1. The Fatal Necessity of all Humane Actions and Events maintained upon three several Grounds, which are so many false Hypotheses of the Intellectual System of the Universe. 2. Concerning the Mathematical or Astrological Fate. 3. Concerning the Opinion of those who suppose a Fate superiour to the Highest Deity. 4. The Moderation of this Discourse. 5. The Atheistical Hypothesis or Democritical Fate, being founded upon the Atomical Physiology; the necessity of giving an Account of it, and that first briefly described. 6. The Antiquity of this Physiology, and the account which is given of it by Aristotle. 7. A clear and full record of the same Physiology in Plato that hath not been taken notice of. 8. That neither Democritus, nor Leucippus, nor Protagoras, nor any Atheists were the first Inventours of this Philosophy; and of the Necessity of being thoroughly acquainted with it, in order to the confutation of Atheism. 9. The Tradition of Posidonius the Stoick, that Moschus an ancient Phænician was the first Inventour of the Atomical Physiology. 10. That this Moschus the Inventour of the Atomical Physiology was probably the same with Mochus the Physiologer in Jamblichus, with whose successours, Priests and Prophets, Pythagoras convers'd at Sidon. 11. Other Probabilities for this, that Pythagoras was acquainted with the Atomical Physiology. 12. That Pythagoras his Monads were Atoms. 13. Proved plainly that Empedocles, who was a Pythagorean, Physiologized Atomically. 14. The same further convinced from Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch & Stobæus. 15. That Anaxagoras was a spurious Atomist, or unskilful Imitatour of that Philosophy. 16. That Ecphantus the Pythagorean, Zenocrates, Heraclides, Diodorus and Metrodorus Chius were all ancient Asserters of the Atomical Physiology; together with Aristotle's Testimony that the ancient Physiologers generally went that way. 17. How Aristotle is to be reconciled with himself, and the credit of other Writers to be salved, who <2> impute this Philosophy to Leucippus and Democritus; That they were the first Atheizers of it, or the Founders of that Philosophy which is Atheistically Atomical. 18. That the Atomists before Democritus were Asserters of a Deity and Substance Incorporeal. 19. A confutation of those Neotericks, who deny that Incorporeal Substance was ever asserted by any of the Ancients, and the Antiquity of that Doctrine proved from Plato, who himself professedly maintained it. 20. That Aristotle likewise asserted Incorporeal Substance. 21. That Epicurus endeavoured to confute this Opinion, as that which Plato and others of the Ancients had maintained. 22. That all those Philosophers who held the Immortality of the Soul and a Deity distinct from the World, held Incorporeal Substance, and that besides Thales, Pythagoras was a grand Champion for the same, who also asserted a Divine Triad. 23. Parmenides an Asserter of Incorporeal Substance, together with all those who maintained that all things did not flow, but something stand. 24. Empedocles vindicated from being either an Atheist or Corporealist at large. 25. Anaxagoras a plain Asserter of Incorporeal Substance. 26. Inferred that the Ancient Atomists before Democritus were both Theists and Incorporealists. 27. That there is not only no Inconsistency between Atomology and Theology, but also a Natural Cognation, proved from the Origine of the Atomical Physiology, and first a general account thereof. 28. A more particular account of the Origine of this Philosophy from that Principle of Reason, That in Nature, Nothing comes from Nothing, nor goes to Nothing. 29. That the same Principle which made the Ancients discard substantial Forms and Qualities, made them also to assert Incorporeal Substance. 30. That from the same Ground of Reason also they asserted the Immortality of Souls. 31. That the Doctrine of Preexistence and Transmigration of Souls had its original from hence also. 32. That the Ancients did not confine this to Humane Souls only, but extend it to all Souls and Lives whatsoever. 33. All this proved from Empedocles, who asserted the Preexistence as well as the Postexistence of all Souls upon that Ground. 34. A Censure of this Doctrine; that the Reason of it is irrefragable for the Post-eternity of all Humane Souls, and that the Hypothesis of the Creation of Humane Souls, which salves their Immortality without Preexistence, is Rational. 35. A new Hypothesis to salve the Incorporeity of the Souls of Brutes without their Postexistence and successive Transmigrations. 36. That this will not prejudice the Immortality of Humane Souls. 37. That the Empedoclean Hypothesis is more Rational than the Opinion of those that would make the Souls of Brutes Corporeal. 38. That the Constitution of the Atomical Physiology is such, that whosoever entertains it, and thoroughly understands it, must needs hold Incorporereal Substance, in five Particulars. 39. Two general Advantages of the Atomical or Mechanical Physiology; first that it renders the Corporeal World intelligible. 40. The second Advantage of it, that it prepares an easie and clear way for the Demonstration of Incorporeal Substance. 41. Concluded, That the ancient Moschical Philosophy consisted of two Parts, Atomical Physiology, and Theology or Pneumatology. 42. That this entire Philosophy was afterwards mangled and dismembred, some taking one part of it alone, and some the other. <3> 43. That Leucippus and Democritus, being Atheistically inclined, took the Atomical Physiology endeavouring to make it subservient to Atheism, and upon what occasion they did it, and how unsuccessfully. 44. That Plato took the Theology and Pneumatology of the Ancients, but rejected their Atomical Physiology, and upon what accounts. 45. That Aristotle followed Plato herein, with a Commendation of Aristotle's Philosophy.
THEY that hold the Necessity of all humane Actions and Events, do it upon one or other of these two Grounds; Either because they suppose that Necessity is inwardly essential to all Agents whatsoever, and that Contingent Liberty is πρᾶγμα ἀνυπόστατον, a Thing Impossible or Contradictious, which can have no Existence any where in Nature; The sence of which was thus expressed by the Epicurean Poet, —Quòd res quæque Necessum Intestinum habeat cunctis in rebus agendis, &c. That every thing Naturally labours under an Intestine Necessity: Or else, because though they admit Contingent Liberty not only as a thing Possible, but also as that which is actually Existent in the Deity, yet they conceive all things to be so determin'd by the Will and Decrees of this Deity, as that they are thereby made Necessary to us. The former of these two Opinions, that Contingent Liberty is πρᾶγμα ἀνυπόστατον, such a Thing as can have no Existence in Nature, may be maintained upon two different Grounds; Either from such an Hypothesis as this, That the Universe is nothing else but Body, and Local motion, and Nothing moving it self, the Action of every Agent is determined by some other Agent without it; and therefore that ὑλικὴ ἀν δω Material and Mechanical Necessity must needs reign over all things: Or else, though Cogitative Beings be supposed to have a certain Principle of Activity within themselves, yet that there can be no Contingency in their Actions, because all Volitions are determined by a Necessary antecedent Understanding.
Plotinus makes another Distribution of Fatalists, which yet in the Conclusion will come to the same with the Former, διττοὺς σπ̓́α τις θέμενος τούτους οὐκ ἄν τοῦ ἀληθοῦς ἀποτυγχάνοι, ὁι, μὲν γὰρ ἁφ' ἑνός τινος τὰ πάντα ἀναρτῶσιν, οἱ δὲ οὐκ οὕτω. A man (saith he) will not do amiss that will divide all Fatalists first into these two General Heads, namely, That they derive all things from One Principle, or Not; The former of which may be called Divine Fatalists, the latter Atheistical. Which Divine Fatalists he again subdivides into such as First make God by Immediate Influence to do all things in us; as in Animals the Members are not determined by themselves, but by that which is the Hegemonick in every one: And Secondly, such as make Fate to be an Implexed Series or Concatenation of Causes, all in themselves Necessary, whereof God is the chief. The Former seems to be a Description of that <4> very Fate that is maintained by some Neoterick Christians; the Latter is the Fate of the Stoicks.
Wherefore Fatalists that hold the Necessity of all Humane Actions and Events, may be reduced to these Three Heads; First, such as asserting the Deity, suppose it irrespectively to Decree and Determine all things, and thereby make all Actions necessary to us; Which kind of Fate, though Philosophers and other ancient Writers have not been altogether silent of it, yet it has been principally maintained by some Neoterick Christians, contrary to the Sence of the Ancient Church. Secondly, such as suppose a Deity, that acting Wisely, but Necessarily, did contrive the General Frame of things in the World; from whence by a Series of Causes doth unavoidably result whatsoever is now done in it. Which Fate is a Concatenation of Causes, all in themselves Necessary, and is that which was asserted by the Ancient Stoicks Zeno and Chrysippus, whom the Jewish Essenes seemed to follow. And Lastly, such as hold the Material Necessity of all things without a Deity; which Fate Epicurus calls τὴν τῶν φυσικῶν εἱμαρμένην, The Fate of the Naturalists, that is, indeed, the Atheists, the Assertors whereof may be called also the Democritical Fatalists. Which three Opinions concerning Fate, are so many several Hypotheses of the Intellectual System of the Universe. All which we shall here propose, endeavouring to shew the Falseness of them, and then substitute the true Mundane System in the Room of them.
II. The Mathematical or Astrological Fate so much talked of, as it is a thing no way considerable for the Grounds of it, so whatsoever it be, it must needs fall under one or other of those two General Heads in the Plotinical Distribution last mentioned, so as either to derive all things from one Principle, or Not. It seems to have had its first Emersion amongst the Chaldæans, from a certain kind of blind Polytheism (which is but a better sort of disguised Atheism) but it was afterwards Adopted and fondly nursed by the Stoicks in a way of subordination to their Divine Fate. For Manilius, Firmicus and other Masters of that Sect were great Promoters of it. And there was too much attributed to Astrology also, by those that were no Fatalists, both Heathen and Christian Philosophers, such as were Plotinus, Origen, Simplicius and others: Who though they did not make the Stars to necessitate all Humane Actions here below, yet they supposed that Divine Providence (fore-knowing all things) had contrived such a strange Coincidence of the Motions and Configurations of the Heavenly Bodies with such Actions here upon Earth, as that the former might be Prognosticks of the latter. Thus Origen determines that the Stars do not Make but Signifie; and that the Heavens are a kind of Divine Volume, in whose Characters they that are skilled, may read or spell out Humane Events. To the same purpose Plotinus, Φέρεσθαι μὲν ταῦτα ἐπὶ σωτηρία τῶν ὅλων, παρέχεθαι δὲ καὶ ἀλλὴν χρεὶαν τὴν τοῦ εἰς αὐτὰ ὥσπερ γράμματα βλέποντας, τοὺς τοιαύτην γραμματικην εἰδότας ἀναγινώσκειν τὰ μέλλοντα ἐκ τῶν σχημάτων κατὰ τὸ ἀνάλογον μεθοδεύοντας τὸ σημαινόμενον. ὥσπερ ἔι τις λέγοι, ἐπειδὴ ὑψηλὸς ὄρνις σημαίνει ὑψηλάς τινας πράξεις. The Motion of the Stars was intended for the Physical Good of <5> the whole; but they afford also another Use collaterally in order to Prognostication, namely that they who are skilled in the Grammar of the Heavens may be able from the several Configurations of the Stars, as it were Letters to spell out future Events, by making such Analogical Interpretations as they use to do in Augury: As when a Bird flies high, to interpret this of some High and Noble Exploit. And Simplicius in like manner, σύμφωνός ἐστιν ἡ εἱμαρμένη περιφορὰ τῇ προβ ονῇ τῶν ψυχῶν τῇ κατ' αὐτὴν ἐρχομένῃ εἰς τὴν γένεσιν, οὐκ ἀναγκάζουσα μὲν τὰς τῶνδε ὀρέγεσθαι ἢ τῶνδε, σύμφωνος δὲ οὖσα ταῖς ὀρέξεσιν αὐτῶν. The Fatal Conversion of the Heavens is made to correspond with the Production of Souls into Generation at such and such times, not Necessitating them to will this or that, but conspiring agreeably with such Appetites and Volitions of theirs. And these Philosophers were the rather inclinable to this Perswasion from a Superstitious Conceit which they had, that the Stars being animated, were Intellectual Beings of a far higher Rank than Men. And since God did not make them, nor any thing else in the World, singly for themselves alone, but also to contribute to the Publick Good of the Universe, their Physical Influence seeming inconsiderable, they knew not well what else could be worthy of them, unless it were to portend Humane Events. This indeed is the best Sence that can be made of Astrological Prognostication; But it is a business that stands upon a very weak and tottering, if not Impossible Foundation.
III. There is another Wild and Extravagant Conceit which some of the Pagans had, who though they Verbally acknowledged a Deity, yet supposed a certain Fate superiour to it, and not only to all their other Petty Gods, but also to Jupiter himself. To which purpose is that of the Greek Poet, Latin'd by Cicero, Quod fore paratum est id summum exuperat Jovem; and that of Herodotus, Τὴν πεπρωμένην μοῖραν ἀδυνατά ἐστι ἀποφυγέειν καὶ τῷ Θεῷ. It is impossible for God himself to avoid the destin'd Fate; and δοῦλος Θεὸς ἀνάγκης, God himself is a Servant of Necessity. According to which Conceit, Jupiter in Homer laments his Condition, in that the Fates having determined that his beloved Sarpedon should be slain by the Son of Menætius, he was not able to withstand it. Though all these passages may not perhaps imply much more than what the Stoical Hypothesis it self imported; for that did also in some sence make God himself a Servant to the Necessity of the Matter, and to his own Decrees, in that he could not have made the smallest thing in the World otherwise than now it is, much less was able to alter any thing. According to that of Seneca, Eadem Necessitas & Deos alligat. Irrevocabilis Divina pariter atque Humana cursus vehit. Ille ipse omnium Conditor ac Rector scripsit quidem Fata sed sequitur. Semper paret semel jussit. One and the same Chain of Necessity ties God and Men. The same irrevocable and unalterable Course carries on Divine and Humane things. The very Maker and Governour of all things that writ the Fates follows them. He did but once command but he always obeys. But if there were this further meaning in the Passages before cited, that a Necessity without God, that was invincible by him, did determine his Will to all things; this was nothing but a certain Confused and Contradictious Jumble of Atheism and Theism both together; or an odd kind of Intimation, that however <6> the Name of God be used in compliance with Vulgar Speech and Opinion, yet indeed it signifies nothing, but Material Necessity; and the blind Motion of Matter is really the Highest Numen in the World. And here that of Balbus the Stoick in Cicero is opportune: Non est Natura Dei Præpotens & Excellens, siquidem ea subjecta est ei vel Necessitati vel Naturæ quâ Cœlum, Maria, Terræque reguntur. Nihil autem est præstantius Deo. Nulli igitur est Naturæ obediens aut subjectus Deus. God would not be the most Powerful and Excellent Being, if he were subject to that either Necessity or Nature, by which the Heavens, Seas and Earth are governed. But the Notion of a God implies the most Excellent Being. Therefore God is not Obedient or Subject to any Nature.
IV. And now we think fit here to suggest, that however we shall oppose those three Fatalisms before mentioned, as so many false Hypotheses of the Mundane System and Oeconomy, and endeavour to exclude that severe Tyranness (as Epicurus calls it) of Universal Necessity reigning over all, and to leave some Scope for Contingent Liberty to move up and down in, without which neither Rational Creatures can be blame worthy for any thing they do, nor God have any Object to display his Justice upon, nor indeed be justified in his Providence; Yet, as we vindicate to God the glory of all Good, so we do not quite banish the Notion of Fate neither, nor take away all Necessity; which is a thing the Clazomenian Philosopher of old was taxed for; Affirming μηδὲν τῶν γινομένων γίνεσθαι καθ' εἱμαρμένην, ἀλλὰ εἶναι κενὸν τοῦτο τοὔνομα. That Nothing at all was done by Fate, but that it was altogether a vain Name. And the Sadduceans among the Jews have been noted for the same: Τὴν μὲν εἱμαρμένην ἀναιροῦσιν, οὐδὲν εἶναι ταύτην ἀξιοῦντες, οὔτε κατ' αὐτὴν τὰ ἀνθρώπινα τέλος λαμβάνειν, ἅπαντα δὲ ἐφ' ἠμῖν αὐτοῖς τιθέντες. They take away all Fate, and will not allow it to be any thing at all, nor to have any Power over Humane Things, but put all things entirely into the hands of Mens own Free-Will. And some of our own, seem to have approached too near to this Extreme, attributing, perhaps, more to the Power of Free-Will, than either Religion or Nature will admit. But the Hypothesis that we shall recommend, as most agreeable to Truth, of a πρόνοια ἱλάσιμος Placable Providence, of a Deity Essentially Good, presiding over all, will avoid all Extremes, asserting to God the Glory of Good, and freeing him from the Blame of Evil; and leaving a certain proportionate Contemperation and Commixture of Contingency and Necessity both together in the World: As Nature requires a mixture of Motion and Rest, without either of which there could be no Generation. Which Temper was observed by several of the Ancients; as the Pharisaick Sect amongst the Jews who determined τινὰ καὶ οὐ πάντα τῆς εἱμαρμένης εἶναι ἔργον, τινὰ δὲ ἐφ' ἑαυτοῖς ὑπάρχειν, That some things and not all were the Effects of Fate, but some things were left in Mens own Power and Liberty. And also by Plato amongst the Philosophers, Πλάτων ἐγκρίνει μὲν εἱμαρμένην ἐπι τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων ψυχῶν καὶ βίων, συνεισάγει δὲ καὶ τὴν παρ' ἡμᾶς αἰτίαν. Plato inserts something of Fate into Humane Lives and Actions, and he joyns with it Liberty of Will also. He doth indeed suppose Humane Souls to have within themselves the Causes of their own Changes to a Better or Worser State, & every where declares <7> God to be blameless for their Evils, and yet he somewhere makes the three Fatal Sisters notwithstanding, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, to be busie about them also. For according to the sence of the Ancients, Fate is a Servant of Divine Providence in the World, and takes place differently upon the different Actings of Free-willed Beings. And how Free a thing soever the Will of Man may seem to be, to some, yet I conceive it to be out of Question, that it may contract upon it self such Necessities and Fatalities, as it cannot upon a suddain rid it self of at pleasure. But whatsoever is said in the Sequel of this Discourse by way of Opposition to that Fatalism of the Neoterick Christians, is intended only to vindicate what was the constant Doctrine of the Christian Church in its greatest purity, (as shall be made manifest) and not to introduce any New-fangled conceit of our own.
V. We must now proceed to give a more full and perfect account of these three several Fates, or Hypotheses of the Mundane System before mentioned, together with the Grounds of them, beginning first with that which we Principally intend the Confutation of, the Atheistical or Democritical Fate. Which as it is a thing of the most dangerous Consequence of all, so it seems to be most spreading and infectious in these latter times.
Now this Atheistical System of the World that makes all things to be Materially and Mechanically Necessary, without a God, is built upon a peculiar Physiological Hypothesis, different from what hath been generally received for many Ages; which is called by some Atomical or Corpuscular, by others Mechanical: of which we must therefore needs give a full and Perfect Account. And we shall do it first in General, briefly, not descending to those minute Particularities of it, which are disputed amongst these Atomists themselves, in this manner.
The Atomical Physiology supposes that Body is nothing else but διαστατόν ἀντίτυπον, that is, Extended Bulk; and resolves therefore that nothing is to be attributed to it, but what is included in the Nature and Idea of it, viz. more or less Magnitude with Divisibility into Parts, Figure, and Position, together with Motion or Rest, but so as that no part of Body can ever Move it Self; but is alwaies moved by something else. And consequently it supposes that there is no need of any thing else besides these simple Elements of Magnitude, Figure, Site and Motion (which are all clearly intelligible as different Modes of extended Substance) to salve the Corporeal Phænomena by; and therefore, not of any Substantial Forms distinct from the Matter; nor of any other Qualities really existing in the Bodies without, besides the Results, or Aggregates of those simple Elements, and the Disposition of the Insensible Parts of Bodies in respect of Figure, Site and Motion; nor of any Intentional Species or Shews, propagated from the Objects to our Senses; nor, lastly, of any other kind of Motion or Action really distinct from Local Motion (such as Generation and Alteration) they being neither Intelligible, as Modes of extended Substance, nor any ways necessary. Forasmuch as the Forms and <8> Qualities of Bodies may well be conceived, to be nothing but the Result of those simple Elements of Magnitude, Figure, Site and Motion, variously compounded together; in the same manner as Syllables and Words in great variety result from the different Combinations and Conjunctions of a few Letters, or the simple Elements of Speech; and the Corporeal Part of Sensation, and particularly that of Vision, may be salved only by Local Motion of Bodies, that is, either by Corporeal Effluvia (called Simulachra, Membranæ and Exuviæ) streaming continually from the Surface of the Objects, or rather, as the later and more refined Atomists conceived, by Pressure made from the Object to the Eye, by means of Light in the Medium. So that ὡς διὰ βακτηρίας τοῦ ταθέντος ἀέρος τὸ βλεπόμενον ἀναγγελλεται. The Sense taking Cognizance of the Object by the Subtle Interposed Medium that is tense and stretched, (thrusting every way from it upon the Optick Nerves) doth by that as it were by a Staff touch it. Again, Generation and Corruption may be sufficiently explained by Concretion and Secretion, or Local Motion, without Substantial Forms and Qualities. And lastly, those sensible Ideas of Light and Colours, Heat and Cold, Sweet and Bitter, as they are distinct things from the Figure, Site and Motion of the insensible Parts of Bodies, seem plainly to be nothing else but our own Phansies, Passions and Sensations however they be vulgarly mistaken for Qualities in the Bodies without us.
