Observations upon experimental philosophy to which is added The description of a new blazing world
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674.
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ALthough the indisposition of my bo∣dy did in a manner disswade me from studying and writing any more; yet the great desire I had to know the Opinions of the An∣cient Philosophers, and whether any came near my own, overcame me so much, that even to the prejudice of my own health, I gave my self to the perusing of the works of that learned Author Mr. Stanly, wherein he describes the lives and opini∣ons of the ancient Philosophers; in which I found so much difference betwixt their conceptions and my own in Natural Philosophy, that were it allowable or usual Page  2 for our sex, I might set up a sector School for my self, without any prejudice to them; But I, being a wo∣man, do fear they would soon cast me out of their Schools; for though the Muses, Graces and Sciences are all of the female gender, yet they were more esteem∣ed in former ages, then they are now; nay, could it be done handsomely, they would now turn them all from Females into Males; so great is grown the self∣conceit of the Masculine, and the disregard of the Fe∣male sex.

But to let that pass: The Opinions of the Ancient, though they are not exempt from errors no more then our Moderns, yet are they to be commended that their conceptions are their own, and the issue of their own wit and reason; when as most of the opinions of our Mo∣dern Philosophers, are patched up with theirs: Some whereof do altogether follow either Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus, Pythagoras, &c. others make a mixture of se∣veral of their Opinions, and others again take some of their opinions, and dress them up new with some ad∣ditions of their own; and what is worst, after all this, instead of thanks, they reward them with scorn, and rail at them; when as, perhaps, without their pains and industry, our age would hardly have arrived to that knowledg it has done. To which ungrateful and unconscionable act, I can no ways give my consent, but admire and honour both the ancient, and all those that are real Inventors of noble and profitable Arts and Page  3 Sciences, before all those that are but botchers and bro∣kers; and that I do in this following part, examine, and mark some of their opinions, as erroneous; is not out of a humor to revile or prejudice their wit, industry, ingenuity and learning, in the least; but onely to shew, by the difference of their opinions and mine, that mine are not borrowed from theirs, as also to make mine the more intelligible and clear, and, if possible, to find out the truth in Natural Philosophy; for which were they alive, I question not, but I should easily ob∣tain their pardon.

1. Vpon the Principles of Thales.

THales, according to Historical Relation, was the first that made disquisitions upon Nature, and so the first Natural Philosoper. His chief points in Phi∣losophy are these: 1. He says, That Water is the Principle of all natural bodies: 2. That Nature is full of Daemons, and spiritual substances: 3. That the Soul is a self-moving Nature, and that it both moves it self, and the body: 4. That there is but one World, and that finite: 5. That the World is animate, and God is the soul thereof, diffused through every Part: 6. That the World is contained in a place: 7. That Bodies are divisible into infinite.

Concerning the First, viz. That Water is the Principle of all natural things; Helmont doth embrace Page  4 this opinion, as I have declared in my Philosophical Letters, and in the foregoing part of this Book, and have given withal my reasons why water cannot be a principle of natural things, because it is no more but a natural effect; for though humidity may be found in many parts or Creatures of Nature, yet this doth not prove, that water is a principle of all natural bodies, no more then fire, earth, air, or any other Creature of Nature; and though most Philosophers are of opi∣nion, that Elements are simple bodies, and all the rest are composed of them, yet this is no ways probable to reason, because they consist of the same matter as other bodies do, and are all but effects of one cause or prin∣ciple, which is infinite Matter.

Next, That Nature is full of Daemons, or Spiri∣tual substances, is against sense and reason; for what is incorporeal, is no part of Nature, and upon this ac∣count, the soul cannot be immaterial, although he makes her to be a self-moving Nature; for what has a natural motion, has also a natural body; because Matter and Motion are but one thing; neither can a Spiritual substance move a corporeal, they being both of different natures.

As for the World, That there is but one, I do wil∣lingly grant it, if by the World he did mean Nature; but then it cannot be finite. But Thales seems to con∣tradict himself in this Theoreme, when as he grants, that Bodies are divisible in infinite; for if there be Page  5 infinite actions, as infinite divisions in Nature; then surely the body of Nature it self must be infinite.

Next, he says, That God is the Soul of the World; which if so, God being Infinite, he cannot have a Finite body to animate it; for a Finite Body, and an Infinite Soul, do never agree together; but that God should be the Soul of the World, no regular Reason can allow, because the Soul of Nature must be cor∣poreal, as well as the Body; for an incorporeal sub∣stance cannot be mixed with a corporeal. Next, the World as the body of Nature, being dividable, it would follow, that God, which is the Soul, would be dividable also: Thirdly, Every part of the world, would be a part of God, as partaking of the same nature; for every part, if the Soul be diffused through all the Body, would be animate.

Lastly, Concerning Place, as that the World is contained in a place; my opinion is, that place is no∣thing else, but an affection of body, and in no ways different or separable from it; for wheresoever is body; or matter, there is place also; so that place cannot be said to contain the world, or else it would be bigger then the world it self; for that which contains, must needs in compass or extent, exceed that which it con∣tains.

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2. Some few Observations on Plato's Doctrine.

1. PLato says, That Life is two fold, Contemplative, and Active; and that Contemplation is an office of the Intellect, but Action an operation of the Rati∣onal soul?

To which I answer, first, That I know no other difference between Intellect and Reason, but that In∣tellect is an effect, or rather an Essential Propriety of Reason, if Reason be the Principle of Nature; for the Rational part is the most Intelligent part of animate Matter. Next, I say, That Contemplation is as much an action, as any other action of Nature, al∣though it be not so gross as the action of the body; for it is onely an action of the mind, which is more pure and subtile then either the sensitive or inanimate parts of matter are, and acts within it self, that is, in its own substance or degree of Matter.

2. He says, That Sense is a passion of the Soul.

I answer: There is as much difference between Sense, and the Soul, as there is between Sense, and Rea∣son, or a sensitive life, and a rational soul; for the Rational parts of Matter, are not the Sensitive, nor the Sensitive the Rational; a Fool may have his sense regular, and his reason irregular; and therefore sense and reason are not one and the same, although they have Page  7 an inseparable Communion in the body or substance of Nature.

3. He argues thus: That which moves in it self, as being the principle of Motion in those things which are moved, is always moved, and consequently Im∣mortal, Ungenerable and Incorruptible; but the Soul is so. Ergo, &c.

I answer: Natural Matter being thus self-moving, is the same.

