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[Book IV.] Chap. II.

1. That there are some Ideas of the Mind which were not stamped or imprinted upon it from the Sensible Objects without, and therefore must needs arise from the Innate Vigour and Activity of the Mind it self, is evident, in that there are, First, Ideas of such things as neither are Affections of Bodies, nor could be imprinted or conveyed by any Local Motions, nor can be pictured at all by the Fancy in any sensible Colours; such as are the Ideas of Wisdom, <149> Folly, Prudence, Imprudence, Knowledge, Ignorance, Verity, Falsity, Vertue, Vice, Honesty, Dishonesty, Justice, Injustice, Volition, Cogitation, nay, of Sense it self, which is a Species of Cogitation, and which is not perceptible by any Sense; and many other such like Notions as include something of Cogitation in them, or refer to Cogitative Beings only; which Ideas must needs spring from the Active Power and Innate Fecundity of the Mind it self, Because the Corporeal Objects of Sense can imprint no such things upon it. Secondly, in that there are many Relative Notions and Ideas, attributed as well to Corporeal as Incorporeal things that proceed wholly from the Activity of the Mind Comparing one thing with another. Such as are Cause, Effect, Means, End, Order, Proportion, Similitude, Dissimilitude, Equality, Inequality, Aptitude, Inaptitude, Symmetry, Asymmetry, Whole and Part, Genus and Species, and the like.

2. But that which imposes upon Mens Judgements here, so as to make them think, that these are all Passive Impressions made upon the Soul by the Objects of Sense, is nothing else but this; because the Notions both of those Relative Ideas, and also of those <150> other Immaterial things, (as Vertue, Wisdom, the Soul, God) are most Commonly Excited and awakened occasionally from the Appulse of Outward Objects knocking at the Doors of our Senses. And these Men not distinguishing betwixt the Outward Occasion or Invitation of those Cogitations, and the immediate Active or Productive Cause of them, impute them therefore all alike, as well these intelligible, as these other Sensible Ideas, or Phantasms, to the Efficiency or Activity of the outward Objects upon us. Wherefore that we may the better understand how far the Passion of Sense reaches, and where the Activity of the Mind begins, we will compare these three Things together: First, a Mirror, Looking-glass or Crystal Globe; Secondly, a Living Eye, that is, a Seeing or Perceptive Mirror or Looking-glass; Thirdly, a Mind or Intellect Superadded to this Living Eye or Seeing Mirror.

3. First therefore, when the same Objects are equally Exposed or held before a Crystal Globe or Looking-glass, and a Living Eye; there are all the same Impressions made upon the Crystal Globe, that there are upon the Living Eye; which appears from <151> hence, because the Eye looking upon the Crystal Globe or Mirror, will see all the same Images reflected to it self from thence, that it perceived before immediately from the Objects themselves. The Motion and Pressure of the Etherial [1]Globulous Particles, in which the Nature of Light is conceived to Consist, from every Opake Object, bearing alike every way upon that which resists, and therefore as much upon the Mirror as the Eye: So that there is every jot as much Corporeal Passion in the Mirror or Crystal Globe, as in the Glassy part of the Living Eye; for, as we said before, the Corporeal Part of the Eye is indeed nothing else but a Mirror or Looking-glass. And yet notwithstanding, the Mirror or Chrystal Globe doth not see or Perceive any thing as the Eye doth; From whence we learn, First, that Things are never perceived meerly by their own Force and Activity upon the Percipient, but by the Innate Force, Power and Ability of that which perceives. And therefore, Secondly, that Sense it self is not a meer Corporeal Passion; but a Perception of the Bodily Passions proceeding from some Power and Ability supposed to reside in <152> a Sensitive Soul, Vitally united to that respective Body. Which Perception, though it have something of Energy in it, as being a Cogitation; yet it is rightly called a Passion of the Soul, because it is not a clear Intellective or Cognoscitive Perception of the Motions of the Body, but a Passive or Sympathetical Perception only. Whereby, according to Nature’s Instinct, it hath several Seemings or Appearances begotten in it of those resisting Objects without it at a Distance, in respect of Colour, Magnitude, Figure and Local Motion; by reason of the Difference of those Rectilinear Motions communicated from them by the Intermediate [2]Globulous Particles, and impressed upon the Optick Nerves.

Wherefore the Living Eye immediately perceives nothing but these Corporeal Passions which are made equally upon it, and the Mirror or Crystal Globe alike, by the Motion of that Intermediate or subtle Body which causeth Light; which Corporeal Passions being also Passively perceived by that Vital Principle called the Sensitive Power residing in the Eye, all Passion from the Outward Object there ceaseth, and goes no fur <153> ther: But that Power of the Soul that next followeth, which is the third thing that we mentioned before, the Intellect, begins immediately to exert and display its Activity upon the Object passively perceived by Sense.

