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taineth that excellent correspondence which is between God's revealed will and his secret will: which though it be so obscure, as for the most part it is not legible to the natural man j no, nor many times to those that behold it from the tabernacle j yet at some times it pleaseth God, for our better establishment, and the confuting of those which are as without God in the world, to write it in such text and capital letters, that, as the prophet saith, "he that runneth by may read it;" that is, mere sensual persons, which hasten by God's judgments, and never bend or fix their cogitations upon them, are nevertheless in their passage and race urged to discern it. Such are the notable events and examples of God's judgments, chastisements, deliverances, and blessings: and this is a work which hath passed through the labours of many, and therefore I cannot present as omitted.
There are also other parts of learning which are Appendices to history; for all the exterior proceedings of man consist of words and deeds; whereof history doth properly receive and retain in memory the deeds; and if words, yet but as inducements and passages to deeds: so are there other books and writings, which are appropriate to the custody and receipt of words only, which likewise are of three sorts; Orations, Letters, and Brief Speeches or Sayings.
Orations are pleadings, speeches of counsel, Iaudatives, invectives, apologies, reprehensions; orations of formality or ceremony, and the like.
Letters are according to all the variety of occasions, advertisements, advices, directions, propositions, petitions commendatory, expostulatory, satisfactory; of compliment, of pleasure, of discourse, and all other passages of action. And such as are written from wise men, are, of all the words of man, in my judgment the best; for they are more natural than orations and public speeches, and more advised than conferences or present speeches. So again letters of affairs from such as manage Ihem or are privy to them, are of all others the best instructions for history, and to a diligent reader the best histories in themselves.
For Apophthegms, it is a great loss of that book of Ca?sar's; for as his history, and those few letters of his which we have, and those apophthegms which were of his own, excel all men's else, so I suppose would his collection of apophthegms have done; for as for those which are collected by others, either I have no taste in such matters, or else their choice hath not been happy. But upon these three kinds of writings I do not insist, because I have no deficiencies to propound concerning them.
Thus much therefore concerning History, which is that part of learning which answereth to one of the cells, domiciles, or offices of the mind of man, which is that of the Memory.
Poesy is a part of learning in measure of words for the most part restrained, but in all other points extremely licensed, and doth truly refer to the imagination; which being not tied to the laws of matter, may at pleasure join that which nature hath severed.
and sever that which nature hath joined, and so make unlawful matches and divorces of things, Pictoribus atque poetis, etc. It is taken in two senses, in respect of words, or matter; in the first sense, it is but a character of style, and belongeth to arts of speech, and is not pertinent for the present: in the latter, it is, as hath been said, one of the principal portions of learning, and is nothing else but feigned history, which may be styled as well in prose as in verse.
The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul; by reason whereof there is, agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can be found in the nature of things. Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical; because true history propoundeth the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them more just in retribution, and more according to revealed providence: because true history representeth actions and events more ordinary, and less interchanged; therefore poesy endueth them with more rareness, and more unexpected and alternative variations: sp as it appeareth that poesy serveth and conferreth to magnanimity, morality, and to delectation. And therefore it was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind unto the nature of things.
And we see, that by these insinuations and congruities with man's nature and pleasure, joined also with the agreement and consort it hath with music, it hath had access and estimation in rude times and barbarous regions, where other learning stood excluded.
The division of poesy, which is aptest in the propriety thereof, besides those divisions which are common unto it with history, as feigned chronicles, feigned lives, and the appendices of history, as feigned epistles, feigned orations, and the rest, is into Poesy Narrative, Representative, and Allusive.
The Narrative is a mere imitation of history, with the excesses before remembered, choosing for subject commonly wars and love; rarely state; and sometimes pleasure or mirth.
Representative is as a visible history, and is an image of actions as if they were present, as history is of actions in nature as they are, that is, past.
