Of light. Chap. 40.
*AS Basilius saith, Light is a kinde in all his partes lyke. Authours speake diuerslye of lyght, what it should bée in deede, whether it bée in substaunce or ac∣cident. Aristotle sayth, That lyght is no bodye, nor streaming out of a bodye. And Damascenus saith, That light hath no substaunce of his owne. And Austen sayth super Genesim. ad litteram, That the lyght is a bodylye substaunce, most simple in kinde of bodyes, and most multiplied and increased in diuerse mat∣ter of workings, most moueable, and passinglye thirling and pearcing, and least letting, and most breeding, and most highlye accordeth and reconcileth things the which bée diuerse and contra∣rye, and is most conuertible, and is grounde and beginning of highest natu∣rall motion, and most perfectible, most gladde and most communicatiue: ther∣fore in bodyes nothing is more profita∣ble then light: and nothing more con∣uenient and conenable, nothing more sayre, nothing more swifte, nothing more subtill. nothing more inpassible or wemlesse, nothing more vertuous found then light. Also Lux and Lumen is light in English, but in Latine is diffe∣rence betweene those two Nounes. For Lumen is a flowing and a streaming that floweth out of the substance of light: but Lux is the sustantiall well, vpon the which Lumen is grounded. For if light in it selfe were accident, needs by it self it wer accident to some thing: & accident by it selfe hath cause of beeing of very forme of his obiect. And so if light in the aire wers accident, it shuld haue cause of being of the very forme of the aire: & that may not bée. Also light chaungeth his subiect, as it is knowne. For light is first in the East, & afterward in the West. And the East light gendereth light that is nexte thereto: & so forth euen to the West: And accident chaungeth not his subiecte, nor worketh not without his subiect, but ther in. And héereby it séemeth that light is not accident. Also if light were accident of the ayre, the aire should sodeinly moue with ye wind out of the East into the West, as the mouing of light is sodein. And so the aire moueth not sodeinly, nor anye other element. Also nothing is more worthy & noble then light: & accident is lesse wor∣thy then the substance: And so it séemeth yt light is not accident. For aire is much lesse worthy, and lesse noble then light. But if light be a body, it is hard to know and vnderstand, how & in what manner light is in the aire, or in any cléere bodie, as in Christall. For two bodyes maye not be at once in the same place. Neuer∣thelesse it is not inconuenient nor im∣possible to set, that lyght is a bodylye substaunce, and that it is at ones with another body: for we see water and ashes ioyned and meddeled togethers, sauing bodie and place of both. And the contei∣ning of either distinguished from other, and the parts of eyther conteined with∣in his owne vtter parte. In what man∣ner wise so euer they be meddeled toge∣thers ashes and water, the water abideth in his corporalnesse, by ioyning and con∣tinuing togethers of his partes: and ashes in his body also. But for this med∣deling and ioyning togethers, they bée not two bodies in the same place: But the water hath his owne place, and the ashes his owne place. So light may bée in the aire, or in euerye each other body, Page [unnumbered] sauing the corporalitie of either, and contuniaunce of theyr substantial parts. And so light entering into the inner partes of the ayre, or of Christalline, hath his owne place, beclipping aboute his vtter partes. And that place distingui∣sheth light from the substaunce of the bodie, to whome it is ioyned, though it may not for simplicitie of his substaunce bee felt nor seene. But yet it is more wonder, that many lyghtes, which bée brought in one place, and the lyghtes meddeled together, and though they bée ioyned and vnited, yet neuerthelesse the substantiall forme of each light is saued, by the which forme euery of them is di∣uerse from other, though none of them be materiall cause, or formall to other, as Dionisius teacheth openly, in li. de diui∣nis nominibas, and saith in this manner: When lightes (saith hée) of lampes bée in an house, and bée one whole lyght gathered togethers, and bée common to all, yet they haue a prime distinction be∣tweene themselues, and be distinguished a sunder, by one distinction, and by distin∣guished vnity. For wee see when manye lampes be light, for one light, one claere∣nesse commeth of all theyr lightes, and shineth without knowing distinction. And no man (as I thinke) can sequester the light of one of them from the lyght of another: nor out of the ayre that they be in, while they bee all together: nor 〈…〉 by sight one from another, while they bee altogether shining, all the lyght seemeth one without distincti∣on. And if one lampe bee withdrawen, it taketh not awaye anye thing of the others light, nor leaueth there of his owne light. For as it is sayd, there is a perfect •rutie vniuersallye meddeled, and no confusion in anye parte. And the vni∣tie is so much in this bodylye ayre and materiall light. L•ue vsque Diomsius. In these wordes Denis seacheth open∣lye, that lights bee ioyned togethers, and the substantiall propertie of each is sa∣ued, and accident properties, and taketh with them both in comming and go∣ing.