4. But the better to illustrate the Business in hand, let us again suppose some Ingenious Piece of Mechanism, or Artificial Automaton; as for Example, an Horologe or Watch, at once held before the Mirror or Crystal Globe, and also exposed to the Particular View of the Living or Sentient Eye, both in the Outside and Interior Fabrick of it; so that as every Part in it is reflected from the Mirror, so it may be Consciously perceived also by the Sentient Eye, in a Particular Successive View. Now the Sentient Eye will be conscious or Perceptive of nothing in all this, but only its being Variously affected, from different Colours, Figures, Protuberancies, Cavities, Sculptures, Local Motions, one after another, all the same things which were impressed on the Crystal Globe or Mirror, and reflected from it, there being no Difference at all betwixt the one and the other, but that the Eye was Conscious or Perceptive of what it suffered, but the Mirror not. But now the Mind or Intellect being superadded to this Sentient <154> Eye, and exerting its Active and more Comprehensive Power upon all that which was reflected from the Mirror, and passively perceived by the Sentient Eye, as it doth actually and Intellectually comprehend the same Things over again, which Sense had perceived before in another Manner (of which we must speak afterward) so it proceeds further, and compares all the several Parts of this ingenious Machine or Self-mover one with another, taking Notice, First, of the Spring, as the Original and Cause of all the Motion in it; of the Chain or String, by the Mediation of which that Motion is communicated to the Fusee; of the Balance that reciprocating moderates the Motion of the several Wheels, some greater, some lesser, propagating the Motion from one to another; of the Horary Circle divided into Equal Parts; and, lastly, of the Index, moving round about the Circle, through equal Space in equal Time, all these in their several [3]Relations to one another and the Whole. Whereupon the Intellect, besides Figure, Colour, Magnitude and Motions, raises and excites within it self the Intelligible Ideas of Cause, Effect, Means, End, <155> Priority and Posteriority, Equality and Inequality, Order and Proportion, Symmetry and Asymmetry, Aptitude and Inaptitude, Sign and Thing signified, Whole and Part, in a manner all the Logical and Relative Notions that are. Whereas the Sentient Eye, by which this whole Mechanism was represented to the Intellect, perceived none of all these things; neither Cause nor Effect, nor Equality nor Irregularity, nor Order nor Proportions, nor Symmetry nor Asymmetry, nor Sign nor Thing signified, nor Whole nor Part; since there is no Colour nor Figure in any of these Things. And if the Sentient Eye could dispute with the Mind or Intellect, it would Confidently avow and maintain, that there were no such Entities as those in this [4]Self-moving Machine, and that the Understanding was abused and deceived in those Apprehensions; Since all that was impressed from the Object was, by the Sentient Eye, faithfully transmitted to it, and the Intellect received all its Intelligence or Information from it. And to make its Cause Good, Sense would appeal to the Mirrour or Crystal Globe standing by, in which there were no <156> Images of any of those Invisible Ideas or Logical Notions Reflected. Wherefore since Sense doth freely conceive and ingenuously own, that none of these Ideas are passively and phantasmatically stamped upon it from the Objects without; be they what they will, Real or not Real, certain it is that they are the Objects of the Intellect, and they must of Necessity be raised in it by its own Innate Vigour and Activity.

5. Indeed though it should be granted, that the [5]Relations of Cause and Effect, Whole and Parts, and the like, were Meer Notions of the Mind and Modes of conceiving in us, that only signify what Things are Relatively to Intellect; yet it would not follow from hence, that they had no Reality at all, but were absolute Non Entities; Because Intellect being a Real Thing, and that which indeed hath more of Entity in it than Matter or Body, the Modifications of Intellect must needs be as Real Things as the Modifications of Matter; and therefore Cause and Effect, Whole and Part, Symmetry and Asymmetry, and all the Other Logical Notions would have as much Reality in them as Hard <157> and Soft, Moist and Dry, Hot and Cold, which, though but Modifications of Matter, are looked upon as very Real Things; and such Intellectuals as were Relative to Intellect be as Real, as those Sensible Phantasms which are Relative to Sense. But this must not be granted, that the Modes of Conception in the Understanding, (where all Truth is) are disagreeable to the Reality of the Things conceived by them; and so being unconformable, are therefore False. Wherefore, that these[6]Relations are not (Though Sense doth not perceive them) meer Notions or Figments of the Mind, without any Fundamental Reality in the Things themselves without us, corresponding to them, appears from hence, because Art and Wisdom are most Real Things, which beget Real Effects of the greatest Moment and Consequence in Nature and Human Life of any Thing; and yet are Conversant about nothing else but only the Relations, Proportions, Aptitudes of Things to one another, and to certain Ends. Now if these were all meer Figments, and nothing but Logical Notions or [7]Beings of Reason, then there could be no such Realities produced <158> out of them. Nay, then Art and Wisdom themselves must needs be Figments and Fancies, and likewise it would be indifferent whatever a Man did in order to any End or Effect; and all Men (as Protagoras held) would be really alike wise and skilful. Then there would be no other Extrinsecal Causality of any Effect but that of Efficiency, Force or Power; which, in Corporeal Things, is nothing else but Local Motion. And no such Thing as the Causality of Skill and Art (that is commonly called the Exemplary Cause) distinct from Force, Power and blind Impetuosity. Nay, then Virtue, Justice, Honesty, must of Necessity be Figments also, because Moral Good and Evil are Schetical and Relative Things; and which is more yet, External Convenience and Inconvenience, Utility and Inutility themselves, be nothing else but Fancies also.