4. From, says he, is joined to Matter.

I answer: Form and Matter are but one thing; for it is impossible to separate Matter from Form, or Form from Matter; but what is not dividable, is not com∣posable; and what cannot be separated, cannot be joined

5. Qualities, says he, are incorporeal, because they are accidents.

I answer: If Qualities be Incorporeal, they do not belong to Nature; for since the Principle of Nature is Matter, all that is natural, must also be material or cor∣poreal; and therefore all natural qualities or accidents must of necessity be corporeal, by reason quality can no more be divided from Matter, then figure, magni∣tude, colour, place, and the like; all which are but one and the same with body, without any separation or abstraction.

6. What Plato affirms, of that which never is, and never had a Beginning, and of that which has a Be∣ginning, Page  8 and not a Being, is more then he or any body can rationally prove; for what never was, nor is, no man can know or imagine; because all what is known or imagined, has its real being, if not without, yet within the Mind; and all thoughts have not onely a being, but a material being in Nature; nay, even the Thought of the existence of a Deity, although Deity it self is Immaterial.

7. I wonder so witty a Philosopher as Plato can be∣lieve, that Matter in it self, as it is the Principle of Nature, is void of all form; for he affirms himself, That whatsoever hath parts, hath also figure; but Mat∣ter has parts, (by reason there can be no single part in Nature, but wheresoever is body or matter, there are parts also) and therefore matter cannot be void of fi∣gure. But if by Form, he mean the innate and inhe∣rent self-motion of Matter, he contradicts himself; for how can all things be made of matter, as their principle, if matter be destitute of self-motion? Wherefore In∣finite Matter has not onely self-motion, but also figure, though not a circumscribed or limited figure: Nei∣ther can it be proved, that Nature, being infinite, is not qualitative, no more then she can be proved to have no parts, or to be finite. In short, it is impos∣sible for my reason to believe, that Matter should be capable of, and subject to all forms, and yet be void of all quality, form, and species; for whatsoever has neither form, figure, nor quality, is no body, and Page  9 therefore Plato's Matter is immaterial, or incorporeal. If it were possible, that there could be some converse or meeting between his and my soul, I would ask his soul how he would prove, that one and the same thing could exist, and not exist at one and the same time; that is, how matter could be no matter, or something and no∣thing at the same time; and whence it came to be thus? For though our reason does believe, that the Omni∣potent Creator can make something of nothing, and reduce something into nothing; yet no reason is able to comprehend how God could make a being which is neither something, nor nothing; neither corporeal, nor incorporeal. But Plato concludes that Matter is de∣stitute of all form, because it is subject to change of forms and figures in its particulars, which is a very great mistake; for the changes of forms or figures, do not alter the nature of Matter; but prove rather, that wheresoever there is form or figure, there is matter also; so that none can be without the other at no time; A piece of Wax may be transformed into millions of figures, but it can never be deprived of all figure; no more can Matter.

8. Concerning Ideas, Plato's Opinion is, That they are Principles of Nature, and the Eternal Notions of God, perfect in themselves; or an External exem∣plar of things which are according to Nature. But I would ask him, what Notions are, and whence they come; and, if they be pictures or patterns of all things in Page  10 Nature, What makes or causes them? He will say, They are the Thoughts of God. But what Crea∣ture in the Universe is able to describe the Thoughts or Notions of God? For though I do humbly ac∣knowledg God to be the Author of Nature; and with the greatest reverence and fear, adore that Infinite Deity; yet I dare not attribute any Notions or Ideas to God, nor in any manner or way express him like our humane condition; for I fear I should speak irre∣verently of that Incomprehensible Essence, which is above all finite Capacity, Reason, or Idea.

Next, he says, That those Ideas are not of things made by Art, nor of singulars, nor of preternatural accidents, as diseases, nor of vile and abject things, nor of Relatives. Which if so, I would enquire whence those effects do proceed? for if the Eternal Ideas, ac∣cording to his opinion, are Principles of all natural things, they must also be principles of the aforemen∣tioned effects, they being also natural: If they do not proceed from any principle, they must proceed from themselves; which cannot be, by reason they are ef∣fects of Nature: but if they have another principle besides the Eternal Notions, or Ideas; then there must be another power besides these, which power would oppose the divine power, or the power God has en∣dued Nature withal. In short, If the Ideas of God be the Principle of Nature, they must be a principle of all natural things; for that which is not Universal, can Page  11 never be a principle: which if so, then the Ideas or Notions of God, would not onely be the Cause and Principle of all Goodness, but of all evil effects; and if there be more wicked or evil souls in the World then good ones, there would proceed more evil from God then good; which is not onely impossible, but impi∣ous to affirm. But Perchance he will say, That the Ideas of the aforementioned effects are generated and annihilated. I answer: As for Nature, she be∣ing Eternal and Infinite, is not subject to new generati∣ons and annihilations in her particulars; neither can Principles be generated and annihilated; and as for su∣pernatural or immaterial Ideas, they being incorporeal, cannot be subject to a new generation, or annihilation; for what is supernatural, is not capable of natural affe∣ctions, nor subject to a natural capacity any ways. In truth, Plato, with his Ideas in God, in the Angelick Mind, in the Soul, &c. makes a greater stir then needs, and breeds more confusion in Nature then she really knows of; for Nature is as easie to be understood in her general principles, that regular sense and reason may conceive them without framing any such Ideas or Minds. He distinguishes also the Idea or exemplar of an house which the architect has in his mind; and as his pattern exactly strives to imitate, from the build∣ing or structure of the house it self by this, that he calls that intelligible, but this material and sensible; when as yet the form or pattern in the Architects mind, is as Page  12 much material, as the builded house it self; the onely difference is, that the Exemplar, or figure in the Mind, is formed of the rational matter onely, which is the pu∣rest, finest and subtilest degree, and the other is made of grosser materials.

9. The Soul of the World he makes immaterial, but the body material; and hence he concludes the World to be Eternal; because the soul is such which is not capable to be without body; and although it be incorporeal, yet its office is to rule and govern corpo∣real Nature. But concerning the Soul of Nature, I have sufficiently declared my opinion thereof in other places; to wit, that it is impossible she should be im∣material; for if the body of Nature be dividable and composable, the soul must be so too; but that which is not material, cannot admit of division, nor compo∣sition; wherefore the soul cannot be immaterial, or else some parts of the world would be destitute of a soul, which might deserve it as well as the rest, which would argue a partiality in the Creator. I wonder wise men will attribute bodily affections to immaterial beings, when as yet they are not able to conceive or comprehend them; by which they confound and di∣sturb Nature, which knows of no Immaterials, but her Essence is Matter.