VI. Thus much may suffice for a General Accompt of the Atomical Physiology. We shall in the next Place consider the Antiquity thereof, as also what notice Aristotle hath taken of it, and what Account he gives of the same. For though Epicurus went altogether this way, yet it is well known that he was not the first Inventor of it. But it is most commonly fathered on Democritus, who was Senior both to Aristotle and Plato, being reported to have been born the year after Socrates; from whose Fountains Cicero saith that Epicurus watered his Orchards, and of whom Sex. Empiricus and Laertius testify that he did ἐκβάλλειν τὰς ποιότητας, cashier Qualities; and Plutarch, that he made the first Principles of the whole Universe ἀτόμους ἀπόιους καὶ ἀπαθεῖς, Atoms devoid of all Qualities and Passions. But Laertius will have Leucippus, who was somewhat Senior to Democritus, to be the first Inventor of this Philosophy, though he wrote not so many Books concerning it as Democritus did. Aristotle who often takes notice of this Philosophy, and ascribes it commonly to Leucippus and Democritus jointly, gives us this description of it in his Metaphysicks, Λεύκιππος δὲ καὶ ὁ ἑταῖρος αὐτοῦ Δημόκριτος στοιχεῖα μὲν τὸ πλῆρες καὶ τὸ κενὸν εἶναί φασι, λέγοντες οἷον τὸ μὲν ὂν τό δὲ μὴ ὂν, καὶ τὰς διαφορὰς αἰτίας τῶν αλλων φασι ταύτας μέντοι τρεῖς, σχῆμα τε καὶ ταξιν καὶ θὲσιν, διαφέρειν γὰρ τὸ ὂν ρυσμῷ καὶ διαθιγῇ καὶ τροπῇ. Leucippus and his Companion Democritus make the first Principles of all things to be Plenum and Vacuum (Body and Space) whereof one is Ens the other Non-ens, and the differences of Body, which are only Figure, Order and Position, to be the Causes of all other things. Which Differences they call by these Names Rysmus, Diathigte and Trope. And in his Book De Anima, having declared that Democritus made Fire and the Soul to consist of Round Atoms, he describes <9> those Atoms of his after this manner, οἷον ἐν τῶ ἀέρι τὰ καλούμενα ξύσματα ἐν ταῖς διὰ τῶν θυρίδων ἀκτίσι, ῶν τὴν πανσπερμίαν στοιχε͂ια λέγει Δημόκριτος τὴς ὅλης φύσεως, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λεύκιππος. They are (saith he) like those Ramenta or dusty Particles which appear in the Sun-Beams, an Omnifarious Seminary whereof Democritus makes to be the first Elements of the whole Universe, and so doth Leucippus likewise. Elsewhere the same Aristotle tells us, that these two Philosophers explained Generation and Alteration without Forms and Qualities by Figures and Local Motion. Δημόκριτος καὶ Λεύκιππος ποιήσαντες τὰ σχήματα τὴν ἀλλοίωσιν καὶ τὴν γένεσιν ἐκ τούτων ποιοῦσι, διακρίσει μέν καὶ συγκρίσεν γένεσιν καὶ φθορὰν, τάξει δὲ καὶ θέσει ἀλλοίωσιν. Democritus and Leucippus having made Figures, (or variously figured Atoms) the first Principles, make Generation and Alteration out of these; namely Generation together with Corruption, from the Concretion and Secretion of them, but Alteration from the change of their Order and Position. Again he elsewhere takes notice of that Opinion of the Atomists, that all Sense was a kind of Touch, and that the Sensible Qualities of Bodies were to be resolved into Figures, imputing it not only to Democritus, but also to the Generality of the old Philosophers, but very much disliking the same: Δημόκριτος καὶ οἱ πλεῖστοι τῶν φυσιολόγων ἀτοπώτατόν τι ποιοῦσι, πάντα γὰρ τὰ αἰσθητα ἀπτὰ ποιοῦσι καὶ εἰς σχήματα ἀνάγουσι τοὺς χύμους. Democritus and most of the Physiologers here commit a very great Absurdity, in that they make all Sense to be Touch, and resolve sensible Qualities into the Figures of insensible Parts or Atoms. And this Opinion he endeavours to confute by these Arguments. First, because there is Contrariety in Qualities, as in Black and White, Hot and Cold, Bitter and Sweet, but there is no Contrariety in Figures; for a Circular Figure is not Contrary to a Square or Multangular; and therefore there must be Real Qualities in Bodies distinct from the Figure, Site and Motion of Parts. Again, the variety of Figures and Dispositions being Infinite, it would follow from thence, that the Species of Colours, Odours, and Tastes should be Infinite likewise, and Reducible to no certain Number. Which Arguments I leave the Professed Atomists to answer. Furthermore Aristotle somewhere also censures that other Fundamental Principle of this Atomical Physiology, That the sensible Ideas of Colours and Tastes, as Red, Green, Bitter and Sweet, formally considered, are only Passions and Phansies in us, and not real Qualities in the Object without. For as in a Rainbow there is really nothing without our sight, but a Rorid Cloud diversely refracting and reflecting the Sun-Beams, in such an Angle; nor are there really such Qualities in the Diaphanous Prisme, when refracting the Light, it exhibits to us the same Colours of the Rainbow: whence it was collected, that those things are properly the Phantasms of the Sentient, occasioned by different Motions on the Optick Nerves: So they conceived the case to be the same in all other Colours, and that both the Colours of the Prisme and Rainbow were as real as other Colours, and all other Colours as Phantastical as they: And then by parity of Reason they extended the business further to the other Sensibles. But this Opinion Aristotle condemns in these words, οἱ πρότερον φυσιολόγοι τοῦτο οὐ καλῶς ἔλεγον οὐδεν οἰόμενοι οὔτε λευκὸν οὔτε μέλαν ἄνευ ὄψεως, ὄυτε χύμον ἄνευ γεύσεως. The former Physiologers were generally out in this, in that <10> they thought there was no Black or White without the Sight, nor no Bitter or Sweet without the Taste. There are other Passages in Aristotle concerning this Philosophy, which I think superfluous to insert here; and I shall have occasion to cite some of them afterward for other Purposes.
VII. But in the next place it will not be amiss to shew that Plato also hath left a very full Record of this Mechanical or Atomical Physiology (that hath hardly been yet taken notice of) which notwithstanding he doth not impute either to Democritus (whose name Laertius thinks he purposely declined to mention throughout all his Writings) or to Leucippus, but to Protagoras. Wherefore in his Theætetus, having first declared in general that the Protagorean Philosophy made all things to consist of a Commixture of Parts (or Atoms) and Local Motion, he represents it, in Particular concerning Colours, after this manner; ὑπόλαβε τοίνην οὑτωσὶ κατὰ τὰ ὄμματα πρῶτον, ὂ δὲ καλεῖς χρῶμα λευκὸν μὴ εἶναι αὐτὸ ἕτερόν τι ἔξω τῶν σῶν ὀμμάτων, μηδ' ἐν τοῖς ὄμμασι, ἀλλὰ μέλαν τε καὶ λευκὸν καὶ ὁτιοῦν ἄλλο χρ͂ωμα ἐκ τῆς προσβολῆς τῶν ὀμμάτων πρὸς τῆν προσήκουσαν φορὰν φανεῖται γεγεννημένον, καὶ ὃ δὲ ἕκαστον εἶναί φαμεν χρῶμα, οὔτε τὸ προςβάλλον οὔτε τὸ προσβαλλόμενον ἀλλὰ μεταξύ τι ἑχάστῳ ἴδιον γεγονὸς. First as to that which belongs to the Sight, you must conceive that which is called a White or a Black Colour not to be any thing absolutely existing either without your Eyes or within your Eyes; but Black and White and every other Colour, is caused by different Motions made upon the Eye from Objects differently modified: so that it is nothing either in the Agent nor the Patient absolutely, but something which arises from between them both. Where it follows immediately, ἤ οὺ διισχυρίσαιο ἂν ὡς οἷον σοι φαίνεται ἕκαστον σχρῶμα τοιοῦτον καὶ κυνὶ καὶ ὁτῳοῦν ζώω. Can you or any man else be Confident, that as every Colour appears to him, so it appears just the same to every other Man and Animal, any more than Tastes and Touches, Heat and Cold do? From whence it is plain that Protagoras made Sensible Qualities, not to be all absolute things existing in the Bodies without, but to be Relative to us, and Passions in us; and so they are called presently after τίνα ἐν ἡμῖν φάσματα, certain Phansies, Seemings, or Appearances in us. But there is another Passage in which a fuller Account is given of the whole Protagorean Doctrine, beginning thus; Ἀρχὴ δὲ ἐξ ἧς ἃ νῦν δὴ ἐλέγομεν πάντα ἤρτηται ἥδε αὐτῶν, ὡς τὸ πᾶν κίνησις ἦν, καὶ ἄλλο παρὰ τοῦτο οὐδὲν, τῆς δὲ κινήσεως δύο εἴδη, πλήθει μὲν ἄπειρον ἑκάτερον, δύναμιν δὲ τὸ μὲν ποιεῖν ἔχον, τὸ δὲ πάσχειν, ἐκ δὲ τῆς τούτων ὀμιλίας τε καὶ τρίψεως πρὸς ἄλληλα γίγνεται ἔκγονα, πλήθει μὲν ἄπειρα, δίδυμα δὲ, τὸ μὲν αἰσθητὸν, τὸ δὲ αἴσθησις ἀεὶ συνεκπίπτουσα καὶ γεννωμένη μετὰ τοῦ αἰσθητοῦ, &c. The Principle upon which all these things depend is this, That the whole Universe is Motion (of Atoms) and nothing else besides; which Motion is considered two ways, and accordingly called by two Names, Action and Passion; from the mutual Congress, and as it were Attrition together of both which, are begotten innumerable Off-springs, which though infinite in Number, yet may be reduced to two general Heads, Sensibles and Sensations, that are both generated at the same time; the Sensations are Seeing and Hearing and the like, and the Correspondent Sensibles, Colours, Sounds, &c. Wherefore when the Eye, or such a <11> proportionate Object meet together, both the αἰσθητὸν and the αἴσθησις, the Sensible Idea of White and black and the Sense of Seeing are generated together, neither of which would have been produced if either of those two had not met with the other. καὶ τ' ἄλλα δὲ οὕτω ψυχρὸν καὶ θερμὸν καὶ πάντα τὴν αὐτον τρόπον ὑποληπτέον, αὐτὸ μὲν καθ' αὐτὸ μηδὲν εἶναι, έν δὲ τῇ πρὸς ἄλληλα ὁμιλίᾳ, πάντα γίγνεσθαι, καὶ παντοῖα ἀπὸ τῆς κινήσεως. The like is to be conceived of all other Sensibles, as Hot and Cold, &c. that none of these are Absolute things in themselves, or Real Qualities in the Objects without, but they are begotten from the mutual Congress of Agent and Patient with one another, and that by Motion: So that neither the Agent has any such thing in it before its Congress with the Patient, nor the Patient before its Congress with the Agent. ἔκ δὲ ἀμφοτέρων τοῦ ποιοῦντος καὶ τοῦ πάσχοντος πρὸς τὰ ἄλληλα συνγιγνομένων καὶ τὰς αἰσθήσεις καὶ τὰ αἰσθητὰ ἀποτικτόντων, τὰ μὲν ποῖα ἄττα γίγνεσθαι, τὰ δὲ αἰσθανόμενα. But the Agent and Patient meeting together, and begetting Sensation and Sensibles, both the Object and the Sentient are forthwith made to be so and so qualified, as when Honey is tasted, the Sense of Tasting and the Quality of Sweetness are begotten both together, though the Sense be vulgarly attributed to the Taster and the Quality of Sweetness to the Honey. The Conclusion of all which is summed up thus οὐδὲν εἶναι αὐτὸ καθ' αὐτὸ, ἀλλὰ τινὶ αἰεὶ γίγνεσθαι, That none of those Sensible things is any thing absolutely in the Objects without, but they are all generated or made Relatively to the Sentient. There is more in that Dialogue to this purpose, which I here omit; but I have set down so much of it in the Authour's own Language, because it seems to me to be an excellent Monument of the Wisdom and Sagacity of the old Philosophers. That which is the main Curiosity in this whole business of the Mechanical or Atomical Philosophy, being here more fully and plainly expressed, than it is in Lucretius himself, viz. That Sensible things, according to those Ideas that we have of them, are not real Qualities absolutely Existing without us, but ἐν ἡμῖν φάσματα, Phansies or Phantasms in us: So that both the Latin Interpreters Ficinus and Serranus, though probably neither of them at all acquainted with this Philosophy, as being not yet restored, could not but understand it after the same manner: the one expressing it thus, Color ex Aspectu Motúque Medium quiddam resultans est. Talis circa Oculos Passio; and the other Ex varia Aspicientis diathesi, variáque sensilis specie colores varios & videri & fieri, ita tamen ut sint φανταστὰ nec nisi in animo subsistant. However it appears by Plato's manner of telling the story, and the Tenour of the whole Dialogue, that himself was not a little prejudiced against this Philosophy. In all probability the rather, because Protagoras had made it a Foundation both for Scepticism and Atheism.
VIII. We have now learnt from Plato, that Democritus and Leucippus were not the sole Proprietaries in this Philosophy, but that Protagoras, though not vulgarly taken notice of for any such thing (being commonly represented as a Sophist only) was a sharer in it likewise: which Protagoras indeed Laertius and others affirm to have been an Auditor of Democritus; and so he might be, notwithstanding what Plutarch tells us, that Democritus wrote against his taking a <12> way the Absolute Natures of things. However we are of Opinion that neither Democritus, nor Protagoras, nor Leucippus was the first Inventour of this Philosophy; and our reason is, because they were all three of them Atheists (though Protagoras alone was banished for that Crime by the Athenians) and we cannot think that any Atheists could be the Inventours of it, much less that it was the Genuine Spawn and Brood of Atheism it self, as some conceit, because however these Atheists adopted it to themselves, endeavouring to serve their turns of it, yet if rightly understood, it is the most effectual Engin against Atheism that can be. And we shall make it appear afterwards, that never any of those Atheists, whether Ancient or Modern (how great Pretenders soever to it) did throughly understand it, but perpetually contradicted themselves in it. And this is the Reason why we insist so much upon this Philosophy here, not only because without the perfect knowledge of it, we cannot deal with the Atheists at their own Weapon; but also because we doubt not but to make a Sovereign Antidote against Atheism, out of that very Philosophy, which so many have used as a Vehiculum to convey this Poyson of Atheism by.
IX. But besides Reason, we have also good Historical probability for this Opinion, that this Philosophy was a thing of much greater Antiquity than either Democritus or Leucippus: and first, because Posidonius, an Ancient and Learned Philosopher, did (as both Empiricus and Strabo tell us) avouch it for an old Tradition, that the first Inventour of this Atomical Philosophy was one Moschus a Phœnician, who, as Strabo also notes, lived before the Trojan Wars.
X. Moreover it seems not altogether Improbable, but that this Moschus a Phœnician Philosopher, mentioned by Posidonius, might be the same with that Mochus a Phœnician Physiologer in Jamblichus, with whose Successors, Priests and Prophets, he affirms that Pythagoras, sometimes sojourning at Sidon (which was his native City) had converst: Which may be taken for an Intimation, as if he had been by them instructed in that Atomical Physiology which Moschus or Mochus the Phœnician is said to have been the Inventour of. Mochus or Moschus is plainly a Phœnician Name, and there is one Mochus a Phœnician Writer cited in Athenæus, whom the Latin Translator calls Moschus; and Mr. Selden approves of the Conjecture of Arcerius, the Publisher of Jamblichus, that this Mochus was no other than the Celebrated Moses of the Jews, with whose Successors the Jewish Philosophers, Priests and Prophets, Pythagoras conversed at Sidon. Some Phantastick Atomists perhaps would here catch at this, to make their Philosophy to stand by Divine Right, as owing its Original to Revelation; whereas Philosophy being not a Matter of Faith but Reason, Men ought not to affect (as I conceive) to derive its Pedigree from Revelation, and by that very pretence seek to impose it Tyrannically upon the minds of Men, which God hath here purposely left Free to the use of their own Faculties, that so finding out Truth by them, they might enjoy that Pleasure and <13> Satisfaction which arises from thence. But we aim here at nothing more, than a Confirmation of this Truth, That the Atomical Physiology was both older than Democritus, and had no such Atheistical Original neither. And there wants not other Good Authority for this, That Pythagaras did borrow many things from the Jews, and translate them into his Philosophy.
XI. But there are yet other Considerable Probabilities for this, that Pythagoras was not unacquainted with the Atomical Physiology. And first from Democritus himself, who as he was of the Italick Row, or Pythagorick Succession; so it is recorded of him in Laertius, that he was a great Emulator of the Pythagoreans, and seemed to have taken all his Philosophy from them: Insomuch that if Chronology had not contradicted it, it would have been concluded, that he had been an Auditour of Pythagoras himself, of whom he testified his great admiration in a Book entitled by his Name. Moreover some of his Opinions had a plain Correspondency with the Pythagorick Doctrines, forasmuch as Democritus did not only hold, φέρεσθαι ἀτόμους ἐν τῷ ὅλω δινουμένας, That the Atoms were carried round in a Vortex; but also together with Leucippus, τὴν γῆν ὀχεῖθαι περὶ τὸ μέσον δινουμένην, That the Earth was carried about the Middle or Centre of this Vortex (which is the Sun) turning in the mean time round upon its own Axis: And just so the Pythagorick Opinion is expressed by Aristotle, τὴν γῆν ἓν τῶν ἄστρων οὔσαν κύκλῳ φερομένην περὶ τὸ μέσον νύκτα καὶ τὴν ἡμέραν ποιεῖν. That the Earth, as one of the Stars (that is a Planet) being carried round about the Middle or Centre (which is Fire or the Sun) did in the mean time by its Circumgyration upon its own Axis make day and night. Wherefore it may be reasonably from hence concluded, that as Democritus his Philosophy was Pythagorical, so Pythagoras his Philosophy was likewise Democritical or Atomical.
XII. But that which is of more Moment yet; we have the Authority of Ecphantus a famous Pythagorean for this, that Pythagoras his Monads, so much talked of, were nothing else but Corporeal Atoms. Thus we find it in Stobæus, τὰς Πυθαγσρικὰς Μονάδας οὗτος πρῶτος ἀπεφήνατο σωματικάς, Ecphantus (who himself asserted the Doctrine of Atoms) first declared that the Pythagorick Monads were Corporeal, i.e. Atoms. And this is further confirmed from what Aristotle himself writes of these Pythagoreans and their Monads, τὰς Μονάδας ὑπολαμβάνουσιν ἔχειν μέγεθος. They suppose their Monads to have Magnitude: And from that he elsewhere makes Monads and Atoms to signifie the same thing, οὐδὲν διαφέρει Μονάδας λέγειν ἢ σωμάτια σμικρά. Its all one to say Monades or small Corpuscula. And Gassendus hath observed out of the Greek Epigrammatist, that Epicurus his Atoms were sometimes called Monads too; —μάτην Ἐπίκουρον ἐάσον Ποῦ τὸ κενὸν ζητεῖν καὶ τινες αἰ Μονάδες.
