the place they tend to. To this I rejoyn briefly, (1) what the Gentleman himself suggests, were answer sufficient, that the multi­plying of difficulty doth not solve it: For supposing the direction of the corpuscles of light, and those mention'd Effluvia, to be of a difficult apprehension, as the conti­nuance and regularity of those images in the Brain: yet this only argues another defect in our Knowledge, and so is a new evidence of the truth of my General Conclusion. But (2) the proposed Instances are far more accounta­ble then this before us. For, as to what concerns the light, supposing with Des Cartes (as is most probable) that the action of Light consists in nothing but the conamen of the Aethereal matter, receding from the centre of its motion: The direct tendency of it to the Eye, is no difficulty worth considering, but as clear as the Light it self the subject of the enquiry; or, if the rays be Atomical streams, and effluxes of the Sun, there is no more difficulty in this Hypothesis neither, then in the direct spouting of water out of a Pipe; yea no more, then in the beating of the waves against the sides of a Ship, when it swims in the Ocean. For there's an whole Sea of Atomes which derive from the Fountain illuminant, whose course can no more be diverted, by those little bodies that swim up and down in the air; then that of the Ocean can by those Sands, Pe­bles, Fishes, and Rocks, that are mingled with the waters. And as for the other Instances of corporeal Emissions, it would require to be prov'd that they perform all those [Page 35] feats that are ascrib'd to them: whereas perhaps it is more likely, that those strange operations are not Mechanical but Magical, being effected by the continuity of the great Spirit of Nature, which runs through all things: or how­ever, to suppose this act of the Memory to be as clear as Magnetisme and Sympathies, will be no great advantage to the belief of its certain Intelligibility.

At ego ipsum sic nodum scindo. In majoribus ubi faci­lior A. est experiendi facultas, palàm est multa—pag. 73.

THat what our Author has answer'd in this Period, G. should resolve the difficulty, is to me as great a wonder, as the Mystery we are discoursing of. And if the knot be cut, 'tis certainly by some occult and sympathetick Instrument, for the gross of his Answer comes not near it. The difficulty was; How the Images of such an infinite of Objects, as we remember, should be kept distinct with­out confusion, be brought forth when we have occasion, and remanded back again into their own cells when they have done the errant they were sent for. To which our Author saith no more, but to this purpose (if I under­stand him) That if the Object stays not on the Sense, it makes not impression enough to be remembred, but if it be repeated there, it leaves plenty enough of those Images behind it to confirm and strengthen the Knowledge of the Object: In which radicated Knowledge, if the Memory consist, there would be no need of reserving those A­tomes in the Brain, or calling them forth upon occasion, as the Hypothesis supposeth; or, if there be, the difficulty is untouched.

[Page 36] Besides all which, I might adde, that if these mate­rial Images are a sufficient account of the Memory, how will our remembrance of Distances, Magnitudes, Relations, Words, Metaphysical Notions, and those of Immaterials, which leave no such Idola, in the Brain, be accounted for? Let this Gentleman tell me how—Et erit mihi Magnus

A. 10. Palàm est me in hâc Responsione Digbaeanam Methodum caeteris praetulisse. Ipsius enim—pag. 74.

G. IF I am mistaken in the Opinion of Aristotle in this matter, (1.) I err with the great body of his Com­mentators and followers; yea, and all the Schools in Chri­stendom, who unanimously concurr in the assignment of the Doctrine of Intentional Species to their Master Ari­stotle; So that if all the Peripateticks hitherto have been so grossly out in imposing an Opinion he never taught upon their ador'd Philosopher, for ought I know, there is no such thing as the Aristotelean Philosophy in the Uni­versities of Europe: For the taking in, or denying these Intentional Species will make material and mighty alte­rations in the whole frame of the Hypothesis; and I see not how the denial of them is consistent with the Aristo­telean Doctrine of Qualities and Forms. But (2.) If Aristotle taught the Digbaean Philosophy, as our Author sayes, he taught the Atomical, which is notoriously known to have been the way of Democritus and Epicurus, which Aristotle frequently and professedly opposeth. That De­mocritus taught the Atomical Hypothesis, we have the affirmative of Aristotle to justifie, [...] (speaking of Leucippus and Democritus) [...], [Page 37] [...]. And neerer to our purpose, that these solved the way of Sensation, by ma­terial Images, we have from Plutarch; [...]. This Hypothe­sis Aristotle endeavours to confute; [...], sayes he, [...]. And again, [...]. Aristotle then thought the Doctrine of Sensation by corporeal Images absurd in Democritus and Epicurus; and therefore certainly would not himself af­firm it; as he must do on the supposal of his having taught the same Hypothesis with Sir K. Digby about the Memory, which is exactly the same with that of these Sages: For that learned Knight affirms, Sensation to be perform'd [by driving of solid material bodies, exceeding little ones, that come from the Objects themselves, (they are his own words) against that part of the brain where Knowledge resideth, which same bodies rebounding thence into certain cells of the Brain, perform the offices of the Memory] as he has largely discourst upon the Subject. Sir K. Digby then pro­ceeds in the Corpuscularian method which Aristotle op­poseth, and particularly in the business of Sensation; and consequently cannot be of his belief in his Hypothesis of the Memory, which the learned Knight gives account of by the same material Idola, which Aristotle laught at. And doubtless the Memory is excited to action by the like In­struments as are the external Senses, consonantly to that of Plato in his Phaedo, speaking of the Senses, [...]. And Aristotle himself [...]. I think 'tis clear then that Aristotle's Doctrine of the Memory is not the same with Sir K. Digby's. And if I have been out in intitling the Opinion of Intentional Species to Aristotle, my mistake is the more venial, because the [Page 38] whole Army of his most devoted Sectators are deceived with me. But our Author is more reprehensible in his mistake, if it be one; because he's alone in his opinion. And an Error hath by so much the more of guilt, as it hath of singularity and self-assurance. But whether this were Aristotle's Doctrine or not, I think 'tis not very ma­terial, since I make this none of the charges against him. If it be not his, 'tis the general Opinion of his Schools; and I have proved it an insufficient Account of the Faculty we are discoursing of.


A. 1. Capite quinto formationis Corporum naturalium, Viventium praesertim, obscuritatem intentat:—pag. 76.

G. TWo methods it seems our Philosopher proposeth, for the giving an account of the Formation of Animals; neither of which seems to me a sufficient solution of the doubt attempted. For first, he that supposeth all the vastly differing parts of a Worm or Insect to be actually contain'd, though in myriate and indivisible proportions, in a drop of dew out of which they are sometimes genera­ted, believes gratis, without any ground of his supposal; and therefore will be very bold to assert this the certain account of the Phaenomenon. (2.) If the Seed contain, though invisibly, all the parts of the Animal; then either in the same Site, and Position, that they are found in in the compleated Body; or they lie there in a confused huddle and mixture; the former, is contrary to all ex­perience, which assures us, that the immediate matter [Page 39] of all generations is a certain fluid, and, as far as can be discern'd, an homogeneous substance. Now fluidity consist­ing in the motion of the parts of the fluid body, as is testi­fied by Experience and the best Philosophy, the Seminal Parts can be of no setled Form or Consistence. And if the second be supposed, which doubtless is the truth, the dif­ficulty under debate will be unanswer'd, (viz.) how such an Infinite of distinct Parts should be brought into their regular and orderly Positions without the guidance and con­duct of some knowing Agent; to fly to a first Cause is Un­philosophical; and he that pretends a second, let him shew it. And fortuitously it cannot be: for Chance is the cause of no constant and regular Effect; and to suppose an un­directed Motion to shuffle these fluid parts into the wonder­ful and exact form of an Animal, or any other regular bo­dy; is as likely, as that the divided Letters of an Alphabet should be accidentally jumbled into an elegant and polite Discourse; which when once I see effected, I'le believe, that there wants nothing to the formation of the World and all bodies therein, but Matter and Motion. Some intelli­gent Principle then must be suppos'd to guide these Elemen­tary parts into their orderly situations. But what that is, who is't will determine?

(2.) The Second Account also is too general, and flies very wide of my particular enquiry. For my Quaery is concerning the principle of the conduct of the parts of the various matter in those rare and methodical Composures; and our Philosopher's Answer concerns only the gross and material parts of the Composition. And therefore little can be collected from the Chymical Processes he speaks of, for our purpose; and the Elementary Solutions mention'd, sig­nifie nothing towards the accounting for the unerring exact­ness we find in Animal Formations. For all these being sup­pos'd, the matter is in the same circumstances of difficulty as before; and this Gentleman's Solution seems to me to [Page 40] signifie no more, then if a man should answer to one that that desires an account of the art and method of the motions of a Watch, or any other ingenious Automaton; that they are perform'd by Steel, Iron, Brass, or Silver, wherein the matter indeed of the work is declar'd, but not the artifice. And in the case before us, I inquire of the principle of direction of those intricate and methodical motions, and am answer'd with an account of the gross and material Ingre­dients. Nor is what follows of any whit more avail to the Solution pretended; for let the matter resolve into parts dry, subtle, and liquid▪ Let the dryer dispose themselves into divers figures, and constitute what Vessels our Philo­sopher is pleas'd to fancy; yet how from hence forward the infinite variety of the parts of an Animal will result, will require something more to help us to conjecture.

A. 2. Haec qui mente comprehenderit, non plorabit Pla­sticam vanum nomen esse & vocem sine re.—pag. 78.

G. THough by a close and recondite search into the Semi­nalities of Plants, and Vegetables, the future processes may be judg'd, as our Philosopher assures us; yet this only argues, that the grown parts were all contain'd pack't up in their Seeds and Berries; so that in the growth and progress Nature did only display and unfold, what before was in the minute proportions more closely laid together; Supposing which, the main doubt still remains unsatisfied, viz. How these SMALLER SEMINAL parts were so order'd, and framed? And this Brachygraphy of Nature cannot be thought less difficult then it's Text. And, secondly, what relates to Ani­mals we have seen already; for 'tis not likely, that the formed parts were ever actually contain'd in the seed, out of which they were produced.

Neque quemquam terreant artificum dicta, admiranti­um A. ea quorum causas non intelligunt,—pag. 79.

I Might well wonder at the specifical uniformity of things, if G. unguided matter were the only principle of their formati­on, against which Hypothesis this doubt was raised; and the variation from the kind which happens in some regions, would not be so observable, as an identity in any.