Also Denis sayth, that light that is cal∣led Lux in Latine, is a substance being in it selfe: and thereof commeth beaming & a manner shining of other bodies For al∣waye Lux, light, shineth in it selfe. Ne∣verthelesse it shineth not alway but only when it sindeth a body with matter dis∣posed and able to be lightned, as Austen saith: for substance of heuen is very light, that hath the first place in bodies: and neuertheles heuen lightneth not in dark∣nesse nor by night. Then alway light shi∣neth inuisibly, and in darknesse: but it shineth not alwaye sightlye. And there∣fore euery creature feeleth the vertue of light. For vertue of lyght worketh vn∣séeingly, feeling and moouing in beasts, as it is sayde in libro Fontis vitae. Also in libro de ludicijs astrorum, Albuma∣sar saith, that Hippocras taught, yt but if the life of stars, tempered the thicknes of the ayre by night, all bodyes with soules should be destroied: and neuerthe∣lesse it is certain, ye of light of stars is not séene by night, for impression of working of light is knowen in toe sea that ebbeth & floweth by respect of the Moone to some part thereof, whether the Moone lighten the aire or no. Also though the thinkes, holes, and dens of the earth, bée not light∣ned: yet the vertue of light worketh in them, as it is séene in cares of mettall, & in other things that be gendred and bred déepe within ye earth And shortly to speak the presence of light is néedfull in euery body yt is medled; by the which contra∣ries in elementes be ioyned. Also light sheddeth it self from the highest heauen: yt is called Coelum imperium, euen to ye middle of the world, & is one in his sub∣stance, and simple in more and roote, yet is it variable after the diuersitie of bodies that receiue it, whether it be the Sun, or the ouer bodyes, or neather, wherein is one substaunce, vertue, and working of light, though there be no vertue of ligh∣tening therein. This is the first gende∣ring light that was made the first daye, as Basilius saith, that is aboue the Sun, and other lightes and starres that were made the fourth day.* Therfore the Sun, and other starres, be bearers of the first light: which through taking of body∣lesse lyght, they bee suffisaunt to euer∣lasting lightening, without losse of Page 139 their owne substaunce. Therefore this light stretcheth into euery place, and per∣secteth and dispoleth all bodyes, some more and some lesse. Then it is moare, roo•e, and fundament of all shining, and is one in substaunce: and of none of the lower bodyes conteyned accidentallye: but it conteineth all bodyes, and is for∣mall in comparison to them, though it be materiall in it selfe, and is in place and steede: And therefore for light is ma∣teriall, it maye haue diuerse partes in diuerse place. And for it is forntall, it hath indeede diuerse partes in diuerse place. For what the matter may haue in power, the forme hath the same in effect and déed. Heereof it followeth openly, that for lyght: in kinde of bodyes hath least of matter, and most of forme, lyght is more néere in kinde to fourme then to matter: And therefore because of matter, it is in the least stéede, that is a point. And because of forme, it is in euery place and stéede. For euerye thing mooneth to his owne forme as Aristotle sayeth.