XIII. But to pass from Pythagoras himself; That Empedocles, who was a Pythagorean also, did Physiologize Atomically, is a thing that could hardly be doubted of, though there were no more Proof for it than that one Passage of his in his Philosophick Poems; —φύσις οὐδενός ἐστιν ἑκάστου Ἀλλὰ μόνον μίξις τε διάλλαξίς τε μιγέντων. Nature is nothing but the Mixture and Separation of things mingled; or thus, There is no production of any thing anew, but only mixture and separation of things mingled. Which is not only to be understood of Animals, according to the Pythagorick Doctrine of the Transmigration of Souls, but also, as himself expounds it, Universally of all Bodies, that their Generation and Corruption is nothing but Mixture and Separation; or as Aristotle expresses it, σύγκρισις καὶ διάκρισις, Concretion and Secretion of Parts, together with Change of Figure and Order. It may perhaps be objected, that Empedocles held four Elements, out of which he would have all other Bodies to be compounded; and that as Aristotle affirms, he made those Elements not to be transmutable into one another neither. To which we reply, that he did indeed make four Elements, as the first general Concretions of Atoms, and therein he did no more than Democritus himself, who, as Laertius writes, did from Atoms moving round in a Vortex πάντα συγκρίματα γεννᾶν πῦρ ὕδωρ ἀέρα γῆν, εἶναι γὰρ καὶ ταῦτα ἐξ ἀτόμων τινῶν συστήματα, Generate all Concretions, Fire, Water, Air and Earth, these being Systems made out of certain Atoms. And Plato further confirms the same; for in his Book De Legibus he describes (as I suppose) that very Atheistical Hypothesis of Democritus, though without mentioning his Name, representing it in this Manner; That by the Fortuitous Motion of Senseless Matter were first made those four Elements, and then out of them afterward Sun, Moon, Stars and Earth. Now both Plutarch and Stobæus testifie, that Empedocles compounded the four Elements themselves out of Atoms. Ἐμπεδοκλῆς δὲ ἐκ μικροτέρων ὄγκων τὰ στοιχεῖα συγκρίνει ἅπερ ἔστὶν ἐλάχιστα, καὶ οἱνεὶ στοιχεῖα στοιχείων. Empedocles makes the Elements to be compounded of other small Corpuscula, which are the least, and as it were the Elements of the Elements. And the same Stobæus again observes, Ἐμπεδοκλῆς πρὸ τῶν τεσσάρων στοιχείων θραύσματα ἐλάχιστα. Empedocles makes the smallest Particles and Fragments of Body (that is, Atoms) to be before the four Elements. But whereas Aristotle affirms that Empedocles denied the Transmutation of those Elements into one another, that must needs be either a slip in him, or else a fault in our Copies; not only because Lucretius, who was better versed in that Philosophy, and gives a particular Account of Empedocles his Doctrine (besides many others of the Ancients) affirms the quite contrary; but also because himself, in those Fragments of his still preserved, expresly acknowledges this Transmutation: <15> Καὶ φθείνει εὶς ἄλληλα, καὶ αὔξεται ἐν μέρει αἴσης.
Besides all this, no less Author than Plato affirms, that according to Empedocles, Vision and other Sensations were made by ἀποῤῥοαὶ σχημάτων, the Defluxions of Figures, or Effluvia of Atoms, (for so Democritus his Atoms are called in Aristotle σχήματα, because they were Bodies which had only Figure without Qualities) he supposing that some of these Figures or Particles corresponded with the Organs of one Sense, and some with the Organs of another. Ὀυκοῦν λέγετε ἀποῤῥοάς τινας τῶν ὄντων κατὰ Ἐμπεδοκλέα, καὶ πόρους, εὶς οὖς, καὶ δι' ὦν αἱ ἀποῤῥοαὶ πορεύονται, καὶ τῶν ἀποῤῥοῶν τὰς μὲν ἁρμόττειν ἑνίοις τῶν πόρων, τὰς δὲ ἑλάττους ἢ μείζους εἶναι. You say then according to the Doctrine of Empedocles, that there are certain Corporeal Effluvia from Bodies of different Magnitudes and Figures, as also several Pores and Meatus's in us diversly Corresponding with them: So that some of these Corporeal Effluvia agree with some pores, when they are either too big or too little for others. By which it is evident, that Empedocles did not suppose Sensations to be made by intentional Species or Qualities; but as to the Generality, in the Atomical way; in which notwithstanding there are some differences among these Atomists themselves. But Empedocles went the same way here with Democritus, for Empedocles's ἀποῤῥοαὶ σχημάτων, Defluxions of figured Bodies, are clearly the same thing with Democritus his εἰδώλων εἰσκρίσεις, Insinuations of Simulachra, or Exuvious Images of Bodies. And the same Plato adds further, that according to Empedocles, the Definition of Colour was this, ἀποῤῥοὴ σχημάτων ὄ ψει σύμμετρος καὶ αὶσθητὸς, The Defluxion of Figures, or figured Corpuscula (without Qualities) Commensurate to the Sight and Sensible. Moreover, that Empedocles his Physiology was the very same with that of Democritus, is manifest also from this Passage of Aristotle's; οἱ μὲν οὖν περὶ Ἐμπεδοκλέα καὶ Δημόκριτον λανθάνουσιν αὐτοὶ ἑαυτοὺς, οὐ γενέσιν ἐξ ἀλλήλων ποιοῦντες, ἀλλὰ φαινομένην γένεσιν. ἐιυπάρχον γὰρ ἕκαστον ἐκκρίνεσθαι φασιν ὥσπερ ἐξ ἀγγείου τῆς γενέσεως οὔσης. Empedocles and Democritus deceiving themselves, unawares destroy all Generation of Things out of one another, leaving a seeming Generation only: For they say that Generation is not the Production of any new Entity, but only the Secretion of what was before Inexistant; as when divers kinds of things confounded together in a Vessel, are separated from one another. Lastly, we shall confirm all this by the clear Testimony of Plutarch, or the Writer de Placitis Philosophorum: Ἐμπεδοκλῆς καὶ Ἐπίκουρος καὶ πάντες ὅσοι κατὰ συναθροισμὸν τῶν λεπτομερῶν σωμάτων κοσμοποιοῦσι, συγκρίσεις μὲν καὶ διακρίσεις εἰσάγουσι, γενέσεις δὲ καὶ φθορὰς οὐ κυρίως, οὐ γὰρ κατὰ ποῖον ἐξ ἀλλοιώσεως, κατὰ δὲ πόσον ἐκ συναθροισμοῦ ταύτας γίνεσθαι. Empedocles and Epicurus, and all those that compound the World of small Atoms, introduce Concretions and Secretions, but no Generations or Corruptions properly so called; neither would they have these to be made according to Quality by Alteration, but only according to Quantity by Aggregation. And the same Writer sets down the Order and Method, of the Cosmopœia according to Empedocles; Ἐμπεδοκλῆς τὴν μὲν αἰθέρα πρῶτον διακριθῆναι, δεύτερον δὲ τὸ πῦρ, <16> ἐφ' ᾦ τὴν γῆν ἐξ ἄγαν περισφιγγομένης τῇ ῥύμῃ τῆς περιφορᾶς, ἀναβλύσαι τὸ ὕδωρ, ἐξ οὗ θυμιαθῆναι τῆν ἀἑρα, καὶ γενέσθαι τὴν μὲν οὔρανον ἐκ τοῦ αἰθέρος, τὴν δὲ ἥλιον ἐκ πυρός. Empedocles writes, that Æther was first of all Secreted out of the Confused Chaos of Atoms, afterward the Fire, and then the Earth, which being Constringed, and as it were Squeezed by the Force of Agitation, sent forth Water bubling out of it; from the Evaporation of which did proceed Air. And from the Æther was made the Heavens, from Fire the Sun. We see therefore that it was not without cause that Lucretius did so highly extol Empedocles, since his Physiology was really the same with that of Epicurus and Democritus; only that he differed from them in some Particularities, as in excluding Vacuum, and denying such Physical Minima as were Indivisible.
XV. As for Anaxagoras, though he Philosophized by Atoms too, substituting Concretion and Secretion in the Room of Generation and Corruption, insisting upon the same Fundamental Principle that Empedocles, Democritus and the other Atomists did; which was (as we shall declare more fully afterward) That Nothing could be made out of Nothing, nor reduced to Nothing; and therefore that there were neither any new Productions nor Destructions of any Substances or Real Entities: Yet, as his Homœomeria is represented by Aristotle, Lucretius and other Authours, that Bone was made of Bony Atoms, and Flesh of Fleshy, Red things of Red Atoms, and Hot things of Hot Atoms; these Atoms being supposed to be endued originally with so many several Forms and Qualities Essential to them, and Inseparable from them, there was indeed a wide difference betwixt his Philosophy and the Atomical. However, this seems to have had its Rise from nothing else but this Philosophers not being able to understand the Atomical Hypothesis, which made him decline it, and substitute this Spurious and Counterfeit Atomism of his own in the room of it.
XVI. Lastly, I might adde here, that it is recorded by Good Authours concerning divers other Ancient Philosophers, that were not addicted to Democriticism or Atheism, that they followed this Atomical way of Physiologizing, and therefore in all probability did derive it from those Religious Atomists before Democritus. As for Example; Ecphantus the Syracusian Pythagorist, who, as Stobæus writes, made τὰ ἀδιαίρετα σώματα καὶ τὸ κενὸν, Indivisible Bodies and Vacuum the Principles of Physiology, and as Theodoret also testifies, taught ἐκ τῶν ἀτόμων συνεστάναι τὴν κόσμον, That the Corporeal World was made up of Atoms; Zenocrates that made μεγέθη ἀδιαίρετα, Indivisible Magnitudes the first Principles of Bodies; Heraclides that resolved all Corporeal things into ψήγματα καὶ θραύσματά τινα ἐλάχιστα, certain smallest Fragments of Bodies; Asclepiades, who supposed all the Corporeal World to be made ἐξ ἀνομοίων καὶ ἀνάρμων ὄγκων, not of Similar Parts (as Anaxagoras) but of Dissimilar and inconcinn Moleculæ, i. e. Atoms of different Magnitude and Figures; and Diodorus <17> that salved the Material Phænomena by ἀμερῆ τὰ ἐλάχιστα, the smallest Indivisibles of Body. And Lastly, Metrodorus (not Lamsacenus the Epicurean, but) Chius, who is reported also to have made Indivisible Particles and Atoms the first Principles of Bodies. But what need we any more proof for this, that the Atomical Physiology was ancienter than Democritus and Leucippus, and not confined only to that Sect, since Aristotle himself in the Passages already cited doth expressly declare, that besides Democritus, the Generality of all the other Physiologers went that way; Δημόκριτος καὶ οἳ πλεῖστοι τῶν φυσιολόγων, &c. Democritus and the most of the Physiologers make all Sense to be Touch, and resolve sensible Qualities, as the Tastes of Bitter and Sweet, &c. into Figures. And again he imputes it generally to all the Physiologers that went before him, οἳ πρότερον φυσιολόγοι, The former Physiologers (without any exception) said not well in this, that there was no Black and White without the Sight, nor Bitter and Sweet without the Taste. Wherefore, I think, it cannot be reasonably doubted, but that the Generality of the Old Physiologers before Aristotle and Democritus, did pursue the Atomical way, which is to resolve the Corporeal Phænomena, not into Forms, Qualities and Species, but into Figures, Motions and Phancies.
XVII. But then there will seem to be no small difficulty in reconciling Aristotle with himself, who doth in so many places plainly impute this Philosophy to Democritus and Leucippus, as the first Source and Original of it: As also in salving the Credit of Laertius, and many other ancient Writers, who do the like: Democritus having had for many Ages almost the general cry and vogue for Atoms. However, we doubt not but to give a very good account of this Business, and reconcile the seemingly different Testimonies of these Ancient Writers, so as to take away all Contradiction and Repugnancy between them. For although the Atomical Physiology was in use long before Democritus and Leucippus, so that they did not Make it but Find it; yet these two with their confederate Atheists (whereof Protagoras seems to have been one) were undoubtedly the first that ever made this Physiology to be a complete and entire Philosophy by it self, so as to derive the Original of all things in the whole Universe from sensless Atoms, that had nothing but Figure and Motion, together with Vacuum, and made up such a System of it, as from whence it would follow, that there could not be any God, not so much as a Corporeal one. These two things were both of them before singly and apart. For there is no doubt to be made, but that there hath been Atheism lurking in the minds of some or other in all Ages; and perhaps some of those Ancient Atheists did endeavour to Philosophize too, as well as they could, in some other way. And there was Atomical Physiology likewise before, without Atheism. But these two thus complicated together, were never before Atomical-Atheism or Atheistical Atomism. And therefore Democritus and his Comrade Leucippus need not be envied the glory of being reputed the first Inventors or Founders of the Atomical Philosophy Atheized and Adulterated.
XVIII. Before Leucippus and Democritus, the Doctrine of Atoms was not made a whole entire Philosophy by it self, but look'd upon only as a Part or Member of the whole Philosophick System, and that the meanest and lowest part too, it being only used to explain that which was purely Corporeal in the World; besides which they acknowledged something else, which was not meer Bulk and Mechanism, but Life and Self Activity, that is, Immaterial or Incorporeal Substance; the Head and Summity whereof is a Deity distinct from the World. So that there has been two Sorts of Atomists in the World, the One Atheistical, the Other Religious. The first and most ancient Atomists holding Incorporeal Substance, used that Physiology in a way of Subordination to Theology and Metaphysicks. The other allowing no other Substance but Body, made sensless Atoms and Figures, without any Mind and Understanding (i. e. without any God) to be the Original of all things; which latter is that that was vulgarly known by the Name of Atomical Philosophy, of which Democritus and Leucippus were the Source.
XIX. It hath been indeed of late confidently asserted by some, that never any of the ancient Philosophers dream'd of any such thing as Incorporeal Substance; and therefore they would bear men in hand, that it was nothing but an upstart and new fangled Invention of some Bigotical Religionists; the falsity whereof we shall here briefly make to appear. For though there have been doubtless in all Ages such as have disbelieved the Existence of any thing but what was Sensible, whom Plato describes after this manner; οἳ διατείνοιντ' ἂν πᾶν ὃ μὴ δυνατοὶ ταῖς χερσὶ συμπιέζειν εἰσὶν, ὡς ἄρα τοῦτο οὐδὲν τὸ παράπαν ἐστί. That would contend, that whatsoever they could not feel or grasp with their hands, was altogether nothing; yet this Opinion was professedly opposed by the best of the Ancient Philosophers and condemned for a piece of Sottishness and Stupidity. Wherefore the same Plato tells us, that there had been always, as well as then there was, a perpetual War and Controversie in the World, and as he calls it, a kind of Gigantomachy betwixt these two Parties or Sects of men; The one that held there was no other Substance in the World besides Body; The Other that asserted Incorporeal Substance. The former of these Parties or Sects is thus described by the Philosopher; Οἲ μὲν εἰς γῆν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀοράτου πάντα ἔλκουσι ταῖς χερσὶν ἀτεχνῶς πέτρας καὶ δρῦς περιλαμβάνοντες, τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐφαπτόμενοι πάντων, διισχυρίζονται τοῦτο εἶναι μόνον ὃ παρέχει προσβολὴν καὶ ἐπαφην τινα, ταυτὸν σῶμα καὶ οὐσίαν ὁριζόμενοι. τῶν δὲ ἄλλων εἴτις φησὶ μὴ σῶμα ἔχον εἶναι, καταφρονοῦντες τὸ παράπαν, καὶ οὐδὲν ἐθέλοντες ἄλλο ἀκούειν. These (saith he) pull all things down from Heaven and the Invisible Region, with their hands to the Earth, laying hold of Rocks and Oaks; and when they grasp all these hard and gross things, they confidently affirm, that that only is Substance which they can feel, and will resist their Touch, and they conclude that Body and Substance are one and the self same thing; and if any one chance to speak to them of something which is not Body, i.e. of Incorporeal Substance, they will altogether despise him, and not hear a word more from him. And many such the Philosopher there <19> says he had met withal. The other he represents in this manner. Οἳ πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἀμφισβητοῦντες μάλα εὺλαβῶς ἄνωθεν ἐξ ἀορἀτου τόπου ἀμαύνονται νοητὰ ἄττα καὶ ἀσώματα εἴδη, βιαζόμενοι τὴν ἀληθινὴν οὐσίαν εἶναι. ἐν μέσῳ δὲ περὶ ταῦτα ἄπλετος ἀμφοτέρων μάχη τὶς αεὶ ξυνέστηκε. The Adversaries of these Corporealists do cautiously and piously assault them from the Invisible Region, fetching all things from above by way of Descent, and by strength of Reason convincing, that certain Intelligible and Incorporeal Forms are the true or First Substance, and not Sensible things. But betwixt these two there hath always been (saith he) a great War and Contention. And yet in the Sequel of his Discourse he adds, that those Corporealists were then grown a little more modest and shame-faced than formerly their great Champions had been, such as Democritus and Protagoras; for however they still persisted in this, that the Soul was a Body, yet they had not (it seems) the Impudence to affirm, that Wisdom and Vertue were Corporeal Things, or Bodies, as others before and since too have done. We see here that Plato expresly asserts a Substance distinct from Body, which sometimes he calls οὐσίαν ἀσώματον, Incorporeal Substance, and sometimes οὐσίαν νοητήν, Intelligible Substance, in opposition to the other which he calls αἰσθητήν Sensible. And it is plain to any one, that hath had the least acquaintance with Plato's Philosophy, that the whole Scope and Drift of it, is to raise up mens Minds from Sense to a belief of Incorporeal Things as the most Excellent: τὰ γὰρ ἀσώματα κάλλιστα ὄντα καὶ μέγιστα λόγῳ μόνον, ἄλλῳ δὲ οὐδενὶ, σαφῶς δείκνυται, as he writes in another place. For Incorporeal Things, which are the greatest and most excellent things of all, are (saith he) discoverable by Reason only and nothing else. And his Subterraneous Cave, so famously known, and so elegantly described by him, where he supposes men tied with their backs towards the Light, placed at a great distance from them, so that they could not turn about their Heads to it neither, and therefore could see nothing but the shadows (of certain Substances behind them) projected from it, which Shadows they concluded to be the only Substances and Realities, and when they heard the Sounds made by those Bodies that were betwixt the Light and them, or their reverberated Eccho's, they imputed them to those shadows which they saw. I say, all this is a Description of the State of those Men, who take Body to be the only Real and Substantial thing in the World, and to do all that is done in it; and therefore often impute Sense, Reason and Understanding, to nothing but Blood and Brains in us.
XX. I might also shew in the next place, how Aristotle did not at all dissent from Plato herein, he plainly asserting ἅλλην οὐσίαν παρὰ τὰ αἰσθητὰ, another Substance beside Sensibles, οὐσίαν χωριστὴν καὶ κεχωρισμένον τῶν αισθητῶν, a Substance separable and also actually separated from Sensibles, ἀκίνητον οὐσιάν, an Immoveable Nature or Essence (subject to no Generation or Corruption) adding that the Deity was to be sought for here: Nay such a Substance ἣν μέγεθος οὐδὲν ἐνδέχεται ἔχειν, ἀλλὰ ἀμερὴς καὶ ἀδιαίρετός ἐστι, as hath no Magnitude at all; but is Impartible and Indivisible. He also blaming Zeno (not the Stoick, who was Junior to Aristotle, but an ancienter Philosopher of that Name) for making God to be a Body, in these words; αὐτὸς γὰρ σῶμα λέγει εἶναι <20> τὴν Θεόν. εἵτε δὲ τόδε τὸ πᾶν, εἴτε ὅτι δήποτε αὐτὃς λέγων. ἀσώματος γὰρ ὡν πῶς ἂν σφαιροειδὴς εἴη; ὅταν ὅυτως ὄυτ' ἂν κινοῖτο, οὔτ' ἂν ἠρεμοί, μηδαμοῦ τε ὤν. ἐπεὶ δὲ σῶμά ἐστι, τί ἄν αὐτὸ κωλύει κινεῖθαι.; Zeno implicitly affirms, God to be a Body, whether he mean him to be the whole Corporeal Universe, or some particular Body; for if God were Incorporeal, how could he be Spherical? nor could he then either Move or Rest, being not properly in any Place; but if God be a Body, then nothing hinders but that he may be moved. From which, and other Places of Aristotle, it is plain enough also, that he did suppose Incorporeal Substance to be Unextended, and as such, not to have Relation to any Place. But this is a thing to be disputed afterwards. Indeed some learned men conceive Aristotle to have reprehended Zeno without Cause, and that Zeno made God to be a Sphear, or Spherical, in no other sence, than Parmenides did in that known Verse of his; Πάντοθεν εὐκύκλου σφαίρας ἐναλίγκιον ὄγκῳ. Wherein he is understood to describe the Divine Eternity. However, it plainly appears from hence, that according to Aristotle's sence, God was ἀσώματος, an Incorporeal Substance distinct from the World.
