AN ESSAY ON REGIMEN. TOGETHER WITH FIVE DISCOURSES, Medical, Moral, and Philosophical: Serving to illustrate the PRINCIPLES and THEORY OF Philosophical Medicin, And point out Some of its MORAL CONSEQUENCES.
By GEO. CHEYNE, M.D. C.R.Ed.S. and F.R.S.
1 Cor. xiii. 12.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
LONDON: Printed for C. RIVINGTON, in St. Paul's Church-yard; And J. LEAKE, Bookseller in Bath. M.DCC.XL.
TO THE Right HONOURABLE THE Earl of HUNTINGDON, &c.
HAD I the Honour to be known to a Person of more Probity, Steadiness, Love to his Country, and Benevolence to the whole. Race of Mankind: Had I known a truer Friend to Christianity in Ge|neral, or to the Church in Particular; your Lordship had not been troubled with this Address, nor with the Protection of this Work; which is design'd for the Cure, Relief, or Entertainment, of the Valetudinary, Weak and Diseas'd in Body or Mind. Your Lordship's natural and acquir'd Endowments en|able Page [unnumbered] You to judge solidly, how well it may be fitted for that End. Good Lady HUNTINGDON, I believe, has benefited by some of the Rules for Health laid down in this Treatise; as have some others of the Branches of your Noble Family. Lady Betty's emi|nent Christian Virtues are not only universally admir'd, but felt. These Considerations make this Work your Lordship's peculiar Property; and I am greatly pleased with an Opportunity, publickly to declare the Honour and Esteem I have for the Family of the HASTEINGS, and, in particular, how deeply I am,
Your Lordship's most faithful humble Servant, GEO. CHEYNE.
Bath, Aug. 15. 1739.
1. THE following Essay was writ|ten to instruct all sober and serious Persons, how to pre|serve, or regain their Health; but chiefly to direct and relieve my Fellow-sufferers, the Scorbutic, Gouty, Consumptive, or Nervous Valetudinarian-low-livers; to make them pass their Lives the most com|fortably, the Degree of their Distem|pers, the Time of Life, the Nature of Things, and the secret Orders of Provi|dence, will permit. And since they must be deprived, in some Degree, of the grosser sensual Pleasures; since all sen|tient and intelligent Beings are made for Happiness, will by mere Instinct, seek it some-how, and some-where; since their necessary Low-living will na|turally Page ii (in time at least) make them high-spirited, and their intellectual Or|gans more acute, penetrating, and de|licate; I have endeavour'd, by the fol|lowing Discourses, to supply them with some suitable Entertainments and Amuse|ments, such as I have often agreeably diverted my leisure Hours with.
2. True Philosophy is the Science of living the most happily, through the whole Period of our Existence, the Na|ture of things will permit; Physic is but one Branch of this Philosophy, and regards but one part of our Composition, and but for a small Period of our Du|ration. True Philosophy takes in the whole Extent of our Being, from its most distant Beginning, to its most advanced Stages, possible or conceiveable. True Physic is that only which directs how the Body may be preserved the most health|ful, the intellectual Organs depending on the Body the most acute, the Senses the most perfect, and the Limbs the most Page iii active; not for a while only, and by Fits and Starts, but uniformly, as long as they were made to last, and as the original Frame and Texture will permit: Any thing less than this, is but as a Part to the Whole; an imperfect and unfinish'd Sketch of such a Philosophy, and such a Physic, their Theory and Principles, was intended by the following Essay and Discourses.
3. They were composed at different Times, and on different Occasions; but one general Scheme, and one manner of free philosophizing, and easy Conjectur|ing, runs through them all; one, to wit, where the fundamental Truth, or Propo|sition in general, is suppos'd either al|low'd, reveal'd, or already demonstrated. But the Why? the final Causes, the moral Consequences, and the particular De|tail, is only here conjectured about, from probable or philosophic Principles. This necessarily makes them more loose, un|guarded, and immethodical, and the Page iv same things to be often repeated. But I had neither Leisure, Relish, nor Strength of Application, to remedy these Faults; it would have cost me more Trouble than the first Composure. All I could obtain of myself, was to make a short, more distinct Abstract of the whole, and join a few Explications, to prevent Cavil, and all Mistakes not wilful and disingenuous, if possible.
4. I am very sensible, by this Work, I shall make myself obnoxious to two very different kinds of Men, the Stiff, Rigid, and Precise; and the Licentious, Un|guarded, Spurious, Free-Thinkers. The first, very probably, will censure my Conjectures and Sentiments, as dan|gerous, and presumptuous, and myself, as being wise above what is written, and arrogantly prying into the Secrets of in|finit Wisdom. It is very possible I may have been faulty, in this particular. I am sen|sible, that some even undoubted Truths, that may hurt the Weak, ought to be concealed, Page v or enjoy'd only in secret; the same Degrees of Light not being equally luminous and perceptive to all Eyes. But since old Men, and Valetudinarians especially, be|come, as it were, Children a second time, and, in their second Childhood, those must have their Rattles as well as these; I thought it safer, as I am sure it is much more entertaining, to play with Ideas, philosophic Conjectures, and such Amusements, how weakly soever founded, as tend to make Virtue and its Source ami|able, justify the Conduct of Providence, and mend and rejoice the Heart without hurting the Head, than to dwell on the dark Side of Things, that lead to Pyrrhonism, Fatalism, Infidelity, and Despair. If I thought I had advanced any thing dero|gatory from the Amiableness of infinit Perfection, contrary to the Doctrine of the earliest and purest Times of Chri|stianity, contradictory to the Analogy of Faith, and the Form of sound Words, I had committed these Sheets to the Flames, with the Hand of their Author, Page vi before I had published them. But, on the contrary, I hoped they might agree|ably entertain my Valetudinarian, who being placed by his low Health, in the middle State, between both Worlds, the old and the new, must unavoidably, at some times, figure to himself some sort of a Map of the next World. I was therefore willing to try to illuminat it, the best I could, and to trace some of the Out-lines of the Passages from this to that Man|sion; by endeavouring to illustrat, from not so common a Set of Principles and Philosophy, some great and fundamental Truths, establish'd on more popular Proofs, viz. that there is no Possibility of Happiness here or hereafter, without Purity of Heart and Life; and that the true Reason of the present Darkness, both in Providence and Revelation, is the Difficulty of recovering this Pu|rity of Heart and Life, to its utmost Perfection, in free lapsed Intelligences, consistent with their Liberty, and the Harmony of the Divine Attributes, Page vii which infinit Power and Wisdom will not, I might say, cannot, counter act.
5. I apprehend less Quarter from the opposit Set of Men, who may honour me with Enthusiasm, Romanceing, and Castle-building, without any solid Foun|dation. All I have to say is, that per|haps my Manner of explaining some great and fundamental Truths, and a few of the Consequences I draw by my Method, may be defective: And perhaps, from some of the Links being dropt, and from Faults in the wording, the Chain of the Reasoning may not be always clear and strong; but I am sure the Foundation is solid and just, and allow'd to be such by all true Philosophers; and without it, all general and abstracted Reasoning (on these imperceptible Subjects) must be vain; I mean, without admitting Ana|logy: For without supposing the Evidence and Probability of it, (it being in Things only, what Proportion is in Numbers, and its Progressions being only Page viii like the higher and subsequent Terms of a Series in Algebra, from some of the first and simplest Terms being given) no general Laws, nor universal Proposi|tions, can be found out, in Mathema|ticks, Philosophy, or Morality. For Induction, either in Experiment, Ob|servation, or Calculation, must be al|ways particular and limited. Perhaps the Method, when managed by a clearer Head, and a more solid Judgment, may become a noble Source of divine Know|ledge, and a sublime Philosophy. Ma|thematicians well know, that there are several different Methods of investigating the same Propositions in Algebra and Geometry; and there is scarce a Geo|meter, but has his own Method of In|vestigation. The same Conclusions, drawn from different demonstrated Truths, give a sensible Pleasure, and a stronger Con|viction, to an honest Heart, and a Lover of Truth; and I could not but be de|lighted with the Universality, Simplicity, and Luminousness of the Method of Page ixAnalogy, and the other Principles I have laid down in the following Dis|courses, not having met with an Ob|jection, Difficulty, or even a Puzzle al|most, in Nature, Providence, or Reve|lation, which had not an easy, consequen|tial or probable Solution from them, which is, at least, a Prejudice in their Favour. I had nothing to do, but to try the Diffi|culty, in its most simple and obvious Cases, (as I used to do in Algebra, to find out universal Canons) and atten|tively to observe the Conditions of the Progression, till the higher Terms in|volved the Complication.
6. There are some Persons made so by Nature, that they are slow, dark, gloomy, joyless, puzzling, and perplexing, and they pass for the wise, prudent, guarded Men of the World: They may attack Error, but seldom find out Truth by themselves; like the Scuttle-fish, they spout out their own black Liquor on the pellucid Element. If they are honestPage x and sincere, they are much to be pitied, and are to be treated with Humanity and Charity, being in the State of those born poor and blind, and so destitute of the Necessaries and Conveniencies of Life. They must do the best they can, and be charitably supplied, and with Docility be willing to be led by others; and thus, tho' their Trial might be hard and severe, yet their Victory would be merito|rious and glorious. But, on the contrary, it often happens, that Licentiousness, Self-sufficiency, and a supercilious Con|tempt of others, are the true Causes of their Darkness and Indigence, and that they have themselves, by wrong or no Cul|ture, stunted the Organs of their Facul|ties, and by a perpetual Mal-regimen have distorted them.
7. I take common Happiness, in our natural State at present, to lie in the Pursuit of the general Measures of Think|ing, Acting and Living, follow'd by the greatest part of the middling Rank of Page xi our Species (as it is in their Order in other Animals); and common Sense (as it is distinguished from culti|vated and refin'd Sense) to lie in assent|ing and conforming to the Truths and Manners, agreed upon explicitly or im|plicitly, in the Community where Pro|vidence has placed us, without some irre|sistible, that is, miraculous Evidence, or a peaceable, silent, and not inter|meddling Self-conviction to the contrary. And he who pretends to be happy, as to his outward Circumstances, out of com|mon Life, or wise as to intellectual En|dowments, out of common Sense, in Things on a Level with his Occupation and Education; I take him always to labour under some undiscover'd chronical nervous Distemper, be the other Appear|ances what they will, and have been sel|dom mistaken in a particular Case. For tho' a sound Mind be not the only sure Evidence of a sound Body, yet it will always shew, that none of the great Organs of Life is intirely spoilt, or greatly damaged, however tender and Page xii delicate they may be. It is more difficult, than perhaps most Men are aware of, to determin, with any Degree of Exactness, the Limits that separat Wisdom from Folly, Wrong-headedness from intel|lectual Sanity; the most perfect Man here has a Mixture of both: Optimus ille, qui minimis urgetur. Certain it is, that true Wisdom, and a sound Mind, consists in first pondering, and then doing, every thing as near as we can, with Order, Number, Weight and Measure: But since Precision is incom|patible with Finitude, if we endeavour to be constantly progressive towards Per|fection, tho' by gentle Steps, neither stop|ping nor turning aside, but doing the best we can without Scrupulosity, and gene|rously hopeing and believeing, that infinit Wisdom and Goodness has, or will supply the rest, in his own Time and Manner, we cannot fail.
8. Were I to choose for myself, con|sidering the many certain Miseries and Page xiii Temptations of this State of Probation, the few uncertain Antidotes, and much fewer sincere, durable, and real Plea|sures; I had much rather have the weaker, than the stronger System of Nerves, within the Extremes. I had rather choose to be contented with the slight and slender, than covet the strong and pungent Pleasures. I had rather be happy in a Dream, than miserable awake. In a word, I had rather choose to be an innocent, benevolent, tho' weaker and more credulous Person, than a malicious, critical, spurious Free-think|er, even with regard to this Life only. They most certainly are, comparatively, unhappy and joyless in themseves, and are unharmoniously fram'd, in Body as well as Mind, who can delight, and employ their Talents, on throwing Dark|ness and Doubts even on the imaginary Happiness (suppose it such) of their Fellow-Creatures: Nothing but Ran|cour, and acrid Juices, could be pleased with tearing and destroying ChildrensPage xivPlay-things; and the wisest Man here is comparatively but a Child.
9. As to myself, I can honestly affirm, I have had but one uniform manner of thinking in Philosophy, Phy|sic, and Divinity, in the main, ever since my Thoughts were fix'd, and my Principles establish'd: They may have had Alterna|tives of greater Light and Darkness, occasionally and transiently, according to the State of my Spirits, Knowledge, and Experience; but in the Heart of my Soul (so to speak) I have been uni|form, and under the same Convictions, as to the Fundamentals of these Sciences; and always thought spurious Free-Thinkers, active Latitudinarians, and Apostolic Infidels, (it being a Contra|diction they can be certain in their Ne|gative Opinions, or by them when propa|gated, should do any Good to their Fellow-Creatures, but an infinit deal of Hurt) under some obstinat bodily Distemper, and much more proper Subjects for Me|dicinPage xv than Argument; and that a low Diet, long and obstinatly persisted in, would at last cure both their Body and their Mind, so far as it depends on the Body, especially where Vice and Infidelity have not become habitual, as they certainly have in old Sinners: As I firmly believe, and am as much convinced as I am of any natural Effect, that Water-drink|ing only will preserve all the Opulent healthy from every mortal Distemper, bateing Accidents, hereditary and epi|demical Diseases; and that a Diet of Milk and Seeds, with Water-drinking only, duly continued, and prudently ma|naged, with proper Evacuation, Air and Exercise, is the most infallible Antidote for all the obstinat Diseases of the Body, and Distemperature of the Mind, so far as it depends on the Body, the present State of Things will permit; and that it will cure every Disorder in the Body, cureable, and render the Distempera|ture of the Mind more tractable; and that, in all Events, it will make both Page xvi more tolerable, than they can possibly be otherwise. This Regimen I have for these twenty Years, first and last, pur|sued, and shall, with the Divine Aid, persist in it to my last Moments; hi|therto, I thank GOD, with as much Vivacity, Health and Activity, as can be expected at my time of Life, under such a gouty, scorbutic and nervous Habit. The State of my Intellectuals will be best known by the following Dis|courses, which were design'd to illustrate the Principles, Theory, and moral Uses of philosophical Medicin. The practi|cal Inferences, and the Conclusions drawn from them in particular Cases and Diseases, confirm'd by forty Years Experience and Observation, will follow in due Time, in a Treatise intitled, The natural Method of Cure in the Diseases of the Body, and Distempers of the Mind thereon depending; if GOD shall see fit, by the Preservation of my Health and Faculties.Page i
THE General CONTENTS.
- A Philosophical and Practical Essay
- on the general Method and Me|dicins, but particularly on the Re|gimen and Diet, its Quantity, Qua|lity, Order and Choice, fittest to pre|serve Health, prolong Life, and pro|duce equal good Spirits, in Persons of all Ages and Constitutions.
- Page ii DISCOURSE I.
- Philosophical Conjectures about the Na|ture and Qualities of the original animal Body, and of its progressive State, in its several Stages of Exist|ence.
- DISCOURSE II.
- Philosophical Conjectures about the pre|ference of vegetable to animal Food, and of the End and Design of Pro|vidence, in appointing the First, and, on Trial, permitting the Latter.
- Page iiiDISCOURSE III.
- A Philosophical Theory, founded on Experiments, of the Nature and Laws of minute inanimat Bodies, and their Systems in general.
- DISCOURSE IV.
- Philosophical Conjectures on spiritual Nature, the human Spirit, in par|ticular.
- DISCOURSE V.
- Philosophical Conjectures on Natural Analogy, its Laws, and some of their Consequences.
- Page ivAn Abstract,
- or a brief, but distinct, Representation of the Doctrines and Sentiments contained in the precede|ing Discourses.
N. B. This Abstract is designed as an Index of the Contents of each particular Paragraph, with the Page where it is to be readily found.
A Philosophical and Practical ESSAY ON THE GENERAL Method and Medicins, But particularly on the REGIMEN of DIET, ITS Quantity, Quality, Order and Choice, fittest to preserve HEALTH, prolong LIFE, and produce equal good SPIRITS, in persons of all Ages and Constitu|tions.
Page iA Philosophical and Practical ESSAY ON THE General METHOD and MEDICINS;
But particularly on The REGIMEN of DIET, its Quantity, Quality, Order and Choice, fittest to pre|serve HEALTH, prolong LIFE, and pro|duce equal good SPIRITS, in Per|sons of all Ages and Constitutions.
§. 1. THERE is not a more pernicious Error in Physic, or one more opposit to the Expectation of Patients, (viz. the Preservation or Recovery of their Health) than that very common and universally received Opinion, That there are Bodies in Nature, or in the Materia Medica, or such as may be found out by Art, by dividing, compounding, or altering them by the Tortures of the Fire, which will sudden|ly, Page ii or in any great Degree, change or destroy the Malignity of the morbid Humors of animal Bodies; or will intirely alter the Nature, Qualities, Figure, Size and Laws of Cohesion of the Particles that compose their Fluids and Solids; from an unsound and unhealthy State, to one of a kindly and benign Nature (a wild Notion, at first introduc'd and propagated by enthusiastical Chymists, Quacks and Sym|ptom-Doctors). An animal Body is nothing but a Compages or Contexture of Pipes, an hydraulic Machin, fill'd with a Liquor of such a Nature as was transfus'd into it by its Parents, or is changed into by the Nature of the Food it is nourish'd with, and is ever afterwards good, bad, or indifferent, as these two Sources have sent it forth. The Primae Viae, or the ali|mentary Tube, is, as it were, a Common Sewer, may be foul'd or clean'd in various Manners, and with great Facility; it is wide, open, and reasonably strong, in most Animals: But from the Intestines into the Habit, (which only ought to be reckon'd the Body, or the Vehicle of the Soul) and into the sanguiferous Tubes, into the Glands and Bowels, the Passages from thence are so streight and narrow, that they are but infinitesimal Pores, rather than Orifices, Strainers and Searches, rather than Mouths of Tubes, and are scarce ever visible or perceptible in a healthy State; and the Supply and Nutriture of the Fluids and Solids must pass under the Page iii Form of a Steam or Vapour through them, and not in the Form of a Liquor, either for Food or Physic, either to increase the Quan|tity, or alter the Quality of the Blood and Juices; and the Solids (which concentred, consolidated and condens'd into their real or first Formation Size, would not equal a Grain of Sand) are permanent and dureable, and con|tinue pretty much in that State of Elasticity and Firmness, they were first created with; and they are strong or weak, small or coarse, firm or lax, loose or elastic, blunt or sharp, as they were first made by the supreme Artificer, or are alter'd somewhat by the original Dyscrasy or Distempers of the Parents, (the Mother can only mend or spoil their Juices, which might be easily perfected by long Continuance in a sweetening Diet, during their younger Days; which if they survive, they generally grow stronger as they grow older, become the Genii, and the Governors of the World, because the Solids, thus purified, come from the Father alone) and continue much the same all the Time of their Duration on this Globe, except so far as the small temporary and fugitive Alteration that Diet, Exercise, or Evacuation, or mild ponderous Medicines long continued, may make on them; so small a Matter it really is, that Physic, or the Ma|teria Medica, can perform on the Habit, on the Solids at least; and yet it is only in and by them, that Health, long Life and Sere|nity are to be had: The most that PhysicPage iv or Physicians can do, is in and by the Primae Viae, or alimentary Tube, through these fine lacteal Searches into the Habit.
§. 2. WHAT is it then, will it be said, that Art, Physic or a philosophic Physician, can truly do, to relieve the Miseries, Pains and Dis|eases of their Fellow-Creatures? A great deal, if judiciously and honestly directed, and obstinat|ly and exactly pursued, viz. by mending the Juices in the Manner Nature, the Distemper, the Age, and the Habitudes of the Patient point out. These (the Juices) are the only things in an animal Body, in the Power and under the Dominion of a Physician. If the principal In|tentions of the Physician be to mend the Blood and Juices, they will in time, and by the wise Mechanism of Nature, rectify and confirm the Solids into their proper Situation and Tone; for it is out of, and by the Juices, that the Solids are nourish'd, figur'd and cloath'd. Air and Ex|ercise will give them the proper Firmness and Degree of Elasticity, and then the animal Functions will be perform'd with Facility and Pleasure, and thereby the Person will enjoy Health and Serenity. Art can do nothing but remove Impediments, resolve Obstruc|tions, cut off and tear away Excrescences and Superfluities, and reduce Nature to its primi|tive Order; and this only can be done by a proper and specific Regimen in Quantity and Quality, by Air and Exercise, and by well|judg'd and timeous Evacuation, and prepareing Page v the morbid Juices for easier Elimination, by Means which, I fear, lie in a narrow Compass, and depend mostly on the mild mineral Medi|cins (which were never originally design'd by Nature to be introduc'd into an animal Body, and always rend, tear and wear them out faster, like Spirits and chymical Medicins, but in bad Cases are at first at least necessary) judici|ously managed with proper Dilution.
§. 3. PHLEBOTOMY will directly let out a Part of the bad and vicious Juices, to be immediatly supplied with good ones, from proper Regimen, by making the Vessels more roomy, and thereby enabling the Circulation to make her fuller Rounds; for when the Blood-Vessels are too turgid and full, or the Juices too thick, gross, and sizy, to tumify them, the natural Secretions and Discharges will be too small to admit into them new, fresh, sweet Juices, from Food or Physic, which well-tim'd, partial and frequent Phle|botomy, will much assist. Vomits drive forci|bly out of the upper Part of the chyliferous Tube, not only its noxious Contents, but strongly squeeze all the Glands (which are infinit) of the Abdomen, dissolve and fuse by its Convulsions, and internal Compressure, their Contents, (and that of the universal Mass of the Fluids) and promote their Ex|pulsion; and, frequently repeated, are of more Use and Efficacy than all the other Evacua|tions join'd together; for they not only truly Page vi reach the Habit, supply the Place of Exercise, cleanse the internal Viscera and Glands, (which can by no other means be reached) but compress, squecze and drive out the most distant Obstructions, by setting the whole System, and the most remote Fibre, in violent Action and Play; and where the Solids and natural Strength will admit, are, I think, the most universal Remedy known to Art, if obstinatly and long persisted in, in chronical and obstinat Cases especially; for most infal|libly they bring out all the latent most remote Morbosities in the Habit, dissolve and fuse them, and mix them with the universal Mass of Fluids, in the Trunks of the great Ves|sels, to be more readily and easily thrown out of the Habit: but they are a hard Work, and few can bear them. Purges clean and empty the lower Part of the chyliferous Tubes, leave the Glands situated there, more Freedom to part with their Obstructions by subsequent Repetitions: but this Evacuation, tho' much easier, yet is a great way about, and of slow and small Efficacy in great Diseases, unless the Malady be situated in the lowermost Regions of the Body; and even then Vomits do it sooner and more effectually: and in weak Ha|bits, and nervous Distempers, Purges ruffle ex|tremely. Diaphoretics, I think, do little in these our Northern Climats, unless they be very gentle, and are useful only in acute Cases, where Nature tends towards a Crise; in chro|nical Cases, they heat and inflame, and only Page vii spend the thinnest and most aqueous Parts of the Fluids, which are generally most innocent. Diuretics scour and clean the urinary Pas|sages, and carry off scorbutic and nephritic Salts: but to be innocent or efficacious, they ought to consist of the thinnest, softest and coolest of all Liquors, that is, the purest Water, just soften'd and acuated by the Meal or Salt of some proper Vegetable. Blisters are mostly Topical, they melt, fuse, and draw forth the viscid Serum from the capillary Vessels, and leave Room for a freer Circulation; and when promoted and effected by Cantharides, have a sensible Effect on the most distant Fluids and Solids; and in acute Cases, they are indeed the greatest and most effectual Remedy. These are most and chiefest of the Evacuations used in the Practice of Physic, and, judiciously and properly pursued, are of the greatest Conse|quence to lay a solid Foundation for a Cure.
§. 4. MERCURY and Antimony alone, with their milder Preparations, judiciously ma|naged, and united with the specific Juice of Ve|getables that Experience has determin'd pro|per for the Distemper, upon all the Reasoning and Experience I have ever had, bids fairest for attenuating the Juices, and opening the Obstructions in the small Vessels and Glands, and so fitting the morbid Particles for Elimi|nation; but they are a two-edged Sword, and destroy weak Persons in unskilful Hands; but I have Occasion to speak more explicitly of Page viii their Nature and Effects in another Place. Nitre and its Preparations, especially the animal Pre|paration of it, in Wood-lice, has been thought by all Antiquity, the most innocent and yet most effectual of all the saline Tribe of Me|dicins, to cool, deterge, and open Obstruc|tions; and its sensible Effect in dividing the Blood-Globules in the Lungs, and giving it thereby its Scarlet Colour, and its Efficacy in propagating and quickening Fire and Light, (in both which Effects it has undoubtedly a great Power, if not the greatest) shew its Energy; and in febrile Exacerbations, especially of the Symptomatic kind from malignant Ulcers, and an inflammatory State of the Blood, when plen|tifully diluted with pure Water, and long con|tinued, I think, and have found it the best, if not the only Remedy, sufficient to justify the great Encomium on the Natron of the Antients. When the Blood is sufficiently fus'd, and the Glands made sufficiently open and pervious, by Evacuation and Diet, then Steel, Bark and Bitters, judiciously prepared, and fitted to the original Strength of the Solids of the Patients, will be found the most effectual, to wind up the Springs of Life, and to give a Tension, due Tone, and proper Degree of Elasticity to the So|lids, the Fibres and Nerves, but especially the Membranes, which, I think, are the true and only Seats of Spring and Elasticity, and the pro|per immediat Instruments of Motion and the Functions in an animal Machin: Long and great Evacuation, and a thin cool Diet, while Page ix they are pursued to fuse, thin, and attenuat the Juices, must of Necessity relax and let down the Spring of all the Solids; when the Juices are sufficiently thin'd and attenuated, (which Blood-letting will always discover) then, to give Strength, Vigour and Activity to the Patient, that all the Secretions may be duely made; the sole Intention to perfect the Cure, I say, is to wind up the Solids again, as far as Art can, which, I fear, is not far; at least, I have never found it much, nor very dureable; for all Astringents are of the Nature, act by the same Laws, and have the Effect that Wine and spirituous Liquors have, and are not unlike the buckling upon Pipes and boiling soft broken Hair; they will give them a new Tension and proper Figure for a short time, but their Efficacy and Re|lief is only fugitive and transient, and never dureable; and they effect at the same time a thickening, incrassating and sizeing on the Blood and Juices, while they are winding up, braceing and contracting the Solids; for the Effects of the Qualities and Powers of all Bodies, both Liquids and Solids, of Food and Physic, are always in a duplicat Proportion of the Distance from the Centre of their component Particles. There is indeed this Difference between Bark, Bitters and Steel, and that of strong Liquors, that the Sides of the Vessels, especially their fine close membranous Coats, imbibe, attract and preserve the astringent Virtue and Qualities of Bark, Bitters and Steel, and such Astringents and Bracers, longer, Page x by reason of their innate attractive Virtue on the Particles of such Bodies, their greater Soli|dity, and closer Texture, than the Blood Glo|bules and the circulating Fluids do, which are in a perpetual Flux; and spirituous Liquors mixing more immediatly, fully, and by closer and larger Contacts with the circulating Juices, spend their Efficacy on them, and thicken them faster. For these Causes and Reasons, I say, strong Liquors must have a more immediat and stronger Effect on the Blood and Juices, for condensing and thickening them, than Steel, Bitters and Bark, and such-like Astringents can have; and so spirituous Liquors much indulged, must necessarily have a much quicker, and more deleterious Effect on animal Fluids, than Steel and Astringents can: but still they both act in one Tenor, and by one general Law; and Steel, Bitters and Astringents, improperly and intemperatly us'd, and over-dos'd, will have the same kind of bad Effects, and produce the same Symptoms and Diseases that Intempe|rance in strong Liquors will; only they are sooner felt, are less grateful and bewitch|ing, are much less or not at all craved, and con|sequently are sooner given over.
§. 5. IT is Diet alone, proper and specific Diet, in Quantity, Quality and Order, con|tinued in till the Juices are sufficiently thinn'd, to make the Functions regular and easy, which is the sole universal Remedy, and the only Mean known to Art, or that an animal Ma|chin, Page xi without being otherwise made than it is, can use with certain Benefit and Success, which can give Health, long Life and Sere|nity. There is an innate Degree of Strength and Elasticity in the Solids, to circulat the Liquors, and promote the Secretions, and carry on the vital Functions, with which one comes into the World, which they derive from their Birth and Parents, which is ever after but little alter'd even either by Art or Diet: Growth, Inlargement of the Body, and crusting over the original Solids, and Maturation, only fills the linear and infinitesimal original Tubes and Vessels with a proper Liquor, to stretch, extend, and plump them, as a Sack is fill'd with Grain, or a Bladder with Air or Water; from that Liquor, their Coats, the fleshy and nervous Fibres of the Muscles, Tendons and Membrans, and other Solids of the Body, is thicken'd, crusted over, and condens'd; the Spring, Elasticity, and motive Power, lies solely and intirely in the original, primary, divinely organis'd linear Fibrils, and the Mem|brans made of them. The Incrustration and Incrassation from the Fluids, in the Tubes superinduced on them, but weakens their ori|ginal Spring and Elasticity, both by its Weight and incommensurat Vibrations, as we find by the Elasticity of Twigs, the sharp Notes of fine small Hairs, and the Agility of young Animals. The Elasticity consists mainly in the original Degree of Attraction in the com|ponent Page xiielementary Particles of the linear Fi|brils, primarily fashion'd by the Author of Nature; and it is in this Elasticity alone, the Force, Power and Pleasure of Life, and of the animal Functions, consists. If the Elasti|city of these Solids be such, as easily, readily and pleasantly to overcome and slide over all the Rubs, Impediments and Letts in the Functions, (whatever State the Fluids be in) then the Animal is healthy, active and gay; otherwise, if they are perform'd with Labour and Struggle, and from too great Efforts of the self-motive Principle on the primarily divinely organis'd Vehicles, and its Load of Crust which is laid on it, to defend it from the Injuries of this Element, and ruinous Planet we are now confin'd to: For as a Surgeon lays a Plaister on a Sore, to defend it from the Air, and the Touch of hard rough Bodies; if this Plaister it|self should be hard, rough, corrosive, or sti|mulating, it would become a Pain and Incom|modity, instead of a Pleasure or Defence. It is out of the Juices that circulat in the Tubes, that this plaistering is made on the primitive sensible elastic Fibrils; and it is therefore of the last Consequence, and indeed the One thing necessary, that these Juices be the sweet|est, lightest and most lenient possible; and this we can only bring about by Diet, soft, sweet, cool, mild Diet.
§. 6. SOME Persons have industriously and designedly spread it about, that I was of Opi|nion, that a sole strict Vegetable; or Milk and Seed Diet, was the best and fittest for all Per|sons, Climats, and Ages, without Exception or Limitation, and the only one proper, approv'd by the Author of Nature, and specific to cure all animal Distempers; advised my Patients no other, or pretended to cure them no other way, be their Distemper what it will. My Opinions are of little Consequence to the World, and I hope I have too little Value or Regard for them, as they are mine, to be any Degree sanguin or concern'd for their Reception. I have, and I hope have always express'd, so great a Re|gard for the Wisdom, Fitness, and Propriety of Things, as discover'd by Revelation, (from whence the Patent for animal Food is deriv'd) not to set up my Opinions or Ideas in Oppo|sition to those of holy Writ, and the Divine Spirit speaking in it. The Wisdom of Man, even that of the highest Cherubim, is but Fool|ishness, when compared with the Omniscience of God, and his wise Providence. He that made us and sent us here, knows best what is fittest for us, to answer and bring about his own Designs of Love and Mercy. But I am thoroughly convinced, from Reason, Experi|ence, Philosophy and Revelation, that in our present State, in this our probatory transitory Situation, on this ruinous Globe, (sensibly and Page xiv evidently spoil'd a second time by the Deluge) on which we are now situated, that animal Food, their Juices, and integral Particles, are the fittest and most proper, to produce most quickly and more immediatly, the firmest hardest human Flesh, and warmest strongest Blood. There is a Similarity and Homoge|neity between the muscular Flesh of tender sweet Animals, and that of the human Body; the integral Particles of the Solids of the first, and the component Globules of their Juices, are ready form'd, figur'd and adjusted to build up the Flesh, and cloath the Solids, and furnish out the Juices of the latter: they are at hand, adjusted by Square and Compass, directly to be laid together, to rear the So|lids; and their Juices are inur'd and fami|liaris'd to perform the Meanders of the Circu|lation, and with Facility to perform all the ani|mal Functions, with the least Labour or Struggle, less than those of Vegetables in general; as a Mason will sooner and more strongly build the Walls of a House, who has hewn plain rect|angular Stones at hand, than one who has rough Stones only, Sand and Mortar, all which must be first figur'd or prepar'd for a solid dureable Building. All this, I think, is true, just and philosophical; and while Youth and tolerable Health continues, none ought to alter the common temperat Diet of the middling Rank of those among whom he lives, for a particular or artificial one, without Page xv a particular Call, and the best Advice: Nay, I think such a Change unnatural, out of the Order of Providence, and in some Degree immoral. When a Person is tolerably well, and not far advanced into Life, to change an ani|mal for a vegetable Diet, to avoid mere Pos|sibilities and future Contingencies, is arrogant|ly prying into the divine Decrees, and inso|lently criticising the Conduct of his Provi|dence. If God's Design is to purify us by Pains and Penalties here, ours ought not to be only the mere enjoying the Kingdoms of this World, and the Glories thereof. If his be to shorten the Time of our Sufferings, by rendering them more intense; ours ought to be to bear them as long as by his Assistance we possibly can, in the common Course of Nature and Provi|dence; for if we cowardly fly from them on one Side, He has Power and Skill enough to double them in another; in this Particular, whatever is, is best: But if we should find our Pains and Sufferings so intense, that they are no longer tolerable, but hinder, instead of promoting, what is our Duty and Vocation, and what we are convinced is best for us, then he has advised us, when persecuted in one City, to flee to another: Then, and only then, when animal Food will no longer do, we are to try what Milk and Seeds can do to ease our Pain. It is only the Cross of God's Appoint|ment, and which he declares his, by natural Causes, and in the Course of his Providence, Page xviunforeseen and unavoidable, which we are to take up daily, and with all the Joy, Alacrity and Resignation, that the Meaning of a Cross can imply, that is, the best we can, with the Aid of his Grace. And if Suffering, Punishment, Pains and Penalties, and shortening the Dura|tion of our Imprisonment here, be the very best for us in our present Situation and State; and if animal Food, and fermented Liquors, naturally, necessarily, and mechanically pro|duce these Effects more readily than Vege|tables, Milk and Seed Foods, and aqueous Li|quors, then was it with infinit Wisdom, Kind|ness and Fitness, that the Holy Spirit permitted animal Food, and inlarged the Materials of our Aliment, even tho' his first Intention for Man had been Vegetables only (which could only be in a paradisaical State, or on a better unspoil'd Planet). But the real Truth is, Nature, our Globe, the various unkindly Climats, the diffe|rent Ages, States, Conditions and Circum|stances under which Man is at present, render it utterly impossible and impracticable, that Man should be advis'd, order'd or commanded, by in|finit Wisdom, to live only on Vegetables. It is not, and it cannot be, by Bread alone that Man can live at present; it cannot answer the Ends, Uses and Occasions Men are now necessitated to pursue. Great and sudden Efforts of Prow|ess and Strength cannot be answer'd or exe|cuted by Vegetables and Water only; they are too thin, weak and poor. Youth-hood, Vigour, Page xvii Robustness, and great Action, would be tor|tur'd, and languish under Bread and Water in ever so great Plenty: Milk, Fruits, Seeds and Vegetables, in any Perfection, are of much greater Expence and Labour to procure, than that the Poor and Necessitous now can afford them, especially in Northern Climats; they have lost their Vigour, Energy and Balsam, since the Deluge. Milk is appropriated for Children, and not grown Men, to answer the Ends of Providence. But to explain my Thoughts on this Matter as a Physician only, as clearly and precisely as I can, as they flow from natural Philosophy, the animal Oeco|nomy, and my own Experience, I say, 1. That after a Fever, or any acute Distemper is over, and had its perfect Crise, and the Person is not past the Meridian of Life, the Blood and Juices, by the strong and violent Labour of the Solids, being sufficiently ground, effete and languid, a Milk, Seed, or vegetable Diet, is by no means long and obstinatly to be con|tinued in; it would continue the Party too languid, the Juices too thin and vapid, and the Spirits too low; and therefore he ought absolutely to be directed to an animal Diet, and temperatly strong Liquors of the lightest, most nourishing and balsamic Nature, to be gradually and cautiously enter'd upon; especi|ally as he begins to be capable of Air and Exercise. 2. If upon takeing away a few Ounces of Blood only out of a large Orifice, the Curd is found too thin, tender, watery, and Page xviii too readily fusible, or dissolvible in warm Water, and the Serum too clear, whiteish, or in too great a Quantity; a Milk, Seed and vegetable Diet, is by no means to be longer continued in, but is to be altered gradually into light, sweet and young animal Food, and temperat fermented Liquors. 3. If after two, three, four or five Years, the Disorders for which a low cool Diet was advis'd and enter'd upon, with sufficient Strictness and Precision, is not cured, or greatly reliev'd, the Party may conclude, that a low cool Diet will not make a perfect Cure, and must with Patience, and a general Regularity, enter on common Life, and not be longer scrupulous, or anxious about Regimen, in the Quality, but in the Quantity, and submit to the Order of Provi|dence, and use the Means that Experience or the best Advice suggests to alleviat the Sym|ptoms, and do the best he can taliter qualiter, if he is under Fifty. 4. To such as have an original hereditary weakly scorbutical or scro|phulous Habit, and are far advanced in Life; who have mesenteric glandular Obstructions, with feeble Solids, and little Strength and Vigour, a Milk, Seed and vegetable Diet, with aqueous Liquors, is by no means to be advis'd; for as the Case is absolutely incureable, it were in vain to torment and restrain them, more cruelly than their Distemper itself does; they must not be forbid, but rather indulged the common Comforts and Gratifications of Life. It is to such that St. Paul's Advice to TimothyPage xix is just, as well as kind, to drink a little Wine for their Stomachs sake, and their often In|firmities: A general Moderation, and an Ob|servation of the Juvantia and Laedentia, is only to be advised, and the Use of these Means known to Art, to alleviat Symptoms. 5. In all eruptive Cases, in all acute and periodical cutaneous Cases, in the actual Fits of the Gout, in the second Fever of the Small-Pox, in Fevers verging towards a Crise, to drive out from the Centre to the Circumference any changeable Disorder, and universally in all Cases where the vital Indications languish and labour, and Nature is in a Struggle to throw outward Morbosity; she is most cer|tainly to be assisted by generous cordial and warmer Medicins, and higher Diet, to further the End Nature points at. These are some of the Cases where too low and cool a Regimen is by no means to be advised or pursued. 6. And lastly, Whenever the End of a low Diet is obtained, viz. the sweetning and thinning the Juices, and the Symptoms are abated or cured, the Diet is to be heighten'd, and gradually and cautiously rais'd, at least if the Party be under Fifty. I will now suggest as plainly, in what Cases I think it is to be advised and tried. As to the Healthy and Well, I have nothing here to say: Sufficient for the Day is the Evil thereof.
§. 7. IT is only to those whose Stomach and Digestion is so weak and relax'd, that they Page xx cannot concoct without extreme Suffering, any such Proportion even of tender animal Food and fermented Liquors, as may be sufficient to nourish and support them: To those whose Blood and Juices are evidently so thick, gross and viscid, that it fills and obstructs the Vessels so tumidly, that they cannot receive a sufficient Quantity of either Medicin or Food, to cure or preserve them, the Circulation and Perspiration being intirely at a stand: To those who are subject to perpetual Haemorrhages, Inflammations, or constant small acute Fe|vers: To those who are after the great Meal towards Midnight, hectical or consumptive: To those labouring under a scorbutico-nervose Atrophy and wasting: To those labouring under hereditary, early, knotted, disabling and painful Gouts or Stone: To those who are highly, hereditarily and early scrophulous or scorbutical: To those who are leprous and universally crusted over with cutaneous Blotches and Scabs: To those who are epi|leptical early in Life, with a thin cacochymic Habit: To those who are constantly hysterical or hypocondriacal, with frequent Fits and Con|vulsions, under a weak thin Habit, which threaten a Consumption; for I have always observed these obstinat violent hysteric and hypocondriac Fits in young slender Persons, to be the first Stage of a real Phthisis Pulmonum, or at least of a nervous Atrophy; and if it was not cured or prevented in this its first Page xxi Stage, by the same Means and Regimen com|monly the Refuge of the subsequent Stages, they were not to be ever after remedied, they being sure Presages of Tubercles in the Lungs: To those that are plainly cancerous; in short, to those chiefly who after they have long and strictly follow'd the best Advice, and the most effectual Remedies, still labour under some atrocious, painful and dangerous Distemper; to such, and such only, have I ever advised a total rigid Milk and vegetable Diet, with aqueous Liquors; but no longer to be con|tinued, than till the Symptoms were extremely mitigated, or intirely overcome; and then, if it was after the Meridian of Life, to be persisted in obstinatly; if long before it, to be gradu|ally and cautiously alter'd into common Life with great Temperance; and I know all ho|nest and experienced Physicians, antient and modern, are and must be of the same Mind.
§. 8. THE great and essential Difference be|tween animal and vegetable Food, is much the same as between Chemical and Gale|nical Medicins. Chemical Medicins are the suppos'd (at least their most active) Virtues and Qualities of Plants, Metals and Mi|nerals, contracted and concentred into a small Volume, by the Tortures of the Fire; their useless or destructive Parts separated and thrown away, and their useful and sanative Qualities compacted and united into an imme|diat Page xxiiContact and condensed. They would be of admirable Use and Convenience, if these sup|pos'd Facts, and such mentioned Virtues, were just, solid and true, or if an animal Body could bear them without greater or more fatal future Injuries, than their present Benefit (how great soever) or Convenience can compensat. But it is most certain, that such Medicins, Drugs or Bodies, are the most destructive to animal Bodies, if long and in great Quantities thrown in, that Malice can invent, beyond Gun|powder itself and even spirituous Liquors; for not only Nature has provided none such, but as Poisons in venomous Creatures to kill their Enemies, or cook them for their Food: but that the Particles of Fire, the most destructive of any, are so closely impacted and transubstan|tiated in, as never to be afterwards sepa|rated from them, and that their component Particles are so minutely divided by the Tor|tures of the Fire, as to acquire such a Force of Attraction towards the Particles of animal Bodies; such a Polarity, (as Dr. Lister ob|served, in all Calcinations, both of Vege|tables and Minerals, so constantly to answer the Magnet) that they become Iron, Bristles, Nails and Lancets, darting directly and per|pendicularly into the Solids, so as quickly to tear, rend and destroy, or fix them, and so can never be proper for Food or Physic; whereas Galenical Medicins, consisting of the integral Particles of Vegetables, Metals or Minerals, Page xxiii dissolved only by gentle Heat and Moisture, in a watry Menstruum, have none of these deleterious Qualities on animal Bodies, but become their Food as well as Physic, and naturally take the Places of the morbid Particles of animal Habits, which Time and the natural Functions mecha|nically throw off. Just so animal Food, and fer|mented Liquors, are the smallest, most element|ary and attractive Particles, united and concen|ter'd like the Rays of the Sun in the Focus of a Burning-glass. Their delicious Flavour and Savour consists in their greater abundance of Oil and Salts, which are the most active, and consequently the most destructive to animal Bodies. If they are sufficiently diluted, and their Volume and Quantity increas'd, by the more innocent and unactive Particles of fine Earth and Water, they may be safely used, approaching thereby very near to Vegetables. Juices and fermented Liquors, much diluted with Water, become the nearest Approxima|tion to pure Water, the only Beverage de|signed and fitted by Nature for long Life, Health and Serenity; and the whole Study of the Patient, and Intention of the Physician, ought to be to find out this just Mediocrity of animal and vegetable Food, when com|bin'd, for Aliment, and of fermented and aqueous Liquors mix'd for Beverage, which is the most proper for preserving his Health, or curcing his Disorders; for there is very little in the Specification of the Diet, whether it Page xxiv be all Vegetable, or partly Animal, partly Ve|getable, some Vegetables being more delete|rious to animal Constitutions than some ani|mal Substances; and there is but a very little Difference between pure warm Water, and cold Water warm'd with a very little Wine; the just Mixture and Proportion suited to the Constitution and Distempers of the Patient, is by far the greatest Affair; tho' in the Distem|pers by me just now specified, that are painful and dangerous, too great Exactness, both in Quantity and Quality, is never to be slighted; for in a true statical Balance, such as the Con|stitutions under the mentioned Diseases are, a few Grains or Spoonfuls thrown in, will de|stroy the Equilibrium of Health and Ease.
§. 9. THE Benefits a Person who desires nothing but a clear Head and strong intellec|tual Faculties, would reap by religiously drinking nothing but Water, (tepid or cold, as the Season is) while he is yet young, and tolerably healthy, well educated, and of a sober honest Disposition, are innumerable: As, 1. That he would live probably till towards an hundred Years of Age, that being the Term of Life appointed by the Design of the Creator, even after the Deluge, and after that eating of animal Food was permitted, before (as it is believ'd) fermented Liquors were invented; at least, if we have any regard for Moses's History, which yet cannot be denied to be one Page xxv of the justest Accounts of these early Times. 2. That he would thereby constantly enjoy a clear Head, calm, at least governable Passions, a Facility in intellectual Applications, and in the Acquisition of Virtue; and so having a longer Duration secur'd to him, and all Impedi|ments removed, he might make surprizing and wonderful Advances in both. 3. He would thereby be secur'd against all the great atrocious and frightful Distempers, such as Melancholy, Lowness of Spirits, Wrong-headedness, Lu|nacy and Madness (the Bane of the finest, best and most penetrating Spirits in Great Britain). For I defy any Man to give an Instance of any furious Madness, or great and obstinat Lu|nacy or Melancholy, in any one who soon after Twenty, enter'd on Water drinking only, let him eat what he can; for it is fermented Liquors only that inflame the Membrans and membranous Tubuli (the Nerves), which are the bodily Organs of intellectual Operations. It is the Fire, Sulphur and volatile Tartar of fermented Liquors, that inflame, corrugat and stimulat these Membranes, and their linear Threads, into violent Succussions, that break and tear them, which are the immediat Cause of these frightful and overwhelming Distem|pers, as they are of the painful tortureing ones, Gout, Stone, Cancer and Consumption: For tho' Gluttony will thicken the Curd of the Blood, and thereby cause Obstructions in the Glands and Capillaries, from whence many Page xxvi and various Distempers may arise, yet will they be of the obtuse, slow, lingering Kind, and in which Nature will always give a timeous and early Warning, by Inappetency, Nausea, Vo|miting, Purging, Sweating, Spitting or Rheums, which will opportunely stop the Pro|gress; and while Water is plentifully then craved and given, it will carry on, distance in the Circulation, and dilute this too viscid Curd, to prevent an intire Obstruction of the animal Functions, or destroy Life, and hinder the Generation of Gout, Stone, Cancer and Consumption, which are solely produc'd by the hard salin Concretions of fermented Li|quors. But, 4. The most signal Benefit a Man will reap from early Water-drinking solely, while as yet in tolerable Health, is being pre|serv'd from the acute, sudden and mortal Dis|tempers, as Apoplexies, Suffocations, Fevers of all kinds, Pestilences and Pleurisies. It is to fermented, strong, or spirituous Liquors solely, that these quick and destructive Distem|pers owe their true Cause, which give no Warning, and admit of no Cure: At least, Water-drinking solely, is the only Preservative, I am certain, known or knowable to Art. Accidents, epidemical Causes, a constant Neg|lect, or a total Inability to guard against the Dangers of the other Non-naturals, absolutly necessary towards perfect Health and Life, may produce some Degrees of these mention'd grand Distempers; but then, under sole Water-drinking, Page xxvii they will neither be so painful nor dangerous: For it is certain, Water-drinking, Dilution, and thin Diet, is the only Mean known to Art and Experience, to cure them, when Persons are already seiz'd with these Dis|tempers, join'd with strong and proper Evacu|ations; and whatever will cure, will prevent; as Water pour'd on will extinguish Fire, so it will prevent its being kindled or beginning. If these frightful, painful and mortal Distem|pers happen sometimes in Eastern or Southern Climats, where fermented Liquors are not much in Use, it is because they wallow and indulge in some things almost equally as per|nicious and inflammatory as these strong Li|quors, as high in Aromaticks, eastern Gums and Juices; Opiats, the volatile cepacious Roots, Fruits and Seeds, of the poisonous, sopori|ferous or stimulating kind, with which those Climats abound, which is the sole Cause of all their inflammatory Distempers, and unnatural and dissolveing Lust; for these are all but dry Drams, of a more dureable and adhesive Nature than some of the liquid ones; for Fire is still Fire, whether Solar or Culinary, Na|tural or Chemical; whether it is transubstan|tiated into liquid or solider Matter; and Wa|ter is its only Extinguisher.
§. 10. I HAVE said, that the Quantity of Aliment (Meats and Drinks) is of much greater Consequence in general, than the Page xxviiiQuality, for the Preservation of Life, Health and Serenity. If a Man study the least, light or heavy will not so much incommode him. The great End and Use of a low Diet, or one of Milk, Seeds and Vegetables, is to mend the Juices, to cool, attenuat and sweeten the circulating Fluids; whatever Diet does this, must mechanically relax, unbend, and let down the Spring of the Solids. It is true, the Superiority of the Force or Spring of the Solids, must be always greater than the Re|sistance of the Fluids; else the Animal could not live at all; that is, the animal Functions could not be perform'd; and this Superiority must be continued in some Proportion, whatever Regimen the Animal uses, so long as it lives. But it is certain, a cool, thin, sweetning Diet, attenuats the Fluids in a greater Proportion than it relaxes and unbends the Solids; be|cause, 1. All the Secretions are from the Fluids, and not from the Solids; and they spending and wasting faster, must be sooner supply'd and alter'd by the proper Food. 2. Be|cause the immediat Action of Food and Physic is upon the Fluids, and they absorb and con|sume most of their Virtue and Efficacy; and the Solids are never acted upon by them, till the Fluids are fully saturated and transubstan|tiated into their Substance. And, 3. Because all Fluids by their Nature are sooner and more readily acted upon, and alter'd into foreign Qualities, than any Solids possibly can; and Page xxix hence it comes to pass, that a Person on the immediat Change, and for some considerable Time after, in passing from a high to a low Diet, will find his Health wonderfully mended for the better, because the Resistance of the Fluids is immediatly lessen'd; which will again, even under the same Diet in Quan|tity and Quality, wonderfully, and, as it were, unaccountably totter, and alter for the worse; which happens on the Despumation of the Glands, Capillaries and Solids, while they are spewing out and disgorgeing their morbid Con|tents on the Primae Viae; but which, by proper and specific Evacuations, Exercise and Astrin|gents afterwards, will generally be set to rights again, if the Person be at a proper Time of Life, that is, under Fifty; for after that, there is little Encouragement from any Mean, but gentle Evacuation, and a Perseverance in the regu|lated Regimen: Nay, even he must pro|ceed, lessening it in Quantity at least, if not in Quality, by proper Degrees, and at pro|per Periods, descending out of Life, as one ascends into it, viz. by Milk-Porridge, Water-Gruel, Panada, and the like. But the great Benefit and Advantage a Man reaps from a low, cool, thinning, sweetning Regimen, of Milk, Seeds and Vegetables, above what he can have under any Diet of animal Food and fermented Liquors, is, that he can keep the stretched and extended Bowels, and Blood-Vessels, always fuller and plumper, and in their Page xxx natural Tension and Situations; and consequently will make the Secretions more plentifully, and all the Functions will be more natural, and easier, than under a spare, cautious and anxiously guarded starving Regimen of so little animal Food as is absolutly necessary; as a weak Person will walk more easily in Stays than loose, some lame Persons in a Boot than a Stocking; and a defensive Plaister will keep a Sore easier, than when it is bare; and Excesses are neither so pain|ful nor dangerous under the first as under the second Regimen; and the same Person may safely venture on at least four times as much Vegetable, Seed and Milk Food, as he dare of animal Food of any kind, at least of dense, hard, or full-grown animal Food.
§. 11. I THINK the natural Order and Pro|gression in Regimen, for those who are or|dain'd to, or for those whose Vocation and Occupation is sedentary and studious, who by the Order of Providence, and Situation of Life, have been signatur'd to intellectual Pro|fessions, and for all those who would cultivat and maintain clear Heads and quick Senses to the last, is from their Birth till Fifteen, to persevere in a gradually increasing temperat Diet, without fermented Liquors; from Fifteen to Fifty, to be only temperat in animal Foods and fermented Liquors; after Fifty to give up animal Food Suppers, and fermented Liquors; after Sixty to give up all animal Food; and Page xxxi then every ten Years after to lessen about a quarter of the Quantity of their vegetable Food; and thus gradually descend out of Life as they ascended into it. And that all Persons subject to inflammatory Distempers, Gouts, Erisipelas's, hot Scurvies, Leprosies, Asthma's, Jaundices, Colicks, nervous Lownesses, vio|lent Head-aches, Haemorrhages and Haemor|rhoids, Anasarca's, Ruptures, or white Swel|lings, tho' otherwise strong, hearty, hale, and of a seeming sound Constitution, ought to give up Meat Suppers, and all fermented Li|quors; and that the Children of all Fathers (for Mothers are not here to be minded) who have died before Thirty-five, of any natural Distemper whatever, and all the Children begot of Fathers after Sixty, ought to live without Meat Suppers, or fermented Liquors; and that all Persons whatever, whatever Age they be of, or of whatever Nature their Com|plaints and Disorder may be, if, upon repeated small Phlebotomies, and without transient Accidents, (as Colds, Damps, Blasts, and Bruises) they constantly observe their Blood sizy, viscous and glutinous, ought directly to be put on a low Diet, either of Milk, Seeds and Vegetables only, or at least of one, with|out Meat Suppers, and fermented Liquors; and this Regimen, with proper attenuant, alterative and sweetning Medicines, (which, in the Na|ture of things, ought to be of the mild pon|derous and mineral Tribe) to be continued Page xxxii till at least this Size and Glew be broken and dissolved; else they can never expect uniform and continued Health; for such a Regimen, and such Medicins, must do this in Time; else nothing in Nature possibly can.
§. 12. UNPHILOSOPHICAL and unexperienced Persons, tho' they know and observe the great critical Alteration that hap|pens in the Sex, in or about Fifty, and that without a special Care, both in the Regimen, proper Evacuation, and alterative Medicins, they are in great Danger, either of their Lives, or of some chronical and obstinat Distempers, that make their Lives ever after miserable and uncomfortable, after that Period; yet think this Misfortune peculiar to Females, and that the Males have a Privilege and Security to be luxurious and sensual to the last; which is the true Reason why so few die natural Deaths, and that most pass as really and truly out of Life, in a violent untimely Manner, as a Felon, who suffers under public Justice. The Matter of Fact and Order of Nature is this: Fifty was design'd as the Meridian of Life, in this our lapsed; State and Duration, on this ruinous Planet; from this solstitial Point it is a Descent out of Life. From the Birth upwards to this Point, the Solids were deve|lopeing, expanding, crusting over, and harden|ing to their utmost Extension, Firmness and Density; and thereby their Elasticity beginning Page xxxiii then at Fifty to weaken and unbend, and they to ossify, the Digestions become grosser and more imperfect, the Secretions lessen, and all the animal Functions labour; and then, if due Care is not taken to obviat these Effects, the chronical Distempers naturally arising out of these Causes, and that lurked in the original Con|stitution, begin to emerge and sprout out, the Viscera to tumify and obstruct, the Glands then swell and press on the circulating Blood-Vessels, the Capillaries to coalesce, become full and dense, and the Nerves and Membranes are interrupted in their Play and Vibrations, and all the animal Machin labours, and the Functions are perform'd heavily, with Pain and Struggle. This is the true Time and Season of Life, for Attention, Consideration and Care of a wise Man and a Philosopher. The Hyperbolic Curve of Life is at the Point of its Return downwards again; and if then proper Care be taken, by some few Evacua|tions, Alteratives, and a Regimen; to put a Drag on the Wheels of Life, that they may go down gently, calmly and serenely, these become more useful to themselves and others, than in the first ascending part of Life; and this happens equally to both the Sexes: for it is not from this Season being the common Period of the Fertility of the Female Sex, that these Appearances happen; but is a general Law of Nature to both Sexes from the Causes assign'd; for all the Difference of the Page xxxivSexes lies in the different Configuration of the superinduc'd Crust or Shell laid over the pri|mitive aethereal Body, which in both is pro|bably pretty near of the same Figure, Size and Materials, originally.
§. 13. IT is not an unpleasant Speculation, to contemplat the Order of Nature in its Pro|gression towards reducing this our Tabernacle of Clay, into its original Dust, from its Cradle to its Coffin, especially in those who live the whole Duration of the natural Life. The Diseases of Infancy are generally Scabs, Blotches and Blains over the Face, Head, Eyes and Ears; sometimes Fits and Convulsions, and such Cephalic and Head Distempers; and these are certainly constitutional and parental Disorders communicated by the morbid Juices of the Parents; the Colicks, Vomitings and Diarrhoea's succeeding, come from the impro|per Nourishment in Quantity or Quality of the Mothers or Nurses; the Measles and Small-pox are also original and parental Impurities convey'd to the Blood and Juices in the Birth, from too high and too much animal Food, and are most of them the Diseases of the upper Region of the Body. When Nature has struggled by these to purify the Juices by such Despumations, then come the Distempers of the Breast and Lungs, in Coughs, Catarrhs, Consumptions, Asthma's, Pleurisies or Peripneumonies; after these come Pains in the Stomach, Heart-burnings, Page xxxvColicks, bilious Vomitings, Jaun|dice and Diarrhoea's; then succeed Gouts, Stone and Gravel, Palsies, Rheumatisms and fixing of the Joints; and very often Ruptures, Piles, or Mortifications in the Bowels, Feet, or Toes, the Diseases of the lower Regions. All I would insinuat by this Reflection, is, that Nature seems to aim, and would certain|ly, if not interrupted by Accidents, obtain and pursue a kind of a regular and uniform Pro|gression, in her Course of dissolving and mouldering into Dust, this Adamical Crust of Clay, by Distempers, topical and local, from the Head, through the Viscera, to the Feet and Joints, till, like a dying Vegetable, she has fix'd it in the Earth, from whence it sprung. This is certainly her general Law, if not interrupted by original, parental Dis|eases or Accidents hurting some of the Or|gans before it was born, or by Accidents pro|per and peculiar to the Party itself; or a ge|neral bad Regimen, which may quicken this Progress, or throw it out of its natural Pro|gression on a weaken'd Part, that may discom|pose the general Law of Nature.
§. 14. FOR Perspicuity and Brevity, I di|stinguish four Orders and Degrees of Regimen of Diet, that is, of Meat and Drink; viz. 1. The common Diet of a reasonable Propor|tion of animal Food and fermented Liquors, common to the middling Rank of the Healthy, Page xxxvi Temperat and Sober in every Climat or Coun|try. 2. A Diet of plain fresh animal Food once a Day, without any fermented Liquor, only plain Water, or Toast and tepid Water for Beverage; or one of one Day Meat with|out Wine, and another Day a little Wine with|out Meat, which I would call the trimming Diet. 3. A Diet without any animal Food, but one of Milk, Seeds, Fruits and Vegetables, any thing where the Life of no Animal is wanted to compose or dress such (as Eggs, Gravey, and the like). 4. A total strict Milk and Seed Diet only, without any other Ma|terials. Of these I intend to say something in general, and in this Order, both as to their Times and Cookery. But first as to the Order, or Time of changeing any one of these diffe|rent kinds of Regimen one for another.