3. Eodem capitulo duas alias quaestiones movet quas A. absolutè inexplicabiles putat; Mihi contra—pag. 80.

IF the doubts I propose of the union of the Parts, and compo­sition G. of quantity, contain scarce any difficulty at all; our Phi­losopher is more lucky in his enquiries, then others that have dealt in those Theories; most men confessing the perplexity of the mention'd Phaenomena, especially of the latter. And the vast diversity of Philosophers about it, testifies, that the speculation of them is not of so facile an explication. And 'tis strange that the Ancients should keep such ado about an easie Probleme, and the Moderns despair of a solution, so pretendedly obvious.

I will not differ with the learned Gentleman about the order of the questions, and grant, that they both suppose actual parts in Quantity; which because our Author denies, & makes this the foundation of his Answer to these, and some of my former propos'd difficulties, I must be fain to prove it; which I at­tempt (1.) By giving some evidence of my Affirmative, and (2.) by shewing the weakness and insufficiency of the grounds of the contrary Assertion.

[Page 42] For the first then, That there are Actual parts in Quan­tity, I evince it by these considerations. (1.) The formal nature of Quantity is Extension in the notion of Aristotle's Schools; and Divisibility in the Philosophy of Sir Kenelm Digby, and our Authour; Both which suppose parts, and parts actual: for to be extended, in the School phrase, is to have partes extrapartes; and if the extension be actual, the parts must be so: for it is not conceiveable how a thing can be extended, but by parts which are really distinct one from a­nother, though not separate: which seems to me so evident, that nothing can be spoken plainer; and I appeal in this matter to the common sense of all men. Nor can a thing be divided, except we suppose the parts praeexistent in the di­visible: for divisibility is founded upon real distinction, and 'tis impossible to divide what is one without diversity. (2.) Ex­cept there are parts in quantity before division, there are none at all: for after they are divided they are no parts, but have a compleatness and integrality of their own, especially if the sub­ject were homogeneous. (3.) Except there are parts actually in quantity, contradictions may be verified de eodem, with all the other circumstances, which the Metaphysicks teach impossible. For the same body may be black and white, cold and hot, seen and not seen, and partake of all other most contrary qualities. Which contradictions, and inconsistences cannot be accom­modated in the same subject, without supposal of the con­tended-for diversity. Nor will the answer, which Sir K. Dig­by has provided for such Objections help the Hypothesis, viz. [that it is not one part of the thing that shews it self, and ano­ther that doth not, one that is hot, and another cold, &c. But it is the same thing, shewing it self according to one possibi­lity of division, and not another.] For first, these distinct possibilities are founded upon distinct actualities, which are the parts I would have acknowledged. And such a capacity of receiving things so different, cannot be in the same subject, without the supposal of parts actually distinct and divers. [Page 43] (2.) The subjects of these contrary qualities are things actu­al: whereas possibilities are but Metaphysical notions. And these subjects are distinct, or contradictions will be reconcil'd de eodem; from which the inference seems necessary, that quantity hath parts, and parts actual, and distinct possibilities will not salve the business. And (3.) why must the common speech of all mankinde be alter'd, and what all the world cals parts, be call'd possibilities of division? which yet if our Philosopher will needs name so, they being acknowledg'd distinct, and prov'd actual, or at least founded immediately upon things that are so; my question will as well proceed this way as in the common one, viz. How the things that an­swer to these distinct possibilities are united, and of what compounded?

There is another Answer which I find in our Authors Peripatetical Institutions, the sum of which is, [That the contradictions have only a notional repugnance in the sub­ject as 'tis in our understandings: and since the parts have a distinct being in our understanding, from thence 'tis that they are capable to sustain contradictions] which Answer, if I understand, I have reason to wonder at: for certain­ly the Subject sustains the Contradictories as it is in re. And, I never heard of a notion black or white, but in a Metaphor; 'tis the real substance is the subject of these contrarieties; which were impossible, if it had not divers realities answering to the qualities so denominating. And therefore 'tis not the Understanding that makes the divers subjects of these Ac­cidents, as our Author suggests: but there being such is the ground that we so apprehend them. I hope I need say no more then to establish the supposal of the difficulty un­der consideration, That there are parts actually in Quan­tity: only I am obliged by my proposed method to add further,

(2.) That the grounds of the excellent Sir K. Digby, and our Author, on which they built their asserted Paradox, [Page 44] seem to me very insufficient to sustain so great a weight as leans upon them. The Reasons are (1.) Quantity is Divisibili­ty. (2.) Divisibility is capacity of Division. (3) What is only capable of division, is not actually divided. (4.) Quantity is not actually divided, and therefore hath no parts actually, To which in short,

(1.) That Quantity is Divisibility, is presumed; but extension is before it, in nature, and our conception, and is the received notion, though perhaps Impenetrability is the truest. However (2.) even this supposeth parts, and those actual: For Division is but Solution of Union. And Union supposeth Parts to be united. (3.) What is only capable of division in a Physiological and Mechanical lense; may, yea and ought, to be divided in a Metaphysical. That is, they ought to be divers in their being, before they can be separate and distinct in their material bulk and quantity. For separabi­lity must presuppose diversity. (4.) Though Quantity be not actually divided in one sense, 'tis in another: Every part having a distinct place and being of its own, though it doth not yet enjoy it separately and apart from others.

But (2.) it is pleaded against actual parts in Quantity, that if we admit them, we cannot stop till we come down to Indivisibles; of which to suppose Quantity composed, is said to be absurd and impossible. In return to which, I grant the Inference, and have acknowledged the Hypothesis of Indivisibles to be full of seeming inconsistencies; as is the other also: And therefore reckon both among the Un­conceiveables; of which there can be no greater Argument then their having driven so great and sagacious wits upon such an Assertion, (to which out of reverence to these ce­lebrated persons, I shall not affix an Epithete) against the evidence of our Senses, and the apprehension of all the world: That there are no parts in quantity. But (2.) 'tis no good method of reasoning, to deny what is plain and obvious, because we cannot conceive what is abstruse and [Page 45] difficult. And I think the Assertor cannot answer it to his se­verer faculties, who affirms, there are no parts actually in quantity, against all his Senses and the universal suffrage of Mankinde; because he cannot untie the difficulties that emerge from the supposal, that Bodies are compounded of Indivisibles; a nice and in tricate Theory. Yea how will our Author answer for the Assertion to his Master Ari­stotle? who saith [...].

Argumenta asserentium partes actu vel Sensum A. citant, de quo nihil certius est quàm—pag. 81.

I Believe the Assertors of Actual parts may well appeal G. to the Senses, notwithstanding what our Author, and the learned Knight have alledg'd to invalidate their evidence. For what though the sense discovers not the distinct term of the hand or finger; Can it not therefore discern them to be distant and distinguish't from the foot and toes? And is not this enough to ground the belief of their diversity? Can­not we distinguish the motions of our parts; though we know not their first springs and exact beginnings? or discern a dif­ference between the apple and the twig it grows on; except we could see the point where one begins and the other end­eth? And whether an Hypothesis is like to stand, that is put to such poor shifts to defend it self against the grossest of our faculties, I leave to be conjectured?

The supposition then of my doubts, being thus asserted and prov'd, we see yet but small hope to expect their So­lution. Or, if this be an aenswer, t'is an evidence of our in­tellectual weakness, that all the world hath all this while been confounded about a plain Problem upon a false sup­posal.

[Page 46] The Answer to my other difficulty about the union of the parts of quantity, is grounded also upon the presumption that there are actually none; which I think I have sufficient­ly disprov'd.

A. 5. Caput sextum totum motui Rotarum dedicatum est, neque si credimus Authori de cujus—pag. 83.

G. I Conclude not only that no part can move, but the whole must; but also that in the circular motion of a wheel, it seems that the motion of every part must be praerequired to it self, which I think is clear enough in the inference, though the proposition inferred, be impossible and absurd. And what inconvenience there is in this conclusion, that all the parts change their place at once, I have made sufficiently evi­dent, in the place where the difficulty is urged. I confess in our Authors Hypothesis that there are actually no parts in bodies, the doubt is none; and the whole matter will pass in­to words and air: but supposing that in quantity there are distinct realities, I think 'twill be hard to dis-incumber this trite Phaenomenon from the perplexities I mention'd.

A. Subjungit Author secundam difficultatem, quomodo in rotâ circumvolutâ viciniores centro partes—pag. 84.

G. I Say again, however we find it in the event, while yet we consider the remote parts, moving swifter then the cen­tral ones, in the speculative notion, 'tis hard to conceive, but that the Line drawn from the Centre to the Circumfe­rence, [Page 47] should be inflected; since one point of the line rests while the other moves, which in the Theory seems to argue a disunion, and consequently an incurvation. So that though it be true in the experiment and event, yea and while we look upon the reason of the thing, in one position; that the line would be made crooked, were it not for the unequal velocity of the parts; yet it appears as clear to reason, in another posture, that this inequality should inferre it. For if B move swifter then A. A rests some instant while B is in motion. There's no motion, but where there's change of place, viz. of that place, in respect of which the body is said to move: The place in respect of which the body is said to move, is the next superficies that is considered as quiescen'. And consequently it seems if B move any in­stant, in which A doth not: it is proportionably to its mo­tion remov'd from that of A to which it was adjacent, and by consequence one would expect it should be disjoyn'd, or inflected.

6. Jactatum tandem experimentum capite alto in­greditur A. Author ille, prefatus audentisseme—pag. 85.

SInce the publishing my Discourse; I have met an in­genious G. Account, among some excellent Geometrici­ans of this Probleme, which perhaps may satisfie the dif­ficulty. The Account briefly is, That in volutation the whole circumference moves by a motion both progressive and circular: But the centre by the progressive only. And consequently by how much the nearer the parts are to the centre the more they have of the progressive motion, and the less of circulation. So that the little wheel in our ex­periment draws, and hath so much more progression then [Page 48] the greater, as makes amends for it's defect of parts. Which solution I'le acknowledge perfect, if two things answer experiment, which I have not yet had occasion to make tryal of; viz. (1.) Supposing both wheels to be denticulated, the little wheel will with it's teeth describe lines; and the great one with it's make points. And (2.) the disproportion being augmented, suppose to an hundred to one, the drawing of the lesser wheel will be exceeding palpable, and discoverable by the dullest sense. I say, if these circumstances answer experiment; this dif­ficulty is for ought I know well accounted for. And I need add no more to this confession: For our Authors Answer is either materially the same with this, or much less to purpose.


