OBSERVATIONS UPON EXPERIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY.
1. Of Humane Sense and Perception.
BEfore I deliver my observations up∣on that part of Philosophy which is call'd Experimental, I thought it necessary to premise some discourse concerning the Perception of Hu∣mane Sense. It is known that man has five Exterior Senses, and every sense is ignorant of each other; for the Nose knows not what the Eyes see, nor the Eyes what the Ears hear, neither do the Ears know what the Tongue tastes; and as for Touch, although it is a general Sense, yet every several part of the body has a several touch, and each part is ignorant of each others touch: And thus there is a general igno∣rance of all the several parts, and yet a perfect know∣ledg in each part; for the Eye is as knowing as the Ear, Page 2 and the Ear as knowing as the Nose, and the Nose as knowing as the Tongue, and one particular Touch knows as much as another, at least is capable thereof: Nay, not onely every several Touch, Taste, Smell, Sound or Sight, is a several knowledg by it self, but each of them has as many particular knowledges or perceptions as there are objects presented to them: Be∣sides, there are several degrees in each particular sense; As for example, some Men (I will not speak of other animals) their perception of sight, taste, smell, touch, or hearing, is quicker to some sorts of objects, then to others, according either to the perfection or imper∣fection, or curiosity or purity of the corporeal figura∣tive motions of each sense, or according to the presen∣tation of each object proper to each sense; for if the presentation of the objects be imperfect, either through variation or obscurity, or any other ways, the sense is deluded. Neither are all objects proper for one sense, but as there are several senses, so there are se∣veral sorts of objects proper for each several sense. Now if there be such variety of several knowledges, not onely in one Creature, but in one sort of sense; to wit, the exterior senses of one humane Creature; what may there be in all the parts of Nature? 'Tis true, there are some objects which are not at all perceptible by any of our exterior senses; as for example, rari∣fied air, and the like: But although they be not sub∣ject to our exterior sensitive perception, yet they are Page 3 subject to our rational perception, which is much pu∣rer and subtiler then the sensitive; nay, so pure and subtil a knowledg, that many believe it to be immate∣rial, as if it were some God, when as it is onely a pure, fine and subtil figurative Motion or Perception; it is so active and subtil, as it is the best informer and reformer of all sensitive Perception; for the rational Matter is the most prudent and wisest part of Nature, as being the designer of all productions, and the most pious and devoutest part, having the perfectest notions of God, I mean, so much as Nature can possibly know of God; so that whatsoever the sensitive Perception is either de∣fective in, or ignorant of, the rational Perception sup∣plies. But mistake me not: by Rational Perception and Knowledg, I mean Regular Reason, not Irregu∣lar; where I do also exclude Art, which is apt to de∣lude sense, and cannot inform so well as Reason doth; for Reason reforms and instructs sense in all its actions: But both the rational and sensitive knowledg and per∣ception being divideable as well as composeable, it causes ignorance as well as knowledg amongst Natures Creatures; for though Nature is but one body, and has no sharer or copartner, but is intire and whole in it self, as not composed of several different parts or sub∣stances, and consequently has but one Infinite natural knowledg and wisdom, yet by reason she is also divide∣able and composeable, according to the nature of a body, we can justly and with all reason say, That, as Page 4 Nature is divided into infinite several parts, so each se∣veral part has a several and particular knowledg and perception, both sensitive and rational, and again that each part is ignorant of the others knowledg and per∣ception; when as otherwise, considered altogether and in general, as they make up but one infinite body of Nature, so they make also but one infinite general knowledg. And thus Nature may be called both In∣dividual, as not having single parts subsisting without her, but all united in one body; and Divideable, by reason she is partable in her own several corporeal fi∣gurative motions, and not otherwise; for there is no Vacuum in Nature, neither can her parts start or re∣move from the Infinite body of Nature, so as to sepa∣rate themselves from it, for there's no place to flee to, but body and place are all one thing, so that the parts of Nature can onely joyn and disjoyn to and from parts, but not to and from the body of Nature. And since Nature is but one body, it is intirely wise and knowing, ordering her self-moving parts with all facility and ease, without any disturbance, living in pleasure and delight, with infinite varieties and curiosities, such as no single Part or Creature of hers can ever attain to.
2. Of Art, and Experimental Philosophy.
SOme are of opinion, That by Art there can be a reparation made of the Mischiefs and Imperfections mankind has drawn upon it self by negligence and intem∣perance, and a wilful and superstitious deserting the Pre∣scripts and Rules of Nature, whereby every man, both from a derived Corruption, innate and born with him, and from his breediug and converse with men, is very subject to slip into all sorts of Errors. But the all-powerful God, and his servant Nature, know, that Art, which is but a particular Creature, cannot inform us of the Truth of the Infinite parts of Nature, being but finite it self; for though every Creature has a double per∣ception, rational and sensitive, yet each creature or part has not an Infinite perception; nay, although each particular creature or part of Nature may have some conceptions of the Infinite parts of Nature, yet it can∣not know the truth of those Infinite parts, being but a finite part it self, which finiteness causes errors in Perceptions; wherefore it is well said, when they con∣fess themselves, That the uncertainty and mistakes of humane actions proceed either from the narrowness and wandring of our senses, or from the slipperiness or delusion of our memory, or from the confinement or rashness of our understandiug. But, say they, It is no wonder that our power over natural Causes and Effects is so slowly im∣proved, Page 6 seeing we are not onely to contend with the obscu∣rity and difficulty of the things whereon we work and think, but even the forces of our minds conspire to betray us: And these being the dangers in the process of Humane Rea∣son, the remedies can onely proceed from the Real, the Mechanical, the Experimental Philosophy, which hath this advantage over the Philosophy of discourse and dis∣putation, That whereas that chiefly aims at the subtilty of its deductions and conclusions, without much regard to the first ground-work, which ought to be well laid on the sense and memory, so this intends the right ordering of them all, and making them serviceable to each other. In which discourse I do not understand, first, what they mean by our power over natural causes and effects; for we have no power at all over natural causes and effects, but onely one particular effect may have some power over another, which are natural actions; but neither can natural causes nor effects be over-powred by man so, as if man was a degree above Nature, but they must be as Nature is pleased to order them; for Man is but a small part, and his powers are but particular actions of Nature, and therefore he cannot have a supreme and absolute power. Next, I say, That Sense, which is more apt to be deluded then Reason, cannot be the ground of Reason, no more then Art can be the ground of Nature: Wherefore discourse shall sooner find or trace Natures corporeal figurative motions, then de∣luding Arts can inform the Senses; For how can a Page 7 Fool order his understanding by Art, if Nature has made it defective? or how can a wise man trust his sen∣ses, if either the objects be not truly presented accord∣ing to their natural figure and shape, or if the senses be defective, either through age, sickness, or other accidents, which do alter the natural motions proper to each sense? And hence I conclude, that Experimental and Mecha∣nick Philosophy cannot be above the Speculative part, by reason most Experiments have their rise from the Speculative, so that the Artist or Mechanick is but a servant to the Student.
3. Of Micrography, and of Magnifying and Mul∣tiplying Glasses.
ALthough I am not able to give a solid judgment of the Art of Micrography, and the several dioptrical instruments belonging thereto, by reason I have nei∣ther studied nor practised that Art; yet of this I am confident, that this same Art, with all its Instruments, is not able to discover the interior natural motions of a∣ny part or creature of Nature; nay, the questions is, whether it can represent yet the exterior shapes and motions so exactly, as naturally they are; for Art doth more easily alter then inform: As for example; Art makes Cylinders, Concave and Convex-glasses, and the like, which represent the figure of an object in no part exactly and truly, but very deformed and mis∣shaped: Page 8 also a Glass that is flaw'd, crack'd, or broke, or cut into the figure of Lozanges, Triangles, Squares, or the like, will present numerous pictures of one ob∣ject. Besides, there are so many alterations made by several lights, their shadows, refractions, reflexi∣ons, as also several lines, points, mediums, inter∣posing and intermixing parts, forms and positions, as the truth of an object will hardly be known; for the perception of sight, and so of the rest of the senses, goes no further then the exterior Parts of the object presented; and though the Perception may be true, when the object is truly presented, yet when the presentation is false, the information must be false also. And it is to be observed, that Art, for the most part, makes hermaphroditical, that is, mixt fi∣gures, as partly Artificial, and partly Natural: for Art may make some metal, as Pewter, which is be∣tween Tin and Lead, as also Brass, and numerous other things of mixt natures; In the like manner may Artificial Glasses present objects, partly Natural, and partly Artificial; nay, put the case they can pre∣sent the natural figure of an object, yet that natural figure may be presented in as monstrous a shape, as it may appear mis-shapen rather then natural: For ex∣ample; a Lowse by the help of a Magnifying-glass, appears like a Lobster, where the Microscope enlarg∣ing and magnifying each part of it, makes them big∣ger and rounder then naturally they are. The truth Page 9 is, the more the figure by Art is magnified, the more it appears mis-shapen from the natural, in so much as each joynt will appear as a diseased, swell'd and tumid body, ready and ripe for incision. But mistake me not; I do not say, that no Glass presents the true picture of an object; but onely that Magnifying, Multiply∣ing, and the like optick Glasses, may, and do often∣times present falsly the picture of an exterior object; I say, the Picture, because it is not the real body of the object which the Glass presents, but the Glass onely figures or patterns out the picture presented in and by the Glass, and there may easily mistakes be committed in taking Copies from Copies. Nay, Artists do confess themselves, that Flies, and the like, will ap∣pear of several figures or shapes, according to the seve∣ral reflections, refractions, mediums and positions of several lights; which if so, how can they tell or judg which is the truest light, position, or medium, that doth present the object naturally as it is? and if not, then an edge may very well seem flat, and a point of a needle a globe; but if the edge of a knife, or point of a needle were naturally and really so as the microscope presents them, they would never be so useful as they are; for a flat or broad plain-edged knife would not cut, nor a blunt globe pierce so suddenly another bo∣dy, neither would or could they pierce without tear∣ing and rending, if their bodies were so uneven; and if the Picture of a young beautiful Lady should be Page 10 drawn according to the representation of the Micro∣scope, or according to the various refraction and re∣flection of light through such like glasses, it would be so far from being like her, as it would not be like a hu∣mane face, but rather a Monster, then a picture of Na∣ture. Wherefore those that invented Microscopes, and such like dioptrical Glasses, at first, did, in my o∣pinion, the world more injury then benefit; for this Art has intoxicated so many mens brains, and wholly imployed their thoughts and bodily actions about phae∣nomena, or the exterior figures of objects, as all better Arts and Studies are laid aside; nay, those that are not as earnest and active in such imployments as they, are, by many of them, accounted unprofitable subjects to the Commonwealth of Learning. But though there be numerous Books written of the wonders of these Glasses, yet I cannot perceive any such, at best, they are but superficial wonders, as I may call them. But could Experimental Philosophers find out more bene∣ficial Arts then our Fore-fathers have done, either for the better increase of Vegetables and brute Animals to nourish our bodies, or better and commodious contri∣vances in the Art of Architecture to build us houses, or for the advancing of trade and traffick to provide ne∣cessaries for us to live, or for the decrease of nice distin∣ctions and sophistical disputes in Churches, Schools and Courts of Judicature, to make men live in unity, peace and neighbourly sriendship, it would not onely be Page 11 worth their labour, but of as much praise as could be given to them: But as Boys that play with watry Bubblesa, or fling Dustb into each others Eyes, or make a Hobby-horsec of Snow, are worthy of reproof ra∣ther then praise; for wasting their time with useless sports; so those that addict themselves to unprofitable Arts, spend more time then they reap benefit thereby. Nay, could they benefit men either in Husbandry, Ar∣chitecture, or the like necessary and profitable imploy∣ments, yet before the Vulgar sort would learn to un∣derstand them, the world would want Bread to eat, and Houses to dwell in, as also Cloths to keep them from the inconveniences of the inconstant weather. But truly, although Spinsters were most experienced in this Art, yet they will never be able to spin Silk, Thred, or Wool, &c. from loose Atomes; neither will Wea∣vers weave a Web of Light from the Sun's Rays, nor an Architect build an House of the bubbles of Water and Air, unless they be Poetical Spinsters, Weavers and Architects; and if a Painter should draw a Lowse as big as a Crab, and of that shape as the Microscope pre∣sents, can any body imagine that a Beggar would be∣lieve it to be true? but if he did, what advantage would it be to the Beggar? for it doth neither instruct him how to avoid breeding them, or how to catch them, or to hinder them from biting. Again: if a Painter should paint Birds according to those Colours the Mi∣croscope presents, what advantage would it be for Page 12 Fowlers to take them? Truly, no Fowler will be able to distinguish several Birds through a Microscope, neither by their shapes nor colours; They will be bet∣ter discerned by those that eat their flesh, then by Mi∣crographers that look upon their colours and exterior figures through a Magnifying-glass. In short, Mag∣nifying-glasses are like a high heel to a short legg, which if it be made too high, it is apt to make the wearer fall, and at the best, can do no more then represent exterior figures in a bigger, and so in a more deformed shape and posture then naturally they are; but as for the interior form and motions of a Creature, as I said before, they can no more represent them, then Telescopes can the interior essence and nature of the Sun, and what matter it consists of; for if one that never had seen Milk be∣fore, should look upon it through a Microscope, he would never be able to discover the interior parts of Milk by that instrument, were it the best that is in the World; neither the Whey, nor the Butter, nor the Curds. Wherefore the best optick is a perfect natu∣ral Eye, and a regular sensitive perception, and the best judg is Reason, and the best study is Rational Contemplation joyned with the observations of regular sense, but not deiuding Arts; for Art is not onely gross in comparison to Nature, but, for the most part, deformed and defective, and at best produces mixt or hermaphroditical figures, that is, a third figure between Nature and Art: which proves, that natural Reason Page 13 is above artificial Sense, as I may call it: wherefore those Arts are the best and surest Informers, that alter Nature least, and they the greatest deluders that alter Nature most, I mean, the particular Nature of each particular Creature; (for Art is so far from alter∣ing Infinite Nature, that it is no more in comparison to it, then a little Flie to an Elephant, no not so much, for there is no comparison between finite and Infi∣nite.) But wise Nature taking delight in variety, her parts, which are her Creatures, must of necessity do so too.
4. Of the Production of Fire by a Flint and Steel.
SOme learned Writers of Micrography, having observed the fiery sparks that are struck out by the violent motion of a Flint against Steel, suppose them to be little parcels either of the Flint or Steel, which by the violence of the stroke, are at the same time severed and made red hot; nay, sometimes to such a degree as they are melted together into glass. But whatsoever their opinion be, to my sense and reason it appears very dif∣ficult to determine exactly how the production of Fire is made, by reason there are so many different sorts of Productions in Nature, as it is impossible for any par∣ticular Creature to know or describe them: Never∣theless, it is most probable, that those two bodies do operate not by incorporeal but corporeal motions, Page 14 which either produce a third corporeal figure out of their own parts, or by striking against each other, do alter some of their natural corporeal figurative parts, so as to convert them into fire, which if it have no fuel to feed on, must of necessity die; or it may be, that by the occasion of striking against each other, some of their looser parts are metamorphosed, and afterwards return to their former figures again; like as flesh being bruised and hurt, becomes numb and black, and after returns again to its proper figure and colour; or like as Water that by change of motion in the same parts, turns into Snow, Ice, or Hail, may return again into its former figure and shape; for Nature is various in her corpo∣real figurative motions. But it is observable, that Fire is like seeds of Corn sown in Earth, which increases or decreases according as it has nourishment; by which we may see that Fire is not produced from a bare imma∣terial motion (as I said before;) for a spiritual issue cannot be nourished by a corporeal substance, but it is with Fire as it is with all, at least most other natural Creatures, which require Respiration as well as Per∣ception; for Fire requires Air as well as Animals do. By Respiration, I do not mean onely that animal respi∣ration which in Man, and other animal Creatures, is performed by the lungs, but a dividing and uniting, or separating and joyning of parts from and to parts, as of the exterior from and to the interior, and of the interior from and to the exterior; so that when some Page 15 parts issue, others do enter: And thus by the name of Respiration I understand a kind of Reception of for∣reign Matter, and emission of some of their own; as for example, in Animals, I mean not onely the respi∣ration performed by the lungs, but also the reception of food, and of other matter entering through some pro∣per organs and pores of their bodies, and the discharg∣ing of some other matter the sameway; and if this be so, as surely it is, then all or most Creatures in Nature have some kind of Respiration or Reciprocal breathing, that is, Attraction and Expiration, receiving of nou∣rishment and evacuation, or a reception of some for∣reign parts, and a discharging and venting of some of their own. But yet it is not necessary that all the mat∣ter of Respiration in all Creatures should be Air; for every sort of Creatures, nay every particular has such a matter of Respiration, as is proper both to the nature of its figure, and proper for each sort of respiration. Be∣sides, although Air may be a fit substance for Respi∣ration to Fire, and to some other Creatures, yet I can∣not believe, that the sole agitation of Air is the cause of Fire, no more then it can be called the cause of Man; for if this were so, then Houses that are made of Wood, or cover'd with Straw, would never fail to be set on fire by the agitation of the Air. Neither is it requisite that all Respirations in all Creatures should be either hot or cold, moist or dry, by reason there are many different sorts of Respiration, acording to the nature and pro∣priety Page 16 of every Creature, whereof some may be hot, some cold; some hot and dry, some cold and dry; some hot and moist, some cold and moist, &c. and in Animals, at least in Mankind, I observe, that the re∣spiration performed by the help of their lungs. is an attraction of some refrigerating air and an emission of some warm vapour. What other Creatures respi∣rations may be, I leave for others to inquire.
5. Of Pores.
AS I have mentioned in my former Discourse, that I do verily believe all or most natural Creatures have some certain kind of respiration, so do I also find it most probable, that all or most natural Creatures have Pores: not empty Pores; for there can be no Vacuum in Nature, but such passages as serve for re∣spiration, which respiration is some kind of receiving and discharging of such matter as is proper to the na∣ture of every Creature: And thus the several Organs of Animal Creatures, are, for the most part, imploy∣ed as great large pores; for Nature being in a perpe∣tual motion, is always dissolving and composing, changing and ordering her self-moving parts as she pleases. But it is well to be observed, that there is difference between Perception and Respiration; for Perception is onely an action of Figuring or Pattern∣ing, when as the Rational and Sensitive Motions do Page 17 figure or pattern out something: but Respiration is an action of drawing, sucking, breathing in, or receiving any ways outward parts, and of venting, discharging, or sending forth inward parts. Next, although there may be Pores in most natural Creatures, by reason that all, or most have some kind of Respiration, yet Nature hath more ways of dividing and uniting of parts, or of ingress and egress, then the way of drawing in, and sending forth by Pores; for Nature is so full of variety, that not any particular corporeal figurative motion can be said the prime or fundamental, unless it be self-motion, the Architect and Creator of all fi∣gures: Wherefore, as the Globular figure is not the prime or fundamental of all other figures, so neither can Respiration be called the prime or fundamental motion; for, as I said, Nature has more ways then one, and there are also retentive Motions in Nature, which are neither dividing nor composing, but keep∣ing or holding together.
6. Of the Effluvium's of the Loadstone.
IT is the opinion of some, that the Magnetical Efflu∣viums do not proceed intrinsecally from the stone, but are certain extrinsecal particles, which approaching to the stone, and finding congruous pores and inlets therein, are channelled through it; and having acquired a motion thereby, do continue their current so far, till being repulsed Page 18 by the ambient air, they recoil again, and return into a vor∣tical motion, and so continue their revolution for ever through the body of the Magnet. But if this were so, then all porous bodies would have the same Magne∣tical Effluviums, especially a Char-coal, which, they say, is full of deep pores: besides, I can hardly believe, that any Microscope is able to shew how those flowing Atomes enter and issue, and make such a vortical mo∣tion as they imagine. Concerning the argument drawn from the experiment, that a Magnet being made red hot in the fire, not onely amits the Magnetical Vigor it had before, but acquires a new one; doth not evince or prove that the Magnetical Effluviums are not innate or inhe∣rent in the stone; for fire may over-power them so as we cannot perceive their vigour or force, the motions of the Fire being too strong for the motions of the Loadstone; but yet it doth not follow hence, that those motions of the Loadstone are lost, because they are not perceived, or that afterwards when by cooling the Loadstone they may be perceived again, they are not the same motions, but new ones, no more then when a man doth not move his hand the motion of it can be said lost or annihilated. But say they, If the Polary direction of the Stone should be thought to proceed intrinsecally from the Stone, it were as much as to put a Soul or Intelligence into the Stone, which must turn it a∣bout, as Angels are feigned to do Celestial Orbs. To which I answer; That although the turning of the Page 19 Celestial Orbs by Angels may be a figment, yet that there is a soul and intelligence in the Loadstone, is as true, as that there is a soul in Man. I will not say, that the Loadstone has a spiritual or immaterial soul, but a cor∣poreal or material one, to wit, such a soul as is a par∣ticle of the soul of Nature, that is, of Rational Matter, which moves in the Loadstone according to the propri∣ety and nature of its figure. Lastly, as for their argu∣ment concluding from the different effluviums of other, as for example, electrical and odoriferous bodies, &c. as Camphire, and the like, whose expirations, they say, fly away into the open air, and never make any re∣turn again to the body from whence they proceeded; I cannot believe this to be so; for if odoriferous bodies should effluviate and waste after that manner, then all strong odoriferous bodies would be of no continuance, for where there are great expences, there must of ne∣eessity follow a sudden waste: but the contrary is suf∣ficiently known by experience. Wherefore, it is more probable, that the Effluviums of the Loadstone, as they call them, or the disponent and directive faculty of turning it self towards the North, is intrinsecally in∣herent in the stone it self, and is nothing else but the interior natural sensitive and rational corporeal motions proper to its figure, as I have more at large declared in my Philosophical Letters, and Philosophical Opinions; then that a stream of ex∣terior Atomes, by beating upon the stone, should Page 20 turn it to and fro, until they have laid it in such a po∣sition.
7. Of the Stings of Nettles and Bees.
I Cannot approve the opinion of those, who believe that the swelling, burning, and smarting pain caused by the stinging of Nettles and Bees, doth proceed from a poysonous juice, that is contained within the points of Nettles, or stings of Bees; for it is commonly known, that Nettles, when young, are often-times eaten in Sallets, and minced into Broths; nay, when they are at their full growth, good-huswifes use to lay their Cream-cheeses in great Nettles, whereas, if there were any poyson in them, the interior parts of animal bo∣dies, after eating them, would swell and burn more then the exterior onely by touching them. And as for stings of Bees, whether they be poysonous or not, I will not certainly determine any thing, nor whether their stings be of no other use (as some say) then onely for defence or revenge; but this I know, that if a Bee once looseth its sting, it becomes a Drone; which if so, then surely the sting is useful to the Bee, either in making Wax and Honey, or in drawing, mixing and tempering the several sorts of juices, or in penetrating and piercing into Vegetables, or other bodies, after the manner of broaching or tapping, to cause the Liquor to issue out, or in framing the Page 21 structure of their comb, and the like; for surely Na∣ture doth not commonly make useless and unprofitable things, parts, or creatures: Neither doth her design tend to an evil effect, although I do not deny but that good and useful instruments may be and are often im∣ployed in evil actions. The truth is, I find that stings are of such kind of figures as fire is, and fire of such a kind of figure as stings are; but although they be all of one general kind, nevertheless they are different in their particular kinds; for as Animal kind contains ma∣ny several and different particular kinds or sorts of ani∣mals, so the like do Vegetables, and other kinds of Creatures.
8. Of the beard of a wild Oat.
THose that have observed through a Microscope the beard of a wild Oat, do relate that it is onely a small black or brown bristle, growing out of the side of the inner husk, which covers the grain of a wild Oat, and appears like a small wreath'd sprig with two clefts; if it be wetted in water, it will appear to unwreath it self, and by degrees to streighten its knee, and the two clefts will become streight; but if it be suffered to dry again, it will by degrees wreath it self again, and so return into its former posture: The cause of which they suppose to be the differing texture of its parts, which seeming to have two substances, one very porous, loose and spongy, Page 22 into which the watry steams of air may very easily be forced, which thereby will grow swell'd and extended; and a second, more hard and close, into which the wa∣ter cannot at all or very little penetrate; and this retain∣ing always the same dimensions, but the other stretch∣ing and shrinking, according as there is more or less water or moisture in its pores, 'tis thought to produce this unwreathing and wreathing. But that this kind of motion, whether it be caused by heat and cold, or by dryness and moisture, or by any greater or less force, proceeding either from gravity and weight, or from wind, which is the motion of the air, or from some spring∣ing body, or the like, should be the very first foot-step of sensation and animate motion, and the most plain, simple and obvious contrivance that Nature has made use of to produce a motion next to that of rarefaction and condensation by heat and cold, as their opinion is, I shall not easily be perswaded to believe; for if Ani∣mate motion was produced this way, it would, in my opinion, be but a weak and irregular motion. Nei∣ther can I conceive how these, or any other parts, could be set a moving, if Nature her self were not self∣moving, but onely moved: Nor can I believe, that the exterior parts of objects are able to inform us of all their interior motions; for our humane optick sense looks no further then the exterior and superficial parts of solid or dense bodies, and all Creatures have several corporeal figurative motions one within another, which Page 23 cannot be perceived neither by our exterior senses, nor by their exterior motions; as for example, our Optick sense can perceive and see through a transparent body, but yet it cannot perceive what that transparent bodies figurative motions are, or what is the true cause of its transparentness; neither is any Art able to assist our sight with such optick instruments as may give us a true information thereof; for what a perfect natural eye cannot perceive, surely no glass will be able to pre∣sent.
9. Of the Eyes of Flies.
I Cannot wonder enough at the strange discovery made by the help of the Microscope concerning the great number of eyes observed in Flies; as that, for ex∣ample, in a gray Drone-flie should be found clusters which contain about 14000 eyes: which if it be really so, then those Creatures must needs have more of the 〈◊◊〉 sense then those that have but two, or one eye; 〈◊◊◊〉 cannot believe, that so many 〈◊◊〉 be made for no more use then one or two eyes are: for though Art, the emulating Ape of Nature, makes often vain and useless things, yet I can∣not perceive that Nature her self doth so. But a greater wonder it is to me, that Man with the twinkling of one eye, can observe so many in so small a Creature, if it be not a deceit of the optick instrument: for as I Page 24 have mentioned above, Art produces most com∣monly hermaphroditical figures, and it may be, perhaps, that those little pearls or globes, which were taken for eyes in the mentioned Flie, are onely transparent knobs, or glossie shining spherical parts of its body, making refractions of the rayes of light, and reflecting the pictures of exterior objects, there being many Creatures, that have such shining protuberan∣ces and globular parts, and those full of quick motion, which yet are not eyes. Truly, my reason can hard∣ly be perswaded to believe, that this Artificial Informer (I mean the Microscope) should be so true as it is generally thought; for in my opinion it more deludes, then informs: It is well known, that if a fi∣gure be longer, broader and bigger then its nature re∣quires, it is not its natural figure, and therefore those Creatures, or parts of Creatures, which by Art ap∣pear bigger then naturally they are, cannot be judged according to their natural figure, since they do not appear in their natural shape; but in an artificial one, that is, in a shape or figure magnified by Art, and extended beyond their natural figure; and since Man cannot judg otherwise of a figure then it appears, besides, if the Reflections and Positious of Light be so various and different as Experimental Philophers con∣fess themselves, and the instrument not very exact, (for who knows but hereafter there may be many faults discovered of our modern Microscopes which Page 25 we are not able to perceive at the present) how shall the object be truly known? Wherefore I can hardly believe the Truth of this Experiment concerning the numerous Eyes of Flies; they may have, as I said be∣fore, glossy and shining globular protuberances, but not so many eyes; as for example, Bubbles of Water, Ice, as also Blisters and watry Pimples, and hundreds the like, are shining and transparent Hemispheres, re∣flecting light, but yet not eyes; Nay, if Flies should have so many numerous Eyes, why can they not see the approach of a Spider until it be just at them; also how comes it that sometimes, as for example, in cold weather, they seem blind, so as one may take or kill them, and they cannot so much as perceive their ene∣mies approach? surely if they had 14000 Eyes, all this number would seem useless to them, since other Crea∣tures which have but two can make more advantage of those two eyes, then they of their vast number. But perchance some will say, That Flies having so many eyes, are more apt to be blind then others that have but few, by reason the number is the cause that each parti∣cular is the weaker. To which I answer, That if two Eyes be stronger then a Thousand, then Nature is to be blamed that she gives such numbers of Eyes to so little a Creature. But Nature is wiser then we or any Creature is able to conceive; and surely she works not to no purpose, or in vain; but there appears as much wisdom in the fabrick and ftructure of her Page 26 works, as there is variety in them. Lastly, I cannot well conceive the truth of the opinion of those, that think all eyes must have a transparent liquor, or humor within them, for in Crabs and Lobsters Eyes I can perceive none such; and there may also be many other animal Creatures which have none: for Nature is not tied to one way, but as she makes various Creatures, so she may and doth also make their parts and organs variously, and not the same in all, or after one and the same manner or way.
10. Of a Butter-flie.
COncerning the Generation of Butter-flies, whe∣ther they be produced by the way of Eggs, as some Experimental Philosophers do relate, or any o∣ther ways; or whether they be all produced after one and the same manner, shall not be my task now to de∣termine; but I will onely give my Readers a short ac∣count of what I my self have observed: When I lived beyond the Seas in Banishment with my Noble Lord, one of my Maids brought upon an old piece of wood, or stone (which it was I cannot perfectly remember) something to me which seemed to grow out of that same piece; it was about the length of half an inch or less, the tail was short and square, and seemed to be a Vege∣table, for it was as green as a green small stalk, grow∣ing out of the aforesaid piece of stone or wood; the Page 27 part next the tail was like a thin skin, wherein one might perceive a perfect pulsation, and was big in pro∣portion to the rest of the parts; The part next to that, was less in compass, and harder, but of such a substance as it was like Pewter or Tin: The last and extreme part opposite to the first mentioned green tail or stalk, seem'd like a head, round, onely it had two little points or horns before, which head seem'd to the eye and touch, like a stone, so that this Creature appeared partly a Ve∣getable, Animal and Mineral; But what is more, it was in a continual motion, for the whole body of it seemed to struggle as if it would get loose from that piece of wood or stone the tail was joyned to, or out of which it grew; But I cutting and dividing its tail from the said piece, it ceased to move, and I did not regard it any further. After some while I found just such ano∣ther insect, which I laid by upon the window, and one morning I spied two Butter-flies playing about it; which, knowing the window had been close shut all the while, and finding the insect all empty, and onely like a bare shell or skin, I supposed had been bred out of it; for the shell was not onely hollow and thin, but so brittle as it straight fell into pieces, and did somewhat resem∣ble the skin of a Snake when it is cast; and it is obser∣vable, that two Butter-flies were produced out of one shell, which I supposed to be male and female. But yet this latter I will not certainly affirm, for I could not discern them with my eyes, except I had had some Mi∣croscope, Page 28 but a thousand to one I might have been also deceived by it; and had I opened this insect, or shell, at first, it might perhaps have given those But∣ter-flies an untimely death, or rather hinder'd their production. This is all I have observed of But∣ter-flies, but I have heard also that Caterpillars are transformed into Butter-flies; whether it be true or not, I will not dispute, onely this I dare say, that I have seen Caterpillers spin as Silk-worms do, an oval ball about their seed, or rather about themselves.
11. Of the Walking Motions of Flies, and other Crea∣tures.
WHat Experimental Writers mention concern∣ing the feet of Flies, and their structure, to wit, that they have two claws or talons, and two palms or soles, by the help of which they can walk on the sides of glass, or other smooth bodies perpendicularly upwards; If this be the onely reason they can give, then certainly a Dormouse must have the same stru∣cture of feet; for she will, as well as a flie, run streight upwards on the sharp edg of a glazed or well-polished Sword, which is more difficult then to run up the sides of Glass: And as for Flies, that they can suspend themselves against the undersurface of many bodies; I say, not onely Flies, but many other Creatures will do the same; for not onely great Caterpillers, or such worms as have many leggs, as also Spiders, but a Page 29 Neut, which is but a little Creature, will run up a wall in a perpendicular line; nay, walk as Flies do with its back down, and its leggs upwards. Wherefore it is not, in my opinion, the Pores of the surface of the body, on which those Creatures walk; as for example, that a Flie should run the tenters or points of her feet, which some have observed through a Microscope, in∣to the pores of such bodies she walks on, or make pores where she finds none; (for I cannot believe, that in such close and dense bodies, where no pores at all can be per∣ceived, a small and weak legg of a Flie should pierce a hole so suddenly, and with one step) Nor an Ima∣ginary Glue, nor a dirty or smoaky substance adhe∣ring to the surface of glass, as some do conceive; nor so much the lightness of their bodies that makes those Creatures walk in such a posture; for many can do the same that are a thousand times heavier then a little Flie; but the chief cause is the shape of their bodies; which being longer then they are deep, one counterpoises the other; for the depth of their bodies has not so much weight as their length, neither are their heads and leggs just opposite: Besides, many have a great number of feet, which may easily bear up the weight of their bo∣dies; and although some Creatures, as Horses, Sheep, Oxon, &c. have their leggs set on in the same manner as Mice, Squirrels, Cats, &c. yet they cannot run or climb upwards and downwards in a perpendicular line, as well as these Creatures do, by reason of the depth Page 30 of their bodies from the soles of their feet to the surface of their back, the weight of their depth over-power∣ing the strength of their leggs. Wherefore the weight of a Creature lies for the most part in the shape of its body, which shape gives it such sorts of actions as are proper for it; as for example, a Bird flies by its shape, a Worm crawls by its shape, a Fish swims by its shape, and a heavy Ship will bear it self up on the surface of water meerly by its exterior shape, it being not so much the interior figure or nature of Wood that gives it this faculty of bearing up, by reason we see that many pieces of Timber will sink down to the bottom in water. Thus Heaviness and Lightness is for the most part caused by the shape or figure of the body of a Creature, and all its exterior actions depend upon the exterior shape of its body.
Whether it be possible to make Man and other Ani∣mal Creatures that naturally have no Wings, flie as Birds do.
SOme are of opinion, that is not impossible to make Man, and such other Creatures that naturally have no wings, flie as Birds do; but I have heard my Noble Lord and Husband give good reasons against it; For when he was in Paris, he discoursing one time with Mr. H. concerning this subject, told him that he thought it altogether impossible to be done: A Man, Page 31 said he, or the like animal that has no Wings, has his arms set on his body in a quite opposite manner then Birds wings are; for the concave part of a Birds wing, which joins close to his body, is in man out∣ward; and the inward part of a mans arm where it joins to his body, is in Birds placed outward; so that which is inward in a Bird, is outward in Man; and what is inward in Man, is outward in Birds; which is the reason that a Man has not the same motion of his arm which a Bird has of his wing. For Flying is but swimming in the Air; and Birds, by the shape and posture of their wings, do thrust away the air, and so keep themselves up; which shape, if it were found the same in Mans arms, and other animals leggs, they might perhaps flie as Birds do, nay, without the help of Feathers; for we see that Bats have but flesh-wings; neither would the bulk of their bodies be any hinderance to them; for there be many Birds of great and heavy bodies, which do nevertheless flie, although more slowly, and not so nimbly as Flies, or little Birds: Wherefore it is onely the different posture and shape of Mens arms, and other Animals leggs, contrary to the wings of Birds, that makes them unapt to flie, and not so much the bulk of their bodies. But I believe, that a four∣legg'd Creature, or Animal, may more easily and safely go upright like Man, although it hath its leggs set on in a contrary manner to Mans arms and Page 32 leggs; for a four-legg'd animals hind-leggs resem∣ble man's arms, and its fore-leggs are just as man's leggs. Nevertheless there is no Art that can make a four legg'd Creature imitate the actions of man, no more then Art can make them have or imitate the natural actions of a Bird: For, Art cannot give new motions to natural parts, which are not pro∣per or natural for them, but each part must have such proper and natural motions and actions as Na∣ture has designed for it. I will not say, but Art may help to mend some defects, errors or irregularities in Nature, but not make better that which Nature has made perfect already. Neither can we say Man is defective, because he cannot flie as Birds: for fly∣ing is not his natural and proper motion; We should rather account that Man monstrous that could flie, as having some motion not natural and proper to his fi∣gure and shape; for that Creature is perfect in its kind, that has all the motions which are naturally re∣quisite to the figure of such a kind: But Man is apt to run into extreams, and spoils Nature with doting too much upon Art.