XXI. Now this Doctrine, which Plato especially was famous for asserting, that there was οὐσία ἀσώματος, Incorporeal Substance, and that the Souls of Men were such, but principally the Deity; Epicurus taking notice of it, endeavoured with all his might to confute it, arguing sometimes after this manner; There can be no Incorporeal God (as Plato maintained) not only because no man can frame a Conception of an Incorporeal Substance, but also because whatsoever is Incorporeal must needs want Sense, and Prudence, and Pleasure, all which things are included in the Notion of God; and therefore an Incorporeal Deity is a Contradiction. And concerning the Soul of Man; οἱ λέγοντες ἀσώματον εἶναι τὴν ψυχὴν ματαιάζουσι, &c. They who say that the Soul is Incorporeal, in any other sence, than as that word may be used to signifie a Subtil Body, talk Vainly and Foolishly; for then it could neither be able to Do nor Suffer any thing. It could not Act upon any other thing, because it could Touch nothing; neither could it Suffer from any thing, because it could not be Touch'd by any thing; but it would be just like to Vacuum or Empty Space, which can neither Do nor Suffer any thing, but only yield Bodies a Passage through it: From whence it is further evident, that this Opinion was professedly maintained by some Philosophers before Epicurus his time.
XXII. But Plato and Aristotle were not the first Inventors of it: For it is certain, that all those Philosophers who held the Immortality of the Humane Soul, and a God distinct from this visible World, (and so properly the Creator of it and all its parts) did really assert Incorporeal Substance. For that a Corporeal Soul cannot be in its own Nature Immortal and Incorruptible, is plain to every one's Understanding, because of its parts being separable from one another; and whosoever denies God to be Incorporeal, if he make him any thing at all, he must needs make him to be either the whole Cor <21> poreal World, or else a part of it: Wherefore if God be neither of these, he must then be an Incorporeal Substance. Now Plato was not the first who asserted these two things, but they were both maintained by many Philosophers before him. Pherecydes Syrus, and Thales, were two of the most ancient Philosophers among the Greeks; and it is said of the former of them, that by his Lectures and Disputes concerning the Immortality of the Soul, he first drew off Pythagoras from another Course of life to the study of Philosophy. Pherecydes Syrus (saith Cicero) Primus dixit animos hominum esse sempiternos. And Thales in an Epistle directed to him, congratulates his being the First that had designed to write to the Greeks concerning Divine Things, which Thales also (who was the Head of the Ionick Succession of Philosophers, as Pythagoras of the Italick) is joyned with Pythagoras and Plato, by the Writer De Placitis Philosophorum, after this manner. οὖτοι πάντες οἱ προτεταγμένοι ἀσώματον τὴν ψυχὴν ὐποτίθενται, φύσει λέγοντες αὐτοκίνητον καὶ οὐσίαν νοητήν. All these determined the Soul to be Incorporeal, making it to be Naturally Self-moving (or Self-active) and an Intelligible Substance, that is, not Sensible. Now he that determines the Soul to be Incorporeal, must needs hold the Deity to be Incorporeal much more. Aquam dixit Thales esse initium rerum (saith Cicero) Deum autem eam Mentem quæ ex aqua cuncta fingeret. Thales said that Water was the first Principle of all Corporeal things, but that God was that Mind which formed all things out of Water. For Thales was a Phœnician by Extraction, and accordingly seemed to have received his two Principles from thence, Water, and the Divine Spirit moving upon the Waters. The First whereof is thus expressed by Sanchuniathon in his Description of the Phœnician Theology, χάος θολερὸν, ἐρεβῶδες, a Turbid and Dark Chaos, and the Second is intimated in these words, ἠράσθη τὸ πνεῦμα τῶν ἰδίων ἀρχῶν, the Spirit was affected with love towards its own Principles, perhaps expressing the Force of the Hebrew word Merachepheth, and both of them implyng an Understanding Prolifical Goodness, Forming and Hatching the Corporeal World into this perfection; or else a Plastick Power, subordinate to it. Zeno (who was also originally a Phœnician) tells us, that Hesiod's Chaos was Water; and, that the Material Heaven, as well as Earth was made out of Water, (according to the Judgment of the best Interpeters) is the genuine sence of Scripture, 2 Pet. 3.5. by which water some perhaps would understand, a Chaos of Atoms confusedly moved. But whether Thales were acquainted with the Atomical Physiology or no; it is plain that he asserted, besides the Soul's Immortality, a Deity distinct from the Corporeal World.
We pass to Pythagoras whom we have proved already to have been an Atomist; and it is well known also that he was a professed Incorporealist. That he asserted the Immortality of the Soul, and consequently its Immateriality, is evident from his Doctrine of Preexistence and Transmigration: And that he likewise held an Incorporeal Deity distinct from the World, is a thing not questioned by any. But if there were any need of proving it, (because there are no Monuments of his Extant) perhaps it might be done from hence, <22> because he was the chief Propagator of that Doctrine amongst the Greeks, concerning Three Hypostases in the Deity.
For, that Plato and his Followers held τρεῖς ἀρχικὰς ὑποστάσεις, Three Hypostases in the Deity, that were the first Principles of all things, is a thing very well known to all. Though we do not affirm that these Platonick Hypostases are exactly the same with those in the Christian Trinity. Now, Plato himself sufficiently intimates this not to have been his own Invention; and Plotinus tells us, that it was παλαιὰ δόξα, an Ancient Opinion before Plato's time, which had been delivered down by some of the Pythagoricks. Wherefore, I conceive, this must needs be one of those Pythagorick Monstrosities, which Xenophon covertly taxes Plato for entertaining, and mingling with the Socratical Philosophy, as if he had thereby corrupted the Purity and Simplicity of it. Though a Corporealist may pretend to be a Theist; yet I never heard, that any of them did ever assert a Trinity, respectively to the Deity, unless it were such an one, as I think not fit here to mention.
XXIII. That Parmenides, who was likewise a Pythagorean, acknowledged a Deity distinct from the Corporeal World, is evident from Plato. And Plotinus tells us also, that he was one of them that asserted the Triad of Divine Hypostases. Moreover, whereas there was a great Controversie amongst the Ancient Philosophers before Plato's time, between such as held all things to Flow, (as namely Heraclitus and Cratylus;) and others who asserted that some things did Stand, and that there was ἀκίνητος οὐσία, a certain Immutable Nature, to wit, an Eternal Mind, together with Eternal and Immutable Truths, (amongst which were Parmenides and Melissus) the former of these were all Corporealists, (this being the very Reason why they made all things to Flow, because they supposed all to be Body) though these were not therefore all of them Atheists. But the latter were all both Incorporealists and Theists; for whosoever holds Incorporeal Substance must needs (according to Reason) also assert a Deity.
And although we did not before particularly mention Parmenides amongst the Atomical Philosophers, yet we conceive it to be manifest from hence, that he was one of that Tribe, because he was an eminent Asserter of that Principle, οὐδὲν οὒτε γίνεθαι οὔτε φθείρεθαι τῶν ὄντων, That no Real Entity is either Made or Destroyed, Generated or Corrupted. Which we shall afterwards plainly shew, to be the grand Fundamental Principle of the Atomical Philosophy.
XXIV. But whereas we did evidently prove before, that Empedocles was an Atomical Physiologer, it may notwithstanding with some Colour of Probability be doubted, whether he were not an Atheist, or at least a Corporealist, because Aristotle accuses him of these following things. First, of making Knowledge to be Sense, which is indeed a plain sign of a Corporealist; and therefore in the next place also, of compounding the Soul out of the four Elements, <23> making it to understand every corporeal thing, by something of the same within it self, as Fire by Fire, and Earth by Earth; and Lastly, of attributing much to Fortune, and affirming that divers of the Parts of Animals were made such by chance, and that there were at first certain Mongrel Animals fortuitously produced, that were βουγενῆ καὶ ἀνδρόπρωρα, such as had something of the shape of an Oxe, together with the Face of a Man, (though they could not long continue) which seems to give just Cause of Suspicion, that Empedocles Atheized in the same manner that Democritus did.
To the first of these we reply, that some others who had also read Empedocles's Poems, were of a different Judgment from Aristotle as to that, conceiving Empedocles not to make Sense, but Reason the Criterion of Truth. Thus Empiricus informs us: Others say that according to Empedocles, the Criterion of Truth is not Sense but Right Reason; and also that Right Reason is of two sorts, the one θεῖος, or Divine, the other ἀνθρώπινος, or Humane: Of which the Divine is inexpressible, but the Humane declarable. And there might be several Passages cited out of those Fragments of Empedocles his Poems yet left, to confirm this, but we shall produce only this one. Γυίων πίστιν ἔρυκε, νόει δ' ᾖ δῆλον ἕκαστον. To this Sence; Suspend thy Assent to the Corporeal Senses, and consider every thing clearly with thy Mind or Reason.
And as to the Second Crimination, Aristotle has much weakened his own Testimony here, by accusing Plato also of the very same thing. Πλατὼν τὴν ψυχὴν ἐκ τῶν στοιχείων ποιεῖ, γινώσκεται γὰρ ὁμοίῳ ὅμοιον, τὰ δὲ πράγματα ἐκ τῶν ἀρχῶν εἶναι. Plato compounds the Soul out of the four Elements, because Like is known by Like, and things are from their Principles. Wherefore it is probable that Empedocles might be no more guilty of this fault (of making the Soul Corporeal, and to consist of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire) than Plato was, who in all mens Judgments was as free from it, as Aristotle himself, if not more. For Empedocles did in the same manner, as Pythagoras before him, and Plato after him, hold the Transmigration of Souls, and consequently, both their Future Immortality and Preexistence; and therefore must needs assert their Incorporeity; Plutarch rightly declaring this to have been his Opinion; Εἶναι καὶ τοὺς μηδέπω γεγονότας καὶ τοὺς ἤδη τεθνηκότας. That as well those who are yet Unborn, as those that are Dead, have a Being. He also asserted Humane Souls to be here in a Lapsed State, μετανάστας, καὶ ξένους, καὶ φυγαδας, Wanderers, Strangers, and Fugitives from God; declaring, as Plotinus tells us, that it was a Divine Law, ἁμαρτανούσαις ταῖς ψυχαῖς πεσεῖν ἐνταῦθα, That Souls sinning should fall down into these Earthly Bodies. But the fullest Record of the Empedoclean Philosophy concerning the Soul is contained in this of Hierocles; Κάτεισι καὶ ἀποπίπτει τῆς εὐδαίμονος χώρας ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ὡς Ἐμπεδοκλῆς φησιν ὁ Πυθαγόρειος, — φυγὰς θεόθεν καὶ ἀλήτης Νείκεῖ μαινομένῳ πίσυνος.— Ἄνεισι δὲ καὶ τὴν ἀρχαίαν ἕξιν ἀπολαμβάνει, <24> Ἐι φεύξει τὰ περὶ γῆν καὶ τὴν ἀτερπέα χῶρον, Ἔνθα θόνος τε κότος τε καὶ ἄλλων ἔθνεα κηρῶν. Εἰς ὃν οἱ ἐκπεσόντες ————— Ἄτης ————— ἀνὰ λειμῶνα τε καὶ σκότος ἠλάσκουσιν. Ἡ δὲ ἔφεσις τοῦ φεύγοντος τὴν τῆς Ἄτης λειμῶνα πρὸς τὴν τῆς ἀληθείας ἐπείγεται λειμῶνα, ὃν ἀπολιπὼν τῆ ὁρμῇ τῆς πτεροῤῥιήσεως εἰς γήινον ἔρχεται σῶμα, Ὀλβίον ————— αἰῶνος ἀμελθείς. Man falleth from his Happy State, as Empedocles the Pythagorean saith, ————— By being a Fugitive, Apostate, and Wanderer from God, acted with a certain Mad and Irrational Strife or Contention. —— But he ascends again and recovers his former State, ————— if he decline and avoid these Earthly things, and despise this unpleasant and wretched Place, where Murder and Wrath, and a Troop of all other Mischiefs reign. Into which Place, they who fall, wander up and down through the Field of Ate and Darkness. But the desire of him that flees from this Field of Ate, carries him on towards the Field of Truth; which the Soul at first relinquishing, and losing its Wings, fell down into this Earthly Body, deprived of its Happy Life. From whence it appears that Plato's πτεροῤῥύησις was derived from Empedocles and the Pythagoreans.
Now from what hath been already cited it is sufficiently manifest, that Empedocles was so far from being either an Atheist or Corporealist, that he was indeed a Rank Pythagorist, as he is here called. And we might adde hereunto, what Clemens Alexandrinus observes, that according to Empedocles, ἢν ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως διαβιώσωμεν, μακάριοι μὲν ἐνταῦθα, μακαριώτεροι δὲ μετὰ τὴν ἐνθένδε ἀπαλλαγὴν. ὀυ χρόνῳ τινὶ τὴν ἐυδαιμονίαν ἔχοντες, ἀλλὰ ἐν αἰῶνι ἀναπαύεσθαι δυνάμενοι, Ἀθανάτοις ἄλλοισιν ὁμέστιοι, ἐν δὲ τραπέζαις, &c. If we live holily and justly, we shall be happy here, and more happy after our departure hence; having our Happiness not necessarily confined to time, but being able to rest and fix in it to all Eternity; Feasting with the other Immortal Beings, &c. We might also take notice, how, besides the Immortal Souls of men, he acknowledged Dæmons or Angels; declaring that some of these fell from Heaven, and were since prosecuted by a Divine Nemesis. For these in Plutarch are called, οἱ θεήλατοι καὶ οὐρανοπετεῖς ἐκεῖνοι τοῦ Ἐμπεδοκλέους δαίμονες. Those Empedoclean Dæmons lapsed from Heaven, and pursued with Divine Vengeance; Whose restless Torment is there described in several Verses of his. And we might observe likewise how he acknowledged a Natural and Immutable Justice, which was not Topical and confined to Places and Countries, and Relative to particular Laws, but Catholick and Universal, and every where the same, through Infinite Light and Space; as he expresses it with Poetick Pomp and Bravery. Ἀλλὰ τὸ μὲν πάντων νόμιμον, διὰ τ' εὐρυμέδιντος Αἰθέρος, ἠνεκέως τέταται, διὰ τ' ἀπλέτου αὐγῆς. And the asserting of Natural Morality, is no small Argument of a Theist.
But what then shall we say to those other things which Empedocles is charged with by Aristotle, that seem to have so rank a smell of Atheism? Certainly those Mongril and Biforme Animals, that are said to have sprung up out of the Earth by chance, look as if they were more a-kin to Democritus than Empedocles, and probably it is the Fault of the Copies that it is read otherwise, there being no other Philosopher that I know of, that could ever find any such thing in Empedocles his Poems. But for the rest, if Aristotle do not misrepresent Empedocles, as he often doth Plato, then it must be granted, that he being a Mechanical Physiologer, as well as Theologer, did something too much indulge to Fortuitous Mechanism: which seems to be an Extravagancy that Mechanical Philosophers, and Atomists, have been always more or less subject to. But Aristotle doth not charge Empedocles with resolving all things into Fortuitous Mechanism, as some Philosophers have done of late, who yet pretend to be Theists and Incorporealists, but only that he would explain some things in that way. Nay he clearly puts a difference betwixt Empedocles and the Democritick Atheists in those words subjoyned, Εἰσὶ δὲ τινὲς, &c. which is as if he should have said, Empedocles resolved some things in the Fabrick and structure of Animals into Fortuitous Mechanism; but there are certain other Philosophers, namely Leucippus and Democritus, who would have all things whatsoever in the whole World, Heaven and Earth and Animals, to be made by Chance and the Fortuitous Motion of Atoms, without a Deity. It seems very plain that Empedocles his Philia and Nichos, his Friendship and Discord, which he makes to be the ἀρχὴ δραστήριος, the Active Cause, and Principle of Motion in the Universe, was a certain Plastick Power, superiour to Fortuitous Mechanism: and Aristotle himself acknowledges somewhere as much. And Plutarch tells us, that according to Empedocles, The Order and System of the World is not the Result of Material Causes and Fortuitous Mechanism, but of a Divine Wisdom, assigning to every thing οὐκ ἢν ἠ φύσις δίδωσι χώραν, ἀλλ' ἢν ἡ πρὸς τὸ κοινὸν ἔργον ποθεῖ σύνταξις, Not such a Place as Nature would give it, but such as is most convenient for the Good of the whole. Simplicius, who had read Empedocles, acquaints us, that he made two Worlds, the one Intellectual, the other Sensible; and the former of these to be the Exemplar and Archetype of the latter. And so the Writer De Placitis Philosophorum observes, that Empedocles made δύο ἡλίας, τὴν μὲν ἀρχέτυπον, τὴν δὲ φαινόμενον, Two Suns, the one Archetypal and Intelligible, the other Apparent or Sensible.
But I need take no more pains, to purge Empedocles from those two Imputations of Corporealism and Atheism, since he hath so fully confuted them himself, in those Fragments of his still extant. First, by expressing such a hearty Resentment of the Excellency of Piety, and the Wretchedness and Sottishness of Atheism in these Verses. Ὄλβιος ὂς θείων πραπίδων ἐκτήσατο πλοῦτον, Δειλὸς δ' ῷ σκοτόεσσα θεῶν πέρι δόξα μέμηλεν. <26> To this Sence: He is happy who hath his mind richly fraught and stored with the Treasures of Divine Knowledge; but he miserable, whose mind is Darkened, as to the Belief of a God. And, Secondly, by denying God to have any Humane Form, or Members, Ὀυ μὲν γὰρ βροτεῇ κεφαλῇ κατὰ γυῖα κέκασται, &c. Or otherwise to be Corporeal, Ὀυκ ἔστιν πελάσασθ' οὐδ' ὀφθαλμοῖσιν ἐφικτὸν Ἡμετέροις, ἤ χερσὶ λαβεῖν. And then positively affirming what he is, Ἀλλὰ φρὴν ἰερὴ καὶ ἀθέσφατος ἔπλετο μοῦνον, Φροντίσι κόσμον ἅπαντα καταίσσουσα θοῇσιν. Only a Holy and Ineffable Mind, that by Swift Thoughts agitates the whole World.
XXV. And now we shall speak something also of Anaxagoras, having shewed before that he was a Spurious Atomist. For he likewise agreed with the other Atomists in this, that he asserted Incorporeal Substance in general as the Active Cause and Principle of Motion in the Universe, and Particularly, an Incorporeal Deity distinct from the World. Affirming, that there was besides Atoms, Νοῦς ὁ διακοσμῶν τε καὶ πάντων αἴτιος, (as it is express'd in Plato) An Ordering and Disposing Mind that was the Cause of all things. Which Mind (as Aristotle tells us) he made to be μόνον τῶν ὄντων ἁπλοῦν καὶ ἀμιγῆ καὶ καθαρόν. The only Simple, Unmixed, and Pure thing in the World. And he supposed this to be that which brought the Confused Chaos of Omnifarious Atoms into that Orderly Compages of the World that now is.
XXVI. And by this time we have made it evident that those Atomical Physiologers, that were before Democritus and Leucippus, were all of them Incorporealists; joyning Theology and Pneumatology, the Doctrine of Incorporeal Substance and a Deity, together with their Atomical Physiology. This is a thing expresly noted concerning Ecphantus the Pythagorean in Stobæus. Ἔκφαντος ἐκ μὲν τῶν ἀτόμων συνεστάναι τὴν κόσμον, διοικεῖσθαι δὲ ἀπὸ προνοίας. Ecphantus held the Corporeal World to consist of Atoms, but yet to be Ordered and Governed by a Divine Providence, that is, he joyned Atomology and Theology both together. And the same is also observed of Arcesilas, or perhaps Archelaus, by Sidonius Apollinaris; Post hos Arcesilaus Divinâ Mente paratam Conjicit hanc Molem, confectam Partibus illis Quas Atomos vocat ipse leves. Now, I say, as Ecphantus, and Archelaus, asserted the Corporeal <27> World to be made of Atoms, but yet notwithstanding held an Incorporeal Deity distinct from the same, as the First Principle of Activity in it; so in like manner did all the other ancient Atomists generally before Democritus, joyn Theology and Incorporealism with their Atomical Physiology. They did Atomize as well as he, but they did not Atheize; but that Atheistical Atomology was a thing first set on foot afterward by Leucippus and Democritus.