§. 15. WHEN a Person is tolerably well, and is subject to no painful or dangerous Dis|temper, I think it his Duty, and the Order of God and Providence, to let Well alone; and with general Temperance, without Solicitude, Anxiety or Scrupulosity, to persevere in the common Regimen of the middling healthy temperat Order of Men, in the Country and Climat where he was born, or long habitu|ated: To follow St. Paul's Advice in another Case, to ask no Questions about what he should eat for Health's sake; or rather our Saviour's Counsel, not to be solicitous, or take anxiousPage xxxvii Care, about what he should eat, or what he should drink, or wherewithal he should be cloathed; but without Curiosity or Nicety, take a Share of whatever is presented: For to live at such a Time, and in such a Circumstance, medically, is truly to live miserably, and propter vitam vivendi perdere causas. It is enough, for a wise Man, and a Christian Phi|losopher, to stop, and attend to Diet and Re|gimen, when, by the Order of Providence, his natural and providential Course of common Re|gimen is barr'd up, by some Disorder or Distem|per; and then wise Nature will give him timeous Warning, by Inappetency, a Nausea, Reaching, Vomiting, a Flatulence, Fulness or Pain in the Stomach; for all Distempers begin first at the Stomach or Bowels, and then ascend to the Head, which is the Language of the God of Nature, saying to the Person, Man, take Care; and then, and only then, ought a Christian Philosopher mind his Re|gimen, and by Evacuation, moderat Fasting or Exercise, endeavour to relieve or remove the Grief, or apply to some honest experienced Physician for Advice.
§. 16. IF the Case is acute, the Party is not generally, at least for any Time, in a Con|dition to observe or direct for himself: But seldom any notable Errors are committed in Regimen then; for on the slightest Attempts to any great Excess, either in Quantity or Page xxxviiiQuality, Nature immediatly revolts, and the Party suffers to such an Extremity, by the Exacerbations of his Symptoms, that any notable Progress in such an unnatural Regimen cannot possibly be receiv'd or persisted in; and yet I have seen and felt, by the Indiscretion of Friends, or the officious Sedulity of Nurses, the poor Patient suffer to mortal Agonies, and sometimes to Death, in acute Cases, by im|proper Loads of high Foods, or liquid or solid Drams and Cordials; and many have suffer'd more from high and hot Drugs, than ever they could from the Distemper. In acute Cases, seldom any thing that is given either for Food or Physic, passes the Primae Viae, unless it be extremely light and liquid. In such, the wiser Antients scarce ever administred (besides proper Evacuation) any thing but tepid Water, simple Oxymel, or Water soften'd, or sharpned by the Flour or Meal of some proper or specific Ve|getable. Long obstinat Fasting, continued even ad Deliquium, with plentiful Dilution, and the Evacuation indicated by the Nature of the Distemper, was their most universal Re|medy. But it is not of Regimen in acute Cases that I here intend to speak; my sole Business is with chronical Cases.
§. 17. BUT since chronical Cases are only acute Cases diluted, and drawn out into a longer Time, with weaker Paroxysins, and a more protracted Crise; since Nature has a Page xxxixgeneral Law and Type, by which she governs and signatures such acute Distempers, especi|ally in those who follow her Laws and Sim|plicity, and not disturbed by spurious Art or Accidents; since Fasting, proper Evacuation, and Dilution, are the great Remedies indi|cated in acute Cases; it is natural and highly probable to suppose, that proper Evacuation, Abstinence, and thin cool soft Regimen longer persisted in, will be the single Intention pointed out, and the great and cardinal Remedies in chronical Cases; and therefore, when a Per|son, under common Life, is seized with a chronical Distemper, which by prudent Absti|nence, and lessening the Quantity of this com|mon Diet, is not remov'd, he ought to apply to the proper Directors of Health, and follow their Advice religiously, in the Use of Medi|cins and Regimen they order; and if in three Months time, in chronical Cases, by rigorously pursuing the order'd Medicins and Regimen, their Symptoms are not totally remov'd, or greatly reliev'd and mitigated, he may, I think, fairly conclude the Regimen was not low, cool and thin enough, for the End propos'd; and therefore ought to resolve to sink his Re|gimen, both in Quantity and Quality, and enter upon what I call the trimming Diet.
§. 18. BUT before any Person resolves to sink or alter his Regimen of Diet, or any pru|dent Physician ought to advise such an Altera|tion, Page xl he ought always to premise a gentle par|tial Phlebotomy out at the largest Vein, and from the largest Orifice commonly open'd; for a small Trunk of a Vein will only send out such Blood as is much different from the Crase of the whole Mass; the Circulation being slower in the small Branches, the Visci|dity is generally impacted into the smallest in a greater Proportion, and the serous Part by the Slowness is perspired or run off, by the Lym|phatics, and lateral Branches; and a small Orifice either compresses and breaks the Tex|ture of the Curd of the Blood, disunites and separates the Globules, so that the Observation cannot be fairly or with any Degree of Accu|racy made; but by comparing the Blood so let out, with other sound healthy Blood, (for Example, that of a healthy Person, or of a Bullock or Sheep) if the Difference in Taste, Colour, Cohesion of the Globules, and Curd, and the Proportion thereof to the Serum, be in all or most of these Distinctions, greatly different from those of the sound Blood, it may fairly be concluded that the Regimen of Diet, both in Quantity and Quality, is to be sunk and lessen'd, and that proper and specific alterative Medicins, to thin and sweeten the Blood, are indicated, (especially those of the mild ponderous Nature at first, with the Gale|nical Vegetables, which universal Experience has assign'd as specific in a Distemper of such a Denomination) and the Evacuations of the Page xliPrimae Viae by gentle Vomits and domestic Cathartics, as the Symptoms exasperat; for tho' a Person may still suffer, even when the Blood thus let out for Experiment's sake, mostly appears, on such gross Experiments, tolerably good, and not differing greatly from sound Blood in the Size, the bad Juices being confin'd to the Capillaries, Glands and great Viscera; yet these will never be open'd and render'd per|vious, till the Blood in the great Trunks of the Vessels be first attenuated, thin'd and sweeten'd: And he will never be long or uni|formly well, who has bad Juices circulat|ing, in these greater Vessels; it is a certain Symptom, that it must be much worse and more sizy in the small lateral Branches, the Capillaries, and the Glands of the Viscera; and it is Diet alone, and it chiefly, join'd with mild ponderous Remedies at first, Evacua|tion, Air and Exercise, that can at last alter or antidote these morbific Symptoms. And if after three Months Use of the Medi|cins advis'd in chronical Cases, by an honest experienced Physician, the Blood on such a Trial continues bad, that is, sizy, liverish, with either too little Serum tho' clear, or too much but muddy, then, I think, the trimming Diet ought to be tried, viz. one of white Meat in a moderat Quantity once a Day, with Milk, Seeds and Vegetables, for the other Meals, and aqueous Beverage; or one Day a little plain Meat of any kind once a Day, with Page xliiaqueous Beverage that Day, and the next Day only Milk, Seeds and Vegetables, with about a Gill of some sound old Wine, with or with|out Water; and this Regimen, with a due Care of the other Non-naturals, proper Eva|cuation, and due Exercise, I think, ought to be continued for one whole Year or two, in obstinat hereditary chronical Cases; for, I think, ac|quir'd ones will scarce require so long Time, or such Severity of Regimen, to be cured, or at least greatly alleviated, unless their Excesses have been violent, or that they are far advanced in Life.
§. 19. BUT since such Cases do daily happen, both in hereditary Distempers, and those ac|quir'd by an obstinat Mal-regimen long con|tinued in; that after a full Twelvemonth or more of a trimming Regimen of Diet, with proper Evacuation, and specific Alteratives, the Blood, on makeing the Trial, as above described, con|tinues still bad and sizy, then, I think, all Medicin (except domestic Evacuations or Alteratives) may be fairly cashier'd and laid aside, as of little or no Use, and the whole Stress and Hope laid on Diet and Regimen only, by sinking it in Quantity as well as Quality, and confineing one's self to Milk, Seeds, Fruits and Vege|tables, well dress'd, or much dissolv'd by culi|nary Fire, to evaporat the Wind; and drink|ing only tepid Water, or some specific mineral Water, as the Case requires, and Wine only Page xliii as other Persons use Spirits, on dangerous Sym|ptoms, as a Cordial, and on Extremities; and this Method and Regimen ought to be conti|nued for two Years more at least. And, I think, in Persons of a tolerable Constitution, and where some of the great Viscera are not intire|ly spoil'd and irremediably consumed, this Me|thod and Diet cannot fail of having salutary Effects of a perfect Cure, or a very considera|ble Relief; and then if the Party is not past the Meridian of Life, the Person may without Fear or Danger, gradually and by slow Degrees, rise again to the trimming Diet, and from it return back again by the same Steps he descended into common Life; and only on Exacerba|tions, and stated Seasons, sink into his lower Regimen, for a Preservative.
§. 20. BUT after all this Care and Perseve|rance in a milk, seed and vegetable Diet, with aqueous Beverage, if on a Trial after the man|ner mentioned, the Blood be still sizy, as it often is in bad Constitutions, and obstinat Cases, and the Symptoms, still severe and depressing; the only thing remaining for such a Person with any Reason or Expectation of Success of a total Cure, or any notable Alleviation of his Symptoms, is, for the Person to enter on a total rigid strict milk and seed Diet only, without Butter, Eggs, or any other Vegetables, but Wheat, Barley, Rice, Oats, Sago, and the like seed Meats; and even to make his Milk the Page xliv thinnest possible, skim'd Milk, sweet Butter|milk, sweet Whey, or the Whey made with a Mixture of sour Milk, or Orange-Whey, or Whey made with the Juice of some specific Vegetable, (especially in scorbutic, gouty, pul|monic and icteric Cases, which is the Base of most of the chronical Distempers in England) and Bread or Seeds dress'd made with Milk only; for Seeds are young Vegetables, and are neither so hard of Digestion, so windy, nor abound with the essential Salts of Plants, Roots and Fruits. And even the Quantity of the Regi|men is to be minded; little at a time, but oftener, never either to load the Stomach, nor compress the Nerves, Membranes and Fibres; Fulness and Compression, even by such Foods, like Stops in musical Chords, will interrupt their easy, regular and harmonious Vibrations and Play, and so will sink the Spirits, and make the Functions labour. This Regimen ought at last to be tried, all other Methods not suc|ceeding. One would not buy Gold too dear; but Health and free Spirits are more precious than Gold, and a wise Man would give up every thing else for them. This Regimen will infallibly have one of these two Effects; it will either totally cure him, if the great Viscera are not quite consumed; or make him lie down more easily, and will infallibly give him longer Time and better Spirits to settle his temporal Affairs, and give all the Attention to his future State, the Nature of Things will then admit.
§. 21. MOST People that enter on a low Diet for Health and Spirits, intirely counter act and defeat its beneficial Effects. I have known some Men of Quality, and Gentlemen of For|tune, who have been advis'd a low Diet, have their Vegetables of the highest and rankest Flavour, dress'd high with burnt Butter, hot Spices, Aromatics, Onions, Eggs and Salt; so that they were infinitly more deleterious and hurtful, than a moderat Quantity of plain ani|mal Food once a Day could possibly be. The meager fasting and Lent Times among the Catholicks, in French, Italian and Spanish Cookery, with their high Fish Sauces, will much sooner inflame the Blood, produce Gout, Stone and Fevers, than a Bit of Chicken, Veal, Lamb, or any white Meat plainly dress'd possibly can. All the beneficial and salutary Effects of a low and vegetable Diet, I have ever observ'd, have been owing in atrocious, obstinat and painful Distempers, to Milk and Seeds only, and even these the thinnest and the least the Person could be tolerably easy under from the Pain of Hunger: And it is not easily to be credited what wonderful Effects, even in the most desperat and universally con|demn'd to Death Distempers, I have seen per|form'd by such a Regimen duly and obstinatly persisted in, especially in Persons under Fifty; Epilepsies totally cured, hereditary Gouts almost eradicated, universal Lepers made clean, StonesPage xlvi in the Bladder and Kidnies laid quiet, Can|cers healed or palliated, ulcerated Lungs made sound, and schirrous Livers made pervious. But all this has been constantly brought about by a total, obstinat and continued milk and seed Diet only; but in all such incurable Cases, the Diet is to be persisted in to the last Day of Life; for I have always observed, when such return'd to a high or common Diet only, their Distem|pers always return'd with greater Violence, as in Reason and true Philosophy must have been expected: For the Solids being brought down and relax'd to a Level and Equilibrium with such a Diet, become infinitly sensible, delicat and tender; and such strong Aliment becomes an universal Stop and Obstacle to their Play and Vibrations, (like sticking down a musical Chord all along with Pins) and interrupts, marrs and confounds the whole animal Fun|ctions and Oeconomy, and brings on all the old Symptoms enraged.
§. 22. IT is true, to live thus poorly, anxi|ously and attentively, is a most miserable kind of Life, to which the Brave, the Bold, and the Unbeliever will brag he should prefer Death itself: But I, who give little Credit to such Bounces, know Self-preservation to be the great Law in Nature, never met one but the true practical and habitual Christian among my many Patients, and even scarce these, who was truly willing and pleas'd to strip and lie Page xlvii down; and only him who was always resign'd to the Order of Providence either in Life or Death; and even not Him at all Times, and in the dark Moments of Trial, or any but the extremely miserable in Life. But here the Case is not mere dying, but living a dying Life, per|haps for many Years: Here it is in two Evils, (violent Pain, or extreme Lowness and Lan|guishing, or tolerable good Spirits, and suffer|able Pain, at the Tax and Charge of a transient momentary sensual Gratification) choosing the least; on the other side, it is a voluntary and a resolute withdrawing from the Orders and fu|ture unknown Designs of Providence over us, when a very certain Mean (at least in due Time) of escaping, or at least greatly diminishing these Miseries is offer'd. In short, not to take up with a low Regimen here, is a plain Rebellion against the Orders and Designs of Providence manifested by Nature, the Relations of Things, Philosophy and Experience, for the mere Gra|tification of vitious morbid Appetites: In a word, it is deliberat Suicide, the greatest of all Rebellion and Sin.
§. 23. IN Lowness of Spirits, want of na|tural Rest, great Anxiety, involuntary dark and terrifying Thoughts, Ideas and Imagina|tions, there are but these three infallible im|mediat Reliefs or Remedies: 1. A Vomit, that can work briskly, quickly and safely, and Ex|perience and Use can only determin what that Page xlviii one shall be; for it is not the Evacuation or Quantity of the Discharge, that is to be so much minded, as the internal Action, the strong Con|vulsion, the internal Exercise, and the cleaning, squeezeing and compressing the knotted and tu|mified Glands of the Primae Viae, warm Water, Chamomile, or Carduus Tea; and without drinking any thing, I have often effected a present perfect Relief, by mere urging and tickling the Throat and Glands with the Finger or a Feather, by bringing the Muscles of the Abdomen into repeated Efforts and Kecks; and so have frequently discharged Loads of Phlegm and thin Rheum, which always greatly reliev'd; and this Method frequently, nay some|times daily repeated, and with greater Safety and less Trouble pursued, will answer the Ends, in tender and delicat Constitutions, under a Regimen, of formal and artificial Vomits; and I earnestly recommend the Trial and frequent Practice of it, to all tender low-living Valetudi|narians, as what they will find infinit Benefit from, and much easier and safer than artificial Apothecary Vomits, when they have made the Practice of it easy and familiar: The Strong and Robust, whose Fibres are firm and callous, will require stronger for a present Relief, and they must be repeated whenever the Symptoms exas|perat. 2. Great, frequent and continued Exer|cise, especially a Horseback, because this Exercise, by the frequent Succussions, opens all the Glands of the Abdomen, of the Mesentery and Liver, Page xlix where the Evil generally lies. Walking, be|cause of the universal Action of all the Solids, and its forceing the Perspiration, is the best Exercise to preserve Health and good Spirits; but Riding is best to recover them; to this the Flesh-brush for half an Hour, Morning and Night, ought to be join'd, to uncork the Plugs, and concreted Recrements that stop the Mouths of the perspiratory Glands; and then washing with tepid Water in Winter, and cold Water in Summer, the whole Skin, to scour off these Impurities; and drying well after: and having always a large broad soft Girdle of Leather, quilted with Cotton, to wear about the Loins, like a Stay or Swaith, to keep the Viscera in their natural Situations, the Lacteals and Intestines in their natural Cur|vatures, and the Bowels from being too pen|dulous, especially in thin and wasteing Persons. 3. Religiously to study and practice the lightest and the least of Food, they can be tolerably easy under: The least unnecessary Burthen, compressive Constriction or Ligature on the tender delicat Fibres, Nerves or Membranes, hinders their easy, pleasant and natural Play and Vibrations, which is the immediat Cause of Lowness and Anxiety; it is like nailing or sticking down with Pins or Stops, the Play of a musical Chord, whence Discord must necessarily ensue. In short, to preserve or obtain good Spi|rits, in very low Cases, a Man must be in a con|stant Page l Course of Self-denial as to Aliment, and make, as it were, Hunger his greatest and only Pain; but nothing but Experience and constant Observation of the Juvantia and Laedentia, is sufficient to determin, to each Individual respectively, how far this is to be carried. Prudence is the first of all Natural as well as Christian Virtues; Gold may be bought too dear, but wise Nature always tells us how far this Method ought to be carried, by the In|tenseness of our Cravings, when gone too far; and then a Person under no unnatural or vitious Passion or Lunacy, will obey her Calls, by giving her what she craves, so as to make her tolerably easy. But these are the most general certain Antidotes against extreme Lowness and Anxiety known to me; the Re|liefs of Art and Medicin are not my Design at present here.
§. 24 SOME Persons have found great Re|lief on Lowness, a bad Constitution, and ner|vous Distempers, on Change to a Southern and warmer Climat, from a Northern and colder. But I never observ'd that Benefit dureable, or in any Degree perfect, unless the Party con|tinued all the rest of his Days in that Climat and Country; and tho' proper Air and Warmth be a most comfortable and cherishing thing to animal Bodies, yet it is observing the Diet, liveing in the manner of the Country, that Page li contributes most to the Cure or Relief; for it is well known, that in warm Countries, and southern Climats, the Diet there is not only exceeding spare and light, but almost alto|gether Vegetables: The Heat and Rarefaction of the Air, and constant Perspiration, make a full high rank Diet certain Pain or Death: And even the Materials of their Food there, the Animals and Vegetables, are lighter and less rank and destructive in their Nature, and more stimulating; the Natives scarce ever taste fermented or strong Liquors, and indulging in them is the sole notorious Cause of the sudden Deaths of all our Soldiers, Seamen and Traders. It is true, eastern and southern Nations use many and the highest Aromatics, with their Vegeta|bles, and they are but dry Drams of as per|nicious a Nature almost as our liquid ones; and this is the sole Cause of their unnatural Lust and Leachery, of their acute Distempers, and short Lives. But when a valetudinary Person goes to a southern Country for his Health, and lives as he used in his northern Country, he rather grows worse for the Cli|mat; and if recover'd by the Air and Travel|ing, and observing the Regimen peculiar to the Healthy in that Climat, if he returns, and does not continue the Regimen of Diet by which he was recover'd, he falls back again, and the second Error is worse than the first; and, in Truth, to travel through, or live even Page lii a few Months or Years in, a southern Climat, and afterwards be obliged to pass his Life at Home in a northern Climat, is but only roast|ing at the Fire, or going strait out of a very hot Room into the cold Air, to freeze and chill the faster, and more intensely; for Re|action is always equal to Action.
§. 25. As to the Quantity of Foods of any kind, strong, middling or weak, fittest to pro|long Life, and prevent or cure Diseases; the most proper for each Individual, there is no possible way to determin it to any Precision; it must be different, according to the Size, Strength, Age, Constitution, Habitude, ac|quir'd or hereditary Distempers of each Parti|cular, which are as various as their Faces. Wise Nature had so contriv'd us, had we follow'd her Simplicity and Order in our Diet, that our Appetites and Craveings should be a sufficient Rule; but having by long Habitudes and Ex|ample, spoil'd, corrupted and disorder'd her Laws, Sensations and Order, she is not now, in all Cases, sufficient to determin this Affair. The best Rules, I think, a wise Man can fol|follow, are, 1. To use the plainest, most tender, least poignant and savoury Meats, fully dress'd, he can find, and to abate in Quantity what he is forced to increase in the Quality of his Food. 2. To take the least possible he can be tolerably easy under from the Pain of Hun|ger.Page liii 3. To observe for some Time, and with some Care, what Foods, in Quantity and Qua|lity, he is easiest under, and the natural Rest, the natural Secretions, and the animal Fun|ctions labour least, and are most pleasantly per|form'd under. 4. To observe the Quantity after the great Meal, he can apply his Head, his Attention, and his Body, to their proper Offices, with the greatest Facility and Pleasure under. 5. To follow the Quantity and Qua|lity of those Foods that give him regularly one figur'd Stool a Day only. 6. For one Month to try double the Quantity, or at least one third, or less, more than he us'd of the same kinds of Food, and observe what Difference this makes in his Functions, Intellectual or Animal; and by some repeated Trials of this kind, summing up the whole, and takeing the half of this Quantity, divided by the Number of Days, as the Medium between the least or greatest Quan|tity. 7. To try, by a Sanctorian Chair, the Quantity and Quality of those Foods that per|spire the most and soonest, and reduce the Body to pretty near always the same Weight: Or, 8. Lastly, Without Care, Anxiety or Per|plexity, to study and pursue the lightest and least of Food he can possibly be easy under; for, without all doubt, Nature will (to a Man of a sober Mind, and in his right Senses) by acute and intolerable Pains from Hunger, ap|prize him at least in some time, if he has under|dos'd Page liv her. So far may suffice to an honest prudent Person, as to the Quantity of Food, or the Materials of the Curd of the Blood: As to the Liquids, or the Materials of the Serum, I am perfectly convinced, Nature never intended any thing but pure Water; Water being signatur'd, by its greatest Fluidity and Insipidity, for carrying alimentary Particles readily and pleasantly through all the strait Meanders of animal Life; and having de|sign'd fermented Liquors, and the Juices of Fruits and Vegetables, for Physic only, and they are, when us'd with Intemperance, or as common Beverage, the sole universal and ade|quat natural Cause of most acquir'd Distempers; and Water-drinking only, the proper and ade|quat Antidote for such. But if a Man will drink vinous and fermented Liquors, then the best are those that are of a middling Strength, the lightest, oldest and ripest, which have spent or drop'd their saline, tartarous and grossest Par|ticles by Age and Maturity; on which Ac|count the old Rhenish or Hock, ripe Claret or Burgundy, neat old Port and Madera, will be preferable; and the rich, fat, fiery, oily and gross Wines are only to be us'd as Cordials and Drams, on Necessity and Extremity. But always the least is the very best of all fer|mented Liquors whatsoever.
§. 26. WHOEVER can resolve in bad Spi|rits, a bad Constitution, and in advanced Life, Page lv to go into a Regimen, may, I think, fairly be manumitted from Drugs, that is, from any kind of Alteratives, even the Preparations of Mercury, Steel, Antimony, Sulphur, and all those of the ponderous and mineral Kind, they will only tear and rend his tender Bowels and Vessels; and even from every sort of the violent and active kind; and trust simply to Nature and domestic Evacuation, as the Sym|ptoms exasperat, viz. little Bleedings, gentle and weak Emetics, Stomach Purges, mineral Waters of a proper kind, gentle Air and Exer|cise, and a Regimen of the lightest and least, no regular Meals, but a little at a time and oftner; for as Nature will not, now on its Decline, bear the violent and active Remedies, without being torn to pieces, so there is not sufficient Time in Life remaining for strong Health; and they must consider what Nature can bear and do, and follow her by their Feel|ings rigidly, and treat themselves as Children the second time, by giving her barely the lightest and the least she can be tolerably easy under, and always endeavouring to lessen the Quantity and Quality of the Diet, as her active and digestive Powers weaken and decrease; for one Day tolerably easy by the Strength of Nature only, will be better than two such by the Help of Art, for her Recovery, and pro|longing her Life.
§. 27. IN a low Regimen, even when upon Necessity, and under prudent Counsel and Ad|vice, when a Person has enter'd upon it, and has continued in it for a long time, they may have many Plunges, Discouragements and Exacerbations; especially as the peccant Mat|ter becomes collected from the Mass of Blood by the greater Glands, and is now soliciting to be pumped off, or driven out by the Common|sewer; besides Accidents, the Inclemency and Alterations of the Seasons, especially Spring and Autumn, when animal as well as vegetable Nature undergoes some notable Alterations; none ought to be so scrupulously nice, as not, at such a Time, to lay aside their low Milk and Seed or vegetable Diet, and take to a little white Meat, and fermented Liquors, upon Nausea, Inappetency, and transiently to brace the Solids, to get Strength to throw off the still remaining Load of Morbosity and Viscosity; this is but like standing to take a little Breath in ascend|ing a steep Mountain: But then they ought, as soon as this periodical Paroxysm is remov'd, by proper Evacuation, and this temporary braceing Regimen, to return to their cooling, soft, sweet|ning and thinning Diet, in order to purify the Juices totally. This Interruption will only re|tard the Cure a short time, and will give Strength to perfect it at last, as far as the Na|ture of Things will permit: For it is to be be|liev'd Page lvii as a certain Truth, without which no Patient will be encouraged to proceed, that it is to a low, cool, thin Diet alone, with proper and indicated Evacuation, that the Blood is to be at last mended, and the highest Health the Constitution will permit is to be obtain'd.
§. 28. To conclude this tedious Detail, of the two, animal Food or fermented Liquors, either of any kind, that is in Use, if my Opi|nion were to be ask'd, Which of the two is most pernicious to animal Bodies, or, in which of the two, Mistakes or Excesses are most per|nicious, fatal, and most productive of the severe Distempers? I would not hesitate a Mo|ment, to ascribe to fermented or distill'd Li|quors of any kind, the whole Blame of all or most of the painful and excruciating Dis|tempers that afflict Mankind: It is to it alone all our Gouts, Stones, Cancers, Fevers, high Hysterics, Lunacy and Madness, are princi|pally owing: It is the true Pandora's Box. And he who would timeously give up, while he is tolerably well, fermented Liquors, and drink nothing but pure tepid Water, need never seek nor want any other Cure or Medicin, but gentle and proper Evacuation occasionally, be his Distemper what it will: He may then freely give up any Concern about what he should eat; let him, without Fear, follow Nature and his Appetite, in whatever plain Meat is pre|sented, Page lviii he can be in no Danger from any fatal or dangerous Distemper. Water-drinking to those that are already tolerably well, begun early, at least under Thirty-five, or after, when no chro|nical, hereditary, mortal Distemper is rooted, is the true and universal Panacea, and the Philosopher's Stone. God has not only per|mitted, but by a wife Appointment of his Providence, has, in many Cases, made animal Food absolutely necessary and indispensable; and for great high Health and Spirits, warm and strong Blood, bodily Prowess and great Labour, it is the only proper Food; but for fermented Liquors, I know no Command, Counsel, or Example. Certainly wise Na|ture, who has provided liberally Supplies for all our Wants, has furnish'd us none of it; it is the Invention of spurious and luxurious Art, and it is present Death to many, and the na|tural Aversion of all Animals who follow pure Nature: It certainly shortens the Duration of Life to all that use it even with Moderation, and is the alone adequat Cause of all the mortal, painful and atrocious Distempers. As a Medicin, present Relief, and as a bitter Cha|lybeat Potion, on Occasions and Extremities, it might be a tolerable Medicin; but as com|mon Beverage, it is a slow but certain Poison.
FOR a Conclusion, I will, from the whole, set down a few Aphorisms, that may perhaps Page lix instruct and ease the Memory of the Valetudi|narian.
Aphorism 1. A CONSTANT Endeavour after the lightest and the least of Meat and Drink a Man can be tolerably easy under, is the shortest and most infallible Mean to pre|serve Life, Health and Serenity.
Aph. 2. HE that would preserve a clear Head, and equal Spirits, must keep his Sto|mach clean, his Bowels moderatly empty and uncomprest.
Aph. 3. ON bad Nights, Lowness, Fla|tulence and Oppression of Spirits, of any Con|tinuance, the only certain Reliefs are, a small Phlebotomy, a gentle Vomit, a domestic Purge, rideing a Horse-back, and a Regimen of the lightest and the least persisted in.
Aph. 4. SMALL frequent Phlebotomies are the quickest and most effectual Mean to mend the Blood, and to cure Cacochymy, if a Regimen of the lightest and least be joined.
Aph. 5. GENTLE and repeated Evacua|tion upwards and downwards, (especially, and perhaps only, Vomits) by the Medicins most familiar and experienced, (the Action and Ex|ercise of Vomiting is its chief Use) are the Page lxsurest, quickest, and most effectual Mean to prevent or remedy the ill Effects of Gluttony, Over-loading and Repletion, (that is, almost all chronical Distempers) provided the lightest and the least be join'd afterwards.
Aph. 6. DISEASES are always to be cured by their Contraries, the high Diet by the low, the hot by the cool, the sapid by the insipid, the thick and gross by the thin and poor, Repletion by Fasting, Inactivity by Exercise. Health acquir'd and possessed lies in the middle Regimen, between these two Ex|tremes.
Aph. 7. PERFECT Health and good Spirits depend chiefly, if not only, on the easy and pleasant Play or Performance of the Animal Functions, viz. the Digestion, Circu|lation, Respiration, Perspiration, muscular Motion, and the Secretions.
Aph. 8. HE that would be soon well, must be long sick, that is, treat himself as a Valetudinarian in most things.
Aph. 9. EXERCISE and gentle Eva|cuation will supply the Place of Abstinence, and Abstinence will supply the Place of Eva|cuation; but the first two are still preferable, because they damage the Solids least.
Page lxiAph. 10. QUANTITY in Food will supply Quality, and Quality will supply the Place of Quantity; but in very bad Cases it is most secure to join both.
Aph. 11. THERE is but little in a spe|cific Regimen of Diet to remedy or antidot a specific Distemper; Abstinence in general, or a constant Endeavour after the lightest and the least, will constantly supply the Place of any specific particular Regimen of Diet: But in very bad Cases, a particular Choice of the most specific Regimen that Art, Experience and Philosophy shew to be most proper, is not to be neglected.
Aph. 12. THE Regimen of Diet by which one is cured of a particular Distemper, ought to be coninued, at least in some Degree, espe|cially if the Person is not much under Fifty, else the Distemper will return with more se|vere and worse Symptoms than at first, as Ex|perience has constantly shew'd.
Aph. 13. Every wise Man, after Fifty, ought to begin to lessen at least the Quantity of his Aliment; and if he would continue free of great and dangerous Distempers, and preserve his Senses and Faculties clear to the last, he ought every seven Years go on, abateing Page lxii gradually and sensibly, and at last descend out of Life as he ascended into it, even into the Child's Diet.
Aph. 14. He that is old when he is young, that is, treats himself as a wise old Man does, or ought to do, by great Temperance, Air and Exercise, if he lives past Thirty-five, will be young when he grows old in Years.
Aph. 15. No Person of any Fortune ever died, or suffer'd acute Pains, or mortal Distem|pers, by the too cool, too little, or too insipid in Diet; all by the too hot, high and savoury: But Virtue and Health lie in the golden Mean, so difficult to be found, and only to be secur'd by the lightest and the least a Man can be tolerably easy under.
Aph. 16. THE eternal Law of Nature, by intense Pain in Craveing and Hunger, will never suffer a Person in his right Senses to go on long obstinatly, and to his Hurt, in the too little.
Aph. 17. WATER pure, clear and in|sipid, is the sole Beverage that can procure or continue Health, and a clear Head, being the sole Fluid that will pass through the smallest animal Tubes without Resistance; next to it are aqueous, or weak fermented Liquors.
Page lxiiiAph. 18. WATER tepid or cold, or im|pregnated with the specific Vegetables, or Mi|nerals, that Experience has found proper to antidot a given Distemper, is the true Pana|cea in both acute and chronical Distempers: Nature has prepared no other Medicin for us, but Water impregnated with Vegetables in their Juices, or natural Mineral Waters on the Surface of the Earth.
Aph. 19. MILK is the only Food pre|pared by Nature for young, that is, weak and tender animal Bodies; and there is no real Difference between a young, tender, animal Body, and a diseased grown Animal, but that, of the two, the last is the worst; but it will cost Labour and Patience to make Milk agree in bilious Cases.
Aph. 20. MILK and sweet sound Blood differ in nothing but in Colour: Milk is Blood, which almost directly comes from the Chyle into the Teats of the Animal; and Blood is Milk which has gone many Rounds in the Cir|culation, and is ground a little in the Lungs, where being mixt with the Nitre of the Air, it receives its Scarlet Colour; it is a Medium between animal and vegetable Food.
Aph. 21. WHEY sweet, or medicated with the Juice of any specific Plant, Sage, Balm, or Page lxiv Orange, or antiscorbutic, vulnerary, or pulmo|nic Plants, will supply the Place, and are pre|ferable to most Decoctions, of Plants, Infusions, Apozems and Diet-Drinks whatsoever, ex|cept those of the strong Detergents, as Horse-Radish, Mustard-Seed, and the like, where necessary.
Aph. 22. GOATS Whey being a natural Infusion from gentle Heat, and gentle Triture, of the fine aromatic and nitrous Vegetables on which Goats feed only, is one of the very best Diluents, Detergents, Cleansers and Sweet|ners of scorbutic and salin Cacochymies.
Aph. 23. FRICTION Morning and Night, and in Winter Washing with warm, and Drying before a Fire, and in Summer with cold Wa|ter, is an excellent Mean to facilitat and pro|mote the Perspiration; to clean the Cuticle, and cure cutaneous Uncleanness and Defeda|tions, cold Batheing is excellent, and prefer|able to every Washing in Cases where the Blood is sweet and thin, the Solids too lax only.
Aph. 24. CINCTURE with a broad quilted Belt about the Loins, to keep the Bow|els in their natural Situations, and the chylous Vessels in their best Locality, and in flabby Constitutions, weak Bowels and Atrophies, is of great Benefit.
Page lxvAph. 25. RIDEING is the best of all Exercises to get Health, and to promote the Di|gestions, especially in nervous Distempers, where the Abdomen and the Meseraic Glands are principally affected: But Walking is best to preserve Health already got, because it is the most natural and the most universal Pro|moter of all the Excretions.
Aph. 26. IN Nature or Art there is no such immediat Cure for low Spirits, Anxiety, and Want of Sleep, as rideing a Horse-back, long Journies with Fasting, or rather a very soft light Feeding with warm thin Liquors at Resting-Places, but that the least possible that actual Fainting will permit.
Aph. 27. NEXT to Rideing, is either a Vomit, or Fasting almost to Faintness, and then only a little spiced Wine and Water warm, and a Mouthful or two of dry Bisket every 5th or 6th Hour, with continued Friction, with a coarse Cloth, warm Flannel, or a Flesh-Brush, especially on the Spine, in Faintings and extreme Lowness.
Aph. 28. TO procure natural Rest, no|thing is like four or five middling Pills of true Assafoetida, with four or five Grains of pure succatrine Aloe, taken going to Bed.
Page lxviAph. 29. THE only Way to secure tole|rable Spirits in very low Cases, is a constant Endeavour to make Hunger the greatest Pain, and to cheat the Appetite and Craveing with little, warm, light Liquors at large Intervals.
Aph. 30. GOOD Hours will be always a most beneficial Mean to preserve Health and Spirits, to go to Bed by Ten, and rise by Six.
Aph. 31. WHOSOEVER would preserve his Health and Spirits to the last, even when he is in Possession of it, ought to pass through the great Operations of Physick in the Spring, viz. To bleed, vomit and purge, whether he have apparent Necessity or not; for Seur|vy, or scorbutick Juices, is the great chronical and fundamental Distemper of Britain; all the rest are but Sprouts and Branches of it. And therefore,
Aph. 32. VOMITS often repeated, at least as often as the Symptom of any Ail ag|gravats, increases or exasperats, are the sole universal Antidot and Panacea of Britain: an ailing Person cannot repeat them too often, they will always prove beneficial and salutary.
Aph. 33. IN cold Feet nothing like bathe|ing them in tepid Water a little before going to Bed.
Page lxviiAph. 34. A low Diet seldom extirpats, or totally eradicats, any hereditary chronical Distemper, unless it be in the young, the mid|dling-aged, or the strong and healthy, who have otherwise tolerable Stamina; in the very puny, delicat and slender, in the old, and far advanced in Life, even after Fifty, in the strongest, it only abates the Violence of their Symptoms, makes them less severe, and the Returns seldomer, and only prolongs the Du|ration of their Lives.
Aph. 35. THE natural Diseases of the Poor and Necessitous are generally owing to a bad, unwholesome, unsound Diet, and the Want of due Care of the other Non-naturals, Clean|ness and Shelter; and are generally cured by their Contraries, viz. a good, wholesome, plain Diet, and a due Cleanness, Shelter from the Inclemency of Seasons, and an easy Mind.
Aph. 36. IF it happen that the Poor, and those having no Property of their own, by Stealth, Robbery, or unlawful Means, enter on and pursue the Luxury of the Rich and Opulent, not having the other Necessaries and Conveniencies of Life, neglecting, or not be|ing able to afford, or being inured to want the necessary Care of the other Non-naturals, their Diseases are then the most atrocious, Page lxviii painful and miserable of any; which is the Reason that the acute and contagious Distem|pers begin first, spread faster, and are more mortal among them, than those of the better Sort.
Aph. 37. DIET; a proper well regu|lated and parsimonious, cool Diet, is the far greatest Article of long Life and Health; but the other Non-naturals are to be carefully at|tended to, and guarded against, else it will not avail alone, which is the Case in Monasteries, Desarts, and long Sea Voyages.
DISCOURSE I. Philosophical CONJECTURES ABOUT THE NATURE and QUALITIES OF THE Original Animal Body, AND OF ITS PROGRESSIVE STATE IN ITS Several Stages of EXISTENCE.
1 Cor. xv. 44.
Page 1DISCOURSE I.
Philosophical CONJECTURES ABOUT THE NATURE and QUALITIES OF THE Original Animal Body, AND OF ITS PROGRESSIVE STATE IN ITS Several Stages of EXISTENCE.
§. 1. THERE are Animalcules, which being endued with Life and Mo|tion, must consequently perform Animal Functions, that are less than any Ob|ject perceptible by our Senses.
THIS is beyond all Doubt from Microsco|pical Discoveries in Pepper Water, Spring Water, Vinegar, Sperm, the Urine and fluid Juices of almost all morbid Animals; and Page 2 Mr. Lewenhoeck has shewn, that there are Animals, many Thousands of which would not equal a visible Grain of Sand; and that there are Tubes in Animals, of which several Hundreds would not equal a common Hair; and the smallest Animals, to carry on Life, must necessarily have all the chief Organical Parts of the greatest Animals, at least analo|gically.
§. 2. An organized Animal Body could not possibly at first have been formed, nor can its Functions be now accounted for, or ex|plained, by mere Mechanism, or the Laws of Motion which now obtain, without the Sa|gacity and Agency of a primary self-existent Cause; nor can the Functions be continued without the Superintendance and Influence of a self-moving, self-acting secondary Agent, in|forming and acting on it continually.
THIS is not only demonstrable from the Inertia and Passivity of Matter, from the ob|vious Contradiction of a perpetual circular Motion, which is the Case of all Animals (the Motion of the Heart, and the Muscular Force of the Blood-Vessels, being the Cause of the Circulation, and the Circulation being the Cause (efficient or occasional) of the Motion of the Heart, and of the Muscular Fibres;) But that mere Mechanism acts only according to the Surfaces of Bodies; and yet it is probable, Page 3 that animated Bodies act according to their So|lidities, and that every Atom of an animated Body is constantly in Action, for the Preserva|tion and Well-being of the whole Machin, and also for exerting that particular Animal Function, which its Figure, Situation and Use in the Animal requires. Besides, natural and simple Mechanism can act only from One Cen|tre of Motion or Impulse, in One single Di|rection only; whereas Curvature requires dif|ferent Direction every Moment, and conse|quently various Centres of Motion or Impulse. Now, if we consider the Varieties of Motions and Directions in the Joints and Muscles of Animals, but especially the infinite Variety of Curvatures in the Arteries, Veins, and Nerves, and particularly in the Glands, we will readily perceive it to be utterly impossible, and a Contradiction, that an Animal Body could have been at first formed without a Supra-me|chanical Organisation; or that it should con|tinue to live, and perform Animal Functions, without the continual Agency and Superin|tendance of a secondary self-active, and self|motive Principle.
§. 3. It is highly probable, that the first Elements of Bodies, or the least and last Particles of Matter, are solid, hard, and indi|visible, by any finite Power, or Force what|ever; because by Friction, Collision, and Use, Page 4 they are not worn out, and lose not their Original Figure and Size; since they are still fit for the Ends and Purposes of their first In|stitution.
§. 4. GOD and Nature do nothing in vain; and since Body must necessarily be always en|dued with some Figure, being neither infinitely small, nor infinitely great (where Figure may possibly be thought to evanish) the three most simple Figures of all solid Bodies, viz. Spheres, Cubes, and equilateral triangular Prisms, might possibly at first have made all the Diver|sities of the primitive original Particles of specific Bodies. These Figures, with the parti|cular Laws of Attraction and Union thence arising, together with different Diameters, and various Combinations, may have made all the Differences of Bodies.
§. 5. THE several Elements, or the several Aggregats or Masses of the different original Particles, now commonly called Elements, as Water, Air, Light, Salt, and Earth, have each some specifick Qualities, which distinguish them from each other, and which they never entirely lose in any State whatsoever; but which may be swallowed up, and rendered unactive, when blended and combined with other Par|ticles, as they are in the integral Particles of natural Bodies, as these are constituted in this our System.
Page 5WATER has its Incompressibility, the Ro|tundity, or at least the Spheroidity of its con|stituent Particles; its Transparency, or re|fractive Power, its Admission of Salts into its Substance without greatly increasing its Di|mensions, at least in a certain Quantity and Proportion, nay sometimes lessening them.
AIR has its Elasticity, its repulsive Force, its acid and nitrous Spirit, and its vivifying Quality to Fire, and Animal Life.
LIGHT has its Activity, Velocity, Tenuity of its Particles, and its Fitts of easy Transmission and Reflection, and probably a greater Gravity or Byas, on one Side, than the other of its Particles.
SALT has its Solubility in Water only, its penetrating Virtue on Bodies, and its stimu|lating Quality on animal Fibres; A greater Degree, and particular Law of the attractive Force of its Particles on one another, whereby its Clusters are generally of regular, and nearly similar Figures terminated by plain Surfaces.
EARTH has its greater Gravity, loose Con|nexion, and less Attraction of its Particles; its Friability, and irregular Figure, being probably the Ramenta or Abrasions of the other Ele|ments.
Page 6PERHAPS the primitive Animal Body might consist of the First pure specific and sub|limed Elements, harmoniously combined, and elegantly ranged in their Original Natures, of which our present patch'd gross Bodies, are only the confused dense Kind; as our present Globe of Earth, its Water, Salt, Air, Light, and Earth, are but probably the putrified Carcase of the primitive Planet; but both may con|tinue to have some remote Analogy to one another, as a Carcase hath to a living Beauty, or an Egyptian Mummy to a living Cleo|patra.
ACCORDING to this Analogy then, may not the Matter and Substance of the original first-created Vehicle or Animal Body, be of such Elements of the original Kind? of a ce|lestial and spiritual Nature (so to speak) in|finitely more subtile and refined than the Mat|ter of Light, more elastick than the finest Aether; and whose Particles might have had, as it were, an infinite Power of Attraction even at finite Distances, and consequently might per|vade all gross Bodies of our System without Re|sistance or Pain.
§. 6. On such an analogous Supposition or Conjecture, the Fineness, Elasticity and Law of Attraction in the Particles of such a spi|ritual Animal Matter, might admit of De|grees Page 7 (as all Finites must necessarily do) and the Degree might be in Proportion to the na|tural and moral Powers of the Spirit con|junctly.
IT seems highly probable, that all finite created Spirits have, and must have material Ve|hicles, of Purity and Fineness in Proportion to their natural and moral Powers conjunctly, not only to limit and direct their Energy and Efficiency, but to commerciate with other Ani|mals, and inanimat created Natures; none but the Supreme Spirit, the Father of Spirits, being absolutely and entirely an infinitely pure imma|terial Spirit, acting by his Power and Energy with equal Facility at all possible Distances. And the Vehicles, or original Bodies of all cre|ated Spirits might possibly be of some such Nature, as this described Matter, which may be called spiritual Matter, or Element.
§. 7. This spiritual animal Body, at first divinely organized, may be rolled up, folded together and contracted in this present State of its Duration, into an infinitely small Punctum Saliens, into a Miniature of a Miniature in infinitum, lodg'd in the Loins of the Male of all Animals, (for it is highly probable the Fe|male was but a secondary Intention, or a But|tress to a falling Edifice) and proceeding in a diverging Series, and progressive Gradation, that in due Time it may be fit to be nourished, Page 8 and increased by the Juices of the proper Fe|male, and thereby enabled to bear the Coarse|ness and Injuries of this ruinous Globe, and gross Element, to which it is to be condemned for a certain Period.
§. 8. IT would seem that this spiritual Body, of this refin'd subtile Matter divinely or|ganized, by an infinite Degree of Attraction to its particular informing Spirit, and by an in|dividual Fitness and Congruity to the specific immaterial Inhabitant, is so intimately united with it in its original Creation, that they are never after to be separated, whatever future State they may go into, by any finite Power whatsoever; no more than the Firmness and Solidity of the primitive original Atoms of of Matter can be broken or divided by any natural Power. So that in whatever After|states it may exist, or whatever Plaister or Vehicle of a denser and coarser Element may be superinduced, the spiritual Inhabitant and the primitive Creation-Body go inseparably together. And as this refined spiritual Body might have been the Creation primitive Body, so it may, purified, develop'd and mundify'd, be|come the last Resurrection and glorify'd Body.
§. 9. It seems highly probable, analogous to the other Appearances of Nature, and con|gruous to rational Agency (if we suppose the first Being rational, intelligent and wise, act|ing Page 9 with Designs and Purposes) that the con|fining of intelligent or sentient Beings, for so long a Time, to so dark and strait a Prison, in the Origin, Seeds and Eggs of Animals, on this ruinous Globe, must have been for some wise and good End and Purpose, in God's moral Government of his int ligent and sentient Creatures; perhaps for Punish|ment, Correction, progressive Purification, and painful Sensation (A Body hast thou given me, was said of our Saviour, to make him passive); Feeling and Experience being the most effec|tual Mean to admonish and teach finite, wan|dering and heedless Beings; at least this seems one Part of the Design.
§. 10. THAT in our present Scene of Exist|ence, our natural Powers are tied down, sopited, and fettered by the Manner of our Origination, and coming into rational Life, is self-evident: The wisest and best Man on the Earth, as to rational and intelligent Liv|ing, was first like a mere Vegetable or Plant, afterward a mere Animal or Brute, and but at last, very late, and only for a short Time, the rational and complete Man; and this Truth might be further illustrated, and even demonstrated, from the Qualities of Matter, which are contrary to and destructive of the Qualities of Spirit. Now this Progression must have some End and Purpose in the In|tention of a wise and good Cause; and may suppose, that by the Abuse of Liberty, and Page 10 idolatrising the Creatures, the moral Powers (Justice, Goodness, and Truth) being erased and cancell'd in the Spirit, the most effectual Mean and Expedient to restore them, was to tye down, contract and sopite the natural Powers of the Soul (Living, Perceiving, and Willing) to a Level and Equality with these defaced moral Powers, that by the Use of the proper Means, they might (without Letts or Obstacles from these natural Powers) gradually improve and grow up together, in the same Degree and Order; at least this may be One not improbable End and Design of Providence, in this progressive Growth of the natural Powers of the human Spirit; since it is evident in Fact, that where the na|tural and moral Powers of the Soul rise to any Degree, this Progression is observed.
§. 11. The Works of God are without Re|pentance, the true unbodied Spiritual Sub|stance in intelligent and sentient Natures, be|ing an Emanation, Efflux, Ray, or Spark, or (if I durst use such figurative Language) an in|finitesimal Miniature of his Substance, (and of his living, perceiving and willing, or whole Nature) who is Self-existent; After flowing from him, can no more perish, or cease to live, per|ceive and will, than necessary Self-existence can cease to be; so that Living, Perceiving and Willing, (i. e. Cogitation) can never be totally extinct in any intelligent and sentient Being: Never in the Root, Faculty or Power, Page 11 tho' they may be, and often are, in the Acts; like Fire in Ashes. Annihilation is contra|dictory to, and destructive of infinite Wisdom and Power, and unworthy of infinite Perfec|tion, requiring the same Omnipotence that Creation does; Reaction being always equal to Action. And Self-activity being an infi|nitesimal Miniature of necessary Existence and Omnipotence. The first Being might as just|ly be supposed capable of destroying Himself, as his Miniature Images: Besides, it were nei|ther wise nor good even in a Man, to suffer the Heir Apparent of a great Kingdom to destroy or annihilate himself, if it were possible by Correction, Restraints, Time, and due Cul|ture, to fit him for the Possession; and sure every Thing that is wise and good is possible to the best of Beings. These Natural Powers may be sopited, contracted and hindred from issuing into Action, (as we see they are in sound Sleep, in some Diseases, Syncope's, and many other Cases) by Obstacles of, and Resistances from gross Matter, by Bonds, Fetters and Chains made of these our Elements; and the coarser and straiter these Fetters and Chains are, the straiter and closer the Prison may be, and the weaker and fewer may be the Acts of the natural Powers, till this Prison become al|most dead Matter, and a Dungeon, or a mere Point. Now infinite Wisdom and Power, being, as it were, necessitated by the infinite Benevolence of his Nature, to lay out all the Page 12 Energy of his Omnipotence and Omnisci|ence, to recover and restore his Miniature Images, consistent with the Harmony of his own Attributes, and with the Usage of their natural Powers, (neither of which he could force, or offer Violence to,) seems to have contrived this wonderful Expedient, viz. to tye down, sopite and restrain the Acts and Exertion of the natural Powers, of laps'd, sen|tient and intelligent Beings, for a determin'd Space of Time, by Chains and Fetters made of the Elements of this ruinous Globe, in order to punish and purify them, and so to vindicate his Sovereignty, to repair the Indig|nity done to his Purity, to warn and deter the other Orders of his standing Hierarchies, and at the same Time, by lessening the Strength and Activity of the natural Powers in their full Vigour, to allow Freedom and Uninterrup|tion from them, for the Restoration and Ad|vancement of the moral Powers.
§. 12. WERE the natural Powers of a free, laps'd and intelligent Being, greatly and eminent|ly higher than the moral Powers in the present State, they must necessarily clash with, inter|rupt and greatly hinder the Acquisition of the moral Powers. For Example, unerring Evi|dence, irrefragable Demonstration, absolute Certainty, must necessarily interfere with Hu|mility, Dependence, Resignation, Faith and Trust, and consequently with all Merit, Gra|titude, Page 13 and Love. What Faith? What Resig|nation? What Merit is there in believing the Propositions of Euclid? In this we are as much passive in our immaterial Principle, as in our Material. We trust our Lives and Fortunes to a Seaman, or Coachman, not on Demonstration and absolute Certainty, but because we believe them to be honest able Persons in their several Vocations. Faith and Hope must eternally exclude Mathema|tical Certainty. Perfect Demonstration and absolute Certainty, would exclude Choice, Election and Preference, in finite dependent Creatures. It is Probability alone, Verisi|militude, Analogy, and final Causes, or Revelation, that can be the proper Evi|dence to produce Faith, and to give Merit, Choice, Election and Preference to the Acti|ons of finite, laps'd and dependent Creatures; and this whole present Scene of Providence, and the Darkness, Obscurity and seeming De|formity on the Face of Nature, and the Works of an All-wise, All-good Being, seem only contrived and calculated, to preserve the na|tural Powers of lapsed finite Intelligences in|violate, and at the same Time to harmonise with the Divine Attributes. For had the na|tural Powers continued in their Perfection and full Extent, while the moral Powers were cancell'd and extinguish'd, they could never have been restored consistent with the Har|mony of the Divine Attributes, and the na|tural, Page 14 unperishable and inviolable Powers of free Intelligences. Liberty to do Good or Evil, Pre-Existence abus'd, universal Re|storation, and final Confirmation, consistent with the Harmony of the Divine Attributes, and the natural Powers of lapsed Intelli|gences, well explain'd, will remove all the possible Difficulties and Obscurity, in Nature, Providence, and Revelation.
§. 13. To comprehend, ascertain and de|min with Precision, and Mathematical or Metaphysical Certainty, the real Nature, or Substance of any thing, small or great, is incompatible with Finitude, and the sole incommunicable Attribute of the Deity; and if lapsed finite Creatures, such as we of the human Race are supposed to be, could attain to it, it would destroy our Liberty to act, (whose very Essence consists in doing any thing or its contrary) and determin us infallibly to one Tenour of Action, as certainly as one Im|pulse, or one Centre of Motion in a Body, would determine it to one Direction, or in a Right Line, and consequently would counter|act our Recovery and Restoration, and render it impossible. And the most perfect Cheru|bim in Heaven, to perpetuate and eternise its Happiness, must necessarily have made a sur|rendry and sacrifice of its Will to infinite Good|ness, and its Understanding to infinite Wis|dom; and tho' all that are admitted to the Page 15Beatific Vision, see God Face to Face, or see as they are seen, yet it can be only pro Mo|dulo suo; and tho' the Faith and Trust ne|cessary to us here in our uncertain lapsed pro|batory State, when we come to Glory shall be done away, yet naked Faith, or a Faith founded solely on the Ipse Dixit of infinite Perfection, as well as pure Love, or love of Infinite Perfection for itself, or for its own Amiability, is indispensibly necessary even in Heaven, to perpetuate and eternise the Felicity of the most perfect Seraphim. As our bodily Eyes are utterly incapable of perceiving the real and positive Magnitude, Dimensions and Distance of material Objects, nothing but their relative ones; so is the most sublime and perfect created Understanding for ever in|capable to discover, and comprehend the pre|cise Nature, Essence or Qualities of the First Being, or of any of his lowest Works. Ob|jects are perceiv'd or comprehended not ac|cording to their own absolute precise and posi|tive Nature, by created Understandings of any Order and Degree, but respectively and rela|tively, according to the Degree and Extent of their Faculties; and yet a Miniature may be truly a Picture, and as just an one in small, as one at length, and between the First Being, and the absolute Nature of his Works, as con|ceiv'd and comprehended by creaturely Facul|ties, there will be allways the Proportion of Infinite to Finite. And when Jesus ChristPage 16 said he was the Truth, the absolute Truth, he as really affirm'd his Divinity, as when he said he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father, or I and the Father are one; for the absolute precise Metaphysical Truth of real positive Things is inseparable from the Divine Na|ture; and he could not be honest and sincere even as a Creature, if in such a momentuous and and fundamental Point, he could lead Creatures into a Mistake; an honest Person would have trembled to come so near plain Blasphemy, and yet he says his Words are Spirit and Truth. But I beg Pardon for this Digres|sion out of the Sphere of Philosophy.
§. 14. THE subjecting material Bodies, the outward Creation, and, perhaps, spiritual Na|tures, to general and invariable Laws, (the continuing these under the Lapse, which were and must have been establish'd in the State of Innocence, I say, the Continuance of these) seems to be another Expedient of infinite Wis|dom to preserve Liberty in the Recovery of the moral Powers of lapsed Intelligences, and to conciliate the Harmony of the Divine Attri|butes. Without these general Laws, (disco|verable only to any Degree, by just Observa|tion, calm Attention, accurate Experiment, extensive Induction and Calculation) there could be no Room for Correction, Amending, for Choice and Election, or for moral Good and Evil; but Things would happen in the Page 17 intellectual and moral System, as they are sup|posed to happen in the natural System on the Epicurean Scheme, by Chance, Casualty, Fits and Starts, or fatal Necessity; which is absolutely to deny the first Being to be a rational, intel|ligent and free Agent; for infinite Wisdom can do nothing, but for wise Ends and Pur|poses; and must contrive Means, which have a natural and necessary Tendency and Fitness for these Ends. If these Means be not seen by us, or being in some measure seen, may seem not to attain their Ends, it is because, being finite lapsed Creatures, our narrow Capacities can|not reach them, or because all the Conditions requisite to make them effectual, were not pre|sent in a particular Case; for infinite Wisdom must act uniformly, with Order, Number, Weight and Measure; all which, nothing but general Laws and Canons can effect, as is well known to Geometers, and plainly exemplified in the universal Canons of Algebra. If these general Laws be duly investigated, cautiously guarded, and all the necessary Conditions be taken in, they can never fail of obtaining their End and Effect; unless infinite Wisdom and Power suspend them for a limited Time, to manifest his Power, or for moral Ends and Pur|poses; or unless they are kept from attaining their natural Ends directly, by the voluntary and free Agency of imperfect human Intelligences.
§. 14. THE only Thing worthy of a true Philosopher is, with Attention, to draw up and collect as many as he possibly can, of these general Laws of the Divine Agency in the natural, moral, and intellectual World, for his own Use, or that of his Fellow-Intelligences. For without all Doubt they must be some few of the most obvious of the Laws of infinite Wis|dom, laid down as the Plan, by which all his Works of Wonder were at first form'd, and are still govern'd: And tho' in Him all this great Affair was but one single Act of Wis|dom and Power, yet in regard to us his infi|nitesimal Miniatures, now in a lapsed State, they must be consider'd by Parts, in different Acts, and divided Sections, and view'd sepa|rately, in Proportion to our weak and limited Faculties: For certainly general Laws, and uni|versal Rules, are the Method of Divine Agency, and of his wise Providence.
§. 15. THE general Laws of Motion, the Laws of simple Mechanism, the Laws of Re|fraction and Reflection, and many more such general Laws, both in natural Philosophy, civil Society, and human Policy, are pretty well known and adjusted, in all the polish'd Nations of the World; and it is not impro|bable such general Laws may obtain in other Systems, at least analogically: and they actually do so, as far as our Observation reaches. And it is very probable that similar and analogousPage 19 general Laws, have place in the moral, spiri|tual and intellectual World. For God is the same Yesterday, To-day, and for Ever; his Nature, Attributes, and Agency, uniform: And since he acts by general Laws in material Agency, it is highly probable, and conform|able to his infinite Wisdom, to act in the same uniform Manner in all his Operations, ad extra; and, as far as just Observations have been made, and well-grounded Conclu|sions drawn by Analogy, we shall find it so in all the Systems, Moral, Spiritual or Divine; tho' these last have been but little studied, and timorously applied to, by Persons of a proper Spirit and Genius, out of Dread of the odious Designation of Enthusiasm or Superstition: but future Ages may perhaps get over this Ter|ror; for the Method has a solid Foundation in the Nature of Things.
§. 16. THESE general Laws of the Divine Oeconomy in Creation and Providence, or the Rules of consummate Wisdom and Fitness, which the Supreme Being has chalk'd out and laid down, are, without all Doubt, inexhausti|ble and incomprehensible to such an Order of Beings as we are in our present State, and un|discoverable to any Degree of Perfection; for who can search out the Almighty to Perfec|tion? Perhaps the Discovery of them may be a Part of the Happiness and Perfection of another State of Existence, and some small Portion of the Page 20 Employment of happy contemplative Spirits in other Regions; and there, The Works of the Lord will appear wonderful to them that de|light therein. For if the First Being be rati|onal, intelligent, wise and good, as doubtless he is infinitely so, there must of Necessity be in all his Works, Conduct and Actions ad extra, one perpetual Analogy, and one con|tinued Harmony through the Whole, and in every single Part; each individual Organ and Law must be fitted to this great End, viz. the Perfection of the Whole, and of each Part; and he who considers the Oeconomy of Na|ture, Providence, and Restoration, with great|est Attention and Humility, will most clearly discern this Wisdom, Fitness, and Divine Or|der in them.
§. 17. SUPPOSE an infinitely wise, power|ful and good Being, did intend to produce something new, that he had no Pattern or Mo|del of before Him, (as the first intelligent Cause could not possibly have in Creation) as an Arti|ficer; for Example, (to descend the lowest in a Similitude) he could only express, in sensible Images, the Genius, Nature, and Ideas of his own Mind, and fit the Parts and Organs of such a Machine to the End and Use for which it was designed, with Number, Weight and Measure; and so (to compare great Things with small) Supreme Wisdom, having nothing but Him|self, his own beneficent Nature and Attributes Page 21 before Creation, to copy forth and represent, could, in all his Works of Wonder, delineate no|thing but his own Substance, Nature, Wisdom, Goodness, Justice and Truth. So that all Nature, all Creation, all the Worlds, the Material, Mo|ral and Spiritual, can possibly be nothing else, but the supreme, immense and infinitely perfect Being, display'd, pourtray'd, and made sensible and perceptible. Mundus universus nihil aliud est, quam Deus explicitus, said a learned Man. To think otherwise, is a sort of Blasphemy, and degrading of infinite Wisdom and Per|fection below finite lapsed human Intelli|gences. For there is no possible Work of any Man, but which in some Degree is a Picture of himself, of his own Idea, or of the Constitu|tion and Complexion of his Mind at that Time.
