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to unequals there is the greatest injustice.' Again "things that are equal to the same are equal to one another," is likewise a rule of mathematics; but it is at the same time so potent in logic as to be the basis of the syllogism. "The nature of everything is best seen in its smallest portions," is a rule in Physics of such force that it produced the atoms of Democritus; and yet Aristotle made good use of it in his Politics, where he commences his inquiry of the nature of a commonwealth with a family. "All things are changed and nothing is lost," is in like manner a rule in Physics, exhibited thus, "The Quantum of nature is neither diminished nor increased." The same holds in Natural Theology, with this variation, “ It is the work of omnipotence to make somewhat nothing, and to make nothing somewhat;" which likewise the Scripture testifies; "I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it." 3" Things are preserved from destruction by bringing them back to their first principles," is a rule in Physics; the same holds good in Politics (as Macchiavelli rightly observed), for there is scarcely anything which preserves states from destruction more than the reformation and reduction of them to their ancient manners. "Putrefaction is more contagious before than after maturity," is a rule in Physics; the same is eminently true in Morals, for the men who are most wicked and profligate produce less corruption in the public manners than those who appear to have some soundness and virtue in them, and are only partly evil. "Whatever is preservative of a greater Form is more powerful in action," is a rule in Physics; for that the connexion of things should not be severed, nor a vacuum (as they call it) admitted, tends to preserve the fabric of the universe; whereas the collection of heavy bodies towards the mass of the earth tends to preserve only the region of dense bodies; and therefore the first motion overcomes the last. The same holds in Politics; for whatsoever contributes to preserve the whole state in its own nature, has greater power than that which only benefits the particular members of that state. It holds likewise in Theology; for of the theological virtues, charity, which is the virtue most communicative of good, excels all the rest. "The force of an agent is increased by the reaction of a contrary," is a rule in Physics. The same has wonderful efficacy 1 Cf. Arist. Nic. Eth. v. 3, 4, 5. Ecclesiastes, iii. 14.

2 Ovid. Metam. xv. 165.
Macch. Discorsi, § 1.

violently irritated by the "A discord ending imme

in Politics, since every faction is encroachment of a contrary faction. diately in a concord sets off the harmony," is a rule in Music. The same holds in Ethics and in the affections. The trope of Music, to glide gently from the close or cadence (as they call it) when you seem to be on the point of it, resembles the trope of Rhetoric, of deceiving expectation. The quavering upon a stop in music gives the same pleasure to the ear as the playing of light on water or a diamond gives to the eye;

splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus.'

"The organs of the senses resemble the organs of reflexions," is a rule in Perspective; for the eye is like to a glass, or to water; and it is the same in Acoustics, for the instrument of hearing is like an obstruction in a cavern. These few cases are enough by way of examples. But indeed the chief business of the Persian magic (so much celebrated) was to note the correspondences between the architectures and fabrics of things natural and things civil. Neither are all these which I have mentioned, and others of this kind, only similitudes (as men of narrow observation may perhaps conceive them to be), but plainly the same footsteps of nature treading or printing upon different subjects and matters. And it is a thing which has not as yet been carefully handled. You may perhaps find in the writings of the profounder sort of wits such axioms here and there sparingly inserted for the use of the argument they have in hand; but for any body of such axioms, which should tend primitively and summarily to the advancement of the sciences, no one has as yet collected one; though it is a thing of excellent use for displaying the unity of nature; which is supposed to be the true office of Primitive Philosophy.

There is also another part of this philosophy, which, if you look to the terms, is ancient, if to the thing which I mean, is new. It is an inquiry with regard to the Adventitious Conditions of Essences (which we may call Transcendentals), as Much, Little; Like, Unlike; Possible, Impossible; likewise Being and Not-Being, and the like. For since these do not properly come under Physie, and the logical discussion concerning them belongs rather to the laws of reasoning than to the existence of things, it is very proper that the consideration

1 Virg. Æn. vii. 9. : — Beneath the trembling light glitters the sea.

of them (wherein there is no little dignity and profit) should not be altogether neglected, but should find at least some place in the divisions of the sciences. Nevertheless I mean that it should be handled in a way very different from the common. For example; no one who has treated of Much and Little has endeavoured to assign a reason why some things in nature are and can be so numerous and plentiful, others so few and scanty; for it certainly cannot be that in the nature of things there should be as much gold as iron; that roses should be as abundant as grass; and that there should be as great variety of the specific as of the non-specific. In like manner no one in handling Similitude and Diversity has sufficiently explained why betwixt different species there almost always lie certain individuals which partake of the nature of both; as moss between corruption and a plant; fishes that stick to rocks and cannot move away, between a plant and an animal; rats and mice, and some other things, between animals generated of putrefaction and of seed; bats, between birds and beasts; flyingfish (which are now well known), between birds and fishes; seals, between fishes and quadrupeds; and the like. Nor has any one inquired the reason why, seeing that likes delight in likes, iron does not attract iron, which the magnet does; nor why gold does not attract gold, though it does attract quicksilver. With regard to these and similar things in the discussion of Transcendentals there is a deep silence; for men have aimed rather at height of speech than at the subtleties of things. Wherefore I wish the real and solid inquiry, according to the laws of nature and not of language, concerning these Transcendentals or Adventitious Conditions of Essences, to have a place in Primitive or Summary Philosophy. And so much for Philosophia Prima (or Sapience), which I have with reason set down as deficient.