XXVII. But because many seem to be so strongly possessed with this Prejudice, as if Atheism were a Natural and Necessary Appendix to Atomism, and therefore will conclude that the same persons could not possibly be Atomists, and Incorporealists or Theists, we shall further make it Evident, that there is not only, no Inconsistency betwixt the Atomical Physiology and Theology, but also that there is on the Contrary, a most Natural Cognation between them.
And this we shall do two manner of ways; First, by inquiring into the Origin of this Philosophy, and considering what Grounds or Principles of Reason they were, which first led the Antients into this Atomical or Mechanical way of Physiologizing. And Secondly, by making it appear that the Intrinsecal Constitution of this Physiology is such, that whosoever entertains it, if he do but thoroughly understand it, must of necessity acknowledge that there is something else in the World besides Body.
First therefore, this Atomical Physiology seems to have had its Rise and Origin from the Strength of Reason exerting its own Inward Active Power and Vigour, and thereby bearing it self up against the Prejudices of Sense, and at length prevailing over them, after this manner. The Ancients considering and revolving the Idea's of their own Minds, found that they had a clear and distinct Conception of Two things, as the General Heads and Principles of whatsoever was in the Universe; the one whereof was Passive Matter, and the other Active Power, Vigour and Vertue. To the Latter of which belongs both Cogitation, and the Power of Moving Matter, whether by express Consciousness or no. Both which together, may be called by one General Name, of Life; so that they made these two General Heads of Being or Entity, Passive Matter or Bulk, and Self Activity or Life. The Former of these was commonly called by the Ancients, the τὀ πάσχον, that which suffers and receives, and the Latter the τὀ ποιοῦν, the Active Principle, and the τὸ ὅθεν ἡ κίνησις, that from whence Motion Springs. In rerum Natura (saith Cicero) according to the General Sence of the Ancients) Duo quærenda sunt; Unum, quæ Materia sit, ex qua quæque res efficiatur; Alterum, quæ res sit quæ quicque Efficiat: There are two things to be enquired after in Nature; One, what is the Matter out of which every thing is made; Another, what is the Active Cause or Efficient. To the same purpose Seneca; Esse debet aliquid Unde fiat, deinde à Quo fiat; hoc est Causa, illud Materia: There <28> must be something Out of which a thing is made, and then something By which it is made; the Latter is properly the Cause, and the Former the Matter. Which is to be understood of Corporeal things and their Differences, that there must be both Matter, and an Active Power, for the production of them. And so also that of Aristotle, οὔσης αἰτίας μιᾶς μὲν ὅθεν τὴν ἀρχὴν εἰναί φαμεν τὴς κινήσεως, μιᾶς δὲ τὴς ὕλης. That from whence the Principle of Motion is, is one Cause, and the Matter is another. Where Aristotle gives that name of Cause to the Matter also, though others did appropriate it to the Active Power. And the Writer de Placitis Philosophorum expresses this as the General Sence of the Ancients. ὰδύνατον ἀρχὴν μίαν ὔλὴν τῶν ὄντων ἐξ ἦς τὰ πάντα ὑποστῆναι, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ ποιοῦν αἲτιον χρὴ ὑποτιθέναι, οἶον οὐκ ἄργυρος ἀρκεῖ πρὸς τὸ ἔκπωμα γενέσθαι ἂν μὴ καὶ τὸ ποιοῦν ἦ, τουτέστιν ὁ ἀργυροκόπος, ὁμοίως καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ χαλκοῦ, καὶ τοῦ ξύλου, καὶ τὴς ἄλλης ὕλης. It is impossible that Matter alone should be the sole Principle of all things, but there must of necessity be supposed also an Agent or Efficient Cause. As Silver alone is not sufficient to make a Cup, unless there be an Artificer to work upon it. And the same is to be said concerning Brass, Wood, and other Natural Bodies.
Now as they apprehended a Necessity of these two Principles, so they conceived them to be such, as could not be confounded together into one and the same Thing or Substance; they having such distinct Idea's and Essential Characters from one another: The Stoicks being the only Persons, who offering Violence to their own apprehensions, rudely and unskilfully attempted to make these two distinct things to be one and the same Substance. Wherefore as the First of these, viz. Matter, or Passive Extended Bulk, is taken by all for Substance, and commonly called by the name of Body; so the other, which is far the more Noble of the Two, being that which acts upon the matter and hath a Commanding Power over it, must needs be Substance too, of a different kind from Matter or Body; and therefore Immaterial or Incorporeal Substance. Neither did they find any other Entity to be conceivable, besides these two, Passive Bulk or Extension, which is Corporeal Substance; and Internal Self-Activity or Life, which is the Essential Character of Substance Incorporeal; to which Latter belongs not only Cogitation, but also the Power of Moving Body.
Moreover, when they further considered the First of these, the Material or Corporeal Principle, they being not able clearly to conceive any thing else in it, besides Magnitude, Figure, Site, and Motion or Rest, which are all several Modes of Extended Bulk, concluded therefore according to Reason, that there was Really nothing else existing in Bodies without, besides the various Complexions and Conjugations of those Simple Elements, that is, nothing but Mechanism. Whence it necessarily followed, that whatsoever else was supposed to be in Bodies, was, indeed, nothing but our Modes of Sensation, or the Phancies and Passions in us begotten from them, mistaken for things really existing without us. And this is a thing so obvious, that some of those Philosophers who had taken little notice of the Atomical Physiology, had notwithstand <29> ing a suspicion of it; as for Example Plotinus, who writing of the Criterion of Truth, and the power of Reason, hath these words, Καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τὴς αἰσθήσεως ἅ δὲ δοκεῖ πίστιν ἔχειν ἐναργεστάτην, ἀπιστεῖται μήποτε οὐκ ἐν τοῖς ὑποκειμένοις, ἀλλ' ἐν τοῖς πάθεσιν ἔχη τὴν δοκοῦσαν ὑπόστασιν, καὶ νοῦ δεῖ ἢ διανοίας τῶν κρινόντων. Though the things of Sense seem to have so clear a Certainty, yet notwithstanding it is doubted concerning them, whether (the Qualities of them) have any Real Existence at all in the things without us, and not rather a Seeming Existence only, in our own Passions; and there is need of Mind or Understanding to judge in this Case, and to determine the Controversie, which Sense alone cannot decide. But the ancient Physiologists concluded without any hesitancy, οὐ τό αὐτὸ ἐστι τό μέλι τῷ γλυκάζεσθαί με, καὶ τὸ ἀψίνθιον τῷ πικράζεσθαι, That the Nature of Honey in it self, is not the same thing with my being sweetned, nor of Wormwood with that Sense of bitterness which I have from it; διαφέρειν δὲ τὸ πάθος τοῦ ἐκτὸς ὑποκειμένου, καὶ τὰς αἰσθήσεις, τὰ μὲν ἐκτὸς ὑποκείμενα οὐ καταλαμβάνειν, μόνα δὲ εἰ ἄρα τὰ ἑαυτῶν πάθη. But that the Passion of Sense differ'd from the Absolute Nature of the thing it self without; the Senses not comprehending the Objects themselves, but only their own Passions from them.
I say therefore, that the Ancients concluded the Absolute Nature of Corporeal things in themselves, to be nothing but a certain Disposition of Parts, in respect of Magnitude, Figure, Site, and Motion, which in Tasts cause us to be differently affected with those Senses of Sweetness and Bitterness, and in Sight with those Phancies of Colours, and accordingly in the other Senses with other Phancies; and that the Corporeal World was to be explained by these Two things, whereof one is Absolute in the Bodies without us, the various Mechanism of them, the other Relative only to us, the different Phancies in us, caused by the respective Differences of them, in themselves. Which Phancies or Phantastick Idea's are no Modes of the Bodies without us, but of that only in our selves which is Cogitative or Self-Active, that is, Incorporeal. For the Sensible Idea's of Hot and Cold, Red and green, &c. cannot be clearly conceived by us as Modes of the Bodies without us, but they may be easily apprehended as Modes of Cogitation, that is, of Sensation, or Sympathetical Perception in us.
The Result of all which was; That whatsoever is either in Our Selves, or the Whole World, was to be reduced to one or other of these two Principles; Passive Matter, and Extended Bulk, or Self-Active Power and Vertue; Corporeal or Incorporeal Substance; Mechanism or Life; or else to a Complication of them both together.
XXVIII. From this General Account, which we have now given of the Origin of the Atomical Physiology, it appears that the Doctrine of Incorporeal Substance sprung up together with it. But this will be further manifest, from that which follows. For we shall in the next place shew, how this Philosophy did, in especial manner, owe its Original, to the Improvement of one Particular <30> Principle of Reason, over and besides all the rest; namely, that famous Axiom, so much talked of amongst the Ancients, De Nihilo Nihil, in Nihilum Nil posse reverti; That Nothing can come from Nothing, nor go to Nothing. For though Democritus, Epicurus and Lucretius abused this Theorem, endeavouring to carry it further than the Intention of the first Atomists, to the disproving of a Divine Creation of any thing out of Nothing by it; Nullam rem à Nihilo gigni Divinitùs unquam; and consequently of a Deity: Yet as the meaning of it was at first confined and restrained, That Nothing of it self could come from Nothing nor go to Nothing, or that according to the Ordinary Course of Nature (without an Extraordinary Divine Power) Nothing could be rais'd from Nothing, nor reduc'd to Nothing; it is not only an undoubted Rule of Reason in it self, but it was also the Principal Original of that Atomical Physiology, which, discarding Forms and Qualities, acknowledged really nothing else in Body besides Mechanism.
Wherefore it was not in vain, or to no purpose that Laertius in the Life of Democritus takes notice of this as one of his Dogmata, μηδὲν ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος γίνεθαι, μηδὲ εἰς τὸ μὴ ὂν φθείρεσθαι. That Nothing was made or Generated out of Nothing, nor Corrupted into Nothing. This being a Fundamental Principle, not only of his Atheism, but also of that very Atomical Physiology it self, which he pursued. And Epicurus in his Epistle to Herodotus plainly fetches the beginning of all his Philosophy from hence. Πρῶτον μὲν ὅτι οὐδέν γίνεται ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος, καὶ οὐδὲν φθείρεται εὶς τὸ μή ὄν. Εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἐγίνετο τὸ ἐκφαινόμενον ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος, πᾶν ἐκ πάντος ἐγίνετ' ἂν, σπερμάτωνγε οὐδὲν προσδεόμενον. καὶ εἰ ἐφθείρετο δὲ τό ἀφανιζόμενον εἰς τὸ μὴ ὂν, πάντα ἂν ἀπολώλει τὰ πράγματα οὐκ ὄντων τῶν εἰς ἂ διελύετο. We fetch the beginning of our Philosophy (saith he) from hence, that Nothing is made out of Nothing or destroy'd to Nothing; for if things were made out of Nothing, then every thing might be made out of every thing, neither would there be any need of Seeds. And if whatsoever is Corrupted were destroyed to Nothing, then all things would at length be brought to Nothing. Lucretius in like manner beginning here, insists more largely upon those Grounds of Reason hinted by Epicurus: And first, That Nothing can be made out of Nothing he proves thus; Nam si de nihilo fierent, ex omnibus rebus Omne Genus nasci posset: Nil Semine egeret: E mare primùm Homines & terra posset oriri Squamigerum Genus, &c. Nec Fructus iidem Arboribus constare solerent, Sed mutarentur: Ferre omnes omnia possent. Præterea cur Vere Rosam, Frumenta Calore, Vites Autumno, fundi, suadente videmus? &c. Quòd si de Nihilo fierent, subitò exorerentur Incerto spatio atque alienis Partibus anni.
In like manner he argues, to prove that Nothing is Corrupted into Nothing.
In which Passages, though it be plain that Lucretius doth not immediately drive at Atheism, and nothing else; but primarily at the establishing of a peculiar kind of Atomical Physiology, upon which indeed these Democriticks afterward endeavoured to graft Atheism; yet to take away that suspicion, we shall in the next place shew, that generally the other Ancient Physiologers also, who were Theists, did likewise build the structure of their Philosophy upon the same Foundation, that Nothing can come from Nothing, nor go to Nothing: As for Example, Parmenides, Melissus, Zeno, Xenophanes, Anaxagoras and Empedocles; of Parmenides and Melissus, Aristotle thus writes, οὐδέν οὐδὲ γίνεσθαί φασιν οὐδὲ φθείρεσδαι τῶν ὄντων. They say that no Real Entity is either Generated or Corrupted, that is, made anew out of Nothing or destroy'd to Nothing. And Simplicius tells us, that Parmenides gave a notable Reason for the Confirmation of this Assertion, that Nothing in Nature could be Made out of Nothing, αἰτίαν τοῦ δεῖν πάντων ἐξ ὄντος γινεσθαι το γίνομενον, θαυμαστῶς ὁ Παρμενίδης προστέθηκεν, ὅλως γάρ φησιν, εἰ ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος, τίς ἡ ἀποκλήρωσις τοῦ τότε γενέσθαι ὅτε ἐγένετο, ἀλλὰ μὴ πρότερον ἢ ὕστερον. Because if any thing be made out of Nothing, then there could be no cause why it should be then made, and neither sooner nor later. Again Aristotle testifies of Xenophanes and Zeno, that they made this a main Principle of their Philosophy μὴ ἐνδεχέσθαι γίνεσθαι μηδὲν ἐκ μηδενὸς. That it cannot be that any thing should be made out of Nothing: And of this Xenophanes, Sextus the Philosopher tells us, that he held ὅτι εἶς καὶ ἀσώματος θεός. That there was but one God, and that he was Incorporeal, speaking thus of him; Εἷς θεὸς ἔντε θεοῖσι καὶ ἀνθρώποισι μέγιστος, Ὄυτε δέμας θνητοῖσιν ὀμοιιος, οὔτε νοήμα. Aristotle also writes in like manner concerning Empedocles, ἄπαντα ταῦτα κἀκεῖνος ὁμολογεῖ ὅτι ἐκ τε μὴ ὄντος ἀμήχανόν ἐστι γενέσθαι, τό τε ὂν ἐξόλλυσθαι ἀνήνυστον καὶ ἄῤῥηκτον. Empedocles acknowledges the very same with other Philosophers, that it is impossible any thing should be Made <32> out of Nothing or Perish into Nothing. And as for Anaxagoras, it is sufficiently known to all, that his Homœomeria or Doctrine of Similar Atoms, (which was a certain Spurious kind of Atomism) was nothing but a superstructure made upon this Foundation. Besides all which, Aristotle pronounces universally concerning the Ancient Physiologers without any exception, that they agreed in this one thing, περὶ ταύτης ὁμογνωμονοῦσι τῆς δόξης οἱ περὶ φύσεως, ὅτι τὸ γιγνόμενον ἐκ μὴ ὄντων γίγνεσθαι ἀδύνατον. The Physiologers generally agree in this (laying it down for a grand Foundation) that it is Impossible that any thing should be made out of Nothing. And again he calls this κοινὴν δόξαν τῶν φυσικῶν, the common Opinion of Naturalists; intimating also, that they concluded it the greatest absurdity, that any Physiologer could be guilty of, to lay down such Principles, as from whence it would follow, that any Real Entity in Nature did come from Nothing and go to Nothing.
Now it may well be supposed, that all these Ancient Physiologers (the most of which were also Theists) did not keep such a stir about this business for nothing; and therefore we are in the next place to show, what it was that they drove at in it. And we do affirm that one thing, which they all aimed at, who insisted upon the forementioned Principle, was the establishing some Atomical Physiology or other, but most of them at such as takes away all Forms and Qualities of Bodies (as Entities really distinct from the Matter and Substance) and resolves all into Mechanism and Phancy. For it is plain, that if the Forms and Qualities of Bodies be Entities really distinct from the Substance, and its various Modifications, of Figure, Site, and Motion, that then in all the Changes and Transmutations of Nature, all the Generations and Alterations of Body, (those Forms and Qualities being supposed to have no Real Existence any where before) something must of necessity be Created or produced miraculously out of Nothing; as likewise reduced into Nothing in the Corruptions of them, they having no Being any where afterward. As for Example; when ever a Candle is but lighted or kindled into a flame, there must needs be a new Form of fire, and new Qualities of Light and Heat, really distinct from the Matter and Substance, produced out of Nothing, that is, Created, and the same again Reduced into Nothing, or Annihilated, when the flame is extinguished. Thus, when Water is but Congealed at any time into Snow, Hail, or Ice, and when it is again Dissolved; when Wax is by Liquefaction made Soft and Transparent, and changed to most of our Senses; when the same kind of Nourishment taken in by Animals, is turned into Blood, Milk, Flesh, Bones, Nerves, and all the other Similar Parts; when that which was in the Form of bright Flame, appears in the Form of dark Smoak; and that which was in the Form of Vapour, in the Form of Rain or Water, or the like: I say, that in all these Mutations of Bodies there must needs be something made out of Nothing. But that in all the Protean Transformations of Nature, which happen continually, there should be Real Entities thus perpetually produced out of Nothing and reduced to Nothing, seemed to be so great a <33> Paradox to the Ancients, that they could by no means admit of it. Because as we have already declared, First they concluded it clearly impossible by Reason, that any Real Entity should of it self rise out of Nothing; and Secondly, they thought it very absurd to bring God upon the Stage, with his Miraculous extraordinary Power, perpetually at every turn; As also, that every thing might be made out of every thing, and there would be no Cause in Nature, for the Production of one thing rather than another, and at this time rather than that, if they were Miraculously made out of Nothing. Wherefore they sagaciously apprehended, that there must needs be some other Mystery or Intrigue of Nature, in this business, than was commonly dream'd of, or suspected; which they concluded to be this, That in all these Transformations, there were no such Real Entities of Forms and Qualities distinct from the Matter, and the various Disposition of its Parts, in respect of Figure, Site and Motion (as is vulgarly supposed) Produced and Destroyed; but that all these Feats were done, either by the Concretion and Secretion of actually Inexistent Parts, or else by the different Modifications of the same Preexistent Matter, or the Insensible parts thereof. This only being added hereunto, that from those different Modifications of the small Particles of Bodies, (they being not so distinctly perceived by our Senses) there are begotten in us, certain confused Phasmata or Phantasmata, Apparitions, Phancies, and Passions, as of Light and Colours, Heat and Cold, and the like, which are those things, that are vulgarly mistaken for real Qualities existing in the Bodies without us; whereas indeed there is Nothing Absolutely in the Bodies themselves like to those Phantastick Idea's that we have of them; and yet they are wisely contriv'd by the Author of Nature, for the Adorning and Embellishing of the Corporeal World to us.
So that they conceived, Bodies were to be considered two manner of ways, either as they are Absolutely in themselves, or else as they are Relatively to us: And as they are absolutely in themselves, that so there never was any Entity really distinct from the Substance, produced in them out of Nothing, nor Corrupted or Destroyed to Nothing, but only the Accidents and Modifications altered. Which Accidents and Modifications are no Entities really distinct from their Substance; for as much as the same Body may be put into several Shapes and Figures, and the same Man may successively Stand, Sit, Kneel and Walk, without the production of any new Entities really distinct from the substance of his Body. So that the Generations, Corruptions and Alterations of Inanimate Bodies are not terminated in the Production or Destruction of any Substantial Forms, or real Entities distinct from the Substance, but only in different Modifications of it. But secondly, as Bodies are considered Relatively to us, that so besides their different Modifications and Mechanical Alterations, there are also different Phancies, Seemings and Apparitions begotten in us from them; which unwary and unskilful Philosophers mistake for Absolute Forms and Qualities in Bodies themselves. And thus they concluded, that all the Phænomena of Inanimate Bodies, and their various Transformations, might <34> be clearly resolved into these two things, Partly something that is Real and Absolute in Bodies themselves, which is nothing but their different Mechanism, or Disposition of Parts in respect of Figure, Site and Motion; and Partly something that is Phantastical in the Sentient.
