Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W.

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Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W.
Wallis, John, 1616-1703.
London :: Printed by Richard Bishop, for Samuel Gellibrand at the Signe of the Brazen Serpent in Pauls Church-yard,

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Brooke, Robert Greville, -- Baron, 1607-1643. -- Nature of truth.
Truth -- Early works to 1800.
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"Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 28, 2024.


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CHAP. VII. Whether Ʋnity be All in all things, or, the Essence of all things.

ANd there we have it first proposed to consideration, Whether Ʋnity be not in nature so glorious, and of that dignity, that it is able to in∣form a Being, Yea, to be the Essentiall Form of all things? It is prosecu∣ted in the severall kinds of Beings. Ʋncreated, and Created, whether Spirituall, Morall, Physicall, or Mathematicall. In all these, saith he, you shall find Ʋnity as it were the Form of their Being.

And first, Whether Ʋnity be not All in God? (The Humility and Re∣verence, which his Lordship useth in proposing of it, may be a fit pat∣tern for all to imitate, in all approaches to a Deity; Not onely in du∣ties of Worship, but even in Scholastick Discourses. And so neither to be peremptory in affirming, nor rash in censuring: Since the vast dis∣proportion between an infinite Object, and a finite Faculty, subjects our Understanding both to Ignorance and Errour; Suntque oculit te∣nebrae per tantum lumen.) There is (saith he) but One God; And more there could not be, since there cannot be Two Infinites, two Eternities; Nei∣ther could this One be otherwise, for then were he not Infinite. Ʋnity then being so inseparable, as without which God could not be what he is, May it not be said to be Co-essentiall to him? And if of his Essence, then is it in him All; for Gods Essence is All in God.

The Objection which his Lordship moves, viz. That there is the same reason for all other divine Attributes, they being all Essentiall to God, as well as Ʋnity: Will bring the Question to this Issue, Whether of these Attributes may be supposed in nature to be First? (For that every of them should be the formalis ratio of a simple Essence is Im∣possible:) And so, whether Infinity, &c. do arise from Ʋnity, or Ʋnity from thence?

I should rather say, That neither of these, or any other divine Attri∣bute, may be said to be formalis ratio, or the Essentiall form of the Deity; but somewhat else, in it selfe Simple, and yet comprehending all these: Which because we cannot apprehend at One Discovery, we are fain to take severall Views of it per inadaequatos conceptus.

But if we must needs seek for a Seniority in Gods Attributes; I sup∣pose, I might derive as clear a Pedigree of them from his Infinitnesse, from his Perfection, from his Absolutenesse or Independency; as can be shew∣ed either from his Ʋnity, or from his Verity.

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But not to be too extravagant, it shall be sufficient for the present to shw, whether his Infinitenesse flow from his Ʋnity, or his Ʋnity from his Infinitenesse? whether he must needs be Infinite, because he is One; or One because he is Infinite?

If we say, God must needs be One, because he is Infinite; his Lord∣ship will not only assent, but furnish us with a Reason, Because (saith he) there cannot be Two Infinites.

But if otherwise we say, That God must of necessity be Infinite, be∣cause he is One; It is not so easily proved, since there is but One Sunne, and yet that One Sunne not Infinite. How then can we say, That God is Essentially Infinite, or That Infinitenesse is Essentiall to him: If the Formalis ratio, the Essentiall Form of Divinity, may consist without Infinitenesse? Sed 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

To his instances in Created Spirituall Beings. That all the Comman∣dements are comprised in Love, shews That there is somewhat Generall, that is common to them all; or rather Love (as likewise Obedience, and the like) is a Collective word, and an Integrum, whereof all those are Parts: But that Ʋnity is either the Generall form of All the Comman∣dements, or the Particular of Any, it shews not. The like may be said of the Saints which agree in the Common nature of Saint ship, and do joyntly make up the Body mysticall, whereof Christ is Head. Yea of all Creatures, They all agree in the common nature of a Being, and They all make up one Ʋniverse; yet is not Ʋnity either the Generall of all, or Particular form of any Creature.

The Morall Virtues are said to be conjoyned or concatenate, because they all proceed from one Fountain, viz. The absolute Subordination of the Will and Affections to the Understanding: which Subordi∣nation they call Prudence, (and is of the same extent in Morality, that Obedience is in Divinity) whereof all the morall Virtues are but Inte∣grall parts. (But I had rather apply Prudence to the Understanding only; as that whereby it is able to judge in all Practicall things, what is fit to be done; And the universall Conformity of the Will to this universall Rule of Reason, I should call Justitia Vniversali, Univer∣sall Justice.)