Allusive or parabolical, is a narration applied only to express some special purpose or conceit; which latter kind of parabolical wisdom was much more in use in the ancient times, as by the fables of /Esop, and the brief sentences of the Seven, and the use of hieroglyphics, may appear. And the cause was, for that it was then of necessity to express any point of reason, which was more sharp or subtile than the vulgar, in that manner, because men in those times wanted both variety of examples and subtilty of conceit: and as hieroglyphics were before letters, so parables were before arguments. And nevertheless now, and at all times, they do retiiin much life and vigour, because reason cannot be so sensible nor examples so fit.
But there remaineth yet another use of poesy parabolical, opposite to that which we last mentioned: for that tendeth to demonstrate and illustrate that which is taught or delivered, and this other to retire and obscure it: that is, when the secrets and mysteries of religion, policy, or philosophy, are involved in fables and parables.
Of this in divine poesy, we see the use is authorized. In heathen poesy, we see, the exposition of fables doth fall out sometimes with great felicity, as in the fable that the giants being overthrown in their war against the gods, the Earth their mother, in revenge thereof, brought forth Fame:
"Mam Terra parens ira irritata deorutn,
Expounded, that when princes and monarchs have suppressed actual and open rebels, then the malignity of the people, which is the mother of rebellion, doth bring forth libels and slanders, and taxations of the state, which is of the same kind with rebellion, but more feminine. So in the fable, that the rest of the gods having conspired to bind Jupiter, Pallas called Briareus with his hundred hands to his aid: expounded, that monarchies need not fear any curbing of their absoluteness by mighty subjects, as long as by wisdom they keep the hearts of the people, who will be sure to come in on their side. So in the fable, that Achilles was brought up under Chiron the centaur, who was part a man and part a beast: expounded ingeniously, but corruptly, hy Machiavel, that it belongeth to the education and discipline of princes, to know as well how to play the part of the lion in violence, and the fox in guile, as of the man in virtue and justice.
Nevertheless in many the like encounters, I do rather think that the fable was first, and the exposition then devised, than that the moral was first, and thereupon the fable framed. For I find it was an ancient vanity in Chrysippus, that troubled himself with great contention to fasten the assertions of the Stuics upon the fictions of the ancient poets; but yet that all the fables and fictions of the poets were but pleasure and not figure, I interpose no opinion.
Surely of those poets which are now extant, even Homer himself, notwithstanding he was made a kind of Scripture by the latter schools of the Grecians, yet I should without any difficulty pronounce, that his fables had no such inwardness in his own meaning; but what they might have, upon a more original tradition, is not easy to affirm, for he was not the inventor of many of them.
In this third part of learning, which is poesy, I can report no deficience. For being as a plant that cometh of the lust of the earth, without a formal seed, it hath sprung up and spread abroad more than any other kind: but to ascribe unto it that
VOL. I. D
which is due, for tlie expression of affections, passions, corruptions, and customs, we are beholden to poets more than to the philosophers' works; and for wit and eloquence, not much less than to orators' harangues. But it is not good to stay too long in the theatre. Let us now pass on to the judicial place or palace of the mind, which we are to approach and view with more reverence and attention.
The knowledge of man is as the waters, some descending from above, and some springing from beneath; the one informed by the light of nature, the other inspired by divine revelation.
The light of nature consisteth in the notions of the mind, and the reports of the senses; for as for knowledge which man receiveth by teaching, it is cumulative, and not original, as in a water, that, besides his own spring-head, is fed with other springs and streams. So then, according to these two differing illuminations or originals, knowledge is first of all divided into Divinity and Philosophy.
In philosophy, the contemplations of man do either penetrate unto God, or are circumferred'to nature, or are reflected or reverted upon himself. Out of which several inquiries there do arise three knowledges, Divine philosophy, Natural philosophy, and Human philosophy or humanity. For all things are marked and stamped with this triple character, of the power of God, the difference of nature, and the use of man. But because the distributions and partitions of knowledge are not like several lines that meet in one angle, and so touch but in a point; but are like branches of a tree, that meet in a stem, which hath a dimension and quantity of cntireness and continuance, before it come to discontinue and break itself into arms and boughs; therefore it is good, before we enter into the former distribution, to erect and constitute one universal science, by the name of Philosophia prima, primitive or summary philosophy, as the main and common way, before we come where the ways part and divide themselves; which science, whether I should report as deficient or not, I stand doubtful.
