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Title: Philosophical Letters: or, modest Reflections upon some Opinions in Natural Philosophy
Author: Cavendish, Margaret
Language: English
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Philosophical Letters:

OR,

MODEST REFLECTIONS
Upon some Opinions in
_NATURAL PHILOSOPHY_,
MAINTAINED
By several Famous and Learned Authors of this Age,
Expressed by way of LETTERS:

By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent Princess,
The Lady MARCHIONESS of _NEWCASTLE_.

_LONDON_, Printed in the Year, 1664.



TO HER EXCELLENCY
The Lady Marchioness of NEWCASTLE
On her Book of Philosophical Letters.


  _'Tis Supernatural, nay 'tis Divine,
  To write whole Volumes ere I can a line.
  I 'mplor'd the Lady Muses, those fine things,
  But they have broken all their Fidle-strings
  And cannot help me; Nay, then I did try
  Their_ Helicon, _but that is grown all dry:_
  _Then on_ Parnassus _I did make a sallie,
  But that's laid level, like a Bowling-alley;
  Invok'd my Muse, found it a Pond, a Dream,
  To your eternal Spring, and running Stream;
  So clear and fresh, with Wit and Phansie store,
  As then despair did bid me write no more._

                              W. Newcastle.



TO HIS EXCELLENCY
The Lord Marquis of NEWCASTLE.


My Noble Lord,

Although you have, always encouraged me in my harmless pastime of
Writing, yet was I afraid that your Lordship would be angry with
me for Writing and Publishing this Book, by reason it is a Book
of Controversies, of which I have heard your Lordship say, That
Controversies and Disputations make Enemies of Friends, and that such
Disputations and Controversies as these, are a pedantical kind of
quarrelling, not becoming Noble Persons. But your Lordship will be
pleased to consider in my behalf, that it is impossible for one Person
to be of every one's Opinion, if their opinions be different, and that
my Opinions in Philosophy, being new, and never thought of, at least
not divulged by any, but my self, are quite different from others: For
the Ground of my Opinions is, that there is not onely a Sensitive, but
also a Rational Life and Knowledge, and so a double Perception in all
Creatures: And thus my opinions being new, are not so easily understood
as those, that take up several pieces of old opinions, of which
they patch up a new Philosophy, (if new may be made of old things,)
like a Suit made up of old Stuff bought at the Brokers: Wherefore to
find out a Truth, at least a Probability in Natural Philosophy by a
new and different way from other Writers, and to make this way more
known, easie and intelligible, I was in a manner forced to write this
Book; for I have not contradicted those Authors in any thing, but
what concerns and is opposite to my opinions; neither do I anything,
but what they have done themselves, as being common amongst them to
contradict each other: which may as well be allowable, as for Lawyers
to plead at the Barr in opposite Causes. For as Lawyers are not Enemies
to each other, but great Friends, all agreeing from the Barr, although
not at the Barr: so it is with Philosophers, who make their Opinions
as their Clients, not for Wealth, but for Fame, and therefore have no
reason to become Enemies to each other, by being Industrious in their
Profession. All which considered, was the cause of Publishing this
Book; wherein although I dissent from their opinions, yet doth not this
take off the least of the respect and esteem I have of their Merits
and Works. But if your Lordship do but pardon me, I care not if I be
condemned by others; for your Favour is more then the World to me, for
which all the actions of my Life shall be devoted and ready to serve
you, as becomes,

My Lord,

_Your Lordships_

_honest Wife, and humble Servant_,

M. N.



TO THE MOST FAMOUS UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.


Most Noble, Ingenious, Learned, and Industrious Students.

_Be not offended, that I dedicate to you this weak and infirm work of
mine; for though it be not an offering worthy your acceptance, yet it
is as much as I can present for this time; and I wish from my Soul, I
might be so happy as to have some means or ways to express my Gratitude
for your Magnificent favours to me, having done me more honour then
ever I could expect, or give sufficient thanks for: But your Generosity
is above all Gratitude, and your Favours above all Merit, like as your
Learning is above Contradiction: And I pray God your University may
flourish to the end of the World, for the Service of the Church, the
Truth of Religion, the Salvation of Souls, the instruction of Youth,
the preservation of Health, and prolonging of Life, and for the
increase of profitable Arts and Sciences: so as your several studies
may be, like several Magistrates, united for the good and benefit of
the whole Common-wealth, nay, the whole World. May Heaven prosper you,
the World magnifie you, and Eternity record your same; Which are the
hearty wishes and prayers of,_

Your most obliged Servant

_M. NEWCASTLE._



A PREFACE TO THE READER.


_Worthy Readers_,

I did not write this Book out of delight, love or humour to
contradiction; for I would rather praise, then contradict any Person
or Persons that are ingenious; but by reason Opinion is free, and may
pass without a pass-port, I took the liberty to declare my own opinions
as other Philosophers do, and to that purpose I have here set down
several famous and learned Authors opinions, and my answers to them in
the form of Letters, which was the easiest way for me to write; and by
so doing, I have done that, which I would have done unto me; for I am
as willing to have my opinions contradicted, as I do contradict others:
for I love Reason so well, that whosoever can bring most rational
and probable arguments, shall have my vote, although against my own
opinion. But you may say, If contradictions were frequent, there would
be no agreement amongst Mankind. I answer; it is very true: Wherefore
Contradictions are better in general Books, then in particular
Families, and in Schools better then in Publick States, and better in
Philosophy then in Divinity. All which considered, I shun, as much as I
can, not to discourse or write of either Church or State. But I desire
so much favour, or rather Justice of you, _Worthy Readers_, as not to
interpret my objections or answers any other ways then against several
opinions in Philosophy; for I am confident there is not any body, that
doth esteem, respect and honour learned and ingenious Persons more then
I do: Wherefore judg me neither to be of a contradicting humor, nor of
a vain-glorious mind for differing from other mens opinions, but rather
that it is done out of love to Truth, and to make my own opinions the
more intelligible, which cannot better be done then by arguing and
comparing other mens opinions with them. The Authors whose opinions I
mention, I have read, as I found them printed, in my native Language,
except _Des Cartes_, who being in Latine, I had some few places
translated to me out of his works; and I must confess, that since
I have read the works of these learned men, I understand the names
and terms of Art a little better then I did before; but it is not so
much as to make me a Scholar, nor yet so little, but that, had I read
more before I did begin to write my other Book called _Philosophical
Opinions_, they would have been more intelligible; for my error was,
I began to write so early, that I had not liv'd so long as to be
able to read many Authors; I cannot say, I divulged my opinions as
soon as I had conceiv'd them, but yet I divulged them too soon to
have them artificial and methodical. But since what is past, cannot
be recalled, I must desire you to excuse those faults, which were
committed for want of experience and learning. As for School-learning,
had I applied my self to it, yet I am confident I should never have
arrived to any; for I am so uncapable of Learning, that I could never
attain to the knowledge of any other Language but my native, especially
by the Rules of Art: wherefore I do not repent that I spent not my
time in Learning, for I consider, it is better to write wittily then
learnedly; nevertheless, I love and esteem Learning, although I am
not capable of it. But you may say, I have expressed neither Wit nor
Learning in my Writings: Truly, if not, I am the more sorry for it; but
self-conceit, which is natural to mankind, especially to our Sex, did
flatter and secretly perswade me that my Writings had Sense and Reason,
Wit and Variety; but Judgment being not called to Counsel, I yielded
to Self-conceits flattery, and so put out my Writings to be Printed as
fast as I could, without being reviewed or Corrected: Neither did I
fear any censure, for Self-conceit had perswaded me, I should be highly
applauded; wherefore I made such haste, that I had three or four Books
printed presently after each other.

But to return to this present Work, I must desire you, _worthy
Readers_, to read first my Book called _Philosophical and Physical
Opinions_, before you censure this, for this Book is but an explanation
of the former, wherein is contained the Ground of my Opinions, and
those that will judge well of a Building, must first consider
the Foundation; to which purpose I will repeat some few Heads and
Principles of my Opinions, which are these following: First, That
Nature is Infinite, and the Eternal Servant of God: Next, That she is
Corporeal, and partly self-moving, dividable and composable; that all
and every particular Creature, as also all perception and variety in
Nature, is made by corporeal self-motion, which I name sensitive and
rational matter, which is life and knowledg, sense and reason. Again,
That these sensitive and rational parts of matter are the purest
and subtilest parts of Nature, as the active parts, the knowing,
understanding and prudent parts, the designing, architectonical and
working parts, nay, the Life and Soul of Nature, and that there is
not any Creature or part of nature without this Life and Soul; and
that not onely Animals, but also Vegetables, Minerals and Elements,
and what more is in Nature, are endued with this Life and Soul, Sense
and Reason: and because this Life and Soul is a corporeal Substance,
it is both dividable and composable; for it divides and removes parts
from parts, as also composes and joyns parts to parts, and works in a
perpetual motion without rest; by which actions not any Creature can
challenge a particular Life and Soul to it self, but every Creature may
have by the dividing and composing nature of this self-moving matter
more or fewer natural souls and lives.

These and the like actions of corporeal Nature or natural Matter
you may find more at large described in my afore-mentioned Book of
_Philosophical Opinions_, and more clearly repeated and explained in
this present. 'Tis true, the way of arguing I use, is common, but the
Principles, Heads and Grounds of my Opinions are my own, not borrowed
or stolen in the least from any; and the first time I divulged them,
was in the year 1653: since which time I have reviewed, reformed and
reprinted them twice; for at first, as my Conceptions were new and my
own, so my Judgment was young, and my Experience little, so that I had
not so much knowledge as to declare them artificially and methodically;
for as I mentioned before, I was always unapt to learn by the Rules of
Art. But although they may be defective for want of Terms of Art, and
artificial expressions, yet I am sure they are not defective for want
of Sense and Reason: And if any one can bring more Sense and Reason to
disprove these my opinions, I shall not repine or grieve, but either
acknowledge my error, if I find my self in any, or defend them as
rationally as I can, if it be but done justly and honestly, without
deceit, spight, or malice; for I cannot chuse but acquaint you, _Noble
Readers_, I have been informed, that if I should be answered in my
Writings, it would be done rather under the name and cover of a Woman,
then of a Man, the reason is, because no man dare or will set his name
to the contradiction of a Lady; and to confirm you the better herein,
there has one Chapter of my Book called _The Worlds Olio_, treating of
a Monastical Life, been answer'd already in a little Pamphlet, under
the name of a woman, although she did little towards it; wherefore it
being a Hermaphroditical Book, I judged it not worthy taking notice of.
The like shall I do to any other that will answer this present work of
mine, or contradict my opinions indirectly with fraud and deceit. But
I cannot conceive why it should be a disgrace to any man to maintain
his own or others opinions against a woman, so it be done with respect
and civility; but to become a cheat by dissembling, and quit the
Breeches for a Petticoat, meerly out of spight and malice, is base, and
not fit for the honour of a man, or the masculine sex. Besides, it will
easily be known; for a Philosopher or Philosopheress is not produced on
a sudden. Wherefore, although I do not care, nor fear contradiction,
yet I desire it may be done without fraud or deceit, spight and malice;
and then I shall be ready to defend my opinions the best I can, whilest
I live, and after I am dead, I hope those that are just and honorable
will also defend me from all sophistry, malice, spight and envy, for
which Heaven will bless them. In the mean time, _Worthy Readers_, I
should rejoyce to see that my Works are acceptable to you, for if you
be not partial, you will easily pardon those faults you find, when you
do consider both my sex and breeding; for which favour and justice, I
shall always remain,

_Your most obliged Servant,_

M. N.



Philosophical Letters.

Sect. I.

I.


_MADAM,_

You have been pleased to send me the Works of four Famous and Learned
Authors, to wit, of two most Famous Philosophers of our Age, _Des
Cartes_, and _Hobbs_, and of that Learned Philosopher and Divine Dr.
_More_, as also of that Famous Physician and Chymist _Van Helmont_.
Which Works you have sent me not onely to peruse, but also to give
my judgment of them, and to send you word by the usual way of our
Correspondence, which is by Letters, how far, and wherein I do dissent
from these Famous Authors, their Opinions in _Natural Philosophy_. To
tell you truly, _Madam_, your Commands did at first much affright me,
for it did appear, as if you had commanded me to get upon a high Rock,
and fling my self into the Sea, where neither a Ship, nor a Plank, nor
any kind of help was near to rescue me, and save my life; but that I
was forced to sink, by reason I cannot swim: So I having no Learning
nor Art to assist me in this dangerous undertaking, thought, I must
of necessity perish under the rough censures of my Readers, and be
not onely accounted a fool for my labour, but a vain and presumptuous
person, to undertake things surpassing the ability of my performance;
but on the other side I considered first, that those Worthy Authors,
were they my censurers, would not deny me the same liberty they take
themselves; which is, that I may dissent from their Opinions, as well
as they dissent from others, and from amongst themselves: And if I
should express more Vanity then Wit, more Ignorance then Knowledg, more
Folly then Discretion, it being according to the Nature of our Sex, I
hoped that my Masculine Readers would civilly excuse me, and my Female
Readers could not justly condemn me. Next I considered with my self,
that it would be a great advantage for my Book called _Philosophical
Opinions_, as to make it more perspicuous and intelligible by the
opposition of other Opinions, since two opposite things placed near
each other, are the better discerned; for I must confess, that when
I did put forth my Philosophical Work at first, I was not so well
skilled in the Terms or Expressions usual in _Natural Philosophy_; and
therefore for want of their knowledg, I could not declare my meaning so
plainly and clearly as I ought to have done, which may be a sufficient
argument to my Readers, that I have not read heretofore any _Natural
Philosophers_, and taken some Light from them; but that my Opinions
did meerly issue from the Fountain of my own Brain, without any other
help or assistance. Wherefore since for want of proper Expressions,
my named Book of _Philosophy_ was accused of obscurity and intricacy,
I thought your Commands would be a means to explain and clear it the
better, although not by an Artificial way, as by Logical Arguments or
Mathematical Demonstrations, yet by expressing my Sense and Meaning
more properly and clearly then I have done heretofore: But the chief
reason of all was, the Authority of your Command, which did work so
powerfully with me, that I could not resist, although it were to the
disgrace of my own judgment and wit; and therefore I am fully resolved
now to go on as far, and as well as the Natural strength of my Reason
will reach: But since neither the strength of my Body, nor of my
understanding, or wit, is able to mark every line, or every word of
their works, and to argue upon them, I shall onely pick out the ground
Opinions of the aforementioned Authors, and those which do directly
dissent from mine, upon which I intend to make some few Reflections,
according to the ability of my Reason; and I shall meerly go upon the
bare Ground of _Natural Philosophy_, and not mix Divinity with it,
as many Philosophers use to do, except it be in those places, where
I am forced by the Authors Arguments to reflect upon it, which yet
shall be rather with an expression of my ignorance, then a positive
declaration of my opinion or judgment thereof; for I think it not onely
an absurdity, but an injury to the holy Profession of Divinity to draw
her to the Proofs in _Natural Philosophy_; wherefore I shall strictly
follow the Guidance of _Natural Reason_, and keep to my own ground and
Principles as much as I can; which that I may perform the better, I
humbly desire the help and assistance of your Favour, that according to
that real and intire Affection you bear to me, you would be pleased to
tell me unfeignedly, if I should chance to err or contradict but the
least probability of truth in any thing; for I honor Truth so much, as
I bow down to its shadow with the greatest respect and reverence; and I
esteem those persons most, that love and honor Truth with the same zeal
and fervor, whether they be Ancient or Modern Writers.

Thus, _Madam_, although I am destitute of the help of Arts, yet being
supported by your Favour and wise Directions, I shall not fear any
smiles of scorn, or words of reproach; for I am confident you will
defend me against all the mischievous and poisonous Teeth of malicious
detractors. I shall besides, implore the assistance of the Sacred
Church, and the Learned Schools, to take me into their Protection, and
shelter my weak endeavours: For though I am but an ignorant and simple
Woman, yet I am their devoted and honest Servant, who shall never quit
the respect and honor due to them, but live and die theirs, as also,

MADAM,

_Your Ladiships_

_humble and faithful Servant._

M. N.



II.


_MADAM,_

Before I begin my Reflections upon the Opinions of those Authors you
sent me, I will answer first your Objection concerning the Ground of my
Philosophy, which is Infinite Matter: For you were pleased to mention,
That you could not well apprehend, how it was possible, that many
Infinites could be contained in one Infinite, since one Infinite takes
up all Place Imaginary, leaving no room for any other; Also, if one
Infinite should be contained in an other Infinite, that which contains,
must of necessity be bigger then that which is contained, whereby the
Nater of Infinite would be lost; as having no bigger nor less, but
being of an Infinite quantity.

First of all, _Madam_, there is no such thing as All in Infinite, nor
any such thing as All the Place, for Infinite is not circumscribed
nor limited: Next, as for that one Infinite cannot be in an other
Infinite, I answer, as well as one Finite can be in another Finite;
for one Creature is not onely composed of Parts, but one Part lies
within another, and one Figure within another, and one Motion within
another. As for example, Animal Kind, have they not Internal and
External Parts, and so Internal and External Motions? And are not
Animals, Vegetables and Minerals inclosed in the Elements? But as for
Infinites, you must know, _Madam_, that there are several kindes of
Infinites. For there is first Infinite in quantity or bulk, that is
such a big and great Corporeal substance, which exceeds all bounds
and limits of measure, and may be called Infinite in Magnitude. Next
there is Infinite in Number, which exceeds all numeration and account,
and may be termed Infinite in Multitude; Again there is Infinite in
Quality; as for example, Infinite degrees of softness, hardness,
thickness, thinness, heat and cold, &c. also Infinite degrees of
Motion, and so Infinite Creations, Infinite Compositions, Dissolutions,
Contractions, Dilations, Digestions, Expulsions; also Infinite degrees
of Strength, Knowledg, Power, &c. Besides there is Infinite in Time,
which is properly named Eternal. Now, when I say, that there is but
one Infinite, and that Infinite is the Onely Matter, I mean infinite
in bulk and quantity. And this Onely matter, because it is Infinite
in bulk, must of necessity be divisible into infinite Parts, that is,
infinite in number, not in bulk or quantity; for though Infinite Parts
in number make up one infinite in quantity, yet they considered in
themselves, cannot be said Infinite, because every Part is of a certain
linked and circumscribed Figure, Quantity and Proportion, whereas
Infinite hath no limits nor bounds: besides it is against the nature
of a single Part to be Infinite, or else there would be no difference
between the Part and the whole, the nature of a Part requiring that it
must be less then its whole, but all what is less hath a determined
quantity, and so becomes finite. Therefore it is no absurdity to say,
that an Infinite may have both Finite and Infinite Parts, Finite in
Quantity, Infinite in Number. But those that say, if there were an
Infinite Body, that each of its Parts must of necessity be Infinite
too, are much mistaken; for it is a contradiction in the same Terms
to say One Infinite Part, for the very Name of a Part includes a
Finiteness, but take all parts of an Infinite Body together, then you
may rightly say they are infinite. Nay Reason will inform you plainly,
for example: Imagine an Infinite number of grains of Corn in one heap,
surely if the number of Grains be Infinite, you must grant of necessity
the bulk or body, which contains this infinite number of grains, to
be Infinite too; to wit, Infinite in quantity, and yet you will find
each Grain in it self to be Finite. But you will say, an Infinite
Body cannot have parts, for if it be Infinite, it must be Infinite in
Quantity, and therefore of one bulk, and one continued quantity, but
Infinite parts in number make a discrete quantity. I answer it is all
one; for a Body of a continued quantity may be divided and severed
into so many Parts either actually, or mentally in our Conceptions or
thoughts; besides nature is one continued Body, for there is no such
_Vacuum_ in Nature, as if her Parts did hang together like a linked
Chain; nor can any of her Parts subsist single and by it self, but all
the Parts of Infinite Nature, although they are in one continued Piece,
yet are they several and discerned from each other by their several
Figures. And by this, I hope, you will understand my meaning, when I
say, that several Infinites may be included or comprehended in one
Infinite; for by the one Infinite, I understand Infinite in Quantity,
which includes Infinite in Number, that is Infinite Parts; then
Infinite in Quality, as Infinite degrees of Rarity, Density, Swiftness,
Slowness, Hardness, Softness, &c. Infinite degrees of Motions, Infinite
Creations, Dissolutions, Contractions, Dilations, Alterations, &c.
Infinite degrees of Wisdom, Strength, Power, &c., and lastly Infinite
in Time or Duration, which is Eternity, for Infinite and Eternal are
inseparable; All which Infinites are contained in the Onely Matter
as many Letters are contained in one Word, many Words in one Line,
many Lines in one Book. But you will say perhaps, if I attribute an
Infinite Wisdom, Strength, Power, Knowledg, &c. to Nature; then Nature
is in all coequal with God, for God has the same Attributes: I answer,
Not at all; for I desire you to understand me rightly, when I speak
of Infinite Nature, and when I speak of the Infinite Deity, for there
is great difference between them, for it is one thing a Deitical or
Divine Infinite, and another a Natural Infinite; You know, that God
is a Spirit, and not a bodily substance, again that Nature is a Body,
and not a Spirit, and therefore none of these Infinites can obstruct
or hinder each other, as being different in their kinds, for a Spirit
being no Body, requires no place, Place being an attribute which onely
belongs to a Body, and therefore when I call Nature Infinite, I mean
an Infinite extension of Body, containing an Infinite number of Parts;
but what doth an Infinite extension of Body hinder the Infiniteness of
God, as an Immaterial Spiritual being? Next, when I do attribute an
Infinite Power, Wisdom, Knowledg, &c. to Nature, I do not understand
a Divine, but a Natural Infinite Wisdom and Power, that is, such as
properly belongs to Nature, and not a supernatural, as is in God;
For Nature having Infinite parts of Infinite degrees, must also have
an Infinite natural wisdom to order her natural Infinite parts and
actions, and consequently an Infinite natural power to put her wisdom
into act; and so of the rest of her attributes, which are all natural:
But Gods Attributes being supernatural, transcend much these natural
infinite attributes; for God, being the God of Nature, has not onely
Natures Infinite Wisdom and Power, but besides, a Supernatural and
Incomprehensible Infinite Wisdom and Power; which in no wayes do hinder
each other, but may very well subsist together. Neither doth Gods
Infinite Justice and his Infinite Mercy hinder each other; for Gods
Attributes, though they be all several Infinites, yet they make but one
Infinite.

But you will say, If Nature's Wisdom and Power extends no further then
to natural things, it is not Infinite, but limited and restrained.
I answer, That doth not take away the Infiniteness of Nature; for
there may be several kinds of Infinites, as I related before, and one
may be as perfect an Infinite as the other in its kind. For example:
Suppose a Line to be extended infinitely in length, you will call
this Line Infinite, although it have not an Infinite breadth; Also,
if an infinite length and breadth joyn together, you will call it, an
infinite Superficies, although it wants an infinite depth; and yet
every Infinite, in its kinde, is a Perfect Infinite, if I may call it
so: Why then shall not Nature also be said to have an Infinite Natural
Wisdom and Power, although she has not a Divine Wisdom and Power? Can
we say, Man hath not a free Will, because he hath not an absolute free
Will, as God hath? Wherefore, a Natural Infinite, and the Infinite
God, may well stand together, without any opposition or hinderance, or
without any detracting or derogating from the Omnipotency and Glory
of God; for God remains still the God of Nature, and is an Infinite
Immaterial Purity, when as Nature is an Infinite Corporeal Substance;
and Immaterial and Material cannot obstruct each other. And though an
Infinite Corporeal cannot make an Infinite Immaterial, yet an Infinite
Immaterial can make an Infinite Corporeal, by reason there is as much
difference in the Power as in the Purity: And the disparity between the
Natural and Divine Infinite is such, as they cannot joyn, mix, and work
together, unless you do believe that Divine Actions can have allay.

But you may say, Purity belongs onely to natural things, and none but
natural bodies can be said purified, but God exceeds all Purity. 'Tis
true: But if there were infinite degrees of Purity in Matter, Matter
might at last become Immaterial, and so from an Infinite Material turn
to an Infinite Immaterial, and from Nature to be God: A great, but an
impossible Change. For I do verily believe, that there can be but one
Omnipotent God, and he cannot admit of addition, or diminution; and
that which is Material cannot be Immaterial, and what is Immaterial
cannot become Material, I mean, so, as to change their natures; for
Nature is what God was pleased she should be; and will be what she
was, until God be pleased to make her otherwise. Wherefore there can
be no new Creation of matter, motion, or figure; nor any annihilation
of any matter, motion, or figure in Nature, unless God do create
a new Nature: For the changing of Matter into several particular
Figures, doth not prove an annihilation of particular Figures; nor
the cessation of particular Motions an annihilation of them: Neither
doth the variation of the Onely Matter produce an annihilation of any
part of Matter, nor the variation of figures and motions of Matter
cause an alteration in the nature of Onely Matter: Wherefore there
cannot be new Lives, Souls or Bodies in Nature; for, could there be
any thing new in Nature, or any thing annihilated, there would not
be any stability in Nature, as a continuance of every kind and sort
of Creatures, but there would be a confusion between the new and
old matter, motions, and figures, as between old and new Nature; In
truth, it would be like new Wine in old Vessels, by which all would
break into disorder. Neither can supernatural and natural effects be
mixt together, no more then material and immaterial things or beings:
Therefore it is probable, God has ordained Nature to work in her self
by his Leave, Will, and Free Gift. But there have been, and are still
strange and erroneous Opinions, and great differences amongst Natural
Philosophers, concerning the Principles of Natural things; some will
have them _Atoms_, others will have the first Principles to be _Salt,
Sulphur_ and _Mercury_; some will have them to be the four Elements,
as _Fire, Air, Water,_ and _Earth_; and others will have but one of
these Elements also some will have _Gas_ and _Blas, Ferments, Ideas_
and the like; but what they believe to be Principles and Causes of
natural things, are onely Effects; for in all Probability it appears to
humane sense and reason, that the cause of every particular material
Creature is the onely and Infinite Matter, which has Motions and
Figures inseparably united; for Matter, Motion and Figure, are but
one thing, individable in its Nature. And as for Immaterial Spirits,
there is surely no such thing in Infinite Nature, to wit, so as to be
Parts of Nature; for Nature is altogether Material, but this opinion
proceeds from the separation or abstraction of Motion from Matter,
_viz._ that man thinks matter and motion to be dividable from each
other, and believes motion to be a thing by its self, naming it an
Immaterial thing, which has a being, but not a bodily substance: But
various and different effects do not prove a different Matter or Cause,
neither do they prove an unsetled Cause, onely the variety of Effects
hath obscured the Cause from the several parts, which makes Particular
Creatures partly Ignorant, and partly knowing. But in my opinion,
Nature is material, and not any thing in Nature, what belongs to her,
is immaterial; but whatsoever is Immaterial, is Supernatural, Therefore
Motions, Forms, Thoughts, Ideas, Conceptions, Sympathies, Antipathies,
Accidents, Qualities, as also Natural Life, and Soul, are all Material:
And as for Colours, Sents, Light, Sound, Heat, Cold, and the like,
those that believe them not to be substances or material things, surely
their brain or heart (take what place you will for the forming of
Conceptions) moves very Irregularly, and they might as well say, Our
sensitive Organs are not material; for what Objects soever, that are
subject to our senses, cannot in sense be denied to be Corporeal, when
as those things that are not subject to our senses, can be conceived
in reason to be Immaterial? But some Philosophers striving to express
their wit, obstruct reason; and drawing Divinity to prove Sense and
Reason, weaken Faith so, as their mixed Divine Philosophy becomes meer
Poetical Fictions, and Romancical expressions, making material Bodies
immaterial Spirits, and immaterial Spirits material Bodies; and some
have conceived some things neither to be Material nor Immaterial but
between both. Truly, _Madam_, I wish their Wits had been less, and
their Judgments more, as not to jumble Natural and Supernatural things
together, but to distinguish either clearly, for such Mixtures are
neither Natural nor Divine; But as I said, the Confusion comes from
their too nice abstractions, and from the separation of Figure and
Motion from Matter, as not conceiving them individable; but if God, and
his servant Nature were as Intricate and Confuse in their Works, as Men
in their Understandings and Words, the Universe and Production of all
Creatures would soon be without Order and Government, so as there would
be a horrid and Eternal War both in Heaven, and in the World, and so
pittying their troubled Brains, and wishing them the Light of Reason,
that they may clearly perceive the Truth, I rest

Madam,

_Your real Friend_

_and faithful Servant._



III.


_MADAM,_

It seems you are offended at my Opinion, that _Nature_ is Eternal
without beginning, which, you say, is to make her God, or at least
coequal with God; But, if you apprehend my meaning rightly, you will
say, I do not: For first, God is an Immaterial and Spiritual Infinite
Being, which Propriety God cannot give away to any Creature, nor
make another God in Essence like to him, for Gods Attributes are not
communicable to any Creature; Yet this doth not hinder, that God
should not make Infinite and Eternal Matter, for that is as easie to
him, as to make a Finite Creature, Infinite Matter being quite of
another Nature then God is, to wit, Corporeal, when God is Incorporeal,
the difference whereof I have declared in my former Letter. But as for
_Nature_, that it cannot be Eternal without beginning, because God is
the Creator and Cause of it, and that the Creator must be before the
Creature, as the Cause before the Effect, so, that it is impossible
for _Nature_ to be without a beginning; if you will speak naturally,
as human reason guides you, and bring an Argument concluding from the
Priority of the _Cause_ before the _Effect_, give me leave to tell you,
that God is not tied to Natural Rules, but that he can do beyond our
Understanding, and therefore he is neither bound up to time, as to be
before, for if we will do this, we must not allow, that the Eternal Son
of God is Coeternal with the Father, because nature requires a Father
to exist before the Son, but in God is no time, but all Eternity;
and if you allow, that God hath made some Creatures, as Supernatural
Spirits, to live Eternally, why should he not as well have made a
Creature from all Eternity? for Gods making is not our making, he needs
no Priority of Time. But you may say, the Comparison of the Eternal
Generation of the Son of God is Mystical and Divine, and not to be
applied to natural things: I answer, The action by which God created
the World or made Nature, was it natural or supernatural? surely you
will say it was a Supernatural and God-like action, why then will
you apply Natural Rules to a God-like and Supernatural Action? for
what Man knows, how and when God created Nature? You will say, the
Scripture doth teach us that, for it is not Six thousand years, when
God created this World, I answer, the holy Scripture informs us onely
of the Creation of this Visible World, but not of Nature and natural
Matter; for I firmly believe according to the Word of God, that this
World has been Created, as is described by _Moses_, but what is that
to natural Matter? There may have been worlds before, as many are of
the opinion that there have been men before _Adam_, and many amongst
Divines do believe, that after the destruction of this World God will
Create a new World again, as a new Heaven, and a new Earth; and if
this be probable, or at least may be believed without any prejudice
to the holy Scripture, why may it not be probably believed that
there have been other worlds before this visible World? for nothing
is impossible with God; and all this doth derogate nothing from the
Honour and Glory of God, but rather increases his Divine Power. But
as for the Creation of this present World, it is related, that there
was first a rude and indigested Heap, or Chaos, without form, void
and dark; and God said, _Let it be light; Let there be a Firmament
in the midst of the Waters, and let the Waters under the Heaven be
gathered together, and let the dry Land appear; Let the Earth bring
forth Grass, the Herb yielding seed, and the Fruit-tree yielding Fruit
after its own kind; and let there be Lights in the Firmament, the one
to rule the Day, and the other the Night; and let the Waters bring
forth abundantly the moving Creature that hath life; and let the Earth
bring forth living Creatures after its kinde; and at last God said,
Let us make Man, and all what was made, God saw it was good._ Thus
all was made by Gods Command, and who executed his Command but the
Material servant of God, Nature? which ordered her self-moving matter
into such several Figures as God commanded, and God approved of them.
And thus, _Madam_, I verily believe the Creation of the World, and that
God is the Sole and omnipotent Creator of Heaven and Earth, and of all
Creatures therein; nay, although I believe Nature to have been from
Eternity, yet I believe also that God is the God and Author of Nature,
and has made Nature and natural Matter in a way and manner proper to
his Omnipotency and Incomprehensible by us: I will pass by natural
Arguments and Proofs, as not belonging to such an Omnipotent Action; as
for example, how the nature of relative terms requires, that they must
both exist at one point of Time, _viz._ a Master and his Servant, and
a King and his Subjects; for one bearing relation to the other, can in
no ways be considered as different from one another in formiliness or
laterness of Time; but as I said, these being meerly natural things, I
will nor cannot apply them to Supernatural and Divine Actions; But if
you ask me, how it is possible that _Nature_, the Effect and Creature
of God, can be Eternal without beginning? I will desire you to answer
me first, how a Creature can be Eternal without end, as, for example.
Supernatural Spirits are, and then I will answer you, how a Creature
can be Eternal without beginning; For Eternity consists herein, that
it has neither beginning nor end; and if it be easie for God to make a
Being without end, it is not difficult for Him to make a Being without
beginning. One thing more I will add, which is, That if _Nature_ has
not been made by God from all Eternity, then the Title of God, as
being a Creator, which is a Title and action, upon which our Faith is
grounded, (for it is the first Article in our Creed) has been accessory
to God, as I said, not full Six thousand years ago; but there is not
any thing accessory to God; he being the Perfection himself. But,
_Madam_, all what I speak, is under the liberty of Natural Philosophy,
and by the Light of Reason onely, not of Revelation; and my Reason
being not infallible; I will not declare my Opinions for an infallible
Truth: Neither do I think, that they are offensive either to Church or
State, for I submit to the Laws of One, and believe the Doctrine of the
Other, so much, that if it were for the advantage of either, I should
be willing to sacrifice my Life, especially for the Church; yea, had I
millions of Lives, and every Life was either to suffer torment or to
live in ease, I would prefer torment for the benefit of the Church;
and therefore, if I knew that my Opinions should give any offence to
the Church, I should be ready every minute to alter them: And as much
as I am bound in all duty to the obedience of the Church, as much am I
particularly bound to your Ladiship, for your entire love and sincere
affection towards me, for which I shall live and die,

Madam,

_Your most faithful Friend,_

_and humble Servant._



IV.


_MADAM,_

I have chosen, in the first place, the Work of that famous Philosopher
_Hobbs_ called _Leviathan_, wherein I find he sayes,[1] _That the
cause of sense or sensitive perception is the external body or Object,
which presses the Organ proper to each Sense_. To which I answer,
according to the ground of my own _Philosophical Opinions_, That all
things, and therefore outward objects as well as sensitive organs, have
both Sense and Reason, yet neither the objects nor the organs are the
cause of them; for Perception is but the effect of the Sensitive and
rational Motions, and not the Motions of the Perception; neither doth
the pressure of parts upon parts make Perception; for although Matter
by the power of self-motion is as much composeable as divideable,
and parts do joyn to parts, yet that doth not make perception; nay,
the several parts, betwixt which the Perception is made, may be at
such a distance, as not capable to press: As for example, Two men
may see or hear each other at a distance, and yet there may be other
bodies between them, that do not move to those perceptions, so that
no pressure can be made, for all pressures are by some constraint
and force; wherefore, according to my Opinion, the Sensitive and
Rational free Motions, do pattern out each others object, as Figure
and Voice in each others Eye and Ear; for Life and Knowledge, which
I name Rational and Sensitive Matter, are in every Creature, and in
all parts of every Creature, and make all perceptions in Nature,
because they are the self-moving parts of Nature, and according as
those Corporeal, Rational, and Sensitive Motions move, such or such
perceptions are made: But these self-moving parts being of different
degrees (for the Rational matter is purer then the Sensitive) it
causes a double perception in all Creatures, whereof one is made by
the Rational corporeal motions, and the other by the Sensitive; and
though both perceptions are in all the body, and in every part of
the body of a Creature, yet the sensitive corporeal motions having
their proper organs, as Work-houses, in which they work some sorts
of perceptions, those perceptions are most commonly made in those
organs, and are double again; for the sensitive motions work either
on the inside or on the out-side of those organs, on the inside in
Dreams, on the out-side awake; and although both the Rational and the
Sensitive matter are inseparably joyned and mixed together, yet do they
not always work together, for oftentimes the Rational works without
any sensitive paterns, and the sensitive again without any rational
paterns. But mistake me not, _Madam_, for I do not absolutely confine
the sensitive perception to the Organs, nor the rational to the Brain,
but as they are both in the whole body, so they may work in the whole
body according to their own motions. Neither do I say, that there is
no other perception in the Eye but sight, in the Ear but hearing, and
so forth, but the sensitive organs have other perceptions besides
these; and if the sensitive and rational motions be irregular in those
parts, between which the perception is made, as for example, in the
two fore-mentioned men, that see and hear each other, then they both
neither see nor hear each other perfectly; and if one's motions be
perfect, but the other's irregular and erroneous, then one sees and
hears better then the other; or if the Sensitive and Rational motions
move more regularly and make perfecter paterns in the Eye then in the
Ear, then they see better then they hear; and if more regularly and
perfectly in the Ear then in the Eye, they hear better then they see:
And so it may be said of each man singly, for one man may see the
other better and more perfectly, then the other may see him; and this
man may hear the other better and more perfectly, then the other may
hear him; whereas, if perception were made by pressure, there would
not be any such mistakes; besides the hard pressure of objects, in my
opinion, would rather annoy and obscure, then inform. But as soon as
the object is removed, the Perception of it, made by the sensitive
motions in the Organs, ceaseth, by reason the sensitive Motions cease
from paterning, but yet the Rational Motions do not always cease
so suddenly, because the sensitive corporeal Motions work with the
Inanimate Matter, and therefore cannot retain particular figures long,
whereas the Rational Matter doth onely move in its own substance and
parts of matter, and upon none other, as my Book of Philosophical
Opinions will inform you better. And thus Perception, in my opinion, is
not made by Pressure, nor by Species, nor by matter going either from
the Organ to the Object, or from the Object into the Organ. By this it
is also manifest, that Understanding comes not from Exterior Objects,
or from the Exterior sensitive Organs; for as Exterior Objects do not
make Perception, so they do neither make Understanding, but it is the
rational matter that doth it, for Understanding may be without exterior
objects and sensitive organs; And this in short is the opinion of

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Part._ 1. _ch._ 1.



V.


_Madam_,

Your Authours opinion is,[1] that _when a thing lies still, unless
somewhat else stir it, it will lie still for ever; but when a thing is
in motion, it will eternally be in motion, unless somewhat else stay
it; the reason is,_ saith he, _because nothing can change it self_;
To tell you truly, _Madam_, I am not of his opinion, for if Matter
moveth it self, as certainly it doth, then the least part of Matter,
were it so small as to seem Individable, will move it self; 'Tis true,
it could not desist from motion, as being its nature to move, and no
thing can change its Nature; for God himself, who hath more power then
self-moving Matter, cannot change himself from being God; but that
Motion should proceed from another exterior Body, joyning with, or
touching that body which it moves, is in my opinion not probable; for
though Nature is all Corporeal, and her actions are Corporeal Motions,
yet that doth not prove, that the Motion of particular Creatures or
Parts is caused by the joining, touching or pressing of parts upon
parts; for it is not the several parts that make motion, but motion
makes them; and yet Motion is not the cause of Matter, but Matter is
the cause of Motion, for Matter might subsist without Motion, but not
Motion without Matter, onely there could be no perception without
Motion, nor no Variety, if Matter were not self-moving; but Matter, if
it were all Inanimate and void of Motion, would lie as a dull, dead
and senseless heap; But that all Motion comes by joining or pressing
of other parts, I deny, for if sensitive and rational perceptions,
which are sensitive and rational motions, in the body, and in the mind,
were made by the pressure of outward objects, pressing the sensitive
organs, and so the brain or interior parts of the Body, they would
cause such dents and holes therein, as to make them sore and patched
in a short time; Besides, what was represented in this manner, would
always remain, or at least not so soon be dissolved, and then those
pressures would make a strange and horrid confusion of Figures, for
not any figure would be distinct; Wherefore my opinion is, that the
sensitive and rational Matter doth make or pattern out the figures
of several Objects, and doth dissolve them in a moment of time; as
for example, when the eye seeth the object first of a Man, then of a
Horse, then of another Creature, the sensitive motions in the eye move
first into the figure of the Man, then straight into the figure of
the Horse, so that the Mans figure is dissolved and altered into the
figure of the Horse, and so forth; but if the eye sees many figures at
once, then so many several figures are made by the sensitive Corporeal
Motions, and as many by the Rational Motions, which are Sight and
Memory, at once: But in sleep both the sensitive and rational Motions
make the figures without patterns, that is, exterior objects, which
is the cause that they are often erroneous, whereas, if it were the
former Impression of the Objects, there could not possibly be imperfect
Dreams or Remembrances, for fading of Figures requires as much motion,
as impression, and impression and fading are very different and
opposite motions; nay, if Perception was made by Impression, there
could not possibly be a fading or decay of the figures printed either
in the Mind or Body, whereas yet, as there is alteration of Motions in
self-moving Matter, so there is also an alteration of figures made by
these motions. But you will say, it doth not follow, if Perception be
made by Impression, that it must needs continue and not decay; for if
you touch and move a string, the motion doth not continue for ever, but
ceaseth by degrees; I answer, There is great difference between Prime
self-motion, and forced or Artificial Motions; for Artificial Motions
are onely an Imitation of Natural Motions, and not the same, but caused
by Natural Motions; for although there is no Art that is not made by
Nature, yet Nature is not made by Art; Wherefore we cannot rationally
judg of Perception by comparing it to the motion of a string, and its
alteration to the ceasing of that motion, for Nature moveth not by
force, but freely. 'Tis true, 'tis the freedom in Nature for one man
to give another a box on the Ear, or to trip up his heels, or for one
or more men to fight with each other; yet these actions are not like
the actions of loving Imbraces and Kissing each other; neither are
the actions one and the same, when a man strikes himself, and when
he strikes another; and so is likewise the action of impression, and
the action of self-figuring not one and the same, but different; for
the action of impression is forced, and the action of self-figuring
is free; Wherefore the comparison of the forced motions of a string,
rope, watch, or the like, can have no place here; for though the rope,
made of flax or hemp, may have the perception of a Vegetable, yet not
of the hand, or the like, that touched or struck it; and although the
hand doth occasion the rope to move in such a manner, yet it is not
the motion of the hand, by which it moveth, and when it ceases, its
natural and inherent power to move is not lessened; like as a man,
that hath left off carving or painting, hath no less skill then he
had before, neither is that skill lost when he plays upon the Lute or
Virginals, or plows, plants, and the like, but he hath onely altered
his action, as from carving to painting, or from painting to playing,
and so to plowing and planting, which is not through disability but
choice. But you will say, it is nevertheless a cessation of such a
motion. I grant it: but the ceasing of such a motion is not the ceasing
of self-moving matter from all motions, neither is cessation as much as
annihilation, for the motion lies in the power of the matter to repeat
it, as oft it will, if it be not overpowred, for more parts, or more
strength, or more motions may over-power the less; Wherefore forced,
or artificial and free Natural motions are different in their effects,
although they have but one Cause, which is the self-moving matter, and
though Matter is but active and passive, yet there is great Variety,
and so great difference in force and liberty, objects and perceptions,
sense and reason, and the like. But to conclude, perception is not
made by the pressure of objects, no more then hemp is made by the
Rope-maker, or metal by the Bell-founder or Ringer, and yet neither
the rope nor the metal is without sense and reason, but the natural
motions of the metal, and the artificial motions of the Ringer are
different; wherefore a natural effect in truth cannot be produced from
an artificial cause, neither can the ceasing of particular forced or
artificial motions be a proof for the ceasing of general, natural, free
motions, as that matter it self should cease to move; for there is no
such thing as rest in Nature, but there is an alteration of motions and
figures in self-moving matter, which alteration causeth variety as well
in opinions, as in every thing else; Wherefore in my opinion, though
sense alters, yet it doth not decay, for the rational and sensitive
part of matter is as lasting as matter it self, but that which is
named decay of sense, is onely the alteration of motions, and not an
obscurity of motions, like, as the motions of memory and forgetfulness,
and the repetition of the same motions is called remembrance. And thus
much of this subject for the present, to which I add no more but rest

Madam,

_your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Leviathan, Part._ 1. _c._ 2.



VI.


_MADAM,_

Your Authour discoursing of Imagination, saith,[1] _That as soon as any
object is removed from our Eyes, though the Impression that is made
in us remain, yet other objects more present succeeding and working
on us, the Imagination of the past is obscured and made weak_. To
which I answer, first, that he conceives Sense and Imagination to be
all one, for he says, _Imagination is nothing else, but a fading or
decaying sense_; whereas in my opinion they are different, not onely
their matter, but their motions also being distinct and different; for
Imagination is a rational perception, and Sense a sensitive perception;
wherefore as much as the rational matter differs from the sensitive, as
much doth Imagination differ from Sense. Next I say, that Impressions
do not remain in the body of sensitive matter, but it is in its power
to make or repeat the like figures; Neither is Imagination less, when
the object is absent, then when present, but the figure patterned out
in the sensitive organs, being altered, and remaining onely in the
Rational part of matter, is not so perspicuous and clear, as when it
was both in the Sense and in the Mind: And to prove that Imagination of
things past doth not grow weaker by distance of time, as your Authour
says, many a man in his old age, will have as perfect an Imagination
of what is past in his younger years, as if he saw it present. And as
for your Authours opinion, that _Imagination and Memory are one and the
same_, I grant, that they are made of one kind of Matter; but although
the Matter is one and the same, yet several motions in the several
parts make Imagination and Memory several things: As for Example, a
Man may Imagine that which never came into his Senses, wherefore
Imagination is not one and the same thing with Memory. But your Authour
seems to make all Sense, as it were, one Motion, but not all Motion
Sense, whereas surely there is no Motion, but is either Sensitive or
Rational; for Reason is but a pure and refined Sense, and Sense a
grosser Reason. Yet all sensitive and rational Motions are not one and
the same; for forced or Artificial Motions, though they proceed from
sensitive matter, yet are they so different from the free and Prime
Natural Motions, that they seem, as it were, quite of another nature:
And this distinction neglected is the Cause, that many make Appetites
and Passions, Perceptions and Objects, and the like, as one, without
any or but little difference. But having discoursed of the difference
of these Motions in my former Letter, I will not be tedious to you with
repeating it again, but remain,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Leviathan, part._ 1. _c._ 2.



VII.