10. As for his Ethicks, where he speaks of Beauty, Strength, Proportion, &c. I'le onely say this, That of all these, there are different sorts; for there's the Page  13 strength of the Mind, and the strength of the Body; and these are so various in their kinds and particulars, that they cannot be exactly defined; also Beauty, consi∣dering onely that which is of the body, there are so many several sorts, consisting in features, shapes and proportions of bodies, as it is impossible to describe pro∣perly what Beauty is, and wherein it really consists; for what appears beautiful to some, may seem ill-fa∣voured to others; and what seems extraordinary fair or handsom to one, may have but an indifferent cha∣racter of another; so that in my opinion, there's no such thing as a Universal Beauty, which may gain a general applause of all, and be judged alike by every one that views it; nay, not by all immortal souls, nei∣ther in body, nor mind; for what one likes, another may dislike; what one loves, another may hate; what one counts good, another may proclaim bad; what one names just, another may call unjust: And as for Temperance which he joins to Justice; what may be temperance to one, may be intemperance to another; for no particular knows the just measures of Nature; nay, even one and the same thing which one man loves to day, he may chance to hate, or at least dislike, to mor∣row; for Nature is too various to be constant in her particulars, by reason of the perpetual alterations and changes they are subject to; which do all proceed from self-moving Matter, and not from incorporeal Ideas. Thus Rational souls are changeable, which may be Page  14 proved by the changes of their Fancies, Imaginations, Thoughts, Judgments, Understandings, Concep∣tions, Passions, Affections, and the like; all which are effects or actions of the rational soul; nay, not onely natural rational souls, but even divine souls, if they were all good, none would be bad, nor vary as we find they do; and therefore I cannot believe that all souls can have the same likeness, being so different amongst themselves.

3. Upon the Doctrine of Pythagoras.

1. THe most Learned of the Pythagoreans do as∣sert, That things apparent to sense, cannot be said Principles of the Universe; for whatsoever consists of things apparent to sense, is compounded of things not apparent; and a Principle must not consist of any thing, but be that of which the thing con∣sists.

To which I answer: First, I cannot conceive what they mean by things apparent to sense; if they mean the sensitive organs of humane Creatures, they are mistaken; for there may be, and are really many things in Nature, which are not apparent to humane sense, and yet are not Principles, but natural effects; wherefore not all things that are not apparent to hu∣mane sense, are principles of Nature: Besides, there may be many other Creatures which do far exceed Page  15 Men or Animals in their sensitive perceptions; and if things be not subject to humane sense, they may be sub∣ject to the sense of other Creatures. But if by sense they mean the sensitive life of Nature, they commit a far greater error; for there's nothing which is not subject, or has a participation of this Universal sense in Nature, as well as of Reason. 'Tis true, particular senses can∣not perceive the infinite figurative motions of Nature, neither can the subtilest sense have a perception of the interior, innate, figurative motions of any other Crea∣ture; but I do not speak of particular senses, but of that infinite sense and reason, which is self-moving Matter, and produces all the effects of Nature.

But you'l say, How can Infinite be a principle of particular Finites?

I answer: As well as the Infinite God can be the Author of Nature, and all natural Beings; which though they be finite in their particular figures, yet their number is Infinite.

2. Concerning the Numbers of Pythagoras, which he makes so great a value of; I confess, wheresoever are Parts, and compositions, and divisions of parts, there must also be number, but yet as parts cannot be prin∣ciples, so neither can numbers; for self-moving Mat∣ter, which is the onely principle of Nature, is infinite, and there are no more principles but this one. 'Tis true, regular compositions and divisions are made by consent of parts, and presuppose number and har∣mony, Page  16 but number and harmony cannot be the cause of any orderly productions, without sense and reason; for how should parts agree in their actions, if they did not know each other, or if they had no sense nor rea∣son? truly there can be no motion without sense, nor no orderly motion without reason; and though Epi∣curus's Atomes might move by chance without reason, yet they could not move in a concord or harmony, not knowing what they are to do, or why, or whither they move; nay, if they had no sense, it is impossible they should have motion; and therefore, in my opinion, it is the rational and sensitive parts which by consent make number and harmony; and those that will deny this sensitive and rational self-moving Matter, must deny the principles of motion, and of all constant successions of all sorts and kinds of Creatures, nay, of all the va∣riety that is in Nature. Indeed I am puzled to under∣stand Learned men, what they mean by Principles, by reason I see that they so frequently call Principles those which are but effects of Nature; some count the Ele∣ments Principles; some Numbers; some Ideas; some Atomes; and the like: And by their different opini∣ons, they confirm, that there is as well discord and di∣vision, as there is concord and composition of the parts of Nature; for if this were not, there would be no contrary actions, and consequently no variety of figures and motions.

Page  17 3. Whatsoever is comprehended by man, says Py∣thagoras, is either body, or incorporeal; amongst which Incorporeals he reckons also time: But this opi∣nion is contradicted by regular sense and reason; for no humane, nor any other natural Creature, is able to comprehend an incorporeal, it self being corporeal; and as for time, place, and the like, they are one and the same with body, which is so, how can they be incor∣poreal? Neither is it possible, that incorporeal Be∣ings, should be principles of Nature, because there is as much difference between corporeal, and incorporeal, as there is between Matter, and no Matter; but how no Matter can be a principle of matterial effects, is not conceivable. For God, though he be an Immaterial Essence, and yet the Author of material Nature, and all natural Beings; yet he is not a natural, material Principle, out of which all natural things consist, and are framed, but a supernatural, decreeing, or∣dering and commanding Principle, which cannot be said of created Incorporeals; for though Nature moves by the powerful Decree of God, yet she can∣not be governed by finite Incorporeals; by reason they being finite, have no power over a material Infi∣nite, neither can there be any other Infinite Spirit, but God himself.