13. Of Snails and Leeches, and whether all Animals have blood.
WHether Snails have a row of small teeth, orderly placed in the Gums, and divided into several smaller and greater; or whether they have but one small bended hard bone, which serves them instead of teeth, to bite out pretty large and half-round bits of the leaves of trees to feed on, Experimental Philoso∣phers may enquire by the help of their Microscopes; My opinion is, That Snails are like Leeches, which will not onely bite, but suck; but this I do verily be∣lieve, that Snails onely bite Vegetables, not Animals, as Leeches do; and though Leeches bite into the skin, yet they do not take any part away, but suck onely out the juicy part, that is, the blood, and leave the grosser substance of flesh behind; and so do Snails bite into herbs, to suck out the juicy substance, or else there would be found flesh in Leeches, and herbs in Snails, which is not; so that Snails and Leeches bite for no end, but onely to make a passage to suck out the juicy parts; and therefore I cannot perceive that they have bones, but I conceive their teeth or parts they pierce withal, to be somewhat of the nature of stings, which are no more Bones then the points of Fire are; I do not certainly af∣firm they are stings, but my meaning is, that they are pointed or piercing figures, that is, as I said, of the nature Page 34 of stings, there being many several sorts of pointed and piercing figures, which yet are not stings, like as there are several sorts of grinding and biting figures which are not teeth; for there are so many several sorts of fi∣gures in Vegetables, Minerals, Animals and Ele∣ments, as no particular Creature is able to conceive. Again, it is questioned, whether those Creatures that suck blood from others, have blood themselves, as naturally belonging to their own substance; and my o∣pinion is, that it is no necessary consequence, that that should be a part of their substance on which they feed; food may be converted into the substance of their bo∣dies by the figurative transforming motions, but it is not part of their substance before it is converted; and so many Creatures may feed on blood, but yet have none of themselves as a natural constitutive part of their be∣ing: besides, there are Maggots, Worms, and seve∣ral sorts of Flies, and other Creatures, that feed upon fruits and herbs, as also Lobsters, Crabs, &c. which neither suck blood, nor have blood, and therefore blood is not requisite to the life of every animal, al∣though it is to the life of man, and several other animal Creatures; Neither do I believe, that all the juice in the veins, is blood (as some do conceive) for some of the juice may be in the way of being blood, and some may have altered its nature from being blood, to cor∣ruption, which later will never be blood again, and some may onely be metamorphosed from blood, and Page 35 reassume its own colour again; for it is as natural for blood to be red, as for the Sun to be light: Where∣fore when some learned are of opinion, that those white, or yellow, or black juices which are found in the veins of small insects, are their blood, they might as well say, that brains are blood, or that the marrow in the bones, is blood; or if the brain should all be turned to water, say, that this water is brains; which would be as much as if one should call a mans body turned to dust and ashes, an animal Creature, or a man; for there are na∣tural properties which belong to every Creature, and to each particular part of a Creature, and so is blood in some animals a natural vital part proper to the con∣servation of its life, without which it cannot subsist: for example, a young Maid in the Green-sickness, when her veins are fuller of water, then blood, appears pale, and is always sickly, weak and faint, not able to stir, by reason her veins are fuller of water then blood, but were it all water, she would presently die. Where∣fore all juices are not blood; nay, I cannot believe as yet, that those they call veins in some insects, are veins, much less that they contain blood, and have a circula∣tion of blood, nor that their motions proceed from Muscles, Nerves and Tendons; but this I may say, that the veins are the proper and convenient vehicles or receptacles of blood, as the head is of brains, and the bones of marrow; also it is as proper for blood to be red, as for veins to contain blood, for bones to contain Page 36 marrow, and for the head to contain brains; and when they alter or change from their particular na∣tures, they are no more blood, brains nor marrow: Wherefore those Creatures that have a juice which is not red, have no blood; and if no blood, they have no veins. I will not say, that all those that have veins must of necessity have them full of blood; for in Dropsies, as also in the Green-sickness, as I men∣tioned above, they are fuller of water then blood, but they must of necessity have some blood in their veins, by reason the veins are the most proper recep∣tacles for blood, and no man can live without blood, but when all blood is turned to water, he must of ne∣cessity die.
14. Of Natural Productions.
I Cannot wonder with those, who admire that a Creature which inhabits the air, doth yet produce a Creature, that for some time lives in the water as a fish, and afterward becomes an inhabitant of the air, for this is but a production of one animal from another; but what is more, I observe that there are producti∣ons of and from Creatures of quite different kinds; as for example, that Vegetables can and do breed A∣nimals, and Animals, Minerals and Vegetables, and so forth: Neither do I so much wonder at this, be∣cause I observe that all Creatures of Nature are Page 37 produced but out of one matter, which is common to all, and that there are continual and perpetual genera∣tions and productions in Nature, as well as there are perpetual dissolutions. But yet I cannot believe, that some sorts of Creatures should be produced on a sudden by the way of transmigration or translation of parts, which is the most usual way of natural productions; for both natural and artificial productions are performed by degrees, which requires time, and is not done in an instant. Neither can I believe, that all natural things are produced by the way of seeds or eggs; for when I consider the variety of Nature, it will not give me leave to think that all things are produced after one and the same manner or way, by reason the figurative motions are too different, and too diversly various, to be tied to one way of acting in all productions; Where∣fore as some Productions are done by the way of trans∣migration or translation of parts, as for example, the Generation of Man, and other Animals, and others by a bare Metamorphosis or Transformation of their own parts into some other figure, as in the Generation of Maggots out of Cheese, or in the production of Ice out of water, and many the like, so each way has its own particular motions, which no particular Creature can persectly know. I have mentioned in my Philo∣sophical* Letters, that no animal Creature can be pro∣duced by the way of Metamorphosing, which is a change of Motions in the same parts of Matter, but (as Page 38 I do also express in the same place) I mean such ani∣mals which are produced one from another, and where the production of one is not caused by the destruction of the other; such Creatures, I say, it is impossible they should be produced by a bare Metamorphosis, without Transmigration or Translation of parts from the Generator: but such insects, as Maggots, and seve∣ral sorts of Worms and Flies, and the like, which have no Generator of their own kind, but are bred out of Cheese, Earth and Dung, &c. their Production is onely by the way of Metamorphosing, and not Trans∣slation of parts. Neither can I believe, as some do, that the Sun is the common Generator of all those in∣sects that are bred within the Earth; for there are not onely Productions of Minerals and Vegetables, but also of Animals in the Earth deeper then the Sun can reach, and the heat of the Sun can pierce no further then cold can, which is not above two yards from the surface of the Earth, at least in our climate: But why may not the Earth, without the help of the Sun, produce Animal Creatures, as well as a piece of Cheese in a deep Cel∣lar, where neither the Sun nor his Beams enter? Tru∣ly, I wonder men will confine all Productions to one principal agent, and make the Sun the common Generator of all or most living insects, and yet confess that Nature is so full of variety, and that the Genera∣tions and Productions of insects are so various, as not onely the same kind of Creature may be produced from Page 39 several kinds of ways, but the very same Creature may produce several kinds. Nevertheless, I believe that natural Creatures are more numerously and vari∣ously produced by dissolution of particulars by the way of Metamorphosing, then by a continued propagation of their own species by the way of translation of parts; and that Nature hath many more ways of Productions, then by seeds or seminal Principles, even in Vegetables, witness the Generation or Production of Moss, and the like Vegetables that grow on Stones, Walls, dead A∣nimals sculls, tops of houses, &c. so that he who doth confine Nature but to one way of acting or moving, had better to deprive her of all motion, for Nature be∣ing Infinite, has also infinite ways of acting in her par∣ticulars. Some are of opinion, that the seed of Moss being exceeding small and light, is taken up, and carried to and fro in the air into every place, and by the falling drops of rain, is wash'd down out of it, and so dispersed into all places, and there takes onely root and propagates where it finds a convenient soil for it to thrive in; but this is onely a wild fancy, and has no ground, and no experimental Writer shall ever per∣swade me, that by his Dioptrical glasses he has made any such experiment; wherefore I insist upon sense and rea∣son, which inform me of the various productions of Na∣ture, which cannot be reduced to one principal kind, but are more numerous then mans particular and finite reason can conceive. Neither is it a wonder to see Page 40 Plants grow out of the Earth without any waste of the Earth, by reason there are perpetual compositi∣ons and divisions in Nature, which are nothing else but an uniting and disjoyning of parts to and from parts, and prove that there is an interchangeable in∣gress and egress, or a reciprocal breathing in all Na∣tures parts, not perceptible by man; so that no man can tell the association of parts, and growing motions of any one, much less of all Creatures.
15. Of the Seeds of Vegetables.
SOme do call the seeds of Vegetables, the Cabinet of Nature, wherein are laid up her Jewels; but this, in my opinion, is a very hard and improper ex∣pression; for I cannot conceive what Jewels Nature has, nor in what Cabinet she preserves them. Nei∣ther are the seeds of Vegetables more then other parts or Creatures of Nature: But I suppose some conceive Nature to be like a Granary or Store-house of Pine∣barley, or the like; which if so, I would fain know in what grounds those seeds should be sown to produce and increase; for no seeds can produce of themselves if they be not assisted by some other mat∣ter, which proves, that seeds are not the prime or prin∣cipal Creatures in Nature, by reason they depend upon some other matter which helps them in their productions; for if seeds of Vegetables did lie never so Page 41 long in a store-house, or any other place, they would never produce until they were put into some proper and convenient ground: It is also an argument, that no Creature or part of Nature can subsist singly and pre∣cised from all the rest, but that all parts must live toge∣ther; and since no part can subsist and live without the other, no part can also be called prime or principal. Nevertheless all seeds have life as well as other Crea∣tures; neither is it a Paradox to say, seeds are buried in life, and yet do live; for what is not in present act, we may call buried, intombed or inurned in the power of life; as for example, a man, when his figure is dissol∣ved, his parts dispersed, and joyned with others, we may say his former form or figure of being such a par∣ticular man is buried in its dissolution, and yet liveth in the composition of other parts, or which is all one, he doth no more live the life of a Man, but the life of some other Creature he is transformed into by the transform∣ing and figuring motions of Nature; nay, although every particle of his former figure were joyned with se∣veral other parts and particles of Nature, and every particle of the dissolved figure were altered from its for∣mer figure into several other figures, nevertheless each of these Particles would not onely have life, by reason it has motion, but also the former figure would still re∣main in all those Particles, though dispersed, and living several sorts of lives, there being nothing in Nature that can be lost or annihilated, but Nature is and con∣tinues Page 42 still the same as she was, without the least addi∣tion or diminution of any the least thing or part, and all the varieties and changes of natural productions pro∣ceed onely from the various changes of Motion. But to return to seeds; some Experimental Writers have observed, that the seed of Corn-violets, which looks almost like a very small Flea, through the Microscope appears a large body cover'd with a tough, thick and bright reflecting skin, very irregularly shrunk and pit∣ted, insomuch that it is almost an impossibility to find two of them wrinkled alike, and wonder that there is such variety even in this little seed: But to me it is no wonder, when I consider the variety of Nature in all her works, not onely in the exterior, but also in the in∣terior parts of every Creature; but rather a wonder to see two Creatures just alike each other in their exte∣rior figures. And since the exterior figures of Crea∣tures are not the same with the interior, but in many or most Creatures quite different, it is impossible that the exterior shape and structure of bodies can afford us sure and excellent instructions to the knowledg of their na∣tures and interior motions, as some do conceive; for how shall a feather inform us of the interior nature of a Bird? we may see the exterior flying motions of a Bird by the help of its wings, but they cannot give us an informa∣tion of the productive and figurative motions of all the interior parts of a Bird, and what makes it to be such a Creature, no more then the exterior view of a mans Page 43 head, arms, legs, &c. can give an Information of his interior Parts, viz. the spleen, liver, lungs, &c. Also in Vegetables; although those sorts of Vegetables which are outwardly burning may be outwardly pointed, and they that are hot and burning within may be inwardly pointed, yet no Microscope is able to present to our view those inward points by the inspection of the exte∣rior figure and shape of those Vegetables: Neither doth it follow, that all those which are outwardly point∣ed, must needs be of a hot and burning nature, except they be also pointed inwardly. Nay although some particular Creatures should seem to resemble each o∣ther in their exterior shapes and figures so much as not to be distinguished at the first view, yet upon better ac∣quaintance we shall find a great difference betwixt them; which shews that there is more variety and dif∣ference amongst Natures works, then our weak senses are able to perceive; nay, more variety in one parti∣cular Creature, as for example, in Man, then all the kind or sort of that Creature, viz. Mankind, is able to know. And if there be such difference betwixt the ex∣terior figures of Creatures of one sort, what may there be betwixt their exterior shapes and interior natures? Nevertheless, although there be such variety, not one∣ly in the General kinds of Creatures, but in every Particular, yet there is but one ground or principle of all this variety, which is self-motion, or self-moving Matter. And I cannot enough admire the strange Page 44 conceits of some men, who perceiving and be∣lieving such a curious variety and various curiosity of Nature in the parts of her body, and that she is in a perpetual motion, and knows best her own Laws, and the several proprieties of bodies, and how to adapt and fit them to her designed ends, nay, that God hath implanted a faculty of knowing in every Creature, do yet deny, nay, rail against Natures self-moving power, condemning her as a dull, inanimate, sense∣less and irrational body, as if a rational man could con∣ceive, that such a curious variety and contrivance of natural works should be produced by a senseless and irational motion; or that Nature was full of immate∣rial spirits, which did work Natural matter into such various figures; or that all this variety should be cau∣sed by an Immaterial motion, which is generated out of nothing, and annihilated in a moment; for no man can conceive or think of motion without body, and if it be above thought, then surely it is above act. But I rather cease to wonder at those strange and irregular opinions of Man-kind, since even they themselves do justifie and prove the variety of Nature; for what we call Irregularities in Nature, are really nothing but a variety of Natures motions; and therefore if all mens conceits, fancies and opinions were rational, there would not be so much variety as there is. Con∣cerning those that say, there is no variety in the Ele∣mental Kingdom, as Air, Water, and Earth; Air Page 45 and Water having no form at all, unless a potentiality to be formed into globules, and that the clods and parcels of Earth are all Irregular. I answer, This is more then Man is able to know: But by reason their Microscopes cannot make such Hermaphroditical fi∣gures of the Elements, as they can of Minerals, Ve∣getables and Animals, they conclude there is no such variety in them; when as yet we do plainly perceive that there are several sorts of Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and no doubt but these several sorts, and their parti∣culars, are as variously figured as other Creatures: Truly it is no consequence to deny the being of that which we do not see or perceive; for this were to at∣tribute a Universal and Infinite knowledg to our weak and imperfect senses. And therefore I cannot be∣lieve, that the Omnipotent Creator has written and engraven his most mysterious Designs and Counsels onely in one sort of Creatures; since all parts of Nature, their various productions and curious contrivances, do make known the Omnipotency of God, not onely those of little, but also those of great sizes; for in all figures, sizes and actions is apparent the curious va∣riety of Nature, and the Omnipotency of the Cre∣tor, who has given Nature a self-moving power to produce all these varieties in her self; which varieties do evidently prove, that Nature doth not work in all Creatures alike: nor that she has but one Primary or Principal sort of motions by which she produces all Page 46 Creatures, as some do conceive the manner of wreath∣ing and unwreathing, which they have observed in the beard of a Wild-oat, mentioned before, to be the first foot step of sensation and animate motion, and the most plain, simple and obvious contrivance Nature has made use of to produce a motion next to that of rare∣faction and condensation by heat and cold; for this is a very wild and extravagant conceit, to measure the in∣finite actions of Nature according to the rule of one particular sort of motions, which any one that has the perfect use of his sense and reason may easily see, and therefore I need not to bring many arguments to con∣tradict it.
16. Of the Providence of Nature, and of some Opi∣nions concerning Motion.
COncerning those that speak of the Providence of Nature, & the preserving of Vegetables, to wit, that Nature is very curious and careful in preserving their se∣minal principles, and lays them in most convenient, strong and delicate cabinets for their safer protection from outward danger: I confess, Nature may make such pro∣tections, that one Creature may have some defence from the injuries and assaults of its fellow-Creatures; but these assaults are nothing but dissolving motions, as friendly and amiable associations are nothing else but composing motions; neither can any thing be lost in Page 47 Nature, for even the least particle of Nature remains as long as Nature her self. And if there be any Pro∣vidence in Nature, then certainly Nature has know∣ledg and wisdom; and if she hath knowledg and wis∣dom, then she has sense and reason; and if sense and reason, then she has self-motion; and if Nature has self-motion, then none of her parts can be called inani∣mate or soul-less: for Motion is the life and soul of Na∣ture, and of all her parts; and if the body be animate, the parts must be so too, there being no part of the animate body of Nature that can be dead, or without motion; whereof an instance might be given of animal bodies, whose parts have all animal life, as well as the body it self: Wherefore those that allow a soul, or an inform∣ing, actuating and animating form or faculty in Nature and her parts, and yet call some parts inanimate or soul-less, do absolutely contradict themselves. And those that say, all the varieties of Nature are produced, not by self-motion, but that one part moves another, must at last come to something that moves it self: be∣sides, it is not probable, that one part moving another, should produce all things so orderly and wisely as they are in Nature. But those that say Motion is no sub∣stance, and consequently not material, and yet allow a generation and annihilation of Motion, speak, in my opinion, non-sence: for first, how can self-motion, the Author and Producer of all things, work all the va∣rieties that are in Nature, and be nothing it self? Next, Page 48 how can that which is nothing (for all that is not Ma∣terial is nothing in Nature, or no part of Nature) be generated and annihilated? Nay, if Motion be Ma∣terial, as surely it is, yet there can neither be a new generation, nor an annihilation of any particular Mo∣tion in Nature; for all that is material in Nature has its being in and from Infinite Matter, which is from Eternity, it being impossible that any other new Mat∣ter should be created besides this Infinite Matter out of which all natural things consist, or that any part of this matter should be lost or annihilated. But perhaps those that believe new generations and annihilations of particular motions, may say, that their opinion is not as if those particular Motions were generated out of some new matter, but that the matter of such motions is the same with the matter of all other natural Creatures, and that their perishing or annihilation is not an utter destruction or loss of their being out of Nature, but onely of being such or such a motion, like as some Ve∣getables and Elements are generated and perish in one night: Truly, if their meaning be thus, then it were better to name it an alteration or change of Motion, rather then a new Generation, and a Perishing or Annihilation. But my intention is not to plead for other mens opinions, but rather to clear my own, which is, that Motion is material; for Figure, Mo∣tion and Matter are but one thing; and that no particular Motion is or can be lost in Nature, nor Page 49 created anew; as I have declared more at large else∣where.
17. Des Cartes Opinion of Motion examined.
I Cannot well apprehend what Des Cartes means, by Matter being at first set a moving by a strong and lively action, and by his extraordinary swift rotation or whirling motion about the Center; as also by the sha∣vings of his aethereal subtil Matter which fill'd up all vacuities and pores, and his aethereal globules; I would ask whether this kind of motion did still continue; if so, then not onely the rugged and uneven parts, but also the aethereal globules would become less by this continual rotation, and would make this world a very weak, dizzie, and tottering world; and if there be any such shaving and lessening, then according to his prin∣ciples there must also be some reaction, or a reacting and resisting motion, and then there would be two op∣posite motions which would hinder each other. But I suppose he conceived, that Nature, or the God of Nature, did produce the world after a Mechanical way, and according as we see Turners, and such kind of Artificers work; which if so, then the Art of Turn∣ing is the prime and fundamental of all other Mecha∣nical Arts, and ought to have place before the rest, and a Turner ought to be the prime and chief of all Me∣chanicks, and highly esteemed; but alas! that sort of Page 50 people is least regarded; and though by their turning Art they make many dusty shavings, yet they get but little profit by them; for all they get is by their se∣veral wooden figures they make, as Spoons, Ladles, Cups, Bowls, Trenchers, and the like, and not by their shavings. Wherefore as all other Mechanicks do not derive their Arts from Turners, so neither is it probable, that this world and all natural Creatures are produced by a whirling Motion, or a spherical ro∣tation, as if some spirits were playing at Bowls or Foot∣ball; for as I have often mentioned, Nature has in∣finite ways of Motions, whereof none is prime or prin∣cipal, but self-motion, which is the producer of all the varieties Nature has within her self. Next, as for his Opinion of transferring and imparting Motion to o∣ther bodies, and that that body which imparts Motion to another body, loses as much as it gives, I have an∣swer'd in my Philosophical Letters; to wit, that it is most improbable, by reason Motion being material and inseparable from Matter, cannot be imparted with∣out Matter; and if not, then the body that receives Motion would increase in bulk, and the other that lo∣ses Motion would decrease, by reason of the addition and diminution of the parts of Matter, which must of necessity increase and lessen the bulk of the body, the contrary whereof is sufficiently known.
18. Of the blackness of a Charcoal, and of Light.
I Cannot in reason give my consent to those Dioptri∣cal Writers, who conceive that the blackness of a Charcoal proceeds from the Porousness of its parts, and the absence of light, viz. that light, not being reflected in the Pores of a Charcoal, doth make it obscure, and consequently appear black; for the opinion which holds that all Colours are caused by the various reflexi∣on of Light, has but a weak and uncertain Ground, by reason the refraction or reflection of light is so in∣constant, as it varies and alters continually; and there being so many reflexions and positions of Light, if they were the true cause of Colours, no Colour would ap∣pear constantly the same, but change variously, ac∣cording to the various reflexion of Light; whereas, on the contrary, we see that natural and inherent Colours continue always the same, let the position and reflection of Light be as it will; besides, there being different co∣loured Creatures, if all had the same position and re∣flexion of light, they would not appear of divers, but all of one colour, the contrary whereof is proved by experience. I will not say, but the refraction and va∣rious position of light may vary and alter a natural and inherent colour exteriously so, as to cause, for exam∣ple, a natural blew to appear green, or a natural green to appear red, &c. but those figures which Page 52 light makes, being but superficially and loosely spread upon other natural and substantial figures, are so uncer∣tain, inconstant and momentary, that they do change according as the reflexion and position of light alters; and therefore they cannot cause or produce any natural or inherent colours, for these are not superficial, but fixt, and remain constantly the same. And as for blackness, that it should be caused by the absence of light, I think it to be no more probable, then that light is the cause of our sight; for if the blackness of a Charcoal did proceed from the absence of light in its pores, then a black Horse would have more or deeper pores then a white one, or a sorrel, or any other co∣loured Horse; also a black Moor would have larger Pores then a man of a white complexion; and black Sattin, or any black Stuff, would have deeper pores then white Stuff: But if a fair white Lady should bruise her arm, so as it did appear black, can any one believe that light would be more absent from that bruised part then from any other part of her arm that is white, or that light should reflect otherwise upon that bruised part, then on any other? Also can any body believe, that the reflexion of light on a decayed Ladies face, should be the cause that her complexion is altered from what it was when she was young, and appeared beauti∣ful and fair? Certainly Light is no more the cause of her Complexion then of her Wrinkles, or else she would never complain of Age, but of Light. But to Page 53 prove further, that the entering of light into the pores of exterior bodies, can neither make perception nor colours; if this were so, then the entering of light into the pores of the Eye, would make it perceive all things of as many colours as a Rain-bow hath: besides, if several Eyes should have several shaped Pores, none would agree in the perception of the colour of an ex∣terior object, or else it would so dazle the sight, as no object would be truly perceived in its natural colour; for it would breed a confusion between those reflexi∣ons of light that are made in the pores of the eye, and those that are made in the pores of the object, as being not probable they would agree, since all pores are not just alike, or of the same bigness; so as what with Air, Light, Particles, and Pores jumbled together, and thrust or crowded into so small a compass, it would make such a confusion and Chaos of colours, as I may call it, that no sight would be able to discern them; wherefore it is no more probable that the per∣ception of sight is caused by the entering of light into the pores of the Eye, then that the perception of smoak is caused by its entrance into the Eye: And I wonder rational men do believe, or at least conceive Natures actions to be so confused and disordered, when as yet sense and reason may perceive that Na∣ture works both easily and orderly, and therefore I ra∣ther believe, that as all other Creatures, so also light is patterned out by the corporeal figurative and percep∣tive Page 54 motions of the optick sense, and not that its percepti∣on is made by its'entrance into the eye, or by pressure and reaction, or by confused mixtures, by reason the way of Patterning is an easie alteration of parts, when as all o∣thers are forced and constrained, nay, unsetled, inconstant and uncertain; for how should the fluid particles of air and light be able to produce a constant and setled effect, being so changeable themselves, what instances soever of Geometrical figures be drawn hither to evince it? if Man knew Natures Geometry, he might perhaps do something, but his artificial figures will never find out the architecture of Nature, which is beyond his per∣ception or capacity. But some may object, That nei∣ther colour, nor any other object can be seen or per∣ceived without light, and therefore light must needs be the cause of colours, as well as of our optick percep∣tion. To which I answer, Although we cannot re∣gularly see any other bodies without light, by reason darkness doth involve them, yet we perceive darkness and night without the help of light. They will say, We perceive darkness onely by the absence of light. I an∣swer, If all the Perception of the optick sense did come from light, then the Perception of night or darkness would be no perception at all, which is a Paradox, and contrary to common experience, nay, to sense and reason, for black requires as much Perception as white, and so doth darkness and night. Neither could we say, it is dark, or it is night, if we did not perceive it to be Page 55 so, or had no perception at all of it: The truth is, we perceive as much darkness as we do light, and as much black as we do white; for although darkness doth not present to our view other objects, so as light doth, but con∣ceals them, yet this doth not infer that darkness is not per∣ceived; for darkness must needs do so, by reason it is opposite to light, and its corporeal figurative motions are quite contrary to the motions of light, and there∣fore it must also of necessity have contrary effects; wherefore the error of those that will not allow dark∣ness to be a corporeal figurative motion, as well as light, but onely a privation or absence of light, cannot make it nothing; but it is on the contrary well known, that darkness has a being as well as light has, and that it is something, and not nothing, by reason we do per∣ceive it; but he that perceives, must needs perceive some∣thing, for no perception can be of nothing: besides, I have declared elsewhere, that we do see in dreams, and that mad men see objects in the dark, without the help of light: which proves, it is not the presence or enter∣ing of light into the eye, that causes our seeing, nor the absence of light, which takes away our optick Per∣ception, but light onely doth present exterior objects to our view, so as we may the better perceive them. Neither is a colour lost or lessened in the dark, but it is onely concealed from the ordinary perception of humane sight; for truly, if colours should not be colours in the dark, then it might as rationally be said, that a man's Page 56 flesh and blood is not flesh and blood in the dark, when it is not seen by a humane eye: I will not say, that the smalness and fineness of parts may not make colours appear more glorious; for colours are like arti∣ficial Paintings, the gentler and finer their draughts and lines are, the smoother and glossier appear their works; but smalness and fineness is not the true cause of colours, that is, it doth not make colours to be co∣lours, although it makes colours fine. And thus black is not black through the absence of Light, no more then white can be white by the presence of light; but blackness is one sort of colour, whiteness ano∣ther, redness another, and so of the rest: Whereof some are superficial and changeable, to wit, such as are made by the reflection of light, others fixt and in∣herent, viz. such as are in several sorts of Minerals, Vegetables and Animals; and others again are pro∣duced by Art, as by Dying and Painting; which Ar∣tists know best how to order by their several mix∣tures.
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.