§. 18. IF then there be a perpetual Ana|logy running through all the Works of God, Natural, Moral and Spiritual; if all his Workings ad Extra, be Representations, Pic|tures and Hieroglyphicks, stronger or weaker, more general or more particular, of his own Nature, Complexion and Attributes; if the material inanimated System of outward Things, being contrived with infinite Fitness, Justness, Propriety and Delicacy, do repre|sent his infinite Wisdom and Power, in a more sensible, yet in a darker and weaker Manner: and if the Oeconomy of his universal Page 22 and particular Providence, and the amazing Oeconomy of the Restoration of every indivi|dual lapsed Being, be stronger and more irre|sistible Evidences and Representations of his infinite Penetration, (so to speak) Benevo|lence and Power; then it must be acknow|ledged; that, through all his Works, there runs one perpetual Progression, one continual Ana|logy, and uninterrupted Harmony, of his own Nature, Wisdom and Power; and that as Pro|portion is the Medium, and true Logic of ma|terial Natures and Beings, so Analogy is the true Key and Analysis of spiritual Natures and Qualities; and as the Data of the first is in Sensation, or the Notices from our Senses, or accurate Experiment: so the Data of the last is in Attention and Reflexion upon our own spi|ritual Natures, and their Operations, and Expe|rience of the Qualities, Sentiments and Pas|sions of our own Hearts and Souls; and carry|ing these to as great a Height as possible. For I can conceive no clearer or more distinct Manner to give a Child or an ignorant Person an Idea (tho' low and imperfect) of the first Being, than to tell him He is like the Soul or living Nature, of the best and most amiable Person he ever knew, infinitely exalted, without his Imperfections; but who has Life and Being from Himself only: whereas all his Creatures are Emanations from Him, and the Works of his Power: And what is this, but a true Analogy? Just such a one, as Page 23 when we give an Infant or ignorant Person an Idea of the Sea, by shewing him the nearest great Lake, and telling him that the Sea is of the same Nature, but vastly bigger.
§. 19. IT is plain from the natural, civil, and sacred History of the whole human Race, from the visible and perceptible State of our Globe, its surrounding Atmosphere, kindred Planets, and their Influences upon ours; that Pain, Suffering and Misery, is as natural and necessary to us here in this present State, as Existence is. It is utterly unavoidable but in Degree; none ever lived, but felt it it some Kind or Degree or other. The Ex|treme Tenderness and Delicacy of our lumba|ginous and spermatic State, subject us to the Distempers and Sufferings arising from the In|discretions and bodily Diseases of our Parents: The Weakness and Helplessness of Childhood and Infancy, expose us to innumerable Acci|dents and Distempers. The imprudent and improper Nourishment in Quantity or Qua|lity, given us by our Mothers or Nurses, bring naturally on us Suffering and Misery: The Grossness, Coarseness, and Inclemency of the Element we live and breathe in, mechani|cally infects us with its noxious and deleterious Qualities: Ignorance, bad Example, contagious Custom, and popular Errors and Prejudices continue the Hazards and Dangers of Child|hood. Strong Passions and Appetites, a wrong Page 24 Turn of Head or Heart, a corrupt and de|generate Age, strengthen and confirm our Mi|series and Misfortunes in Youthhood: Disap|pointments, Misfortunes, Cares, Want of, or the bad Usage of the Necessaries and Conve|niencies of Life, Luxury or Intemperance, Fa|mine or Scarcity, Epidemical Diseases, or un|foreseen Accidents, one or other, or perhaps all together, make the Complexion of Man|hood: And old Age (the Cardinal Disease of human Life) finishes the dark Scene of hu|man Misery with perpetual Aches, Sores and Infirmities of Body and Mind; a more sensible Dotage and Childhood, a Taedium Vitae, with a Desire of Dissolution, which is yet accompanied with a terrible Dread of it; all these conclude this Climax and Progression of Misery; through which the very best and wisest, that lasts out the natural Duration of Life, must pass, for his Punishment, Expiation, and Purification; not to mention the Remorse and internal Cru|cifixion of those who feel a Law in their Mem|bers warring against the Law of their Minds in a perpetual Strife and Conflict. It is only in and through the Oeconomy of the Resto|ration, by the Knowledge of the Gospel, that these natural, necessary and unavoidable Pains, Punishments and Miseries, can be turned, may be reckoned, and are really Mercies, Blessings, fatherly Corrections, lose their Stings, and become Righteousness, and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost.
§. 20. PAIN, Punishment, and Suffering then would seem to be a natural, necessary and (as it were) a mechanical Mean of Expiation, Purification and Perfection, to all sentient and intelligent Beings, in this present State of Exi|stence: which Virtue, Attention and Care can only lessen, but which none can totally, but only in a small Degree, avoid, if not by and through the Means just now mentioned. As rubbing hard Bodies against one another, is the only Method to polish and finish them; and the harder and longer the Friction, the finer the Polish, and the more perfect the Figure; so Pain, in sentient and intelligent Beings, arises from Re|sistance to Action, or from Re-action, which in spiritual as well as material Agency, is al|ways equal and contrary to Action. Sentient Beings naturally, necessarily, and, as it were, mechanically, recede from, and exert a Principle of Resistance and Re-action to the Cause of Pain; intelligent Beings, caeteris paribus, necessarily fly from it with greater Velocity, from the united Force of Sensation and Re|flection. Sensation and Perception begin the Aversion and Reluctance to the Cause or Oc|casion of Pain, and Reflection turns it into an Abhorrence and Detestation.
§. 21. CONSCIOUSNESS of the Reasons and Effects, seems in no wise absolutely necessary towards Purification in general, at least to|wards Page 26 the first Degrees of it, as we see in Brutes, Children and Ideots. Pain and Pu|nishment in such a Degree, and often repeated, will naturally bring them to abstain from that, for which they suffer. Consciousness of the End and Design of it seems only necessary to accelerate, perfect and turn into a Habit, the Aversion and Abhorrence of what has caused Pain, and to strengthen that Habit into a se|cond Nature; as Wood is made streight, first by softening it by Fire, and then keeping it by Cords and Weights in a Situation contrary to its Curvature. Pain and Punishment soften and melt down the Subject, Consciousness fixes and hardens it, and gives it an habitual con|trary Nature. Consciousness attends single Acts only, and not Habits; when the Habit is perfected, Consciousness vanishes and dies away (as a perfect Musician, while playing on an Instrument, reflects not on single Strokes distinctly) so that Consciousness seems necessary as a Check or Bar, to prevent Relapses; and seldom takes place till the End and Design of Punishment is in some Degree obtained.
§. 22. FROM what has been said, it is evident that this our Planet and its Appen|dages, is really and literally a Prison or Gaol, a Place of Banishment, of Pains and Punishment for a certain Period of Time, to lapsed sen|tient and intelligent Beings: like Siberia among the Ruffians, the Bastille or the Pierre in|cisePage 27 with the French, or the Plantations or Newgate among us. And the Inhabi|tants of both Kinds, sentient and intelli|gent, are, without a Figure: Prisoners, Slaves, and Felons, under a State of Expiation and Purification. Our whole Creation, our in|tire System, in regard to our defaced and spoilt Planet, labours like Slaves at the Oar, is in Travail, in a perpetual Fermentation and Effervescence, as in a malignant Fever, working for a Crise and Delivery. Some In|dividuals may be delivered sooner, some later, according as their Expiation and Purification is perfected; and at last the whole System, and all its Inhabitants, must naturally and necessa|rily, but harmoniously or analogically, and ac|cording to general Laws, undergo some great and violent Crise, and an universal Gaol-De|livery will be brought about; but when and how this will be accomplished, is beyond Con|jecture; a Thousand Years are but as a Day here, and the Ways of the Almighty are past finding out. It would seem as if the only Problem, or Difficulty, (to speak so in regard to Omnipotence, where no real Difficulty can happen) worthy of infinite Wisdom to solve, were to recover, perfect and establish in per|petual and unrelapsing Order and Purity, free and lapsed intelligent Beings, consistent with the Harmony of his own Attributes, and the natural Powers with which he has endued them. How infinite Wisdom and Power will Page 28 bring this about, we can only conjecture in a few general Hints, from such of his general Laws as are obvious, from final Causes, which are plain, and must include some Part of the Ends in rational Agency; and from dark Sketches of the Analogy of Things: not im|possibly thus.
§. 23. AN infinitely wise, good and power|ful Being having created this System, we can|not suppose, but it must have been as perfect and blissful, as its Nature could admit, and his sentient, intelligent Creatures as happy, as their Natures and Order could allow; and that he must have furnished them with Means and Power to perpetuate, if not increase, this Per|fection and Happiness. But from the very Na|ture and Essence of Liberty; whoever has a Power to continue or increase in a State, must also have a Power to fall back or decrease; whatever is finite, must necessarily be fallible. Now sup|pose such finite fallible Beings actually lapsed: the same wise and good Being must have or|dered Things so, not only that they should re|cover and rise again, but that their Fall and Lapse should at last be a Mean, not only to strengthen, confirm and fix them in Happiness ever after, (and this seems the only Mean, by which fallible free lapsed Creatures, once actu|ally fallen, could be brought to an illapsing State of Stability) but even to increase the De|gree of their Happiness and Perfection; and this, I think, would not only be the full and plenary Page 29 Solution of this infinitely difficult Problem, but one worthy of its all-wise and all-powerful Author only; and this he has effected, I think, by these three Expedients or Means. 1. By continuing general Laws of Agency in mate|rial, moral and spiritual Actions, plainly inti|mating, that the Concurrence of the same Causes and Conditions will always produce the same Effects; and so leaving Room for Consi|deration, Amendment, Improvment, Choice, and the Discernment of moral Good and Evil, and thus securing Liberty and the other natu|ral Powers of lapsed Intelligences. 2. By tying down, sopiting and suspending the natural Powers of the Soul for so long a Time, as is its Duration from the first original Male, till the Bonds and Chains, by which their Exertion is restrained, be broken and untyed by Death. That during this Time, the Benefit acquired by the progressive Parentage (if they happen to return to Order and Habits of Virtue, or have their moral Powers recovered) may ope|rate on these infinitesimal Miniatures; by mending their Natures, that they themselves may have time given to recover into Order; and that the Interruption from the natural Powers arrived at their Perfection, might not prevent the Acquisition and Recovery of the Moral Powers. And, 3. By the Oeconomy of Redemption by a Saviour, which doubt|less was projected before the Creation of the World, or this System, and when the pro|per Page 30 Disposition to receive it, and to reap the Be|nefit of it, is acquired; and which may in some Time or Place, explicitly or implicitly, be re|vealed, to finish the Work of Restoration. But that not being my Province in a Philosophical Disquisition, I proceed.
§. 24. IT is the grossest Absurdity and Con|tradiction to suppose, that an infinitely wise and beneficent Being would make either sen|tient or intelligent Beings suffer, merely for Suffering's Sake. He must have had just, good and kind Reasons for this his strange Work. And since it is certain, that both sentient and intelligent Beings do and must unavoidably suffer, and are in a State of Punishment, Mi|sery and Banishment here; it necessarily fol|lows, that they are in a State of Expiation, Pu|rification and progressive Perfection, in their respective Orders; and will at last be set free, made happy, and perfected, and confirmed in that State for ever. Omnipotence surely can, and infinite Goodness, I hope, will do all this.
§. 25. IF all is not Deceit and Illusion, it must be evident to a Demonstration, that no|thing imperfect or unhappy in its Order can come out of the Hands of infinite Perfection; and yet it is Fact, that all sentient and intelli|gent Beings here, are universally more or less, miserable and imperfect; and that there never Page 31 was any human Creature, in his right Senses, which in a whole Duration of human Life, felt not, and thought not himself unhappy, miserable and imperfect, at least, for some time, if not for the most of his rational Life: and wish'd not himself earnestly, better, wiser, more perfect, and happy. It is impossible, that infinite Wisdom and Goodness, can punish sentient and intelligent Creatures, or make them miserable, but for some wise and bene|ficent End and Purpose; from whence it will be evident to a rational Person, that of necessity there must have been a State of Existence prior to this present: wherein all those sen|tient and intelligent Beings, while in a col|lective Mass, which have been, or shall be on this Globe, had misbehaved, rebell'd, and run into Disorder, probably, by idolatrising Creatures and Self, and preferring them to the Creator. And the Account of this Rebellion and Lapse in Revelation, may refer only to the last Scene or Act in the Tragedy, or the new modelling this secondary State or parti|ally lapsed System, when the slightest Trial of Faith and Obedience was made; for certainly Nemo repentè fit turpissimus; finite Creatures can naturally acquire Habits of Virtue and Vice, or indeed of any kind, only by Degrees, or single Acts repeated. Certain Consciousness, or clear distinct Knowledge of this pre-existent State, would only feed idle Curiosity; and might hinder and counter-act that implicit Page 32 Trust, Dependence and absolute Resignation in every Thing, so absolutely necessary to rela|tive Perfection and Happiness. For the Point in View of infinite Perfection, is to bring all the finite sentient and intelligent Creatures to an absolute voluntary Surrendry, and Trust of themselves, and every Thing relating to them in Time and Eternity, to his Will and Plea|sure implicitly; nothing less being sufficient to establish and perpetuate the Divine Sovereignty, harmonise his Attributes, and eternise the Peace, Happiness and relative Perfection of universal Nature; which different Willing would eter|nally confound and perplex anew, and bring on a second, or perpetuate the present Lapse.
§. 26. IT is not impossible, that there are other States, Mansions, and probatory Ce|lestial Regions, proper and peculiar to the se|veral imperfect Degrees of the moral Faculties of spiritual Intelligences, with their Creation-Bodies or Vehicles, according to the several remaining Degrees of Imperfection, even al|most in infinitum, in an ascending or descend|ing Progression. Infinite Wisdom and Good|ness may have appointed, in general, a certain limited Period, beyond which the Incrustation of their Creation-Bodies cannot last, things being in such a State: But the actual Approach may be quicker or slower, according to certain Terms and Conditions: which we know to be the Case of our present mortal Tabernacles; Page 33 and according to the bad or good Usage of our Liberties in the Use of the Means afforded us for acquiring the moral Virtues, and affixing the moral Powers in confirm'd Habits; we may ascend into more pure, more happy, and more perfect Regions, or descend into more gross, miserable and dark Dungeons, almost in infinitum. But it would also seem, that sen|tient and intelligent Creatures could suffer Pain and Misery only to a certain finite and limited Degree, (tho' the Time may be eternal, all Spirits being immortal by Nature) all the Activities and Passivities of such Beings be|ing necessarily finite and limited; and when they come to that Point, they must necessa|rily return, wish for Deliverance, cry for Mercy, Pity and Freedom, and endeavour it with the whole natural Powers of their Spirits; and to this Point only, it would seem, an infinitely wise, beneficent and powerful Be|ing can intend to bring his lapsed, wandering miniature Creatures now under the Gospel; and that he should be ready to receive them into Mercy, and allow them the Means for restoring and recovering their lapsed moral Powers. But how long Time it may require to bring them to this absolutely necessary Point, no Reason or Philosophy (whether an Inde|finite, that is, a creaturely or relatively infinite Time) can determine; and Revelation has not made it plain and explicit, but on the contrary has left it not only dubious, but seems to point otherwise; to be sure not before all are brought Page 34 to this indispensable Point of Returning. The Oeconomy, Satisfaction and Sufferings of the God-Man Jesus Christ, could be only sufficient to render that Expiation, and Resto|ration of the moral Power in a finite Time, which, in its own Nature, and the Nature of God and of his Purity, must have been Infinite and Eternal. The repairing the Indignity and Affront done to his Sovereignty and Purity, and the deterring his other standing Creatures from Lapse and Rebellion, is not perhaps left in their Power to prevent; that may be done by the necessary and unavoidable Pains and Sufferings they must undergo, from the painful and le|prous Incrustation of the several Elements they must pass through; their returning into Order, their Acquisition of the moral Powers of the Soul, and fixing them in these, and consequently in permanent Happiness, intirely depends on themselves, and the Use of the Means afforded.
§. 27. IT is no easy Matter to form any precise limited Idea or Notion of Substance either Material or Spiritual; all we certainly know of either, is, that they exist, are Rea|lities, and are the Base or Subject of real Qua|lities. But we can no more penetrat into the Substratum or Support of these Qualities, by the natural Activity of our Spirits, than our Eyes can see Objects at a certain Distance; such is the Nature, Frame and Limitation of our Order and Rank of natural Powers.Page 35 We certainly know that material Substance is the Substratum of Extension, Impenetrabi|lity, Passivity and Figure; and spiritual Sub|stance, of living, perceiving and willing, that is, of Cogitation or Thinking, and also of be|ginning Motion in Bodies, and giving them a particular Direction. The Aggregate, or Sum of all these respective Qualities (most of which are contrary to the others) may be bound together or united by some Bond of Union, which we shall never have any direct or immediate Con|ception of, till we throw off this material Incrustation, that intangles and fetters the full Exercise and Penetration of our natural Pow|ers. And therefore, if we dropt both Substances, as unknown and unknowable Things at present, or rather, if we suppos'd both only mere Ca|pacities, Recipients, Canals or passive Sub|jects of contrary Qualities, as they flow, or are deriv'd from the primary Source and self-ex|istent Cause of all Activity, Qualities and Re|alities, whose whole End and Use (of these Capacities) was to receive and contain these Qualities, limiting, contrary, and destructive of each other respectively; or, lastly, if, as Geo|meters use the Method, we make the one Positive, the other Negative; this way of considering this dark Subject might, perhaps, throw some Light on it: And then imagin'd that Matter or Body was analogous to (but yet no-wise the same with, but quite contrary, tho' not contradictory) to Spirit infinitely con|dens'd, Page 36 concentred or incrassated: And that spiritual Substance was analogous to Matter infinitely rarefied, refin'd or sublim'd: Then, in the Geometrical Manner of considering such respective Qualities and their Subject, Body infinitely rarefied, refin'd and sublim'd, would at last terminat in limited Space or Expansion; and limited Space or Expansion infinitely condens'd, contracted and inspissated, would end in solid indivisible Points or Monads, the common Idea of the component Particles of Body. And yet that Body should be rarefied into Space, or Space condens'd into Body, is an absolute Contradiction and Impos|sibility; only this Manner in which Geometers consider infinitely little, or infinitely great Quantities, is here suggested, as an Illustration of material and spiritual Substance, so difficult to be explain'd. But we not being able to conceive or comprehend Infinitude, or in|finite Agency, its Effects and Consequences, it may, perhaps, be said, that this is only ex|plaining one Obscurity by a greater. It may be so: All then we are absolutely certain of is, that these essential Qualities of Matter and Spirit respectively, viz. in Matter, Exten|sion, Impenetrability, Divisibility, Mobility, Passivity and Figure; and in Spirit, Living, Perceiving, Willing, Self-activity, Self-mo|bility, and the Power of beginning Motion, and giving Direction to Bodies; must neces|sarily be uniform, and always the same in De|gree, Page 37 whatever State or Circumstances they may be in. These respective Substances are always in their own Nature and Essence so contrary and destructive of one another in their Quali|ties, that they become a perpetual Bar, Obstruc|tion and Obstacle to the Exertion of these their essential Qualities. They are not indeed contra|dictory or destructive of one another's Quali|ties in every Degree; they are not incompatible and unallyable (as we know by Fact); but they are contrary; and one Degree of the Qualities of the one, destroys a relative, equal or pro|portional Degree of the Qualities of the other; and the Sum total of these Qualities in the one, destroys the Sum total of the Qualities of the other, equally or proportionally, like Light and Darkness; and an infinite Degree of the one may sopite or totally obstruct the sensible Actions of the other, tho' not anni|hilat or absolutely destroy the other in its Root or Nature. But Infinitude being above our Capacities, we can only speak of the Ef|fects of their Contrariety and Opposition in their finite Degrees, and pronounce nothing of the Effects of infinite Operations; only we are certain, that no less than an infinite Power and Operation in the one, can totally extin|guish and annihilat the Nature and Opera|tions of the other; Reaction being always contrary and equal to Action. We may have a fine Illustration and analogous Resemblance of this infinite contrarv Action, from the Na|ture Page 38 of an infinite converging Series; in which from the next immediate Step in the Progression, by passing through infinitely little of that Order, the Terms from positive be|come negative; and likewise, from some Par|ticles of Matter, which after having got with|out their Sphere, from attractive become re|pulsive, in respect to a particular Centre; these Hints are far from an affirming, or any Endea|vour to prove, that Matter is only infinitely condens'd Spirit, and Spirit only infinitely re|fin'd Matter, as to their several Substances: For the Fact I think false, impossible and con|tradictory; for Matter, however refin'd and sublim'd, is still Matter, and has the opposite Qualities to Spirit, and have their essential Qualities in direct Contrariety; and were it otherwise, in this Manner of illustrating the Subject, the Proof were absolutely impossible; because the Effects of infinite Power and Agency are known and knowable by Him only, whose Attributes are infinite Power and Might. If the Proposition and Effect was true and real, no finite Agency could effect it, nor finite Understanding evince it: But these In|stances are adduc'd only as an Illustration, to remove the seeming shocking Absurdity and Ter|ror, in most good Persons Minds, from affirming any Resemblance or Analogy between mate|rial and spiritual Substances; for these evi|dently shew, that similar and analogous Ef|fects are Realities in the Nature of Things, Page 39 tho' their Manner and Process be inconceive|able to us finite Beings; and also, as much as in me lies, to take off any Mistakes and Misap|prehension, as if I advanc'd any thing in the Philosophic Explication of these Mysteries of Nature, inconsistent with Revelation or Reli|gion, as the Reverend Dr. Brown Bishop of Cork has done in his Divine Analogy; not fully having understood my Manner of ex|plaining the Subject, or perhaps I had not made my Meaning sufficiently clear and plain; as the Subject is in itself almost inexplicable, and ought to be guarded with all possible Pre|cision, if at all handled.
§. 28. IN my poor Way of conceiving and conjecturing, from the obvious Appearances in Nature subjected to Sense; from the final Causes the Supreme Rational Being may pos|sibly have in such external Operations; from the Analogy carried from the Things that are seen, to those that are invisible, and only in|telligible; the most probable and satisfactory Account that can be found of the Oeconomy and Plan of the Restoration of finite lapsed Intel|ligences, seems to be this, at least these may possibly be some of the prominent Lines of this Plan: Some finite free Intelligences of the several Orders in the living Hierarchies having by the Abuse of their Liberty, and com|mitting Idolatry, by too inordinate Commerce with the Creatures, and habitually turning Page 40 away from their Source the Creator, destroyed and cancell'd the moral Powers of their spiri|tual Natures: Infinite Wisdom and Power, by the Necessity of his beneficent Nature, em|ploying the whole Force of his Omnipotence and Omniscience, to restore and recover them, without committing Violence on their natural Powers, or on the Harmony of his own At|tributes; first ties down and contracts their natural Powers with Chains of gross Matter, from a (purposely, or mechanically) ruin'd and defac'd Elementary Globe, such as our present Habitation is; Chains, which the natural Powers of the Spirit are necessarily obliged to endeavour to be unloosing all the Time, from the original Creation of this gross Body; during which Time, Means, Opportunity and Leisure is allow'd, for the Acquisition and Restoration of the moral Powers: As Felons and Robbers are tam'd and mended by working in the Mines, and tugging at the Oar. By the Toil, Labour and Suffering, from this working off, and melting down the gross and leprous Plaister, superinduc'd on the primitive Creation-Body, by fileing, purifying and breaking these Chains which fetter the Acti|vity and free Agency of the natural Powers of the Soul, on this Creation-Body. First, Repa|ration, and an Amende honorable is made to infinite Purity and Sovereignty; and the bad Example to other Intelligences, remov'd: And in the mean time, outward and inward Means Page 41 may be offer'd and bestow'd, by external Provi|dences, suprahumane and imperceptible Aid and Grace, and the Light and internal Operation of the Divine Word and Reason, the Messiah, for recovering the defac'd moral Powers of the Soul. Some are under this Operation a shorter, some a longer Time, according to the Wis|dom and Designs of the Sovereign Reason, and the Mansion they are to fill in the new Jeru|salem, even till the last Scene, which in the Nature of gross corruptible Matter can last but a finite Time, either in the Nature of the Elementary Planet itself, with its Appen|dages, or in the Incrustation on the primitive Creation-Bodies made of this elementary Mat|ter; which must crumble and dissolve into Dust within certain Limits of Time, by the establish'd Law of Nature; the first, possibly, from the Expence and Fixation of Water, as Sir Isaac Newton insinuates, and the other necessary Fluids; the others for want of Nutrition and Chylification, and both by Natural and general Laws, but still within certain Limits less than real infinite. But both must at last be perfect|ly purified; the Earth and its Appendages, possibly, by an universal Conflagration; the particular gross Plaistering, by being dissolv'd into its original Dust, that the primitive Crea|tion Body may be disincumber'd, and made supple and pliable to obey the Dictates of the informing immaterial Spirit; and the Spirit, by the Acquisition and habitual fixing of the Moral Powers. For there cannot be a more Page 42 certain and indubitable Truth, than that no|thing imperfect in its Order could come out of the Hands of infinite Perfection; and that nothing impure or imperfect in its Order, can return to live and commerciate with, or be united to God perfectly, finally and immutably.
§. 29. This Infinitesimal Particle of Celes|tial Matter, this Miniature of a Miniature in infinitum, decreasing in a continued analogical Progress, and stor'd up in the Seeds of all Ani|mals and Vegetables, from the first to the last Animal and Vegetable; this divinely organis'd Vehicle or Corpuscle, in which the immaterial Principle was inspir'd in its Creation, and to which it is so intimately united by a particular Law of Union, and an individual Fitness and Congruity, is inseparable from it in all its future States and Circumstances of Duration, at least by any Degree of Force less than infinite. The im|material Spirit, the Spiritual Inhabitant of this Celestial Vehicle, is in its own Nature immortal and imperishable, being an infinitesimal Minia|ture of the Divine Nature and Substance, which is Self-existent. I say then, the Spirit, the im|material Substance, that informs this aethereal Creation Body, is of its own Nature immortal and imperishable; but the material Vehicle, tho' of a refin'd and aethereal Substance, is on|ly eternal by the Divine Order and Appoint|ment, and comparatively in respect of other grosser and more dense Compounds, of which Time and Use may alter the Form, tho' not Page 43 destroy the Substance; and perhaps their Per|petuity may be continued by a divine pri|mary, or secondary spiritual Influence, from both these immortal Principles. I am sensible, these strong Figures may be expos'd to Ridi|cule, and interpreted profanely, by light Per|sons; but when they understand, and can ex|plain with Precision, what the Force of Infi|nitude (small or great) is, their Raillery and Levity may be tolerable; such, of Necessity, must be the Language, when we attempt to express perceptible only, and spiritual Things. I hope I have a due Sense of the Purity and Perfection of the Divine Nature and Spiritual Things, not to expose them maliciously and designedly to Contempt and Ridicule. My whole Design is to help honest and sincere Per|sons to some Ideal Knowledge, (which at best is but a poor Affair) that may possibly com|fort and mend the Heart, without hurting the Head.
§. 30. IF there is any Verisimilitude or Consistency in this Sketch, it will follow from it, that the lighter and thinner (while sweet and healthy) the Crust and Plaister from this elementary System, that is laid over this Crea|tion Body, the more the natural Powers of the Spirit will be at Liberty to exert their Func|tions, and acquire the moral ones; the Suffer|ings and Miseries of the present State of our Existence will be fewer and less intense, and Page 44 the total Disengagement of the Spiritual Inha|bitant from its Prison and Load, will be more easy and perfect; and we shall shake off our Chains and Fetters, as we do our Cloaths to go to Bed. The universal Law of Nature, for every sentient and intelligent Being, that is brought on this elementary Planet, is, first, to have its spiritual and its celestial Body tied down, and concentred by Chains and Fetters of this Element, into a Miniature of a Mini|ature, then into a Punctum Saliens, and at last into a sensible elementary Body: During all this Time, the spiritual Nature is working, like a Slave in the Mines, or at the Oar, to ex|tend this celestial Body to its original analogous Figure and Dimensions, by breaking all its elementary Fetters; while yet at the same time it is crusting over more densely the pri|mitive celestial Body by Nutrition, and the animal Functions with a gross leprous Plaister; when the Creation Body is intirely develop'd, by giving a Facility to its Organs of all kinds, by Culture and Use in their several Ways, its intellectual Faculties get Power and Liberty to exert themselves; during which Time the Acquisition of the moral Powers may and ought to take Place, and by Degrees, and in a nearly determinable Period, this Plaister dries, hardens, and at last crumbles into Dust; and then the Spirit with the celestial Body, if but par|tially purified, passes into other States, Ele|ments, and Mansions, as its Degree of moral Page 45 Virtue, or Acquisition of moral Powers re|quire.
§. 31. FROM this Representation of the State and Progress of sentient and intelligent Beings in Spirit and Body, during their Banish|ment to this ruinous Planet; it follows, that the Root, Faculty and Capacity of the Spirit, or its natural Powers, continue potentially and radi|cally the same; or that living, perceiving, and willing, as to their Essence, Power and Capa|city, are in all States radically and invariably the same; tho' their Exercise, Acts and Exertion be restrain'd and sopited by gross Matter. Whoever considers the invariable Nature of spirit, must be convinc'd, that its giving Motions, with their several Modifications, must always radically and potentially be the same, and uniform, how|ever their Acts may be suspended, sopited, or destroyed by gross Matter, and the Im-mecha|nism of Bodies; and that all the Functions of the Body, all its voluntary and involuntary Motions, all its living and vital Actions, all its internal and external Operations, all its Sensations, Passions and Willings, that de|pend on the Body, are all but Cogitation, or Thinking, in some Degree or other, and its several Modifications, as really, as intense, full|grown Thinking, with Reflexion, or Meditation, is; in a Word, that the Soul, Spirit, or living Principle, is really the true and only intelligent Being, and the Body only is its Organ, Instru|ment Page 46 or Tool, and but a passive Adjunct of the living Intelligence; and consequently, that, 1. our acquir'd Knowledge is but Remembrance; 2. that a moral Sense and Faculty; 3. that innate Ideas of God and Virtue, of moral Good and Evil; That, 4. spiritual Sensa|tion and spiritual Senses; and that, 5. the Soul uses material Organs (tho' not of gross Matter only) in all its Operations, all these are as much Philosophical Realities (however ridiculed and exposed by ignorant Persons) as the same Things are, when sensibly and out|wardly transacted on our finish'd and perfect external Senses; and that, 6. All our Culture, Study and Labour, to acquire Sciences and Knowledge, or to perfect our natural Powers, terminat only in fileing off, melting away, and scraping down, those Chains, and Crust superinduced upon them; and are only re|moving Superfluities, reducing Excrescences, and rendering the gross Patchwork super|induced on our spiritual Body, pliant, supple and correspondent, with the least Resistance to it; that the Creation Body may be at Liberty to extend and disincumber itself: And, Lastly, That the shortest and readiest Way to true and solid Knowledge, is to endeavour with the ut|most Vigour, and strongest Effects of our spi|ritual Nature, to recover and acquire the mo|ral Powers of the Soul defac'd and cancelled by the Lapse, viz. Justice, Goodness and Truth; or, in the Revelation Language, Faith, Hope, Page 47 and Charity; to which these will be found, when justly explained, intirely analogous and consonant; for it could only be to allow Time and Uninterruption from the natural Powers, had they been always in their full Extent and Force, that they have been thus ty'd down, and sopited; so that now they can only rise and ex|tend in Proportion, as the moral Powers are acquired.
§. 32. THE Activity, Sensibility and Pene|tration, the voluntary and involuntary Motions of this our Elementary Body, the animal Functi|ons, the more material Acts of Thinking and Co|gitation, such as Sensation, Memory, Imaginati|on, Attention, &c. are all radically and primarily perform'd, by the Self-action and Self-motion of the immaterial Spirit, on this Creation-aethereal Body principally; as Sulphureous Inflammations raise Mountains, and as Springs, and Weights move Clock-works; with this notable Differ|ence, that the first has an internal, immortal Spring of Self-action, the other only a tempo|rary and transitory one. Perhaps, for Ex|ample, towards voluntary and involuntary Motion, or towards the Exertion of the animal Functions; I say, perhaps, there may not be wanted any foreign, independent and perplex'd subtile Fluid, of whatever Nature; if the ani|mal Appearances and Functions can be more simply, as clearly and fully explained, by the Action of a self-active and self-motive spiri|tual Page 48 Substance, informing and influencing a fitly and divinely organized aethereal Body, and thereby immediately impressing its Action and Energy on the gross earthly Plaister laid over it. A true spiritual Substance, of the very lowest Order, must necessarily have in itself a Spring of Self-action, a Principle and Faculty of Self-motion, from its own internal Nature and Essence. I can have no Notion of a spi|ritual Substance, that has not a Power of be|ginning and impressing Motion on Matter or Body fitly disposed; there seems no Distinction so essential between Spirit and Body, as Acti|vity and Passivity; 'tis true this Activity in created spiritual Substances is finite and limited, and may be further restrained by gross Matter to any Degree; but it will be always sufficient to begin and impress Motion on Body, so long as the Inertia of Body is not greater, than the Self-activity of such an Order of spiritual Substances, else it could not in any Sense be called self-active. And to produce muscular Motion, and the animal Functions and Ap|pearances, there may be nothing more necessary, than Self-activity, and Self-mobility, in a greater or lesser Degree; and divine Organi|sation, Fitness, and not insuperable Resist|ance, or rather a ready Facility, in the pri|mitive aethereal Vehicle, which may overcome the Load of Plaister and Rust laid over it: I say, perhaps, this may be sufficient to account fully for all the animal Appearances; a foreign sub|tilePage 49Fluid may be necessary to explain the Ap|pearances of inanimated Matter; but seems here superfluous, and looks perplex'd and ope|rose, and unlike the Operations of the God of Nature, which are always from easy and simple Causes, and by one such Cause produce various and beautiful Effects. And I think there is scarce accounting for the infinitely different Degrees of Sensibility, the Degrees of Stature and Growth, and the Degrees of Penetration, and of quick and slow Thinking, Memory and Solidity, both in sentient and intelligent Ani|mals, without allowing the Plaistering and Soder, on the Creation aethereal Body to sit lighter, thinner and less incumbring on some than on others, and the aethereal Organs to be more at Liberty in the vastly sensible and quick Thinkers and Feelers, than in the slow.
§. 33. IT would seem in this progressive State of Purification of lapsed sentient and intelligent Beings, that when one Crust or Plaister from the Element to which they are confined, is worn off, another may grow on, of the Nature of the Celestial or Terrestrial Mansion, which they inhabit, fitted to the Degree of the acquired moral Powers; and this in a continual Ascent or Descent, till the moral Powers are perfected and confirmed into Habits, and the aethereal or spiritual Body is purified and refined from all the Dross and Rust it had contracted; and then will be Page 50 accomplished their last permanent and eternal State, suited to their Order.
§. 34. THE specific Law of Attraction, Fitness and Similarity of the Element or Planet, to the Degree of the moral Purity or Impurity in sentient and intelligent Beings, may as naturally and necessarily determin and attract them to this their specific Region or Mansion, as the Eggs of Insects, and Seeds of Plants scattered and blown by the Wind, are directed, drawn and adhere, by Electricity, to the Leaves of those Plants and Trees only, which are fittest and have the most proper Juices for their Adhesion, Incubation and Vivification, and for crusting them over, to defend their Deli|cacy and Sensibility while young and tender, from such Injuries as would put an End to Life. For a Law of Attraction, Fitness and Simi|larity will be found to hold good, either simply or in some kind of Proportion, or analogi|cally, through all Creation, as well in Spirits, as in Bodies, in the natural, moral and ce|lestial Worlds, till the first and supreme Being become locally and finally All in all, and that All be in him with Perfection and ana|logous Similarity in their several Natures, as the Fish, or Rivers are in the Sea, and that he acts and influences, and gives Perfection and Happiness to all Things He has made.
THIS rude and unfinished Sketch may possibly be thought by some, an imagi|nary and enthusiastical Romance, and so per|haps it may be. It is innocent, if a Fable; and if thought otherwise, by proper and compe|tent Judges, I should renouce and disclaim it. But on the most intense, anxious and ma|ture Observations and Reflexions on univer|sal Nature, on allowing the Supreme Being to be a wise, good, powerful and rational Agent, admitting final Causes when they are obvious, and Analogy when plain and simple; the Out|lines, and Ground-work of this System may be just and solid, however faulty the Detail and Execution may be. I can be answerable for nothing, but the Honesty of my Intention in it.
DISCOURSE II. Philisophical CONJECTURES ABOUT THE Preference of VEGETABLE TO ANIMAL FOOD: AND OF THE End and Design of PROVIDENCE, IN Appointing the FIRST, AND, ON TRIAL, Permitting the LATTER.
Gen. i. 29.
Gen. ix. 3.
Page 53DISCOURSE II.
Philosophical CONJECTURES ABOUT THE Preference of VEGETABLE TO ANIMAL FOOD: AND OF THE End and Design of PROVIDENCE, in Appointing the First, and, on Trial, Permitting the Latter.
§. 1. IT is certain that by our Make, by the Frame of our Organs, we are now fitted as for Vegetable, so for Animal Food. The Form of some of our Teeth, the Liver, the Pancreas, and many other of our internal Bowels and conglomerate Glands, seem primarily and chiefly designed and fitted to antidote the Mischiefs arising from ani|mal Food, and fermented Liquors, at least for some Time, and in the Days of our Youth Page 54 and Vigour: For certainly, a Part of the De|signs of any intelligent Agent may be known by Analogy justly drawn, and by final Causes, and is the best Evidence finite and lapsed Creatures seem capable of receiving, in the Designs and Contrivances of the Creator, till they come to converse with him Face to Face. They may be mistaken in them, as well as in every other kind of Evidence, be|ing finite, lapsed, and consequently fallible Creatures: But this seems to be the only Evi|dence they are capable of at present in such Matters; and may shew evidently the Design of the Author of Nature, as a convex Screw of any Number of Spires, shews, that it was de|sign'd to fit some concave one of the same Number of Spires and Diameter. Chance is only a technical Word, to denote our Igno|rance of the true and physical Cause of Or|der and Design; and yet admitting the Ex|istence of Chance, that through the whole human Race there should have been, in the infinite Number of their Organs, a perfect Similarity by Chance only, and not Design, may, by a fair Calculation, be shewn to be as infinite to finite, that is mathematically impos|sible. But the Question I design to treat of here, is, Whether Animal or Vegetable Food was, in the original Design of the Creator, intended for the Food of Animals, and particularly of the human Race? And I am almost convinced it Page 55 never was intended, but only permitted, as a Curse or Punishment, and a Cure for a Ma|lady, or (as the French term it) a pis-alle, and because infinite Wisdom and Power could make no more of his corrupted rebellious free Creatures in their present State; and for this infinitely wise and paternal End, He seems to have permitted it; 1. To let them feel and experience the natural and necessary Effects of their own Lusts and Concupiscence, by painful and cruel Distempers: Feeling and Experience being the surest Means by which a finite lapsed Creature can know and learn. 2. To shorten the Duration of their natural Lives, that Sin, Misery, and Rebellion, might not increase in|finitely. 3. To produce naturally, and in a Manner consistent with Liberty, and the other natural Powers of the Soul, (which being deriv'd from Him, and being his Minia|ture Images, He neither could nor would force or destroy) those Sufferings and Mi|series, and Dislike of inordinate Lusts and En|joyments, that might make them think, pon|der, and return to Order, Love of Virtue, and its source and Original. And, 4. To sink and contract the natural Powers of the Soul, (viz. Living, Understanding, and Will), by means of such frail Bodies, into a Level with the decayed and lapsed moral Ones, (viz. Justice, Goodness, and Truth) which by this Rebellion were greatly corrupted and de|graded. Page 56 The Reasons that incline me to think in this Manner, are these following:
§. 2. 1. WHATEVER be the true, primoge|nial, and last Principle of Bodies, beyond which it is impossible to analyse or divide them, these are incontestably found in all ani|mal and vegetable Bodies, as has been before observ'd: 1. Sulphur, Oil or material Heat, from whence Spirit and Activity. 2. Salt, or hard angular Particles highly attractive, and dissolvable in Water. 3. Air, or small elastic Particles. 4. Water or Phlegm, from whence alone Fluidity: And, lastly, Earth, the Base and Substratum of these others. In the due and proportional Union of these, do the Va|riety and Difference of animal Substances con|sist. Now it is past all Doubt in Philosophy, and in philosophical Chemy, that animal Sub|stances of most kinds, possess in a much greater Proportion the two first of these Principles, viz. Salts and Oils, than Vegetables, which partake more of the last, viz. Air, Water, and Earth. But from many undeni|able Experiments, the two first Principles are known to be the most active, energic, and de|leterious, and tend more, by their Activity, to the Division, Dissolution and Destruction of the Subject, than those others, when they en|ter in any great Proportion. 2. The Jelly, the Juice or Chyle of animal Substances, is Page 57 infinitely more tenacious and glewy *, and its last Particles more closely united, and sepa|rated with greater Difficulty, than those of vegetable Substances. This is evident from the Experiments made with them in joining of Wood, and is known to all Artificers, and may be made manifest to the Senses in the Dif|ference between the Tenacity of Camp-jelly, or Fish-glew, and that of Paste made of Flower or Barley; or from the Strength of Ropes or Cords made of Cat-gut or Leather, and those made of Tow or Hemp, of the same Dia|meter: And therefore animal Food must much sooner, more strongly, and irremediably make Viscidities in animal Fluids, and more schir|rously obstruct the Capillaries and Glands, than vegetable Substances. 3. But the far more pernicious and destructive Part, is the Salts, and Oil, abounding more in most animal than in vegetable Substances; of which there are so many and convincing Demonstrations, that none can have any Doubt of it, that has the least Acquaintance with natural Philosophy: For our Blood and Juices being nourish'd and supply'd by such Substances, as abound most with these active elementary Principles, must necessarily be stored and saturated with Salts and Sulphurs; and these, being always in a Page 58 State of Action, are the true, original, and the most adequate Causes of the most excru|ciating Distempers. 4. When to these, strong, fermented and spirituous Liquors are added as a Vehicle, or diluting Mixture, and join to the Salts and Sulphurs of animal Substances, not only their inflammable Spirits and tartar|ous Salts, but their condensing and hardening Quality on the Food in the Stomach, the Di|gestion is by that means hindered and stopped, and the Food not being sufficiently divided and comminuted, but broken only into gross Par|ticles, does more quickly and obstinately thick|en the Juices, and obstruct the Glands and Capillaries, than vegetable Substances. 5. Animal Juices and Substances, before they were turned into Flesh, must have been strain'd through infinitely smaller and more numerous Tubes, such as the last and extreme Capillaries are (some of which are not bigger than the six hundredth part of an Hair); by which Means their Particles must be render'd extremely smaller and finer, and consequently have a much greater Degree of Attraction, than those of Vegetables, which pass through fewer Strainers, and have no other motive Powers but the Heat of the Sun; whereas those of animal Substances have, besides the Sun, the Force of muscular Digestion, and of the Moti|on of the Heart; the Flesh of Animals, I say, must, upon this Account, necessarily consist of smaller Page 59 Particles, and so be united with a greater Force, and endow'd with a greater Degree of Attrac|tion, and consequently must, with far greater Difficulty, be digested and separated, than ve|getable Substances possibly can. And hence it is that carnivorous Animals are much more deleterious Food, being endow'd with much finer and more pungent Salts and Sulphurs, than those Animals that live on Vegetables only, as both the higher Savour and delete|rious Effects of the first abundantly shew. From all which it is plain to a Demonstration, that animal Substances must naturally and ne|cessarily incrassate the Juices, and produce Obstructions in the Glands and Capillaries, and consequently create Pains and Diseases, much more readily than vegetable Substances. 6. It is plain by Weight, that the Substance of most animal Food is specifically heavier than that of most Vegetables commonly used for Food, sometimes in the Proportion of three to two. The Fibres and Juices of animal Bo|dies are not only more compact and closely united, and have fewer Vacuities than those of Vegetables, whereby the digestive Powers have less Difficulty in concocting and grinding equal Quantities of Vegetable than animal Food; but by the less Flavour and Savour of vegetable than animal Food, the Appetite is sooner satisfied, and is under less Temptation to Excess in the first than in the latter; and it Page 60 is consequently better and sooner digested, cir|culated and secreted, especially by tender and delicate digestive Powers, and so cannot so readily cause Viscidities and Obstructions. Lastly, Infinite Experiment, and the best na|tural Philosophy, confirm to a Demonstra|tion, that those Substances, which have least of Salt and Sulphur, of Spirit, Oil, and hard pungent Particles, and most of soft Earth, Wa|ter and Air, are the fittest to circulate, and be secreted through animal Tubes, create least Resistance to the motive Powers, tear, rend, and wear out the Tubes themselves least, and form less obstinate and powerful Obstructions, in the smaller Vessels; and consequently, that vegetable Substances, which consist of a less Proportion of Salts and Sulphurs, i. e. of pun|gent and fiery Particles, and of a greater Pro|portion of Earth, Water and Air, i. e. of less active and cooler Particles, will be less ready to create Diseases, and shorten Life, than an equal Quantity of animal Substances, which have all these in an inverted Proportion. In a Word, vegetable Substances are more rare, less compact, less coherent, more easily dissol|vable and digestible, turn into a lighter Chyle, have less Salt, Oil, and Spirit, and consequent|ly are less heating and inflaming, than animal Substances, and so obstruct and tear animal Tubes less.
§. 3. IF this Account be just and philoso|phical, and if it be lawful at all to enquire in|to final Causes, (which, if the first Being be rational and intelligent, and acts with Design, and for some End, is not only lawful, but laudable, when done with Modesty and Hu|mility) then certainly one Part of his Design in permitting animal Food, must of Necessity have been to shorten the Duration of human Life, to create, or at least to permit us by it, to multiply and enrage Diseases, Misery and Sufferings; since it is evident to a Demonstra|tion, that it must always produce this Effect, and will always have it preferable to vegetable Food; and whatever is, naturally and neces|sarily is, and is permitted by the first Being, we may with the utmost Certainty conclude, was at least one Part of his Design; and if Suf|fering, Pain and Misery here be necessary for our Purification and Recovery out of this degenerate State, then very probably that might be his Design in this Permission. This Phae|nomenon in Providence, (the Permission and Use of animal Food) and Fact in Revelation, is not accountable any otherwise, than that Pain, Suffering and Diseases, being a natural and necessary Mean of Expiation and Purifi|cation, in the Oeconomy of Restoration, In|finite Wisdom permitted it, tho' unwillingly, as his strange Work, against the Grain, as it were, for that End solely; as a kind FatherPage 62 suffers his unnatural and perverse Son to be carried to Gaol, to suffer Hunger, Cold, Pain and Confinement there, as the only Mean to make him sober, considerate, wiser and better. For that animal Food and fermented Liquors will more readily, certainly, and cruelly, create and exasperate Diseases, Pains, and Sufferings, and sooner cut off Life than vegetable Food will, there can be no more Doubt than in any Proposition of Euclid, if Reason, Philo|sophy, the Natures of Things, or Experience, have Evidence, or Force in them; and it is very observable, that this Indulgence for ani|mal Food was not granted, till the Aera of Longaevity was expir'd, or at least they took place together; and not till the spiritual Corruptions of Pride, Tyranny, Malice, Revenge, Murder, and brutal Commerce, so universally raged, that infinite Wisdom, to begin a new World, was forced to destroy, by a Deluge, the whole Race of Mankind, except a few of the most innocent and least deprav'd Individuals, such as they were, far from perfect, but the least bad of the Race: this seems so, if any Credit be given to the Jewish History of Nature.
§. 4. IT will be no Difficulty to one ac|quainted with Revelation, to find the like Permissions in the divine Oeconomy: Nothing is more plain and demonstrable from Nature, and its eternal Laws, and from Justice and Equity, than that in the original Intention, Page 63 one Woman was design'd for one Man, and no more; for there being no Difference between the Sexes but in their outward Frame, and the Configuration of the Shell or Tabernacle; (their essential Nature and spiritual permanent Form being of the same Degree, constant and invariable; different Culture and Form make|ing all the real Difference); infinite Wisdom might then, with the same Wisdom and Pro|priety, have given the Male, more Eyes, Sto|machs or Heads, as more Wives; and yet, for the Hardness of their Hearts, God per|mitted Plurality of Women to the Jews. This same People, tho' they had not only God's general and imperceptible Providence, as we now have, for their Government and Direc|tion, but his miraculous, sensible and visible Presence, to instruct and guide them, yet they wanted a King, as the other Nations had, and he gave them one in his Wrath. Infinite Goodness, intending always, by the whole Power of his Omnipotence and Omniscience, to restore his lapsed and rebellious Creatures, consistent with their Liberty, and the natural Powers he had given them, and the Har|mony of his own Attributes, descends below his first Intention, and drops the primary and original Perfection of his Commands to them, for a Time, to condescend to their Weakness and Infirmity, in order afterwards to bring them up to it again. As a kind Father, who to wean his rash and giddy Child from the Page 64 Fire, holds his Finger near a Candle, till he begets a sensible Fear and Dread in him of be|ing too familiar with that dangerous Ele|ment.
§. 5. UPON the Foot of natural Religion only, and from the strict Rules of natural Justice and Equity, how any one can justify the taking away the Life of a Fellow-Crea|ture, out of Wantonness, Luxury and Riot, and not from Necessity and Self-defence, so long as there may be found sufficient Store of vegetable Food to carry on the Expences of Living, and the more agreeable Performance of the animal Functions; to give a living Creature the greatest Pain it can possibly re|ceive, and take from it the only Happiness it is capable of, viz. its Life, (which none can restore or recompense) merely to scratch cal|lous Organs more sensibly; how, I say, to account for this barbarous and savage Wanton|ness on the foot of mere natural Religion and natural Equity only, without Revelation, I can by no means conceive. That the infi|nitely wise Author and Lawgiver of Nature, who sees through the whole System of Intel|ligences at once, and perfectly knows for what Ends and Purposes he has made them, and sent them here, and is the sole Proprie|tor of Life and Happiness, may dispose of them how he pleases, knows when they have finish'd their probatory and expiatory Course, and is Page 65 able to recompense the Loss of a lower Life, by the Gift of a higher; for it is not impossible, the Animals may have been a lower Order of rational Intelligences, who, lapsing less, are sooner, and with less Suffering, recover'd; and since they suffer with us, they may be restor'd with us; the Apostle says, the whole Creation travelleth together; that is, probably, the whole System of Saturn, the Goal of God's Creation: For Him, I say, to give up the Lives of a lower Rank of Beings, for the Expiation, Instruction, or Admonition, or other Benefit of a higher, may be an Act of great Justice, Wisdom and Goodness. And, if it might be allow'd us to conjec|ture, one wise End and Purpose in this Per|mission of animal Food, might be to punish, admonish and correct us, by bodily Distem|pers, so as to bring us to reflect, repent and amend; or even, to shorten the Time of our Sufferings here, and by the Violence of our Diseases, and a nearer Prospect of Death, and a future Reckoning, to reclaim us sooner and more effectually; and at the same Time to ad|vance these Victims to a higher State of Being and Happiness. Probably for these menti|on'd (but to be sure for wise and good) Ends and Purposes, has God by Revelation given us a Permission, or Patent, for the Use of animal Food: But for fermented Liquors, He has given us none, that I know of; neither are they na|tural, or proper; nor were they ever approv'd Page 66 or recommended for common Use, or as pro|per and ordinary Drink; but only as Physick, or a Cordial, on Festivals, or at Sacrifices, on Sickness, or in Extremities. In the early and innocent Ages of golden Simplicity, no Hint supposes them commonly known or tried. And if fermented and spirituous Liquors were used only as bitter Draughts, Cordials and chalybeat Medicines, to brace and wind up the Stomach, and alimentary Tubes and Solids transiently, for a short Time; on Sickness, Lowness, Fainting, Fatigue, and inclement Sea|sons, as they seem to be intended by the Author of Nature; they might be Blessings, and great temporary and transient Reliefs; but as they are now used constantly at Meals, as common Beverage to dilute solid Food, and to make Persons easy under a Load of high rich ani|mal Food, they become the efficient Causes of most Diseases; and upon the most seri|ous Enquiry, I could never find an adequate natural Cause, for the Frequency of nervous and atrocious chronical Distempers now, from what they were formerly, nor of the Stuntedness, Punyness and Feebleness, so conspicuous among the better Sort, from what they were before the Conquest, and in our Gallic Wars; but the free and frequent Use of strong and spirituous Liquors, and rich and high Foods, with foreign Cookery, at that Time introduced first; and living in great Towns, and using only Coaches and Chairs, Page 67 and sedentary Employments and Diversions. And drinking Water only, and living low, is the only adequate Antidote and Remedy for these Distempers thus produced; for no Axiom is so certain in Physick, as that Diseases must be cured by their Contraries.
§. 6. THE Hurt and Damage all fermented Liquors do an animal Body, is evident from many Considerations; as, 1. That it hardens, constricts and binds up the Fibres, and strongly unites the Particles of animal Substances, so that they are with much greater Difficulty separated and divided, i. e. digested. A Piece of Meat will continue sweet and sound, for many Years in Wine or strong Beer, or in any strong fermented Liquor; the Liquor cementing and pinning to|gether the Parts of the Meat; and the same hap|pens when they are mixed in the Stomach; by which the Digestibility and easy Dissolution of it, is obstructed; so that in such a Mixture Mutton is turned into Beef, and Beef into Shoe-Leather. 2. There is in strong Liquors a crisping, corrugating, or caustic Quality workt on the Fibres, which burns and dries them up, and destroys their elastic and ductile Virtue, and consequently renders them unfit to be broken and divided in the Stomach. This is evident from the Use commonly made of strong Beer, as the best Plaister for Sprains, Relaxations and Strains; and that Brandy will really stop Hae|morrhages and Ruptures in the Blood-Vessels, Page 68 by burning and wrinkling the tender Fibres and Capillaries, and so by this crisping Quality must keep Food from being readily and per|fectly digested. 3. The Fire and Heat in strong Liquors, by stimulating and twitching the Fibres and Coats of the Blood-Vessels and Nerves, and consequently bringing them in|to quick and frequent Vibrations, and elastic Efforts, will break and tear the Fibres of the alimentary Tubes, and separate their Uni|on and Continuity, so as at last to wear out these Organs, at least, much sooner, and with greater Pain and Suffering, than Water or aqueous Liquors possibly can. Lastly, It is a common and well-known Experiment, that to stunt the Growth of young Animals, as Dogs and Cats, they need only be frequently rubbed over with Brandy, Rum, or any Spirit. This stops the Ductility and Extension of the young animal Fibres, that they cannot be dilated and develop'd by the Force of the Circulation, and so stunts their Growth. From all which it is plain, that strong, but especially spirituous Li|quors, are really Poison to an animal Consti|tution; and their ill Effects, not only in short|ening the Lives, but in stunting the Growth and Stature of the lower Rank of People, from the late frequent Use of Gin, Punch, and other spirituous Liquors, have become so fla|grant, as to call aloud for the just Indignation of the Legislature; and it is to be wished, that an effectual Remedy may be found out for so Page 69 destructive an Evil. And I am fully con|vinced, that the primary and original Design of the Author of Nature for the solid Food of Animals, was nothing but earthy Particles mixed with Water and Air, finely divided and cemented only, with the least Oil and Salt pos|sible, as they are found in Seeds, Fruits, young Vegetables, and farinaceous or pulpous Roots, with Water only for Drink; which alone would make the Animal last the longest, and with the fewest Pains and Diseases. But this Diet must be only tried and begun with the Young, while their Fibres are tender and sweet.
§. 7. THAT all sensitive, as well as intelli|gent Creatures, are in an expiatory, purifying and progressive State here, and going on to a greater Degree of Perfection, and a nobler State of Being in their several Orders, is de|monstrable from the utter Contradiction and Impossibility there must be, that an infinitely wise and good Being could create sentient and intelligent Beings to suffer, for no other Reason but for the sake of Suffering; or that he should make Creatures to suffer for any other End or Purpose, but for Expiation, Pu|rification and progressive Perfection of Being, and to establish and confirm them in their ac|quired State of Perfection: Neque enim, sub justo Deo, miser esse quisquam, nisi mereatur, possit, says St. Augustin most divinely. Most of Page 70 the Animals are Martyrs for the human Species in Food or Sacrifice: Some of them are Food for one another; all of them are subject to epide|mical Diseases and casual Misfortunes; a few of them pass their Time much more comfortably than others; all of them but unhappily at best, and go through Death at last. All this must be for some wise Purpose, and none can be nobler, than that of Expiation, Pu|rification and progressive Perfection of Be|ing; and silent Admonition, and teaching us, their superior Order of Beings. Conscious|ness of this End, either to them or us, might retard this Effect. Childhood, Idiotism, and many cephalic and nervous Distempers, can bring no Consciousness of the divine End and De|sign of this Oeconomy along with them, even to intelligent Beings; it is sufficient, that Consciousness come when the End is accom|plished, or the designed Perfection attained. At what Time animal Food came first in Use, is not certainly known. He was a bold Man who made the first Experiment; Illi robur et aes triplex circa pectus erat. To see the Convulsions, Agonies and Tortures of a poor Fellow-Creature, whom they cannot restore nor recompense, dying to gratify Lux|ury, and scratch callous and rank Organs, must require a rocky Heart, and a great De|gree of Cruelty and Ferocity. I cannot find any great Difference on the Foot of natural Reason and Equity only, between feeding on Page 71human Flesh, and feeding on brute animal Flesh, except Custom and Example. I believe some rational Creatures would suffer less in being fairly butcher'd, than a strong Ox, or red Deer; and in natural Morality and Justice, the Degrees of Pain here, make the essential Difference; for as to other Differences, they are relative only, and can be of no Weight with an infinitely perfect Being. Did not Use and Example weaken this Terror, and make the Difference, Reason alone could ne|ver do it. Perhaps it may be conjectur'd, that since Sacrifices were certainly an original, re|veal'd or traditional Institution, and that no Nation under the Sun, hitherto known, was without them, they being, it would seem, a chief Part in the grand Oeconomy of the Re|storation; Sacrifice, I say, might have been originally instituted, 1. To admonish and in|form the Sinner silently, and without com|mitting Violence on his Liberty, what he de|serves; and implicitly to tell him, that he de|serves the same Death he makes the poor Brute undergo. For the Liberty of Man|kind seems so precious, being the Root of Intel|ligence, that it is wonderful in how many Shapes infinite Wisdom and Goodness, has put Himself, in the Conduct of Providence and Nature, to preserve it inviolate; and at the same time to instruct and admonish his free lapsed Intelligences. I believe a good natural Philosopher might shew with great Page 72 Reason and Probability, that there is scarce Beast, Bird, Reptile nor Insect, that does not, in each particular Climat, instruct, and admo|nish Mankind of some necessary Truth, for their Happiness either in Body or Mind. And, 2. To continue the Expectation of all Ages, of some more noble and meritorious Sacrifice, some time or other to be celebrated. And it is not impossible, that the rude and un|taught Mob, who were employed in the lower servile Offices about Sacrifices, might have been the first who ventured on animal Food, (if it was not instituted afore as a Sa|crament with the same Intention as the Eu|charist was afterwards) their Station habituat|ing them to bear with less Pain, the Suffer|ings of their Fellow-Creatures while sacri|ficed; and they finding it palatable and lu|scious, might recommend the Use of it to Others. Perhaps, I say, this might have been the Original Institution of animal Food among all Nations. However, as this is only a remote Conjecture to account for the early Commencement of animal Food, so contrary to the original Nature of Man, and the Design of the Creator, and has no Regard to those concern'd in our unbloody Sacrifice; I pro|ceed now to observe how cautiously, and with what an evident Forbid, the Jewish Law di|rects this Permit of animal Food, viz. abso|lutely and positively not to eat the Blood of the Animal (in which not only its Life, but its Page 73 most delicious Savour and most deleterious Qualities chiefly consist, and because Blood Globules, by their Rotundity, Volubility, and Elasticity, resist Trituration, that is, Digestion). Now this in Reality, and by Insinuation and Moral, is to say, That since for the Hardness of your Hearts, and your present unconquerable Lustings, you cannot be brought to abstain al|together from animal Food; yet because in the Blood is the Life thereof, and all its dele|terious, morbific and noxious Qualities, you are to drain it as much as possible of all its Moisture and Juice, (for the Serum as well as the Grume, mostly consists of globular Particles), and eat it plain, roasted or boiled, to drain it still more: By this Method, animal Food will be much less pernicious, and will ap|proach very near to Vegetables. There is no understanding this Permission any other Way, nor is it otherwise to be reconciled to common Sense, or rational Conception, how|ever both Jews and Christians have at pre|sent dwindled and diluted its true Import, out of Luxury.