A. 1. In sequentibus aliquot Capitulis satis exquisitè in­vestigat causas Errorum & Ignorantiae—pag. 90.

G. THat the present Age abounds with pratling Ignorance, and vain shews of Science falsly so called, will not be denyed by one, who hath directed some indeavours a­gainst them. And did I not deeply apprehend how much bold affirmers, and lazy Inquisitors have prejudiced the ad­vance of true and substantial knowledge, I had never en­gaged against Dogmatizing and Peripatetick Philosophy. I wonder therefore that my learned Assailant should object my omission of these causes of Ignorance, which had the greatest interest in drawing from me the Discourse he opposeth; in which, I have largely insisted on those rea­sons [Page 49] of the defect of Knowledge, viz. the depth of Truth, the praecipitancy of mens understandings, and aversness to deep search, and close engagement of their mindes. Be­sides which, I have professedly attacqued the disputing way of Inquiry, and the verbal emptiness of the Philosophy of the Schools; which how guilty it is of laying a foundation for sloath and loquacity, is particularly made appear in the Discourse I directed against it. And while the Schools of Learning are under the regency of that kind of Spirit, I fear little is to be expected from Philosophy but bold talk; and endless disputes and quarrels. For what else can be the fruit of a Philosophy made up of occult Qualities, Sympa­thies, Entelechia's, Elements, Celestial Influences, and a­bundance other hard words and lazy generalities, but an arrest of all ingenious and practical indeavour; and a Wil­derness of Opinions instead of certainty and Science? But thanks be to Providence, the World begins to emerge from this state of things, and to imploy it self in more deep and concerning Disquisitions; the issue of which, we hope, will be a Philosophy fruitful in works, not in words, and such as may accommodate the use of Life, both natural and moral.

Testis mihi esto Author qui sub finem prioris Capitis A. conqueritur de obscuritate Speculationum,—pag 90.

HOw justly the Author is made an instance and witness G. of that, which, in the very Discourse, by which only, I suppose, he is known to our Philosopher, he hath so earnestly witnest against, which his spirit is so averse unto, which gave the occasion of the Dispute be­tween us; I say, with what justice I am made an in­stance of that I have so professedly opposed, let it be [Page 50] judg'd by any, that is not unreasonably partial. 'Tis true, I complain of the obscurity of Motion, Gravity, Light, Colours, Vision, and Sounds; and yet am not ignorant of the Accounts Sir K. Digby, and other Philosophers both Antient and Modern, have given of these Phaenomena. My mind is anxious in speculation, and hath engag'd me to look as far, as my capacity could reach, into these Theories; I could never content my self with superficial put▪offs; nor am I apt immediately to dispair, if I find not present sa­tisfaction in my first enquiries. I have with my best dili­gence examined the most hopeful accounts are extant of these appearances, and yet must profess, That though the first sight of their respective solutions is pleasant and en­couraging, and seems to promise my mind a requiem; yet the longer I view the most likely of these Hypotheses, the more liable and obnoxious I apprehend them. Like Pictures they will not bear to be look't upon, but at a distance, and when I come neer, I easily detect their imperfections. So that deep search discovers more ignorance, then it cures; and confidence of Science seems to be built upon a slight and superficial view of things; as Aristotle himself hath somewhere observed, and every one else may, that will but take notice, that young talking Sophisters use to be far more assured of their Assertions, then the deepest and most exercis'd Philosophers.

I'le not disparage the account given by the learned Sir K. Digby of the mention'd Phaenomena; they are to be acknowledg'd pretty, and ingenious: But yet I cannot think, that 'tis an argument of shallowness and impatience in enquiry, not fully to acquiesce in his Hypotheses as infal­lible Solutions. I suppose, that ingenious Philosopher's own modesty and justice will not suffer him to own such a fond­ness for his notions, which I know he proposeth, but as likely and convenient supposals. I confess the most satis­faction. I any where meet with, is in the accounts of Des-Cartes, [Page 51] to whom Sir K. Digby himself bears this Testimony, [That he hath shown the World the way to Science,] And yet that great man, the excellence of whose Philosophick genius and performances, the most improv'd spirits acknow­ledge, propounds his Principles but in the modest way of Hypotheses, and pretends not to have explain'd things as they are, but as they may be. And I believe our Author will not reckon, him among the slight and talkative Phi­losophers; which is so far from being true, that such as love only to skim things, and have not the patience to keep their minds to a deep and close attention, cannot with any face as much as pretend acquaintance with his Princi­ples; the comprehension of which, will require the most severe meditation, and fix't engagement of the mind, of any Philosophy that is intelligible. Not, that this excellent person affects obscurity either in Matter, Style, or Method, being indeed very perspicuous in all of them: but because, his way is unusual, and his Principles so coherent and close­ly pack't together, that the letting fall any link of connexi­on, will spoil the dependance, and hinder the understand­ing of the sequel. But I return from this excursion. If all then must be accounted impatient and shallow Philoso­phers, who acquiesce not in the Digbaean Hypotheses; all the learned Cartesians, Platonists, the whole stock of the ingeni­ous recent Philosophers; yea and All, that follow not the way of Sir K. Digby, must unavoidably fall under the shame of these appellatives; and perhaps that great person him­self, who I dare say thinks not the light his Philosophy hath afforded these perplexing Speculations, to be so clear, as to admit of no shadow or obscurity. What ever haste therefore those discover, that will not be fully contented with the Principles in which our Philosopher is so well satisfied, I am confident that a little reflection will inform him, that he hath betrayed some, in his censure.

A. 2. Altera ab Authore nostro neglecta Ignorantiae causa mihi apparet esse quidam specialis—pag. 91.

G. IF any are so weak to affirm nothing can be demonstra­ted, against which any thing is, or can be objected; let them answer for their Assertion, I am not to account for the mistakes of others: And if there are those who will not admit of certainty or evidence in a conclusion that any hath made a doubt of, as our Author intimates in the following Paragraph, I have as little to answer for their Scepticism and incredulity. For I never expect to see the world agree in any thing; and therefore I assent where I see cause, and proportion the degree of my belief to that I have of evidence, without expecting the hopeless en­couragement of a universal suffrage. Though I confess, where deep and enquiring spirits differ, I judge I have reason to be cautious, and to suspect uncertainty. Our Au­thor concludes with a reprehension of those endless talk­ers, the Modern Peripateticks, and their voluminous tri­fles, in which I dissent not from him: But pass from them to their Master Aristotle, whom our Philosopher un­dertakes to vindicate from my reflections; with what suc­cess, will be the subject of our next enquiry.


1. Et jam defunctus labore imperato videor, nisi A. summâ cum invidiâ Aristotelem omnibus—pag. 95.

OUr Author in this Paragraph is of a very different G. apprehension from all other Aristotelians, if we'l believe Patritius, who saith, Tritum vero jam est ac em­nium Aristotelicorum assensu comprobatum, nullam esse in Ari­stotelicis Libris Scientificam Demonstrationem. Our Philoso­pher then denies all Science among the other Antients, and the rest of the Aristotelians allow none in Aristotle. And if either be true, or both, 'tis an evidence against Dog­matizing, and fond doating upon Authorities.

But this action is professedly directed against Gassendus; some few of whose charges against Aristotle our Author indeavours to defeat and disable; which should he succeed in according to his desires, yet the far greater, and per­haps the more formidable number stands unanswer'd. Briefly then (1.) he excepts at Gassendus's animadverting on Aristotle's manners, which he insinuates, to be more like a crafty Orator, then a close and severe Philosopher. To which in behalf of that excellent Neoterick, it may be rejoyn'd, That if Aristotle were vicious and immoral, there is much the less reason why we should revere his authori­ty: For truth and vertue use to dwell together; and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Vice drowns the noble Idea's of the Soul, and fills the mind with those foul steams of the body, which are prejudicial to deep and worthy enquiries; so that with all good men and true [Page 54] Philosophers 'twill not a little detract from the credit of Ari­stotle's Intellectuals, if his Morals are acknowledg'd, or can be prov'd obnoxious. Whither the charge be just or not, our Philosopher makes no enquiry, which seems a tacite con­fession of the truth of the accusation; and then I think he hath no reason to object the impropriety. After this re­mark he descends (2.) to some particular instances of Gassendus's charge, to as many of which, as I am concern'd in, I make this brief rejoynder: (1.) Then Aristotle ex­presly makes God an Animal in these words [...]. If he sayes otherwise elsewhere, 'tis only an argument of the inconsistency of Aristotle, not of the injustice of Gassendus.

(2.) That God acts by necessity, Aristotle clearly enough insinuates in that conclusion of his [...], which is testimony suf­ficient of the truth of my charge; if Gassendus ac­cused him of more, 'tis like he was able to make it good.

(3.) That Aristotle made the world eternal, our Au­thor allows me. But that hereby he prov'd himself the chief of all the Ethnick Philosophers, I cannot grant him so easily. For (1.) Aristotle was not the first in this As­sertion, but had it from Ocellus Lucanus; from whom also he transcrib'd the Arguments he made use of to en­force it: Which yet (2.) are not such, as do so highly commend his Philosophy, and faculty of arguing. He proves the World eternal then, because the Heavens are so; the Assertion of which he attempts by five Arguments: (viz.) (1.) From the Etymology of aether, viz. ab [...]. (2.) From the silence of History of any change or al­teration they have undergone. (3.) From the Opinion of the Antients. (4.) From the freedom of the Heavens from contrarieties. And (5.) from the eternity of the Cae­lestial motions, which he proves with the eternity of time [Page 55] by reasons borrow'd from Ocellus, who was the Author of the main Argument. Now whoever affirms that such arguings as these set Aristotle so much above all the more antient Philosophers, expresses more fondness towards him, then justice to his betters. Nor can the comparative ex­cellency of his wit be any more reasonably concluded from his allowing the natural inference of that acknowledg'd Principle, Ex nihilo nihil; which doubtless the Antients never meant in the general notion; but in a sense which restrain'd it to natural productions; else their Assertion of the Worlds beginning had been nonsense and a contra­diction.