6. But though the Verdict and Testimony of Sense ought to be admitted as authentick in this Particular, as to what is or is not Passively impressed upon us from without, because it is not possible that any thing should be impressed upon the Intellect from Sensible things, but it must needs pass through the Medium of Sense, and so be transmitted there <159> by unto the Understanding, which cannot be, unless Sense be Conscious thereof; Yet notwithstanding, Sense is not at all to be heard, as to the Reality or Non Reality of these Relative Ideas, it being no Competent Judge in that Controversy. Because since the Knowledge of Things doth not arise from the Activity, Energy and Radiation of the Objects without upon us, Passively Received by Sense, but from the Active and Comprehensive Energy or Activity of the Mind it self, as we have already observed, [8]That in Knowing all Things, it rather useth its own Power, than that of the Things which are known. For since all Judgement is the Act of him that judgeth, it must needs be that every one perform his own Work, not by the Power of another, but by his Own Faculty, as the afore-commended Boetius expresseth it. We ought not to conclude that those Relative Ideas are therefore meer Figments or Modes of conceiving in us, because Sense is not Conscious of any such Things Passively impressed upon <160> it from Without, and because that lower and Narrow Faculty Comprehends them not; but rather acquiesce in the Sentiment of that larger and more Comprehensive Faculty the Intellect, that judges of Things by exerting its own Active Power upon them.

7. Wherefore, if we well consider it, we shall find that not only the Beauty and Pulchritude, but also the Strength and Ability of Natural and Corporeal Things themselves, depend upon these Relations and Proportions of one Thing to another. For what is Pulchritude in Visible Objects, or Harmony in Sounds, but the Proportion, Symmetry and Commensuration of Figures, and Sounds to one another, whereby Infinity is Measured and Determined, and Multiplicity and Variety vanquished and triumphed over by Unity, and by that means they become grateful and pleasing Objects to the Ear and Eye of Intellectual Auditors and Spectators, there being as it were certain Ludicrous Irritations and Symbolical Resemblances of Art and Wisdom, nay, and Vertue too (as we shall shew afterward) that is, of Intellectuality in general appearing in them, Whereby the Mind beholds as it were its own Face and Image reflected to it self from a Corporeal Glass.


But because many will be ready to say here, that Beauty is nothing but a Fancy neither, and therefore cannot argue any Reality in these Schetical Things; I add that even the Strength and Ability of Corporeal Things themselves depends upon the mutual [9]Relations and Proportions of one thing to another. And this all Men will be sensible of as something. And the Truth hereof Evidently appears from the Mechanical Powers. Nay, the Health and Strength of the Body of Animals, arises from the Configuration of the Organical Parts, and the fit Contemperation of Humours and Insensible Parts with one another; so that if this Harmonical [10]Temperature of the whole Body be disturbed and put out of Tune, Weakness and [11]Languishing will immediately seize upon it. Nay, doth not all the Strength, as well as the Comeliness and Beauty of an Army, consist in Order? And therefore if we should suppose some subtle Sophister and Popular Orator, sent from the Quarters of an Enemy into a Vast, Numerous and puissant Army, that should insinuate to the Common Soldiers so far, as generally to perswade them, that Or <162> der was nothing but a meer Fancy or Logical Notion; a Thing craftily devised by their Commanders, meerly to keep them in Subjection, that they might the better tyrannize over them, and rule them as they please; insomuch that they should all at length altogether neglect their Ranks and Files, and put themselves wholly into Disorder and Confusion, and in this Fashion prepare themselves to encounter their approaching Enemy, would they not hereby be betrayed to certain Ruin, though the Enemy should be but a Small Handful of Men, but well ordered and well commanded? For Order is that which makes Things, [12]with United Forces, to conspire all to one End, whereby the Whole hath the Force and Ability of all the several Particular Strengths conjoined and United into one.

8. Therefore I say, in the next place, returning to our former Instance of an Automaton, or Horologe, that though those several Relative Ideas of Cause, Effect, Symmetry, Proportion, Order, Whole and Part and the like, considered formally as [13]Conceptions of the Mind, be only in the Intellect it self (as the Ideas and Conceptions of all other Things <163> likewise are;) yet notwithstanding the Intellect doth forge or falsify any thing in apprehending of them, in that Material [14]Self-Mover represented to it by Sense, because all the several [15]Relations are fundamentally and Really in the same, though they could not be stamped upon Sense materially, and received passively from it. And therefore that the true Nature, Formal [16]Reason, Essence and Idea of this [17]Self-Mover, Watch or Horologe, is really compounded and made up of those several [18]Relations, as Ingredients into it, so that it cannot possibly be understood without them; though Sense could not reach to the Comprehension of any one of them, much less of this whole Logical System or [19]Collection of them. It being impossible that the Nature of [20]a Self-Mover, Horologe or Watch, should be otherwise Understod {sic} than by the Comprehension of these Relative Ideas; and by such a Logical, Unitive, Comprehensive Power and Activity, as can frame out of them one Idea of the Whole. For an Horologe or Watch is not meer Silver or Gold, Brass and <164> Steel, any way jumbled, mingled or confounded together, but it is such an Apt and Proportionable Disposition of Certain Quantities of those several Materials into several Parts of such certain Figures, contemperated together, as may Harmoniously conspire to make up one Equal and Uniform Motion, which running as it were parallel with the Motion of Time, and passing round the Horary Circle, and being measured in that Horary Circle, may also measure out and distinguish the Quantity of that Silent and Successive Flux, which, like a still and deep River, carries down all Things along with it indiscernably, and without any Noise; and which, in its Progressive Motion, treads so lightly and softly, that it leaves no Traces, Prints or Footsteps at all behind it.