_MADAM,_

Your Authours opinion, concerning Dreams,[1] seemeth to me in some part
very rational and probable, in some part not; For when he sayes, that
_Dreams are onely Imaginations of them that sleep, which imaginations
have been before either totally or by parcels in the Sense; and that
the organs of Sense, as the Brain and the Nerves, being benumb'd
in sleep, as not easily to be moved by external objects, those
Imaginations proceed onely from the agitation of the inward parts of
mans body, which for the connexion they have with the Brain, and other
organs, when they be distemper'd, do keep the same in motion, whereby
the Imaginations there formerly made, appear as if a man were waking_;
This seems to my Reason not very probable: For, first, Dreams are not
absolutely Imaginations, except we do call all Motions and Actions
of the Sensitive and Rational Matter, Imaginations. Neither is it
necessary, that all Imaginations must have been before either totally
or by parcels in the Sense; neither is there any benumbing of the
organs of Sense in sleep. But Dreams, according to my opinion, are made
by the Sensitive and Rational Corporeal Motions, by figuring several
objects, as awake; onely the difference is, that the Sensitive motions
in Dreams work by rote and on the inside of the Sensitive organs, when
as awake they work according to the patterns of outward objects, and
exteriously or on the outside of the sensitive Organs, so that sleep
or dreams are nothing else but an alteration of motions, from moving
exteriously to move interiously, and from working after a Pattern to
work by rote: I do not say that the body is without all exterior
motions, when asleep, as breathing and beating of the Pulse (although
these motions are rather interior then exterior,) but that onely the
sensitive organs are outwardly shut, so as not to receive the patterns
of outward Objects, nevertheless the sensitive Motions do not cease
from moving inwardly; or on the inside of the sensitive Organs; But the
rational matter doth often, as awake, so asleep or in dreams, make such
figures, as the sensitive did never make either from outward objects,
or of its own accord; for the sensitive hath sometimes liberty to work
without Objects, but the Rational much more, which is not bound either
to the patterns of Exterior objects, or of the sensitive voluntary
Figures. Wherefore it is not divers distempers, as your Authour sayes,
that cause different Dreams, or Gold, or Heat; neither are Dreams the
reverse of our waking Imaginations, nor all the Figures in Dreams are
not made with their heels up, and their heads downwards, though some
are; but this error or irregularity proceeds from want of exterior
Objects or Patterns, and by reason the sensitive Motions work by rote;
neither are the Motions reverse, because they work inwardly asleep, and
outwardly awake, for Mad-men awake see several Figures without Objects.
In short, sleeping and waking, is somewhat after that manner, when men
are called either out of their doors, or stay within their houses; or
like a Ship, where the Mariners work all under hatches, whereof you
will find more in my Philosophical Opinions; and so taking my leave, I
rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Leviathan, Part._ 1. _c._ 2.



VIII.


_MADAM,_

Your Authour going on in his discourse of Imagination, says,[1] _That,
as we have no Imagination, whereof we have not formerly had sense, in
whole or in parts; so we have not Transition from one Imagination to
another, whereof we never had the like before in our senses_. To which
my answer is in short, that the Rational part of Matter in One composed
figure, as in Man, or the like Creature, may make such figures, as
the senses did never make in that composed Figure or Creature; And
though your Authour reproves those that say,[2] _Imaginations rise
of themselves_; yet, if the self-moving part of Matter, which I call
Rational, makes Imaginations, they must needs rise of themselves; for
the Rational part of matter being free and self-moving, depends upon
nothing, neither Sense nor Object, I mean, so, as not to be able to
work without them. Next, when your Author, defining _Understanding_,
says that it is nothing else, but[3] _an Imagination raised by words or
other voluntary signs_, My Answer is, that Understanding, and so Words
and Signs are made by self-moving Matter, that is, Sense and Reason,
and not Sense and Reason by Words and Signs; wherefore Thoughts are
not like[4] _Water upon a plain Table, which is drawn and guided by
the finger this or that way_, for every Part of self-moving matter is
not alwayes forced, perswaded or directed, for if all the Parts of
Sense and Reason were ruled by force or perswasion, not any wounded
Creature would fail to be healed, or any disease to be cured by outward
Applications, for outward Applications to Wounds and Diseases might
have more force, then any Object to the Eye: But though there is great
affinity and sympathy between parts, yet there is also great difference
and antipathy betwixt them, which is the cause that many objects
cannot with all their endeavours work such effects upon the Interiour
parts, although they are closely press'd, for Impressions of objects
do not always affect those parts they press. Wherefore, I am not of
your Author's opinion, that all Parts of Matter press one another; It
is true, _Madam_, there cannot be any part single, but yet this doth
not prove, that parts must needs press each other: And as for his
_Train of Thoughts_, I must confess, that Thoughts for the most part
are made orderly, but yet they do not follow each other like Geese,
for surely, man has sometimes very different thoughts; as for Example,
a man sometime is very sad for the death of his Friend, and thinks
of his own death, and immediately thinks of a wanton Mistress, which
later thought, surely, the thought of Death did not draw in; wherefore,
though some thought may be the Ring-leader of others, yet many are made
without leaders. Again, your Author in his description of the Mind
sayes, that _the discourse of the mind, when it is govern'd by design,
is nothing but seeking, or the Faculty of Invention; a hunting out of
the Causes of some Effects, present or past; or of the Effects of some
present or past Cause. Sometimes a man seeks what he has lost, and from
that Place and Time wherein he misses it, his mind runs back from place
to place, and time to time, to find where and when he had it, that is
to say, to find some certain and limited Time and Place, in which to
begin a method of Seeking. And from thence his thoughts run over the
same places and times to find what action or other occasion might make
him lose it. This we call Remembrance or calling to mind. Sometimes
a man knows a place determinate, within the compass whereof he is to
seek, and then his thoughts run over all the Parts thereof in the same
manner as one would sweep a room to find a Jewel, or as a Spaniel
ranges the field till he find a sent; or as a Man should run over the
Alphabet to start a Rime._ Thus far your Author: In which discourse I
do not perceive that he defineth what the Mind is, but I say, that if,
according to his opinion, nothing moves it self, but one thing moves
another, then the Mind must do nothing, but move backward and forward,
nay, onely forward, and if all actions were thrusting or pressing of
parts, it would be like a crowd of People, and there would be but
little or no motion, for the crowd would make a stoppage, like water in
a glass, the mouth of the Glass being turned downwards, no water can
pass out, by reason the numerous drops are so closely press'd, as they
cannot move exteriously. Next, I cannot conceive how the Mind can run
back either to Time or Place, for as for Place, the mind is inclosed
in the body, and the running about in the parts of the body or brain
will not inform it of an Exterior place or object; besides, objects
being the cause of the minds motion, it must return to its Cause, and
so move until it come to the object, that moved it first, so that the
mind must run out of the body to that object, which moved it to such
a Thought, although that object were removed out of the World (as the
phrase is:) But for the mind to move backward, to Time past, is more
then it can do; Wherefore in my opinion, Remembrance, or the like, is
onely a repetition of such Figures as were like to the Objects; and for
Thoughts in Particular, they are several figures, made by the mind,
which is the Rational Part of matter, in its own substance, either
voluntarily, or by imitation, whereof you may see more in my Book of
Philosophical Opinions. Hence I conclude, that Prudence is nothing
else, but a comparing of Figures to Figures, and of the several actions
of those Figures; as repeating former Figures, and comparing them to
others of the like nature, qualities, proprieties, as also chances,
fortunes, &c. Which figuring and repeating is done actually, in and
by the Rational Matter, so that all the observation of the mind on
outward Objects is onely an actual repetition of the mind, as moving
in such or such figures and actions; and when the mind makes voluntary
Figures with those repeated Figures, and compares them together, this
comparing is Examination; and when several Figures agree and joyn,
it is Conclusion or Judgment: likewise doth Experience proceed from
repeating and comparing of several Figures in the Mind, and the more
several Figures are repeated and compared, the greater the experience
is. One thing more there is in the same Chapter, which I cannot let
pass without examination; Your Authour says, That _things Present
onely have a being in Nature, things Past onely a being in the Memory,
but things to come have no being at all_; Which how it possibly can
be, I am not able to conceive; for certainly, if nothing in nature is
lost or annihilated, what is past, and what is to come, hath as well
a being, as what is present; and, if that which is now, had its being
before, why may it not also have its being hereafter? It might as well
be said, that what is once forgot, cannot be remembred; for whatsoever
is in Nature, has as much a being as the Mind, and there is not any
action, or motion, or figure, in Nature, but may be repeated, that is,
may return to its former Figure, When it is altered and dissolved;
But by reason Nature delights in variety, repetitions are not so
frequently made, especially of those things or creatures, which are
composed by the sensitive corporeal motions in the inanimate part of
Matter, because they are not so easily wrought, as the Rational matter
can work upon its own parts, being more pliant in its self, then the
Inanimate matter is; And this is the reason, that there are so many
repetitions of one and the same Figure in the Rational matter, which
is the Mind, but seldom any in the Gross and inanimate part of Matter,
for Nature loves ease and freedom: But to conclude, _Madam_, I perceive
your Author confines Sense onely to Animal-kind, and Reason onely to
Man-kind: Truly, it is out of self-love, when one Creature prefers his
own Excellency before another, for nature being endued with self-love,
all Creatures have self-love too, because they are all Parts of Nature;
and when Parts agree or disagree, it is out of Interest and Self-love;
but Man herein exceeds all the rest, as having a supernatural Soul,
whose actions also are supernatural; To which I leave him, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Leviathan, part._ 1. _c._ 3.

[2] _part._ 1. _c._ 2.

[3] _ibid. c._ 3.

[4] _ibid._



IX.


_MADAM,_

When your Author discourseth of the use of _Speech or Words and Names_,
he is pleas'd to say,[1] _That their use is to serve for marks and
notes of Remembrance_; Whereof to give you my opinion, I say, That
Speech is natural to the shape of Man; and though sometimes it serves
for marks or notes of remembrance, yet it doth not always, for all
other Animals have Memory without the help of Speech, and so have deaf
and dumb men, nay more then those that hear and speak: Wherefore,
though Words are useful to the mind, and so to the memory, yet both
can be without them, whereas Words cannot be without Memory; for take
a Bird, and teach him to speak, if he had not Memory, before he heard
the words, he could never learn them. You will ask me, _Madam_, What
then, is Memory the Cause of Speech? I answer, Life and Knowledg, which
is Sense and Reason, as it creates and makes all sorts of Creatures,
so also amongst the rest it makes Words: And as I said before, that
Memory may be without the help of Speech or Words, so I say also, that
there is a possibility of reckoning of numbers, as also of magnitudes,
of swiftness, of force, and other things without words, although your
Author denies it: But some men are so much for Art, as they endeavour
to make Art, which is onely a Drudgery-maid of Nature, the chief
Mistress, and Nature her Servant, which is as much as to prefer Effects
before the Cause, Nature before God, Discord before Unity and Concord.

Again, your _Author_, in his Chapter of Reason,[2] defines _Reason_ to
be nothing else but _Reckoning_: I answer, That in my opinion Reckoning
is not Reason it self, but onely an effect or action of Reason; for
Reason, as it is the chiefest and purest degree of animate matter,
works variously and in divers motions, by which it produces various
and divers effects, which are several Perceptions, as Conception,
Imagination, Fancy, Memory, Remembrance, Understanding, Judgment,
Knowledg, and all the Passions, with many more: Wherefore this Reason
is not in one undivided part, nor bound to one motion, for it is in
every Creature more or less, and moves in its own parts variously; and
in some Creatures, as for example, in some men, it moves more variously
then in others, which is the cause that some men are more dull and
stupid, then others; neither doth Reason always move in one Creature
regularly, which is the cause, that some men are mad or foolish: And
though all men are made by the direction of Reason, and endued with
Reason, from the first time of their birth, yet all have not the like
Capacities, Understandings, Imaginations, Wits, Fancies, Passions,
&c. but some more, some less, and some regular, some irregular,
according to the motions of Reason or Rational part of animate matter;
and though some rational parts may make use of other rational Parts,
as one man of another mans Conceptions, yet all these parts cannot
associate together; as for example, all the Material parts of several
objects, no not their species, cannot enter or touch the eye without
danger of hurting or loosing it, nevertheless the eye makes use of the
objects by patterning them out, and so doth the rational matter, by
taking patterns from the sensitive; And thus knowledg or perception of
objects, both sensitive and rational, is taken without the pressure of
any other parts; for though parts joyn to parts, (for no part can be
single) yet this joining doth not necessarily infer the pressure of
objects upon the sensitive organs; Whereof I have already discoursed
sufficiently heretofore, to which I refer you, and rest

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Leviathan, part._ 1. _c._ 4.

[2] _Ch._ 5.



X.


_MADAM,_

_Understanding_ says your Author,[1] _is nothing else but Conception
caused by speech, and therefore, if speech be peculiar to man, (as, for
ought I know, it is) then is understanding peculiar to him also._ Where
he confineth Understanding onely to speech and to Mankind; But, by his
leave, _Madam_, I surely believe, that there is more understanding in
Nature, then that, which is in speech, for if there were not, I cannot
conceive, how all the exact forms in Generations could be produced,
or how there could be such distinct degrees of several sorts and
kinds of Creatures, or distinctions of times and seasons, and so many
exact motions and figures in Nature: Considering all this, my reason
perswadeth me, that all Understanding, which is a part of Knowledg, is
not caused by speech, for all the motions of the Celestial Orbs are not
made by speech, neither is the knowledg or understanding which a man
hath, when sick, as to know or understand he is sick, made by speech,
nor by outward objects, especially in a disease he never heard, nor
saw, nor smelt, nor tasted, nor touched; Wherefore all Perception,
Sensation, Memory, Imagination, Appetite, Understanding, and the like,
are not made nor caused by outward objects, nor by speech. And as for
names of things, they are but different postures of the figures in
our mind or thoughts, made by the Rational matter; But Reasoning is
a comparing of the several figures with their several postures and
actions in the Mind, which joyned with the several words, made by the
sensitive motions, inform another distinct and separate part, as an
other man, of their minds conceptions, understanding, opinions, and the
like.

Concerning Addition and Subtraction, wherein your _Author_ sayes
Reasoning consists, I grant, that it is an act of Reasoning, yet it
doth not make Sense or Reason, which is Life and Knowledge, but Sense
and Reason which is self-motion, makes addition and subtraction of
several Parts of matter; for had matter not self-motion, it could not
divide nor compose, nor make such varieties, without great and lingring
retardments, if not confusion. Wherefore all, what is made in Nature,
is made by self-moving matter, which self-moving matter doth not at all
times move regularly, but often irregularly, which causes false Logick,
false Arithmetick, and the like; and if there be not a certainty in
these self-motions or actions of Nature, much less in Art, which is
but a secundary action; and therefore, neither speech, words, nor
exterior objects cause Understanding or Reason. And although many parts
of the Rational and Sensitive Matter joyned into one, may be stronger
by their association, and over-power other parts that are not so well
knit and united, yet these are not the less pure; onely these Parts and
Motions being not equal in several Creatures, make their Knowledge and
Reason more or less: For, when a man hath more Rational Matter well
regulated, and so more Wisdom then an other, that same man may chance
to over-power the other, whose Rational Matter is more irregular, but
yet not so much by strength of the united Parts, as by their subtilty;
for the Rational Matter moving regularly, is more strong with subtilty,
then the sensitive with force; so that Wisdom is stronger then
Life, being more pure, and so more active; for in my opinion, there
is a degree of difference between Life and Knowledge, as my Book of
_Philosophical Opinions_ will inform you.

Again, your _Author_ sayes, _That Man doth excel all other Animals in
this faculty, that when he conceives any thing whatsoever, he is apt
to enquire the Consequences of it, and what effects he can do with
it: Besides this_ (sayes he) _Man hath an other degree of Excellence,
that he can by Words reduce the Consequences he finds to General Rules
called Theoremes or Aphorisms, that is, he can reason or reckon not
onely in Number, but in all other things, whereof one may be added
unto, or substracted from an other._ To which I answer, That according
to my Reason I cannot perceive, but that all Creatures may do as much;
but by reason they do it not after the same manner or way as Man, Man
denies, they can do it at all; which is very hard; for what man knows,
whether Fish do not Know more of the nature of Water, and ebbing and
flowing, and the saltness of the Sea? or whether Birds do not know
more of the nature and degrees of Air, or the cause of Tempests? or
whether Worms do not know more of the nature of Earth, and how Plants
are produced? or Bees of the several sorts of juices of Flowers, then
Men? And whether they do not make there Aphorismes and Theoremes by
their manner of Intelligence? For, though they have not the speech of
Man, yet thence doth not follow, that they have no Intelligence at
all. But the Ignorance of Men concerning other Creatures is the cause
of despising other Creatures, imagining themselves as petty Gods in
Nature, when as _Nature_ is not capable to make one God, much less so
many as Mankind; and were it not for Mans supernatural Soul, Man would
not be more Supreme, then other Creatures in Nature, _But_ (says your
_Author_) _this Priviledge in Man is allay'd by another, which is, No
living Creature is subject to absurdity, but onely Man._ Certainly,
_Madam_, I believe the contrary, to wit, that all other Creatures do
as often commit mistakes and absurdities as Man, and if it were not to
avoid tediousness, I could present sufficient proofs to you: Wherefore
I think, not onely Man but also other Creatures may be Philosophers and
subject to absurdities as aptly as Men; for Man doth, nor cannot truly
know the Faculties, and Abilities or Actions of all other Creatures,
no not of his own Kind as Man-Kind, for if he do measure all men by
himself he will be very much mistaken, for what he conceives to be
true or wise, an other may conceive to be false and foolish. But Man
may have one way of Knowledge in Philosophy and other Arts, and other
Creatures another way, and yet other Creatures manner or way may be
as Intelligible and Instructive to each other as Man's, I mean, in
those things which are Natural. Wherefore I cannot consent to what
your _Author_ says, _That Children are not endued with Reason at all,
till they have attained to the use of Speech_; for Reason is in those
Creatures which have not Speech, witness Horses, especially those which
are taught in the manage, and many other Animals. And as for the weak
understanding in Children, I have discoursed thereof in my Book of
Philosophy; The rest of this discourse, lest I tire you too much at
once, I shall reserve for the next, resting in the mean time,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Leviathan, part._ 1. _c._ 4.



XI.


_Madam,_

I sent you word in my last, that your _Author's_ opinion is, _That
Children are not endued with Reason at all, until they have attained
to the use of Speech,_ in the same Chapter[1] he speaks to the same
purpose thus: _Reason is not as Sense and Memory born with us, nor
gotten by experience onely, as Prudence is, but attained by industry._
To which I reply onely this, That it might as well be said, a
Child when new born hath not flesh and blood, because by taking in
nourishment or food, the Child grows to have more flesh and blood; or,
that a Child is not born with two legs, because he cannot go, or with
two arms and hands, because he cannot help himself; or that he is not
born with a tongue, because he cannot speak: For although Reason doth
not move in a Child as in a Man, in Infancy as in Youth, in Youth as in
Age, yet that doth not prove that Children are without Reason, because
they cannot run and prate: I grant, some other Creatures appear to
have more Knowledg when new born then others; as for example, a young
Foal has more knowledg than a young Child, because a Child cannot run
and play; besides a Foal knows his own Dam, and can tell where to
take his food, as to run and suck his Dam, when as an Infant cannot
do so, nor all beasts, though most of them can, but yet this doth not
prove, that a Child hath no reason at all; Neither can I perceive
that man is a Monopoler of all Reason, or Animals of all Sense, but
that Sense and Reason are in other Creatures as well as in Man and
Animals; for example, Drugs, as Vegetables and Minerals, although they
cannot slice, pound or infuse, as man can, yet they can work upon man
more subtilly, wisely, and as sensibly either by purging, vomiting,
spitting, or any other way, as man by mincing, pounding and infusing
them, and Vegetables will as wisely nourish Men, as Men can nourish
Vegetables; Also some Vegetables are as malicious and mischievous to
Man, as Man is to one another, witness Hemlock, Nightshade, and many
more; and a little Poppy will as soon, nay sooner cause a Man to sleep,
though silently, then a Nurse a Child with singing and rocking; But
because they do not act in such manner or way as Man, Man judgeth them
to be without sense and reason; and because they do not prate and
talk as Man, Man believes they have not so much wit as he hath; and
because they cannot run and go, Man thinks they are not industrious;
the like for Infants concerning Reason. But certainly, it is not local
motion or speech that makes sense and reason, but sense and reason
makes them; neither is sense and reason bound onely to the actions of
Man, but it is free to the actions, forms, figures and proprieties of
all Creatures; for if none but Man had reason, and none but Animals
sense, the World could not be so exact, and so well in order as it
is: but Nature is wiser then Man with all his Arts, for these are
onely produced through the variety of Natures actions, and disputes
through the superfluous varieties of Mans follies or ignorances, not
knowing Natures powerful life and knowledg: But I wonder, _Madam_, your
_Author_ says in this place, _That Reason is not born with Man_, when
as in another place,[2] he says, _That every man brought Philosophy,
that is Natural reason with him into the World_; Which how it agree, I
will leave to others to judg, and to him to reconcile it, remaining in
the meantime,

Madam,

_Your Constant Friend_

_and Faithful Servant._

[1] _Ch._ 4.

[2] In his _Elements of Philosophy, part._ 1. _c._ 1. _art._ 1.



XII.


_Madam,_

Two sorts of motions, I find your _Author_[1] doth attribute to
Animals, _viz. Vital and Animal, the Vital motions_, says he, _are
begun in Generation, and continued without Interruption through their
whole life, and those are the Course of the Blood, the Pulse, the
Breathing, Conviction, Nutrition, Excretion, &c. to which motions
there needs no help of Imaginations; But the animal Motions, otherwise
called voluntary Motions, are to go, to speak, to move any of our
limbs, in such manner as is first fancied in our minds: And because
going, speaking, and the like voluntary motions, depend always upon
a precedent thought of whither, which way, and what, it is evident,
that the Imagination is the first Internal beginning of all voluntary
Motion_. Thus far your _Author_. Whereof in short I give you my
opinion, first concerning Vital Motions, that it appears improbable if
not impossible to me, that Generation should be the cause and beginning
of Life, because Life must of necessity be the cause of Generation,
life being the Generator of all things, for without life motion could
not be, and without motion not any thing could be begun, increased,
perfected, or dissolved. Next, that Imagination is not necessary to
Vital Motions, it is probable it may not, but yet there is required
Knowledg, which I name Reason; for if there were not Knowledg in all
Generations or Productions, there could not any distinct Creature be
made or produced, for then all Generations would be confusedly mixt,
neither would there be any distinct kinds or sorts of Creatures, nor
no different Faculties, Proprieties, and the like. Thirdly, concerning
_Animal Motions_, which your _Author_ names _Voluntary Motions, as to
go, to speak, to move any of our limbs, in such manner as is first
fancied in our minds, and that they depend upon a precedent thought
of whither, which way, and what, and that Imagination is the first
Internal beginning of them_; I think, by your _Authors_ leave, it doth
imply a contradiction, to call them Voluntary Motions, and yet to say
they are caused and depend upon our Imagination; for if the Imagination
draws them this way, or that way, how can they be voluntary motions,
being in a manner forced and necessitated to move according to Fancy
or Imagination? But when he goes on in the same place and treats of
Endeavour, Appetite, Desire, Hunger, Thirst, Aversion, Love, Hate, and
the like, he derives one from the other, and treats well as a Moral
Philosopher; but whether it be according to the truth or probability of
Natural Philosophy, I will leave to others to judge, for in my opinion
Passions and Appetites are very different, Appetites being made by
the motions of the sensitive Life, and Passions, as also Imagination,
Memory, &c. by the motions of the rational Life, which is the cause
that Appetites belong more to the actions of the Body then the Mind:
'Tis true, the Sensitive and Rational self-moving matter doth so much
resemble each other in their actions, as it is difficult to distinguish
them. But having treated hereof at large in my other Philosophical
Work, to cut off repetitions, I will refer you to that, and desire
you to compare our opinions together: But certainly there is so much
variety in one and the same sort of Passions, and so of Appetites, as
it cannot be easily express'd. To conclude, I do not perceive that your
_Author_ tells or expresses what the cause is of such or such actions,
onely he mentions their dependance, which is, as if a man should
converse with a Nobleman's Friend or Servant, and not know the Lord
himself. But leaving him for this time, it is sufficient to me, that I
know your Ladyship, and your Ladyship knows me, that I am,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend, and humble Servant._

[1] _Leviathan, part._ 1. _c._ 6.



XIII.


_Madam,_

Having obey'd your Commands in giving you my opinion of the First Part
of the Book of that famous and learned _Author_ you sent me, I would
go on; but seeing he treats in his following Parts of the Politicks, I
was forced to stay my Pen, because of these following Reasons. First,
That a Woman is not imployed in State Affairs, unless an absolute
Queen. Next, That to study the Politicks, is but loss of Time, unless
a man were sure to be a Favourite to an absolute Prince. Thirdly, That
it is but a deceiving Profession, and requires more Craft then Wisdom.
All which considered, I did not read that part of your _Author_: But
as for his _Natural Philosophy_, I will send you my opinion so far as
I understand it: For what belongs to Art, as to Geometry, being no
Scholar, I shall not trouble my self withal. And so I'l take my leave
of you, when I have in two or three words answered the Question you
sent me last, which was, Whether Nature be the Art of God, Man the Art
of Nature, and a Politick Government the Art of Man? To which I answer,
'Tis probable it may be so; onely I add this, That Nature doth not
rule God, nor Man Nature, nor Politick Government Man; for the Effect
cannot rule the Cause, but the Cause doth rule the Effect: Wherefore
if men do not naturally agree, Art cannot make unity amongst them, or
associate them into one Politick Body and so rule them; But man thinks
he governs, when as it is Nature that doth it, for as nature doth unite
or divide parts regularly or irregularly, and moves the several minds
of men and the several parts of mens bodies, so war is made or peace
kept: Thus it is not the artificial form that governs men in a Politick
Government, but a natural power, for though natural motion can make
artificial things, yet artificial things cannot make natural power;
and we might as well say, nature is governed by the art of nature, as
to say man is ruled by the art and invention of men. The truth is, Man
rules an artificial Government, and not the Government Man, just like
as a Watch-maker rules his Watch, and not the Watch the Watch-maker.
And thus I conclude and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XIV.


_MADAM,_

Concerning the other Book of that learned Author _Hobbs_ you sent me,
called _Elements of Philosophy_, I shall likewise according to your
desire, give you my judgment and opinion of it as I have done of the
former, not that I intend to prejudice him any ways thereby, but onely
to mark those places wherein I seem to dissent from his opinions,
which liberty, I hope, he will not deny me; And in order to this,
I have read over the first Chapter of the mentioned Book, treating
of Philosophy in General, wherein amongst the rest, discoursing of
the Utility of Natural Philosophy, and relating the commodities and
benefits which proceed from so many arts and sciences, he is pleased to
say,[1] that they are _injoyed almost by all people of_ Europe, Asia,
_and some of_ Africa, _onely the Americans, and those that live neer
the Poles do want them: But why_, says he, _have they sharper wits
then these? Have not all men one kind of soul, and the same faculties
of mind?_ To which, give me leave, _Madam_, to add, That my opinion
is, that there is a difference between the Divine and the Natural
soul of man, and though the natural mind or soul is of one kind, yet
being made of rational matter, it is divideable and composeable, by
which division and composition, men may have more or less wit, or
quicker and slower wit; the like for Judgments, Imaginations, Fancies,
Opinions, &c. For were the natural rational mind individeable, all
men would have the like degree of wit or understanding, all men would
be Philosophers or fools, which by reason they are not, it proves the
natural rational mind is divideable and composeable, making variations
of its own several parts by self-motion; for it is not the several
outward objects, or forreign instructions, that make the variety of
the mind; neither is wit or ingenuity alike in all men; for some are
natural Poets, Philosophers, and the like, without learning, and some
are far more ingenious then others, although their breeding is obscure
and mean, Neither will learning make all men Scholars, for some will
continue Dunces all their life time; Neither doth much experience
make all men wise, for some are not any ways advanced in their wisdom
by much and long experiences; And as for Poetry, it is according to
the common Proverb; a _Poet is born, not made_; Indeed learning doth
rather hurt Fancy, for great Scholars are not always good Poets, nor
all States-men Natural Philosophers, nor all Experienced Men Wise
Men, nor all Judges Just, nor all Divines Pious, nor all Pleaders
or Preachers Eloquent, nor all Moral Philosophers Vertuous; But all
this is occasioned by the various Motions of the rational self-moving
matter, which is the Natural Mind. And thus much for the present of the
difference of wits and faculties of the mind; I add no more, but rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Art._ 7.



XV.


_MADAM,_

My Discourse for the present shall be of _Infinite_, and the question
shall be first _Whether several Finite parts, how many soever there be,
can make an Infinite._ Your Author says,[1] _that several Finite parts
when they are all put together make a whole Finite_; which, if his
meaning be of a certain determinate number, how big soever, of finite
parts, I do willingly grant, for all what is determinate and limited,
is not Infinite but Finite; neither is there any such thing, as Whole
or All in Infinite; but if his meaning be, that no Infinite can be made
of finite parts, though infinite in number, I deny it; Next he says
_there can be no such thing as One in Infinite, because No thing can
be said One, except there be another to compare it withal_; which in
my opinion doth not follow, for there is but One God, who is Infinite,
and hath none other to be compared withal, and so there may be but one
Onely Infinite in Nature, which is Matter. But when he says, _there
cannot be an Infinite and Eternal Division_, is very true, _viz._, in
this sense, that one single part cannot be actually infinitely divided,
for the Compositions hinder the Divisions in Nature, and the Divisions
the Compositions, so that Nature, being Matter, cannot be composed
so, as not to have parts, nor divided so, as that her parts should
not be composed, but there are nevertheless infinite divided parts
in Nature, and in this sense there may also be infinite divisions,
as I have declared in my Book of Philosophy[2]. And thus there are
Infinite divisions of Infinite parts in Nature, but not Infinite actual
divisions of one single part; But though Infinite is without end, yet
my discourse of it shall be but short and end here, though not my
affection, which shall last and continue with the life of

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Humble Servant._

[1] _Elem. of Philos. c._ 7. _a._ 1 2.

[2] _P._ 1. _c._ 8.



XVI.


_MADAM,_

An _Accident_, says your _Author_,[1] _is nothing else, but the manner
of our Conception of body, or that Faculty of any body, by which it
works in us a Conception of it self_; To which I willingly consent;
but yet I say, that these qualities cannot be separated from the body,
for as impossible it is that the essence of Nature should be separable
from Nature, as impossible is it that the various modes or alterations,
either of Figures or Motions, should be separable from matter or body;
Wherefore when he goes on, and says,[2] _An accident is not a body,
but in a body, yet not so, as if any thing were contained therein, as
if for example, redness were in blood in the same manner as blood is
in a bloody cloth; but as magnitude is in that which is great, rest in
that which resteth, motion in that which is moved_; I answer, that in
my opinion, not any thing in Nature can be without a body, and that
redness is as well in blood, as blood is in a bloody cloth, or any
other colour in any thing else; for there is no colour without a body,
but every colour hath as well a body as any thing else, and if Colour
be a separable accident, I would fain know, how it can be separated
from a subject, being bodiless, for that which is no body is nothing,
and nothing cannot be taken away from any thing; Wherefore as for
natural Colour it cannot be taken away from any creature, without the
parts of its substance or body; and as for artificial Colours, when
they are taken away, it is a separation of two bodies, which joyned
together; and if Colour, or Hardness, or Softness do change, it is
nothing else but an alteration of motions and not an annihilation, for
all changes and alterations remain in the power of Corporeal motions,
as I have said in other places; for we might as well say, life doth
not remain in nature, when a body turns from an animal to some other
figure, as believe that those, they name accidents, do not remain in
Corporeal Motions; Wherefore I am not of your _Authors_ mind, when
he says,[3] that _when a White thing is made black, the whiteness
perishes_; for it cannot perish, although it is altered from white to
black, being in the power of the same matter, to turn it again from
black to white, so as it may make infinite Repetitions of the same
thing; but by reason nature takes delight in variety, she seldom uses
such repetitions; nevertheless that doth not take away the Power of
self-moving matter, for it doth not, and it cannot, are two several
things, and the latter doth not necessarily follow upon the former;
Wherefore not any, the least thing, can perish in Nature, for if this
were possible, the whole body of nature might perish also, for if so
many Figures and Creatures should be annihilated and perish without
any supply or new Creation, Nature would grow less, and at last become
nothing; besides it is as difficult for Nature to turn something into
nothing, as to Create something out of nothing; Wherefore as there is
no annihilation or perishing in Nature, so there is neither any new
Creation in Nature. But your _Author_ makes a difference between bodies
and accidents, saying, _that bodies are things and not generated,
but accidents are Generated and not things._ Truly, _Madam_, these
accidents seem to me to be like _Van Helmont's_ Lights, Gases, Blazes
and Ideas; and Dr _More's_ Immaterial Substances or Dæmons, onely in
this Dr _More_ hath the better, that his Immaterial Substances, are
beings, which subsist of themselves, whereas accidents do not, but
their existence is in other bodies; But what they call Accidents,
are in my opinion nothing else but Corporeal Motions, and if these
accidents be generated, they must needs be bodies, for how nothing
can be Generated in nature, is not conceivable, and yet your _Author_
denies,[4] that _Accidents are something, namely some part of a natural
thing_; But as for Generations, they are onely various actions of
self-moving matter, or a variety of Corporeal Motions, and so are all
Accidents whatsoever, so that there is not any thing in nature, that
can be made new, or destroyed, for whatsoever was and shall be, is
in nature, though not always in act, yet in power, as in the nature
and power of Corporeal motions, which is self-moving matter, And as
there is no new Generation of Accidents, so there is neither a new
Generation of Motions; wherefore when your _Author_ says,[5] _That,
when the hand, being moved, moveth the pen, the motion doth not go out
of the hand into the pen, for so the writing might be continued, though
the hand stood still, but a new motion is generated in the pen, and
is the pens motion_: I am of his opinion, that the motion doth not
go out of the hand into the pen, and that the motion of the pen, is
the pens own motion; but I deny, that after holding the hand a little
while still, and beginning to write again, a new motion of the pen is
generated; for it is onely a repetition, and not a new generation,
for the Hand, Pen and Ink, repeat but the same motion or action of
writing: Besides, Generation is made by Connexion or Conjunction of
parts, moving by consent to such or such Figures, but the motion of
the Hand or the Pen is always one and the same; wherefore it is but
the variation and repetition in and of the same motion of the Hand,
or Pen, which may be continued in that manner infinitely, just as the
same Corporeal Motions can make infinite variations and repetitions
of one and the same Figure, repeating it as oft as they please, as
also making Copy of Copy; And although I do not deny, but there are
Generations in Nature, yet not annihilations or perishings, for if any
one motion or figure should perish, the matter must perish also; and if
any one part of matter can perish, all the matter in nature may perish
also; and if there can any new thing be made or created in nature,
which hath not been before, there may also be a new Nature, and so by
perishings and new Creations, this World would not have continued an
age; But surely whatsoever is in Nature, hath been existent always.
Wherefore to conclude, it is not the generation and perishing of an
Accident that makes its subject to be changed, but the production and
alteration of the Form, makes it said to be generated or destroyed,
for matter will change its motions and figures without perishing or
annihilating; and whether there were words or not, there would be such
causes and effects; But having not the art of Logick to dispute with
artificial words, nor the art of Geometry to demonstrate my opinions
by Mathematical Figures, I fear they will not be so well received by
the Learned; However, I leave them to any mans unprejudiced Reason and
Judgment, and devote my self to your service, as becomes,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_humble and faithful Servant._

[1] _Elem. of Philos. c._ 8. _art._ 2.

[2] _Art._ 3.

[3] _Art._ 20.

[4] _Art._ 2.

[5] _Art._ 21.



XVII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ concerning Place and Magnitude says,[1], that _Place
is nothing out of the mind, nor Magnitude any thing within it; for
Place is a meer Phantasme of a body of such quantity and figure, and
Magnitude a peculiar accident of the body_; but this doth not well
agree with my reason, for I believe that Place, Magnitude and Body are
but one thing, and that Place is as true an extension as Magnitude,
and not a feigned one; Neither am I of his opinion, _that Place is
Immoveable_, but that place moves, according as the body moveth, for
not any body wants place, because place and body is but one thing, and
wheresoever is body, there is also place, and wheresoever is place,
there is body, as being one and the same; Wherefore _Motion cannot be a
relinquishing of one place and acquiring another_,[2] for there is no
such thing as place different from body, but what is called change of
place, is nothing but change of corporeal motions; for, say an house
stands in such a place, if the house be gone, the place is gone also,
as being impossible that the place of the house should remain, when the
house is taken away; like as a man when he is gone out of his chamber,
his place is gone too; 'Tis true, if the ground or foundation do yet
remain, one may say, there stood such an house heretofore, but yet the
place of the house is not there really at that present, unless the same
house be built up again as it was before, and then it hath its place
as before; Nevertheless the house being not there, it cannot be said
that either place or house are annihilated, _viz._, when the materials
are dissolved, no not when transformed into millions of several other
figures, for the house remains still in the power of all those several
parts of matter; and as for _space_, it is onely a distance betwixt
some parts or bodies; But an _Empty place_ signifies to my opinion
Nothing, for if place and body are one and the same, and empty is
as much as nothing; then certainly these two words cannot consist
together, but are destructive to one another. Concerning, that your
_Author_ says,[3] _Two bodies cannot be together in the same place, nor
one body in two places at the same time_, is very true, for there are
no more places then bodies, nor more bodies then places, and this is to
be understood as well of the grosser, as the purest parts of nature, of
the mind as well as of the body, of the rational and sensitive animate
matter as well as of the inanimate, for there is no matter, how pure
and subtil soever, but is imbodied, and all that hath body hath place.
Likewise I am of his opinion,[4] _That one body hath always one and
the same magnitude_; for, in my opinion, magnitude, place and body do
not differ, and as place, so magnitude can never be separated from
body. But when he speaks of _Rest_, I cannot believe there is any such
thing truly in Nature, for it is impossible to prove, that any thing
is without Motion, either consistent, or composing, or dissolving, or
transforming motions, or the like, although not altogether perceptible
by our senses, for all the Matter is either moving or moved, and
although the moved parts are not capable to receive the nature of
self-motion from the self-moving parts, yet these self-moving parts,
being joyned and mixt with all other parts of the moved matter, do
always move the same; for the Moved or Inanimate part of Matter,
although it is a Part of it self, yet it is so intermixt with the
self-moving Animate Matter, as they make but one Body; and though some
parts of the Inanimate may be as pure as the Sensitive Animate Matter,
yet they are never so subtil as to be self-moving; Wherefore the
Sensitive moves in the Inanimate, and the Rational in the Sensitive,
but often the Rational moves in it self. And, although there is no rest
in nature, nevertheless Matter could have been without Motion, when as
it is impossible that Matter could be without place or magnitude, no
more then Variety can be without motion; And thus much at this present:
I conclude, and rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Part._ 2. _c._ 8. _a._ 5.

[2] _Art._ 10.

[3] _Art._ 8.

[4] _Art._ 5.



XVIII.


_MADAM,_

Passing by those Chapters of your _Authors_, that treat of _Power and
Act, Identy and Difference, Analogisme, Angle and Figure, Figures
deficient, dimension of Circles_, and several others, most of which
belong to art, as to Geometry, and the like; I am come to that wherein
he discourses of _Sense_ and _Animal Motion_, saying,[1] _That some
Natural bodies have in themselves the patterns almost of all things,
and others of none at all_; Whereof my opinion is, that the sensitive
and rational parts of Matter are the living and knowing parts of
Nature, and no part of nature can challenge them onely to it self, nor
no creature can be sure, that sense is onely in Animal-kind, and reason
in Man-kind; for can any one think or believe that Nature is ignorant
and dead in all her other parts besides Animals? Truly this is a very
unreasonable opinion; for no man, as wise as he thinks himself, nay
were all Man-kind joyned into one body, yet they are not able to know
it, unless there were no variety of parts in nature, but onely one
whole and individeable body, for other Creatures may know and perceive
as much as Animals, although they have not the same Sensitive Organs,
nor the same manner or way of Perception. Next your _Author_ says,[2]
_The cause of Sense or Perception consists herein, that the first organ
of sense is touched and pressed; For when the uttermost part of the
organ is pressed, it no sooner yields, but the part next within it is
pressed also, and in this manner the pressure or motion is propagated
through all the parts of the organ to the innermost. And thus also the
pressure of the uttermost part proceeds from the pressure of some more
remote body, and so continually, till we come to that, from which, as
from its fountain, we derive the Phantasme or Idea, that is made in
us by our sense: And this, whatsoever it be, is that we commonly call
the object; Sense therefore is some Internal motion in the Sentient,
generated by some Internal motion of the Parts of the object, and
propagated through all the media to the innermost part of the organ.
Moreover there being a resistance or reaction in the organ, by reason
of its internal motion against the motion propagated from the object,
there is also an endeavour in the organ opposite to the endeavour
proceeding from the object, and when that endeavour inwards is the last
action in the act of sense, then from the reaction a Phantasme or Idea
has its being._ This is your _Authors_ opinion, which if it were so,
perception could not be effected so suddenly, nay I think the sentient
by so many pressures in so many perceptions, would at last be pressed
to death, besides the organs would take a great deal of hurt, nay
totally be removed out of their places, so as the eye would in time be
prest into the centre of the brain; And if there were any Resistance,
Reaction or Indeavour in the organ, opposite to the Endeavour of the
object, there would, in my opinion, be always a war between the animal
senses and the objects, the endeavour of the objects pressing one way,
and the senses pressing the other way, and if equal in their strengths,
they would make a stop, and the sensitive organs would be very much
pained. Truly, _Madam_, in my opinion, it would be like that Custom
which formerly hath been used at _Newcastle_, when a man was married,
the guests divided themselves, behind and before the Bridegroom, the
one party driving him back, the other forwards, so that one time a
Bridegroom was killed in this fashion; But certainly Nature hath a
more quick and easie way of giving intelligence and knowledg to her
Creatures, and doth not use such constraint and force in her actions;
Neither is sense or sensitive perception a meer Phantasme or Idea, but
a Corporeal action of the sensitive and rational matter, and according
to the variation of the objects or patterns, and the sensitive and
rational motions, the perception also is various, produced not by
external pressure, but by internal self-motion, as I have declared
heretofore; and to prove, that the sensitive and rational corporeal
motions are the onely cause of perception; I say, if those motions
in an animal move in another way, and not to such perceptions, then
that animal can neither hear, see, taste, smell nor touch, although
all his sensitive organs be perfect, as is evident in a man falling
into a swoon, where all the time he is in a swoon, the pressure of the
objects is made without any effect; Wherefore, as the sensitive and
rational corporeal motions make all that is in nature; so likewise
they make perception, as being perception it self, for all self-motion
is perception, but all perception is not animal perception; or after
an animal way; and therefore sense cannot decay nor die, but what is
called a decay or death, is nothing else but a change or alteration of
those Motions. But you will say, _Madam_, it may be, that one body,
as an object, leaves the print of its figure, in the next adjoyning
body, until it comes to the organ of sense, I answer that then soft
bodies onely must be pressed, and the object must be so hard as to
make a print, and as for rare parts of matter, they are not able to
retain a print without self-motion; Wherefore it is not probable that
the parts of air should receive a print, and print the same again
upon the adjoyning part, until the last part of the air print it
upon the eye; and that the exterior parts of the organ should print
upon the interior, till it come to the centre of the Brain, without
self-motion. Wherefore in my opinion, Perception is not caused either
by the printing of objects, nor by pressures, for pressures would
make a general stop of all natural motions, especially if there were
any reaction or resistence of sense; but according to my reason, the
sensitive and rational corporeal motions in one body, pattern out the
Figure of another body, as of an exterior object, which may be done
easily without any pressure or reaction; I will not say, that there
is no pressure or reaction in Nature, but pressure and reaction doth
not make perception, for the sensitive and rational parts of matter
make all perception and variety of motion, being the most subtil parts
of Nature, as self-moving, as also divideable, and composeable, and
alterable in their figurative motions, for this Perceptive matter can
change its substance into any figure whatsoever in nature, as being not
bound to one constant figure. But having treated hereof before, and
being to say more of it hereafter, this shall suffice for the present,
remaining always,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._

[1] _C._ 25. _a._ 1.

[2] _Art._ 2.



XIX.


_MADAM,_

To discourse of the World and Stars, is more then I am able to do,
wanting the art of Astronomy and Geometry; wherefore passing by that
Chapter of your Author, I am come to that[1] wherein he treats of
Light, Heat and Colours; and to give you my opinion of Light, I say,
it is not the light of the Sun, that makes an Animal see, for we can
see inwardly in Dreams without the Suns light, but it is the sensitive
and rational Motions in the Eye and Brain that make such a figure as
Light; For if Light did press upon the Eye, according to your _Authors_
opinion, it might put the Eye into as much pain as Fire doth, when
it sticks its points into our skin or flesh. The same may be said of
Colours, for the sensitive motions make such a figure, which is such
a Colour, and such a Figure, which is such a Colour; Wherefore Light,
Heat and Colour, are not bare and bodiless qualities, but such figures
made by corporeal self-motions, and are as well real and corporeal
objects as other figures are; and when these figures change or alter,
it is onely that their motions alter, which may alter and change heat
into cold, and light into darkness, and black colour into white. But
by reason the motions of the Sun are so constant, as the motions of
any other kind of Creatures, it is no more subject to be altered then
all the World, unless Nature did it by the command of God; for though
the Parts of self-moving Matter be alterable, yet all are not altered;
and this is the reason, that the figure of Light in our eye and brain
is altered, as well as it is alterable, but not the real figure of the
Sun, neither doth the Sun enter our eyes; and as the Light of the Sun
is made or patterned in the eye, so is the light of Glow-worms-tails,
and Cats-eyes, that shine in the dark, made not by the Sun's, but their
own motions in their own parts; The like when we dream of Light, the
sensitive corporeal motions working inwardly, make the figure of light
on the inside of the eye, as they did pattern out the figure of light
on the outside of the eye when awake, and the objects before them; for
the sensitive motions of the eye pattern out the figure of the object
in the eye, and the rational motions make the same figure in their own
substance. But there is some difference between those figures that
perceive light, and those that are light themselves; for when we sleep,
there is made the figure of light, but not from a copy; but when the
eye seeth light, that figure is made from a copy of the real figure of
the Sun; but those lights which are inherent, as in Glow-worms-tails,
are original lights, in which is as much difference as between a Man
and his Picture; and as for the swiftness of the Motions of light, and
the violence of the Motions of fire, it is very probable they are so,
but they are a certain particular kind or sort of swift and violent
motions; neither will all sorts of swift and violent motions make fire
or light, as for example the swift and violent Circular motion of a
Whirlewind neither makes light nor fire; Neither is all fire light,
nor all light fire, for there is a sort of dead fire, as in Spices,
Spirits, Oyles, and the like; and several sorts of lights, which are
not hot, as the light which is made in Dreams, as also the inherent
lights in Glow-worms, Cats-eyes, Fish-bones, and the like; all which
several fires and lights are made by the self-moving matter and motions
distinguishable by their figures, for those Motions make such a figure
for the Suns light, such a figure for Glow-worms light, such a figure
for Cats-eyes light, and so some alteration in every sort of light;
The same for Fire, onely Fire-light is a mixt figure, as partly of the
figure of Fire, and partly of the figure of Light: Also Colours are
made after the like manner, _viz._ so many several Colours, so many
several Figures; and as these Figures are less or more different, so
are the Colours.

