Observations upon experimental philosophy to which is added The description of a new blazing world
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674.

19. Of the Pores of a Charcoal, and of Emptiness.

ALthough I cannot believe, that the absence of Light in the Pores of a Charcoal is the cause of its blackness; yet I do not question the truth of its Pores: for that all, or most Creatures have Pores, I have declared before; which Pores are nothing else Page  57 but passages to receive and discharge some parts of matter; and therefore the opinion of those that believe an entering of some Particles of exterior bo∣dies through the Pores of animal Creatures, and an intermixing with their interior parts; as that, for ex∣ample, in the bathing in Mineral Waters, the liquid and warm vehicles of the Mineral Particles, do by degrees insinuate themselves into the pores of the skin, and in∣termix with the inner parts of the body, is very ratio∣nal; for this is a convenient way of conveighing exte∣terior parts into the body, and may be effectual either to good or bad; and although the pores be very small, yet they are numerous, so that the number of the pores supplies the want of their largeness. But yet although Pores are passages for other bodies to issue or enter, ne∣vertheless they are not empty, there being no such thing as an emptiness in Nature; for surely God, the fulness and Perfection of all things, would not suffer any Va∣cuum in Nature, which is a Pure Nothing; Va∣cuum implies a want and imperfection of something, but all that God made by his All-powerful Command, was good and perfect; Wherefore, although Char∣coals and other bodies have Pores, yet they are fill'd with some subtile Matter not subject to our sensitive per∣ception, and are not empty, but onely call'd so, by reason they are not fill'd up with some solid and gross substance perceptible by our senses. But some may say, if there be no emptiness in Nature, but all fulness of body, or Page  58 bodily parts, then the spiritual or divine soul in Man, which inhabits his body, would not have room to reside in it. I answer, The Spiritual or Divine Soul in Man is not Natural, but Supernatural, and has also a Super∣natural way of residing in man's body; for Place be∣longs onely to bodies, and a Spirit being bodiless, has no need of a bodily place. But then they will say, That I make Spirit and Vacuum all one thing, by reason I de∣scribe a Spirit to be a Natural Nothing, and the same I say of Vacuum; and hence it will follow, that parti∣cular Spirits are particular Emptinesses, and an Infinite Spirit an Infinite Vacuum. My answer is, That al∣though a Spirit is a Natural nothing, yet it is a Super∣natural something; but a Vacnum is a Pure nothing, both Naturally and Supernaturally; and God forbid I should be so irreligious, as to compare Spirits, and consequently God, who is an Infinite Spirit, to a Va∣cuum; for God is All-fulfilling, and an Infinite Ful∣ness and Perfection, though not a Corporeal or Mate∣rial, yet a Supernatural, Spiritual, and Incompre∣hensible fulness; when as Vacuum, although it is a cor∣poreal word, yet in effect or reality is nothing, and expresses a want or imperfection, which cannot be said of any supernatural Creature, much less of God.