9. Wherefore the Eye of Sense, though it be fixed never so much upon the Material Outside of this [21]Self-Mover, yet it never comprehends the Formal Nature of it within it self, as it is [22]a Whole made up of several Parts, United not so much by Corporeal Contact or Continuity, as by their Relative Conspiration to one Certain End. Sense being <165> like one of those narrow Telescopes, by which the Eye looking upon the Moon, can never view it all at once, and see the Site and Configuration of all the several Mountains and Valleys, and Seas in it, and have one comprehensive Idea of the Whole; but taking it in the Piecemeal Part after Part, leaves the Intelligent Spectator afterwards to compile and make up one Entire Draught or Map of Stenography out of all those several Particular or Partial Views.

So that if we will speak properly, we cannot say that the Eye sees any [23]Machine or [24]Self-mover, for it is but variously affected from the Material Part of it, perceiving several Passions in it self from the several Colours and Figures of it, it being so far from comprehending the Formal [25]Reason of it, as it is a [26]Whole made up of several Parts, according to several [27]Relations and Proportions contributing thereto, that it cannot reach to any one Relative Idea, neither doth bare Fancy go any further than Sense. Or else the Difference between Intellect and Sense may be resembled by the Difference betwixt the Sense <166> of Sight and Touch. For Touch groping, perceives but as it were a Point at once, the Eye Comprehends the whole Superficies. Sense sees particular Things absolutely, Intellect Compares them according to those Relations they have to one another, has a Comprehensive Idea of a [28]Whole made up of several Parts as one Thing. And therefore the Form, [29]Reason or Intelligible Idea of a [30]Self-Mover or Horologe, was never stamped or impressed upon the Soul from without, but upon occasion of the Sensible Idea excited and exerted from the inward Active and Comprehensive Power of the Intellect it self.

10. There are many other such Ideas of the Mind, of certain [31]Wholes made up of several Corporeal Parts, which, though Sometimes Locally discontinued, yet are joyned together by [32]Relations, and Habitudes to one another (founded in some Actions of them, as they are Cogitative Beings) and by Order all conspiring into one thing; which, though they are altogether imperceptible by Sense, and therefore were never stamped or impressed upon the Mind from the Objects without; <167> yet, notwithstanding, are not meer Figments or [33]Beings of Reason, but Things of the Greatest Reality, founded in certain Actions of Thinking and Cogitative Beings; which are altogether imperceptible by Sense, and therefore could not possibly be outwardly stamped upon the Mind; as for Example, a Polity or Commonwealth, called an Artificial Man, which is a Company of many United together by Consent or Contract under one Government, to be regulated by some certain Laws as it were by one Will for the Good of the Whole; where, though the Eye may see the Particular Persons, (or at least their outsides) that are the respective Members thereof, yet it can neither see the Bond which unites them together, which is nothing but Relation, nor comprehend the [34]Whole that is made up of them, that is, a Polity or Commonwealth, according to the Formal Nature of it, which is an Idea that proceeds meerly from the Unitive Power and Activity of the Mind it self.

In a word, all the Ideas of things called Artificial or Mechanical, contain something in them that never came from Sense, nor was ever stamped upon the Soul from the Objects <168> without, which, though it be not meerly notional or Imaginary, but really belongs to the Nature of that Thing, yet is no otherwise than Intellectually Comprehended. As for Example, an House or Palace is not only Stone, Brick, Mortar, Timber, Iron, Glass, heaped together; but the Very Essence and Formal [35]Reason of it is made up of Relative or Schetical Notions, it being a certain Disposition of those several Materials into a [36]Whole or [37]Collection, consisting of several Parts, Rooms, Stairs, Passages, Doors, Chimneys, Windows, convenient for Habitation, and fit for the several Uses of Men; in which there is the Logick of Whole and Parts, Order, Proportion, Symmetry, Aptitude, Concinnity, all complicated with Wood, Stone, Iron and Glass, as it were informing and adorning the Rude and Confused Mass of Matter, and making it both beautiful and Serviceable. And therefore for this Cause, no Man that is in his Wits will say, that a stately and Royal Palace hath therefore less Reality, Entity, and Substantiality in it, than an Heap of Rubbish confusedly cast together; because, forsooth, the Idea of it partly <169> consists of Logical Notions, which are thought to be Meer Imaginary Things: whereas the [38]Whole is all Solid Matter without this Notional Form. For this Logical Form, which is the Passive Stamp or Print of Intellectuality in it, the first Archetypes contained in the Idea or Skill of the Architect, and thence introduced into the Rude Matter, successively with much Pains and Labour, is the only Thing that distinguishes it from meer Dirt and Rubbish, and gives it the Essence of an House or Palace. And it hath therefore the more of Entity in it, because it partakes of Art or Intellectuality. But the Eye or Sense of a Brute, though it have as much Passively impressed upon it from without, as the Soul of a Man hath, when it looks upon the most Royal and Magnificent Palace, if it should see all the Inside also as well as the Outside, could not Comprehend from thence the Formal Idea and Nature of an House or Palace, which nothing but an Active Intellectual Principle can reach unto.