20. Of Colours.
ALthough the sensitive perception doth pattern out the exterior figure of Colours, as easily as of any other object, yet all perceptions of Colours are not made by Patterning; for as there are many perceptions which take no patterns from outward objects, so there are also perceptions of Colours which never were pre∣sented to our sensitive organs: Neither is any percep∣tion made by exterior objects, but by interior corpo∣real figurative motions; for the object doth not print or act any way upon the eye, but it is the sensitive motions in the eye which pattern out the figure of the object: and it is to be observed, that as the parts of some bodies do consist of several different figures, which the learned call Heterogeneous, one figure being included within another; and some again, their parts are but of one kind of figure, which they call Homogeneous bodies, as for example, Water: so it may be with Colours; for some, their parts may be quite thorow of one co∣lour, and others again, may be of several colours; and indeed, most Creatures, as they have different parts, so those different parts have also different colours; and as those parts do alter, so do their colours: For exam∣ple, a Man that is in good health, looks of a sanguine complexion, but being troubled with the Yellow or black Jaundies, his complexion is of the colour of the hu∣mor; Page 60 either black, or yellow; yet it doth not proceed always from the over-flowing of the humor towards the exterior parts; for many times, when the humor is obstructed, it will cause the same effect; but then the corporeal motions in the extream parts alter by way of Imitation or Metamorphosing, as from a sanguine colour into the colour of the predominant humor: Wherefore it is no more wonder to see colours change in the tempering of Steel (as some are pleased to alledg this experiment) then to see Steel change and rechange its temper from being hard to soft, from tough to brittle, &c. which changes prove, that colours are material as well as steel, so that the alteration of the corporeal parts, is the alteration of the corporeal figures of colours. They also prove, that Light is not essential to colours; for although some colours are made by se∣veral Reflexions, Refractions and Positions of Light, yet Light is not the true and natural cause of all co∣lours; but those colours that are made by light, are most inconstant, momentany and alterable, by reason light and its effects are very changeable: Neither are colours made by a bare motion, for there is no such thing as a bare or immaterial Motion in Nature; but both Light and Colours are made by the corporeal fi∣gurative motions of Nature; and according to the va∣rious changes of those Motions, there are also various and different Lights and Colours; and the perception of light and Colours is made and dissolved by the sensitive Page 61 figurative motions in the optick sensorium, without the exchange of exterior objects; but as the slackest, loo∣sest or rarest parts are of least solid or composed corpo∣real figures, so are they most apt to change and re∣change upon the least disorder, as may well be ob∣served in colours raised by Passions, as fear, anger, or the like, which will change not onely the complexion and countenance, but the very features will have some alteration for a short time, and many times the whole body will be so altered, as not to be rightly com∣posed again for a good while; nay, often there fol∣lows a total dissolution of the whole figure, which we call death. And at all this we need not wonder, if we do but consider that Nature is full of sense and reason, that is, of sensitive and rational perception, which is the cause that oftentimes the disturbance of one part causes all other parts of a composed figure to take an alarum; for, as we may observe, it is so in all other composed bodies, even in those composed by Art; as for example, in the Politick body of a Common∣wealth, one Traytor is apt to cause all the Kingdom to take armes; and although every member knows not particularly of the Traytor, and of the circumstances of his crime, yet every member, if regular, knows its particular duty, which causes a general agreement to assist each other; and as it is with a Common-wealth, so it is also with an animal body; for if there be facti∣ons amongst the parts of an animal body, then straight Page 62 there arises a Civil War. Wherefore to return to Colours; a sudden change of Colours may cause no wonder, by reason there is oftentimes in Nature a sud∣den change of parts, that is, an alteration of figures in the same parts: Neither is it more to be admired, that one colour should be within another, then one figura∣tive part is within another; for colours are figurative parts; and as there are several Creatures, so there are also several Colours; for the Colour of a Creature is as well corporeal as the Creature it self; and (to ex∣press my self as clearly as I can) Colour is as much a body as Place and Magnitude, which are but one thing with body: wherefore when the body, or any corpo∣real part varies, whether solid or rare; Place, Magni∣tude, Colour, and the like, must of necessity change or vary also; which change is no annihilation or pe∣rishing, for as no particle of Matter can be lost in Na∣ture, nor no particular motion, so neither can Colour; and therefore the opinion of those, who say, That when Flax or Silk is divided into very small threads, or fine parts, those parts lose their colours, and being twisted, regain their colours, seems not conformable to Truth; for the division of their parts doth not destroy their colours, nor the composing of those parts regain them; but they being divided into such small and fine parts, it makes their colours, which are the finest of their exterior parts, not to be subject to our optick per∣ception; for what is very small or rare, is not subject Page 63 to the humane optick sense; wherefore there are these following conditions required to the optick perception of an exterior object: First, The object must not be too subtil, rare, or little, but of a certain degree of mag∣nitude; Next, It must not be too far distant, or without the reach of our sight; then the medium must not be obstructed, so as to hinder our perception; And lastly, our optick sensorium must be perfect, and the sensitive motions regular; of which conditions, if any be wanting, there is either no perception at all, or it is an imperfect perception; for the perception of seeing an exterior object, is nothing else but a patterning out of the figure of that same object by the sensitive figurative and perceptive motions; but there are infinite parts that are beyond our humane perception, and it would be but a folly for us to deny that which we cannot see or perceive; and if the perceptive motions be not regu∣lar in our optick sense, we may see different colours in one object; nay, the corporeal figurative motions in the eye may make several figurative colours, even with∣out the patterns of outward objects; and as there are several colours, so there are also several corporeal figu∣rative motions that make several colours in several parts; and the more solid the parts are, the more fixt are their inherent natural colours: But superficial co∣lours are more various, though not so various as they would be, if made by dusty Atomes, flying about as Flies in Sun-shine; for if this opinion were true, all co∣lours, Page 64 and other Creatures would be composed or made by chance, rather then by reason, and chance being so ignorantly inconstant, not any two parts would be of the like colour, nor any kind or species would be pre∣served; but Wise Nature, although she be full of va∣riety, yet she is also full of reason, which is knowledg; for there is no part of Nature that has not sense and rea∣son, which is life and knowledg; and if all the infinite parts have life and knowledg, Infinite Nature cannot be a fool or insensible: But mistake me not, for I do not mean, that her parts in particular are infinitely know∣ing, but I say Infinite Nature hath an Infinite know∣ledg; and by reason Nature is material, she is divide∣able as well as composeable, which is the cause that there is an obscurity in her Parts, in particular, but not in general, that is, in Nature her self; nay, if there were not an obscurity in the Particulars, men would not endeavour to prove inherent and natural figures by su∣perficial Phaenomena's. But as for Colour, some do mention the example of a blind man, who could dis∣cover colours by touch; and truly I cannot account it a wonder, because colours are corporeal figurative mo∣tions, and touch being a general sence, may well per∣ceive by experience (which is gained by practice) some Notions of other sensitive perceptions; as for example, a blind man may know by relation the several touches of Water, Milk, Broth, Jelly, Vinegar, Vitriol, &c. as well as what is hot, cold, rare, dense, hard, soft, Page 65 or the like; and if he have but his touch, hearing, speaking and smelling, perfectly, he may express the several knowledges of his several senses by one parti∣cular sense, or he may express one senses knowledg by another; but if the senses be imperfect, he cannot have a true knowledg of any object. The same may be said of Colours; for several Colours being made by several corporeal figurative motions, may well be perceived by a general sense, which is Touch: I will not say, that touch is the principle of all sensitive know∣ledg, for then I should be of the opinion of those Ex∣perimental Philosophers, which will have one principal motion or figure to be the cause of all Natural things; but I onely say, animal touch may have some Notion of the other animal senses by the help of rational per∣ception: all which proves, that every part is sensible, and every sense knowing, not onely in particular, but that one sense may have some general notion or know∣ledg of the rest; for there are particular and general perceptions in sensitive and rational matter, which is the cause both of the variety and order of Nature's Works; and therefore it is not necessary, that a black figure must be rough, and a white figure smooth: Neither are white and black the Ground-figures of Colours, as some do conceive, or as others do imagine, blew and yellow; for no particular fi∣gure can be a principle, but they are all but effects; and I think it is as great an error to believe Effects Page 66 for Principles, as to judg of the Interior Natures and Motions of Creatures by their Exterior Phaenome∣na or appearances, which I observe in most of our mo∣dern Authors, whereof some are for Incorporeal Mo∣tions, others for Prime and Principal Figures, others for First Matter, others for the figures of dusty and in∣sensible Atomes, that move by chance: when as nei∣ther Atomes, Corpuscles or Particles, nor Pores, Light, or the like, can be the cause of fixt and natural co∣lours; for if it were so, then there would be no stayed or solid colour, insomuch, as a Horse, or any other Creature, would be of more various colours then a Rain-bow; but that several colours are of several fi∣gures, was always, and is still my opinion, and that the change of colours proceeds from the alteration of their figures, as I have more at large declared in my other Philosophical Works: Indeed Art can no more force certain Atomes or Particles to meet and join to the making of such a figure as Art would have, then it can make by a bare command Insensible Atomes to join in∣to a Uniform World. I do not say this, as if there could not be Artificial Colours, or any Artificial Ef∣fects in Nature; but my meaning onely is, that al∣though Art can put several parts together, or divide and disjoyn them, yet it cannot make those parts move or work so as to alter their proper figures or interior na∣tures, or to be the cause of changing and altering their own or other parts, any otherwise then they are by their Page 67 Natures. Neither do I say, that no Colours are made by Light, but I say onely, that fixt colours are not made by Light; and as for the opinion, that white bodies reflect the Light outward, and black bodies in∣ward, as some Authors do imagine; I answer, 'Tis probable, some bodies may do so, but all white and black Colours are not made by such reflexions; the truth is, some conceive all Colours to be made by one sort of Motion, like as some do believe that all sensa∣tion is made by pressure and reaction, and all heat by parts tending outward, and all cold by parts tending inward; when as there are not onely several kinds of heat and cold, as Animal, Vegetable, Mineral and Elemental heat and cold, but several sorts in each kind, and different particulars in each sort; for there is a moist heat, a dry heat, a burning, a dissolving, a composing, a dilating, a contracting heat, and ma∣ny more: The like for colds; all which several kinds, sorts and particulars, are made by the several changes of the corporeal figurative Motions of Nature, and not by Pressure and Reaction, or by tending inward and outward. And as there is so great a variety and difference amongst natural Creatures, both in their Perceptions and interior natures, so there are also varieties of their colours, the natural colours of men being different from the natural colours of Beasts, Birds, Fish, Worms, Flies, &c. Concerning their interior Natures, I'le al∣ledg but few examples; although a Peacock, Parrot, Pye, Page 68 or the like, are gay Birds, yet there is difference in their Gayety: Again; although all men have flesh and blood, and are all of one particular kind, yet their in∣terior natures and dispositions are so different, as seldom any two men are of the same complexion; and as there is difference in their complexions, so in the exterior shapes and features of their exterior parts, in so much as it is a wonder to see two men just alike; nay, as there is difference in the corporeal parts of their bodies, so in the corporeal parts of their minds, according to the old Proverb, So many Men, so many Minds: For there are different Understandings, Fancies, Con∣ceptions, Imaginations, Judgments, Wits, Memo∣ries, Affections, Passions, and the like. Again: as in some Creatures there is difference both in their ex∣terior features and interior natures, so in others there is found a resemblance onely in their exterior, and a difference in their interior parts; and in others again, a resemblance in their interior, and a difference in their exterior parts; as for example, black Ebony, and black Marble, are both of different natures, one being Wood, and the other Stone, and yet they resemble each other in their exterior colour and parts; also, white, black, and gray Marble, are all of one interior Na∣ture, and yet to differ in their exterior colour and parts: The same may be said of Chalk and Milk, which are both white, and yet of several natures; as also of a Turquois, and the Skie, which both appear of one co∣lour, Page 69 and yet their natures are different: besides, there are so many stones of different colours, nay, stones of one sort, as for example, Diamonds, which appear of divers colours, and yet are all of the same Nature; also Man's flesh, and the flesh of some other animals, doth so much resemble, as it can hardly be distinguish∣ed, and yet there is great difference betwixt Man and Beasts: Nay, not onely particular Creatures, but parts of one and the same Creature are different; as for example, every part of mans body has a several touch, and every bit of meat we eat has a several taste, witness the several parts, as legs, wings, breast, head, &c. of some Fowl; as also the several parts of Fish, and other Creatures. All which proves the Infinite variety in Nature, and that Nature is a perpetually self-moving body, dividing, composing, changing, forming and transforming her parts by self-corporeal figurative mo∣tions; and as she has infinite corporeal figurative mo∣tions, which are her parts, so she has an infinite wis∣dom to order and govern her infinite parts; for she has Infinite sense and reason, which is the cause that no part of hers is ignorant, but has some knowledg or o∣ther, and this Infinite variety of knowledg makes a ge∣neral Infinite wisdom in Nature. And thus I have declared how Colours are made by the figurative cor∣poreal motions, and that they are as various and diffe∣rent as all other Creatures, and when they appear ei∣ther more or less, it is by the variation of their parts. Page 70 But as for the experiment of Snow, which some do alledg, that in a darkned room, it is not perceived to have any other light then what it receives, doth not prove that the whiteness of Snow is not an inherent and natural co∣lour, because it doth not reflect light, or because our eye doth not see it, no more then we can justly say, that blood is not blood, or flesh is not flesh in the dark, if our eye do not perceive it, or that the interior parts of Nature are colourless, because the exterior light makes no re∣flexion upon them. . Truly, in my judgment, those opinions, that no parts have colour, but those which the light reflects on, are neither probable to sense nor reason; for how can we conceive any corporeal part without a colour? In my opinion, it is as impossible to imagine a body without colour, as it is impossible for the mind to conceive a natural immaterial substance; and if so pure a body as the mind cannot be colour∣less, much less are grosser bodies. But put the case all bodies that are not subject to exterior light were black as night, yet they would be of a colour, for black is as much a colour as green, or blew, or yellow, or the like; but if all the interior parts of Nature be black, then, in my opinion, Nature is a very sad and melancholy Lady; and those which are of such an opinion, surely their minds are more dark then the interior parts of Nature; I will not hope that clouds of dusty Atomes have obscured them. But if not any Creature can have imagination without figure and colour, much less Page 71 can the optick sensitive parts; for the exterior sensitive parts are more gross then the rational, and therefore they cannot be without colour, no more then without figure: and although the exterior parts of Animals are subject to our touch, yet the countenances of those se∣veral exterior parts are no more perceptible by our touch, then several colours are: By Countenances, I mean the several exterior postures, motions, or ap∣pearances of each part; for as there is difference betwixt a face, and a countenance; (for a face remains constant∣ly the same, when as the countenance of a face may and doth change every moment; as for example, there are smiling, frowning, joyful, sad, angry countenances, &c.) so there is also a difference between the exterior figure or shape of a Creature, and the several and various mo∣tions, appearances or postures of the exterior parts of that Creatures exterior figure, whereof the former may be compared to a Face, and the later to a Coun∣tenance. But leaving this nice distinction; If any one should ask me, Whether a Barbary-horse, or a Gennet, or a Turkish, or an English-horse, can be known and distinguished in the dark? I answer: They may be distinguished as much as the blind man (whereof men∣tion hath been made before) may discern colours, nay, more; for the figure of a gross exterior shape of a body may sooner be perceived, then the more fine and pure countenance of Colours. To shut up this my dis∣course of Colours, I will briefly repeat what I have Page 72 said before, viz. that there are natural and inherent colours which are fixt and constant, and superficial colours, which are changeable and inconstant, as al∣so Artificial colours made by Painters and Dyers, and that it is impossible that any constant colour should be made by inconstant Atomes and various lights. 'Tis true, there are streams of dust or dusty Atomes, which seem to move variously, upon which the Sun or light makes several reflections and refractions; but yet I do not see, nor can I believe, that those dusty particles and light are the cause of fixt and inherent colours; and therefore if Experimental Philosophers have no fir∣mer grounds and principles then their Colours have, and if their opinions be as changeable as inconstant Atomes, and variable Lights, then their experiments will be of no great benefit and use to the world. Nei∣ther will Artificial Characters and Geometrical Fi∣gures be able to make their opinions and experiments more probable; for they appear to me like Dr. Dee's numbers, who was directed by I know not what spirits, which Kelley saw in his holy stone, which nei∣ther of them did understand; much less will Dioptri∣cal glasses give any true Information of them, but they rather delude the sight; for Art is not onely intricate and obscure, but a false informer, and rather blinds then informs any particular Creature of the Truth of Nature: but my reason perceives that Nature loves sometimes to act or work blind-fold in the actions of Page 73 Art; for although they be natural, yet they are but Natures blind, at least her winking or jugling acti∣ons, causing some parts or Creatures to deceive others, or else they are her politick actions by which she de∣ceives her Creatures expectations, and by that means keeps them from knowing and understanding her sub∣tile and wise Government.
21. Whether an Idea haue a Colour, and of the Idea of a Spirit.
I Have declared in my former discourse, that there is no Colour without body, nor a body with∣out colour, for we cannot think of a body without we think of colour too. To which some may ob∣ject, That if colour be as proper to a body as matter, and if the mind be corporeal, then the mind is also coloured. I answer, The Mind, in my opini∣on, has as much colour as other parts of Nature. But then perhaps they will ask me, what colour the Mind is of? My answer is, That the Mind, which is the rational part of Nature, is no more subject to one co∣lour, then the Infinite parts of Nature are subject to one corporeal figurative motion; for you can no more confine the corporeal mind to a particular com∣plexion, then you can confine Infinite matter to one particular colour, or all colours to one particular figure. Again, they may ask, Whether an Idea have a Page 74 colour? and if so, whether the Idea of God be colour∣ed? To which I answer, If the Ideas be of corporeal finite figures, they have colours according to the na∣ture, or property, or figure of the original; but as for the Idea of God, it is impossible to have a corporeal Idea of an infinite incorporeal Being; for though the finite parts of Nature may have a perception or know∣ledg of the existence of God, yet they cannot possibly pattern or figure him, he being a Supernatural, Immate∣rial, and Infinite Being: But put the case (although it is very improbable, nay, against sense and reason) there were natural immaterial Idea's, if those Idea's were finite, and not infinite, yet they could not possibly express an infinite, which is without limitation, by a finite figure which hath a Circumference. Some may say, An Immaterial Idea hath no Circumference. But then I answer, It is not a finite Idea, and it is impossible for an Idea to be Infinite: for I take an Idea to be the pi∣cture of some object, and there can be no picture with∣out a perfect form; neither can I conceive how an im∣material can have a form, not having a body; where∣fore it is more impossible for Nature to make a picture of the Infinite God, then for Man, which is but a part of Nature, to make a picture of infinite Nature; for Nature being material, has also a figure and matter, they being all one, so that none can be without the o∣ther, no more then Nature can be divided from her self. Thus it is impossible for Man to make a figure, Page 75 or picture of that which is not a part of Nature; for pictures are as much parts of Nature, as any other parts, nay, were they monstrous, as we call them; for Nature being material, is also figurative, and being a self-moving matter or substance, is divideable, and composeable; and as she hath infinite corporeal figu∣rative motions, and infinite parts, so she hath infinite figures, of which some are pictures, others originals; and if any one particular Creature could picture out those infinite figures, he would picture out Nature; but Nature being Infinite, cannot be pictured or patterned by any finite and particular Creature, although she is material; nevertherless she may be patterned in parts: And as for God, He being individeable and immaterial, can neither be patterned in part, nor in whole, by any part of Nature which is material, nay, not by infinite Nature her self: Wherefore the notions of God can be no otherwise but of his existence, to wit, that we know there is something above Nature, who is the Author and God of Nature; for though Nature hath an infi∣nite natural knowledg of the Infinite God, yet being divideable as well as composeable, her parts cannot have such an infinite knowledg or perception; and being composeable as much as divideable, no part can be so ignorant of God, as not to know there is a God. Thus Nature hath both an infinite and finite perceptions; in∣finite in the whole, as I may say for better expressions sake, and finite in parts. But mistake me not, I do Page 76 not mean, that either the infinite perception of Nature, or the finite perceptions of natural parts and Creatures, are any otherwise of that supernatural and divine being then natural; but yet they are the most purest parts, being of the rational part of Nature, moving in a most elevating and subtile manner, as making no exact fi∣gure or form, because God hath neither form nor fi∣gure; but that subtile matter or corporeal perceptive motion patterns out onely an over-ruling power, which power all the parts of Nature are sensible of, and yet know not what it is; like as the perception of Sight see∣eth the ebbing and flowing of the Sea, or the motion of the Sun, yet knows not their cause; and the perception of Hearing hears Thunder, yet knows not how it is made; and if there be such ignorance of the corporeal parts of Nature, what of God? But to conclude, my opinion is, That as the sensitive perception knows some of the other parts of Nature by their effects, so the rati∣onal perceives some effects of the Omnipotent power of God; which effects are perceptible by finite Crea∣tures, but not his Infinite Nature, nor Essence, nor the cause of his Infiniteness and Omnipotency. Thus although Gods Power may be perceived by Natures parts, yet what God is, cannot be known by any part: and Nature being composeable, there is a general ac∣knowledgment of God in all her parts; but being also divideable, it is the cause there are particular Religions, and opinions of God, and of his divine Worship and Adoration.
22. Of Wood Petrified.
I Cannot admire, as some do, that Wood doth turn into stone, by reason I observe, that Slime, Clay, Dirt, nay Water, may and doth often the same, which is further off from the nature of Stone then Wood is, as being less dense, and its interior figurative motions being dilating: but yet this doth not prove that all other Creatures may as easily be metamorphosed into stone as they; for the parts of water are composed but of one sort of figure, and are all of the same nature; and so is wood, clay, shells, &c. whose parts are but of one figure, at least not of so many different fi∣gures as the parts of Animals, or other Creatures; for as Animals have different parts, so these parts are of different figures, not onely exteriously, but interi∣cusly; as for example, in some or most Animals there are Bones, Gristles, Nerves, Sinews, Muscles, Flesh, Blood, Brains, Marrow, Choler, Phlegme, and the like; besides, there are several sorts of flesh, witness their interior and exterior parts, as the Heart, Lungs, Liver, Spleen, Guts, and the like; as also the Head, Breast, Armes, Body, Legs, and the like: all which would puzzle and withstand the power of Ovid's Me∣tamophosing of Gods and Goddesses. Wherefore it is but a weak argument to conclude, because some Crea∣tures or parts can change out of one figure into another Page 78 without a dissolution of their composed parts, therefore all Creatures can do the like; for if all Creatures could or should be metamorphosed into one sort of figure, then this whole World would perhaps come to be one Stone, which would be a hard World: But this Opi∣nion, I suppose, proceeds from Chymistry; for since the last Art of Chimystry (as I have heard) is the Production of glass, it makes perhaps Chymists believe, that at the last day, when this Word shall be dissolved with Fire, the Fire will calcine or turn it into Glass: A brittle World indeed! but whether it will be transpa∣rent, or no, I know not, for it will be very thick.
23. Of the Nature of Water.
THe Ascending of VVater in Pipes, Pumps, and the like Engines, is commonly alledged as an ar∣gument to prove there is no Vacuum: But, in my opi∣nion, VVater, or the like things that are moist, liquid and wet, their interior corporeal and natural motion is flowing, as being of a dilating figure; and when other parts or Creatures suppress those liquors, so that they cannot rise, they will dilate; but when solid and heavy bodies are put into them as Stones, Metals, &c. which do sink, then they will rise above them, as being their nature to over-flow any other body, if they can have the better of it, or get passage: For concerning the Page 79 floating of some bodies, the reason is not so much their levity or porousness, but both their exterior shape, and the waters restlesness or activity, the several parts of water endeavouring to drive those floating bodies from them; like as when several men playing at Ball, or Shittle-cock, or the like, endeavour to beat those things from and to each other; or like as one should blow up a feather into the Air, which makes it not onely keep up in the air, but to wave about: The like doth water with floating bodies; and the lighter the floating parts are, the more power have the liquid parts to force and thrust them about. And this is also the reason why two floating bodies of one Nature endeavour to meet and joyn, because by joyning they receive more strength to resist the force of the watry parts: The same may be said when as floating bodies stick or join to the sides of Vessels; but many times the watry parts will not suffer them to be at rest or quiet, but drive them from their strong holds or defences. Concerning the suppression of water, and of some floating bodies in wa∣ter by air or light, as that air and light should suppress water, and bodies floating upon it (as some do con∣ceive) I see no reason to believe it; but the con∣trary rather appears by the levity of air, which is so much lighter, and therefore of less force then either the floating bodies, or the water on which they float. Some again are of opinion, That Water is a more dense bo∣dy then Ice, and prove it by the Refractions of light, Page 80 because VVater doth more refract the rays of light then Ice doth: but whatsoever their experiments be, yet my reason can hardly believe it; for although Ice may be more transparent then water, yet it may be more dense then water: for Glass is more transparent then water, and yet more dense then water; and some bo∣dies will not be trasparent if they be thick, that is, if they have a great number of parts upon parts, when as they will be transparent if they be thin, that is, if they have few thin parts upon each other; so that transparent bodies may be darkned, and those that are not transparent of themselves, may be made so by the thickness or thinness of parts, that one may see or not see through them; and thus a thin body of Water, may be more transparent then a thick body of Ice, and a thin body of Ice may be more transparent then a thick body of water. As for the expansion of Water, it doth not prove, that Wa∣ter is more dense then Ice, but on the contrary, it rather proves, that it is more rare; for that body whose parts are close and united, is more dense then that whose parts are fluid and dilating. Neither doth Expansion alter the interior nature of a body, any more then con∣traction, but it alters onely the exterior posture; as for example, when a man puts his body into several postures, it doth not alter him from being a man, to some other Creature, for the stretching of his legs, spreading out of his armes, puffing up his cheeks, &c. changes his nature, or natural figure, no more then Page 81 when he contracts his limbs close together, crumpling up his body, or folding his armes, &c. but his posture is onely changed; the like for the expansions and contra∣ctions of other sorts of Creatures. Nor can I readily give my assent to their opinion, that some liquors are more dense then others; I mean such as are perfectly moist, liquid and wet, as water is; for there be numerous sorts of liquors, which are not throughly wet as water; and although their Circular lines may be different, as some edged, some pointed, some twisted, and the like; yet they do not differ so much, but that their inherent fi∣gures are all of Circular lines; for the interior nature or figure of water, and so of all other moist and wet li∣quors, is Circular: and it is observable, that as Art may be an occasion of diminishing those points or edges of the Circular lines of some liquors, or of untwisting them; so it may also be an occasion that some liquid and wet bodies may become so pointed, edged, twisted, &c. as may occasion those circles to move or turn into such or such exterior figures, not onely into triangular, square, round, and several other forms or figures, as appears in Ice, Hail, Frost, and flakes of Snow, but in∣to such figures as they name Spirits; which several sorts of figures belonging all to one sort of Creatures, may cause several refractions, reflections and inflections of the rayes of light. Wherefore Mechanicks may very much be mistaken concerning the truth of the interior Nature of bodies, or natural Creatures, by Page 82 judging them onely according to their exterior fi∣gures.
24. Of Salt, and of Sea- or Salt-water.
THe reason, why Salt is made, or extracted out of Salt-water, is, that the Circular lines of Sea- or Salt-water, are pointed exteriously, but not interiously, which is the cause that the saltish parts may be easily di∣vided from those watry lines; and it is to be observed, that those points when joyned to the watry circles, are rare, but being once separated, either by Art, or a more natural way, by some sorts of dividing motions, they become more dense; yet not so dense, but they may melt or return again into the first figure, which is a rare figure, and so become liquid salt, and after∣wards they may be densed or contracted again; for there is no other difference between dry and liquid salt, but what is made by the rarity or density of those sorts of points. As for that sort of Salt, which is named vo∣latile, it is when some of those rare points become more dilated or rarified, then when they are joyned to the watry circle-lines; I say some, not all; for as some points do condense or contract into fixt salt, so others do dilate or arise into volatile salt. But perchance some will say, How can there be several sorts of points, since a point is but a point? I answer; There may very well be several sorts, considering the Nature of Page 83 their substance; for some sorts are rare, some dense, some contracting, some dilating, some retenting, &c. besides, all points are not alike, but there is great diffe∣rence amongst several pointed figures, for all are not like the point of a Pin or Needle, but (to alledg some gross examples) there be points of Pyramids, points of Knives, points of Pins, points of the flame of a Candle, and numerous other sorts, which are all several points, and not one like another; for I do not mean a Mathe∣matical or imaginary point, such as is onely made by the rational matter in the mind, (although even a∣mongst those imaginary points there is difference; for you cannot imagine, or think of the several pointed fi∣gures of several sorts or kinds of Creatures, or parts, but you will have a difference in your mind) but I mean pointed figures, and not single points. It is also to be observed, that as some watry Circles will and may have points outwardly, so some have also points inwardly; for some watry Circles, as I have menti∣oned in my Philosophical Opinions, are edged, to wit, such as are in vitriol water; others pointed, as those in salt water; and others are of other sorts of points, as those in cordial or hot waters; but those last are more artificial; and all these are different in their sorts or kinds, although a litttle difference in their own natures may appear great in our humane perception. Concern∣ing Oyl, there is also difference between Oyl and other wet bodies; for Oyl, although it be rare, liquid and Page 84 moist, yet we cannot say, it is absolutely that which we name wet, as other liquors are, viz. Water and Wine, or natural juices; and since the interior natural figure of oyl is burning and hot, it is impossible to divide those interior fiery points from the circle figure of Oyl with∣out dissolving those liquid circle lines. But as the Penetrations of other acid and salt liquors are caused by their exterior points, so oyl, whose points are interi∣ously in the circle-lines, cannot have such quick ef∣fects of penetration as those that are exteriously point∣ed: But mistake me not, I do not mean such exterior parts as are onely subject to our humane perception, but such as cause those Creatures or parts to be of such a figure or nature.
25. Of the Motions of Heat and Cold.
THose which affim that Heat and Cold are the two primary and onely causes of the Productions of all natural things, do not consider sufficiently the variety of Nature, but think that Nature produces all by Art; and since Art is found out and practised by Man, Man conceits himself to be above Nature; But as neither Art, nor any particular Creature can be the cause or principle of all the rest, so neither can heat and cold be the prime cause of all natural productions, no more then paint can produce all the parts of a man's face, as the Eyes, Nose, Forehead, Chin, Cheeks, Page 85 Lips and the like, or a 〈◊〉 can produce a na∣tural Head, or a suit of Clothes can make the body of Man, for then whensoever the fashioned Garments or Mode-dresses do change, men would of necessity change also; but Art causes gross mistakes and errors, not onely in sensitive, but also in rational perceptions; for sense being deluded, is apt to delude Reason also, especially if Reason be too much indulgent to sense; and therefore those judgments that rely much upon the perception of sense, are rather sensitive then rational judgments; for sense can have but a perception of the exterior figures of objects, and Art can but alter the out∣ward form or figure, but not make or change the in∣terior nature of any thing; which is the reason that artificial alterations cause false, at least uncertain and va∣rious judgments, so that Nature is as various in mens judgments, as in her other works. But concerning heat and cold, my opinion is, that they are like several Colours, some Natural, and some Artificial; of which the Artificial are very inconstant, at least not so lasting as those that are not made by Art; and they which say, that both heat and cold are not made by the sensories or sensitive organs, are in the right, if their mean∣ing be that both heat and cold in their natures and with all their proprieties, as they are particular Creatures, are not made or produced by humane or animal senses; nevertheless the sensitive animal perception of heat and cold is made by the sensitive motions in their sensitive Page 86 organs, for what heat and cold soever an animal Crea∣ture feels, the perception of it is made in the sense of touch, or by those sensitive motions in the parts of its body; for as the perception of any other outward ob∣ject is not made by a real entrance of its parts into our sensories, so neither is all perception of heat and cold made by the intermixture of their particles with our flesh, but they are patterned and figured out by the sensitive motions in the exterior parts of the body as well as other objects: I will not say, that cold or heat may not enter and intermix with the parts of some bodies, as fire doth intermix with fuel, or enters into its parts; but my meaning is, that the animal perception of heat and cold is not made this way, that is, by an intermix∣ture of the parts of the Agent with the parts of the Pa∣tient, as the learned call them; that is, of the exterior ob∣ject, and the sentient; or else the perception of all ex∣terior objects would be made by such an intermixture, which is against sense and reason; and therefore even in such a commixture, where the parts of the object enter into the body of the sentient, as fire doth into fuel, the perception of the motions of fire in the fuel, and the fuels consumption or burning, is not made by the fire, but by the fuels own perceptive motions, imitating the motions of the fire; so that fire doth not turn the fuel into ashes, but the fuel doth change by its own corpo∣real figurative motions, and the fire is onely an occa∣sion of it: The same may be said of Cold. Neither is Page 87 every Creatures perception alike, no more then it can be said, that one particular Creature, as for example Man, hath but one perception; for the perception of sight and smelling, and so of every sence, are diffe∣rent; nay, one and the same sense may have as many several perceptions as it hath objects, and some sorts of peceptions in some Creatures, are either stronger or weaker then in others; for we may observe, that in one and the same degree of heat or cold, some will have quicker and some slower perceptions then others; for example in the perception of touch, if several men stand about a fire, some will sooner be heated then others; the like for Cold, some will apprehend cold weather sooner then others, the reason is, that in their percep∣tion of Touch, the sensitive motions work quicker or slower in figuring or patterning out heat or cold, then in the perception of others. The same may be said of other objects, where some sentient bodies will be more sensible of some then of others, even in one and the same kind of perception. But if in all perceptions of cold, cold should intermix with the bodies of ani∣mals, or other Creatures, like as several Ingredients, then all bodies upon the perception of cold would dis∣solve their figures, which we see they do not; for al∣though all dissolving motions are knowing and percep∣tive, because every particular motion is a particular knowledg and perception, yet not every perception re∣quires a dissolution or change of its figure: 'Tis true, Page 88 some sorts or degrees of exterior heat and cold may oc∣casion some bodies to dissolve their interior figures, and change their particular natures, but they have not power to dissolve or change all natural bodies. Nei∣ther doth heat or cold change those bodies by an inter∣mixture of their own particles with the parts of the bo∣dies, but the parts of the bodies change themselves by way of imitation, like as men put themselves into a mode-fashion, although oftentimes the senses will have fashions of their own, without imitating any other ob∣jects; for not all sorts of perceptions are made by Imi∣tation or patterning, but some are made voluntarily, or by rote; as for example, when some do hear and see such or such things without any outward objects. Where∣fore it is not certain steams, or agitated particles in the air, nor the vapours and effluviums of exterior objects, insinuating themselves into the pores of the sentient, that are the cause of the Perception of Heat and Cold, as some do imagine; for there cannot probably be such differences in the pores of animal Creatures of one sort, as for example of Men, which should cause such a different perception as is found in them; for al∣though exterior heat or cold be the same, yet several animals of the same sort will have several and different perceptions of one and the same degrees of exterior heat and cold, as above mentioned; which difference would not be, if their perception was caused by a real entrance of hot and cold particles into the pores of their bodies: Page 89 Besides, Burning-Fevers and Shaking-Agues, prove that such effects can be without such exterior causes. Nei∣ther can all sorts of Heat and Cold be expressed by Wind, Air and Water, in Weather-glasses; for they being made by Art, cannot give a true information of the Generation of all natural heat and cold; but as there is great difference between Natural and Artificial Ice, Snow, Colours, Light, and the like; so be∣tween Artificial and Natural Heat and Cold; and there are so many several sorts of heat and cold, that it is impossible to reduce them all to one certain cause or principle, or confine them to one sort of Motions, as some do believe that all sorts of Heat and Cold are made by motions tending inward and outward, and others, that by ascending and descending, or rising and depressing motions, which is no more probable, then that all Colours are made by the reflexion of Light, and that all White is made by reflecting the beams of light outward, and all black by reflecting them inward; or that a Man when he is on Horse-back, or upon the top of an House, or Steeple, or in a deep Pit or Mine, should be of another figure then of the figure and na∣ture of man, unless he were dissolved by death, which is a total alteration of his figure; for neither Gravity nor Levity of Air, nor Almospherical Pillars, nor a∣ny Weather-glasses, can give us a true information of all natural heat and cold, but the several figurative cor∣poreal motions, which make all things in Nature, do Page 86 also make several sorts of heat and cold in several sorts of Creatures. But I observe experimental Philoso∣phers do first cry up several of their artificial Instru∣ments, then make doubts of them, and at last disap∣prove them, so that there is no trust nor truth in them, so much as to be relied on; for it is not an age, since Weather-glasses were held the onely divulgers of heat and cold, or change of weather, and now some do doubt they are not such infallible Informers of those truths; by which it is evident, that Experimental Phi∣losophy has but a brittle, inconstant and uncertain ground, and these artificial Instruments, as Micro∣scopes, Telescopes, and the like, which are now so highly applauded, who knows, but may within a short time have the same fate, and upon a better and more rational enquiry, be found deluders rather then true Informers. The truth is, there's not any thing that has and doth still delude most mens understandings more, then that they do not consider enough the vari∣ety of Natures actions, and do not imploy their reason so much in the search of natures actions, as they do their senses, preferring Art and Experiments before Reason, which makes them stick so close to some par∣ticular opinions, and particular sorts of Motions or Parts, as if there were no more Motions, Parts, or Creatures in Nature, then what they see and find out by their Artificial Experiments.
Thus the variety of Nature is a stumbling-block to Page 87 moft men, at which they break their heads of under∣standing, like blind men that run against several posts or walls; and how should it be otherwise, since Na∣tures actions are Infinite, and Mans understanding fi∣nite? for they consider not so much the interior Na∣tures of several Creatures, as their exterior figures and Phonomena's, which makes them write many Para∣doxes, but few Truths, supposing that Sense and Art can onely lead them to the knowledg of truth, when as they delude rather their judgments instead of inform∣ing them. But Nature has placed Sense and Reason together, so that there is no part or particle of Nature which has not its share of reason as well as of sense; for every part having self-motion, hath also knowledg, which is sense and reason, and therefore it is fit we should not onely imploy our senses, but chiefly our reason in the search of the causes of natural effects; for Sense is onely a workman, and Reason is the de∣signer and surveigher, and as reason guides and directs, so ought sense to work. But seeing that in this age, sense is more in fashion then reason, it is no wonder there are so many irregular opinions and judgments a∣mongst men; However, although it be the mode, yet I for my part shall not follow it, but leaving to our Moderns their Experimental or Mode-Philosophy built upon deluding Art, I shall addict my self to the study of Contemplative-Philosophy, and Reason shall be my guide. Not that I despise sense or sensitive Page 92 knowledg, but when I speak of sense, I mean the per∣ception of our five exterior senses, helped (or rather deluded) by Art and Artificial instruments; for I see that in this present Age, Learned men are full of Art and Artificial trials, and when they have found out something by them, they presently judg that all na∣tural actions are made the same way; as for example, when they find by Art that Salt will make Snow con∣geal into Ice, they instantly conclude from thence that all natural congelations are made by saline parti∣cles, and that the Primum Frigidum, or the Principal cause of all natural cold must needs be salt, by reason they have found by Art that salt will do the same ef∣fect in the aforesaid commixture with Snow. But how grosly they are deceived, rational men may judg: If I were a Chymist, and acknowledged their com∣mon Principles, I might perchance have some belief in it, but not whilest I follow reason; nay, I perceive that oftentimes our senses are deluded by their own ir∣regularities, in not perceiving always truly and right∣ly the actions of Art, but mistaking them, which is a double error; and therefore that particular sensitive knowledg in man which is built meerly upon artificial experiments, will never make him a good Philoso∣pher, but regular sense and reason must do it, that is, a regular sensitive and rational inquisition into the va∣rious actions of Nature; For put the case a Micro∣scope be true concerning the magnifying of an Page 93 exterior object, but yet the magnitude of the object cannot give a true information of its interior parts, and their motions, or else great and large bodies would be interiously known even without Microscopes: The truth is, our exterior senses can go no further then the exterior figures of Creatures, and their exterior acti∣ons, but our reason may pierce deeper, and consider their inherent natures and interior actions; and al∣though it do sometimes erre, (for there can be no perfect or universal knowledg in a finite part con∣cerning the Infinite actions of Nature) yet it may also probably guess at them, and may chance to hit the Truth. Thus Sense and Reason shall be the ground of my Philosophy, and no particular natural effects, nor artificial instruments; and if any one can shew me a bet∣ter and surer ground or Principle then this, I shall most willingly and joyfully embrace it.