(4.) The learned Gentleman admires that we should charge Aristotle with the denyal of the Resurrection of the dead; which though he acknowledges truly to be alledg'd; yet he thinks it unreasonably objected, since he supposes this doctrine only to be discoverable by supernatural light and revelation. To which briefly, (1.) Though the Re­surrection in the particular circumstances, in which Chri­stianity hath cloathed it, be not known by our unassisted faculties: Yet that the Soul shall live, and live united to a Body in the other State, I think deducible from the meer principles of Nature: For the Philosophy of the Soul informs us, that it uses matter in its highest operations, which is fair ground of conjecture, that it is alwayes united to some body. Besides which, it may be argued from the analogy of Nature, which useth not in other things, to leap from one extream unto another; And therefore 'tis not likely that the Soul should pass immediately, from the state of so deep an immersion into the gross matter, to a condition of pure and absolute immateriality. To which may be further added, that, even according to the prin­ciples of Aristotle, there can be no Knowledge without Sense, nor Sense without corporeal Motion, which cannot well be perceiv'd by a being that is perfectly disjoyn'd [Page 56] from matter. Thus the principles of meer reason suggest, that the Soul is joyn'd to another Body after its discharge from the present. And (2.) others of the Greek Philoso­phers, by the meer conduct of their natural light, believ'd it. The Academicks generally assign'd Bodies to those in the other state, and such as were suitable to the regions of the World they resided in; and therefore Plato calls some of them [...]. And to others of more inferior conditon he attributes Aerial bodies; yea, generally the Greeks appointed corporeal punishments for the wicked in their Acheron, and Cocytus, as Theocritus,


And Virgil,

—Aliis sub gurgite vasto
Infectum eluitur scelus, aut exuritur igni.

But the business is so well known that it needs no testi­mony; and from hence 'tis sufficiently evident, that they believ'd the corporeal state of the Soul after its separation from this Terrestrial body: So that Aristotle's Assertion herein, is contrary both to the nature of the thing; and the belief of most of his contemporaries; nay, and the most venerable wisdom that was before him. And indeed, what he taught of the Soul, is at the best uncertain, he using the word [...], for the mind one while, and then for the phan­cy; applying it now to Angels, and at another time to Brutes; so that none of his Sectators could ever tell what was his opinion about it.


1. A Gassendo ad Authorem Vanitatis Dogmati­zandi A. reducenda est oratio, postquam ipse—pag. 104.

I Think still that the Many are very incompetent Judges G. of worth either in Men or things, admiring trash, and slighting excellence; And 'tis my Lord Bacon's Observation, which signifies much more with me; then all our learned Author has said in this Paragraph, viz. [I hat the lowest ver­tues are the subjects of the Peoples praise; the middle ones of their admiration; but the highest they have no sense at all of;] which saying holds not only in Morals, but in all things else which the vulgar use to judge in: for they re­gard nothing, but what is like themselves, that is, mean and trivial; which is the reason of that other Observation of the same great Philosopher; That Time, like a River bears up what is light and chaffy, while the things that are more weighty and considerable, are lost at the bottom.

2. Subjicit Author noster Sapientium arbitrio Peri­pateticam A. esse vocum nihil significantium—pag. 105.

THe excellent Lord Verulam is one of the wise men that G. hath reprov'd the arbritrariness of Aristotle's words, particularly in his Instauratio Magna, where he saith, [I can­not a little marvel at the Philosopher Aristotle, that did [Page 58] proceed in such a spirit of difference and contradiction to all antiquity, not only to frame new words of Science at plea­sure, but to confound and extinguish all antient wisdom] and his affected obscurity, Patricius sayes, All the Greeks confessed; yea Themistius one of his great Sectators sayes of him, Se, veluti sepiam a [...]ramento suo sese occuluisse. And Simplicius another, writes thus in his Prolegomena to the Praedicaments: [...], Besides which clear testimony the Author of the censure prefixt to Aristotle's works cited by Gas­sendus after great praises of him, adds, Ingenium viri te­ctum & callidum & metu [...]ns reprehensionis, quod inhibebat eum, ne proferret interdum aperiò, quae sentiret; Indè tam multa per ejus opera obscura & ambigua. And again the forementioned Themistius, Cum plerè (que) omnia Aristotelis scripta quasi de composito caligine quadam offusa oppleta (que) habeantur: like unto which is that, which Simplicius sayes of him: In Acroamaticis datâ operâ obscurus esse voluit. We see then who the wise Men are, that have accused the ob­scurity of the Aristotelean processes. And that he was not so clear from aequivocatiens as our Author suggests; I'le give but a double instance (1.) of his applying the foremention'd [...] to Beasts and Angels, to the Imagination and abstracted Intellect. And (2.) his calling God, the Quintessence, Form, the Soul, and Motion, by the common appellative of [...] To all which might be added, that 'tis an ar­gument that the Aristotelean method was not so clear and cautious, as our Author would have it believed; since his Commentators have been infinitely divided about his mean­ing: And our Author himself complains, That those of the latter Schools have quite receded from his genuine doctrine, which either accuses their ignorance, or his obscurity. It appears then, that the wise Men I mention to have accused Aristotle's ambiguities and aequivocations were those that un­derstood [Page 59] the Aristotelean Doctrines, being some of them his most genuine and ancient Interpreters; and not those who are so little acquainted with the matters of this Philo­sophy, as to charge Aristotle with the faults of, I know not what, apish Peripateticks, and Pyrrhonians.

3. Prosequitur deinde Actionem in Peripateticos per A. dubia quaedam, quae illi clara non sunt,—pag. 107.

IN this Paragraph I can understand nothing proved, but G. that a thing is possible to be before it is; which possibi­lity our Author will have to be neither quid, nor quale, nor quantum: Though not absolutely nothing. And if this learned Gentleman take this posse of a thing for Aristotle's materia prima, he mistakes the Metaphysical, for the Phy­sical matter: Or, if hereby he would only insinuate, that the first mater may be something, though neither quid, quale, nor quantum; the instance is too short for his con­clusion, since the posse of a thing before it is, is no real bee­ing, but an extrinsecal denomination, and a mode of our conception.

4. Duae aliae Voces molestae sunt Sceptico nostro. Hae A. sunt forma, & educi de potentiâ materiei▪—pag. 109.

I Call the Aristotelean form an empty word, because I G. believe there's nothing real that answers it; All bodies are sufficiently distinguish'd by figure and position of parts, and I see no necessity to introduce such an arbitrary being; [Page 60] However, if our Author pleases, let him call that by which things are distinguish'd, their form: But if with Aristotle he will make this a substantial principle of things; I must be excused in a dissent to which my reason inforces me. And if his Hypothesis be, that forms are accidents, (as it seems, he supposes, by the instances alledged) he recedes from his Master Aristotle, who expresly makes his Form a Substance. [...], And again, [...].

A. 5. Quoad posteriorem vocem, seu educi de poten­tiâ, videat Vir ingeniosus an illud quod—pag. 110.

G. THat which was brought out of the dark, was in it. And Caesar adds nothing to the Marble, but the Fi­gure; which is but a mode of Matter, and answers not our case. But Forms are not supposed Praeexistent in the Matter from whence they were educed; and are Substances really distinguisht from it: which I have prov'd from Ari­stotle, and 'tis the sense of his Commentators, though it seems 'tis not our Authors. I inquire then, are these Sub­stantial Forms produced of something, or of nothing? An Aristotelian will not allow the latter; for this were against the Maxime, Ex Nihilo Nihil, and a Creation. He affirms it produced of something then, and this something is Poten­tia Materia. I enquire further therefore, whether any thing of the Form did actually Praeexist in this Power of the Mat­ter, or not? If so, all possible Forms reside in the Subjects out of which they are educed, which is not consonant to their Hypothesis. If not, the latter part of the disjunction is confest; to avoid the shame of which, they fly to subjective dependence: And this is the Potentia Materiae, [Page 61] they talk of; from which follow the absurdities I inferred. And this is the Philosophy of the Schools; and this the Pe­ripateticism I charge: If our Author saith, it is not accord­ing to Aristotle's Doctrine, let him dispute it out with Ari­stotle's followers; I charge it not on him, but on his Schooles, in which all the world can justifie me.


1. Proximè sagittant duas Aristotelis Definitiones, A. utramque exactissimam & quicquam in—pag. 112.

LEt [...] signifie as our Author would have it, G. viz. That which remains of an Action, and is intro­duced by it. But I enquire then, (1.) Whether this In­terpretation be not arbitrary? I'me sure the word in this sense is so. (2.) Light is then something that remains of an operation: And this Explication notably helps the per­spicuity of the Definition, which is as good a one as that was lately given of a Thought in a University Sermon, viz. A Repentine Prosiliency jumping into Being. And if our Author's Description be all contain'd in Actus Perspicui▪ I shall need no more proof of Aristotle's obscurity in this▪ instance.

2. Idem est reliquae Definitionis Vitium. Est autem A. ipsa Definitio, Motus est Actus entis—pag. 113.

[Page 62] G. IF [...], in the definition of Motion signifie the Mode, whereby the subject is affected in the end of Action, ac­cording to our Author; with what congruity doth Aristotle then apply it to the Soul? except he thought it a mode of matter, and then our Philosopher had no reason to sup­pose he believed its Immortality; But whatever he concluded of this, he affirm'd it to be a Substance, as in that passage, [...]. And Galen of him, [...].

A. 3. Nova calumnia Capite decimo septimo instruitur adversus Aristotelem, tantò indigniùs—pag. 115.

G. THat Aristotle was not so careful in distinguishing the signification of words, as is pretended, we have evinced already: And it appears clearly enough from the last instance; In which things are coupled together by a common appellative that agree in nothing. And for the other mistake this period chargeth me with, I answer; That if I take the Scepticks for Peripateticks, I hope our Philosopher will henceforward absolve me from the so often objected Scepticism. For according to our Author my Peripateticks are Scepticks, and he knows how much friend­ship I have for those. But whether they are Scepticks or not, they are Aristotle's followers, if he have any in the Schools of Christendom; And I leave them to justifie the title they have assumed. It sufficeth for me, that the genuine Aristotelian method is a way of obscurity and dispute; for which, besides the instances I have given, I have alledged the clear testimonies of his acknowledg'd [Page 63] Sectators. And if the modern Peripateticks can prove them­selves Aristotelians, we have a charge of sufficient aggrava­tion from our Author against them also. For thus he cen­sures them under the name of Scepticks [Scepticorum cona­tus esse vanissimos facile agnosco, illos parum de vocum usu sollicitos esse quo liberum sit iis quaslibet nugas vanitatis aut alterius lucri causa divendere, oratorculos vel magis ra­bulas, non Philosophos esse, Aristotelicorum nomen assumere ut corrumpant juventutem, & Discipulos post sese abducant; hos omnibus Scientiae sectatoribus veluti pestem vitandos non inficior, neque quicquam ab iis solidi expectandum esse.]