Thus, _Madam_, whosoever will study Nature, must consider the Figures
of every Creature, as well as their Motions, and must not make
abstractions of Motion and Figure from Matter, nor of Matter from
Motion and Figure, for they are inseparable, as being but one thing,
_viz._ Corporeal Figurative Motions; and whosoever conceives any of
them as abstract, will, in my opinion, very much erre; but men are apt
to make more difficulties and enforcements in nature then nature ever
knew. But to return to Light: There is no better argument to prove
that all objects of sight are figured in the Eye, by the sensitive,
voluntary or self-motions, without the pressure of objects, but that
not onely the pressure of light would hurt the tender Eye, but that
the eye doth not see all objects according to their Magnitude, but
sometimes bigger, sometimes less: as for example, when the eye looks
through a small passage, as a Perspective-glass, by reason of the
difficulty of seeing a body through a small hole, and the double
figure of the glass being convex and concave, the corporeal motions
use more force, by which the object is enlarged, like as a spark of
fire by force is dilated into a great fire, and a drop of water by
blowing into a bubble; so the corporeal motions do double and treble
their strength, making the Image of the object exceeding large in the
eye; for though the eye be contracted, yet the Image in the eye is
enlarged to a great extension; for the sensitive and rational matter is
extremely subtil, by reason it is extreamly pure, by which it hath more
means and ways of magnifying then the Perspective-glass. But I intend
to write more of this subject in my next, and so I break off here,
resting,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ 27.



XX.


_MADAM,_

Some perhaps will question the truth or probability of my saying, that
Light is a Body, objecting that if light were a body, when the Sun is
absent or retires under our Horizon, its light would leave an empty
place, or if there were no empty place but all full, the light of the
Sun at its return would not have room to display it self, especially in
so great a compass as it doth, for two bodies cannot be in one place at
one time. I _answer_, all bodies carry their places along with them,
for body and place go together and are inseparable, and when the light
of the Sun is gone, darkness succeeds, and when darkness is gone, light
succeeds, so that it is with light and darkness as with all Creatures
else; For you cannot believe, that if the whole World were removed,
there would be a place of the world left, for there cannot be an empty
nothing, no more then there can be an empty something; but if the world
were annihilated, the place would be annihilated too, place and body
being one and the same thing; and therefore in my opinion, there be no
more places then there are bodies, nor no more bodies then there are
places.

Secondly, They will think it absurd that I say, the eye can see without
light; but in my opinion it seems not absurd, but very rational,
for we may see in dreams, and some do see in the dark, not in their
fancy or imagination, but really; and as for dreams, the sensitive
corporeal motions make a light on the inside of the organ of sight
really, as I have declared in my former Letter. But that we do not see
ordinarily without exterior Light, the reason is, that the sensitive
Motions cannot find the outward objects to pattern out without exterior
light, but all perception doth not proceed from light, for all other
perception besides animal sight requires not light. Neither in my
opinion, doth the Perception of sight in all Creatures but Animals, but
yet Animals do often see in the dark, and in sleep: I will not say but
that the animate matter which by self-motion doth make the Perception
of light with other perceptive Figures, and so animal perceptive light
may be the presenter or ground perceptive figure of sight; yet the
sensitive corporeal motions can make other figures without the help of
light, and such as light did never present: But when the eye patterns
out an exterior object presented by light, it patterns also out the
object of light; for the sensitive motions can make many figures
by one act, not onely in several organs, but in one organ; as for
example, there is presented to sight a piece of Imbroydery, wherein
is silk, silver and gold upon Sattin in several forms or figures, as
several flowers, the sensitive motions streight by one and the same
act, pattern out all those several figures of flowers, as also the
figures of Silk, Silver, Gold and Sattin, without any pressure of these
objects, or motions in the medium, for if they all should press, the
eye would no more see the exterior objects, then the nose, being stopt,
could smell a presented perfume.

_Thirdly_, They may ask me, if sight be made in the eye, and proceeds
not from the outward object, what is the reason that we do not see
inwardly, but outwardly as from us? I answer, when we see objects
outwardly, as from us, then the sensitive motions work on the outside
of the organ, which organ being outwardly convex, causes us to see
outwardly, as from us, but in dreams we see inwardly; also the
sensitive motions do pattern out the distance together with the object:
But you will say, the body of the distance, as the air, cannot be
perceived, and yet we can perceive the distance; I answer, you could
not perceive the distance, but by such or such an object as is subject
to your sight; for you do not see the distance more then the air, or
the like rare body, that is between grosser objects; for if there were
no stars, nor planets, nor clouds, nor earth, nor water, but onely air,
you would not see any space or distance; but light being a more visible
body then air, you might figure the body of air by light, but so, as in
an extensive or dilating way; for when the mind or the rational matter
conceives any thing that hath not such an exact figure, or is not
so perceptible by our senses; then the mind uses art, and makes such
figures, which stand like to that; as for example, to express infinite
to it self, it dilates it parts without alteration, and without
limitation or circumference; Likewise, when it will conceive a constant
succession of Time, it draws out its parts into the figure of a line;
and if eternity, it figures a line without beginning, and end. But as
for Immaterial, no mind can conceive that, for it cannot put it self
into nothing, although it can dilate and rarifie it self to an higher
degree, but must stay within the circle of natural bodies, as I within
the circle of your Commands, to express my self

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and obedient Servant._



XXI.


_MADAM,_

Heat and Cold, according to your _Authors_ opinion, are made by
Dilation and Contraction: for says he,[1] _When the Motion of the
ambient æthereal substance makes the spirits and fluid parts of our
bodies tend outwards, we acknowledg heat, but by the indeavour inwards
of the same spirits and humors we feel cold: so that to cool is to
make the exterior parts of the body endeavour inwards, by a motion
contrary to that of calefaction, by which the internal parts are
called outwards. He therefore that would know the cause of Cold, must
find by what motion the exterior parts of any body endeavour to retire
inwards._ But I desire you to consider, _Madam_, that there be moist
Colds, and dry Heats, as well as dry Colds, and moist Heats; wherefore
all sorts of Cold are not made by the retyring of parts inwards, which
is contraction or attraction; neither are all sorts of Heat made by
parts tending outwards, which is dilation or rarefaction; for a moist
cold is made by dilation, and a dry heat by contraction, as well as a
moist heat is made by dilation, and a dry cold by contraction: But your
_Author_ makes not this difference, but onely a difference between a
dilated heat, and a contracted cold; but because a cold wind is made
by breath blown thorow pinched or contracted lips, and an hot wind by
breath through opened and extended lips, should we judg that all heat
and cold must be made after one manner or way? The contracted mouth
makes Wind as well as the dilated, but yet Wind is not made that way,
as heat and cold; for it may be, that onely the air pressed together
makes wind, or it may be that the corporeal motions in the air may
change air into wind, as they change water into vapour, and vapour
into air; or it may be something else that is invisible and rare, as
air; and there may be several sorts of wind, air, heat, cold, as of
all other Creatures, more then man is capable to know. As for your
_Authors_ opinion concerning the congealing of Water, and how Ice is
made, I will not contradict it, onely I think nature hath an easier
way to effect it, then he describes; Wherefore my opinion is, that it
is done by altering motions; as for example, the corporeal motions
making the figure of water by dilation in a Circle figure, onely alter
from such a dilating circular figure into a contracted square, which
is Ice, or into such a contracted triangle, as is snow: And thus water
and vapour may be changed with ease, without any forcing, pressing,
raking, or the like. The same may be said of hard and bent bodies; and
of restitution, as also of air, thunder and lightning, which are all
done by an easie change of motion, and changing into such or such a
figure is not the motion of Generation, which is to build a new house
with old materials, but onely a Transformation; I say a new house with
old materials; not that I mean there is any new Creation in nature, of
any thing that was not before in nature; for nature is not God, to make
new beings out of nothing, but any thing may be called new, when it is
altered from one figure into another. I add no more at this time, but
rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _C._ 28. _a._ 1.



XXII.


_MADAM,_

The Generation of sound, according to your worthy _Authors_ opinion, is
as follows: _As Vision,_ says he,[1] _so hearing is Generated by the
medium, but not in the same manner; for sight is from pressure, that
is, from an endeavour, in which there is no perceptible progression
of any of the parts of the medium, but one part urging or thrusting
on another, propagateth that action successively to any distance
whatsoever; whereas the motion of the medium, by which sound is made,
is a stroke; for when we hear, the drum of the Ear, which is the first
organ of hearing, is strucken, and the drum being stricken, the_ Pia
Mater _is also shaken, and with it the arteries inserted into it, by
which the action propagated to the heart it self, by the reaction of
the heart a Phantasme is made which we call Sound._ Thus far your
_Author_: To which give me leave to reply, that I fear, if the Ear was
bound to hear any loud Musick, or another sound a good while, it would
soundly be beaten, and grow sore and bruised with so many strokes; but
since a pleasant sound would be rendred very unpleasant in this manner,
my opinion is, that like as in the Eye, so in the Ear the corporeal
sensitive motions do pattern out as many several figures, as sounds are
presented to them; but if these motions be irregular, then the figure
of the sound in the ear is not perfect according to the original; for
if it be, that the motions are tyred with figuring, or the object of
sound be too far distant from the sensitive organ, then they move
slowly and weakly, not that they are tyred or weak in strength, but
with working and repeating one and the same object, and so through
love to variety, change from working regularly to move irregularly,
so as not to pattern outward objects as they ought, and then there are
no such patterns made at all, which we call to be deaf; and sometimes
the sensitive motions do not so readily perceive a soft sound near,
as a stronger farther off. But to prove it is not the outward object
of sound with its striking or pressing motion, nor the medium, that
causes this perception of sense, if there be a great solid body, as
a wall, or any other partition betwixt two rooms, parting the object
and the sensitive organ, so, as the sound is not able to press it,
nevertheless the perception will be made; And as for pipes to convey
sounds, the perception is more fixt and perfecter in united then in
dilated or extended bodies, and then the sensitive motions can make
perfecter patterns; for the stronger the objects are, the more perfect
are the figures and patterns of the objects, and the more perfect is
the perception. But when the sound is quite out of the ear, then the
sensitive motions have altered the patterning of such figures to some
other action; and when the sound fadeth by degrees, then the figure
or pattern alters by degrees; but for the most part the sensitive
corporeal motions alter according as the objects are presented, or
the perception patterns out. Neither do they usually make figures
of outward objects, if not perceived by the senses, unless through
Irregularities as in Mad men, which see such and such things, when
as these things are not neer, and then the sensitive motions work by
rote, or after their own voluntary invention. As for Reflexion, it is
a double perception, and so a double figure of one object; like as
many pictures of one man, where some are more perfect then others, for
a copy of a copy is not so perfect as a copy of an original. But the
recoyling of sound is, that the sensitive motions in the ear begin
a new pattern, before they dissolved the former, so as there is no
perfect alteration or change, from making to dissolving, but pattern
is made upon pattern, which causes a confusion of figures, the one
being neither perfectly finished, nor the other perfectly made. But
it is to be observed, that not always the sensitive motions in the
organs take their pattern from the original, but from copies; as for
example, the sensitive motions in the eye, pattern out the figure of
an eye in a glass, and so do not take a pattern from the original it
self, but by an other pattern, representing the figure of the eye in
a Looking-glass; The same doth the Ear, by patterning out Ecchoes,
which is but a pattern of a pattern; But when as a man hears himself
speak or make a sound, then the corporeal sensitive motions in the Ear,
pattern out the object or figure made by the motions of the tongue
and the throat, which is voice; By which we may observe, that there
may be many figures made by several motions from one original; as
for example, the figure of a word is made in a mans mouth, then the
copy of that figure is made in the ear, then in the brain, and then
in the memory, and all this in one Man: Also a word being made in a
mans mouth, the air takes a copy or many copies thereof; but the Ear
patterns them both out, first the original coming from the mouth, and
then the copy made in the air, which is called an Eccho, and yet not
any strikes or touches each others parts, onely perceives and patterns
out each others figure. Neither are their substances the same, although
the figures be alike; for the figure of a man may be carved in wood,
then cut in brass, then in stone, and so forth, where the figure may
be always the same, although the substances which do pattern out the
figure are several, _viz._ Wood, Brass, Stone, &c. and so likewise
may the figure of a stone be figured in the fleshy substance of the
Eye, or the figure of light or colour, and yet the substance of the
Eye remains full the same; neither doth the substantial figure of a
stone, or tree, patterned out by the sensitive corporeal motions, in
the flesh of an animal eye, change from being a vegetable or mineral,
to an animal, and if this cannot be done by nature, much less by art;
for if the figure of an animal be carved in wood or stone, it doth not
give the wood or stone any animal knowledg, nor an animal substance,
as flesh, bones, blood, &c. no more doth the patterning or figuring
of a Tree give a vegetable knowledg, or the substance of wood to the
eye, for the figure of an outward object doth not alter the substance
that patterns it out or figures it, but the patterning substance doth
pattern out the figure, in it self, or in its own substance, so as the
figure which is pattern'd, hath the same life and knowledg with the
substance by and in which it is figured or pattern'd, and the inherent
motions of the same substance; and according as the sensitive and
rational self-moving matter moves, so figures are made; and thus we
see, that lives, knowledges, motions and figures are all material, and
all Creatures are indued with life, knowledg, motion and figure, but
not all alike or after the same manner. But to conclude this discourse
of perception of Sound, the Ear may take the object of sound afar off,
as well as at a near distance; not onely if many figures of the same
sound be made from that great distance, but if the interposing parts
be not so thick, close, or many as to hinder or obscure the object from
the animal Perception in the sensitive organ; for if a man lays his
Ear near to the Ground, the Ear may hear at a far distance, as well
as the Eye can see, for it may hear the noise of a troop afar off,
perception being very subtil and active; Also there may several Copies
be made from the Original, and from the last Copy nearest to the Ear,
the Ear may take a pattern, and so pattern out the noise in the organ,
without any strokes to the Ear, for the subtil matter in all Creatures
doth inform and perceive. But this is well to be observed, that the
figures of objects are as soon made, as perceived by the sensitive
motions in their work of patterning. And this is my Opinion concerning
the Perception of Sound, which together with the rest I leave to your
Ladyships and others wiser Judgment, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ 29. _a._ 1.



XXIII.


_MADAM,_

I perceive by your last, that you cannot well apprehend my meaning,
when I say that the print or figure of a Body Printed or Carved, is
not made by the motions of the body Printing or Carving it, but by the
motions of the body or substance Printed or Carved; for say you, Doth
a piece of Wood carve it self, or a black Patch of a Lady cut its own
figure by its own motions? Before I answer you, _Madam_, give me leave
to ask you this question, whether it be the motion of the hand, or the
Instrument, or both, that print or carve such or such a body? Perchance
you will say, that the motion of the hand moves the Instrument, and the
Instrument moves the Wood which is to be carved: Then I ask, whether
the motion that moves the Instrument, be the Instruments, or the Hands?
Perchance you will say the Hands; but I answer, how can it be the Hands
motion, if it be in the Instrument? You will say, perhaps, the motion
of the hand is transferred out of the hand into the instrument, and so
from the instrument into the carved figure; but give me leave to ask
you, was this motion of the hand, that was transferred, Corporeal or
Incorporeal? If you say, Corporeal, then the hand must become less and
weak, but if Incorporeal, I ask you, how a bodiless motion can have
force and strength to carve and cut? But put an Impossible proposition,
as that there is an Immaterial motion, and that this Incorporeal motion
could be transferred out of one body into another; then I ask you, when
the hand and instrument cease to move, what is become of the motion?
Perhaps you will say, the motion perishes or is annihilated, and when
the hand and the instrument do move again, to the carving or cutting of
the figure, then a new Incorporeal Motion is created; Truly then there
will be a perpetual creation and annihilation of Incorporeal motions,
that is, of that which naturally is nothing; for an Incorporeal being
is as much as a natural No-thing, for Natural reason cannot know nor
have naturally any perception or Idea of an Incorporeal being: besides,
if the motion be Incorporeal, then it must needs be a supernatural
Spirit, for there is not any thing else Immaterial but they, and then
it will be either an Angel or a Devil, or the Immortal Soul of man; but
if you say it is the supernatural Soul, truly I cannot be perswaded
that the supernatural Soul should not have any other imployment then
to carve or cut prints, or figures, or move in the hands, or heels,
or legs, or arms of a Man; for other animals have the same kind of
Motions, and then they might have a Supernatural Soul as well as Man,
which moves in them. But if you say, that these transferrable motions
are material, then every action whereby the hand moves to the making
or moving of some other body, would lessen the number of the motions
in the hand, and weaken it, so that in the writing of one letter,
the hand would not be able to write a second letter, at least not
a third. But I pray, _Madam_, consider rationally, that though the
Artificer or Workman be the occasion of the motions of the carved
body, yet the motions of the body that is carved, are they which put
themselves into such or such a figure, or give themselves such or such
a print as the Artificer intended; for a Watch, although the Artist
or Watch-maker be the occasional cause that the Watch moves in such
or such an artificial figure, as the figure of a Watch, yet it is the
Watches own motion by which it moves; for when you carry the Watch
about you, certainly the Watch-makers hand is not then with it as to
move it; or if the motion of the Watch-makers hand be transferred into
the Watch, then certainly the Watch-maker cannot make another Watch,
unless there be a new creation of new motions made in his hands; so
that God and Nature would be as much troubled and concerned in the
making of Watches, as in the making of a new World; for God created
this World in six days, and rested the seventh day, but this would be a
perpetual Creation; Wherefore I say that some things may be Occasional
causes of other things, but not the Prime or Principal causes; and this
distinction is very well to be considered, for there are no frequenter
mistakes then to confound these two different causes, which make so
many confusions in natural Philosophy; and this is the Opinion of,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXIV.


_MADAM,_

In answer to your question, What makes Eccho, I say, it is that which
makes all the effects of Nature, _viz._ self-moving matter; I know, the
common opinion is, that Eccho is made like as the figure of a Face, or
the like, in a Looking-glass, and that the Reverberation of sound is
like the Reflection of sight in a Looking-glass; But I am not of that
opinion, for both Eccho, and that which is called the Reflection in a
Looking-glass, are made by the self-moving matter, by way of patterning
and copying out. But then you will ask me, whether the glass takes the
copy of the face, or the face prints its copy on the glass, or whether
it be the _medium_ of light and air that makes it? I answer, although
many Learned men say, that as all perception, so also the seeing of
ones face in a Looking-glass, and Eccho, are made by impression and
reaction; yet I cannot in my simplicity conceive it, how bodies that
come not near, or touch each other, can make a figure by impression
and reaction: They say it proceeds from the motions of the _Medium_ of
light, or air, or both, _viz._ that the _Medium_ is like a long stick
with two ends, whereof one touches the object, the other the organ of
sense, and that one end of it moving, the other moves also at the same
point of Time, by which motions it may make many several figures; But
I cannot conceive, how this motion of pressing forward and backward
should make so many figures, wherein there is so much variety and
curiosity. But, say light and air are as one figure, and like as a
seal do print another body; I answer, if any thing could print, yet it
is not probable, that so soft and rare bodies as light and air, could
print such solid bodies as glass, nor could air by reverberation make
such a sound as Eccho. But mistake me not, for, _I do not say_, that
the Corporeal motions of light or air, cannot, or do not pencil, copie,
or pattern out any figure, for both light and air are very active in
such sorts of Motions, but I say, they cannot do it on any other bodies
but their own. But to cut off tedious and unnecessary disputes, I
return to the expressing of my own opinion, and believe, that the glass
in its own substance doth figure out the copy of the face, or the like,
and from that copy the sensitive motions in the eyes take another copy,
and so the rational from the sensitive; and in this manner is made both
rational and sensitive perception, sight and knowledg. The same with
Ecchoes; for the air patterns out the copy of the sound, and then the
sensitive corporeal motions in the ear pattern again this copy from
the air, and so do make the perception and sense of hearing. You may
ask me, _Madam_, if it be so, that the glass and the air copy out the
figure of the face and of sound, whether the Glass may be said to see
and the Air to speak? I answer, I cannot tell that; for though I say,
that the air repeats the words, and the glass represents the face, yet
I cannot guess what their perceptions are, onely this I may say, that
the air hath an elemental, and the glass a mineral, but not an animal
perception. But if these figures were made by the pressures of several
objects or parts, and by reaction, there could not be such variety as
there is, for they could but act by one sort of motion: Likewise is
it improbable, that sounds, words or voices, should like a company of
Wild-Geese fly in the air, and so enter into the ears of the hearers,
as they into their nests: Neither can I conceive, how in this manner
a word can enter so many ears, that is, be divided into every ear, and
yet strike every ear with an undivided vocal sound; You will say, as
a small fire doth heat and warm all those that stand by; for the heat
issues from the fire, as the light from the Sun. I answer, all what
issues and hath motion, hath a Body, and yet most learned men deny that
sound, light and heat have bodies: But if they grant of light that it
has a body, they say it moves and presses the air, and the air the eye,
and so of heat; which if so, then the air must not move to any other
motion but light, and onely to one sort of light, as the Suns light;
for if it did move in any other motion, it would disturb the light; for
if a Bird did but fly in the air, it would give all the region of air
another motion, and so put out, or alter the light, or at least disturb
it; and wind would make a great disturbance in it. Besides, if one body
did give another body motion, it must needs give it also substance, for
motion is either something or nothing, body or no body, substance or no
substance; if nothing, it cannot enter into another body; if something,
it must lessen the bulk of the body it quits, and increase the bulk
of the body it enters, and so the Sun and Fire with giving light and
heat, would become less, for they cannot both give and keep at once,
for this is as impossible, as for a man to give to another creature
his human Nature, and yet to keep it still. Wherefore my opinion is
for heat, that when many men stand round about a fire, and are heated
and warmed by it, the fire doth not give them any thing, nor do they
receive something from the fire, but the sensitive motions in their
bodies pattern out the object of the fires heat, and so they become
more or less hot according as their patterns are numerous or perfect;
And as for air, it patterns out the light of the Sun, and the sensitive
motions in the eyes of animals pattern out the light in the air. The
like for Ecchoes, or any other sound, and for the figures which are
presented in a Looking-glass. And thus millions of parts or creatures
may make patterns of one or more objects, and the objects neither
give nor loose any thing. And this I repeat here, that my meaning of
Perception may be the better understood, which is the desire of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._



XXV.


_MADAM_

I perceive you are not fully satisfied with my former Letter concerning
Eccho, and a figure presented in a Looking-glass; for you say, how is
it possible, if Eccho consists in the ears patterning out of a voice
or sound, but that it will make a confusion in all the parts of the
air? My answer is, that I doe not say that Eccho is onely made by the
patterning out of the voice or sound, but by repeating the same voice
or sound, which repetition is named an Eccho, for millions of ears in
animals may pattern out a voice or words, and yet never repeat them,
and so may millions of parts of the air; wherefore Eccho doth not
consist in the bare patterning out, but in the repetition of the same
sound or words, which are pattern'd out; and so some parts of the air
may at one and the same time pattern out a sound and not repeat it,
and some may both pattern out, and repeat it, but some may neither
pattern out, nor repeat it, and therefore the Repetition, not the
bare Patterning out is called Eccho: Just as when two or more men do
answer or mock each other, and repeat each others words, it is not
necessary, if there were a thousand standers by, that they should all
do the same. And as for the figure presented in a Looking-glass, I
cannot conceive it to be made by pressure and reaction; for although
there is both pressure and reaction in nature, and those very frequent
amongst natures Parts, yet they do neither make perception nor
production, although both pressure and reaction are made by corporeal
self-motions; Wherefore the figure presented in a Looking-glass, or
any other smooth glassie body, is, in my opinion, onely made by the
motions of the Looking-glass, which do both pattern out, and present
the figure of an external object in the Glass: But you will say, why do
not the motions of other bodies pattern out, and present the figures
of external objects, as well as smooth glassie bodies do? I answer,
they may pattern out external objects, for any thing I know; but the
reason that their figures are not presented to our eyes, lies partly
in the presenting subject it self, partly in our sight; for it is
observed, that two things are chiefly required in a subject that will
present the figure of an external object; first it must be smooth, even
and glassie, next it must not be transparent: the first is manifest
by experience; for the subject being rough and uneven, will never be
able to present such a figure; as for example, A piece of steel rough
and unpolished, although it may perhaps pattern out the figure of an
external object, yet it will never present its figure, but as soon as
it is polished, and made smooth and glassie, the figure is presently
perceived. But this is to be observed, that smooth and glassie bodies
do not always pattern out exterior objects exactly, but some better,
some worse; like as Painters have not all the same ingenuity; neither
do all eyes pattern out all objects exactly; which proves that the
perception of sight is not made by pressure and reaction, otherwise
there would be no difference, but all eyes would see alike. Next I
say, it is observed, that the subject which will present the figure
of an external object, must not be transparent; the reason is, that
the figure of Light being a substance of a piercing and penetrating
quality, hath more force on transparent, then on other solid dark
bodies, and so disturbs the figure of an external object pattern'd out
in a transparent body, and quite over-masters it. But you will say, you
have found by experience, that if you hold a burning Candle before a
Transparent-glass, although it be in an open Sun-light, yet the figure
of light and flame of the Candle will clearly be seen in the Glass. I
answer, that it is an other thing with the figure of Candle-light, then
of a duskish or dark body; for a Candle-light, though it is not of the
same sort as the Suns light, yet it is of the same nature and quality,
and therefore the Candle-light doth resist and oppose the light of the
Sun, so that it cannot have so much power over it, as over the figures
of other bodies patterned out and presented in Transparent-glass.
Lastly, I say, that the fault oftentimes lies in the perceptive
motions of our sight, which is evident by a plain and Concave-glass;
for in a plain Looking-glass, the further you go from it, the more
your figure presented in the glass seems to draw backward; and in a
Concave-glass, the nearer you go to it, the more seems your figure
to come forth: which effects are like as an house or tree appears to
a Traveller; for, as the man moves from the house or tree, so the
house or tree seems to move from the man; or like one that sails upon
a Ship, who imagines that the Ship stands still, and the Land moves;
when as yet it is the Man and the Ship that moves, and not the House,
or Tree, or the Land; so when a Man turns round in a quick motion,
or when his head is dizzie, he imagines the room or place, where he
is, turns round. Wherefore it is the Inherent Perceptive motions in
the Eye, and not the motions in the Looking-glass, which cause these
effects. And as for several figures that are presented in one glass,
it is absurd to imagine that so many several figures made by so many
several motions should touch the eye; certainly this would make such
a disturbance, if all figures were to enter or but to touch the eye,
as the eye would not perceive any of them, at lead not distinctly;
Wherefore it is most probable that the glass patterns out those
figures, and the sensitive corporeal motions in the eye take again a
pattern from those figures patterned out by the glass, and so make
copies of copies; but the reason why several figures are presented in
one glass in several places, is, that two perfect figures cannot be in
one point, nor made by one motion, but by several corporeal motions.
Concerning a Looking-glass, made in the form or shape of a Cylinder,
why it represents the figure of an external object in an other shape
and posture then the object is, the cause is the shape and form of the
Glass, and not the patterning motions in the Glass. But this discourse
belongs properly to the Opticks, wherefore I will leave it to those
that are versed in that Art, to enquire and search more after the
rational truth thereof. In the mean time, my opinion is, that though
the object is the occasion of the figure presented in a Looking-glass,
yet the figure is made by the motions of the glass or body that
presents it, and that the figure of the glass perhaps may be patterned
out as much by the motions of the object in its own substance, as the
figure of the object is patterned out and presented by the motions of
the glass in its own body or substance. And thus I conclude and rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXVI.


_MADAM,_

Since I mentioned in my last that Light did disturb the figures of
External objects presented in Transparent bodies; you were pleased
to ask, Whether light doth penetrate transparent bodies? I answer,
for anything I know, it may; for when I consider the subtil, piercing
and penetrating nature of light, I believe it doth; but again, when I
consider that light is presented to our sight by transparent bodies
onely, and not by duskish and dark bodies, and yet that those duskish
bodies are more porous then the transparent bodies, so that the light
hath more passage to pass through them, then through transparent
bodies; but that on the contrary, those dark bodies, as Wood, and the
like, do quite obscure the light, when as transparent bodies, as Glass,
&c. transmit it, I am half perswaded that the transparent bodies, as
Glass, rather present the Light by patterning it out, then by giving it
passage: Also I am of a mind, that the air in a room may pattern out
the Light from the Glass, for the Light in a room doth not appear so
clear as in the Glass; also if the Glass be any way defective, it doth
not present the Light so perfectly, whereas, if it were the penetration
of light through the glass, the light would pass through all sorts of
glass alike, which it doth not, but is more clearly seen through some,
and more obscurely through others, according to the goodness or purity
of the glass. But you may say, that the light divulges the imperfection
or goodness of the glass; I answer, so it doth of any other objects
perceived by our sight; for light is the presenter of objects to the
sense and perception of sight, and for any thing I know, the corporeal
optick motions make the figure of light, the ground figure of all other
figures patterned out by the corporeal optick motions, as in dreams, or
when as some do see in the dark, that is, without the help of exterior
light. But you may say, That if the glass and the air in a room did
pattern out the figure of light, those patterns of light would remain
when light is absent: I answer, That is not usual in nature; for when
the object removes, the Pattern alters; I will not say but that the
corporeal optick motions may work by rote without objects, but that is
irregular, as in some distempers. And thus, _Madam_, I have given you
my opinion also to this your question; if you have any more scruples,
I pray let me know of them, and assure your self that I shall be ready
upon all occasions to express my self,

Madam,

_Your humble and faithful Servant._



XXVII.


_MADAM,_

Your desire is to know, why sound is louder in a Vault, and in a large
Room then in a less? I answer, A Vault or arched Figure is the freest
from obstruction, as being without corners and points, so as the
sensitive and rational corporeal motions of the Ear can have a better
perception; like as the Eye can see farthest from a hill then being
upon a level ground, because the prospect is freer from the hill, as
without obstruction, unless it be so cloudy that the clouds do hinder
the perception; And as the eye can have a better prospect upon a hill,
so the ear a stronger perception in a Vault; And as for sound, that it
is better perceived in a large, then in a little close room or place,
it is somewhat like the perception of sent, for the more the odorous
parts are bruised, the stronger is that perception of sent, as being
repeated double or treble, which makes the perception stronger, like as
a thick body is stronger then a thin one; So likewise the perception
of sound in the air; for though not all the parts of the air make
repetitions, yet some or many make patterns of the sound; the truth
is, Air is as industrious to divulge or present a sound, by patterns
to the Ear, as light doth objects to the Eye. But then you may ask me,
Why a long hollow pipe doth convey a voice to the ear more readily,
then any large and open place? My answer is, That the Parts of the
air in a long pipe are more Composed and not at liberty to wander, so
that upon necessity they must move onely to the patterning out of the
sound, having no choice, which makes the sound much stronger, and the
perception of the Ear perfecter; But as for Pipes, Vaults, Prospects,
as also figures presented in a room through a little hole, inverted,
and many the like, belongs more to Artists then to my study, for though
Natural Philosophy gives or points out the Ground, and shews the
reason, yet it is the Artist that Works; Besides it is more proper for
Mathematicians to discourse of, which study I am not versed in; and so
leaving it to them, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXVIII.


_MADAM,_

From Sound I am come to Sent, in the discourse whereof, your
_Author_[1] is pleased to set down these following propositions: 1.
_That smelling is hindred by cold and helped by heat_: 2. _That when
the Wind bloweth from the object, the smell is the stronger, and when
it blows from the sentient towards the object, the weaker, which by
experience is found in dogs, that follow the track of beasts by the
Sent_: 3. _That such bodies as are last pervious to the fluid medium,
yield less smell then such as are more pervious_: 4. _That such bodies
as are of their own nature odorous, become yet more odorous, when
they are bruised_: 5. _That when the breath is stopped (at least in
man) nothing can be smelt_: 6. _That the Sense of smelling is also
taken away by the stopping of the nostrils, though the mouth be left
open._ To begin from the last, I say, that the nose is like the other
sensitive organs, which if they be stopt, the corporeal sensitive
motions cannot take copies of the exterior objects, and therefore must
alter their action of patterning to some other, for when the eye is
shut and cannot perceive outward objects then it works to the Sense
of Touch, or on the inside of the organ to some phantasmes; and so do
the rest of the Senses. As for the stopping of breath, why it hinders
the Sent, the cause is, that the nostrils and the mouth are the chief
organs, to receive air and to let out breath: but though they be common
passages for air and breath, yet taste is onely made in the mouth
and tongue, and sent in the nose; not by the pressure of meat, and
the odoriferous object, but by patterning out the several figures or
objects of sent and taste, for the nose and the mouth will smell and
taste one, nay several things at the same time, like as the eye will
see light, colour, and other objects at once, which I think can hardly
be done by pressures; and the reason is, that the sensitive motions
in the sensitive organs make patterns of several objects at one time,
which is the cause, that when flowers, and such like odoriferous bodies
are bruised, there are as many figures made as there are parts bruised
or divided, and by reason of so many figures the sensitive knowledg is
stronger; but that stones, minerals, and the like, seem not so strong
to our smell, the reason is, that their parts being close and united,
the sensitive motions in the organ cannot so readily perceive and
pattern them out, as those bodies which are more porous and divided.
But as for the wind blowing the sent either to or from the sentient, it
is like a window or door that by the motion of opening and shutting,
hinders or disturbeth the sight; for bodies coming between the object
and the organ, make a stop of that perception. And as for the Dogs
smelling out the track of Beasts, the cause is, that the earth or
ground hath taken a copy of that sent, which copy the sensitive motions
in the nose of the Dog do pattern out, and so long as that figure or
copy lasts, the Dog perceives the sent, but if he doth not follow or
hunt readily, then there is either no perfect copy made by the ground,
or otherwise he cannot find it, which causes him to seek and smell
about until he hath it; and thus smell is not made by the motion of the
air, but by the figuring motions in the nose: Where it is also to be
observed, that not onely the motions in one, but in millions of noses,
may pattern out one little object at one time, and therefore it is not,
that the object of sent fills a room by sending out the sent from its
substance, but that so many figures are made of that object of sent
by so many several sensitive motions, which pattern the same out; and
so the air, or ground, or any other creature, whose sensitive motions
pattern out the object of sent, may perceive the same, although their
sensitive organs are not like to those of animal Creatures; for if
there be but such sensitive motions and perceptions, it is no matter
for such organs. Lastly, it is to be observed, That all Creatures
have not the same strength of smelling, but some smell stronger, some
weaker, according to the disposition of their sensitive motions: Also
there be other parts in the body, which pattern out the object of
sent, besides the nose, but those are interior parts, and take their
patterns from the nose as the organ properly designed for it; neither
is their resentment the same, because their motions are not alike, for
the stomack may perceive and pattern out a sent with aversion, when the
nose may pattern it out with pleasure. And thus much also of Sent; I
conclude and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ 29. _art._ 12.



XXIX.


_MADAM,_

Concerning your Learned Authors discourse of Density and Rarity, he
defines[1] _Thick to be that, which takes up more parts of a space
given; and thin, which containes fewer parts of the same magnitude: not
that there is more matter in one place then in an other equal place,
but a greater quantity of some named body; wherefore the multitude and
paucity of the parts contained within the same space do constitute
density and rarity._ Whereof my opinion is, That there is no more nor
less space or place then body according to its dilation or contraction,
and that space and place are dilated and contracted with the body,
according to the magnitude of the body, for body, place and magnitude
are the same thing, only place is in regard of the several parts of the
body, and there is as well space betwixt things distant a hairs breadth
from one another, as betwixt things distant a million of miles, but yet
this space is nothing from the body; but it makes, that that body has
not the same place with this body, that is, that this body is not that
body, and that this bodies place is not that bodies place. Next your
_Author_ sayes,[2] _He hath already clearly enough demonstrated, that
there can be no beginning of motion, but from an external and moved
body, and that heavy bodies being once cast upwards cannot be cast
down again, but by external motion._ Truly, _Madam_, I will not speak
of your _Authors_ demonstrations, for it is done most by art, which I
have no knowledg in, but I think I have probably declared, that all
the actions of nature are not forced by one part, driving, pressing,
or shoving another, as a man doth a wheel-barrow, or a whip a horse;
nor by reactions, as if men were at foot-ball or cuffs, or as men with
carts meeting each other in a narrow lane. But to prove there is no
self-motion in nature, he goes on and says; _To attribute to created
bodies the power to move themselves, what is it else, then to say that
there be creatures which have no dependance upon the Creator?_ To which
I answer, That if man (who is but a single part of nature) hath given
him by God the power and a free will of moving himself, why should
not God give it to Nature? Neither can I see, how it can take off the
dependance upon God, more then Eternity; for, if there be an Eternal
Creator, there is also an Eternal Creature, and if an Eternal Master,
an Eternal Servant, which is Nature; and yet Nature is subject to Gods
Command, and depends upon him; and if all Gods Attributes be Infinite,
then his Bounty is Infinite also, which cannot be exercised but by an
Infinite Gift, but a Gift doth not cause a less dependance. I do not
say, That man hath an absolute Free-will, or power to move, according
to his desire; for it is not conceived, that a part can have an
absolute power: nevertheless his motion both of body and mind is a free
and self-motion, and such a self-motion hath every thing in Nature
according to its figure or shape; for motion and figure, being inherent
in matter, matter moves figuratively. Yet do I not say, That there is
no hindrance, obstruction and opposition in nature; but as there is
no particular Creature, that hath an absolute power of self-moving;
so that Creature which hath the advantage of strength, subtilty, or
policy, shape, or figure, and the like, may oppose and over-power
another which is inferior to it, in all this; yet this hinderance and
opposition doth not take away self-motion. But I perceive your _Author_
is much for necessitation, and against free-will, which I leave to
Moral Philosophers and Divines. And as for the ascending of light,
and descending of heavy bodies, there may be many causes, but these
four are perceiveable by our senses, as bulk, or quantity of body,
grossness of substance, density, and shape or figure, which make heavy
bodies descend: But little quantity, purity of substance, rarity, and
figure or shape make light bodies ascend. Wherefore I cannot believe,
that there are[3] _certain little bodies as atoms, and by reason of
their smallness, invisible, differing from one another in consistence,
figure, motion and magnitude, intermingled with the air_, which should
be the cause of the descending of heavy bodies. And concerning air,[4]
_whether it be subject to our senses or not_, I say, that if air be
neither hot, nor cold, it is not subject; but if it be, the sensitive
motions will soon pattern it out, and declare it. I'le conclude with
your _Authors_ question,[5] _What the cause is, that a man doth not
feel the weight of Water in Water?_ and answer, it is the dilating
nature of Water. But of this question and of Water I shall treat more
fully hereafter, and so I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _C._ 30. _a._ 1.

[2] _Art._ 2.

[3] _Art._ 3.

[4] _Art._ 14.

[5] _Art._ 6.



XXX.


_MADAM,_

I am reading now the works of that Famous and most Renowned _Author,
Des Cartes,_ out of which I intend to pick out onely those discourses
which I like best, and not to examine his opinions, as they go along
from the beginning to the end of his books; And in order to this, I
have chosen in the first place, his discourse of motion, and do not
assent to his opinion,[1] when he defines _Motion to be onely a Mode
of a thing, and not the thing or body it selfe_; for, in my opinion,
there can be no abstraction made of motion from body, neither really,
nor in the manner of our conception, for how can I conceive that
which is not, nor cannot be in nature, that is, to conceive motion
without body? Wherefore Motion is but one thing with body, without
any separation or abstraction soever. Neither doth it agree with my
reason, that[2] _one body can give or transferr motion into another
body; and as much motion it gives or transfers into that body, as
much loses it: As for example, in two hard bodies thrown against one
another, where one, that is thrown with greater force, takes the other
along with it, and loses as much motion as it gives it._ For how
can motion, being no substance, but onely a mode, quit one body, and
pass into another? One body may either occasion, or imitate anothers
motion, but it can neither give nor take away what belongs to its own
or another bodies substance, no more then matter can quit its nature
from being matter; and therefore my opinion is, that if motion doth
go out of one body into another, then substance goes too; for motion,
and substance or body, as afore-mentioned, are all one thing, and
then all bodies that receive motion from other bodies, must needs
increase in their substance and quantity, and those bodies which impart
or transferr motion, must decrease as much as they increase: Truly,
_Madam_, that neither Motion nor Figure should subsist by themselves,
and yet be transferable into other bodies, is very strange, and as much
as to prove them to be nothing, and yet to say they are something. The
like may be said of all others, which they call accidents, as skill,
learning, knowledge, &c. saying, they are no bodies, because they
have no extension, but inherent in bodies or substances as in their
subjects; for although the body may subsist without them, yet they
being always with the body, body and they are all one thing: And so is
power and body, for body cannot quit power, nor power the body, being
all one thing. But to return to Motion, my opinion is, That all matter
is partly animate, and partly inanimate, and all matter is moving and
moved, and that there is no part of Nature that hath not life and
knowledg, for there is no Part that has not a comixture of animate and
inanimate matter; and though the inanimate matter has no motion, nor
life and knowledg of it self, as the animate has, nevertheless being
both so closely joyned and commixed as in one body, the inanimate
moves as well as the animate, although not in the same manner; for the
animate moves of it self, and the inanimate moves by the help of the
animate, and thus the animate is moving and the inanimate moved; not
that the animate matter transfers, infuses, or communicates its own
motion to the inanimate; for this is impossible, by reason it cannot
part with its own nature, nor alter the nature of inanimate matter,
but each retains its own nature; for the inanimate matter remains
inanimate, that is, without self-motion, and the animate loses nothing
of its self-motion, which otherwise it would, if it should impart or
transferr its motion into the inanimate matter; but onely as I said
heretofore, the inanimate works or moves with the animate, because of
their close union and commixture; for the animate forces or causes
the inanimate matter to work with her; and thus one is moving, the
other moved, and consequently there is life and knowledg in all parts
of nature, by reason in all parts of nature there is a commixture of
animate and inanimate matter: and this Life and Knowledg is sense and
reason, or sensitive and rational corporeal motions, which are all one
thing with animate matter without any distinction or abstraction, and
can no more quit matter, then matter can quit motion. Wherefore every
creature being composed of this commixture of animate and inanimate
matter, has also selfe-motion, that is life and knowledg, sense and
reason, so that no part hath need to give or receive motion to or from
another part; although it may be an occasion of such a manner of motion
to another part, and cause it to move thus or thus: as for example,
A Watch-maker doth not give the watch its motion, but he is onely the
occasion, that the watch moves after that manner, for the motion of the
watch is the watches own motion, inherent in those parts ever since
that matter was, and if the watch ceases to move after such a manner or
way, that manner or way of motion is never the less in those parts of
matter, the watch is made of, and if several other figures should be
made of that matter, the power of moving in the said manner or mode,
would yet still remain in all those parts of matter as long as they are
body, and have motion in them. Wherefore one body may occasion another
body to move so or so, but not give it any motion, but every body
(though occasioned by another, to move in such a way) moves by its own
natural motion; for self-motion is the very nature of animate matter,
and is as much in hard, as in fluid bodies, although your _Author_
denies it, saying,[3] _The nature of fluid bodies consists in the
motion of those little insensible parts into which they are divided,
and the nature of hard bodies, when those little particles joyned
closely together, do rest_; for there is no rest in nature; wherefore
if there were a World of Gold, and a World of Air, I do verily believe,
that the World of Gold would be as much interiously active, as the
World of Air exteriously; for Natures motions are not all external or
perceptible by our senses, neither are they all circular, or onely of
one sort, but there is an infinite change and variety of motions; for
though I say in my Philosophical opinions,[4] _As there is but one
onely Matter, so there is but one onely Motion_; yet I do not mean,
there is but one particular sort of motions, as either circular, or
straight, or the like, but that the nature of motion is one and the
same, simple and intire in it self, that is, it is meer motion, or
nothing else but corporeal motion; and that as there are infinite
divisions or parts of matter, so there are infinite changes and
varieties of motions, which is the reason that I call motion as well
infinite as matter; first that matter and motion are but one thing, and
if matter be infinite, motion must be so too; and secondly, that motion
is infinite in its changes and variations, as matter is in its parts.
And thus much of motion for this time; I add no more, but rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Philos. p._ 2. _Art._ 25.

[2] _Art._ 40.

[3] _Philos. part._ 2. _a._ 54.

[4] _Part._ 1. _c._ 5.



XXXI.


_MADAM,_

I observe your _Author_ in his discourse of Place makes a difference[1]
betwixt an _Interior and Exterior place_, and that according to this
distinction, _one body may be said to change, and not to change its
place at the same time, and that one body may succeed into anothers
place_. But I am not of this opinion, for I believe not that there
is any more place then body; as for example, Water being mix'd with
Earth, the water doth not take the Earths place, but as their parts
intermix, so do their places, and as their parts change, so do their
places, so that there is no more place, then there is water and earth;
the same may be said of Air and Water, or Air and Earth, or did they
all mix together; for as their bodies join, so do their places, and
as they are separated from each other, so are their places. Say a man
travels a hundred miles, and so a hundred thousand paces; but yet this
man has not been in a hundred thousand places, for he never had any
other place but his own, he hath joined and separated himselfe from
a hundred thousand, nay millions of parts, but he has left no places
behind him. You will say, if he travel the same way back again, then
he is said to travel thorow the same places. I answer, It may be the
vulgar way of expression, or the common phrase; but to speak properly,
after a Philosophical way, and according to the truth in nature, he
cannot be said to go back again thorow the same places he went, because
he left none behind him, or els all his way would be nothing but place
after place, all the hundred miles along; besides if place should be
taken so, as to express the joyning to the neerest bodies which compass
him about, certainly he would never find his places again; for the
air being fluid, changes or moves continually, and perchance the same
parts of the air, which compassed him once, will never come near him
again. But you may say, If a man be hurt, or hath some mischance in his
body, so as to have a piece of flesh cut out, and new flesh growing
there; then we say, because the adjoyning parts do not change, that a
new piece of flesh is grown in the same place where the former flesh
was, and that the place of the former flesh cut or fallen out, is the
same of this new grown flesh. I answer, In my opinion, it is not,
for the parts being not the same, the places are not, but every one
hath its own place. But if the wound be not filled or closed up with
other new flesh, you will say, that according to my opinion there is
no place then at all. I say, Yes, for the air or any thing else may be
there, as new parts joyning to the other parts; nevertheless, the air,
or that same body which is there, hath not taken the fleshes place,
which was there before, but hath its own; but, by reason the adjoyning
parts remain, man thinks the place remains there also which is no
consequence. 'Tis true, a man may return to the same adjoining bodies,
where he was before, but then he brings his place with him again, and
as his body, so his place returnes also, and if a mans arm be cut off,
you may say, there was an arm heretofore, but you cannot say properly,
this is the place where the arm was. But to return to my first example
of the mixture of Water, and Earth or Air; Suppose water is not porous,
but onely dividable, and hath no other place but what is its own
bodies, and that other parts of water intermix with it by dividing and
composing; I say, there is no more place required, then what belongs
to their own parts, for if some contract, others dilate, some divide,
others joyn, the places are the same according to the magnitude of each
part or body. The same may be said of all kinds or sorts of mixtures,
for one body hath but one place; and so if many parts of the same
nature joyn into one body and increase the bulk of the body, the place
of that same body is accordingly; and if they be bodies of different
natures which intermix and joyne, each several keeps its place; And so
each body and each particular part of a body hath its place, for you
cannot name body or part of a body, but you must also understand place
to be with them, and if a point should dilate to a world, or a world
contract to a point, the place would always be the same with the body.
And thus I have declared my opinion of this subject, which I submit to
the correction of your better judgment, and rest,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_faithful Friend and humble Servant._

[1] _Philos. p._ 2. _a._ 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.