4. Pythagoras's Doctrine is, That the World, in its nature, is Corruptible, but the Soul of the World is Incorruptible; and that without the Heavens, there Page  18 is an Infinite Vacuum, into which, and out of which the World repairs. As for the corruptibility of the World, I cannot understand how the Soul can be incorrup∣tible, and the World it self corruptible; for if the World should be destroyed, what will become of the Soul? I will not say, That the All-powerfull God may not destroy it when he pleases, but the infiniteness and perpetual self-motion of Nature, will not permit that Nature should be corruptible in it self; for God's Power goes beyond the power of Nature. But it seems Pythagoras understands by the World, no more then his senses can reach; so that beyond the Celestial Orbs he supposes to be an infinite Vacuum; which is as much as to say, an infinite Nothing; and my reason cannot apprehend how the World can breath and re∣spire into nothing, and out of nothing.

5. Neither am I able to conceive the Truth of his assertion, That all lines are derived from points, and all numbers from unity, and all figures from a circle; for there can be no such thing as a single point, a single unity, a single circle in Nature, by reason Nature is infinitely dividable and composable; neither can they be principles, because they are all but effects.

6. Concerning the Soul, the Pythagoreans call her a self-moving number, and divide her into two parts, rational and irrational, and derive the beginning of the soul from the heat of the brain.

The Sould of Animate Creatures, as they call them, Page  [unnumbered] they allow to be rational, even those which others call irrational, to wit, those in all other animals besides man; but they act not according to reason, for want of speech. The Rational Soul, say they, is immortal, and a self-moving number; where by number, they understand the Mind, which they call a Monad. These, and the like opinions, which Pythagoreans have of the Soul, are able to puzle Solomons wit or understand∣ing to make any conformity of Truth of them; and I will not strictly examine them, but set down these few Paradoxes.

1. I cannot apprehend, how the same soul can be divided into substances of such differing, nay, contrary proprieties and natures, as to be rational and irrational, mortal and immortal.

2. How the heat of the brain can be the Principle of the soul; since the soul is said to actuate, move, and inform the body, and to be a Principle of all bodily acti∣ons: Besides, all brains have not the like Tempera∣ment, but some are hot, and some cold, and some hot∣ter then others; whence it will follow, that all animals are not endued with the like souls; but some souls must of necessity be weaker, and some stronger then o∣thers.

3. How Irrational Creatures can have a Rational Soul, and yet not act according to Reason for want of speech: for Irrational Creatures are called so, because they are thought to have no reason; and as for speech, Page  20 it is an effect, and not a Principle of Reason; for shall we think a dumb man irrational, because he cannot speak?

4. I cannot conceive how it is possible, that the soul is a self-moving number, and yet but a Monad, or Unite; for a Unite, they say, is no number, but a prin∣ciple of number: Not, how the Soul, being incorpo∣real, can walk in the air, like a body; for incorporeal beings cannot have corporeal actions, no more then corporeal beings can have the actions of incorporeals. Wherefore I will leave those points to the examina∣tion of more Learned Persons, then my self; and as for the Pythagorean Transmigration of Souls, I have declared my opinion thereof heretofore, in the first part.

4. Of Epicurus his Principles of Philosophy.

1. COncerning the World, Epicurus is of opinion, That it is not Eternal and Incorruptible; but that it was generated, and had a beginning, and shall also have an end, and perish: For, says he, It is necessary that all compounded things be also dissipated, and resolved into those things of which they were com∣pounded. By the World, he understands a portion of the universe; that is, the circumference of Heaven, containing the Stars, the Earth, and all things visible; For Heaven he supposes to be the extreme, or outmost Page  21 part of the World; and by the Universe, he under∣stands Infinite Nature, which consists of Body, and Vacuum; for he thinks bodies could not move, were there no Vacuum to move in.

Whereof I do briefly declare my opinion, thus: If the Universe or Nature it self be Infinite, Eternal and Incorruptible, all parts of Nature, or the Universe, must be so too; I mean, in themselves, as they are Matter, or Body; for were it possible, that some of them could perish, or be annihilated; the Universe would be imperfect, and consequently not infinite, as wanting some parts of its own body. 'Tis true, par∣ticular natural figures may be infinitely changed, dis∣solved, transformed; but they can never be dissolved from being Matter, or parts of Nature; and if not, they cannot perish, no not the figures of finite parts, for as Matter cannot perish, so neither can figure, be∣cause matter and figure are but onething; and though one part be transformed into millions of figures, yet all those figures do not perish in their changes and altera∣tions, but continue still in Nature, as being parts of Nature, and therefore material. Thus, change, al∣teration, dissolution, division, composition, and all other species of motions, are no annihilation, or pe∣rishing; neither can it be proved, that parts dissolve more then they unite; because dissolution, or divi∣sion and composition of parts, are but one act; for whensoever parts separate themselves from some, they Page  22 must of necessity join to others; which doth also prove, that there can be no Vacuum in Nature; for if there were, there would be division without composition: besides, there would be no parts, but all parts would be several wholes, by reason they would subsist by themselves. Thus Nature would not be one infinite body, com∣posed of Infinite parts; but every part being a whole by it self, would make some kind of a finite world; and those parts which separate themselves from each other by the intervals of Vacuum, would subsist precised from each other, as having no relation to one another, and so become wholes of parts; nay, if several of those in∣tire and single bodies should join closely together, they would make such a gap of Vacuum, as would cause a confusion and disturbance both amongst themselves, and in the Universe. Wherefore sense and reason contradicts the opinion of Vacuum; neither is there any necessity of introducing it, by reason of the motion of natural bodies; for they may move without Vacuum better then within Vacuum, since all bodies are not of the like Nature, that is, dense, close, or compact; but there are fluid bodies, as well as hard bodies; rare, as well as dense; subtile, as well as gross; because there is animate and inanimate matter in Nature. But con∣cerning the World, it seems, Epicurus doth not mean by the dissolution of the world, an absolute annihila∣tion, but onely a reduction into its former principles, which are Atomes; however, if this be his meaning, Page  23 he contradicts himself, when he affirms, that the uni∣verse, whose portion the World is, was ever such as it is now, and shall ever be thus; for if it shall continue so for ever as it is now, how is it possible, that it should be reduced into Atomes. He says also, That the Vni∣niverse is immovable and immutable. If he mean it to be so in its Essence or Nature, so that it cannot be changed from being material; and that it is immovable, so that it cannot be moved, beyond, or without it self; I am of his opinion: For Nature being purely and wholly ma∣terial, cannot be made immaterial, without its total destruction; and being infinite, has nothing without it self to move into: Otherwise, Nature is not onely a self-moving body, but also full of changes and varie∣ties; I mean, within her self, and her particulars. As for his infinite Worlds, I am not different from his o∣pinion, if by Worlds he mean the parts of infinite Na∣ture; but my Reason will not allow, that those infi∣nite Worlds do subsist by themselves, distinguished from each other by Vacuum; for it is meer non-sense to say, the Universe consists of body and Vacuum; that is, of something, and nothing; for nothing cannot be a constitutive principle of any thing, neither can it be measured, or have corporeal dimensions; for what is no body, can have no bodily affections or properties. God, by his Omnipotency, may reduce the World into nothing; but this cannot be comprehended by na∣tural reason.