26. Of the Measures, Degrees, and different sorts of Heat and Cold.
SOme Experimental Philosophers are much inqui∣sitive into the measures of Heat and Cold; and as we have setled standards for weight and magnitude, and time, so they endeavour to measure the varying temperature, and gradual differences of heat and cold; but do what they can, their artificial measures or weights neither will nor can be so exact as the Page 94 natural are, to wit, so as not to make them err in more or less: Neither is it possible, that all the degrees of heat and cold in Nature can be measured; for no man can measure what he doth not know, and who knows all the different sorts of heats and colds? Nay, if man did endeavour to measure onely one sort of heat or cold, as for example, the degrees of the heat or cold∣ness of the air, how is it possible that he should do it, by reason of the continual change of the motions of heat or cold of the air, which are so inconstant, that it were surer to measure the fluidity of the air, then to mea∣sure the degrees of heat or cold of the air; for the tem∣per of the air and of its heat and cold, may vary so, as many times we shall never find the same measure a∣gain. Wherefore if we desire to have some knowledg of the degrees of some sorts of heat or cold, my opi∣nion is, that we may more easily attain to it by the help of rational perception, then by a sensitive inspe∣ction of artificial Weather-glasses, or the like; for reason goes beyond sense; and although the sensitive perception is best next the rational, yet the rational is above the sensitive. But some of the learned conceive the degrees of heat and cold are made by bare divisions, whenas, in my opinion, they are made by the several degrees of their corporeal figurative motions: They do also imagine, that there's no degree but must ascend from one, to two; from two, to three; and so forth through all numbers: and that from one to twenty, Page 95 there be so many degrees as there be numbers; when as, in my opinion, there's no more but one degree re∣quired from one to a Million, or more; for though both in Nature and Art there are degrees from one sin∣gle figure to another, yet there may also be but one de∣gree from one to a million, without reckoning any intermediate degrees or figures: so that a body, when it moves quick or slow, needs not to go through all the intermediate degrees of quickness or slowness, as to move quicker and quicker, slower and slower; but may immediately move from a very slow, to a very quick degree: the truth is, no man is able to measure the infinite degrees of natural motions; for though Na∣ture consists of particular finites, yet it doth also consist of infinite particulars; finite in figure, infinite in num∣ber; and who can number from finite to infinite? But having discoursed hereof elsewhere, I return to heat and cold, aud let others dispute whether the degrees of heat and cold in the air, be the same with the degrees of animal perceptions, or with the degrees of animal cold and heat; my opinion is, that there being several sorts, and several particular heats and colds, they cannot be just alike each other, but there's some difference betwixt them; as for example, there are shaking, freezing, chilly, windy, numb, stiff, rare, dense, moist, dry, contracting, dilating, ascending, descending, and o∣ther numerous sorts of colds; nay, there are some sorts of candied figures made by heat, which appear as if Page 96 they were frozen: Also there are fluid colds which are not wet, as well as fluid heats that are not dry; for Phlegm is fluid, and yet not wet; and some sorts of air are fluid, and not wet; I say some, not all; for some are hot and moist, others hot and dry. The same may be said of some sorts of heat and cold; for some are moist, and some dry; and there may be at one and the same time a moist cold in the air, and a dry cold in water; which, in my opinion, is the reason that in sealed Weather-glasses, according to some Experimenters re∣lations, sometimes the air doth not shrink, but rather seems to be expanded when the weather grows colder, and that the water contracts; not that the cold contra∣ction of water causes an expansion of the air to prevent a Vacuum; for there cannot be any such thing as a Va∣cuum in Nature; but that there is a moist cold in the air, and a dry cold in the water, whereof the dry cold causes a contraction, and the moist cold an expansion; nay, there is often a moist and dry cold in the air at one and the same time; so that some parts of the air may have a moist cold, and the next adjoying parts a dry cold, and that but in a very little compass; for there may be such contractions and dilations in Nature, which make not a hairs breadth difference, Nature being so subtil and curious, as no particular can trace her ways; and therefore when I speak of contractions and dilati∣ons, I do not mean they are all such gross actions per∣ceptible by our exterior senses as the works of Art, but Page 97 such as the curiosity of Nature works. Concerning the several sorts of animal heat and cold, they are quite different from the Elemental, and other sorts of heat and cold; for some men may have cold fits of an Ague under the Line, or in the hottest Climates; and others Burning-Feavers under the Poles, or in the coldest climates. 'Tis true, that Animals, by their perceptions, may pattern out the heat or cold of the air, but these perceptions are not always regular or per∣fect; neither are the objects at all times exactly pre∣sented as they should, which may cause an obscurity both in Art, and in particular sensitive perceptions, and through this variety the same sort of Creatures may have different perceptions of the same sorts of heat and cold. Besides it is to be observed, that some parts or Creatures, as for example, Water, and the like li∣quors, if kept close from the perception either of heat or cold, will neither freeze, nor grow hot; and if Ice and Snow be kept in a deep Pit, from the exterior ob∣ject of heat, it will never thaw, but continne Ice or Snow, whenas being placed near the perception of the Sun, Fire, or warm Air, its exterior figure will alter from being Ice to Water, and from being cold to hot, or to an intermediate temper betwixt both; nay, it may alter from an extream degree of cold to an extream degree of heat, according as the exterior object of heat doth occasion the sensitive perceptive motions of Water or Ice to work; for extreams are Page 98 apt to alter the natural temper of a particular Creature, and many times so as to cause a total dissolution of its in∣terior natural figure; (when I name extreams, I do not mean any uttermost extreams in Nature; for Na∣ture being Infinite, and her particular actions being poised and ballanced by opposites, can never run into extreams; but I call them so in reference onely to our perception, as we use to say, it is extream hot, or ex∣tream cold) And the reason of it is, that Water by its natural perceptive motions imitates the motions of heat or cold, but being kept from the perception of them, it cannot imitate them. The same reason may be given upon the experiment, that some bodies being put into water, will be preserved from being frozen or congealed; for they being in water, are not onely kept from the perception of cold, but the water doth as a guard preserve them; which guard, if it be overcome, that is, if the water begin to freeze, then they will do so too. But yet all colds are not airy, nor all heats sunny or fiery; for a man, as I mentioned before, may have shaking fits of an Ague in the hottest climate, or season, and burning fits of a Fever in the coldest cli∣mate or season; and as there is difference between ele∣mental and animal cold and heat, so betwixt other sorts; so that it is but in vain to prove all sorts of heat and cold by Artificial Weather-glasses, suppressions and eleva∣tions of water, Atmosphaerical parts, and the like; for it is not the air that makes all cold, no not that cold Page 99 which is called Elementary, no more then it makes heat; but the corporeal, figurative, self-moving, per∣ceptive, rational and sensitive parts of Nature, which make all other Creatures, make also heat and cold. Some Learned make much ado about Antiperistasis, and the flight of those two contrary qualities, heat and cold, from each other; where, according to their opi∣nion, one of them being surrounded and besieged by the other, retires to the innermost parts of the body which it possesses, and there by recollecting its forces, and a∣nimating it self to a defence, is intended or increased in its degree, and so becomes able to resist its adversary; which they prove by the cold expelled from the Earth, and Water by the Sun-beams, which they say retires to the middle region of the Air, and there defends it self against the heat that is in the two other, viz. the upper, and the lower Regions; and so it doth in the Earth; for, say they, we find in Summer, when the air is sultry hot, the cold retreats into Cellars and Vaults, and in Winter when the air is cold, they are the Sanctuary and receptacle of heat; so that the water in wells and springs, and the like places under ground, is found warm and smoaking, when as the water which is expo∣sed to the open air, by cold is congealed into Ice. But whatsoever their opinion be, I cannot believe that heat and cold run from each other as Children at Boe-peep; for concerning the Earths being warm in Winter, and cold in Summer, it is not, in my opinion, caused by Page 100 hot or cold Atoms, flying like Birds out of their nests, and returning to the same; nor is the Earth like a Store∣house, that hoards up cold and heat at several seasons in the year, but there is a natural temper of cold and heat as well in the Earth, as in other Creatures; and that Vaults, Wells, and Springs under ground, are warm in Winter, when the exterior air is cold; the reason is, not that the heat of the air, or the Calorifick atomes, as they call them, are retired thither to defend themselves from the coldness of the air; but they being so deep in the Earth where the cold cannot enter, are kept from the perception of cold, so as they cannot imitate so well the motions of cold as other Creatures that are exposed to the open air. The like may be said of the heat of the Sun in Summer, which cannot pene∣trate deeper into the bowels of the Earth then cold can. The truth is, the Earth is to them like an Umbrello, which defends or keeps men from the Sun, rain, wind, dust, &c. but although it defends them from the heat of the Sun, or coldness of wind, yet they have those qua∣lities naturally within themselves, sometimes more, and sometimes less: and so has the Earth its natural temper of heat and cold; But what Umbrello the middle regi∣on has, whether it be some Planet, or any thing else, I am not able to determine, unless I had been there and observed it; nay, ten to one but I might even then have been mistaken. Wherefore all the contentions and disputes about the doctrine of Antiperistasis, are, in my Page 101 judgment, to little purpose, since we are not able to know all the differences of heat and cold; for if men con∣ceive there is but one heat and cold in Nature, they are mistaken; and much more if they think they can measure all the several sorts of heat and cold in all Crea∣tures by artificial experiments; for as much as a Na∣tural man differs from an artificial statue or picture of a man, so much differs a natural effect from an artifici∣al, which can neither be so good, nor so lasting as a na∣tural one: If Charles's Wain, the Axes of the Earth, and the motions of the Planets, were like the pole, or axes, or wheels of a Coach, they would soon be out of order. Indeed artificial things are pretty toys to imploy idle time; nay, some are very useful for our conveni∣ency, but yet they are but Natures bastards or change∣lings, if I may so call them; and though Nature takes so much delight in variety, that she is pleased with them, yet they are not to be compared to her wise and funda∣mental actions; for Nature, being a wise and provi∣dent Lady, governs her parts very wisely, methodi∣cally and orderly; also she is very industrious, and hates to be idle, which makes her imploy her time as a good Huswife doth, in Brewing, Baking, Churning, Spinning, Sowing, &c. as also in Preserving for those that love Sweet-meats, and in Distilling for those that take delight in Cordials; for she has numerous imploy∣ments, and being infinitely self-moving, never wants work, but her artificial works are her works of delight, Page 102 pleasure and pastime: Wherefore those that imploy their time in Artificial Experiments, consider onely Natures sporting or playing actions; but those that view her wise Government, in ordering all her parts, and consider her changes, alterations and tempers in parti∣culars, and their causes, spend their time more usefully and profitably; and truly to what purpose should a man beat his brains, and weary his body with labours about that wherein he shall lose more time, then gain knowledg? But if any one would take delight in such things, my opinion is, that our female sex would be the fittest for it, for they most commonly take pleasure in making of Sweet-meats, Possets, several sorts of Pyes, Puddings, and the like; not so much for their own eat∣ing, as to imploy their idle time; and it may be, they would prove good Experimental Philosophers, and in∣form the world how to make artificial Snow by their Creams or Possets beaten into froth, and Ice by their clear, candied or crusted quiddinies or conserves of fruits; and Frost by their candied herbs and flowers; and Hail by their small comfits made of water and sugar with whites of Eggs; and many other the like figures which resemble Beasts, Birds, Vegetables, Mine∣rals, &c. But the men should study the causes of those Experiments, and by this society the Commonwealth would find a great benefit; for the Woman was given to Man not onely to delight, but to help and assist him; and I am confident, Women would labour as much Page 103 with Fire and Furnace as Men, for they'l make good Cordials and Spirits; but whether they would find out the Philosophers-stone, I doubt; for our sex is more apt to waste, then to make Gold; however, I would have them try, especially those that have means to spend; for who knows but Women might be more happy in finding it out, then Men, and then would Men have reason to imploy their time in more profi∣table studies, then in useless Experiments.
27. Of Congealation and Freezing.
THe Congelation of Water into Ice, Snow, Hail, and the like, is made by its own corporeal figu∣rative motions, which upon the perception of the ex∣terior object of cold, by the way of imitation, do con∣tract and condense water into such or such a figure. Some are of opinion, that Water, or the like liquors, are not contracted, but expanded or rarified by freez∣ing; which they prove both by the levity of congealed Water, and the breaking of Glasses, Earthen Bottles, or other the like Vessels in which water is contained when it freezes: But although I' mentioned in my for∣mer discourse, that there are several sorts of colds, as for example, moist and dry colds, whereof these con∣tract and condense, those dilate and rarifie; so that there are cold dilations, as well as cold contractions; yet Freezing or Congelation being none of the sorts Page 104 of moist, but of dry colds; it is not made by expand∣ing or dilating, but by contracting and condensing motions; for, that liquid bodies when frozen are more extended, 'tis not the freezing motions that cause those extensions; but water being of a dilative nature, its interior parts strive against the exterior, which figu∣rative motions do imitate the motions of cold, or frost, and in that strife the water becomes extended or dilated, when congealed into Ice: But the question is, Whether solid bodies do dilate or extend when they freeze? and my opinion is they do not; for that solid bodies, as Metal, and the like, are apt to break in a hard frost, doth not prove an expansion, but the division of their parts is rather made by contraction; for though the motions of cold in metal are not so much exteriously contracting as to be perceived by our optick sense, in its bulk or exterior magnitude, as they are in the body of water, whose interior nature is dilative; yet by the division which cold causes, it may well be believed, that freezing hath an interior contractive effect, other∣wise it could not divide so as many times it doth; Wherefore I believe that solid bodies break by an ex∣tream and extraordinary contraction of their interior parts, and not by an extraordinary expansion. Be∣sides this breaking shews a strong self-motion in the action of congealing or freezing, for the motions of cold are as strong and quick as the motions of heat: Nay, even those Experimental Philosophers which Page 105 are so much for expansion, confess themselves that wa∣ter is thicker and heavier in Winter then in Summer; and that Ships draw less water, and that the water can bear greater burdens in Winter then in Summer; which doth not prove a rarefaction and expansion, but rather a contraction and condensation of water by cold: They likewise affirm, that some spirituous liquors of a mixt nature, will not expand, but on the contrary, do vi∣sibly contract in the act of freezing. Concerning the levity of Ice, I cannot believe it to be caused by expan∣sion; for expansion will not make it lighter, but 'tis onely a change of the exterior shape or figure of the body; Neither doth Ice prove Light, because it will float a∣bove water; for a great Ship of wood which is very heavy, will swim, when as other sorts of bodies that are light and little, will sink. Nor are minute bubbles the cause of the Ice's levity, which some do conceive to stick within the Ice, and make it light; for this is but a light and airy opinion, which has no firm ground; and it might as well be said that airy bubles are the cause that a Ship keeps above water; but though wind and sails make a Ship swim faster, yet they will not hinder it from sinking. The truth is, the chief cause of the levity or gravity of bodies, is quantity of bulk, shape, purity and rarity, or grosness and den∣sity, and not minute bubles, or insensible atomes, or pores, unless porous bodies be of less quantity in wa∣ter, then some dense bodies of the same magnitude. And Page 106 thus it is the Triangular figure of Snow that makes it light, and the squareness that makes Ice heavier then Snow; for if Snow were porous, and its pores were fill'd with atomes, it would be much heavier then its principle, Water. Besides, It is to be observed, that not all kind of Water is of the same weight, by reason there are several sorts of Circle-lines which make wa∣ter; and therefore those that measure all water alike, may be mistaken; for some Circle-lines may be gross, some fine, some sharp, some broad, some pointed, &c. all which may cause a different weight of water. Wherefore freezing, in my opinion, is not caused by rarifying and dilating, but by contracting, condensing and retenting motions: and truly if Ice were expanded by congelation, I would fain know, whether its ex∣pansions be equal with the degrees of its hardness; which if so, a drop of water might be expanded to a great bigness; nay, if all frozen liquors should be inlarged or extended in magnitude, according to the strength of the freezing motions, a drop of water at the Poles would become, I will not say a mountain, but a very large body. Neither can rarefaction, in my o∣pinion, be the cause of the Ice's expansion; for not all rarified bodies do extend; and therefore I do rather believe a clarefaction in Ice, then a rarefaction, which are different things. But some may object, That hot and swelling bodies do dilate, and diffuse heat and scent without an expansion of their substance. I answer, Page 107 That is more then any one is able to prove: the truth is, when a fiery-coal, and an odoriferous body cast heat and scent (as we use to say) 'tis not that they do really and actually expand or dilate heat or scent without bo∣dy, for there can be no such thing as an immaterial heat or scent: neither can Nothing be dilated or expanded, but both heat and scent being one thing with the hot and smelling body, are as exterior objects patterned out by the sensitive motions of the sentient body, and so are felt and smelt, not by an actual emission of their own parts, or some heating and smelling atomes, or an immaterial heat and smell, but by an imitation of the perceptive motions in the sentient subject. The like for cold; for great shelves or mountains of Ice, do not expand cold beyond their icy bodies; but the air patterns out the cold, and so doth the perception of those Sea∣men that sail into cold Countries; for it is well to be observed, that there is a stint or proportion in all natures corporeal figurative motions, to wit, in her particulars, as we may plainly see in every particular sort or species of Creatures, and their constant and orderly producti∣ons; for though particular Creatures may change into an infinite variety of figures, by the infinite variety of natures corporeal figurative motions, yet each kind or sort is stinted so much as it cannot run into extreams, nor make a confusion, although it makes a distinguish∣ment between every particular Creature even in one and the same sort. And hence we may conclude, that Page 108 Nature is neither absolutely necessitated, nor has an absolute free-will; for she is so much necessitated, that she depends upon the All-powerfull God, and can∣not work beyond her self, or beyond her own nature; and yet hath so much liberty, that in her particulars she works as she pleaseth, and as God has given her power; but she being wise, acts according to her in∣finite natural wisdom, which is the cause of her or∣derly Government in all particular productions, changes and dissolutions, so that all Creatures in their particular kinds, do move and work as Nature pleases, orders and directs; and therefore, as it is impossible for Nature to go beyond her self; so it is likewise im∣possible that any particular body should extend be∣yond it self or its natural figure. I will not say, that heat or cold, or other parts and figures of Nature, may not occasion other bodies to dilate or extend; but my meaning is, that no heat or cold can extend without body, or beyond body, and that they are figured and patterned out by the motions of the sentient, which imitating or patterning motions of the sentient body cannot be so perfect or strong as the original motions in the object it self. Neither do I say, that all parts or bodies do imitate, but some, and at some times there will be more Imitators then at others, and sometimes none at all; and the imitations are according as the imi∣tating or patterning parts are disposed, or as the object is presented. Concerning the degrees of a visible Page 109 expansion, they cannot be declared otherwise then by the visibly extended body, nor be perceived by us, but by the optick sense: But, mistake me not, I do not mean, that the degrees of heat and cold can onely be perceived by our optick sense, but I speak of bodies vi∣sibly expanded by heat and cold; for some degrees and sorts of heat and cold are subject to the humane per∣ception of sight, some to the perception of touch, some to both, and some to none of them; there being so ma∣ny various sorts and degrees both of heat and cold, as they cannot be altogether subject to our grosser exte∣rior senses, but those which are, are perceived, as I said, by our perception of sight and touch; for although our sensitive perceptions do often commit errors and mistakes, either through their own irregularity, or some other ways; yet next to the rational, they are the best informers we have; for no man can naturally go beyond his rational and sensitive perception. And thus, in my opinion, the nature of Congelation is not effect∣ed by expanding or dilating, but contracting and con∣densing motions in the parts of the sentient body, which motions in the congelation of water do not alter the in∣terior nature of water, but onely contract its exterior figure into the figure either of Ice, Snow, Hail, Hoar∣frost, or the like, which may be proved by their return into the former figure of water, whensoever they dis∣solve; for wheresoever is a total change, or alteration of the interior natural motions of a Creature, when Page 110 once dissolved, it will never regain its former figure; and therefore although the exterior figures of con∣gealed water are various and different, yet they have all but one interior figure, which is water, into which they return as into their principle, whensoever they change their exterior figures by dissolving and dilating motions; for as a laughing and frowning countenance doth not change the nature of a man, so neither do they the nature of water. I do not speak of artificial, but of natural congealed figures, whose congelation is made by their own natural figurative motions; But although all congelations are some certain kind of motions, yet there may be as many particular sorts of congelations, as there are several sorts of frozen or congealed bodies; for though I name but one figure of Snow, another of Ice, another of Hail, &c. yet I do not deny, but there may be numerous particular sorts and figures of Ice, Snow, Hail, &c. all which may have their several freezing or congealing motions; nay, freezing in this respect may very well be compared to burning, as be∣ing opposite actions; and as there are various sorts of burning, much differing from each other, so there are of freezing; for although all burning is of the nature of fire, yet not all burning is an elemental fire; for ex∣ample, Lime, and some Vegetables, and other Crea∣tures have burning effects, and yet are not an Elemen∣tal fire: neither doth the Sun and ordinary fire burn just alike. The same may be said of Freezing; and I Page 111 observe, that fluid and rare parts are more apt to freeze, then solid and dense bodies; for I do not believe all sorts of metal can freeze, so as water, or watery liquors, unless they were made liquid. I will not say, that Mi∣nerals are altogether insensible of cold or frost, but they do not freeze like liquid bodies; nay, not all liquid bodies will freeze; as for example, some sorts of spiri∣tuous liquors, Oil, Vinous spirits, Chymical ex∣tracts, &c. which proves, that not all (that is to say) the infinite parts of Nature, are subject to one particu∣lar kind of action, to wit, the action of freezing; for if Congelation did extend to the infinite parts of Nature, it would not be a finite and particular, but an infinite action; but, as I said, liquid bodies are more apt to freeze, (especially water and watery liquors,) then dense and hard bodies, or some sorts of oil, and spirits; for, as we see that fire cannot have the same operation on all bodies alike, but some it causes to consume and turn to ashes, some it hardens, some it softens, and on some it hath no power at all: So its opposite Frost or Cold cannot congeal every natural body, but onely those which are apt to freeze or imitate the motions of cold. Neither do all these bodies freeze alike, but some slower, some quicker; some into such, and some into another figure; as for example, even in one kind of Creatures, as animals; some Beasts, as Foxes, Bears, and the like, are not so much sensible of cold, as Man, and some other animal Creatures; and dead animals, Page 112 or parts of dead animals, will freeze much sooner then those which are living; not that living animals have more natural life then those we call dead; for animals, when dissolved from their animal figure, although they have not animal life, yet they have life according to the nature of the figure into which they did change; but, because of their different perceptions; for a dead or dissolved animal, as it is of another kind of figure then a living animal, so it has also another kind of percep∣tion, which causes it to freeze sooner then a living ani∣mal doth. But I cannot apprehend what some Learned mean by the powerful effects of cold upon inanimate bodies; whether they mean, that cold is onely animate, and all other bodies inanimate; or whether both cold and other bodies on which it works, be inanimate; if the later, I cannot conceive how inanimate bodies can work upon each other, I mean such bodies as have nei∣ther life nor motion, for without life or motion there can be no action: but if the former, I would fain know whether Cold be self-moving? if not, I ask, What is that which moves it? Is it an Immaterial Spirit, or some corporeal being? If an Immaterial Spirit, we must allow, that this Spirit is either self-moving, or must be moved by another; if it be moved by another Being, and that same Being again by another; we shall after this manner run into infinite, and conclude no∣thing; But if that Imaterial Spirit have self-mo∣tion, why may not a natural corporeal being have the Page 113 like? they being both Creatures of God, who can as well grant self-motion to a corporeal, as to an incorpo∣real Being; nay, I am not able to comprehend how Motion can be attributed to a Spirit; I mean, natural motion, which is onely a propriety of a body, or of a corporeal Being: but if Cold be self-moving, then Nature is self-moving; for the cause can be no less then the effect; and if Nature be self-moving, no part of Nature can be inanimate; for as the body is, so are its parts; and as the cause, so its effects. Thus some Learned do puzle themselves and the world with useless distinctions into animate and inanimate Crea∣tures, and are so much afraid of self-motion, as they will rather maintain absurdities and errors, then allow any other self-motion in Nature, but what is in them∣selves; for they would fain be above Nature, and petty Gods, if they could but make themselves Infi∣nite; not considering that they are but parts of Na∣ture, as all other Creatnres: Wherefore I, for my part, will rather believe as sense and reason guides me, and not according to interest, so as to extoll my own kind above all the rest, or above Nature her self. And thus to return to Cold; as Congelation is not a Universal or Infinite action, which extends to the In∣finite parts of Nature, and causes not the like effects in those Creatures that are perceptible of it; so I do also observe, that not any other sorts of bodies but Water will congeal into the figure of Snow, when as Page 114 there are many that will turn into the figure of Ice; be∣sides, I observe that air doth not freeze beyond its de∣gree of consistency; for if it did, no animal Creature would be able to breath, since all or most of them are subject to such a sort of respiration, as requires a certain intermediate degree of air, neither too thick, nor too thin; what respirations other Creatures require, I am not able to determine; for as there are several infinite parts and actions of Nature, so also several sorts of Re∣spirations; and I believe, that what is called the ebbing and flowing of the Sea, may be the Seas Respiration; for Nature has ordered for every part or Creature that which is most fitting and proper for it.
Concerning Artificial Congelations, as to turn Water or Snow into the figure of Ice, by the commix∣ture of Salt, Nitre, Allum, or the like, it may, very probably, be effected; for Water and watery liquors, their interior figure being Circular, may easily change, by contracting that Circular figure into a Triangle or square; that is, into Ice or Snow, (for Water, in my opinion, has a round or Circular interior figure, Snow a Triangular, and Ice a square; I do not mean an ex∣act Mathematical Triangle or Square, but such a one as is proper for their figures) and that the mixture of those, or the like ingredients, being shaken together in a Vial, doth produce films of Ice on the outside of the Glass, as Experimenters relate; proves, not onely that the motions of Cold are very strong, but also that Page 115 there is perception in all parts of Nature, and that all Congelations, both natural and artificial, are made by the corporeal perceptive motions which the sentient has of exterior cold; which is also the reason, that Salt being mixt with Snow, makes the liquor always freeze first on that side of the Vessel where the mixture is; for those parts which are nearest, will imitate first the mo∣tions of frost, and after them the neighbouring parts, until they be all turned into Ice: The truth is, that all or most artificial experiments are the best arguments to evince, there is perception in all corporeal parts of Na∣ture; for as parts are joyned, or commix with parts; so they move or work accordingly into such or such fi∣gures, either by the way of imitation, or otherwise; for their motions are so various, as it is impossible for one particulare to describe them all; but no motion can be without perception, because every part or particle of Nature, as it is self-moving, so it is also self-knowing and perceptive; for Matter, Self-motion, Knowledg and Perception, are all but one thing, and no more dif∣fering nor separable from each other, then Body, Place, Magnitude, Colour and Figure; Wherefore Expe∣rimental Philosophers cannot justly blame me for main∣taining the opinion of Self-motion, and a general Per∣ception in Nature.
But to return to Artificial Congelations; there is as much difference between Natural and Artificial Ice and Snow, as there is between Chalk and Cheese; or Page 116 between a natural Child, and a Baby made of Paste or Wax, and Gummed-silk; or between artificial Glass, and natural Diamonds; the like may be said of Hail, Frost, Wind, &c. for though their exterior figures do resemble, yet their interior natures are quite dif∣ferent; and therefore, although by the help of Art some may make Ice of Water or Snow, yet we cannot conclude from hence that all natural Ice is made the same way, by saline particles, or acid Spirits, and the like; for if Nature should work like Art, she would produce a man like as a Carver makes a statue, or a Painter draws a picture: besides, it would require a world of such saline or acid particles to make all the Ice that is in Nature. Indeed it is as much absurdity, as im∣possibility, to constitute some particular action the common principle of all natural heat or cold, and to make a Universal cause of a particular effect; for no particular Part or Action can be prime in Nature, or a fundamental principle of other Creatures or actions, although it may occasion some Creatures to move after such or such a way. Wherefore those that will needs have a Primum Frigidum, or some Body which they suppose must of necessity be supremely cold, and by participation of which, all other cold Bodies ob∣tain that quality, whereof some do contend for Earth, some for Water, others for Air; some for Nitre, and others for Salt, do all break their heads to no purpose; for first, there are no extreams in Nature, and there∣fore Page 117 no Body can be supreamely cold, nor supreamly hot: Next, as I said, it is impossible to make one par∣ticular sort of Creatures the principle of all the various sorts of heat or cold that are in Nature; for there is an Elemental heat and cold, a Vegetable, Mineral, Ani∣mal heat and cold; and there may be many other sorts which we do not know; and how can either Earth or Water, or Nitre, or Salt, be the Principle of all these different colds? Concerning the Earth, we see that some parts of the Earth are hot, and some cold; the like of Water and Air; and the same parts which are now hot, will often in a moment grow cold, which shews they are as much subject to the perception of heat and cold, as some other Creatures, and doth plainly deny to them the possibility of being a Primum Frigidum. I have mentioned in my Poetical Works, that there is a Sun in the Center of the Earth; and in another place, I have described a Chymical heat; but these being but Poetical Fancies, I will not draw them to any serious proofs; onely this I will say, that there may be degrees of heat and cold in the Earth, and in Water, as well as there are in the Air; for certainly the Earth is not with∣out Motion, a dull, dead, moveless and inanimate body; but it is as much interiously active, as Air and Water are exteriously; which is evident enough by the various productions of Vegetables, Minerals, and other bodies that derive their off-spring out of the Earth: And as for Nitre and Salt, although they may Page 118 occasion some sorts of Colds in some sorts of Bodies, like as some sorts of food, or tempers of Air, or the like, may work such or such effects in some sorts of Creatures; yet this doth not prove that they are the onely cause of all kinds of heat and cold that are in Nature. The truth is, if Air, Water, Earth, Nitre, or Salt, or insensible, roving and wandering atomes should be the only cause of cold; then there would be no difference of hot and cold climates, but it would freeze as well under the Line, as it doth at the Poles. But there's such a stir kept about Atoms, as that they are so full of action, and produce all things in the world, and yet none describes by what means they move, or from whence they have this active power.
Lastly, Some are of opinion, that the chief cause of all cold, and its effects, is wind; which they describe to be air moved in a considerable quantity, and that either forwards onely, or in an undulating motion; which opinion, in my judgment, is as erroneous as any of the former, and infers another absurdity, which is, that all Winds are of the same nature, when as there are as many several sorts and differences of Winds, as of other Creatures; for there are several Winds in several Creatures; Winds in the Earth are of another kind then those in the Air, and the Wind of an animal breath, is different from both; nay, those that are in the air, are of different sorts; some cold and dry, some hot and moist, and some temperate, &c.Page 119 which how they can all produce the effect of cold or freezing by the compression of the air, I am not able to judg: onely this I dare say, that if Wind causes cold or frost; then in the midst of the Summer, or in hot Climates, a vehement wind would always pro∣duce a great Frost; besides it would prove, that there must of necessity be far greater winds at the Poles, then under the AEquinoctial, there being the greatest cold: Neither will this principle be able to resolve the que∣stion, why a man that has an Ague feels a shaking cold, even under the Line, and in the coldest weather when there is no stirring of the least wind: All which proves, that it is very improbable that Wind should be the principle of all Natural Cold, and therefore it remains firm, that self-moving Matter, or corporeal, figurative self-motion, as it is the Prime and onely cause of all natural effects, so it is also of Cold, and Heat, and Wind, and of all the changes and altera∣tions in Nature; which is, and hath always been my constant, and, in my simple judgment, the most probable and rational opinion in Natural Philoso∣phy.
28. Of Thawing or dissolving of Frozen bodies.
AS Freezing or Congelation is caused by con∣tracting, condensing, and retentive Motions; so Thawing is nothing else, but dissolving, dilating, and Page 120 extending motions; for Freezing and Thawing are two contrary actions; and as Freezing is caused several ways, according to the various disposition of congela∣ble bodies, and the temper of exterior cold; so Thaw∣ing, or a dissolution of frozen bodies, may be occasi∣oned either by a sympathetical agreement; as for ex∣ample, the thawing of Ice in water, or other liquors, or by some exterior imitation, as by hot dilating moti∣ons. And it is to be observed, That as the time of freezing, so the time of dissolving is according to the several natures and tempers both of the frozen bodies themselves, and the exterior objects applied to frozen bodies, which occasion their thawing or dissolution: for it is not onely heat that doth cause Ice, or Snow, or other frozen bodies to melt quicker or slower, but ac∣cording as the nature of the heat is, either more or less dilative, or more or less rarifying; for surely an exte∣rior actual heat is more rarifying then an interior vir∣tual heat; as we see in strong spirituous liquors which are interiously contracting, but being made actually hot, become exteriously dilating: The like of many other bodies; so that actual heat is more dissolving then vir∣tual heat. And this is the reason why Ice and Snow will melt sooner in some Countries or places then in others, and is much harder in some then in others; for we see that neither Air, Water, Earth, Mi∣nerals, nor any other sorts of Creatures are just a∣like in all Countries or Climates: The same may be Page 121 said of heat and cold. Besides, it is to be observed, that oftentimes a different application of one and the same object will occasion different effects; as for example, if Salt be mixed with Ice, it may cause the contracted body of Ice to change its present motions into its for∣mer state or figure, viz. into water; but being applied outwardly, or on the out-side of the Vessel wherein Snow or Ice is contained, it may make it freeze harder, instead of dissolving it. Also Ice will oftentimes break into pieces of its own accord, and without the applica∣tion of any exterior object; and the reason, in my opinion, is, that some of the interior parts of the Ice, en∣deavouring to return to their proper and natural figure by vertue of their interior dilative motions, do break and divide some of the exterior parts that are contracted by the motions of Frost, especially those which have not so great a force or power as to resist them.
But concerning Thawing, some by their trails have found, that if frozen Eggs, Apples, and the like bodies, be thawed near the fire, they will be thereby spoiled; but if they be immersed in cold water, or wrapt into Ice or Snow, the internal cold will be drawn out, as they suppose, by the external; and the frozen bo∣dies will be harmlesly, though not so quickly thawed. And truly this experiment stands much to reason; for, in my opinion, when frozen bodies perceive heat or fire, the motions of their frozen parts upon the percep∣tion, endeavour to imitate the motions of heat or fire, Page 122 which being opposite to the motions of cold, in this sudden and hasty change, they become irregular in so much as to cause in most frozen parts a dissolution of their interior natural figure; Wherefore it is very probable, that frozen bodies will thaw more regularly in water, or being wrapt into Ice or Snow, then by heat or fire; for Thawing is a dilating action, and Water, as also Ice and Snow (which are nothing but congealed water) being of a dilative nature, may ea∣sily occasion a thawing of the mentioned frozen parts by Sympathy, provided, the Motions of the exterior cold do not over-power the motions of the interior fro∣zen parts; for if a frozen body should be wrapt thus in∣to Ice or Snow, and continue in an open, cold frosty air, I question whether it would cause a thaw in the same body, it would preserve the body in its frozen state from dissolving or disuniting, rather then occasion its thawing. But that such frozen bodies, as Apples, and Eggs, &c. immersed in water, will produce Ice on their out-sides, is no wonder, by reason the motions of Water imitate the motions of the frozen bodies; and those parts of water that are nearest, are the first imitators, and become of the same mode. By which we may see, that some parts will cloath themselves, others onely vail themselves with artificial dresses, most of which dresses are but copies of other motions, and not original acti∣ons; It makes also evident, that those effects are not caused by an ingress of frigorifick atomes in water, or Page 123 other congelable bodies, but by the perceptive moti∣ons of their own parts. And what I have said of Cold, the same may be spoken of heat; for it is known, that a part of a mans body being burned with fire, the burning may be cured by the heat of the fire; which, in my opinion, proceeds from a sympathetical agreement be∣twixt the motions of the fire, and the motions of the burned part; for every part of a mans body hath its na∣tural heat, which is of an intermediate temper; which heat being heightened by the burning motions of fire beyond its natural degree, causes a burning and smart∣ing pain in the same part; and therefore as the fire did occasion an immoderate heat, by an intermixture of its own parts with the parts of the flesh; so a moderate heat of the fire may reduce again the natural heat of the same parts, and that by a sympathetical agreement betwixt the motions of the Elemental and Animal heat; But it is to be observed, first, that the burning must be done by an intermixture of the fire with the parts of the body: Next, that the burning must be but skin deep (as we use to call it) that is, the burned part must not be totally overcome by fire, or else it will never be re∣stored again. Neither are all burned bodies restored after this manner, but some; for one and the same thing will not in all bodies occasion the like effects; as we may see by Fire, which being one and the same, will not cause all fuels to burn alike; and this makes true the old saying, One Mans Meat is another Mans Poyson. The truth Page 124 is, it cannot be otherwise; for though Nature, and natural self-moving Matter is but one body, and the onely cause of all natural effects; yet Nature being divided into infinite, corporeal, figurative self-moving parts, these parts, as the effects of that onely cause, must needs be various; and again, proceeding from one infinite cause, as one matter, they are all but one thing, because they are infinite parts of one Infinite body. But some may say, If Nature be but one body, and the Infinite parts are all united into that same body; How comes it that there is such an opposition, strife, and war betwixt the parts of Nature? I answer: Nature be∣ing Material, is composeable and divideable; and as Composition is made by a mutual agreement of parts, so division is made by an opposition or strife betwixt parts; which opposition or division doth not obstruct the Union of Nature, but, on the contrary, rather proves, that without an opposition of parts, there could not be a union or composition of so many several parts and creatures, nor no change or variety in Nature; for if all the parts did unanimously conspire and agree in their motions, and move all but one way, there would be but one act or kind of motion in Nature; when as an opposition of some parts, and a mutual agree∣ment of others, is not onely the cause of the Mira∣culous variety in Nature, but it poyses and bal∣lances, as it were, the corporeal, figurative motions, which is the cause that Nature is steady and fixt in Page 125 her self, although her parts be in a perpetual mo∣tion.
29. Several Questions resolved concerning Cold, and Frozen Bodies, &c.
FIrst, I will give you my answer to the question, which is much agitated amongst the Learned con∣cerning Cold, to wit, Whether it be a Positive qua∣lity, or a bare Privation of Heat? And my opinion is, That Cold is both a Positive quality, and a privation of heat: For whatsoever is a true quality of Cold, must needs be a privation of Heat; since two opposites cannot subsist together in one and the same part, at one point of time. By Privation, I mean nothing else, but an alteration of Natures actions in her several parts, or which is all one, a change of natural, corporeal motions; and so the death of Animals may be called a privation of animal life; that is, a change of the animal motions in that particular Creature, which made animal life, to some other kind of action which is not animal life. And in this sense, both Cold and Heat, although they be po∣sitive qualities, or natural beings, yet they are also pri∣vations; that is, changes of corporeal, figurative mo∣tions, in several particular Creatures, or parts of Na∣ture. But what some Learned mean by Bare Priva∣tion, I cannot apprehend; for there's no such thing as a bare Privation, or bare Motion in Nature; but Page 126 all Motion is Corporeal, or Material; for Matter, Motion and Figure, are but one thing. Which is the reason, that to explain my self the better 〈…〉 of Motion, I do always add the word corporeal 〈◊〉••∣gurative; by which, I exclude all bare or immaterial Motion, which expression is altogether against sense and reason.