For I find a certain rhapsody of natural theology, and of divers parts of logic; and of that part of natural philosophy, which concerneth the principles; and of that other part of natural philosophy, which concerneth the soul or spirit; all these strangely commixed and confused: but being examined, it seemeth to me rather a depredation of other sciences, advanced and exalted unto some height of terms, than any thing solid or substantive of itself.
Nevertheless, I cannot be ignorant of the distinction which is current, that the same things are handled but in several respects. As for example, that logic considereth of many things as they are in notion; and this philosophy, as they are in nature; the one in appearance, the other in existence: but I find this difference better made than pursued. For if they had considered quantity, similitude, diversity, and the rest of those external characters of things, as philosophers, and in nature; their inquiries must* of force have been of a far other kind than they are.
For doth any of them, in handling quantity, speak of the force of union, how, and how far it multiplied virtue? Doth any give the reason, why some things in nature are so common and in so great mass, and others so rare, and in so small quantity? Dolh any, in handling similitude and diversity, assign the cause why iron should not move to iron, which is more like, but move to the loadstone, which is less like? Why, in all diversities of things, there should be certain participles in nature, which are almost ambiguous, to which kind they should be referred? But there is a mere and deep silence touching the nature and operation of those common adjuncts of things, as in nature; and only a resuming and repeating of the force and use of them, in speech or argument.
Therefore because in a writing of this nature I avoid all subtilty, my meaning touching this original or universal philosophy is thus, in a plain and gross description by negative; "That it be a receptacle for all such profitable observations and axioms, as fall not within the compass of any of the special parts of philosophy or sciences, but are more common and of a higher stage."
Now that there are many of that kind, need not to be doubted. For example: is not the rule, " Si inuequalibus eequalia addas, omnia erunt inaequalia," an axiom as well of justice as of the mathematics? And is there not a true coincidence between commutative and distributive justice, and arithmetical and geometrical proportion? Is not that other rule, "Qua? in eodem tertio conveniunt, et inter se conveniunt," a rule taken from the mathematics, but so potent in logic, as all syllogisms are built upon it? Is not the observation, "Omnia mutantur, nil interit," a contemplation in philosophy thus, that the quantum of nature is eternal? in natural theology thus; that it requireth the same omnipotence to make somewhat nothing, which, at the first made nothing somewhat? according to the scripture, " I)idici quod omnia opera, quae fecit Deus, perseverent in perpetuum; non possimus eis quicquam addere, nec auferre."
Is not the ground, which Machiavel wisely and largely discourseth concerning governments, that the way to establish and preserve them, is to reduce them ad principia, a rule in religion and nature, as well as in civil administration? Was not the Persian magic a reduction or correspondence of the principles and architectures of nature, to the rules and policy of governments? Is not the precept of a musician, to fall from a discord or harsh accord upon a concord or sweet accord, alike true in affection? Is not the trope of music, to avoid or slide from the close or cadence, common with the trope of rhetoric, of deceiving expectation? Is not the delight of the quavering upon a stop in music, the same with the playing of light upon the water?
"Splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus."
Are not the organs of the senses of one kind with the organs of rellection, the eye with a glass, the • ear with a cave or strait determined and bounded? Neither are these only similitudes, as men of nar
row observation may conceive them to be, but the
same footsteps of nature, treading or printing upon
several subjects or matters.
This science, therefore, as I under- J'hiiosophia .' ' . prima, siverie
stand it, I may justly report as deficient; lontibus sci
for I see sometimes the profounder sort e arum
of wits, in handling some particular argument, will
now and then draw a bucket of water out of this
well for their present use; but the spring-head
thereof seemeth to me not to have been visited;
being of so excellent use, both for the disclosing of
nature, and the abridgment of art.