Page  24 2. The Matter or Principle of all natural Beings, Epicurus makes Atomes: For, say he, There are Simple, and Compounded bodies in the Universe; the Simple bodies are the first matter, out of which the Com∣pounded bodies consist, and those are Atomes; that is, bo∣dies indivisible, immutable, and in themselves void of all mutation; consisting of several infinite figures; some big∣ger, and some less. Which opinion appears very Para∣doxical to my reason; for if Atomes be bodies, I do not see how they can be indivisible, by reason where∣soever is body, there are also parts; so that divisibi∣lity is an essential propriety or attribute of Matter or Body. He counts it impossible, that one finite part should be capable of infinite divisions; but his Vacuum makes him believe there are single finite parts, distin∣guished from each other by little spaces or intervals of vacuity, which in truth cannot be; but as soon as parts are divided from such or such parts, they immediately join to other parts; for division and composition, as I mentioned before, are done by one act; and one countervails the other. 'Tis true, there are distin∣ctions of parts in Nature, or else there would be no variety; but these are not made by little intervals of vacuity, but by their own figures, interior as well as exterior, caused by self-motion, which make a diffe∣rence between the infinite parts of Nature. But put the case there were such Atomes, out of which all things are made; yet no man that has his sense and reason Page  25 regular, can believe, they did move by chance, or at least without sense and reason, in the framing of the world, and all natural bodies, if he do but consider the wonderful order and harmony that is in Nature, and all her parts. Indeed I admire so witty and great a Phi∣losopher as Epicurus, should be of such an extravagant opinion, as to divide composed bodies into animate and inanimate, and derive them all from one Principle, which are senseless and irrational Atomes; for if his A∣tomes, out of which all things consist, be self-moving, or have, as he says, some natural impulse within them∣selves, then certainly all bodies that are composed of them, must be the same. He places the diversity of them onely in figure, weight and magnitude, but not in motion, which he equally allows to all; nay, more∣over, he says, that although they be of different fi∣fiures, weight and magnitude, yet they do all move equally swift; but if they have motion, they must of necessity have also sense, that is, life and knowledg; there being no such thing as a motion by chance in Na∣ture, because Nature is full of reason as well as of sense, and wheresoevever is reason, there can be no chance; Chance is onely in respect to particulars, caused by their ignorance; for particulars being finite in them∣selves, can have no Infinite or Universal knowledg; and where there is no Universal knowledg, there must of necessity be some ignorance. Thus ignorance, which proceeds from the division of parts, causes that which we Page  26 call chance; but Nature, being an infinite self-moving body, has also infinite knowledg; and therefore she knows of no chance, nor is this visible World, or any part of her, made by chance, or a casual concourse of senseless and irrational Atomes; but by the All-pow∣erful Decree and Command of God, out of that pre∣existent Matter that was from all Eternity, which is in∣finite Nature; for though the Scripture expresses the framing of this World, yet it doth not say, that Na∣ture her self was then created; but onely that this world was put into such a frame and state, as it is now; and who knows but there may have been many other Worlds before, and of another figure then this is: nay, if Nature be infinite, there must also be infinite Worlds; for I take, with Epicurus, this World but for a part of the Universe; and as there is self-motion in Nature, so there are also perpetual changes of particulars, although God himself be immovable; for God acts by his All∣powerful Decree or Command, and not after a na∣tural way.

3. The Soul of Animals, says Epicurus, is corpo∣real, and a most tenuious and subtile body, made up of most subtile particles, in figure, smooth and round, not perceptible by any sense; and this subtile contexture of the soul, is mixed and compounded of four several natures; as of something fiery, something aerial, some∣thing flatuous, and something that has no name; by means whereof it is indued with a sensitive faculty. And Page  27 as for reason, that is likewise compounded or little bo∣dies, but the smoothest and roundest of all, and of the quickest motion. Thus he discourses of the Soul, which, I confess, surpasses my understanding; for I shall never be able to conceive, how senseless and irra∣tional Atomes can produce sense and reason, or a sen∣sible and rational body, such as the soul is, although he affirms it to be possible: 'Tis true, different effects may proceed from one cause or principle; but there is no principle, which is senseless, can produce sensitive effects; nor no rational effects can flow from an irra∣tional cause; neither can order, method and harmo∣ny proceed from chance or confusion; and I cannot conceive, how Atomes, moving by chance, should onely make souls in animals, and not in other bodies; for if they move by chance, and not by knowledg and consent, they might, by their conjunction, as well chance to make souls in Vegetables and Minerals, as in Animals.

4. Concerning Perception, and in particular, the Perception of sight, Epicurus affirms, that it is per∣formed by the gliding of some images of external ob∣jects into our eyes, to wit, that there are certain effluxi∣ons of Atomes sent out from the surfaces of bodies, preserving the same position and order, as is found in the superficies of them, resembling them in all their li∣neaments; and those he calls Images, which are per∣petually flowing in an interrupted course; and when Page  28 one Image goes away, another immediately succeeds from the superficies of the object in a continued stream; and this entering into our eyes, and striking our sight, with a very swift motion, causes the Perception of seeing.