4. Confirmant fictam adversus Philosophum actio­nem A. ex ipsis Philosophi dictis & gestis.—pag. 116.

IT seems it was not only the abstractedness of the matter, G. that rendred Aristotle's Physiology so difficult of compre­hension, since our Author confesseth that scarce any un­derstand it, but who are assisted by the Commentaries of the Ancients. And certainly all the Moderns had never rece­ded so far from his sense, if his expressions had not been obscure and involved, as well as his matter difficult. And for that which the learned Gentleman calls a more grievous and unhappy calumny: He confesseth it to be Aristotle's Instruction to perfect his Scholars in the method of dispu­ting, which is all I charge him with; And I think ambi­guity and obstinate garrulity in Controversies, which the Philosopher seems to advise them to, is a way of Disputa­tion that will not much commend the Practisers, or In­structor.

A. 5. Merebatur haec actio instantias ex opere. Pre­mit Author tres (ex fide credo Gassendi—pag. 117.

G. THat I have done Aristotle no wrong in the first in­stance alledged, will appear to any one that will take the pains to peruse the first Chapter of his first De Ce­lo. For attempting there the Proof of the perfection of bo­dies in order to the evincing that of the World, he doth it thus: The magnitude that is one way divisible, is a line; two, is a superficies; and what may three ways be divi­ded, is a Body. Besides which there is no other magnitude, for this reason [...], which he proves by a saying of the Pythagoreans, and this Reason in Nature (if it be one) viz. because the beginning, end, and middle, [...] which also is confirmed by that I quoted from him: [...]. And concludes, wherefore since All and perfect, differ not as to their form, Body will be the only perfect magnitude, and that for the reason I assign'd from him, [...]. This is the genuine te­nour of Aristotle's argument, and our Authors sense and interpretation seems to me, (as I suppose 'twill to any one else, who considerately compares it with the Text) forraign, arbitrary, and unnatural.

As to the second Instance, the learned Gentleman hath mistaken the words of my charge. For if he pleaseth to look again into my Book, he will find, that I object no such consequence to Aristotle, as, That if there were more worlds then one, the Moon would fall to the Earth. But on the contrary, that the Earth would fall to that other [Page 65] World. So that our Authors justification of Aristotle's ar­gument, viz. That he fixt the Centre of the World in the Earth, is a strange one, and concludes the quite contrary to what Aristotle would inferre. And why the Moon should fall, upon the suppositions, that the Earth is the Centre, and that there are other Worlds, (as our Author sug­gests) rather then as things are at present, I cannot conje­cture.

My Third Instance of Aristotle's trifling, and inconse­quent arguings, was; That he inferrs the Heavens to move towards the West, because they move towards the more Honourable, and before is more honourable then af­ter. Which is clearly his consequence in the 5. Chapter of his second De Coelo: For thus he argues, [...], Nature doth alwayes what is best. Now saith he, as the motion which is upwards is more excellent then that which is downward, [...]; so in like manner is that which is forward more excellent then that which is back­ward. Thence he concludes this the reason why the Hea­vens move antrorsum. [...]. So that this seems the sub­stance of the Inference; The Heavens move by a motion that is natural, Nature doth what is best, before is better then behind, and consequently that way the Heavens move. The weakness of which argumentation consists in supposing, that those variable respects of before, and after, are rea­lities in Nature, which is a poor vulgar conceit, arising from the meere prejudice of misapplyed Sensations, and ve­ry unbecomming a Philosopher. And that this was the supposal of Aristotle's Argument, is confirmed by the margin of Pacius's Edition, in which he hath given this ac­count of the contents of this period, Coelum movetur ad anteriorem partem, quia hujusmodi motus est praestantior quam motus ad partem posteriorem. Yea, when our Author him­self [Page 66] saith in the Account he gives of the Argument, Mo­tum naturalem esse ad honorabilius, unde clare sequitur occi­dentem esse nobiliorem oriente, he hath given me all I have contended for.


A. Indignatur sub finem Capituli, quod doctorum opera ita in Logicam, Physicam, & Metaphysicam—pag. 123.

G. OUr Author confesseth the Schools neglect of the pro­fitable Doctrines of the Heavens, Meteors, Minerals, and Animals. But his Scepticism, viz. the present Peripa­teticism, is the cause. And this is that which I charge in the place animadverted on. So that I accuse not Ari­stotle here; but by name the modern Retainers to the Sta­gyrite: But whether the notionality and obscurity of the Ari­stotelian method it self do not give occasion to the endless babble of those reprehended Scepticks, I have already past my conjecture.

A. 2. Capite decimo octavo arguit doctrinam Peripate­ticam, quasi ad Phaenomena salvanda—pag. 124.

G. I Am not yet convinced, but that the Aristotelian Phi­losophy is insufficient for the Solution of the Phaenome­na; And yet question not Aristotle's endeavours in that kind, but his success, upon what Accounts my Discourse declareth.

[Page 67] I acknowledge the ingenuity of Sir Kenelm Digbye's Hypo­theseis: But cannot yet understand that to have been Ari­stotle's method. And I think our Author is one of the first that asserts Aristotle to have taught the Corpuscularian and Atomical Philosophy; for all the World hath hitherto taken his, to be the way of Qualities and Forms: Yea Aristotle mentions the Atomical Hypothesis of Democritus in a way of dissent and profest opposition; [...] which last pas­sage is the main substance of the Corpuscularian Philosophy. And elsewhere he recites the same Hypothesis from Leu­cippus and Democritus, to the same purpose; [...].

Urget adversarius systema coeli ab Aristotele se­quiùs A. esse constitutum. Aperi accusationem.—pag. 125.

I Cannot see but that Aristotle without Optick Instru­ments, G. the defect of which our Author thinks excuseth his Astronomy, might have discovered the Motion of the Earth, and Fluidity of the Heavens, as well as the more antient wisdom that believ'd them. He recites the former as the opinion of the Pythagoreans, but could not over­come the prejudice of sense against it. [...]. And in another place hath a pro­fest redargution of this Pythagorean opinion. As for the Hypothesis of the Fluidity of the Heavens, 'Tis said in the [Page 68] Jewish Gemara, Non orbes sed in Coelo liquido moveri si­dera, vetustissima Haebreorum sententia est. And if Ari­stotle had own'd a wit so much more excellent then o­thers of the Antients, as our Author somewhere intimates, I see not why he might not have received these Theories, as well as some of those, to whom Optick Tubes were as much strangers as to the Contriver of the Orbs. That the Christian Doctrine teacheth the Motion of the Heavens by Intelligencies▪ I cannot yet comprehend. And our Author cannot think it so evident as to be believed without proof. Our Air according to the best computations can be made of the weight of the Astmosphear, reacheth not much above 50 miles upwards; and the thin Element there, is nothing to the sphear of Fire supposed under the concave of the Moon.

A. 3. Caput decimum nonum exagitat Aristotelis doctri­nam quasi infaecundam & sterilem.—pag. 126.

G. IF it belong not to Philosophers to make Experiments; the noble Lord Bacon, Des Cartes, our Illustrious Roy­al Society, and all experimental Philosophers, have been needlesly imployed, and out of the way in their inquiries. And if we must use no Experiments but those that are made by ordinary Mechanicks without design of Science, we shall never make any great progress into the knowledg of the Magnalia; which are not known by the common methods of action. He that will erect a lasting and state­ly Fabrick, must have Stones digged from the Quarries, and not expect that the High-wayes should furnish him.

What these common Aristotelian Principles are, with­out which no account can be given of natural effects, our [Page 69] Author would do well to tell us. Some Principles indeed are necessary, and without them nothing can be inquired or determin'd: But such are common to all Philosophers, and not peculiarly Aristotle's.

Those that admit vacuities, think there can be no action without them; holding it impossible there should be moti­on in absolute pleno; And we have but our Author's bare assertion against their arguments.

The Cartesian vortices will serve to account for the Phae­nomena, and teach a way of Theory not unserviceable to experiment. And for the Salvo of Aristotle's credit in those contradictory passages we meet in his Writings; viz. that they are the sayings of others, it seems to me an arbitrary shift and evasion: Since we find them in his Discourses without mention of any such matter. And if it be con­fest his custom to insert forrein Doctrines and Sayings in­to his Works, without any intimation to distinguish them from his own; who then can know when Aristotle speaks himself, or when he speaks the words and sense of o­thers?

4. Caput vicesimum manifestam reddit eminentiam A. Peripatetices supra reliquas Methodos—pag. 127.

IN that Chapter I impugn not Aristotle's Philosophy, but G. had concluded my Reflections in the former. Causali­ties are first found out by concomitancy, as I intimated. And our experience of the dependence of one, and indepen­dence of the other shews which is the Effect, and which the Cause. Definitions cannot discover Causalities, for they are formed after the Causality is known. So that in our Authors instance, a man cannot know heat to be the A­toms [Page 68] [...] [Page 69] [...] [Page 70] of Fire, till the concomitancy be known, and the ef­ficiency first presumed. The question is then, How heat is known to be the effect of Fire? our Author answers by it's definition. But how came it to be so defined? The an­swer must be, by the concomitancy and dependence; for there's nothing else assignable.

But who is our Authors Peripatetick that concludes heat to be the Atomes of Fire? And who that adorer of Des-Cartes that professeth Scepticism?

A. 5. Nihilo validius est Argumentum à varietate Opi­nionum Philosophantium ad impossibilitatem—pag. [...]9.

G. I Urge no such argument as the variety of Philosophers Opinions against the possibility of Science, but from the notion of the Dogmatists; that demonstration supposeth certainty, as Aristotle himself affirms, [...]; And certainty, impossibility of being otherwise; as Ari­stotle proceeds, [...]; I say, from hence I inferre 'tis scarce modest to conclude any thing so a demonstration, and consequently, Science in their notion; The reason of my Inference is fully de­clared in my Discourse, the least view of which will be evidence enough of the wideness of this answer.

Sub finem Capitis assumit nihil sciri posse nisi in pri­mas A. causas resolvatur. Unde diluxisse—pag. 131.