§. 8. THIS Doctrine is further confirm'd by this surprising Circumstance in the Permis|sion, that there is a very particular and other|wise unintelligible Distinction made between clean and unclean Beasts, either to be sacri|ficed, or eaten for Food; and a distinguishing Mark assign'd how to know the last. And Page 74 since it comes from the same Source with the Permission of animal Food, these two must have some material Difference in the Nature of Things; and that can be none other but that the Flesh of these last cannot be so readily digested and squeezed from their Blood, but that it will have sufficient remaining, of a more deleterious Nature, to inflame and mortify the Juices of those who use it freely, and to en|rage and madden their Passions; and he who is deeply acquainted with natural Philosophy, and the History of the unclean Animals, will be sensible of the Justness of this Prohibition and Observation. From whence it is natural to conclude, that tho' for the Hardness and Perverseness of Mens Hearts, animal Food was permitted and indulged, yet it was with such various Clogs and Exceptions, as might make it as little pernicious as possible. For the same Reason likewise was the Fat of the Sacrifice forbid to be eaten: And all this to shew that it was with great Reluctancy, and in mere Con|descension, and contrary to the original In|tention, it was thus permitted. And tho' un|der the new Dispensation, St. Peter was in|formed by a miraculous Vision, that nothing was now common or unclean, yet it was not till Self|denial, Poverty of Spirit and Mortification, or abstaining from the Lusts of the Flesh, were established as the fundamental Doctrines of this new System; which when sincerely be|lieved and strictly followed, would leave no Page 75 room for Difference of Food, or ceremonial Distinctions, which served only as a School|master, to bring them to these purer and more universal Doctrines of Christ. It is certain, at the Creation there could be no such Thing as an Indulgence for animal Food, if only Pairs of each Animal were created at first.
§. 9. I MUST however own, that I think some vegetable Food, of much Salt, Oil, or luscious Juice and Poignancy, as much or more deleterious, inflaming, and incrassating, than some mild animal Substances: For Exam|ple, Onions, Shallot, Mustard, Horse-radish, all the Nut-kinds, Eastern Gums, Balsams, Raisins, Pickles, Spices, Aromatics, strong fermented Sours, rich and fat late Fruits, as dry yet plump Grapes, much Sugar, and the like; these are in some delicate Constitutions more poisonous and hurtful to an human Body, than a Bit of the muscular and lean Flesh of Chicken, Veal, Lamb, Rabbit, Partridge, Turkey, and the like white and young animal Foods; whose Whiteness and Tenderness shews there is little or no red Blood Globules in them, and are conse|quently more easily digestible, and less delete|rious. These Vegetables may be allowed in small Quantities, as a Sauce or Relish to other|wise insipid and unpalatable vegetable Food, to sickly Appetites; but in great Quantities, and without Caution, they will hurt, heat and thicken the Blood and Juices of tender Con|stitutions; Page 76 which is the sole Cause of the acute Distempers of all the Eastern and Southern Nations, who do not deal, or but very sparingly, in strong fermented Liquors. Without doubt, plain Milk (the genuine Soup prepar'd by the Author of Nature, and of a middle Na|ture between animal and vegetable Sub|stances) boiled or raw, or prepared with Seeds, as Rice, Sago, Barley, Wheat, Mil|let, and the like, is the best and safest of all Foods for such tender Constitutions, as being in itself Blood, that has not as yet often passed through the Lungs, to give it its scarlet Colour, and deleterious Qualities, but is drawn almost directly from the Stomach and Lacteals, from an Emulsion made there, and Cookery of Nature, of Grass and Vegetables with pure Water, and designed by the Author of Nature, for the Cure and Nourishment of the Young, Tender and Delicate: And I can see no Difference be|tween a young or tender and delicate Animal by Nature, and one made so by a Disease; but that such a Diet is still more necessary for the last than for the first. The mealy Roots and early Fruits are next to these; such as Potatoes, Turnips, Carrots, Skirrets, and the like, Strawberries, Cherries, Currants, &c. and only in the last Place and Degree is the Sa|ladin, Colworts, and latter and richer Fruit|kinds, and Winter Vegetables, as containing too much Air or Wind. And the Author of Nature has with such a Profusion of Kind|ness Page 77 secured against Want or Famine, that in inclement Seasons, and bad Years, if the Earth cannot produce Plenty above Ground, it se|cures it under Ground in bulbous, knotted, or mealy Roots, even in Snow or Frost.
§. 10. AGAINST this Doctrine, that ani|mal Food was permitted for a Punishment, and that fermented Liquors are not an Institution of Nature and its Author; those who have Re|gard for Revelation, whence the Patent for animal Food is drawn, may object, that our blessed Saviour, who was without Sin, eat and drank of what was set before him; that his first Miracle was supernaturally producing Wine, to celebrate the Marriage of Cana in Galilee; that he was accounted a Wine-biber; that he eat and drank with Publicans and Sin|ners; that he wrought other Miracles to pro|duce animal Food to a Multitude; that St. Peter had a miraculous Vision to instruct him, that no sort of Food was unclean; that the Eucharist is celebrated in Wine; and that St. Paul advises Timothy to drink Wine for his Infirmities. To all which I answer, 1. That the Question is not what is, now, best and fittest in the present Ends of Providence, in order to restore and recover Man from his lapsed and fallen State; but what was probably the first Design of our Creator, in our primitive un|lapsed State, before we and our Habitation (the Earth with its Atmosphere and Appen|dages) Page 78 were thus spoilt and disordered. 2. One sort of Repair, Props, or Support, may be proper or necessary for a Habitation in one Degree of Ruin and Decay, that would by no Means be necessary or proper in another or lower Degree. 3. There is neither Virtue nor Vice in abstaining from one sort of Food more than another, but as it is commanded by law|ful Superiors; all that is here considered, is, which of the two, vegetable or animal Food, in the Nature of Things, by the animal Oeco|nomy, and as human Creatures and their Food are now constituted, is physically and experi|mentally fittest to carry on and prolong Life, with the least Pain, fewest Diseases, and for the longest Time. Virtue and Vice are of quite another Consideration, and depend on the internal Principle and Disposition; the Quantity, Manner and Order in which these necessary Supports are taken, not on the Things themselves. But if it be asked, Which of the two Diets is most conducive to Virtue or Vice? Which of the two is most likely to faci|litate the Acquisition of Virtue? What is above|said, plainly determines it in Favour of a low Diet; for by it the bodily Passions being made cooler and weaker, the Blood and Juices be|ing sweetened, the intellectual Organs thereby render'd cleaner, more agile and penetrating, Reason and the spiritual Nature of Man has more Liberty to act, and meets with less Dif|ficulty and Resistance in its Operations. 4. Page 79 As to our blessed Saviour, he having come to seek and to save what was lost, was obliged to take the World as he found it, in order to raise it from that Degree of Perdition in which it was then plunged. He took upon him the Form of a Servant; he took not the Nature of Angels, but the Nature of the Seed of Abraham; he was in all things like unto us, Sin only excepted. Those to whom he came, and among whom he dwelt and convers'd, could at first neither receive nor understand his sublime Doctrines; he had many Things to say even to his Disciples, which they could not then bear; and yet this Doctrine of the Prefe|rence and greater Advantages of vegetable than of animal Food, is virtually and implicitly con|tain'd in the general Doctrine of Self-denial and Poverty of Spirit, (in the Sense of the Evan|gelic Counsels, that carry quickest into Perfec|tion, where Celibacy is preferr'd to Marriage; for in the Kingdom of Glory, they are neither married nor given in Marriage, but are as the An|gels of God) so strongly and pre-eminently incul|cated in the Gospel, as any who reads and con|siders it, must plainly see. 5. I readily grant, and have given the Reasons and Philosophy of these Things, that in our present lapsed State, in the present Infertility, and insufficiently nutri|tive Qualities of the Vegetables, in the present Curse on the Earth, and the Necessity of La|bour, Handicrafts, mechanical Force, and mar|tial Prowess, while Wickedness is so power|ful, Page 80 and the Wicked so numerous, there is a Necessity for high animal Food, and fer|mented Liquors, in some Cases, and to some Persons, to secure against and remedy these Evils. But the sole Question here is, Whe|ther this Diet will prevent Diseases, or lengthen Life so effectually as the other? Or whether Providence has not designed and appointed ve|getable Food for the Cure and Antidote of the Pains and Diseases naturally and necessarily arising from animal Food, and fermented Li|quors? Perhaps God, in his moral Govern|ment of the World, has design'd animal Food, more readily to punish those who will not be drawn by Love and Beauty; i.e. to purify some sorts of Men by Pains and Sufferings. 6. I willingly allow, that fermented and sometimes spirituous Liquors, are excellent Remedies, temporary Filips, Whips or Spurs, in Faintness, Sickness, Labour, or festival Occasions for Joy, and promoting of Friendship, and on Necessities and in Extremities: But I contend, then, and then only, they ought to be used; and that there is neither Precept, Example, nor En|couragement from Reason, Experience, or Re|velation, to use them otherwise, or as they are now used for common Food, and daily Be|verage; whence they become one Cause of all the great Diseases of the present Age. From these general Considerations, all the mention'd Difficulties have an easy Solution to the Candid and Ingenuous: I am not fight|ing Page 81Prizes, nor making Articles of a Creed. That infinite Wisdom foresaw, and laid in Provision and the necessary Precaution and An|tidote, for the most deleterious Effects of animal Food and fermented Liquors, for a short time, seems to me evident for these Reasons, 1. In that He provided the Liver, (the Pancreas, and other internal Glands) in Animals, these vast|ly strong, complicated and elabour'd Organs, to draw out the most poisonous Parts of strong Meats and Drinks: the stronger the Liver, and the larger that Organ grows, the more Bile it throws out on the Common-shoar, the Intestines, to deprive the Chyle of its churlish Salts, and acrid Sulphurs, and thus makes the Liver an useful Medicine to promote the animal Functions, Digestion, Chylification, and the peristaltic Motion, and then throw its useless Parts out of the Habit. 2. By the create|ing mineral and ponderous Medicines, (Mer|cury chiefly) to open Obstructions, break sa|line Concretions, and dissolve the Tenacity of the Globules and Serum. And, 3. In providing mineral Waters of so various and complicated Natures, for the same Ends and Purposes, which they will, well-chosen, effect at last, as certainly as those formerly mentioned. Now it is plain to a Demonstration, that under a ve|getable Diet, all those have little or no Use in Medicine; nay, any one who is acquainted with the Delicacy, Tenderness and Sensibility of the internal and infinitely minute Parts of Page 82 an animal Machine, must know that they are not only in a great Degree useless, but hurt|ful, and tend to tear, dissolve and destroy the infinitely minute Fibrils, of which the Solids of an animal Machin are formed: So that their final End and Design in Providence must have been to antidote the ill Effects of animal Food and strong fermented Liquors, to a certain Degree, and for a certain Time, probably till some time after the Meridian of Life, while the Organs had attained their ut|most Extension and Firmness; for it is not im|probable, that none of the Mineral Waters existed under the Form and in the Manner they now appear, till after the Deluge, the Aera of animal Food, fermented Liquors, and the shortness of Life.
§. 11. To the Appearance of the present State of Nature, that seems to clash with this Doctrine, viz. the vast, nay infinite Mass of Life, or living Creatures, generated by Heat and Moisture, the many Millions of organiz'd Seeds of Plants and Animals destroyed every Season, the Impossibility of having any Sort of Food, or even pure Water, without destroy|ing and devouring Millions of Animaculs; that here almost each Animal devours and lives upon another; and that both in the sentient and intelligent Creation, there seems to be a natural and unconquerable Appetite and crave|ing Desire of animal Food, and an insatiable Page 83 Thirst of Blood: To these and such-like Pre|judices, (I cannot call them Objections) it may be answer'd, I. First, That these Facts are not denied, but are of no Weight against the Propositions here chiefly asserted, viz. 1. That it is Phi|losophically certain, that animal Food is in its own Nature more ready to produce Distempers than vegetable Food. 2. That it is therefore highly probable, that an infinitely good and wise Being would not appoint in his first Intention, animal but vegetable Food, at least to his in|telligent and rational Creation, and which ac|cordingly is confirm'd from Revelation: And, 3. The chief Assertion here made, is, That in Consequence of these two Propositions it fol|lows, that vegetable Food, Seeds especially, must be the proper Antidote, and Cure of the Diseases brought on by animal Food. But, II. It may be consider'd, as St. Paul asserts, that this whole Creation, the whole System, but chiefly this our Globe, with all its Inhabitants, labours, and is under a mortal Distemper, and in Tra|vail, like a parturient Woman, to throw off this present Load of Corruption, Deteriority, and Lapse, that it may regain its ori|ginal Spirituality, Purity, and Liberty; it is at present in a State of Expiation, Purifica|tion, and progressive Perfection; every Thing is out of its natural Order, the System is, as it were, in a Fever, and every Part and Particle is in Action, (like the Body of a Man in a febrile Fermentation), to throw off its peccant Hu|mours, Page 84 and to bring the whole Compound into Order, Regularity, and perfect Health. But, III. These very Appearances on which the Objection is founded, confirm to a Demonstra|tion, what I assert, viz. That all animal Life here is in an expiatory, purifying, and pro|gressive State, towards its original Perfection; for it would be the grossest Contradiction, to suppose that an infinitely good and wise Being, should give Pain to any of his Creatures, for any other End, but to reclaim and perfect them; that He alone knows when his Justice, Purity, and the Amende Honorable, and the Infection of Impurity, are perfectly answer'd and cancelled, in their present State of Melio|ration, and so knows when and how it is fittest to put an End to it by Death, that is, by the Rupture and Dissolution of their gross and earthy Prison, form'd out of this our ruinous planetary System, now spoil'd and defac'd; to set the indwelling spiritual Inhabitant free into some more pure and refin'd System; and that animal Life of all Kinds and Degrees, does and must necessarily suffer here, by bodily Wants and Infirmities, by the Injuries and Inclemen|cies of Seasons, by the Rapacity and Ferocity of their Fellow-Creatures, besides a thousand other Accidents, and at last most intensely by their Death, and the Rupture of their outward Shell or Tabernacle; From all this is a plain De|monstration, that they are in a State of Suffer|ing, Expiation, and progressive Purification, and Page 85 that at last they will all be set at Liberty, and become the Sons and Children of God in some Degree or Order or other, according to his original Intention, and the Plan of this his universal Monarchy and Kingdom, laid before the Foundation of the World; and all this Darkness, Sufferings, and unintelligible Play, is only to save human Liberty, and produce at last pure Love and naked Faith. IV. No body ever denied, that Animals of all Kinds might be destroyed, even intelligent as well as sen|tient, when it is done for some wise or use|ful Purpose, as in Self-defence, or even for moral Purposes, implicitly to admonish and teach others their Duty, what they deserve, or what they are to believe and hope; these Pur|poses, with all their particular Circumstances, are under the moral Government of an infi|nitely wise Being. The only Question here is, Whether they may reasonably and justly be put to Pain unnecessarily and wantonly, or for no wise End or Purpose, but only to scratch callous Pallates, when other Means of Health may be had more effectual, and no less plea|sant. V. It is not altogether Fact, that Ani|mals devour one another from any other Rea|son, but for Want of sufficient Plenty of pro|per vegetable Food, as Seeds, tender Plants, mealy Roots, and the like, which even the most carnivorous Animals will brouze on, when they can meet with it in Plenty, as is well known in natural History; and even the Page 86 Fish, which of all Animals are the most vora|cious, will readily feed on Balls of Meal and Milk, without offering to devour one another; as the ingenious Mr. Andrews of Norfolk has found by Experiment; for having put several Sorts of small and great Fishes together into a large whiten'd Pond of clear Water, where they might all be easily seen and number'd, and feed|ing them with Balls made of Milk and Flower, (which were put into pervious Troughs) he found, at least thought, that they did not offer the least Violence to one another. VI. Allowing Ani|mals to be actuated by a spiritual or immaterial Principle, of the same Nature with intelligent Creatures, yet they are not of the same De|gree and Order with them; they may be intel|ligent Creatures of an inferior Order, begin|ning lower, and verging more slowly towards their intended Perfection; they may be under different Conditions of Purification, and may pass the whole of their Duration here, in the State of Infants, who dye before they are born, or before they arrive at the Use of Rea|son, and yet in other States of Being may grow and advance to a much higher Perfection of Sensation and Intelligence than we can readily imagine. For to me it seems utterly incredible, that any Creature, whether sen|tient or intelligent, should come into this State of Being and Suffering, for no other Pur|pose than we see them attain here; and it is equally incredible, that any Creature should Page 87 spontaneously exert animal and muscular Func|tion, i.e. should live and feel, without some Degree of an immaterial, immortal, and self|active Spirit. Matter and its Laws, can never account for such Appearances. There must be some infinitely beautiful, wise and good Scene remaining for all sentient and intelligent Be|ings, the Discovery of which will ravish and astonish us one Day. Moderately wise Ends, Purposes, and Means, are unworthy of infinite Perfection; whatever God does must be every way worthy of Himself: His Working may serve many wise and good Ends and Purposes here, but the last and great End of all must be of Dignity and Majesty worthy of Him, tho' we cannot yet a great while comprehend it.
§. 12. To conclude: 1. It is plain from Re|velation, that animal Food was permitted, and fermented Liquors not forbidden; and conse|quently, that there is neither Virtue nor Vice in the Use of them absolutely, but in the Or|der, Time, Quantity, and other Circumstances of their Usage. 2. That in our present Situ|ation, and under our present Circumstances, for some Persons, and in Order for some Pur|poses, a reasonable Quantity of animal Food, and fermented Liquors, may be absolutely ne|cessary. 3. It is plain from Reason, Philo|sophy, and Experience, that Excesses in high animal Food, and strong fermented Liquors, Page 88 are the true efficient and most general Cause of most atrocious and dangerous Distempers; and consequently, that vegetable Food, and unfer|mented Liquors, are the true and natural An|tidote of such Distempers. 4. That animal Food, and fermented Liquors, will more pro|bably, and more naturally cause Distempers, and shorten Life, than vegetable Food, and un|fermented Liquors. 5. That a moderate and small Quantity of animal Food, and generous fermented Liquors, will naturally tighten, harden, and strengthen, give Firmness and Force to animal Solids and Fibres, and enrich, warm, and invigorate the Blood and Juices; and consequently, is safest to all subject to eruptive Distempers, as Gout, Erisipelas, &c. in the Fits. But at the same time that it hardens and tightens the Solids, it condenses and thickens the Juices, and renders the Animal of a shorter Duration of Life, and more subject to Dis|eases. 6. Lastly, That for bodily Strength, animal Food, and fermented Liquors, seem fittest; but for intellectual Exercises, vegetable Food, and unfermented Liquors, seem appro|priated; and that consequently, the best Way to secure the golden Mediocrity, between bo|dily Strength and spiritual Force, (the State fittest for the Generality of Mankind) is for the healthy to confine themselves to about a Pound, at least half a Pound, of animal Food, and a Pint, at least half a Pint of fermented Liquors, Page 89 daily: But for the unhealthy, valetudinary, and studious, to sink below this Medium in both these, till, by Experience and Observa|tion, they find that Quantity of either, they are easiest under, and to stick to that, should it even be to descend totally into Vegetables, Milk and Seeds, with unfermented Liquors.
DISCOURSE III. A Philosophical THEORY FOUNDED ON EXPERIMENTS OF THE NATURE and LAWS OF Minute Inanimat Bodies, AND THEIR SYSTEMS, in general.
Rom. viii. 22.
Page 91DISCOURSE III.
A Philosophical THEORY Founded on EXPERIMENTS, OF THE NATURE and LAWS of Minute INANIMAT BODIES, and their Systems, in general.
THAT the Curious and Philosophi|cal Reader (who possibly may be en|tertain'd with such Speculations) may have in one general View, what has been or will be incidentally hinted in my preceding and succeeding Works, concerning the Na|ture of Minute Bodies, their Systems and Laws, I have collected into a few Proposi|tions, what I have found scatter'd in the Page 92 Works of Philosophers and Mathematicians of most Note, on that Subject; particularly those of Sir Isaac Newton. These I have connected the best I could, and in some Par|ticulars have adventur'd to supply with Con|jectures by Analogy, from their general Na|ture; leaving every one to judge for himself, according to his Taste and Liking, there be|ing nothing of what is here laid down very material to the practical Part of these Discourses.
THE Elements, or least and last Particles of Matter, are of various Sizes, Den|sities and Figures. Those of the first Order, or the very least, are almost infinitely small, hard and elastic, pervading all Bodies but per|vious to none; such as are probably the Par|ticles of the Etherial or Newtonian Fluid. The Particles of the second Order are com|pos'd of these, and consequently are of a greater Size, but less dense and elastic, being pervious to the Particles of the first Order, and themselves pervading all others: Of this kind are probably the Particles of Light. The Par|ticles of the third and last Order, are com|pos'd of those of the second Order, bearing such Proportion to them in Size, Density and Page 93Elasticity, as they do to those of the first Order.
IT is beyond all Doubt, that the Quantity of solid Matter in this material System is very small, in respect of the interspers'd Vacuities. It is demonstrably certain, that a solid Cube or Sphere of a Mile or Furlong, or even a Yard in Diameter, being divided sufficiently small, and its Parts ranged in a proper Order, would furnish Solidity enough to answer all Appear|ances. Suppose the Particles all Cubes, and to be so united by the Contact of their Angles as to make cubical Interstices, then the Va|cuity would be equal to the Solidity; and since Matter is divisible in infinitum, this Va|cuity may be encreas'd to any Proportion of Majority. We actually find that Water and Mercury will pass through the Pores of Gold; and Sir Isaac Newton has demonstrated, that Gold must have many times more Pores than solid Parts, and yet it is the heaviest of all Bodies. Light passes through the most opake Bodies, when shreded sufficiently thin, it scarce meets with any Resistance in its Passage through clear Glass; and Aether pervades all Bodies with very little or no Resistance: From all which it manifestly appears, how small a Pro|portion there is between the Solidity and Va|cuities in our System.
THE Elements of Bodies, or the least and last Particles of whatever Order, are solid, hard and indivisible, at least by natural and created Powers, else it would be in the Power of Natural Means and created Agents to alter the present Constitution and Nature of Things: For a World made up of Particles broken and worn out, would be quite different from what it now is, and altogether insufficient to answer the Ends and Purposes of Nature.
Analogous to, of the same Nature, and probably from the same Cause, with Gra|vity in the great Bodies of Universe, (the Sun, Planets and Fixt Stars) which acts as the Squares of the Distance reciprocally, there is in the least and elementary Particles of Mat|ter, a Principle of Attraction and Repulsion, whereby they attract and repell one another, according to some constant and invariable Law, whatever that may be.
WHAT this Law is, by which the Par|ticles of Matter attract and repel each other, no Observations or Experiments hitherto made have been sufficient to determine; only thus much is certain, that in receding from the Point of Contact, it decreases in a greater Pro|portion Page 95 than that of the duplicate Ratio of the Distance reciprocally; for by that Law, the Force of Attraction at any small assignable Distance, would be nearly the same; whereas it is manifest from Observation and Experi|ence, that it is exerted only at or near the Point of Contact. Sir Isaac Newton has cal|culated from the Inflection of the Rays of Light, that the attracting Force in the Point of Contact is 10000,0000,0000,0000 times greater than the Force of Gravity; and the ingenious Mr. Hales has shewn by a great Va|riety of Experiments, that the repulsive, or elastic Force, (which probably arise from one and the same Cause) in some sorts of Par|ticles, are likewise immensly great.
IF Particles mutually attract each other as the Cubes of their Distances reciprocally, the Force of Attraction in the Point of Con|tact will be infinitely greater than at any as|signable Distance. According to this Law, (which seems to obtain, at least very nearly in the smallest Particles of Matter) if the Force of Attraction in the Point of Contact, be not infinitely greater than the Force of Gravity, it will be infinitely less than that Force of Gravity at any assignable Distance. But tho' the Force of Attraction in the Point of Con|tact is very great, yet it is not infinitely greater than the Force of Gravity, seeing the Parts of Page 96 any Body may be separated by a finite assign|able Force, and therefore at a given Distance it must vanish, or become infinitely small.
REPULSION begins, and goes on, where Attraction ends, and o constitutes the middle Point in the Progression between them, or o, i. e. infinitely small of the same Order, is the last Term and Limit of At|traction, and the first of Repulsion; and they probably go on according to the same Law and Progression, tho' with contrary Directions: For, as Sir Isaac Newton observes, those Par|ticles which recede from one another with the greatest repulsive Force, and are with the greatest Difficulty brought together, cohere most strongly when brought into Contact.
THE Cohesion of the small Particles of Mat|ter, is in the compound Proportion of the Quantity of their cohering Surfaces, and the Quantity of their attractive Powers; and their attractive Powers are, caeteris paribus, as their Densities, or the Quantities of Matter they contain.
HENCE it follows, that the less the co|hering Surfaces are, caeteris paribus, the less will be the Degree of Cohesion, and that the Page 97 least Degree of Cohesion, is when the Surfaces touch in a Point only, or are Spheres or Sphe|roides.
THE Power or Force of Attraction, in small Particles of Matter, increases as the Size of the Particles is diminish'd. For, as this Force acts only in or near the Point of Contact, it will be proportional to that Contact, or in the compound Ratio of the Density of the Par|ticles and the Largeness of their Surfaces; but the Surfaces decrease as the Squares of the Diameters, while the Solidities decrease as their Cubes; and therefore, the smallest Par|ticles of Matter, having the largest Surfaces in Proportion to their Solidities, and more of their Points coming into Contact, will have the greatest attractive Force in Proportion to their Bulk.
THE Gravities of Particles decrease as the Cubes of their Diameters; for their Gra|vities are as their Quantities of Matter, which, in homogeneous Bodies, are as the Cubes of the Diameters.
HENCE it is, that Mercury, from the Small|ness and Divisibility of its Parts is so easily raised; and that Bodies may be suspended in Fluids specifically lighter than themselves.
IF the Parts of a Body, immers'd in a Fluid, are more strongly attracted by the Fluid, than they are by one another, they will mutually recede from each other, with a Force equal to the Excess of the one Attraction above the other, and will be equally diffus'd through the Fluid: And hence the Nature of Solution, Se|paration and Diffusion.
IF Particles, suspended in a Fluid and at|tracting each other, are elastic, after their Col|lision they will resile from one another, and meeting with other Particles, they will be re|flected, till by such Actions and Re-actions, a Fermentation, Effervescence and Ebullition is produced.
IF Particles, suspended in a Fluid and at|tracting each other, are not elastic, they will not be reflected from one another, but coalesce into Masses, till their Gravity exceeding that of the Fluid, they will sink, and be precipi|tated. The same thing will be produced by increasing or diminishing the Gravity of the Menstruum in which the Particles are sus|pended.
THE Figures of the Elements of all pure unelastic and incompressible Fluids must ne|cessarily be spherical, or at least approaching thereto; for were they of any other Figure, their Surfaces would touch in more Points than one, and consequently they would co|here. And the Elements of solid Bodies pro|bably may be of the Figure of some one or other of the regular Solids, as Cubes, Tri|angles, Prisms, &c. so that, their Surfaces coming into Contact, they may attract each other with the greater Force.
WHAT may be the Figure of the Elements of elastic Fluids, as the Air, and the Newto|nian Aethereal Fluid, is not material to en|quire, since their Fluidity does not arise from the Figure, but the repulsive Force of their Particles.
THE Elasticity of solid Bodies is the Effect of the attracting Force of their Particles; for when the small contiguous and cohering Par|ticles of a Body are, by a Stroke, or any exter|nal Violence, separated from each other to ex|tremely small Distances, if this Force is taken off, the separated Particles will, by the Force of Attraction, rush back into their ContactsPage 100 with an accelerated Velocity, and the Body will recover its pristin Figure. But if the Par|ticles are so far separated as to be without their Spheres of Attraction, they will remain in that Disjunction, and the Body will be unca|pable of recovering its former State.
THAT Bodies, under a Rotation, fly off in the Tangent, is only a Consequence of that general Law, by which they persevere in the same State of Rest, or moving uniformly in a streight Line, unless they are made to change that State by some external Force impressed; for the Direction of a Body moving in the Circumference of a Circle, is in the Tangent, and it is made to describe the Circle only by the central Attraction, which ceasing to act, the Body will proceed in its proper Direction, or will fly off in the Tangent.
THE Figures of Bodies, and their Actions on one another, arising from the Principles of Attraction and Repulsion, together with the Motions impressed on them by living and in|telligent Agents, will probably account for most of the Appearances of the material World, if mechanically adjusted, and treated according to these mentioned Laws.
AIR is a System of Particles endued with a repulsive Force, which being fixt in all ani|mal, vegetable and mineral Substances, are by Fire, Fermentation, Putrefaction, Dissolu|tion, or any other intestine Action or Re|action, set at Liberty, and thrown off into an elastic State, and carrying along with them Ramenta or Abrasions of the Bodies they were fixt in, they compose our Atmosphere; which is a Chaos of such Particles of various Solidities, Gravities and attractive and re|pulsive Powers, acting by the establish'd Laws of minute Bodies; and hence its Compression, Weight, Elasticity and various Degrees of Density.
THE Density of the Air is proportionate to its Compression, and therefore the centri|fugal, or expansive Force by which its Par|ticles endeavour to recede from one another, must be in the reciprocal Proportion of their Distances, or in the direct subtriplicate Ratio of their Densities.
EARTH is only a loose Collection of the different elementary Particles of Matter, of all the three Orders, thrown together without any regular Combination or Cohesion; as Page 102Whiteness is a Blending and Mixture of all the differently-colour'd Rays of Light.
WATER is a Collection of the Solutions of tasteless and insipid Salts, originally fixt, crystalis'd and dispers'd quite through the Globe; but kept in Fluidity by Heat, like melted Lead. And different Salts are Water united with a little Air and some Earths, acid or sulphureous, in a crystalis'd State; as Ice is Water congeal'd, and Water is Ice dissolv'd. But this is not intended as a Defini|tion, but only as an Illustration. All Salts are soluble by Water, and all Water evaporated; drops a saline Substance mixt with Earths.
ACIDS seem to be compos'd of such ele|mentary Particles as are endued with a very great attractive Power; whence, by insinuat|ing themselves into the Pores of Bodies, and attracting their Particles more strongly than these Particles attract one another, they there|by separate and divide them.
POSSIBLY the Figures of Acids, may be triangular Prisms, or such like, to facilitate their Entry into Bodies, and to separate their Particles like Wedges; for all Matter must have some Figure.
HEAT, as it is a Property of Bodies, is only the brisk vibrating Action and Re|action of the elastic repelling Nitre of the Air, and the aethereal Fluid, with the strongly attracting acid Sulphur; which Sulphur, by its Analysis, is found to contain an inflam|mable Oil, an acid Salt, a very fixt Earth, and a little Metal.
HENCE the Affinity between Light and sulphureous Bodies, and the true Nature of Oils and inflammable Spirits, which are no|thing but a great deal of Sulphur, a fine or light acid Salt, a very little Water and Earth.
SINCE it has been found, that a Thermo|meter in an exhausted Receiver, will rise and fall as much, and almost as soon, as another Thermometer placed by it in the open Air, it seems to follow, that Heat is conveyed and propagated from one Body to another, by some subtle elastic Fluid, pervading all Bodies; and it is not improbable, that the Vibrations of this Medium in hot Bodies, contribute to the Intenseness and Duration of their Heat. And since smooth polish'd Bo|dies, with plain Surfaces, cling together as strongly in an exhausted Receiver as in the Page 104 open Air, it is not improbable, that their Co|hesion may be caused by this same Medium. Both Experiments go a great way to ascer|tain the Existence and Necessity of some such aethereal Fluid.
LIGHT seems to be the vibrating Par|ticles of a hot Body, driven off by the re|pelling Force, with an immense Velocity, which is continued and augmented by the aethereal Fluid, and the Attraction of the Bodies it meets with in its Progress.
SINCE, as Sir Isaac Newton has observ'd, Light is convertible into Bodies, and Bodies into Light; and that it is probable, that Light is only the Particles of a hot Body, thrown off with an immense Velocity, it would seem, that these Particles which constitute Light are the elementary Particles of the second Order, with which sulphureous and oily Bodies, from the great Activity, Attraction and Elasticity of their Parts, appear to be saturated and abound; for these being smaller and more elastic, than the Particles of the third Order, will be thrown off with a very great Velo|city, which we know to be an essential Pro|perty of the Rays of Light; and they will likewise pervade all Bodies, which is also a Property belonging to the Rays of Light; Page 105 there being no Body, however dense or close in its Texture, which, by being shreded thin, does not become transparent.
THE Rays of Light seem to consist of Par|ticles of different Sizes, (that being necessary to produce the various Colours and different Degrees of Refrangibility) the least of which make Violet, the weakest and darkest of the Colours, and are most easily diverted from the right Course, by refracting Surfaces; and the rest, as they are bigger, make the stronger and more lucid Colours, as Blue, Green, Yel|low, Red, and are with more and more Diffi|culty diverted.
THE Sun and fixt Stars, are immense Globes of Matter, saturated with these Par|ticles of the second Order, and so being heated red hot, are kept in Heat by their intestine Motion, and the Action and Re-action of their Parts with the aethereal Fluid; their dense Atmospheres, by their Compression, keeping their Parts from flying off, or con|suming too fast.
IT is not impossible, that our Earth, with its Satellit the Moon, the other Planets in this our System, with their Satellites, but espe|cially Page 106 the Comets, should be all of them Bet|tering-houses, (according to the Dutch man|ner of speaking) Prisons, Dungeons, and Places of Punishment, for Trial, Expiation, or pro|gressive Purification of the several Sorts, Or|ders and Degrees of lapsed, sentient and in|telligent Beings. That they are not, and can|not be permanent or eternal, in their pre|sent State, Philosophy and Astronomy furnish innumerable Arguments, to convince any thinking Person. Most of their Orbits are elliptical, which certainly is not so simple or perfect a Figure as a Circle. The Planes of their Orbits cut one another at irregular vari|ous and vastly different Angles, which, at least, in our present way of thinking, is not so harmonious. Besides the unaccountable Odd|nesses in most of their diurnal and annual Revolutions, the Nutations of their Axes, their Rings, Spots and Girdles, which, at least, savour not of that Simplicity, Perfection and Beauty conspicuous in most of the other Works of the Author of Nature. More|over, as to our Planet in particular, it has so many untoward Marks, and oblique Symp|toms of a designed Deteriority, that it would require a Volume to enumerate those daily observed by Astronomers and natural Philo|sophers, besides those now mentioned, which are common to most of them. Our Earth has, in particular, barren and unfruitful Cli|mates, unhospitable and uninhabited Regions, Page 107unhealthy and mortal Seasons, Tempests, Thunder and Lightning, Vulcanos, Plagues and epidemical or infectious Atmospheres: All which could never proceed from an in|finitely good and wise Being, if his Design was not to punish and correct. But all these seeming Deformities are kind and fatherly Designs of Wisdom, and have infinitely beau|tiful final Causes and Motives; and are strong and amazing Instances of his Being, Love and Wisdom, if they are reckon'd only Cor|rection and Bettering Mansions, of no durable or permanent Stability, but verging and growing into some progressive, beautiful and final State, by general Laws, which State, in due Time, will appear and emerge, and then He may, as He did at first, say of all his Works, they were good and perfect in their Order. And then the Son shall give up the Dominion to his Father, in a much happier and more perfect Condition than it was at first made, as He said of Him|self, that He came, that all God's Creatures (Sentient and Intelligent, and consequently their Habitations and Mansions) should have Life, (that is, have Perfection and Happiness) and have it more abundantly.
FLAME is the sulphureous or oily Smoak of a hot Body, agitated to such a Degree as to be ignited.
THOSE Bodies are transparent, whose Pores are sufficiently small to attract the Rays of Light, and rectilinear to transmit them: Thus Paper is made more transparent, by having its Pores fill'd or lessen'd with Wa|ter or Oil.
THE following Propositions are manifest from Experiment*.
- 1. MERCURY consists of smaller Par|ticles than any known Fluid, for it will pass where no other Fluid can.
- 2. THE Particles of Mercury, in all their Divisions, preserve a spherical Figure, from the strong Attraction of their Parts; as is evi|dent by fine Glasses: And the smaller the Particles, the more perfect the Spheres; as the same Glasses demonstrate.
- 3. MERCURY is the heaviest of all natural Fluids, being 14 times heavier than Water.
- 4. THE Particles of Mercury attract some Bodies the most of any, as Gold; and fly from Page 109 others the most, as Oil of Vitriol, and all Acids.
- 1. THEREFORE the Particles of Mercury are the most easily rais'd by Heat, being divi|sible into the smallest Parts; which, though not sensible, yet are known by their Effects in Sil|ver Water, Mercurial Steams and Exhala|tions, and their ready passing through all ani|mal Substances.
- 2. THEREFORE the Particles of Mercury have the greatest Momentum and Force, be|ing the heaviest of all natural Fluids.
- 3. THEREFORE the Particles of Mercury, by their Smallness, Sphericity and Weight, be|ing actuated and rais'd by Heat, readily per|vade all animal fleshy Substances, which are but Spunges with communicating Cells; as is evident from the Effects of Fumigations, and the Palsies of those who silver Glass, or dig in the Mines of that Mineral.
- 1. THEREFORE the Particles of Mercury are the fittest to break the Cohesion of all Viscosity, and divide its Substance by its Weight, in Animal Tubes; from which Vis|cosityPage 110 all the cold chronical Diseases most pro|bably proceed.
- 2. THEREFORE the Particles of Mercury are fittest to open all Obstructions in the small Capillary or Lymphatic Vessels, from their Smallness, Weight and Sphericity.
- 3. THEREFORE the Particles of Mercury, from their Smallness, Weight and Sphericity, are fittest to make the Circulation whole and entire quite around.
- 4. THEREFORE Mercury is the only pro|per Antidote for such Palsies, whose Cause is the Tenacity of the Juices in the small Blood-Vessels, pressing upon the Nerves and Fibres, and so interrupting their Vibrations and Actions.
- 5. THEREFORE Mercury is the best Anti|dote for the Scurvy, in the first Intention, by its Smallness, its Weight and Sphericity, break|ing the Salts and larger Concretions obstruct|ing the Lymphatics.
- 6. THEREFORE Mercury is also the best Antidote for the Gout, in the first Intention, readily opening those small Vessels which are the most difficult to be dilated by reason of their Compression betwixt bony Articulations, even though their Smallness should be such, Page 111 that 200 of them can make up but the Thick|ness or Bulk of one Hair. But a thin cool Dyet must continue them pervious, when Mercury has made them so.
- 7. THEREFORE Mercury, duly prepar'd, and judiciously manag'd, is the only proper Antidote for the Diseases produced by Excesses of any kind, especially of animal Food and fermented Liquors.
- 8. MERCURY, by its Weight and Sphe|ricity, will infallibly burst those Vessels whose Obstructions cannot be dissolved or opened, driving the Substance of these Obstructions through the Sides of the slender Lymphatic Ves|sels; and will infallibly tear the small Vessels, whose Sides are very rare and slender, or whose Pores are made very large by Putrefaction.
- 9. THEREFORE Mercury is a divine An|tidote or real Poison, according to the Per|son prescribing, or the Case it is prescribed in.
- 10. THE best Preparation of Mercury is that wherein its Particles are most minutely divided, and kept at the greatest Distance from one another.
- 11. THAT Preparation of Mercury is the best, where, after a due Division into its smallest Page 112 Parts, the Mixture is made with that Body which has the most specific Virtue against the Disease. Thus the Aethiops cum Sulph. is best for Inflammations, Piles, the Gout, the Erysipelas, &c. and that with Antimony, against cutaneous Distempers; that with Vo|latiles and Foetids, in Nervous Cases; that with Bark and Bitters, in Intermittents; and so in others.
- 12. THEREFORE the Aqua Mercurialis is the very safest general Deobstruent in very weak Persons, did it not require too long time to produce any salutary Effect. Mer|cury alcalisated, or kill'd with any calcin'd Body, given often and in small Doses, is the next; Cinnabar next to that, and then Aethiops, &c.
- 13. ALL Mineral Medicines ought to be infinitely divided, before they are sent into an Animal Body; they never having been intended by the Author of Nature to enter there, but in their minutest Particles and Di|visions; as we may see by Nature's prepar|ing, in this Manner, Mineral Waters of all kinds, fitted for the Cure of almost all chro|nical Diseases, if join'd with a proper Regi|men; except, perhaps, some few of those be|got by unnatural cramming with Mixtures of Salts, Spices, Oils, and inflammable Spirits; Page 113 or those begot by contagious venereal Dis|eases.
- 14. MERCURY, with the Salts, such as Calomel, the Turbith, Sublimat, red, white and green Precipitate, are, of all Preparations, the most prejudicial and injurious to animal Habits; these saline Mixtures tearing the small Vessels, where Diseases are mostly generated, and in whose Integrity, all the Delicacy of Life consists: But they are thereby of the quickest Effect in Cases that depend on Ex|pedition, as the Hydrophobia, inflammatory Rheumatism, and the like.
GENERAL MEDICAL COROLLARIES.
- 1. As Water alone, Blood-warm, is the best Diluent, so Mercury is the best Deob|struent; but as Water alone may be too sluggish, so Mercury alone may be too active and ponderous, for tender and delicate Ani|mal Solids, especially in its fluid State, or mix'd with Salts, or too active Bodies; and therefore the absolutely best Preparation of Mercury, is when, being divided by the ut|most possible Art, it is join'd with the most specific vegetable Medicines against the Dis|temper, that it can conveniently be united with, and fixt in.
- Page 1142. As the Fineness or Smallness of Par|ticles, together with the Largeness of their Surfaces, make Hardness, or the greatest Co|hesion in Bodies, as has been shewn by Pro|position IV. and V. and may be seen in fine|woven Cloth, Gold, Marble, Crystal, Shells, Salts and Diamonds; and as Earths, Wa|ter, Milk, watery Fluids, and vegetable Substances, consist mostly of Water and rare loose fine Earths, with a little grosser Salts and Sulphurs of small or no Cohesion, it is evi|dent, that such Substances are fittest for weak, tender and valetudinary Persons, as afford|ing all the Materials of Nutrition, and be|ing more easily resolvible into their integral Particles; and are most proper Food for in|tellectual Purposes, which depend on the easy Performance of the animal Functions, as ner|vous Distempers arise chiefly from their la|bour'd Performance, compressing, by their Weight and Hardness, the too tender and de|licate membranous Tubuli of the Nerves, and so stopping or retarding their Vibrations and Oscillations, tho' they are not so proper for mechanical Strength and Force.
IN these few Propositions are contain'd the Principles of all the natural Philosophy hinted at in my medical Treatises. If it is just, or Page 115 approaches the Truth, as I hope it does, then it must necessarily follow, 1. That soft, mild and cool Foods, are fittest to carry on the animal Functions the most readily, free|ly, naturally and lastingly. 2. That Spirits, Salts, chymical Oils, (which are but Spirits condens'd) and every thing that has pass'd the Tortures of the Fire, abounding with Particles small, hard, caustic, (for calcin'd Antimony will be increas'd one fifth in its Weight) and high|ly attractive, are most pernicious to animal Habits; not only burning and tearing the de|licate Fibres and Vessels, like Caustics and Lancets, but by their attractive Powers, vio|lently corrugating and contracting the Fibres; so that in habitual Drinkers, Drammers, and high Feeders, their Tone and Elasticity is en|tirely destroy'd, by their sudden and alternate Contractions and Relaxations*, while at the same time the Juices are thicken'd and co|agulated by the spirituous Mixture, and so dispos'd to form Obstructions and Concre|tions in the smaller Vessels: And there|fore they ought never to be used, but as Spurs and Whips, to push on and stimulat the sluggish Organs for a time, and make them carry off the Over-load with a short Vigour; and so are only proper in Ex|tremities, as a present Filip. 3. That ani|mal Foods, whose Parts have been first di|vided Page 116 by animal Organs, and afterwards at|tenuated and refin'd by those of other Animals, and mixed with great Quantities of animal Salts and Oils, when again taken into animal Habits for Food, where they undergo a third Subtilization or Milling; or the Flesh of Ani|mals that live on animal Food, are so mi|nutely divided, as (by Proposition IV.) to ac|quire the greatest Degree of Attraction; and therefore, when introduc'd into the small Tubes and capillary Vessels, in great Quan|tities, they must form Obstructions of the strongest Cohesion and Tenacity. 4. That Mercury, in some Shape or other, is the on|ly proper Deobstruent and Dissolvent, in all chronical Cases, and in those acute ones that come nearest to them; especially in those who have fed much and long on animal Foods, and fermented or distill'd Liquors. 5. That Milk and Vegetables are not only the sole ra|tional and proper Food of tender or diseased Animals, but, from the Grossness of their Parts, and their small Degree of Attraction and Cohesion consequent thereupon, being dissolv'd by a less Force than animal Food, are fittest to carry on, the most pleasantly, all the Functions in which Health, Serenity and free Spirits consist. 6. That therefore Milk, Seeds, Fruits, and mealy Vegetables, with Water-drinking, are undoubtedly the most infallible Means to preserve the Facul|ties clear and acute, and to acquire Acti|vityPage 117 and long Life, whatever mechanical Force and Strength may require for sudden strong Efforts. 7. On the whole, as Water, with a little fine vegetable Earth, Salt and Sul|phur, seems to me, to be the proper Food intended by Nature for Animals; and as it is Water alone which conciliats that Flui|dity absolutely necessary to Juices circulating in Tubes; the more it partakes of this Ele|ment, the fitter it is for the animal Func|tions. Mercury seems to be the only other Fluid that has the Qualities fitted for circu|lating and destroying Viscosity; so that, in fine, the two proper Antidotes intended by Nature for chronical animal Diseases, especially those of the worst Kind, seem to be Mercury, some-how prepared, and Water, naturally or artificially impregnated, the one for animal, and the other for vegetable Feeders.
DISCOURSE IV. Philosophical CONJECTURES ON SPIRITUAL NATURE, THE HUMAN SPIRIT in Particular.
Gen. i. 26.
Page 119DISCOURSE IV.
Philosophical CONJECTURES ON SPIRITUAL NATURE, THE HUMAN SPIRIT in Particular.
§. 1. THE natural Faculties, Properties or Attributes of all rational Spi|rits, and human Intelligences, (and indeed of all Intelligences of whatsoever Order or Degree) are incontestably these three: 1. Perception or Understanding. 2. Willing, Chusing or Freedom. 3. Memory, Reflection or Attention. Out of these three all the Ope|rations of a human Spirit may be deduced; and suppose living or actuating some Vehicle as their Base: and though they may be (and are justly) considered separately, yet, in well|exercised and duly cultivated Spirits, they are sometimes so instantaneous, as to seem one and the same Act of the Mind, and are called by Page 120 the general Name of Thinking or Cogitation, when either in separate Acts, or instanta|neous, and all Spirits differ chiefly in the De|grees of these natural Powers.
§. 2. HOWEVER uncommon the Expres|sion may seem, yet to those who admit a Deity, or supreme Spirit, of infinite Perfec|tion, the Author and first Cause of all Things, finite Spirits of all possible Orders can be conceived philosophically, no otherwise than as Miniatures, Effluxes, Emanations, Infi|nitesimals, or infinitely small Sparkles, of this infinite Source of Living, Intelligence, Action, Perfection and Happiness, voluntarily emitted, lighted up or created, by this infinitely perfect Being, and endow'd with his radical and essen|tial Qualities and Attributes of Life, Activity and Intelligence; so that all Spirits are, in their own Natures, diminutive or infinitely small Deities, and necessarily (now they are created, and have a derivative Existence from Him) must partake of his Immortality, Intel|ligence and Freedom, or his Divine Nature and Image; and consequently can never be annihilated, forced, or deprived of the Powers of Perception, Intelligence and Willing, no more He can.
§. 3. THESE Faculties and Powers of all Spirits are not only to be felt, but distin|guished in every human Mind, duly exercised Page 121 and cultivated, by attentively considering its Nature and Operations; but necessarily follow by Analogy, from the Nature of the first Cause, that Being of infinite Perfection, the Deity; who being of infinite Wisdom and Power, could find nothing without Himself, before Creation, to be a Model or Pattern for his intelligent Creatures; and therefore stamp'd them with his own most glorious Image, creating them little Divinities, re|sembling Himself in his radical and essential Attributes, so as at last to become similar to Him in Perfection and Happiness, in their seve|ral Orders, Gradations and Ranks. For in|finite Perfection wanting nothing, and to whom no Happiness nor Perfection could be added, could have no other End or View, in producing rational Intelligences into Being, but to make them happy, by partaking of his essential Happiness, in their several Orders and Ranks; that is, in becoming similar to him in his natural as well as moral Attributes; his natural ones (as has been said) being Life, Intelligence and Activity; his moral ones, Justice, Goodness and Truth; in which two united consists the Perfection and Happiness of all intelligent Creatures.
§. 4. IN a mere Philosophical Disquisition, though no Argument is to be taken from Re|velation; yet to express my Meaning so as to leave no room to be mistaken by such to whom Page 122Revelation is familiar, I shall represent it in the Words of the Scriptures. It is said in Ge|nesis, on the Design of the Creation of the human Soul, Let us make Man after our own Image; and again, in the Image of God created he him; and elsewhere, You are God's Images: And to shew the human Rank, David says, He was created a little lower than the Angels; and our Saviour, speaking of Marriage, says, that in Heaven they are nei|ther married, nor given in Marriage, but are like the Angels; and the same Manner of de|scribing the human Spirit frequently occurs in the Scriptures, both of the old and new Testament.
§. 5. IT is a frequent and common Opinion of all Pagan and Christian Antiquity, that all created Intelligences have Bodies or Ve|hicles of one kind or another, fitted to their Order, Rank, Degree of Purity, Habitation and Situation. It is highly probable and phi|losophical, to think there is no perfectly pure and immaterial Spirit, but the Supreme Spi|rit, the Father and Creator of all Spirits; and that all created Spirits, how high and sublime soever, have proper and peculiar Bodies, and organiz'd Cases, not only to circumscribe and limit their Powers, and their Extension and Expansion, but to enable them to communicat, and commerciat with, to contemplat and admire the Contrivance of the material World; Page 123 to converse with the lower Ranks of Intelli|gences, that we certainly know, have material Vehicles, such as we of the human Race are; but also to execute the Orders of the Divine Oeconomy and Providence, over the whole System of Intelligences, and material World. And accordingly we find Mention made in holy Writ, of a natural Body and a spiritual Body; and of the Sun and Planets having a particular Glory, in their Bodies, peculiar to themselves; and of the glorious Appearance and Radiation of our Saviour's Body on the Mount. And it is very absurd, and almost blasphemous, to think these Myriads of Stars and Luminaries, that appear in a Winter Night, in the Heavens, and its milky Way, to be no|thing but twinkling Tapers, uninhabited, and designed only to be stupidly and ignorantly gaz'd on by us.
§. 6. WHAT a spiritual Substance, or of what Nature the Substratum of these Faculties of Understanding and Will, or of Thinking, is, we shall never perfectly know, till we arrive at the World of Spirits, and drop this coarse earthly Tabernacle. Indeed, we know nothing of the internal Substance of any Being; all we know or can know, is their sensible Qualities and the Effects of them on us; and something in general we learn of inanimated Bodies, and their Laws, from the Uniformity of these Ef|fects: And we may be certain, that spiritualPage 124 Substance is in most, if not all its Qualities, contradictory, at least contrary, to Body or ma|terial Substance, and vice versâ. For Ex|ample, we know that Matter is absolutely pas|sive, and equally susceptible of Motion or Rest; and that Spirit, or spiritual Substances, are self-active and self-motive, and the immediate productive Cause of all Motion in Body, and consequently is endow'd with Freedom or Liberty. We know that Matter is impene|trable, and that two Bodies cannot possess the same Space at the same time; but Spirits may and can pervade and penetrat one another, at least by their spiritual Virtue and Energy; as is evident from Persuasion, Conviction, Reasoning and Compassion, and such-like spiritual Actions. It is true, the Sphere of their Activities is li|mited and circumscribed; but we also know, that the Spirit acts in every Point of that Cir|cumscription: as we find by our Bodies, every Part of which is more or less sensible, by the membranous Mouths of the nervous Tubuli be|ing spread over all the solid Parts of an animal Body; and we know no Body, or mere Matter, that is so. Matter is certainly divisible in infini|tum, and may be actually divided into very small Parts; but Spirit, having no sensible Parts, is nei|ther divisible nor discerptible. Persons of light Understandings, and gross Conceptions, may dispute or ridicule these Truths; but they must be poor Philosophers, who can think them not highly probable; and have a mean Notion of the Extent of Nature, and its Author. Four Page 125 of the greatest Philosophers of this or any other Age, to wit, Sir Isaac Newton, Mr. Leibneitz, Mr. Hugens, and Mr. Fatio, when they describe the Matter, which they suppose to be the Cause of Gravity, consider it as in|finitely small in its Particles, infinitely rare, infinitely elastic, and moved with an infinite Velocity. And the first of these, by a very strong Figure, calls it Spiritus quidam Sub|tilissimus. What these four Infinitudes may effect on Matter, to destroy at least these gross, palpable and sensible Qualities we observe in it, such as sensible Extension, Impenetrability and Passivity, I will not take upon me to deter|mine: But all the Notion we can now form of Spirit, is to divide, refine, sublime and ex|alt Body and Matter ad infinitum, so that we be sure it can have very little of the sensible Qua|lities; and this, I fear, is as far as Philosophy can go, while we have only gross and palpa|ble Vehicles of Clay. For by Analogy to infi|nitely divided, subtiliz'd, sublim'd and refin'd material substance, we form the only Idea, Notion or Perception, we can now frame of spiritual Substances, and that is but a gross one, and neither just nor true.
§. 7. LIVING, Sensation or Actuation of Matter, is not easy to define or describe. Ex|istence or Being belongs to Matter as well as Spirit; but Life, Sensation or Perception, and their Consequences, belong only to some one Rank of Spirit or Mind; and I may defy all Page 126 the Philosophers and Mathematicians, that ever have been, to explain consistently, from Matter and Mechanism alone, as it now obtains, the Life, Growth and Fecundity of the lowest Plant or Vegetable, at least its Seed or Seeding, much less of the least Insect or Animal, and least of all of a rational, sentient and perci|pient Being: So that where-ever there is any Degree of Life, Vegetative, Sensitive or Ra|tional, there is probably some Degree of a Soul or Spirit, immaterial, immortal and pro|gressive; so that Life or Animation, in all Creatures in general, is indeed Matter or|ganiz'd and actuated by a Spirit, or Soul, of some one Rank or Degree or other: I mean only created Life, or Life derivative, as it is in Creatures; for in the Creator, Life is with|out Matter, without Body or Vehicle, and without Limits, or Possibility of Non-exist|ence or not Living. The best Notion, Idea, or Perception, we can frame of created Life, is that of a nice, delicate, finely contriv'd Ma|chine, of a vast Variety of Organs set in Mo|tion by the first Cause, and continued by an in|ternal self-motive Spring, which Spring is this spiritual Substance.
§. 8. As we have some Notion of what Ex|tent the best-form'd and most cultivated hu|man Spirit is, there may be Myriads of a lower Rank of the same Species; and that as under the human Species, there is an almost Page 127 infinite Variety of the brutal and irrational Spe|cies, and under these, a like or greater Variety, of the vegetable Kind, from the Moss on the Wall and the coralline Sea-plant, up to the highest Divine, Philosopher or Mathemati|cian of the human Race; and that all the se|veral Species, from the highest to the lowest, sink so gradually into one another, that it is impossible to determine where one Degree ends, or the next begins: So it is also highly probable, that above the human Species there are Orders, Ranks and Hierarchies, rising gra|dually and insensibly, without Limits and without End. This the Dignity, Power, Wisdom and Goodness of the first infinitely perfect Being, and the Analogy of Things, seem to oblige us to conjecture or hope; and the infinite Variety of Systems, Fixt Stars, (which we known to be Suns, and very pro|bably have primary and secondary Planets, analogous to ours) and the infinite Expansion of Space, makes it probable and philosophical. And as an Angel is only of a little higher and more noble Order than the human Race, and all created Intelligences have Vehicles or Bo|dies of an Order and Purity analogous to their Rank and Degree in the Scale of Intelli|gences; we may fairly and philosophically de|fine a pure original, not lapsed, Angel, of the lowest Order, a spiritual Substance of the next immediat Order above the Human, actu|ating a divinely organiz'd Body, of a Purity Page 128 and Sublimity analogous to their Order, and the Perfection of his informing Spirit.
§. 9. WE have a pretty clear Perception of what the human Race is at present, both in their Body and Spirit. He that has a just, though not an adequate Idea of infinite Per|fection, that is, of infinite Power, Wisdom and Goodness, can find no possible Reason or Mo|tive, why such a Being should create Intelli|gences, imperfect in their Order, unhappy and perishing, when the same Power, Wisdom and Goodness, could either have totally abstain'd from creating them at all, or have made them to be at last happy in their Order and Rank, consistent with their Natures and his own; Malice and Difficulty having no Place in such a Being. But any one who considers this ruinous disorder'd Globe, and the Miseries, Darkness and Wretchedness of the whole System of Intelligences that inhabit it, cannot but conclude one of these two, either that their Author had not Power to make them otherwise, or that they have wilfully forfeited their Rank, and his Favour and Protection, by transgressing the Terms and Conditions on which they were intitled to it; and so being left to reap the Fruits of their own Labour, sunk into a lapsed disorderly Condition.
§. 10. INFINITE Power, Wisdom and Goodness, could, primarily and originally, bring no Intelligence into Being, with ratio|nal and intelligent Spirits, actuating divinely organiz'd Bodies or Vehicles, but under these two Conditions: 1. That the organiz'd Body should be supple, pliable, and joyfully obedient to all the Dictates and Commands of the free intelligent Spirit: And, 2. That the Spirit should be supple, pliable, and obedient to the Dictates and Influences of the Eternal and infinitely perfect Spirit, its Author and Crea|tor: And in these two, its original Innocence, Happiness and Perfection, must necessarily have consisted. And this was and must have been the true original and paradisaical State of both Body and Soul of the human Race; and must be the Constitution and Complexion of the unfallen angelical State, and of all the Hie|rarchies of unlapsed Spirits. Which two Conditions, I think, necessarily infer a pre|existent State to our present one, since we do not find them in ourselves now.
§. 11. ALL created Intelligences being free and finite, must of Consequence be fallible, and liable to run into Disorder, as well as capa|ble of obeying Order: For they could not be free, unless they had the Power of chusing either Side; Self-activity being of the Essence and Root of Intelligence, and perhaps the Source Page 130 from which it springs; so that all created finite free Intelligences were naturally capable of Falling, of Rebellion and Disorder. An infinitely wise and intelligent Being, of suf|ficient Power, could not make another intel|ligent Being with Desires, Impressions and Pantings after a State which was according to Order, to his Nature, and the Nature of Things, unless at the same time He had ap|pointed Means and proper Objects to satisfy these just and natural Desires; no beneficent and good Being could act so. Now that we (at least many of us of the human Race) have yet a Notion and Idea of a better State of Being and Acting, than we find ourselves in, and wish and pant after it, is most certain and undeniable; every honest and think|ing Person must find a Law in his Mem|bers, that wars against the Law of his Mind, and wishes and desires to be freed from the one, that he may conform to the other. Now this is what is called the Lapse or Fall; and if this State of Imperfection last for ever, so must the Fall; and till this Desire or Pant|ing be satisfied, the intelligent Creature cannot be completely happy; and for this End was the Oeconomy of Jesus intended.