This science being therefore first placed as a common parent, like unto Berecynthia, which had so much heavenly issue, " Omnes coelicolas, omnes supera alta tenentes," we may return to the former distribution of the three philosophies, divine, natural, and human.
And as concerning Divine Philosophy, or Natural Theology, it is that knowledge or rudiment of knowledge concerning God, which may be obtained by the contemplation of his creatures; which knowledge may be truly termed divine, in respect of the object, and natural in respect of the light.
The bounds of this knowledge are, that it sufficeth to convince atheism, but not to inform religion: and therefore there was never miracle wrought by God to convert an atheist, because the light of nature might have led him to confess a God: but miracles have been wrought to convert idolaters and the superstitious, because no light of nature extendeth to declare the will and true worship of God.
For as all works do show forth the power and skiU of the workman, and not his image, so it is of the works of God, which do show the omnipotency and wisdom of the Maker, but not his image: and therefore therein the heathen opinion differeth from the sacred truth; for they supposed the world to be the image of God, and man to be an extract or compendious image of the world; but the Scriptures never vouchsafe to attribute to the world that honour, as to be the image of God, but only the work of his hands: neither do they speak of any other image of God, but man: wherefore by the contemplation of nature, to induce and enforce the acknowledgment of God, and to demonstrate liis power, providence, and goodness, is an excellent argument, and hath been excellently handled by divers.
But on the other side, out of the contemplation of nature or ground of human knowledge, to induce any verity or persuasion concerning the points of faith, is in my judgment not safe: "Da fidei, quae fidei sunt." For the heathen themselves conclude as much in that excellent and divine fable of the golden chain; "That men and gods were not able to draw Jupiter down to the earth; but contrariwise, Jupiter was able to draw them up to heaven."
So as we ought not to attempt to draw down or submit the mysteries of God to our reason j but contrariwise, to raise and advance our reason to the divine truth. So as in this part of knowledge, touching divine philosophy, I am so far from noting any deficience, as I rather note an excess; whereunto I have digressed, because of the extreme prejudice which both religion and philosophy hath received, and may receive, by being commixed together; as that which undoubtedly will make an heretical religion, and an imaginary and fabulous philosophy.
Otherwise it is of the nature of angels and spirits, which is an appendix of theology, both divine and natural, and is neither inscrutable nor interdicted: for although the Scripture saith, " Let no man deceive you in sublime discourse touching the worship of angels, pressing into that he knoweth not," &c. yet notwithstanding, if you observe well that precept, it may appear thereby that there be two things only forbidden, adoration of them, and opinion fantastical of them, either to extol them farther than appertained to the degree of a creature, or to extol a man's knowledge of them farther than he hath ground. But the sober and grounded inquiry, which may arise out of the passages of Holy Scriptures, or out of the gradations of nature, is not restrained. So of degenerate and revolted spirits, the conversing with them, or the employment of them, is prohibited, much more any veneration towards them. But the contemplation or science of their nature, their power, their illusions, either by Scripture or reason, is a part of spiritual wisdom. For so the apostle saith, '■ We are not ignorant of his stratagems." And it is no more unlawful to inquire the nature of evil spirits, than to inquire the force of poisons in nature, or the nature of sin and vice in morality. But this part, touching angels and spirits, I cannot note as deficient, for many have occupied themselves in it; I may rather challenge it, in many of the writers thereof, as fabulous and fantastical.
Leaving therefore divine philosophy or natural theology, not divinity, or inspired theology, which we reserve for the last of all, as the haven and sabbath of all man's contemplations, we will now proceed to Natural Philosophy.