WHen I affirm nothing can be known but by a reso­lution of things into their first causes, I mean the Mechanical, not Metaphysical: For I am of opinion with the excellent Lord Verulam; That Natural Theory hath been very much hindered, and corrupted by Metaphysical admixtures; And this is a considerable fault of Aristotle and his Sectators. Some general notices indeed are necessa­ry to direct us in particular researches, but then they must be such as are concluded from induction in particulars; and perhaps the instances our Philosopher alledges to shew the necessity of Metaphysicks to Physiology will be better determin'd and accounted for in the way of experiment, then notion; and I think our Author's Metaphysical argu­ment against a Vacuum, (the exploding of which he thinks so necessary for the establishment of a grounded Philosophy) I think, I say, his argument is a Sophism, whose greatest force lies in the scarcity of words and defect in language: For this is the sum of the presumed demonstration. A Vacuum is imaginary space; Imaginary space is nothing real, and those bodies are together, that have nothing between them: If the middle of which Propositions be denyed, the argu­ment comes to nothing; and it may without absurdity be affirmed, that though space have not the nature of any of the beings that are in our praedicaments, yet 'tis something real and not meerly imaginary: For the notion of space strikes so close to our minds, that we cannot conceive, but that 'tis infinite and eternal, viz. is every where, and has been alwayes; and therefore has a kind of being, that is no arbitrary figment; Though such a one, for the [Page 72] expressing of which our words are defective: We see then, how this pretended Metaphysical impossibility may be an­swered; For though supposing a Vacuum there be nihil cor­poris between the bodies distant, yet is there aliquid spatii, which is sufficient to avoid the contradiction; so that there may be a vacuum, notwithstanding our Author's Metaphy­sicks: Yea, that Aristotle himself asserted it, though I know he has opposed it also, is affirmed by Aetius in these words, [...]. And again, [...]; and there seems a strong necessity that there should be one, since it looks like an impossibility that there should be mo­tion in pleno, or at least that any thing should be moved, but that all the World must be moved with it; which I alledge only to shew, that Metaphysicks may both ways be urged almost for any thing, and that all matters of noti­on are double-handed. And if we must determine nothing in Physiology till Metaphysicks have concluded it; for ought I know we shall be at an eternal loss, and never fix on any thing. And by this method of mingling Metaphysicks with Natural Philosophy, we shall fill plain Theories with infinite intricacy and dispute. Indeed, the impatient mind of Man, as my Lord Bacon observes, is too apt to fly to general conclusions; and more averse to the way of expe­riment and induction, which he thought the only method for the establishing of a solid and grounded Theory: In which there is none has more happily succeeded then the Phi­losopher Des-Cartes, whose Philosophy is not a prescribed form how things should be made, as our Author injuriously suggests, but professes it self only an Hypothesis how they may be, and how by such Principles the Phaenomena may be salved: And the Mechanicks of Des-Cartes are much more likely methods for the expounding Nature, then the Metaphysicks of Aristotle; Which his own Sectators have confest a meer rhapsody and confused ramble of they knew [Page 73] not what: Yea, and 'tis doubtful whither they are not the spurious issue of some more modern Author, since Diogenes Laertius, who uses to give a full and faithful Catalogue of the Writings of Philosophers, hath omitted this out of the Works of Aristotle, and Philoponus affirms that Book writ­ten by Pasicrates Rhodius. And if so, Aristotle will lose the credit of demonstration in Metaphysicks, with which our Author hath invested him.

7. Sequens Capitulum laborat illo Errore quem Ari­stoteles A. saepius & detexit & confutavit:—pag 132.

IMperfect knowledge, according to the notion of the Dog­matists, G. is not Science, but Opinion. Scire, our Author knows, is per causas Scire; and the conditions of those Causes are that they be true, immediate, and necessary; This is perfect Knowledge, this is the Science the Dogmatist pre­tends to; and to this according to his own Maxime, every thing that is must contribute, as my Discourse declareth. Nor do our Philosophers Instances weaken my Conclusion; for they relate to another kind of Knowledge, viz. that of the Existence, not of the Nature of things; which latter is that which I am treating of; and the knowledge of the be­ing of a thing, as is its object, is a simple act, and consequent­ly, to this, a single evidence is sufficient: But the compre­hension of the nature, like the thing it self, is complex, and requires the knowledge of the things of which 'tis constituted. What is added within this Paragraph about two Persons, see­ing the same object in the same circumstances of sentiment, is our Author's bare assertion, against my proof of the con­trary: And the last period is built upon the fore▪mentioned mistake of my design and intentions.

A. 8. Attamen Academicus noster non dubitat generatim dogmaticè procedentibus affingere quaevis—pag. 134.

G. THe Learned Gentleman is now discended to my Mo­ral Considerations against Confident Opinion: His re­flections on the two first of which are built upon the suppo­sal of my being a Sceptick, which charge I think I've suffi­ciently disabled. The truth of my Third Accusation is con­fest, but the guilt, not acknowledged; since that which ex­cites men to endless bawlings, and altercations; Schisms, He­resies, and Rebellions, by the vehemencies of Dispute, is it seems with our Author no more noxious and criminal, then the Sun that stirrs men up to their work in the morn­ing, by the importunity of it's beams. To the Fourth ab­surdity of Dogmatizing, our Philosopher also gives a kind reception; and it seems can be content with a Confidence that accuseth all the World of Ignorance. But whether be the more modest, the Dogmatist that chargeth all that are not of his mind as Ignorants; or the Sceptick that involves himself also in the common reproach, let them dispute it out when they will, I have nothing to do with their Quar­rel. In the last I'me agreed with our Author in the Truth of his assertion, That Science inlargeth Mens mindes; but cannot acknowledge the pertinency. For he could scarce have named things more opposite then Confidence and Science. Science indeed inlargeth: But there's a Knowledge that only puffeth up. And I'me of Solomon's Opinion, That 'tis the Fool that rageth and is confident. Our Author concludes as he began, in the supposition that I am a Sceptick, and in this I'me certain he is mistaken; And will be Dogmatical in affirming, that I am none.

[Page 75] THus have I concluded my Reply with a Brevity, that shews I am not fond of an occasion of Disputing; and a Carelesness, that will witness the little delight I have in matters that are not of very material speculation. The truth is, I dropt these Reflections with such a dulness and in­activity of humor: That when my pen had traced one peri­od, it was indifferent whether it began another. And I re­member not an heat in the whole performance. For I felt no concernment to defend a Discourse, which perhaps I had less kindness for then one, who hath professedly opposed it. Not to mention the other reasons of my coldness and indifference in this Action. And though I have still a quick resentment of the Vanity of confiding in Opinions, and pos­sibly could with an humor brisk enough have reassailed the spirit of proud and unreasonable presumption; Yet I hitherto see no necessity of adding more to what I have said on the Subject: And the Reflections that engaged my Pen, have made me but few new occasions. So that looking on my im­pugned Discourse as too inconsiderable for a Subject of Pub­lick Vindication, and meeting but little opportunity for ge­neral and discursive notion in that which opposed it; I was, I profess, sometimes more inclined to have throwne away these sheets among the rubbish of my Papers, then to permit them thus to shew themselves to the Publique. But my Civility to this Learned Man obliged me to some Answer, and what­ever I apprehend of it otherwise, my laziness or my judge­ment made me think this sufficient for that service. What others will judge of it I am ignorant and careless, and am sufficiently satisfied with this, that I think it pertinent, and that I have finish't it.




I Am very Sensible how bold and ad­venturous a thing it is, for Men of pri­vate condition to oppose what custom and great names have render'd venera­ble. And though I am still of opinion▪ that a lazie acquiescence in the disco­veries of any Single Author, how great and august soever, be a disadvantage to the encrease of knowledge; yet I think it not wise in every Man that hath only a naked reason to assist him, to confront such celebrated Authorities. Upon which account I acknow­ledge some juvenile heat and praecipitancy in those reflections your friendship has animadverted on. Which, besides the [Page 78] pardon young pens may expect from those who are not un­reasonably severe, hath a claim to your candour upon o­ther considerations, which I intend this Paper shall acquaint you with. In order to which, I suppose I need not tell you, that 'twas no enmity to the learning of the Universi­ties, which with all duty I acknowledge, that drew my pen upon the Sage their constitutions have made textuary. You know me too well, to think I designed any thing against the appointments and purposes of our pious Ancestors in those venerable nurseries of Piety and Learning. I too well ap­prehend the danger of such Innovations in an Age so prone to fancies and dissettlements. In which nothing how­soever worthy and sacred, has been able to defend it self against the rude hands of proud, because Successeful violence guilded with the plunder'd titles of Reformation and Religi­on. I'le assure you then, though I had been so fond and unwise to engage in a design so unlikely in the undertaker; I should never have been so disingenious and undutiful as to form a project so inconvenient and hazardous in the event, as to discourage young Students from a method of Studies the Constitutions of the place they live in have en­joyn'd them: Which indeed, considering the circumstances wherein things stand, 'tis in a manner necessary they should be vers'd in; since that Philosophy is wrought into the cur­rent Theology of Europe: which therefore would not be comprehended without an insight into those Hypotheses. Nor can a Man make a reasonable choice of his Principles, except he have some knowledge of all that offer themselves Candidates for his favour: and a Wise Man's belief is not chance, but election; besides which, it enlarges and en­nobles the Minds of Men to furnish them with variety of conception, and takes them off from doating on the beloved Conclusions of their private and narrow Principles. I blame not therefore the use of Aristotle in the Universities among the Junior Students, though I cannot approve the streightness [Page 79] and sloath of Elder Dijudicants, from whom more generous temper might be expected, then to sit down in a contented despair of any further progress into Science, than has been made by their Idolized Sophy; and depriving themselves and all this World of their Liberty in Philosophy by a Sacra­mental adherence to an Heathen Authority. And I confess, 'twas this pedantry and boyishness of humor that drew from me those reflections I directed against Aristotle. Which perhaps you'le think not so censurable an action when you consider,

(1.) That whatever fondness these latter ages have express'd towards him, the pious Fathers of the first and purest times of Christianity, own'd for him no such regard and veneration; but frequently reprehended him with a keen and impartial severity. And if we may believe the learned and industrious Patricius [Multos ê Patribus habuit oppugnatores, Celebratorem neminem.] Clemens Alex. Epi­phanius, and Nazianzen accuse him of impiety against God and Religion; Lactantius of Contradiction and incon­sistency; Justin Martyr professedly wrote a Book against him; S. Basil reprehends his Ethicks; and Origen set's Epicurus be­fore him. Theodoret accuses him for denying Providence below the Moon. And 'tis notoriously known that Platonism was the Philosophy of the first Christian Centuries when A­ristotle was not much regarded. Yea as the excellent Gas­sendus has observ'd, in the flourishing times of Rome and Athens, the Academicks and Stoicks; and Laertius sayes in his, the Epicureans, were the only valued Sects of Philosophers, while the Peripateticks were but little ac­counted of. Yea Cicero, Pliny, Quintilian that had other­wise the greatest esteem of Aristotle, prefer'd Plato before him. And I find