Of Natural Theology; and the Doctrine concerning Angels and Spirits, which is an Appendix of the same.

THIS science being therefore first placed as a common parent, like unto Berecynthia, who had so much heavenly issue,

Omnes cœlicolas, omnes supera alta tenentes,'

let us return to the former division of the three philosophies: Divine, Natural, and Human. For Natural Theology is also rightly called Divine Philosophy. It is defined as that knowledge, or rather rudiment of knowledge, concerning God, which may be obtained by the light of nature and the contemplation of his creatures; and it may be truly termed divine in respect of the object, and natural in respect of the light. The bounds of this knowledge, truly drawn, are that it suffices to refute and convince Atheism, and to give information as to the law of nature; but not to establish religion. And therefore there was never miracle wrought by God to convert an atheist; because the light of nature might have led him to confess a God; but miracles have been wrought to convert idolators and the superstitious, who acknowledged a deity but erred in his worship; because no light of nature extends to declare the will and worship of God. For as all works show forth the power and skill of the workman, and not his image; so it is of the works of God, which show the omnipotency and wisdom, but do not portray the image of the Maker. And therefore therein the Heathen opinion differs from the sacred truth; for they supposed the world to be the image of God, and man the image of the world; whereas the Scriptures never vouchsafe to attribute to the world such honour as anywhere to call it the image of God, but only the work of his hands; but man they directly term the image of God. Wherefore that God exists, that he governs the world, that he is supremely powerful, that he is wise and prescient, that he is good, that he is a rewarder, that he is an avenger, that he is an object of adoration-all this may be demonstrated from his works alone; and there are many other wonderful mysteries concerning his attributes, and much more touching his regulations and dispensations over the universe, which may likewise be reasonably elicited and manifested from the same; and this is an argument that has by some been excellently handled. But on the other side, out of the contemplation of nature and elements of human knowledge to induce any conclusion of reason or even any strong persuasion concerning the mysteries of faith, yea, or to inspect and sift them too curiously and search out

1 Virg. Æn. vii. 788.: - All gods, all dwelling in the heights of heaven.


the manner of the mystery, is in my opinion not safe. unto faith the things which are faith's." For the Heathen themselves concede as much, in that excellent and divine fable of the Golden Chain; namely, that men and Gods were not able to draw Jupiter down to the earth; but contrariwise, Jupiter was able to draw them up to heaven. And therefore it were a vain labour to attempt to adapt the heavenly mysteries of religion to our reason. Fitter will it be that we raise our own minds to the adorable throne of heavenly truth. In this part therefore of Natural Theology I am so far from noting any deficience, that I rather find an excess; to note which I have a little digressed, because of the extreme prejudice and peril which is thereby threatened both to religion and philosophy; as being that which will make at once an heretical religion and an imaginary and fabulous philosophy.


Otherwise it is of the nature of Angels and Spirits, which is neither inscrutable nor interdicted; unto which likewise, from the affinity it bears to the human soul, the passage is in great part opened. Certainly the Scripture says, "Let no man deceive you in sublime discourse, touching the worship of angels, pressing into that he knoweth not;" yet notwithstanding if you observe well that precept, you will find that there are two things only forbidden therein: adoration of them, such as is only due to God, and opinion fantastical of them; either to extol them further than appertains to the degree of a creature, or to extol a man's knowledge of them further than he has ground. But the sober inquiry about them, either ascending to the knowledge of their nature by the ladder of things corporeal, or beholding it in the soul of man as in a mirror, is nowise forbidden. So of unclean and fallen spirits, the conversing with them or the employment of them is prohibited; much more any worship or veneration towards them. But the contemplation and knowledge of their nature, power and illusions, not only from passages of Scripture, but from reason or experience, is not the least part of spiritual wisdom. So certainly says the Apostle," We are not ignorant of his stratagems. And it is no more unlawful to inquire the nature of evil spirits in Natural Theology, than to inquire the force of poisons in Physics, or the nature of vice in Ethics. But this part of knowledge touching angels and spirits I cannot note as de

Coloss. ii. 4. and 18.


22 Corinth. ii. 11.

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