If then it be true that Democritus said, " That the truth of nature lieth hid in certain deep mines and caves ;" and if it be true likewise that the alchemists do so much inculcate, that Vulcan is a second nature, and imitateth that dexterously and compendiously, which nature worketh by ambages and length of time; it were good to divide natural philosophy into the mine and the furnace, and to make two professions or occupations of natural philosophers, some to be pioneers, and some smiths; some to dig, and some to refine and hammer: and surely I do best to allow of a division of that kind, though in more familiar and scholastical terras: namely, that these be the two parts of natural philosophy,— the inquisition of causes, and the production of effects; speculative and operative; natural science, and natural prudence.
For as in civil matters there is a wisdom of discourse, and a wisdom of direction; so it is in natural. And here I will make a request, that for the latter, or at least for a part thereof, I may revive and reintegrate the misapplied and abused name of natural magic, which, in the true sense, is but natural wisdom, or natural prudence; taken according to the ancient acception, purged from vanity and superstition.
Now although it be true, and I know it well, that there is an intercourse between causes and effects, so as both these knowledges, speculative and operative, have a great connexion between themselves; yet because all true and fruitful natural philosophy hatli a double scale or ladder, ascendant and descendent; ascending from experiments, to the invention of causes; and descending from causes, to the invention of new experiments; therefore I judge it most requisite that these two parts be severally considered and handled.
Natural science, or theory, is divided into Physic and Metaphysic; wherein 1 desire it may be conceived, that I use the word metaphysic in a differing sense from that that is received: and, in like manner, I doubt not but it will easily appear to men of judgment, that in this and other particulars, wheresoever my conception and notion may differ from the ancient, yet I am studious to keep the ancient terms.
For hoping well to deliver myself from mistaking, by the order and perspicuous expressing of that I do propound; 1 am otherwise zealous and affectionate to recede as little from antiquity, either in terms or opinions, as may stand with truth, and the proficience of knowledge.
And herein I cannot a little marvel at the philosopher Aristotle, that did proceed in such a spirit of difference and contradiction towards all antiquity, undertaking not only to frame new words of science at pleasure, but to confound and extinguish all ancient wisdom: insomuch as he never nameth or mentioneth an ancient author or opinion, but to confute and reprove; wherein for glory, and drawing followers and disciples, he took the right course.
For certainly there cometh to pass, and hath place in human truth, that which was noted and pronounced in the highest truth, "Veni in nomine Patris, nec recipitis me; si quis venerit in nomine suo, eum recipietis." But in this divine aphorism, considering to whom it was applied, namely, to antichrist, the highest deceiver, we may discern well, that the coming in a man's own name, without regard of antiquity or paternity, is no good sign of truth, although it be joined with the fortune and success of an "Eum recipietis." ,
But for this excellent person, Aristotle, I will think of him, that he learned that humour of his scholar, with whom, it seemeth, he did emulate, the one to conquer all opinions, as the other to conquer all nations: wherein nevertheless, it may be, he may at some men's hands, that are of a bitter disposition, get a like title as his scholar did.
"Felix tcrramm prrcrlo, non utile mundo
"Felix tloctrinae pnedo."
But to me, on the other side, that do desire as much as lieth in my pen to ground a sociable intercourse between antiquity and proficience, it seemeth best to keep way with antiquity usque ad aras; and therefore to retain the ancient terms, though I sometimes alter the uses and definitions; according to the moderate proceeding in civil government, where, although there be some alteration, yet that holdelh which Tacitus wisely noteth, "eadem magistratuum vocabula."
To return therefore to the use and acception of the term metaphysic, as I do now understand the word; it appeareth, by that which hath been already said, that I intend philosophia prima, summary philosophy, and metaphysic, which heretofore have been confounded as one, to be two distinct things. For the one I have made as a parent, or common ancestor, to all knowledge; and the other I have now brought in, as a branch, or descendant, of natural science. It appeareth likewise that I have assigned to summary philosophy the common principles and axioms which are promiscuous and indifferent to several sciences: I have assigned unto it likewise the inquiry touching the operation of the relative and adventive characters of essences, as quantity, similitude, diversity, possibility, and the rest; with this distinction and provision, that they be handled as they have efficacy in nature, and not logically. It appeareth likewise, that natural theology, which heretofore hath been handled confusedly with metaphysic, I have enclosed and bounded by itself.