(2.) Not that Aristotle had such an excess of respect and worship, till after Barbarism had overrun Rome and Athens. For when the Empire began to emerge [Page 80] from that black night of Ignorance which had with it's rude Conquerours invaded it; Averroes and some others of the Arabian Interpreters chanced to light upon the re­mains of this Philosopher, which they translated into the language of the Moors, and as 'tis usual for Men to dignifie what they have bestowed pains upon, especially if it be rare and new; these first Interpreters would not fail to celebrate the Author, that they might reconcile credit to their Wri­tings upon him, and recommend their own elucubrations. And therefore Aristotle shall be the prime of Philosophers, that they may be next him. Insomuch that his Redeemer A­verroes arriv'd to that Vanity in Commendation as to affirm, that Aristotle invented Logick, Divinity and Physiology; ne­ver spoke any thing without strong reason, and that there was nothing defective or superfluous in his Writings, but all things in the most full and perfect order; and that no er­rour had been found in his Composures: which Commen­dations coming down to the Latines, with the Books they celebrated, and they having no other Philosopher, but A­ristotle, nor Interpreter, but his Idolater Averroes, greedily swallowed both the Books and the Character together, making sacred Text of the Writings of the Author, and Axioms of the Commendations of the Interpreter. For the mighty cry of the first admirers, assisted by the Ignorance of those times, and the natural temper that is in Men to revere the first Author that pleases them, bore down others to an as­sent to those applauses; and being at last by the School­men mingled with Divinity, and by others adopted into o­ther faculties, grew in a manner Sacred and Universal. Aristotle became an Oracle, his placits were enacted Laws, and his dixit an unquestionable argument; and thus was the reasoning World despoil'd of that freedom which is the pri­viledge of Humane Nature, and subjected to a forreign Au­thority, that could lay no reasonable claim to their respect or observance. So that the esteem of the Aristotelean Phi­losophy [Page 81] having been so small in the best and wisest times, and having sprung up to this bulk by accidental occasions in the latter and less cultivated ages, I cannot yet think it so pia­cular to question the dueness of those superlative praises are bestowed upon him in these, wherein Mankind seems awaken'd to enquire into the World of things, not of Words, and is resolv'd no longer to court Names, but Nature. And you'le see less reason for your displeasure against that en­gagement of mine, when I shall have told you

Thirdly, That 'tis very doubtful whether those Writings that go under his Name, are Aristotle's or not. For besides that the antient Greek Interpreters have alwayes made this Quaery in the beginning of their Expositions, Whether the Books they were about to expound were Aristotle's; besides this suspicion I say, several very learned men have profes­sedly undertook to prove the uncertainty of all his Writings, among whom are Picus, Patricius, and Gassendus, and from these Author's I'le give you a brief account of this matter. (First) then Theophrastus, Aristotle's Scholar, wrote seve­ral things that had the same title with those we presume are his: And who then can tell whether they were wrote by Aristotle, or Theophrastus? to say Aristotle's Works are discoverable by their style, is to presume the question, That some are known to be his: which being supposed, the enquirer may notwithstanding be deceived in his judgment, since learned Men in the same age are often delighted with the same mode of writing, especially the Scholars of any great Author use to imitate the Way and Method of their Masters; yea and diversity of Age and Matter make's them sometimes differ more in their Styles from themselves, than others do from them. At least (Secondly) Theophrastus had great advantages of adding, altering, and mingling Aristotle's Works as he pleased: He himself putting forth few Books while he lived, but leaving them in the hands of this his great Scholar and Sectator. And 'tis the observation of [Page 82] Strabo and Plutarch that the first Peripateticks had few or none of Aristotle's Writings among them; upon which ac­count impostures and forgeries might be more securely practiced. Besides which, (Thirdly) Theophrastus himself did not publish these Writings, but left them in the hands of Neleus, as is testified by Plutarch and Athenaeus. Now this Neleus of two Copies which he kept of Aristotle's wri­tings, sold one to Ptolomy for the famous Library at Alexan­dria; the other he kept himself and left with his Posteri­ty; who, as Strabo testifies, diligent search being made by the Attalick Kings after Books to furnish the Library at Pergamus, hid them in a pit underground about 160. years till they were almost spoil'd with moths and rotteness, and after sold them to Apellicon Tejus an Athenian, who got them transcribed and supplyed in those places in which they had been impair'd by their concealment, but as Strabo says arbitrarily, and at a venture; insomuch that the Transcripts were full of errour and incurable defects. At length Sylla taking Athens, this Library of Apellicon, in which were the Writings of Aristotle, was transported to Rome, as is testified by Plutarch, and there fell into the hands of Tyran­nio Grammaticus under whom they contracted new and worse errors. From him they pass to Andronicus Rhodius who distributed them into the order we now find them in, adding and altering as he pleased. After him, Picus says the contending Peripateticks still mended what they understood not; and every man as he fancyed. All which circumstances are more than suspicions of much forgery and corruption in Aristo­tle's Composures. Yea, if that be true which Marius Nizolius asserts, and largely endeavours to prove, that most of the Books of Aristotle that are extant are but Epitomes and Compendiums drawn up by Nicomachus of his Father's wri­tings, 'twill be another evidence against their Authority. To which I add (4.) What has been observed by the fore­cited Learned Men, that Diogenes Laertius, who lived when [Page 83] most of the Antient Authors might be seen, who was ve­ry industrious in the search of Antiquities, and who perused above two hundred Authors in order to the compiling of his History, forty of which had professedly wrote the lives of Philosophers; yet this Diogenes hath omitted all we have now extant of Aristotle's works except nine, viz. duo de Plantis, Physiogn. Categoriae, de Interpret. Mechan. Contra Xenophanem; Contra Gorgiam & Zenonem. Yea and Pa­tricius gives sufficient reason why all these but the four last should be suspected also. Now why so many forged pieces were ascribed to Aristotle, three reasons are given by Am­monius. viz. (1.) Because there were several others of his name (Diogenes Laertius sayes eight) by reason of which 'twas an easie matter to shelter the mean and contemptible products of others under his name and authority. (2.) Because several of his Disciples wrote Books on the same Subjects, and with the same Titles with their Master. (3.) There being great rewards propos'd by Ptolomy to those that brought in any considerable Author's to his Library, several out of a covetous design to enrich themselves by the for­gery, inscribed other Writings by the Name of this Phi­losopher, to render them more currant and vendible. So that there were 40. Books of Analyticks ascribed to Ari­stotle in Ptolomy's Library, when as he wrote but four; and two de Categoriis, when he wrote but one. It appears then that the Books of Aristotle are of very uncertain and suspici­ous authority. Yea, and though his Writings were never so un­suspect and certain in the main, yet no man can be assur'd in particular what is Aristotle's in them and what not, they having met with such hard usage as we mention'd. Yea, the Books themselves give notorious evidence of those abuses in the confusions, inversions, contradictions, tautologies, defects, ab­ruptness, and other gross imperfections they abound with. Upon the account of which Gassendus sayes, he thought A­ristotle a greater Man than to be the Author of such mean [Page 84] and obnoxious writings. But however, whether these are ge­nuine or not, they contain the Aristotelianism of the present Peripatetick Schools, and if those works are none of his, there's less reason why we should fall down before the ΕΦΗ of an uncertain Authority. Besides which, I must con­fess

Fourthly, That the reverence I have to the more antient Sages, which Aristotle frequently traduced, and unworthily abused, animated me to more Severity against him, than upon another occasion had perhaps been so pardonable and becoming. And that Aristotle dealt so invidiously with the Philosophers were before him, will not need much proof to one, that is but indifferently acquainted with his writings. The great Lord Bacon hath particularly charged him with this unworthiness in his excellent Advancement of Learning, wherein he says, that [Aristotle as though he had been of the race of the Ottomans, thought he could not reign, except the first thing he did, he kill'd all his Bre­thren.] And elsewhere in the same Discourse [I cannot a little marvel at the Philosopher Aristotle, that proceed­ed in such a spirit of difference and contradiction to all Antiquity, undertaking not only to frame new words of Science at pleasure, but to confound and extinguish all the antient Wisdom, insomuch that he never names any Antient Author, but to confute or reprove him] conso­nant whereunto are the observations of Patricius that he carpes at the Antients by name in more than 250 places, and without name in more than 1000. he reprehends 46 Philosophers of worth, besides Poets and Rhetoricians, and most of all spent his spleen upon his excellent and vene­rable Master Plato, whom in above 60 places by name he hath contradicted. And as Plato opposed all the So­phisters, and but two Philosophers, viz. Anaxagoras and He­raclitus; so Aristotle that he might be opposite to him in, this also, oppos'd all the Philosophers, and but two Sophisters [Page 85] viz. Protagoras and Gorgias. Yea, and not only assaulted them with his arguments, but persecuted them by his reproaches, calling the Philosophy of Empedocles, and all the Antients Stut­tering; Xenocrates, and Melissus, Rusticks; Anaxagoras, sim­ple and inconsiderate; yea, and all of them in an heap, as Patri­cius testifies, gross Ignorants, Fools and Madmen. How fit then think you is it that the World should now be obliged to so tender and awful a respect to the Libeller of the most Venera­ble Sages, as that it should be a crime next Heresie to endea­vour, though never so modestly, to weaken his textuary and usurp'd authority? and how just think you is your charge of my Reflections as a piece of irreverence to An­tiquity? when my veneration of the greater Antiquity ex­torted from me those strictures against the proud Antago­nist of all the ancient and more valuable Wisdom? of whose unworthy and disingenuous usage of the Elder Phi­losophers, I'le present you among many with some parti­cular instances, that most easily offer themselves to my pen and memory. Briefly then, he accuses Zeno for making God a Body, because he call'd him a Sphear in a Metaphor. He sayes of Parmenides [...] that he made hot and cold Principles, and yet in two long Chap­ters falls upon him as making all things one. These two Principles of Parmenides Aristotle interprets of Fire and Earth, when 'tis clear enough that the Philosophers meant Light and Darkness.