That the Atomical Physiology did emerge after this manner, from that Principle of Reason, that Nothing comes from Nothing, nor goes to Nothing, might be further convinced from the testimony of Aristotle, writing thus concerning it: Ἐκ τοῦ γίνεθαι ἐξ ἀλλήλων τ'αναντία ἐνυπῆρχεν ἄρα. εἰ γὰρ πᾶν τὸ γινόμενον ἀνάγκη γίνεσθαι ἢ ἐξ ὄντων ἤ ἐξ μὴ ὄντων. τούτων δὲ τὸ μεν, ἐκ μὴ ὄντων γίνεσθαι ἀδύνατον, περὶ γὰρ ταύτης ὁμγνωμονοῦσι τῆς δόξης ἅπαντες οἱ περὶ φύσεως. τὸ λειπον ἤδε συμβαίνειν ἐξ ἀναγκης ἐνόμισαν. ἐξ ὄντων μὲν καὶ ἐνυπαρχόντων γίνεσθαι, διὰ δὲ σμικρότητα τῶν ὄγκων ἐξ ἀναισθήτων ἡμῖν. The ancient Physiologers concluded, that because Contraries were made out of one another, that therefore they were before (one way or other) Inexistent, Arguing in this manner. That if whatsoever be made, must needs be made out of Something or out of Nothing, and this latter (that any thing should be made out of Nothing) is Impossible, according to the general Consent of all the ancient Physiologers; then it follows of Necessity, that all Corporeal things are Made or Generated, out of things that were really before and Inexistent; though by reason of the smallness of their Bulks they were Insensible to us. Where Aristotle plainly intimates that all the ancient Philosophers, whosoever insisted upon this Principle, that Nothing comes from Nothing, nor goes to Nothing, were one way or other Atomical, and did resolve all Corporeal things into ὄγκους τινὰς διὰ τὴν σμικρότητα ἀναισθήτους ἡμῖν, Certain Moleculæ or Corpuscula which by Reason of their smallness were insensible to us, that is, into Atoms. But yet there was a difference between these Atomists, forasmuch as Anaxagoras was such an Atomist, as did notwithstanding hold Forms and Qualities, really distinct from the Mechanical Modifications of Bodies. For he not being able (as it seems) well to understand that other Atomical Physiology of the Ancients, that, exploding Qualities, salved all Corporeal Phænomena by Mechanism and Phancy; and yet acknowledging, that that Principle of theirs which they went upon, must needs be true, That Nothing could of it self come from Nothing nor go to Nothing; framed a new kind of Atomology of his own, in supposing the whole Corporeal World or Mass of Matter, to consist of Similar Atoms, that is, such as were originally endued with all those different Forms and Qualities that are vulgarly conceived to be in Bodies, some Bony, some Fleshy, some Firie, some Watery, some White, some Black, some Bitter, some Sweet, and the like, so that all Bodies whatsoever had some of all sorts of these Atoms (which are in a manner Infinite) specifically differing from one another in them. πᾶν ἐν παντὶ μεμίχθαι, διότι πᾶν ἐκ παντὸς γίνεται, φαίνεσθαι δὲ διαφέροντα, καὶ προσαγορεύεσθαι ἔτερα ἀλλήλων ἐκ τοῦ μάλιστα ὑπερέχοντος διὰ τὸ πλῆθος ἐν τῆ μίξει τῶν ἀπείρων, &c. That all things were in every thing mingled together, because they saw that every thing was made of every thing; but that things seemed to differ from one another and were denominated to be this or that, from those Atoms which are most predominant in the Mixture, by reason of <35> their Multiplicity: Whence he concluded that all the Generations, Corruptions and Alterations of Bodies were made by nothing but the Concretions, and Secretions of Inexistent and Preexistent Atoms of different Forms and Qualities, without the Production of any new Form and Qualitie out of Nothing, or the Reduction of any into Nothing. This very account Aristotle gives of the Anaxagorean Hypothesis. ἔοικε Ἀναξαγόρας οὕτως ἄπειρα οἰηθῆναι τὰ στοιχεῖα, διὰ τὸ ὑπολαμβάνειν, τὴν καινὴν δόξην τῶν φυσικῶν εἶναι ἀληθῆ, ὡς οὐ γινομένου οὐδενὸς ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος. Anaxagoras seemeth therefore to make Infinite Atoms endued with several Forms and Qualities to be the Elements of Bodies, because he supposed that Common opinion of Physiologers to be true, that Nothing is Made of Nothing. But all the other ancient Physiologers that were before Anaxagoras, and likewise those after him, who insisting upon the same Principle of Nothing coming from Nothing did not Anaxagorize, as Empedocles, Democritus and Protagoras, must needs make ὄγκους ἀνομοίους, dissimilar Moleculæ, and ἀτόμους ἀποίους, Atoms unformed and unqualified, otherwise than by Magnitude, Figure and Motion, to be the Principles of Bodies, and cashiering Forms and Qualities (as real Entities distinct from the Matter) resolve all Corporeal Phænomena into Mechanism and Phancie. Because, if no Real Entity can come from Nothing, nor go to Nothing, then one of these two things is absolutely Necessary, that either these Corporeal Forms and Qualities, being real Entities distinct from the Matter, should exist before Generations and after Corruptions, in certain insensible Atoms originally such, according to the Anaxagorean Doctrine; Or else that they should not be Real Entities distinct from the Matter, but only the different Modifications and Mechanisms of it, together with different Phancies. And thus we have made it evident that the genuine Atomical Physiology did spring originally from this Principle of Reason, that no Real Entitie does of it self come from Nothing nor go to Nothing.
XXIX. Now we shall in the next place show how this very same Principle of Reason which induced the Ancients to reject Substantial Forms and Qualities of Bodies, and to Physiologize Atomically, led them also unavoidably to assert Incorporeal Substances, and that the Souls of Men and Animals were such, neither Generated nor Corrupted. They had argued against Substantial Forms and Qualities as we have shewed, in this manner, that since the Forms and Qualities of Bodies are supposed by all to be Generated and Corrupted, made anew out of Nothing and destroyed to Nothing, that therefore they could not be Real Entities distinct from the Substance of Matter, but only different Modifications of it in respect of Figure, Site and Motion, causing different Sensations in us; and were all to be resolved into Mechanism and Fancie. For as for that Conceit of Anaxagoras, of Præ and Post-existent Atoms, endued with all those several Forms and Qualities of Bodies Ingenerably and Incorruptibly; it was nothing but an Adulteration of the genuine Atomical Philosophy, and a mere Dream of his, in which very few follow'd him. And now they argue contrariwise for the Souls of Men and Animals, in this manner; Because they are plain <36> ly Real Entities distinct from the Substance of Matter and its Modification, and Men and Brutes are not mere Machins, neither can Life and Cogitation, Sense and Consciousness, Reason and Understanding, Appetite and Will, ever result from Magnitudes, Figures, Sites and Motions, that therefore they are not Corporeally Generated and Corrupted, as the Forms and Qualities of Bodies are. Ἀδύνατον γίνεθαί τι ἐκ μηδενὸς προϊπάρχοντος. It is impossible for a real Entity to be made or Generated from Nothing preexisting. Now there is Nothing of Soul and Mind, Reason and Understanding, nor indeed of Cogitation and Life, contained in the Modifications and Mechanism of Bodies; and therefore to make Soul and Mind to rise out of Body whensoever a man is generated, would be plainly to make a real Entity to come out of Nothing, which is impossible. I say, because the Forms and Qualities of Bodies are Generated and Corrupted, Made and Unmade, in the ordinary course of Nature, therefore they concluded, that they were not real Entities distinct from the Substance of Body and its various Modifications: but because Soul and Mind is plainly a real Entity distinct from the Substance of Body, its Modification and Mechanism; that therefore it was not a thing Generated and Corrupted, Made and Unmade, but such as had a Being of its own, a Substantial Thing by it self. Real Entities and Substances are not Generated and Corrupted, but only Modifications.
Wherefore these Ancients apprehended that there was a great difference betwixt the Souls of Men and Animals, and the Forms and Qualities of other inanimate Bodies, and consequently betwixt their several Productions. Forasmuch as in the Generation of Inanimate Bodies there is no new real Entity acquired distinct from the Substance of the thing it self, but only a peculiar Modification of it. The Form of Stone, or of Timber, of Blood, Flesh and Bone, and such other Natural Bodies Generated, is no more a distinct Substance or Entity from the Matter, than the Form of an House, Stool or Table is: There is no more new Entity acquired in the Generation of Natural Bodies, than there is in the Production of Artificial ones. When Water is turn'd into Vapour, Candle into Flame, Flame into Smoak, Grass into Milk Blood and Bones, there is no more miraculous Production of Something out of Nothing, than when Wool is made into cloth, or Flax into Linnen, when a rude and Unpolish'd Stone is hewen into a beautiful Statue, when Brick, Timber and Mortar, that lay together before disorderly, is brought into the Form of a stately Palace; there being Nothing neither in one nor other of these but only a different Disposition and Modification of preexistent Matter. Which Matter of the Universe is alwaies Substantially the same, and neither more nor less, but only Proteanly transformed into different Shapes. Thus we see that the Generation of all Inanimate Bodies is nothing but the change of Accidents and Modifications, the Substance being really the same both before and after. But in the Generations of Men and Animals, besides the new disposition of the Parts of Matter and its Organization, there is also the Acquisition and Conjunction of another Real Entity or Substance distinct from the Mat <37> ter, which could not be Generated out of it, but must needs come into it some other way. Though there be no Substantial difference between a Stately House or Palace standing, and all the Materials of the same ruinated and demolished, but only a difference of Accidents and Modifications; yet between a living Man and a dead Carcase, there is besides the Accidental Modification of the Body, another Substantial difference, there being a Substantial Soul and Incorporeal Inhabitant, dwelling in the one and acting of it, which the other is now deserted of. And it is very observable that Anaxagoras himself, who made Bony and Fleshy Atoms, Hot and Cold, Red and Green, and the like, which he supposed to exist before Generations and after Corruptions, alwaies immutably the same, (that so Nothing might come from Nothing and go to Nothing) yet he did not make any Animalish Atoms Sensitive and Rational. The Reason whereof could not be because he did not think Sense and Understanding to be as Real Entities as Hot and Cold, Red and Green; but because they could not be supposed to be Corporeal Forms and Qualities, but must needs belong to another Substance that was Incorporeal. And therefore Anaxagoras could not but acknowledge, that all Souls and Lives did Præ and Post-exist by themselves, as well as those Corporeal Forms and Qualities, in his Similar Atoms.
XXX. And now it is already manifest, that from the same Principle of Reason before mentioned, That Nothing of it self can come from Nothing nor go to Nothing, the Ancient Philosophers were induced likewise to assert the Soul's Immortality, together with its Incorporeity or Distinctness from the Body. No substantial Entity ever vanisheth of it self into Nothing; for if it did, then in length of time all might come to be Nothing. But the Soul is a Substantial Entity, Really distinct from the body, and not the mere Modification of it; and therefore when a Man dies, his Soul must still remain and continue to have a Being somewhere else in the Universe. All the Changes that are in Nature, are either Accidental Transformations and different Modifications of the same Substance, or else they are Conjunctions and Separations, or Anagrammatical Transpositions of things in the Universe; the Substance of the whole remaining alwaies entirely the same. The Generation and Corruption of Inanimate Bodies, is but like the making of a House, Stool or Table, and the Unmaking or Marring of them again, either different Modifications of one and the same Substance, or else divers Mixtures and Separations, Concretions and Secretions. And the Generation and Corruption of Animals is likewise nothing but ———μίξις τε διάλλαξίς τε μιγέντων, The Conjunction of Souls together with such Particular Bodies, and the Separation of them again from one another, and so as it were the Anagrammatical Transposition of them in the Universe. That Soul and Life that is now fled and gone, from a lifeless Carcase, is only <38> a loss to that particular Body or Compages of Matter, which by means thereof is now disanimated; but it is no loss to the whole, it being but Transposed in the Universe, and lodged somewhere else.
XXXI. It is also further evident that this same Principle which thus led the Ancients to hold the Souls Immortality, or its Future Permanency after Death, must needs determine them likewise to maintain its Προύπαρξις, or Preexistence, and consequently its μετενσωμάτωσις, or Transmigration. For that which did preexist before the Generation of any Animal, and was then somewhere else, must needs Transmigrate into the Body of that Animal where now it is. But as for that other Transmigration of Human Souls into the Bodies of Brutes, though it cannot be denied but that many of these Ancients admitted it also, yet Timæus Locrus, and divers others of the Pythagoreans, rejected it, any otherwise than as it might be taken for an Allegorical Description of that Beastly Transformation, that is made of Mens Souls by Vice. Aristotle tells us again, agreeably to what was declared before, ὅτι μάλιστα φοβοῦμενοι διετέλησαν οἱ παλαιοὶ τὸ ἐκ μὴδενὸς γίνεσθαί τι προϋπάρχοντος. That the Ancient Philosophers were afraid of Nothing more, than this one thing, that any thing should be made out of Nothing Preexistent: And therefore they must needs conclude, that the Souls of all Animals Preexisted before their Generations. And indeed it is a thing very well known that according to the Sence of Philosophers, these two things were alwaies included together, in that one opinion of the Soul's Immortality, namely its Preexistence as well as its Postexistence. Neither was there ever any of the Ancients before Christianity, that held the Souls future Permanency after Death, who did not likewise assert its Preexistence; they clearly perceiving, that if it were once granted, that the Soul was Generated, it could never be proved but that it might be also Corrupted. And therefore the Assertors of the Souls Immortality, commonly begun here; first, to prove its Preexistence, proceeding thence afterward to establish its Permanency after Death. This is the Method used in Plato, ἦν που ἡμῶν ἡ ψυχὴ πρὶν ἐν τῶδε τῷ ἀνθρωπίνῳ εἴδει γενέσθαι, ὥστε καὶ ταύτῃ ἁθάνατόν τι ἔοικεν ἡ ψυχὴ εἶναι. Our Soul was somewhere, before it came to exist in this present Humane Form, and from thence it appears to be Immortal, and such as will subsist after Death. And the chief demonstration of the Soul's Preexistence to the Ancients before Plato was this, because it is an Entity Really distinct from Body or Matter and the Modifications of it; and no real Substantial Entity can either spring of it self out of Nothing, or be made out of any other Substance distinct from it, because Nothing can be made ἐκ μηδενὸς ἐνυπάρχοντος ἢ προϋπάρχοντος, from nothing either inexisting or preexisting; all Natural Generations being but the various Dispositions and Modifications of what was before existent in the Universe. But there was Nothing of Soul and Mind, Inexisting and Preexisting in Body before, there being Nothing of Life and Cogitation in Magnitude, Figure, Site, and Motion. Wherefore this must needs be, not a thing Made or Generated, as Corporeal Forms and Qualities are, but such <39> as hath a Being in Nature Ingenerably and Incorruptibly. The Mechanism of Humane Body was a thing Made and Generated, it being only a different Modification of what was before existent, and having no new Entity in it distinct from the Substance: And the Totum or Compositum of a Man or Animal may be said to be Generated and Corrupted, in regard of the Union and Disunion, Conjunction and Separation of those two parts, the Soul and Body. But the Soul it self, according to these Principles, is neither a thing Generable nor Corruptible, but was as well before the Generation, and will be after the Deaths and Corruptions of men, as the Substance of their Body, which is supposed by all to have been from the first Creation, and no Part of it to be annihilated or lost after Death, but only scatter'd and dispersed in the Universe. Thus the Ancient Atomists concluded, That Souls and Lives being Substantial Entities by themselves, were all of them as old as any other Substance in the Universe, and as the whole Mass of Matter, and every smallest Atom of it is. That is, they who maintained the Eternity of the World, did consequently assert also Æternitatem Animorum (as Cicero calls it) the Eternity of Souls and Minds. But they who conceived the World to have had a Temporary Beginning or Creation, held the Coevity of all Souls with it, and would by no means be induced to think that every Atom of Senseless Matter and Particle of Dust, had such a Privilege and Preeminency over the Souls of Men and Animals, as to be Seniour to them. Synesius though a Christian, yet having been educated in this Philosophy, could not be induced by the hopes of a Bishoprick, to stifle or dissemble this Sentiment of his Mind, ἀμέλει τὴν ψυχὴν οὐκ ἀξιώσω ποτὲ σώματος ὑστερογενῆ νομίζειν. I shall never be perswaded to think my Soul to be younger than my Body. But such, it seems, was the temper of those times, that he was not only dispensed withal as to this, but also as to another Heterodoxy of his, concerning the Resurrection.
XXXII. It is already plain also, that this Doctrine of the Ancient Atomists concerning the Immateriality and Immortality, the Præ and Post-existence of Souls, was not confined by them to Humane Souls only, but extended universally to all Souls and Lives whatsoever. It being a thing that was hardly ever called into doubt or question by any, before Cartesius, whether the Souls of Brutes had any Sense, Cogitation or Consciousness in them or no. Now all Life, Sense and Cogitation was undoubtedly concluded by them, to be an Entity Really distinct from the Substance of Body, and not the mere Modification, Motion or Mechanism of it; Life and Mechanism being two distinct Idea's of the Mind, which cannot be confounded together. Wherefore they resolved that all Lives and Souls whatsoever, which now are in the World, ever were from the first Beginning of it, and ever will be, that there will be no new ones produced which are not already, and have not alwaies been, nor any of those which now are destroyed, any more than the Substance of any Matter will be Created or Annihilated. So that the whole System of the Created Universe, Consisting of Body, and particular Incorporeal Substances or Souls, in the succes <40> sive Generations and Corruptions or Deaths, of Men and other Animals, was according to them, Really nothing else, but one and the same Thing perpetually Anagrammatized, or but like many different Syllables and Words variously and successively composed out of the same preexistent Elements or Letters.
XXXIII. We have now declared how the same Principle of Reason which made the Ancient Physiologers to become Atomists, must needs induce them also to be Incorporealists; how the same thing which perswaded them that Corporeal Forms were no Real Entities distinct from the Substance of the Body, but only the different Modifications and Mechanisms of it, convinced them likewise, that all Cogitative Beings, all Souls and Lives whatsoever, were Ingenerable and Incorruptible, and as well Preexistent before the Generations of Particular Animals, as Postexistent after their Deaths and Corruptions. Nothing now remains but only to show more particularly, that it was de facto thus, that the same persons did from this Principle (that Nothing can come from Nothing and go to Nothing) both Atomize in their Physiology, taking away all Substantial Forms and Qualities, and also Theologize or Incorporealize, asserting Souls to be a Substance really distinct from Matter and Immortal, as also to preexist; and this we shall do from Empedocles, and first from that Passage of his cited before in part. Ἀλλο δἐ σοι ἐρέω φύσις οὐδενός ἐστιν ἐκάστῳ Θνητῶν, οὐδέ τις οὐλομένη θανάτοιο γενέθλη, (al. lect. τελεύτη) Ἀλλα μόνον μίξις τε διάλλαξίς τε μιγέντων Ἐστὶ, φύσις δ' επὶ τοῖς ὀνομαζεται ἀνθρώποισι. Which I find Latin'd thus, Ast aliud dico; nihil est Mortalibus Ortus, Est nihil Interitus, qui rebus morte paratur; Mistio sed solum est, & Conciliatio rerum Mistilium; hæc dici solita est Mortalibus Ortus.
The full Sence whereof is plainly this, That there is no φύσις or Production of any thing which was not before; no new Substance Made, which did not really Preexist; and therefore that in the Generations and Corruptions of Inanimate Bodies, there is no Form or Quality really distinct from the Substance produced and destroyed, but only a various Composition and Modification of Matter: But in the Generations and Corruptions of Men and Animals, where the Souls are Substances really distinct from the Matter, that there, there is Nothing but the Conjunction and Separation of Souls and particular Bodies, existing both before and after, not the Production of any new Soul into Being which was not before, nor the absolute Death and Destruction of any into Nothing. Which is further expressed in these following Verses. <41> Νήπιοι, οὐ γάρ σφιν δολιχόφρονες εἰσὶ μέριμναι, Οἳ δὴ γίνεσθαι πάρος οὐκ ἐὸν ἑλπίζουσιν, Ἤτοι καταθνήσκειν τε καὶ ἐξόλλυσθαι ἁπάντη. To this Sence; That they are Infants in Understanding, and shortsighted, who think any thing to be Made, which was Nothing before, or any thing to Die, so as to be Destroyed to Nothing. Upon which Plutarch glosses after this manner: οὐκ ἀναιρεῖ γένεσιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν ἐκ μὴ ὀντος. οὐδὲ φθορὰν, ἀλλὰ τὴν πάντη. τουτέστι τὴν εἰς τὸ μὴ ὂν ἀπολύουσαν. Empedocles does not here destroy Generation, but only such as is out of Nothing; nor Corruption, but such as is into Nothing. Which, as we have already intimated, is to be understood differently in respect to Inanimate and Animate things; for in things Inanimate there is Nothing Produced or Destroyed, because the Forms and Qualities of them are no Entities really distinct from the Substance, but only diverse Mixtures and Modifications. But in Animate things, where the Souls are real Entities really distinct from the Substance of the Body, there is Nothing Produced nor Destroyed neither, because those Souls do both exist before their Generations, and after their Corruptions; which business, as to Men and Souls, is again more fully expressed thus; Οὐκ ἂν ἀνὴρ τοιαῦτα σοφὸς φρεσὶ μαντεύσαιτο, Ὣς ὄφρα μέν τε βιῶσι, τὸ δὴ βίοτον καλέουσι, Τόφρα μὲν οὖν εἰσι, καί σφη πάρα δεινὰ καὶ ἐσθλὰ, Πρὶν δὲ παγέντε βροτοὶ καὶ λυθέντες οὐδὲν ἄρ' εἰσί. That Good and Ill did First us Here attend, And not from Time Before, the Soul Descend; That here alone we live, and when Hence we depart, we forthwith then, Turn to our old Non-entity again; Certes ought not to be believ'd by Wise and Learned Men.