This strange opinion of his, is no less to be admired then the rest, and shews, that Epicurus was more blind in his reason, then perhaps in his Eye-sight: For, first, How can there be such a perpetual effluxion of Atomes, from an external body, without lessening or weakning its bulk or substance, especially they being corporeal? Indeed, if a million of eyes or more, should look for a long time upon one object, it is impossible, but that object would be sensibly lessened or diminished, at least weakned, by the perpetual effluxions of so many millions of Atomes: Next, how is it possible, that the Eye can receive such an impress of so many Atomes, without hurting or offending it in the least? Thirdly, Since Epicurus makes Vacuities in Nature, How can the images pass so orderly through all those Vacuities, especially if the object be of a considerable magnitude? for then all intermediate bodies that are between the sentient, and the sensible object, must re∣move, and make room for so many images to pass thorow. Fourthly, How is it possible, that, espe∣cially at a great distance, in an instant of time, and as soon as I cast my eye upon the object, so many A∣tomes can effluviate with such a swiftness, as to enter Page  29 so suddenly through the Air into the Eye; for all mo∣tion is progressive, and done in time? Fifthly, I would fain know, when those Atomes are issued from the object, and entered into the eye, what doth at last become of them? Surely they cannot remain in the Eye, or else the Eye would never lose the sight of the object; and if they do not remain in the Eye, they must either return to the object from whence they came, or join with other bodies, or be annihilated. Sixtly, I cannot imagine, but that, when we see several objects at one and the same time, those images proceeding from so many several objects, be they never so orderly in their motions, will make a horrid confusion; so that the eye will rather be confounded, then perceive any thing exactly after this manner. Lastly, A man having two eyes; I desire to know, Whether every eye has its own image to perceive, or whether but one image enters into both; if every eye receives its own image, then a man having two eyes, may see double; and a great Drone-flie, which Experimental Philoso∣phers report to have 14000 eyes, may receive so many images of one object; but if but one image enters into all those eyes, then the image must be divided into so many parts.

5. What Epicurus means by his divine Nature, cannot be understood by a natural capacity; for, he says it is the same with corporeal Nature; but yet not so much a body, as a certain thing like a body, as Page  30 having nothing common to it with other bodies, that is, with transitory, generated, and perishable things. But, in my opinion, God must either be Corporeal, or Incorporeal; if Corporeal, he must be Nature it self; for there's nothing corporeal, but what is natural; if incorporeal, he must be supernatural; for there is nothing between body, and no body; corporeal and incorporeal; natural, and supernatural; and therefore to say, God is of a corporeal nature, and yet not a body, but like a body, is contrary to all sense and reason. 'Tis true, God hath actions, but they are not corporeal, but supernatural, and not comprehensible by a humane or finite capacity: Neither is God naturally moving, for he has no local or natural motion, nor doth he trouble himself with making any thing, but by his All-power∣full Decree and Command he produces all things; and Nature, which is his Eternal servant, obeys his Com∣mands: Wherefore the actions of Nature cannot be a disturbance to his Incomprehensible felicity, no not to Nature, which being self-moving, can do no other∣wise, but take delight in acting, for her actions are free and easie, and not forced or constrained.

6. Although he affirms, That God, or Nature, considers Man no more then other Creatures; yet he endeavours to prove, That Man is the best product of his Atomes; which to me seems strange, considering that all compositions of Atomes come by chance, and that the Principles of all Creatures are alike. But Page  31 truly, take away the supernatural or divine soul from man, and he is no better then other Creatures are, be∣cause they are all composed of the same matter, and have all sense and reason, which produces all sorts of figures, in such order, method and harmony, as the wisdom of Nature requires, or as God has ordered it; for Nature, although she be Infinite and Eter∣nal, yet she depends upon the Incomprehensible God, the Author of Nature, and his All-powerfull Commands, Worshipping and Adoring him in her infinite particulars; for God being Infinite, must also have an infinite Worship; and if Nature had no dependance on God, she would not be a servant, but God her self. Wherefore Epicurus his Atomes, having no dependance upon a divine power, must of necessity be Gods; nay, every Atome must be a peculiar God, each being a single body, subsisting by it self; but they being senseless and irrational, would prove but weak Gods: Besides his Chance is but an uncertain God, and his Vacuum an empty God; and if all natural effects were grounded up∣on such principles, Nature would rather be a con∣fused Chaos, then an orderly and harmonical Uni∣verse.

Page  32

5. On Aristotle's Philosophical Principles.

HAving viewed four of the most Eminent of the Ancient Philosophers, I will proceed now to Aristotle, who may justly be called the Idol of the Schools, for his doctrine is generally embraced with such reverence, as if Truth it self had declared it; but I find he is no less exempt from errors, then all the rest, though more happy in fame. For Fame doth all, and whose name she is pleased to record, that man shall live, when others, though of no less worth and merit, will be obscured, and buried in oblivion. I shall not give my self the trouble of examining all his Principles; but as I have done by the former, make my observations on some few points in his Philosophy.

1. The summe of his Doctrine concerning Motion, and the first Mover, is comprehended in these few The∣orems. 1. There are three sorts of motion, Accretion and Diminution, Alteration and Local motion. 2. Rest is a privation of Motion. 3. All Motion is finite, for it is done in Time, which is finite. 4. There is no infinite Quantity or Magnitude in act, but onely in power, and so no body can be actually infinite. 5. Whatsoever is moved, must necessarily be moved by another. 6. There is a first mover in Nature, which is the cause and origine of all motions. 7. This first mover is Infinite, Eternal, Page  33 Indivisible and Incorporeal. 8. Motion it self is Eter∣nal, because Time, the measure of Motion, is E∣ternal.