§. 12. How and by what Steps the Lapse was brought on, is of no Consequence for us precisely to know. The Design and Point in View of all the Oeconomy of Providence, and Page 131 of Jesus, is to restore us, with the Consent, Concurrence and Integrity of our three radi|cal Attributes, of Living, Activity or Free|dom, and Intelligence, which He cannot do Violence to, they being immediately derived from Himself, whose Images and Miniatures all Intelligences are: And the Means that alone can effect this, without intrenching upon these essential and radical Qualities, are pure Love, naked Faith, and universal Resigna|tion; which Means we could not perfectly use, if precise Truths, particular and specific Steps, and the naked Nature of Things, were always pointed out to us: This (at first at least) would infallibly weaken our Faith and Trust, counteract our Resignation, and destroy our Liberty; and therefore all that is reveal'd concerning this, and the other Truths of past, future and invisible States, is general, unde|termin'd, and indefinite; and the Precision is promis'd only on our Advancement and Pro|gress. He that doth the Will of my Father, shall know of the Doctrine: Our first Lesson is just what is absolutely necessary to begin our Return; the Knowledge of more Truths and greater Precision, is to reward our Progress. The next immediate Step, or what is to be done daily and hourly, we are never igno|rant of in our Duty; and that is all that is necessary; the rest are all wisely put out of our Reach, and do not belong to us now, till we advance that Step; and when we Page 132 come into the proper Disposition of Body and Mind, to benefit by the just and precise Knowledge of these mentioned and such-like Divine Truths, (though absolute Precision be inconsistent with Finitude) we shall admire and adore the Wisdom of our Teacher, for having conceal'd from us what would then have hurt us, as much as for these general Truths, which serve sufficiently to animate and encourage us in our now travelling and probatory State; for both are directed with equal Wisdom. If we are ignorant, it is because we are not come into the proper Disposition to benefit by Know|ledge, or that more precise Knowledge would hurt us, and draw us out of our Orbit, or shortest Road.
§. 13. IF we may be allow'd to conjecture with Humility and Modesty, about such unre|veal'd and indefinite Truths and States, we may reasonably think, that this Lapse was not brought about all at once, but Step by Step, by many Machinations, Plots and Contrivances of the superior lapsed Intelligences on the In|ferior. Nemo repente fit optimus aut turpis|simus. Finite Intelligences must form and ac|quire all their Habits by repeated Acts, and Step by Step: So that in all Probability, the Fall might have been a long time in bringing about; and innumerable Numbers of all the several Ranks and Orders, and some of all the different Hierarchies, might have been Page 133 brought into this general Rebellion, and have gradually departed from that pure Love, naked Faith and universal Resignation, which alone made the Essence of their Perfection and Hap|piness; though in the brief contracted Account we have of it in Revelation, it is compriz'd in a few general Words, which is all we in our pre|sent State, it seems, could bear, without Vio|lence being committed on our Liberties, our universal Resignation obstructed, and the Merit of pure Love and a generous Trust and Confi|dence in infinite Perfection destroy'd; more explicit and detail'd Accounts, might have nou|rished Pride, Presumption and Self-sufficiency, and so sunk us deeper.
§. 14. OUR Senses were given us to com|merciat with material Objects, and to per|ceive and enjoy the Beauties of the inanimate Creation, as well as to limit the Extension and Expansion of our Powers and Faculties; and by them all our Sensations, Ideas and Pic|tures of Bodies and inanimate Creatures, are convey'd to the sentient and intelligent Prin|ciple. The Key and Mean of all our natural Knowledge of them, is Experiment or Ob|servation, perform'd by our Senses simply, or improv'd by Art, and the Logic of all human and natural Knowledge about them, is Pro|portion justly apply'd: For Syllogism and for|mal Argument, is but Proportion express'd in abstracted Terms, or the Ideas meant by these Page 134 Terms; and this is the true and only Mean of natural Knowledge about Bodies and their natural Qualities and Laws. In spiritual Truths, imperceptible and immaterial Beings, (viz.) about their Nature, Qualities and Ranks, can know nothing naturally and humanly, (unless it be infus'd and impress'd by some other Spirit) but by Analogy, Similitude, Al|legory, Trope, Metaphor, or Figure, referring them to, and comparing them with, our own intelligent and sentient Spirit, and its Manner of Operation; and then cloathing them with such Terms, or referring them to such Knowledge, as we have receiv'd from Sensation, or from Proportion; and this is the only Mean and Instrument of hu|man Knowledge we can possibly have, in the Nature, Qualities and moral Relations of Spirits, spiritual and moral Actions and Du|ties. The sentient and intelligent Principle, or Soul, is the Spring or Source of both Keys or Kinds of Logic, without which both would be equally useless. Culture and Experience is in spiritual Knowledge, what Experiment and Observation is in sensitive Knowledge; Ana|logy is to the first, what Proportion is to the second; Similitude, Allegory, Trope, Meta|phor and Figure, (all the Appendages of Ana|logy, or a more distant or near Approximation to it) are what a more or less accurate, a ge|neral or more particular Experiment and Observation, or juster and clearer ProportionPage 135 apply'd to material Objects, is in sensitive Knowledge; and a close, simple, full and co|gent Analogy, is as just and coercive a Demon|stration in spiritual Knowledge, as a Mathe|matical or Geometrical one is in sensitive Knowledge. Scripture, Revelation, and our own inward Feelings of the Operations of our Soul, give the Data, (viz. the general Propo|sitions, the accurate Observations on them) analogous to Mr. Flamstead's or Dr. Halley's Observations of the Appulses of the Moon to the Fixed Stars, from sufficient Numbers of which, the great Orbit of the Lunar Revolu|tion is determin'd, by comparing them with the general Law of Attraction. Here Reve|lation gives us the Observations; the Know|ledge we have of the Nature of the Operations of our own Spirits, gives us the general Law; and Analogy may answer to Algebra and Calculation in Astronomy and mix'd Mathe|matics; and we may err and blunder in the first for want of Care and Attention, as we may in the last, being ever finite, and conse|quently fallible.
§. 15. THE Account we have in Revela|tion of the Lapse, may have a literal, natu|ral and material Meaning (as all the Words and Works of God have a natural or literal, spiritual and divine Meaning and Use, else he were not God, that is, a Being of infinite Per|fection); and these Meanings may only deve|lopePage 136 and unfold themselves, and appear to dif|ferent Persons, according to their different De|grees of Purity and Perfection; the literal and cortical Meaning and Use, may be fitted to elementary and initiating Persons, and be just and true in its Degree; and the others proper only for the more advanced; and this with infinite Variety, Justness and Property. Now in Moses's Account of the Lapse, the Tree of Life, of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Serpent, Paradise, and all the Scene and Group of this mysterious Affair, was cer|tainly literal, material and real, as there repre|sented and described; but perhaps happen'd not till the last Act of this Tragedy. Paradise was certainly a most delicious and enchanting Place of material and bodily Delights; the Tree of Life and its Fruit was design'd to perpetuat the Life and Health of the then new-modell'd, though not perhaps Ethereal Vehicle; the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, certainly communicated by its Fruit, Pain, Diseases and Death to this partially incrusted Body: The Serpent, no Doubt, was a lapsed Spirit, em|bodied in this then more beautiful Animal. Now as all this Scene, may have also spiritual Meaning as well as a literal and elementary one, of more Consequence to our Happiness and Perfection to be known and believ'd, as the Spirit is of more Value than the Body; why may not Paradise mean in this Sense, the three original and fundamental Powers of Page 137 the Soul, Living, Activity or Liberty, and Intelligence, or its original and immutable Nature and Constitution, intrusted with us finite Intelligences, to cultivate, improve and exalt? The Tree of Life be Him, from whom all Life and Being proceeds, the Father of us all? The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the primary Image of the Deity, the Son of God, by whose Oeconomy Evil known and felt, could only be done away and eraz'd, or his divine Nature, Justice, Goodness and Truth, which Image was in the human Na|ture defac'd, by trusting it to his own Spirit and Liberty? The Serpent, the grand Decei|ver, or lapsed spiritual Nature in General, or one of the highest Order of the lapsed Hie|rarchy? And so the whole Scene of the Lapse may be more properly and feelingly allegoriz'd, or explain'd in plain Terms to an honest and ingenuous Heart, (viz.) thus: All created finite Intelligences being free, and con|sequently fallible, innumerable Numbers of them, through Pride, Self-sufficiency, and De|sire of Independence, trusting to, and conduct|ing themselves by their own natural Lights, as being made little Deities, and deriveing with their Being from their Author, a Ray, Efflux, or infinitesimal Emanation of his Self-exist|ence, infinite Activity or Power, and infinite Wisdom, that is, of his Nature and essential Attributes; deriving, I say, dependent and de|rivative Living, Freedom and Intelligence, Page 138 but affecting Independency, and departing from pure Love, naked Faith and universal Resig|nation to infinite Perfection, they gradually sunk into Selfishness, Propriety and inordinate Love of the Creatures; and instead of being govern'd absolutely in all things by the Provi|dence, Influences, Impulses and Suggestions of the Eternal Spirit, they affected to be govern'd by their own natural Spirits, and selfish and narrow Views and Prejudices, and became, as it were, independent, un|guarded, and unrestrain'd Thinkers and Actors, prying into and determining in all Matters whatsoever; and instead of being resign'd to the universal Reason and sovereign Will and Order of Divine Providence, found Fault with, criticis'd, grumbled at, and blasphem'd the Conduct and Oeconomy of infinite Wisdom, and gradually departed from pure Love, naked Faith, and Trust, and universal Resignation, the sole Means to preserve them in the Perfec|tion of their dependent State, and in Simila|rity to his moral Attributes; and so fell from the perfect Happiness of their Rank and deri|vative Being; Self, spurious Self, became tran|substantiated into their thus deprav'd Natures.
§. 16. WHEN human Nature had thus lapsed, by affecting Independence, and desire|ing to govern itself by its own natural Spirit solely, and wallowing in the Objects of Sense, and swallow'd in Creature-pleasures, it being Page 139 an eternal Law, establish'd in Nature, (for many wise and great Ends) and, by Analogy, (as we find it) extending from material to spiri|tual Things, viz. that Like draws and is equally drawn to Like; or that Bodies and Spirits at|tract and unite with similar Bodies and Spi|rits, from the universal Principle of Attrac|tion and Union; the human Body did hence necessarily and mechanically (as it were) con|tract a Rust, Grossness, Stupor and Inactivity, and became restive and disobedient to the Commands of the natural Spirit, gradually degenerating into an earthly, gross, material Prison or Dungeon; and the Spirit was here|by more contracted, restrain'd and limited in its original and immutable Attributes of Live|ing, Activity and Intelligence, as to their Ex|tention, Purity, the Quickness and Exertion of their Acts, (for all Spirits are limited and tied down to the Nature, Order and Purity of their Vehicles, while their Union lasts, though their natural Powers in their Fund and Essence be immutable, and constantly the same) so that their natural Spirits now being assisted by the supernatural Grace and Influence of the Eternal Spirit, procur'd by the Mediation of Jesus, must work out their Recovery and Re|storation by gradually returning to their origi|nal Order.
§. 17. PERHAPS, as all animated Beings, Sentient or Intelligent, must necessarily be Page 140 cloath'd with some Vehicle, purer or grosser, ethereal or planetary, fitted to the Mansion they are confin'd to, and to their Degree of Purity in their moral Powers, and their Ex|tention or Rank of natural Powers; so all created free Intelligences, of whatever Order or Degree, must necessarily pass through some State of Probation, Apprenticeship and Trials, of their Love, Faith and Patience, before they can arrive at their final, immutable, and for ever permanent State, and the Mansion they are eternally to inhabit afterwards. That some|thing like this was the general Sense of Man|kind, seems to be hinted in all Pagan Anti|quity that we have any Accounts of, Egyp|tian, Syrian, Grecian and Roman, by their Initiations into the Mysteries of their Gods; and this, chiefly, in order to produce an habi|tual Firmness, Force and Stability, on finite, free, labile Intelligences, in the different Insti|tutions. It would seem, as none but God is a pure Spirit in his Nature and Substance, none but God can be infallible and impeccable: And that all Creatures being finite and free, must necessarily, by their Nature, be labile, fal|lible and peccable; and that even infinite Wis|dom and Power could not make a Creature (for God cannot work Contradictions) that was of its own Nature, illabile, infallible and im|peccable; but that before that secondary Na|ture of eternal Infallibility, Illability and Im|peccability could be brought about, on the Page 141 most perfect of created Intelligences, it must necessarily be, by confirm'd Habits, produced by repeated Acts, and perfected into pure Love and naked Faith, or into an absolute Surrendry of their natural and moral Powers, to infinite Perfection, which alone can produce derivative Infallibility and Illability on them, and so eternize Perfection and Happiness, and which only can be produced by various Trials, Essays and Temptations to the contrary: He who never was tempted, what knoweth he? Thus the Son of God, as Man, was made perfect by Suffering: As a Potter gives Firmness and Impenetrability to his Earthen Ware, by keeping it in the Fire till it vitrifies. Had Lucretia lived to all Eter|nity, her Chastity would never have been doubted; whereas Cleopatra must not only first have made an Amende Honorable, but have pass'd through several severe new Trials, before her's could have been believ'd. We plainly find by Revelation, that many of all the several Hierarchies fell on their Trial; for tried they must have been, else they could not have fallen; for Reaction always supposes Action. As it is the Nature of Pride and Ma|lice, to be spiteful, infectious and tempting, (in Hopes that Numbers may make them over|look'd, or too powerful, and so secure) we find they, or their Leader, (suppose his Name Lu|cifer) had a great hand in the human Lapse, as it is glanced at under the Serpent that tempted Page 142Eve. And from this Fall of the Angels, the natural and plain Account of Daemonology, and the early impious Heresy of the Manichaeans, (Lucifer and his Angels) is to be deriv'd. What the Trials of these fallen Angels were, and in what manner those of the Angels in the several Hierarchies who stood, combated, kept firm and unshaken, and thereby were for ever confirm'd, establish'd and eterniz'd, and perhaps increas'd and inlarg'd in Purity, Lustre and Glory, by their Victory; is not re|veal'd, nor to be discover'd but by Analogy or Conjecture. The History of the human Lapse is so brief and obscure in Moses, (per|haps partly allegorical, partly literal) with a plain Design to damp idle or hurtful Curiosity, and so prevent our being hurt thereby, by withdrawing us from the one thing neces|sary, that it amounts almost to a total Forbid|ding, and a Warning from prying with too much Eagerness into this mysterious Affair; and to leave things secret (the Secreta Imperii Divini) to God. All that is certain is, that we are lapsed at present, or in a State of Trial and Probation, (we of the human Race on this ruinous Planet) and cannot possibly now be as we came out of the Hands of our infinitely wise, good and powerful Creator. Pre-exist|ence, the Manner of our Lapse, the Duration of our Banishment, and the last Term and Li|mits of our Restoration, are, with infinite Wisdom and Goodness, in their Detail con|ceal'd Page 143 from us, because they would infallibly hurt us; if more precise, they might obstruct the Merit of Faith, or draw us out of the shortest Way. Either of these two Manners of explaining the Lapse, may suffice an honest modest Philosopher, (who is sensible of his own limited Faculties) to make the Affair nei|ther improbable nor impossible; especially when he finds himself both imperfect, un|happy, and unfit to be finally united with a Being infinitely perfect and happy, as He now is. I chuse the first, as more conformable to Revelation, and the Form of sound Words; and every modest Christian Philosopher will be cautious not to be wise, above what is written.
§. 18. WHETHER this Globe of Earth, as we now inhabit it, was the original and pri|mitive Seat of innocent and unlapsed human Spirits, and by the Energy and Force of the Lapse, was gradually and necessarily, and, ac|cording to the present Laws of Bodies, turn'd into the ruinous, dark, dismal State it is now in, and such elementary and clayey Prisons made of it, as our present Vehicles, and the human Race, with all the Spirits concern'd in the Rebellion, thrust down and confin'd upon it, is not material to be known, nor perhaps philosophically to be determin'd: It seems most probable, and conformable to the Ana|logy of Things, and the common Laws of Page 144 Nature, that it gradually and naturally changed from its original Beauty and superior Place among the Stars, into its present ruinous and decay'd State, from the natural Malignity, and deleterious Energy of the Rebellion in its pri|mitive Inhabitants, which perhaps was gradual. What is certain is, that such a Place as Para|dise is describ'd, is now no-where to be found on it; and that balancing the Inconveniencies with the Advantages, of want of Light and Sun, and of cold, uncertain and various Sea|sons, of Barrenness, and Mountains cover'd with Ice and Snow, of the one Part, with the Hurricanes, Tempests, Volcano's, Earth|quakes, Thunder and Lightning, poisonous Insects, and ravenous and savage Beasts, scorching Heats, and pestilential Winds, Blasts or Damps, of the other, the whole Globe is pretty near equal in Conveniencies; and no particular Place without its Comforts and Inconveniencies. So that either Paradise was on some other Planet, or (which is most natural to suppose) Crime, Rebellion and Dis|order have had a physical and necessary Influ|ence, on the Matter or Vehicle belonging to each human Spirit; and thus the whole Mass of rebellious Intelligences, with the Globe they inhabited, was naturally and physically chang'd and disorder'd. I say, it is most natu|ral and philosophical, and perhaps a necessary Consequence of physical Efficiency and Energy, to conclude that the Spirit, according to its Page 145 Degree of Purity or Depravity, should purify and sublime, or corrupt and disorder the ele|mentary Vehicle, with which it is cloathed: as Fire turns Bodies into its own Nature, and Cold deadens and incrassats them, according to the Degree of their Intenseness. We see Lu|xury, inordinat Leachery, Riot and Laziness, first incrassat, then inflame, and at last mor|tify and putrify human and animal Bodies; and Abstinence, a low and cool Regimen, Ex|ercise and Air, lighten, enliven and volatilize them. And it is not impossible, that a whole Race, and all the Inhabitant Mass of such cor|rupted and putrified Bodies, and deprav'd and degenerated Spirits, may have had such an in|sensible and gradual Influence on a whole Globe, its Atmosphere and different Regions, as quite to alter its original Nature; as we see Heaps of putrifying Fish, Insects, and the Car|casses of Men, by the Fermentation and Vo|latilization of the animal Salts, (from intense Heat) produce an universal Plague and Pes|tilence, as was that of Athens, and many others. Thus far the Change of our Planet might have been a natural and necessary Con|sequence at least, the Elements, or Beginning of such a Depravation of the Bodies of its Inhabitants, and their Habitation: which, no doubt, infinite Wisdom and Power, (who directs the natural and necessary Effects of his inanimat Crea|tion, for the moral Purposes of his intelligent Creatures, supernaturally) and out of the gene|ralPage 146Law establish'd for material Bodies and spiritual Substances, may have heighten'd, exa|sperated, or even quicken'd, according to his Pleasure, for the wise Ends and Purposes of his Providence; and thus might have destroyed that Paradise, which by Rebellion and Dis|order had been abus'd, viz. supernaturally and contrary to the general Laws of the Celestial Motions, might have changed the Orbit, the Centre of Rotation, the Distance of the Earth from the Sun, and the Angle of the Ecliptic with the Equator; to reverse the Elements, destroy its Figure and Structure, and thus to weaken the Fertility, and produce the rest of the Appearances we now observe on our Planet, and throughout the whole Solar System, which have many evident Marks of Ruin and Desolation; and this for a Punish|ment and expiatory Purification of the lapsed Inhabitants: And thus also the Deluge might have been brought on, after the Destruction of a paradisaical Globe, by altering only its Centre of Gravity; and after the same Manner other Changes might have been produc'd.
§. 19. AN animal Body is nothing but a System or Aggregat of mere mechanical Powers, viz. of Ropes, Pullies, Levers, Tubes, Glands, Strainers, and the like; viz. One great Pipe with infinite Branches, (infinite in Number, Fitness and Delicacy;) secreting proper and specific Li|quors, to keep them (these Solids) in Repair, Page 147 and preserve them in their due Tone, and a pro|per Degree of Elasticity, thereby to serve the Intentions, and answer the Ends of the intel|ligent Spirit, while confin'd to this Planet. And as I have often used the Similitude, I still find it the most proper, viz. that the Body, this earthly Vehicle and Machin, is, as it were, a curious finely contriv'd Organ, or musical In|strument, whose Keys, Stops and Pipes were all originally, elegantly adjusted and duly tun'd, for the Use of the Musician, or in|dwelling Spirit. In this Fitness and Propriety to answer the Purposes of the Creator, does the Union consist; if that is partly disorder'd, this Union is partially dissolv'd; while the great and necessary Parts are tolerably sound, the Union will still subsist, tho' imperfectly; but if these essential Organs are quite spoiled, the Union will be totally dissolv'd, and the Inha|bitants, by the eternal Laws of Spirits, must ne|cessarily find out, and pass into some other astral Vehicle, or musical Organ, proper for its then Degree of Purity or Corruption; as an Insect is, by the great Law of Instinct, directed to deposit her Eggs on those Leaves or Trees that are fittest to preserve and vivify them; or a Bird seeks by Instinct, the Situation and Materials for her Nest, that is most proper to shelter and accom|modate her Young; and this perhaps in a conti|nual Progression, from astral Vehicle to Vehicle, perpetually refining, as the rational free Intelli|gence Page 148 purifies in its moral Capacity or Attri|butes.
§. 20. MATTER, or Body, is essen|tially incapable of any thing but Division, Figure, Motion and Situation. It is natural|ly passive, and to make it active, or capa|ble of Self-motion, is an absolute Contradic|tion and Impossibility; for two opposite and contrary Principles can never subsist in the same Subject: and therefore it must be intire|ly inert and passive, and for ever continue in the State it is put in, unless it be chang'd by some external Force; and that can never be effected but by a Spirit, or spiritual Sub|stance: which, on the contrary, is essentially self-active and self-motive, and by its Agency determines the Motion and Rest, and different Directions and Actions of Bodies. It is true, this Agency is under certain Restrictions, be|ing limited and subjected to the general Laws of the Nature of Bodies; but the Beginning, End and Degree of the Force and Motion, and all other Changes produc'd in Bodies, are from the Energy and Action of spiritual Sub|stances, either primary or secondary, original or created; so that where Matter, Mechanism and its Powers and Laws end, there spiritual Agency and Energy begin. And therefore I fear, that Sir Isaac Newton's Spiritus qui|dam subtilissimus, Descartes's and Leibnitz's Page 149Vortices, Hugens's and Fatio's infinitely rare, rapid, subtil Matter, with the Qualities they must endow them, to solve Appearances, (I mean only in animated Bodies, for in Ina|nimat it may be required, nay some such Fluid seems necessary, I think) is, I fear, imagi|nary and without Foundation, from sufficient Experiment, or the Anology of Nature; un|less by their infinitly subtil Matter, they mean real spiritual Substance, or else the first Elements of Bodies; for Matter must be ex|tended, divisible, inert, and gravitat, else it can be no longer Matter; and when such im|material, and, as it were, self-moving Matter is granted, it will separate us, but one Step fur|ther from spiritual Substance and Agency; or the perpetual Influence of the First Cause, in whom all things live, move and have their Being. And, I fear, the whole of the Sup|position, how mechanical and adequat so|ever, to answer Appearances in all animated Beings, and in all Accounts of it given by these great Men, has not that Simplicity and Beauty conspicuous in, and essential and necessary to, all the Works of God, i. e. to infinit Wisdom and Power. Of the same kind are animal Spirits, in the Account of muscular Motion; and, on the whole, I can conceive Matter no otherwise, but as di|vided, extended, mov'd and figur'd, and actu|ated and directed by Spirit, which only can act on it, by its own self-motive Energy, tho' that too is limited and circumscrib'd by Mat|ter, Page 150 in all created Spirits. If Experiment or repeated Observations should ascertain the Ex|istence of such an infinitely rare and elastic Matter necessarily, (which I fear it will hardly do) then we must submit to receive it; but, I think, since Resistance will always necessarily accompany Matter in Motion, how small, rare or elastic soever, it will of consequence at last alter the Figure and Direction, and abate the Force and Figure of the Particles, so as to render them unfit to produce the Effect, and answer present Appearances; and perhaps this System may be so ordain'd at first thus to end. But still, as we must stop somewhere at last, and admit of spiritual Agency to impress the first Motion, nothing but repeated and un|deniable Experiment and Observation should induce us to multiply Causes, and allow any such Fluid intervening between animated Matter and the first or secondary Mo|vers. This will be better understood by an Example: It is well known what Pains have been taken, and how many Hypotheses have been fram'd, not only by Physicians, but Geometers of the first Rank, to explain mus|cular Motion, and all, I think, hitherto in vain. This subtil Matter under the Name of animal Spirits, (or at least in propagating them) and even Sir Isaac's Spiritus subtilissi|mus, has been imploy'd for this Purpose, tho' with little Satisfaction to most attentive and qualify'd Judges. How much more na|tural, Page 151philosophical and simple is it, to suppose the Nerves to be infinitly delicat and me|chanically adjusted membranous Tubes, Twists or Ropes, whose Elasticity and Mechanism is preserv'd by an internal milky soft Pith, which Membranes receive their first Impression and Impulse from the self-motive Principle with|in us, (for the self-moveing Principle must communicat the first Impulse either on this sup|pos'd intermediat Fluid, or on these Mem|branes, and either of them is equally unintel|ligible and explicable; but the last is the short|est way, and therefore likeliest to be the Method of the Author of Nature, who always works the shortest Way, and after the simplest Manner, as may be mathematically demonstrated in all his real and natural Workings) and com|municat and propagat it by proper and har|monious Oscillations to the Muscles, by whose mechanical Structure those harmoni|ous Motions are excited into Action, by that admirable Mechanism so fully and justly ex|plain'd, by the learned and ingenious Dr. Alexander Stewart! How much more simple and natural is it to conceive, that the Surfaces of Bodies, their Effluvia or repelling Steams, communicat certain justly proportion'd and commensurable Undulations, Vibrations and Tremors to such membranous Pipes, which the natural Sagacity of the intelligent Principle knows by its own innate Powers, to indicat the Presence of such and such Bodies; in the Page 152 same Manner as the Governor of a besieg'd Town, or the several Ships of a Fleet, under|stand what such a Number of Guns, or such a Flag, import and signify! Thus Things are easy, intelligible and simple. We daily see and hear, what fine Pieces of Music a skilful Musician can fling off a well-tun'd Instrument, from the various Motions of his Fingers or Voice: But this I propose as a mere Illustra|tion. If Experiment should shew the Ne|cessity of the mentioned ethereal Fluid, even then, I think, it will take Place only in unani|mated Nature. And if there is any Regard to be had to such an Hypothesis, before it be abso|lutely decided by Experiment, it must be, be|cause Nature and its Author never act by Starts, Fits, and Intervals, but by slow, uniform and imperceptible Degrees, tho' the Progression is often not to be determin'd by finite Experi|ments, or finite Capacities. But even tho' the Organs of Sense may and do want Media, the animal Functions are too intimat and neces|sary to Life to need such.
§. 21. LIFE, Activity and Intelligence, are natural and necessary in some Degree to all spiritual Beings, as all the Consequences and Combinations of them are; as being Minia|tures, Sparkles or Infinitesimals of the Deity. All of the same Order, Rank or Hierarchy, have these nearly in the same Degree; and these Hierarchies and Ranks, differ only in their Page 153 Degrees of these primary Attributes. What may make the most apparent Difference in this State of things, in the Individuals of the same Rank or Species, is, perhaps, the more coarse or elegant Texture; or the Fitness or Unfitness of their ethereal Vehicles in their first Forma|tion, as they primarily came out of the Hands of their Maker. All the radical Differences conspicuous in the human Race now, are owing to the different Frame, Texture and Culture of their bodily Machin, and its spiritual Organs; so that originally there must have been no Dif|ference of Sexes, because at last, in their re|stor'd and recover'd State there will be none; they will, in that respect, be like the Angels, as Revelation expresly asserts. Something ana|logous to Creative Fecundity, possibly, may be even in Angels, and primarily may have been too in the human Race, because of their Si|milarity and Resemblance to those Angels, and to their grand Original the Deity; I say, some miniature Resemblance of his Creative Power might have been in them. Beneficent Nature must be necessarily communicative, and earnestly desirous, there may be infinitly more Beings to contemplat, worship and adore the infinitly perfect Being, and admire the Ope|rations of his Hands, to imitat Him, and par|take of his Felicity. But how this Creative Power, or earnest Desire of more Intelligences, operated then, I will not take upon me to conjecture: But certain it is, that the Division Page 154 of the Sexes was after the Lapse was begun, and, perhaps, when it was far advanc'd; possi|bly to put a Drag on it, and prevent the final Degeneracy into Self-love, or an idolatrous and unnatural Commerce with the brute Creation.
§. 22. IT is both philosophical and highly probable to suppose, that the Bodies as well as the Spirits of all the human Race were created at one and the same time; at least were sent into these Adamical Dungeons they now in|habit, at one and the same time. The Spirit endow'd with the three radical Qualities of Life, Activity and Intelligence, in the Per|fection that belong'd to its Order and Species; and the Body, in the Perfection of their then Estate, at least in the original and first Stock, in whose Loins were included in Miniatures and Infinitesimals, in a perpetual Progression de|scending, all the Race and Mass that should ever exist, of that Species. This will be no Difficulty to those who know and understand, the infinit Divisibility of Matter, and the Doctrine of first, second, third and consequent Fluxions or Differences, as they are now de|monstrated and explain'd. These infinitesimal Bodies have probably been animated, and growing in their own Manner, and according to their Laws, from their first Formation, and from the Time of the primary general Crea|tion, till they arriv'd at their full Maturity. No doubt both these miniature and maturePage 155 Bodies, were vastly different from what we find our lapsed earthly Tabernacles now are. As the Spirit was perfect in its Kind, so was the Body: As the Spirit was pliant, supple, and chearfully obedient to the Influences of the Eternal Spirit, (which was breath'd into it by the Spirit of God, viz. pure disinterested Love) so was the Body pliant and obedient to the Commands of the human Spirit: All was Or|der, Peace, Love and Harmony; and probably the Frame and Figure of the Body might be in many Particulars different from what we now find it, as we have observ'd of the Difference of the Sexes in the former Section; and these Differences may be necessary in one State of the Progression, and may naturally drop off, and decay, in another, when of no fur|ther Use: Instances of which we may see in the different Shapes of seminal Animalculs, Eggs, Nymphae and young Insects, from what they have when arriv'd at Maturity; of a Chick in the Egg, from what it is when per|fectly grown; in the several Stages of the Silk-worm, and most other animated Beings, Vegetables as well as Animals. And this is a just and wise Contrivance, and evidently de|monstrates Design in the Maker, to fit the living Creature for its several Situations. But what is most material, is, that even this now Adamical and gross Tabernacle of ours, must necessarily contain under it, the Principles, Ele|ments, Springs and linear Root of that etherealPage 156 or paradisaical Body it was created in, and of that perhaps glorious Body it will be restor'd to at last in the final Recovery (which per|haps are both the same). But this can be no Difficulty to those who know that the Rays of the Sun are but Matter and Body, which may be contain'd in a Dungeon of Pu|trefaction, and in a Dunghil as well as in the azure Sky; and that the Particles of Matter attract and repel each other in different Cir|cumstances, and purify and sublime as well as incraffat and condense, by the mere Force and Energy of the present Laws of Nature: And this Law, by which the whole Stock of such an Order and Rank of Intelligences advances in a certain Progression towards Happiness and Perfection, (the Confirmation and Stability of which is only to be found in the last and most perfect State of Purity and Happiness, as being free, but finite, and consequently fallible Crea|tures) must absolutly depend on and be brought about by Experience, confirm'd Ha|bits, many appropriated Trials, and much gra|dual Labour; for nothing is more certain than the Axiom, Nemo repente fit turpissimus aut optimus. This Law, I say, of deriving the whole Race from such a radical Stock in an increasing Progression, was a noble Design, and of infinite Love and Wisdom, for rendering the succeeding and posterior Generations Par|takers of all the Acquisitions of Wisdom, Knowledge, and other Improvements of their Predecessors: But as Corruptio optimi est pes|sima, Page 157 by the Lapse all the contrary has hap|pen'd, and
Nos nequiores, mox daturos
So that what infinit Love and Goodness could not effect, that is, render finite fallible Intel|ligences fixed, and eternally stable in Order and Purity: Punishment, Experience and Trial may at last effect, tho' in an unnatural and retrograde Manner: But for this Misfortune, infinit Wisdom is no more to be blam'd, than a kind Father that leaves a comfortable Subsistence to a prodigal Son, is to be charg'd with the Miseries and Diseases he has contracted in squandering it.
§. 23. THERE may possibly be original Difference in the Complexion and Frame of the Spirits of the same Rank and Order of In|telligences: some have one or more of their natural and radical Attributes in a greater De|gree of Perfection than others, which certain|ly are heighten'd by the different Degrees of Perfection and Improvement of their moral Qualities; it being sufficient to constitute their Degree or Rank, that the Sum total of their Qualities, one to compensat the other, be ori|ginally pretty near equal. But I should think the greatest Difference consists in the Cul|ture: The righteous Man is more excellent than his Neighbour, says the Royal Prophet; Page 158 which is only from his cultivating into higher Habits his moral Qualities; and it is the same with both Parts of the Compound, the Quali|ties of which, in all finite free Intelligences, must ever depend, to a certain Degree, on Culture and Improvement, in the Docility or Facility of the Spirit, and Pliancy of the Body. He that by Study, entering into his own Heart, thinking, reflecting, remembering, and acting, cultivats his Spirit, will continu|ally acquire a Facility, Quickness and Penetra|tion in intellectual Opperations; and he that by Air, Exercise, a low Diet, and proper and well-tim'd Remedies, improves and heightens his Health, and perfects his animal Functions, will be fitter and more capable to improve his intellectual Faculties. The bodily Machine, disorder'd or spoil'd, will sink, debase, blunt and confound the Operations of the Spirit; and the Spirit violently agitated, or too closely confin'd, will disturb the Oeconomy of the bodily Functions: and the perfect State of Health, and the last Perfection of all intelli|gent Creatures, consisting of an intelligent Spirit and a material Machine, depends on the perfect Sanity and Harmony of both united, in their respective Order and Rank. A superior Degree of Perfection in either, will consist with an inferior Degree in the other; but when either the Spirit is quite unculti|vated, or in an infinitesimal Degree only, the radical Qualities of Living, Activity and In|telligence, Page 159 may be dwindled into that one of mere Living, as in Children and Ideots, perhaps Brutes; and when the Body is much in Disorder, the spiritual Faculties, how|ever cultivated, either wander at random, or act irregularly. But the Fund of the Spirit, or the radical Qualities, may be eternally the same, invariable and unalterable in their Or|der and Rank, whatever happens to the bodily Machine; only the sensible and elicited Acts will vary and alter; or, which is the same thing, the radical Qualities of Living, Acti|vity and Intelligence, may be invariable in the Rank and Degree proper to such a Species of spiritual Nature, whatever Machine or bodily Organ it be cloathed with; only it cannot exert its elicit or exterior Acts without a proper Machine: As a Musician is still in his Nature and Fund a good Musician, whether he has an Organ or musical Instrument to play on or not, or whatever sort of musical Instrument he has; but he never can perform an harmonious plea|sant Piece of Music, without having a perfect and proper musical Instrument. An Angel is still an Angel in his Nature, whatever Vehicle he appear in; but cannot perform his Office to the human Species, unless he appear in some Shape or Vehicle familiar and proper to his Commission. So that as to the human Spe|cies, the present Body and Vehicle was de|sign'd, and is necessary only to commerciat and communicat with the System of Bodies or Be|ings Page 160 cloathed with material and sensible Ap|pearances and Qualities, as they now are in their ruinous State: For as to invisible, imperceptible, and spiritual Objects and Be|ings, the first Elements of any Knowledge about them, must intirely and solely be deriv'd from Analogy, to the Ideas and Resemblances of Things, convey'd to the sentient Principle through the Senses; and when these elemen|tary Steps are gone through, and become familiar and easy, spiritual Agency and Operation (if such be allow'd) may then begin its Influence and Effects: For when the Mind has been duly cultivated and habituated to a Faculty of Think|ing, to abstracted Sentiments, Reflections and Ideas, then rational, spiritual and closer Think|ing, becomes familiar and easy: But the Rudi|ments, and initial Procedure, must be deriv'd through the Senses, in Perceptions and Ideas excited by Matter and its Qualities, but im|proved by Analogy and its Appendages, Trope, Metaphor, Similitude and Hieroglyphic.
§. 24. THE natural Progression and final Cause or Reason of this Oeconomy, as far as philosophical Reasoning may go in such Mat|ters, may be this: The original and radical Qualities of all spiritual Natures being (as has been often said) Liveing, Activity and Intel|ligence, and these being unalterable and eter|nally the same, in the specific Order and Rank, a vast Number (perhaps of all the several Or|ders Page 161 of the Hierarchies) lapsed and fell, and ran into Rebellion and Disorder, (being finite and free) and so defac'd and lost their moral Qualities of Justice, Goodness and Truth. In|finit Wisdom and Love then, always intend|ing to recover and restore his lapsed Creatures, must, by the eternal unalterable Laws of his Nature, bring it about in a Manner consistent with their original and radical Qualities; that is, by preserving their Life or Liveing, their Activity or Liberty, and their Intelligence or Understanding. In loseing their moral Attri|butes, they perhaps lost or spoil'd, their para|disaical or glorious Body with which they were originally cloath'd, and were new-cloath'd over it, with a crass, unactive Tabernacle or Prison, such as we find our present Adamical one now is; by which means our radical Qualities were greatly confin'd, and more narrowly cir|cumscrib'd, and we were reduc'd to a State of Annihilation and Extinction as to them (as it were) for a long Tract of Time: Our radi|cal Qualities of Liveing, Activity and Intelli|gence being thus reduc'd to the single one of Liveing; as the whole human Race actually once were in the Loins of their first Parent Adam, or whoever was the first of the human Race. From that time they have been developeing, ex|tending and unfettering their Adamical Taber|nacles (every one in his Order) thus spread over the internal ethereal Vehicle, till they came to a certain Degree of Maturity, and had Page 162 form'd the several new-cloath'd Organs, Pipes and Springs of this second Adamical Machin, fit to perform the probatory and expiatory Harmony, in this Period of Duration, in order to acquire and regain their moral Attributes of Justice, Goodness and Truth, and to return into Order, and, consequential, Happiness: Fi|nite Beings, are absolutely uncapable to regain these moral Attributes consistent with their natural and necessary ones, but by a gradual Progress, (viz.) by Labour, Patience, Expe|rience and Trial, by which they may be gra|dually confirm'd into permanent Habits, and advanced to the Degree of their Order and Rank, or perhaps higher; and thus their na|tural Attributes being depress'd and sunk into an Equality with their moral Ones, by being thus cloathed and circumscrib'd with gross Ve|hicles, their natural Powers are preserv'd from Violence, and only sopited for a time, till the moral Qualities begin to rise; and then both may go on in the same Pace, which, it would seem, could, by no other possible or imaginable Means, be so consistently brought about. For the natural Attributes of Liveing, Activity and Intelligence, preserv'd at their utmost original Extent, must necessarily have counteracted and clashed with the Acquisition of the moral At|tributes to any Degree of Perfection. For Ex|ample; innate, precise Knowledge, and a pe|netrating Understanding, in any thing, in this our lapsed Estate, would necessarily have coun|teracted Page 163 Dependence, Meekness, Poverty of Spi|rit, Humility, pure Love, and universal Charity; and unbounded Liberty must have clash'd with Restraints, Submission and Resignation, now (at least) so absolutely necessary to the Acquisition of the moral Powers to any Degree, and so of the rest of the moral Attributes. But by thus depressing the natural Attributes to the Level of the moral ones, both may, without Vio|lence, be in time restor'd to their appointed Order and Degree; that is, they gradually and Step by Step, may be turn'd into per|manent Habits, by the Divine Grace, and the Oeconomy of Jesus.
§. 25. HENCE, the moral Attributes being defac'd by the Lapse, and the natural ones brought down to a Level with them, by con|fining them to gross Vehicles or Prisons, the whole of the intellectual Operations must, in some measure, depend on the bodily Machin, as well, as the Degree and Perfection of the moral Attributes, in this present lapsed State, at least in its first Steps and Initiation. The intellectual Operations can never be so regu|larly and perfectly exerted, while the Body is in Disorder; a sick and diseased Person seldom perceives truly, nor reasons justly; and a vici|ous Person never judges solidly, that is, by Number, Weight and Measure, nor acts per|fectly. But that this may be more clearly un|derstood, it may want a little further Detail. Page 164 I say nothing here of a possible passive State in advanced Christianity, that being above Philosophy or Conjecture, and perhaps the last Scene of the Drama of Restoration.
§. 26. WHAT Men call a Genius, or a Man of fine natural Parts, a Hero, or a Philoso|pher, (before the Fund, the whole created spiritual Substance, or the moral as well as the natural Attributes, be acquir'd and cultivated into a Habit) is much owing to the Perfection of the Machin or Vehicle, and its spiritual or ethereal (now cloathed over with Clay) Organs. The intellectual Faculties require proper Or|gans, Springs, Ropes and Pipes, to perform their Operations by, as well as the Senses; and these probably are the Arteriolae, Fibrils and mem|branous Tubuli prolong'd, of the cortical and glandular Parts of the Brain, which are diversify'd and delicatly modify'd ad infinitum; the Detail and Mechanism of which never was, nor perhaps ever will be, philosophically explain'd: But that the Perfection of the intellectual Ope|rations in our present State, depends, in some measure, on the Soundness and Integrity of the Body, and these particular Organs, there are many undeniable Evidences to prove, as shall be afterwards shewn. What I would here insinuat is, that the Delicacy, Fineness and Perfection of one Set of these intellectual Or|gans, beyond that of another Set, is that which makes the Genius, Hero or Philoso|pher.Page 165 Thus the Health of the Body being good and sound, if a Man has warm, but sharp Blood, with very elastic and strong pungent Nerves, but the particular Organs of Think|ing, Attention and Reflection, indifferently agile only, he may make a Hero. If his Blood be cool, soft, mild and sweet, and his intel|lectual Organs very elastic or agile, he may make a Philosopher or Law-giver: And so of the other Differences of natural Spirits, among the human Race, in all of whom the Fund, or natural Attributes, may be pretty near equal. But whatever Equality there may be in the natural Qualities of such Spirits, the Difference in the moral ones, makes the human Species to differ at last widely, even in the Ex|ercise of natural ones. For the true Criterion of a right and sound Understanding, and per|fect Judgment, is to examin things by Num|ber, Weight and Measure, according to their Nature and Relations, and then to estimat and prefer them, according to their intrinsic Worth and Importance thus determin'd; and in this Sense it is true only, that the righteous Man is more excellent than his Neighbour: that is, wiser as well as better. And that the Acquisition and Culture of the moral Quali|ties, not only shew the Justness and Strength of the natural ones, but also inlarge, augment and perfect them, both as they necessarily mend and improve the bodily Health, by Temperance and Abstinence, and consequently rectify and Page 166tune the Organs of the intellectual Faculties, but likewise as they cultivat and extend all the Powers of the Spirit, by Study, close Think|ing, by Actions, and Abstraction, and other in|tellectual Operations, imploy'd in the Acquisi|tion and Exercise of these moral Qualities.
§. 27. THAT the Perfection, and full, free and just Use of the intellectual Faculties, de|pends, in a great measure, on the Soundness and Health of the bodily Machin, more particularly of the Organs of these intellectual Faculties, is evident from many Considerations: 1st, The Body was design'd to concentre and circum|scribe the spiritual Powers, to confine and impri|son them for a time, and fit them only grosly to commerciat with other Bodies on this present ruinous Planet, and must purify and refine, ac|cording to the Degree of the Acquisition and Perfection of the moral Attributes, as has been explain'd; and every Step in this Acquisition necessarily tends to develop and inlarge the natural and radical Attributes, as has likewise been hinted; from whence their mutual De|pendence on each other becomes evident. In this our lapsed State, our gross and earthly Prisons were design'd by infinit Wisdom, to curb, concentre and restrain the exalted Fun|ctions of the radical and intellectual Faculties, in Proportion to the Defacement and Decay of the moral ones, that being both on a Le|vel, they might rise, advance and perfect by Page 167 equal Degrees, without Clashing or Contra|diction; without which our Ruin must have been eternal, our Lapse perpetual, and our Recovery impossible; the natural and radical Qualities, in their utmost Extent, being evi|dently contradictory to, and destructive of, the Acquisition and Improvement of the moral ones; and the whole Restoration must be brought about by the Culture of the moral Qualities, which perfect and develop the na|tural ones, and thereby purify and sublime the Vehicle, extend and form the intellectual Or|gans: So that in the first Steps at least of this Progressive Purification, the Perfection of the Acts of the intellectual Faculties depend on and are in proportion to the Perfection of their natural and bodily Organs. 2dly, We expe|rimentally find, the intellectual Faculties and Operations depend on the Body, in all acute and chronical (especially those called nervous) Distempers; the Raveings, Incoherences and Distractions in the first, and the unaccount|able Terrors, Panics, Inconstancies, Dispon|dence and Cowardice of the last, are suffici|ent Proofs of this; and demonstrat the Ne|cessity of a proper Crase in the Juices, and the Soundness and proper Elasticity of the Solids and Organs, in all the intellectual Functions and Operations, but eminently so in the first Steps of our Renovation. 3dly, We actually find, and are ocularly sensible, in an Embryo, in Infancy, in seminal Miniatures, that the Page 168 whole of the natural Powers are concentred and imprison'd; and that it is in their Growth only, and in the developing of their Organs, and in the Inlargement of the Doors, Windows and Aperture of the Senses, that their intel|lectual Faculties ever inlarge themselves to any Degree. 4thly, We find that Luxury, Lea|chery, Intemperance, Laziness, strong and vio|lent Passions, inclement and pestilential Air, Bruises and Accidents, that injure the arterial, and nervous System, always hurt, and sometimes destroy the free Exercise of these Faculties, and the Acquisition of Virtue (at least of some Vir|tues) as well as Science; and that proper Reme|dies, and due Management, recover and restore them again. 5thly, Abstracting from the Pro|bability and analogical Evidence, that the Bodies of the whole Race were actually form'd, liv'd, grew and extended in the Loins of the first original Pair, we see plainly, (as I have hinted) that every Individual begins with, as it were, a mere vegetable Life, while in Embryo, in seminal Miniature, and in the Mother's Womb; that when it is born, it has scarce more than an animal Life, in which it continues much longer than any other Animal we know; and that it rises by slow and imperceptible De|grees into a rational Life: From which it is evident, that the Powers of the Soul are sunk, concentred, imprison'd and contracted by its unform'd Tabernacle or organical Vehicle, and cannot exert its intellectual Functions, but Page 169 gradually and insensibly, and as the bodily and intellectual Organs are form'd; and that for this wise and gracious End, That the moral Powers and Virtues of the Soul may have Time, Liberty and Leisure, by repeated Acts, to turn into Habits, and so all three may equally develop and extend together, (viz.) the natural and radical Powers, (which in their Capacity, and original Energy, are invariable) and the moral Attributes of the Soul, and their mechanical and material Organs. 5thly, But what is in this Case a Demonstration, is, that all the vital Functions and Sensations, are all perform'd by the Spirit, by the Intermediation only of Motions, Vibrations and Tremors, properly modify'd and impress'd by Bodies, or their Effluvia, on rightly dispos'd membranous Tubuli, elastic Threads or Filaments; which Motions or Vibrations, the Soul naturally, and by its own innate and radical Powers and Sa|gacity, knows to denote the Presence of such and such Bodies, and their Actions. Thus See|ing is perform'd by the Impressions of the Rays of Light, emitted or reflected by the Surfaces of Bodies, which by the Size of their component Particles, and other Circumstances, exciteing par|ticular Vibrations and Undulations on the elastic optic Nerves, point out to the sagacious Spirit (innately and naturally endow'd with such a Ca|pacity of Perceiving and Judging) the Presence of such and such Bodies: And in a Manner analo|gous to this, is Hearing, Feeling, and all the other Page 170 Senses perform'd, and muscular Motion may be perform'd much in the same way. 6thly, To confirm all this, and that Observations and Fact may justify and demonstrat Speculation, it is certain, and almost infallible, that pon|derous Medicines, duly and properly prepar'd and adjusted, and a low, cool, thin Diet, per|sisted in, a due Time, and join'd with Air and Exercise, will generally restore the free and perfect Use of the intellectual Faculties, not only to those who have destroy'd or hurt them by Luxury and Laziness, but even to such as have deriv'd them with their Birth, or from Accidents or Parents, if the Organs themselves be not intirely confounded or spoil'd; at least in some Degree, sufficient to demonstrat the Pro|position; and every one knows that this Me|thod, and these Medicines, only mend the Juices, and open Obstructions. Of this I could give some such Instances, having treated several such Cases, that I could venture my Reputa|tion on some Degree of Success of the Me|thod, when apply'd early and in due Time, before the noble Organs be quite spoil'd. And if Philosophy have any thing certain or true, it is this, that quo posito ponitur, & quo sublato tollitur, in eo consistit ejus rei Essen|tia. A great deal more I could urge, but this must suffice to the honest Inquirer, and fair Philosopher; else, nothing will.
§. 28. FROM all which it is evident, that it is to Experience, Culture and Probation, re|moving Obstacles and Impediments, that we must apply both for the Extention and Improve|ment of the natural and moral Powers of the Soul, and for the Perfection of the intellectual Organs of the Body. All three, since the Lapse, have been contracted, imprison'd or concentred, as it were, to a Punctum Saliens, (as the Naturalists speak of the beginning Incu|bation of a Chick from an Egg) to be extended and dilated to a given State of Maturity and Perfection, altogether proper for its Order and Rank, and alone and only to be brought about at first by the Culture of others (its Parents, Nurses and Masters) while under Age, and afterwards by its own Industry, Attention and Diligence, in a proper Method, when come to Maturity. So that the whole Perfection of Body, Soul and Spirit, (by Soul and Spirit I always mean the natural and moral Powers) depend on proper Culture, Experience and Trials; and our whole lapsed State is proba|tory, experimental and progressive, and from our vegetable, through our brutal and ratio|nal, up to our restored first paradisaical and last divine, fix'd and immoveable State; the whole Progress is in a great measure our own Work, tho' under general Laws, both for Spirits and Bodies, but with supernatural (or if you please, miraculous) Aids and Assistances Page 172 from time to time, to be the Rewards and Motives of our Diligence and Zeal, tho' per|haps they are never to be felt or distinguish'd, till the whole Progression is at an End; which Progression might or may be much after this Manner, as far as can be conjectur'd from things as they now appear. The human Race was originally made in the Scale of Intelli|gences, and in that Cone of Creation (if I may be allow'd the Similitude without offending weak Minds, and low Philosophers) which seems to ascend, from inert and passive Mat|ter through the human Species, to the Angels, and beyond the Cherubims and Seraphins, up to the utmost Extent that created finite free Intelligence reaches: (all which, in their na|tural Powers, are Infinitesimals respectively and unalterably of their great Original, the Deity, but at an infinitly infinit Distance from Him, as they ought and must be, but in a verging Progression of Similarity to him, in their natu|ral as well as moral Powers) I say, the human Spe|cies, being made a little lower only than the An|gels, with Bodies or earthly Machins, supple and pliant to their in dwelling spiritual Intelligences, and with Spirits supple and pliant to the Influ|ences, Impulses and Commands of the Fa|ther of Spirits (in which their Innocence and Felicity consisted); and being free, and conse|quently capable of a progressive Procedure, from this original State of their Creation, either forward to Perfection and Happiness to Page 173 a certain Degree, which probably might fix them in the Extention of their original Powers, (tho' not in the greatest Perfection of their mo|ral ones) and consequently in their greatest Happiness; or a Departure backward into Dis|order, Rebellion, spurious Self-love, inordinat Love of the Creatures, Propriety, and conse|quently Misery; their Creator eternally de|signing to restore them to their first or perhaps a higher Rank, plac'd them first upon this Ball of Clay, (which had been either naturally and physically ruin'd and spoil'd, by their own immoral Taint and Corruption, or was by his own omnipotent Agency) and con|fin'd them to Prisons and Dungeons made of this Planet, tho' with infinit Wisdom and Elegancy, and with a sublime Delicacy adjusted to the Nature of their Lapse, or the Ends of their Probation and Purification; whereby their natural Powers being cramp'd and con|centred to the Degree of the Decay of their moral Powers, they may by their own Labour and Culture (but supernaturally assisted) advance proportionally in both, to the Stature and De|gree appointed them in their original Forma|tion, and perhaps higher; and in the mean time, perhaps dropping through many different Vehicles, and material Bodies, grosser, or more sublime, either Dungeons, or partially glori|ous Bodies, as they have advanced or gone backward in the Acquisition of the moral At|tributes, Justice, Goodness and Truth, or (which Page 174 is the same in the Christian Language) of the Cardinal Virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity; which, justly explain'd, are of the same Im|port.
§. 29. THE human Soul, or intelligent Prin|ciple, has its radical Qualities and Faculties, that it was endow'd with in its first Creation, essentially inherent and innate in its Nature, and in their full Extent and Perfection, even now in this lapsed State, perhaps beyond the Vigour they can ever arrive at in this mortal Life, only cramp'd and sopited by this gross and earthly Prison (like a Felon in a Dungeon or con|demn'd Hole); and as it has the Power or Root of the Senses of Seeing, Hearing and Feeling, al|most the same as when at intire Liberty, in its ethereal Vehicle, tho' now confin'd to Darkness, Silence and Unactivity, and can only see and hear as through a Grate or narrow Chink; yet it has its natural Powers, and their bodily Organs, as vigorous and lively, as when it was at large, tho' it be not in a Capacity to exert them in the same Degree, by reason of its heavy clay Coverlet: And this gross earthly Tabernacle actually contains under it, the or|ganical Lines and Stamina of that glorious paradisaical and first created Body it was en|dow'd with before the Lapse, or of the more glorious one it will be solely cloath'd with in its final Perfection and Restoration, tho' both (for they are one and the same) now cover'd Page 175 over and encrusted with gross mouldering Clay; and both Soul and Body, as they are now in this lapsed State, will gradually drop and put off this Adamical Tabernacle, and slide into another, and perhaps a third, according to the general Laws of Purification, and in Propor|tion as the spiritual Inhabitant advances in Per|fection, till at last it arrive at that fix'd and permanent State, and the Place and Mansion it was design'd for in the universal System of Intelligences.
§. 30. FROM this Account, if agreeable with the universal Analogy of Things, and the general Laws of Providence relating to the Lapse and Purification of Intelligences; it will follow, that intellectual Acts and Exer|cises are but Remembrance, and removeing Impediments, or but the Spirit's returning to its original and primitive State: That Culture, Study and Reflection, and all the Operations of the Mind, are really (and not figuratively) but lopping, pruning, dressing and removeing Obstacles and Incumbrances, and forming the bodily Organs to a proper Suppleness and Fa|cility, for the Performance of spiritual Exer|cises, and to produce Habits: That the Study of Arts and Sciences, and all other Know|ledge, is but Remembrance and Recollection, opening Passages and Apertures, to admit more Light into the Prison and Dungeon; which can only effectually be done by the Ac|quisition Page 176 of the moral Powers of Justice, Good|ness and Truth, or of Faith, Hope and Cha|rity; and this not figuratively, but in Reality, and by fix'd Habits. In a word, the Soul has essentially and radically in its Fund and Na|ture, innate and permanent, all the natural Powers in their full Extent and Degree that ever it can possibly arrive at here, but they cover'd over, sopited and concentred by the gross Adamical Prison; and is only depriv'd of its moral Powers in its present lapsed State, which moral Powers it is sent here to recover.
§. 31. THE Exercise of the natural Powers of the Soul, (viz.) of Liveing, Activity and In|telligence, is the general State and Complexion of all spiritual Natures: Liveing means, supposes and implies the actuating, informing, directing and superintending the several Motions and Functions of a divinely organiz'd Material, either Ethereal or Planetary, grosser or more refin'd Vehicle, according to the Oeconomy of Providence in its Restoration, and in giving Mo|tions and Directions to Bodies or Matter to a cer|tain Degree. Memory is but an Affection or Mo|dification of the Understanding, fixing it to a par|ticular Object; as seeking any thing absent or lost, is but a particular Attention and Observation or Detention of the Eye on the different Ob|jects presented; and that the Understanding has proper Organs for the different Uses and Page 177 Purposes of Perceiving, Considering, and fix|ing its Attention, as the Eye has various Mus|cles, Tendons, Humours and Glands, for di|recting, fixing and perfecting its Sight; and Memory is just such a Modification of the Un|derstanding, as Searching or Seeking is of the Eye; and all is perform'd through the mecha|nical Powers and Organs of the Body, by the innate Sagacity of the Mind: and hence it comes to pass, that when these mechanical Powers and Organs of the Body are quick and agile, to present Variety of Images, Pictures and Ideas with Readiness, the Person is in|gegious, fanciful, poetical, or of a quick and lively Imagination. If the Organs of the Imagination, the nervous Fibrillae, the membranous Tubuli, be strong and firm, the Impressions or Ideas being dureable, the Memory becomes strong. The Under|standing is merely passive, it is like the Vis Inertiae of Matter, or Reflection and Refrac|tion in it, of which it is the analogous Quality in the Soul; and this Vis Inertiae is one of the last Steps of the descending Miniature of the divine Original in his inanimat Creation. Truth is to the Understanding, what Light is in animal Life to the Eye; it must be receiv'd absolutely, and only according to the then State of the Mind. It is the Will that is the ruling and directing Faculty of spiritual Na|ture, and its analogous Quality in inanimated Page 178 Matter, is Attraction and Repulsion: all de|pend on it; it rules absolutely, and without Controul, even sometimes over the Under|standing, and every Faculty of the Soul. It is the self-active and self-motive Principle, act|ing above and beyond Matter, at a Distance, without the Intervention of a material Me|dium, by its own Energy, and after its specific manner of Operation; as is evident from In|stinct, Impulse, Sympathy and Antipathy, Conscience, natural Affection, and the like immechanical Affections of the Soul. Mat|ter only limits and modifies its Operations, and renders it capable to commerciat and commu|nicat with Bodies, by acting upon them, and being reacted upon by them. The Will may and can act without and contrary to the Judg|ment, Conviction and Approbation of the Un|derstanding (Self-activity and Self-mobility ne|cessarily secluding all foreign Aid); and from it the first Springs, Direction and Perfection of the Understanding, often take their Rise; but generally they advance by the same Steps in their Purification; only the probatory and puri|fying Process in the lapsed State, both in the Acquisition of the moral Attributes, and in the Culture and Development of the bodily Or|gans, of the Faculties, gradually and by uni|form Acceleration (like the Velocity of de|scending Bodies) receives its constant Impulse from the Will.
§. 32. SOME have thought, that the Wills of all Intelligences were so order'd by the divine Decree and Appointment, that they should be so absolutely free, as to become even independent of his Influence and Pre|science, and that their Liberty should be in a natural Equilibrium to do whatever their ori|ginal Powers could possibly effect, and be de|termin'd by their own Strength only, and affirm'd that so much a self-motive Power does necessarily imply; and that accordingly, God was not actually certified of the Lapse, till it happen'd, in the Angelical Hierarchy. That the divine Nature may actually have ar|bitrary Ideas, they think, necessarily follows, from his natural infinit Liberty, which they suppose a Consequence of the absolute Infi|nitude of all his Attributes, and the Base and Root of his infinit Intelligence or Omnisci|ence. For no Creature is free, but must be at the same time intelligent, and all intelligent Creatures are naturally Images of Him; and since intelligent Creatures, such as we are, have arbitrary Ideas, (as is evident from our being able to act contrary to our Judgment, and contrary to our present and future greater Good, were it but to shew the Nature of our Li|berty, in any one Instance, for Example, to suf|fer present or future certain Pain, as in Suicide) therefore there must, by Analogy, be concluded Page 180 a correspondent Power of infinitly more Force and Perfection in the divine Nature. It is true, Omniscience could certainly foreknow what|ever Omnipotence could effect; but both Om|niscience and Omnipotence being in the divine Nature infinitly free, they think it a higher Instance of Perfection and Power, for a free Omniscience voluntarily to design not to know what his Omnipotence might effect on his free intelligent Creation; and that it implies not want of Perfection and Power, but, on the contrary, is a much higher Instance of Perfec|tion and Power, for an infinitly perfect Be|ing to create Intelligences, that should be natu|rally in such a Degree of Freedom, that even He Himself should not foreknow what they were to do; but should, as it were, volunta|rily and arbitrarily suspend (Jesus Christ, say the Fathers, suspended the Influence of his Divinity on his Humanity; He made Him|self of no Report, He took upon Himself the Form of a Servant, the greatest Instance of his Divinity possible) the Influence and Penetration of his Omniscience, to magnify and manifest his Omnipotence. He might, no doubt, have foreknown every thing that should ever be effected, or brought to pass, by the self-motive Powers of his created miniature Images; but He might also designedly and arbitrarily not foresee or foreknow all this, to enoble his intelligent Creatures thereby, that Page 181 so they might be free even from his Espial and Observation, for a Trial of their Faith and Patience, (as a tender Mother tries her Fondlings Strength and Gait, by letting go the Leading-string) and thus leave them a Possession and Property, (that they might be fitter Objects of his Commerce and Glory) and that they might have something in Dominion and Heritage, that in Gratitude they might render back to Him, which even He (now He had created them) could not force from them. Perhaps such a Creature might become a nobler Instance of infinit Wisdom and Power, than one, all whose future Thoughts and Actions were certainly foreknown even by Omniscience: as a skilful Watch-maker might make a Watch or Clock, whose Time of Going or Striking he might not foreknow, or could not foretel, that absolutly depend|ing on the Length of the Chain tied to the Spring or Weight, which he had in his Power not to have measur'd. This bold and pro|fane Supposition, of God's design'd and arbi|trary Non-foreknowledge of his finite free In|telligences future Actions, would indeed in|tirely take off all the Difficulties and Ob|jections against the Lapse, about Liberty, Prescience, and Predestination; and justify the Darkness and Distresses in Providence, Re|velation, and the whole Oeconomy of the Re|storation: but whether it is perfectly con|sistent Page 182 with the Harmony and Simplicity, and absolute Infinitude and Dignity of the divine Nature and Attributes, I dare not take upon me to determin. And since infinit Sagacity and Penetration (like that of a wise and good Minister of State) will account for Presci|ence, without influencing or intrenching on Liberty, I am much rather inclin'd to sub|scribe to it. Infinit Perfection can provide for the Perfection and Happiness of his Crea|ture, without any Prejudice to Himself.