XXXII.


_MADAM,_

In my last, I hope, I have sufficiently declared my opinion, That to
one body belongs but one place, and that no body can leave a place
behind it, but wheresoever is body, there is place also. Now give me
leave to examine this question: when a bodies figure is printed on
snow, or any other fluid or soft matter, as air, water, and the like;
whether it be the body, that prints its own figure upon the snow, or
whether it be the snow, that patterns the figure of the body? My answer
is, That it is not the body, which prints its figure upon the snow,
but the snow that patterns out the figure of the body; for if a seal
be printed upon wax, 'tis true, it is the figure of the seal, which is
printed on the wax, but yet the seal doth not give the wax the print
of its own figure, but it is the wax that takes the print or pattern
from the seal, and patterns or copies it out in its own substance,
just as the sensitive motions in the eye do pattern out the figure of
an object, as I have declared heretofore. But you will say, perhaps, A
body being printed upon snow, as it leaves its print, so it leaves also
its place with the print in the snow. I answer, That doth not follow;
For the place remains still the bodies place, and when the body removes
out of the snow, it takes its place along with it: Just like a man,
whose picture is drawn by a Painter, when he goes away, he leaves not
his place with his picture, but his place goes with his body; and as
the place of the picture is the place of the colour or paint, and the
place of the copie of an exterior object patterned out by the sensitive
corporeal motions is the place of the sensitive organ, so the place
of the print in snow, is the snows place; or else, if the print were
the bodies place that is printed, and not the snow's, it might as well
be said, that the motion and shape of a watch were not the motion and
shape of the watch, but of the hand of him that made it. And as it is
with snow, so it is with air, for a mans figure is patterned out by the
parts and motions of the air, wheresoever he moveth; the difference is
onely, that air being a fluid body doth not retain the print so long,
as snow or a harder body doth, but when the body removes, the print
is presently dissolved. But I wonder much, your _Author_ denies, that
there can be two bodies in one place, and yet makes two places for one
body, when all is but the motions of one body: Wherefore a man sailing
in a Ship, cannot be said to keep place, and to change his place; for
it is not place he changes, but onely the adjoyning parts, as leaving
some, and joyning to others; and it is very improper, to attribute
that to place which belongs to parts, and to make a change of place
out of change of parts. I conclude, repeating once again, that figure
and place are still remaining the same with body; For example; let
a stone be beat to dust, and this dust be severally dispersed, nay,
changed into numerous figures; I say, as long as the substance of the
stone remains in the power of those dispersed and changed parts, and
their corporeal motions, the place of it continues also; and as the
corporeal motions change and vary, so doth place, magnitude and figure,
together with their parts or bodies, for they are but one thing. And so
I conclude, and rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXXIII.


_MADAM,_

I am absolutely of your _Authors_ opinion, when he sayes,[1] _That all
bodies of this Universe are of one and the same matter, really divided
into many parts, and that these parts are diversly moved_: But that
these motions should be circular more then of any other sort, I cannot
believe, although he thinks that this is the most probable way, to find
out the causes of natural effects: for nature is not bound to one sort
of motions more then to another, and it is but in vain to indeavour to
know how, and by what motions God did make the World, since Creation
is an action of God, and Gods actions are incomprehensible; Wherefore
his æthereal Whirlpools, and little particles of matter, which he
reduceth to three sorts and calls them the three elements of the
Universe, their circular motions, several figures, shavings, and many
the like, which you may better read, then I rehearse to you, are to
my thinking, rather Fancies, then rational or probable conceptions;
for how can we imagine that the Universe was set a moving as a Top by
a Whip, or a Wheele by the hand of a Spinster, and that the vacuities
were fill'd up with shavings? for these violent motions would rather
have disturbed and disordered Nature; and though Nature uses variety
in her motions or actions, yet these are not extravagant, nor by force
or violence, but orderly, temperate, free, and easie, which causes
me to believe, the Earth turns about rather then the Sun; and though
corporeal motions for variety make Whirl-winds, yet Whirl-winds are
not constant, Neither can I believe that the swiftness of motion could
make the matter more subtil and pure then it was by nature, for it is
the purity and subtilty of the matter, that causes motion, and makes it
swifter or slower, and not motion the subtilty and purity of matter;
motion being onely the action of matter; and the self-moving part of
matter is the working part of nature, which is wise, and knows how to
move and form every creature without instruction; and this self-motion
is as much her own as the other parts of her body, matter and figure,
and is one and the same with her self, as a corporeal, living, knowing,
and inseparable being, and a part of her self. As for the several
parts of matter, I do believe, that they are not all of one and the
same bigness, nor of one and the same figure, neither do I hold their
figures to be unalterable; for if all parts in nature be corporeal,
they are dividable, composable, and intermixable, and then they cannot
be always of one and the same sort of figure; besides nature would not
have so much work if there were no change of figures: and since her
onely action is change of motion, change of motion must needs make
change of figures: and thus natural parts of matter may change from
lines to points, and from points to lines, from squares to circles,
and so forth, infinite ways, according to the change of motions; but
though they change their figures, yet they cannot change their matter;
for matter as it has been, so it remaines constantly in each degree, as
the Rational, Sensitive and Inanimate, none becomes purer, none grosser
then ever it was, notwithstanding the infinite changes of motions,
which their figures undergo; for Motion changes onely the figure, not
the matter it self, which continues still the same in its nature, and
cannot be altered without a confusion or destruction of Nature. And
this is the constant opinion of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] _Philos. part._ 3. _a._ 40.



XXXIV.


_MADAM,_

That _Rarefaction_ is onely a _change of figure_, according to your
_Authors_ opinion,[1] is in my reason very probable; but when he sayes,
that _in rarified bodies are little intervals or pores filled up with
some other subtil matter_, if he means that all rarified bodies are
porous, I dissent from him; for it is not necessary that all rarified
bodies should be porous, and all hard bodies without pores: but if
there were a probability of pores, I am of opinion, it would be more
in dense and hard, than in rare and soft bodies; as for example,
rarifying and dilating motions are plaining, smoothing, spreading and
making all parts even, which could not well be, if there were holes
or pores; Earth is dense and hard, and yet is porous, and flame is
rare and dilating, and yet is not porous; and certainly Water is not
so porous as Earth. Wherefore pores, in my opinion, are according to
the nature or form of the figure, and not according to the rarity or
thinness, and density or thickness of the substance. As for his thin
and subtil matter filling up the pores of porous bodies, I assent to
your _Author_ so far, that I meane, thin and thick, or rare and dense
substances are joyned and mixed together. As for plaining, smoothing
and spreading, I do not mean so much artificial plaining and spreading;
as for example, when a piece of gold is beaten into a thin plate, and
a board is made plain and smooth by a Joyners tool, or a napkin folded
up is spread plain and even, although, when you observe these arts, you
may judge somewhat of the nature of natural dilations; for a folded
cloth is fuller of creases then when plain, and the beating of a thin
plate is like to the motion of dilation, which is to spread out, and
the forme of rarifying is thinning and extending. I add onely this,
that I am not of your _Authors_ opinion, that Rest is the Cause or
Glue which keeps the parts of dense or hard bodies together, but it is
retentive motions. And so I conclude, resting,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Philos. part._ 2. _a._ 6, 7.



XXXV.


_MADAM,_

_That the Mind_, according to your _Authors_ opinion, _is a substance
really distinct from the body, and may be actually separated from
it and subsist without it_: If he mean the natural mind and soul of
Man, not the supernatural or divine, I am far from his opinion; for
though the mind moveth onely in its own parts, and not upon, or with
the parts of inanimate matter, yet it cannot be separated from these
parts of matter, and subsist by its self as being a part of one and
the same matter the inanimate is of, (for there is but one onely
matter, and one kind of matter, although of several degrees,) onely
it is the self-moving part; but yet this cannot impower it, to quit
the same natural body, whose part it is. Neither can I apprehend,
that the Mind's or Soul's seat should be in the _Glandula_ or kernel
of the Brain, and there sit like a Spider in a Cobweb, to whom the
least motion of the Cobweb gives intelligence of a Flye, which he is
ready to assault, and that the Brain should get intelligence by the
animal spirits as his servants, which run to and fro like Ants to
inform it; or that the Mind should, according to others opinions, be
a light, and imbroidered all with Ideas, like a Heraulds Coat; and
that the sensitive organs should have no knowledg in themselves, but
serve onely like peeping-holes for the mind, or barn-dores to receive
bundles of pressures, like sheaves of Corn; For there being a thorow
mixture of animate, rational and sensitive, and inanimate matter, we
cannot assign a certain seat or place to the rational, another to the
sensitive, and another to the inanimate, but they are diffused and
intermixt throughout all the body; And this is the reason, that sense
and knowledg cannot be bound onely to the head or brain; But although
they are mixt together, nevertheless they do not lose their interior
nature, by this mixture, nor their purity and subtilty, nor their
proper motions or actions, but each moves according to its nature and
substance, without confusion; The actions of the rational part in
Man, which is the Mind or Soul, are called Thoughts, or thoughtful
perceptions, which are numerous, and so are the sensitive perceptions;
for though Man, or any other animal hath but five exterior sensitive
organs, yet there be numerous perceptions made in these sensitive
organs, and in all the body; nay, every several Pore of the flesh is
a sensitive organ, as well as the Eye, or the Ear. But both sorts, as
well the rational as the sensitive, are different from each other,
although both do resemble another, as being both parts of animate
matter, as I have mentioned before: Wherefore I'le add no more, onely
let you know, that I constantly remain,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._



XXXVI.


_MADAM,_

That all other animals, besides man, want reason, your _Author_
endeavours to prove in his _discourse of method_, where his chief
argument is, That other animals cannot express their mind, thoughts or
conceptions, either by speech or any other signs, as man can do: For,
sayes he, _it is not for want of the organs belonging to the framing
of words, as we may observe in Parrats and Pies, which are apt enough
to express words they are taught, but understand nothing of them._ My
answer is, That one man expressing his mind by speech or words to an
other, doth not declare by it his excellency and supremacy above all
other Creatures, but for the most part more folly, for a talking man
is not so wise as a contemplating man. But by reason other Creatures
cannot speak or discourse with each other as men, or make certain
signs, whereby to express themselves as dumb and deaf men do, should we
conclude, they have neither knowledge, sense, reason, or intelligence?
Certainly, this is a very weak argument; for one part of a mans body,
as one hand, is not less sensible then the other, nor the heel less
sensible then the heart, nor the legg less sensible then the head,
but each part hath its sense and reason, and so consequently its
sensitive and rational knowledg; and although they cannot talk or give
intelligence to each other by speech, nevertheless each hath its own
peculiar and particular knowledge, just as each particular man has his
own particular knowledge, for one man's knowledge is not another man's
knowledge; and if there be such a peculiar and particular knowledg in
every several part of one animal creature, as man, well may there be
such in Creatures of different kinds and sorts: But this particular
knowledg belonging to each creature, doth not prove that there is no
intelligence at all betwixt them, no more then the want of humane
Knowledg doth prove the want of Reason; for Reason is the rational
part of matter, and makes perception, observation, and intelligence
different in every creature, and every sort of creatures, according
to their proper natures, but perception, observation and intelligence
do not make reason, Reason being the cause, and they the effects.
Wherefore though other Creatures have not the speech, nor Mathematical
rules and demonstrations, with other Arts and Sciences, as Men; yet may
their perceptions and observations be as wise as Men's, and they may
have as much intelligence and commerce betwixt each other, after their
own manner and way, as men have after theirs: To which I leave them,
and Man to his conceited prerogative and excellence, resting,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._



XXXVII.


_MADAM,_

Concerning _Sense_ and _Perception_, your _Authors_ opinion is,[1]
That it is made by a _motion or impression from the object upon the
sensitive organ, which impression, by means of the nerves, is brought
to the brain, and so to the mind or soul, which onely perceives in
the brain_: Explaining it by the example[2] of a Man being blind, or
walking in dark, who by the help of his stick can perceive when he
touches a Stone, a Tree, Water, Sand, and the like; which example he
brings to make a comparison with the perception of Light; _For_, says
he, _Light in a shining body, is nothing else but a quick and lively
motion or action, which through the air and other transparent bodies
tends towards the eye, in the same manner as the motion or resistance
of the bodies, the blind man meets withal, tends thorow the stick
towards the hand; wherefore it is no wonder that the Sun can display
its rays so far in an instant, seeing that the same action, whereby
one end of the stick is moved, goes instantly also to the other end,
and would do the same if the stick were as long as Heaven is distant
from Earth._ To which I answer first, That it is not onely the Mind
that perceives in the kernel of the Brain, but that there is a double
perception, rational and sensitive, and that the mind perceives by
the rational, but the body and the sensitive organs by the sensitive
perception; and as there is a double perception, so there is also a
double knowledg, rational and sensitive, one belonging to the mind, the
other to the body; for I believe that the Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, and
all the Body, have knowledg as well as the Mind, onely the rational
matter, being subtil and pure, is not incumbred with the grosser part
of matter, to work upon, or with it, but leaves that to the sensitive,
and works or moves onely in its own substance, which makes a difference
between thoughts, and exterior senses. Next I say, That it is not the
Motion or Reaction of the bodies, the blind man meets withal, which
makes the sensitive perception of these objects, but the sensitive
corporeal motions in the hand do pattern out the figure of the Stick,
Stone, Tree, Sand, and the like. And as for comparing the perception
of the hand, when by the help of the stick it perceives the objects,
with the perception of light, I confess that the sensitive perceptions
do all resemble each other, because all sensitive parts of matter are
of one degree, as being sensible parts, onely there is a difference
according to the figures of the objects presented to the senses; and
there is no better proof for perception being made by the sensitive
motions in the body, or sensitive organs, but that all these sensitive
perceptions are alike, and resemble one another; for if they were not
made in the body of the sentient, but by the impression of exterior
objects, there would be so much difference betwixt them, by reason of
the diversity of objects, as they would have no resemblance at all.
But for a further proof of my own opinion, did the perception proceed
meerly from the motion, impression and resistance of the objects, the
hand could not perceive those objects, unless they touched the hand it
self, as the stick doth; for it is not probable, that the motions of
the stone, water, sand, &c. should leave their bodies and enter into
the stick, and so into the hand; for motion must be either something
or nothing; if something, the stick and the hand would grow bigger,
and the objects touched less, or else the touching and the touched must
exchange their motions, which cannot be done so suddenly, especially
between solid bodies; But if motion has no body, it is nothing, and
how nothing can pass or enter or move some body, I cannot conceive.
'Tis true there is no part that can subsist singly by it self, without
dependance upon each other, and so parts do always joyn and touch
each other, which I am not against; but onely I say perception is not
made by the exterior motions of exterior parts of objects, but by
the interior motions of the parts of the body sentient. But I have
discoursed hereof before, and so I take my leave, resting,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Philos. part._ 4. _a._ 189.

[2] _Diopt. c._ 1. _a._ 2, 3. & _c._ 4. _a._ 1.



XXXVIII.


_MADAM,_

I cannot conceive why your _Author_ is so much for little and
insensible parts, out of which the Elements and all other bodies are
made; for though Nature is divideable, yet she is also composeable; and
I think there is no need to dissect every creature into such little
parts, to know their nature, but we can do it by another way as well;
for we may dissect or divide them into never so little parts, and yet
gain never the more knowledg by it. But according to these principles
he describing amongst the rest the nature of Water, says,[1] _That
those little parts, out of which Water consists, are in figure somewhat
long, light and slippery like little Eeles, which are never so closely
joyned and entangled, but may easily be separated._ To which I answer,
That I observe the nature and figure of water to be flowing, dilating,
divideable and circular; for we may see, in Tides, overflowings, and
breaking into parts, as in rain, it will always move in a round and
circular figure; And I think, if its parts were long and entangled
like a knot of Eeles, it could never be so easily contracted and
denced into snow or ice. Neither do I think, That _Salt-water hath a
mixture of somewhat grosser parts, not so apt to bend_;[2] for to my
observation and reason, the nature of salt-water consists herein, that
its circle-lines are pointed, which sharp and pointed figure makes it
so penetrating; yet may those points be separated from the circle lines
of water, as it is seen in the making of Salt. But I am not of your
_Authors_ opinion, That those little points do stick so fast in flesh,
as little nails, to keep it from putrefaction; for points do not always
fasten; or else fire, which certainly is composed of sharp-pointed
parts, would harden, and keep other bodies from dissolving, whereas on
the contrary, it separates and divides them, although after several
manners. But Putrefaction is onely a dissolving and separating of
parts, after the manner of dilation; and the motion of salt is
contracting as well as penetrating, for we may observe, what flesh
soever is dry-salted, doth shrink and contract close together; I will
not say, but the pointed parts of salt may fasten like nayls in some
sorts of bodies, but not in all they work on. And this is the reason
also, that Sea-water is of more weight then fresh-water, for being
composed of points, those points stick within each other, and so become
more strong; But yet do they not hinder the circular dilating motion
of water, for the circle-lines are within, and the points without, but
onely they make it more strong from being divided by other exterior
bodies that swim upon it. And this is the cause that Salt-water is not
so easily forced or turned to vapour, as Fresh, for the points piercing
into each other, hold it more strongly together; but this is to be
considered, that the points of salt are on the outside of the watery
Circle, not on the inside, which causes it to be divideable from the
watery Circles. I will conclude, when I have given the reason why water
is so soon suckt up by sand, lime, and the like bodies, and say that it
is the nature of all spongy, dry and porous bodies, meeting with liquid
and pliable bodies as water, do draw and suck them up, like as animal
Creatures being thirsty, do drink: And so I take my leave, and rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of Meteor. c._ 1. _a._ 3.

[2] _C._ 3. _a._ 1.



XXXIX.


_MADAM,_

Concerning Vapour, Clouds, Wind and Rain, I am of your _Authors_
opinion,[1] That _Water is changed into Vapour, and Vapour into Air,
and that dilated Vapours make Wind, and condensed Vapours, Clouds and
Mists_; But I am not for his little particles, _whereof_, he says,
_Vapours are made, by the motion of a rare and subtil matter in the
pores of terrestrial bodies_; which certainly I should conceive to be
loose atoms, did he not make them of several figures and magnitude:
for, in my opinion, there are no such things in nature, which like
little Flyes or Bees do fly up into the air; and although I grant, that
in Nature are several parts, whereof some are more rare, others more
dense, according to the several degrees of matter, yet they are not
single, but all mixt together in one body, and the change of motions in
those joyned parts, is the cause of all changes of figures whatever,
without the assistance of any forreign parts: And thus Water of it self
is changed to Snow, Ice, or Hail, by its inherent figurative Motions;
that is, the circular dilation of Water by contraction, changes into
the figure of Snow, Ice, or Hail or by rarifying motions it turns into
the figure of Vapour, and this Vapour again by contracting motions into
the figure of hoar frost; and when all these motions change again into
the former, then the figure of Ice, Snow, Hail, Vapour and Frost, turns
again into the figure of Water: And this in all sense and reason is
the most facil and probable way of making Ice, Snow, Hail, &c. As for
rarefaction and condensation, I will not say that they may be forced by
forreign parts, but yet they are made by change and alteration of the
inherent motions of their own parts, for though the motions of forreign
parts, may be the occasion of them, yet they are not the immediate
cause or actors thereof. And as for _Thunder_, that clouds of Ice and
Snow, the uppermost being condensed by heat, and so made heavy, should
fall upon another and produce the noise of thunder, is very improbable;
for the breaking of a little small string, will make a greater noise
then a huge shower of snow with falling, and as for Ice being hard, it
may make a great noise, one part falling upon another, but then their
weight would be as much as their noise, so that the clouds or roves of
Ice would be as soon upon our heads, if not sooner, as the noise in our
Eares; like as a bullet shot out of a Canon, we may feel the bullet
as soon as we hear the noise. But to conclude, all densations are not
made by heat, nor all noises by pressures, for sound is oftener made by
division then pressure, and densation by cold then by heat: And this is
all for the present, from,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of Meteor., c._ 2, 4, 5, 6.



XL.


_MADAM,_

I cannot perceive the Rational Truth of your _Authors_ opinion,
concerning _Colours_, made _by the agitation of little spherical bodies
of an Æthereal matter, transmitting the action of Light_; for if
colours were made after this manner, there would, in my opinion, not
be any fixed or lasting colour, but one colour would be so various,
and change faster then every minute; the truth is, there would be
no certain or perfect colour at all: wherefore it seems altogether
improbable, that such liquid, rare and disunited bodies should either
keep or make inherent and fixed colours; for liquid and rare bodies,
whose several parts are united into one considerable bulk of body,
their colours are more apt to change then the colours of those bodies
that are dry, solid and dense; the reason is, that rare and liquid
bodies are more loose, slack, and agil, then solid and dry bodies, in
so much, as in every alteration of motion their colours are apt to
change: And if united rare and liquid bodies be so apt to alter and
change, how is it probable, that those bodies, which are small and
not united, should either keep or make inherent fixed colours? I will
not say, but that such little bodies may range into such lines and
figures, as make colours, but then they cannot last, being not united
into a lasting body, that is, into a solid, substantial body, proper
to make such figures as colours. But I desire you not to mistake me,
_Madam_, for I do not mean, that the substance of colours is a gross
thick substance, for the substance may be as thin and rare as flame or
light, or in the next degree to it; for certainly the substance of
light, and the substance of colours come in their degrees very neer
each other; But according to the contraction of the figures, colours
are paler or deeper, or more or less lasting. And as for the reason,
why colours will change and rechange, it is according as the figures
alter or recover their forms; for colours will be as animal Creatures,
which sometimes are faint, pale, and sick, and yet recover; but when
as a particular colour is, as I may say, quite dead, then there is no
recovering of it. But colours may seem altered sometimes in our eyes,
and yet not be altered in themselves; for our eyes, if perfect, see
things as they are presented; and for proof, if any animal should be
presented in an unusual posture or shape, we could not judg of it;
also if a Picture, which must be viewed side-wards, should be looked
upon forwards, we could not know what to make of it; so the figures
of colours, if they be not placed rightly to the sight, but turned
topsie-turvie as the Phrase is, or upside-down, or be moved too quick,
and this quick motion do make a confusion with the lines of Light, we
cannot possibly see the colour perfectly. Also several lights or shades
may make colours appear otherwise then in themselves they are, for
some sorts of lights and shades may fall upon the substantial figures
of colours in solid bodies, in such lines and figures, as they may
over-power the natural or artificial inherent colours in solid bodies,
and for a time make other colours, and many times the lines of light
or of shadows will meet and sympathize so with inherent colours, and
place their lines so exactly, as they will make those inherent colours
more splendorous then in their own nature they are, so that light and
shadows will add or diminish or alter colours very much. Likewise some
sorts of colours will be altered to our sight, not by all, but onely by
some sorts of light, as for example, blew will seem green, and green
blew by candle light, when as other colours will never appear changed,
but shew constantly as they are; the reason is, because the lines of
candle light fall in such figures upon the inherent colours, and so
make them appear according to their own figures; Wherefore it is onely
the alteration of the exterior figures of light and shadows, that make
colours appear otherwise, and not a change of their own natures; And
hence we may rationally conclude, that several lights and shadows by
their spreading and dilating lines may alter the face or out-side of
colours, but not suddenly change them, unless the power of heat, and
continuance of time, or any other cause, do help and assist them in
that work of metamorphosing or transforming of colours; but if the
lines of light be onely, as the phrase is, Skin-deep; that is, but
lightly spreading and not deeply penetrating, they may soon wear out or
be rubbed off; for though they hurt, yet they do not kill the natural
colour, but the colour may recover and reassume its former vigour and
lustre: but time and other accidental causes will not onely alter, but
destroy particular colours as well as other creatures, although not all
after the same manner, for some will last longer then others. And thus,
_Madam_, there are three sorts of Colours, Natural, Artificial, and
Accidental; but I have discoursed of this subject more at large in my
Philosophical Opinions, to which I refer you, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XLI.


_MADAM,_

My answer to your _Authors_ question, _Why flame ascends in a pointed
figure?_[1] is, That the figure of fire consists in points, and being
dilated into a flame, it ascends in lines of points slope-wayes from
the fired fuel; like as if you should make two or more sticks stand
upright and put the upper ends close together, but let the lower ends
be asunder, in which posture they will support each other, which, if
both their ends were close together, they could not do. The second
question is, _Why fire doth not alwayes flame?_[2] I answer, Because
all fuel is not flameable, some being so moist, as it doth oppose
the fires dryness, and some so hard and retentive, as fire cannot so
soon dissolve it; and in this contest, where one dissipates, and the
other retains, a third figure is produced, _viz._ smoak, between the
heat of one, and the moisture of the other; and this smoak is forced
by the fire out of the fuel, and is nothing else but certain parts of
fuel, raised to such a degree of rarefaction; and if fire come near,
it forces the smoak into flame, the smoak changing it self by its
figurative motions into flame; but when smoak is above the flame, the
flame cannot force the smoak to fire or enkindle it self, for the flame
cannot so well encounter it; which shews, as if smoak had a swifter
motion then flame, although flame is more rarified then smoak; and if
moisture predominate, there is onely smoak, if fire, then there is
flame: But there are many figures, that do not flame, until they are
quite dissolved, as Leather, and many other things. Neither can fire
work upon all bodies alike, but according to their several natures,
like as men cannot encounter several sorts of creatures after one and
the same manner; for not any part in nature hath an absolute power,
although it hath self-motion; and this is the reason, that wax by fire
is melted, and clay hardened. The third question is, _Why some few
drops of water sprinkled upon fire, do encrease its flame?_ I answer,
by reason of their little quantity, which being over-powred by the
greater quantity and force of fire, is by its self-motions converted
into fire; for water being of a rare nature, and fire, for the most
part, of a rarifying quality, it cannot suddenly convert it self into a
more solid body then its nature is, but following its nature by force
it turns into flame. The fourth question is, _Why the flame of spirit
of Wine doth consume the Wine, and yet cannot burn or hurt a linnen
cloth?_ I answer, The Wine is the fuel that feeds the flame, and upon
what it feeds, it devoureth, and with the food, the feeder; but by
reason Wine is a rarer body then Oyle, or Wood, or any other fuel, its
flame is also weaker. And thus much of these questions, I rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _P._ 4. _art._ 97.

[2] _Art._ 107.



XLII.


_MADAM,_

To conclude my discourse upon the Opinions of these two famous and
learned Authors, which I have hitherto sent you in several Letters,
I could not chuse but repeat the ground of my own opinions in this
present; which I desire you to observe well, lest you mistake any
thing, whereof I have formerly discoursed. First I am for self-moving
matter, which I call the sensitive and rational matter, and the
perceptive and architectonical part of nature, which is the life and
knowledg of nature. Next I am of an opinion, That all Perception is
made by corporeal, figuring self-motions, and that the perception of
forreign objects is made by patterning them out: as for example, The
sensitive perception of forreign objects is by making or taking copies
from these objects, so as the sensitive corporeal motions in the eyes
copy out the objects of sight, and the sensitive corporeal motions in
the ears copy out the objects of sound; the sensitive corporeal motions
in the nostrils, copy out the objects of sent; the sensitive corporeal
motions in the tongue and mouth, copy out the objects of taste, and
the sensitive corporeal motions in the flesh and skin of the body copy
out the forreign objects of touch; for when you stand by the fire, it
is not that the fire, or the heat of the fire enters your flesh, but
that the sensitive motions copy out the objects of fire and heat. As
for my Book of Philosophy, I must tell you, that it treats more of the
production and architecture of Creatures then of their perceptions, and
more of the causes then the effects, more in a general then peculiar
way, which I thought necessary to inform you of, and so I remain,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XLIII.


_MADAM,_

I received your questions in your last: the first was, _Whether there
be more body compact together in a heavy then in a light thing?_ I
answer, That purity, rarity, little quantity, exteriour shape, as also
motion cause lightnesse; and grossness of bulk, density, much quantity,
exterior figure and motion cause heaviness, as it may be confirmed by
many examples: but lightness and heaviness are onely conceptions of
man, as also ascent and descent; and it may be questioned, whether
there be such things really in nature; for change of motions of one
and the same body will make lightness, and heaviness, as also rarity
and density: besides, the several figures and compositions of bodies
will cause them to ascend or descend, for Snow is a light body and yet
descends from the clouds, and Water is a heavie body, and yet ascends
in springs out of the Earth; Dust is a dense body and yet is apt to
ascend, Rain or Dew is a rare body and yet is apt to descend; Also
a Bird ascends by his shape, and a small worm although of less body
and lighter will fall down; and there can be no other proof of light
and heavy bodies but by their ascent and descent; But as really there
is no such thing as heavie or light in nature more then words, and
comparisons of different corporeal motions, so there is no such thing,
as high or low, place or time, but onely words to make comparisons and
to distinguish different corporeal motions. The second question was;
_When a Bason with water is wasted into smoak, which fills up a whole
Room, Whether the air in the room doth, as the sensitive motions of the
eye, pattern out the figure of the smoak; or whether all the room is
really fill'd with the vapour or smoak?_ I answer, If it be onely the
pattern or figure of smoak or vapour, the extension and dilation is not
so much as man imagines; but why may not the air, which in my opinion
hath self-motion, pattern out the figure of smoak as well as the eye;
for that the eye surely doth it, may be proved; because smoak, if it
enter the eye, makes it not onely smart and water much, but blinds it
quite for the present; wherefore smoak doth not enter the eye, when the
eye seeth it, but the eye patterns out the figure of smoak, and this is
perception; In the same manner may the air pattern out the figure of
smoak. The third question was, _Whether all that they name qualities
of bodies, as thickness, thinness, hardness, softness, gravity,
levity, transparentness and the like, be substances?_ I answer, That
all those, they call qualities, are nothing else but change of motion
and figure of the same body, and several changes of motions are not
several bodies, but several actions of one body; for change of motion
doth not create new matter or multiply its quantity: for though
corporeal motions may divide and compose, contract and dilate, yet they
cannot create new matter, or make matter any otherwise then it is by
nature, neither can they add or substract any thing from its nature.
And therefore my opinion is, not that they are things subsisting by
themselves without matter, but that there can no abstraction be made
of motion and figure from matter, and that matter and motion being but
one thing and inseparable, make but one substance. Wherefore density
and rarity, gravity and levity, &c. being nothing else but change of
motions, cannot be without matter, but a dense or rare, heavie or
light matter is but one substance or body; And thus having obeyed your
commands, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._



XLIV.


_MADAM,_

I am very ready to give you my opinion of those two questions you sent
me, whereof the first was, _Whether that, which is rare and subtil,
be not withal pure?_ To which I answer, That all rare bodies are not
subtil, nor pure, and that all which is dense is not gross and dull:
As for example, Puddle-water, or also clear water, is rarer then
Quicksilver, and yet not so subtil and pure as Quicksilver; the like of
Gold; for Quicksilver and Gold may be rarified to a transparentness,
and yet be so dense, as not to be easily dissolved; and Quicksilver is
very subtil and searching, so as to be able to force other bodies to
divide as well as it can divide and compose its own parts. Wherefore my
opinion is, that the purest and subtilest degree of matter in nature,
is that degree of matter which can dilate and contract, compose and
divide into any figure by corporeal self-motion. Your second question
was, _Why a man's hand cannot break a little hard body, as a little
nail, whereas yet it is bigger then the nail?_ I answer, It is not
because the hand is softer then the nail, for one hard body will not
break suddenly another hard body, and a man may easily break an iron
nail with his hand, as I have bin informed; but it is some kind of
motion which can easier do it, then another: for I have seen a strong
cord wound about both a man's hands, who pulled his hands as hard and
strongly asunder as he could, and yet was not able to break it; when
as a Youth taking the same cord, and winding it about his hands as the
former did, immediately broke it; the cause was, that he did it with
another kind of motion or pulling, then the other did, which though he
used as much force and strength, as he was able, yet could not break
it, when the boy did break it with the greatest ease, and turning onely
his hands a little, which shews, that many things may be done by a
slight of motion, which otherwise a great strength and force cannot do.
This is my answer and opinion concerning your proposed questions; if
you have any more, I shall be ready to obey you, as,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._



XLV.


_MADAM,_

I understand by your last, that you are very desirous to know, _Whether
there be not in nature such animal creatures both for purity and size,
as we are not capable to perceive by our sight._ Truly, _Madam_, in
my opinion it is very probable there may be animal creatures of such
rare bodies as are not subject to our exterior senses, as well, as
there are elements which are not subject to all our exterior senses:
as for example, fire is onely subject to our sight and feeling, and
not to any other sense, water is subject to our sight, taste, touch
and hearing, but not to smelling; and earth is subject to our sight,
taste, touch and smelling, but not to our hearing; and vapour is onely
subject to our sight, and wind onely to our hearing; but pure air
is not subject to any of our senses, but onely known by its effects:
and so there may likewise be animal creatures which are not subject
to any of our senses both for their purity and life; as for example,
I have seen pumpt out of a water pump small worms which could hardly
be discerned but by a bright Sun-light, for they were smaller then
the smallest hair, some of a pure scarlet colour and some white, but
though they were the smallest creatures that ever I did see, yet they
were more agil and fuller of life, then many a creature of a bigger
size, and so small they were, as I am confident, they were neither
subject to tast, smell, touch nor hearing, but onely to sight, and
that neither without difficulty, requiring both a sharp sight and a
clear light to perceive them; and I do verily believe that these small
animal creatures may be great in comparison to others which may be
in nature. But if it be probable that there may be such small animal
creatures in nature, as are not subject to our exterior senses, by
reason of their littleness; it is also probable, that there may be
such great and big animal creatures in nature as are beyond the reach
and knowledg of our exterior senses; for bigness and smallness are not
to be judged by our exterior senses, onely; but as sense and reason
inform us, that there are different degrees in Purity and Rarity, so
also in shapes, figures and sizes in all natural creatures. Next you
desired to know, _Whether there can be an artificial Life, or a Life
made by Art?_ My answer is, Not; for although there is Life in all
natures parts, yet not all the parts are life, for there is one part of
natural matter which in its nature is inanimate or without life, and
though natural Life doth produce Art, yet Art cannot produce natural
Life, for though Art is the action of Life, yet it is not Life it self:
not but that there is Life in Art, but not art in life, for Life is
natural, and not artificial; and thus the several parts of a watch
may have sense and reason according to the nature of their natural
figure, which is steel, but not as they have an artificial shape, for
Art cannot put Life into the watch, Life being onely natural, not
artificial. Lastly your desire was to know, _Whether a part of matter
may be so small, as it cannot be made less?_ I answer, there is no such
thing in nature as biggest or least, nature being Infinite as well in
her actions as in her substance; and I have mentioned in my book of
Philosophy, and in a letter, I sent you heretofore concerning Infinite,
that there are several sorts of Infinites, as Infinite in quantity or
bulk, Infinite in number, Infinite in quality, as Infinite degrees
of hardness, softness, thickness, thinness, swiftness, slowness, &c.
as also Infinite compositions, divisions, creations, dissolutions,
&c. in nature; and my meaning is, that all these Infinite actions
do belong to the Infinite body of nature, which being infinite in
substance must also of necessity be infinite in its actions; but
although these Infinite actions are inherent in the power of the
Infinite substance of nature, yet they are never put in act in her
parts, by reason there being contraries in nature, and every one of
the aforementioned actions having its opposite, they do hinder and
obstruct each other so, that none can actually run into infinite; for
the Infinite degrees of compositions hinder the infinite degrees of
divisions; and the infinite degrees of rarity, softness, swiftness,
&c. hinder the infinite degrees of density, hardness, slowness, &c.
all which nature has ordered with great wisdom and Prudence to make an
amiable combination between her parts; for if but one of these actions
should run into infinite, it would cause a horrid confusion between
natures parts, nay an utter destruction of the whole body of nature, if
I may call it whole: as for example, if one part should have infinite
compositions, without the hinderance or obstruction of division, it
would at last mount and become equal to the Infinite body of nature,
and so from a part change to a whole, from being finite to infinite,
which is impossible; Wherefore, though nature hath an Infinite natural
power, yet she doth not put this power in act in her particulars;
and although she has an infinite force or strength, yet she doth not
use this force or strength in her parts. Moreover when I speak of
Infinite divisions and compositions, creations and dissolutions, &c.
in nature, I do not mean so much the infinite degrees of compositions
and divisions, as the actions themselves to be infinite in number;
for there being infinite parts in nature, and every one having its
compositions and divisions, creations and dissolutions, these actions
must of necessity be infinite too, to wit, in number, according to the
Infinite number of parts, for as there is an Infinite number of parts
in nature, so there is also an infinite number and variety of motions
which are natural actions. However let there be also infinite degrees
of these natural actions, in the body or substance of infinite nature;
yet, as I said, they are never put in act, by reason every action
hath its contrary or opposite, which doth hinder and obstruct it from
running actually into infinite. And thus I hope, you conceive cleerly
now, what my opinion is, and that I do not contradict my self in my
works, as some have falsly accused me, for they by misapprehending my
meaning, judge not according to the truth of my sense, but according
to their own false interpretation, which shews not onely a weakness in
their understandings and passions, but a great injustice and injury
to me, which I desire you to vindicate when ever you chance to hear
such accusations and blemishes laid upon my works, by which you will
Infinitely oblige,

Madam,

_Your humble and faithful Servant._



Sect. II.

I.


_MADAM,_

Being come now to the Perusal of the Works of that learned _Author_ Dr.
_Moor_, I find that the onely design of his Book called _Antidote_, is
_to prove the Existence_ of a God, and to refute, or rather convert
Atheists; which I wonder very much at, considering, he says himself,[1]
That _there is no man under the cope of Heaven but believes a God_;
which if so, what needs there to make so many arguments to no purpose?
unless it be to shew Learning and wit; In my opinion, it were better
to convert Pagans to be Christians, or to reform irregular Christians
to a more pious life, then to prove that, which all men believe, which
is the way to bring it into question. For certainly, according to the
natural Light of Reason, there is a God, and no man, I believe, doth
doubt it; for though there may be many vain words, yet I think there
is no such atheistical belief amongst man-kind, nay, not onely amongst
men, but also, amongst all other creatures, for if nature believes
a God, all her parts, especially the sensitive and rational, which
are the living and knowing parts, and are in all natural creatures,
do the like, and therefore all parts and creatures in nature do adore
and worship God, for any thing man can know to the contrary; for no
question, but natures soule adores and worships God as well as man's
soule; and why may not God be worshipped by all sorts and kinds of
creatures as well, as by one kind or sort? I will not say the same way,
but I believe there is a general worship and adoration of God; for as
God is an Infinite Deity, so certainly he has an Infinite Worship and
Adoration, and there is not any part of nature, but adores and worships
the only omnipotent God, to whom belongs Praise and Glory from and to
all eternity: For it is very improbable, that God should be worshipped
onely in part, and not in whole, and that all creatures were made to
obey man, and not to worship God, onely for man's sake, and not for
God's worship, for man's use, and not God's adoration, for mans spoil
and not God's blessing. But this Presumption, Pride, Vain-glory and
Ambition of man, proceeds from the irregularity of nature, who being a
servant, is apt to commit errors; and cannot be so absolute and exact
in her devotion, adoration and worship, as she ought, nor so well
observant of God as God is observing her: Nevertheless, there is not
any of her parts or creatures, that God is not acknowledged by, though
not so perfectly as he ought, which is caused by the irregularities of
nature, as I said before. And so God of his mercy have mercy upon all
Creatures; To whose protection I commend your Ladiship, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Antidote, Book_ I. _c._ 10. _a._ 5.



II.


_MADAM,_

Since I spake in my last of the adoration and worship of God, you
would faine know, whether we can have an Idea of God? I answer, That
naturally we may, and really have a knowledge of the existence of
God, as I proved in my former letter, to wit, that there is a God,
and, that he is the _Author_ of all things, who rules and governs all
things, and is also the God of Nature: but I dare not think, that
naturally we can have an Idea of the essence of God, so as to know what
God is in his very nature and essence; for how can there be a finite
Idea of an Infinite God? You may say, As well as of Infinite space. I
answer, Space is relative, or has respect to body, but there is not
any thing that can be compared to God; for the Idea of Infinite nature
is material, as being a material creature of Infinite material Nature.
You will say, How can a finite part have an Idea of infinite nature? I
answer, Very well, by reason the Idea is part of Infinite Nature, and
so of the same kind, as material; but God being an Eternal, Infinite,
Immaterial, Individable Being, no natural creature can have an Idea of
him. You will say, That the Idea of God in the mind is immaterial; I
answer, I cannot conceive, that there can be any immaterial Idea in
nature; but be it granted, yet that Immaterial is not a part of God,
for God is individable, and hath no parts; wherefore the Mind cannot
have an Idea of God, as it hath of Infinite nature, being a part of
nature; for the Idea of God cannot be of the essence of God, as the
Idea of nature is a corporeal part of nature: and though nature may be
known in some parts, yet God being Incomprehensible, his Essence can by
no wayes or means be naturally known; and this is constantly believed,
by

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._



III.


_MADAM,_

Although I mentioned in my last, that it is impossible to have an Idea
of God, yet your _Author_ is pleased to say,[1] That _he will not stick
to affirm, that the Idea or notion of God is as easie, as any notion
else whatsoever, and that we may know as much of him as of any thing
else in the world_. To which I answer, That in my opinion, God is not
so easily to be known by any creature, as man may know himself; nor
his attributes so well, as man can know his own natural proprieties:
for Gods Infinite attributes are not conceivable, and cannot be
comprehended by a finite knowledg and understanding, as a finite part
of nature; for though nature's parts may be Infinite in number, and as
they have a relation to the Infinite whole, if I may call it so, which
is Infinite nature, yet no part is infinite in it self, and therefore
it cannot know so much as whole nature: and God being an Infinite
Deity, there is required an Infinite capacity to conceive him; nay,
Nature her self although Infinite, yet cannot possibly have an exact
notion of God, by reason of the disparity between God and her self; and
therefore it is not probable, if the Infinite servant of God is not
able to conceive him, that a finite part or creature of nature, of what
kind or sort soever, whether Spiritual, as your _Author_ is pleased to
name it, or Corporeal, should comprehend God. Concerning my belief of
God, I submit wholly to the Church, and believe as I have bin informed
out of the _Athanasian_ Creed, that the Father is Incomprehensible,
the Sonne Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible; and
that there are not three, but one Incomprehensible God; Wherefore if
any man can prove (as I do verily believe he cannot) that God is not
Incomprehensible, he must of necessity be more knowing then the whole
Church, however he must needs dissent from the Church. But perchance
your _Author_ may say, I raise new and prejudicial opinions, in saying
that matter is eternal. I answer, The Holy Writ doth not mention Matter
to be created, but onely Particular Creatures, as this Visible World,
with all its Parts, as the history or description of the Creation of
the World in _Genesis_ plainly shews; For _God said, Let it be Light,
and there was Light; Let there be a Firmament in the midst of the
Waters, and let it divide the Waters from the Waters; and Let the
Waters under the Heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let
the dry Land appear; and let the Earth bring forth Grass, the Herb
yielding Seed, and the Fruit-tree yielding Fruit after his kind; and
let there be Lights in the Firmament of the Heaven, to divide the Day
from the Night,_ &c. Which proves, that all creatures and figures
were made and produced out of that rude and desolate heap or chaos
which the Scripture mentions, which is nothing else but matter, by the
powerful Word and Command of God, executed by his Eternal Servant,
Nature; as I have heretofore declared it in a Letter I sent you in the
beginning concerning Infinite Nature. But least I seem to encroach
too much upon Divinity, I submit this Interpretation to the Church;
However, I think it not against the ground of our Faith; for I am so
far from maintaining any thing either against Church or State, as I am
submitting to both in all duty, and shall do so as long as I live, and
rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul, pt._ 1., _c._ 4.



IV.