The second Question is, Whether Winds have the power to change the Exterior temper of the Air? To which, I answer: That Winds will not onely occasion the Air to be either hot or cold, according to their own temper, but also Animals and Vegetables, and other sorts of Creatures; for the sensitive, corporeal Motions in several kinds of Creatures, do often imitate and fi∣gure out the Motions of exterior objects, some more, some less; some regularly, and some irregularly, and some not at all; according to the nature of their own perceptions. By which we may observe, that the A∣gent, which is the external object, has onely an oc∣casional power; and the Patient, which is the sen∣tient, works chiefly the effect by vertue of the per∣ceptive, figurative motions in its own sensitive organs or parts.
Quest. 3. Why those Winds that come from cold Regions, are most commonly cold, and those that come from hot Regions are for the most part hot? I answer; The reason is, That those Winds have more constantly patterned out the motions of cold or heat Page 127 in those parts from which they either separated them∣selves, or which they have met withal. But it may be questioned, Whether all cold and hot winds do bring their heat and cold along with them out of such hot and cold Countries? And I am of opinion they do not; but that they proceed from an imitation of the nearest parts, which take patterns from other parts, and these again from the remoter parts; so that they are but patterns of other patterns, and copies of other copies.
Quest. 4. Why Fire in some cold Regions will hardly kindle, or at least not burn freely? I answer; This is no more to be wondered at, then that some men do die with cold; for cold being contrary to fire, if it have a predominate power, it will without doubt put out the fire; not that the cold corporeal motions do destroy fire by their actual power over it, but that fire destroys it self by an imitation of the motions of cold; so that cold is onely an occasional cause of the fires destruction, or at least of the alteration of its mo∣tions, and the diminution of its strength. But some might ask, What makes or causes this imitation in several sorts of Cretures? I answer, The wisdom of Nature, which orders her corporeal actions to be always in a mean, so that one extream (as one may call it) does countervail another. But then you'l say, There would always be a right and mean temper in all things. I answer: So there is in the whole, that is, in Infinite Nature, al∣though not in every particular; for Natures Wisdom Page 128 orders her particulars to the best of the whole; and al∣though particulars do oppose each other, yet all oppo∣sition tends to the conservation of a general peace and unity in the whole. But to return to Fire; since Air is the proper matter of respiration for fire, extream colds and frosts, either of air or vapour, are as unfit for the respiration of fire as water is; which if it do not kill it quite, yet it will at least make it sick, pale and faint; but if water be rarified to such a degree, that it becomes thin vapour, then it is as proper for its respiration, as air. Thus we see, although fire hath fuel, which is its food, yet no food can keep it alive without breath or re∣spiration: The like may be said of some other Crea∣tures.
Qu. 5. Whether Wood be apt to freeze? My Answer is, That I believe that the moist part of Wood, which is sap, may freeze as hard as Water, but the solid parts can∣not do so; for the cracking noise of Wood is no proof of its being frozen, because Wainscot will make such a noise in Summer, as well as in Winter. And it is to be observed, that some bodies will be apter to freeze in a weak, then in a hard frost, according to their own dispositions; which is as much to be considered, as the object of cold or frost it self; for some bodies do more, and some less imitate the motions of some ob∣jects, and some not at all: and thus we see that solid bodies do onely imitate the contractive motions of cold, but not the dilative motions of moisture, which Page 129 is the cause they break in a hard frost, like as a string, which being tied too hard, will fly asun∣der; and as they imitate Cold, so they do also imitate Thaw.
Quest. 6. Whether Water be fluid in its nature, or but occasionally by the agitation of the air? I answer: That Waters is fluid in its own nature, needs no proof, but 'tis known enough by the force of its dilating mo∣tions; for Water, when it gets but liberty, it over∣flows all, and dilates everywhere; which proves it is not air that makes it fluid, but it is so in its own nature.
Quest. 7. What produces those great Precipices and Mountains of Ice which are found in the Sea, and other great waters? I answer: That Snow, as also thick Fogs and Mists, which are nothing but rarified wa∣ter, falling upon the Ice, make its out-side thicker, and many great shelves and broken pieces of Ice joyning together, produce such Precipices and Mountains as mentioned.
Quest. 8. Whether Fishes can live in frozen Wa∣ter? I answer: If there be as much water left un∣frozen, as will serve them for respiration, they may live; for it is well known, that Water is the chief matter of respiration for Fish, and not Air; for Fish being out of water, cannot live long, but whilst they live, they gasp and gape for water: I mean such kinds of Fish which do live altogether in Water, and not Page 130 such Creatures as are of a mixt kind, and live in water as well as by land, which the Learned call Am∣phibious Creatures; as Otters, and the like, which may live in the air, as well as in water: Those Fish, I say, if the water be thorowly frozen, or if but the surface of water be quite frozen over to a pretty depth, will often die, by reason the water that remains unfro∣zen, by the contraction of Ice has altered for that time its dilative motions, to retentive motions; and like as men are smothered in a close air, so Fish in close wa∣ter, that is, in water which is quite covered and in∣closed with Ice: but at some men have not so nice and tender natures as others, and some have larger organs for respiration then others, and some are more accustomed to some sorts of air then others, which may cause them to endure longer, or respire more freely then others; so some Fishes do live longer in such close waters, then others; and some may be like Men that are frost-bitten, which may chance to live even in those waters that are quite thorowly frozen, as Experimenters relate; but yet I cannot believe, that the water, in which Fishes have been observed to live, can be so thorowly frozen to solid Ice, that it should not leave some liquidity or wetness in it, although not perceptible by our sight, by which those Fishes were preserved alive: However, it is more probable for Fish to live in Ice, then for other Creatures, be∣cause the Principle of Ice is Water, which is the Page 131 matter of the Fishes respiration, which keeps them alive.
Quest. 9. Whether in decoctions of Herbs, when congealed or frozen into Ice, the figures of the Herbs do appear in the Ice? This is affirmed for Truth by many Learned; and though I do not deny, but that such liquors in freezing may have some resemblance of their solid parts; yet I do not believe it to be universal; for if the blood of an animal should be congealed into Ice, I doubt it would hardly represent the figure of an animal. Indeed there's much difference between the exterior figures of Creatures, and their interior natures, which is evident even in frozen water, whose exteri∣or Icy figures are numerous, when as their interior na∣ture is but water; and there may also several changes and alterations of exterior figures be made by Art, when their interior nature is but one and the same.
Quest. 10. Whether Cold doth preserve Bodies from Corruption? I answer: That, in my opinion, it may be very probable: For Corruption or Putrefaction is nothing but irregular dissolving motions; when as Free∣zing or Congelation is made by regular contracting and condensing motions; and so long as these motions of Freezing are in force, it is impossible the motions that make Corruption should work their effect. But that such bodies as have been thorowly frozen, after being thawed, are most commonly spoiled; the rea∣son is, that the freezing or congealing motions, being not natural to those bodies, have caused such a thorow∣alteration Page 132 of the natural motions of their parts, as a hun∣dred to one but they will never move regularly and or∣derly again afterward; but on the contrary, their interior motions do quite and absolutelely change, by which the figure is totally altered from its former nature: but if a solid body be not throughly frozen, it may be redu∣ced to a perfect regularity again; for those natural mo∣tions that are not altered, may occasion the rest to act as formerly, to the preservation of that figure.
30. Of Contraction and Dilation.
THere have been, and are still great disputes a∣mongst the Learned concerning Contraction and Extension of bodies; but if I were to decide their con∣troversie, I would ask first, Whether they did all agree in one principle? that is, whether their principle was purely natural, and not mixt with divine or supernatural things; for if they did not well apprehend one anothers meaning, or argued upon different principles, it would be but a folly to dispute, because it would be impos∣sible for them to agree. But concerning Contraction and Dilation, my opinion is, That there can be no Contraction nor Extension of a single part, by reason there is no such thing as a single or individeable part in Nature; for even that which the learned call an atome, although they make it a single body, yet being mate∣terial or corporeal, it must needs be divideable: Where∣fore Page 133 all Contraction and Dilation consists of parts as much as body doth, and there is no body that is not contractive and dilative, as well as it is divideable and composeable; for parts are, as it were, the effects of a body, by reason there is no body without parts; and contraction and extension are the effects of parts, and magnitude and place are the effects of contraction and extension; and all these are the effects of corporeal fi∣gurative self-motion, which I have more fully declared in several places of my Philosophical Works.
But some may say, It is impossible that a body can make it self bigger or less then by Nature it is? My answer is, I do not conceive what is meant by being little or great by Nature; for Nature is in a perpetual motion, and so are her parts, which do work, inter∣mix, join, divide and move according as Nature plea∣ses without any rest or intermission. Now if there be such changes of parts and motions, it is impossible that there can be any constant figure in Nature; I mean, so as not to have its changes of motions as well as the rest, although they be not all after the same manner; And if there can be no constant figure in Nature, there can neither be a constant littleness or greatness, nor a constant rarity or density, but all parts of Nature must change according to their motions; for as parts divide and compose, so are their figures; and since there are contracting and dilating motions, as well as there are of other sorts, there are also contracting and dilating Page 134 parts; and if there be contracting and dilating parts, then their magnitude changes accordingly; for mag∣nitude doth not barely consist in quantity, but in the ex∣tension of the parts of the body, and as the magnitude of a body is, so is place; so that place is larger, or less, according as the body contracts or dilates; for it is well to be observed, that it is not the interior figure of any part of Creature of Nature that alters by contraction or dilation; for example, Gold or Quicksilver is not changed from being Gold or Quicksilver when it is ra∣rified, but onely that figure puts it self into several po∣stures. Which proves, that the extension of a body is not made by an addition or intermixture of forraign parts, as composition; nor contraction, by a dimi∣nution of its own parts, as division; for dilation and composition, as also division and contraction, are dif∣ferent actions; the dilation of a body is an extension of its own parts, but composition is an addition of forreign parts; and contraction, although it makes the body less in magnitude, yet it loses nothing of its own parts: The truth is, as division and composition are natural corporeal motions, so are contraction and dilation; and as both composition and division belong to parts, so do contraction and dilation; for there can be no contracti∣on or dilation of a single part.
31. Of the Parts of Nature, and of Atomes.
ALthough I am of opinion, that Nature is a self-moving, and consequently a self-living and self-knowing infinite body, divideable into infinite parts; yet I do not mean that these parts are Atomes; for there can be no Atome, that is, an individeable body in Nature, because whatsoever has body, or is mate∣rial, has quantity, and what has quantity is divideable. But some may say, if a part be finite, it cannot be di∣videable into Infinite. To which I answer, that there is no such thing as one finite single part in Nature; for when I speak of the parts of Nature, I do not under∣stand, that those parts are like grains of Corn, or sand in one heap, all of one figure or magnitude, and sepa∣rable from each other; but I conceive Nature to be an Infinite body, bulk or magnitude, which by its own self-motion is divided into infinite parts, not single or individable parts, but parts of one continued body, one∣ly discernable from each other by their proper figures, caused by the changes of particular motions; for it is well to be observed, first, that Nature is corporeal, and therefore divideable: Next, That Nature is self∣moving, and therefore never at rest; I do not mean exteriously moving; for Nature being infinite, is all within it self, and has nothing without or beyond it, because it is without limits or bounds; but interiously, Page 136 so that all the motions that are in Nature are within her self, and being various and infinite in their changes, they divide the substance or body of Nature into infinite parts; for the parts of Nature, and changes of Mo∣tion are but one thing; for were there no Motion, there would be no change of figures: 'Tis true, Matter in its own nature would be divideable, because whereso∣ever is body, there are parts; but if it had no motion, it would not have such various changes of figures as it hath; wherefore it is well to be considered, that self∣motion is throughout all the body of Nature, and that no part or figure, how small soever, can be without self-motion; and according as the motions are, so are the parts; for infinite changes of motions make infinite parts; nay, what we call one finite part, may have in∣finite changes, because it may be divided and compo∣sed infinite ways. By which it is evident, first, that no certain quantity or figure can be assigned to the parts of Nature, as I said before of the grains of corn or sand; for infinite changes of motions produce infinite varie∣ties of figures; and all the degrees of density, rarity, levity, gravity, slowness, quickness; nay, all the ef∣fects that are in Nature: Next, that it is impossible to have single parts in Nature, that is, parts which are individeable in themselves, as Atomes; and may subsist single, or by themselves, precised or separated from all other parts; for although there are perfect and whole figures in Nature, yet are they nothing else but parts Page 137 of Nature, which consist of a composition of other parts, and their figures make them discernable from other parts or figures of Nature. For example: an Eye, although it be composed of parts, and has a whole and perfect figure, yet it is but a part of the Head, and could not subsist without it: Also the Head, al∣though it has a whole and perfect figure, yet 'tis a part of the Body, and could not subsist without it. The same may be said of all other particular and perfect fi∣gures. As for example: an Animal, though it be a whole and perfect figure, yet it is but a part of Earth, and some other Elements, and parts of Nature, and could not subsist without them; nay, for any thing we know to the contrary, the Elements cannot subsist without other Creatures: All which proves, that there are no single Parts, nor Vacuum, nor no 〈◊〉 of loose Atomes in Nature; for if such a whole and perfect figure should be divided into millions of other parts and figures, yet it is impossible to divide it into single parts, by reason there is as much composition, as there is division in Nature; and as soon as parts are divided from such or such parts, at that instant of time, and by the same act of division they are joyned to other parts; and all this because Nature is a body of a conti∣nued infiniteness, without any holes or vacuities: Nay, were it possible that there could be a single part, that is, a part separated from all the rest; yet being a part of Nature, it must consist of the same substance as Na∣ture Page 138 her self; but Nature is an Infinite composition of rational, sensitive and inanimate matter; which although they do constitute but one body because of their close and inseparable conjunction and commixture; never∣theless they are several parts (for one part is not ano∣ther part) and therefore every part or particle of Na∣ture consisting of the same commixture, cannot be sin∣gle or individable. Thus it remains firm, that self∣motion is the onely cause of the various parts and changes of figures; and that when parts move or sepa∣rate themselves from parts, they move and joyn to other parts at the same point of time; I do not mean that parts do drive or press upon each other, for those are forced and constraint actions, when as natural self-mo∣tions are free and voluntary; and although there are pressures and re-actions in Nature, yet they are not u∣niversal actions: Neither is there any such thing as a stoppage in the actions of Nature, nor do parts move through Empty spaces; but as some parts joyn, so o∣thers divide by the same act; for although some parts can quit such or such parts, yet they cannot quit all parts; for example, a man goes a hundred miles, he leaves or quits those parts from whence he removed first; but as soon as he removes from such parts, he joyns to other parts, were his motion no more then a hairs breadth; so that all his journey is nothing else but a division and composition of parts, wheresoever he goes by water, or by land; for it is impossible for him Page 139 to quit parts in general, although it be in his choice to quit such or such particular parts, and to join to what parts he will.
When I speak of Motion, I desire to be under∣stood, that I do not mean any other but corpo∣real motion; for there is no other motion in Na∣ture; so that Generation, Dissolution, Alteration, Augmentation, Diminution, Transformation; nay, all the actions of Sense and Reason, both interior, and exterior, and what motions soever in Nature are corpo∣real, although they are not all perceptible by our ex∣terior senses; for our senses are too gross to perceive all the curious and various actions of Nature, and it would be but a folly to deny what our senses cannot perceive; for although Sense and Reason are the same in all Creatures and parts of Nature, not having any degrees in themselves, no more then self-knowledg hath; for self-knowledg can but be self-knowledg, and sense and reason can but be sense and reason; yet they do not work in all parts of Nature alike, but according as they are composed: and therefore it is impossible for any humane eye to see the exterior motions of all Crea∣tures, except they be of some grosser bodies; For who can see the motion of the Air, and the like? Nay, I believe not that all exterior motions of grosser bodies can be perceived by our sight, much less their interior actions; and by this I exclude Rest: for if Matter, or corporeal Nature be in a perpetual motion, there Page 140 can be no rest in Nature, but what others call rest, is nothing else but retentive motions, which retentive mo∣tions, are as active as dispersing motions; for Mr. Des Cartes says well, that it requires as much action or force to stay a Ship, as to set it a float; and there is as much action required in keeping parts together, as in disper∣sing them. Besides, interior motions are as active as some exterior; nay, some more; and I believe, if there were a World of Gold, whose parts are close and dense, it would be as active interiously, as a world of air, which is fluid and rare, would be active exteri∣ously. But some may say, How is it possible that: there can be a motion of bodies without an empty space; for one body cannot move in another body? I an∣swer: Space is change of division, as Place is change of magnitude; but division and magnitude belong to body; therefore space and place cannot be without bo∣dy, but wheresoever is body, there is place also: Nei∣ther can a body leave a place behind it; so that the di∣stinction of interior and exterior place is needless, be∣cause no body can have two places, but place and body are but one thing; and whensoever the body changes, its place changes also. But some do not consider that there are degrees of Matter; for Natures body doth not consist of one degree, as to be all hard or dense like a stone, but as there are infinite changes of Motion, so there are in Nature infinite degrees of density, rarity, grossness, purity, hardness, softness, &c. all caused Page 141 by self-motion; which hard, gross, rare, fluid, dense, subtil, and many other sorts of bodies, in their several degrees, may more easily move, divide and join, from and with each other, being in a continued body, then if they had a Vacuum to move in; for were there a Va∣cuum, there would be no successive motions, nor no degrees of swiftness and slowness, but all Motion would be done in an instant. The truth is, there would be such distances of several gaps and holes, that Parts would never join if once divided; in so much as a piece of the world would become a single parti∣cular World, not joyning to any part besides it self; which would make a horrid confusion in Nature con∣trary to all sense and reason. Wherefore the opinion of Vacuum is, in my judgment, as absurd as the opini∣on of senseless and irrational Atomes, moving by chance; for it is more probable that atomes should have life and knowledg to move regularly, then that they should move regularly and wisely by chance, and without life and knowledg; for there can be no re∣gular motion without knowledg, sense and reason; and therefore those that are for Atomes, had best to be∣lieve them to be self-moving, living and knowing bo∣dies, or else their opinion is very irrational. But the opinion of Atomes, is fitter for a Poetical fancy, then for serious Philosophy; and this is the reason that I have waved it in my Philosophical Works: for if there can be no single parts, there cannot be Atomes Page 142 in Nature, or else Nature would be like a Beggars coat full of lice; Neither would she be able to rule those wandering and stragling atomes, because they are not parts of her body, but each is a single body by it self, having no dependance upon each other; Wherefore if there should be a composition of Atomes, it would not be a body made of parts, but of so many whole and intire single bodies meeting together as a swarm of Bees: The truth is, every Atome being single, must be an absolute body by it self, and have an absolute power and knowledg; by which it would become a kind of a Deity; and the concourse of them would ra∣ther cause a confusion, then a conformity in Nature, because all Atomes, being absolute, they would all be Governours, but none would be governed.
Thus I have declared my opinion concerning the parts of Nature, as also Vacuum, and Atomes; to wit, That it is impossible there can be any such things in Nature. I will conclude after I have given my answer to these two following Questions.
First, It may be asked, Whether the Parts of a Composed figure do continue in such a Composition until the whole figure be dissolved? I answer, My o∣pinion is, that in some compositions they do continue, at least some longer then others; but although some parts of a figure do disjoin from each other, and join with others; yet the structure of the Creature may ne∣vertheless continue. Neither is it necessary, that those Page 143 which begin a buiding, must needs stay to the end or perfection of it, for some may begin, others may work on, and others may finish it; also some may repair, and some may ruine; and it is well to be observed, that the compositions of all Creatures are not alike, nor do they continue or dissolve all alike, and at the same time.
Secondly, It may be questioned, Whether there can be an infinite distance between two or more parts? And my answer is, That distance properly doth not belong to infinite, but onely to finite pars; for distance is a certain measure between parts and parts, and where∣soever is a measure, there must be two extreams; but there are no extreams nor ends in infinite, and there∣fore there can be no infinite distance between parts. In∣deed, it is a meer contradiction, and non-sense to say, Infinit between parts, by reason the word Between, im∣plies a finiteness, as between such a part, and such a part. But you will say, Because Nature is an infinite body, it must have an infinite measure; for wheresoever is bo∣dy, there is magnitude and figure; and wheresoever is magnitude and figure, there is measure. I answer: 'Tis true, body, magnitude and figure, are all but one thing; and according as the body is, so is its magnitude and figure; but the body of Nature being infinite, its magnitude and figure must also be infinite. But mi∣stake me not: I do not mean a circumscribed and per∣fect exterior magnitude, by reason there's nothing ex∣terior Page 144 in respect to Infinite, but in relation to its infinite parts. The truth is, Men do often mistake in adscri∣bing to Infinite that which properly belongs to particu∣lars; or at least they consider the attributes of an infi∣nite and a finite body, after one and the same manner; and no wonder, because a finite capacity cannot com∣prehend what infinite is; but although we cannot po∣sitively know what infinite is, yet we may guess at it by its opposite, that is, by Finite; for infinite is that which has no terms, bounds or limits; and therefore it cannot be circumscribed; and if it cannot be circumscri∣bed as a finite body, it cannot have an exterior magni∣tude and figure as a finite body, and consequently no measure. Nevertheless, it is no contradiction to say, it has an Infinite magnitude and figure; for although Infinite Nature cannot have any thing without or be∣yond it self, yet it may have magnitude and figure within it self, because it is a body, and by this the mag∣nitude and figure of infinite Nature is distinguished from the magnitude and figure of its finite parts; for these have each their exterior and circumscribed figure, which Nature has not. And as for Measure, it is one∣ly an effect of a finite magnitude, and belongs to finite parts that have certain distances from each other. 'Tis true, one might in a certain manner say, An infinite distance; as for example, if there be an infinite Line which has no ends, one might call the infinite exten∣sion of that line an infinite distance; but this is an im∣proper Page 145 expression, and it is better to keep the term of an infinite extension, then call it an infinite distance; for as I said before, distance is measure, and properly belongs to parts: Nay, if it were possible that there could be an infinite distance of parts in Nature, yet the perpetual changes of Motions, by which parts re∣move, and join from and to parts, would not allow any such thing in Nature; for the parts of Nature are always in action, working, intermixing, composing, dividing perpetually; so as it would be impossible for them to keep certain distances.
But to conclude this Discourse, I desire it may be observed.
1. That whatsoever is body, were it an Atome, must have parts; so that body cannot be without parts.
2. That there is no such thing as rest or stoppage in Infinite Matter; but there is self-motion in all parts of Nature, although they are not all exteriously, local∣ly moving to our perception; for reason must not de∣ny what our senses cannot comprehend: although a piece of Wood or Metal has no exterior progressive motion, such as is found in Animals; nevertheless, it is not without Motion; for it is subject to Generation and Dissolution, which certainly are natural corporeal motions, besides many others; the truth is, the harder, denser, and firmer bodies are, the stronger are their motions; for it requires more strength to keep and Page 146 hold parts together, then to dissolve and separate them.
3. That without motion, parts could not alter their figures, neither would there be any variety in infinite Nature.
4. If there were any such thing as Atomes, and Va∣cuum, there would be no conformity, nor uniformity in Nature.
Lastly, As there is a perpetual self-motion in Na∣ture, and all her parts, so it is impossible that there can be perfect measures, constant figures, or single parts in Nature.
32. Of the Celestial Parts of this World; and whether they be alterable?
IT may be questioned, Whether the celestial parts of the world never alter or change by their corporeal figurative motions, but remain constantly the same without any change or alteration? I answer: Con∣cerning the general and particular kinds or sorts of Crea∣tures of this world, humane sense and reason doth ob∣serve, that they do not change, but are continued by a perpetual supply and succession of Particulars without any general alteration or dissolution; but as for the sin∣gulars or particulars of those kinds and sorts of Crea∣tures, it is most certain, that they are subject to per∣petual alterations, generations and dissolutions; for ex∣ample, Page 147 humane sense and reason perceives, that the Parts of the Earth do undergo continual alterations; some do change into Minerals, some into Vegetables, some into Animals, &c. and these change again into several other figures, and also some into Earth again, and the Elements are changed one into another; when as yet the Globe of the Earth it self remains the same without any general alteration or dissolution; neither is there any want or decay of general kinds of Creatures, but onely a change of their particulars; And though our perception is but finite, and must contain it self within its own compass or bounds, so that it cannot judg of all particulars that are in Nature: Never∣theless, I see no reason, why the Celestial parts of the World should not be subject to alteration, as well as those of the Terrestrial Globe; for if Nature be full of self-motion, no particular can be at rest, or without action; but the chief actions of Nature are Composi∣tion and Division, and changes of Parts: Wherefore, although to our humane perception, the Stars and Pla∣nets do not change from their general nature, as from being such or such composed figures, but appear the same to us, without any general or remarkable change of their exterior figures; yet we cannot certainly affirm, that the parts thereof be either moveless or unalterable, they being too remote from our perception, to discern all their particular motions: For put the case, the Moon, or any other of the Planets, were inhabited Page 148 by animal Creatures, which could see as much of this terrestrial Globe, as we see of the Moon, although they would perceive perhaps the progressive motion of the whole figure of this terrestrial Globe, in the same manner as we do perceive the motion of the Moon, yet they would never be able to discern the particular parts thereof, viz. Trees, Animals, Stones, Water, Earth, &c. much less their particular changes and alterations, ge∣nerations and dissolutions. In the like manner do the Celestial Orbs appear to us; for none that inhabit this Globe will ever be able to discern the particular parts of which the Globe of the Moon consists, much less their changes and motions. Indeed, it is with the Celestial Orbs, as it is with other composed parts or figures of Nature, which have their interior, as well as exterior; general, as well as particular motions; for it is impossible, that Nature, consisting of infinite dif∣ferent parts, should have but one kind of motion; and therefore as a Man, or any other animal, has first his exterior motions or actions, which belong to his whole composed figure, next his Internal figurative motions by which he grows, decays, and dissolves, &c. Thirdly, As every several part and particle of his body has its interior and exterior actions; so it may be said of the Stars and Planets, which are no more then other parts of Nature, as being composed of the same Matter which all the rest consists of, and partaking of the same self-motion; for although our fight cannot Page 149 discern more then their progressive, and shining or twinkling motion; nevertheless, they being parts of Na∣ture, must of necessity have their interior and exterior, particular and general motions; so that the parts of their bodies may change as much as the parts of this Globe, the figure of the whole remaining still the same; for as I said before, they being too far from our perception, their particular motions cannot be observed; nay, were we able to perceive the exterior actions of their parts, yet their interior motions are no ways perceptible by humane sight; we may observe the effects of some in∣terior motions of natural Creatures; for example, of Man, how he changes from infancy to youth, from youth to old age, &c. but how these actions are per∣formed inwardly, no Microscope is able to give us a true information thereof. Nevertheless, Mankind is as lasting, as the Sun, Moon and Stars; nay, not onely Mankind, but also several other kinds and spe∣cies of Creatures, as Minerals, Vegetables, Elements, and the like; for though particulars change, yet the species do not; neither can the species be impaired by the changes of their particulars; for example, the Sea is no less salt, for all there is so much salt extracted out of salt-water, besides that so many fresh Rivers and Springs do mingle and intermix with it; Neither doth the Earth seem less for all the productions of Vegetables, Minerals and Animals, which derive their birth and origine from thence: Nor doth the race of Mankind Page 150 seem either more or less now then it was in former ages; for every species of Creatures is preserved by a conti∣nued succession or supply of particulars; so that when some die or dissolve from being such natural figures, o∣thers are generated and supply the want of them. And thus it is with all parts of Nature, both what we call Celestial and Terrestrial; nor can it be otherwise, since Nature is self-moving, and all her parts are per∣petually active.
33. Of the substance of the Sun, and of Fire.
THere are divers opinions concerning the matter or substance of the Sun; some imagine the Sun to be a solid body set on fire; others that it is a fluid body of fire, and others again, that it is onely a body of Light, and not of fire; so as I know not which opi∣nion to adhere to: but yet I do rather believe the Sun to be a solid, then a fluid body; by reason fluid bodies are more inconstant in their motions then solid bodies; witness Lightning, which is a fluid fire, and flashes out through the divided clouds, with such a force as water that is pumpt; and being extended beyond the degree of flame, alters to something else that is beyond our humane perception. Indeed, it is of the nature of Air, or else Air inflamed; and as some sorts of Air are more rare, subtil and searching then others, so are some sorts of Lightning, as 'tis known by experience: Page 151 or it is like several sorts of flame, that have several sorts of fuel to feed on; as for example, the flame of Oyl, the flame of Wood, the flame of Aqua-vitae, the flame of Gums, and the like; all which are very different, not onely in their several tempers and degrees of heat, but also in their several manners of burning or flaming; for the flame of Aqua-vitae is far thinner and blewer, then the flame of Wax, Wood, Tallow, or the like; in so much, that there is as much difference between them, as there is between the Azure Skie, and a white Cloud; which shews, that the flame of spirituous bodies is more airy and rare then the flame of others: For Flame is onely the rare and airy part of fire, and there is a na∣tural body of Fire, as well as of Air, Earth and Wa∣ter; and as there are several sorts of Earth, Water and Air, so there are also several sorts of Fire; and as there are springs of Water, and springs of Air, so there may also be springs of Fire and Flame. But to return to the Sun; though I am not able certainly to determine of what substance it is, yet to our perception it appears not to be a fluid, but a solid body, by reason it keeps constantly the same exterior figure, and never appears either ebbing or flowing, or flashing, as lightning is; nor does the whole figure of its body dissolve and change into another figure; nevertheless, it being a na∣tural creature, and consisting of self-moving parts, there is no question but its parts are subject to continual changes and alterations, although not perceptible by Page 152 our sight, by reason of its distance, and the weakness of our organs; for although this Terrestrial Globe, which we inhabit, in its outward figure, nay, in its interior nature remains still the same; yet its parts do continual∣ly change by perpetual compositions and dissolutions, as is evident, and needs no proof. The same may be said of the Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets; which are like a certain kind or species of Creatures; as for ex∣ample, Animal or Man-kind; which species do always last, although their particulars are subject to perpetual productions and dissolutions. And thus it is with all composed figures or parts of Nature, whose chief action is Respiration (if I may so call it) that is, composition and division of parts, caused by the self∣moving power of Nature.
34. Of Telescopes.
MAny Ingenious and Industrious Artists take much labour and pains in studying the natures and figures of Celestial objects, and endeavour to dis∣cover the causes of their appearances by Telescopes, and such like Optick Instruments; but if Art be not able to inform us truly of the natures of those Creatures that are near us, How may it delude us in the scarch and enquiry we make of those things that are so far from us? We see how Multiplying-glasses do present nu∣merous pictures of one object, which he that has not Page 153 the experience of the deceitfulness of such Glasses, would really think to be so many objects. The like de∣ceits may be in other optick Instruments for ought man knows. 'Tis true, we may perhaps through a Te∣lescope see a Steeple a matter of 20 or 30 miles off; but the same can a natural Eye do, if it be not defective, nor the medium obstructed, without the help of any such Instrument; especially if one stand upon a high place: But put the case, a man should be upon the Alps, he would hardly see the City of Paris from thence, although he looked through a Telescope ne∣ver so perfect, and had no obstruction to hinder his sight: and truly the Stars and Planets are far more di∣stant from us then Paris from the Alps. It is well known, that the sense of sight requires a certain pro∣portion of distance betwixt the Eye and the Object; which being exceeded, it cannot perform its office; for if the object be either too near, or too far off, the sight cannot discern it: and as I have made mention in my Philosophical Letters of the nature of those Guns, that according to the proportion of the length of the barrel, shoot either further or shorter; for the Barrel must have its proportioned length; which be∣ing exceeded, the Gun will shoot so much shorter as the barrel is made longer; so may Prospective-glasses perhaps direct the sense of seeing within a certain com∣pass of distance; which distance, surely the Stars and Planets do far exceed; I mean so, as to discern their Page 154 figures as we do of other objects that are near us; for concerning their exterior progressive motions, we may observe them with our natural eyes as well as through Artificial Tubes: We can see the Suns rising and set∣ting, and the progressive motion of the Moon, and other Planets; but yet we cannot see their natural fi∣gures, what they are, nor what makes them move; for we cannot perceive progressive local Motion otherwise, then by change of distance, that is, by composition and division of Parts, which is commonly, (though improperly) called change of Place, and no glasses or tubes can do more. Some affirm, they have discovered many new Stars, never seen before, by the help of Telescopes; but whether this be true, or not, or whether it be onely a delusion of the glasses, I will not dispute; for I having no skill, neither in the art of Opticks, nor in Astronomy, may chance to err, and therefore I will not eagerly affirm what I do not cer∣tainly know; I onely endeavour to deliver my judg∣ment as reason directs me, and not as sense informs, or rather deludes me; and I chose rather to follow the guidance of regular Reason, then of deluding Art.
35. Of Knowledg and Perception in General.
SInce Natural Knowledg and Perception is the Ground and Principle, not onely of Philosophy both Speculative and Experimental, but of all other Page 155 Arts and Sciences, nay, of all the Infinite particular actions of Nature; I thought it not amiss to joyn to the end of this part a full declaration of my opinion con∣cerning that subject.
First, It is to be observed, That Matter, Self-motion and Self-knowledg, are inseparable from each other, and make Nature, one Material, self-moving, and self∣knowing Body.
2. Nature being Material, is dividable into parts; and being infinite in quantity or bulk, her parts are infinite in number.
3. No part can subsist singly, or by it self, precised from the rest; but they are all parts of one infinite bo∣dy; for though such parts may be separated from such parts, and joined to other parts, and by this means may undergo infinite changes by infinite compositions and divisions; yet no part can be separated from the body of Nature.
4. And hence it follows, That the parts of Na∣ture are nothing else but the particular changes of par∣ticular figures, made by self-motion.
5. As there can be no annihilation; so there can neither be a new Creation of the least part or particle of Nature, or else Nature would not be infinite.
6. Nature is purely corporeal or material, and there is nothing that belongs to, or is a part of Nature, which is not corporeal; so that natural and material, or cor∣poreal, are one and the same; and therefore spiritual Page 156 beings, non-beings, mixt beings, and whatsoever distinctions the Learned do make, are no ways belong∣ing to Nature: Neither is there any such thing as an Incorporeal motion; for all actions of Nature are corporeal, being natural; and there can no abstraction be made of Motion or Figure, from Matter or Body, but they are inseparably one thing.
7. As Infinite Matter is divided into Infinite parts, so Infinite knowledg is divided into Infinite particular knowledges, and Infinite self-motion into Infinite par∣ticular self-actions.
8. There is no other difference between self-know∣ledg, and particular knowledges, then betwixt self∣motion, and particular self-actions; or betwixt a whole, and its parts; a cause, and its effects: for self-know∣ledg is the ground and principle of all particular know∣ledges, as self-motion is the ground and principle of all particular actions, changes and varieties of natural figures.
9. As Infinite Nature has an infinite self-motion and self-knowledg, so every part and particle has a parti∣cular and finite self-motion and self-knowledg, by which it knows it self, and its own actions, and perceives also other parts and actions; which latter is properly cal∣led Perception; not as if there were two different Prin∣ciples of knowledg in every particular Creature or part of Nature; but they are two different acts of one and the same interior and inherent self-know∣ledg, Page 157 which is a part of Natures infinite self-know∣ledg.
10. Thus Perception, or a perceptive knowledg, belongs properly to parts, and may also be called an exterior knowledg, by reason it extends to exterior objects.