11. Neither is this true of such Things only as are Commonly called Artificial, but also of Natural Compounded Things, such <170> as Plants and Animals are. And indeed if we Consider Things Philosophically, we shall not find any such Essential Difference as is Commonly supposed, betwixt Things called Artificial and Natural. For there is a Nature in all Artificial Things, and again, an Artifice in all Compounded Natural Things. Plants and Animals being nothing else but Artificial Mechanisms, the latter of which Especially are contrived with infinitely more Wit, Variety and Curiosity than any Mechanisms or [39]Self-Movers that were ever yet produced by Human Art. Wherefore the true Form of an Animal, if we attend only to the Mechanism of the Body (for we must acknowledge something else not only in Men but also in Brutes, if they have any Cogitation besides Mechanism, which is a Substance of another Nature, or a Cogitative Being united to the Body) is an Idea that includes many Relative and Logical Notions in it, and therefore could never be stamped upon the Soul by Sense; For Sense only takes Notice of several Colours and Figures either in the outside or the inside of any Animals, but doth not sum them up in one [40]Whole. But the Idea of it, as col <171> lected into one Mechanical [41]Self-Mover, consisting of many Organical Parts fitly proportioned together, and all Harmoniously conspiring to one End, to make it every way a fit Habitation for a Cogitative Substance to reside in, in respect of Nutrition, Local Motion, Sense, and all other Functions of Life: Such an Idea, I say, that hath something of Logick in it, is only Conceivable by the Unitive, Active and Comprehensive Power of the Intellect.

The same is to be affirmed of that huge and Vast Automaton, which some will have to be an Animal likewise, the Visible World or Material Universe, Commonly called [42]Cosmos or Mundus, the World, from the Beauty of it: Whether we mean thereby that one Single Vortex, to which our Planetary Earth belongs, or a System of as many Vortices as we see fixed Stars in the Heavens, their Central Suns and Circumferential Planets moving round about them respectively. Now Sense looking round about, and making many Particular Views, sees now one fixed Star, and then another; now the Moon, then the Sun; here a Mountain, there a Valley; at one Time <172> a River, at another a Sea, Particular Vegetables and Animals one after another: But it cannot sum up or unite altogether, nor rise to any Comprehensive Idea of the Whole at once, as it is one or many Mechanical [43]Self-Movers most Curiously and Artificially framed of innumerable Parts; In which there are all manner of Logical [44]Relations possible offered to the Mind, but also fitly proportioned with such admirable Symmetries and Correspondencies in respect of one another and the Whole, that they perfectly conspire into one most Orderly and Harmonious Form.

Hitherto therefore we have seen, that the Relative Ideas that we have in our Mind, are not Passions impressed upon the Soul from the Objects without; but arise from the innate Activity of the Mind it self; and therefore because the Essences or Ideas of all Compounded Corporeal Things themselves, whether Artificial or Natural; that is, whether made by the Artifice of Men or Nature, always necessarily include these Logical [45]Relations in them, we have demonstratively proved from thence, that no Corporeal Compounded <173> Thing whatsoever is understood by Sense, nor the Idea of it passively stamped upon the Mind, from the Objects without, but comprehended only by the large Unitive Power of the Intellect, and exerted from the Innate Activity thereof.