_MADAM,_

Since your _Worthy_ and _Learned Author_ is pleased to mention,[1]
That an _ample experience both of Men and Things doth enlarge our
Understanding_, I have taken occasion hence to enquire, how a mans
Understanding may be encreased or inlarged. The Understanding must
either be in Parts, or it must be Individable as one; if in Parts, then
there must be so many Understandings as there are things understood;
but if Individable, and but one Understanding, then it must dilate it
self upon so many several objects. I for my part, assent to the first,
That Understanding increases by Parts, and not by Dilation, which
Dilation must needs follow, if the Mind or Understanding of man be
indivisible and without parts; but if the Mind or Soul be Individable,
then I would fain know, how Understanding, Imagination, Conception,
Memory, Remembrance, and the like, can be in the mind? You will say,
perhaps, they are so many faculties or properties of the Incorporeal
Mind, but, I hope, you do not intend to make the Mind or Soul a Deity,
with so many attributes, Wherefore, in my opinion, it is safer to say,
That the Mind is composed of several active Parts: but of these Parts
I have treated in my Philosophy, where you will find, that all the
several Parts of Nature are Living and Knowing, and that there is no
part that has not Life and Knowledg, being all composed of rational
and sensitive matter, which is the life and soul of Nature; and that
Nature being Material, is composable and dividable, which is the cause
of so many several Creatures, where every Creature is a part of
Nature, and these Infinite parts or creatures are Nature her self; for
though Nature is a self-moving substance, and by self-motion divides
and composes her self several manners or ways into several forms and
figures, yet being a knowing, as well as a living substance, she knows
how to order her parts and actions wisely; for as she hath an Infinite
body or substance, so she has an Infinite life and knowledg; and as she
hath an Infinite life and knowledg, so she hath an infinite wisdom:
But mistake me not, _Madam_; I do not mean an Infinite Divine Wisdom,
but an Infinite Natural Wisdom, given her by the Infinite bounty of
the Omnipotent God; but yet this Infinite Wisdom, Life and Knowledg in
Nature make but one Infinite. And as Nature hath degrees of matter, so
she has also degrees and variety of corporeal motions; for some parts
of matter are self-moving, and some are moved by these self-moving
parts of matter; and all these parts, both the moving and moved, are
so intermixed, that none is without the other, no not in any the least
Creature or part of Nature we can conceive; for there is no Creature or
part of Nature, but has a comixture of those mentioned parts of animate
and inanimate matter, and all the motions are so ordered by Natures
wisdom, as not any thing in Nature can be otherwise, unless by a
Supernatural Command and Power of God; for no part of corporeal matter
and motion can either perish, or but rest; one part may cause another
part to alter its motions, but not to quit motion, no more then one
part of matter can annihilate or destroy another; and therefore matter
is not meerly Passive, but always Active, by reason of the thorow
mixture of animate and inanimate matter; for although the animate
matter is onely active in its nature, and the inanimate passive, yet
because they are so closely united and mixed together that they make
but one body, the parts of the animate or self-moving matter do bear
up and cause the inanimate parts to move and work with them; and thus
there is an activity in all parts of matter moving and working as one
body, without any fixation or rest, for all is moveable, moving and
moved. All which, _Madam_, if it were well observed, there would not
be so many strange opinions concerning nature and her actions, making
the purest and subtillest part of matter immaterial or incorporeal,
which is as much, as to extend her beyond nature, and to rack her
quite to nothing. But I fear the opinion of Immaterial substances in
Nature will at last bring in again the Heathen Religion, and make us
believe a god _Pan, Bacchus, Ceres, Venus,_ and the like, so as we
may become worshippers of Groves and shadows, Beans and Onions, as
our Forefathers. I say not this, as if I would ascribe any worship to
Nature, or make her a Deity, for she is onely a servant to God, and so
are all her parts or creatures, which parts or creatures, although they
are transformed, yet cannot be annihilated, except Nature her self be
annihilated, which may be, whensoever the Great God pleases; for her
existence and resolution, or total destruction, depends upon Gods Will
and Decree, whom she fears, adores, admires, praises and prayes unto,
as being her God and Master; and as she adores God, so do all her parts
and creatures, and amongst the rest Man, so that there is no Atheist in
Infinite Nature, at least not in the opinion of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Antid. Book._ 2. _Ch._ 2. _a._ 1.



V.


_MADAM,_

I cannot well conceive what your _Author_ means by the _Common Laws of
Nature_;[1] But if you desire my opinion how many Laws Nature hath,
and what they are; I say Nature hath but One Law, which is a wise Law,
to keep Infinite matter in order, and to keep so much Peace, as not to
disturb the Foundation of her Government: for though Natures actions
are various, and so many times opposite, which would seem to make
wars between several Parts, yet those active Parts, being united into
one Infinite body, cannot break Natures general Peace; for that which
Man names War, Sickness, Sleep, Death, and the like, are but various
particular actions of the onely matter; not, as your _Author_ imagines,
in a confusion, like Bullets, or such like things juggled together in a
mans Hat, but very orderly and methodical; And the Playing motions of
nature are the actions of Art, but her serious actions are the actions
of Production, Generation and Transformation in several kinds, sorts
and particulars of her Creatures, as also the action of ruling and
governing these her several active Parts. Concerning the Pre-eminence
and Prerogative of _Man_, whom your _Author_ calls[2] _The flower and
chief of all the products of nature upon this Globe of the earth_; I
answer, That Man cannot well be judged of himself, because he is a
Party, and so may be Partial; But if we observe well, we shall find
that the Elemental Creatures are as excellent as Man, and as able to
be a friend or foe to Man, as Man to them, and so the rest of all
Creatures; so that I cannot perceive more abilities in Man then in the
rest of natural Creatures; for though he can build a stately House, yet
he cannot make a Honey-comb; and though he can plant a Slip, yet he
cannot make a Tree; though he can make a Sword, or Knife, yet he cannot
make the Mettal. And as Man makes use of other Creatures, so other
Creatures make use of Man, as far as he is good for any thing: But Man
is not so useful to his neighbour or fellow-creatures, as his neighbour
or fellow-creatures to him, being not so profitable for use, as apt to
make spoil. And so leaving him, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Antid. Book._ 2. _c._ 2.

[2] _C._ 3.



VI.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ demands,[1] _Whether there was ever any man, that was
not mortal, and whether there be any mortal that had not a beginning?_
Truly, if nature be eternal, all the material figures which ever were,
are, and can be, must be also eternal in nature; for the figures cannot
be annihilated, unless nature be destroyed; and although a Creature
is dissolved and transformed into numerous different figures, yet all
these several figures remain still in those parts of matter, whereof
that creature was made, for matter never changes, but is always one
and the same, and figure is nothing else but matter transposed or
transformed by motion several modes or ways. But if you conceive
Matter to be one thing, Figure another, and Motion a third, several,
distinct and dividable from each other, it will produce gross errors,
for, matter, motion, and figure, are but one thing. And as for that
common question, whether the Egg was before the Chick, or the Chick
before the Egg, it is but a thred-bare argument, which proves nothing,
for there is no such thing as First in Eternity, neither doth Time
make productions or generations, but Matter; and whatsoever matter can
produce or generate, was in matter before it was produced; wherefore
the question is, whether Matter, which is Nature, had a beginning, or
not? I say not: for put the case, the figures of Earth, Air, Water,
and Fire, Light and Colours, Heat and Cold, Animals, Vegetables and
Minerals, &c. were not produced from all Eternity, yet those figures
have nevertheless been in Matter, which is Nature, from all eternity,
for these mentioned Creatures are onely made by the corporeal motions
of Matter, transforming Matter into such several figures; Neither can
there be any perishing or dying in Nature, for that which Man calls so,
is onely an alteration of Figure. And as all other productions are but
a change of Matters sensitive motions, so all irregular and extravagant
opinions are nothing but a change of Matters rational motions; onely
productions by rational motions are interior, and those by sensitive
motions exterior. For the Natural Mind is not less material then the
body, onely the Matter of the Mind is much purer and subtiller then the
Matter of the Body. And thus there is nothing in Nature but what is
material; but he that thinks it absurd to say, the World is composed
of meer self-moving Matter, may consider, that it is more absurd to
believe Immaterial substances or spirits in Nature, as also a spirit of
Nature, which is the Vicarious power of God upon Matter; For why should
it not be as probable, that God did give Matter a self-moving power to
her self, as to have made another Creature to govern her? For Nature
is not a Babe, or Child, to need such a Spiritual Nurse, to teach her
to go, or to move; neither is she so young a Lady as to have need of a
Governess, for surely she can govern her self; she needs not a Guardian
for fear she should run away with a younger Brother, or one that cannot
make her a Jointure. But leaving those strange opinions to the fancies
of their Authors, I'le add no more, but that I am,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Antid. l._ 3. _c._ 15. _a._ 3.



VII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ being very earnest in arguing against those that maintain
the opinion of Matter being self-moving, amongst the rest of his
arguments brings in this:[1] _Suppose_, says he, _Matter could move it
self, would meer Matter with self-motion amount to that admirable wise
contrivance of things which we see in the World?--All the evasion I can
imagine, our adversaries may use here, will be this: That Matter is
capable of sense, and the finest and most subtil of the most refined
sense; and consequently of Imagination too, yea happily of Reason and
Understanding._ I answer, it is very probable, that not onely all the
Matter in the World or Universe hath Sense, but also Reason; and that
the sensitive part of matter is the builder, and the rational the
designer; whereof I have spoken of before, and you may find more of it
in my Book of Philosophy. _But,_ says your Author, _Let us see, if all
their heads laid together can contrive the anatomical Fabrick of any
Creature that liveth?_ I answer, all parts of Nature are not bound to
have heads or tayls; but if they have, surely they are wiser then many
a man's. _I demand_, says he, _Has every one of these Particles, that
must have a hand in the framing of the body of an animal, the whole
design of the work by the Impress of some Phantasme upon it? or as
they have several offices, so have they several parts of the design?_
I answer, All the actions of self-moving Matter are not Impresses, nor
is every part a hand-labourer, but every part unites by degrees into
such or such a Figure. Again, says he, _How is it conceiveable that
any one Particle of Matter, or many together, (there not existing, yet
in Nature an animal) can have the Idea Impressed of that Creature they
are to frame?_ I answer, all figures whatsoever have been, are, or can
be in Nature, are existent in nature. _How_, says he, _can they in
framing several parts confer notes? by what language or speech can they
communicate their Counsels one to another?_ I answer, Knowledg doth
not always require speech, for speech is an effect and not a cause,
but knowledg is a cause and not an effect; and nature hath infinite
more ways to express knowledg then man can imagine, _Wherefore_, he
concludes, _that they should mutually serve one another in such a
design, is more impossible, then that so many men, blind and dumb from
their nativity, should joyn their forces and wits together to build a
Castle, or carve a statue of such a Creature, as none of them knew any
more in several, then some one of the smallest parts thereof, but not
the relation it bore to the whole._ I answer, Nature is neither blind
nor dumb, nor any ways defective, but infinitely wise and knowing;
for blindness and dumbness are but effects of some of her particular
actions, but there is no defect in self-moving matter, nor in her
actions in general; and it is absurd to conceive the Generality of
wisdom according to an Irregular effect or defect of a particular
Creature; for the General actions of Nature are both life and knowledg,
which are the architects of all Creatures, and know better how to frame
all kinds and sorts of Creatures then man can conceive; and the several
parts of Matter have a more easie way of communication, then Mans head
hath with his hand, or his hand with pen, ink, and paper, when he is
going to write; which later example will make you understand my opinion
the better, if you do but compare the rational part of Matter to the
head, the sensitive to the hand, the inanimate to pen, ink and paper,
their action to writing, and their framed figures to those figures or
letters which are written; in all which is a mutual agreement without
noise or trouble. But give me leave, _Madam_, to tell you, That
self-moving Matter may sometimes erre and move irregularly, and in some
parts not move so strong, curious, or subtil at sometimes, as in other
parts, for Nature delights in variety; Nevertheless she is more wise
then any Particular Creature or part can conceive, which is the cause
that Man thinks Nature's wise, subtil and lively actions, are as his
own gross actions, conceiving them to be constrained and turbulent, not
free and easie, as well as wise and knowing; Whereas Nature's Creating,
Generating and Producing actions are by an easie connexion of parts to
parts, without Counterbuffs, Joggs and Jolts, producing a particular
figure by degrees, and in order and method, as humane sense and reason
may well perceive: And why may not the sensitive and rational part of
Matter know better how to make a Bee, then a Bee doth how to make Honey
and Wax? or have a better communication betwixt them, then Bees that
fly several ways, meeting and joyning to make their Combes in their
Hives? But pardon, _Madam_, for I think it a Crime to compare the
Creating, Generating and producing Corporeal Life and Wisdom of Nature
unto any particular Creature, although every particular Creature hath
their share, being a part of Nature. Wherefore those, in my opinion, do
grossly err, that bind up the sensitive matter onely to taste, touch,
hearing, seeing, and smelling; as if the sensitive parts of Nature had
not more variety of actions, then to make five senses; for we may well
observe, in every Creature there is difference of sense and reason
according to the several modes of self-motion; For the Sun, Stars,
Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Plants, Animals, Minerals; although they have
all sense and knowledg, yet they have not all sense and knowledg alike,
because sense and knowledg moves not alike in every kind or sort of
Creatures, nay many times very different in one and the same Creature;
but yet this doth not cause a general Ignorance, as to be altogether
Insensible or Irrational, neither do the erroneous and irregular
actions of sense and reason prove an annihilation of sense and reason;
as for example, a man may become Mad or a Fool through the irregular
motions of sense and reason, and yet have still the Perception of sense
and reason, onely the alteration is caused through the alteration of
the sensitive and rational corporeal motions or actions, from regular
to irregular; nevertheless he has Perceptions, Thoughts, Ideas,
Passions, and whatsoever is made by sensitive and rational Matter,
neither can Perception be divided from Motion, nor Motion from Matter;
for all sensation is Corporeal, and so is Perception. I can add no
more, but take my leave, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul, l._ 1. _c._ 12.



VIII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ is pleased to say,[1] that _Matter is a Principle purely
passive, and no otherwise moved or modified, then as some other thing
moves and modifies it, but cannot move it self at all; which is most
demonstrable to them that contend for sense and perception in it: For
if it had any such perception, it would, by vertue of its self-motion
withdraw its self from under the knocks of hammers, or fury of the
fire; or of its own accord approach to such things as are most
agreeable to it, and pleasing, and that without the help of muscles, it
being thus immediately endowed with a self-moving power._ By his leave,
_Madam_, I must tell you, that I see no consequence in this argument;
Because some parts of matter cannot withdraw themselves from the force
and power of other parts, therefore they have neither sense, reason,
nor perception: For put the case, a man should be over-powr'd by some
other men, truely he would be forced to suffer, and no Immaterial
Spirits, I think, would assist him. The very same may be said of other
Creatures or parts of Nature; for some may over-power others, as the
fire, hammer and hand doth over-power a Horse-shooe, which cannot
prevail over so much odds of power and strength; And so likewise it is
with sickness and health, life and death; for example, some corporeal
motions in the body turning Rebels, by moving contrary to the health
of an animal Creature, it must become sick; for not every particular
creature hath an absolute power, the power being in the Infinite whole,
and not in single divided parts: Indeed, to speak properly, there is
no such thing as an absolute power in Nature; for though Nature hath
power to move it self, yet not beyond it self. But mistake me not, for
I mean by an absolute Power; not a circumscribed and limited, but an
unlimited power, no ways bound or confined, but absolutely or every way
Infinite, and there is not anything that has such an absolute power
but God alone: neither can Nature be undividable, being Corporeal or
Material; nor rest from motion being naturally self-moving, and in a
perpetual motion. Wherefore though Matter is self-moving, and very
wise, (although your _Author_ denies it, calling those Fools that
maintain this opinion)[2] yet it cannot go beyond the rules of its
Nature, no more then any Art can go beyond its Rules and Principles:
And as for what your _Author_ says, That every thing would approach to
that, which is agreeable and pleasant; I think I need no demonstration
to prove it; for we may plainly see it in all effects of Nature, that
there is Sympathy and Antipathy, and what is this else, but approaching
to things agreeable and pleasant, and withdrawing it self from things
disagreeable, and hurtful or offensive? But of this subject I shall
discourse more hereafter, wherefore I finish here, and rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul, l._ 2., _c._ 1. _a._ 3.

[2] _In the Append. to the Antid. c._ 3. _a._ 10.



IX.


_MADAM,_

Your _Authors_ opinion is,[1] That _Matter being once actually divided
as far as possibly it can, it is a perfect contradiction it should
be divided any further._ I answer, Though Nature is Infinite, yet
her actions are not all dilative nor separative, but some divide and
some compose, some dilate and some contract, which causes a mean
betwixt Natures actions or motions. Next your _Author_ says, That
_as Infinite Greatness has no Figure, so Infinite Littleness hath
none also._ I answer, Whatsoever hath a body, has a figure; for it
is impossible that _substance_, or _body_, and _figure_, should be
separated from each other, but wheresoever is body or substance,
there is also figure, and if there be an infinite substance, there
must also be an infinite figure, although not a certain determined
or circumscribed figure, for such a figure belongs onely to finite
particulars; and therefore I am of your _Authors_ mind, That it is a
contradiction to say an Infinite Cube or Triangle, for a Cube and a
Triangle is a perfect circumscribed figure, having its certain compass
and circumference, be it never so great or little; wherefore to say
an Infinite Cube, would be as much as to say a Finite Infinite. But
as for your _Authors_ example of _Infinite matter, space or duration,
divided into three equal parts, all which he says must needs be
Infinite, or else the whole will not be so, and then the middle part
of them will seem both Finite and Infinite._ I answer, That Matter is
not dividable into three equal parts, for three is a finite number
and so are three equal parts; but I say that Matter being an Infinite
body, is dividable into Infinite parts, and it doth not follow, as
your _Author_ says, That one of those infinite parts must be infinite
also, for else there would be no difference betwixt the whole and its
parts; I say whole for distinctions and better expressions sake, and
do not mean such a whole which hath a certain number of parts, and
is of a certain and limited figure, although never so great; but an
Infinite whole, which expression I must needs use, by reason I speak
of Infinite parts; and that each one of these Infinite parts in number
may be finite in substance or figure, is no contradiction, but very
probable and rational; nay, I think it rather absurd to say that each
part is infinite; for then there would be no difference betwixt parts
and whole, as I said before. Onely this is to be observed, that the
Infinite whole is Infinite in substance or bulk, but the parts are
Infinite in number, and not in bulk, for each part is circumscribed,
and finite in its exterior figure and substance. But mistake me not,
when I speak of circumscribed and finite single parts; for I do not
mean, that each part doth subsist single and by it self, there being no
such thing as an absolute single part in Nature, but Infinite Matter
being by self-motion divided into an infinite number of parts, all
these parts have so near a relation to each other, and to the infinite
whole, that one cannot subsist without the other; for the Infinite
parts in number do make the Infinite whole, and the Infinite whole
consists in the Infinite number of parts; wherefore it is onely their
figures which make a difference betwixt them; for each part having its
proper figure different from the other, which is circumscribed and
limited, it is called a finite single part; and such a part cannot
be said Infinitely dividable, for infinite composition and division
belong onely to the Infinite body of Nature, which being infinite in
substance may also be infinitely divided, but not a finite and single
part: Besides, Infinite composition doth hinder the Infinite division,
and Infinite division hinders the Infinite composition; so that one
part cannot be either infinitely composed, or infinitely divided;
and it is one thing to be dividable, and another to be divided. And
thus, when your _Author_ mentions in another place,[2] That _if a
body be divisible into Infinite Parts, it hath an Infinite number of
extended parts:_ If by extension he mean corporeal dimension, I am of
his opinion; for there is no part, be it never so little in Nature,
but is material; and if material, it has a body; and if a body, it
must needs have a bodily dimension; and so every part will be an
extended part: but since there is no part but is finite in its self,
it cannot be divisible into infinite parts; neither can any part be
infinitely dilated or contracted; for as composition and division do
hinder and obstruct each other from running into Infinite, so doth
dilation hinder the Infinite contraction, and contraction the Infinite
dilation, which, as I said before, causes a mean betwixt Nature's
actions; nevertheless, there are Infinite dilations and contractions in
Nature, because there are Infinite contracted and dilated parts, and so
are infinite divisions because there are infinite divided parts; but
contraction, dilation, extension, composition, division, and the like,
are onely Nature's several actions; and as there can be no single part
in Nature that is Infinite, so there can neither be any single Infinite
action. But as for Matter, Motion and Figure, those are Individable
and inseparable, and make but one body or substance; for it is as
impossible to divide them, as impossible it is to your _Author_ to
separate the essential proprieties, which he gives, from an Immortal
Spirit; And as Matter, Motion and Figure are inseparable; so is
likewise Matter, Space, Place and Duration; For Parts, Motion, Figure,
Place and Duration, are but one Infinite body; onely the Infinite parts
are the Infinite divisions of the Infinite body, and the Infinite
body is a composition of the Infinite parts; but figure, place and
body are all one, and so is time, and duration, except you will call
time the division of duration, and duration the composition of time;
but infinite time, and infinite duration is all one in Nature: and
thus Nature's Principal motions and actions are dividing, composing,
and disposing or ordering, according to her Natural wisdom, by the
Omnipotent God's leave and permission. Concerning the _Sun_, which your
_Author_ speaks of in the same place, and denies him to be a _Spectator
of our particular affairs upon Earth_; saying, there is no such divine
Principle in him, whereby he can do it. I will speak nothing again
it, nor for it; but I may say, that the Sun hath such a Principle as
other Creatures have, which is, that he has sensitive and rational
corporeal motions, as well as animals or other Creatures, although not
in the same manner, nor the same organs; and if he have sensitive and
rational motions, he may also have sensitive and rational knowledg or
perception, as well as man, or other animals and parts of Nature have,
for ought any body knows; for it is plain to humane sense and reason,
that all Creatures must needs have rational and sensitive knowledg,
because they have all sensitive and rational matter and motions. But
leaving the Sun for Astronomers to contemplate upon, I take my leave,
and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _In the Preface before the Imm. of the Soul._

[2] _Antid. Book._ 2. _c._ 4.



X.

_MADAM,_


Your _Author_ in his arguments against _Motion_, being a _Principle of
Nature_,[1] endeavours to prove, that Beauty, Colour, Symmetry, and
the like, in Plants, as well as in other Creatures, are no result from
the meer motion of the matter; and forming this objection, _It may be
said_, says he, _That the regular motion of the matter made the first
plant of every kind; but we demand, What regulated the motion of it,
so as to guide it, to form it self into such a state?_ I answer, The
Wisdom of Nature or infinite Matter did order its own actions so, as
to form those her Parts into such an exact and beautiful figure, as
such a Tree, or such a Flower, or such a Fruit, and the like; and some
of her Parts are pleased and delighted with other parts, but some of
her parts are afraid or have an aversion to other parts; and hence is
like and dislike, or sympathy and antipathy, hate and love, according
as nature, which is infinite self-moving matter, pleases to move; for
though Natural Wisdom is dividable into parts, yet these parts are
united in one infinite Body, and make but one Being in it self, like
as the several parts of a man make up but one perfect man; for though
a man may be wise in several causes or actions, yet it is but one
wisdom; and though a Judg may shew Justice in several causes, yet it
is but one Justice; for Wisdom and Justice, though they be practised
in several causes, yet it is but one Wisdom, and one Justice; and so,
all the parts of a mans body, although they move differently, yet are
they but one man's bodily actions; Just as a man, if he carve or cut
out by art several statues, or draw several Pictures, those statues or
pictures are but that one man's work. The like may be said of Natures
Motions and Figures; all which are but one self-active or self-moving
Material Nature. But Wise Nature's Ground or Fundamental actions
are very Regular, as you may observe in the several and distinct
kinds, sorts and particulars of her Creatures, and in their distinct
Proprieties, Qualities, and Faculties, belonging not onely to each kind
and sort, but to each particular Creature; and since man is not able
to know perfectly all those proprieties which belong to animals, much
less will he be able to know and judg of those that are in Vegetables,
Minerals and Elements; and yet these Creatures, for any thing Man
knows, may be as knowing, understanding, and wise as he; and each as
knowing of its kind or sort, as man is of his; But the mixture of
ignorance and knowledg in all Creatures proceeds from thence, that they
are but Parts; and there is no better proof, that the mind of man is
dividable, then that it is not perfectly knowing; nor no better proof
that it is composeable, then that it knows so much: but all minds are
not alike, but some are more composed then others, which is the cause,
some know more then others; for if the mind in all men were alike, all
men would have the same Imaginations, Fancies, Conceptions, Memories,
Remembrances, Passions, Affections, Understanding, and so forth: The
same may be said of their bodies; for if all mens sensitive parts
were as one, and not dividable and composeable, all their Faculties,
Proprieties, Constitutions, Complexions, Appetites, would be the same
in every man without any difference; but humane sense and reason doth
well perceive, that neither the mind, life nor body are as one piece,
without division and composition. Concerning the divine Soul, I do not
treat of it; onely this I may say, That all are not devout alike, nor
those which are, are not at all times alike devout. But to conclude:
some of our modern Philosophers think they do God good service, when
they endeavour to prove Nature, as Gods good Servant, to be stupid,
ignorant, foolish and mad, or any thing rather then wise, and yet they
believe themselves wise, as if they were no part of Nature; but I
cannot imagine any reason why they should rail on her, except Nature
had not given them as great a share or portion, as she hath given to
others; for children in this case do often rail at their Parents, for
leaving their Brothers and Sisters more then themselves. However,
Nature can do more then any of her Creatures: and if Man can Paint,
Imbroider, Carve, Ingrave curiously; why may not Nature have more
Ingenuity, Wit and Wisdom then any of her particular Creatures? The
same may be said of her Government. And so leaving Wise Nature, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Append. to the Antid. c._ 11.



XI.


_MADAM,_

To your _Authors_ argument,[1] That _if Motion belong naturally to
Matter, Matter being Uniform, it must be alike moved in every part or
particle imaginable of it, by reason this Motion being natural and
essential to Matter, is alike every way._ I answer, That this is no
more necessary, then that the several actions of one body, or of one
part of a body should be alike; for though Matter is one and the same
in its Nature, and never changes, yet the motions are various, which
motions are the several actions of one and the same Natural Matter; and
this is the cause of so many several Creatures; for self-moving matter
by its self-moving power can act several ways, modes or manners; and
had not natural matter a self-acting power, there could not be any
variety in Nature; for Nature knows of no rest, there being no such
thing as rest in Nature; but she is in a perpetual motion, I mean
self-motion, given her from God: Neither do I think it Atheistical
(as your _Author_ deems) to maintain this opinion of self-motion, as
long as I do not deny the Omnipotency of God; but I should rather
think it Irreligious to make so many several Creatures as Immaterial
Spirits, like so many severall Deities, to rule and govern Nature and
all material substances in Nature; for what Atheism doth there lie
in saying, that natural matter is naturally moving, and wise in her
self? Doth this oppose the omnipotency and Infinite wisdom of God? It
rather proves and confirms it; for all Natures free power of moving and
wisdom is a gift of God, and proceeds from him; but I must confess,
it destroys the power of Immaterial substances, for Nature will not
be ruled nor governed by them, and to be against Natural Immaterial
substances, I think, is no Atheisme, except we make them Deities;
neither is Atheisme to contradict the opinion of those, that believe
such natural incorporeal Spirits, unless man make himself a God. But
although Nature is wise, as I said before, and acts methodically,
yet the variety of motions is the cause of so many Irregularities in
Nature, as also the cause of Irregular opinions; for all opinions are
made by self-moving matters motions, or (which is all one) by corporeal
self-motion, and some in their opinions do conceive Nature according
to the measure of themselves, as that Nature can, nor could not do
more, then they think, nay, some believe they can do as much as Nature
doth; which opinions, whether they be probable or regular, I'le let
any man judg; adding onely this, that to humane sense and reason it
appears plainly, that as God has given Nature a power to act freely, so
he doth approve of her actions, being wise and methodical in all her
several Productions, Generations, Transformations and Designs: And so I
conclude for the present, onely subscribe my self, as really I am,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Antid. l._ 2. _c._ 1.



XII.


_MADAM,_

I am of your _Authors_ opinion, concerning self-activity or
self-motion,[1] _That what is Active of it self, can no more cease to
be active then to be_: And I have been always of this opinion, even
from the first beginning of my conceptions in natural Philosophy, as
you may see in my first Treatise of Natural Philosophy, which I put
forth eleven years since; where I say, That self-moving Matter is in a
Perpetual motion; But your _Author_ endeavors from thence to conclude,
That _Matter is not self active, because it is reducible to rest._ To
which I answer, That there is no such thing as Rest in Nature: Not do
I say, that all sorts of motions are subject to our senses, for those
that are subject to our sensitive Perceptions, are but gross Motions,
in comparison to those that are not subject to our exterior senses:
as for example; We see some bodies dilate, others consume, others
corrupt; yet we do not see how they dilate, nor how they consume, nor
how they corrupt: Also we see some bodies contract, some attract,
some condense, some consist, &c. yet we do not see their contracting,
attracting, condensing, consisting or retenting motions; and yet we
cannot say, they are not corporeal motions, because not subject to
our exterior senses; for if there were not contracting, attracting,
retenting or consistent corporeal self-motions, it had been impossible
that any creature could have been composed into one united figure,
much less stayed and continued in the same figure without a general
alteration. But your _Author_ says, _If Matter, as Matter, had Motion,
nothing would hold together, but Flints, Adamants, Brass, Iron, yea,
this whole Earth, would suddenly melt into a thinner substance then
the subtil Air, or rather it never had been condensated together to
this consistency we find it._ But I would ask him, what reason he can
give, that corporeal self-motion should make all matter rare and fluid,
unless he believe there is but one kind of motion in Nature, but this,
human sense and reason will contradict; for we may observe there are
Infinite changes of Motion, and there is more variety and curiosity in
corporeal motions, then any one single Creature can imagine, much less
know; but I suppose he conceives all corporeal matter to be gross, and
that not any corporeal motion can be subtil, penetrating, contracting
and dilating; and that whatsoever is penetrating, contracting and
dilating, is Individable: But by his leave, _Madam_, this doth not
follow; for though there be gross degrees of Matter, and strong degrees
of Corporeal Motions, yet there are also pure and subtil degrees
of Matter and Motions; to wit, that degree of Matter, which I name
sensitive and rational Matter, which is natural Life and Knowledg, as
sensitive Life and rational Knowledg. Again, your _Author_ askes, _What
glue or cement holds the parts of hard matter in Stones and Metals
together?_ I answer, Consistent or retentive corporeal motions, by an
agreeable union and conjunction in the several parts of Metal or Stone;
and these retentive or consistent motions, are as strong and active,
if not more, then some dilative or contractive motions; for I have
mentioned heretofore, that, as sensitive and rational corporeal motions
are in all Creatures, so also in Stone, Metal, and any other dense body
whatsoever; so that not any one Creature or part of Matter is without
Motion, and therefore not any thing is at rest. But, _Madam_, I dare
say, I could bring more reason and sense to prove, that sensitive and
rational Matter is fuller of activity, and has more variety of motion,
and can change its own parts of self-moving Matter more suddenly, and
into more exterior figures, then Immaterial Spirits can do upon natural
Matter. But your _Author_ says, That Immaterial Spirits are endued with
Sense and Reason; I say, My sensitive and rational corporeal Matter
is Sense and Reason it self, and is the Architect or Creator of all
figures of Natural matter, for though all the parts of Matter are not
self-moving, yet there is not any part that is not moving or moved, by
and with the mover, which is animate matter. And thus I conclude, and
rest constantly,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul, l._ 1. _c._ 7.



XIII.


_MADAM,_

That Matter is uncapable of Sense, your _Author_ proves by the example
of dead Carcasses;[1] _For,_ says he, _Motion and Sense being really
one and the same thing, it must needs follow, that where there is
motion, there is also sense and perception; but on the contrary, there
is Reaction in dead Carcasses, and yet no Sense._ I answer shortly,
That it is no consequence, because there is no animal sense nor
exterior perceptible local motion in a dead Carcass, therefore there
is no sense at all in it; for though it has not animal sense, yet it
may nevertheless have sense according to the nature of that figure,
into which it did change from being an animal. Also he says, _If any
Matter have sense, it will follow, that upon reaction all shall have
the like; and that a Bell while it is ringing, and a Bow while it is
bent, and every Jack-in-a-box, that School-boys play with, shall be
living animals._ I answer, It is true, if reaction made sense; but
reaction doth not make sense, but sense makes reaction; and though the
Bell hath not an animal knowledg, yet it may have a mineral life and
knowledg, and the Bow, and the Jack-in-a-box a vegetable knowledg; for
the shape and form of the Bell, Bow, and Jack-in-a-box, is artificial;
nevertheless each in its own kind may have as much knowledg as an
animal in his kind; onely they are different according to the different
proprieties of their Figures: And who can prove the contrary that they
have not? For certainly Man cannot prove what he cannot know; but Mans
nature is so, that knowing but little of other Creatures, he presently
judges there is no more knowledg in Nature, then what Man, at least
Animals, have; and confines all sense onely to Animal sense, and all
knowledg to Animal knowledg. Again says your Author, _That Matter is
utterly uncapable of such operations as we find in our selves, and
that therefore there is something in us Immaterial or Incorporeal;
for we find in our selves that one and the same thing, both hears,
and sees, and tastes, and perceives all the variety of objects that
Nature manifests unto us._ I answer, That is the reason there is but
one matter, and that all natural perception is made by the animate
part of matter; but although there is but one matter in Nature, yet
there are several parts or degrees, and consequently several actions
of that onely matter, which causes such a variety of perceptions,
both sensitive and rational: the sensitive perception is made by the
sensitive corporeal motions, copying out the figures of forreign
objects in the sensitive organs of the sentient; and if those sensitive
motions do pattern out forreign objects in each sensitive organ alike
at one and the same time, then we hear, see, taste, touch and smell,
at one and the same time: But Thoughts and Passions, as Imagination,
Conception, Fancy, Memory, Love, Hate, Fear, Joy, and the like, are
made by the rational corporeal motions in their own degree of matter,
to wit, the rational. And thus all perception is made by one and the
same matter, through the variety of its actions or motions, making
various and several figures, both sensitive and rational. But all this
variety in sense and reason, or of sensitive and rational perceptions,
is not made by parts pressing upon parts, but by changing their own
parts of matter into several figures by the power of self-motion: For
example, I see a Man or Beast; that Man or Beast doth not touch my
eye, in the least, neither in it self, nor by pressing the adjoyning
parts: but the sensitive corporeal motions streight upon the sight of
the Man or Beast make the like figure in the sensitive organ, the Eye,
and in the eyes own substance or matter, as being in the eye as well
as the other degrees of matter, to wit, the rational and inanimate,
for they are all mixt together. But this is to be observed, That the
rational matter can and doth move in its own substance, as being the
purest and subtillest degree of matter; but the sensitive being not so
pure and subtil, moves always with the inanimate Matter, and so the
perceptive figures which the rational Matter, or rational corporeal
Motions make, are made in their own degree of Matter; but those figures
which the sensitive patterns out, are made in the organs or parts of
the sentient body proper to such or such a sense or perception: as in
an animal Creature, the perception of sight is made by the sensitive
corporeal motions in the Eye; the perception of hearing, in the Ear,
and so forth. As for what your _Author_ says, _That we cannot conceive
any portion of Matter, but is either hard or soft_; I answer, That
these are but effects of Matters actions, and so is rare, and dense,
and the like; but there are some Creatures which seem neither perfectly
rare, nor dense, nor hard, nor soft, but of mixt qualities; as for
example, Quicksilver seems rare, and yet is dense; soft, and yet is
hard; for though liquid Quicksilver is soft to our touch, and rare to
our sight, yet it is so dense and hard, as not to be readily dissolved
from its nature; and if there be such contraries and mixtures in
one particular creature made of self-moving Matter, what will there
not be in Matter it self, according to the old saying: _If the Man
such praise shall have; What the Master that keeps the knave?_ So if
a particular Creature hath such opposite qualities and mixtures of
corporeal motions, what will the Creator have which is self-moving
Matter? Wherefore it is impossible to affirm, that self-moving Matter
is either all rare, or all dense, or all hard, or all soft; because by
its self-moving power it can be either, or both, and so by the change
and variety of motion, there may be soft and rare Points, and hard and
sharp Points, hard and contracted Globes, and soft and rare Globes;
also there may be pressures of Parts without printing, and printing
without pressures. Concerning that part of Matter which is the _Common
Sensorium_, your _Author_ demands, _Whether some point of it receive
the whole Image of the object, or whether it be wholly received into
every point of it?_ I answer, first, That all sensitive Matter is not
in Points; Next, That not any single part can subsist of it self; and
then that one Part doth not receive all parts or any part into it self;
but that Parts by the power of self-motion can and do make several
figures of all sizes and sorts, and can Epitomize a great object into
a very little figure; for outward objects do not move the body, but
the sensitive and rational matter moves according to the figures of
outward objects: I do not say always, but most commonly; _But_, says
your Author, _How can so smal a Point receive the Images of so vast
or so various objects at once, without obliteration or confusion._
First, I answer, That, as I said before, sensitive Matter is not bound
up to a Point, nor to be a single self-subsisting Part. Next, as for
confusion, I say, that the sensitive matter makes no more confusion,
then an Engraver, when he engraves several figures in a small stone,
and a Painter draws several figures in a small compass; for a Carver
will cut out several figures in a Cherry-stone, and a Lady in a little
black Patch; and if gross and rude Art is able to do this, what may
not Ingenious and Wise Nature do? And as Nature is ingenious and
knowing in her self, so in her Parts, and her Parts in her; for neither
whole nor Parts are ignorant, but have a knowledg, each according to
the motion of its own Parts; for knowledg is in Motion, and Motion
in Matter; and the diversity and variety of motion is the diversity
and variety of knowledg, so that every particular figure and motion
hath its particular knowledg, as well as its proper and peculiar
parts; and as the parts join or divide, so doth knowledg, which many
times causes Arts to be lost and found, and memory and remembrance in
Particular Creatures: I do not say, they are utterly lost in nature,
but onely in respect to particular Creatures, by the dissolving and
dividing of their particular figures. For the rational matter, by
reason it moves onely in its own parts, it can change and rechange
into several figures without division of parts, which makes memory
and remembrance: But men not considering or believing there might
be such a degree of onely matter, namely rational, it has made them
erre in their judgments. Nevertheless there is a difference between
sensitive and rational parts and motions, and yet they are agreeable
most commonly in their actions, though not always. Also the rational
can make such figures as the sensitive cannot, by reason the rational
has a greater power and subtiler faculty in making variety, then the
sensitive; for the sensitive is bound to move with the inanimate, but
the rational moves onely in its own parts; for though the sensitive
and rational oftentimes cause each other to move, yet they are not of
one and the same degree of matter, nor have they the same motions.
And this rational Matter is the cause of all Notions, Conceptions,
Imaginations, Deliberation, Determination, Memory, and any thing else
that belongs to the Mind; for this matter is the mind of Nature, and
so being dividable, the mind of all Creatures, as the sensitive is the
life; and it can move, as I said, more subtilly, and more variously
then the sensitive, and make such figures as the sensitive cannot,
without outward examples and objects. But all diversity comes by
change of motion, and motions are as sympathetical and agreeing, as
antipathetical and disagreeing; And though Nature's artificial motions,
which are her Playing motions, are sometimes extravagant, yet in her
fundamental actions there is no extravagancy, as we may observe by her
exact rules in the various generations, the distinct kinds and sorts,
the several exact measures, times, proportions and motions of all her
Creatures, in all which her wisdom is well exprest, and in the variety
her wise pleasure: To which I leave her, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul, l._ 2. _c._ 2.



XIV.


_MADAM,_

_If there be any sense and perception in Matter_, says your Author,[1]
_it must needs be Motion or Reaction of one part of matter against
another; and that all diversity of sense and perception doth
necessarily arise from the diversity of the Magnitude, Figure,
Posture, Vigour and Direction of Motion in Parts of the Matter; In
which variety of perceptions, Matter hath none, but such, as are
impressed by corporeal motions, that is to say, that are perceptions
of some actions, or modificated Impressions of parts of matter
bearing one against another._ I have declared, _Madam_, my opinion
concerning Perception in my former Letters, that all Perception is
not Impression and Reaction, like as a Seal is printed on Wax: For
example, the corporeal rational motions in the mind do not print,
but move figuratively; but the sensitive motions do carve, print,
engrave, and, as it were, pencil out, as also move figuratively in
productions, and do often take patterns from the rational figures, as
the rational motions make figures according to the sensitive patterns;
But the rational can move without patterns, and so the sensitive: For
surely, were a man born blind, deaf, dumb, and had a numb palsie in his
exterior parts, the sensitive and rational motions would nevertheless
move both in body and mind according to the nature of his figure; for
though no copies were taken from outward objects, yet he would have
thoughts, passions, appetites, and the like; and though he could not
see exterior objects, nor hear exterior sounds, yet no question but
he would see and hear interiously after the manner of dreams, onely
they might not be any thing like to what is perceiveable by man in the
World; but if he sees not the Sun-light, yet he would see something
equivalent to it; and if he hears not such a thing as Words, yet he
would hear something equivalent to words; for it is impossible, that
his sensitive and rational faculties should be lost for want of an Ear,
or an Eye; so that Perception may be without exterior object, or marks,
or patterns: for although the sensitive Motions do usually pattern out
the figures of exterior objects, yet that doth not prove, but they can
make interior figures without such objects. Wherefore Perception is not
always Reaction, neither is Perception and Reaction really one thing;
for though Perception and Action is one and the same, yet not always
Reaction; but did Perception proceed from the reaction of outward
objects, a blind and deaf man would not so much as dream; for he would
have no interior motion in the head, having no other exterior sense but
touch, which, if the body was troubled with a painful disease, he would
neither be sensible of, but to feel pain, and interiously feel nothing
but hunger and fulness; and his Mind would be as Irrational as some
imagine Vegetables and Minerals are. To which opinion I leave them,
and rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul, l._ 2. _c._ 1. _a._ 1, 6, 7.



XV.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ is pleased, in Mirth, and to disgrace the opinion of
those which hold, that Perception is made by figuring, to bring in
this following example:[1] _Suppose_, says he, _one Particle should
shape it self into a_ George on Horse-back _with a Lance in his hand,
and another into an Inchanted Castle; this_ George on Horse-back
_must run against the Castle, to make the Castle receive his impress
and similitude: But what then? Truly the Encounter will be very
Unfortunate, for S._ George _indeed may easily break his Lance, but
it is impossible that he should by justling against the Particle in
the form of a Castle, conveigh the intire shape of himself and his
Horse thereby, such as we find our selves able to imagine of a man
on Horse-back; which is a Truth as demonstrable as any Theorem in
Mathematicks._ I answer, first, That there is no Particle single and
alone by it self; Next, I say, It is more easie for the rational
matter to put it self into such figures, and to make such encounters,
then for an Immaterial mind or substance to imagine it; for no
imagination can be without figure, and how should an Immaterial created
substance present such Figures, but by making them either in it self
or upon matter? For S. _George_ and the _Castle_ are figures, and
their encounters are real fighting actions, and how such figures and
actions can be in the mind or memory, and yet not be, is impossible
to conceive; for, as I said, those figures and actions must be either
in the incorporeal mind, or in the corporeal parts of matter; and if
the figures and motions may be in an incorporeal substance, much more
is it probable for them to be in a corporeal; nay if the figures and
their actions can be in gross corporeal matter, why should they not be
in the purest part of matter, which is the rational matter? And as for
being made known to the whole body, and every part thereof, it is not
necessary, no more then it is necessary, that the private actions of
every Man or Family should be made known to the whole Kingdom, or Town,
or Parish: But my opinion of self-corporeal motion and perception, may
be as demonstrable as that of Immaterial Natural Spirits, which, in
my mind, is not demonstrable at all, by reason it is not corporeal or
material; For how can that be naturally demonstrable, which naturally
is nothing? But your _Author_ believes the Mind or rational Soul
to be individable, and therefore concludes, that the Parts of the
same Matter, although at great distance, must of necessity know each
Particular act of each several Part; but that is not necessary; for
if there were not ignorance through the division of Parts, every man
and other creatures would know alike; and there is no better proof,
that matter, or any particular creature in nature is not governed by
a created Immaterial Spirit, then that knowledg is in parts; for the
hand doth not know what pain the head feels, which certainly it would
do, if the mind were not dividable into parts, but an individable
substance. But this is well to be observed, that some parts in some
actions agree generally in one body, and some not; as for example,
temperance and appetite do not agree; for the corporeal actions of
appetite desire to join with the corporeal actions of such or such
other parts, but the corporeal actions of temperance do hinder and
forbid it; whereupon there is a faction amongst the several parts: for
example, a Man desires to be drunk with Wine; this desire is made by
such corporeal actions as make appetite; the rational corporeal motions
or actions which make temperance, oppose those that make appetite,
and that sort of actions which hath the better, carryes it, the hand
and other parts of the body obeying the strongest side; and if there
be no wine to satisfie the appetite, yet many times the appetite
continues; that is, the parts continue in the same motions that make
such an appetite; but if the appetite doth not continue, then those
parts have changed their motions; or when by drinking, the appetite is
satisfied, and ceases, then those parts that made the appetite, have
altered their former motions. But oftentimes the rational corporeal
motions may so agree with the sensitive, as there may be no opposition
or crossing at all, but a sympathetical mutual agreement betwixt
them, at least an approvement; so that the rational may approve what
the sensitive covet or desire: Also some motions of the rational, as
also of the sensitive matter, may disagree amongst themselves, as we
see, that a man will often have a divided mind; for he will love and
hate the same thing, desire and not desire one and the same thing, as
to be in Heaven, and yet to be in the World: Moreover, this is to be
observed, That all rational perceptions or cogitations, are not so
perspicuous and clear as if they were Mathematical Demonstrations, but
there is some obscurity, more or less in them, at least they are not
so well perceivable without comparing several figures together, which
proves, they are not made by an individable, immaterial Spirit, but
by dividable corporeal parts: As for example, Man writes oftentimes
false, and seldom so exact, but he is forced to mend his hand, and
correct his opinions, and sometimes quite to alter them, according as
the figures continue or are dissolved and altered by change of motion,
and according as the actions are quick or slow in these alterations,
the humane mind is setled or wavering; and as figures are made, or
dissolved and transformed, Opinions, Conceptions, Imaginations,
Understanding, and the like, are more or less; And according as these
figures last, so is constancy or inconstancy, memory or forgetfulness,
and as those figures are repeated, so is remembrance; but sometimes
they are so constant and permanent, as they last as long as the figure
of the body, and sometimes it happens not once in an age, that the
like figures are repeated, and sometimes they are repeated every
moment: As for example; a man remembers or calls to mind the figure of
another man, his friend, with all his qualities, dispositions, actions,
proprieties, and the like, several times in an hour, and sometimes not
once in a year, and so as often as he remembers him, as often is the
figure of that man repeated; and as oft as he forgets him, so often is
his figure dissolved. But some imagine the rational motions to be so
gross as the Trotting of a Horse, and that all the motions of Animate
matter are as rude and course as renting or tearing asunder, or that
all impressions must needs make dents or creases. But as Nature hath
degrees of corporeal matter, so she hath also degrees of corporeal
motions, Matter and Motion being but one substance; and it is absurd to
judg of the interior motions of self-moving matter, by artificial or
exterior gross motions, as that all motions must be like the tearing
of a sheet of Paper, or that the printing and patterning of several
figures of rational and sensitive matter must be like the printing of
Books; nay, all artificial Printings are not so hard, as to make dents
and impresses; witness Writing, Painting, and the like; for they do
not disturb the ground whereon the letters are written, or the picture
drawn, and so the curious actions of the purest rational matter are
neither rude nor rough; but although this matter is so subtil and pure,
as not subject to exterior human senses and organs, yet certainly it
is dividable, not onely in several Creatures, but in the several parts
of one and the same Creature, as well as the sensitive, which is the
Life of Nature, as the other is the Soul; not the Divine, but natural
Soul; neither is this Soul Immaterial, but Corporeal; not composed of
raggs and shreds, but it is the purest, simplest and subtillest matter
in Nature. But to conclude, I desire you to remember, _Madam_, that
this rational and sensitive Matter in one united and finite Figure or
particular Creature, has both common and particular actions, for as
there are several kinds and sorts of Creatures, and particulars in
every kind and sort: so the like for the actions of the rational and
sensitive matter in one particular Creature. Also it is to be noted,
That the Parts of rational matter, can more suddenly give and take
Intelligence to and from each other, then the sensitive; nevertheless,
all Parts in Nature, at least adjoyning parts, have Intelligence
between each other, more or less, because all parts make but one body;
for it is not with the parts of Matter, as with several Constables in
several Hundreds, or several Parishes, which are a great way distant
from each other, but they may be as close as the combs of Bees, and yet
as partable and as active as Bees. But concerning the Intelligence of
Natures Parts, I have sufficiently spoken in other places; and so I'le
add no more, but that I unfeignedly remain;

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _In the second Book of the Immortality of the Soul, ch._ 6.