11. Though self-knowledg is the ground and prin∣ciple of all particular knowledges and perceptions, yet self-motion, since it is the cause of all the variety of na∣tural figures, and of the various compositions and divisions of parts, it is also the cause of all Percep∣tions.
12. As there is a double degree of corporeal self∣motion, viz. Rational, and Sensitive; so there is also a double degree of Perception, Rational, and Sensitive.
13. A whole may know its parts, and an Infinite a Fi∣nite; but no particular part can know its whole, nor one finite part that which is infinite. I say, no particular part; for when parts are regularly composed, they may by a general Conjunction or Union of their particular knowledges and perceptions, know more, and so judg more probably of the whole, or of Infinite; and al∣though by the division of parts, those composed know∣ledges and perceptions, may be broke asunder like a ruined house or Castle, Kingdom or Government; yet some of the same Materials may chance to be put to the same uses, and some may be joined to those that formerly imployed themselves otherways: And hence Page 158 I conclude, That no particular parts are bound to cer∣tain particular actions, no more then Nature her self, which is self-moving Matter; for as Nature is full of va∣riety of motions or actions, so are her parts; or else she could not be said self-moving, if she were bound to cer∣tain actions, and had not liberty to move as she pleases: for though God, the Authour of Nature, has or∣dered her so that she cannot work beyond her own na∣ture, that is, beyond Matter; yet has she freedom to move as she will; neither can it be certainly affirmed, that the successive propagation of the several species of Creatures is decreed and ordained by God, so that Nature must of necessity work to their continuation, and can do no otherwise; but humane sense and reason may observe, that the same parts keep not always to the same particular actions, so as to move to the same spe∣cies or figures; for those parts that join in the compo∣sition of an animal, alter their actions in its dissolution, and in the framing of other figures; so that the same parts which were joined in one particular animal, may, when they dissolve from that composed figure, join se∣verally to the composition of other figures; as for ex∣ample, of Minerals, Vegetables, Elements, &c. and some may join with some sorts of Creatures, and some with others, and so produce creatures of different sorts, when as before they were all united in one particular Creature; for particular parts are not bound to work or move to a certain particular action, but they work Page 159 according to the wisdom and liberty of Nature, which is onely bound by the Omnipotent God's Decree not to work beyond her self, that is, beyond Matter; and since Matter is dividable, Nature is necessitated to move in parts; for Matter can be without parts, no more then parts can be without a whole; neither can Na∣ture, being material, make her self void of figure, nor can she rest, being self-moving; but she is bound to divide and compose her several parts into several particu∣lar figures, and dissolve and change those figures again infinite ways: All which proves the variety of Nature, which is so great, that even in one and the same species, none of the particulars resemble one another so much as not to be discerned from each other.
But to return to Knowledg and Perception; I say they are general and fundamental actions of Nature; it being not probable that the infinite parts of Nature should move so variously, nay, so orderly and metho∣dically as they do, without knowing what they do, or why and whether they move; and therefore all particu∣lar actions whatsoever in Nature, as respiration, di∣gestion, sympathy, antipathy, division, composition, pressure, reaction, &c. are all particular perceptive and knowing actions; for if a part be divided from o∣ther parts, both are sensible of their division: The like may be said of the composition of parts. And as for Pres∣sure and Reaction, they are as knowing and perceptive as any other particular actions; but yet this does not Page 160 prove, that they are the principle of perception; and that there's no Perception but what is made by Pressure and Reaction, or that at least they are the ground of Animal Perception; for as they are no more but par∣ticular actions, so they have but particular perceptions; and although all Motion is sensible, yet no part is sen∣sible but by its own motions in its own parts; that is, no corporeal motion is sensible but of or by it self: There∣fore when a man moves a string, or tosses a Ball; the string or ball is no more sensible of the motion of the hand, then the hand is of the motion of the string or ball, but the hand is onely an occasion that the string or ball moves thus or thus. I will not say, but that it may have some perception of the hand according to the nature of its own figure, but it does not move by the hands motion, but by its own; for there can be no motion imparted without matter or substance.
Neither can I certainly affirm, that all Perception con∣sists in patterning out exterior objects, for although the perception of our humane senses is made that way, yet Natures actions being so various, I dare not conclude from thence that all the perceptions of the infinitely various parts and figures of Nature are made all after the same manner. Nevertheless, it is probable to sense and reason, that the infinite parts of Nature have not onely interior self-knowledg, but also exterior percep∣tions of other figures or parts, and their actions; by reason there is a perpetual commerce and entercourse Page 161 between parts and parts, and the chief actions of Na∣ture are composition and division, which produce all the variety of Nature; which proves, there must of necessity be perception between parts and parts; but how all these particular perceptions are made, no par∣ticular creature is able to know, by reason of their va∣riety; for as the actions of Nature vary, so do the per∣ceptions. Therefore it is absurd to confine all per∣ception of Nature, either to pressure and reaction, or to the animal kind of perception, since even in one and the same animal sense; as for example, of seeing, there are numerous perceptions; for every motion of the Eye, were it no more then a hairs breadth, causes a several perception; besides, it is not onely the five organs in an animal, but every part and particle of his body that has a peculiar knowledg and perception, be∣cause it consists of self-moving Matter: Which if so, then a Looking-glass that patterns out the face of a Man, and a Mans Eye that patterns again the copy from the Glass, cannot be said to have the same per∣ception, by reason a Glass, and an animal, are dif∣ferent sorts of Creatures; for though a piece of Wood, Stone, or Metal, may have a perceptive knowledg of Man, yet it hath not a Man's perception, because it is a Vegetable or Mineral, and cannot have an Animal knowledg or perception, no more, then the Eye patterning out a Tree or Stone, can be said to have a Vegetable or Mineral Perception; nay, when Page 162 one Animal, as for example one man, perceives ano∣ther, he doth not perceive his knowledg; for it is one thing to perceive the exterior figure of a Creature, and another thing to perceive its interior, proper, and in∣nate actions; also it is one thing to perceive exterior objects, and another to receive knowledg; for no part can give away to another its inherent and proper parti∣cular nature, neither can one part make it self another part; it may imitate some actions of another part, but not make it self the same part; which proves, that each part must have its own knowledg and perception, ac∣cording to its own particular nature; for though se∣veral parts may have the like perceptions, yet they are not the same; and although the exterior figures of some objects may be alike, yet the perceptions may be quite different; 'tis true, sensitive and rational knowledg is general and infinite in Nature; but every part being finite, can have but a finite and particular knowledg, and that according to the nature of its particular figure; for as not all Creatures, although they be composed of one Matter, are alike in their figures, so not all can have the like knowledges and perceptions, though they have all self-motion; for particular Creatures and acti∣ons are but effects of the onely Infinite self-moving Matter, and so are particular perceptions; and although they are different, yet the difference of effects does not argue different causes; but one and the same cause may produce several and different effects; so that although Page 163 there be infinite different motions in Nature, yet they are all but motions, and cannot differ from each other in being motions or self-moving parts; and although there be infinite several and different perceptions, yet they are all perceptions; for the effects cannot alter the cause, but the cause may alter the effects: Wherefore rational and sensitive corporeal motions cannot change from being motions, though they may change from moving thus, to move thus; nor perceptions from being perceptions, though they may change from being such or such particular perceptions; for the change is onely in particulars, not in the ground or principle which continues always the same. The truth is, as it is impossible that one figure should be another figure, or one part another part; so likewise it is impossible, that the perception of one part should be the perception of another; but being in parts, they must be several, and those parts being different, they must be different also: But some are more different then others; for the per∣ceptions of Creatures of different sorts, as for example, of a Vegetable and an Animal, are more different then the perception of particulars of one sort, or of one com∣posed figure; for as there is difference in their interior natures, so in their perceptions; so that a Mineral or Vegetable that perceives the figure of an Animal, has no more the perception of an Animal, then an Animal which perceives or patterns out the figure of a Mineral or Vegetable, has the perceptions of those Creatures; Page 164 for example, when a man lies upon a stone, or leans on a tree, or handles and touches water, &c. although these parts be so closely joined to each other, yet their perceptions are quite different; for the man onely knows what he feels, or sees, or hears, or smells, or tasteth, but knows not what sense or perception those parts have; nay, he is so far from that, that even one part of his body doth not know the sense and perception of another part of his body; as for example, one of his hands knows not the sense and perception of his other hand; nay, one part of his hand knows not the per∣ception of another part of the same hand; for as the corporeal figurative motions differ, so do particular knowledges and perceptions; and although sensitive and rational knowledg is general and infinite in in∣finite Nature, yet every part being finite, has but finite and particular perceptions, besides, percepti∣on being but an effect, and not a cause, is more vari∣ous in particulars; for although all Creatures are com∣posed of rational and sensitive Matter, yet their percep∣tions are not alike; neither can the effect alter the cause; for though the several actions of sensitive and rational Matter be various, and make several perceptions, yet they cannot make several kinds of sensitive and rational Matter; but when as perceptions change, the parts of the sensitive and rational matter remain the same in themselves; that is, they do not change from being sen∣sitive or rational parts, although they may make nu∣merous Page 165 perceptions in their particular parts, according to the various changes of self-motion.
But some may say, If the particular parts of one com∣posed figure be so ignorant of each others knowledg, as I have expressed, How can they agree in some action of the whole figure, where they must all be imployed, and work agreeably to one effect? As for example; when the Mind designs to go to such a place, or do such a work; How can all the parts agree in the per∣forming of this act, if they be ignorant of each others actions? I answer: Although every Parts knowledg and perception, is its own, and not anothers; so that every part knows by its own knowledg, and perceives by its own perception; yet it doth not follow from thence, that no part has any more knowledg then of it felf, or of its own actions; for, as I said before, it is well to be observed, that there being an entercourse and commerce, as also an acquaintance and agreement between parts and parts, there must also of necessity be some knowledg or perception betwixt them, that is, one part must be able to perceive another part, and the actions of that same part; for wheresoever is life and knowledg, that is, sense and reason, there is also per∣ception; and though no part of Nature can have an absolute knowledg, yet it is neither absolutely ignorant, but it has a particular knowledg, and particular percep∣tions, according to the nature of its own innate and in∣terior figure. In short, as there are several kinds, Page 166 sorts and particular perceptions, and particular igno∣rances between parts, so there are more general percep∣tions between some parts, then between others; the like of ignorance; all which is according to the various actions of corporeal self-motion: But yet no part can have a thorow perception of all other parts and their actions, or be sure that that part which it perceives has the like perception of it again; for one part may per∣ceive another part, and yet this part may be ignorant of that part, and its perception; for example, my eye perceives an object, but that object is not necessitated to perceive my eye again; also my eye may perceive the pattern of it self made in a Looking-glass, and yet be ignorant whether the Glass do the like. Again, when two parts touch each other, one part may perceive the other, and yet be ignorant whether t' other does the like; for example, a man joins both his hands toge∣ther; they may have perception of each other, and yet be ignorant of each others perception; and most commonly, one part judges of anothers perception by its own; for when one man perceives the actions of another man, he judges by those actions what percep∣tions he has, so that judgment is but a comparing of actions; for as likeness of interior motions makes sym∣pathy, so comparing of actions makes judgment, to know and distinguish what is alike, and what is not. Therefore perception of exterior objects, though it proceeds from an interior principle of self-knowledg, Page 167 yet it is nothing else but an observation of exterior parts or actions; so that parts in their several com∣positions and divisions may have several perceptions of each other, according to the nature of their figurative corporeal motions; and although each parts knowledg is its own, yet parts may have as much knowledg of each other, as they can perceive, or observe of each other; for the perceptive motions of one part, may inform themselves of the actions of other parts. The truth is, every particular part has its own motions fi∣gures, sense and reason, which by a conjunction or composition of parts, makes a general knowledg; for as the division of parts causes a general obscurity, so composition of parts makes a general knowledg and understanding; and as every part has self-motion, so it has self-knowledg and perception.
But it is to be observed, That since there is a double perception in the infinite parts of Nature, sensitive and rational; the perception and information of the rati∣onal parts is more general, then of the sensitive, they being the most prudent, designing and governing parts of Nature, not so much encumbred with labouring on the inanimate parts of matter as the sensitive: There∣fore the rational parts in a composed figure, or united action, may sooner have a general knowledg and in∣formation of the whole then the sensitive; whose know∣ledg is more particular; as for example, a man may have a pain in one of the parts of his body, although Page 168 the perception thereof is made by the sensitive corpo∣real motions in that same part, yet the next adjoining sensitive parts may be ignorant thereof, when as all the rational parts of the whole body may take notice of it. Thus the rational parts having a more general acquain∣tance then the sensitive, and being also the designing and architectonical parts, they imploy the sensitive parts to work to the same effect; but these are not always rea∣dy to obey, but force sometimes the rational to obey them, which we call irregularity; which is nothing but an opposition or strife between parts; as for ex∣ample, a man designs to imploy the exterior strength and action of his exterior parts; but if through irregu∣larity the legs and arms be weak, the stomack sick, the head full of pain; they will not agree to the executing of the commands of the rational parts. Likewise the mind endeavours often to keep the sensitive motions of the body from dissolution; but they many times follow the mode, and imitate other objects, or cause a dis∣solution or division of that composed figure by volun∣tary actions.
Thus the sensitive and rational motions do often∣times cross and oppose each other; for although several parts are united in one body, yet are they not always bound to agree in one action; nor can it be o∣therwise; for were there no disagreement between them, there would be no irregularities, and conse∣quently no pain or sickness, nor no dissolution of any natural figure.
Page 169 And such an agreement and disagreement is not onely betwixt the rational and sensitive parts, but also betwixt the rational and rational, the sensitive and sensitive; for some rational Parts, may in one compo∣sed figure have opposite actions; as for example, the Mind of Man may be divided so, as to hate one per∣son, and love another; nay, hate and love one and the same person for several things at the same time, as also rejoice and grieve at the same time. For ex∣ample, a man has two Sons; one is kill'd in the Wars, and the other comes home with victory and honour; the Father grieves for the slain Son, and rejoyces for the victorious Son: for the Mind being material, is di∣vidable as well as composable; and therefore its parts may as well oppose each other, as agree; for agree∣ment and friendship is made by composition, and dis∣agreement by division; and sense and reason is either stronger or weaker, by composition or division, re∣gularity or irregularity, for a greater number of parts may over-power a less; also there are advantages and disadvantages amongst parts, according to the several sorts of corporeal figurative motions; so that some sorts of corporeal motions; although fewer or weaker, may over-power others that are more numerous and strong; but the rational being the most subtil, active, observing and inspective parts, have, for the most part, more power over the sensitive, then the sensitive have over them; which makes that they, for the most Page 170 part, work regularly, and cause all the orderly and regular compositions, dissolutions, changes and vari∣eties in the infinite parts of Nature; besides, their per∣ception and observation being more general, it lasts longer; for the rational continue the perception of the past actions of the sensitive, when as the sensitive keep no such records.
Some say, that Perception is made by the Ideas of exterior objects entering into the organs of the sentient; but this opinion cannot be probable to sense and rea∣son; for first, If Ideas subsist of themselves, then they must have their own figures, and so the figures of the objects would not be perceived, but onely the figures of the Ideas. But if those Ideas be the figures of the ob∣jects themselves, then by entring into our sensories the objects would lose them; for one single object can have no more but one exterior figure at one time, which surely it cannot lose and keep at one and the same time; But if it be a Print of the object on the Air, it is impos∣sible there could be such several sorts of Prints as there are Perceptions, without a notable confusion. Besides: when I consider the little passages, as in the sense of touch, the pores of the flesh, through which they must enter, I cannot readily believe it; nay, the Motions and Prints would grow so weak, and faint in their jour∣ney, especially if the object be a great way off, as they would become of no effect. But if their opinion be, that Ideas can change and alter, then all immaterial Page 171 substances may do the same, and spirits may change and alter into several immaterial figures; which, in my opinion cannot be: for what is supernatural, is unalterable; and therefore the opinion of Ideas in per∣ception, is as irregular, as the opinion of senseless atomes in the framing of a Regular World.
Again: Some of our Modern Philosophers are of opinion, That the subject wherein Colour and Image are inherent, is not the object or thing seen; for Image and Colour, say they, may be there where the thing seen is not: As for example, The Sun, and other vi∣sible objects, by reflexion in Water or Glass; so that there is nothing without us really which we call Image or Colour; for the Image or Colour is but an appa∣rition unto us of the motion and agitation which the object works in the brain or spirits, and divers times men see directly the same object double, as two Can∣dles for one, and the like. To which I answer: That all this doth not prove that the object is not perceived, or that an object can be without image or colour, or that figure and colour are not the same with the object; but it proves, that the object enters not the eye, but is onely patterned out by the perceptive motions in the optick sense; for the reflection of the Sun in Water or Glass, is but a copy of the original, made by the figu∣rative perceptive motions in the Glass or Water, which may pattern out an object as well as we do; which co∣py is patterned out again by our optick perception, and Page 172 so one copy is made by another. The truth is, Our optick sense could not perceive either the original, or copy of an exterior object, if it did not make those fi∣gures in its own parts; and therefore figure and colour are both in the object, and the eye; and not, as they say, neither in the object, nor in the eye; for though I grant that one thing cannot be in two places at once, yet there may be several copies made of one original, in several parts, which are several places, at one and the same time; which is more probable, then that figure and colour should neither be in the object, nor in the eye, or according to their own words, that figure and colour should be there where the thing seen is not; which is to separate it from the object, a thing against all possibility, sense and reason; or else, that a substance∣less and senseless Motion should make a progressive journey from the object to the sentient, and there print, figure and colour upon the optick sense by a bare agita∣tion or concussion, so that the perception or apparition, (as they call it) of an object, should onely be accord∣ing to the stroke the agitation makes; as for example, the perception of light after such a manner, figure after such, and colour after another; for if Motion be no substance or body, and besides void of sense, not know∣ing what it acts; I cannot conceive how it should make such different strokes upon both the sensitive organ, and the brain, and all so orderly that every thing is per∣ceived differently and distinctly. Truly this opinion Page 173 is like Epicurus's of Atomes; but how absurd it is to make senseless corpuscles the cause of sense and reason, and consequently of perception, is obvious to every ones apprehension, and needs no demonstration.
Next, as Colour, according to their opinion, is not inherent any otherwise in the object, but by an ef∣fect thereof upon us, caused by such a motion in the object; so neither, say they, is sound in the thing we hear, but in our selves; for as a man may see, so he may hear double or trebble by multiplication of Ec∣choes, which are sounds as well as the Original, and not being in one and the same place, cannot be inhe∣rent in the body; for the Clapper has no sound in it, but motion; and maketh motion in the inward parts of the Bell; neither has the Bell motion, but sound; and imparts motion to the air, the air again imparts motion to the ear and nerves, until it comes to the brain, which has motion, not sound; from the brain it rebounds back into the nerves outward, and then it becoms an apparition without, which we call sound. But Good Lord, what a confusion would all this produce, if it were thus! What need is there of imparting Motion, when Nature can do it a much easier way? I wonder how rational men can believe that motion can be imparted without matter: Next, that all this can be done in an instant: Again, that it is the organ of the sentient that makes colour, sound, and the like, and that they are not really inherent in the object it self. For Page 174 were there no men to perceive such or such a colour, fi∣gure or sound, can we rationally think that object would have no colour, figure nor sound at all? I will not say, That there is no pressure or reaction, but they do not make sense or reason; several parts may produce several effects by their several compositions, but yet this does not prove that there can be no perception but by pressure upon the organ, and consequently the brain, and that the thing perceived is not really existent in the object, but a bare apparition to the sentient; the Clapper gives no Motion to the Bell, but both the Clapper, and the Bell, have each their own Motion by which they act in striking each other, and the conjun∣ction of such or such parts makes a real sound, were there no Ear to hear it.
Again: Concerning the sense of Touch, the heat, say they, we feel from the Fire, is in us; for it is quite different from that in the fire; our heat is pleasure, or pain; according as it is great or moderate; but in the Coal there is no such thing. I answer: They are so far in the right, that the heat, we feel, is made by the per∣ceptive motions of, and in our own parts, and not by the fires parts acting upon us; but yet if the fire were not really such a thing as it is, that is, a hot and burning body, our sense would not so readily figure it out as it does; which proves, it is a real copy of a real object, and not a meer fantasme, or bare imparted motion from the object to the sentient, made by pressure and reaction; Page 175 for if so, the fire would waste in a moment of time, by imparting so much motion to so many sentients; be∣sides, the several strokes which the several imparted motions make upon the sentient, and the reaction from the sentient to the exterior parts, would cause such a strong and confused agitation in the sentient, that it would rather occasion the body to dissolve through the irregularities of such forced motions. But having dis∣coursed enough of this subject heretofore, I will add no more, but refer both their and my own opinions, to the judicious and unpartial Reader; Onely concern∣ing Fire, because they believe, it is the onely shining body upon Earth, I will say this: If it were true; then a Glow-worms tail, and Cats eyes, must be fire also; which yet Experience makes us believe other∣wise.
As for Sleep, they call it a privation of the act of sense; To which I can no ways give my consent, be∣cause I believe sense to be a perpetual corporeal self-mo∣tion without any rest. Neither do I think the senses can be lockt up in sleep; for if they be self-moving, they cannot be shut up, it being as impossible to de∣prive self-motion of acting, as to destroy its nature; but if they have no self-motion, they need no locking up at all; because it would be their nature to rest, as be∣ing moveless. In short, sense being self-motion, can neither rest nor cease; for what they call cessation, is nothing else but an alteration of corporeal self-motion; Page 176 and thus Cessation will require as much a self-moving Agent, as all other actions of Nature.
Lastly, say they, It is impossible for sense to imagine a thing past, for sense is onely of things present. I an∣swer, 'tis true, by reason the sensitive corporeal motions work on and with the parts of Inanimate Matter; ne∣vertheless, when a repetition is made of the same actions, and the same parts, it is a sensitive remembrance: And thus is also Experience made: which proves, there is a sensitive perception and self-knowledg; because the senses are well acquainted with those objects they have often figured or patterned out; and to give a further demonstration thereof, we see that the senses are ama∣zed, and sometimes frighted at such objects as are un∣usual, or have never been presented to them before. In short, Conception, Imagination, Remembrance, Ex∣perience, Observation, and the like, are all made by coporeal self-knowing, perceptive self-motion, and not by insensible, irrational, dull, and moveless Mat∣ter.
36. Of the different Perceptions of Sense and Rea∣son.
HAving declared in the former discourse, that there is a double Perception in all Parts of Nature, to wit, Rational and Sensitive; some might ask, How these two degrees of Motions work; whether differently Page 177 or unitedly in every part to one and the same percep∣tion?
I answer: That regularly the animal perception of exterior objects, is made by its own sensitive, rational, corporeal and figurative motions; the sensitive pat∣terning out the figure or action of an outward object in the sensitive organ; and the rational making a figure of the same object in their own substance; so that both the rational and sensitive motions work to one and the same perception, and that at the same point of time, and as it were by one act; but yet it is to be observed, that many times they do not move together to one and the same perception; for the sensitive and rational motions do many times move differently even in one and the same part; as for the rational, they being not incum∣bred with any other parts of matter, but moving in their own degree, are not at all bound to work always with the sensitive, as is evident in the production of Fancies, Thoughts, Imaginations, Conceptions, &c. which are figures made onely by the rational motions in their own matter or substance, without the help of the sensitive; and the sensitive, although they do not com∣monly work without the rational, yet many times they do; and sometimes both the rational and sensitive work without patterns, that is, voluntarily and by rote; and sometimes the sensitive take patterns from the rational, as in the invention of arts, or the like; so that there is no necessity that they should always work together to Page 178 the same perception. Concerning the perception of exterior objects, I will give an instance, where both the rational and sensitive motions do work differently, and not to the same perception: Suppose a man be in a deep contemplative study, and some body touch or pinch him, it happens oft that he takes no notice at all of it, nor doth not feel it, when as yet his touched or pinched parts are sensible, or have a sensitive perception thereof; also a man doth often see or hear something without minding or taking notice thereof, especially when his thoughts are busily imployed about some o∣ther things; which proves, that his Mind, or rational motions work quite to another perception then his sen∣sitive do. But some perhaps will say, because there is a thorow mixture of animate (rational and sensitive) and inanimate matter, and so close and inseparable a union and conjunction betwixt them, it is impossible they should work differently, or not together: Be∣sides, the alledged example doth not prove, that the rational and sensitive motions in one and the same part that is touched or pinched, or in the organ which hears or seeth, do not work together, but proves onely, that the sensitive motions of the touched part or organ, and the rational motions in the head or brain, do not work together; when as nevertheless, although a man takes no notice of another mans touching or pinching, the rational motions of that same part may perceive it. To which I answer: First, I do not deny that there is a Page 179 close conjunction and commixture of both the rational and sensitive parts in every body or creatnre, and that they are always moving and acting; but I deny that they are always moving to the same perception; for to be, and move together, and to move together to the same perception, are two different things. Next, al∣though I allow that there are particular, both rational and sensitive figurative motions in every part and par∣ticle of the body; yet the rational being more obser∣ving and inspective then the sensitive, as being the de∣signing and ordering parts, may sooner have a general information and knowledg of all other rational parts of the composed figure, and may all unitedly work to the conceptions or thoughts of the musing and contem∣plating man; so that his rational motions in the pinched part of his body, may work to his interior conceptions, and the sensitive motions of the same part, to the exte∣rior perception: for although I say in my Philosophi∣cal Opinions, that all Thoughts, Fancies, Imagi∣nations, Conceptions, &c. are made in the head, and all Passions in the heart; yet I do not mean that all ra∣tional figurative actions are onely confined to the head, and to the heart, and are in no other parts of the body of an Animal, or Man; for surely, I believe there is sense and reason, or sensitive and rational know∣ledg, not onely in all Creatures, but in every part of every particular Creature. But since the sensitive organs in man are joined in that part which is named Page 180 the head, we believe that all knowledg lies in the head, by reason the other parts of the body do not see as the eyes, nor hear as the ears, nor smell as the nose, nor taste as the tongue, &c. all which makes us prefer the rational and sensitive motions that work to those percep∣tions in the mentioned organs, before the motions in the other parts of the body; when as yet these are no less rational or sensible then they, although the acti∣ons of their sensitive and rational perceptions are after another manner; for the motions of digestion, growth, decay, &c. are as sensible, and as rational as those five sensitive organs, or the head; and the heart, liver, lungs, spleen, stomack, bowels, and the rest, know as well their office and functions, and are as sensible of their pains, diseases, constitutions, tempers, nourish∣ments, &c. as the eyes, ears, nostrils, tongue, &c. know their particular actions and perceptions; for although no particular part can know the Infinite parts of Na∣ture, yet every part may know it self, and its own acti∣ons, as being self-moving. And therefore the head or brains cannot ingross all knowledg to themselves; but the other parts of the body have as much in the design∣ing and production of a Creature, as the brain has in the production of a Thought; for Children are not produced by thoughts, no more then digestion or nou∣rishment is produced by the eyes, or the making of blood by the ears; or the several appetites of the body by the five exterior sensitive organs; But although Page 181 all, (interior as well as exterior) parts of the body have their particular knowledges and perceptions dif∣ferent from those of the head and the five sensitive or∣gans, and the heads and organs knowledg and percep∣tion are differing from them; nevertheless, they have acquaintance or correspondence with each other; for when the stomack has an appetite to food, the mouth and hands endeavour to serve it, and the legs are wil∣ling to run for it: The same may be said of other Ap∣petites. Also in case of Oppression, when one part of the body is oppressed, or in distress, all the other parts endeavour to relieve that distressed or afflicted part. Thus although there is difference between the particular actions, knowledges and perceptions of every part, which causes an ignorance betwixt them, yet by reason there is knowledg and perception in eve∣ry part, by which each part doth not onely know it self, and its own actions, but has also a perception of some actions of its neighbouring parts; it causes a ge∣neral intelligence and information betwixt the parti∣cular parts of a composed figure; which information and intelligence, as I have mentioned heretofore, is more general betwixt the rational then the sensitive parts; for though both the sensitive and rational parts are so closely intermixt that they may have knowledg of each other, yet the sensitive parts are not so gene∣rally knowing of the concerns of a composed figure as the rational, by reason the rational are more free and Page 182 at liberty then the sensitive, which are more incumbred with working on and with the inanimate parts of Mat∣ter; and therefore it may very well be, that a man in a deep contemplative study doth not always feel when he is pinched or touched; because all the rational motions of his body concur or join to the conception of his mu∣sing thoughts; so that onely the sensitive motions in that part do work to the perception of touch, when as the rational, even of the same part, may work to the conception of his thoughts. Besides, it happeneth oft that there is not always an agreement betwixt the rati∣onal and sensitive motions, even in the same parts; for the rational may move regularly, and the sensitive ir∣regularly; or the sensitive may move regularly, and the rational irregularly; nay, often there are irregu∣larities and disagreements in the same degree of moti∣ons, as betwixt rational and rational, sensitive and sen∣sitive; And although it be proper for the rational to inform the sensitive, yet the sensitive do often inform the rational; onely they cannot give such a general in∣formation as the rational; for one rational part can in∣form all other rational parts in a moment of time, and by one act: And therefore rational knowledg is not onely in the head or brains, but in every part or particle of the body.
Some Learned conceive, That all knowledg is in the Mind, and none in the senses: For the senses, say they, present onely exterior objects to the mind; who Page 183 sits as a Judg in the kernel or fourth ventricle of the brain, or in the orifice of the stomack, and judges of them; which in my apprehension is a very odd opinion: For first, they allow that all knowledg and perception comes by the senses, and the sensitive spirits; who like faithful servants run to and fro, as from the sensitive organs to the brain and back, to carry news to the mind; and yet they do not grant that they have any know∣ledg at all: which shews, they are very dull servants, and I wonder how they can inform the mind of what they do not know themselves. Perchance, they'l say, it is after the manner or way of intelligence by Letters, and not by word of mouth; for those that carry Let∣ters to and fro, know nothing of the business that inter∣cedes betwixt the correspondents, and so it may be be∣twixt the mind, and the external object. I answer: First, I cannot believe there's such a correspondence between the object and the mind of the sentient, or per∣ceiver; for if the mind and the object should be com∣pared to such two intelligencers, they would always have the like perception of each other, which we see is not so; for oftentimes I have a perception of such or such an object, but that object may have no percepti∣on of me; besides, there's nothing carried from the ob∣ject to the mind of the sentient by its officers the sensi∣tive spirits, as there is betwixt two correspondents; for there's no perception made by an actual emission of parts from the object to the mind; for if Perception Page 184 were made that way, not onely some parts of the ob∣ject, but the figure of the whole object would enter through the sensitive organ, and presentit self before the mind, by reason all objects are not perceived in parts, but many in whole; and since the exterior fi∣gure of the object is onely perceived by the senses, then the bare figure would enter into the brain without the body or substance of the object: which how it could be, I am not able to conceive; nay, if it were possible, truly it would not be hidden from the Minds officers the sensitive spirits, except they did carry it veiled or co∣vered; but then they would know at least from whence they had it, and to whom and how they were to carry it. Wherefore it is absurd, in my opinion, to say, that the senses bring all knowledg of exterior ob∣jects to the mind, and yet have none themselves; and that the mind chiefly resides but in one part of the bo∣dy; so that when the heel is touched, the sensitive spi∣rits, who watch in that place, do run up to the head, and bring news to the mind. Truly if the senses have no knowledg of themselves, How comes it that a man born blind cannot tell what the light of the Sun is, or the light of a Candle, or the light of a Glow-worms tail? For though some objects of one sense may be guessed by the perception of another sense, as we may guess by touch the perception of an object that belongs to sight, &c. yet we cannot perfectly know it except we saw it, by reason the perception of sight belongs Page 185 onely to the optick sense. But some may ask, if a man be so blind, that he cannot make use of his optick sense, what is become of the sensitive motions in that same part of his body, to wit, the optick sensorium? I an∣swer, The motions of that part are not lost, because the man is blind, and cannot see; for a privation or absence of a thing, doth not prove that it is quite lost; but the same motions which formerly did work to the percep∣tion of sight, are onely changed, and work now to some other action then the perception of sight; so that it is onely a change or alteration of motions in the same parts, and not an annihilation; for there's no such thing as an annihilation in Nature, but all the variety in Na∣ture is made by change of motions. Wherefore, to conclude, the opinion of sense and reason, or a sensi∣tive and rational knowledg in all parts of Nature, is, in my judgment, more probable and rational, then the Opinion which confines all knowledg of Nature to a mans Brains or Head, and allows none neither to the Senses, nor to any part of Nature.
37. Several Questions and Answers concerning Know∣ledg and Perception.
I Am not ignorant that endless questions and ob∣jections may be raised upon one subject; and to answer them would be an infinite labour: But since I desire to be perspicuous in delivering my opinions, and Page 186 to remove all those scruples which seem to obstruct the sense thereof, I have chosen rather to be guilty of pro∣lixity and repetitions, then to be obscure by too much brevity. And therefore I will add to my former dis∣course of knowledg and perception the resolution of these following questions, which, I hope, will render it more intelligible.
Q. 1. What difference is there between Self-know∣ledg, and Perception?
I answer: There is as much difference betwixt them, as betwixt a whole, and its parts; or a cause, and its effects: For though Self-motion be the occasional cause of particular perceptions, by reason it is the cause of all particular actions of Nature, and of the variety of figures; yet self-knowledg is the ground or funda∣mental cause of Perception; for were there not self∣knowledg, there could not be perception, by reason perceptions are nothing else, but particular exterior knowledges, or knowledges of exterior parts and acti∣ons, occasioned by the various compositions and divi∣sions of parts; so that self-moving Matter has a percep∣tive self-knowledg; and consisting of infinite Parts, those parts have particular self-knowledges and percep∣tions, according to the variety of the corporeal figura∣tive motions, which, as they are particular, cannot be infinite in themselves; for although a whole may know its parts, yet the parts cannot possibly know the whole; because an infinite may know a finite, but Page 187 a finite cannot know an infinite. Nevertheless, when many parts are regularly composed, those parts by a conjunction or union of their particular self-know∣ledges and perceptions of each other, may know more, and so judg more probably of infinite, as I have decla∣red above; but as for single parts, there is no such thing in Nature, no more then there can be an Infinite part.
Q. 2. Whether the Inanimate Part of Matter, may not have self-knowledg as well as the Animate?
I answer: That, in my opinion, and according to the conceptions of my sense and reason, the Inanimate part of matter has self-knowledg as well as the Ani∣mate, but not Perception; for it is onely the animate part of matter that is perceptive, and this animate mat∣ter being of a two-fold degree, sensitive and rational; the rational not being incumbred with the inanimate parts, has a more clear and freer perception then the sensitive; which is well to be observed; for though the rational, sensitive, and inanimate parts of matter make but one infinite self-moving body of Nature, yet there are infinite particular self-knowledges, for Nature is divided into infinite parts, and all parts of Nature are self-knowing: But as all are not animate, so all are not perceptive; for Perception, though it proceeds from self-knowledg, as its ground or principle, yet it is also an effect of self-motion; for were there no self∣motion, there would be no perception; and because Page 188 Nature is self-moving, all her parts are so too; and as all her parts are moving, so they have all compositions and divisions; and as all are subject to compositions and divisions, so all have variety of self-knowledg; so that no part can be ignorant: And by reason self-knowledg is the ground and Principle of Perception, it knows all the effects by the variety of their changes; therefore the Inanimate part of Matter may, for any thing I know or perceive, be as knowing as the other parts of Na∣ture; for although it be the grossest part, and so the dul∣lest, wanting self-motion; yet by the various divisions and compositions which the animate parts do make, the inanimate may be as knowing as the animate.