Wherefore, according to Empedocles, this is to be accounted one of the Vulgar Errors, That Men then only have a being and are capable of Good and Evil, when they live here that which is called Life; But that both before they are Born, and after they are Dead, they are perfectly Nothing.
And besides Empedocles, the same is represented by the Greek Tragedian also, as the Sence of the ancient Philosophers. Θνήσκει δ' οὐδὲν τῶν γινομένων , Διακρινόμενον δ' ἄλλο πρὸς ἄλλο Μόρφην ἑτέραν ἀπέδειξεν. That Nothing Dies or utterly perisheth; but things being variously Concreted and Secreted, Transposed and Modified, change their Form and Shape only, and are put into a New Dress.
Agreeably whereunto, Plato also tells us, that it was παλαιὸς λόγος, an ancient Tradition or Doctrine before his Time, τοὺς ζῶντας ἐκ τῶν τεθνεώτων γεγονέναι, οὐδὲν ῆττον ἢ τοὺς τεθνεώτας ἐκ τῶν ζώντων. That as well the Living were made out of the Dead, as the Dead out of the Living, and that this was the constant Circle of Nature. Moreover the same Philosopher acquaints us, that some of those Ancients were not without suspicion, that what is now called Death, was to Men more properly a Nativity or Birth into Life, and what is called Generation into Life, was comparatively rather to be accounted a sinking into Death; the Former being the Soul's Ascent out of these Gross Terrestrial Bodies, to a Body more Thin and Subtil, and the Latter its Descent from a purer Body to that which is more Crass and Terrestrial. τίς οἶδεν εἰ τὸ ζἠν μέν ἐστι κατθανεῖν τὸ κατθανεῖν δὲ ζῆν. Who knows whether that which is called Living be not indeed rather Dying, and that which is called Dying, Living?
Moreover, that this was the Doctrine of Pythagoras himself, that no Real Entity perishes in Corruptions, nor is produced in Generations, but only new Modifications and Transpositions made; is fully expressed by the Latin Poet, both as to Inanimate, and to Animate Things. Of the first thus: Nec perit in tanto quicquam (mihi credite) mundo, Sed variat, faciemque novat: Nascique vocatur Incipere esse aliud, quàm quod fuit antè; Morique Desinere illud idem. Cum sint Huc forsitan Illa, Hæc Translata Illuc: Summâ tamen omnia constant. Of the Second, that the Souls of Animals are Immortal, did preexist and do transmigrate, from the same Ground, after this manner; Omnia mutantur; Nihil interit: Errat & illinc, Huc venit, hinc illuc, & quoslibet occupat artus, Spiritus, éque Feris Humana in Corpora transit, Inque Feras Noster, nec tempore deperit ullo. Utque novis facilis signatur Cera figuris, Nec manet ut fuerat, nec formas servat easdem, Sed tamen ipsa eadem est: Animam sic semper eandem Esse, sed in varias doceo migrare Figuras.
Wherefore though it be a thing which hath not been commonly taken Notice of, of late, yet we conceive it to be unquestionably true, that all those ancient Philosophers, who insisted so much upon this Principle, οὐδὲν οὐδέ γίνεσθαι οὐδέ φθείρεσθαι τῶν ὄντων. That no Real Entity is either Generated or Corrupted, did therein at once drive at these two things: First, the establishing of the Immortality of all Souls, their Præ and Post-existence, forasmuch as being Entities Really distinct from the Body, they could neither be Generated nor Corrupted; and Secondly, the making of Corporeal Forms and Qualities to be no Real Entities distinct from the Body and the Me <43> chanism thereof, because they are things Generated and Corrupted, and have no Præ and Post-existence. Anaxagoras in this Latter, being the only Dissenter; who supposing those Forms and Qualities to be real Entities likewise, distinct from the Substance of Body, therefore attributed Perpetuity of Being to them also, Præ and Post-existence, in Similar Atoms, as well as to the Souls of Animals.
And now we have made it sufficiently evident that the Doctrine of the Incorporeity and Immortality of Souls, we might add also, of their Preexistence and Transmigration, had the same Original and stood upon the same Basis with the Atomical Pysiology; and therefore it ought not at all to be wondered at (what we affirmed before) that the same Philosophers and Pythagoreans asserted both those Doctrines, and that the Ancient Atomists were both Theists and Incorporealists.
XXXIV. But now to declare our Sence freely concerning this Philosophy of the Ancients, which seems to be so prodigiously paradoxical, in respect of that Pre-existence and Transmigration of Souls: We conceive indeed that this Ratiocination of theirs from that Principle, That Nothing Naturally, or of it self, comes from Nothing, nor goes to Nothing, was not only firmly conclusive against Substantial Forms and Qualities of Bodies, really distinct from their Substance, but also for Substantial Incorporeal Souls, and their Ingenerability out of the Matter; and particularly for the future Immortality or Post-existence of all Humane Souls. For since it is plain, that they are not a mere Modification of Body or Matter, but an Entity and Substance really distinct from it, we have no more reason to think, that they can ever of themselves vanish into Nothing, than that the substance of the Corporeal World or any part thereof, can do so. For that in the Consumption of Bodies by Fire, or Age, or the like, there is the destruction of any real Substance into Nothing, is now generally exploded as an Idiotical conceit, and certainly it cannot be a jot less Idiotical to suppose that the Rational Soul in Death is utterly extinguished.
Moreover we add also, that this Ratiocination of the Ancients would be altogether as firm and irrefragable likewise, for the Pre-existence and Transmigration of Souls, as it is for their Post-existence and future Immortality; did we not (as indeed we do) suppose Souls to be Created by God immediately, and infused in Generations. For they being unquestionably, a distinct Substance from the Body, and no Substance according to the ordinary Course of Nature, coming out of Nothing, they must of Necessity either Preexist in the Universe before Generations, and Transmigrate into their respective Bodies, or else come from God immediatly, who is the Fountain of all, and who at first created all that Substance that now is in the World besides himself. Now the latter of these was a thing which those Ancient Philosophers would by no means admit of; they judging it altogether incongruous, to bring God upon the Stage perpetually, and make him immediatly interpose every where, in the <44> Generations of Men and all other Animals, by the Miraculous production of Souls out of Nothing. Notwithstanding which, if we well consider it, we shall find that there may be very good reason on the other side, for the successive Divine Creation of Souls; namely, that God did not do all at first, that ever he could or would do, and put forth all his Creative Vigour at once in a moment, ever afterwards remaining a Spectator only of the consequent Results, and permitting Nature to do all alone, without the least Interposition of his at any time, just as if there were no God at all in the World. For this may be, and indeed often hath been, the effect of such an Hypothesis as this, to make men think, that there is no other God in the World but Blind and Dark Nature. God might also for other good and wise Ends, unknown to us, reserve to himself the continual exercise of this his Creative power, in the successive Production of new Souls. And yet these Souls nevertheless, after they are once brought forth into being, will notwithstanding their Juniority, continue as firmly in the same, without vanishing of themselves into Nothing, as the Substance of Senseless Matter that was Created many thousand years before, will do.
And thus our Vulgar Hypothesis, of the new Creation of Souls, as it is Rational in it self, so it doth sufficiently salve their Incorporeity, their future Immortality or Post-eternity, without introducing those offensive Absurdities of their Preexistence and Transmigration.
XXXV. But if there be any such, who rather than they would allow a future Immortality or Post-existence to all Souls, and therefore to those of Brutes, which consequently must have their Successive Transmigrations, would conclude the Souls of all Brutes, as likewise the Sensitive Soul in Man, to be Corporeal, and only allow the Rational Soul to be distinct from Matter: To these we have only thus much to say; That they who will attribute Life, Sense, Cogitation, Consciousness and Self-enjoyment, not without some footsteps of Reason many times, to Blood and Brains, or mere Organized Bodies in Brutes, will never be able clearly to defend the Incorporeity and Immortality of Humane Souls, as most probably they do not intend any such thing. For either all Conscious and Cogitative Beings are Incorporeal, or else nothing can be proved to be Incorporeal. From whence it would follow also, that there is no Deity distinct from the Corporeal World. But though there seem to be no very great reason, why it should be thought absurd, to grant Perpetuity of Duration to the Souls of Brutes, any more than to every Atom of Matter, or Particle of Dust that is in the whole World; yet we shall endeavour to suggest something towards the easing the minds of those, who are so much burthened with this difficulty; viz. That they may, if they please, suppose the Souls of Brutes, being but so many particular Eradiations or Effluxes from that Source of Life above, whensoever and wheresoever there is any fitly prepared Matter capable to receive them, and to be Actuated by them; to have a sense and fruition of <45> themselves in it, so long as it continues such, but as soon as ever those Organized Bodies of theirs, by reason of their Indisposition, become uncapable of being further acted upon by them, then to be resumed again and retracted back to their Original Head and Fountain. Since it cannot be doubted, but what Creates any thing out of Nothing, or sends it forth from it self, by free and voluntary Emanation, may be able either to Retract the same back again to its original Source, or else to Annihilate it at pleasure.
And I find that there have not wanted some among the Gentile Philosophers themselves, who have entertained this Opinion, whereof Porphyry is one: λύεται ἐκάστη δύναμις ἄλογος εἰς τὴν ὅλην ζωὴν τοῦ πάντος. Every irrational Power is resolved into the Life of the Whole.
XXXVI. Neither will this at all weaken the future Immortality or Post-eternity of Humane Souls. For if we be indeed Theists, and do in very good Earnest believe a Deity, according to the true Notion of it, we must then needs acknowledge, that all created Being whatsoever, owes the Continuation and Perpetuity of its Existence, not to any Necessity of Nature without God, and Independently upon him, but to the Divine Will only. And therefore though we had never so much Rational and Philosophical assurance, that our Souls are Immaterial Substances, distinct from the Body, yet we could not for all that, have any absolute certainty of their Post-eternity, any otherwise than as it may be derived to us, from the Immutability and Perfection of the Divine Nature and Will, which does alwaies that which is Best. For the Essential Goodness and Wisdom of the Deity is the only Stability of all things. And for ought we Mortals know, there may be good Reason, why that Grace or Favour of future Immortality and Post-eternity, that is indulged to Humane Souls, endued with Reason, Morality, and Liberty of Will, (by means whereof they are capable of Commendation and Blame, Reward and Punishment) that so they may be Objects for Divine Justice to display it self upon after this Life, in different Retributions; may notwithstanding be denied to those lower Lives and more contemptible Souls of Brutes, alike devoid both of Morality and Liberty.
XXXVII. But if any for all this will still obstinately contend for that ancient Pythagorick and Empedoclean Hypothesis, That all Lives and Souls whatsoever are as old as the first Creation, and will continue to Eternity, or as long as the World doth, as a thing more Reasonable and Probable than our Continual Creation of new Souls, by means whereof they become Juniors both to the matter of the World and of their own Bodies, and whereby also (as they pretend) the Divine creative Power is made too Cheap and Prostituted a thing, as being Famulative alwaies to Brutish, and many times to unlawful Lusts and undue Conjunctions; but especially than the Continual Decreation and Annihilation of the Souls of Brutes; we shall not be very unwilling to acknowledge thus much to them, <46> That indeed of the two, this Opinion is more Reasonable and Tolerable than that other Extravagancy of those, who will either make all Souls to be Generated and consequently to be Corporeal, or at least the Sensitive Soul both in Men and Brutes. For besides the Monstrosity of this latter opinion, in making two distinct Souls and Perceptive Substances in every Man, which is a thing sufficiently confuted by Internal Sense, it leaves us also in an absolute Impossibility, of proving the Immortality of the Rational Soul, the Incorporeity of any Substance, and by consequence the Existence of any Deity distinct from the Corporeal World.
And as for that Pretence of theirs, that Senseless Matter may as well become Sensitive, and as it were kindled into Life and Cogitation, as a Body that was devoid of Light and Heat, may be Kindled into Fire and Flame; this seems to argue too much Ignorance of the Doctrine of Bodies, in men otherwise Learned and Ingenious. The best Naturalists having already concluded, That Fire and Flame is nothing but such a Motion of the Insensible Parts of a Body, as whereby they are violently agitated, and many times dissipated and scattered from each other, begetting in the mean time those Phancies of Light and Heat in Animals. Now there is no difficulty at all in conceiving that the Insensible Particles of a Body, which were before quiescent, may be put into Motion; this being nothing but a New Modification of them, and no Entity really distinct from the Substance of Body; as Life, Sense and Cogitation are. There is nothing in Fire and Flame, or a Kindled Body, different from other Bodies, but only the Motion or Mechanism, and Phancie of it. And therefore it is but a crude conceit, which the Atheists and Corporealists of former times have been always so fond of, That Souls are nothing but Firie or Flammeous Bodies. For though Heat in the Bodies of Animals be a Necessary Instrument for Soul and Life to act by in them, yet it is a thing really distinct from Life; and a Red hot Iron hath not therefore any nearer approximation to Life than it had before, nor the Flame of a Candle than the extinguisht Snuff or Tallow of it; the difference between them being only in the Agitation of the Insensible Parts. We might also add, that according to this Hypothesis, the Souls of Animals could not be Numerically the same throughout the whole space of their Lives: Since that Fire that needs a Pabulum to prey upon, doth not continue alwaies one and the same Numerical Substance. The Soul of a new born Animal could be no more the same, with the Soul of that Animal several years after, than the Flame of a new lighted Candle is the same with that Flame that twinkles last in the Socket. Which indeed are no more the same than a River or Stream is the same, at several distances of time. Which Reason may be also extended further to prove the Soul to be no Body at all, since the Bodies of all Animals are in a perpetual Flux.
XXXVIII. We have now sufficiently performed our first Task which was to show from the Origin of the Atomical Physiology, <47> that the Doctrine of Incorporeal Substance must needs spring up together with it. We shall in the next place make it manifest, that the Inward Constitution of this Philosophy is also such, that whosoever really entertains it, and rightly understands it, must of necessity admit Incorporeal Substance likewise. First therefore, the Atomical Hypothesis, allowing nothing to Body, but what is either included in the Idæa of a thing Impenetrably extended, or can clearly be conceived to be a Mode of it, as more or less Magnitude with Divisibility, Figure, Site, Motion and Rest, together with the Results of their several Combinations; cannot possibly make Life and Cogitation to be Qualities of Body, since they are neither contained in those things before mentioned, nor can result from any συζυγίαι or Conjugations of them. Wherefore it must needs be granted, that Life and Cogitation are the Attributes of another Substance distinct from Body, or Incorporeal.
Again, since according to the Tenour of this Physiology, Body hath no other Action belonging to it but that of Local Motion, which Local Motion as such, is Essentially Heterokinesie, that which never springs originally from the thing it self moving, but alwaies from the Action of some other Agent upon it: That is, since no Body could ever move it self; it follows undeniably, that there must be something else in the World besides Body, or else there could never have been any Motion in it. Of which we shall speak more afterwards.
Moreover, according to this Philosophy, the Corporeal Phænomena themselves cannot be salved by Mechanism alone without Phancie. Now Phancie is no Mode of Body, and therefore must needs be a Mode of some other kind of Being in our selves, that is Cogitative and Incorporeal.
Furthermore it is evident, from the Principles of this Philosophy, that Sense it self is not a mere Corporeal Passion from Bodies without, in that it supposeth that there is nothing really in Bodies like to those Phantastick Idæa's that we have of Sensible things, as of Hot and Cold, Red and Green, Bitter and Sweet, and the like, which therefore must needs owe their Being to some Activity of the Soul it self, and this is all one as to make it Incorporeal.
Lastly, from this Philosophy, it is also manifest, that Sense is not the κριτήριον of Truth concerning Bodies themselves, it confidently pronouncing that those supposed Qualities of Bodies, represented such by Sense, are merely Phantastical things; from whence it plainly follows, that there is something in us superiour to Sense, which judges of it, detects its Phantastry, and condemns its Imposture, and determines what really is and is not, in Bodies without us, which must needs be a higher Self-active Vigour of the Mind, that will plainly speak it to be Incorporeal.
XXXIX. And now this Atomical Physiology of the Ancients seems to have two Advantages or Preeminences belonging to it, the first whereof is this; That it renders the Corporeal World Intelligible to us; since Mechanism is a thing that we can clearly understand, and we cannot clearly and distinctly conceive any thing in Bodies else. To say that this or that is done by a Form or Quality, is nothing else but to say that it is done we know not how, or, which is yet more absurd, to make our very Ignorance of the Cause, disguised under those Terms of Forms and Qualities, to be it self the Cause of the Effect.
Moreover, Hot and Cold, Red and Green, Bitter and Sweet, &c. formally considered, may be clearly conceived by us as different Phancies and Vital Passions in us, occasioned by different Motions made from the objects without, upon our Nerves; but they can never be clearly understood as absolute Qualities in the Bodies themselves, really distinct from their Mechanical Dispositions; nor is there indeed any more reason why they should be thought such, than that, when a Man is pricked with a Pin, or wounded with a Sword, the Pain which he feels should be thought to be an Absolute Qualitie in the Pin or Sword. So long as our Sensible Idæa's are taken either for Substantial Forms or Qualities in Bodies without us, really distinct from the Substance of the Matter, so long are they perfectly unintelligible by us. For which Cause Timæus Locrus Philosophizing (as it seemeth) after this manner, did consentaneously thereunto determine, That Corporeal things could not be apprehended by us, otherwise than αἰσθήσει καὶ νόθῳ λογισμῷ, by Sense and a kind of Spurious or Bastardly Reason; that is, that we could have no clear Conceptions of them in our Understanding. And for the same reason Plato himself distinguisheth betwixt such things as are νοήσει μετὰ λόγου περιληπτά. Comprehensible by the Understanding with Reason, and those which are only δόξη μετ' αἰσθήσεως ἀλόγου, which can only be apprehended by Opinion, together with a certain Irrational Sence, meaning plainly, by the Latter, Corporeal and Sensible things. And accordingly the Platonists frequently take occasion from hence, to enlarge themselves much in the disparagement of Corporeal things, as being, by Reason of that smallness of Entity that is in them, below the Understanding, and not having so much οὐσίαν as γένεσιν, Essence as Generation, which indeed is Fine Phancie. Wherefore we must either, with these Philosophers, make Sensible things to be ἀκατάληπτα or ἀπερίληπτα, altogether Incomprehensible and Inconceivable by our Humane Understandings, (though they be able in the mean time clearly to conceive many things of a higher Nature) or else we must entertain some kind of favourable Opinion concerning that which is the Ancientest of all Physiologies, the Atomical or Mechanical, which alone renders Sensible things Intelligible.