And thus I understand that Axiom, That morall Virtues are concate∣nate in Prudence: Because where there is this universall Subjection of the Will to Reason, there will be an observance of it in all particulars. But if the rules of some Virtues are observed, and not the rules of others; there this observance is not a Virtuous action, as not proceeding

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from the subordination of the Will to Reason, (which would have as well prevailed in others also) but from some other Principle.

Now this shews perhaps, That the Morall Virtues are Ʋnited in One generall Essence: But how appears it, That this Essence is Ʋnity?

Physicall Beings, as Water-drops (and other Connaturalls, either of the Same, or Concordant Species; as the Loadstone and Iron) desire to preserve their Union and Neighbourhood one with another: But let us consider the ground; Do they desire to preserve their Essence that they may be One, that is, United or Joyned together; or do they desire Ʋnion and Conjunction, that they may preserve their Essence? This latter I suppose; And therefore a drop of water doth not desire to Bee, to the end that it may be Conjoyned with the rest, but desires to be Conjoyned for its Preservation, lest it should cease to be. But how doth this prove its Essence to be Ʋnity?

In summe, All those instances in Nature (which doubtlesse are very many) whereby it may appear that all things naturally do desire Ʋnity (or Conjunction rather) either for Conservation, or for Consummation of their naturall Perfection; That by Unity their Vigour is encreased, quia vi unita fortior, and the like; will shew no more but this, That Unity is a Perfection of Being, not a Principle of Being; or That Things of the like nature conjoyned together are able mutually to help each other in their Conservation or Operation. But what is there in all this to perswade us, that Unity is their Essence?

As for the Mathematicall Unity of Harmony, Proportion &c. It being only Relative (for they denote but the Relation of one thing to another) can conferre nothing to the constitution of an Absolute Essence, as of Sounds, &c.

But how this should any way conferre to the deciding of that que∣stion, whether Quantity be divisibilis in semper divisibilia: seems to me a greater mystery, then this Mystery that is to be cleared. For as long as Mathematicall Demonstrations shall be thought worthy of credit, it shall Never be granted, that Continuum constat ex indivisibilibus. And however some Naturalists, that know little what belongs to the na∣ture of Quantity, make much adoe to the contrary, and therby bewray their grosse Ignorance in these things; Yet I am confident, that not any One Mathematician (deliberately, and in a Mathematicall way) either ever did, or ever will assent to them. And I cannot without In∣dignation (or Pity rather) read sometimes how fondly and vainly some (otherwise) able Schollars think to shift off Mathematicall Arguments

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in this and the like cases; which will not be so easily baffled by an empty Verball Distinction, as some of their Idle Fallacies may. And if I make it not evident (to those that are acquainted with Mathemati∣call terms) that a Continuum consists not of Indivisible Points, by as certain and infallible Mathematicall Demonstrations, as That 2. and 2. make 4. I will hereafter turn Sceptick, and affirm confidently That we are sure of nothing.

If a Line consist of Indivisible points, each Point is supposed to be Minimum possibile, by those that doe maintain it; (or else how are they Indivisible.) Then must all Points be Equall; (for if they be Unequall, they cannot all be minima.) Then no Two Lines can possibly be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Incommensurable; (for if all Lines doe consist of Points whereof each is equall to other, then are all lines whatsoe∣ver measurable by this common measure of a Point; qu aliquoties ap∣plicata, & hanc & illam commensurabit. Contrary to what hath been often demonstrated Mathematically, That some Lines are absolutely Incommensurable with some other, admitting of no common measure, (as for Example, the Diameter and the Latus of a Quadrate, (whose Proportion therfore cannot be expressed by Rationall Numbers. Now that two Contradictory Propositions should be true by Mathematicall Demonstration, is utterly impossible.

Thousands of the like Demonstrations might be brought to prove it; As, that from hence, All Angles may be demonstrated to be Equall; The same Line, to be Shorter, to be Longer then it selfe, to be equall to two or more conjoyned, and yet to be shorter then either; Yea, all Lines to be equall, All Circles of the same bignesse, The Equinoctiall Circle to be no bigger then a Ciphar, All Motions to be of the same swiftnesse, All Bodies of the same weight, and of the same bignesse: And yet in the meane time All these to be unequall, in Length, Weight, Swiftnesse, &c. And infinite the like absurdities; as might be shewed, if this were the Question I had in hand. Take an instance or two.