Concerning the first, I answer, That Nature and all her parts are perpetually self-moving; and therefore it is needless to make three sorts of motions: we might say rather, there are infinite sorts of Mo∣tions; but yet all is self-motion, and so is accretion, di∣minution, and alteration; for though our senses cannot perceive the motions of all bodies, how, and which way they move, yet it doth not follow from thence, that they are not moving; for solid composed bodies, such as Minerals, may (though not to our humane sense) be more active then some rarer and thinner bodies, as is evident in the Loadstone and Iron, and the Needle; nay, in several other bodies applied by Art Physically: for if Nature be self-moving, as surely she is, then her parts must necessarily be in a continual action, there being no such thing as rest or quiescence in Nature. Next, Aristotle seems to contradict himself, when he says, that all Motion is finite, because it is done in Time, and yet affirms, that both Motion and Time are Eternal; for Eternal is that which hath nei∣ther beginning, nor end; and if Motion and Time be thus, how can they be finite? 3. I deny, that whatsoever is body or quantitative, cannot be infinite in act, but is onely infinite in power; for if it be pro∣bable, that there can be an Eternal motion, and Eternal Page  34 time, which is infinite in act; why should it not also be probable, that there is an infinite quantity? For motion is the action of body, and it is absurd, in my opinion, to make body finite, and the action infinite. Truly, if Aristotle means the World to be finite, and yet eternal, I do not conceive how they can consist to∣gether; for if the World be finite in quantity, he must allow an infinite Vacuum beyond it; which if he doth, why may not he allow as well an infinite quan∣tity? But he has no more ground to deny there is a quantity actually infinite, then he has ground to af∣firm that it is onely infinite in power; for if that which is in power, may be deduced into act, I see no reason, but the World, which is Nature, may be said infi∣nite in act, as well as in power. 4. I deny also his Theoreme, That whatsoever is moved, must neces∣sarily be moved by another; for wheresoever is self∣motion, there needs no exterior movent; but Nature and all her parts have self-motion, therefore they stand in no need of an exterior Movent. 'Tis true, one part may occasion another by its outward impulse or force, to move thus or thus; but no part can move by any o∣thers motion, but its own, which is an internal, and innate motion; so that every part and particle of Nature has the principle of motion within it self, as consisting all of a composition of animate or self-moving Matter; and if this be so, what need we to trouble our selves about a first Mover? In Infinite and Eternity there is Page  35 neither first nor last, and therefore Aristotle cannot un∣derstand a first mover of Time; and as for motion it self, if all parts move of themselves, as I said before, there is no necessity of an exterior or first Mover. But I would fain know what he means by the action of the first Mover, whether he be actually moving the world, or not? if he be actually moving, he must of necessity have natural motion in himself; but natural self∣motion is corporeal; and a corporeal propriety can∣not be attributed to an incorporeal substance; But if he be not actually moving, he must move Nature by his powerful Decree and Command; and thus the first mover is none else but God, who may be called so, because he has endued Nature with self-motion, and given it a principle of motion within it self, to move according as he has decreed and ordered it from all E∣ternity; for God, being immovable and incorporeal, cannot actually move the Universe, like the chief wheel in a Watch. And as for his incorporeal Intelligences, which are Eternal and immovable, president over the motions of the inferior orbs, Forty seven in number; this is rather a Poetical Fancy, then a probability of truth, and deserves to be banished out of the sphere of Natural Philosophy, which inquires in∣to nothing but what is conformable to the truth of nature; and though we are all but guessers, yet he that brings the most probable and rational ar∣guments, does come nearer to truth, then those Page  36 whose Ground is onely Fancy without Reason.

2. Heaven, says Aristotle, is void of Generation and Corruption, and consequently of accretion, dimi∣nution and alteration; for there are no contraries in it, nor has it Levity, or Gravity; neither are there more Worlds but one, and that is finite; for if there were more, the Earth of one would move to the Earth of the other, as being of one kind. To which I an∣swer: first, As for Generation, Difsolution, Accre∣tion, Diminution and Alteration of Celestial bodies; it is more then a humane Creature is able to know; for although we do not see the alterations of them, yet we cannot deny they have natural motion, but where∣soever is motion, there's also change and alteration. For, put the case the Moon were such another body as this terrestrial Globe we inhabit, we can onely per∣ceive its outward progressive motion; nevertheless it may contain as many different particulars, as this Globe of the Earth, which may have their particular motions, and be generated, dissolved, composed, divided and transformed many, nay, infinite ways: The same may be said of the rest of the Planets, and the fixed Stars. And as for Gravity, and Levity, we do onely perceive they are qualities of those parts that belong to this terrestrial Globe; but we cannot judg of all bodies alike: we see air has neither gravity nor levity; for it neither ascends, nor descends; nay, this terrestrial Globe it self, has neither gravity nor Page  37 levity, for it is surrounded by the fluid air, and neither ascends nor descends: The truth is, there's no such thing as high and low, in Nature; but onely in refe∣rence to some parts; and therefore gravity and levity are not Universal, and necessary attributes of all na∣tural bodies. Next, concerning the multiplicity of Worlds, that there can be no such thing, but that the Earth of one, would move towards the Earth of the other: I answer first, There's no necessity that all Worlds must have a Terrestrial Globe; for Nature hath more varieties of Creatures, then Elements, Ve∣getables, Minerals, and Animals. Next, if it were so, yet I see no reason that one Creature must neces∣sarily move to another of the same kind: For, put the case, as I said before, the Moon was such another ter∣restrial Globe as this, yet we see they do not move one to another, but each remains in its own Sphere or Circle.

3. I admire, Aristotle makes the Principles of Na∣ture, Matter, Form and Privation, and leaves out the chief, which is Motion; for were there no motion, there would be no variety of figures; besides, Matter and Form are but one thing, for wheresoever is Mat∣ter, there is also form or figure; but privation is a non∣being, and therefore cannot be a principle of natural bodies.

4. There is no such thing as simple bodies in Na∣ture; for if Nature her self consists of a commixture Page  38 of animate and inanimate Matter, no part can be called simple, as having a composition of the same parts: be∣sides, no part can subsist single, or by it self; where∣fore the distinction into simple and mixt bodies is need∣less; for Elements are as much composed bodies, as other parts of Nature, neither do I understand the difference between perfect and imperfect mixt bodies, for Nature may compose, mix and divide parts as she pleaseth.

5. The primary Qualities of the Elements, as Heat, and Cold, Humidity and Siccity, says Aristotle, are the cause of Generation, when heat and cold overcome the Matter. I wonder he makes qualities to be no sub∣stances, or bodies, but accidents; which is something between body, and no body, and yet places them a∣bove Matter, and makes Generation their effect; But whatsoever he calls them, they are no more but effects of Nature, and cannot be above their cause, which is Matter; neither is it probable, there are but eighteen passive qualities; he might have said, as well, there are but eighteen sorts of motions; for natural effects go beyond all number, as being infinite.