But some may say, If Inanimate Matter were knowing of it self, then it would also be sensible of it self. I answer, Self-knowledg is so far sensible of it self, that it knows it self; and therefore the inanimate part of Matter being self-knowing, may be sensible of its own self-knowledg; but yet it is not such a sense as self-mo∣ving matter has; that is, a perceptive sense; for the diffe∣rence of animate and inanimate Matter consists herein, that one is self-moving, and consequently perceptive, but the other not; and as animate matter is self-moving as well as self-knowing, so it is the chief and architecto∣nical part of Nature, which causes all the variety that is in Nature; for without animate Matter there could be no composition and division, and so no variety; and without inanimate Matter, there could not be such Page 189 solid compositions of parts as there are; for the animate part of Matter cannot be so gross as the inanimate; and therefore without these degrees there would be no va∣riety of figures, nor no composition of solid figures, as Animals, Vegetables, Minerals, &c. so that those effects which our sense and reason perceives, could not be without the degrees of animate and inanimate Mat∣ter; neither could there be perception without animate Matter, by which all the various effects of Nature are perceived; for though one Creature cannot perceive all the effects, yet the infinite parts of Nature, by their infinite actions, perceive infinitely.
Again: Some may object, That if the Inanimate part of Matter have self-knowledg and sense, it must of necessity have life also. To which I answer: That the Inanimate part of Matter may have life, according as it hath sense and knowledg, but not such a life as the animate part of Matter has, that is, an active life, as to compose and divide the infinite body of Nature in∣to infinite parts and figures, and to produce infinite va∣rieties of them, for all this cannot be withont motion; nevertheless, it has so much life as to know it self, and so much sense as to be sensible of its own self-knowledg. In short, the difference between animate and inanimate Matter's life, sense and self-knowledg, is, that the ani∣mate Matter has an active life, and a perceptive sense and self-knowledg, which the inanimate part of Matter has not; because it wants self-motion, which Page 190 is the cause of all actions and perceptions in Na∣ture.
Q. 3. Whether the Inanimate Matter could have parts without self-motion?
I answer, Yes: For wherefoever is body or matter, there are also parts; because parts belong to body, and there can be no body without parts; but yet were there no self-motion, there could be no various chan∣ges of parts or figures. The truth is, Nature consi∣dered as she is, and as much as our sense and reason can perceive by her various effects, must of necessity be composed or consist of a commixture of animate, both rational and sensitive, and inanimate matter; for were there no inanimate matter, there would be no ground or grosser substance to work on, and so no solid fi∣gures; and were there no animate sensitive matter, there would be no labourer, or workman, as I may call it, to form the inanimate part of matter into various fi∣gures; nor would there be such infinite changes, com∣positions, divisions, productions, dissolutions, &c. as we see there are. Again: were there no animate rational Matter, there would be no designer or sur∣veigher, to order and direct all things methodically; nor no Fancies, Imaginations, Conceptions, Memo∣ry, &c. so that this Triumvirate of the degrees of matter, is so necessary a constitutive principle of all na∣tural effects, that Nature could not be without it; I mean, Nature considered, not what she might have Page 191 been, but as she is, and as much as we are able to per∣ceive by her actions; for Natural Philosophy is no more but a rational inquisition into the causes of natural effects; and therefore, as we observe the effects and actions of Nature, so we may probably guess at their causes and principles.
Q. 4. How so fine, subtil and pure a part as the Ani∣mate Matter is, can work upon so gross a part as the In∣animate?
I answer; More easily then Vitriol or Aqua-fortis, or any other high extracts, can work upon metal, or the like; nay, more easily then fire can work upon wood, or stone, or the like. But you will say, That, according to my opinion, these bodies are not wrought upon, or divided by the exterior agent, as by fire, vitriol, &c. but that they divide themselves by their own inherent self-motion, and that the agent is no more but an occasion that the patient moves or acts thus, or thus. I answer, 'Tis very true: For there is such a com∣mixture of animate and inanimate matter, that no particle in Nature can be conceived or imagined, which is not composed of animate matter as well as of inanimate; and therefore the patient, as well as the agent, having both a commixture of these parts of matter, none can act upon the other, but the patient changes its own parts by its own self-motion, either of its own accord, or by way of imitation. But the inanimate part of Matter considered in it self, or in its own narure, hath no self-motion, Page 192 nor can it receive any from the animate; but they be∣ing both so closely intermixt, that they make but one self-moving body of Nature, the animate parts of Mat∣ter bear the inanimate with them in all their actions; so that it is impossible for the animate parts to divide, compose, contract, &c. but the inaimate must serve them, or go along with them in all such corporeal figu∣rative actions.
Q. 5. How is it possible, that Parts being ignorant of each other, should agree in the production of a figure?
I answer: When I speak of Ignorance and know∣ledg, my meaning is, not that there is as much ig∣norance in the parts of Nature, as there is knowledg, for all parts have self-knowledg; but I understand a perceptive knowledg, by which parts do perceive parts; and as for the agreeing actions of parts, they cannot readily err, unless it be out of wilfulness to oppose or cross each other: for put the case the sensitive parts were as ignorant of perceptions as the inanimate, yet the ra∣tional being thorowly intermixt with them, would cause agreeable combinations and connexions of parts in all productions, because they being not incumbred with the burthens of other parts, make more general perceptions then the sensitive, and moving freely in their own degree, there is a more perfect acquain∣tance between them, then the sensitive parts; which is the cause that the rational design and order, when as the sensitive labour and work; I mean, when they Page 193 move regularly, or to one and the same effect; for then they must needs move agreeably and unitedly: But because the sensitive parts are perceptive as well as the rational, and perceive not onely the rational adjoining parts, but also those of their own degree, they cannot so grosly err, as some believe, especially since the sensi∣tive parts do not onely know their own work, but are also directed by the rational; but as I have often said, the several sorts, both of the sensitive and rational perceptions are well to be considered, which are as va∣rious as the actions of Nature, and cannot be numbred, by reason every figurative action is a several perception, both sensitive and rational; and infinite Matter being in a perpetual motion, there must of necessity be in∣finite figures, and so infinite perceptions amongst the infinite parts of Nature.
Q. 6. Whether there be single Self-knowledges, and single Perceptions in Nature?
I answer: If there can be no such thing as a single part in Nature, there can neither be a single self-know∣ledg or perception; for body and parts can never be separated from each other, but wheresoever is body, were it an atome, there are parts also; and when parts divide from parts, at the same time, and by the same act, they are joined to other parts; so that composition and division is done by one act. The like for know∣ledg: For knowledg, being material, consists of parts; and as it is impossible that there can be single parts, or Page 194 parts subsisting by themselves, without reference to each other, or the body of Nature; so it is impossible that there can be single knowledges. Neither can there be a single magnitude, figure, colour, place, &c. but all that is corporeal, has parts; and by reason Na∣ture is a self-moving, and self-knowing body, all her parts must of necessity be so too. But particular com∣posed figures, and particular degrees of Matter, are not single parts, nor are particular actions single acti∣ons, no more then a particular Creature is a single part; for it would be non-sense to say single compositions, and single divisions; and therefore particular and single are not one and the same; and as there can be no such thing as Single in Nature, so there can neither be single knowledges and perceptions: Which is well to be ob∣served, lest we introduce a Vacuum in Nature, and so make a confusion between her parts and actions.
Q. 7. How is it possible, since there is but one Self∣knowledg in Nature, as there is but one Self-motion, that there can be a double degree of this Self-knowledg, as also a double Perception, viz. Rational, and Sen∣sitive?
I answer: As the several degrees of Matter are not several kinds of Matter; so neither are Rational and Sensitive knowledg several kinds of Self-knowledges, but onely different degrees of one self-knowledg; for as there is but one Matter, and one Self-motion, so there is also but one Self-knowledg in Nature; which con∣sists Page 195 of two degrees, Rational and Sensitive, whereof the rational is the highest degree of self-knowledg; for it is a more pure, subtile, active and piercing know∣ledg then the sensitive, by reason it is not bound to work on and with the inanimate parts of Matter, but moves freely in its own degree, when as the sensitive is incum∣bred with labouring on the inanimate parts of Matter: Indeed, there is as much difference between those two degrees of self-knowledg, as betwixt a chief Archi∣tect, Designer or Surveigher, and betwixt a Labou∣rer or Workman; for as the Labourer and Sur∣veigher, though they be different particulars, are yet both of one kind, viz. Mankind: so it is likewise with self-knowledg; for were Matter divided into infinite degrees, it would still remain Matter; and though self-motion be divided into infinite degrees of motions, yet it is still but self-motion: The like for self-know∣ledg: for self-moving matter can but know it self; and as Matter is the ground or constitutive Principle of all the parts and figures in Nature (for without matter there could be no parts, and so no division) and self∣motion is the ground or principle of all particular acti∣ons, so is self-knowledg the ground of all particular knowledges and perceptions. Again: as one part can∣not be another part, so neither can one parts knowledg be another parts knowledg; although they may have perceptions of each other: When I speak of parts, I mean not single parts; for there can be no such thing Page 196 as a single part in Nature; but by parts I understand particular self-moving figures, whether they be such composed figures, as, for distinctions sake, we call finite wholes; as for example, an Animal, a Tree, a Stone, &c. or whether they be parts of those finite figures; for it is impossible to describe or determine exactly what the parts of Nature are, by reason Nature, although it is but one body, yet being self-moving, 'tis divided into infinite figures, which by self-motion are infinitely changed, composed, dissolved, &c. which composi∣tions and divisions hinder that there can be no single parts, because no part, though it should be infinitely changed, composed and divided, can be separated from the body of Nature, but as soon as it is divided from such parts, it is composed with other parts; nay, were it possible that it might be separated from the body of Nature, it would not be a part then, but a whole; for it would have no reference to the body of Nature: be∣sides, if it continued body, or matter, it would still have parts; for wheresoever is body, there is a com∣position of parts.
But if any one desires to know or guess at the parts of Nature, he cannot do it better then by considering the corporeal figurative motions or actions of Nature; for what we name parts, are nothing but the effects of those figurative motions; so that motions, figures and parts, are but one thing: and it is to be observed, that in composed figures there are interior and exterior Page 197 parts; the exterior are those which may be perceived by our exterior senses, with all their proprieties, as colour, magnitude, softness, hardness, thickness, thinness, gravity, levity, &c. but the interior parts are the interior, natural, figurative motions, which cause it to be such or such a part or Creature; as for example, Man has both his interior and exterior parts, as is evident; and each of them has not onely their outward figure or shape, but also their interior, natu∣ral, figurative motions, which did not onely cause them to be such or such parts; as for example, a leg, a head, a heart, a spleen, a liver, blood, &c. but do also continue their being; the onely difference is, that those figurative motions, which did first form or pro∣duce them, afterwards, when they were finished, be∣came retentive motions: By retentive motions, I do not onely mean such as keep barely the parts of the composed figures together, but all those that belong to the preservation and continuance of them; under which are comprehended digestive motions, which place and displace parts; attractive motions, which draw nourishment into those parts; expulsive moti∣ons, which expel superfluous and hurtful parts; and many the like: for there are numerous sorts of re∣tentive motions, or such as belong to the preservation and continuance of a composed figure, as well as there are of creating or producing motions. By which we may plainly see, that one figure lies within another; Page 198 that is, one corporeal figurative motion is within a∣nother, and that the interior and exterior parts or fi∣gures of Creatures, are different in their actions; for ex∣ample, the ebbing and flowing, or the ascending and descending motions of water, are quite different from those interior figurative motions that make it water; the like may be said of Vegetables, Minerals, Animals, and all other sorts of Creatures; nay, though both the interior and exterior parts, figures or motions do make but one composed figure or Creature, as for ex∣ample, Man; and are all but parts of that same figure; yet each being a particular motion, has also its peculiar self-knowledg and perception; for the difference of particular knowledges and perceptions depends upon the difference of Natures actions; which as by the di∣vision of parts, they cause an ignorance between them; so by composition they cause also perceptions. I do not mean, an interior or self-ignorance, which cannot be in Nature, by reason every part and particle has self-knowledg; but an exterior, that is, an ignorance of forreign parts, figures or actions, although they be parts of one composed figure; for the parts of the hand do not know the parts of the stomack, and their acti∣ons. Neither do I mean an interior self-perception, which can neither be in Nature, because perception presupposes ignorance; and if there cannot be a self∣ignorance, there can neither be a self-perception, al∣though there may be an interior self-knowledg; Nor Page 199 is it proper to say, a part may perceive it self, or have a perception of it self: But by perception, I mean an ex∣terior or forreign knowledg; that is, a knowledg of other parts, figures, or actions. These perceptions, I say, are different, according to the difference of the corporeal figurative motions; for it is impossible, that such or such parts should have such or such perceptions, if they have not such or such corporeal motions. There∣fore though all parts have self-knowledg, as well as self-motion, yet by reason all parts do not move alike, they cannot make the like perceptions; and though self-knowledg, as it is the ground and fountain, not onely of all particular knowledges, but also of all ex∣terior perceptions, is but one in it self, as a fixt being, and cannot be divided from its own nature; (for as Mat∣ter cannot be divided from being Matter, or self-mo∣tion from being self-motion, so neither can self-know∣ledg be divided from being self-knowledg; nor can they be separated from each other, but every part and particle of natural matter has self-knowledg and per∣ception, as well as it hath self-motion) Yet all this hinders not, but there may be degrees of self-know∣ledg according to the degrees of Matter; for as there is rational and sensitive matter, so there is also rational and sensitive self-knowledg; nay, there are infinite parti∣cular self-knowledges and perceptions, according to the infiniteness of parts and motions; and yet all is but one self-moving and self-knowing Nature; for parts are Page 200 nothing else but a division of the whole, and the whole is nothing else but a composition of parts. All which I desire may be taken notice of, lest my sense be mis∣interpreted, for when I speak of rational and sensitive self-knowledg, I do not mean as if there were more self-knowledg then one in the onely infinite Matter, to wit, a double kind of self-knowledg, but I speak in re∣ference to the parts of Matter; for the rational part is more pure, and so more agil, quick and free then the sensitive; and the animate part is self-knowing, but the inanimate not: and thus in respect to parts, as they are divided, so they have several self-knowledges and perceptions, as also numerous lives and souls in one composed figure or Creature; and as infinite parts be∣long to one infinite whole, so infinite self-knowledges and infinite perceptions, belong to the infinite actions of those infinite parts. But some may ask, Why there are no more degrees of Matter but two, viz. Animate, and Inanimate; and no more degrees of Animate, but Rational, and Sensitive? I answer, humane sense and reason cannot conceive it possible there should be more or fewer; for the rational and sensitive are the purest degrees Matter can be capable of; and were there any purer then these, they would be beyond the nature of Matter; which is impossible, because Nature cannot go beyond it self. Again: some may perhaps desire to know, why there are more degrees of Inanimate Matter, then of Animate, to wit, of thickness and Page 201 thinness, rarity and density, lightness aud heavi∣ness, & c? I answer, These are nothing else but the actions of the material parts, and do not belong to the nature of Matter, so that they cannot make Parts less or more material, for all is but Matter; neither can they alter the nature of Matter; for Matter is still Mat∣ter, however it moves. Lastly, some may ask, How it is possible, that such an infinite variety can proceed but from two degrees of Matter, to wit, Animate and Inanimate? I answer; As well as Infinite effects can proceed from one Infinite cause; for Nature being an Infinite body, must also have Infinite parts; and ha∣ving an Infinite self-motion, must of necessity have an infinite variety of parts; and being infinitely self∣knowing, must also have infinite self-knowing parts; which proves, that Natures body must of necessity consist of those two degrees, viz. Animate and Inani∣mate Matter; for were there no Animate matter, which is corporeal self-motion, there would never be such variety of figures, parts and actions in Nature as there is, nor no perceptions; for Self-knowledg, or Matter, without self-motion, could never make any variety in Nature; and therefore although self-motion causes an obscurity by the division of parts, yet it causes also particular perceptions between parts; and as the mo∣tions vary, so do perceptions of parts. In short, there is but one infinite body, and infinite parts; one infinite self∣knowledg, and infinite particular self-knowledges; one Page 202 infinite self-motion, and infinite particular actions; as also infinite particular perceptions: for self-motion is the cause of all the variety of Nature; and as one figure or part of Nature lies within another, so one perception is within another.
Q. 8. How can there be Self-knowledg and Percep∣tion in one and the same part?
I answer: As well as the being or substance of a thing and its actions can consist together, or as a cause and its effects; for though they are so far different from each other, that the cause is not the effect, nor the ef∣fect the cause; as also that the effect must of necessity depend upon the cause, but the cause may chuse whe∣ther it will produce such or such effects; as for exam∣ple, though action or motion depends upon matter, yet matter does not depend upon motion, as being able to subsist without it; and though perception depends up∣on self-knowledg, yet self-knowledg does not depend upon perception; nevertheless, wheresoever is per∣ception, there is also self-knowledg; by reason, that wheresoever there is an effect in act or being, there is also its cause; and although perception depends also upon outward objects, yet outward objects do not de∣pend upon perceptions; but perception, as it depends upon self-knowledg, so it depends also upon self-motion; for without self-knowledg and self-motion, there would be no perception; so that both exterior perceptions, and all interior voluntary actions, proceed from self∣knowing Page 203 and self-moving matter; but the difference between particular interior self-knowledges and percep∣tions, is caused by the changes of corporeal, figurative self-motion.
Q. 9. Whether particular Parts or Figures be bound to particular perceptions?
I answer: Particular Parts make Perceptions, according to the nature of their corporeal, figura∣tive motions, and their perceptions are as nume∣rous as their actions; for example, those parts that are composed into the figure of an Animal, make per∣ceptions proper to that figures corporeal, interior, na∣tural motions; but if they be dissolved from the animal figure, and composed into Vegetables, they make such perceptions as are proper for Vegetables; and being again dissolved and composed into Minerals, they make perceptions proper to Minerals, &c. so that no part is tied or bound to one particular kind of perception, no more then it is bound to one particular kind of figures; but when the interior motions of that figure change, the perceptions proper to that same figure change also; for though self-knowledg, the ground of all perceptions, is a fixt, and inherent, or innate knowledg, yet the perceptions vary according to their objects, and ac∣cording to the changes and compositions of their own parts; for as parts are composed with parts, so are their perceptions; nay, not onely perceptions, but also par∣ticular self-knowledges alter according to the altera∣tion Page 204 of their own parts or figures, not from being self∣knowledg, for self-knowledg can be but self-knowledg, but from being such or such a particular self-knowledg; and since there is no part or particle of Nature but is self-knowing, or has its particular self-knowledg, it is certain, that as the interior nature of the figure alters by the changes of motion, the interior self-knowledg of that figure alters too; for if a Vegetable should turn into a Mineral, it cannot retain the self-knowledg of a Vegetable, but it must of necessity change into the self∣knowledg of a Mineral; for nothing can have a know∣ledg of it self otherwise then what it is; and because self∣knowledg is the ground of Perception, as self-know∣ledg alters, so doth perception; I mean, that kind of perception that belonged to such a figure, alters to another kind of perception proper to another figure; so that it is with perception, as it is with other Creatures: For example, as there are several kinds of Creatures, as Elements, Animals, Minerals, Vegetables, &c. so there are also several kinds of perceptions, as Animal, Vegetative, Mineral, Elemental perception; and as there are different particular sorts of these mentioned kinds of Creatures, so there are also of perceptions; nay, as one particular Creature of these sorts consists of different parts; so every part has also different per∣ceptions; for self-motion, as it is the cause of all the various changes of figures and parts of Nature, so it is also of the variety of perceptions; for put the case Page 205 Matter were of one infinite figure, it would have but self-knowledg, or at least no variety of perceptions, because it would have no variety of corporeal figura∣tive motions; and it is well to be observed, that al∣though numerous different parts may agree in per∣ception; that is, their sensitive and rational figurative motions may all perceive one and the same object; yet the manner of their perceptions are different, ac∣cording to the difference of their figures, or rather of their interior, corporeal, figurative motions: for ex∣ample, a Man, a Tree, and a Stone, may all have per∣ceptions of one object, but yet their perceptions are not alike; for the Tree has not an Animal or Mine∣ral, but a Vegetative perception; and so has the Man, not a Vegetative or Mineral, but an Animal percep∣tion; and the Stone, not an Animal or Vegetative, but a Mineral perception, each according to the in∣terior nature of its own figure.
Q. 10. Whether there could be Self-knowledg without Perception?
I answer: Self-knowledg being the ground of all Perceptions, which are nothing else but exterior know∣ledges, might as well subsist without them, as Matter would subsist without Motion; but since self-motion is the cause of all the various changes of figures and parts, and of all the orderly Productions, Generati∣ons, Transformations, Dissolutions, and all other actions of Nature; These cannot be performed with∣out Page 206 Perception; for all actions are knowing and per∣ceptive; and were there no perception, there could not possibly be any such actions; for how should parts agree either in the generation, composition or dissolu∣tion of composed figures, if they had no knowledg or perception of each other? Therefore although self∣knowledg is a fixt interior Being, and the ground of all perceptions; yet were there no self-motion, there could be no action, and consequently no perception, at least no variety of perceptions in Nature; but since Nature is one self-moving and self-knowing body, self-know∣ledg can no more be separated from perception, then motion can be divided from matter, but every part and particle of Nature, were it an Atome, as it is self-mo∣ving, so it is also self-knowing and perceptive. But yet it is not necessary that Perception must onely be be∣twixt neighbouring or adjoining parts; for some parts may very well perceive each other at a distance, and when other parts are between; nay, some perceptions do require a distance of the object, as for example, the optick perception in Animals, as I have declared be∣fore*, where I do mention the requisites of the Ani∣mal perception of sight; whereof if one be wanting, there is either no perception at all, (I mean, no per∣ception of seeing in that Animal) or the perception is imperfect. But some may ask, Whether, in such a case, that is, in the perception of an object which is distant from the sentient, the intermediate parts are as Page 207 well perceived as the object it self, to which the percep∣tion directy tends? I answer: That, if the interme∣diate parts be subject to that kind of perception, they may as well be perceived as the object that is distant; nay, sometimes better; but most commonly, the in∣termediate parts are but slightly or superficially per∣ceived: For example, in the forementioned sense of Seeing, if the organ of sight be directed to some certain object that is distant, and there be some parts between the organ and the object, perceptible by the same sense, but such as do not hinder or obstruct the perception of the said object; not onely the object, but also those in∣termediate parts will be perceived by the optick sense, Also if I cast my eye upon an object that is before me, in a direct line, the eye will not onely perceive the object to which it is chiefly directed, but also those parts that are joined to it, either beneath, or above, or on each side of that object, at the same point of time, and by the same act; the sole difference is, that the said object is chiefly and of purpose patterned out by the sensitive and rational figurative motions of the eye, when as the other intermediate or adjoining parts are but superfi∣cially and slghtly looked over.
And this proves, first, that Nature is composed of sensitive, rational and inanimate matter, without any separation or division from each other; for could mat∣ter be divided into an atome, that very atome would have a composition of these three degrees of matter; Page 208 and therefore although the parts of Nature do under∣go infinite divisions and compositions, so that parts may be composed and divided infinite ways; yet these three degrees can never be separated or divided from one another, because of their close union and commix∣ture through infinite Nature.
Next it proves, that there can be no single parts in Nature; for what commonly are called parts of Na∣ture, are nothing else but changes of motion in the in∣finite body of Nature; so that parts, figures, actions, and changes of motion, are one and the same, no more differing from each other, then body, place, magni∣tude, figure, colour, &c. for self-motion is the cause of the variety of figures and parts of Nature; without which, although there would nevertheless be parts, (for wheresoever is matter or body, there are parts also) yet Nature would be but a confused heap or Chaos, without the distinction of any perfect figures; which figures make perfect perceptions of perfect ob∣jects; I say, of perfect objects; for if the objects be not perfect, the sensitive perceptions can neither be per∣fect; but then the rational being joined with the sen∣sitive, and being more subtil, active and piercing, may find out the error either of the object, or sense; for both the rational and sensitive parts being united in one figure or action, can more easily perceive the irregula∣rities of each others actions, then of exterior objects; all which could not be, were there single parts in Page 209 Nature, neither could such acts be performed by chance or sensless atomes; nay, could there be any single parts in Nature, there would consequently be a Vacuum to discern and separate them from each other, which Vacuum would breed such a confusion amongst them, as there would be no conformity or symmetry in any of their figures. Therefore I am absolutely a∣gainst the opinion of senseless and irrational atomes, moving by chance; for if Nature did consist of such atomes, there would be no certain kinds and species of Creatures, nor no uniformity or order; neither am I able to conceive how there could be a motion by chance, or an irrational and senseless motion, no more then I can conceive how motion can be without matter or body; for self-motion as it is corporeal, so it is also sensitive and rational.
Q. 11. Whether Perception be made by Pattern∣ing?
I answer: My Sense and Reason does observe, That the animal, at least humane Perception, performed by the sensitive and rational motions in the organs ap∣propriated for it, is made by patterning or framing of figures, according to the patterns of exterior objects; but whether all other kinds and sorts of perceptions in the infinite parts of Nature be made the same manner or way, neither my self, nor no particular Creature is able to determine, by reason there are as many various sorts of perceptions as there are of other actions of Na∣ture, Page 210 and according as the corporeal figurative mo∣tions do alter and change, so do particular perceptions; for Perception is a corporeal, figurative action, and is ge∣nerally in all parts and actions of Nature; and as no part can be without self-motion and self-knowledg, so none can be without perception; and therefore I dare truly say, that all perceptions are made by figuring, though I cannot certainly affirm, that all are made by imita∣tion or patterning. But it is well to be observed, that be∣sides those exterior perceptions of objects, there are some other interior actions both of sense and reason, which are made without the presentation of exterior objects, voluntarily, or by rote; and therefore are not actions of patterning, but voluntary actions of figuring: As for example, Imaginations, Fancies, Conceptions, Passions, and the like; are made by the rational, cor∣poreal, figurative motions, without taking any co∣pies of forreign objects; also many Generations, Dis∣solutions, Alterations, Transformations, &c. are made by the sensitive motions without any exterior patterns; for the generation of Maggot in a Cheese, of a Worm in the root of a Tree, of a Stone in the Bladder, &c. are not made by patterning or imitation, because they are not like their producers, but meerly by a volun∣tary figuring; and therefore it is well to be observed, that figuring and patterning are not one and the same; figuring is a general action of Nature: for all corporeal actions are figurative, when as patterning is but a par∣ticular Page 211 sort of figuring; and although I observe, that some perceptions are made by patterning, yet I cannot say the same of all; neither are the interior voluntary actions made by patterning, but both the sensitive and rational motions frame such or such figures of their own accord; for though each part in the composition of a Creature knows its own work, and all do agree in the framing and producing of it; yet they are not necessi∣tated always to imitate each other; which is evident, because the composition of one and the same Creature is various, and different by reason of the variety of its parts.
And this is the difference between exterior percep∣tions, and interior voluntary actions; for though both are effects of self-knowledg and self-motion, yet per∣ceptions are properly concerning forreign parts, fi∣gures and actions, and are occasioned by them; but the voluntary actions are not occasioned by any out∣ward objects, but make figures of their own accord, without any imitation, patterns or copies of forreign parts or actions; and as the figures and parts alter by their compositions and divisions, so do both interior and exterior particular knowledges; for a Tree, although it has sensitive and rational knowledg and perception, yet it has not an animal knowledg and perception; and if it should be divided into numerous parts, and these again be composed with other parts, each would have such knowledge and perception as the nature of their Page 212 figure required; for self-knowledg alters, as their own parts alter; perception alters as the objects alter; fi∣gures alter as the actions alter; and the actions alter as Nature pleases, or is decreed by God to work.
But I desire it may be observed, first, That although there are both voluntaay actions of figuring, and oc∣casioned actions of perceiving exterior objects, both in sense and reason, whereof those I call interior, these ex∣terior; yet both of them are innate and inherent acti∣ons of their own parts, as proceeding from the ground and fountain of self-knowledg; and the reason why I call the voluntary actions interior, is, because they have no such respect to outward objects, at least are not oc∣casioned by them as perceptions are, but are the own figurative actions of sense and reason made by rote; when as perceptions do tend to exterior objects, and are made according to the presentation of their figures, parts or actions.
Next, It is to be observed, That many times the rational motions take patterns from the sensitive volun∣tary figures; As for example, in Dreams, when the sensitive motions make voluntary figures on the in∣side of the sensitive organs, the rational take patterns of them, and again the sensitive do many times take pat∣terns of the rational when they make figures by rote, as in the invention and delivery of Arts and Sciences; so that there is oftentimes an imitation between the ra∣tional and sensitive motions; for the rational voluntary Page 213 figures, are like exterior objects, to be patterned out by the sensitive perceptive motions; and the sensitive voluntary figures, are like exterior objects, to be pat∣terned out by the rational perceptive motions; and yet all their perceptive actions are their own, and perform∣ed inwardly, that is, by their own motions: Which proves, that by naming Perception an exterior acti∣on, I do not mean that it is an action exteriously per∣ceptible or visible; for if it were thus, then one part would presently know another parts perception, when and how it perceives; which we find it does not; for although a man perceives a Tree, or Stone, yet he does not know whether the Tree or Stone perceives him, much less what perceptions they make: but, as I said before, Perception I name an exterior action, because it is occasioned by an object that is without the perceiving parts; for although both sensitive and ra∣tional perception are so closely intermixt, that none can be without the other in every part or particle of Nature, were it no bigger then what is call'd an A∣tome; yet considered in themselves, they are without each other so far, that the rational perceptive part is not the sensitive, nor the sensitive the rational; or else they would not be several parts or actions, neither would there be any imitation betwixt them.
Lastly, I desire that notice may be taken, when I say that every action of Nature is perceptive; for since there are no single parts in Nature, but what∣soever Page 214 is body, consists of parts; there can neither be any such thing as a single action, that is an action of a single part; but in all natural actions there is a commerce, en∣tercourse, or agreement of parts; which entercourse or agreement, cannot be without perception of knowledg of each other; Wherefore it must of neces∣sity follow, that every action is perceptive, or that per∣ception between parts is required in every action of Na∣ture; nay, even in those which are called voluntary actions; for though the rational and sensitive parts of a composed figure, can make voluntary figures within themselves, without taking any patterns of forreign objects; yet those parts must needs know and perceive each other even in the composition or framing of their voluntary figures; so that exterior knowledg or per∣ception, is as universal as self-motion; for wheresoever is self-motion, there is perception also. But it is well to be observed, first, That Perception or Perceptive knowledg is onely between Parts; Next, That although every action in Nature is perceptive, yet not every acti∣on is the action of Perception properly so called; which Perception, in composed figures, at least in Animals, is an action of patterning out exterior parts or objects, performed by the rational and sensitive corporeal figu∣rative motions in their proper organs; But there are In∣finite other actions, which although they require per∣ceptive parts, yet they are not such actions of Percep∣tions as are made by Patterning out, or imitating out∣ward Page 215 objects; As for example, Respiration, Digesti∣on, Contraction, Dilation, Expulsion, Generation, Retention, Dissolution, Growth, Decay, &c. Ne∣vertheless, all those actions are perceptive; that is, the parts which perform those actions have perception of each other, or else they would never agree to produce such effects. The truth is, that even the action of Perception properly so called, presupposes many par∣ticular perceptions between those parts that concur to the performance of that act; for it is impossible, that both the rational and sensitive parts in a composed fi∣gure, should make the act of Perception, without they know and agree what they are to do, and how they are to perform it, as I mentioned before. And this is the reason, that I have made* a difference between Percep∣tion and Respiration, and called them different actions; not as if Respiration was not a perceptive action, or pre∣supposes not knowledg and perception between those parts that make respiration; but it is not the action of Perception properly so called; as for example, the perception of Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, &c. in Animals, but it is properly an action of drawing, sucking, breathing in, or receiving any ways outward parts; and of venting, discharging or sending forth inward parts: nevertheless, all this cannot be done without perception or knowledg, no more then without motion; for wheresoever is motion, there is perception also; and therefore Respiration is a Page 216 perceptive action. In short, I desire it may be ob∣served, 1. That there is Perception in every action, but that not every Perception is made by patterning. 2. That all self-moving parts are perceptive. 3. That Perception, Perceptive knowledg, and Exterior know∣ledg are all one thing, and that I take them indifferent∣ly. 4. That all voluntary actions, both of sense and reason, are made by perceptive parts; and therefore when I make a distinguishment between voluntary acti∣ons, and perceptions; I mean the perceptions of a com∣posed figure, and not the particular perceptive know∣ledges between those parts that join in the act of such Perceptions, or in the making of voluntary figures.
But it may be objected, That if all motions be per∣ceptive, they would be wholly imployed in nothing else but in making copies of exterior parts or objects.
My answer is, Although I say, that all motions are perceptive; yet I do not positively affirm, that all per∣ceptions in Nature are made by Patterning or Imita∣tion; for we are to consider, that there are as many different sorts of perceptions, as there are of motions; because every particular motion has a particular percep∣tion; and though in a composed figure or Creature, some motions may work to the paterning out of exte∣rior objects, yet all the rest may not do so, and be ne∣vertheless perceptive; for like as a Man, or any other animal Creature, is not altogether composed of Eyes, Eares, Noses, or the like sensitive organs; so not all Page 217 perceptive motions are imitating or patterning, but some are retentive, some expulsive, some attractive, some contractive, some dilative, some creating or produ∣cing, some dissolving, some imitating or patterning, and so forth; and as there are degrees of parts and mo∣tions, so some perceptions may be so much purer, finer, and subtiler then others, as much as pure Air is beyond gross Earth. The truth is, we cannot judg of Na∣tures actions any otherways then we observe them by our own sensitive and rational perceptions; and since we find that the sensitive and rational motions in our sensitive organs do work by the way of patterning or imitation; we may surely conclude, that some percep∣tions are made that way; but that all other perceptions in all natural parts or Creature should be after the same manner, would be too presumptuous for any particular Creature to affirm, since there are infinite several sorts of perceptions; and although we may justly and with all reason believe, that all parts of Nature are percep∣tive, because they are self-moving and self-knowing; yet no particular Creature is able to judg how, and in what manner they perceive, no more then it can know how they move. And by this it is evident, how in one and the same organ of the eye, some motions or parts may work to the act of perception, properly so called, which is made by patterning out the figure of an exte∣rior object; and other motions or parts may work to the retention of the eye, and preserving it in its being: Page 218 others again may work to its shutting and opening, and others to its respiration, that is, venting of superfluous, and receiving of nourishing parts, which motions are properly subservient to the retentive motions, and hun∣dreds the like; and yet all these motions are as know∣ing and perceptive after their way, as those that work to the act of Perception, properly so called, that is, to the act of seeing, made by patterning or imitation. But it is well to be observed, That although the eye has the quickest action in the Perception of seeing; yet is this action most visible, not onely by its motions, but by the figures of the objects that are represented in the eye; for if you look into anothers eye, you will plain∣ly perceive therein the picture of your own figure; and had other objects but such an optick perception as Ani∣mals, they would, without question, observe the same. Some will say, Those figures in the Eye are made by reflection; but reflections cannot make such constant and exact patterns or imitations; Others believe it pro∣ceeds from pressure and reaction; but pressure and re∣action being but particular actions, cannot make such variety of figures. Others again say, That the spe∣cies of the objects pass from the objects to the optick or∣gan, and make figures in the air; but then the mul∣titude of those figures in the air would make such a con∣fusion, as would hinder the species's passing through; besides, the species being corporeal, and proceeding from the object, would lessen its quantity or bulk. Where∣fore Page 219 my opinion is, that the most rare and subtilest parts in the animal sensitive organs, do pattern out the figures of exterior objects, and that the perception of the exte∣rior animal senses, to wit, sight, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling; is certainly made by no other way, then by figuring and imitation.
Q. 12. How the bare patterning out of the Exterior figure of an object, can give us an information of its Interior nature?