Let two Circles be described upon the same Center, of what great∣nesse you please; Let a Thread be fastned at the common Center, and so extended that it cut the Circumference of both Circles; Thus ex∣tended, the one end being fastned at the Center, let the other end be moved round: Now while this Thread passeth over one Point in the Greater Circle, I demand how much it passeth over in the Lesser? Lesse then a Point it cannot be, because ex hypothesi, a Point is Minimum

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possibile; For every Point therefore that it passeth over in the Greater Circle, it passeth over a Point answerable in the Lesser Circle; There be therefore as many points in the Lesser as are in the Greater Circle; and these Points being all Equall, because every one is Minimum possibile, the Lesser Circle must needs be equall to the Greater Circle, because it consists of as many Points; and by the same reason, All Circles Equall.

Now the Thread thus moving, move it never so Slowly, it passeth over a Point in a Moment; and move it never so Swiftly, it passeth but a Point in a Moment: And therefore all Motions are alike Swift, as passing over equall distances in equall time.

Again, Let two Lines concurring in the same Point make an Angle, (of what greatnesse you please;) their Two next Points, joyning upon this common Point of concurrence, will terminate a Basis of Two Points, (not more, for then the Subtendent would be equall to both the Crura.) The two Third points will terminate a Line somewhat longer then the other, and therefore at least of Three points; and so on, for every point added to the Crura, (be the angle greater or lesse) you must adde one point to the length of the Basis, subtendent to that angle (and more then One it cannot be, for then the increase of the Basis will be equall to the encrease of both the Crura:) Whence it will come to passe That all Angles (at an equall distance from the point of concurrence) will have their Subtendents equall (the Basis or Subtendent being thus measured by the length of the Crura, or lines containing the angle) Wherefore themselves also must be equall.

Now also it is sufficiently apparent to a Mathematician, that upon all liues whatsoever, you may erect (as from a Basis) lines of the same length containing an Angle; and therefore (both the Angle and the Basis being measured onely by the length of the Crura) not onely all Angles may be equall, but also all Lines, (as being Subtendents to e∣quall angles at the same distance.) I need not adde more demonstra∣tions to shew the Impossibility of that Opinion which makes every Continuum to consist ex indivisibilibus.

It is certain then, that Continuum non Constat ex Indivisibilibus: But, how this doctrine of Ʋnity serves either to confirm the truth, or to clear the doubts; I see not.

But to return. His Lordship hath been copious to shew some Ʋnion, ome Relation, of One thing to, or with Another, in the severall kinds of Being. From whence he is ready to infer, That the Essence of all things

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is One, that it is Ʋnity. But be it granted, That there be divers particu∣lar Species under the same Genericall nature; (as when all particular acts of duty are comprised in One generall name of Love, or Obedience:) Be it so, That many Effects may proceed from the same Cause; (as all virtuous acts from the subordination of the Will to Reason:) That there be many Combinations of Beings or Persons, Naturall, Voluntary▪ Oconomicall, Politicall, Logicall, &c. whence may arise One Aggrega∣tum, One Praedicament, one City, or Kingdome, one World: Be there Spernaturall or Spirituall Societies, One Church, Parochall, Natio∣nall, Ocumenicall, Visible, Invisible, one mysticall Body: Be there also in Lines, Bodies, Sounds, &c. (besides their Absolute Affections, Length, Bignesse, Lowdnesse, &c.) some mutuall Relations of Proportion, Harmony, Discord, &c. Be there in Physicall Bodies, a desire of Union or Conjunction in One to another; Yet will not this prove, That all things have One Nature, One Essence; much lesse, That this Essence is Ʋnity. If Iron desire Union, (or conjunction rather) with the Load∣stone, doth this prove their Specificall Essence to be One? Or (if it doe) doth it proe▪ that this One Essence is Ʋnity? And so of the rest.

All that can arise from hence, is, That God hath so ordered the seve∣rall Natures of particular Creatures, as that his Wisdome doth not on∣ly appear in their Absolute and Simple natures; but hath also put Rela∣tive or Respective natures in them, whereby his Wisdome may ap∣pear in their mutuall Oppositions, Conjunctions, Similitude, Dissimi∣litude, Sympathy, Antipathy, Help, and Hinderance of one thing to another; whereby not onely Every thing (Severally) in its Absolute nature doth set forth Gods glory, but also All things (joyntly) doe 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and work together in their respective Relations, as well for the good of those that love God, as for their mutuall advancing of Gods glory. All which may be, though neither Ʋnity, nor any One specificall Being, be the formalis ratio, the essentiall form of all things; but each species have a severall kind of Being.

For my own judgement; I am as confident, that Ʋnity is Nothing; as his Lordship is, That it is All things. 'Tis a meer rationall, nominall Notion, that hath no more Reality in it, then Darknesse, then non esse. Yea, to be One, is a pure Negative Proposition; and what Reality you can allow to a Negation, so much you may allow to Ʋnity.

It is true, Ʋnus, as it is opposed to Nullus, is Affirmative, and is the same with Aliquis, or Nonnullus: But if it signifie the same with Ʋnicus, and be opposed to Multitude, (according as we now take it,) it is a meer Negation, and no more.