He says of Parmenides and Melissus, that they denyed all ge­neration [...]. And yet in a­nother place, having it seems forgot this charge, [...]. He accused Empe­docles for constituting the Soul of Elements, for which he [Page 86] took occasion from that verse of his


When as the Elements he means are not corporeal, as Aristotle would suggest to force an absurdity on that Philosopher, but Intellectual ones, as Simplicius one of his own Interpreters expounds Empedocles. He blasphemes Anaxagoras's Mind in these words [...]. And yet after gives excellent attributes to that Mind of Anaxagoras. He accuses the Pythagoreans of making Numbers the Principles of things; when as 'tis evident that Numbers were intended by Pythagoras, but as Symbolical representations of them, which serv'd him but for the same purposes the Hieroglyphicks did the Aegypti­ans, from whom that Sage had his Method of Philosophy; as Philoponus himself confessingly affirms, [...] ▪ But of all the Philosophers he quarrel'd with, there was none he pursued with so much gall and animosity, as his incomparable Master Plato, whom he not only insolently opposed and ingrate­fully thrust out of his School while he lived, but with a severe pen persecuted his very ashes, and followed him with injuries beyond the grave. And all for no other reason, but because that Venerable old Man reproved his evil life, and preferr'd the better deserving Speucippus, Xenocrates, and Amyclas before him. The particular instances of those ungrateful abuses are too numerous to be insisted on; there­fore I shall only pitch my observation on Plato's Doctrine of Idea's which Aristotle in all his Books inveigh's against, and hath render'd ridiculous among his credulous Sectators. Concerning which you may please to take notice, that this Opinion was not originally Plato's, though Aristotle charge him as the Author, but was the Doctrine of the Pythagoreans, Aegyptians and Chaldaeans. We have it in Timaeus Locrus the Pythagorean, [...]. And before him Trismegistus, [...] [Page 87] [...]. But originally this Doctrine of Idea's was Chaldaean, for which I offer you the ensuing Testimonies which will also clear the antient sense and nature of those Idea's. We have them then in the Oracles of Zoroaster,


And again,


And these Idea's, by which we may understand their natures, he calls [...]. Briefly then, the Chal­daeans by their Idea's understood the forms of things as they were in their Archetypa Mente, which answers to the eternal [...] in the Christian Trinity. They called them also [...], as they were in this primaeval Mind. In the Soul of the World they call'd them [...], in Nature, they were Seeds; and in Matter, Forms. Thus therefore; In the Seeds of all things there is heat; in that, Spirit; in this, Nature which depends on the Universal Soul, and that on God, in whom 'tis Jynx or Idea. This was the Chaldaean notion of Idea's, and this was the Platonical; which how un­like it is the Chimaera of Universal abstract notions, Aristotle and his Peripateticks falsly affix upon the Divine Philosopher, is of easie apprehension. So that Aristotle in his impugnati­on of the Platonical Idea's, fights against notions of his own creating, and no assertions of his Venerable Master. And I must confess the reverence I have for that Excellent Sage and his Philosophy, lessens my esteem of Aristotle, and his. Which I cannot without some regret behold so Sacred in Christendom, while the incomparable Prince of Philosophers with his divine Theories seems to be neglected and forgotten; especially since this latter is so consonant in his Dogmata to the principles of Christianity, and the other so opposite to [Page 88] most the articles of our belief in his. Of which Patricius has presented the World with a large Catalogue of In­stances, and I'le offer you a few of them. Plato affirms God to be one; Aristotle make's one first mover, but 56 other Gods movers of the Orbs. Plato own's God under the notion of the Father; which Aristotle no where acknowledges. Plato, that God is the Supreme Wisdom; Aristotle, that he is ignorant of particulars. Plato, that God is Omnipotent; Aristotle, that he can do nothing, but move the Heavens. Plato, that God made the World; Aristotle, that the World is uncreated, and eternal. Plato, that God made the World of nothing; Aristotle, that of nothing is made nothing. Plato that God is free from all body; Aristotle, that he's tyed to the first Orb. Plato, that Pro­vidence is over all things; Aristotle, that 'tis confin'd to the Heavens. Plato, that God governs the Universe; Aristotle, not God, but Nature, Chance, and Fortune. Plato, that God crea­ted the Soul; Aristotle, that 'tis the Act of the body. Plato, that the happiness of a Man is in his likeness to God; Aristotle, that a Man is happy in the goods of Fortune. Plato, there will come one that shall teach us to pray, a prophecy of our Saviour. Aristotle, prayers are in vain, because God knows not particulars. Plato, that after death good Men shall enjoy God. Aristotle, no pleasure after this life. Plato, the Souls of the wicked shall be punish't after death; Aristotle, they shall perish with the body, and suffer nothing. Plato, the dead shall rise. Aristotle, à privatione ad habitum. Plato that the Soul and Body of the wicked shall be punish't in Hell. Ari­stotle knew no such matter. These are some instances among many, of the divine temper of the Platonical Philosophy, and the impiety of the Aristotelian; for a further account of which I referre you to the fore-mentioned learned Author. So that I doubt not, but when you have duly consider'd the mat­ter, you'l judge those Reflections the effects of a laudable zeal for Antiquity, and what is more sacred, Truth. To which I adde

[Page 89] (5.) That the Aristotelian was not the antient Philoso­phy, but the Corpuscularian and Atomical, which to the great hinderance of Science lay long buryed in neglect and oblivion, but hath in these latter Ages been again restored to the light and it's deserv'd repute and value. And that the Atomical Hypothesis was the First and most Antient, of which there is any memory in Physiology, is notoriously known to all, that know the Age of Democritus; who was one of those Four Sages that brought the learning of the Aegyptians among the Grecians; Orpheus bringing in The­ology; Thales the Mathematicks; our Democritus, natural Philosophy; and Pythagoras all Three, with the Moral. Now the learning of the Aegyptians came from the Chal­daeans, and was convey'd to them, as some learned Men affirm, by Abraham, who was of kin to Zoroaster the great Chaldaean Legislatour and Philosopher; which Zoroaster lived 290 years after the Flood, and as Pliny saith, was the Schollar of Azonaces, whom Antiquáries affirm to have been of the Schoole of Sem and Heber. The Atomical Philosophy then coming from the Aegyptians to the Grecians, and from the Chaldaeans to them; is without doubt of the most venerable Antiquity; and the Aristotelian a very novelty in compare with that grey Hypothesis: at the best, a degeneracy and corruption of the most antient Wisdom. Yea, and 'tis the complaint of several learned Men, which who­ever knows any thing of Aristotles Sectators will justifie, That the Modern Peripateticks have as farr receded from his sense, as from the Truth of Things. For it hath been the Fashion of his Interpreters both Greeks, Latins, and Arabians, to form whole Doctrines from catches and scraps of sentences, without attending to the analogy and main scope of his Writings. From which method of interpreta­tion hath proceeded a spurious medly of nice, spinose and useless notions, that is but little of kin to Aristotle or nature. So that whatever of genuine Aristotelian is in those works [Page 90] that bare his name; There's little of Aristotle in his Schools. And 'tis no indignity to Antiquity or the Stagy­rite, to oppose the corruption and abuse of both. And to endeavour to restore the Antients to their just estimation, which hath been usurp't from them by a modern and spurious Learning. And though I grudge not Aristotles esteem while it is not prejudicial to the respect we owe his Betters; yet I regret that excessive and undue veneration which fondly sets him so much above all the more valuable Antients. And I'le propose it to your judgment

(6.) Whether 'twas likely that Aristotle was so farr be­yond other Philosophers in his Intellectuals, as these latter Ages have presumed, when he came so farr short of most of them in his Morals? I believe there's a near connection between Truth and Goodness, and there's a taste in the soul whereby it relisheth Truth, as the Palate Meats; which sence and gusto vice depraves and vi [...]iates. So that though Witt may make the Vicious, cunning Sophisters, and subtile Atheists, yet I doubt seldom the best and most exercised Philosophers. Now what the Ancients have related of Aristotle's man­ners, I'le present you in an Instance or two, and dismiss this displeasing subject. Suidas then accuseth him of Sodomy with Hermias, Aeschriones, Palephatus, and Abydenus; St. Jerome of Drunkenness: Lycus and Aristocles, two of his own disciples, charge him with Avarice: Aelian of Cavelling, Loquacity, Scoffing, and Ingratitude; of which last, there are two notorious instances in his usage of Alexander and Plato. How he used his venerable Master, I have already noted. And what return he made to the kindnesses of his Glorious Schollar, you may see in these few words from Arrian, [...]. And to sum up much in one, Timaeus the Historian in Suidas gives this Account of him, That he was forward, impudent, saucy, unwise, indocile, and hatefully glutinous, or in the [Page 91] words of Suidas, [...]. But to conclude these ungrateful remarques, Plutarch makes him a Traytor to Alexander; and Eusebius to his Countrey. And being at last banisht for his impiety, He made himself away by poyson, according to the Testimony of Laertius. Thus then you see an ill Character of Aristo­tle's manners from disinteressed Authorities; on considera­tion of which, 'tis to me matter of some wonder, that the memory of the Vitious should be so blessed, and his autho­rity so irreproveable. Unto all which may be added.

(Lastly) That there is less reason that Aristotle should be valued beyond all others that have had a name for wisdom, if we consider, that he borrowed almost all he writ from the more antient Philosophers, though he had not the inge­nuity and gratitude to acknowledge it: Particularly from Architas and Ocellus, transcribing them word for word in many places, especially the latter; and yet never as much as mention'd him in all his writings. And I think you ascribe more to Aristotle then is his due when you call him the INVENTOUR of SCIENCES; for we owe that honour to others of the Antients; particularly to Zeno the Invention of Logick, and of Rhetorick to Empedocles, accor­ding to his own Testimony in Laertius, [...] (speaking of Zeno) [...]. Perictione a Pythagorean woman writ Metaphysicks▪ before Aristotle. Stobaeus in his Morals hath a Fragment of her Book de Sapientia, of which she declares the subject in these words, [...]. Besides whom Plato, Parmenides, Xenophanes, Pythagoras, the Aegyptians, Trismegistus, and before all, the Chaldeans writ of this Science, long before Aristotle was extant. And, Democritus brought natural Philosophy, as did Pytha­goras [Page 92] the Moral, from the Aegyptians, before the Stagyritè was an Infant. And for the Mathematicks, they were studied in Aegypt, before He was born in Greece, [...], is his own confession.

Thus then you see Sir, we are not so much beholden to Aristotle, as most men have presumed. And perhaps by this time you may be convinc't that we have no reason so passionately to revere his Authority. But whither you are, or not, I am not much concerned, being willing to leave all men to the liberty of their own sentiments. It sufficeth for my purpose, that I have given you some of the grounds of my dissatisfactions in Aristotle and his Hypothe­seis. If you are convinced, at the bar of your judgment, I am justified; if you are not, your dissent I presume is ra­tional, and when I have seen your reasons, I shall either be more disposed to your apprehensions, or be more con­firm'd in the justice and reasonableness of mine own. To which I'le add no more, but my desires of your pardon of this voluminous trouble, and acceptance of the affectionate regards of

Your Humble Servant J. G.

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