It is therefore now a question, what is left remaining for metaphysic; wherein I may without prejudice preserve thus much of the conceit of antiquity, that physic should contemplate that which is inherent in matter, and therefore transitory; and metaphysic, that which is abstracted and fixed.
And again, that physic should handle that which supposeth in nature only a being and moving; and metaphysic should handle that which supposeth farther in nature a reason, understanding, and platform. But the difference perspicuously expressed, is most familiar and sensible.
For as we divided natural philosophy in general into the inquiry of causes, and productions of effects; so that part which concerneth the inquiry of causes, we do subdivide according to the received and sound division of causes; the one part, which is physic, inquireth and handleth the material and efficient causes; and the other, which is metaphysic, handleth the formal and final causes.
Physic, taking it according to the derivation, and not according to our idiom for medicine, is situate in a middle term, or distance, between natural history and metaphysic. For natural history describeth the variety of things; physic the causes, but variable or respective causes; and metaphysic, the fixed and constant causes.
"Limus ut hie durescit, ct hrec ut cera liquescit,
Fire is the cause of induration, but respective today: fire is the cause of colliquation, but respective to wax. But fire is no constant cause either of induration or colliquation; so then the physical causes are but the efficient and the matter.
Physic hath three parts, whereof two respect nature united or collected, the third contemplateth nature diffused or distributed.
Nature is collected either into one entire total,
or else into the same principle or seeds. So as the first doctrine is touching the contexture or configuration of things, as, de mundo, de universitate rerum.
The second is the doctrine concerning the principles or originals of things.
The third is the doctrine concerning all variety and particularity of things; whether it be of the differing substances, or their differing qualities and natures; whereof there needeth no enumeration, this part being but as a gloss, or paraphrase, that attendeth upon the text of natural history.
Of these three I cannot report any as deficient. In what truth or perfection they are handled, I make not now any judgment: but they are parts of knowledge not deserted by the labour of man.
For Metaphysic, we have assigned unto it the inquiry of formal and final causes; which assignation, as to the former of them, may seem to be nugatory and void, because of the received and inveterate opinion, that the inquisition of man is not competent to find out essential forms, or true differences: of which opinion we will take this hold, that the invention of forms is of all other parts of knowledge the worthiest to be sought, if it be possible to be found.
As for the possibility, they are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
But it is manifest, that Plato, in his opinion of ideas, as one that had a wit of elevation situate as upon a cliff, did descry, " That forms were the true object of knowledge j" but lost the real fruit of his opinion, by considering of forms as absolutely abstracted from matter, and not confined and determined by matter; and so turning his opinion upon theology, wherewith nil his natural philosophy is infected.
But if any man shall keep a continual watchful and severe eye upon action, operation, and the use of knowledge, he may advise and take notice w hat are the forms, the disclosures whereof are fruitful and important to the state of man. For as to the forms of substances, man only except, of whom it is said, " Formavit hominem de limo terra?, et spiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vita?,'' and not as of all other creatures, " Producant aquae, producat terra ;" the forms of substances, I say, as they are now bv compounding and transplanting multiplied, are so perplexed, as they are not to be inquired; no more than it were either possible or to purpose, to seek in gross the forms of those sounds which make words, which by composition and transposition of letters are infinite.
But, on the other side, to inquire the form of those sounds or voices, which make simple letters, is easily comprehensible; and being known, induceth and manifesteth the forms of all words, which consist and are compounded of them. In the same manner to inquire the form of a lion, of an oak, of gold: nay, of water, of air, is a vain pursuit: but to inquire the forms of spnse, of voluntary motion, of vegetation, of colours, of gravity and levity, of density, of tenuity, of heat, of cold, and all other natures and