My answer is, That although our sensitive Percep∣tion can go no further then the exterior shape, figure and actions of an object; yet the rational being a more subtil, active and piercing Perception, by reason it is more free then the sensitive, does not rest in the know∣ledg of the exterior figure of an object, but by its exte∣rior actions, as by several effects, penetrates into its inte∣rior nature, and doth probably guess and conclude what its interior figurative motions may be; for al∣though the interior and exterior actions of a composed figure be different, yet the exterior may partly give a hint or information of the interior; I say, partly, be∣cause it is impossible that one finite particular Creature should have a perfect knowledg or perception of all the interior and exterior actions of another particular Crea∣ture; for example, our sensitive Perception patterns out an Animal, a Mineral, a Vegetable, &c. we per∣ceive they have the figure of flesh, stone, wood, &c. but yet we do not know what is the cause of their being Page 220 such figures; for the interior, figurative motions of these Creatures, being not subject to the perception of our exterior senses, cannot exactly be known; ne∣vertheless, although our exterior senses have no per∣ception thereof, yet their own parts which are con∣cern'd in it, as also their adjoining or neighbouring parts may: For example, a man knows he has a dige∣stion in his body; which being an interior action, he cannot know by his exterior senses how it is made; but those parts of the body where the digestion is per∣formed, may know it; nay, they must of necessity do so, because they are concerned in it, as being their pro∣per imployment: The same may be said of all other particular parts and actions in an Animal body, which are like several workmen, imployed in the building of a house; for although they do all work and labour to one and the same end, that is, the exstruction of the house; and every onemay have some inspection or per∣ception of what his neighbour doth; yet each having his peculiar task and employment, has also its proper and peculiar knowledg how to perform his own work; for a Joiner knows best how to finish and perfect what he has to do, and so does a Mason, Carpenter, Tiler, Glasier, Stone-cutter, Smith, &c. And thus it is with all composed figures or Creatures; which proves, That Perception has onely a respect to exterior parts or objects; when as self-knowledg is an interior, inhe∣rent, inate, and, as it were, a fixt being; for it is the Page 221 ground and fountain of all other particular know∣ledges and perceptions, even as self-motion is the cause and principle of all other particular actions; and although self-knowledg can be without perception, yet perception cannot be without self-knowledg; for it has its being from self-knowledg, as an effect from its cause; and as one and the same cause may produce numerous effects, so from one self-knowledg proceed numerous perceptions, which do vary infinitely, ac∣cording to the various changes of corporeal self-mo∣tion. In short, self-knowledg is the fundamental cause of perception, but self-motion the occasional cause; Just like Matter and self-motion are the causes of all natural figures; for though Perception could not be without self-knowledg, yet were there no self-mo∣tion, there would be no variety of figures, and con∣sequently not exterior objects to be perceived.
Q. 13. How is it possible, that several figures can be patterned out by one act of Perception? for example, how can a man, when he sees a statue or a stone, pattern out both the exterior shape of the statue, the matter which the statue is made of, and its colour, and all this by one and the same act?
I answer, First it is to be observed, That Matter, Colour, Figure, Magnitude, &c. are all but one thing, and therefore they may easily be patterned out by one act of Perception at one and the same time. Next, I say, That no sense is made by one single part, but every sense consists of several parts, and therefore Page 222 the perception of one sense may very well pattern out several objects at once; for example, I see an embroi∣dred bed; my eye patterns out both the Velvet, Gold, Silver, Silk, Colour, and the Workmanship, nay, superficially the figure of the whole Bed, and all this by one act, and at one the same time. But it is to be observed, That one object may have several proprie∣ties, which are not all subject to the perception of one sence; as for example, the smell of an odorife∣rous body, and its colour, are not subject to the same sense; neither is the hardness or softness, roughness or smoothness of its parts, subject to the sense of smelling or seeing, but each is perceived by such a sense as is proper for such a sort of Perception. Nevertheless, these different perceptions do not make them to be dif∣ferent bodies; for even one and the same attribute or propriety of a body may be patterned out by several senses; for example, Magnitude or shape of body may be patterned out both by fight and touch: which proves, that there is a near affinity or alliance betwixt the several senses, and that Touch is, as it were a ge∣neral sense, which may imitate some other sensitive perceptions. The truth is, it is as easie for several sen∣ses to pattern out the several proprieties of one body, as it is for several Painters to draw the several parts of one figure; as for example, of a burning Candle, one may draw the wax or tallow, another the wick, ano∣ther the flame: The like for the Perceptions of se∣veral Page 223 senses; Sight may pattern out the figure and light of a Candle; Touch may pattern out its weight, hardness or smoothness; the Nose may pattern out its smell; the Ears may pattern out its sparkling noise, & c. All which does evidently prove, That Perception can∣not be made by pressure and reaction; or else a fire coal by the perception of sight, would burn out the eye, be∣cause it would by pressure inflame its next adjoining parts, and these again the next, until it came to the eye. Besides, it proves that all objects are material; for were Light, Colour, Figure, Heat, Cold, & c. im∣material, they would never be patterned out by cor∣poreal motions; for no Painter is able to copy out, or draw an immaterial mode or motion; Neither could immaterial motions make pressure, nor be subject to reaction. Lastly, it proves, That Perception is an effect of knowledg in the sentient, and not in the exter∣nal object; or else there would be but one knowledg in all parts, and not several knowledges in several parts; whereof sense and reason inform us otherwise, viz. that particular figures have variety of knowledges, ac∣cording to the difference and variety of their corporeal figurative motions.
But then some will say, That the actions of Matter would be more infinite then the parts. I answer; There can be neither more nor less in infinite: For in∣finite can be but infinite; but since parts, figures, changes of motion and perceptions, are one and the same; and Page 224 since division and composition are the chief actions of Nature, it does necessarily follow, That as the actions vary, so do also their parts and particular percep∣tions.
Q. 14. How is it possible that any Perception of out∣ward objects can be made by patterning, since patterning doth follow perception; for how can any one pattern out that which he has no perception of?
I answer: Natural actions are not like Artificial; for Art is but gross and dull in comparison to Nature; and although I alledg the comparison of a Painter, yet is it but to make my meaning more intelligible to weaker capacities; for though a Painter must see or know first what he intends to draw or copy out; yet the natural perception of exterior objects is not altogether after the same manner; but in those perceptions which are made by patterning, the action of patterning, and the perception, are one and the same; for as self-know∣ledg is the ground of Perception, so self-motion is the action of Perception, without which no perception could be, and therefore perception and self-action are one and the same. But I desire, that it may well be ob∣served what I have mentioned heretofore, to wit, That although there is but one self-knowledg, and one self∣motion in Nature, yet they being material, are divide∣able; and therefore as from one infinite cause, there may flow infinite effects, and one infinite whole may be divided into infinite parts; so from one infinite self∣knowledg Page 225 and self-motion there may proceed infinite particular actions and perceptions.
But some may perhaps ask, 1. Why those particu∣lar knowledges and perceptions are not all alike, as be∣ing all but effects of one cause? To which I answer, That if the actions or motions of Nature were all alike, all parts would have the like knowledges and percep∣tions; but the actions being different, how can it be otherwise, but the perceptions must be different also? for since every perception is a particular self-action, then as the actions of Nature vary, and as parts do divide and compose, so are likewise their perceptions.
2. It may be objected, That if the Perception of the exterior senses in animals be made by the way of pat∣terning, then when a part of the body feels pain, the rational motions by patterning out the same, would be pained, or sick.
I answer: This does no more follow, then that the Eye patterning out the exterior figure of Water, Fire, Earth, & c. should become of the same nature; for the original is one thing, and the copy another: the pi∣cture of a house of stone, is not made of natural stone, nor is the picture of a Tree, a natural Tree; for if it were so, Painters would do more then Chymists by fire and furnace; but by reason there is a very close conjunction between the rational and sensitive percep∣tive motions, so that when the sensitive motions of the body pattern out some exterior object, the rational Page 226 most commonly do the same; That which we call pain or sickness in the body, when patterned out by the mind, is called trouble, or grief; for as there are degrees in their purity, subtilty and activity, so their perceptions are also different. But it is well to be observed, That although some parts are ignorant of others, when they work not to one and the same perception, yet sometimes there is a more general knowledg of a disease, pain, or soreness; for example, a man may have an inflamation or soreness in one part of his arm or leg, and all the rest of the parts of that limb may be ignorant thereof; but if the inflamation, soreness or pain, extend throughout the whole arm or leg, then all the parts of that limb are generally sensible of it.
3. It may be objected, That if the rational percep∣tive motions take patterns from the sensitive, then rea∣son can never judg of things as naturally they are, but onely of their copies, as they are patterned out by the sensitive motions.
I answer, first, That reason is not so necessitated, as to have no other perception then what sense presents; for Reason is the instructer and informer of sense, as an architect or surveigher is in the extruction of a house. Next, I say, That in the act of Perception, Reason doth not onely perceive the copies of the senses, but it perceives with the sense also the original; for surely the rational part of Matter, being intermixed with the sensitive, must perceive as well the original, as sense Page 227 doth; for it is not so involved within the sensitive; that it cannot peep out, as a Jack-in-a-Box; but both being closely intermixed, one makes perceptions as well as the other, as being both perceptive; and by reason the rational part makes the same perception as the sensitive doth, it seemeth as if the rational did take co∣pies from the sensitive; which although it doth, yet this doth not hinder it from making a perception also of the original.
But then some may say, if the rational Part has li∣berty to move as it will, then it may perceive without sense; that is, Reason may make perceptions of out∣ward objects in the organs of the senses, when the sen∣ses make none; as for example, the rational motions in the eye may perceive light, when the sensitive do not; and sound in the ear, when the sensitive do not.
To which I answer; 'Tis probable, that the rational do many times move to other perceptions then the sen∣sitive; as I have often declared; but if their actions be orderly and regular, then most commonly they move to one and the same perception; but reason being the purer and freer part, has a more subtil perception then sense; for there is great difference between sense and reason, concerning the subtilty of their actions; sense does perceive, as it were, in part, when as reason perceives generally, and in whole; for if there be an object which is to be patterned out with all its proprie∣ties, the colour of it is perceived onely by sight; the Page 228 smell of it is perceived by the Nose; its Sound is per∣ceived by the Ear, its taste is perceived by the Tongue, and its hardness or softness, coldness or heat, dryness or moisture, is perceived by Touch; so that every sense in particular, patterns out that object which is pro∣per for it; and each has but so much knowledg of the said object as it patterns out; for the sight knows no∣thing of its taste, nor the taste of its touch, nor the touch of its smell; and so forth: But the mind patterns out all those figures together, so that they are but as one object to it, without division: which proves, that the rational perception, being more general, is also more perfect then the sensitive; and the reason is, because it is more free, and not incumbred with the burdens of other parts; Wherefore the rational can judg better of objects then the sensitive, as being more know∣ing; and knows more, because it has a more general perception; and hath a more general perception, be∣cause it is more subtile and active; and is more subtil and active, because it is free, and not necessitated to la∣bour on, or with any other parts.
But some may say, How is it possible, that the ratio∣nal part, being so closely intermixed with the sensitive and the inanimate, can move by it self, and not be a labourer, as well as the sensitive?
I answer: The reason is, because the rational part is more pure and finer then the sensitive, or any other part of Matter; which purity and fineness makes that Page 229 it is so subtile and active, and consequently not neces∣sitated to labour with, or on other parts.
Again: Some may ask, Whether those intermix∣ed parts continue always together in their particulars? as for example, whether the same rational parts keep constantly to the same sensitive and inanimate parts, as they are commixed?
I answer: Nature is in a perpetual motion, and her parts are parts of her own self-moving body; where∣fore they must of necessity divide and compose; but if they divide and compose, they cannot keep constant∣ly to the same parts. Nevertheless, although particular parts are divideable from each other, yet the Trium∣virate of Nature, that is, the three chief degrees or parts of Matter, to wit, rational, sensitive and inanimate, which belong to the constitution of Nature, cannot be separated or divided from each other in general; so that rational matter may be divided from sensitive and inani∣mate, and these again from the rational, but they must of necessity continue in this commixture as long as Na∣ture lasts. In short, rational, sensitive and inanimate Matter are divideable in their particulars; that is, such a particular part of inanimate Matter is not bound to such a particular part of sensitive or rational Mat∣ter, &c. but they are individeable in general, that is, from each other; for wheresoever is body, there is also a commixture of these three degrees of Matter.
4. Some may say, How is it possible, That Rea∣son Page 230 can be above Sense; and that the rational percep∣tion is more subtile and knowing then the sensitive; since in my Philosophical Opinions, I have declared that the sensitive perception doth inform the rational: or that Reason perceives by the information of the senses?
To which I answer: My meaning is not, that Rea∣son has no other perception, but by the information of the senses; for surely the rational perception is more subtile, piercing and penetrating, or inspective, then the sensitive, and therefore more intelligent and know∣ing; but when I say, that sense informs reason, I speak onely of such perceptions where the rational figurative motions take patterns from the sensitive, and do not work voluntarily, or by rote.
Besides, It is to be observed, That in the mentioned Book, I compare Thoughts, which are the actions of the rational figurative motions, to the sensitive Touch; so that Touch is like a Thought in sense, and Thought like a Touch in reason: But there is great difference in their purity; for though the actions of Touch and Thought are much after the same manner, yet the different degrees of sense and reason, or of animate, sen∣sitive and rational matter, cause great difference between them; and as all sensitive perception is a kind of touch, so all rational perception is a kind of thoughtfulness: But mistake me not when I say, Thought is like Touch; for I do not mean, that the rational perception is cau∣sed by the conjunction or joining of one part to ano∣ther, Page 231 or that it is an exterior touch, but an interior knowledg; for all self-knowledg is a kind of thought∣fulness, and that Thought is a rational Touch, as Touch is a sensitive Thought; for the exterior percep∣tions of reason resemble the interior actions or know∣ledg of sense. Neither do I mean, that the percep∣tion of touch is made by pressure and reaction, no more then the perception of sight, hearing, or the like; but the patterns of outward objects being actions of the bo∣dy sentient, are, as it were, a self-touch, or self-feeling, both in the sensitive and rational perceptions. Indeed that subtile and learned Philosopher, who will per∣swade us that Perception is made by pressure and reacti∣on, makes Perception onely a fantasme: For, says he, Reaction makes a Fantasme, and that is Perception.
5. Some perhaps will say, That if the Perception of the exterior animal senses be made by Patterning, then that animal which hath two or more eyes, by pattern∣ing out an exterior object, will have a double or trebble perception of it, according to the number of its eyes.
I answer: That when the corporeal motions in each eye move irregularly; as for example, when one eye moves this, and the other another way, or when the eyes look asquint; then they do not pattern out the object directly as they ought; but when the eyes move regularly, then they pattern out one and the same object alike, as being fixt but upon one point; and the proof thereof is, if there be two eyes, we may observe that Page 232 both have their perceptions apart, as well as jointly; because those parts that are in the middle of each eye, do not make at the same time the same perceptions with those that are the side or extream parts thereof, but their perceptions are different from each other: For ex∣ample, the eyes of a Man, or some other Animal, pat∣tern out a Tree which stands in a direct line opposite to them; but if there be Meadows or Hedges on each side of the Tree, then the extream or side parts of each eye pattern out those meadows or hedges; for one eyes perception, is not the other eyes perception; which makes them perceive differently, when otherwise they would perceive both alike. But if a thousand eyes do perceive one object just alike, then they are but as one eye, and make but one perception; for like as many parts do work or act to one and the same design; so do several corporeal motions in one eye, pattern out one object; the onely difference is, that, as I said, every eye is ignorant of each others perception.
But, you'l say, There are so many copies made, as there are objects.
I answer, 'Tis true: But though there are many com∣posed parts which join in the making of one particular perception; yet if they move all alike, the perception is but one and the same: for put the case there were a hundred thousand copies of one original; if they be all alike each other, so as not to have the least difference betwixt them; then they are all but as one Picture of Page 233 one Original; but if they be not alike each other, then they are different Pictures, because they represent dif∣ferent faces. And thus for a matched pair of eyes in one Creature; if they move at the same point of time, directly to one and the same parts, in the same design of patterning out one and the same object; it seems but as one act of one part, and as one perception of one object.
Q. 15. How comes it, that some parts, for all they are Perceptive, can yet be so ignorant of each other, that in one composed figure, as for example, in the finger of a Man's hand, they are ignorant of each other; when as other parts do make perceptions of one another, at a great distance, and when other parts are between?
I answer: This question is easily resolved, if we do but consider, that the differerence of Perception de∣pends upon the difference of the corporeal figurative motions; for if the parts be not the same, the percep∣tions must needs be different; nay, there may infinite several perceptions be made by one and the same parts; if Matter be eternal, and perpetually moving. And hence it follows, that some parts may make percepti∣ons of distant parts, and not of neighbouring parts; and others again may make perceptions of neigh∣bouring or adjoining parts, and not of those that are distant: As for example, in the animal Perception, taste and touch are onely perceptions of adjoining objects, when as sight and hearing do perceive at a Page 234 distance; for if an object be immediately joined to the optick sense, it quite blinds it. Wherefore it is well to be observed, that there are several kinds and sorts of Perceptions, as well as of other composed figures: As for example, there are Animals, Vegetables, Mine∣rals, and Elements; and these comprehend each se∣veral particular kinds of Animals, Vegetables, Mine∣rals, &c. Again, these particular kinds are divided into several sorts, and each of them contains so many parti∣culars; nay, each particular has so many different parts, of which it consists, and each part has its diffe∣rent particular motions. The same may be said of Per∣ceptions: For as the several compositions of several parts are, so are they: not that the bare composition of the parts and figures is the cause of Perception; but the self-knowing and self-moving parts compose themselves into such or such figures; and as there are proprieties belonging to such compositions, so to such composed perceptions; so that the composed parts at the end of a finger, may not have the same perceptions with the middle parts of the same finger.
But some may say, If there be such ignorance be∣tween the parts of a composed figure, How comes it, that many times the pain of one particular part, will cause a general distemper throughout all the body?
I answer; There may be a general perception of the irregularities of such particular composed parts in the other parts of the body, although they are not irregular Page 235 themselves; for if they had the same compositions, and the same irregularities as the distempered parts, they would have the same effects; that is, pain, sickness, or numbness, &c. within themselves; but to have a perception of the irregularities of other parts, and to be irregular themselves, are different things. Never∣theless, some parts moving irregularly, may occa∣sion other parts to do the same. But it is well to be ob∣served, That adjoining parts do not always imitate each other, neither do some parts make perceptions of for∣reign objects so readily as others do; as for example, a man plays upon a Fiddle, or some other instrument, and there are hundreds, or more to hear him; it hap∣pens oft, that those at a further distance do make a per∣fecter perception of that sound, then those which are near; and oftentimes, those that are in the middle, as between those that are nearest, and those that are fur∣thest off, may make a perfecter perception then all they; for though all parts are in a perpetual motion, yet all parts are not bound to move after one and the same way; but some move slower, some quicker, some livelier, some duller; and some parts do move so irre∣gularly as they will not make perceptions of some ob∣jects, when as they make perceptions of others; and some will make perfect perceptions of one and the same objects at some times, and not at other times: As for example, some men will hear, see, smell, taste, &c. more perfectly at some, then at other times. And Page 236 thus to repeat what I said before, The several kinds, sorts and particulars of Perceptions, must well be con∣sidered; as also, that the variety of Nature proceeds but from one cause, which is self-knowing and self∣moving Matter.
Q. 16. Why a Man's hand, or any other part of his body, has not the like Perception as the eye, the ear, or the nose, &c. because there are sensitive and rational mo∣tions in all the parts of his body?
I answer: The reason why the same perception that is within the eye cannot be in the hand, or in any o∣ther part of a mans body, is, that the parts of the hand are composed into another sort of figure then the eyes, ears, nose, &c. are; and the sensitive motions make perceptions according to the compositions of their parts; and if the parts of the hand should be di∣vided and composed with other parts, into another fi∣gure; as for example, into the figure of an eye, or ear, or nose; then they would have the perception of seeing, hearing and smelling; for perceptions are ac∣cording to the composition of parts, and the changes of Natures self-motions.
But then some will say, perhaps, That an Artificial eye, or ear, will have the same perceptions, &c. being of the same figure.
I answer: That if its interior nature, and the compo∣sition of its parts were just the same as its exterior figure; as for example, if an artificial eye, or ear, were of Page 237 animal flesh, and the like; it would have the like per∣ception, otherways not.
Q. 17. How do we perceive Light, Fire, Air, & c?
I answer: By their exterior figures, as we do other objects: As for example, my Eye patterns out the exterior figure of Light, and my Touch patterns out the exterior figure of Heat, &c.
But then you will say, If the Eye did pattern out the figure of Light, it would become Light it self; and if Touch did pattern out the figure of Heat, it would become Fire.
I answer: No more then when a Painter draws Fire or Light, the copy should be a natural Fire or Light. For there is difference betwixt the copy, and the original: and it is to be observed, that in the Perception of sense, especially of sight, there must be a certain distance betwixt the object, and the sentient parts; for the further those are from each other, the weaker is the perception, by reason no corporeal fi∣gurative motion is infinite, but finite; and therefore it can have but fueh a degree of power, strength, or acti∣vity as belongs to such a figurative action, or such a part or degree of Matter. But as for Fire and Light, it is a certain and evident proof, that some perceptions, at least those of the exterior animal senses, are made by patterning; for though the nature of Fire and of Light (for any thing we know) be ascending, yet if Fire be made in such a manner, that several may stand about, Page 238 underneath, and above it; yet they all have the per∣ception of the heat of fire, in what place soever, provi∣ded they stand within a limited or determinate compass of it: I say, of the heat which is the effect of fire; for that is onely patterned out, and not the substance of the flame or fire it self: But on the contrary, if the heat of the fire did actually and really spread it self out to all the places nominated, as well downwards, upwards and sideways; then certainly it would be wasted in a little time, and leave its cause, which is the fire, heatless. Besides, that there are Copies and Originals, and that some perceptions are made by patterning, is evident by the appearance of one Candle in several distances, which several appearances can be nothing else, but several co∣pies of that Candle made by those parts that take pat∣terns from the Original; which makes me also believe, that after the same manner, many Stars which we take for Originals, may be but so many copies or patterns of one Star, made by the figurative motions of those parts where they appear.
Q. 18. Whether the Optick Perception is made in the Eye, or Brain, or in both?
I answer: The perception of Sight, when awake, is made on the outside of the Eye, but in sleep on the in∣side; and as for some sorts of Thoughts or Concep∣tions, which are the actions of reason, they are to my apprehension made in the inner part of the head, al∣though I am not able to determine properly what part Page 239 it is; for all the body is perceptive, and has sense and reason, and not onely the head; the onely difference is, that the several actions of several parts, cause several sorts of perceptions; and the rational parts being the most active, and purest, and moving within themselves, can make more figures in the same compass or magnitude, and in a much shorter time then the sensitive, which being burthened with the inanimate parts, cannot act so agily and freely: Neverthess, some of the sensi∣tive actions are much agiler and nimbler then others, as we may perceive in several sorts of productions. But the rational parts being joined with the sensitive in the exterior parts of a figure, do, for the most part, work together with the same; otherwise, when they move by themselves in Thoughts, Conceptions, Remembrance, and the like; they are more inward, as within the head; for there are Perceptions of interior parts, as well as of exterior; I mean, within a composed figure, by rea∣son all parts are perceptive: Neither does this prove, that if there be so many perceptions in one composed figure, there must be numerous several perceptions of one object in that same figure; for every part knows its own work, or else there would be a confusion in Natures actions: Neither are all perceptions alike, but as I said, according as the several actions are, so are the perceptions.
Q. 19. What is the reason, that the nearer a stick or finger is held against a Concave-glass, the more does the pattern of Page 240 it, made by the glass, appear to issue out of the glass, and meet with the object that is without it?
I answer: 'Tis not that something really issues out of the Glass; but as in a plain Looking-glass, the further the object goes from it, the more does its copy or image seem to be within the glass: So, in the same manner does the length of the stick, which is the mea∣sure of the object, or distance that moves: For, as to a man that rides in a Coach, or sails upon Water, the Shore, Trees, Hedges, Meadows, and Fields, seem to move; when as yet, 'tis the man that moves from them; so it is with the figure in a Looking-glass: Wherefore it is onely a mistake in the animal sense, to take the motion of one, for the motion of the other.
Q. 20. Whether a Part or Figure repeated by the same Motions, be the same part or figure as the former, or one∣ly like the former; as also whether an action repeated, be the same with the former?
I answer: That if the Parts, Figures and Actions be the same, they will always remain the same, although they be dissolved and repeated millions of times; as for example, if you make a figure of wax, and dissolve it, and make that figure again just as it was before, and of the same parts, and by the same action, it will be the very same figure; but if you alter either the parts, or the figure, it may be like the former figure, but not the very same. The like for action; if one and the same action be repeated without any alteration, it is nothing Page 241 else but a repetition of the corporeal figurative motions; but if there be any alteration in it, it is not made by the same figurative motions, and consequently, 'tis not the same action; for though the self-moving parts be the same, yet the figurative motions are not the same; not that those figurative motions are not in the same parts, but not repeated in the same manner. Wherefore it is well to be observed, that a Repetition is of the same parts, figures and actions that were before, but an al∣teration is not a repetition; for wheresoever is but the least alteration, there can be no exact repetition.
Q. 21. Whether there may be a Remembrance in Sense, as well as there is in Reason?
I answer, Yes: for Remembrance is nothing else but a Repetition of the same figure, made by the same corporeal figurative motions; and as there is a rational remembrance, which is a repetition of the same figures, made by the rational, corporeal figurative motions, so there is also a sensitive remembrance, that is, a repeti∣tion of the same figures, made by the sensitive, cor∣poreal, figurative motions: For example, I see an object; the sensitive motions in the eye, pattern out the figure of that object; but as soon as the object is re∣moved, the perception is altered. It may be, I see the same object again in a dream, or in a phrensie, or the like distemper; and then the same figure is repeated which was made first by the sensitive motions of the figure of the object, when it was really present; which Page 242 is a sensitive remembrance, whether the repetition be made after a Pattern or by rote, although it is more proper to say, that remembrance is onely a repetition of such figures as are made by rote, then of those that are made after a Pattern; for a repetition of those fi∣gures that are made after a Pattern; is rather a present perception of a present object; when as remembrance is of objects that are absent.
Q. 22. Whether the rational Parts can quit some Parts and join to others?
I answer: Our sense and reason perceives they do; or else there would be no Motion, no Separation, Composition, Dilation, Contraction, Digestion, Pro∣duction, Transformation, Infancy, Youth, Age, nor no Action in the World whatsoever: And by this it also evident, that (as I said before) particular, rational and sensitive parts, are not bound to move al∣ways together, or to keep constantly to the same parts, no not in the action of perception; for though they most commonly work together when they move regularly; yet many times they do not: as for Example, the sen∣sitive do not always make perceptions of exterior objects, but many times make figures by rote; as 'tis manifest in mad men and such as are in high Feavers and the like distempers, which see or hear, taste or smell such or such objects when none are present; and the Rational Parts being regular, do perceive both the sensitive figures made by rote, and that there are Page 243 no such exterior objects really present; also the Ra∣tional parts make figures by rote, and without any out∣ward pattern; but such voluntary figures cannot pro∣perly be named Perceptions, by reason Perceptions are occasioned by outward objects; but they are rather voluntary Conceptions.
Q. 23. If it be so, that Parts can divide themselves from some Parts, and join to other Parts: Why may not the soul do the same, and change its Vehicles, that is, leave such, and take other Vehicles?
I answer: Concerning the Natural soul of man, which is part of Nature, and consists of the purest and subtilest degree of matter, which is the Rational, it is without question, that it is divideable and composeable, because it is material, and therefore subject to chan∣ges and transmutations; But as for the supernatural soul, because she is spiritual and consequently indivi∣dable, as having no parts, and therefore not the pro∣priety of a body which is to have figurative actions, it cannot be said of her that she is subject to compo∣sitions, divisions, transmutations, &c. However, put the case the supernatural soul should have those pro∣prieties of a body, although no body her self; Yet there could be but one infinite soul in one infinite body, and as the body did divide, so the soul must of necessity do also otherwise one soul would have many bodies, and some bodies would be soul-less; which would cause a horrid confusion between souls and bodies. Where∣fore Page 244 in my opinion Pythagoras's doctrine concerning the transmigration of souls, or that one soul can take several bodies, is as absurd, as that one body can quit one place and acquire an other, and so have more pla∣ces then bodies; which if it were thus, we might with as much probability affirm, that many bodies could be in one place, and in the resurrection of bodies there would certainly arise a great dispute between several bodies for one soul, and between several souls for one body, especially if one body was particularly beloved of more then one soul; all which would breed such a war between souls and bodies, souls and souls, and bo∣dies and bodies, that it would put all the world into a confusion; and therefore my opinion is, that Na∣ture is but one onely infinite body, which being self∣moving, is divideable and composeable, and consists of infinite parts of several degrees, which are so inter∣mixt, that in general they cannot be separated from each other, or from the body of Nature, and subsist single and by themselves; Neither can it be otherwise, unless Nature had several bodies, but though she has infinite parts, yet has she but one infinite body; for parts and body are but one Corporeal, self-moving, self-living and self-knowing Nature; And as for the degrees of animate and inanimate matter, they are also but parts of that one body of Nature, and the various and infinite knowledges, perceptions, lives, &c. considered in general, are nothing else but the life, Page 245 knowledg and perception of the infinite body of Na∣ture. And from hence it follows, that one man may have numerous souls, as well as he has numerous parts and particles; which as long as the whole figure of man lasts, their functions and actions are according to the na∣ture of that figure; but when the figure of man dis∣solves (which dissolution is nothing else but a change of those motions that were proper to the nature of its figure) then all the parts of that figure, if they be joined and composed with other parts and figures, become not soul-less, or life-less; but because they consist all of a commixture of animate and inanimate matter, they retain life and soul, onely the actions of that life and soul are according to the nature of those fi∣gures which the parts of the animal body did change into. Thus, as I have mentioned in my Philosophical Letters*, no Creature can challenge a particular life and soul to it self, but every Creature may have by the dividing and composing-nature of this self-moving Matter, more or fewer natural souls and lives.
And thus much of knowledg and perception; which since it is not onely the ground of Natural Philosophy, but a subject of a difficult Nature, I have insisted some∣what longer upon it then I have done upon any other, and endeavoured to clear it as well as I could; so that now, I hope, all that I have declared hitherto, will be sufficient to give the ingenious Reader a true infor∣mation of my opinion thereof, and a satisfactory answer Page 246 to any other scruples that should happen to puzzle his brain; I'le add no more at this present, but conclude with a brief repetition of those few Notes concerning the principles, which by that small portion of Reason and Judgment that Nature has allowed me, I have endeavoured to declare and prove in my works of Na∣tural Philosophy.
1. There is but one Matter, and infinite Parts; one self-motion, and infinite Actions; one Self-knowledg, and infinite particular Knowledges and Perceptions.
2. All parts of Nature are living, knowing, and perceptive, because all are self-moving, for self-mo∣tion is the cause of all particular effects, figures, actions, varieties, changes, lives, knowledges, perceptions, &c. in Nature, and makes the onely difference between animate and inanimate Matter.
3. The chief and general actions of Nature, are di∣vision and composition of parts, both which are done but by one act; for at the same time, when parts sepa∣rate themselves from such parts, they join to other parts; and this is the cause there can be no Vacuum, nor no single parts in Nature.
4. Every particular part of figure is infinitely di∣vided and composed from and with other parts.
5. The infinite divisions and compositions hinder, that Nature cannot run into extreams in her particulars, but keep the parts and actions of Nature in an equal ballance.
Page 247 6. The Inanimate part of Matter has life, sense, and self-knowledg, as well as the animate; but being not moving in it self, or its own Nature, it has not such a perceptive sense and self-knowledg, nor such an active life as the animate hath.
7. The parts of Inanimate Matter alter according to their commixture with the Animate, and so do their particular self-knowledges.
8. As parts alter by the changes of motions, so do particular perceptions.
9. Though all perceptions are figurative actions, yet no particular Creature can undoubtedly affirm, that all are made by patterning or imitation; by reason as the parts and actions of Nature are infinite, so are also particular perceptions; and being infinite, they cannot be known by any particular Creature.
10. There are besides exterior perceptions, volun∣tary actions, both of sense and reason, not made by imitation, but freely and by rote; and these may be called conceptions, rather then perceptions.
11. Those are much in the wrong, who believe, that man can know no more then what his five senses do in∣form him; for the rational part, which is the purest, subtilest, most active, and inspective part of Nature, does inform it self of things which the sensitive cannot; as for example, how was the new world and the Anti∣podes found out? for they were neither seen, nor heard of, nor tasted, nor smelled, nor touched. Truly Page 248 our reason does many times perceive that which our senses cannot; and some things our senses cannot per∣ceive until reason informs them; for there are many inventions which owe their rise and beginning onely to reason. It is not sense, but reason that knows or per∣ceives, there is something beyond it self, and be∣yond Nature, which is the Onely, Eternal, and Om∣nipotent God, and there can be no higher conception then this; for what is beyond it, is supernatural, and belongs to supernatural Creatures; as for example, those divine souls which God has given to men, above their rational material souls: but as for the wicked souls, they come not from God, but are irregularities of Nature, which God certainly will punish, as a Ma∣ster does the evil actions of his Servant.
12. Art is but a Natural Creature or effect, and not a Creator of any thing.
13. Colour, Magnitude, Figure, Place, Time, Gravity, Levity, Density, Rarity, Compositions, Divisions, Alterations, &c. are all one and the same with self-moving Matter, and nothing else but the va∣rious actions of Nature; which actions can no more be separated from body, then body can from Matter, or parts from their whole; for all that is natural, is corporeal; and therefore the distinction into substances and accidents, is to no purpose, since there cannot really be, no not imagined, such a thing as an incorporeal or substanceless motion or action in Nature.
Page 249 But some perhaps will say, If every part and 〈◊◊〉 of Nature has Magnitude, Colour, Figure, Place, &c. How is it possible that they can be one and the same with body, since they are subject to several per∣ceptions?
To which I answer, The several perceptions do not make them to be several bodies, but they are patterned out or perceived as several proprieties or attributes of one body, or as several effects of one cause; for though there is but one cause in Nature, which is self-moving matter; yet that onely cause must of necessity have several effects or proprieties, as Figure, Colour, Place, Magnitude, &c. and if I may without offence make a comparison between the Creator and a Creature, God is but one in his Essence, as one Infinite and Eternal God, and yet has seve∣ral Divine Attributes; and though the parts of Na∣ture cannot comprehend, conceive, or perceive God, yet they may conceive somewhat of his several At∣tributes, after several manners or wayes: In the like manner, although there is but one matter, yet that matter may be perceived after several manners or ways, it being impossible that matter, or any part of par∣ticle of matter, although it were single, should be without those several mentioned proprieties; for can any one conceive or imagine a body without Figure, Magnitude, Place or Colour, were it as little as an Atome? and since there are no Natural Figures or Page 250 Creatures but consist of parts, those composed Fi∣gures may have a different Magnitude, Place, Co∣lour, &c. from their parts and particles were they single; but being self-moving, those figures may alter by self-motion; for 'tis as impossible for a body to be without parts, as for parts to be without body; but if matter were not self-moving, there would neither be alterations, perceptions, nor any natural actions, although there might be a fixt self-knowledg in Na∣tures parts. And thus it is no wonder how there can be several perceptions of one figure, by reason there's no figure but is composed of parts; and as we can conceive a whole and its parts, which yet are one and the same thing, several ways; (for a whole we con∣ceive as a composition of parts; and parts we con∣ceive as a division of the whole) so we may Figure, Place, Magnitude, &c. And as we cannot conceive nor perceive motion without body; so neither can we conceive those mentioned proprieties without body, or body without them, they being nothing else but the corporeal, figurative actions of Nature.