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Which to make clear, observe but this Syllogisme, [Whatsoever is in England, is in Europe; But in England there is Rex Ʋnicus, One only King; Therfore in Europe there is Rex Ʋnicus; but One King.] Where you shall find no fault in the Syllogisme, save that the Minor is Ne∣gative in the first figure. Whence it is apparent, That Ʋnity, as it is opposed to Multitude, is a meer Negative term.

There is One Sunne; but is this Ʋnity Essentiall to it? Whether ano∣ther Sunne be, or be not; it nothing concerns the Essence of this Sun, but onely grounds an externall Relation, which is yet but Relati rationis.

Was not the Essence of Adam the Same, and he Equally a Man, before the production of Eve, while he was Ʋnicus; and after both the Production of Eve, and the Generation of sonnes and daughters, when he ceased to be Ʋnicus, there being more beside him? Was there any Detraction, or Addition of Essence, or any Reality, that concerned Adams person, at such time as his children were born? or would there have been afterwards, if all except Adam had been swept away?

Nay when two Drops of Water are separated, or conjoyned, is there any Essentiall or Reall Mutation in either?

Surely, if Ʋnity may come, and goe, without any Reall Alteration; then is Ʋnity so farre from being Essentiall to all things, that it is not so much as Reall.

Object▪ You will say; But God is indeed One, Ʋnus et Ʋnicus; and not onely supposed to be One: Therefore his Unity must needs be Reall, and not Imaginary.

Answ. I grant it; But what then? must therefore Unity be Positive or Reall? The Ayr, in the night time, is indeed Dark, and not onely ••••••posed to be Dark; Will you therefore infer that Darknesse hath a Reall, a Positive Being, and is not a privation of Light? When the Moon is eclipsed, it doth Really and Indeed want the Illumination of the Sun-beams, and is not onely supposed to want them; but you will not, I suppose, say that this Want of Light, hath a Reall Essence. So here▪ God is indeed One, and not only imagined so to be, yet hath not Ʋnity ny Entity or Positive Being in it.

There is Negatio Realis, and Negatio Rationis; a Reall absence and a Supposed absence. Of the one you may truly frame a Negative Propo∣sition▪ of the other you cannot; there may be indeed in the Under∣standing concerning thi, Negatio actus, (which is all one with Ab∣straction)

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but not actus negationis, actus negativus. When the Ayr, in the Night time, is Dark; there is a Reall Absence of Light: when, in the Day time, I conceive of the Ayr according to its Essence, or according to some other Qualities, not at all regarding its being Light; this is Nega∣tio Rationis, or negatio Abstractionis, there is only a supposed Absence of Light, but indeed a (reall) Presence.

Yea, ipsum Non-esse, is a Reall Praedication though it be not a reall Praedicate (Like as Mendacium esse Falsum, is a Truth:) Therefore when I say, Centaurus non est; I do not Forge this Proposition, or sup∣pose a non-entity in a Centaure where indeed there is none, but I affirm that non-entity to be, which is; for a Centaure, Is non-ens, and not on∣ly Supposed to be Non-ens. And of Negations, or Privations, That is onely Negatio Rationis, when by Abstraction Things are supposed to be separate, which are indeed conjoyned: Other Negations though they have not realiter Esse, yet they have realiter Non-esse; their non-entity is not Imaginary. (I speak of Negatio Physica, not Negatio Logica; for a Logicall Negation, that is, a Negative Enunciation, is as Reall as an Affirmation.) A supposed Being is Ens rationis, and a supposed Absence is Negatio rationis.

Negations and Privations are Non-Entia, and not Entia Rationis; for they have not in themselves so much as Esse Cognitum, which is re∣quisite to Ens Rationis; And when as sometimes a Negation is said to be Ens Rationis▪ it is not to be understood of its internall Entity, for so Darknesse in it selfe doth not include esse cognitum, but when the Un∣derstanding considers of a Negation, and so makes it Objectum Cogni∣tionis, then of a Non-ens it becomes Ens Rationis. But then (I say) it is ••••trationis, not Negatio rationis.

Yet all this hinders not but that Ʋnity, and all other Negations, may have a kind of Reality, as it is opposed to a Fiction. And therfore the Ayr •••• really Dark, God is really Ʋnicus, and not onely supposed so to be: And yet Darknesse and Unity are not in themselves Reall, but Negative term▪

I purposely passe over severall particulars, (as well in this Chapter, as in others) which his Lordship lights upon by the way; to avoid te∣diousnesse: and look principally at those things, to which his Lord∣ships aim doth especially tend.

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