XVI.


_MADAM,_

_Sensation in corporeal motion is first, and Perception follows_, sayes
your _Author_:[1] to which opinion I give no assent, but do believe
that Perception and Sensation are done both at one and the same time,
as being one and the same thing without division, either in reason
or sense, and are performed without any knocks, or jolts, or hitting
against. But let me tell you, _Madam_, there arises a great mistake
by many, from not distinguishing well, sensitive Motion, and rational
Motion; for though all motions are in one onely matter, yet that matter
doth not move always in the same manner, for then there could be no
variety in Nature; and truly, if man, who is but a part of Nature, may
move diversly, and put himself into numerous postures; Why may not
Nature? But concerning Motions, and their variety, to avoid tedious
repetitions, I must still referr you to my Book of _Philosophical
Opinions_; I'le add onely this, that it is well to be observed, That
all Motions are not Impressions, neither do all Impressions make
such dents, as to disturb the adjoyning Parts: Wherefore those, in
my opinion, understand _Nature_ best, which say, that Sensation and
Perception are really one and the same; but they are out, that say,
there can be no communication at a distance, unless by pressing and
crowding; for the patterning of an outward object, may be done without
any inforcement or disturbance, jogging or crowding, as I have declared
heretofore; for the sensitive and rational motions in the sensitive
and rational parts of matter in one creature, observing the exterior
motions in outward objects, move accordingly, either regularly or
irregularly in patterns; and if they have no exterior objects, as in
dreams, they work by rote. And so to conclude, I am absolutely of their
opinion, who believe, that there is nothing existent in Nature, but
what is purely Corporeal, for this seems most probable in sense and
reason to me,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _In the Pref. of the Imm. of the Soul._



XVII.


_MADAM,_

Outward Objects, as I have told you before, do not make Sense and
Reason, but Sense and Reason do perceive and judg of outward objects;
For the Sun doth not make sight, nor doth sight make light; but sense
and reason in a Man, or any other creature, do perceive and know there
are such objects as Sun, and Light, or whatsoever objects are presented
to them. Neither doth Dumbness, Deafness, Blindness, &c. cause an
Insensibility, but Sense through irregular actions causes them; I
say, through Irregular actions, because those effects do not properly
belong to the nature of that kind of Creatures; for every Creature,
if regularly made, hath particular motions proper to its figure; for
natural Matters wisdom makes distinctions by her distinct corporeal
motions, giving every particular Creature their due Portion and
Proportion according to the nature of their figures, and to the rules
of her actions, but not to the rules of Arts, Mathematical Compasses,
Lines, Figures, and the like. And thus the Sun, Stars, Meteors, Air,
Fire, Water, Earth, Minerals, Vegetables and Animals, may all have
Sense and Reason, although it doth not move in one kind or sort of
Creatures, or in one particular, as in another: For the corporeal
motions differ not onely in kinds and sorts, but also in Particulars,
as is perceivable by human sense and reason; Which is the cause, that
Elements have elemental sense and knowledg, and Animals animal sense
and knowledg, and so of Vegetables, Minerals, and the like. Wherefore
the Sun and Stars may have as much sensitive and rational life and
knowledg as other Creatures, but such as is according to the nature
of their figures, and not animal, or vegetable, or mineral sense and
knowledg. And so leaving them, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XVIII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ denying that Fancy, Reason and Animadversion are
seated in the Brain, and that the Brain is figured into this or that
Conception:[1] _I demand_, says he, _in what knot, loop or interval
thereof doth this faculty of free Fancy and active Reason reside?_ My
answer is, that in my opinion, Fancy and Reason are not made in the
Brain, as there is a Brain, but as there is sensitive and rational
matter, which makes not onely the Brain, but all Thoughts, Conceptions,
Imaginations, Fancy, Understanding, Memory, Remembrance, and whatsoever
motions are in the Head, or Brain: neither doth this sensitive and
rational matter remain or act in one place of the Brain, but in every
part thereof; and not onely in every part of the Brain, but in every
part of the Body; nay, not onely in every part of a Mans Body, but in
every part of Nature. But, _Madam_, I would ask those, that say the
Brain has neither sense, reason, nor self-motion, and therefore no
Perception; but that all proceeds from an Immaterial Principle, as an
Incorporeal Spirit, distinct from the body, which moveth and actuates
corporeal matter; I would fain ask them, I say, where their Immaterial
Ideas reside, in what part or place of the Body? and whether they be
little or great? Also I would ask them, whether there can be many, or
but one Idea of God? If they say many, then there must be several,
distinct Deitical Ideas; if but one, Where doth this Idea reside? If
they say in the head, then the heart is ignorant of God; if in the
heart, then the head is ignorant thereof, and so for all parts of the
body; but if they say, in every part, then that Idea may be disfigured
by a lost member; if they say, it may dilate and contract, then I say
it is not the Idea of God, for God can neither contract nor extend;
nor can the Idea it self dilate and contract, being immaterial; for
contraction and dilation belong onely to bodies, or material beings:
Wherefore the comparisons betwixt Nature and a particular Creature, and
between God and Nature, are improper; much more betwixt God and Natures
particular motions and figures, which are various and changeable,
although methodical. The same I may ask of the Mind of Man, as I do of
the Idea in the Mind. Also I might ask them, what they conceive the
natural mind of man to be, whether material or immaterial? If material,
their opinion is rational, and so the mind is dividable and composable;
if immaterial, then it is a Spirit; and if a Spirit, it cannot possibly
dilate nor contract, having no dimension nor divisibility of parts,
(although your _Author_ proves it by the example of Light; but I have
exprest my meaning heretofore, that _light_ is divisible) and if it
have no dimension, how can it be confined in a material body? Wherefore
when your _Author_ says, the mind is a substance, it is to my reason
very probable; but not when he says, it is an immaterial substance,
which will never agree with my sense and reason; for it must be either
something, or nothing, there being no _medium_ between, in Nature. But
pray mistake me not, _Madam_, when I say Immaterial is nothing; for I
mean nothing Natural, or so as to be a part of Nature; for God forbid,
I should deny, that God is a Spiritual Immaterial substance, or Being;
neither do I deny that we can have an Idea, notion, conception, or
thought of the existence of God; for I am of your _Authors_ opinion,
That there is no Man under the cope of Heaven, that doth not by the
light of Nature, know, and believe there is a God; but that we should
have such a perfect Idea of God, as of any thing else in the World,
or as of our selves, as your _Author_ says, I cannot in sense and
reason conceive to be true or possible. Neither am I against those
Spirits, which the holy Scripture mentions, as Angels and Devils,
and the divine Soul of Man; but I say onely, that no Immaterial
Spirit belongs to Nature, so as to be a part thereof; for Nature is
Material, or Corporeal; and whatsoever is not composed of matter or
body, belongs not to Nature; nevertheless, Immaterial Spirits may be
in Nature, although not parts of Nature. But there can neither be an
Immaterial Nature, nor a Natural Immaterial; Nay, our very thoughts and
conceptions of Immaterial are Material, as made of self-moving Matter.
Wherefore to conclude, these opinions in Men proceed from a Vain-glory,
as to have found out something that is not in Nature; to which I leave
them, and their natural Immaterial Substances, like so many Hobgoblins
to fright Children withal, resting in the mean time,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Antid. lib._ 1. _c._ 11.



XIX.

_MADAM,_

There are various opinions concerning the seat of Common Sense, as
your _Author_ rehearseth them in his Treatise of the Immortality of
the Soul;[1] But my opinion is, That common sense hath also a common
place; for as there is not any part of the body that hath not sense
and reason, so sense and reason is in all parts of the body, as it is
observable by this, that every part is subject to pain and pleasure,
and all parts are moveable, moving and moved; also appetites are in
every part of the body: As for example, if any part itches, it hath
an appetite to be scratched, and every part can pattern out several
objects, and so several touches; and though the rational part of matter
is mixt in all parts of the body, yet it hath more liberty to make
variety of Motions in the head, heart, liver, spleen, stomack, bowels,
and the like, then in the other parts of the body; nevertheless, it is
in every part, together with the sensitive: but they do not move in
every part alike, but differ in each part more or less, as it may be
observed; and although every part hath some difference of knowledg, yet
all have life and knowledg, sense and reason, some more, some less, and
the whole body moves according to each part, and so do all the bodily
Faculties and Proprieties, and not according to one single part; the
rational Soul being in all parts of the body: for if one part of the
body should have a dead Palsie, it is not, that the Soul is gone from
that part, but that the sensitive and rational matter has altered its
motion and figure from animal to some other kind; for certainly, the
rational Soul, and so life, is in every part, as well in the Pores of
the skin, as in the ventricles of the brain, and as well in the heel
as in the head; and every part of the body knows its own office, what
it ought to do, from whence follows an agreement of all the parts: And
since there is difference of knowledg in every part of one body, well
may there be difference between several kinds and sorts, and yet there
is knowledg in all; for difference of knowledg is no argument to prove
they have no knowledg at all. Wherefore I am not of the opinion, that
that which moves the whole body, is as a Point, or some such thing in
a little kernel or _Glandula_ of the Brain, as an Ostrich-egge is hung
up to the roof of a Chamber; or that it is in the stomack like a single
penny in a great Purse; neither is it in the midst of the heart, like a
Lady in a Lobster; nor in the blood, like as a Menow, or Sprat in the
Sea; nor in the fourth Ventricle of the Brain, as a lousie Souldier
in a Watch-tower. But you may say, it is like a farthing Candle in a
great Church: I answer, That Light will not enlighten the by Chappels
of the Church, nor the Quest-house, nor the Belfrey; neither doth the
Light move the Church, though it enlightens it: Wherefore the Soul
after this manner doth not move the corporeal body, no more then the
Candle moves the Church, or the Lady moves the Lobster, or the Sprat
the Sea as to make it ebb and flow. But this I desire you to observe,
_Madam_, that though all the body of man or any other Creature, hath
sense and reason, which is life and knowledg, in all parts, yet these
parts being all corporeal, and having their certain proportions, can
have no more then what is belonging or proportionable to each figure:
As for example; if a Man should feed, and not evacuate some ways or
other, he could not live; and if he should evacuate and not feed, he
could not subsist: wherefore in all Natures parts there is ingress and
egress, although not always perceived by one creature, as Man; but all
exterior objects do not enter into Man, or any other Creature, but are
figured by the rational, and some by the sensitive parts or motions
in the body; wherefore it is not rational to believe, that exterior
objects take up any more room, then if there were none presented to
the sensitive organs: Nor is there any thing which can better prove
the mind to be corporeal, then that there may be several Figures in
several parts of the body made at one time, as Sight, Hearing, Tasting,
Smelling, and Touching, and all these in each several organ, as well at
one, as at several times, either by patterns, or not; which figuring
without Pattern, may be done as well by the sensitive motions in the
organs, as by the rational in the mind, and is called remembrance. As
for example: a Man may hear or see without an object; which is, that
the sensitive and rational matter repeat such figurative actions, or
make others in the sensitive organs, or in the mind: and Thoughts,
Memory, Imagination, as also Passion, are no less corporeal actions
then the motion of the hand or heel; neither hath the rational matter,
being naturally wise, occasion to jumble and knock her parts together,
by reason every part knows naturally their office what they ought to
do, or what they may do. But I conclude, repeating onely what I have
said oft before, that all Perceptions, Thoughts, and the like, are the
Effects, and Life and Knowledg, the Nature and Essence of self-moving
Matter. And so I rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Lib._ 2. _c._ 4.



XX.


_MADAM,_

I am not able to conceive how the Mind of Man can be compared to a
Table-book, in which nothing is writ;[1] nor how to a Musician, who
being asleep, doth not so much as dream of any Musick, but being
jogg'd and awakend by another, who tells him two or three words of
a Song, and desires him to sing it, presently recovers himself, and
sings upon so slight an Intimation: For such intimations are nothing
else but outward objects, which the interior sense consents to, and
obeys; for interior sense and reason doth often obey outward objects:
and in my opinion there is no rest in Nature, and so neither in the
Mind or natural Soul of Man, which is in a perpetual motion, and needs
therefore no jogging to put it into any actual motion; for it hath
actual motion and knowledg in it self, because it is a self-moving
substance, actually knowing, and Material or Corporeal, not Immaterial,
as your _Author_ thinks: and this material or corporeal Mind is nothing
else but what I call the rational matter, and the corporeal life is
the sensitive matter. But this is to be observed, that the motions of
the corporeal Mind do often imitate the motions of the sensitive Life,
and these again the motions of the mind: I say oftentimes; for they do
it not always, but each one can move without taking any pattern from
the other. And all this I understand of the Natural Soul of Man; not
of the Divine Soul, and her powers and faculties, for I leave that to
Divines to inform us of; onely this I say, that men not conceiving the
distinction between this natural and divine Soul, make such a confusion
betwixt those two Souls and their actions, which causes so many
disputes and opinions. But if Nature hath power from God to produce
all kinds of Vegetables, Minerals, Elements, Animals, and other sorts
of Creatures, Why not also Man? Truly if all Creatures are natural
Creatures, Man must be so too; and if Man is a natural Creature, he
must needs have natural sense and reason, as well as other Creatures,
being composed of the same matter they are of. Neither is it requisite,
that all Creatures, being of the same matter, must have the same manner
of sensitive and rational knowledg; which if so, it is not necessary
for Corn to have Ears to hear the whistling or chirping of Birds, nor
for Stones to have such a touch of feeling as animals have, and to
suffer pain, as they do, when Carts go over them; as your _Author_ is
pleased to argue out of _Æsopes_ Tales; or for the Heliotrope to have
eyes to see the Sun: for what necessity is there that they should have
humane sense and reason? which is, that the rational and sensitive
matter should act and move in them as she doth in man or animals:
Certainly if there must be any variety in nature, it is requisite she
should not; wherefore all Vegetables, Minerals, Elements, and Animals,
have their proper motions different from each others, not onely in
their kinds and sorts, but also in their particulars. And though Stones
have no progressive motion to withdraw themselves from the Carts going
over them, which your _Author_ thinks they would do, if they had
sense, to avoid pain: nevertheless they have motion, and consequently
sense and reason, according to the nature and propriety of their
figure, as well as man has according to his. But this is also to be
observed, that not any humane Creature, which is accounted to have the
perfectest sense and reason, is able always to avoid what is hurtful or
painful, for it is subject to it by Nature: Nay, the Immaterial Soul
it self, according to your _Author_,[2] cannot by her self-contracting
faculty withdraw her self from pain. Wherefore there is no manner of
consequence to conclude from the sense of Animals to the sense of
Minerals, they being as much different as their Figures are; And saying
this, I have said enough to express the opinion and mind of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Antid. Book_ 1. _c._ 5.

[2] _Append. to the Antid. ch._ 3.



XXI.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ endeavours very much to prove the existency of a _Natural
Immaterial Spirit_, whom he defines to be an _Incorporeal substance,
Indivisible, that can move it self, can penetrate, contract and dilate
it self, and can also move and alter the matter._ Whereof, if you will
have my opinion, I confess freely to you, that in my sense and reason
I cannot conceive it to be possible, that these is any such thing in
Nature; for all that is a substance in Nature, is a body, and what has
a body, is corporeal; for though there be several degrees of matter,
as in purity, rarity, subtilty, activity; yet there is no degree so
pure, rare and subtil, that can go beyond its nature, and change from
corporeal to incorporeal, except it could change from being something
to nothing, which is impossible in Nature. Next, there is no substance
in Nature that is not divisible; for all that is a body, or a bodily
substance, hath extension, and all extension hath parts, and what has
parts, is divisible. As for self-motion, contraction and dilation,
these are actions onely of Natural Matter; for Matter by the Power
of God is self-moving, and all sorts of motions, as contraction,
dilation, alteration, penetration, &c. do properly belong to Matter;
so that natural Matter stands in no need to have some Immaterial or
Incorporeal substance to move, rule, guide and govern her; but she is
able enough to do it all her self, by the free Gift of the Omnipotent
God; for why should we trouble our selves to invent or frame other
unconceivable substances, when there is no need for it, but Matter can
act, and move as well without them and of it self? Is not God able
to give such power to Matter, as to an other Incorporeal substance?
But I suppose this opinion of natural Immaterial Spirits doth proceed
from Chymistry, where the extracts are vulgarly called Spirits; and
from that degree of Matter, which by reason of its purity, subtilty
and activity, is not subject to our grosser senses; However, these are
not Incorporeal, be they never so pure and subtil. And I wonder much
that men endeavour to prove Immaterial Spirits by corporeal Arts, when
as Art is not able to demonstrate Nature and her actions; for Art is
but the effect of Nature, and expresses rather the variety, then the
truth of natural motions; and if Art cannot do this, much less will it
be able to express what is not in Nature, or what is beyond Nature; as
to _trace the Visible_ (or rather Invisible) _footsteps of the divine
Councel and Providence_,[1] or to demonstrate things supernatural, and
which go beyond mans reach and capacity. But to return to Immaterial
Spirits, that they should rule and govern infinite corporeal matter,
like so many demy-Gods, by a dilating nod, and a contracting frown,
and cause so many kinds and sorts of Corporeal Figures to arise, being
Incorporeal themselves, is Impossible for me to conceive; for how can
an Immaterial substance cause a Material corporeal substance, which
has no motion in it self, to form so many several and various figures
and creatures, and make so many alterations, and continue their kinds
and sorts by perpetual successions of Particulars? But perchance the
Immaterial substance gives corporeal matter motion. I answer, My sense
and reason cannot understand, how it can give motion, unless motion
be different, distinct and separable from it; nay, if it were, yet
being no substance or body it self, according to your _Authors_ and
others opinion, the question is, how it can be transmitted or given
away to corporeal matter? Your _Author_ may say, That his Immaterial
and Incorporeal spirit of Nature, having self-motion, doth form Matter
into several Figures: I answer, Then that Immaterial substance must be
transformed and metamorphosed into as many several figures as there
are figures in Matter; or there must be as many spirits, as there are
figures; but when the figures change, what doth become of the spirits?
Neither can I imagine, that an Immaterial substance, being without
body, can have such a great strength, as to grapple with gross, heavy,
dull, and dead Matter; Certainly, in my opinion, no Angel, nor Devil,
except God Impower him, would be able to move corporeal Matter, were
it not self-moving, much less any Natural Spirit. But God is a Spirit,
and Immovable; and if created natural Immaterial participate of that
Nature, as they do of the Name, then they must be Immovable also.
Your _Author, Madam_, may make many several degrees of Spirits; but
certainly not I, nor I think any natural Creature else, will be able
naturally to conceive them. He may say, perchance, There is such a
close conjunction betwixt Body and Spirit, as I make betwixt rational,
sensitive, and inanimate Matter. I answer, That these degrees are
all but one Matter, and of one and the same Nature as meer Matter,
different onely in degrees of purity, subtilty, and activity, whereas
Spirit and Body are things of contrary Natures. In fine, I cannot
conceive, how a Spirit should fill up a place or space, having no body,
nor how it can have the effects of a body, being none it self; for the
effects flow from the cause; and as the cause is, so are its effects:
And so confessing my ignorance, I can say no more, but rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Antid. lib._ 2. _ch._ 2.



XXII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ having assigned Indivisibility to the Soul or Spirit that
moves and actuates matter, I desire to know, how one Indivisible Spirit
can be in so many dividable parts? For there being Infinite parts in
Nature, they must either have one Infinite Spirit to move them, which
must be dilated infinitely, or this Spirit must move severally in
every part of Nature: If the first, then I cannot conceive, but all
motion must be uniform, or after one and the same manner; nay, I cannot
understand, how there can be any dilation and contraction, or rather
any motion of the same spirit, by reason if it dilate, then, (being
equally spread out in all the parts of Matter,) it must dilate beyond
Matter; and if it contract, it must leave some parts of matter void,
and without motion. But if the Spirit moves every part severally, then
he is divisible; neither can I think, that there are so many Spirits
as there are Parts in Nature; for your _Author_ says, there is but
one Spirit of Nature; I will give an easie and plain example: When a
Worm is cut into two or three parts, we see there is sensitive life
and motion in every part, for every part will strive and endeavour
to meet and joyn again to make up the whole body; now if there were
but one indivisible Life, Spirit, and Motion, I would fain know, how
these severed parts could move all by one Spirit. Wherefore, Matter,
in my opinion, has self-motion in it self, which is the onely soul
and life of Nature, and is dividable as well as composable, and full
of variety of action; for it is as easie for several parts to act
in separation, as in composition, and as easie in composition as in
separation; Neither is every part bound to one kind or sort of Motions;
for we see in exterior local motions, that one man can put his body
into several shapes and postures, much more can Nature. But is it not
strange, _Madam_, that a man accounts it absurd, ridiculous, and a
prejudice to Gods Omnipotency, to attribute self-motion to Matter,
or a material Creature, when it is not absurd, ridiculous, or any
prejudice to God, to attribute it to an Immaterial Creature? What
reason of absurdity lies herein? Surely I can conceive none, except
it be absurd and ridiculous to make that, which no man can know or
conceive what it is, _viz._ an immaterial natural Spirit, (which is
as much as to say, a natural No-thing) to have motion, and not onely
motion, but self-motion; nay, not onely self-motion, but to move,
actuate, rule, govern, and guide Matter, or corporeal Nature, and to
be the cause of all the most curious varieties and effects in nature:
Was not God able to give self-motion as well to a Material, as to an
Immaterial Creature, and endow Matter with a self-moving power? I do
not say, _Madam_, that Matter hath motion of it self, so, that it is
the prime cause and principle of its own self-motion; for that were
to make Matter a God, which I am far from believing; but my opinion
is, That the self-motion of Matter proceeds from God, as well as the
self-motion of an Immaterial Spirit; and that I am of this opinion, the
last Chapter of my Book of Philosophy will enform you, where I treat of
the Deitical Centre, as the Fountain from whence all things do flow,
and which is the supream Cause, Author, Ruler and Governor of all.
Perhaps you will say, it is, because I make Matter Eternal. 'Tis true,
_Madam_, I do so: but I think Eternity doth not take off the dependance
upon God, for God may nevertheless be above Matter, as I have told you
before. You may ask me how that can be? I say, As well as any thing
else that God can do beyond our understanding: For I do but tell you my
opinion, that I think it most probable to be so, but I can give you no
Mathematical Demonstrations for it: Onely this I am sure of, That it is
not impossible for the Omnipotent God; and he that questions the truth
of it, may question Gods Omnipotency. Truly, _Madam_, I wonder how
man can say, God is Omnipotent, and can do beyond our Understanding,
and yet deny all that he is not able to comprehend with his reason.
However, as I said, it is my opinion, That Matter is self-moving by the
power of God; Neither can Animadversion, and Perception, as also the
variety of Figures, prove, that there must be another external Agent or
Power to work all this in Matter; but it proves rather the contrary;
for were there no self-motion in Matter, there would be no Perception,
nor no variety of Creatures in their Figures, Shapes, Natures,
Qualities, Faculties, Proprieties, as also in their Productions,
Creations or Generations, Transformations, Compositions, Dissolutions,
and the like, as Growth, Maturity, Decay, &c. and for Animals, were not
Corporeal Matter self-moving, dividable and composable; there could not
be such variety of Passions, Complexions, Humors, Features, Statures,
Appetites, Diseases, Infirmities, Youth, Age, &c. Neither would they
have any nourishing Food, healing Salves, soveraign Medicines, reviving
Cordials, or deadly Poysons. In short, there is so much variety in
Nature, proceeding from the self-motion of Matter, as not possible to
be numbred, nor thorowly known by any Creature: Wherefore I should
labour in vain, if I endeavoured to express any more thereof; and this
is the cause that I break off here, and onely subscribe my self,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXIII.


_MADAM,_

Concerning the comparison, your _Author_ makes between an Immaterial
Spirit, and Light,[1] That, _as Light is contractive and dilative, and
yet not divisible, so is also an Immaterial substance._ Give me leave
to tell you, that in my opinion, all that is contractive and dilative,
is also dividable, and so is light: As for example; when a Candle is
snuff'd, the Snuffers do not onely clip the wick, but also the light:
The like when a dark body is interposed, or crosses the rays of the
Sun; it cuts those rays asunder, which by reason they cannot joyn
together again, because of the interposed body, the light cut off,
suddenly goeth out; that is, the matter of light is altered from the
figure of light, to some other thing, but not annihilated: And since no
more light can flow into the room from the Fountain or Spring of Light,
the Sun, because the passage is stopt close, the room remaineth dark:
For Light is somewhat of the nature of Water; so long as the Spring
is open, the Water flows, and whatsoever is taken away, the Spring
supplies; and if another body onely presses thorow it, it immediately
joyns and closes its severed parts again, without any difficulty or
loss; The same doth Light; onely the difference is, that the substance
of Light is extraordinary rare, and pure; for as Air is so much rarer
then Water, so Light is so much rarer and purer then Air, and its
matter may be of so dilating a nature, as to dilate from a point into
numerous rayes. As for ordinary Fire-light, it doth not last longer,
then it hath fuel to feed it, and so likewise it is with the light
of the Sun; for Light is according to the substance that feeds it;
and though it is a substance it self, yet it increases and decreases,
according as it hath something that succours or nourishes it. But some
may object, that if Light were a body, and did contract and dilate, as
I say, it is impossible that it could display it self in so great and
vast a compass, and remove so suddenly and instantly as it doth. To
which objection, I answer, first, That although I say, Light is a real
corporeal substance, and doth contract and dilate it self from a point
into numerous rayes, as also in another Letter I sent you before,[2]
That Light and Darkness do succeed each other; nevertheless, as for the
perception of Light, I am not so eager in maintaining this opinion,
as if it was an Infallible Truth, and impossible to be otherwise; but
I say onely, That, to my sense and reason, it seems very probable,
that it may be so, that the light of the Sun doth really dilate it
self into so vast a compass as we see, and that light and darkness do
really succeed each other, as all other Creatures do: But yet it seems
also probable to mee, that the parts of the Air may onely pattern
out the figure of light, and that the light we see in the Air may be
onely patterns taken from the real figure of the light of the Sun: And
therefore, if it be according to the former opinion, to wit, That the
light of the Sun doth really dilate it self into so vast a compass, My
answer is, That contraction and dilation are natural corporeal actions
or motions, and that there is no alteration of motion in Nature, but
is done in Time, that is, successively, not instantly; for Time is
nothing else but the alteration of motion: Besides, I do not perceive
any so sudden and swift alteration and succession of light, but that
it is done by degrees: As for example; in the morning, when it begins
to dawn and grow light, it appears clearly to our sight how light doth
come forth, and darkness remove by degrees; and so at night, when it
grows dark, how light removes, and darkness succeeds; nay, if there
be any such sudden change of the motions of Light, I desire you to
consider, _Madam_, that light is a very subtil, rare, piercing and
active body, and therefore its motions are much quicker then those of
grosser bodies, and cannot so well be perceived by our gross exterior
senses. But if it be, that the Air doth pattern out the light of the
Sun, then the framed objection can prove nothing, because there is not
then such a real dilation or succession of light, but the corporeal
figurative motions of the Air do make patterns of the light of the
Sun, and dissolve those patterns or figures again, more suddenly and
quickly then man can shut and open his eyes, as being more subtil
then his gross exterior senses. But it may be said, that if Air did
pattern out the light of the Sun, the light would increase by these
numerous patterns. I answer, that cannot appear to our Eyes; for we
see onely the pattern'd figure of light, and that a great compass is
enlightned; also that the further the air is from the Sun, the darker
it is; nevertheless, I do verily believe, that the body of the Sun is
far brighter then the light we see, and that the substance of light,
and the patterns taken from light, are not one and the same, but very
different. And thus much of light. As for Penetration, I conceive it
to be nothing else but division; as when some parts pierce and enter
through other parts, as Duellers run each other thorow, or as water
runs through a sieve. And this is the opinion of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _In the Append. to the Antid. c._ 3. and _Of the Immortality of the
Soul, l._ 1. _c._ 5.

[2] _Sect._ 1. _Let._ 20.



XXIV.


_MADAM,_

Having given you my opinion, both of the substance and perception
of Light, in my last Letter, I perceive your desire is to know how
_Shadows_ are made. Truly, _Madam_, to my sense and reason, it appears
most probable, that shadows are made by the way of patterning: As for
example; when a Man's, or Trees, or any other the like Creature's
shadow is made upon the Ground, or Wall, or the like; those bodies, as
the Ground, or Wall, do, in my opinion, pattern out the interposing
body that is between the light and them: And the reason that the
shadow is longer or shorter, or bigger or less, is according as the
light is nearer or further off; for when the light is perpendicular,
the interposing body cannot obscure the light, because the light
surrounding the interposing body by its brightness, rather obscures
the body, then the body the light; for the numerous and splendorous
patterns of light taken from the body of the Sun, do quite involve the
interposing body. Next, you desire to know, _Whether the light we see
in the Moon, be the Moons own natural light, or a borrowed light from
the Sun_: I answer, that in my opinion, it is a borrowed light; to
wit, that the Moon doth pattern out the light of the Sun: and the proof
of it is, that when the Sun is in an Eclipse, we do plainly perceive
that so much of the Sun is darkned as the Moon covers; for though those
parts of the Moon, that are next the Sun, may, for any thing we know,
pattern out the light of the Sun, yet the Moon is dark on that side
which is from the Sun. I will not say, but that part of the Moon which
is towards the Earth, may pattern out the Earth, or the shadow of the
Earth, which may make the Moon appear more dark and sullen; But when
the Moon is in an Eclipse, then it is plainly perceived that the Moon
patterns out the Earth, or the shadow of the Earth. Besides, those
parts of the Moon that are farthest from the Sun, are dark, as we may
observe when as the Moon is in the Wane, and enlightened when the Sun
is nearer. But I will leave this argument to observing Astrologers, and
rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXV.


_MADAM,_

If according to your _Authors_ opinion,[1] _In every particular world,
such as Man is especially, his own Soul_ (which is a Spirit) _be the
peculiar and most perfective architect of the Fabrick of his Body, as
the Soul of the world is of it_: Then I cannot conceive in my reason,
how the separation is made in death; for I see, that all animals, and
so man-kind, have a natural desire to live, and that life and soul are
unwilling to part; And if the power lies in the Soul, why doth she
not continue with the Body, and animate, move and actuate it, as she
did before, or order the matter so, as not to dissolve? But if the
dissolution lies in the body, then the body has self-motion: Yet it is
most probable, if the soul be the architect of the body, it must also
be the dissolver of it; and if there come not another soul into the
parts of matter, the body must either be annihilated, or lie immoved as
long as the world lasts, which is improbable; for surely all the bodies
of men, or other animals, are imployed by Nature to some use or other:
However, it is requisite, that the soul must stay so long in the body,
until it be turned into dust and ashes; otherwise, the body having no
self-motion, would remain as it was when the soul left it, that is,
entire and undissolved: As for example; when a man dies, if there be
no motion in his body, and the soul, which was the mover, be gone, it
cannot possibly corrupt; for certainly, that we call corruption, is
made by motion, and the body requires as much motion to be dissolved
or divided, as it doth to be framed or composed; Wherefore a dead
body would remain in the same state continually, it had no self-motion
in it: And if another soul should enter into the body, and work it
to another figure, then certainly there must be many more souls then
bodies, because bodies are subject to change into several forms; but
if the animal spirits, which are left in the body after the soul is
gone, are able to dissolve it without the help of the soul, then it is
probable they could have fram'd it without the help of the soul; and so
they being material, it must be granted, that matter is self-moving:
But if corporeal matter have corporeal self-motion, a self-moving
Immaterial Spirit, by reason of their different natures, would make
great obstruction, and so a general confusion; for the corporeal and
incorporeal motions would hinder and oppose each other, their natures
being quite different; and though they might subsist together without
disturbance of each other, yet it is not probable they should act
together, and that in such a conjunction, as if they were one united
body; for it is, in my opinion, more probable, that one material should
act upon another material, or one immaterial upon another immaterial,
then that an immaterial should act upon a material or corporeal. Thus
the consideration or contemplation of immaterial natural Spirits puts
me always into doubts, and raises so many contradictions in my sense
and reason, as I know not, nor am not able to reconcile them: However,
though I am doubtful of them, yet I can assure your self that I
continue,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul, l._ 2. _c._ 10.



XXVI.


_MADAM,_

By reason the _Soul_ is a _Spirit_, and therefore _Contractible_ and
_Dilatable_, your _Authors_ opinion is,[1] That _it begins within less
compass at first in organising the fitly prepared matter, and so bears
it self on in the same tenour of work, till the body hath attained its
full growth; and that the Soul dilates it self in the dilating of the
Body, and so possesses it through all the members thereof._ Truly,
_Madam_, as for the contraction and dilation of an immaterial Spirit,
if I heard never so many arguments, I should hardly be able to conceive
the possibility of it; For in my opinion, dilating and contracting
are motions and actions of Nature, which belong to natural material
Creatures, and to none else; for dilation and contraction cannot be
without extension, but extension belongs to parts which an immaterial
Spirit hath not: But suppose it be so, then the Soul must contract
and dilate, extend and shrink together, and so grow less and bigger,
according to the extension of the body; and when the body dies, the
soul, in my opinion, must contract to a very point; and if one part
of the body die before the other, the soul must by degrees withdraw
out of those parts: also when a part of the body is cut off, the soul
must needs contract, and grow less; the like when a man is let blood.
Which contracting of the soul, by your _Authors_ leave, doth seem, to
my imagination, just like the contracting of Hodmandod into her shell.
Besides, if the soul be individable, and equally spread all over the
body, then, to my opinion, she must necessarily be of a human shape;
and if the body be deformed, the soul must be deformed also; and if
the body be casually extended, as by taking Poyson into the body, the
soul must be so too, as being individable and filling every part; and
if a man be born with six fingers or toes, the soul must be so too; or
if a dwarf, the soul must be a dwarf also; and if he be born deaf and
dumb, the soul must be so too. But if two Twins, as it may fall out,
should be born united in one body, I would fain know then, whether they
would have two souls, or but one? As for example, if they should have
but one body, and one stomack, liver, heart, spleen, lungs, bowels, and
yet have four legs, four hands, and two heads: It seems, to my opinion,
that then two Immaterial Souls must be joyned as into one; neither do
I know yet how this could well be, the monster having but one body,
nor how that Immaterial Soul can be divided, being inseparably double,
when the body dies. But, _Madam_, all this I speak of the Natural
Soul of Man, not of the Divine Soul, which is not subject to natural
imperfections, and corporeal errors, being not made by Nature, but a
supernatural and divine gift of the Omnipotent God, who surely will not
give any thing that is not perfect. Wherefore it is not probable, this
Divine Soul, being not subject to Nature, should be an architect of the
body, as having an higher and more divine imployment, _viz._ to fix
her self on her Creator, and being indued with supernatural faculties,
and residing in the body in a supernatural manner; all which I leave to
the Church: for I should be loth to affirm any thing contrary to their
Doctrine, or the Information of the holy Scripture, as grounding my
belief onely upon the sacred Word of God, and its true Interpretation
made by the Orthodox Church; but not upon the opinions of particular
persons: for particular mens opinions are not authentical, being so
different and various, as a man would be puzled which to adhere to.
Thus, _Madam_, I avoid, as much as ever I can, not to mix Divinity
with Natural Philosophy; for I consider, that such a mixture would
breed more confusion in the Church, then do any good to either;
witness the doctrine of the Soul of Man, whereof are so many different
opinions: The onely cause, in my opinion, is, that men do not conceive
the difference between the Divine, and Natural material Soul of Man,
making them both as one, and mixing or confounding their faculties and
proprieties, which yet are quite different; thus they make a Hodg-podg,
Bisk or Olio of both; proving Divinity by Nature, and Faith by Reason;
and bringing Arguments for Articles of Faith, and sacred Mysteries out
of Natural Arts and Sciences; whereas yet Faith and Reason are two
contrary things, and cannot consist together; according to the Proverb,
Where Reason ends, Faith begins. Neither is it possible that Divinity
can be proved by Mathematical Demonstrations; for if Nature be not
able to do it, much less is Art: Wherefore it is inconvenient to mix
supernatural Spirits with Air, Fire, Light, Heat, Cold, &c. and to
apply corporeal actions and qualities to them; and the Divine Soul,
with the Brain, Blood, Flesh, Animal Spirits, Muscles, Nerves, Bones,
&c. of Man; all which makes a confusion betwixt the Mind or Natural
Soul of Man, and the Supernatural and Divine Soul inspired into him by
God; for both their faculties and proprieties are different, and so are
their effects, as proceeding from so different causes. And therefore,
_Madam_, as for Divinity, I pray devoutly, and believe without
disputing; but as for Natural Philosophy, I reason freely, and argue
without believing, or adhering to any ones particular opinion, which I
think is the best and safest way to choose for,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul, l._ 2. _c._ 10.



XXVII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ in the continuation of his discourse concerning the
Immaterial Soul of Man, demonstrating, that her seat is not bound up
in a certain place of the body, but that she pervades all the body and
every part thereof, takes, amongst the rest, an argument from Passions
and Sympathies: _Moreover_, says he,[1] _Passions and Sympathies, in my
judgment, are more easily to be resolved into this hypothesis of the
Soul's pervading the whole Body, then in restraining its essential
presence to one part thereof.--But it is evident that they arise in us
against both our will and appetite; For who would bear the tortures
of fears and jelousies, if he could avoid it?_ Concerning Passions,
_Madam_, I have given my opinion at large in my Book of Philosophy, and
am of your _Authors_ mind, that Passions are made in the Heart, but not
by an Immaterial spirit, but by the Rational soul which is material;
and there is no doubt, but that many Passions, as Fear, Jealousie &c.
arise against our will and appetite; for so may forreign Nations invade
any Kingdom without the will or desire of the Inhabitants, and yet
they are corporeal men: The same may be said of Passions; and several
parts of matter may invade each other, whereof one may be afraid of
the other, yet all this is but according as corporeal matter moves,
either Generally, or Particularly: Generally, that is, when many parts
of Matter unite or joyn together, having the like appetites, wills,
designs; as we may observe, that there are general agreements amongst
several parts, in Plagues, as well as Wars, which Plagues are not
onely amongst Men, but amongst Beasts; and sometimes but in one sort
of animals, as a general Rot amongst Sheep, a general Mange amongst
Dogs, a general Farcy amongst Horses, a general Plague amongst Men;
all which could not be without a general Infection, one part infecting
another, or rather one part imitating the motions of the other, that
is next adjoyning to it; for such infections come by the neer adhesion
of parts, as is observable, which immaterial and individable natural
Spirits could not effect; that is, to make such a general infection in
so many several parts of so many several Creatures, to the Creatures
dissolution: Also there will be several Invasions at one time, as
Plague, and War, amongst neighbouring and adjoining Creatures or Parts.
But this is to be observed, That the sensitive corporeal motions make
all diseases, and not the Rational, although the Rational are many
times the occasion, that the sensitive do move into such or such a
disease; for all those that are sick by conceit, their sicknesses
are caused by the rational corporeal motions. But being loth to make
tedious repetitions hereof, having discoursed of diseases, and passions
in my mentioned Book of _Philosophy_, I will refer you thither, and
rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Immort. of the Soul. Book_ 2. _c._ 10



XXVIII.


_MADAM,_

Concerning _Dimness_ of _Sight_, which your _Author_ will have to
_proceed from the deficiency of the Animal Spirits_,[1] My meaning
in short is, That when sight is dim, though the sensitive organs
are perfect, this dimness is caused by the alteration onely of the
sensitive motions in the organs, not moving to the nature of sight.
And so is made Deafness, Dumbness, Lameness, and the like, as also
Weariness; for the Relaxation of strength in several parts, is onely
an alteration of such sorts of motions which make the nerves strong;
and if a man be more dull at one time, then at another, it is that
there are not so many changes of motions, nor so quick motions at
that time, as at another; for Nature may use more or less force as
she pleases: Also she can and doth often use opposite actions, and
often sympathetical and agreeable actions, as she pleases; for Nature
having a free power to move, may move as she will; but being wise,
she moves as she thinks best, either in her separating or uniting
motions, for continuance, as well as for variety. But if, according
to your _Author_, the Immaterial Soul should determinate matter in
motion, it would, in my opinion, make a confusion; for the motions of
the Matter would often oppose and cross the motions of the Immaterial
Soul, and so they would disagree, as a King and his Subjects, (except
God had given the Soul an absolute power of command, and restrained
matter to an irrisistible and necessitated obedience; which, in my
opinion, is not probable:) By which disagreement, Nature, and all that
is in Nature, would have been quite ruined at this time; for no kinds,
sorts, or particulars, would keep any distinction, if Matter did not
govern it self, and if all the parts did not know their own affairs,
abilities, offices, and functions: Besides, it would, to my thinking,
take up a great deal of time, to receive commands in every several
action, at least so much, that for example, a man could not have so
many several thoughts in so short a time, as he hath. But concerning
the Animal Spirits, which your _Author_ calls the Instruments, Organs
and Engines of the Incorporeal Soul; I would fain know, whether they
have no motion but what comes from the Soul, or whether they have
their own motion of themselves? If the first, then the Soul must, in
my opinion, be like a Deity, and have a divine Power, to give and
impart Motion; if the second, then the spirits being material, it
follows that Matter hath motion of it self, or is self-moving; But
if the Immaterial natural Soul can transfer her gifts upon corporeal
matter, then it must give numerous sorts of motions, with all their
degrees; as also the faculty of figuring, or moving figuratively in
all corporeal Matter: Which power, in my judgment, is too much for a
Creature to give. If you say, the Immaterial Soul hath this power from
God; I answer, Matter may have the same; and I cannot imagine why God
should make an Immaterial Spirit to be the Proxy or Vice-gerent of his
Power, or the _Quarter-master General of his Divine Providence_, as
your _Author_ is pleased to style it,[2] when he is able to effect it
without any Under-Officers, and in a more easie and compendious way, as
to impart immediately such self-moving power to Natural Matter, which
man attributes to an Incorporeal Spirit. But to conclude, if the Animal
Spirits be the Instruments of the Incorporeal Soul, then the Spirits
of Wine are more powerful then the Animal Spirits, nay, then the
Immaterial Soul her self; for they can put them and all their actions
quite out of order: the same may be done by other material things,
Vegetables, Minerals, and the like. And so leaving this discourse to
your better consideration, I take my leave for this time, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful and affectionate Friend,_

_and Servant._

[1] _Immort. of the Soul. Book_ 2. _ch._ 8.

[2] _Immort. of the Soul. Book_ 3. _c._ 13.



XXIX.


_MADAM,_

Touching the State or Condition of the Supernatural and Divine Soul,
both in, and after this life, I must crave your excuse that I can give
no account of it; for I dare affirm nothing; not onely that I am no
professed Divine, and think it unfit to take any thing upon me that
belongs not to me, but also that I am unwilling to mingle Divinity and
Natural Philosophy together, to the great disadvantage and prejudice of
either; for if each one did contain himself within the circle of his
own Profession, and no body did pretend to be a Divine Philosopher,
many absurdities, confusions, contentions, and the like, would be
avoided, which now disturb both Church and Schools, and will in time
cause their utter ruine and destruction; For what is Supernatural,
cannot naturally be known by any natural Creature; neither can any
supernatural Creature, but the Infinite and Eternal God, know thorowly
everything that is in Nature, she being the Infinite servant of the
Infinite God, whom no finite Creature, of what degree soever, whether
natural or supernatural, can conceive; for if no Angel nor Devil can
know our thoughts, much less will they know Infinite Nature; nay, one
finite supernatural Creature cannot, in my opinion, know perfectly
another supernatural Creature, but God alone, who is all-knowing; And
therefore all what is said of supernatural Spirits, I believe, so far
as the Scripture makes mention of them; further I dare not presume to
go; the like of the supernatural or divine Soul: for all that I have
writ hitherto to you of the Soul, concerns the natural Soul of Man,
which is material, and not the supernatural or divine Soul; neither
do I contradict any thing concerning this divine soul, but I am
onely against those opinions, which make the natural soul of man an
immaterial natural spirit, and confound supernatural Creatures with
natural, believing those spirits to be as well natural Creatures and
parts of Nature, as material and corporeal beings are; when as there
is great difference betwixt them, and nothing in Nature to be found,
but what is corporeal. Upon this account I take all their relations of
Dæmons, of the Genii, and of the Souls after the departure from humane
Bodies, their Vehicles, Shapes, Habitations, Converses, Conferences,
Entertainments, Exercises, Pleasures, Pastimes, Governments, Orders,
Laws, Magistrates, Officers, Executioners, Punishments, and the like,
rather for Poetical Fictions, then Rational Probabilities; containing
more Fancy, then Truth and Reason, whether they concern the divine
or natural Soul: for as for the divine Soul, the Scripture makes no
other mention of it, but that immediately after her departure out
of this natural life, she goeth either to Heaven or Hell, either to
enjoy Reward, or to suffer Punishment, according to man's actions
in this life. But as for the Natural Soul, she being material, has
no need of any Vehicles, neither is natural death any thing else
but an alteration of the rational and sensitive motions, which from
the dissolution of one figure go to the formation or production of
another. Thus the natural soul is not like a Traveller, going out of
one body into another, neither is air her lodging; for certainly, if
the natural humane soul should travel through the airy regions, she
would at last grow weary, it being so great a journey, except she did
meet with the soul of a Horse, and so ease her self with riding on
Horse-back. Neither can I believe Souls or Dæmons in the Air have any
Common-wealth, Magistrates, Officers and Executioners in their airy
Kingdom; for wheresoever are Governments, Magistrates and Executioners,
there are also Offences, and where there is power to offend, as well as
to obey, there may and will be sometimes Rebellions and Civil Wars; for
there being different sorts of Spirits, it is impossible they should
all so well agree, especially the good and evil Genii, which certainly
will fight more valiantly then _Hector_ and _Achilles_, nay, the
Spirits of one sort would have more Civil Wars then ever the _Romans_
had; and if the Soul of _Cæsar_ and _Pompey_ should meet, there would
be a cruel fight between those two Heroical souls; the like between
_Augustus's_ and _Antonius's_ Soul. But, _Madam_, all these, as I
said, I take for fancies proceeding from the Religion of the Gentiles,
not fit for Christians to embrace for any truth; for if we should, we
might at last, by avoiding to be Atheists, become Pagans, and so leap
out of the Frying-pan into the Fire, as turning from Divine Faith to
Poetical Fancy; and if _Ovid_ should revive again, he would, perhaps,
be the chief head or pillar of the Church. By this you may plainly
see, _Madam_, that I am no Platonick; for this opinion is dangerous,
especially for married Women, by reason the conversation of the Souls
may be a great temptation, and a means to bring Platonick Lovers to a
neerer acquaintance, not allowable by the Laws of Marriage, although
by the sympathy of the Souls. But I conclude, and desire you, not to
interpret amiss this my discourse, as if I had been too invective
against Poetical Fancies; for that I am a great lover of them, my
Poetical Works will witness; onely I think it not fit to bring Fancies
into Religion: Wherefore what I have writ now to you, is rather to
express my zeal for God and his true Worship, then to prejudice any
body; and if you be of that same Opinion, as above mentioned, I wish my
Letter may convert you, and so I should not account my labour lost, but
judg my self happy, that any good could proceed to the advancement of
your Soul, from,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXX.