§. 33. ALL intelligent Creatures being (as I have often said) Effluxes, Emanations, and ana|logous Infinitesimals of the Deity, must necessa|rily be impress'd with his Image; for though they be finite, dependent, and created, yet being free, so far they are little analogical Divinities; and though they flow'd from Him as their Source, yet by this their Liberty, they are able to hold, as it were, in Property, an infinitesimal Portion of his spiritual Nature and Qualities, and thereby have something of their own to give Him back, and thus to commerciat with Him, and at last to return to Him as their last End: just as the last and least Particles of Water (being probably spherical or spheroi|dical) may retain their own Figure when re|ceiv'd into the universal Volume of all Fluids of the Ocean, and are actuated by its Motions; or like the Fish, which though in the Sea, yet Page 183 all of them preserve their own Forms; or rather like the Iron in the Oven, which being turn'd into liquified Fire, yet retains its own Shape. Just so, all created Intelligences may preserve their own Principles of Individua|tion, when they are restor'd to the Rock out of which they were hewn. But these lame and unanimated Allusions I adduce only as Il|lustrations of this incomprehensible Subject; for Creation, though a necessary Article to be believ'd in all the Systems of Natural Religion, is as incomprehensible and inexplicable as any Mystery in Reveal'd, unless it be by Analogy; and it is no hard Matter then to conceive any thing is, that actually exists, especially where infinit Power is suppos'd the Cause, and when it does not involve an absolute Contradiction, as these analogical Allusions shew this does not. However this Explication be receiv'd, I think it self-evident, that in their Creation, or Emana|tion from the first Cause, all Intelligences have been impress'd with God's Image, and are really thereby infinitesimal Deities: And that the natural Powers, Attributes and Facul|ties we feel in our own Souls, may fairly be carried up to absolute Infinitude by Analogy, and in some imperfect and gross manner, be so rais'd as to give a shadowy Glance, or faint Idea, of the supreme Being the Deity: And that our Liberty may not be violated, and our Restoration may be secur'd, I fear this is as Page 184precise as we can reach in this our lapsed Estate, while we dwell in earthly Prisons, I mean by Philosophy or mere Reasoning only, without Revelation or divine Faith. And therefore, whatever natural Powers, Qualities or Faculties we find in our own Souls, (at least in the best and most perfect of our Race) we may safely conclude, there are Powers, Qualities and Faculties, eminently correspon|dent and analogous to them, in the divine Nature, with the Difference that absolute In|finitude has to the lowest Finite: and on the other hand, that there are miniature Resem|blances in all finite Intelligences, correspon|dent and analogous to the essential and funda|mental Attributes in the divine Nature; and consequently that we may fairly reason and philosophize (with the Modesty and Humility that become the lowest of Intelligences) from our own spiritual Nature, up to the Divine spiritual Nature, keeping within the Bounds and Proportion mentioned. For Example; we find and certainly know, that in our own spi|ritual Nature there are Liveing, Understand|ing and Will, and that all our intellectual Operations are but Modifications of these: These then must be the natural Image of the divine Being originally impress'd on our Souls. We learn from Revelation, that in the divine Nature, there is a Trinity of Per|sons, in Unity of Substance. We may then Page 185 fairly conclude, that, in some Manner or other, the three radical Powers of Liveing, Understanding and Will, are the natural mi|niature Image and Representation of this Tri|nity in Unity. In the divine Nature, the three analogous and correspondent Attributes are, Self-existence, Omniscience and Omnipo|tence; in other Words, Necessity of Being, infinit Wisdom, and infinit Activity. In all created Intelligences, there are a deriv'd Being or Liveing, finite Understanding, and limited Will or Freedom. This Analogy or Corre|spondence, I say, between the divine Nature, and the spiritual Nature of all finite Intelli|gences, may give us at least some general No|tion of the Trinity in Unity (for Precision is incompatible with Finitude, and all I pretend to here, is to remove Contradiction and Im|possibility, from an uncomprehensible and in|explicable Mystery). Self-existence, or Neces|sity of Being, is the proper Characteristic of the Father in Revelation. I am that I am, or I am the sole Being, that is necessary Exist|ence. The Word, the Wisdom, the Under|standing of the Father, the express Image of his intelligent Nature, the sovereign Reason, is the Characteristic of the Son in Scripture. The Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of the Father and the Son, (viz.) their infinit Activity, Energy and Power, is represented there as a liveing, enlightening, actuating, comfortingPage 186 and instructing intelligent Substance, and sha|dowed out to us by the most penetrating energic Things known, to wit, Wind, Light and Fire; and so may be explain'd by our self-motive Power, our Liberty, the Spring of pure Love, naked Faith, and universal Re|signation. All these three (and I think the natural Attributes of the Deity are but Three) natural Powers and Faculties are compre|hended in one spiritual Nature, in all cre|ated Intelligences: in them they are Moda|lities only, Powers or Faculties; but in the divine Nature, they are Realities, and active distinguish'd Subsistences, because of its in|finit Activity. For nothing is more certain in Philosophy, than the metaphysical and scholastic Axiom, that every thing in God, is God. I might, with a good deal of phi|losophical Propriety, run this Analogy up to all the Qualities and Attributes ascrib'd in Scripture to the Persons of the holy Trinity; but I give it only as a philosophical Emblem, Allusion or Similitude, to reconcile that in|explicable Mystery to modest, sober and guarded Thinkers; for it is still much better to adore and obey, and wish or pray, to be|lieve as the Holy Spirit in Revelation intended, the best we can, in the holy Trinity, than to philosophize about it. The two capital Errors in the Doctrine of the Trinity, (especially of the Incarnation) and divine Nature of the Page 187Persons, (which is the Hinge of the Doctrine of the Trinity) is the Arian and Sabellian Heresies; both which are of great Detriment to Christian Perfection, and the Practice of its cardinal Virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity, or the Acquisition of the moral Powers of the Soul; but with a very notable Difference, the Arian being of infinitly more Detriment to sublime practical Christianity, than the Sa|bellian Heresy. The first dwindling and sink|ing the Merit, Dignity and Love, his Suffer|ings and Satisfaction, and consequently dis|honouring and debasing the divine Nature, Purity, and the Merit of the common Saviour of the lapsed Mortals; and thereby the Mo|tives and Necessity of pure Love, naked Faith and universal Resignation, the sole Means of our Recovery and Immobility: And perhaps among all the Apostles, Martyrs and Con|fessors, and universally acknowledg'd Saints, there will not be found one who notably lean'd to this Heresy. The Sabellian, on the contrary, tho' certainly Heretical, too arro|gantly departing from the Form of sound Words, yet has preserv'd the Dignity and Pu|rity of all these Motives, the Greatness of the Love of God, the Sanctity of his Nature, and Heinousness of Sin, and is only too philoso|phically nice, out of a Dread of intrenching on the Unity of the divine Nature. I was the more willing to retouch this Speculation, Page 188 because what I have advanc'd about it in my Philosophical Principles of Reveal'd Reli|gion has been misunderstood; else I had not meddled with it here, as being out of my pre|sent Province, for which I ought to beg the Reader's Pardon. This Mystery was not re|veal'd to puzzle our Reason, but for a Trial of our Faith, and a Motive to our Resignation; and because its Truth was necessary to the Conception of the general Plan of the Resto|ration, and the understanding, practiseing and perfecting the Christian Virtues and Mo|rality.
§. 34. THE Soul and Body at first sopited in a State of mere vegetable Life, (in the seminal Animalcul, and in Embryo) is there developing, vegetats, and lives, (perhaps for many Ages) according to their own general Laws, and the secret Designs of Providence; in Time, the Compound comes into the Light, and is born into the World; and then, from the Velocity of its Growth, and the Development of the Organs of its Faculties, (the nervous mem|branous Tubuli, and the glandular Machinulae, perhaps increasing first) becomes sensitive, and enjoys animal Life: The Nature of gross Mat|ter, the Miseries of this ruinous Globe, and the present dark State of Things, inclement or dele|terious Air, Negligence and Ignorance, and many other Accidents, (all under the Direction Page 189 of an infinitly wise Being, for kind and gra|cious Purposes) make the slender Individual now become sensitive, and feel Pain, Misery and Distress, even before it is conscious or capa|ble to know the Cause. Instinct, (a plain but innate Effect) Pains and Sufferings, make it mechanically (as it were) avoid the Approach of the Causes possible or probable, by which these Pains are produc'd. Hence natural Aver|sion, Reluctance, and some Endeavours to re|tire from Excess of Colds and Heats, impro|per or too much Nutriment, and all noxious Bodies and Animals. These Sensations and Feelings lodg'd in the Memory, with the in|nate Instincts, Sympathies and Antipathies, grow stronger, till they are gradually confirm'd into Habits; and on these infant Habits and Ideas begin the Dawnings of Reason, Reflec|tion, Memory and Will, and all the Play of the intellectual Faculties on their now deve|loping Organs. If the Body is strong, its Ap|petites and Passions are proportionally so, which inordinatly gratified, naturally and ne|cessarily beget strong and new Pains and Pu|nishments; these, on Reflection and Remem|brance, awaken Conscience, arising from an innate Instinct radically implanted in spiritual Nature, to excite and encourage a Love of Or|der, and punish Disorder; and Conscience actuated and enliven'd by still further Reflec|tion on the necessary and natural Connexion Page 190 between Disorder, Crime and Punishment; on the first Dawnings and Awakening into rational and conscious Life, if Children were duely and strenuously nurtur'd and cultivated by frequent Acts, as Occasions offer, and sup|ported by due Temperance, Air and Exercise, in the bodily and organical Powers, and by bringing the Appetites and Passions in Subjec|tion to the Spirit, and thereby labouring to acquire a Facility and Readiness in the Exercise of the moral Powers, as the natural ones ad|vance; they would, in due Time, raise the Adamical Compound to all the Perfection and consequent Happiness this present State would admit, in the full and free Exercise of the na|tural Powers, and the Acquisition of the mo|ral ones; tho' not to the greatest, yet to a com|petent Degree, and to the most perfect and or|derly Condition this present probatory and ex|piatory State will admit. But the Nature of Things in and about us is such, and the Mi|series and Sufferings are so constant, unavoid|able and pungent, as will naturally and neces|sarily excite in a Mind cultivated after the Man|ner has been describ'd, an anxious Desire to inquire and examin if there be any possible Means to be freed from them at last; and if there can be any rational and probable Way to secure, at least after this State is past, and this Adamical clay Tabernacle is laid down, some State of Being, at least no worse, and as much Page 191 better as may be, on our going into another Mansion: And this is the precise Condition of Mind infinit Love and Wisdom intends to bring his rational lapsed Intelligences into, by this wise Oeconomy; for under such a Dis|position, sooner or later, they will be fitted to hearken to, to examin and seriously to inquire into the Truth of Revelation, and heartily to say, Lord! what shall I do to be saved?
DISCOURSE V. Philosophical CONJECTURES ON NATURAL ANALOGY, ITS LAWS, AND SOME OF ITS CONSEQUENCES.
1 Cor. xiii. 12.
2 Cor. iv. 18.
Page 193DISCOURSE V.
Philosophical CONJECTURES ON NATURAL ANALOGY, its LAWS, and some of their CON|SEQUENCES.
THINGS may differ in the Degrees of the same Qualities, as well as in Kind; as in a Cube of Gold and one of Lead, in spiritual and material Substances, and the like.
DIFFERENCE in Degrees only, is where things having their essential Qualities common, admit in these Qualities, a More and a Less, or a Difference in their Degrees. For Example; A Miniature and a Picture to the Life; a Cube and a Parallelopipedon of the same Substance, and on the same Base; a Man and a Child.
DIFFERENCE in Kind, is only where some essential Qualities in the things Page 194 compar'd are common, some are different; as a Vegetable and an Animal, Matter and Spirit, a Cube of Gold and one of Lead.
BY Ratio, is here meant the Relation or Reference of any two things compar'd to one another, whose essential Qualities admit of Degrees, or of a More and a Less; as be|tween a Brute and a Man, a Man and an Angel, and between different Bodies of the same Substance.
SIMILARITY, is where there is an Equality or Sameness of Ratio's in the Sub|stance, and essential Qualities of things, differ|ing only by a More and a Less. For Distinc|tion's sake, in abstracted or simple Ideas, or in Qualities, I should call this Sameness or Equality of Ratio's, a Similitude or Likeness; as in Problems of Arithmetic and Geometry, in Heat and Cold, in Light and Darkness, and the like. In Things, Substances or Aggre|gats of Qualities, I should call it Similarity; as in all the Individuals of the human Species, in Animals and Vegetables of the same Tribe, and their Progress from the Embrio or Seed, to Maturity, I should pronounce them, I say, in a Similarity of Ratio's.
THINGS, Substances, and Qualities, are meant to be progressive, or in a Progression, which are constantly increasing or decreasing similarly: For Example; The concave Sur|faces that make a Globe, (as the Coats of an Onion, the Membrans of the Cornea of the Eye) the Puncta Salientia, that become Ani|mals; the Mathematical Point, whose Fluxion describes a Line; the Mathematical Line, whose Fluxion makes a Surface; and the Mathema|tical Surface, whose Fluxion makes a Solid.
SPACE and Time, Motion and its Velo|city, seem to be no Realities, at least no ex|ternal Realities, but the mere Modifications, and different Circumstances and Situations of Bodies or Matter, and so nothing but mere abstracted Ideas, or an easier and clearer Man|ner for our finite Conceptions, which cannot comprehend any complicated Thing at once. A particular Space, or the Locality of a Body, seems to be a mere Mathematical abstracted Solid, (so to speak) or the last Limit or Term of a Mathematical Solid, or of Body evanish|ing; such an one as a Point is of a Mathe|matical Line, a Line of a Mathematical Sur|face, and a Surface of a Mathematical So|lid; only here the whole Content of the Ma|thematical Solid, or evanishing Body, is com|prehended Page 196 in the Idea. The same way of Reasoning may be applied to Time, Motion, and Velocity, which are but the Limits, Mo|difications, and particular Circumstances of Body or Matter, and have no external Reali|ties; but like the Shadow, that depends on the Light, shineing on the Body: they all ad|mit of Degrees, or a More and a Less, as be|longing to, and connected with, Matter and Bodies. A particular Space is to a particular Body, what o, or the relative Infinitesimal is to a particular given Progression; and an In|finit Body, like infinit Space, is a mere ima|ginary Idea, the last Term or Limit of an ascending Progression, as o is of a descend|ing one. Suppose, for Example, a Progres|sion of the Powers of Natural Numbers, or their Cossic Characters, descending, &c. + x 4 + x 3 + x 2 + x + • − x − x 2 − x 3 − x 4, &c. the mid|dle Term, o or x/∞ will represent a Mathematical Point, and + ∞x will represent an infinit Body, and − ∞x infinit Space, + x a particular Body, and − x a particular Space; and substituteing for + ∞x, x + x + x + x + x, &c. and for − ∞x, − x − x − x − x, &c. (or what Number of unknown Quan|tities, or howsoever compounded, with their variable or constant Powers) and treating them according to the Nature of their Composition in a given Expression, by the common Rules of Cossic or Arabic Characters, and rejecting all the finite Terms, or those of a lower Order of such abstracted Infinits, and reserving only Page 197 the highest Terms of the Expression; and you will readily and intelligibly have all the My|steries, and solve all the Problems discovered by Fluxions, Differentials, and Series's, in Num|bers, Space, Time, Motion, Velocity, and Bodies, and see that all this mysterious and admired Play of the Understanding, is wholly about abstracted Ideas, and the Modifications of Body and Matter, which our narrow, limited and finite Faculties not being able to apprehend and conceive distinctly in the Complex, are forced to parcel out and divide thus into single intelligible Parts, merely for their own Conve|nience; and so is a mere Technical Art of the Understanding and Imagination to assist the Memory.
RELATIVE Infinit, or Infinitude in Creatures, (whose Nature consists in being more or less respectively than any assignable Quantity whatever) is such as increases or de|creases perpetually; yet by no finite Power can be actually brought to nothing, and no finite Faculty can actually assign its limiting Terms, viz. the greatest and the least. In this Sense it is, that we suppose the least Particles of Bo|dies to be hard and indivisible; that Body or Matter cannot be infinit; that Matter is divisi|ble in Infinitum; that Attraction at a certain finite Distance becomes Repulsion; that positive Quantities become negative in convergent Page 198 Progressions, or from negative become posi|tive in divergent Progressions; which Pro|gressions may be infinitly varied, even to a created or relative Infinitude, as Mathemati|cians know.
ABSOLUTE Infinitude is the sole Property or Attribute of the Deity, who is infinitly Infinit in all Excellencies and Rea|lities, which, though infinitly various, are at the same time infinitly simple and one. This is evident from the Simplicity and Unity of his Nature, as a true Philosopher must see.
THINGS are contradictory only, which absolutley and totally destroy one another, and mutually annihilat their Substance, Sub|sistence, and Qualities Thus it is in things created, (if absolute Contradiction can subsist in them) Heat and Cold in the same Degree, Light and Darkness in the same Degree, ne|gative and positive Terms of the same Pro|gression, finite and infinit of the same Kind. But nothing seems to be so absolute a Con|tradiction as necessary Existence and Non|entity, absolute Nothing and absolute Infini|tude.
IT is doubtful, whether or not there can be any real and complete Contradiction between Page 199 created Substances, Things and Qualities, since they must all necessarily be Pictures, Em|blems or Miniatures of the Deity, and the divine Attributes, Substance or Nature. There seems to be necessary, an Energy, Ac|tion and Reaction in the contradictory or totally annihilating Substances, Things or Qua|lities; as that between the good and evil Prin|ciple in the Manichean System; between abso|lute Nothing and absolute Infinitude, in the true Philosophical System; between Creation and Annihilation: For in all created Things, Sub|stances and Qualities, there is Subsistence and Reality, (Spiritual, Intellectual or Material) which cannot be annihilated or render'd totally contradictory, but by the same absolute Infi|nitude by which they were created or or|dain'd; and infinit Perfection can at no future Time be contrary to itself; the Works of God are without Repentance; and Reaction al|ways supposes Action. In created Substances, Things and Qualities, there seems only to be a Contrariety, that is, a Contradiction or An|nihilation of some of the Qualities, and their respective Degrees. Thus material and spiri|tual Substances may be contrary to one an|other, but not contradictory; being actually united, and some-how ally'd, in all intelligent Beings; and having some Qualities common, as actual Existence, and a Power of intending and remitting their Energy, or of Expansion and Contraction in their Substances and Page 200 Powers, analogous to Elasticity in Bodies. They must indeed have Limits and Bounds of their Activity and Self-mobility, beyond which they can do nothing, which Powers Matter seems design'd to terminat and counteract (as Shadows die away in thick Darkness). Matter may suspend, contract and destroy the Action and Exertion of these spiritual Powers, but cannot annihilat their Substratum, nor de|stroy their Root or Fund; for after their Con|centration by Matter or Body, they will still subsist in the Substratum, either in Root or Act, in a finite Magnitude, or infinitesimal Miniature.
ANALOGY is a Similarity in Substances and essential Qualities, differing only by a More or a Less, or in Degrees.
ANALOGY is of two kinds, simple and complex; that is, perfect and complete, or im|perfect and incomplete.
SIMPLE Analogy, is where there is a perfect and total Similarity of Substances, and essential Qualities, differing only in Degrees. As that between a lumbaginous Animalcul, a seminal Embryo, a Child and a Man; that be|tween a Seed and a Plant. Of this Nature are all the particular Answers to indetermin'd Page 201Problems in Algebra, and all the particular Curves that answer the same Conditions in Geometry, of which there is an infinit Variety.
THERE are (I think) Substances, Things and Qualities of a middle Nature, between the Ex|tremes, or the greatest and least of their Terms, in every created Reality; as between any two finite given Terms in Quantities, there is an Infi|nity of mean Proportionals, actual and assign|able; as between x and y there is the Mean〈 math 〉, and between x and 〈 math 〉 there is 〈 math 〉; and in a Circle of an infinit Diameter, between any finite Part of the Diameter and the other infi|nit Segment, there is the Perpendicular, (a mean Proportional) which is neither infinitly Small nor infinitly Great, (I speak only of relative Infinitude) and which I should call Indefinit; so in Substances or Substrata of Qualities, whether Material or Spiritual, (the two Terms or Limits) some may approach or verge towards gross indiscerptible or imporose Mat|ter, or pure Spirit, in all the Degrees of rela|tive Infinitude, which never can by any Power less than absolutely infinit, arrive at either of the Extremes. This in Algebra and Geometry is demonstrated; and the absolute Infinitude, Purity and Simplicity of the Divine Nature makes this Distinction necessary here.
HENCE it will be reasonable to suppose, that as Matter, by its infinit possible Division, Minuteness and Rarity, by its Elasticity and Ve|locity, may be sublim'd and refin'd into rela|tive Infinitude, so as to become, as it were, Sir Isaac Newton's Spiritus quidam Subtilis|simus, and meet only with an infinitly small Resistance in passing through gross and porous Bodies, such as our Planet is; so spiritual Substance may be analogically supposed to be capable of all the relative Degrees of Purity and Sublimity, or Grossness and Density, till it terminat in the lowest or highest spiritual Substance, which yet will ever be contrary, though not contradictory, to material Sub|stance.
HENCE it will follow, that this infinitly refin'd material Fluid, of indefinit Rarity and Elasticity, will meet with no sensible Resist|ance in passing through gross planetary Bo|dies; yet its Parts being still Material, and subject to the Laws of all material Bodies, must at least meet with some infinitesimal Re|sistance, and have some Reaction; as the Rays of the Sun, being Oceans of material Particles, constantly emitted from his Body, must necessarily lessen it, though insensibly and infinitly little, yet really; so that neither of them can be design'd to last to an actual Page 203 Eternity in their present State; they may be so alter'd on proper Occasions, by the Power and Influence of Him who first created them, as to answer the Ends of his wise Providence, but cannot continue as they now are during all his Eternity.
COMPLEX or imperfect Analogy, is where there is only a Similarity between a certain Number of essential Qualities, that differ in Degrees, and are diversified in other Qualities less essential; as that between a Man and an Angel, that between a Man and a Brute, or that between a Plant and a Brute; and the several Ranks and Orders of Being emerge as these Qualities increase and mul|tiply.
ALL Creation, the whole System of the Universe, with all the particular Systems in Nature, all Beings animated and inanimat, all Substances, Qualities and Realities what|ever, and every individual Circumstance in Nature, is nothing, and necessarily can be nothing, but the Supreme Being, his Nature and Attributes, transubstantiated into Being and Preceptibility, pourtray'd and shadow'd out and drawn forth ad extra. Mundus uni|versus nihil est nisi Deus explicitus. But the Workman will eternally be different in Kind from his Work, the Cause from the Effect.
BEFORE Creation, Omnipotence itself could find no Pattern or Model for his Operations ad extra, but Himself, and his own Attributes, or the Ideas of his own Mind; which being infinitly perfect, must necessarily have been the best and most eligible to imitat and copy out in his Productions; and Perfection being simple and one, by the Necessity of his own perfect Nature, He could act outwardly no other way than by this Analysis; and this is a Demonstration a priori from the Cause to the Effect, if any thing can possibly be such; and in fact, it holds equally strong a poste|riori, so far as the wisest and best-cultivated human Spirits can reach or investigat, takeing in the necessary Conditions and Circumstances, as far as Experiment and Observation can dis|cover; which I intend to shew and illustrat in a few Instances.
§. 1. THE vegetable World, in its Variety, Elegance and final Causes, is a most astonish|ing Proof of God's geometrical Knowledge and Skill, (so to speak) and fully shews what Matter, the grossest and most unactive Sub|stance, can do, when contriv'd and directed by his Wisdom and Power. In Plants and Ve|getables, there seems to be no spiritual or self-motive Power; but only a material Spirit, or such an one perhaps as Sir Isaac Newton's Page 205Spiritus quidam subtilissimus: Here, and in material Agency, that Fluid seems neces|sary; and the few Observations he has offer'd to infer its Necessity, (which the present Experiments and Discoveries about the Cause and Laws of Electricity and Magnetism wonderfully confirm) are supported by its Im|plication here in vegetable Nature, in order to explain the Actuation, Growth and In|crease of Plants and Minerals; all which ve|getat and increase according to general Laws, which no less Power than that of the Author of Nature could so wonderfully have con|triv'd and perpetuated. For though by Heat, Moisture and Attraction, from a supramecha|nical original Formation and Arrangement of the indivisible Particles of Matter, or original Elements, their future Progression, Develop|ment and Multiplication may be now, in the gross, understood and explain'd; yet the Cause of Attraction and Elasticity, the first Impulse, and motive Energy, and the Continuance of these Powers and Activity, can so probably be accounted for from no other Principle, as this relatively infinitly rare and elastic Fluid, the Size, Figure and Laws of which could come only from this infinitly powerful and wise Geometer.
§. 2. THE totally inanimat Creation (con|sisting either in the Fragments of the animated Parts, or in the now aggregated or com|pounded Moleculae of the primary Elements) Page 206 shew and speak the Wisdom and Skill of their Artificer; but more especially the Systems and Collections of these elementary original Par|ticles, viz. Air, Water, Light, Salts, and Mercury; how proper their Size, Figure and Laws, for the Uses and Ends proposed? This Speculation would rapturously imploy the Eter|nity of a sagacious natural Philosopher. Sir Isaac Newton has, with great Penetration, dis|cover'd many hitherto unknown Mysteries and Miracles of Wisdom, in the Theory of Light and Colours. I will only suggest on the Head of this and the former Proposition, that had it not been for the first Contrivance in the Systems of minute Particles now mention'd, there could not possibly have been any proper Materials for the Food, Growth and Increase of the Vegetables, Minerals and Metals; and had it not been for the Combination and Arrangement of the Elements, into such mid|dling integral Particles, as are these of the Ve|getables, there could have been no proper and peculiar Food for the Animals; the whole System being so disposed in a perpetual Cli|max, that all its Parts mutually depend upon and are subservient to one another; the Tubes of Vegetables being mechanically fitted and har|moniously adjusted to mould the Form, the Size, and combine these Elements into the middling nourishing integral Particles, for the Food of Animals, by the Solar Heat, and the Laws of Attraction in minute Bodies.
§. 3. IN sentient and intelligent Beings, from the brute Creation, through Men and Angels, up to the Seraphims and Cherubins, as far as Creation reaches, the Analogy is plain, simple and necessary. The three natural Powers of Liveing, Intelligence and Liberty, in their spiritual self-active Principles, cloath'd and circumscrib'd by aethereal Vehicles, seem to be there in a perpetual Climax, and differ only in Degrees. The essential Difference be|tween this and the vegetable and mineral Creation, (which are both of the same Order and Tribe, and by the same vegetative Laws, diversified under different Circumstances, (like the initial Terms of an algebraic Canon con|verging into the higher and more advanc'd Terms) equally grow and increase) seems to consist in the self-motive and self-active Powers of the former, of which the latter is intirely destitute. The vegetable Creation seems only to be actuated by the Powers of Matter, and is consequently inert and passive, and continue for ever in their Place and Situ|ation, unless forced from it by some external Impulse; whereas the brute and animated Creation have a self-motive Power; so that Vegetation intirely depends upon the Powers of Matter; and Animation, in all its Degrees, requires a spiritual Substance of some Rank or other: And here the essential Difference be|tween vegetable and animal Nature lies, viz.Page 208 in the locomotive Power of the latter, of which the former is destitute intirely, and is merely passive. But since the brute Crea|tion, in some Degree, plainly manifests all the Passions and Affections of Mind, that we of the human Race are capable of; since they live, or are actuated by a self-mo|tive, self-active Principle; since they feel Pleasure and Pain, and may be (at least most of them that fall under our Observation) made to learn and understand some things (which is a Proof that they are endow'd even with Intelligence in a lower Degree); and since all of them, from the minutest microsco|pical Animalcul up to the Elephant and Whale, suffer, and must necessarily suffer, a Million of different ways here, at last most intensely by their Death and Dissolution, it is highly probable that they are in a lapsed, ex|piatory and progressive State of Being, and may advance to higher Degrees of Perfection and Happiness, like the initial Terms of a diverging Progression: This the Analogy, perspicuous and necessary in all the Works of infinit Wisdom, and the various and manifold Operations of God's Power, makes highly pro|bable, rational, and philosophical. Infinit Be|nevolence admits of no Stop or Bounds in its Communication of Being, Happiness and Per|fection, but what arises from the Difference of the Order of Nature, or of Things.
§. 4. As to us of the human Race, our original Powers, the Order, Rank and present State of our spiritual Nature, and self-motive Substance, with its original aethereal Vehicle, at present cover'd over with a Crust of the Substance of the gross ruinous Planet we in|habit, so much has been already said in the former Discourses, that to avoid Tautology, (which I have perhaps run too much into), I shall not come over the same Subject here.
§. 5. THE angelic Hierarchy must, in its own Nature, and from our present lapsed State and Condition, be absolutly unknown to us, but in so far as Revelation, or philosophical Analogy, give us some dark Hints; but such Hints they do give us, as imply no Contradic|tion, but on the contrary have a great Degree of Probability and Verisimilitude, and natu|rally flow from the infinitly various Wisdom of the great Author and Cause of Creation: We may err in the Detail, but not in the ge|neral Idea about them. We see what a Va|riety (an infinit Variety) of Vegetables and Animals, in their several Tribes and Species, He has produc'd; and if we could possibly observe and class them, taking in those we cannot discover but by the Help of microsco|pical Art, we should find this Variety increase infinitly more in the animated, than in the vegetable Creation, rising in a certain harmo|niousPage 210 Progression and Variety, and which, no Doubt, is multiplied in the same Proportion in the angelical World. For, as things combin'd multiply or increase in the Number of their Qua|lities or their Degrees, so do the Combinations possible and actual, as is well known to Ma|thematicians. The Fixt Stars, with their analogous planetary aethereal pure and sub|lime Systems and Apparatus, seem most pro|bably to be the Seats of the unlapsed ange|lical Hierarchies; and he that knows, or has a dark Notion only, of the Number of those already discover'd, the Number of those hid in the Milky Way, as it is called, and the infi|nite Extension and Expansion of Space, which, in order to preserve the Situation, Di|stance and Equilibrium of these Orbs, must be filled with analogous Luminaries or Sy|stems, may have some Idea of the infinit Num|ber and Variety of these Hierarchies. They must all have some generical Nature, as well as specific Differences: This generical Nature may probably be no other, than the funda|mental and essential Attributes of the Deity, viz. Liveing, Understanding and Will, or Fa|ther, Son and Holy Spirit, as has been ana|logically illustrated, and which, in gross solid Matter, are shadow'd out in the trine Dimen|sions of Bodies. Their specific Differences no finite Capacity can possibly assign or compre|hend, but there are two very eminent, essential and luminous ones, suggested to us from Re|velation, Page 211 and confirm'd by philosophical Ana|logy, viz. those of the distinguishing Charac|teristic of the Son and Holy Spirit. St. John says, God is Light, and in Him is no Darkness at all; and in another Place he says, God is Love, and he that dwelleth in God, dwelleth in Love: That is, the Divine Nature and Sub|stance is Light and Love; and accordingly, the highest Orders of the celestial Hierarchies are eminently Light and Love, or they are infi|nitly Luminous, or infinitly Ardent; which two Qualities make the Characteristic of the Che|rubims and Seraphims, as their Names im|port; and these two Attributes of the Divine Nature seem to pass variously, and in different Degrees and Gradations, through all Creation down to inanimat Nature; and in each Indi|vidual, they are both radically and actually existent, but in different Degrees, according to their several Orders. Existence, or Liveing, is common to all created Beings, which is an analogous Participation, Picture or Image of the Father and Creator, by whom are all things. Some Bodies are nothing but light, luminous and transparent, as Fire, sulphurous Bodies, and all minute Bodies, violently agi|tated, or put into brisk vibrating Motions; and every Body shredded sufficiently thin, be|comes diaphanous; and all Bodies whatever, reflect or refract Light. Some Bodies, again, are more or less attractive, as Salts, Oils and Sulphurs; and some at certain Distances less Page 212 than infinite, are repulsive (which is a flagrant Picture of Lapse, Corruption and Rebellion in spiritual Nature). All these Qualities have their analogous and correspondent Powers in spiritual Nature, which to a Philosopher of any Penetration were superfluous to detail. For in spiritual Beings and intelligent Natures, these two Qualities and their higher Degrees, in some more than in others, are so conspi|cuous, that they cannot be over-looked. In all Founders of Republics, and Civil Societies, in all Law-givers and Philosophers, in all Apostolical Men, in the Inventers of Arts and Sciences, even in the Broachers of Heresies, this Quality of Light, however coarse, turbid, and confin'd, seems to have been their Passion, their Fort, their Characteristic and over-ruling Byass; and in all the Hermetical Tribe, the Solitaries, the true contemplative Philosophers, the Founders of Orders, Monasteries and Col|legiat Life, in true and zealous Patriots and Lovers of their Country and Species; in short, in all the contemplative and abstracted Persons, Love seems to be the predominant Affection; and this Division runs through all, even cor|rupt and lapsed Nature, and makes the great Distinction of Mankind, into the Governed and Governing; those who defend Truth, and those who attack Error; those who thrust, and hit the Mark best, i.e. the Law-givers, or their Ma|kers; and those who parry best, i.e. Politicians and honest Statesmen; those fitted by Nature to Page 213command, and those that are made only to be commanded and obedient; that is, all the active and social, or the Children of Men; and the Sons of God, or the Thinking and Contemplative. But this Difference is with infinit Variety, great Imperfections, foreign Mixtures, and diabolical Influences in corrupt Nature; but never the one in any eminent Degree, without some Degree of the other, as they are both united to Infinitude, in their divine Original and Cause; and these Differences make up the Specification and In|dividuation of the several Particulars of lapsed, free and intelligent Nature, and the Difference of the Conduct of Divine Wisdom, in their Purification and Restoration, who with infinit Wisdom and Propriety, conducts all and each, without Violence on their Freedom and specific Qualities, or Dissonance to the Har|mony of his own Attributes, to their great and final End of Being; which is the wonder|ful Oeconomy of the general and particular Restoration; and this Difference and Distinc|tion of the original Qualities and Affections of the Soul, viz. Light and Love, and the dif|ferent Manoeuvre and Conduct of Providence in this State towards them, is founded on the dif|ferent Parts they might have acted in the general Lapse of Mankind, and the different Offices, Seats and Mansions they are to be prepar'd for in the universal Monarchy of the Restoration; and may make the otherwise unaccountable Difference of the Bodies, Spirits, Tempers, Page 214Capacities, and outward and inward Success in this State, of two Children of the same Birth, as Twins, or two immediately succeed|ing one another of the same Parents, under the same Education and Beginnings in the World, and on the same Bottom; which every one must have observ'd to be as various, dif|ferent and distant as the Poles, and in a man|ner diametrically opposite, even otherwise unaccountable and odd.
§. 6. THAT the fixt Stars, and their ana|logous planetary satellitious sublimer aethe|real Systems, may possibly be the Seats and Mansions of the unlapsed, tried and puri|fied angelical Hierarchies, and of restor'd, purified and glorified sentient and intelli|gent mortal Beings, seems not only pro|bable, philosophical, and according to the general Analogy of Things; but is strongly and frequently hinted in Revelation, as every one who is familiarly acquainted with it must know. God's Throne, his Shechinah, the Heaven of Heavens, his Dwelling-place, is al|ways represented above: Elijah went upwards, Christ ascended, and the Seats of the blessed are always represented as among these celestial Orbits. And though Analogy may not apo|deictically demonstrate a Fact or Truth, espe|cially as to its precise and specific Nature and secondary Qualities, in the Detail, about im|perceptible and spiritual Beings (precise Page 215 Truth in these Matters being not only incom|patible with Finitude, but counteracting Faith, Trust and Resignation, the sole Means of our Recovery and progressive Purification, being absolutely destructive of Liberty, and clashing with the Divine Attributes of infinit Justice and Purity, and his absolut Dominion over the Creation); yet when Analogy and Revelation concur in the same general Con|clusion, it is so high a Presumption and Proba|bility as comes nearest a Demonstration; at least to those who have any Regard for Reve|lation; for to such it will be self-evident, that infinit Wisdom, and absolut Infallibility, will never make the most distinct Approach to any Allusion or Similitude, that borders on things in no Degree of Alliance, Approximation or Neighbourhood, or where the Contact is not as near as Circumstances will admit, or that is not as the first Terms of a convergeing Progression, or one that will lead his low, wandering, blun|dering Creatures into gross Mistakes; that Bodies or Vehicles of spiritual Substances must have an Ubi, a local permanent Situation at last, is certain; that these numberless glorious Lumi|naries were lighted up with such a Profusion of Lustre, only for us stupidly to gaze at, is ridi|culous. That they must be infinit in their Number, (I mean always creaturely relative Infinitude) follows from the infinit Expansion of Space, and the Equilibrium necessarily to be preserved, in order to perpetuat the Situa|tion, Distance and Relations of these glorious Page 216Luminaries. That they may be of an infinit|ly purer, more refin'd and sublim'd Matter than even that of our Sun, (who was design'd grosly only to picture out the Divine Nature to us lapsed Mortals, and to enlighten and cherish us a little, and our dark Prison, during our Probation and Recovery, and not made for Perpetuity; and which is cover'd over and compress'd with a gross dense Atmosphere, with Maculae and Spots, that possibly may hinder its too quick and violent Consumption) is highly probable. These fixt and permanent Luminaries, with their analogical planetary Apparatus, may be the Seats of the Bless'd, whose glorious Vehicles may be of the same Matter and Substance with their respective Man|sions. These aethereal Planets and fixt Stars, may be so situated, and so harmoniously plac'd in regard to one another, that the Rays, and, as it were, spiritual or aethereal Matter, which they perpetually pour forth and emit through the whole Expansion of Space, may by a per|petual Flux and Reflux, and melodious Vibra|tions, be return'd back again upon one an|other, and so perpetuat and eternise their Lustre and Glory. The Rays of our Sun have Fits of easy Transmission, Refraction and Reflexion; according to Sir Isaac Newton, its Particles have a greater Byass on the one Side than on the other; they attract one another in an infinitly greater Proportion than their Power of Gravity in general. Bodies may Page 217 be turn'd into Light, and Light into Bodies. Some Diamonds and precious Stones are lu|minous, emit Light, and shine in the Dark. Several Phosphors (liquid and solid) emit Light at all Times, both in Air and Water; and the Asbestos and purest Gold bear all De|grees of Heat and Fire without much Altera|tion; and the purest Glass in the Focus of the strongest Specula, only continues liquid with|out any other Change. These Facts I suggest only to shew that Light, as well as other Bo|dies, may be various, of different Purity and Sublimity, differing in Degree, though not in Kind; and much more might be suggested here, to shew the various Nature and different Qua|lities of Light and luminous Bodies one from another, if necessary, to illustrat this perhaps imaginary Speculation, at least save it free from Contradiction or Impossibility; but I propose in this mere Conjecture.
§. 7. THAT infinit Wisdom, Power and Love, could produce no sentient or intelli|gent Being ad extra, without impressing in the Fund and Essence of its Nature, an infinit Love to Him, an insatiable and unextinguish|able Desire, Thirst and Ardour to be reunited at last with Him, as its supreme Felicity, is as absurd, and, I think, blasphemous to doubt, as to doubt of his Being and Existence. To think otherwise, is to question his infinit Perfection; for infinit Perfection must be Page 218single and one; and sentient and intelligent Beings, without this radical and innate Ardor for Happiness, that is, to be at last united and to commerciat with infinit Perfection, seeing, by the Sensibility and Intelligence of their Na|ture, they are capable of it, in their Order, would be an Effect without a Cause, or an Action with|out an End or Purpose, at least without intend|ing the self-evident best End, which is a Contra|diction the most absolut to infinit Perfection. No sentient and intelligent Being ever was without an Ardor or Bent towards Happi|ness; it is a radical Principle in their Nature, and never counteracted, though its Nature and true Cause is often mistaken, may be unknown or forgot, yet it can finally consist only in this Reunion. But Sensibility and Intelligence, being by their Nature and Essence free, must be la|bile, and by their Lability may actually lapse, degenerat, and by Habit acquire a second Na|ture, opposit and contrary to this implanted Brass and Tendency towards a Reunion and permanent Commerce with their original and first Cause; and by Selfishness, inordinat Love and Idolatry of their Fellow-Creatures, sopit and extinguish this central Byass, at least as to elicit Acts, though not in the Root and Fund: And in this Contrariety, Distraction and tear|ing asunder of these moral Powers in spiri|tual Nature, the Essence of Misery and Hell itself chiefly consists. So long as this contrary, habitual and foreign Byass lasts, so long must Page 219 the Unhappiness and Tortures of such senti|ent and intelligent Creatures continue; like the Chill and Cold in the Comets, while in the Parts of their Orbit most distant from the Sun; or like the small Particles of Matter, which out of the Sphere of their Attraction become repulsive, and by the Law of their Passivity continuing ever in the State into which they are put, must for ever proceed in this their repulsive Course. But this contrary Byass to Reunion with their infinitly perfect and happy Original, being adventitious only, and by Habit only confirm'd into a second artificial Nature, the infinit Love, Wisdom and Oeconomy of the Son of God was con|triv'd and design'd to melt down, annihilat and destroy, that the original innate Byass might operate and take Place; and without this infinitly wise Oeconomy, to me it seems, the permanent Order, Peace and Harmony, and consequent Felicity of universal sentient and intelligent Nature, could no other possible way have been or be establish'd at last.
§. 8. IT is not impossible, but extremely probable, and according to the universal Ana|logy of Nature, that our Planets and their Sa|tellites, should be the more tolerable Jails, Prisons and Dungeons of the several Orders and Degrees of lapsed, probationary, sentient and intelligent Beings. That some of them are straiter, less comfortable, more dark, dis|mal Page 220 and unhappy than others, there is no doubt can be made. That they are not, nor cannot be design'd for an eternal Duration, in their present Condition, is highly probable. We see on this our Planet, that the Bodies, Tem|pers and Habitudes of sentient and intelligent Beings, that continue long in such particular Climats, and under such Influences of the Ce|lestial Bodies, alter, and take a Turn, accord|ing to the general Laws and Temperature of that Climat. The Planets and their Satel|lites have an infinit Propriety and Fitness for being more tolerable Bettering and Correc|tion-Houses and Prisons, for lapsed, sentient and intelligent Beings: They are no ways, nor cannot become, in their present Situation, Pleasure-Houses, Paradises, and happy Man|sions, nor permanent Dwelling-Places for per|fect and glorified Intelligences. The natural Language of the Deity to us in our present Con|dition, can be no other but by Types, Similitudes, Allusions, Parables, Allegories, Analogy, and final Causes, without Violence on our Li|berty, our Acquisition of Faith, Hope and Charity, or debasing his own infinit Purity and Perfection; at least about invisible and imper|ceptible Beings and States under our present Lapse; and therefore I conjecture, that our Planets, and their Satellites, are design'd by infinit Wisdom for the temporary Jails and Correction-Houses of lapsed, probationary, sentient and intelligent Beings; and that their Page 221 superinduc'd Vehicles, or other penal and peni|tential Habits, are of the same Substance and Materials with the respective Prisons they are confin'd to.
§. 9. THAT the Comets cannot be the Seats of blessed Spirits, I think, is self-evident: That they are not made only to supply our Planet the Earth, or even all the other Planets with Moisture and Humidity, only, is as evident. The Number of them (perhaps half a dozen in a Century) that have been observ'd and seen, and of which we have some Records, with their sensible Effects, Appearances and Periods, are abundantly too many for that far-fetch'd and precarious Purpose only. Our Water most certainly decreases, and must ne|cessarily be exhausted in time; as do the Heat and Rays of the Sun; but not so sensibly as to lay a Foundation for Experience and Ob|servation by our Senses or Art: But rather to increase our sensible Punishment, and natural Purification, at the last Stage. And it is high|ly reasonable and philosophical to suppose, that our whole System was design'd by our Creator to last in its present Situation, only so long as was requir'd for the Probation, Puri|fication and Expiation of lapsed sentient and intelligent Beings, which both Revelation and Philosophy shew cannot be an infinit Duration; but that the whole planetary System, within the Orbit of Saturn, is pro|gressively Page 222 and by general Laws verging to|wards some grand Catastrophe and Jail-Deli|verance. The Elect seems to imply, the Officers and Governors of this new Jerusa|lem, this political future State, this universal Restoration Monarchy of the Father of all; and the Period of the Duration of this present probatory State of the System of Saturn, seems confin'd and limited in Revelation, to the Number of the Elect's being accomplished, that is, to the Time when all the necessary Officers, Governors or Magistrates of this new universal Government is formed, finished and accompleated, and then will be the End, Crisis and Period of this probatory State. I say then, the Comets cannot be the Seats of the Bless'd, if Alterations of Heat and Cold, Summer and Winter, in some more temperat and moderat Degree, be neces|sary for tolerable liveing, in Bodies crusted over with the Substance of which the Habi|tation is made, (as it is philosophical to think of the Inhabitants of the Comets) seeing their Orbits are so excentric to the Sun, the Foci of their Ellipses so vastly distant, that they must pass for Ages through both Extremes of Heat and Cold, and be perpetually involv'd either in Fire or Darkness, and so in extreme Misery, as to their incrusted Machins; and consequently they probably are the Prisons, Condemn'd-Holes and Dungeons of God's Kingdom, and universal Monarchy.
§. 10. IT is both rational and philoso|phical, and according to the natural Ana|logy of Things, to suppose, that the next World, or its several Steps of Progression, and its initial Steps or first Terms, and the invisible impreceptible State of Things, in the other Life, has a great and near Simi|litude and Resemblance to this present State; and that they differ chiefly in Degrees, the other World being of an infinitly greater Pu|rity, Sublimity and Perfection only, without the Errors, Darkness or Miseries of this Life. God is the same Yesterday, To-day, and for Ever, immutable and invariable in his Nature and Attributes; and, as has been often hinted, all his Works ad extra, and the Operations of his Wisdom and Power, have a perpetual as|cending Analogy and Progression towards Him, his Nature and Felicity. It is true, Re|velation informs, that Eye hath not seen, Ear hath not heard, nor hath it entered into the Heart of Man to conceive the Glory and Happiness that God has reserved in another Life for them that love Him. But as that refers chiefly to the inward Joy and Happiness, Extasies and Transports, that the consum|matly Bless'd feel in their Commerce and final Union with Him, their infinitly perfect Source and Original; so it does not affect their out|ward State, their Polity, external Order and Mansions, of which only I am here speak|ing; and of which the Description and Ac|count Page 224 by Revelation, intimats plainly a great Affinity with the most perfect and happy Con|dition of our now World; and it is highly pro|bable, they differ more in Degrees of Perfec|tion than in Kind. The new Jerusalem is liken'd to a City, a State and Republic; it has its People, Subjects and Officers; it has Tem|ples, paradisaical Gardens, Rivers of Plea|sure, a perpetual Spring, and all our best and most beatifying Delights and material Com|forts here. I know all this Language and De|scription is but Allusion, Figure and Allegory, and must be understood chiefly of our Creation or glorified Bodies; but as every created Being, sentient and intelligent, has a Body or Vehicle as well as Spirit, an aethereal, planetary, or a glo|rified Vehicle, the last inseparable and immortal, as well as a spiritual self-motive Substance, the Body or glorified Vehicle may have ana|logical Food, some Fruit of the Tree of Life, which in Paradise itself perpetuated the Im|mortality of, and would have eternis'd the Creation Vehicle; it must have an Ubi, a Mansion and Dwelling-Place; it must have analogous Pleasures of an innocent, spiritual and sublimer Nature, proper to its Order and Rank, and proportion'd to the Purity of its then Body and Soul; there must be different Orders, Ranks and Distinctions; superior Officers and Subalterns, a Government and Polity in the new as well as in the old Jeru|salem: In short, they will probably differ not Page 225in Kind, or absolute and total Contradiction, from the best and most perfect State of Things here, that can be imagin'd or describ'd, at least in the first Steps or Terms in the progressive Perfection and Happiness; but in Degrees, and in Negation of all that is imperfect, dissonant and disorderly in this present State; but this in an infinit, that is, a re|lative or creaturely infinit superior Degree; and into the final, consummat and perfectest State, we must mount only by Degrees, and Steps, through many Mansions and progres|sive Order; and by acquireing an habitual Stability, by repeated Acts and Trials, be confirm'd in eternal Purity and Felicity at last; and one Stage of Being will be per|haps but an Apprenticeship and probatory Ini|tiation for a higher and better, and this with|out Bounds and without Limits (I mean only as to the bodily Restoration Vehicle, its Man|sion, Food, created Pleasures and Enjoyments, which can only flow from the Fund, the spiritual Inhabitant's being restor'd and perfectly united with, and transform'd into the Divine Na|ture and Qualities). This System, modestly ex|plain'd and cautiously guarded, in the Pro|portion of Perfect to Imperfect, Infinit to Finite, Innocent to Lapsed, would, I think, take off many Difficulties in Revelation, in the Oeconomy of Jesus and the Re|storation, the different Methods of Providence, and its present Appearances, and our Mistakes Page 226 of the Sentiments and Writings of inspir'd Authors. For it is impossible the Spirit of God should insinuat any Resemblance, Alli|ance, or analogical Similitude between things that differ generically, were disparata and in|compatible; but between such as were verg|ing by Progression, and in an Approximation to the real Perfection of their Natures. Lapsed Beings are infinitly distant at present from such a final Union and relative Identity with their Source, and his Throne and Shechinah: But must be like the Assymptots of Hyperbola's and their Curves, eternally approaching to, but never able totally to co|incide.
§. 11. ANALOGY, 'tis true, can never demonstrat the actual Existence and real Being of any thing to us: Sensation only and Expe|rience can do that. It is only capable of ex|plaining and illustrating the Nature, Substance and Qualities of Things already made and creat|ed. It is, as Quintilian very elegantly describes Analogy, Ejus haec vis est, ut id quod du|bium est, ad aliquod simile, de quo non quaeritur, referat, ut incerta certis probet. But then it takes off any Contradiction and Impossibi|lity from its Existence; makes it possible, pro|bable and rational; and renders it a fit Sub|ject for the supreme Reason and Power to work upon, if He pleases, and similar to his other Operations; it clears all possible Ob|jections, Page 227 and Difficulties, and makes it na|tural and intelligible; and that is precisely what our present Condition and Situation re|quires, or will admit, for the Acquisition of the moral Powers, Faith, Hope and Charity, to secure our Liberty from Violence, and the Divine Attributes from Dissonance. And if the fundamental Proposition be admitted, viz. that all the Works of infinit Wisdom and Power ad extra, are and can be nothing but Pictures, Resemblances and Signatures of God's Nature, Substance and Attributes, in Miniature, impress'd or prominent: In a word, if it be true, as has been said, that Mundus universus nihil est nisi Deus expli|citus; and, I think, nothing can be more self-evident; then most of the Consequences I have drawn from this great Truth are necessary, natural and obvious; especially when Revela|tion suggests the same Truths and Conclusions, at least in general. We may very readily err in the Detail, and in the Eliciting and Appli|cation of a particular Case; but not so readily in the general Law, as is common with Al|gebraists, they often blunder in the Appli|cation, who were in the Right in the Canon.
§. 12. WE may blunder and be mistaken in our particular Conclusions and Deductions from this universal Analogy, I say, as well as in Geometry and Algebra, being weak, fallible, and imperfect Creatures: But our Errors and Page 228 Blunders in the first, will sometimes proceed from a different Cause from our Mistakes in the latter. A wrong Head, want of Culture, and Precipitation, are generally the Cause of our Mistakes in Geometry and Algebra; but in Analogy, especially that Analogy which con|cerns the moral Attributes of the Divine Nature, the human Soul, the holy Scriptures, and invisi|ble States, it is owing often to a wrong Heart, Pride, and Self-sufficiency. We are afraid such pure and sublime Theorems should be true; they hint the Necessity of a greater Purity in us than we are willing to cultivat at present. If we ascribed all Perfection, every good Gift and perfect Donation, to the supreme Cause; and were at the same time humbled and contented even with our own Ignorance, Errors and Blunders of Love and Resignation only; if our Sentiments and Ratiocination were intended for his Glory and Magnificence solely, and our own Humiliation, satisfied with this single Truth alone, that God is God, that is infinitly perfect, they could neither hurt us nor others. But if our Heads must needs be at work (as mine has here); if, like Children, we must play with Ideas, and phi|losophise about the Kingdom of Invisibles and Imperceptibles, and the Arcana Imperii divini; if we cannot at first, at least and in our Years of Probation or elementary State, arrive per saltum at pure Love, naked Faith, and uni|versal Resignation (the only solid Means of Page 229 Infallibility and Stability); then the best and surest Method is to deal in Analogy, as the Ma|thematicians do in Algebra and Geometry, to acquire a Facility in solving difficult Problems with Readiness and Accuracy; viz. by laying up in our Memory, or having ready at hand a Penus Analogica, as they have a Penus Ana|lytica; in beginning with the most simple and least complicated Analogies; in attentively ob|serving the Ratio's, Relations and References of Things, Substances, their Qualities and probable final Causes, and finding out their Degrees and Progression. The Astronomers had with Exact|ness and Accuracy discover'd and settled the Orbit, Period, Distance, and Laws of the Sun and Earth, before they attempted with any Success that of the Moon; and Sir Isaac Newton had settled and adjusted the Laws, Motions and Appearances of the Solar System, before he attempted the Moon and Planets; and had for seven Years studied experimental Chymistry, before he set about to investigat the Nature and Laws of minute Bodies and their Systems; he had cultivated and made many and various Experiments, by separating, combining and analysing the Rays of Light, through many diaphanous Mediums, before he attempted to discover the Nature, Figure, and Laws of their component Particles. Ana|logy and its Appendages, Type, Allusion, Si|militude, Parable, Hieroglyphic and Allegory (all more remote or nearer Approaches to Page 230Analogy) is the only natural Language the Deity can speak to us at present, under our Degeneracy and Lapse, consistent with his Dignity and Purity, and the Preservation of our Liberty. He may speak to us mediatly by his Angels; He may speak to the Wills by his Holy Spirit, and to our Understandings by his Word his only begotten Son, and in the holy Scriptures by his Prophets, Apostles, and Saints; but his sole, natural, articulat, inde|lible and universal Language, can possibly be no other but his Works of Wonder ad extra. The Heavens declare the Glory of God: By the Characters and Hieroglyphics intimatly impress'd on them; and they can only be read or understood by Analogy to Him, to us, and to one another. If then we began with this inanimat World, in (which only true natural Philosophy from final Causes can instruct us) thence proceeded to the vegetable World, then advanc'd to the brute Creation, (where natural History and Chymistry will be of great Service) and at last ascended to intelligent Beings, through the angelic Hierarchy, till by Analogy we arriv'd at the Supreme Cause; this Method would be the most natural and secure, in a natural Progression by Analogy: And if with Humility, Modesty, and beg|ging the Direction of the uncreated Wis|dom, we persever'd with Patience: this divine Philosophy might, in time, (cultivated by different Hands) be of Service to the contem|plativePage 231Christian Philosopher himself, as well as to others. But my Meaning will be better understood by a short Recapitalation of what has been said, and an Illustration by an Ex|ample.
1. WHEN God intended to bring Crea|tures into Being, He could not chuse but make them after the most perfect Pattern: He there|fore stamp'd his own Image upon all his Works. Hence the Creatures, being all Mi|niatures of the Deity, must bear a mutual Re|semblance to Him and to one another. This Re|semblance is what we call Analogy, and runs through the whole Scale of Beings; every Being, besides its peculiar and distinguishing Quality, whereby it is determin'd to this or that particular Order, and has the Pre-emi|nence of all below it; being also possess'd of all those Qualities that are to be found in any of the inferior Orders. As a Curve of any of the Orders has all the Properties of the inferior Orders of Curves, besides those that belong to its own Class or Species.
2. THESE different Orders or Ranks of Beings, being distinguish'd by their respective Qualities, the first Term of this infinit Scale will be simple Existence; the Addition of one Quality will constitute the second Term or Order; of two, the third; and so of the rest; whence the Number of Qualities with which Page 232 any Being is endow'd, will determin its Place in this Scale, and shew its Distance from the first Term. Besides this Difference in the se|veral Orders of Beings, there is also a Diver|sity among those of the same Order, which proceeds from their possessing some of the common Qualities in a more or less eminent Degree.
3. As God can have but one Model in all his Productions, every System of Beings will resemble all the other Systems, and each will be a Copy of the whole Creation. The ma|terial World will be a Transcript of the spi|ritual; and the Laws and Oeconomy of the one will be analogous to and correspond with those of the other. Besides this general Ana|logy, there will be a more immediat and fla|grant Relation between each material System, and the Intelligences to which it belongs; the Structure of the Bodies and other material Organs of these Intelligences, together with the whole Frame and Contexture of the ma|terial System, being such as will best suit the Nature, Rank and Order of these Intelli|gences. And this Relation probably will sub|sist and attend them in all the Changes and Periods through which they pass; so that should the intelligent System lapse from its Purity and Perfection, the material System would fall into Disorder likewise, and under|go some similar and analogous Change.
Page 2334. OF this general Analogy between the spiritual and material Systems, there are many Traces plainly to be discern'd by an acute and contemplative Philosopher. To instance only in the Similitude which our solar System, as now disorder'd, bears to the lapsed Intelligences that inhabit it. In the Centre of this System is plac'd the Sun, a bright and lively Image of the Deity, his ma|terial inanimat Miniature; the Planets and other celestial Orbs revolving about him at their respective Distances, and performing their Revolutions in different Periods of Time, will represent the several Orders of lapsed In|telligences, the different Degrees of their Lapse, and the Duration and Continuance of their probatory State. This glorious Body, the Sun, infinitly surpasses all the other Orbs in Magnitude and Lustre; they are no more, compar'd to him, than Points in the Circum|ference of a Circle. They have no Brightness of their own; it is all deriv'd by Reflection, and is more or less, according to their Distance from him.
5. THE chief Properties of the Sun are Attraction, Light and Heat. The Sun's Attraction extends to the remotest Parts of the System, acting at all Distances, with a Force increasing in a certain Proportion as these Distances decrease. 'Tis by this At|tractionPage 234 that the Planets are retain'd in their Orbits, and kept from flying off in the Tan|gent, to which their projectile Force gives them a constant Tendency. Should the Sun's Attraction cease but a Moment, the whole System would fall into the utmost Disorder, and be irrecoverably ruin'd. How like is this Attraction to the Love of God, continually operating upon all created Intelligences, and powerfully solliciting them to a nearer Ap|proach and Resemblance to Himself! Its In|fluence is constant and invariable; were it pos|sible it should have the least Intermission, the whole Creation would fall into utter Ruin and Destruction.