12. But the Case is still clearer concerning those other Ideas before-mentioned, of the several Modes of Cogitative Beings, or such as involve or include some Relation to them; that these are not by the Passive Impresses from the Outward Objects by Sense; although they are often occasionally invited and drawn forth by them. Which we shall illustrate by the former Instance of an Artificial [46]Self-Mover exhibited first to the View of Sense, and afterward actively comprehended by the Understanding. After the Mind hath framed a clear Idea of this [47]Self-Mover within it self, the End or Design whereof is to measure the Equal Motion either of the Sun and Heavens, or Earth, (according to Different Astronomical Hypotheses) by the Equal Motion of this [48]Self-Mover, and so to distinguish or mark out to us the Quantities of that silent and undiscerned Flux of Time; and <174> when it hath considered how aptly conducible Every part of this Mechanism is to that Design, and how there is neither the least Redundancy nor Deficiency in any Thing in order thereunto, and of the Beauty and Elegancy of the Fabrick, making a further and a more Inward Reflection upon the same, it plainly perceives this accurate Contrivance to be but a Passive Print or Stamp of some Active and Living Art or Skill upon it: wherefore the Ideas of Art and Skill are upon this Occasion naturally exerted from it; neither doth it rest in considering of Art and Skill abstractedly, but because these are Modes of an Existent Cogitative Being, it thinks presently of some Particular Intelligent Being, the Artificer or Author of this curious Fabrick, and looking further into it, finds his Name also engraven in Legible Characters upon the same, whereupon he forthwith pronounces the Sound of it. Whereas the Living Eye, that is, Sense alone in its antecedent View, as it could not espy any Logical [49]Relations or Notions there, so neither can it perceive any Ideas of Art or Skill in it, they having neither Figure nor Colour in them, <175> nor of Author and Artificer, any more than it could see the Sound of the Artificer’s Name in the engraven Sculptures or Characters of it; for the Eye could see no more than was represented in or reflected from the Crystal Globe or Mirror: Wherefore the Ideas of Art and Skill, Author and Artificer were not Passively imprinted upon the Intellect from the Material [50]Self-Mover, but only occasionally invited from the Mind it self, as the Figures of the Engraven Letters did not passively impress the Sound of the Artificer’s Name upon him, but only occasion him to exert from his own Activity.

13. Just in the same manner it happens many times in the Contemplation of that Great [51]Self-Mover of the Material Universe, which is the [52]Artifice of God, the Artifice of the best Mechanist, though there be no more passively impressed upon us from it, than there is upon the Diaphanous Air, or Liquid Ether contiguous to all Solid Bodies by Local Motion, of which only Sensitive Beings have a Conscious Perception; yet there is a Wonderful Scene of various Thoughts and Motions raised in the Mind thereupon, which <176> are only occasionally invited by those Stamps and Impressions made from the Material Fabrick, and its various Furniture without, but owe their true Original and Efficiency to nothing else but the Innate Vigour and Activity of the Mind it self. Some of which we have already Instanced in, the Ideas of those Relative [53]Considerations of Corporeal Things themselves and their Parts to one another; by means of which the Intellect rises up to that Comprehensive View of the Natures of Particular Corporeal Things, and the Universal Mundane System within it self all at once; which Sense perceiving only by little and little, and taking in as it were Point after Point, cannot sum up its Partial Perceptions into the entire Idea of any one [54]Whole. But the Intellect doth not rest here, but upon occasion of those Corporeal Things thus Comprehended in themselves, naturally rises higher to the framing and exciting of certain Ideas from within it self, of other things not existing in those sensible Objects, but absolutely Incorporeal: For being ravished with the Contemplation of this admirable Mechanism and Artificial Contrivance of the Material Universe, <177> forthwith it naturally conceives it to be nothing else but the Passive Stamp, Print and Signature of some Living Art and Wisdom; as the Pattern, Archetype and Seal of it, and so excites from within it self an Idea of that Divine Art and Wisdom. Nay, considering further, how all Things in this great Mundane Machine or Animal (as the Antients would have it) are contrived, not only for the Beauty of the whole, but also for the Good of Every Part in it, that is endued with Life and Sense, it exerts another Idea, viz. of Goodness and Benignity from within it self, besides that of Art and Wisdom, as the Queen Regent and Empress of Art, whereby Art is Employed, Regulated and determined; now both these Things, whereof the First is Art, Wisdom and Knowledge; the Second, Goodness, Benignity and Morality, being looked upon as Modes of some Intellectual Being or Mind in which they exist, it from hence presently makes up an Idea of God, as the Author or Architect of this great and Boundless Machine; A Mind infinitely Good and Wise; and so as it were resounds and re-echoes back the Great Creator’s Name, which from those Visible Characters impressed upon the Material Universe, had pierced loudly into its <178> Ears, but in such an indiscernible manner, that Sense listening never so attentively, could not perceive the least Murmur or Whisper of it. And this is the most Natural Scale by which the Intellectual Mind in the Contemplation of Corporeal Things ascends to God; from the Passive Prints and Signatures of that one Art and Wisdom that appears in the Universe, by taking Notice from thence of the Exemplary or Archetypal Cause, one Infinite and Eternal Mind setting his Seal upon all. For as he that hears a Consort of Musicians playing a Lesson, consisting of six or eight several Parts, all Conspiring to make up one Harmony; will immediately Conclude, that there was some other Cause of that Harmony besides those several Particular Efficients, that struck the several Instruments; for every one of them could be but a Cause of his own Part which he played: But the Unity of the whole Harmony, into which all the several Parts conspire, must needs proceed from the Art and Musical Skill of some one Mind, the Exemplary and Archetypal Cause of that Vocal Harmony, which was but a Passive Print or Stamp of it: So though the Atheist might possibly perswade himself, that every particular Creature was the first <179> Author or Efficient of that Part which it played in the Universe, by a certain Innate Power of its own; yet all the Parts of the Mundane System Conspiring into one Perfect Harmony, there must of Necessity be some One Universal Mind, the Archetypal and Exemplary Cause thereof, Containing the Plot of the whole Mundane Musick, as one entire Thing made up of so many several Parts within himself.