_MADAM,_

I sent you word in my last, I would not meddle with writing any
thing of the Divine Soul of Man, by reason it belongs to Faith and
Religion, and not to Natural Philosophy; but since you desire my
opinion concerning the Immortality of the Divine Soul, I cannot but
answer you plainly, that first I did wonder much you made question
of that, whose truth, in my opinion, is so clear, as hardly any
rational man will make a doubt of it; for I think there is almost no
Christian in the world, but believes the Immortality of the Soul, no
not Christians onely, but Mahometans and Jews: But I left to wonder at
you, when I saw Wise and Learned Men, and great Divines, take so much
pains as to write whole volumes, and bring so many arguments to prove
the Immortality of the Soul; for this was a greater Miracle to me,
then if Nature had shewed me some of her secret and hidden effects,
or if I had seen an Immaterial Spirit. Certainly, _Madam_, it seems
as strange to me to prove the Immortality of the Soul, as to convert
Atheists; for it [is] impossible, almost, that any Atheist should be
found in the World: For what Man would be so senceless as to deny a
God? Wherefore to prove either a God, or the Immortality of the Soul,
is to make a man doubt of either: for as Physicians and Surgeons
apply strengthening Medicines onely to those parts of the body which
they suppose the weakest, so it is with proofs and arguments, those
being for the most part used in such subjects, the truth of which is
most questionable. But in things Divine, Disputes do rather weaken
Faith, then prove Truth, and breed several strange opinions; for
Man being naturally ambitious, and endeavouring to excel each other,
will not content himself with what God has been pleased to reveal in
his holy Word; but invents and adds something of his own; and hence
arise so many monstrous expressions and opinions, that a simple man is
puzzled, not knowing which to adhere to; which is the cause of so many
schismes, sects, and divisions in Religion: Hence it comes also, that
some pretend to know the very nature and essence of God, his divine
Counsels, all his Actions, Designs, Rules, Decrees, Power, Attributes,
nay, his Motions, Affections, and Passions, as if the Omnipotent
Infinite God were of a humane shape; so that there are already more
divisions then Religions, which disturb the peace and quiet both of
mind and body; when as the ground of our belief consists but in some
few and short Articles, which clearly explained, and the moral part
of Divinity well pressed upon the People, would do more good, then
unnecessary and tedious disputes, which rather confound Religion, then
advance it: but if man had a mind to shew Learning, and exercise his
Wit, certainly there are other subjects, wherein he can do it with
more profit, and less danger, then by proving Christian Religion by
Natural Philosophy, which is the way to destroy them both. I could
wish, _Madam_, that every one would but observe the Command of Christ,
and give to God what is Gods, and to _Cæsar_ what is _Cæsars_, and
so distinguish what belongs to the actions of Nature, and what to
the actions of Religion; for it appears to my Reason, that God hath
given Nature, his eternal Servant, a peculiar freedom of working and
acting, as a self-moving Power from Eternity; but when the Omnipotent
God acts, he acts supernaturally, as beyond Nature; of which divine
actions none but the holy Church, as one united body, mind and soul,
should discourse, and declare the truth of them, according to the
Revelation made by God in his holy Word, to her Flock the Laity, not
suffering any one single person, of what profession or degree soever,
indifferently to comment, interpret, explain, and declare the meaning
or sense of the Scripture after his own fancy. And as for Nature's
actions, let those whom Nature hath indued with such a proportion of
Reason, as is able to search into the hidden causes of natural effects,
contemplate freely, without any restraint or confinement; for Nature
acts freely, and so may natural Creatures, and amongst the rest Man, in
things which are purely natural; but as for things supernatural, man
cannot act freely, by reason they are beyond his sphere of conception
and understanding, so as he is forced to set aside Reason, and onely
to work by Faith. And thus, _Madam_, you see the cause why I cannot
give you a full description of the Divine Soul of Man, as I mentioned
already in my last, but that I do onely send you my opinion of the
natural soul, which I call the rational soul; not that I dare say, the
supernatural soul is without natural reason, but natural reason is not
the divine soul; neither can natural reason, without Faith, advance
the divine soul to Heaven, or beget a pious zeal, without divine and
supernatural Grace: Wherefore Reason, or the rational Soul is onely
the Soul of Nature, which being material, is dividable, and so becomes
numerous in particular natural Creatures; like as the sensitive life
being also material and dividable, becomes numerous, as being in every
Creature, and in every part of every Creature; for as there is life in
every Creature, so there is also a soul in every Creature; nay, not
onely in every Creature, but in every particle of every Creature, by
reason every Creature is made of rational and sensitive Matter; and as
all Creatures or parts of Nature are but one infinite body of Nature,
so all their particular souls and lives make but one infinite soul
and life of Nature; and this natural soul hath onely natural actions,
not supernatural; nor has the supernatural soul natural actions;
for although they subsist both together in one body, yet each works
without disturbance to the other; and both are Immortal; for of the
supernatural soul there is no question, and of the natural soul, I have
said before, that nothing is perishable or subject to annihilation in
nature, and so no death, but what is called by the name of death, is
onely an alteration of the corporeal natural motions of such a figure
to another figure; and therefore as it is impossible, that one part of
Matter should perish in Nature, so is it impossible, that the natural
or rational soul can perish, being material: The natural humane soul
may alter, so as not to move in an animal way, or not to have animal
motions, but this doth not prove her destruction or annihilation, but
onely a change of the animal figure and its motions, all remaining
still in Nature. Thus my Faith of the Divine, and my opinion of the
Natural Soul, is, that they are both Immortal; as for the immediate
actions of the Divine Soul, I leave you to the Church, which are the
Ministers of God, and the faithful dispensers of the sacred mysteries
of the Gospel, the true Expounders of the Word of God, Reformers of
mens lives, and Tutors of the Ignorant, to whom I submit my self in all
that belongs to the salvation of my Soul, and the regulating of the
actions of my life, to the honour and glory of God. And I hope they
will not take any offence at the maintaining and publishing my opinions
concerning Nature and Natural effects, for they are as harmless, and
as little prejudicial to them, as my designs; for my onely and chief
design is, and ever hath been to understand Nature rightly, obey the
Church exactly, Believe undoubtedly, Pray zealously, Live vertuously,
and Wish earnestly, that both Church and Schools may increase and
flourish in the sacred knowledg of the true Word of God, and that each
one may live peaceable and happily in this world, die quietly, and
rise blessedly and gloriously to everlasting Life and happiness: Which
happiness I pray God also to confer upon your Ladiship; Till then, I
rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful and constant_

_Friend, to serve you._



XXXI.


_MADAM,_

I will leave the Controversie of Free-Will and Necessity, which your
_Author_ is discoursing of,[1] to Divines to decide it, onely I say
this, that Nature hath a natural Free-will and power of self-moving,
and is not necessitated; but yet that this Free-will proceeds from God,
who hath given her both will and power to act freely. But as for the
question, whether there be nothing in the Universe, but meer body?[2]
I answer, My opinion is not, that there is nothing in the world but
meer Body; but that Nature is purely material or corporeal, and that
there is no part of Nature, or natural Creature, which is not Matter,
or Body, or made of Matter; also, that there is not any thing else
mixt with body, as a copartner in natural actions, which is distinct
from Body or Matter; nevertheless, there may be supernatural spiritual
beings or substances in Nature, without any hinderance to Matter or
corporeal Nature. The same I may say of the natural material, and
the divine and supernatural Soul; for though the divine Soul is in
a natural body, and both their powers and actions be different, yet
they cause no ruine or disturbance to each other, but do in many cases
agree with each other, without incroachment upon each others powers or
actions; for God, as he is the God of all things, so the God of Order.
Wherefore it is not probable, that created Immaterial or Incorporeal
beings should order Corporeal Nature, no more then Corporeal Nature
orders Immaterial or Incorporeal Creatures. Neither can, in my opinion,
Incorporeal Creatures be clearly conceived by Corporeals, although
they may really exist and subsist in Nature; onely, as I said before,
it is well to be considered, that there is difference betwixt being
in Nature, and being a part of Nature; for bodiless things, and so
spiritual substances, although they may exist in Nature, yet they
are not natural, nor parts of Nature, but supernatural, Nature being
meerly corporeal, and Matter the ground of Nature; and all that is
not built upon this material ground, is nothing in Nature. But you
will say, The divine Soul is a part of Man, and Man a part of Nature,
wherefore the divine Soul must needs be a part of Nature. I answer,
Not: For the divine Soul is not a part of Nature, but supernatural, as
a supernatural Gift from God onely to Man, and to no other Creature:
and although in this respect it may be called a part of Man, yet it is
no natural or material part of Man; neither doth this supernatural Gift
disturb Nature or natural Matter, or natural Matter this supernatural
Gift. And so leaving them both, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Of the Immortality of the Soul. l._ 1. _c._ 3.

[2] _Lib._ 2. _c._ 2.



XXXII.


_MADAM,_

If you desire my opinion concerning Witches, whereof your Learned
_Author_ hath many Discourses and Stories:[1] I will tell you really,
that in my sense and reason, I do not believe any, except it be the
witch of _Endor_, which the Scripture makes mention of; for though I
believe that there is a Devil, as the Word of God and the Church inform
me, yet I am not of the opinion, that God should suffer him to have
such a familiar conjunction, and make such contracts with Man, as to
impower him to do mischief and hurt to others, or to foretell things
to come, and the like; for I believe that all things Immaterial, as
Spirits, Angels, Devils, and the divine Soul of Man, are no parts of
Nature, but Supernatural, Nature knowing of no Creature that belongs to
her, but what is material; and since incorporeal Creatures are no parts
of Nature, they neither have natural actions, nor are they concerned
as co-partners or co-agents in the actions of Nature and natural
Creatures; but as their substances, so their actions are supernatural,
and beyond our conceivement. As for Faires, I will not say, but there
may be such Creatures in Nature, and have airy bodies, and be of a
humane shape, and have humane actions, as I have described in my Book
of Poems; for there are many things, in Nature, whereof Man hath no
knowledg at all, and it would be a great folly for any one to deny what
he doth not see, or to ascribe all the unusual effects in Nature to
Immaterial Spirits; for Nature is so full of variety, that she can and
doth present sometimes such figures to our exterior senses, as are
not familiar to us, so as we need not to take our refuge to Immaterial
Spirits: nay, even those that are so much for Incorporeal Spirits,
must confess, that they cannot be seen in their own natures, as being
Invisible, and therefore have need to take vehicles of some grosser
bodies to manifest themselves to men: and if Spirits cannot appear
without bodies, the neerest way is to ascribe such unusual effects or
apparitions, as happen sometimes, rather to matter that is already
corporeal, and not to go so far as to draw Immaterial Spirits to
Natural actions, and to make those Spirits take vehicles fit for their
purposes: for Nature takes sometimes delight in unusual Varieties.
Concerning those stories which your _Author_ relates[2] of the strange
effects of Food received into a mans body, how they did work upon the
Imagination, and change and transform the humors of those that did feed
upon them, those, I say, seem very probable to me. As for example;
of a _Wench who being struck into an Epilepsy, upon the seeing of a
Malefactors Head cut off, was advised to drink Cats-blood; which being
done, she not long after degenerated into the nature and property of
that Animal, cried and jump'd like a Cat, and hunted Mice with the
same silence and watchfulness as they do. Then of a Man, being long
fed with Swines-blood, which took a special pleasure in wallowing and
tumbling himself in the mire. Also of a Girle, which being nourished
up with Goats-milk, would skip like a Goat, and brouze on Trees as
Goats use to do. And of a Man, who by eating the brains of a Bear,
became of a Bear-like disposition._ All these stories I believe to be
true; for naturally the motions of a Man may sometimes Sympathize so
much with the received food, as to make an alteration in his humour
or disposition. But although it be natural, yet it is not regular, at
least not usual, but proceeds from an irregular and unusual change of
motions, like as the conception and generation of a Monster; For if
it were ordinary, then those which drink much of the blood of beasts,
would also degenerate into a beastly nature, the contrary whereof
is sufficiently known: Likewise those that drink much of Cows-milk,
would change into their humors and natures. But certainly, some
kinds of meats do not onely cause sickness, but madness, and strange
Imaginations; all which unnatural or unusual accidents are caused by
Matter's irregular motions; Whereof I have declared my opinion in other
places; and so I rest,

Madam,


_Your faithful and constant_

_Friend, to serve you._

[1] _Antid. lib._ 3.

[2] _In his discourse of Enthusiasm._



XXXIII.


_MADAM,_

You will have my opinion of the Book that treats of _the Pre-existence
of Souls_, and the _Key that unlocks the Divine Providence_; but I
have told you heretofore, that there are so many different opinions
concerning the Soul, as I do not know which to embrace, for the
multiplicity confounds my choice: and the cause of these various
opinions, in my simple judgment, is, that most men make no difference
between the Divine, and Natural Soul. As for the Natural Soul, humane
sense and reason may perceive, that it consists of Matter, as being
Material; but as for the Divine Soul, being not material, no humane
sense and reason is able naturally to conceive it; for there cannot
possibly be so much as an Idea of a natural nothing, or an immaterial
being, neither can sense and reason naturally conceive the Creation of
an Immaterial substance; for as the Creation of material Creatures,
as of this World, belongs to Faith, and not to Reason, so doth also
the Creation of Immaterial substances, as Spirits; nay, it is more
difficult to understand a Natural Nothing to be made out of nothing,
then a Natural Something out of nothing. And as for the _Progress
of Immaterial Souls_, which the same _Author_ mentions, I cannot
conceive how No-thing can make a Progress, and therefore I suppose,
it is an Improper, or Metaphorical expression. The truth is, what is
Immaterial, belongs not to a Natural knowledg or understanding, but is
Supernatural, and goes beyond a natural reach or capacity. Concerning
_the Key of Divine Providence_, I believe God did never give or lend
it to any man; for surely, God, who is infinitely Wise, would never
intrust so frail and foolish a Creature as Man, with it, as to let
him know his secret Counsels, Acts, and Decrees. But setting aside
Pride and Presumption, Sense and Reason may easily perceive, that Man,
though counted the best of Creatures, is not made with such infinite
Excellence, as to pierce into the least secrets of God; Wherefore I am
in a maze when I hear of such men, which pretend to know so much, as
if they had plundered the Celestial Cabinet of the Omnipotent God; for
certainly, had they done it, they could not pretend to more knowledg
then they do. But I, _Madam_, confess my Ignorance, as having neither
divine Inspirations, nor extraordinary Visions, nor any divine or
humane learning, but what Nature has been pleased to bestow upon me;
Yet in all this Ignorance, I know that I am, and ought to be,

Madam,

_Your humble and_

_faithful Servant._



XXXIV.


_MADAM,_

Since in my former Letters I have discoursed of Immaterial Spirits,
and declared my meaning, that I do not believe them to be natural
Creatures, or parts of Nature; you are of opinion, as if I did
contradict my self, by reason that in the first Edition of my Book
called _Philosophical Opinions_, I name the rational and sensitive
Matter, rational and sensitive Spirits. To which I answer, first,
That when I did write my first Conceptions in Natural Philosophy, I
was not so experienced, nor had I those observations which I have had
since; Neither did I give those first Conceptions time to digest, and
come to a maturity or perfect growth, but forced them forth as soon
as conceived, and this made the first publishing of them so full of
Imperfections, which I am much sorry for; But since that time, I have
not onely reviewed, but corrected and altered them in several places,
so that the last Impression of my _Philosophical Opinions_, you will
find more perfect and exact then the former. Next, I pray you to take
notice, _Madam_, that in the mentioned first Edition, by the word
Spirits, I meant Material, not Immaterial Spirits; for observing, that
Learned Men do discourse much of Animal Spirits, which are Material,
and that also high extracts in Chymistry are called Spirits; I used
that word purposely, thinking it most proper and convenient to express
my sense and meaning of that degree of matter which I call rational and
sensitive. But considering again, that my opinions, being new, would
be subject to misapprehensions and mis-interpretations; to prevent
those, I thought it fitter to leave out the word _Spirits_ in the
second, as also in the last Edition of my named Book of _Philosophy_,
lest my Readers should think I meant Immaterial Spirits; for I confess
really, that I never understood, nor cannot as yet apprehend Immaterial
Spirits; for though I believe the Scripture, and the Church, that
there are Spirits, and do not doubt the existency of them, yet I
cannot conceive the nature of Immaterial Spirits, and what they are;
Wherefore I do onely treat of natural material substances, and not
of incorporeal; also my discourse is of the Infinite servant of the
Infinite God, which servant is corporeal or material Nature: God is
onely to be admired, adored, and worshipped; but not ungloriously
to be discoursed of; Which Omnipotent God, I pray of his Infinite
Mercy to give me Faith to believe in him, and not to let presumption
prevail with me so, as to liken vain and idle conceptions to that
Incomprehensible Deity. These, _Madam_, are my humble Prayers to God;
and my request to you is, that I may continue the same in your love and
affection, which I have been hitherto; so shall I live content, and
rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



SECT. III.

I.


_MADAM,_

I have discharged my duty thus far, that in obedience to your commands,
I have given you my answers to the opinions of three of those famous
and learned _Authors_ you sent me, _viz. Hobbes, Des Cartes_, and
_More_, and explained my own opinions by examining theirs; My onely
task shall be now to proceed in the same manner with that famous
Philosopher and Chymist, _Van Helmont_; But him I find more difficult
to be understood then any of the forementioned, not onely by reason
of the Art of Chymistry, which I confess myself not versed in, but
especially, that he has such strange terms and unusual expressions
as may puzle any body to apprehend the sense and meaning of them:
Wherefore, if you receive not that full satisfaction you expect
from me, in examining his opinions and arguments, I beg your pardon
before-hand, and desire you to remember, that I sent you word in the
beginning, I did undertake this work more out of desire to clear my
own opinions, then a quarrelsome humor to contradict others; which
if I do but obtain, I have my aim. And so to the business: When as
your _Author_ discourses of the causes and beginnings of Natural
things, he is pleased to say,[1] That _Souls and Lives, as they know
no Degrees, so they know no Parts_; which opinion is very different
from mine: For although I confess, that there is but one kind of Life,
and one kind of Soul in Nature, which is the sensitive Life, and the
rational Soul, both consisting not onely of Matter, but of one kind of
Matter, to wit, Animate; nevertheless they are of different degrees,
the matter of the rational Soul being more agil, subtil and active,
then the matter of the sensitive Life; which is the reason that the
rational can act in its own substance or degree of matter, and make
figures in it self, and its own parts; when as the sensitive, being
of somewhat a grosser degree then the rational, and not so subtil
and active, is confined to work with and upon the Inanimate matter.
But mistake me not, _Madam_, for I make onely a difference of the
degrees of Subtilty, Activity, Agility, Purity, betwixt rational and
sensitive Matter; but as for the rational Matter it self, it has no
degrees of Purity, Subtilty and Activity in its own Nature or Parts,
but is always one and the same in its substance in all Creatures, and
so is the sensitive. You will ask me, How comes then the difference
of so many Parts and Creatures in Nature, if there be no degrees of
Purity, Activity, and Subtilty in the substance of the rational, and in
the substance of the sensitive Matter? As for example: if there were
no such degrees of the Parts of rational Matter amongst themselves,
as also of the Parts of the sensitive, there would be no difference
betwixt Animals, Vegetables, Minerals, and Elements, but all Creatures
would be alike without distinction, and have the same manner of sense
and reason, life and knowledg. I answer, That although each sort or
degree of animate Matter, rational as well as sensitive, has in it self
or its own substance no degrees of purity, rarity, and subtilty, but
is one and the same in its nature or essence; nevertheless, each has
degrees of quantity, or parts, which degrees of quantity do make the
onely difference betwixt the several creatures or parts of Nature, as
well in their general, as particular kinds; for both the rational and
sensitive matter being corporeal, and so dividable into parts, some
creatures do partake more, some less of them, which makes them to have
more or less, and so different sense and reason, each according to the
nature of its kind: Nay this difference of the degrees of quantity or
parts in the substance of the rational and sensitive Matter, makes
also the difference betwixt particulars in every sort of Creatures, as
for example, between several particular Men: But as I said, the nature
or essence of the sensitive and rational Matter is the same in all;
for the difference consists not in the Nature of Matter, but onely in
the degrees of quantity, and parts of Matter, and in the various and
different actions or motions of this same Matter. And thus Matter being
dividable, there are numerous lives and souls in Nature, according to
the variousness of her several Parts and Creatures. Next your _Author_,
mentioning the _Causes and Principles of natural Bodies_, assigns two
first or chief beginnings and corporeal causes of every Creature,
to wit, the _Element of Water_, and the _Ferment or Leaven_; which
Ferment he calls a formal created being; neither a substance, nor an
accident, but a neutral thing. Truly, _Madam_, my reason is not able
to conceive this neutral Being; for it must either be something or
nothing in Nature: and if he makes it any thing betwixt both, it is a
strange Monster; and will produce monstrous effects: and for Water,
if he doth make it a Principle of Natural things, I see no reason
why he excludes the rest of the Elements: But, in my opinion, Water,
and the rest of the Elements, are but effects of Nature, as other
Creatures are, and so cannot be prime causes. The like the Ferment,
which, to my sense and reason, is nothing else, but a natural effect of
natural matter. Concerning his opinion, That _Causes and Beginnings_
are all one, or that there is but little difference betwixt them, I
do readily subscribe unto it; but when he speaks of those _things,
which are produced without life_, my reason cannot find out, what, or
where they should be; for certainly, in Nature they are not, Nature
being Life and Soul her self, and all her parts being enlivened and
soulified, so that there can be no generation or natural production
without Life. Neither is my sense and reason capable to understand his
meaning, when he says, That the _Seeds of things, and the Spirits,
as the Dispensers thereof, are divided from the Material Cause_: For
I do see no difference betwixt the Seed, and the material Cause, but
they are all one thing, it being undeniable, that the seed is the
matter of that which is produced. But your _Author_ was pleased to say
heretofore, that there are but two beginnings or causes of natural
things, and now he makes so many more; for, says he, Of _Efficient
and Seminal Causes, some are efficiently effecting, and others
effectively effecting_: which nice distinctions, in my opinion, do
but make a confusion in natural knowledg, setting a mans brain on the
rack; for who is able to conceive all those _Chymæras_ and Fancies of
the _Archeus, Ferment,_ various _Ideas, Blas, Gas,_ and many more,
which are neither something nor no-thing in Nature, but betwixt both,
except a man have the same Fancies, Visions and Dreams, your _Author_
had? Nature is easie to be understood, and without any difficulty,
so as we stand in no need to frame so many strange names, able to
fright any body. Neither do natural bodies know many prime causes and
beginnings, but there is but one onely chief and prime cause from which
all effects and varieties proceed, which cause is corporeal Nature,
or natural self-moving Matter, which forms and produces all natural
things; and all the variety and difference of natural Creatures arises
from her various actions, which are the various motions in Nature;
some whereof are Regular, some Irregular: I mean Irregular, as to
particular Creatures, not as to Nature her self, for Nature cannot
be disturbed or discomposed, or else all would run into confusion;
Wherefore Irregularities do onely concern particular Creatures, not
Infinite Nature; and the Irregularities of some parts may cause the
Irregularities of other Parts, as the Regularities of some parts do
cause the Regularities of others: And thus according as Regularities
and Irregularities have power, they cause either Peace or War, Sickness
or Health, Delight and Pleasure, or Grief and Pain, Life or Death, to
particular Creatures or parts of Nature; but all these various actions
are but various Effects, and not prime Causes; which is well to be
observed, lest we confound Causes with Effects. And so leaving this
discourse for the present, I rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] Van Helm, _in his Book intituled_, Physick Refined, _ch._ 4. _of
the Causes and beginning of natural things._



II.


_MADAM,_

It is no wonder, your _Author_ has so many odd and strange opinions
in Philosophy, since they do not onely proceed from strange Visions,
Apparitions, and Dreams, but are built upon so strange grounds and
principles as _Ideas, Archeus, Gas, Blas, Ferment,_ and the like,
the names of which sound so harsh and terrifying, as they might put
any body easily into a fright, like so many Hobgoblins or Immaterial
spirits; but the best is, they can do no great harm, except it be to
trouble the brains of them, that love to maintain those opinions; for
though they are thought to be powerful beings, yet being not corporeal
substances, I cannot imagine wherein their power should consist; for
Nothing can do nothing. But to mention each apart; first his _Archeus_
he calls[1] _the Spirit of Life; a vital gas or Light; the Balsam
preferring from Corruption; the_ Vulcan _or Smith of Generation; the
stirrer up, and inward director of generation; an Air; a skiey or
airy Spirit; cloathing himself presently with a bodily cloathing, in
things soulified, walking through all the dens and retiring places of
the seed, and transforming the matter according to the perfect act of
its own Image, remaining the president and overseer or inward ruler of
his bounds even till death; the Principle of Life: the Inn of Life,
the onely immediate Witness, Executor, and Instrument of Life; the
Prince and Center of Life; the Ruler of the Stern; the Keeper of Life,
and promoter of Transmutations; the Porter of the Soul; a Fountainous
being; a Flint._[2] These, and many more names your _Author_ attributes
to his _Archeus_, but what properly it is, and what its Nature and its
peculiar office, I am not able to conceive. In the next place, _Gas_
and _Blas_ are to your _Author_ also true Principles of Natural things;
for[3] _Gas is the Vapour into which Water is dissolved by Cold, but
yet it is a far more fine and subtil thing then Vapour_; which he
demonstrates by the Art of Chymistry. This _Gas_ in another place he
calls[4] a _Wild Spirit, or Breath, unknown hitherto; which can neither
be constrained by Vessels, nor reduced into a visible body; in some
things it is nothing but Water, as for example in Salt, in Fruits, and
the like._ But[5] _Blas proceeds from the local and alterative motion
of the Stars, and is the general beginning of motion, producing heat
and cold, and that especially with the changing of the Winds._ There is
also[6] _Blas in all sublunary things_; witness Amulets or preserving
Pomanders, whereby they do constrain objects to obey them; _Which
Incorporeal Blas of Government acts without a Corporeal Efflux, even
as the Moon makes the Sea to swell; but the fleshly generation_[7]
_hath a Blas of its own, and it is twofold, one which existeth by a
natural Motion, the other voluntary, which existeth as a mover to it
self by an Internal Willing._ There is also a _Blas of the Heart_,
which is _the fuel of the Vital Spirit, and consequently of its heat._
The _Ferment_[8] he describes to be _A true Principle or Original
beginning of things, to wit, a Formal Created beginning, which is
neither a substance, nor an accident, but a Neutral being, framed from
the beginning of the World in the places of its own Monarchy, in the
manner of Light, Fire, the magnal or sheath of the Air, Forms, &c. that
it may prepare, stir up, and go before the Seeds._ Lastly, his _Ideas_
are _Certain formal seminal Lights,_[9] _mutually piercing each other
without the adultery of Union; For_, says he, _although at first, that,
which is imagined, is nothing, but a meer being of reason, yet it doth
not remain such; for truely the Fancy is a sealifying vertue, and in
this respect is called Imaginative, because it forms the Images of
Likenesses, or Ideas of things conceived, and doth characterize them
in its own Vital Spirit, and therefore that Idea is made a spiritual
or seminal powerful being, to perform things of great moment._ And
those Ideas he makes various and numerous; as _Archeal Ideas, Ideas of
Diseases, Sealifying Ideas, Piercing Ideas, Forreign and strange Ideas,
Mad Ideas, Irrational and Incorrigible Ideas, Staggering Ideas,_ and a
hundred others: the like of _Gas, Blas,_ and the rest. Thus, _Madam_, I
have made a rehearsal of your _Authors_ strange, and hitherto unknown,
Principles (as his Confession is) of Natural things, which, to my
sense and reason, are so obscure, intricate and perplex, as is almost
impossible exactly to conceive them; when as Principles ought to be
easie, plain, and without any difficulty to be understood; Wherefore
what with his Spirits, meer-beings, _non_-beings, and neutral-beings,
he troubles Nature, and puzles the brains of his Readers so, that, I
think, if all men were of his opinion, or did follow the way of his
Philosophy, Nature would desire God she might be annihilated: Onely, of
all other, she doth not fear his Non-beings, for they are the weakest
of all, and can do her the least hurt, as not being able to obstruct
real and corporeal actions of Nature; for Nature is a corporeal
substance, and without a substance Motion cannot be, and without
Motion opposition cannot be made, nor any action in Nature, whether
Prints, Seals, Stamps, Productions, Generations, Thoughts, Conceptions,
Imaginations, Passions, Appetites, or the like: and if motions cannot
be without substance; then all Creatures, their properties, faculties,
natures, &c., being made by corporeal motions, cannot be _Non_-beings,
no nor anything else that is in Nature; for _non_-beings are not in
the number of Natural things, Nature containing nothing within her,
but what is substantially, really, and corporeally existent. But your
Authors _Ideal Entity_, (whereof he is speaking in another place of
his Works,)[10] which performs all the Works of Nature, seems to me,
as if it were the Jack of all Offices, or like the Jack in a Clock,
that makes every Wheel move; for it hath an admirable power to put off
and on Corporeality and Incorporeality, and to make it self Something
and Nothing as often as it has occasion; but if this _Proteus_ have
such power, it may well be named the Magick of Nature. Your _Author_
saith, it is not the Devil, nor any effect thereof: but certainly, in
my opinion, according to its description, and the effects laid to its
performance, it must be more then the Devil; wherefore, in my Reason, I
cannot conceive it, neither am I able to understand his _Phantastick
Activity, Fancy of Forms, the Souls acting by an insensible way,_
and many more such like expressions. But I conceive that all these
can be nothing else but the several motions of the sensitive and
rational matter, which is the Active, Ingenious, Distinguishing,
Knowing, Wise and Understanding part of Infinite corporeal Nature; and
though Infinite Matter hath Infinite parts in general, yet there is a
finiteness in every part considered by it self: not that I think a Part
can really subsist single and by it self, but it is onely considered
so in the manner of our Conception, by reason of the difference and
variousness of natural Creatures: for these being different from each
other in their figures, and not all alike, so that we can make a
distinction betwixt them; this difference and distinction causes us
to conceive every part of a different figure by it self: but properly
and according to the Truth of Nature, there is no part by it self
subsisting; for all parts are to be considered, not onely as parts
of the whole, but as parts of other parts, all parts being joyned in
Infinite Nature, and tied by an inseparable tie one way or other,
although we do not altogether perceive it. But to return to _Ideas_:
I had almost forgot to tell you, _Madam_, of another kind of _Ideas_,
by your _Author_ named, _Bewitching_ or _Inchanting Ideas_,[11] which
are for the most part found in Women, against which I cannot but
take exception in the behalf of our Sex: For, says he, _Women stamp
Ideas on themselves, whereby they, no otherwise then Witches driven
about with a malignant spirit of despair, are oftentimes governed or
snatched away unto those things, which otherwise they would not, and
do bewail unto us their own and unvoluntary Madness: These Ideas are
hurtful to themselves, and do, as it were, Inchant, Infatuate, and
weaken themselves; for so (as_ Plutarch _witnesses) a desire of death
by hanging took hold of all the young Maids in the Island_ Chios. By
this it appears, that your _Author_ has never been in Love, or else he
would have found, that Men have as well bewitching _Ideas_ as Women,
and that they are as hurtful to Men, as to Women. Neither can I be
perswaded to believe, that men should not have as well Mad _Ideas_ as
Women; for to mention no other example, some, (I will not speak of
your _Author_) their Writings and strange Opinions in Philosophy do
sufficiently witness it; but whence those Ideas do proceed, whether
from the Bride-bed of the Soul, or the Splene, your _Author_ doth not
declare. As for the young Maids in _Chios_, I must confess, it is a
very strange example; but I think there have been as many Men that
have killed themselves, as Women, if not more: However, I hope, by the
Grace of God, the young Maids in this Kingdom are better advised; for
if they should do the like, it would be a sad fate for all young Men.
To conclude, _Madam_, all these rehearsed opinions of your _Author_,
concerning the Grounds or Principles of Natural Philosophy, if you
desire my Unfeigned Judgment, I can say no more, but that they shew
more Fancy, then Reason and Truth, and so do many others; and, perhaps,
my opinions may be as far from Truth as his, although their Ground is
Sense and Reason; for there is no single Creature in Nature, that is
able to know the perfectest Truth: but some opinions, to humane sense
and reason, may have more probability then others, and every one thinks
his to be most probable, according to his own fancy and imagination,
and so I think of mine; nevertheless, I leave them to the censure of
those, that are endued with solid judgment and reason, and know how
to discern betwixt things of fancy and reason, and amongst the rest,
I submit them to the censure of your _Ladiship_, whose solid and wise
Judgment is the rule of all the actions of,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _In his_ ch. _called_ The Fiction of Elementary Complexions and
Mixtures.

[2] _In the_ ch. of the Birth and Original of Forms. _In the_ ch. Of
the Ideas of Diseases. _See his_ ch. _called_ The Seat of Diseases
in the Soul is confirmed. Ch. of Archeal Diseases. Ch. _called_ The
Subject of inhering of Diseases is in the point of Life, &c.

[3] _In the_ ch. Of the Gas of the Water.

[4] _In the_ ch. of the Fiction of Elementary Complexions and Mixtures.

[5] _In the_ ch. Of the Blas of Meteors.

[6] _In the_ ch. Of the unknown action of Government.

[7] _In the_ ch. Of the Blas of Man.

[8] Of the Causes and beginnings of Natural things.

[9] Of the Ideas of Diseases.

[10] Of the Magnetick cure of Wounds.

[11] Of things Conceived, or Conceptions.



III.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ relating how he dissents from the _false Doctrine_, as
he terms it, _of the Schools_, concerning the Elements, and their
Mixtures, Qualities, Temperaments, Discords, &c. in order to Diseases,
is pleased to say as follows:[1] _I have sufficiently demonstrated,
that there are not four Elements in Nature, and by consequence, if
there are onely three, that four cannot go together, or encounter; and
that the fruits which Antiquity hath believed to be mixt bodies, and
those composed from a concurrence of four elements, are materially of
one onely Element; also that those three Elements are naturally cold;
nor that native heat is any where in things, except from Light, Life,
Motion, and an altering Blas: In like manner, that all actual moisture
is of Water, but all virtual moisture from the property of the seeds:
Likewise, that dryness is by it self in the Air and Earth, but in
Fruits by reason of the Seeds and Coagulations; and that there are not
Contraries in Nature._ To give you my opinion hereof, first I think it
too great a presumption in any man, to feign himself so much above the
rest, as to accuse all others of ignorance, and that none but he alone
hath the true knowledg of all things as infallible and undeniable,
and that so many Learned, Wise and Ingenious Men in so many ages have
been blinded with errors; for certainly, no particular Creature in
Nature can have any exact or perfect knowledg of Natural things, and
therefore opinions cannot be infallible truths, although they may seem
probable; for how is it possible that a single finite Creature should
know the numberless varieties and hidden actions of Nature? Wherefore
your _Author_ cannot say, that he hath demonstrated any thing, which
could not be as much contradicted, and perhaps with more reason, then
he hath brought proofs and demonstrations: And thus when he speaks of
Elements, that there are not four in Nature, and that they cannot go
together, or encounter, it may be his opinion; but others have brought
as many reasons to the contrary, and I think with more probability; so
as it is unnecessary to make a tedious discourse thereof, and therefore
I'le refer you to those that have treated of it more learnedly and
solidly then I can do. But I perceive your _Author_ is much for Art,
and since he can make solid bodies liquid, and liquid bodies solid, he
believes that all bodies are composed out of the Element of Water, and
that Water therefore is the first Principle of all things; when as
Water, in my opinion, is but an Effect, as all other natural Creatures,
and therefore cannot be a cause or principle of them. Concerning the
_Natural coldness of Water, Air, and Earth,_ it may be, or not be so,
for any thing your _Author_ can truly know; but to my sense and reason,
it seems probable that there are things naturally hot and moist, and
hot and dry, as well as cold and moist, and cold and dry: But all these
are but several effects produced by the several actions of Natural
Matter, which Natural Matter is the onely Principle of all Natural
Effects and Creatures whatever; and this Principle, I am confident
your _Author_ can no more prove to be Water, then he can prove that
Heat, Light, Life, Motion, and _Blas_, are not material. Concerning
what he saith, That _Native Heat is no where in things, except from
Light, Life, Motion, and an altering Blas_: I believe that motion of
life makes not onely heat, but all effects whatsoever; but this native
heat is not produced onely from the motions of Particular lives in
particular Creatures, but it is made by the motions of Natures life;
which life, in all probability, is the self-moving Matter, which no
doubt, can and doth make Light and Blas without Heat, and Heat without
Light or Blas; Wherefore Light and Blas are not principles of native
Heat, no more then native Heat is the principle of Light and Blas.
Neither is Water the Principle of Actual moisture, nor the propriety
of seeds the Principle of all Virtual moisture; but self-moving Matter
is the Principle of all, and makes both actual and virtual moisture,
and there is no question but there are many sorts of moistures. As for
_Dryness_, which he says, _is by it self in the Air and Earth, and
in Fruits by reason of the Seeds and Coagulations_: I cannot conceive
how any thing can be by it self in Nature, by reason there is nothing
alone and single in Nature, but all are inseparable parts of one body:
perchance, he means, it is naturally and essentially inherent in Air
and Earth; but neither can that be in my reason, because all Creatures
and Effects of Nature are Intermixt, and there is as much dryness in
other Creatures, as in Air and Earth. Lastly, as for his opinion, That
_there are no Contraries in Nature_; I believe not in the essence
or nature of Matter; but sense and reason inform us, that there are
Contraries in Natures actions, which are Corporeal motions, which cause
mixtures, qualities, degrees, discords, as also harmonious conjunctions
and concords, compositions, divisions, and the like effects whatsoever.
But though your _Author_ seems to be an enemy to the mixtures of
Elements, yet he makes such a mixture of Divinity, and natural
Philosophy, that all his Philosophy is nothing but a meer Hotch-potch,
spoiling one with the other. And so I will leave it to those that
delight in it, resting,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _In his Treatise called_, A passive deceiving of the Schools of the
Humourists.



IV.


_MADAM,_

_Water_, according to your _Authors_ opinion,[1] _is frozen into Snow,
Ice, or Hail, not by Cold, but by its own Gas._ But since I am not able
to conceive what his Gas is, being a term invented by him self, I will
briefly declare my own opinion, which is, That Snow, Ice, and Hail, in
my judgment, are made in the like manner, as Passions or Colours are
made and raised in Man; for a sad discourse, or a cruel object will
make a Man pale and cold, and a fearful object, will make him tremble;
whereas a wanton and obscene discourse will make some red and hot.
But yet these discourses and objects are onely external, occasional,
and not immediate efficient causes of such alterations. Also when a
Man eats or drinks any thing that is actually hot or cold, or enters
into a cold or hot room, bath, or air, he becomes hot or cold by the
actions of those external agents that work upon him, or rather whose
motions the sensitive motions of his body do pattern out. The like
for diseases; for they may be caused either by hearing ill reports,
or by taking either hurtful or superfluous food into the Body, or by
Infections inwardly or outwardly, and many other ways. Likewise may
Colours be made different ways; And so may Snow, Ice, and Hail; for
all loose, rare, and porous Bodies are more apt to alter and change
then close, solid, and dense bodies; and not onely to change from
what they are, but to rechange to what they were. But, _Madam_, many
studious persons study Nature more in her own substance, then in her
various actions, which is the cause they arrive to no knowledg of
Natures Works; for the same parts of Matter may act or work several
ways: Like as a Man, or other animal creature, may put one part of his
body into various and several postures, and move it many different
ways. Your _Author_ may say, that although several Creatures may be
changed to our sight or perception, yet they are not really changed in
Nature. I answer, Their Principle, which is a natural matter, of which
all Creatures are made, cannot be changed, because it is one, simple,
and unalterable in its Nature; but the figures of several Creatures
are changed continually by the various motions of this matter; not
from being matter, but onely from such or such a figure into another;
and those figures which do change, in their room are others produced
to keep up the certain kinds of Creatures by a continual successive
alteration. And as there are changes of parts, so there are also
mixtures of several parts, figures and motions in one and the same
Matter; for there are not different kinds in the nature of Matter:
But, although Matter is of several degrees, as partly animate and
partly inanimate, and the animate Matter is partly rational, and partly
sensitive; Nevertheless, in all those degrees it remains the same onely
or meer Matter; that is, it is nothing else but Matter, and the onely
ground in which all changes are made. And therefore I cannot perceive
it to be impossible in Nature, as to your _Author_ it seems, That
_Water should not be transchangeable into Air_; for, that he says,
_The Air would have increased into a huge bulk, and all Water would
have long since failed_: It is no consequence, because there is a
Mutual transmutation of all figures and parts of Nature, as I declared
above; and when one part is transchanged into another, that part is
supplied again by the change of another, so that there can be no total
mutation of kinds or sorts of figures, but onely a mutual change of
the particulars. Neither is it of any consequence, when your _Author_
says, That _if Water should once be turned into Air, it would always
remain Air, because a returning agent is wanting, which may turn Air
again into Water._ For he might as well say, a Man cannot go or turn
backward, being once gone forward. And although he brings a General
Rule, That _every thing, as much as in it lies, doth desire to remain
in it self_; Yet it is impossible to be done, by reason there is no
rest in Nature, she being in a perpetual motion, either working to
the consistance of a figure, or to the uniting of several parts, or
to the dissolving or dividing of several parts, or any other ways. By
dissolving, I do not mean annihilating, but such a dissolving of parts
as is proper for the altering of such a figure into one or many other
figures. But rather then your Author will consent to the transchanging
of Water into Air, he will feign several grounds, soils or pavements
in the Air, which he calls _Peroledes_, and so many Flood-gates and
Folding-dores, and make the Planets their Key-keepers; which are pretty
Fancies, but not able to prove any thing in Natural Philosophy. And so
leaving them to their Author, I rest,

Madam,

_Your humble and_

_faithful Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of the Gas of Water.



V.


_MADAM,_

I cannot in reason give my consent to your _Authors_ opinion,[1] That
_Fishes do by the force or vertue of an inbred Seed transchange simple
water into fat, bones, and their own flesh, and that materially they
are nothing but water transchanged, and that they return into water by
art._ For though my opinion is, that bodies change and alter from one
figure into another, yet they do not all change into water, neither
is water changed into all other figures; and certainly Fishes do not
live nor subsist meerly by Water, but by several other meats, as other
animals do; either by feeding upon other Fishes, the stronger devouring
the weaker, or upon Mud, and Grass, and Weeds, in the bottom of Seas,
Rivers and Ponds, and the like: As for example, put Fish into a Pool or
Sluce, wherein there is not any thing but clear, pure water, and in a
short time they will be starved to death for want of Food; and as they
cannot live onely by water, so neither can they breed by the power of
water, but by the power of their food, as a more solid substance: And
if all Creatures be nourished by those things whereof they consist,
then Fishes do not consist of water, being not nourished by water;
for it is not the transchanging of water, by which Fishes live, and by
which they produce; but it is the transchange of food, proceeding from
other Creatures, as I mentioned above. 'Tis true, Water is a proper
element for them to live in, but not to live on; and though I have
neither learning, nor experience in _Chymistry_, yet I believe, that
your _Author_, with all the subtilest Art he had, could not turn or
convert all Creatures into pure and simple water, but there would have
been dregs and several mixtures left: I will not say, that the Furnace
may not rarifie bodies extreamly, but not convert them into such a
substance or form as Nature can. And although he thinks Gold is made of
Water, yet I do not believe he could convert it into Water by the help
of Fire; he might make it soluble, fluid and rare, but all things that
are supple, soluble, flowing and liquid, are not Water; I am confident
no _Gas_ or _Blas_ will, or can transform it, nor no Art whatsoever;
what Nature may do, I know not. But since your _Authors_ opinion is,
that Air is also a Primigenial Element, and in its nature a substance,
Why doth he not make it a Principle of natural bodies, as well as
Water? I think it had not been so improper to liken Juices to Water;
but to make the onely Principle of the composition and dissolution of
all Creatures to be Water, seems to me very improbable. Neither can
I admit in reason that the Elements should be called, first, pure,
and simple beings; we might as well call all other creatures, first,
pure, and simple beings: for although the word Element sounds as much
as Principle, yet they are in my reason no more Principles of Nature,
then other Creatures are, there being but one Principle in Nature, out
of which all things are composed, _viz._ the onely matter, which is a
pure and simple corporeal substance; and what Man names impure dregs
and filths, these are onely irregular and cross motions of that matter,
in respect to the nature of such or such a figure; or such motions as
are not agreeable and sympathetical to our Passions, Humors, Appetites,
and the like. Concerning the Contrarieties, Differences and Wars in
Nature, which your _Author_ denies, I have spoken thereof already, and
though he endeavours in a long discourse to prove, that there is no War
in nature; yet, in my opinion, it is to little purpose, and it makes
but a war in the thoughts of the Reader; I know not what it did in
his own. But I observe he appeals often to Divinity to bear him up in
Natural Philosophy; but how the Church doth approve his Interpretations
of the Scripture, I know not: Wherefore I will not meddle with them,
lest I offend the Truth of the Divine Scripture, wherein I desire to
submit to the Judgment of the Church, which is much wiser then I, or
any single Person can be. However, for all what your _Author_ says,
I do nevertheless verily believe, there is a war between Natural
motions: For example; between the Regular motions of Health, and the
Irregular motions of Sickness; and that things applied do oftentimes
give assistance to one side or other, but many times in the conflict,
the applied remedies are destroyed, and sometimes they are forced to
be Neutrals: Wherefore though the nature of Infinite Matter is simple,
and knows of no discord, yet her actions may be cross and opposite: the
truth is, Nature could never make such variety, did her actions never
oppose each other, but live in a constant Peace and Unity. And thus
leaving them to agree, I am confident your _Ladiship_ and I shall never
disagree; for as long as my life doth last, I shall always prove,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._

[1] _Ch._ The Fiction of Elementary Complexions and Mixtures.