XL. The Second Advantage, which this Atomical Physiology seems to have, is this, That it prepares an easie and clear way for the Demonstration of Incorporeal Substances, by setling a Distinct Noti <49> on of Body. He that will undertake to prove that there is something else in the World besides Body, must first determine what Body is, for otherwise he will go about to prove that there is something besides He-knows-not-what. But now if all Body be made to consist of two Substantial Principles, whereof one is Matter devoid of all Form, (and therefore of Quantity as well as Qualities) from whence these Philosophers *themselves conclude that it is In corporeal; the other, Form, which being devoid of all Matter, must needs be Incorporeal likewise. And thus Stobæus sets down the joint Doctrine both of Plato and Aristotle; ὃν τρόπον τὸ εἶδος τῆς ὕλης ἀφαιρεθὲν ἀσώματον, οὕτως καὶ τὴν ὕλην τοῦ εἴδους χωρισθέντος οὐ σῶμα εἶναι, δεῖν γὰρ ἀμφοῖν τῆς συνόδου, πρὸς τὴν τοῦ σώματος ὑπόστασιν. That in the same manner, as Form alone separated from Matter is Incorporeal, so neither is Matter alone, the Form being separated from it, Body. But there is need of the joint concurrence of both these, Matter and Form together, to make up the Substance of Body; Moreover, if to Forms Qualities be likewise superadded, of which it is consentaneously also resolved by the Platonists, ὅτι αἱ ποιότητες ἀσώματοι, that Qualities are Incorporeal, as if they were so many Spirits possessing Bodies; I say, in this way of Philosophizing, the Notions of Body and Spirit, Corporeal and Incorporeal, are so confounded, that it is Impossible to prove any thing at all concerning them. Body it self being made Incorporeal (and therefore every thing Incorporeal) for whatsoever is wholly compounded and made up of Incorporeals, must needs be it self also Incorporeal.
Furthermore, according to this Doctrine of Matter, Forms and Qualities in Body; Life and Understanding may be supposed to be certain Forms or Qualities of Body. And then the Souls of men may be nothing else but Blood or Brains, endued with the Qualities of Sense, and Understanding; or else some other more Subtle, Sensitive and Rational Matter, in us. And the like may be said of God himself also; That he is nothing but a certain Rational, or Intellectual, Subtle and Firie Body, pervading the whole Universe; or else that he is the Form of the whole Corporeal World, together with the Matter making up but one Substance. Which Conceits have been formerly entertained by the best of those Ancients, who were captivated under that dark Infirmity of mind, to think that there could be no other Substance besides Body.
But the ancient Atomical Philosophy, setling a distinct Notion of Body, that it is διαστατὸν ἀντίτυπον, a Thing Impenetrably extended, which hath nothing belonging to it, but Magnitude, Figure, Site, Rest, and Motion, without any Self-moving Power; takes away all Confusion; shews clearly how far Body can go, where Incorporeal Substance begins; as also that there must of necessity be such a Thing in the World.
Again, this discovering not only that the Doctrine of Qualities had its Original from mens mistaking their own Phancies, for Absolute Realities in Bodies themselves; but also that the Doctrine of Mat <50> ter and Form Sprung from another Fallacy or Deception of the Mind, in taking Logical Notions, and our Modes of Conceiving, for Modes of Being, and Real Entities in things without us; It shewing likewise, that because there is nothing else clearly intelligible in Body, besides Magnitude, Figure, Site, and Motion, and their various Conjugations, there can be no such Entities of Forms and Qualities really distinct from the Substance of Body; makes it evident, that Life, Cogitation and Understanding can be no Corporeal things, but must needs be the Attributes of another kind of Substance distinct from Body.
XLI. We have now clearly proved these two things; First, that the Physiology of the Ancients, before, not only Aristotle and Plato, but also Democritus and Leucippus, was Atomical or Mechanical. Secondly, that as there is no Inconsistency between the Atomical Physiology and Theology, but indeed a Natural Cognation; so the Ancient Atomists before Democritus, were neither Atheists nor Corporealists, but held the Incorporeity and Immortality of Souls, together with a Deity distinct from the Corporeal World. Wherefore the First and most Ancient Atomists did not make ἀτόμους ἀρχὰς τῶν ὅλων, they never endeavoured to make up an Entire Philosophy out of Atomology; but the Doctrine of Atoms was to them onely one Part or Member of the whole Philosophick System, they joining thereunto the Doctrine of Incorporeal Substance, and Theology, to make it up complete: Accordingly as Aristotle hath declared in his Metaphysicks, that the Ancient Philosophy consisted of these two Parts, φυσιολογία, and θεολογία or ἡ πρώτη φιλοσοφία, Physiology, and Theology or Metaphysicks. Our Ancient Atomists never went about, as the blundering Democritus afterwards did, to build up a World out of mere Passive Bulk, and Sluggish Matter, without any ἀρχαὶ δραστήριοι, any Active Principles, or Incorporeal Powers; understanding well, that thus, they could not have so much as Motion, Mechanism, or Generation in it; the Original of all that Motion that is in Bodies springing from something that is not Body, that is, from Incorporeal Substance. And yet if Local Motion could have been supposed to have risen up, or sprung in upon this Dead Lump and Mass of Matter, no body knows how, and without dependance upon any Incorporeal Being, to have Actuated it Fortuitously; these Ancient Atomists would still have thought it Impossible for the Corporeal World it self, to be made up, such as now it is, by Fortuitous Mechanism, without the Guidance of any higher Principle. But they would have concluded it, the greatest Impudence or Madness, for men to assert that Animals also consisted of mere Mechanism; or, that Life and Sense, Reason and Understanding, were really nothing else but Local Motion, and consequently that themselves were but Machins and Automata. Wherefore they joyned both Active and Passive Principles together, the Corporeal and Incorporeal Nature, Mechanism and Life, Atomology and Pneumatology, and from both these united, they made up one entire System of Philosophy, <51> correspondent with, and agreeable to, the true and real World without them. And this System of Philosophy, thus consisting of the Doctrine of Incorporeal Substance (whereof God is the Head) together with the Atomical and Mechanical Physiology, seems to have been the only Genuine, Perfect, and Complete.
XLII. But it did not long continue thus; for, after a while, this entire Body of Philosophy came to be Mangled and Dismembred, some taking one Part of it alone, and some another; some snatching away the Atomical Physiology, without the Pneumatology and Theology; and others, on the contrary, taking the Theology and Doctrine of Incorporeals, without the Atomical or Mechanical Physiology. The former of these were Democritus, Leucippus, and Protagoras, who took only the dead Carcase or Skeleton of the old Moschical Philosophy, namely the Atomical Physiology; the latter Plato and Aristotle, who took indeed the better Part, the Soul, Spirit, and Quintessence of it, the Theology and Doctrine of Incorporeals, but Unbodied, and Devested of its most Proper and convenient Vehicle, the Atomical Physiology, whereby it became exposed to sundry Inconveniences.
XLIII. We begin with Leucippus and Democritus; Who being Atheistically inclined, quickly perceived, that they could not in the ordinary way of Physiologizing, sufficiently secure themselves against a Deity, nor effectually urge Atheism upon others; forasmuch as Heraclitus and other Philosophers, who held that all Substance was Body, as well as themselves, did notwithstanding assert a Corporeal Deity, maintaining that the Form of the whole Corporeal World was God, or else that he was ὕλη πῶς ἔχουσα, a certain kind of Body or Matter, as (for Example) a Methodical and Rational Fire, pervading (as a Soul) the whole Universe; the particular Souls of men and Animals being but, as it were, so many pieces, cut and sliced out of the great Mundane Soul; so that according to them, the whole Corporeal Universe, or Mass of Body, was one way or other a God, a most Wise and Understanding Animal, that did frame all Particularities within it self in the best manner possible, and providently govern the same. Wherefore those Atheists now apprehending, upon what ticklish and uncertain Terms their Atheistical Philosophy then stood, and how that those very Forms and Qualities, and the Self-moving power of Body, which were commonly made a Sanctuary for Atheism, might notwithstanding chance to prove, contrariwise, the Latibulum and Asylum of a Deity, and that a Corporeal God (do what they could) might lie lurking under them, assaulting mens minds with doubtful Fears and Jealousies; Understanding moreover, that there was another kind of Physiology set on foot, which banishing those Forms and Qualities of Body, attributed nothing to it but Magnitude, Figure, Site, and Motion, without any Self-moving Power; they seemed presently to apprehend some great Advantage to themselves and Cause from it; and therefore greedily entertained this Atomical or Mechanical Physiology, and violently cutting it off from that other part, the Doctrine of Incor <52> poreals, which it was Naturally and Vitally united to, endeavoured to serve their turns of it. And now joining these two things together, the Atomical Physiology, which supposes that there is nothing in body, but Magnitude, Figure, Site and Motion, and that Prejudice or Prepossession of their own Minds, that there was no other Substance in the World besides Body; between them both, they begat a certain Mongrel and Spurious Philosophy, Atheistically-Atomical, or Atomically-Atheistical.
But though we have so well proved, that Leucippus and Democritus were not the first Inventors, but only the Depravers and Adulterators of the Atomical Philosophy; yet if any will notwithstanding obstinately contend, that the first Invention thereof ought to be imputed to them, the very Principles of their Atheism seeming to lead them naturally to this, to strip and devest Body of all those Forms and Qualities, it being otherwise Impossible for them, surely and safely to exclude a Corporeal Deity; yet so, as that the Wit of these Atheists was also much to be admired, in the managing and carrying on of those Principles in such a manner, as to make up so Entire a System of Philosophy out of them, all whose parts should be so coherent and consistent together; We shall only say thus much; That if those Atheists were the first Inventors of this Philosophy, they were certainly very unhappy and unsuccessful in it, whilst endeavouring by it to secure themselves from the Possibility and Danger of a Corporeal God, they unawares laid a Foundation for the clear Demonstration of an Incorporeal one, and were indeed so far from making up any such coherent Frame as is pretended, that they were forced every where to contradict their own Principles; so that Non-sence lies at the bottom of all, and is interwoven throughout their whole Atheistical System. And that we ought to take notice of the invincible power and Force of Truth, prevailing irresistibly against all Endeavours to oppress it; and how desperate the Cause of Atheism is, when that very Atomical Hypothesis of theirs, which they would erect and build up for a strong Castle to garrison themselves in, proves a most Effectual Engine against themselves, for the battering of all their Atheistical Structure down about their Ears.
XLIV. Plato's Mutilation and Interpolation of the old Moschical Philosophy, was a great deal more excusable, when he took the Theology and Metaphysicks of it, the whole Doctrine of Incorporeals, and abandoned the Atomical or Mechanical way of Physiologizing. Which, in all Probability, he did, partly because those forementioned Atheists having so much abused that Philosophy, adopting it as it were to themselves, he thereupon began to entertain a Jealousie and Suspicion of it; and partly, because he was not of himself so inclinable to Physiology as Theology, to the study of Corporeal as of Divine things; which some think to be the reason why he did not attend to the Pythagorick System of the Corporeal World, till late in his old Age. His Genius was such, that he was Naturally more addicted to Idæa's than to Atoms, to Formal and Final than to <53> Material Causes. To which may be added, that the way of Physiologizing by Matter, Forms and Qualities, is a more Huffie and Phanciful thing than the other; and lastly, that the Atomical Physiology is more remote from Sense and vulgar Apprehension, and therefore not so easily understood. For which cause many learned Greeks of later times, though they had read Epicurus his Works, and perhaps Democritus his too, yet they were not able to conceive how the Corporeal and Sensible Phænomena could possibly be salved without Real Qualities. One Instance whereof might be given in Plutarch, writing against Colotes the Epicurean. Wherefore Plato, that was a zealous Asserter of an Incorporeal Deity, distinct from the World, and of Immortal Souls, seriously Physiologized only by Matter, Forms and Qualities, Generation, Corruption and Alteration; and he did but play and toy sometimes a little with Atoms and Mechanism. As where he would compound the Earth of Cubical, and Fire of Pyramidal Atoms, and the like. For that he did therein imitate the Atomical Physiology is plain from these words of his; πάντα οὖν δεῖ ταῦτα διανοεῖσθαι σμικρὰ οὕτως, ὡς καθ' ἒν ἕκαστον οὐδὲν ὁρώμενον ὑφ' ἡμῶν, συναθροισθέντων δὲ πολλῶν, τοὺς ὄγκους αὐτῶν ὁρᾶσθαι. All these Cubical and Pyramidal Corpuscula of the Fire and Earth are in themselves so small, that by reason of their parvitude, none of them can be perceived singly and alone, but only the Aggregations of many of them together.
XLV. And Aristotle here trode in Plato's footsteps, not only in the better part, in asserting an Incorporeal Deity, and an Immoveable first Mover; but also in Physiologizing by Forms and Qualities, and rejecting that Mechanical way by Atoms, which had been so generally received amongst the Ancients. Wherefore though the Genius of these two Persons was very different, and Aristotle often contradicteth Plato, and really dissents from him in several Particularities; yet, so much I think may be granted to those Reconcilers, (Porphyry, Simplicius, and others) that the main Essentials of their two Philosophies are the same.
Now I say the whole Aristotelical System of Philosophy is infinitely to be preferred before the whole Democritical; though the former hath been so much disparaged, and the other cried up of late amongst us. Because, though it cannot be denied but that the Democritick Hypothesis doth much more handsomly and intelligibly salve the Corporeal Phænomena, yet in all those other things which are of far the greatest moment, it is rather a Madness than a Philosophy. But the Aristotelick System is right and sound here, as to those greater things; it asserting Incorporeal Substance, a Deity distinct from the World, the Naturality of Morality, and Liberty of Will. Wherefore though a late Writer of Politicks do so exceedingly disparage Aristotle's Ethicks, yet we shall do him this right here to declare, that his Ethicks were truly such, and answered their Title; but that new Modle of Ethicks, which hath been obtruded upon the World with so much Fastuosity, and is indeed nothing but the old Democritick Doctrine revived, is no Ethicks at all, but a mere Cheat, the undermining <54> and subversion of all Morality, by substituting something like it in the Room of it, that is a mere Counterfeit and Changeling. The Design whereof could not be any other than to debauch the World.
We add further, that Aristotle's System of Philosophy seems to be more consistent with Piety, than the Cartesian Hypothesis it self, which yet plainly supposeth Incorporeal Substance. For as much as this latter makes God to contribute nothing more to the Fabrick of the World, than the Turning round of a Vortex or Whirlpool of Matter; from the fortuitous Motion of which, according to certain General Laws of Nature, must proceed all this Frame of things that now is, the exact Organization, and successive Generation of Animals, without the Guidance of any Mind or Wisdom. Whereas Aristotle's Nature is no Fortuitous Principle, but such as doth Nothing in Vain, but all for Ends, and in every thing pursues the Best; and therefore can be no other than a Subordinate Instrument of the Divine Wisdom, and the Manuary Opificer or Executioner of it.
However, we cannot deny, but that Aristotle hath been taxed by sundry of the Ancients, Christians and others, for not so explicitely asserting these two things, the Immortality of Humane Souls, and Providence over men, as he ought to have done, and as his Master Plato did. Though to do him all the right we can, we shall observe here, that in his Nicomachian Ethicks, he speaks favourably for the Latter, εἰ γάρ τις ἐπιμέλεια τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων ὑπὸ θεῶν γίνεται, ὥσπερ δοκεῖ, καὶ εὔλογον χαίρειν αὐτοὺς τῷ ἀρίστῳ καὶ τῷ συγγενεστάτῳ (τοῦτο γὰρ εἴη ὁ νοῦς) καὶ τοὺς ἀγαποῦντᾳς μάλιστα καὶ τοὺς τιμῶντας ἀντευποιεῖν, ὠς τῶν φίλων αὐτοῖς ἐπιμελουμένους, ὀρθῶς τε καλῶς πράττοντας. If God take any Care of Humane things, as it seems he doth, then it is reasonable to think also, that he is delighted with that which is the Best, and nearest akin to himself (which is Mind or Right Reason) and that he rewards those who most Love and Honour it (as taking care of such things as are most pleasing to him) in doing rightly and honestly. A very good Sentence, were it not Ushered in with too much of Scepticism. And as for the Point of the Soul's Immortality; It is true, that whereas other Philosophers before Aristotle, asserted the Preexistence, Incorporeity, and Immortality of all Souls, not only the Rational but the Sensitive also, (which in Men they concluded to be one and the same Substance) according to that of Plato's, πᾶσα ψυχὴ ἀθάνατος, Every Soul is Immortal, they resolving that no Life nor Cogitation could be Corporeal; Aristotle, on the contrary, doth expresly deny the Preexistence, that is, the Separability, Incorporeity and Immortality of all Sensitive Souls, not in Brutes only, but also every where, giving his reason for it in these words; ὅτι μὲν οὐχ οἷόν τε πάσας προϋπάρχειν, φάνερόν ἐστιν ἐκ τῶν τοιούτων, ὅσων γὰρ ἐστιν ἀρχῶν ἡ ἐνέργεια σωματικὴ, δῆλον ὅτι ταύτας ἄνευ σώματος ἀδύνατον ὑπαρχειν, οἷον βαδίζειν ἄνευ ποδῶν. ὥστε καὶ θύραθεν εἰσιέναι ἀδύνατον. οὔτε γὰρ αὐτὰς καθ' ἑαυτὰς εἰσιέναι οἶον τε ἀχωρίστους οὔσας, οὐτ' ἐν σώματι εἰσιέναι. That all Souls cannot Preexist, is manifest from hence, because those Principles whose Action is Corporeal, cannot possibly exist without the Body, as the Power of Walking <55> without the Feet: Wherefore it is impossible that these Sensitive Souls (preexisting) should come into the Body from without, since they can neither come alone by themselves naked and stript of all Body, they being inseparable from it; neither can they come in with a Body, that is, the Seed. This is Aristotle's Argument, why all Sensitive Souls must needs be Corporeal, because there is no Walking without Feet, nor Seeing without Eyes. But at the same time, he declares that the Mind or Intellect does Preexist and come in from without, that is, is Incorporeal, Separable and Immortal, giving his Reason for it in like manner, λείπεται δὲ τὴν νοῦν μόνον θύραθεν ἐπεισίεναι, καὶ θεῖον εἶναι μόνον. οὐδὲ γὰρ αὐτοῦ τᾔ ἐνεργείᾳ κοινωκεῖ σωματικὴ ἐνέργεια. It remains that the Mind or Intellect, and that alone (preexisting) enter from without and be only Divine; since its Energy is not blended with that of the Bodies, but it acts independently upon it. Notwithstanding which, Aristotle elsewhere distinguishing concerning this Mind or Intellect, and making it to be twofold, Agent, and Patient, concludes the former of them only to be Immortal, but the latter Corruptible, τοῦτο μόνον ἀθάνατον καὶ ἀίδιον, ὁ δὲ παθητικὸς νοῦς φθαρτὸς, The Agent Intellect is only Immortal and Eternal, but the Passive is Corruptible; where some Interpreters that would willingly excuse Aristotle, contend that by the Passive Intellect, is not meant the Patient, but the Phantasie only, because Aristotle should otherwise contradict himself, who had before affirmed, the Intellect to be Separable, Unmixed and Inorganical, which they conceive must needs be understood of the Patient. But this Salvo can hardly take place here, where the Passive Intellect is directly opposed to the Agent. Now what Aristotle's Agent Understanding is, and whether it be any thing in us, any Faculty of our Humane Soul or no, seems to be a thing very questionable, and has therefore caused much Dispute amongst his Interpreters; it being resolved by many of them to be the Divine Intellect, and commonly by others, a Foreign Thing. Whence it must needs be left doubtful, whether he acknowledged any thing Incorporeal and Immortal at all in us. And the rather because, laying down this Principle, That nothing is Incorporeal, but what acts independently upon the Body, he somewhere plainly determines, that there is no Intellection without Corporeal Phantasms. That which led Aristotle to all this; positively to affirm the Corporeity of Sensitive Souls, and to stagger so much concerning the Incorporeity of the Rational, seems to have been his Doctrine of Forms and Qualities, whereby Corporeal and Incorporeal Substance are confounded together, so that the Limits of each could not be discerned by him. Wherefore we cannot applaud Aristotle for this; but that which we commend him for, is chiefly these Four things: First, for making a Perfect Incorporeal Intellect to be the Head of all; and Secondly, for resolving that Nature, as an Instrument of this Intellect, does not merely act according to the Necessity of Material Motions, but for Ends and Purposes, though unknown to it self; Thirdly, for maintaining the Naturality of Morality; and Lastly, for asserting the τὸ ἐφ' ἡμῖν, Autexousie, or Liberty from Necessity.
 Lact. I. 1. c. 11. Lucian. Jupi-Confutatus.
 αἴπον δραστήριον καὶ ταθητόν. Philo.
 * ἀσώματος δὲ καὶ ἡ ὕλη. Matter is Incorporeal. Plotin. p. 164.
 Alcinous cap. 11.
Cite as: Ralph Cudworth, The True Intellectual System of the Universe: The First Part (1678), pp. 1-55, https://www.cambridge-platonism.divinity.cam.ac.uk/view/texts/normalised/Cudworth1678-excerpt003, accessed 2023-12-01.