6. THE Light of the Sun is diffus'd through|out the whole System; no Celestial Body is endow'd with this Quality but himself. This is an Image of that Light which enlightens every Man that comes into the World; an Emblem of Him who came forth from the Father of Lights; the Light and Sun of the new Jerusalem, and of spiritual Nature.
7. THE Sun's Light is always accompanied with Heat, the Principle of Life and Vege|tation. In the other celestial Bodies there is some small Degree of this Quality, but it is originally deriv'd from or produc'd in them by the solar Heat; without which they would be barren and inhospitable Desarts. This Page 235 represents the Influences of the Holy Spirit, which are inseparable from the Light of the Gospel; and are the Principle of our spiritual Life, animating and cherishing every intel|ligent Being, and making it productive of all the Fruits of Righteousness.
8. LET us next consider the Properties of the Planets, and other Bodies that revolve about the Sun. Their various Magnitudes and Distances from the Sun, with the perio|dical Times of their Revolution, will express the several Orders of lapsed Intelligences, the different Degrees of their Lapse, and the par|ticular Periods of Time allotted for their Trial and Probation. Some of these Bodies, as the Comets, move in Orbits that are very Ellyp|tical, going off to immense Distances from the Sun, where the Influence of his Heat and Light is almost insensible; but by the Force of his Attraction they are again drawn back, and brought even to a nearer Approach than other Bodies that move in narrower Orbits.
9. THE Planets are constantly acted upon by two different Forces, viz. Gravity or At|traction, and the projectile Force. These are contrary to one another, and always act in opposite Directions; the projectile Force give|ing the Planet a constant Tendency to recede from the Sun, and to fly off in the Tangent; Page 236 while the Force of Attraction, by drawing it the contrary way, prevents that Effect: So that by the joint Action of both, the Planet is kept in its Orbit. The attractive Force, though continually influencing the Planet, is not a Quality of it, but proceeds from the Sun; the only Quality belonging to the Planet is that of the projectile Force. This will shadow out the Lapse, the Action of Selfishness, and the inordinate Love of the Creature, with their Opposition to the divine Love.
PHILOSOPHERS tell us, that the present State of our System cannot be of long Continuance; but that the solar Attraction must necessarily prevail over the projectile Force of the celestial Bodies; and all the Co|mets and Planets, with their Satellites, be at last absorb'd and swallow'd up in the Sun.
AN ABSTRACT; Or, A Brief, but Distinct REPRESENTATION OF THE Doctrines and Sentiments Contained in the preceding DISCOURSES.
AN ABSTRACT OF DISCOURSE I.
PHILOSOPHICAL CONJECTURES about the Nature and Qualities of the Original Animal Body, and of its Progressive State, in its several Stages of Existence.
- THAT there may be Animals, (and consequently animal Organs) per|forming analogically, at least, the animal Functions, less than our Senses can discover, assisted by our best Art, possibly less, than our Imagination can frame an Idea of Page 1
- Several Demonstrations, shewing the utter Impossibility, that an animal Body could be first form'd, or can be now continued, by Page 240 mere Mechanism, or the Laws of Nature now obtaining; but must be the immediat Work, continued and supported by the con|stant Influence of an omnipotent and omni|scient First Cause 3
- That the least and last Particles of Matter can be divided by no finite Power what|ever 4
- That their Figures were probably at first only Spheres, Cubes, and equilateral triangular Prisms ibid.
- That our now porous and confus'd Ele|ments, Salts, Water, Light, Air, and Earth, still have inherent Qualities, which distin|guish them from each other, which they never totally lose, tho' these may be swal|low'd up, when combin'd unharmoniously, as they now are 5
- That the original Creation, and the Resur|rection Body, might have been, and may be, of this first kind of simple Elements, harmoniously combin'd; but are now crusted over, and discordantly blended with the gross secondary Elements of this ruinous Planet we inhabit 6
- That the Fineness of the original aethereal animal Body, may have been in Proportion to its Order, and the Perfection of the natural and moral Powers of the Soul con|junctly 7
- That this analogically, spiritual (so to speak) animal Body, might have been roll'd up, Page 241 and concentred, into a Miniature of a Mi|niature in Infinitum, in the Loins of the first Adamical Parent, till by its being suf|ficiently plaister'd over with the Matter of this ruinous Planet, it became able to bear its now Inclemency, and be born into this World 8
- That this primitive, aethereal, divinely or|ganiz'd Body, by an individual Fitness and Congruity to the informing spiritual Substance, might have been thereby so inti|matly and commensuratly united with it, that they could never after be separated by any finite Power, no more than the original Particles of Matter could be divided by such a Power ibid.
- That the confineing this original spiritual Body and Soul so long a Time to so dark a Prison, as the Seeds and Eggs of Animals are now, might have been for progressive Purifi|cation, Correction and Punishment 9
- That it is Fact, that the wisest and best Men, have been at first mere Vegetables, after|wards mere Brutes, and but at last rational intelligent Beings 10
- That sentient and intelligent Beings are by their derivative Nature immortal and un|annihilable, and because God can never be contrary to Himself; but are in a progressive State towards Perfection and Happiness in their Order, like the several Orders of Hyperboloids 12
- Page 242That the natural Powers being uniformly constant and invariable, and the moral Powers being cancell'd by the Lapse, had not the natural Powers in their full Vi|gour been suspended and fetter'd, they must have counteracted the Acquisition of the moral Powers 13
- That precise Knowledge, and mathematical Certainty, in the real Nature, and of the intimat Substance of any complex Thing, is incompatible with Finitude; and that the Degree of Certainty in Things, is only in Proportion to the Amplitude of the Fa|culty 16
- That subjecting all Creation to general Laws, was one infinitly wise and effectual Mean to secure Liberty inviolate, and to har|monize the Divine Attributes, in the great Work of Restoration 17
- That the only thing worthy of a Philoso|pher, is, by Experiment, Attention and Induction, to collect as many of these general Laws, as he possibly can 18
- That God being Simple, One, and always the same, must necessarily act by general Laws in all Creation; but that good and wise Men have been deterr'd from study|ing them, in spiritual Nature, out of Dread of the odious Appellation of En|thusiasts 19
- That the Study of these general Laws of in|finit Wisdom and Sagacity may be a Part Page 243 of the Employment of happy contemplative Spirits hereafter 20
- That an infinitly rational and perfect Being could possibly have no other Pattern or Model for his Works of Creation at first, but himself, his own Substance, Nature and Attributes 21
- That therefore there must be one perpetual Analogy and progressive Perfection run|ning through all the Works of an infinitly rational Being; and that as Proportion is the Key of the material, Analogy is the Logic of the spiritual World 22
- That Suffering is a mechanical and necessary Consequence of our present Situation on this ruinous Globe, and that none ever could avoid it absolutly, but in Degree, and that thro' the Merits and OEconomy of Jesus only. Sufferings become Blessings because Means of Restoration 24
- That this Suffering is a natural and mechani|cal Purification and Perfection of the Sub|ject 25
- That Consciousness of the End or Occasion of this Suffering is no way necessary to|wards the beneficial Effects of it: That Consciousness would be prejudicial in the first Steps of this Purification; and only when its End is obtain'd, can it be benefi|cial to clench its Effects 26
- That the great Problem and Difficulty with the Best of Beings (so to speak), and in the Page 244Oeconomy of his Providence, and the Rea|son of the present Darkness in it, is to re|store lapsed Creatures, in Consistence with their Liberties, and the Harmony of his Divine Attributes 27
- That the general Methods of Providence in restoreing lapsed Intelligences, are plainly, 1. The continuing general Laws. 2. The suspending the elicit Acts of the natural Powers for a Time, by Ligatures of this ruinous Planet: And, 3. By the admire|able and adoreable Oeconomy of Jesus 30
- That it is a Contradiction to suppose a bene|ficent Being would create sentient or intel|ligent Beings, for Suffering, merely for Suffering's Sake ibid.
- That the Sufferings of the sentient and in|telligent Creatures, in this present State, necessarily supposes a State of Pre-existence and a future Lapse, or a Course of Trial and Probation 32
- That there may be other States and Man|sions, in infinitum, of progressive Purifica|tion and Perfection; and that Suffering, which in the Divine Purity, and the Nature of Disorder, must have been eternal, is made temporary only, by the Merit and Suffering of Jesus 34
- That spiritual Substance may be conceiv'd analogous to, and not contradictory to Mat|ter sublimed and refined by the Power of Omnipotence; but even this Idea is imper|fect, Page 245 and not satisfactory, their Substances be|ing naturally destructive of each other, and their Qualities in all their Modifications equidistant. 37
- That the spiritual Body, and immaterial Spirit crusted over with Clay, may for its Purifica|tion progressively be an infinit time in deve|lopeing these natural Powers, and in acquire|ing the moral Powers defaced by the Lapse; but that now under the Oeconomy of Jesus, this will be perfected in a finit Time, and even the whole System of Saturn is by ge|neral Laws vergeing to some great Cata|strophe or Change 42
- That the Spirit, as being a Ray of the Divine Substance, or a Power emitted from his necessarily existent Nature, is immortal in its own Nature; but that the spiritual or aethereal Vehicle is only immortal by the Divine Order, and comparatively, as the first Particles of Matter are indivisible 43
- That the thinner and lighter the Crust on this aethereal Vehicle is, the natural Powers will be elicited more readily and freely, and the moral Powers acquir'd more easily and fully, and the necessary Sufferings there|by lessen'd 44
- That since the natural Powers of the Spirit are constant and always the same in their Root and Fund, it will follow, 1. That our acquir'd Knowledge is but Remembrance. 2. That there is in our spiritual Nature inherent and Page 246 innate a moral Sense, and a natural Sagacity, as well as natural Sensations. 3. That there are innate Ideas of God and Virtue, and of mo|ral Good and Evil in the Soul, tho' sopited and unelicited, as well as a natural Power to perform the animal Functions. 4. That spiritual Sensation and Senses (justly ex|plain'd) are Realities, and not Figures. 5. That the Soul, in her Operations now, can only use and employ the material Or|gans of the aethereal Vehicle crusted over as they are with planetary Clay, which she must endeavour to extend, develope and mundify. 6. That Culture, Study and La|bour in extending and perfecting the natu|ral Powers, is but removeing Superfluities, cutting off Excrescences, and rendering the aethereal Vehicles and their Organs pliant and supple, and for the which we are now con|demn'd to labour for our Punishment and Purification. 7. That the shortest Way to perfect the natural Powers, is to labour at the recovering the moral Powers 46
- That the Activity, Sensibility and Penetration, the animal Functions, the Passions, Senti|ments, Memory, Imagination, and the other more material and less abstracted Opera|tions of the Soul, and even the involuntary Functions, the voluntary Motions of the Bo|dy, are more immediatly performed by the self-moveing, immaterial, naturally sagacious Spirit, on the primitive aethereal Vehicle Page 247 divinely organised, but now crusted over with Clay, as Springs and Weights move Clock-works, the first tho' having an in|nate Principle of Self-action, the other only an extraneous and adventitious one 48
- That in this progressive endless Purification and Perfection of an Animal in Body and Spirit, there may be many Steps, Stations and Mansions, and, one finished, another may begin, till the final Completion 50
- That in this endless progressive Purification towards consummat Perfection and Happi|ness, there may be a particular Law of Attraction, Fitness and Similarity, propor|tion'd to the Acquisition of the moral Powers, and Extension of the natural Powers, that may draw and determine them to their several Stations and Mansions, as the Eggs of Insects and Seeds of Plants are by Electricity drawn to their proper Nidus's and Leaves, till like the Asymptots of Hy|perbola's they come at last to meet in their Curve ibid.
- That this Sketch of a System is innocent, tho' it should be deem'd a Romance, which is all I am answerable for 51
AN ABSTRACT OF DISCOURSE II.
PHILOSOPHICAL CONJECTURES about the Preference of Vegetable to Animal Food; and of the End and Design of Providence in Ap|pointing the first, and, on Trial, Permitting the latter.
- THAT by our present Frame, we are fit|ted as for Vegetable, so for Animal Food, at least in the Days of our Vi|gour; but that Animal Food, on Trial, and consequent Miscarriage, under the first intended and appointed Vegetable Food, was permitted by the Author of Nature, as a pis alle, 1. To let us feel the natural and Page 249 necessary Effects of our own Lusts and Concupiscence. 2. To produce naturally and mechanically those Pains, Miseries and Distempers, that might create a Horror of inordinat Lusts and Appetites, and afford Time and Opportunities to ponder and think, and thereby to return to Order, Love of Virtue, and its Source. 3. To shorten the Duration of our natural Lives, that Sin and Misery might not increase, or last eternally. 4. To concentre our natural Powers to a Level with our defaced moral Powers, that, without clashing, they might rise, and be restored, in the same Progres|sion. And, 5. Perhaps to connive at what, without committing Violence on Liberty, could not at that Time be prevented. 55
- That our present earthly Bodies being compos'd of the now secondary Sulphur, Salt, Air, Water and fine Earth, only, and it being certain, from chymical Experiments, that Sulphur and Salt are the two most active and destructive Elements, and that the three last, Air, Water and fine Earth, are more innocent, the less active and deleterious, and Animal Food abounding most in the two first, and Vegetable in the three last; con|sequently Animal Food must be more de|structive to Animal Bodies than Vegetable in the same Proportion. 2. Because by Experiment the Juice and nourishing Ex|tract of Animal Food is more tenaciousPage 250 and glewy than that of Vegetable Food. 3. Because Animal Food abounding more with Salts and Sulphurs, and they by their Nature being always in perpetual Motion and Action, must mechanically tear Ani|mal Substances faster than Vegetables, which abound most with the more passive and innocent Elements; especially, 4. When fermented Liquors are join'd to them, as Dilution, which harden the solid Meat, and obstruct its Solution and Digestibility. And lastly, since, 5. the Particles of Ani|mal Food being strain'd through the finer Tubes, and stronger Organs, of Animal Di|gestion, must be more minutely divided than the Particles of Vegetables can, by their fewer and grosser Tubes of Prepara|tion, and being destitute of Animal Heat and Force, and having only the Solar Heat and universal Law of Attraction common and equal in both; on these Accounts, the Particles of Animal must be much finer than the Particles of Vegetable Food, and consequently have a proportional much greater Degree of Attraction; must there|fore be united with greater Force, and form stronger Obstructions, and being more delicious, betray the Feeder more readily into Excesses. On all which Accounts, (I say) Animal Food must mechanically and necessarily create Diseases, and shorten Life more readily than Vegetable 59
- Page 251That since what is, and necessarily is, must be a Part of the Intention of the Creator, and since Animal Food necessarily begets Diseases and Pains more readily than Vege|table Food can, there is no accounting for the Permission of Animal Food, but by supposing Pain and Suffering here a neces|sary Mean of Expiation and Purification, which GOD, on Trial, finding nothing else could reclaim his rebellious Creatures, unwillingly, as it were, permitted it, as a Father sends his Son to the Correction|house: And that, as when by Pride, Tyran|ny, Malice, Murder and Brutal Commerce, by the more luxuriant and delicious Vege|table Food, the Deluge came to its Pitch, he was forced to destroy both the People and their Food by this Deluge 62
- That to those to whom Revelation is fami|liar, the like Means of Correction will be evident from the Permission of Plurality of Wives to the Jews; and that under his immediat and miraculous Government, he, on their Murmurs, indulged them in a Mo|narchical Government, as a kind Father admonishes his froward giddy Child to be|ware of too familiar Approaches to Fire, by burning his Fingers 64
- That there is no accounting for the Permission of Animal Food, on the Foot of Natural Religion, the wanton Murder of Animals for Food, when more salutary VegetablePage 252 Food can be readily had, showing a Cruel|ty and Ferocity inconsistent with beneficent Natures; but that the universal Proprietor of Life and Happiness might, with great Wisdom, Justice and Kindness, knowing when the Term of Expiation of a lower Class of probationary, progressive or lapsed Animals is accomplish'd, give Leave, in the Course of his Providence, to put an End to their present Manner of Living, and ad|vance them thereby sooner to a higher State of Being and Felicity, and at the same time secretly, and in Consistence with their Liberty, to admonish a higher Rank of In|telligences what they merited; for these (to be sure for wise and beneficent) Ends, perhaps unknowable by us, GOD might have permitted the killing Animals for our Food, as he certainly did for Sacrifice; for this we have a Patent in Revelation, but none for fermented Liquors, but as Physic, Cordials and Stomachicks or Bitters, on Extremities, Sickness, inclement Seasons, Fatigue or in Festivals 64
- That fermented Liquors of any Kind can ne|ver, in their Nature, be proper, or the best, for Animal Health and Life; for they are the spurious Invention of Art, and the further Deviation from the Simplicity of Nature, which has given us no Intima|tion of any such Kind of Beverage in the Preparations of pure Nature, and which the Page 253 Animals who follow the Laws of Nature, will not touch; they are properly Physic, bitter Draughts, and unnatural Cordials on Extremities, in Sickness and inclement Sea|sons, and only design'd for a temporary Re|lief, and occasionally. Fermentation con|centres, condenses and contracts, as it were, to a Point, at least to a much smaller Volum, (like a Burning-glass, which condenses the solar Rays, to make them more fierce) all the deleterious Particles of the Vegetables, that is, their Salts and Oils; and is the true and sole Cause of all our great and atro|cious Distempers, especially of all the Train of the frightful nervous Diseases which now rage universally in England, like a Plague; and have been increaseing since the Con|quest, and since Wine has been familiar to all Ranks; and Water-drinking only, time|ously begun in Life, is the only sufficient Antidote for these most wretched lunatick Distempers 46
- That there are many Evidences of the Hurt fermented, but especially spirituous Liquors, do an animal Body; as, 1. That they harden and destroy the Digestibility of animal Food, and indeed of all kinds of Food in the Sto|mach. 2. Because they corrugat and con|tract the Fibres, and pin together the Par|ticles of the Food, so that they cannot be so readily separated and divided into their integral nourishing Parts. 3. Because by Page 254 their Heat and Activity, they bring the Fibres and Membrans of the digestive Or|gans, and all the other Solids, into too violent and frequent Vibrations and Suc|cussions, and thereby break the Tone, and destroy the Elasticity, of these Organs, dis|solve their Continuity, and so wear them out much sooner. And, 4. Because they stunt the Ductility and Growth of the ani|mal Organs themselves, and thereby hinder their Developement, Extension, Elasticity and natural Strength, by continuing their linear or superficial Amplitude folded or rolled up 68
- That all sentient and intelligent Creatures are in an expiatory, perfectioning and progressive State, is evident, because here they must necessarily suffer; and infinit Beneficence could not possibly create any sentient or intelligent Being, merely to suffer; but chiefly, perhaps only, for Expiation, and consequent progressive Perfection and Hap|piness. That probably the early and uni|versal Precept of Sacrifice, might first introduce animal Food; which Sacrificeing might have been intended, 1. Silently and kindly to admonish the Sinner to consider what he deserves: In this silent manner pos|sibly, for the preserving Liberty inviolate, all the Animals might, partly, be design'd to read us Lectures of Instruction in Mora|lity, or of the Conveniencies of Life, in the same manner. 2. By a Prolepsis to Page 255 perpetuat the Expectation and Hope of some more noble Sacrifice, with such a View as the Eucharist was instituted after that Sacrifice had been accomplished. But yet this Permission seems to have been against the Grain, as may be gather'd from the Caution not to eat the Animal's Blood, in which its Life and deleterious Qualities alone consisted 73
- This Aversion in infinit Wisdom and Good|ness, to permit the Use of animal Food, which He condescended to, merely for the Hardness of the Hearts of his lapsed Crea|tures, kindly to give them a forced Permis|sion to do what He found they would pre|sumptuously do, is further shewn by the Distinction between clean and unclean Ani|mals, which were not to be eaten; which in their Nature are more apt to madden the Passions, enrage Distempers, and produce an Aversion to Virtue. And tho' St. Peter had a miraculous Vision, to tell him nothing was unclean under the Gospel, yet that was not till the Doctrine of Self-denial and Mor|tification was establish'd, as the Fundamental of Christianity 74
- That some Vegetables, as Eastern Gums, Spices, Aromaticks, pungent Foetids, and Onion Tribes, are more destructive to Ani|mals, than young white animal Food 76
- To the Difficulties, that our blessed Saviour eat and drank with Publicans and Sinners:Page 256 That he wrought his first Miracle to pro|duce Wine: That he fed a Multitude by miraculous Animal Food: That St. Peter had a Vision to instruct him, that all Food was equal: It is answer'd, 1. That the Question only is, Which of the two Foods, Animal or Vegetable, was probably first intended by the Author of the Universe before the Lapse, and the Ruin of the Planet we now inhabit? 2. That different Repairs are necessary to different Degrees of Ruin, even in material Habitations. 3. That there is neither Virtue nor Vice in either kinds of Food, but in their Quantity, or as they are commanded by lawful Superiors. But that a low or vegetable Diet is naturally and mechanically more productive of Health and long Life, and consequently of Know|ledge and Virtue, than a high animal Diet. 4. That our Saviour came to seek, to save those who were lost, and so was under a Necessity of converseing with the Volup|tuous and Sinners: But that the Preference he gave to a low Diet, was implicitly included in his grand Doctrine of Self|denial, and takeing up the Cross. 5. I grant, that in our present Situation on this ruinous Globe, it is impracticable and im|possible, for Persons of all Ranks, Condi|tions and Occupations, to live intirely on Vegetables: Their Use now, is only to cure, alleviat and lessen the DistempersPage 257 generated necessarily by animal Food, and fermented Liquors: And, 6. Even these, and spirituous Liquors, are sometimes neces|sary on Extremities, in some Diseases, as Filips and Cordials for temporary Reliefs; and infinit Wisdom foresaw this Mischief of these high Meats and Drinks, and provided an Antidote for them, at least for a Time, 1. By makeing the great Bowel, the Liver, to draw off their Poison, and turn it into a salutary Medicin. 2. By forming mineral Waters of all kinds, with such Profusion and Variety, every-where on the Surface of the Globe: And, 3. By creating the Minerals themselves, Mercury especially, mechani|cally adjusted for that Purpose, among many other Uses and Utilities, of ponderous and mineral Medicins, which probably were not in the same Form, or so readily at Hand, before the Flood 81
- That to the Appearances in the present State of Nature, that seem to clash with this Doc|trine (which consists only in these three Propositions, 1. That animal Food, in its own Nature, is more ready to produce Distempers than vegetable Food. 2. That therefore infinit Wisdom must have had wise and beneficent Ends in instituteing the first, and but probably permitting only the latter: And, 3. That therefore the latter must be the proper Antidote for Disorders produc'd by the former); it is to be ob|served Page 258 further, that at present our whole System is in Disorder, in a purifying, and, as it were, in a febrile State, labouring in a perfectionating Progression by general Laws, under natural Liberty, and the Harmony of the Divine Attributes, which must at last terminate in relative Order, Perfection, and universal Happiness. That now there is no such thing as avoiding the destroying of animal Life absolutly; but that it should not be done out of mere Luxury, Wanton|ness and Ferocity, which even the rapacious Animals do not, but from want of any pro|per Food 86
- That on the whole, it is plain from Revela|tion, that, 1. Animal Food was permitted, and fermented Liquors not absolutly, but their Excesses, forbidden. 2. That in many Circumstances and Situations, a reasonable Quantity of animal Food and fermented Liquors is absolutly necessary for a Time. 3. That it is plain from Philosophy and Experience, that Excesses in high animal Food, and strong fermented Liquors, are the true and adequat Cause of the great and atrocious Distempers. 4. That animal Food, and fermented Liquors, will necessarily shorten Life (perhaps one half) more readily than vegetable Food, and unfermented Li|quors, and in the same Proportion cause Distempers. 5. That tho' a moderat Quan|tity of animal Food and fermented Liquors Page 259 will naturally warm and strengthen the Blood, and tighten the Solids for a Time, and consequently is necessary in all eruptive Distempers, yet they will shorten Life, and produce Distempers, much more readily than vegetable Food, and unfermented Li|quors. 6. That for bodily and mechanical Strength dureing a Time, and for a transient Occasion, tho' animal Food, and fermented Liquors, be the most effectual; yet for intel|lectual Purposes, vegetable Food, and unfer|mented Liquors, are certainly fittest. But to secure the golden Mediocrity between bodily Strength and clear penetrating Heads, about a half Pound of animal Food, and a half Pint of fermented Liquors, in the intirely Healthy and Young, or rather less, seems to bid fairest in Quantity for that Purpose: The Valentudinary must gradually sink below this healthy Standard, till, by Experience, they find their own proper Dose 88
AN ABSTRACT OF DISCOURSE III.
A PHILOSOPHICAL THEORY, founded on Experiments of the Na|ture and Laws of minute inanimat Bodies, and their Systems in general.
- PROPOSITION I. THE least Particles of Matter are of various Sizes, Densities and Figures; the very least are almost infinitly small, hard and elastic, makeing the first Order; the second Order are compos'd of those; and these combin'd make the third Order 92
- SCHOLIUM. The Quantity of solid Matter in the material System of the Universe, may be very small; Page 261 and yet, if duely divided and arranged, might answer all the Appearances of mate|rial Worlds 93
- PROP. II. The least Particles of Bodies are indivisible by any finite or created Powers 94
- Analogous to Gravity in the great Bodies of the Universe, there is in the least Particles of Matter, a Principle of Attraction and Repulsion ibid.
- SCHOL. I. What the general Law of Attraction and Re|pulsion in the least Particles of Matter pre|cisely is, has not yet been determin'd; only in receding from the Contact, it is demon|strable that it is greater than the reciprocal Duplicat. 95
- SCHOL. II. If Particles attracted each other in the reci|procal Triplicat in their Point of Contact, the Force of their Attraction would be in|finitly greater, than at any assignable Di|stance; yet it would not be infinitly greater than the Force of Gravity, since any Body may be separated by an assignable Force 96
- SCHOL. III. Repulsion begins and goes on, where Attrac|tion ends; and they probably go on accord|ing to the same Law and Progression, but with contrary Directions ibid.
- Page 262PROP. IV. The Force of Cohesion in the small Particles of Matter, is in a compound Pro|portion, of the Quantity of their cohering Surfaces, and the Quantity of their attrac|tive Powers ibid.
- COROL. Therefore the less the cohering Sur|faces are, the less will be the Degree of Co|hesion, and the least of all will be in Spheres or Spheriods 97
- PROP. V. The Force of Attraction in small Particles increases, as the Size of the Par|ticles is diminished ibid.
- PROP. VI. The Gravities of Particles decrease as the Cubes of their Diameters ibid.
- COROL. Hence, from the Smallness and Divi|sibility of its Parts, Mercury is so easily rais'd; and Bodies may be suspended in Fluids spe|cifically lighter than themselves ibid.
- PROP. VII. If a Fluid attracts the Parts of an immers'd Body more strongly than they do one another, they will be equally diffus'd through it 98
- PROP. VIII. Elastic Particles suspended in a Fluid after their Collision, will resile, and by their Actions and Reactions, cause Fer|mentation and Effervescence ibid.
- PROP. IX. Unelastic Particles suspended in a Fluid attracting each other, will sink and be precipitated; the same will be produc'd by diminishing the Gravity of the Men|struum 98
- Page 263PROP. X. The Figures of the Particles of all unelastic Fluids must necessarily be Sphe|rical; and the Elements of all Solids must be of some of the regular Solids, as Cubes, Triangles, Prisms, &c. 99
- SCHOL. The Figure of the Particles of elastic Fluids is of no Consideration, since their Elasticity depends only on their repulsive Force ibid.
- PROP. XI. The Elasticity of solid Bodies is the Effect of the attracting Force of their Particles ibid.
- PROP. XII. That Bodies under a Rotation fly off in the Tangent, is the Effect of the general Law, by which they continue in their State, whatever that be 100
- PROP. XIII. The Figures of the Particles, and their Actions on one another, arising from the Principles of Attraction and Repulsion, together with the Motions impress'd on them by living and intelligent Agents, will probably account for the Appearances of the material World, if adjusted according to their Laws ibid.
- PROP. XIV. Air is a System of Particles en|dow'd with a repulsive Force, which being fix'd in all animal, vegetable and mineral Substances, are by Fire, Fermentation, Pu|trefaction, Dissolution, or any other in|testine Action and Reaction, set at Liberty, and compose our Atmosphere; and hence Page 264 its Compression, Weight, Elasticity and Density ibid.
- SCHOL. The Density of the Air is propor|tionat to its Compression, and therefore its expansive Force must be in the direct subtriplicat Ratio thereof 101
- PROP. XV. Earth is a loose Collection of the different elementary Particles of Matter, of all the three Orders, thrown together with|out any regular Combination ibid.
- PROP. XVI. Water is a Collection of the So|lution of tasteless Salts, originally crystal|liz'd, but kept in Fusion by Heat; and dif|ferent Salts are different Combinations of these with the other Elements 102
- PROP. XVII. Acids seem to be very attractive Particles of plain Surfaces, and angular Points ibid.
- SCHOL. Possibly the Figures of Acids may be triangular Prisms; for all Matter must be figur'd ibid.
- PROP. XVIII. Heat is the brisk vibrating Action and Reaction of the repelling Nitre of the Air, and the aethereal Fluid with an attractive acid Sulphur; which Sulphur yields an inflammable Oil, an acid Salt, a fix'd Earth, and a little Metal 163
- COROL. Hence the Affinity between Light and sulphureous Bodies, and the true Nature of inflammable Spirits ibid.
- Page 265SCHOL. Since a Thermometer in an exhausted Receiver will rise and fall in the same man|ner as in the open Air, and since polish'd Bodies in the same, cling together as strongly as in the Air; it seems to follow, that there is some subtle elastic Fluid pervadeing all Bodies, to produce these Appearances 104
- PROP. XIX. Light seems to be the vibrating Particles of hot Bodies, driven out by the repelling Force, with an immense Velocity; which is increas'd by the aethereal Fluid, and the Attraction of Bodies ibid.
- SCHOL. I. Since Light is convertible into Bo|dies, and Bodies into Light; it would seem, that Light is only the Particles of a hot Body thrown off with an immense Ve|locity ibid.
- SCHOL. II. The Rays of Light seem to consist of Particles of different Sizes, and different Degrees of Refrangibility ibid.
- SCHOL. III. The Sun and fixt Stars are im|mense Globes of Matter, saturated with the Particles of the second Order, or of Light ibid.
- SCHOL. IV. It is not impossible this Earth, with all the Planets and Comets, should be intended as temporary Prisons, and Places of Correction, for the Trial, Expiation, or progressive Purification of the several Or|ders of lapsed, sentient and intelligent Be|ings 106
- Page 266PROP. XX. Flame is the sulphureous Smoak of a hot Body 107
- PROP. XXI. Bodies are Transparent, whose Pores are sufficiently small and rectilinear ibid.
- PROP. I. Mercury consists of smaller Particles than any known Fluid. 2. The Particles of Mercury, the smaller they are, the more perfect Spheres they are. 3. Mercury is the heaviest of all natural Fluids. 4. Mercurial Particles attract some Bodies most, and fly from others the most 108
- Philosophical Corollaries. 1. Therefore the Particles of Mercury are most easily rais'd by Heat. 2. Therefore they have the great|est Momentum. 3. Therefore they will readily pass through all animal Substances, which are lax and porous 109
- Medical Corollaries. 1. Therefore the Par|ticles of Mercury are fittest to break Vis|cosity. 2. Therefore they are the fittest Me|dicin to open the Obstructions of the small Vessels. 3. Therefore they are fittest to cure Palsies. 4. Therefore they are fittest to antidot the Scurvy. 5. Therefore they are the best Antidot for the Gout. 6. Therefore they are the best Remedy for chronical Distempers caus'd by Excesses. 7. Therefore the Particles of Mercury duely prepared, are the most probable Mean to make the Circulation quite round and intire Page 267 through the whole System of the animal Tubes; that is, to thin the Juices 110
- Medical Cautions. Mercury, however pre|pared, will infallibly burst those Vessels, whose Obstructions cannot be dissolved, and break those whose Sides are very slender, or which are putrified; and therefore Mer|cury is a divine Antidot, or real Poison, according as it is managed; neither it nor any mineral Medicin being ever design'd by the Creator to enter an animal Body, no more than animal Food, in his first Inten|tion, at least before the Lapse, and perhaps not before the Deluge, the Minerals being probably then intended for other Uses, and not being perhaps in the Form they are now, nor on the mountainous Surfaces of the Earth, nor dissolv'd in Water, as we now find them 111
- The Choice of mineral Medicins. The best Preparation of Mercury is that wherein its Particles are most minutely divided and sepa|rated, and thereby fitted to pervade the smallest Tubes ibid.
- That Preparation of Mercury is best, where its Particles being minutely divided, the Mixture is made with that Body of the most acknowledg'd specific Virtue against the Disease 112
- Therefore the Aqua Mercurialis is the best and most universal of all Deobstruents in very weak Persons; the Mercurius Alcali|satusPage 268 next; then the Cinnabar, Aethiops, Quicksilver, purified with specific Extracts, &c. ibid.
- All mineral Medicins ought to be infinitly di|vided before they are sent into an animal Body ibid.
- Mercury, and the active Salts, are the very worst and most prejudicial Preparations to animal Bodies, and are not to be us'd but in small Doses, and in Cases that require Ex|pedition 113
- General medical Corollaries. As Water, Blood-warm, is the best Diluent, so purified Quicksilver is the best Deobstruent. But as Water alone may be too sluggish, so Mer|cury alone may be too active and ponderous in delicat Constitutions; therefore the very best Preparation is where Mercury, infinitly divided, is mix'd with the specific Vegetable or Mineral against a given Distemper ibid.
- Therefore a thin cool low Diet of vegetable, or very tender and loose animal Substances, is the very best Food for delicat and wasted Constitutions 114
- A general medical Scholium. From this Sy|stem, or Philosophical Explication, of the Nature and Laws of the minute Particles of Matter, it will follow, 1. That soft, mild, thin and cool Foods, are fittest to carry on and continue animal Life and Functions. 2. That Spirits, Salts, chymical Oils, and Medicins that have pass'd through the Tor|tures Page 269 of the Fire, are most pernicious to animal Bodies. 3. That Food of Animals which live on Animals, are the worst kind of animal Food for human Bodies. 4. That Mercury, duely prepared and combin'd with a specific Alterative, is the best Deobstruent and Dissolvent. 5. That Milk and Ve|getables are the proper Food for young and diseased Animals, and tender Constitutions. 6. That Water Beverage is best for pre|serving the Faculties clear, the Spirits free, and prolonging Life. 7. That, on the whole, Mercury, some-how prepared, and Water, naturally or artificially impreg|nated, are the two Antidots provided by Nature for animal Distempers in chronical Cases 116
AN ABSTRACT OF DISCOURSE IV.
PHILOSOPHICAL CONJECTURES on Spiritual Nature, the Human Spirit in particular.
- THAT the natural Powers of all Spirits are these two, Understanding and Willing, which suppose a third, viz. Living, as their Base 119
- That all created Spirits naturally and philo|sophically can be conceiv'd only as infinite|simal Miniatures, Sparkles, Emanations, or, if I durst use the Words, diminutive analogous Particles of that infinitly perfect spiritual Being, who is so intirely One, that He cannot have Parts; yet have these Mini|atures of Him an infinitesimal Portion of his spiritual Substance, endow'd with a propor|tional Page 271 Share of his natural Attributes of Living, Understanding and Willing; and so are therefore necessarily immortal, and cannot be annihilated 120
- That these Faculties or Powers are felt sensi|bly and perceptibly by duely cultivated Spirits of all Orders, and follow by Ana|logy as to the Substance of the Soul, and these Faculties, from the necessary Nature and Attributes of the Deity 121
- That this Meaning is evident in Revelation, which says, Men are God's Images, and they are there called Gods; that is, they were at first made infinitesimal Divinities, endow'd with his natural and moral Attri|butes, in their Order 122
- That all Pagan and Christian Antiquity be|liev'd, that all created Spirits were cloath'd with some material Vehicle, and that God alone was pure, immaterial, infinit Spi|rit; and Revelation speaks of a spiritual, that is, of an infinitly refin'd and sublim'd Body 123
- That neither material nor spiritual Substances are knowable by us at present, but by their sensible Effects and Acting: But that Matter and Spirit are contrary, tho' not contra|dictory, in their most essential and distin|guishing Qualities; Matter being divisible in infinitum, and Spirit indivisible: But what infinit Divisibility, Rarity, Elasticity and Ve|locity in the Particles of Matter, might at Page 272 last effect on its Substance and Qualities, to give Matter a Nature different from gross porous inert Bodies, none but the Author of Matter and Spirit can tell or compre|hend: But they will eternally be even thus, like the Hyperbolic Curve and its Asymptot, probably like parallel Right Lines 125
- Living is probably actuating, governing and moveing a divinely organiz'd Vehicle, pri|mitive, aethereal or planetary; and where|ever there is any Degree of Life, vegetative (or divinely organiz'd Matter only) sensa|tive or rational, there of Neceslity must be a spiritual (so to speak) Body, or an imma|terial, immortal and progressive spiritual Substance, actuating, governing and move|ing a divinely organiz'd Body of some Or|der or Nature or another, or both united 126
- That there may possibly be Orders, Ranks and Species of animated Beings, with divinely organiz'd Vehicles of all Degrees, gradu|ally rising, from the Coralline to the highest Seraphim; and an Angel is only a spiritual Substance actuating a divinely organiz'd Body, of an Order and Purity a little higher than that of an unlapsed perfect human Be|ing 127
- That we plainly perceive how imperfect and unhappy Beings we are at present, we of the human Race; yet cannot possibly think Page 273 that we came thus out of the Hands of our Creator; but must conclude we have lost our primitive Creation State by some wil|ful Mismanagement of our own 128
- That our primitive State must necessarily have been, 1. That our organis'd Vehicle was entirely supple and pliable to our Spirit; and, 2. That our Spirit was entirely pliable to the Divine Spirit 129
- That all created Spirits being naturally free, must be necessarily fallible: That, on this Globe, there was never a thinking Being, come to any Degree of Maturity, who found not himself, at one time or another, miserable, and wish'd not to be otherwise; this State is called the Lapse 130
- How this Lapse was brought about, is not ex|plicitly revealed, and is not knowable by mere Reason or Philosophy; we feel that it is, and that is all we at first know cer|tainly. GOD'S Design being to restore us, with the Consent of our own Liberty, and the Harmony of his Attributes, discourages vain Curiosity in Particulars; all that is revealed to us is general and indefinit; we feel that we are imperfect and unhappy, and that is suffi|cient to begin the first Steps of our Recovery into Order in Body and Soul; we are always certain in the Knowledge of our Recovery, of the second Step when we have made the first, of the third when we have made the second, and soon in infinitum; more previous Know|ledge Page 274 would but perplex and confound us, and draw us out of the shortest Road of Re|storation 132
- That it is not improbable, that the Lapse was brought about by Steps and Degrees, that Way of Lapseing being most natural to finite Crea|tures, and many of the several Orders of Be|ings might have been concern'd in it 133
- That our Senses were given us to commerciat with material Objects, these of our present System especially, or others we may pass into; in which the Key and Logic of our Knowledge is Proportion. All we can pos|sibly know of spiritual Natures must be from Analogy, without Violence on our Liberty, which make us mere Vegetables, and from comparing them with the Faculties and Operations of our own Spirits; and Ana|logy, duly cultivated and cautiously guarded in spiritual Nature, is answerable to Algebra, or Analyticks in Mathematicks 135
- That since God is, spiritual Nature and material Nature is and exists: All GOD's Words and Works must therefore necessarily have a literal or material, spiritual and divine Meaning and Sense; the literal for Begin|ners, the spiritual for the Advanced, and the divine for the Perfect. Perhaps it may be thus in the Account of the Lapse, and all the Group of this Affair certainly were literal, Paradise a Place of material Delight, the Tree of Life a Food to perpetuat the Page 275 then material Vehicle in Health and Live|liness; the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, quite the contrary; the Serpent, the highest fallen Angel. The spiritual Meaning may refer to the moral Powers of the Soul, as the literal did to the bodily; the Tree of Life may refer to the Source of the Divinity, the Father; the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, to the God-Man Jesus Christ; the Serpent, the grand Deceiver; Paradise, the natural Powers of the Soul, which were contracted and sopited by gross Matter, upon the Lapse, after the moral Powers were defac'd by Re|bellion, Disorder, Selfishness, and inordinat Love of the Creature 137
- That by this Lapse, from the Principle of At|traction establish'd universally in the spiri|tual as well as material World, the primi|tive aethereal Vehicle was gradually turn'd to a planetary one, such as we now live in; and thereby the Activity, Energy, and Ex|tension of the natural Powers of the Soul were greatly confin'd and stunted, as to their elicited Acts, tho' they could not be so as to their Fund, and potential Nature; and now they must rise to Perfection in propor|tion only to the acquir'd moral Powers, and by Labour and Culture, under the Oe|conomy of Jesus, and by the Aid of supra|natural Grace, be develop'd, extended and purified 139
- Page 276That perhaps all sentient and intelligent Beings, of all Ranks, must necessarily pass through a State of Trial, Probation and Apprenticeship, before they can be, even by Omnipotence, confirm'd and eterniz'd in Illability and Im|peccability, as a Potter vitrifies his Ware by Fire; or a Smith steels his Iron. All that is necessary or proper for us to know, or be cer|tain of, in our present State, is, that we are lapsed Probationers, and progressive to|wards Perfection and Happiness; more pre|cise Knowledge of our pre-existent or fu|ture State might only retard our Progress 143
- Whether the ruinous Planet we now inhabit, was the primitive Seat of unlapsed human Spirits, and by their gradual Lapse was in|sensibly turn'd into its present Condition, is impossible for us now to determin. Para|dise, as described by Moses, is now no-where to be found; and most Climats, on a Ba|lance of Incommodities with Conveni|encies, are pretty much upon an Equality to the Natives. We find Luxury destroys our planetary Vehicles, and Pestilences infect the Atmosphere and the Earth, as well as its In|bitants: But it is probable, the Divine Power might suspend or accelerat the general Laws of Nature, to turn this Globe from its Pa|radisiacal to its present State 145
- An animal Body being a System only of me|chanical Powers, compos'd of fine elastic infinitesimal Lines, or Threads form'd into Page 277 various Webs or Membranes, and they into Tubes or solid Bundles, are, by proper Li|quors, kept for a time in due Elasticity, having under them the primitive aethereal Vehicle, which is the proper Covering of the Soul, and its immediat Instrument between it and the planetary Plaistering, which, when broken, drops, and perhaps they (Soul and aethereal Vehicle) pass into others, till its progressive Purification be finish'd into Illa|bility and Impeccability 147
- Matter is capable only of Division, Figure, Motion and Situation, and is passive and inert. Spirit is self-motive and self|active, and must be the Principle of Mo|tion in Bodies, without which they would continue for ever inert, but so far as their Principle of Attraction or Repulsion, pro|duc'd probably by some subtile universal Fluid, sets them into Action: But this Fluid seems confin'd chiefly to inanimat Matter; and does nothing in particular or eminently in proper animal Functions, but as the general Laws of Nature operate and concur with all material Operations; and the Whole of animated Functions seem to be directly and eminently transacted by the actuating immaterial Principle on the di|vinely organiz'd aethereal Vehicle, which communicats its Energy to the planetary Plaistering. So that the material Spirit of Sir Isaac, Hugens and Leibnitz's rapid Fluid, Page 278 and even our common animal Spirits, seem to be without any Use, but in inanimat Motions and Appearances: And perhaps animal Motions and Functions may be better understood and explain'd, by supposing what is Fact, that our Solids, the Nerves especially, (which are the more immediat Instruments of animal Motions, and their Functions) are membraneous cellular Tubuli, pre|serv'd in their proper Elasticity and Tone, by a milky Oil contain'd in them; and are mechanically adjusted at first by the imme|diat Hand of the Almighty, and fitted to convey, from the immaterial Spirit, a Be|ginning of proper harmonious Vibrations and Oscillations (which may perhaps be promoted and forwarded by the correspon|dent Undulations of an infinitly rare elastic Fluid, disseminated thro' universal Space); which being sent, in a proper Direction, by the appropriated Nerves, to the peculiar Muscles, and divinely organiz'd Instruments, conveys proper Action, Energy and Motion to them; and Bodies, and their Effluvia, (so and so vibrating) may to the same mem|branous Tubuli, communicat peculiar Vi|brations, fitted to impress a Sensation of their Presence, and of Bodies, and their Qualities, to the intelligent naturally saga|cious Spirit; so that the whole Work may be directly transacted between the Spirit and outward Bodies, by the divine MechanismPage 279 of proper bodily Organs; and the aethereal Fluid may be to animated Bodies, in their Motions and Functions, not essential, but accidental or commodious, for a more con|venient Propagation; as Air is to Animals, or Water to the Fish 151
- That Living, Activity or Liberty, and Intel|ligence, in some Degree, and all their Modes, are necessary to all animated Beings, of all Orders; and the Difference in the Individuals of the same Order, depends on the Frame and Texture of their Vehicles in a great measure; so that probably at first there might have been no Difference of Sexes, that depending on a design'd different Configuration of this planetary Crusting. That some Power analogous to the original creative Attributes in the Deity, arising from his infinite Self-activity, might be communicated to all sentient and intelli|gent Beings, is not improbable. But how this infinitesimal creative Power operated be|fore the Lapse, is not known: Perhaps by an intense Willing under the Influence of the Divine Spirit 153
- It is highly probable, from the Necessity of Suffering, in the present State, that all the sentient and intelligent Beings, that shall ever live or appear on this Globe, were all created at the same Instant, miscarried in their Probation, and were all at the same time confin'd into infinitesimal Prisons of Page 280 this ruinous Planet, in the Miniature, Seeds, Ova, and Animalculs of the primi|tive Pairs, or Stock, to be progressively propell'd into sensible Living on this Pla|net, all by general analogous Laws, in their Order; and this progressive Propagation was kindly design'd, as a Mean of recovering their moral Powers, by the Benefits arising from the Acquisition of Virtue and Wisdom in the Parents, tho' the contrary has fallen out 156
- There may be original Differences in the Spirits of the Individuals of the same Or|der of Intelligences, some having one of the essential and natural Attributes of the Spirit in a higher Extent than the other, it may be sufficient to constitute the same Or|der, that their Aggregats be equal: But the Perfection of the aethereal Vehicle, Cul|ture, and the Acquisition of the moral At|tributes, makes the most signal Difference in this State; as Air, Exercise and Diet im|prove the Health, so does Culture in the Acquisition of the moral Powers of the Mind. The natural Powers are constant and inva|riable, as to their Fund and Capacity; but are impeded from elicit Acts by the Clumsi|ness and Want of due Culture of the animal and intellectual material Organs 159
- The Mainoeuvre of Providence in the Restora|tion seems to be thus: The radical natural Powers being constant and invariable in their Fund and Capacity, but the moralPage 281 Powers being defac'd by the Lapse; infinit Goodness, ever acting by his own beneficent Nature, designing to recover these moral Powers, tied down the Energy and Elici|tation of the natural Powers, by Ligatures of this ruinous Planet, at first into that of mere Living; and included the whole Mass of lapsed human Intelligences, in the Loins of One, or a Pair, who were to be the univer|sal Parents, designing the self-active and self-motive Principle in each should, under certain general Laws, break and work off these Ligatures, in their several Orders; while they, by other general Laws, relating to spiritual Nature, (Prophecy, to wit, Miracles, Apostolick Lawgivers, superna|tural Influences and Graces, and at last by the overwhelming Light and Love of the Messiah, his only begotten Son) should recover in them the defac'd moral Virtues 162
- Hence it is evident, the first and initial Steps of this Restoration must, in a great measure, depend on the Sanity of the Adamical Ma|chin; because, when our earthly Tabernacle is greatly disorder'd, these elementary Steps in the Developement of the natural, and the Acquisition of the moral Powers, cannot be so readily brought about, which depends greatly on the Parentage; for the whole Aggregat of all that is connected with the Page 282 Parents, their Bodies, Humors, and mate|rial or spiritual Qualities, are transfus'd and transubstantiated through the whole, and descend to Posterity just as they possess them, and so the Children must fare accord|ingly 163
- It may happen, by Accident, by Disease, by universal Causes, that one Set of nervous Glands in the Brain, one Set of membranous Tubuli (the material Organs of Cogitation) may be more spoil'd, broken, and worn out in some than the others, both in Parents and Children; which will make a great Diffe|rence in the elicit Acts of the natural Powers, and which will make the Difference between a Lawgiver, a Philosopher, a Hero, and an Artisan. But this whole Affair is more immediatly under God's special and particular moral Government of his World; tho' perhaps by general Laws, only occasi|onally, and on great and worthy Motives, suspended 165
- That at present, the Perfection of intellectual Faculties depends, in a great measure, on the Sanity of the bodily Machin, seems evi|dent, because, 1. The Adamical Machin was intended only to suspend the elicit Acts of the natural Powers in their most eminent Degree, to give us Fredom, by developeing and throwing off their Incrustation, to ac|quire the moral Powers. 2. By Experience Page 283 we find, that in Disorders and Distempers of the Body, the intellectual Operations are either inconstantly, weakly, or unsteadily perform'd. 3. It is Fact, that in seminal Miniatures, in Embryo, and Childhood, and for a long time, the Soul does nothing but perform the living and animal Fun|ctions. 4. We find, that Luxury, Leachery, Laziness, strong Passions, inclement Air, Bruises and Accidents, that injure the Body, hurt and destroy the free and easy Exercise of these Faculties, in the Acquisition of Sci|ence and Virtue. 5. We actually see, that as the Body inlarges, and the Organs of the Senses strengthen, the intellectual Faculties and their elicit Acts grow stronger. 6. All intellectual as well as vital Operations, are perform'd by the Intermediation of modu|lated and harmonious Vibrations on mem|branous Tubuli, (the Nerves) and they ab|solutly depend on the State of the Body. 7. As Luxury, Leachery, and Laziness, will spoil these intellectual Operations; so, on the other hand, a low cool Diet, Air and Exercise, proper Evacuation, and the mild ponderous Medicins, will cure and mend them, and bring them often to the same, sometimes to a better State than they were before 169
- From hence it is evident, that the whole Work of our Restoration, in some measure, de|pends Page 284 on ourselves, in Co-operation with the Divine Assistance, under his Providence, and the Oeconomy of Jesus; the whole Creation, from inert Matter, up to the highest Cherubim, being, as it were, an in|verted Cone rising from a Point, and made of infinitesimal Surfaces, as it were, conti|tinually inlarging, (which makes their Or|der) being all Pictures, less or greater, of the radical or natural Attributes of their Creator; but Men having defac'd their moral Attributes, are imprison'd in Gaols of this ruinous Planet, that by a progressive Ex|piation, Purification, and Labour, they may recover these, and so become again similar to their Original, in their moral as well as natural Powers, and so become again infi|nitesimal Divinities, in their Order, and perpetually happy 173
- The human Soul has innate, constantly and in|variably in it, all the natural Powers it was first created with, even now in its lapsed State, at least in its Fund, Capacity, and Essence; only they are suspended, chain'd down, and concentred, as to its elicit Acts, by the Adamical Tabernacle, like a Felon in a Dungeon, and will drop at last; and so perhaps passing through various planetary Gaols, will progressively recover the Use of their natural Powers, as they acquire the moral ones 175
- Page 285From whence it will follow, that the Culture of the natural Powers, the Acquisition of Sci|ences, and all intellectual Exercises, are but Remembrance, cutting off Obstacles, and removeing Impediments, opening Passages, and widening Apertures, through this Ada|mical Prison, which is the most readily and effectually brought about by endeavouring to acquire the moral Powers 176
- That Memory is but an Affection of the Un|derstanding and Will, fixing the Attention and Reflection, like seeing in the Eye by the Effort of the Will. The Understand|ing is passive and inert, as every material Organ is. It is the Will that is the ruling and commanding Faculty, and Sovereign in the Soul. The Will is infinit and unlimited, and may act in Contradiction and Contra|riety to the Understanding; is so absolutly unlimited, infinit and unconfin'd, that it ex|tends to all Distances, without the Interme|diation of Body. Being a self-motive and self-active Principle, it is no less real in its Operations, tho' it do not always effect its Volitions. In it lies the true and essential natural miniature Image of the Deity 178
- Some have thought, the Will of all free Agents so infinitly free in its own Nature, as it was deriv'd from the creative Source of Liberty and Power the Deity, that He Page 286 left it free, hid and imperceptible directly from his own Penetration, Espial and In|fluence; for so much they think a self|motive Power necessarily implies, tho' but an infinitesimal one; and that even Omniscience knew not that the Angels had lapsed, till the Rebellion actually happen'd; but had, from all Eternity, provided for the Possibi|lity of such an Event: That to ennoble his Creatures, and make them fit to commerciat with Himself, He might suspend his Om|niscience to magnify his Omnipotence; and might designedly and arbitrarily not foresee (tho' He certainly always might) the con|tingent and natural Actions of his intelli|gent Creatures, to make them more worthy of Him. But this bold and unwarranted Supposition, tho' it might solve some Diffi|culties about the Lapse, about Prescience and Predestination, and in the Oeconomy of Revelation and the Restoration, is perhaps inconsistent with the Perfection of the Divine Nature; and since infinit Penetration and Sagacity will equally answer the same Dif|ficulties, and is less derogatory from infinit Perfection, the former Supposition is un|tenable, I think 182
- As the trine Dimensions of Matter and Space, and their necessarily being neither fewer nor more, give us, in unanimated Nature, a lively Picture of the Trinity in Unity, in Page 287 the Divine Nature; so the three fundamental natural and essential Powers of all intelli|gent Creatures, carry up the analogical Picture higher; which perhaps passes through all the celestial Hierarchy, and all intelli|gent Nature, up to their Source the Creator, who is the last and highest Term of this Cli|max; as He is, so we are, in our spiritual Nature, with the uncomprehensible Diffe|rence there is between the lowest Finite and absolute Infinitude. As in our Nature there is Living, Understanding and Willing; so in his there is Self-existence, Omniscience and Omnipotence; or, analogous to, in the Revela|tion Language, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But as Living, Understanding and Willing, in us and all Creatures, are but, as it were, Modalities, Qualities, Faculties and Pow|ers; in the Divine Nature, on the contrary, they must be Realities, Subsistences and Be|ings; because every essential and radical At|tribute in God must be actually God, be|cause of his infinit Simplicity and Perfection. But this Representation of the Divine Na|ture is here only alledg'd as an Allusion and analogous Picture, to take off the Difficulties in this inexplicable Mystery; and, in some Degree, to reconcile it to modest guarded Philosophers, of honest Hearts, who are conscious of their own low Rank in the Scale of Intelligence. The Arian and Sa|bellianPage 288 Heresies being the two Extremes, are yet widely different in their Influence on Christian Perfection: The first dwindling the Merit, Dignity, Example and Satis|faction of the Saviour of Men, into a mean low human Transaction; the second being only too philosophically nice and punctilous about the Unity of the Divine Nature; which tho', I think, this emblematical mini|ature Representation of it, actually existent in all intellectual Nature, fairly reconciles, and makes as clear as our present State will admit 184
- The immaterial Soul and aethereal Vehicle, sopited in a State of mere vegetable Life, for perhaps many Ages, in the seminal Ani|malcul, by this planetary Incrustation; in time appears on this Globe, becomes sensi|tive, feels Pain and Misery; then begins In|stinct and Remembrance from precedent Suffering, and stores the Mind with Ideas or Pictures of absent Actions and Things, and on these the Understanding operats to produce a Facility and Habit of Reasoning; as the material Organs and Instruments of these Operations develope and strengthen, Reflection and Remembrance of present or past Suffering awakens Conscience (an in|nate Faculty of the Soul); this Faculty, as the Ideas multiply, Sensations become more intense, Reflection more strong and fre|quent, Page 289 and the intellectual Organs are dis|pos'd, becomes more anxious and vehe|ment; and providential disposing Accidents, or natural Occurrences, incline us to provide for a durable future Happiness, at least when this Adamical Tabernacle shall crumble into Dust; and then perhaps we come to a State to say in earnest, Lord, what shall I do to be saved? which seems to be the precise Condition infinit Love and Goodness in|tends by this wonderful Oeconomy to bring us into 190
AN ABSTRACT OF DISCOURSE V.
On NATURAL ANALOGY, its Laws, and some of its Consequences.
- THINGS may differ in Degree as well as in Kind 193
- DEF. 1. Difference in Degrees is where things having their essential Qualities the same, admit in these Qualities a More and a Less ibid.
- DEF. 2. Difference in Kind, is where some of the essential Qualities of things com|par'd are common, some are different ibid.
- DEF. 3. By Ratio, or Relation, is meant the Reference or Connexion any two things compar'd have with one another, whose essential Qualities common, admit of a More or Less ibid.
- Page 291DEF. 4. Similarity is where there is an Equality or Sameness of Relations: In the Substance and essential Qualities of things compar'd, differing only by a More or a Less: In abstracted and simple Ideas, this Same|ness is commonly called Similitude of Ra|tio's: In Things, Substances, or Aggregats of Qualities, it may be called Similarity of Relations 194
- DEF. 5. Things, Substances, and Qualities, are meant to be progressive, which are con|stantly increasing or decreasing similarly 195
- SCHOL. Space, Time, Motion, and Velocity, seem to be no Realities, or external Things, but mere Modifications, different Situa|tions and Circumstances of Bodies or Mat|ter; and are only our Manner of conceive|ing or considering these. A particular Space, or the Locality of a particular Body, seems to be the Mathematical Term, or the Limits of the Three Dimensions of a Body, (as a Point is of a Line) or a Body in the Instant of its Evanishing or Generating. And universal Space is just such an Idea as infinit Number, or an infinitly great Body, or a mere Ens Rationis. And to shew that they are all but abstracted Ideas, and our partial Manner of conceiveing Things, from our limited Capacity; if we perform actually the Arithmetical Ope|rations, as the Expression points them out, on proper infinit Series's, and throw away Page 292 all the lesser Quantities, we shall come to all the Mysteries in Fluxions and Diffe|rentials, Ratio's, and Series, commonly known, which are acknowledg'd to be only abstracted Ideas, and technical Arts, to sup|ply the Defects of our Faculties, which are not intuitive, but progressive; they admit of Degrees, or a More and Less, only as be|longing to and being connected with Body; viz. Space, Time, Motion, and Velocity, are Relations or Modifications only of Body or Matter 196
- DEF. 6. Relative Infinit, is such as is sup|pos'd to increase or decrease perpetually, yet by no finite Power can be brought to, and no finite Capacity can assign or con|ceive its limiting Terms, viz. the Greatest or the Least 197
- DEF. 7. Absolute Infinitude is the sole At|tribute of the Deity, who is infinitly in|finit in all Perfections and Realities ibid.
- DEF. 8. Things only are contradictory, which totally destroy one another, destroy their Subsistence, Substance, and Qualities ibid.
- SCHOL. It is very doubtful, nay, I think, im|possible, there can subsist a full Contradic|tion among created Things, Substances, or Qualities, since they must all be Effluxes of the Deity, in whom there can subsist no Contradiction. For in created Things, to become totally contradictory, there must be an equal Action and Reaction, to have pro|duced Page 293 it; but in all Creatures there seems to be a Subsistence and Reality, which cannot be totally destroy'd by one another, but by a Power and Energy equal to that by which they were created, and infinit Perfection cannot be contrary to itself. There may therefore be a Contrariety among created Substances and Qualities, but not a full Contradiction, or total Annihilation of their Subsistence, Substance, and all their Qualities. For even between material and spiritual Substances, there will remain still, Substance, Subsistence, a Relation, an Alli|ance, a Power of Expansion and Remission, both of their Substance and Qualities, which will make them alliable, and, as the Chymists speak, will make them capable of an Amalga|ma, (like Quicksilver with Lead) tho' they will eternally act by Contrariety on one an|other's Substances and Qualities, and ever counteract one another 200
- DEF. 9. Analogy, is a Similarity in Sub|stances and essential Qualities, differing only by a More or a Less ibid.
- SCHOL. Analogy is of two kinds, perfect and complete, and imperfect and incomplete ibid.
- DEF. 10. Perfect Analogy is where there is a total Similarity of Substances, and essential Qualities, differing only in Degrees ibid.