6. Concerning the Soul, Aristotle doth not believe, That it moves by it self, but is onely moved accidentally, ac∣cording to the Motion of the body; but he doth not ex∣press from whence the motion of the Soul proceeds, al∣though he defines it to be that, by which we live, feel and understand: Neither, says he, is there a Soul Page  39 diffused through the World, for there are inanimate bo∣dies as well as animate; but sense and reason perceives the contrary, to wit, that there is no part of Nature but is animate; that is, has a soul. Sense, says he, is not sensible of it self, nor of its organ, nor of any interior thing; for sense cannot move it self, but is a mutation in the organ, caused by some sensible object: But the ab∣surdity of this opinion I have declared heretofore; for it is contrary to humane Reason to believe, first, that sense should be sensible of an outward object, and not of it self, or (which is all one) have perception of ex∣terior parts, and not self-knowledg. Next, that an external object should be the cause of sense, when as sense and reason are the chief principles of Nature, and the cause of all natural effects. Again, Sense, says he, is in all Animals, but Fancy is not, for Fancy is not Sense; Fancy acts in him that sleeps, Sense not. To which I answer, first, Fancy or Imagination is a voluntary action of Reason, or of the rational parts of Matter, and if reason be in all Animals, nay, in all Creatures, Fancy is there also; Next, it is evident that Sense acts as much a∣sleep as awake, the difference I have expressed else∣where, viz. That the sensitive motions, Work inward∣ly in sleep, and outwardly awake. The Intellect to Ari∣stotle, is that part of the Soul by which it knows and un∣derstands, and is onely proper to man, when as sense is pro∣per to animals: It is twofold, Patient and Agent, whereof this is Immortal, Eternal, not mixt with the body, but sepa∣rable Page  40 from it, and ever in action: The Patient Intellect, is mortal, and yet void of corruptive passion, not mixt with the body, nor having any corporeal organs. But these, and many other differences of Intellects, which he rehearses, are more troublesome to the understand∣ing, then beneficial for the knowledg of Nature: And why should we puzzle our selves with multiplicity of terms and distinctions when there's no need of them: Truly Nature's actions are easie, and we may easily apprehend them without much ado. If Nature be material, as it cannot be proved otherwise, sense and reason are material also, and therefore we need not to introduce an incorporeal mind, or intellect: Be∣sides; if sense and reason be a constitutive principle of Nature, all parts of Nature do partake of the same; nor hath man a prerogative before other Creatures in that case, onely the difference and variety of motions makes different figures, and consequently different knowledges and perceptions; and all Fancies, Ima∣ginations, Judgment, Memory, Remembrance, and the like, are nothing else but the actions of reason, or of the rational parts of Animate Matter; so that there is no necessity to make a Patient and Agent Intellect, much less to introduce incorporeal substances, to con∣found and disturb corporeal Nature.

Page  41

6. Of Scepticisme, and some other Sects of the An∣cient.

THere are several sorts of Scepticks different from each other; for though almost every one of the ancient Philosophers has his own opinions in Natural Philosophy, and goes on his own grounds or princi∣ples, yet some come nearer each other, then others do; and though Heraclitus, Democritus, Protagoras, and others, seem to differ from the Scepticks, yet their opi∣nions are not so far asunder, but they may all be refer∣red to the same sect.

Heraclitus is of opinion, That contraries are in the same thing; and Scepticks affirm, That contraries ap∣pear in the same thing; but I believe they may be partly both in the right, and partly both in the wrong. If their opinion be, that there are, or appear contraries in Nature, or in the essence of Matter, they are both in the wrong; but if they believe that Matter has diffe∣rent and contrary actions, they are both in the right; for there are not onely real, but also apparent, or seem∣ing contraries in Nature, which are her irregularities; to wit, when the sensitive and rational parts of Matter do not move exactly to the nature of their particu∣lars: As for example, Honey is sweet to those that are sound, and in health; but bitter to those that have the over-flowing of the Gall: where it is to be observed, Page  42 that Honey is not changed from its natural propriety, but the motions of the Gall being irregular, make a false copy, like as mad men who think their flesh is stone; or those that apprehend a Bird for a Stone, a Man for a Tree, &c. neither the Flesh, nor Stone, nor Tree are changed from their own particular natures; but the motions of humane sense in the sentient, are irregular, and make false copies of true objects; which is the rea∣son that an object seems often to be that, which really it is not. However, those irregularities are true corpo∣real motions; and thus there are both real and seeming contraries in Nature; but as I mentioned before, they are not contrary matters, but onely contrary actions.

Democritus says, That Honey is neither bitter, nor sweet, by reason of its different appearance to diffe∣rently affected persons; but if so, then he is like those that make neutral beings, which are between body, and no body, which is a Paradox to regular reason.

The Cyrenaick Sect affirms, That all bodies are of an incomprehensible nature; but I am not of their o∣pinion: for although the interior, corporeal figurative motions are not subject to every Creatures perception, yet in Nature they are not incomprehensible: As for example, the five senses in man are both knowing and ignorant, not onely of each others perception, but of the several parts of exterior objects; for the Eye one∣ly perceives the exterior figure, magnitude and colour, and not the Nose; the Nose perceives its scent, but Page  43 not its colour and magnitude; the Ear perceives neither its magnitude, colour, nor scent, but onely its sound, and so forth. The like may be said of the infinite per∣ceptive parts of Nature, whereby they are both obscu∣red and discovered to particulars, and so may be truly known in general, but not in particular by any finite Creature, or part of Nature.

The Academicks say, That some Fancies are credi∣ble, others incredible; and of those that are credible, some are credible onely, and some credible, and cir∣cumcurrent: As for example, A Rope lying loosely in a dark room, a man receives a credible fancy from it, and runs away; another considering it more exactly, and weighing the circumstances, as that it moves not, that it is of such a colour, and the like, to him it ap∣pears a rope, according to the credible and circumcur∣rent fancy. To which I answer: A mistake is an ir∣regularity of sense, and sometimes of reason too; if sense be onely mistaken, and not reason, reason recti∣fies sense; and if reason be onely mistaken, and not sense, then sense rectifies reason; but when both sense and reason are mistaken, the irregularity doth either last longer, or changes into regularity by the informa∣tion of some other circumstances, and things which may rectifie sometimes the irregular motions both of sense and reason; that is, the sensitive and rational mo∣tions of other parts may rectifie those irregularities.

I could make many more Observations, not onely Page  44 upon the aforementioned, but several others of the an∣cient Philosophers; but my design is not to refute their opinions, but, as I mentioned in the beginning, to shew the difference between theirs, and my own; and by this we may see, that irregularities do not onely appear in our present age, but have been also in times past; nay, ever since Nature has been, or else there would never have been such extravagant opinions con∣cerning the Truth of Nature.

But the chief which I observe is, That most of the Ancient make a commixture of natural, and superna∣tural; corporeal, and incorporeal beings; and of ani∣mate, and inanimate bodies: some derive reason from fancy; and some introduce neutral beings, which are neither corporeal, nor incorporeal, but between both; especially they do make general principles of particular effects, and abstract Quality, Motion, Accidents, Fi∣gure, Place, Magnitude, &c. from Matter, which causes so many confusions and differences in their opi∣nions; nor can it be otherwise, because of the irre∣gularities and divisions of Natures corporeal actions; and most of our Moderns do either follow altogether the opinions of the ancient Philosophers, putting them onely into a new dress, or patch them up with some of their own, and so make a Gallimafry in Natural Phi∣losophy.