14. But that oftentimes there is more taken Notice of and perceived by the Mind, both in the Sensible Objects themselves, and by occasion of them, than was impressed from them, or passively received by Sense; which therefore must needs proceed from some Inward Active Principle in that which Perceives, I shall make it further appear by some other Instances.

For, first, let a Brute and a Man at the same time be made Spectators of one and the same Artificial Statue, Picture or Landskip; here the Brute will passively receive all that is Impressed from the Outward Object upon Sense by Local Motion, as well as the Man, all the Several Colours and Figures of it: And yet the Man will presently perceive something in this Statue or Picture, <180> which the Brute takes no Notice of at all, viz. Beauty and Pulchritude, and Symmetry, besides the Liveliness of the Effigies and the Pourtraiture. The Eye of the Brute being every jot as Good a Glass or Mirror, and perhaps endued with a more perspicacious Sense or Power of Passive Perception, than that of a Man.

Or again, Let both a Man and a Brute at the same time hear the same Musical Airs, the Brute will only be sensible of Noise and Sounds; but the Man will also perceive Harmony in them, and be very much delighted with it; nay, even Enthusiastically transported by it. Wherefore the Brute perceiving all the Sounds, as well as the Man, but nothing of the Harmony, the Difference must needs arise from some inward Active Principle or Anticipation in the Man, which the Brute hath not.

And indeed the Reason is the same both in Visibles and Audibles; for the Sense of a Man, by reason of its Vicinity and Neighbourhood to Reason and Intellectuality, lodged in the same Soul with it, must needs be Coloured with some Tincture of it; or have some Passive Impresses of the same upon it: and therefore when it finds or meets with in <181> sensible Objects any Foot-steps or Resemblances thereof, any Thing that hath Cognation with Intellectuality; as Proportion, Symmetry and Order have, being the Passive Stamps and Impresses of Art and Skill (which are Intellectual Things) upon Matter, it must needs be highly gratified with the same. But the Soul of a Brute having no Intellectual Anticipations in it, but barely Suffering from the Corporeal Objects without, can have no Sense of any Thing but what their Activity impresseth upon it.

Nay further, the Man will also espy some Symbolical Resemblances of Morality, of Vertue and Vice in the variously proportioned Sounds and Airs; for there are [55]Ethical (as Aristotle hath observed) as well as [56]Enthusiastical Harmonies, as the Physiognomists in like manner observe Signatures of Morality in the Countenances of Men and their Pictures, which it is yet less possible that a Brute should be sensible of; these Differences arising, not from the Absolute Nature of the Objects without, or their bare Impression which they make; but the Different Analogy which they have to some inward <182> and Active Anticipations which they meet withal in the Percipient. For the Man hath certain Moral Anticipations and Signatures stamped inwardly upon his Soul, which makes him presently take Notice of whatsoever symbolizes with it in Corporeal Things; but the Brute hath none.

15. And this will still further appear, if we again compare the Judgement of some Excellent Artists in Painting and Musick with that of an Ordinary Vulgar Person, that hath not any acquired Skill in either Faculty. For the Skilful and expert Limner will observe many Elegancies and Curiosities of Art, and be highly pleased with several Strokes and Shadows in a Picture, where a Common Eye can discern nothing at all; and a Musical Artist hearing a Consort of exact Musicians playing some excellent Composure of many Parts, will be exceedingly ravished with many Harmonical Airs and Touches, that a Vulgar Ear will be utterly insensible of. Nay, such an one perhaps would be more pleased with the streperous Noise of a Single Fiddle, or the Rustical Musick of the Country-Bagpipes, or the Dull Humming of a Jew’s Trump, than the fullest and most exquisitely composed Harmony.


And the Reason is the same with what was before suggested, because the Artists of either kind have many Inward Anticipations of Skill and Art in their Minds; which being awakened by those Passive Impressions of the same Skill or Art in the Outward Objects that Strike upon their Senses, there arises immediately an Inward Grateful Sense and Sympathy from the Correspondence and Analogy that is betwixt them; Art and Skill in the Mind of the Musical Hearer, finding [57]something akin to its self in those Harmonious Airs, some Foot-steps and Resemblance of it self gratefully closing with them. Of which Vital Sympathy, there is vulgarly thought to be some Resemblance in Nature; when, upon the striking of a String in one Viol, another String, that is an Unison to it in a distant Viol, will dance and leap; and that not from any Mechanical Cause (as some conceive) Passively only, but from a Vital and Active Principle in Nature, which is affected with Concord and Harmony. Now there is yet a Pulchritude of another kind; a more Interiour Symmetry and Harmony in the Relations, Proportions, Aptitudes and Corre <184> spondencies of Things to one another in the Great Mundane System, or Vital Machine of the Universe, which is all Musically and Harmonically composed; for which Cause the Antients made Pan, that is, Nature to play upon an Harp; but Sense, which only passively perceives particular outward Objects, doth here, like the Brute, hear nothing but meer Noise and Sound and Clatter, but no Musick or Harmony at all; having no Active Principle and Anticipation within it self to comprehend it by, and correspond or vitally sympathize with it; whereas the Mind of a Rational and Intellectual Being will be ravished and Enthusiastically transported in the Contemplation of it; and, of its own Accord, dance to this Pipe of Pan, Nature’s Intellectual Musick and Harmony.