- SCHOL. There are, I think, Substances, as well as Things and Qualities, of a middle Na|ture, between the Extremes, in every Page 294 created Reality; and this seems to be neces|sary, from the Infinitude of the Divine Nature, as well as from the Nature of Fi|nitude and Creature, which must be various and gradual. And as between any two given Terms, there are an Infinity of mean Proportionals assignable; and between an infinitly small, and an infinitly great part of the Diameter of an infinit Circle, there is the Perpendicular neither infinitly small nor great; so there must be material and spiritual Substances, of all Degrees of Sub|limity, Purity, and Perfection, which, tho' similar, may differ in Degrees 201
- COROL. Hence it may be possible, there may exist material Substances, continually ap|proaching to the Nature and Qualities of spiritual Substances, which yet they can never arrive at, like the Asymptots of an Hyperbola 202
- COROL. 2. Hence, there may possibly be material Fluids, so infinitly rare, spiritual, and elastic, that they may permit gross, porous, planetary Bodies, with only an infi|nitly little Resistance, tho' that Resistance may be still somewhat, and but as the Sun diminishes only infinitly little continually, in the Emission of her Light; neither the spiritual Fluid, nor the Sun, can be de|sign'd to last, in their present Condition, a Duration equal to GOD's Eternity 203
- Page 295DEF. 1. Complex Analogy is where there is only a Similarity between a certain Number of essential Qualities, common to the Things compared, which differ in De|grees; but are diversified in other Qualities less essential ibid.
- All Creation, the whole System of the Uni|verse, with all the particular Systems in Nature, are or can be nothing, but the supreme Being and his Attributes, tran|substantiated into Being and Percepti|bility; but the Cause will be always diffe|rent from the Effect, the Artificer from the Work. This may be demon|strated à priori, from the Nature and At|tributes of the first Cause; but to illustrate it à posteriori, some Instances may be pro|per 204
- §. 1. In the vegetable World, to explain their Growth and Multiplication, the infi|nitly rare elastic material Fluid mention'd, judiciously applied, will be sufficient, as also in the Vegetation and Growth of Minerals 205
- §. 2. The totally inanimat Creation, espe|cially our now secondary Elements of Air, Water, Light, Salts, and Mercury, in the peculiar Fitness of the Size, Figure, Law of Attraction and Gravity, shew the infinit Wisdom of their Contriver; for had they Page 296 not been figur'd, so as they are now in Na|ture, to fit the Tubes of Vegetables, and to combine them into their now integral Parts, they could not have been proper Materials for the Accretion of these Vegetables; and if they had not been so combin'd and moulded in the Vegetables, there had been no proper Food for Animals 206
- The Difference between Vegetables and Ani|mals lies in this, that for the Actuation, Growth and Multiplication of the first, there neither is, nor is wanted any other Power or Energy than what an infinitly rare and elastic material Fluid produces on a divine|ly organis'd material Machin; but in the latter, there is a self-motive and self-active spiritual Substance actuating and governing all their Functions, of some Order or De|gree, even in the lowest Brute and Insect 208
- §. 4. The human Powers, their Degree, Or|der, and the Nature of their primitive aethe|real Vehicle, with its now Plaistering, have been sufficiently explain'd 209
- §. 5. The Angelic Hierarchies must be infinit in their Number, rising in a harmonious Pro|gression and Variety, whose Seats may possi|bly be the Fixt Stars, and their analogous planetary aethereal Systems and Apparatus; and these must be infinit in Number like|wise, to preserve the Equilibrium in univer|sal Space, and their original Distances from Page 297 each other; they must have one generi|cal Nature, which must be that of the ra|dical Attributes of the Deity, Living, Understanding and Willing; their specific Differences may consist in Light and Love, that some are more eminently lu|minous, others more ardently loving; and this Difference seems to take Place even on this ruinous Planet, in the different Complexions and Talents of Mind in the different Orders of Men, which can only account for the odd Diversity in the Chil|dren of the same Parents, under the same Education and Example 213
- The Fixt Stars, which must be infinit in Number, seem to be the material Mansions of unlapsed, tried and purified angelical Hierarchies, and of restor'd, sentient and intelligent lapsed Creatures. God's Throne, his Shechina, is represented as above: Eli|jah went upwards, and Christ ascended. Bodies of all Orders, or different Purity, must have an ubi, a local Situation, and a parmanent Mansion, at last: These Fixt Stars, and their planetary Apparatus, may be the Seats of the Unlapsed and Restor'd, and their aethereal Vehicles may be of the same Matter with their Mansions; and the Matter of these luminous and glo|rious Seats, and the Vehicles made of them, may be eternis'd by harmonious Vibrations, Page 298 and a perpetual Flux and Reflux of their Rays 216
- GOD being the Creator of all sentient and intelligent Beings, the efficient Cause, and Object of perfect Felicity, it is a manifest Contradiction he should creat any such with|out impressing in the very Essence of their Nature an ardent and insatiable Tendency and Ardor after Re-union with him; and accordingly the Desire of Happiness in all sentient and intelligent Beings is invariable and unextinguishable, as we see, however they may mistake the End or Means, by being labile, and placeing it in spurious Selfishness, and inordinat Love of the Crea|tures; and in the Distinction and Contrariety between this innate Byass and that adven|titious one, does the Essence of Misery and Hell, in all future States, consist; but this last Byass being acquir'd only, and not in|nate and essential, the Love, Merits and Satisfaction of the Son of God, were con|triv'd from all Eternity, to melt down and efface 219
- Is it not highly probable that the System of Saturn, the Planets and their Satellits, may be the local Prisons and Dungeons, or Correction-houses, of the several Orders of lapsed probationary and progressive sentient and intelligent Beings? They differ vastly in their Accommodations; they seem to be Page 299 under some penitential Disciplin from many obvious Imperfections and Oddities not easi|ly otherwise accountable, or reconcileable to the Simplicity, Beauty, Harmony and re|gular Order of all the Works of an infinit|ly perfect and powerful Being; but, with infinit Propriety and Wisdom, seem fitted for the Design of Penitence, Correction, and initial Purity and Perfection 220
- The Comets cannot possibly be the Seats of the Blessed; they are too many to supply only our Decrease of Water; their Alter|nations of extreme Heat and Cold, Light and Darkness, are too violent for any ani|mated Vehicle in a State of Happiness: They seem more probably to be the Habi|tations of animated Beings under the Ex|pectation of the last Sentence, or to be the Condemn'd Holds of GOD's Kingdom 222
- The next immediat Mansions to this, or the seve|ral Stations and Mansions design'd for the re|spective Purification of Soul and Body of lap|sed, sentient and intelligent Beings, and all the several Steps, Stations or Mansions, in all Pro|bability have a gradual Resemblance or Ana|logy to one another and to this State here, and this Planet we now inhabit as the first or initial Term upwards or downwards re|spectively; in those upwards all the Beauties, Comforts and pure Delights here increasing similarly in Degree, without their Defor|mity, Page 300 Miseries or Pains; in those downwards all the contrary: This Climax seems natural|ly to flow from the Simplicity and Immuta|bility of the Divine Nature by Analogy, and is conform to Revelation. All Bodies or Vehicles, planetary and aethereal, must have an ubi, and a fixt Mansion at least for a Time; and all sentient and intelligent Be|ings must have a Polity, Order and Laws, be under a Government and Subordination; else it would not be a happy State, but consummat Misery. GOD is a God of Or|der, and all his Works are performed with Order, Number, Weight and Measure, and must have all a mutual Analogy, or as near a Resemblance to one another, as the Na|ture of Things will admit 125
- Analogy does not (at least always directly and infallibly) demonstrat the real Existence and necessary Production of Things ad ex|tra; but it strongly illustrats, explains, and makes them consistent with and consonant to the Things that we know already, see and feel to exist; it makes them different Links only of the same Chain, of Effects, and similar Terms of the same Progression, removes Difficulties, and makes Things ra|tional and fit Objects for a rational supreme Cause to work by; and this is the solid Foun|dation of all true Philosophy, which can only gather Causes and general Laws by Induction from repeated single Experiments, Page 301 and is as high an Evidence as the Nature of Finitude and our Rank of Intelligence will admit in imperceptible Things; and when confirm'd by Revelation, rises to the Evi|dence of a Demonstration in the strictest Sense 127
- We may err and blunder in it, as we may in Algebra and Geometry; but often our Er|rors in the last come but from Want of Culture, Precipitation, or a wrong Head only; but in the Analogy that leads us to the Knowledge of the Divine Purity and Nature, and the Necessity of our own Pu|rification and Perfection for invisible States, and the Nature of Spirits, our Blunders are often owing to a wrong Heart, Licentious|ness, Selfishness, and Independency. If we went on in natural Analogy as we do in natural Philosophy and Geometry, by the simplest, plainest and most obvious Cases, first collected by Induction, laid them up as a Store to proceed on to the higher Terms of the analogical Progression, and with At|tention and Humility went on, from inani|mated Matter, and its Law• to Vegetation, Animation, Spiritual Being, up to the su|preme Cause; perhaps great Proficience might be made in time by such a Method. Analogy is the only Mean of Knowledge, that can secure Liberty in lapsed Intelli|gences. I will illustrate my Meaning by an Example in the System of Saturn 229
- Page 3021. GOD bringing Creatures into Existence, must have made them after the most per|fect Pattern, and therefore stampt them with his own Image, and so they must bear a Resemblance to him, and to one another, which is Analogy. 2. The Number of Qualities added to Existence, together with the Degrees of these Qualities, determin their Order. 3. The material World is a Transcript of the spiritual, and there is a more immediat Relation between each ma|terial System, and the Intelligences to which it belongs; and should they lapse and fall into Disorder, their Mansion would make a similar Change. 4. There are many Evidences of this Analogy between the material and spiritual Systems: The Sun is placed in the Centre of our System, the material Image of the Deity; the Pla|nets revolve about him, in different Times and Periods, to represent the several Or|ders of lapsed Intelligences; these Planets have no Light in themselves, it is all de|riv'd by Reflection from him. 5. Heat, Light, and their Consequence Attraction, are his chief Properties, and by this At|traction the Planets are kept in their Or|bits, which strongly pictures out the Love of God, continually soliciting all Intelli|gences to a nearer Approach to him. 6. The Light of the Sun is diffus'd through Page 303 the whole System, representing that Light which enlightens every Man that comes into the World, an Emblem of him who came forth from the Father of Lights God-Man. 7. The Sun's Light is always ac|companied with Heat, which represents the Holy Spirit the Principle of spiritual Life. 8. The various Magnitudes, their Distances from the Sun, with the periodical Times of the Revolutions of the Planets, will express the different Degrees of the Lapse, and the Times allotted for their first Trials and Probation. The Comets by their long elliptical Orbits are thrown off to the greatest Distance, and again drawn back to the nearest Approach to the Sun, to re|present the Extremes of Love and Punish|ment to the same Intelligences, in order to purify them. 9. The Planets are acted upon by two different Forces, Attraction and the projectile Force, which are con|trary to one another. The projectile Force makes the Planet recede perpetually from the Sun, while the Force of Attraction prevents this Effect; the projectile Force be|longs to the Planet, the attractive to the Sun. How wonderfully does all this Oeco|nomy proclaim and speak in a Language truly natural, and proper to the Majesty and Wisdom of the Deity, the Nature of the Lapse, the Action of Selfishness, and inor|dinat Page 304 Love of Creatures, and the Force of the Divine Love in the Oeconomy of Je|sus! For it is suppos'd by the best Phīlo|sophers, that the solar Attraction will at last prevail over the projectile Force, and thereby both Planets and Comets will be swallowed up and transform'd into the Sub|stance of the Sun.
MISCELLANEOUS OBSERVATIONS ON, AND EXPLICATIONS OF, THE Preceding DISCOURSES.
§. 1. THERE seems to be something solid, in one Observation Leib|nitz makes, viz. the Mark or Criterion, between the Works and Operations of Nature, or the GOD of Nature; and the Works of Art, or of finite Power and Wisdom, viz. That GOD, or Nature, works always by Organs infinit in Number, or in a perpetual convergent Progression of Organs or Means to|wards some one or many wise Ends, or Art, by Organs finite in Number, or numerable (by Organs; Creature, Man is always meant a separable distinct Part of a Machin). For Ex|ample; Page 306 we may be able to reckon the Wheels, Springs, Pullies, Chains, &c. of any Watch or Clock, or any Machin, how complicated soever, made by Art: But who can reckon the Fibres, Tubes, Membranes, Valves, Inos|culations, Ligatures, Degrees of Curvature, in the Tubes, &c. of a Pile of Grass, or of a Feather of a Bird? The further we go by our Senses, assisted even by the most perfect Art, their Number multiplies on us; but then, if we could descend into the Figure, Number, and Law of Cohesion of their com|ponent Particles, we should be intirely lost, and all our Art or Management would leave us in thick Darkness, and utter Confusion. In the Works of the GOD of Nature, there is no Maximum or Minimum assignable, or con|ceiveable by us. Sir Isaac Newton has de|monstrated the infinit Tenuity of the Par|ticles of Light; and the progressive Analogy of Nature shews it is possible, that there may be Fluids as much more rare, and of as much lesser Particles, as those of Sand are bigger than those of Light. Leuvenhoeck's Dis|coveries of the Minuteness of some Animal|culs, and of some Tubes of Animals, are scarce credible by any one who has not seen some of them, as I have. The ingenious Dr. Porterfeild has demonstrated the extreme Te|nuity of even an organiz'd and compounded nervous Fibre; and there is no Reason from the Nature of Matter, from the Laws of Page 307Mechanism, or from the Divine Attri|butes, to stop there; we may descend still lower, or higher in infinitum, and be war|ranted by Reason and Geometry. One great Fault in natural Philosophers has been, that they have rejected every Account, as incre|dible, imaginary, and fictitious, which sup|pos'd Fluids extremely or infinitly rare, rapid, and elastic, as is that of Huygens's, Leib|nitz, and Sir Isaac Newton's; and yet some such there must infallibly exist in Nature, as the Phaenomena shew: For if the natural Motions on our Earth, in Bodies, are perform'd by Air, Water, and Heat, since we know sen|sibly, these are Fluids of a finite and pretty near determinable Size, Figure, and Degree of Gra|vity in their Particles, the Analogy of Nature will make it as evident, that the other less known, secret, subtile, and unaccountable Ap|pearances may be perform'd by some other properly condition'd Fluid, (I mean only in the Appearances of the material World) I say, as certainly, as if the first Terms of a Series x + x 2 + x 3 + x 4, &c. were given, I should cer|tainly conclude the 10th, 11th and 12th Terms of such a Series were x 10 + x 11 + x 12.
§. 2. THE Threads, (the last and the least) Fibres, or linear Filaments of all vegetable and animal Substances, are certainly infinitly small, elastic and ductile; in separateing and anatomiseing them, we can never come to an Page 308End; and fine Microscopes will shew, that even the very least our Senses can perceive, or our Art divide, are still Twists or Tubuli, and compounded of an infinit Number of lesser and lesser Threads. They are infinitly elastic, for we find no Limits in their Elasti|city; the smaller and finer they are, we find them growing still more elastic in the same Proportion; and here also the Progression is without Stop or Limit. Elasticity depending on the Degree of Attraction, in the compo|nent Particles, the Elasticity can never be stopt, till we arrive at Particles infinitly hard, indivisible, and imporose, which no finite Power can produce, and no finite Intelligence conceive; and even in such, there would be an infinitly small Renisus, or Reaction of their Particles when compress'd; so that all Fluids of whatever Nature, and of whatever Degree of Rarity, must have some Degree of Elasti|city or Reaction. Of such Threads, the Membranes, and of these Membranes the Tubes, and Vessels of all vegetable and ani|mal Substances, seem compos'd. I say, not mechanically, and according to the Laws of Na|ture, that we see now they are govern'd by, and accounted from, but supra-mechanically com|pos'd, and by the immediat Hand and Power, or Influence, of an infinitly wise and powerful First Cause. Of these again, I say, are the Tu|buli, the Coats of the Pipes, and all the other vascular Apparatus, in fewer or more Pipes, Page 309 according to their Use and Necessity, com|pos'd. The Fluids are only design'd to keep them in a proper Degree of Moisture and Glib|ness, to continue their necessary Tone, and due Degree of Elasticity. All the pleasant, easy, and healthful Sensations of Life, depend chiefly on these Fluids. Little can be effected by Art or Medicin, on the Solids, and their linear Fibres: A temporary Constriction only, a transient winding up, a Fit of tolerable Health, and Flow of Spirits, may be gain'd by astringent cordial Medicins; but it is Regimen alone, by rendering the Fluids sweet, soft, cool and balsamic, that enable the Solids to play, according to their innate Powers, that can give dureable and uniform good Health, and keep these Solids as they were at first form'd, in a proper Tone, Glibness, and Ela|sticity.
§. 3. WE are not to conceive, as if the Author of Nature created Things in the Or|der, and in the Manner we can only now ap|prehend or explain them: They were, in Him, but one single Act of his Omnipotence and Omniscience; for us, to understand them in any tolerable manner, if at all we can, we must divide them into different Parts and Parcels, and form an Idea of them by diffe|rent Acts of our Imagination. For Example: Suppose Matter divided into solid, imporose, infinitly little Cubes, triangular equilateralPage 310Prisms and Spheres, harmoniously rang'd and united at first, by some Law of Attraction, and fram'd by a Divine Mechanism, into orga|nical Bodies, some-how analogous and simi|lar to those, which sentient and intelligent Be|ings are now cloathed with (with this only Difference, that besides their being now cas'd over with the gross porous Matter, of this ruinous Planet, several additional temporary Organs, to fit them for their changeing Situa|tions, may be added, which in other Situa|tions may drop off, and dry away; as we see in the Placenta and umbilical Vessels of the Foetus, and the different temporary Appa|ratus of the Silk-worm, and other Insects); into which the First Cause inspired an infi|nitesimal Sparkle, and Miniature of his own Substance, and natural and moral Attributes, to actuate and govern this Microcosm, in the same analogous, but in an infinitly lower man|ner, as He presides over and actuates the Uni|verse. This aethereal Body, being then sup|ple and pliable to the actuating spiritual Sub|stance, as it was to the Divine Influence; but being free and fallible, innumerable Multi|tudes of them, by spurious Self-love, and inor|dinat Love of the Creatures, and created Plea|sures, actually lapsed, fell into Rebellion and Disorder, and so brought on the Necessity of this present State, and the gross penitential Appearances of this ruinous Planet we now inhabit.
§ 4. BODY and Spirit, or material and spiritual Substances, will eternally be dispa|rata, if not contradictory, yet intirely dis|similar and contrary, and at an infinit Di|stance, in their Natures and Substances. Body will be eternally passive and inert, Spirit eternally self-active and self-moveing, or endow'd with an internal Principle of act|ing on, or moveing Matter; all their Relation or Reference one towards another, can only be known by Analogy; and yet not being contradictory, they might possibly be con|ceived of the Nature of Hyperbola's, with their Assymptots: For tho' the Passivity of Body be in Proportion to its Density, yet since Body cannot be actually infinit in its Quantity or Extent, its Passivity or Inertia cannot be infinit, but lessens as its Density does; but still, if its Density was suppos'd even infi|nitly small, that will not make it self-active; it must actually become Spirit, and pass thro' that Term Not-matter in its Progression, before it can arrive at Self-activity, and then acquire the contrary Qualities, as the Series + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 0 − 1 − 2 − 3 − 4 does; and nothing less than infinit Power can reduce it to that State; that is, it must be actually brought to be Not-matter, or an immaterial Substance, before it can become active or spiritual Sub|stance; and so is, as it were, in the State of parallel Lines, and not of an Hyperbola with Page 312 its Assymptot. But still there is an Analogy between their Substances, such an one tho's as is between finite and relative infinit, or be|tween the least and greatest Term of an in|finit convergent Series.
§ 5. THE Persians, of all the Antients, seem to have had the least intolerable Notion, Idea, or analogical Picture on their Imagina|tions of spiritual Nature, in conceiving it like Light or Fire. If we suppose an indivisible, infinitly rare Substance, and endow it with infinit Elasticity and Energy, with an inter|nal Principle of Self-activity, or of Self-mo|bility, we have the essential Attribute of spi|ritual Substance; all its other Qualities will be as Modifications, flowing from that Root; for then Understanding or Conception will become only analogous to an intimat Union, Contact and Presence to every individual Atom or component Particle as it were, of the Ob|ject conceived or understood. Reasoning will be a progressive Performance of this intellec|tual Operation, and compareing the analogous Parts or component Particles to one ano|ther: Love or Desire will be a continued Union or Contact with the Object; and so of the other Modifications of this internal Prin|ciple of Self-action in an infinitly rare and indivisible sentient or intelligent Substance: Fire or Light will then be the most lumi|nous Resemblance or analogical Picture of Page 313spiritual Substance and Qualities; especially if we take it as it is, in its uncreated Source, the Divine Nature, for an infinitly pure, perfect, simple and active, living and in|telligent Substance, then it will become the best analogical Resemblance of the Di|vine Substance (however faulty and deficient) we can frame, now as at present we are: And small Lamps, Globes, or Sparkles of Light or Fire, kindled up, voluntarily emitted, or flowing, from this infinit Globe of Light and Love, will best represent particular spiritual Natures, whose Rays, tho' emitted with a re|latively infinit Velocity, will weaken, and terminat in thicker and thicker Darkness, Shade, or Want of Fire and Light, which will best represent to us, and furnish out the Idea of Body, but still an imperfect one, Darkness being only a Negation of Light: But as the Rays of Millions of different Flambeaux may pass really, tho' material, through the Eye of a Needle, without Re|sistance or Interfereing; so spiritual Sub|stances, by a proper Penetration, may conceive and comprehend, according to their Capacity and Power, their proper Objects; and in this analogical Sense it may be understood, that universal Nature, or the created Universe, may represent GOD's Body, or his Sensorium, and he may be called the Soul of the Uni|verse, as the Planets in our System may be term'd the Body, the Tabernacle and organicalPage 314Machin of the Sun; in all which tho' there will be eternal Impropriety and Disparity: For the one is the Cause, the other the Effect only; the One is the Artificer, the other the Work; the one is a living, spiritual Substance, the other dead Matter; the one is self-originated, and necessarily existent, the other is created, deriv'd and dependent; the one is the first and least Term, the other, as it were, the greatest, and last Term, of an infinit di|vergeing Series, but at an infinitly infinit Distance. This is as far, it would seem, as our active Powers can go, in their pre|sent State, by themselves, unless it be com|municated and imprest by the Source from above, by direct Sensation and Feeling on the Spirit.
§ 6. As the self-motive, self-active Power in spiritual Substance is the Source of Intel|ligence, by its intimat Penetration, Union, and Presence with the whole internal Sub|stance of its comprehended Object; so it is the sole Principle of Liberty, and the true mi|niature Image of the Deity; in short, it is the very Essence of spiritual Nature, and the Root of all its Qualities and Operations: It may be limited in its Extent, in its elicit Acts, and circumscrib'd in its Energy; but in its Root, Faculty, and essential Nature, in its self-active Base, it is infinit and unbounded. A Farthing Candle is as truly Light and Heat Page 315 as the Body of the Sun; and we may have vehement Willings, Longings, Volitions and Velleities, and have an innate, inherent Power to intend or remit our Wills in infinitum, which no other Power can deprive us of, but that which can annihilat us, or turn us into another Nature. It would seem to me, that created spiritual Substance of all Orders and Degrees, were analogous to the infinitly pure and perfect Divine spiritual Substance, infi|nitly diluted or rarefied, as it were, like the Light and Heat of the Sun reflected from the Moon; and this in an infinit similar Progres|sion, becomeing rarer and more diluted, till it terminated in Darkness or Shade, thicker and grosser till it becomes like Matter, which is analogous to Shade or Darkness, and which too goes on in infinitum, thickning and in|crassating, to become quite inert and passive; so that laying aside created Substance, both material and spiritual, as quite unknown and unknowable, and of which we can have no Idea à priori, nor be certain of its Ex|istence but à posteriori, and from its Effects, or the divine Veracity, if we conceive spi|ritual Substance analogous to Fire or Light, infinitly pure, rare, self-active, and self-mo|tive, and material Substance analogous to Shade or Darkness, infinitly dense, compact and concentred, we shall have all that I think can be made of either, in this our present State; and as Darkness contracts and limits Page 316 Light, extinguishes or imbibes its elicit Rays; so Body or Matter limits and stops the Self|activity of spiritual Nature, and they are an eternal Bar and Obstacle on one another; as Matter of a proper Figure and Contexture of Parts, condenses and heightens the Action of Fire and Light; so divinely organis'd and harmoniously figur'd Vehicles may promote the elicit Acts of spiritual Natures; and the Analogy to Fire, Light and Darkness, will hold good then through all the Degrees of compareing. It may be said, that all this is but Figure; but I think all true Figure is but remote Analogy, and all true Analogy is a distant progressive Approximation to Reality; and both are as real the one as the other, and differ only as the first and last Terms of a Series.
§ 7. THE Purification of the Soul is per|fectly analogous to the Cure of the cacochy|mical and cadaverous State of the Body; and the Method of Cure of spiritual Nature, take|ing in the different Subjects, Matter and Spi|rit, is perfectly similar to the Methodus me|tasyncriticus of the Ancients in the Cure of a Cachexy in the Body. The Analogy is here perfect and complete; they differ only, as the first and subsequent Terms of a geometrical divergent Progression. Sin, Disorder and Rebellion, is to the spiritual Nature of an in|telligent Being, precisely and really (as much Page 317 as they are both Realities) what a cancerous and malignant Ulcer is to an animal Body: The Cure of the last is by a low, sweetning and thinning Dyet at first, to enable the Pa|tient to bear the last Operation, which must be by Excision and Extirpation, and raiseing new sound Flesh in its Place; Penitence, Self|denial, calm Passions, a meek Spirit, and a con|stant patient Attendance to, and Dependence on, the Directions of the Physician of Souls, will answer the first Part; and I am of Opini|on, he (the Divine Physician of Souls) by his omnipotent Power, and his being GOD, he, I say, must perform supernaturally and in|stanteously, as it were, (for a sweetning Cure of such inveterat Humours alone, would re|quire infinit Time) some grand Operation, (in which the Creature is intirely passive) analogous to Excision and Extirpation, to divide between the Joints and Marrow, to cut out the Adamical Core in lapsed spiri|tual Nature, and to raise up, ingraft and im|plant his own Nature and Substance in its stead, to perpetuat and eternise its Soundness and Integrity, not in a Figure or Metaphor, as is commonly, tho' I think barbarously, philo|sophised; but at last, and in the dernier Re|sort, and before the hyperboloid Curve (to speak so) can meet with its Assymptot, as real|ly and truly as Matter and Spirit are Realities, tho' of different Natures. In the Day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die: In the Page 318 Sense that Death came by Adam, Death spi|ritual was completed by one Action of the of the Parentage of Mankind, so by some one miraculous Operation eternal Life comes by Jesus Christ. I can never apprehend, that the Oeconomy, the Operation, the Efficiency of Jesus, terminats either in Example, Re|pair of the Indignity, confirming the standing Hierarchies, co|operating with us in destroy|ing bad Humours and Habits gradually, or make|ing a sufficient, free and full Atonement only; but that he must supernaturally and really cut out, burn away, and fill up, and supply, as it were, with his own spiritual Substance, the Adamical cadaverous Core out of lapsed spiritual Nature, to sanctify and eternise its Purity, Perfection and Happiness; and this as really, tho' not mate|rially, but spiritually, I say, as really as Spirit is real, contradistinguish'd from Matter. I choose to speak in the Mathematical and Medical Language, because the Analogy, the Similarity, and the Precision, is here so just, so close, and so luminous, that I think it must penetrat those who can perfectly understand it, and may by a Dictionary be made plain to others, if they think it worth the while to deal in such abstracted Conjectures.
§ 8. THE human Spirit is literally, and not in a mere Figure, a Tabula rasa, a Sheet of white Paper, as it comes into the World at present, under its planetary Plaistering; and Page 319 it would seem, for this very End the Plaister|ing itself was design'd, and the gross porous secondary Elements, of this ruinous Planet, were by infinit Wisdom contriv'd; not but that spiritual Nature, in its Order, and in its na|tural and essential Powers, of living, under|standing and willing, and all their Modifica|tions of Sagacity, Penetration and Conduct, and a Capacity of perceiveing outward Things, and of gathering the Materials on which they work, of external Objects, Ideas, and Know|ledge of Things, are not in their Fund, in the Faculty and Power, unalterably the same, and as it were engrav'd in their Substance accord|ing to their Order; for spiritual Nature can|not increase or diminish in its essential Powers and Capacity; but their elicit Acts, their Ap|pearances ad extra, may be intercepted and restrained from issuing forth by the gross pla|netary Plaistering; like Characters and In|scriptions engrav'd in the Substance of Brass or Marble, and filled up with Wax, Clay or Dirt: or like the imperceptible Ink, which leaves no Trace on the white Paper, but shews itself when rubb'd over with Juice of Lemon. Thus the immaterial thinking Substance is laid asleep, becomes thoughtless, and as it were stupefied, a bare polisht Plain, and a Sheet of clean Paper, (its three natural Powers of living, understanding and willing are sunk in one of living only) a mere Recipient or Continent, and as it were (without Ridicule) Page 320 a dark Lanthorn, in the Loins of the Parent; and as it comes first into the World; but still the self-active and self-motive Flame is alive within in its Seed, and its Punctum saliens. External Objects, Pain, natural Instincts and Necessities, rub off some of the improper Plaistering, and break some of the Ligatures; these repeated and increas'd, unloose more; and thus the Organs of Sensation, the Aper|tures of the Senses, and the sentient and in|structive Powers, are gradually set free, and the Dirt pickt out of the spiritual Substance; then Memory and Attention awakens, and Ideas are form'd and retain'd by Time and Degrees. By the Animal Functions, which flow from living, more and more of the membranous Tubuli, and medullar and cortical Glands of the Brain, are develop'd; and the self-motive Powers, by repeated Efforts, Strains, and Pushes, (like a Spring in the Box of a Watch) set free more and more of aethereal Organs of Thinking, according to the De|gree of Culture, Exercise, and Useage, they pass under, and this by a quicker or slower Progression and Velocity, as they are culti|vated, used and exercis'd, till they come to the highest State they generally arrive at; and thus by Labour and Exercise of the Organs of the intellectual Faculties, they work off the Dirt, that fill'd up the ingrav'd Characters on their spiritual Substances, and make the imperceptible Writeing appearing legible mere|ly Page 321 by fileing off and scrapeing away the Plais|tering on the primitive aethereal Vehicle, whereby the spiritual Substance is set free di|rectly to enjoy and use all its inbred Powers, and has Capacity to perceive all Things ad extra, know, understand and possess them; not as a blind Man restored to his Sight, or a deaf Man to his Hearing, or a dumb Man to his Speech, who were born so; but as a Man, for a short time shut up in a Dun|geon, and separated from all things with|out, and again set at Liberty, knows and en|joys all again, as before. And the final Cause of this reduceing the spiritual Substance to a Tabula rasa, by a gross Plaistering, and a temporary Imprisonment, in the dark, dismal, cadaverous Dungeon of this Body, seems to be not only for Expiation and Punishment, but that the moral Powers of the Soul, Jus|tice, Goodness and Truth, or Faith, Hope and Charity, might feel no Interruption from the Activity, Extent and Contrariety of these natural Powers; but that they might amicably, gradually, and, by mutual Assist|ance and Support, rise and grow together in similar Steps, and a regulated Progression, till they were confirm'd into a Habit; like sweetning the whole Mass of the Fluids, by a milk or vegetable Diet; to fit the Subject for the last passive grand Operation in the Oeco|nomy of Jesus, which may be to cut out, as it were, of our spiritual Substances, that Core, Page 322schirrous or cancerous Gland, generated by the Lapse, and from the Adamical Principle, and to heal and fill it up with his own imma|culat Substance, perhaps really and truly (as the Liturgy of the Church of England expresses it) communicated to us in the worthy receiveing of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus, or some-how we cannot explain.—This Ef|fect will neither appear absurd nor unphiloso|phical to those who believe Jesus to be the Son of God, of the same Substance and equal Powers with the Father; the Manner how, is the proper Subject of Faith, unconceive|able to us, at least as we are at present; but the Fact, in general, or something of that kind, highly probable from Analogy, and evident from Revelation: For, I think, no truly humble Christian, let him be in what State of Perfection he may, can think himself fit to be united and commerciat eternally with infinit Purity and Perfection, till some great Work be done in his Soul, more than he feels in himself then.
§. 9. MOST, Christians, at least, are agreed, that the Oeconomy of the Restora|tion, as contriv'd and executed by Jesus Christ, (God-Man, the eternal Son of GOD) as far as it was possible on his Part, and as far as it was consistent with Liberty, and the Harmony of the Divine Attributes; I say, all Christians are agreed, that this was a Work of surprizeing Wisdom, Beauty, Goodness, and worthy of Page 323 a GOD; having in it, to the greatest Perfection, every thing that could most effectually answer the End proposed: But I know not if many have endeavour'd to shew it to be the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the only one, that could possibly answer that End, takeing in the whole Conditions; and yet I cannot help thinking, that this may be strictly demonstrated. A Sovereign may pardon, on his Repentance and Amendment, a rebellious Subject, and receive him into Grace and Favour; but it will be eternally true, he has been a Rebel, and that there remains the Cicatrice of that Sore in his Heart and Soul, which first produced his Rebellion. Now it is as certain, as that GOD is, that no|thing impure and imperfect in its Order, can finally, invariably and eternally be united and commerciat with Him; that is, be permanently and eternally happy; because of his infinit Purity, Dignity, and Sovereignty; and the receiveing an imperfect, intelligent Being into his Favour, Service, and design'd Post again permanent|ly, (or one less similar to Him in its Order) would not only sully his Purity, but make Him cheaper, and less intensely the sovereign Felicity of the standing Hierarchies, and make his Wrath less dreaded, and so not a sufficient Bar on their Lapse. Now every Truth, and every Fact, is in its own Nature as eternal, as it is real. It will be eternally true, I have been a Rebel, if I have been one; and GOD alone, who has the Power of Crea|tion, Page 324 has the Power of Annihilation; and this Fact, as far as a Fact can be, at least as to its Root, must be annihilated and done away some-how, before it can be creaturely and relatively true, that I was not a Rebel, or at least that my Rebellion is really now, both as to Him and me, as it never had been; which can only be done, as far as I conceive, by an|nihilating, burning out, consumeing, the rebel|lious Core of my spiritual Substance, and filling it up with something analogous to his pure immaculat Divine Nature and Substance, or new createing; and nothing less than a GOD can do this: So that on Repentance and Amendment, Men might be in the Condi|tion only of Rebels, whose Lives conquer|ing Monarchs have saved, yet instead of con|tinuing them Citizens, had translated them into some remote Corner of an uncultivated Country, as a conquer'd Province, and made them a lower Order of Creatures. But as in|finit Perfection is without any possible Change, in its first most perfect Intention, as to its Nature, but not as to its Degree; and can only bring it about less immediatly, and after a longer Time, (by reason of the Free-wills of his intelligent Creatures, on which He neither can nor will commit Violence) yet still will effect it, with a Perfection at last, be|yond even, as it were, the first Intention; accordingly Jesus Christ came, to bring Life, and to bring it more abundantly; and by his infinit Power and Love, being GOD, to Page 325annihilat, melt down, and burn away, the Adamical Lapse, Core, and Cicatrice, of Sin and Rebellion, in spiritual Nature, and new create, and replace, his own Divine Substance and Nature in its stead; so that it may then be said, with philosophick Pro|priety, that a truly regenerat and sanctified Per|son has the Divine Nature and Substance of Jesus, GOD-Man, actuating and moving him, that is, living in him, as really and substantially as ever before his Adamical lapsed Spirit lived in him. This may sound odd and particular to little Philosophers, nay, even to many per|haps virtuous and good Persons; but as I think it is the Language of St. Paul, and of Jesus Christ himself, I think also, that if there is not some Reality, and philosophic Propriety in it, as real as is the Distinction between ma|terial and spiritual Substance, and that it is not intirely all Figure, there is no forming any Idea, either of the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of it (and even Fi|gure in philosophic Propriety, is but the first Term of an infinit Series); nor why it should have been revealed or mentioned: Nor will there be much Difficulty insuperable in it, or unexplicable in Philosophy, to those who ad|mit Jesus to be GOD, and his Words to be Spirit and Truth, and GOD to be infinit in Power and Goodness; the End and Means of all whose Actings must be equally perfect in their Order, and who suppose that Matter and Spirit must be equal Realities. This last State I re|semble to the Hyperbolic Curve's meeting with Page 326 its Asymptot (I hope I shall be forgiven the Particularity of the Expression, because of its Justness and Propriety); and it may be the finish|ing Operation, to eternize the Infallibility and Impeccability of all lapsed, sentient and intelligent Beings, to which few arrive in this Life, and all must perhaps pass through many Mansions, and various planetary Vehicles, be|fore they can attain to it in its last Perfection, and to which some pass with a quicker Ve|locity, and a faster convergeing Progression, like the several Orders of the Hyperloids, some of which meet the Asymptot infinitly sooner and faster than others*, but through which all must pass sooner or later; for GOD's Ways must be equal, uniform and general, to all his Creatures of the same Or|der, with only the Difference their general or particular Wants or Distempers require; and as He treated the Manhood of Jesus Christ, who was made perfect by Sufferings, and as He has treated all his Disciples, so all lapsed intelligent Beings must pass through Jesus Christ, receive his Revelation, and go through his States, sooner or later, or in some Mansion or another, before they arrive at perfect Infalli|bility and Illability; that is, they must first or last all be Jesus Christ-like, before they can be|come permanently GOD-like, or similar to Him in Perfection and Happiness. This Progression Page 327 and final Perfection, the Free-wills of intelligent Beings may retard a finite Time; and they might have retarded it from Eternity to Eter|nity, that is, for ever, both in the eternal Na|ture of Sin, and the infinit Purity of the Di|vine Nature, without this sole and indivi|dual Mean, viz. the Merits, Power and Effi|cacy of the Oeconomy of Jesus the GOD-Man; who uniteing human Nature to Himself, has actually, really, but spiritually, cut out the Core and Cicatrice of the Lapse, and filled up the discontinuous Void with his own spiritual Substance and Nature, in all those who shall be finally restored; for He is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE.
§. 10. REASON and Faith, in their true philosophic Natures, in their Source and Foundation, are so far from being contrary, much less contradictory, that they are intirely similar and analogous, and differ only as the higher and lowest Terms of a divergeing Series. Reason, in its Principle and Faculty, in the lowest Intelligence, is like a Progres|sion, the first Term of which is the Root, or miniature Base, of all the higher subsequent Terms, which are all similar and analogous to one another, how compounded and elevated so|ever they may be, and where the superior Terms virtually include the inferior, and bring them down to the Simplicity and Plainness of the lowest Term; but not without Labour, Atten|tion, Page 328 and Reduction of the Conditions to their proper Limits. GOD is the Sovereign and Supreme Reason, involved in Clouds and Darkness, by reason of his infinit Splendor, and the infinit Disproportion of our Faculties; and perhaps out of Designs of Love and Good|ness, as we are at present in so unfit a State: Our Reason and Conception, tho' infinitly disproportion'd to such an Object, yet is of a similar Nature with his Light, and natural Attributes: Our Reason, and intelligent Powers, are analogous to the lowest and first Term of such a Progression; his Light and Splendor, to the highest and last great Term; which Term, in a Series, tho' comparatively infinit, yet is but a finite, compared with his absolute Infinitude. The other Terms of such a Series may be analogous to the natural Powers of the several different Orders of In|telligences, that may exist in external Na|ture; and all the several Orders of Intelli|gences, with their respective Powers, from the lowest to the relative highest, may be conti|nually approaching one another, yet never can reach the other Terms, much less the last Term relative infinit, and least of all to absolute Infi|nitude; for in absolute Infinitude there is such Variety of Objects, Mansions, Pleasures, and Happiness, as are boundless and without Num|ber or Limits. GOD is the sovereign and supreme Reason, I say, always consistent, uni|form, and invariable: He is pure, unsullied, Page 329 and unchangeable. Creatures, even the most sublime and perfect, can only know Him by a progressive nearer Approach to Him in Simi|larity, which will be gradual, but endless. The Faculties, Powers, and Qualities, both Natural and Moral, of Creatures, are, as it were, but analogous (to speak still more plain|ly) to a Series, such as 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5, &c. We of the human Race, at least our Fellow Animals, of the only sentient Race, may be as 1, or 2; the higher Orders may be as 10, 100, 1000, &c. to us. At what Term we began, or any Or|der begins, we cannot know, nor, did we know, could we alter it; that depends intirely on the good Pleasure and Wisdom of Him that made us: In this Point we cannot add a Cubit to our Stature, but we may all press forward to higher Terms and Degrees, and be continu|ally progressive, tho' perhaps mostly in our moral Powers, and consequently in Perfection and Happiness; which can be done by Faith only, that is, by trusting to, believing in, and acting according to the Direction given by one, whose natural and moral Powers are of a much higher Order, or in Proportion to a much higher Term than ours are: As if one, whose natural and moral Powers are as 1000, should reveal to one whose natural and moral Powers are as 1 only, that in order to raise his natural and moral Powers to 2, he must trust or believe, that is, take his Word for it, so and so, and do so and so in Conse|quence, Page 330 and that this will lead him on gradu|ally to the Term 2, and so in all the other Terms of the Progression. This really seems to be somewhat like the Case of all sentient and intelligent Beings, in order to advance in this eternal Progression of Perfection; the only Method possible for them, is to trust and act in Consequence of this Trust, and depend on the Veracity and Ability of the Informer; for this trusting is in order to the acting. In building, or working or sailing a Ship to a certain Port, the Seaman must trust and work, according to his Directions: In raising an Arch, or measuring a Distance, very few Operators understand the abstract Geometry, on which the Directions are founded. In short, in this our present expiatory and probatory State, in all we do to advance towards higher Terms of our progressive Perfection and Hap|piness, we must absolutely trust and work, else we shall never advance in divine Faith, and in the progressive Perfection of our natural and moral Powers; and here we have not only infinit Power and Wisdom for our Di|rector, but infinit Goodness for our Assist|ant, who yet from the Purity and Perfection of his own Nature, cannot direct or assist us but in Consistence with the Harmony of his own Attributes, and our own Free-wills, i. e. imperceptibly. Our intellectual Powers are analogous to our material Organs, our Senses. One with a Telescope, or with very strong Page 331Eyes, might see a City, or a Dwelling, which another without it, or with weaker Eyes, could not perceive. If the weak-sighted Per|son must needs go to this City or Dwelling, he could only take the Directions of the stronger-sighted, on what Point of the Com|pass to direct his Course, what Hills, Dales, and Rivers to cross, to walk on Trust and Hope. Our trusting is in order to our tra|velling. Faith, or Trust, that does not ter|minat in Action or Travelling, is mere Paint|ing and dead Work. Revelation discovers the Being, Purity, and Perfection of the First Cause, his internal Nature, and the Splendor He dwells in, what is his Society, and what their Occupation; that to be happy complete|ly and permanently, we must get thither. We, while our Powers, natural and moral, are but as 1 or 2, cannot see or perceive the Beauty, Perfection of his Nature, and the Place He inhabits, nor the Propriety of the Direc|tions and Advices He gives us, in order to get thither. The Nature of things will not ad|mit of any other Evidence, but Faith and Trust, and consequent working, till our natural and moral Powers are thereby rais'd higher; and then we shall perfectly comprehend the Beauty, Propriety and Utility of these Directions, and advance gradually, by following the same Me|thod, to higher Terms of Powers and Facul|ties, and higher Degrees of Glory and Felicity, in this infinit endless Progression. From all Page 332 which it is evident, that Reason and Faith are so far from being contrary, much less contra|dictory, that Reason is the first Term given in this Progression, of created Light or Powers: Faith or Trust is, as it were, the Ratio of the several Terms, which goes through them all, that is, the Ground or Bottom of the subsequent Operation and Working. By the Directions given, and Working, we infallibly pass to the se|cond, third, and higher Terms: Or, to express it yet more strongly and clearly, if possible, Faith or Trust is proceeding as we do in Algebra, supposing the second or higher Term, tho' unknown, yet as known; and then working according to the Conditions of the Question, the Term unknown becomes thereby infal|libly known. I cannot enlighten these Figures, and this Language here, they are so pertinent and cogent to those who understand them.
§ 11. PURE and disinterested Love is Love of infinit Perfection for itself only, and for its own Amiableness, without any other Consideration; but this, as every thing else, admits of infinit Degrees. The great Mistake here, lies in Persons pretending to get to the Top of the Ladder, without ascending by all the Steps; and that some define the last Step as it were the first. All things belonging to Creatures must be progressive, and confirm'd Habits must be acquired by repeated persevereing Acts. Naked, free and generous Faith, is trusting, con|fideing, Page 333 and believeing in Infallibility, and infinit Veracity, upon its own Word, its Nature only; and on the most slender Intimation of its Orders, the generous Believer is determin'd to venture his Whole on that Bottom: And from these two, flow absolute Resignation; and this also admits of Degrees: Both these are subject to Error, Mistake and Delusion, in feeble lapsed Mortals, such as we are; and this cannot be prevented, from the very Nature of Things, as they are now, in our probatory and peniten|tial State, constituted; but surely there is less Danger in the Excess, than the Defect: No good Master ever rejected or punished his poor good-natur'd, weak Servant, for loveing and trusting him too much, or obeying him too precisely or literally. I readily grant, Pru|dence, Order, Measure, Decency and Regu|larity, are the first of all the Moral and Chri|stian Virtues, and frightful Consequences have ensued upon the Neglect of them; and both Enthusiasm and Infidelity, I think, equal|ly imply a wrong Head, some nervous Disor|der, and Want of common Sense; but both Excesses and Defects strongly evidence, that there is a just Medium wherein true Virtue and sole Right consist: And still of the two Evils, Infidelity and Tepidity is infinitly the worst, not only in regard of the Infidels and Tepid themselves, as it defeats the sole Means Providence has, or, I think, can contrive, for their Recovery and Restoration; but as it de|stroys Numbers of weak Souls by its Influence Page 334 and Example, and as Infidelity saps the Foun|dations of all Morality, and consequently of all civil Society; whereas Enthusiasm can but hurt chiefly the Bodies, or outward Fortunes of their Fellow Creatures, by diabolic and tyrannical Persecution, unless Hypocrisy can be join'd to Enthusiasm, and then it becomes con|summat Infidelity. To me it would seem, the whole Conduct and Design of Providence, in this present probationary State, is to pro|duce in the Hearts of his lapsed Creatures, pure Love and naked Faith only, and that this is the sole Key of all the Inclosures of his Providence; and that this State of Mind must be that which alone is of any Value in the Sight of GOD, as being the only Means possible of begetting perfect Felicity, and eter|nizeing it; even so much, as that He in his Providence seems to neglect, or over-look and undervalue, as it were, any thing less than these, at least any thing that might re|tard or interfere with these. An Instance or two will make this plain: We see that we, of the lowest Rank of Intelligences, are en|dow'd with a Capacity and Power of com|municating our Thoughts, Conceptions, Dis|positions, and Sentiments to one another, di|rectly, plainly and intelligibly, by Language or Writeing, and by many other Signs, Sym|bols and Figures: Infinit Wisdom and Power, without all Doubt, had he so pleased, might have contriv'd us so at present, that he might have been able some-how to communicat Page 335 himself directly, plainly, instantaneously and intelligibly, to all his intelligent Creatures, his Children, the Work of his own Hands, whom he cannot help loveing as a ten|der Father does his Children. But since this Method not only would have done us no Good, but on the contrary, a great deal of Hurt, by hindering and interfereing with our implicit Trust, our Reliance, our Resig|nation, our Faith, and absolute Dependence on him, so necessary to the Production, and eternizeing of perfect Happiness; we see he hides himself in Clouds and Darkness, and is literally a Deus absconditus as to us, and does only approach to, or commerciat with us, in pure Love, naked Faith, and total Abne|gation and Resignation, so hard to be ac|quired. Again, how necessary, how indis|pensable, would seem the precise, the limited, the unmistakeable Nature of natural and mo|ral Good and Evil to us, in our present pro|batory State? and yet we are left for the Knowledge of them, to Feeling, to Observa|tion, to Experience, to Culture, to Pain and Suffering. The wisest of mere Men said, That no Man knoweth Good or Evil by all that is before him: We naturally reckon Health, Wealth, Honour and Success, the real, the only Goods of this Life; and yet, if Christianity is not all a Farce, their Con|traries are often, nay almost, always the most real, and the most perfect Goods, since they are Page 336 the shortest Road to absolute Resignation, the greatest of all Goods, and the sole Mean of perfect Happiness. Once more; infinit Wis|dom and Power has, as it were, done nothing to gratify our Curiosity, to polish our Natures, to advance the Comforts and Gratifications, the Conveniencies, and the honest Improve|ments of Living: How many Nations, and Millions of our own Species, of the same Order and Rank of Intelligences, are left all their Lives in the utmost Brutality, Ignorance and Savageness, not only as to the Endow|ments of their Minds, but almost as to the absolute, at least decent Necessaries of Life! in which Cimmerian Darkness, and execrable bodily Impurity, or Filth, they wallow, live and die, even vastly below many of the Brute Species. The most useful, pleasant and in|structive Discoveries in Life, have, even among the most polisht Nations, been dis|cover'd late, by Chance, and with great Im|perfections at first, I mean, Writeing, Print|ing, the Compass, and Glasses, and even Philosophical Physic itself: All this cannot happen by Chance, Fatality, from Impotence, or without some infinitly wise and gracious Design, under the Oeconomy and Providence of an infinitly good, wise and powerful Go|vernor, who alone knows best, how long, and what Kind of Trial and Probation is fittest for his lapsed intelligent Creatures, of such Tribes, Nations and Climats; to what Degree Page 337 they have lapsed, what is their most proper Trial, how far Simplicity (and even actual Humilia|tion of this intelligent Creature, made a little lower than the Angels in his natural unalterable Powers, and as it were, to drench him in Dirt and Nastiness, even below the lowest Brute, as Compost fructifies Vegetables) is the Via brevis|sima, and Suffering, even unconscious Suffering, is sufficient; and knows best what Mansion they are design'd to inhabit hereafter; and has fitted outward Circumstances accordingly: And as to what is commonly reckon'd polishing, and haveing the decent Necessaries and Con|veniencies of Life, he leaves Men to their natural Liberty and Industry, to employ their natural Activity innocently and laudably there|by, which otherwise might run riot in Turpi|tude and Vice; and to general Laws, which, followed with Simplicity, Attention and Sin|cerity, would naturally bring them perhaps the shortest Way to disinterested Love, im|plicit Trust and Resignation; and this he does even with a seeming Neglect of those other Things, as accounting them of no Value, when compar'd with this pure Love, and implicit Trust, that Disposition of Mind which alone can beget and eternize Happiness. Further; of what great Consequence to the Quickness of our Purification, and consequent|ly of our eternal Happiness, it would appear to us, would be, the certain Knowledge of the precise Time of our Dissolution and Death? Then, like true penitent and serious Felons, we should employ all our last Moments intire|ly Page 338 in cleansing our Vessels, and trimming our Lamps; and yet all that is known in this weighty Affair is general, and that we once must all die: The Time, the Manner, and other Circumstances, are all absolutely un|known to us; and why this? but only because infinit Purity and Perfection values nothing about us, but absolute Trust, Dependence, and Resignation, even to venturing our very Lives; and, as our Saviour expresses it, if we do not hate, that is, undervalue, our own Life, in respect of him, or love it but in Subordi|nation to our Love of Him, we cannot be his Disciples. Again; the Providence of GOD seems to act here solely by second Causes, and by general Laws only, and in such a manner, that we but seldom perceptibly discern the Hand that disposes of Events; tho' doubtless, as GOD is an infinitly free Agent, He go|verns by a particular, as well as a general Providence; on proper and particular Occa|sions He dispenses with his own general Laws for a time, by a particular Interposition, both in material and spiritual Appearances: But in these particular Interpositions, we can have no physical, but only a moral Certainty, in order to raise and confirm our Trust and Resignation; for Faith, Trust, and Resignation, always suppose Uncertainty and Doubt; and some time or other, we shall admire and adore that Wisdom and Goodness, who could in so delicat and kindly a manner conceal from us, and hide that Hand, which directs every AtomPage 339 of the Universe, and disposes of every Hair of our Heads, in order to render our Trust, Faith, and Resignation, stronger and more firm: As the Darkness and Cool of the Au|tumn Nights are what harden and consoli|dat the now refined and purified Juices, which the stronger Sun, and longer Day-light, had rais'd and sublim'd into the Seeds and Fruits; for the same Reason, the Operations and In|fluences of the Divine Spirit, or Grace and spiritual Aid and Assistance, are secret and im|perceptible; and are always to be suspected, when they are impetuous, sensible, and acting only by Fits and Starts, as the gross Machin is in or out of Tune, and as the animal Fun|ctions play easily or labour, especially in young unexperienced Persons, who have not been tried and purified in the School of the Cross: For these uncommon and extraordinary, or even perceptible Operations of the Divine Spirit, seldom happen pure, sincere, and un|mixt; but to the long and severely Tried and Purified, and when the Passions, Appetites, and spiritual Humours are moderated, calm'd, and subdued, on the Decline of a Life spent in due Retirement, and proper Silence; not in the Storm or Tempest, but in the still calm Voice, does the Divine Spirit speak; and a truly humble, and enlighten'd Person, ought to suspect himself, get above, and pass over every Impulse, Sweetning, or Glance of Light that comes not thus accompanied. Children, Beginners, and Noviciats in the spiritual Life, are often grati|fied Page 340 with such Sugarings for their Encourage|ment; but Bread is for grown Persons, which is got by the Sweat of the Brow, and bearing the Cross; and a prudent staid Person will have too great a Regard for the Purity and Dignity of the Divine Spirit, to bring him down, to account for all the mechanical and animal Operations of his volatile and various Imagi|nation. Nec Deus intersit, nisi sit Deo dig|nus vindice nodus, & aquila non captat muscas. But I beg Pardon for this Digression out of my Sphere, Capacity and Experience, to treat justly. But all the Difficulties and Darkness in Providence, and in natural and revealed Religion, seem to be intended by in|finit Wisdom with surprizeing Justness, Pro|priety, and Delicacy, only as the most effec|tual Means to bring us to pure Love, and naked Faith, Trust, and Resignation; and are so far from being Objections against the Christian Religion, or to weaken its Credi|bility, Dignity and Authority, that were there no such Difficulties, Doubts, Uncer|tainties and Mysteries in Revelation, it would be a strong Presumption, and an undeniable Argument, that it came not from GOD, who being infinitly infinit in all Perfection, Wis|dom, Knowledge and Goodness, must be in|comprehensible to us in our present State, and so they could not be worthy, adequat and proper for such a Being, who is equally above Per|ception, Feeling and Sentiment, as above Com|prehension. These may be good, useful and real, and his mediat, but seldom his immediatPage 341 Operation. This pure Love and naked Faith seems to be the only Point in View, of the great and wise Governor of the Uni|verse, even to such a Contempt of what we commonly think fine Endowments and Po|lishing, that in a great many Instances, in Na|tions, Tribes, and for Ages, he would seem, in the Conduct of his Providence, to prefer their Contraries, as the shortest Way to this End; tho' still there is a Choice, Perfection, and Meliority, in the Honestum, Utile, and the Decorum; but he only can know when, where, and in what outward Circumstances, lies the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, quoad hos aut hunc.
§ 12. I TAKE it, in the first original Creation there was but one universal Salt, or one Kind of saline Particles, and that they were hard, imporose, triangular, equilateral Prisms. When Nature came to be confounded, jumbled, and unharmoniously combin'd, the other Elements of Air, Water, Sulphur and Earth, in forming secondary Elements, were incommensuratly and discordantly mixt with these; but still each pre|serv'd some Degree of its primitive Nature, as the compounded Elements retain'd more or less of their primitive Particles in the Com|position; hence our purest Elements that Art can elicit, are still compounded, and insepar|able from the rest; the purest, most simple, and most necessary of them all, seems to be our pure Nitre, or the universal Salt of the Air, the Mother of all Salts, so necessary to animal Life, Sanguification, the Stimulation of the animal Fibres, the Propagation and Action Page 342 of Heat and Fire, the Production of Cold and Freezeing, to animal Foecundity and Vegetation, and many other of the Appearances of Na|ture, to which it seems absolutely necessary, and enters into their Substance and Composi|tion. The other Salts, Acids and Alcalis, the essential, or lixivial Salts of Vegetables, Plants and Minerals, are only this primitive nitrous Salt combin'd with these other Ele|ments, and as they predomine and exist in these particular Subjects: These mention'd Salts in Animals, are Nitre mixt with ani|mal Oils, Air, Water and Earth, such as their Substances are compounded of; and it is in the same Manner in the Plants and Mi|nerals. The greatest specific Difference among the Salts seems to arise from the Distinction of Acids and Alcalis; the first, both from Philoso|phy and Experiment, seem to be of acute-angled, greatly attractive Particles; and the Degree of their Acidity seems to depend on the pro|portional Degree of the Sharpness of their Points, which now may be various, and their Degree of Attraction also: Alcalis seem to be porous calcarious fine Earths; the testaceous Powders are among the most simple and per|fect of them, and the Model of all the rest. and plainly shew the Nature of the whole Tribe. They are, as is evident from the Mi|croscope, nothing but Earths of an exceeding fine Grain, and of very small Particles, full of large Pores and Cells, wherein an acid Water or Spirit has been contain'd, probably that of Nitre. Heat, solar or culinary, and Calci|nation, Page 343 throws off some Part of this acid Wa|ter, and leaves the Cells partially empty. These empty Cells, upon being immerged in any acid Spirit or Water, suck it in again with Violence and Velocity, the remaining Part of the Acid in the Cells attracting the new Acid with additional Force; and hence Fermentation and Effervescence. All the Alcalis partake of this one general Nature, and differ only as they are more or less combin'd with the other Elements. Volatility arises from a light Oil united with either Kinds of Salts; and this seems to be the true philosophic Nature of all Salts. Salts and Air seem absolutely necessary to carry on animal Life and Fun|ctions; Air to rarefy the Juices, separat the Globules, which might otherwise be too close|ly united and compress'd; for the Introdu|ction of which into the Blood and Fluids, the Lungs of Animals seem chiefly design'd: Salts stimulat the Solids into Actions, Vibra|tions, and excite their clumsy elastic Force, in order to carry on the animal Functions, so ab|solutely necessary to living. The just and pro|per Regulation of these two, Air and Salts, the so necessary Instruments of pleasant and easy living, is as fit a Subject to be adjusted by a wise and philosophic Physician, (others are but Empyrics at the best) as Diet and Exer|cise. The Air we choose to live in ought to be rather dry and thin in the Medium; but even this must be proportion'd to the Nature of the Distemper, and the State of the Juices, if possible; and they who have acquir'd their Page 344 Disorders by high Meats and Drinks, which abound in volatile Salts, must by insipid Foods, and aqueous Liquors, lessen the Abundance of such Salts, which is the Case of all the Rich and Wealthy. They, on the contrary, who have acquir'd their Distempers by too poor and low a Manner of living, on vegetable, insipid and instimulating Food only, which is the Case of most of the Poor or Indigent, must be cured by more generous Living, and more stimulating and sapid Meats and Drinks, which excite their Solids into Action, and on which account all low Livers, who are driven into this Way of Living, by the Nature of their Distempers, require double the Exercise, of those who can bear generous and active Foods; and without it Nature will stagnat and sink; which is the Case of many of the Female Sex, and of Persons in Gaols and Monasteries: In a Word, where-ever a low or vegetable Diet is necessary, there Air and Exercise are in a much higher Degree neces|sary, than they are in a more generous Diet, to make a low Diet effectual. But then the high Feeders pay in the Shortness of their Lives, and the Sharpness of their Diseases, for their present Pleasure, and idle, indolent, healthy Life.
Page 13, Line 27, dele with. p. 13, l. 2, for gene, read general. p. 33, for affixing, r. of fixing. p. 65, from (higher, to—for Him) in a Parenthesis. p. 81, l. 16, for Liver, r. Bile. p. 84, l. 30, dele from. p. 95, l. 16, for are, r. is. p. 172, l. 20, for vergeing, r. divergeing. p. 176, l. 7, dele they. p. 177, for ingegious, r. ingenious. p. 196, l. 19, read the Series thus, x 4 + x 3 + x 2 + x + • − x − x 2, &c. for o, r. i, and for x/∞ r. x/x. p. 241, l. 28. dele and. p. 294. l. 23. for permit, r. pervade. l. 28, for her, r. its. p. lxvi. (the rest are) is transpos'd, and should follow in the next Line after the Word Britain.