And therefore the nobler that it is, the more it extendeth hiss matter, as Algazel sayth. Wherefore the forme of light, be∣cause it is the most noble of bodilye formes, it stretcheth and spreadeth most his matter: and therfore onepoint of light or of shining, were suffisaunt of it selfe to lighten all the worlde: For the no∣blenesse of matter, and for most adual∣nesse & doing of forme, as Algazel saith: & Then light is one simple and vniforme, in his essence, though bodies of light bée diuerse & distinguished & sonder. Though they séeme in one act gathered lyke, yet one lightening commeth not in the sub∣staunce of another, though it séeme to the sight that they be ioyned in one lyghte∣ning and light. Then it is not inconue∣nient to set two bodyes together in one place, if one of them bée subtile and for∣mall, and as it wer complement and per∣fection of the other: and that other ma•∣teri•i•••• vnperfect. And two bodye• that be blessedfull (as bodyes shall 〈…〉 the bli•• of heauen) maye not be in 〈…〉 place and stéede. For neither of their ••ay be materiall in no w••e or that other•• But a bodye that is v••full, and ano∣ther that is not blissefull, may bée toge∣thers in the same steebe and place, with∣out inconuenience, as saith Austen open∣ly. And Basilius sayth, That light is most moueable. For it moueth it selfe without ceasing, & gendereth light in lines, forth∣right, and in roundnesse all aboute: And mooueth and sheddeth it selfe into all partes about: and touching it selfe it mo∣neth sodeinly: For light is more able to work & pearceth, & commeth into the in∣nest part of euerye thing, without lette and tarrieng. And sight gendereth things that bée diuerse and vnlyke, and ioyneth and accordeth the contraryes, that bée in Elements, and in middle bodyes. And also by outcasting and stretching, and onercasting, breaking and rebounding of beames, light bringeth forth all thing, and kéepeth and saueth them in béeing, or disolueth and vndoeth theyr being, as Calcidius sayth Super T••meum. Also lyght gonerueth and ruleth lyfe, and during of all thing, & multiplyeth it selfe gendering: for lyght gendereth lyght, and lyght that is gendered, gendereth lyght that commeth after, and lyghte∣neth forth: and so in an instaunt, one point that is product, filleth all the world of lyght and shining. Also lyght shew∣eth it selfe and other things of heauen by his incomparison in the vtter parte of a moyst bodye, and cléere light worketh diuerse effects. And as Austen sorth, light putteth of darknesse, and vndoeth cleyngnesse and discomfortes: and de∣stroyeth false waiting and spicing. Of lyght commeth surette, it bringeth forth all gladde, and merrye kinde and shape. And bringeth in fourme and fayrenesse to all things & for without light all bo∣dyes tenidius hidde and vnknowne. Doe awaye lyght (sayth Daiuascene) and all things be vnknowne and abide in darknesse. Then (as Ambrose saith, and Masilius a••d,) Lyght is the fayre∣nesse of euery creature that is séene: The grace whereof most in sight and behol∣ding, that maketh other members and partes of the worde, wortye to be pleased: And this same (as Basinus saith) is aboue heauen most peaceable •wel •ng place of ••••lld and of Sa••tes. Page [unnumbered] This is by ensample the shewing of the 〈…〉 trinitie. This lyght without di∣minishing of it selfe, sheweth and shod∣deth light, which receiued in the ouer parte of a darke bodie, doth not drowne and déep it selfe therein touching ye like∣nesse of sight, but touching might and vertue. Isidore saith, lyght hath manye other propertyes worthy to be praysed, in substance, vertue, & working: nothing is sound more cleere, and pure then the substance thereof. Therefore though it passe by vilenesse and filth, it is not de∣filed: Nothing is more actuall in deede then the vertue therof: Nothing is found more profitable in bodyes then the wor∣king thereof.