16. But I shall yet further illustrate this Business, that the Mind may Actively Comprehend more in the outward Objects of Sense, and by occasion of them, than is passively received and impressed from them, by another Instance. Suppose a learned written or printed Volume, held before the Eye of a Brute-Creature or illiterate Person; either of them will passively receive all that is impressed upon Sense from those Delineations; to whom there <185> will be nothing but several Scrawls or Lines of Ink drawn upon White Paper. But if a Man that hath inward Anticipations of Learning in him, look upon them, He will immediately have another Comprehension of them than that of Sense, and a strange Scene of Thoughts presently represented to his Mind from them; he will see Heaven, Earth, Sun, Moon and Stars, Comets, Meteors, Elements, in those Inky Delineations; he will read profound Theorems of Philosophy, Geometry, Astronomy in them; learn a great deal of new Knowledge from them that he never understood before, and thereby justly admire the Wisdom of the Composer of them: Not that all this was passively stamped upon his Soul by Sense from those Characters; for Sense, as I said before, can perceive nothing here but Inky Scrawls, and the intelligent Reader will many times Correct his Copy, finding Errata’s in it; but because his Mind was before furnished with Certain inward Anticipations, that such Characters signify the Elements of certain Sounds, those Sounds, certain Notions or Cogitations of the Mind; and because he hath an Active Power of Exciting any such Cogitations within himself, he reads in those sensible Delineations, the <186> Passive Stamps or Prints of another Man’s Wisdom or Knowledge upon them, and also learns Knowledge and Instruction from them, not as infused into his Mind from those sensible Characters, but by reason of those Hints and Significations thereby Proposed to it, accidentally kindled, awakened and excited in it: For all but the Phantasms of black Inky Strokes and Figures, arises from the Inward Activity of his own Mind: Wherefore this Instance in it self shews, how the Activity of the Mind may Comprehend more in and from sensible Objects, than is passively imprinted by them upon Sense.

But now, in the Room of this Artificial Book in Volumes, let us Substitute the Book of Nature, the whole Visible and Material Universe, printed all over with the Passive Characters and Impressions of Divine Wisdom and Goodness, but legible only to an Intellectual Eye; for to the Sense both of Man and Brute, there appears nothing else in it but as in the other, so many Inky Scrawls, i. e. nothing but Figures and Colours; but the Mind or Intellect, which hath an Inward and Active participation of the same Divine Wisdom that made it; and being printed all over with the same Archety <187> pal Seal, upon occasion of those sensible Delineations represented to it, and taking notice of whatsoever is cognate to it, Exerting its own Inward Activity from thence, will not have only a Wonderful Scene and large Prospect of other Thoughts laid open before it, and Variety of Knowledge, Logical, Mathematical, Metaphysical, Moral displayed; but also clearly Read the Divine Wisdom and Goodness, in every Page of this great Volume, as it were written in large and legible Characters.

[1] Globuli.

[2] Globuli.

[3] Scheses.

[4] Automaton.

[5] Scheses.

[6] Scheses.

[7] Entia Rationis.

[8] In Cognoscendo cuncta, suâ potiùs facultate quàm rerum quæ cognoscuntur uti. Cum enim omne Judicium Judicantis actus existat, necesse est ut suam quisque operam non ex alienâ, sed ex propriâ facultate perficiat.

[9] Scheses.

[10] Crasis.

[11] Languor.

[12] Junctis Viribus.

[13] Νοήματα.

[14] Automaton.

[15] Scheses.

[16] Ratio.

[17] Automaton.

[18] Scheses.

[19] Compages.

[20] Automaton.

[21] Automaton.

[22] Totum.

[23] Machina.

[24] Automaton.

[25] Ratio.

[26] Totum.

[27] Scheses.

[28] Totum.

[29] Ratio.

[30] Automaton.

[31] Totum.

[32] Scheses.

[33] Entia Rationis.

[34] Totum.

[35] Ratio.

[36] Totum.

[37] Compages.

[38] Totum.

[39] Automatons.

[40] Totum.

[41] Automaton.

[42] Κόσμος or Mundus.

[43] Automatons.

[44] Scheses.

[45] Scheses.

[46] Automaton.

[47] Automaton.

[48] Automaton.

[49] Scheses.

[50] Automaton.

[51] Automaton.

[52] Θεοῦ τεχνασμα.

[53] Scheses.

[54] Totum.

[55] Ἠθικαὶ

[56] ἐνθουσιαστικαὶ ἀρμονίαι.

[57] Συγγενές τι.

Cite as: Ralph Cudworth, A Treatise concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality (1731), pp. 148-187,, accessed 2023-12-01.