VI.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ condemns the _Schools_ for saying,[1] That _Air is
moist_, or that it may be _converted into Water by pressing it
together_; bringing an example of an _Iron Pipe, wherein Air has been
pressed together, which afterwards in its driving out has, like a
Hand-gun discharged with Gun-powder, sent a bullet thorow a board or
plank._ Truly, _Madam_, concerning the moisture of Air, I am against
it, but the transchanging of Air into Water I do verily believe, _viz._
that some sorts of Air may be contracted or condensed into Water, and
that Water again may be dilated into Air, but not readily, commonly and
easily by Art, but onely by Nature. Wherefore your _Authors_ Experiment
can serve for no proof; for an artificial trial cannot be an infallible
natural demonstration, the actions of Art, and the actions of Nature
being for the most part very different, especially in productions and
transmutations of natural things: Neither can an alteration of parts,
cause an utter destruction of the whole, because when some parts change
from their figures, other parts of matter change again into the like
figures, by which successive change the continuation of the whole is
kept up. Next your _Author_ reproves the Schools for maintaining the
opinion, that _Air is hot_; for says he, _Water, Air, and Earth, are
cold by Creation, because without Light, Heat, and the partaking of
Life._ He might, in my opinion, conclude, as well, that Man is cold by
Creation, because a Chameleon, or a Fish is cold, being all of animal
kind: But why may not some sorts of Air, Water and Earth be hot, and
some be cold, as well as some sorts of Light are hot, and some cold;
and so several other Creatures? His Reasons prove nothing: for Light
doth not make Heat, nor is it the principle of Heat; and it is no
consequence to say, all that is without Light is without Heat, there
being many things without Light, which nevertheless are Hot; But to
say, Water, Air, and Earth are cold, because they are without heat, is
no proof, but a meer begging of the principle; for it is but the same
thing, as if I should say, this is no Stone, because it is no Glass.
And that Water, Air and Earth, do not partake of Life, must be proved
first, for that is not granted as yet, there being, according to my
opinion, not one Creature that wants Life in all Nature. Again: your
_Author_ is of opinion, That _Water is the first and chief Principle of
all Natural things._ But this I can no more believe, then that _Water
should never change or degenerate from its essence_: nay, if your
_Author_ means, there shall always be Water in Nature, it is another
thing; but if he thinks that not any part of water doth or can change
or degenerate in its nature, and is the principle and chief producer
of all other Creatures; then he makes Water rather a Creator then a
Creature; and it seems, that those Gentiles which did worship Water,
were of the same opinion, whereas yet he condemns all Pagan opinions
and all those that follow them. Moreover, I cannot subscribe to his
opinion, That _Gas and Blas from the Stars do make heat_: For heat is
made several ways, according to its several sorts; for there is a dry
heat, and a moist heat, a burning, melting, and evaporating heat, and
many more. But as for _Meteors_, that _they are made by Gas and Blas_,
I can say nothing, by reason I am not skilled in Astrology, and the
science of the Heavens, Stars, and Planets; wherefore if I did offer
to meddle with them, I should rather express my Ignorance, then give
your _Ladiship_ any solid reasons; and so I am willing to leave this
speculation to others, resting content with that knowledg Nature hath
given me without the help of Learning: Which I wholly dedicate and
offer to your _Ladiship_, as becomes,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] In the _ch._ of _Air._



VII.


_MADAM,_

Having made mention in my last of your _Authors_ opinion, _That Air
is in its nature Cold_, I thought it fit to take a stricter view of
the temper of Air, and to send you withal my own opinion thereof.
First of all, I would fain know, what sort of Air your _Author_ means;
for if he thinks there is but one sort of Air, he might as well say,
that there is but one sort of Animals, or Vegetables; whereas yet
there are not onely different sorts of animal and vegetable kind, but
also different particulars in one and the same sort: As for example;
what difference is not amongst Horses, as between a Barb, a Turk,
a Ginnet, a Courser of _Naples_, a Flanders-horse, a Galloway, an
English-horse, and so forth? not onely in their shapes, but also in
their natures, tempers and dispositions? The like for Cows, Oxen,
Sheep, Goats, Dogs, as also for Fowl and Fish, nay, for Men. And as for
Vegetables, What difference is there not between Barly and Wheat, and
between _French_-barly, _Pine_-barly, and ordinary Barly; as also our
_English_-wheat, _Spanish_-wheat, _Turkish_-wheat, _Indian_-wheat, and
the like? What difference is there not amongst Grapes, as the _Malago,
Muscadel_, and other Grapes, and so of all the rest of Vegetables?
The same may be said of the Elements; for there is as much difference
amongst the Elements as amongst other Creatures. And so of Air: for
Air in some places, as in the _Indies_, especially about _Brasilia_,
is very much different from our air, or from the air that is in other
places: Indeed, in every different Climate, you shall find a difference
of air, wherefore 'tis impossible to assign a certain temper of heat
or cold to air in general. But although my sense and reason inform me,
that air in its own nature or essence is neither hot nor cold, yet
it may become hot or cold, by hot or cold motions; for the sensitive
perceptive motions of Air may pattern out heat or cold; and hence it
is, that in Summer, when as heat predominates, the air is hot; and
in Winter, when as cold predominates, the air is cold. But, perhaps,
you will say, air may be cooled by moving it with a Fan, or such like
thing which can make wind; wherefore it follows, that air must needs be
naturally cold. I answer, That doth not prove Air to be in its nature
cold: for this moving or making of wind may contract or condense the
air into cold motions, which may cause a cold wind, like as Ventiducts,
where the air running thorow narrow Pipes makes a cold wind. The same
may be done with a mans breath; for if he contract his lips close, his
breath will be cold, but if he opens his mouth wide, his breath will
be warm. Again: you may say, that rain is congealed by the coldness of
the air into Snow, Hail and Ice. I answer; Frost, Ice, Snow and Hail,
do not proceed from the coldness of the air, but rather the coldness
of the air proceeds from them; for Ice, Snow, and Hail, proceed from
cold contraction and condensation of a vaporous or watery substance;
and, as Frost and Snow cause air to be cold, so Thunder and Lightning
cause it to be hot, so long as they last. Thus, _Madam_, though Air may
be altered either to heat or cold, yet it is neither hot nor Cold in
it self. And this is all for the present that I can say concerning the
Temper of Air; I conclude, and rest,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._



VIII.


_MADAM,_

Having hitherto considered your _Authors_ Elements or Principles of
Natural things, you will give me leave to present you now with a short
view of his Opinions concerning Wind, Vacuum, Rainbows, Thunder,
Lightning, Earth-quakes, and the like; which I will do as briefly as I
can, lest I betray my Ignorance; for I confess my self not to be well
versed in the knowledg of Meteors, nor in those things which properly
belong to the Mathematicks, as in Astrology, Geography, Opticks, and
the like. But your _Author_ says, in the first place,[1] That _Natural
Wind is nothing but a flowing Air, moved by the Blas of the Stars._
Certainly, _Madam_, if this were so, then, in my judgment, when the
Stars blaze, we should have constant Winds, and the more they blaze,
the more violent winds there would be: But I have rather observed
the contrary, that when the Stars blaze most apparently, we have the
calmest weather either in Summer or Winter. Perchance your _Author_
will say, he doth not mean this apparant and visible Blas, but another
invisible Blas. I answer; I know not, nor cannot conceive any other
Blas in the Stars, except I had seen it in a Vision; neither do I
think that Nature her self knows of any other, But your _Author_
doth refer himself upon the Authority of _Hypocrates_, who says,
That _not onely the Wind is a blast, but that all Diseases are from
blasts; and that there is in us a Spirit stirring up all things by
its Blas; which Spirit, by a Microcosmical Analogy, or the proportion
of a little World, he compares to the blasts of the world._ As for
my particular, _Madam_, I dare say, I could never perceive, by my
sense and reason, any such blazing Spirit in me; but I have found by
experience, that when my mind and thoughts have been benighted with
Melancholy, my Imagination hath been more active and subtil, then
when my mind has been clear from dark Melancholy: Also I find that
my thoughts and conceptions are as active, if not more, in the night
then in the day; and though we may sometimes dream of several Lights,
yet I cannot perceive a constant light in us; however Light, Blazes,
and all those effects are no more then other effects of Nature are;
nor can they have more power on other Creatures, then other Creatures
have on them: Neither are they made otherwise then by the corporeal
motions of Natural Matter, and are dissolved and transchanged as other
Creatures, out of one form or figure into another. Next your _Author_
discoursing[2] whether there be any Vacuum in Nature, doth incline to
the affirming party, that there is a Vacuum in the Air; to wit, _There
is in the air something, that is less then a body, which fills up the
emptinesses or little holes and pores in the air, and which is wholly
annihilated by fire; It is actually void of all matter, and is a middle
thing between a body and an Incorporeal Spirit, and almost nothing
in respect of bodies; for it came from Nothing, and so may easily be
reduced to nothing._ All this, _Madam_, surpasses my capacity; for
I can in no ways conceive any thing between something and nothing,
as to be less then something, and more then nothing; for all that is
corporeal in Nature, is to my reason something; that is, some really
existent thing; but what is incorporeal in Nature, is nothing; and if
there be any absolute vacuum in Nature, as your _Author_ endeavours
to prove, then certainly this Vacuum cannot be any thing whatsoever;
for a Vacuum is a pure Nothing. But many ingenious and learned men
have brought as many arguments and reasons against Vacuum, as others
bring for it, and so it is a thing which I leave to them to exercise
their brains withal. The like is the opinion which many maintain
concerning Place, _viz._ that there is a constant succession of Place
and Parts, so that when one part removes, another doth succeed in its
place; the truth and manner whereof I was never able to comprehend:
for, in my opinion, there can be no place without body, nor no body
without place, body and place being all but one thing. But as for
the perpetual Creation and annihilation of your _Authors_ Vacuities,
give me leave to tell you, _Madam_, that it would be a more laborious
work, then to make a new World, or then it was to make this present
World; for God made this World in six days, and rested the seventh
day; but this is a perpetual making of something out of nothing.
Again: concerning Rainbows, your _Author_ says,[3] That _a Rainbow
is not a natural effect of a natural Cause, but a divine Mystery in
its original; and that it has no matter, but yet is in a place, and
has its colours immediately in a place, but in the air mediately, and
that it is of the nature of Light._ This is indeed a great mystery to
my reason; for I cannot conceive, as I said before, a place without a
body, nor how Light and Colours can be bodiless: But as for Rainbows,
I have observed, when as water hath been blown up into the air into
bubles, that by the reflexion of light on the watery bubles, they have
had the like colours of the Rainbow; and I have heard, that there
hath been often seen at the rising and setting of the Sun, Clouds of
divers colours; Wherefore I cannot be perswaded to believe that a
Rainbow should not have a natural cause, and consequently be a natural
effect; For that God has made it a sign of the Covenant between him
and mortal men, is no proof, that it is not a natural effect; Neither
can I believe that it has not been before the Flood, and before it was
made a sign by God, as your _Author_ imagines; for though it was no
sign before the Flood, yet it may nevertheless have had its being and
existence before the Flood. Moreover, as for Thunder and Lightning,
your _Authors_ opinion is; _That although they may have concurring
natural Causes, yet the mover of them is an Incorporeal Spirit, which
is the Devil; who having obtained the Principality of this world, that
he may be a certain executer of the judgments of the chief Monarch, and
so the Umpire and Commissioner of Lightning and Thunder, stirs up a
monstrous and sudden Blas in the Air, yet under Covenanted Conditions;
for unless his power were bridled by divine Goodness, he would shake
the Earth with one stroke so, as to destroy all mortal men: and thus
the cracking noise or voice of Thunder is nothing but a spiritual
Blas of the Evil Spirit._ I will not deny, _Madam_, that Thunder and
Lightning do argue the Power of the most Glorious God, for so do all
the rest of the Creatures; but that this is the onely and immediate
cause, which your _Author_ assigns of Thunder and Lightning, I cannot
believe; for surely, in my opinion, Thunder and Lightning are as much
natural effects as other Creatures in Nature; and are not the Devils
Blas, for I think they may be made without the help of the Devil; nay,
I believe, he may be as much affraid of Thunder, as those Creatures
that live on Earth. But what the causes are, and how Thunder and
Lightning are made, I have elsewhere declared more at large, especially
in my _Philosophical Opinions._ Again your _Author_ speaking[4] of the
_Trembling of the Earth, thinks it is nothing else but the Judgment
of God for the sins of Impenitent men._ For my part, _Madam_, I can
say little to it, either concerning the divine, or the natural cause
of Earthquakes: As for the divine and supernatural Cause, which your
_Author_ gives, if it was so, then I wonder much, why God should
command Earth-quakes in some parts of the World more frequent then
in others. As for example; we here in these parts have very seldom
Earthquakes, and those we have, which is hardly one in many ages, are
not so furious, as to do much harm; and so in many other places of
the World, are as few and as gentle Earth-quakes as here; when as in
others, Earth-quakes are very frequent and dreadful: From whence it
must needs follow, if Earth-quakes be onely a Judgment from God for
the sins of Impenitent Men, and not a natural effect, that then those
places, where the Earth is not so apt to tremble, are the habitations
of the blessed, and that they, which inhabit those parts that are
apt to tremble, are the accursed; when as yet, in those places where
Earthquakes are not usual and frequent, or none at all, People are as
wicked and impious, if not more, then in those where Earthquakes are
common. But the question is, Whether those parts which suffer frequent
and terrible Earthquakes, would not be so shaken or have such trembling
fits, were they uninhabited by Man, or any other animal Creature?
Certainly, in my opinion, they would. But as for the Natural Cause
of Earthquakes, you must pardon me, _Madam_, that I cannot knowingly
discourse thereof, by reason I am not so well skilled in Geography,
as to know the several Soils, Climats, Parts, Regions, or Countries,
nor what disposed matter may be within those parts that are subject
to frequent Earthquakes: Onely this I may say, that I have observed,
that the light of a small Fire or Candle, will dilate it self round
about; or rather that the air round about the Fire or Candle, will
pattern out both its light and its heat. Also I have observed, That a
Man in a raging fit of Madness will have such an unusual strength, as
ten strong men shall hardly be able to encounter or bind him, when as,
this violent fit being past, a single man, nay a youth, may over-master
him: Whence I conclude, that the actions, as the motions of Nature, are
very powerful when they use their force, and that the ordinary actions
of Nature are not so forcible as necessary; but the extraordinary are
more forcible then necessary. Lastly, your _Author_ takes great pains
to prove,[5] That _the Sun with his light rules the Day, and the Moon
with hers the Night; and that the Moon has her own Native light; and
that Bats, Mice, Dormice, Owles, and many others, as also Men, which
rise at night, and walk in their sleep, see by the light and power
of the Moon; also that Plants are more plentifully nourished by the
night._ But lest it might be concluded, that all this is said without
any probability of Truth, by reason the Moon doth not every night
shine upon the Earth, he makes a difference between the Manner of the
Sun's and Moon's enlightning the Earth; to wit, that the Sun strikes
his beams in a right line towards the Earth, but the Moon doth not
respect the Centre of the World, which is the Earth, in a right line;
but her Centre is always excentrical, and she respects the Earth onely
by accident, when she is concentrical with the World; And therefore he
thinks there is another light under the Earth even at Midnight, whereby
many Eyes do see, which owes also its rise to the Moon. This opinion
of your _Author_ I leave to be examined by those that have skill in
Astronomy, and know both the Light and the Course of the Moon: I will
onely say thus much, that when the Moon is concentrical, as he calls
it, with the World, as when it is Full and New Moon, she doth not shine
onely at night, but also in the day, and therefore she may rule the
day as well as the night, and then there will be two lights for the
ruling of the day, or at least there will be a strife betwixt the Sun
and the Moon, which shall rule. But as for Men walking asleep by the
light of the Moon, my opinion is, That blind men may walk as well by
the light of the Sun, as sleeping men by the light of the Moon. Neither
is it probable, that _the Moon or her Blas doth nourish Plants_; for
in a cold Moon-shiny night they will often die; but it is rather the
Regular motions in well tempered matter that cause fruitful productions
and maturity. And so I repose my Pen, lest it trespass too much upon
your Patience, resting,

Madam,

_Your humble and_

_faithful Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of the Blas of Meteors.

[2] _Ch._ Of Vacuum.

[3] _Ch._ Of an Irregular Meteor.

[4] _Ch._ Of the Earthquake.

[5] _Ch._ Of the Birth or Original of Forms.



IX.


_MADAM,_

In my former, when I related your _Authors_ opinion, concerning
Earthquakes, I forgot to tell you, that he counts the Doctrine of the
Schools absurd, when they say that Air, or any Exhalation, is the cause
of them: For, says he, _There is no place in the Pavements or soils of
the Earth, wherein any airy body may be entertained, whether that body
be a wind, or an airy exhalation._ But since I promised I would not
offer to appoint or assign any natural causes of Earthquakes, I have
only taken occasion hence to enquire, whether it may not be probably
affirmed, that there is air in the bowels of the Earth: And to my
reason it seems very probable; I mean not this Exterior air, flowing
about the circumference of the Earth we inhabite; but such an airy
matter as is pure, refined, and subtil, there being great difference
in the Elements, as well as in all other sorts of Creatures; for what
difference is there not between the natural heat of an animal, and the
natural heat of the Sun? and what difference is there not between the
natural moisture of an Animal, and the natural moisture of Water? And
so for the Purity of Air, Dryness of Earth, and the like: Nay, there
is great difference also in the production of those Effects: As for
example; the heat of the Earth is not produced from the Sun, nor the
natural heat in Animals, nor the natural heat in Vegetables; for if it
were so, then all Creatures in one Region or place of the Earth would
be of one temper. As for example: Poppy, Night-shade, Lettuce, Thyme,
Sage, Parsly, &c. would be all of one temper and degree, growing all
in one Garden, and upon one patch of Ground, whereon the Sun equally
casts his beams, when as yet they are all different in their natural
tempers and degrees. And so certainly there is Air, Fire, and Water,
in the bowels of the Earth, which were never made by the Sun, the Sea,
and this Exterior elemental Air. Wherefore those, in my opinion, are
in gross Errors, who imagine that these Interior Effects in the Earth
are produced from the mentioned Exterior Elements, or from some other
forreign and external Causes; for an external cause can onely produce
an external effect, or be an occasion to the production of such or
such an effect, but not be the immediate efficient or essential cause
of an interior natural effect in another Creature, unless the Interior
natures of different Creatures have such an active power and influence
upon each other, as to work interiously at a distance, such effects
as are proper and essential to their Natures, which is improbable;
for though their natures and dispositions may mutually agree and
sympathize, yet their powers cannot work upon their Interior Natures
so, as to produce internal natural effects and proprieties in them. The
truth is, it cannot be; for as the Cause is, so is the Effect; and if
the Cause be an exterior Cause, the Effect must prove so too: As for
example; the heat of the Sun, and the heat of the Earth, although they
may both agree, yet one is not the cause of the other; for the Suns
heat cannot pierce into the bowels of the Earth, neither can the heat
of the Earth ascend so far as to the Center of the Sun: As for the heat
of the Earth, it is certain enough, and needs no proof; but as for the
heat of the Sun, our senses will sufficiently inform us, that although
his beams are shot forth in direct lines upon the face of the Earth,
yet they have not so much force, as to pierce into a low Celler or
Vault; Wherefore it is not probable, that the Earth hath its natural
heat from the Sun, and so neither its dryness from the Air, nor its
moisture from the Sea, but these interior effects in the Earth proceed
from some other interior causes. And thus there may be great difference
between the heat, cold, moisture, and drought which is in the Elements,
and between those which are in Vegetables, Minerals, and Animals, not
onely in their General kinds, but also in their Particulars: And not
onely a difference in the aforesaid qualities of heat, cold, moisture,
and drought, but also in all other motions, as Dilations, Contractions,
Rarefactions, Densations, &c. nay, in their Mixtures and Temperaments:
As for example; the temper of a Mineral is not the temper of an Animal,
or of a Vegetable, neither is the temper of these the temper of the
exterior Elements, no more then the temper of the Elements is the
temper of them; for every Creature has a temper natural and peculiar
to it self, nay, every particular Creature, has not onely different
tempers, compositions, or mixtures, but also different productions; or
else, if there were no difference in their productions, every Creature
would be alike, when as yet there are seldom two that do exactly
resemble each other. But I desire you to understand me well, _Madam_,
when I speak of Particular heats, colds, droughts, and moistures; for
I do not believe that all Creatures are made out of the four Elements,
no more, then that the Elements are produced from other Creatures,
for the Matter of all Creatures is but one and the same; but although
the Matter is the same, nevertheless, the Tempers, compositions,
Productions, Motions, &c. of particular Creatures, may be different,
which is the cause of their different exterior figures, or shapes, as
also of their different Interiour Natures, Qualities, Properties, and
the like. And so, to conclude, there is no impossibility or absurdity
in affirming, that there may be Air, Fire, and Water, in the bowels
of the Earth proper for those Creatures, which are in her, although
not such an Elemental Air, Fire and Water, as is subject here to our
senses; but another kind of Air, Fire and Water, different from those.
But this being a subject for Learned and Ingenious men to work and
contemplate upon, better, perhaps, then I can do, I will leave it to
them, and so remain,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._



X.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ mentioning in his Works, several Seeds of several
Creatures, makes me express my opinion thus in short concerning this
Subject: Several Seeds seem to me no otherwise then several Humours, or
several Elements, or several other Creatures made of one and the same
Matter, that produce one thing out of another, and the barrenness of
seeds proceeds either from the irregularity of their natural motions,
or from their unaptness or unactivity of producing. But it is to be
observed, _Madam_, that not every thing doth produce always its like,
but one and the same thing, or one and the same Creature, hath many
various and different productions; for sometimes Vegetables do produce
Animals, Animals produce Minerals, Minerals produce Elements, and
Elements again Minerals, and so forth: for proof I will bring but a
mean and common example. Do not Animals produce Stones, some in one,
and some in another part of their bodies, as some in the Heart, some in
the Stomack, some in the Head, some in the Gall, some in the Kidnies,
and some in the Bladder? I do not say, that this Generation of Stone
is made the same way as the natural generation of Animals, as, for
example, Man is born of his Parents; but I speak of the generation or
production of Creatures in general, for otherwise all Creatures would
be alike, if all generations were after one and the same manner and
way. Likewise do not Fruits, Roots, Flowers and Herbs, produce Worms?
And do not Stones produce Fire? witness the Flint. And doth not Earth
produce Metal? 'Tis true, some talk of the seed of Metals, but who with
all his diligent observations could find it out as yet? Wherefore it
is, in my opinion, not probable, that Minerals are produced by way of
seeds. Neither can I perceive that any of the Elements is produced by
seed, unless Fire, which seems, to my sense and reason, to encrease
numerously by its seed, but not any other of the Elements. And thus
productions are almost as various as Creatures, or rather parts of
Creatures, are; for we see how many productions there are in one animal
body, as the production of flesh, bones, marrow, brains, gristles,
veines, sinews, blood, and the like, and all this comes from Food,
and Food from some other Creatures, but all have their original from
the onely matter, and the various motions of Nature. And thus, in my
opinion, all things are made easily, and not by such constrained ways
as your _Author_ describes, by Gas, Blas, Ideas, and the like; for I
am confident, Nature has more various ways of producing natural things
then any Creature is able to conceive. I'le give another example of
Vegetables, I pray you but to consider, _Madam_, how many several ways
Vegetables are produced, as some by seeds, some by slips, some by
grafts, &c. The graft infuses and commixes with the whole stock and
the branches, and these do the like with the graft: As for example;
an Apple grafted in Colewort produces Apples; but those Apples will
have a taste and sent of the Colewort, which shews that several parts
of several Creatures mix, joyn, and act together; and as for seeds,
they are transchanged wholly, and every part thereof into the produced
fruit, and every part of the seed makes a several production by the
help of the co-working parts of the Earth, which is the reason that so
many seeds are produced from one single seed; But Producers, that waste
not themselves in productions, do not produce so numerously as those
that do dissolve; yet all Creatures increase more or less, according
to their supplies or assistances; for seeds will encrease and multiply
more in manured and fertile then in barren grounds; nay, if the ground
be very barren, no production at all will be; which shews, that
productions come not barely from the seed, but require of necessity
some assistance, and therefore neither Archeus, nor seminal Ideas, nor
Gas, nor Blas, would do any good in Vegetables, if the ground did not
assist them in their generations or productions, no more then a house
would be built without the assistance of labourers or workmen; for let
the materials lie never so long, surely they will never joyn together
of themselves to the artificial structure of an house. Wherefore since
there is so much variety in the production of one kind of Creatures,
nay of every particular in every kind, what needs Man to trouble
his brain for the manner and way to describe circumstantially every
particular production of every Creature by seminal or printing Ideas,
or any other far-fetched termes, since it is impossible to be done?
And as for those Creatures whose producers are of two different sorts,
as a Mule bred of an Asse and a Horse, and another Creature bred of a
Cony and a Dormouse; all which your _Author_ thinks[1] do take more
after their mother then their father, more after the breeder then the
begetter; I will not eagerly affirm the contrary, although it seems
to me more probable: But this I can say, that I have observed by
experience, that Faunes and Foales have taken more after the Male then
after the Female; for amongst many several colour'd Deer, I have seen
but one milk white Doe; and she never brought forth a white Faun, when
as I have seen a white Buck beget white and speckled Faunes of black
and several coloured Does. Also in Foals I have observed, that they
have taken more after the Male then after the Female, both in shape and
colour. And thus I express no more, but what I have observed my self,
others may find out more examples; these are sufficient for me; so I
leave them, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] In the _Ch._ the Position is demonstrated; and in the _ch._ called
the Authority of the _Duumvirate_.



XI.


_MADAM,_

You will cease to wonder, that I am not altogether capable to
understand your _Authors_ opinions in Natural Philosophy, when you do
but consider, that his expressions are for the most part so obscure,
mystical and intricate, as may puzzle any brain that has not the like
Genius, or the same Conceptions with your _Author_; wherefore I am
forced oftentimes to express my ignorance rather, then to declare to
you the true sense of his opinions. In the number of these is his
discourse of a _Middle Life_,[1] _viz._ That _the qualities of a
middle life do remain in things that are transchanged:_ For I cannot
understand what he means by a middle life; whether it be a life that
is between the strongest and weakest, or whether he means a life
between the time of production and dissolution, or between the time of
conception and production; or whether he means a life that is between
two sorts of substances, as more then an Animal, and not so high and
excellent as an Angel; or whether he means a middle life for places,
as neither in Heaven nor in Hell, but in Purgatory, or neither in, nor
out of the world, or any other kind of life: Wherefore I'le leave this
Hermaphroditical or neutral life to better understandings then mine.
Likewise I must confess my disability of conceiving the overshadowing
of his _Archeus_, and _how it brings this middle life into its first
life._ For concerning Generation, I know of none that is performed by
overshadowing, except it be the miraculous conception of the blessed
Virgin, as Holy Writ informs us; and I hope your _Author_ will not
compare his _Archeus_ to the Holy Spirit; But how a middle life may
be brought again into the first life, is altogether unconceivable to
me: And so is that, when he says, that the _first life of the Fruit
is the last of the seed_; for I cannot imagine, that the seed dies
in the fruit; but, in my opinion, it lives rather in the fruit, and
is numerously increased, as appears by the production of seed from
the fruit. But the most difficult of all to be understood, are his
_Ideas_,[2] which he makes _certain seminal Images, Formal Lights,
and operative means, whereby the soul moves and governs the body_;
whose number and variety is so great, as it transcends my capacity,
there being _Ideas_ of Inclination, of Affection, of Consideration or
Judgment, of Passion, and these either mild, or violent, besides a
great number of Archeal and forreign Ideas. Truly, _Madam_, I cannot
admire enough the powerful effects of these Ideas, they themselves
being no substances or material Creatures; For how that can pierce,
seal, and print a figure, which hath neither substance nor matter, my
reason is not able to comprehend, since there can be no figure without
matter or substance, they being inseparably united together, so, that
where figure is, there is also substance, and where substance is, there
is also figure; neither can any figure be made without a substance.
You may say, Ideas, though they are not material or corporeal beings
themselves, yet they may put on figures, and take bodies when they
please: I answer, That then they can do more then Immaterial Spirits;
for the Learned say, That Immaterial Spirits are Immaterial substances;
but your _Author_ says, that Ideas are no substances; and I think it
would be easier for a substance to take a body, then for that which is
no substance: But your _Author_ might have placed his Ideas as well
amongst the number of Immaterial Spirits, to wit, amongst Angels and
Devils, and then we should not have need to seek far for the causes of
the different natures and dispositions of Mankind, but we might say,
that Ill-natured men proceeded from Evil, and Good-natured men from
Good Spirits or Ideas. However, _Madam_, I do not deny Ideas, Images,
or Conceptions of things, but I deny them onely to be such powerful
beings and Principal efficient Causes of Natural effects; especially
they being to your _Author_ neither bodies nor substances themselves.
And as for the _Figure of a Cherry_, which your _Author_ makes so
frequent a repetition of, made by a longing Woman on her Child; I dare
say that there have been millions of Women, which have longed for some
or other thing, and have not been satisfied with their desires, and
yet their Children have never had on their bodies the prints or marks
of those things they longed for: but because some such figures are
sometimes made by the irregular motions of animate Matter, would this
be a sufficient proof, that all Conceptions, Ideas and Images have
the like effects, after the same manner, by piercing or penetrating
each other, and sealing or printing such or such a figure upon the
body of the Child? Lastly, I cannot but smile when I read that your
_Author_ makes a _Disease proceed from a non-being to a substantial
being_: Which if so, then a disease, according to his opinion, is
made as the World was, that is, out of Nothing; but surely luxurious
persons find it otherwise, who eat and drink more then their natural
digestive motions can dispose; for those that have infirm bodies,
caused by the irregular motions of animate matter, find that a disease
proceeds from more then a _non_-being. But, _Madam_, I have neither
such an _Archeus_, which can produce, in my mind, an Idea of Consent
or approbation of these your _Authors_ opinions, nor such a light that
is able to produce a beam of Patience to tarry any longer upon the
examination of them; Wherefore I beg your leave to cut off my discourse
here, and onely to subscribe my self, as really I am,

Madam,

_Your humble and_

_faithful Servant._

[1] _Ch._ called _Magnum oporter_.

[2] Of the Ideas of Diseases.



XII.


_MADAM,_

I cannot well apprehend your _Authors_ meaning, when he says,[1] That
_Nature doth rise from its fall_; for if he understands Nature in
general, I cannot imagine how she should fall and rise; for though Man
did fall, yet Nature never did, nor cannot fall, being Infinite: And
therefore in another place,[2] when he saith, that _Nature first being
a beautiful Virgin, was defiled by sin; not by her own, but by Mans
sin, for whose use she was created_; I think it too great a presumption
and arrogancy to say that Infinite Nature was not onely defiled by the
sin of Man, but also to make Man the chief over all Nature, and to
believe Nature was onely made for his sake; when as he is but a small
finite part of Infinite Nature, and almost Nothing in comparison to
it. But I suppose your _Author_ doth not understand Nature in general,
but onely the nature of some Particulars, when he speaks of the fall
and rise of Nature; however, this fall and rise of the nature of
Particulars, is nothing but a change of their natural motions. And so
likewise, I suppose, he understands the nature of Particulars, when
he says in another place,[3] That Nature in diseases is standing,
sitting, and lying; for surely Nature in general has more several
postures then sitting, standing, or lying: As also when he speaks[4] of
the _Vertues and Properties that stick fast in the bosom of Nature_,
which I conceive to be a Metaphorical expression; although I think it
best to avoid Metaphorical, similizing, and improper expressions in
Natural Philosophy, as much as one can; for they do rather obscure
then explain the truth of Nature; nay, your _Author_ himself is of
this opinion,[5] and yet he doth nothing more frequent then bring in
Metaphors and similitudes. But to speak properly, there is not any
thing that sticks fast in the bosom of Nature, for Nature is in a
perpetual motion: Neither can she be _heightened or diminished by Art_;
for Nature will be Nature in despite of her Hand-maid. And as for your
_Authors_ opinion, That _there are no Contraries in Nature_, I am quite
of a contrary mind, that there is a Perpetual war and discord amongst
the parts of Nature, although not in the nature and substance of
Infinite Matter, which is of a simple kind, and knows no contraries in
it self, but lives in Peace, when as the several actions are opposing
and crossing each other; and truly, I do not believe, that there is any
part or Creature of Nature, that hath not met with opposers, let it be
never so small or great. But as War is made by the division of Natures
parts, and variety of natural actions, so Peace is caused by the unity
and simplicity of the nature and essence of onely Matter, which Nature
is peaceable, being always one and the same, and having nothing in it
self to be crossed or opposed by; when as the actions of Nature, or
natural Matter, are continually driving against each other, as being
various and different. Again your _Author_ says, That _a Specifical
being cannot be altered but by Fire, and that Fire is the Death of
other Creatures: also that Alchymy, as it brings many things to a
degree of greater efficacy, and stirs up a new being, so on the other
hand again, it by a privy filching doth enfeeble many things._ I, for
my part, wonder, that Fire, being as your _Author_ says, no substantial
body, but substanceless in its nature, should work such effects; but
however, I believe there are many alterations without Fire, and many
things which cannot be altered by Fire. What your _Authors_ meaning
is of a _new being_, I know not; for, to my reason, there neither is;
nor can be made any new being in Nature, except we do call the change
of motions and figures a new Creation; but then an old suit turned or
dressed up may be called new too. Neither can I conceive his _Filching
or Stealing_: For Nature has or keeps nothing within her self, but
what is her own; and surely she cannot steal from her self; nor can
Art steal from Nature; she may trouble Nature, or rather make variety
in Nature, but not take any thing from her, for Art is the insnarled
motions of Nature: But your _Author_, being a Chymist, is much for
the Art of Fire, although it is impossible for Art to work as Nature
doth; for Art makes of natural Creatures artificial Monsters, and doth
oftner obscure and disturb Natures ordinary actions, then prove any
Truth in Nature. But Nature loving variety doth rather smile at Arts
follies, then that she should be angry with her curiosity: like as
for example, a Poet will smile in expressing the part or action of a
Fool. Wherefore Pure natural Philosophers, shall by natural sense and
reason, trace Natures ways, and observe her actions, more readily then
Chymists can do by Fire and Furnaces; for Fire and Furnaces do often
delude the Reason, blind the Understanding, and make the Judgment
stagger. Nevertheless, your _Author_ is so taken with Fire, that from
thence he imagines a Formal Light, which he believes to be the Tip-top
of Life; but certainly, he had, in my opinion, not so much light as to
observe, that all sorts of light are but Creatures, and not Creators;
for he judges of several Parts of Matter, as if they were several kinds
of Matter, which causes him often to err, although he conceits himself
without any Error. In which conceit I leave him, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Nature is ignorant of Contraries.

[2] In the Hist. of _Tartar_.

[3] _Ch._ Disease is an unknown guest.

[4] Nature is ignorant of Contraries.

[5] _Ch._ The Image of the Ferment begets the Mass with Child.



XIII.


_MADAM,_

The Art of Fire, as I perceive, is in greater esteem and respect
with your _Author_, then Nature her self: For he says,[1] That _some
things can be done by Art, which Nature cannot do_; nay he calls[2]
_Art_ The _Mistress of Nature, and subjects whole Nature unto Chymical
speculation_; For, _nothing_, says he,[3] _doth more fully bring a Man,
that is greedy of knowing, to the knowledg of all things knowable,
then the Fire; for the root or radical knowledg of natural things
consists in the Fire:_[4] _It pierces the secrets of Nature, and
causes a further searching out in Nature, then all other Sciences,
being put together; and pierces even into the utmost depths of real
truth:_[5] _It creates things which never were before._ These, and
many more the like expressions, he has in the praise of Chymistry. And
truly, _Madam_, I cannot blame your _Author_, for commending this Art,
because it was his own profession, and no man will be so unwise as to
dispraise his own Art which he professes; but whether those praises
and commendations do not exceed truth, and express more then the Art
of Fire can perform, I will let those judg, that have more knowledg
therein then I: But this I may say, That what Art or Science soever
is in Nature, let it be the chief of all, yet it can never be call'd
the Mistress of Nature, nor be said to perform more then Nature doth,
except it be by a divine and supernatural Power; much less to create
things which never were before, for this is an action which onely
belongs to God: The truth is, Art is but a Particular effect of Nature,
and as it were, Nature's Mimick or Fool, in whose playing actions she
sometimes takes delight; nay, your _Author_ confesses it himself, when
he calls[6] the _Art_ of _Chymistry, Nature's emulating Ape_, and _her
Chamber-maid_, and yet he says, _she is now and then the Mistress of
Nature_; which in my opinion doth not agree: for I cannot conceive how
it is possible to be a Chambermaid, and yet to be the Mistress too;
I suppose your _Author_ believes, they justle sometimes each other
out, or take by turns one anothers place. But whatever his opinion
be, I am sure, that the Art of Fire cannot create and produce so, as
Nature doth, nor dissolve substances so, as she doth, nor transform and
transchange, as she doth, nor do any effect like Nature: And therefore
I cannot so much admire this Art as others do, for it appears to me,
rather to be a troubler, then an assistant to Nature, producing more
Monsters then perfect Creatures; nay, it rather doth shut the Gates
of Truth, then unlock the Gates of Nature: For how can Art inform us
of Nature, when as it is but an effect of Nature? You may say, The
cause cannot be better known then by its effect; for the knowledg of
the effect, leads us to the knowledg of the cause. I answer, 'Tis
true: but you will consider, that Nature is an Infinite cause, and has
Infinite effects; and if you knew all the Infinite effects in nature,
then perhaps you might come to some knowledg of the cause; but to know
nature by one single effect, as art is, is impossible; nay, no man
knows this particular effect as yet perfectly; For who is he, that has
studied the art of fire so, as to produce all that this art may be able
to afford? witness the Philosophers-stone. Besides, how is it possible
to find out the onely cause by so numerous variations of the effects?
Wherefore it is more easie, in my opinion, to know the various effects
in Nature by studying the Prime cause, then by the uncertain study of
the inconstant effects to arrive to the true knowledg of the prime
cause; truly it is much easier to walk in a Labyrinth without a Guide,
then to gain a certain knowledg in any one art or natural effect,
without Nature her self be the guide, for Nature is the onely Mistress
and cause of all, which, as she has made all other effects, so she
has also made arts for varieties sake; but most men study Chymistry
more for imployment, then for profit; not but that I believe, there
may be some excellent Medicines found out and made by that art, but
the expence and labour is more then the benefit; neither are all those
Medicines sure and certain, nor in all diseases safe; neither can
this art produce so many medicines as there are several diseases in
Nature, and for the Universal Medicine, and the Philosophers-stone or
Elixir, which Chymists brag of so much; it consists rather in hope
and expectation, then in assurance; for could Chymists find it out,
they would not be so poor, as most commonly they are, but richer then
_Solomon_ was, or any Prince in the World, and might have done many
famous acts with the supply of their vast Golden Treasures, to the
eternal and immortal fame of their Art; nay, Gold being the Idol of
this world, they would be worshipped as well for the sake of Gold, as
for their splendorous Art; but how many have endeavored and laboured
in vain and without any effect? _Gold is easier to be made, then to be
destroyed_, says your _Author,_[7] but I believe one is as difficult or
impossible, nay more, then the other; for there is more probability of
dissolving or destroying a natural effect by Art, then of generating
or producing one; for Art cannot go beyond her sphere of activity, she
can but produce an artificial effect, and Gold is a natural Creature;
neither were it Justice, that a particular creature of Nature should
have as much power to act or work as Nature her self; but because
neither Reason, nor Art has found out as yet such a powerful opposite
to Gold, as can alter its nature; men therefore conclude that it
cannot be done. Your _Author_ relates[8] to have seen the Gold-making
stone, which he says, was of colour such, as Saffron is in its powder,
but weighty and shining like unto powder'd Glass; one fourth part of
one grain thereof, (a grain he reckons the six hundredth part of one
ounce) being projected upon eight ounces of Quicksilver made hot in a
Crucible, and straight way there were found eight ounces, and a little
less then eleven grains of the purest Gold; therefore one onely grain
of that powder had transchanged 19186 parts of Quicksilver, equal to
it self, into the best Gold. Truly, _Madam_, I wish with all my heart,
the poor Royalists had had some quantity of that powder; and I assure
you, that if it were so, I my self would turn a Chymist to gain so much
as to repair my Noble Husbands losses, that his noble family might
flourish the better. But leaving Gold, since it is but a vain wish,
I do verily believe, that some of the Chymical medicines do, in some
desperate cases, many times produce more powerful and sudden effects
then the medicines of Galenists, and therefore I do not absolutely
condemn the art of Fire, as if I were an enemy to it; but I am of an
opinion, that my Opinions in _Philosophy_, if well understood, will
rather give a light to that art, then obscure its worth; for if
Chymists did but study well the corporeal motions or actions of Natures
substantial body; they would, by their observations, understand Nature
better, then they do by the observation of the actions of their Art;
and out of this consideration and respect, I should almost have an
ambition, to become an Artist in Chymistry, were I not too lazie and
tender for that imployment; but should I quit the one, and venture
the other, I am so vain as to perswade my self, I might perform
things worthy my labour upon the ground of my own Philosophy, which
is substantial Life, Sense, and Reason; for I would not study Salt,
Sulphur, and Mercury, but the Natural motions of every Creature, and
observe the variety of Natures actions. But, perchance, you will smile
at my vain conceit, and, it may be, I my self, should repent of my
pains unsuccessfully bestowed, my time vainly spent, my health rashly
endangered, and my Noble Lords Estate unprofitably wasted, in fruitless
tryals and experiments; Wherefore you may be sure, that I will consider
well before I act; for I would not lose Health, Wealth, and Fame,
and do no more then others have done, which truly is not much, their
effects being of less weight then their words. But in the mean time,
my study shall be bent to your service, and how to express my self
worthily,

MADAM,

_Your Ladiships_

_humble and faithful Servant._

[1] Ch. _called_, The Essay of a Meteor.

[2] _Ch._ Heat doth not digest efficiently, but excitingly.

[3] _Ch._ The ignorant natural Philosophy of _Aristotle_ and _Galen_.

[4] _Ch._ A modern Pharmacopoly and dispensatory.

[5] _Ch._ Of the Power of Medicines.

[6] _Ch._ Heat doth not digest efficiently, but excitingly.

[7] _Ch._ The first Principles of the Chymists, not the Essences of the
same are of the Army of Diseases.

[8] In the _Ch._ Of Life Eternal, and in the _Ch._ Of the Tree of Life.



XIV.


_MADAM,_

I have read your _Authors_ discourse concerning _Sensation_,[1] but it
was as difficult to me to understand it, ash was tedious to read it;
Truly, all the business, might have been easily declared in a short
Chapter, and with more clearness and perspicuity: For Sensation, is
nothing else but the action of sense proceeding from the corporeal
sensitive motions, which are in all Creatures or parts of Nature, and
so all have sense and sensation, although not alike after one and the
same manner, but some more, some less, each according to the nature and
propriety of its figure. But your _Author_ speaks of _Motion without
Sense, and Sense without Motion_, which is a meer impossibility; for
there is not, nor cannot be any Motion in Nature without Sense, nor
any Sense without Motion; there being no Creature without self-motion,
although not always perceptible by us, or our external senses; for all
motion is not exteriously local, and visible. Wherefore, not any part
of Nature, according to my opinion, wants Sense and Reason, Life and
Knowledg; but not such a substanceless Life as your _Author_ describes,
but a substantial, that is a corporeal Life. Neither is Light the
principle of Motion, but Motion, is the principle of Light: Neither is
Heat the principle of Motion, but its effect as well as Cold is; for
I cannot perceive that Heat should be more active then Cold. Neither
is there any such thing as Unsensibleness in Nature, except it be in
respect of some particular Sensation in some particular Figure: As
for example, when an Animal dies, or its Figure is dissolved from the
Figure of an Animal; we may say it hath not animal sense or motion,
but we cannot say, it hath no sense or motion at all; for as long as
Matter is in Nature, Sense and Motion will be; so that it is absurd and
impossible to believe, or at least to think, that Matter, as a body,
can be totally deprived of Life, Sense, and Motion, or that Life can
perish and be corrupted, be it the smallest part of Matter conceivable,
and the same turned or changed into millions of Figures; for the
Life and Soul of Nature is self-moving Matter, which by Gods Power,
and leave, is the onely Framer and Maker, as also the Dissolver and
Transformer of all Creatures in Nature, making as well Light, Heat, and
Cold, Gas, Blas, and Ferments, as all other natural Creatures beside,
as also Passions, Appetites, Digestions, Nourishments, Inclination,
Aversion, Sickness and Health; nay, all Particular Ideas, Thoughts,
Fancies, Conceptions, Arts, Sciences, &c. In brief, it makes all that
is to be made in Nature. But many great Philosophers conceive Nature to
be fuller of Intricacy, Difficulty, and Obscurity, then she is, puzling
themselves about her ordinary actions, which yet are easie and free,
and making their arguments hard, constrained, and mystical, many of
them containing neither sense nor reason; when as, in my opinion, there
is nothing else to be studied in Nature, but her substance and her
actions. But I will leave them to their own Fancies and Humors, and say
no more, but rest,

Madam,

_Your humble and_

_faithful Servant._

[1] Of the Disease of the Stone. _Ch._ 9.



XV.


_MADAM,_

Concerning Sympathy and Antipathy, and attractive or magnetick
Inclinations, which some do ascribe to the influence of the Stars,
others to an unknown Spirit as the Mover, others to the Instinct of
Nature, hidden Proprieties, and certain formal Vertues; but your
_Author_,[1] doth attribute to _directing Ideas, begotten by their
Mother Charity, or a desire of Good Will_, and calls it[2] a _Gift
naturally inherent in the Archeusses of either part_: If you please
to have my opinion thereof, I think they are nothing else but plain
ordinary Passions and Appetites. As for example: I take Sympathy, as
also Magnetisme or attractive Power, to be such agreeable Motions
in one part or Creature, as do cause a Fancy, love and desire to
some other part or Creature; and Antipathy, when these Motions are
disagreeable, and produce contrary effects, as dislike, hate and
aversion to some part or Creature. And as there are many sorts of such
motions, so there are many sorts of Sympathyes and Antipathyes, or
Attractions and Aversions, made several manners or ways; For in some
subjects, Sympathy requires a certain distance; as for example, in
Iron and the Loadstone; for if the Iron be too far off, the Loadstone
cannot exercise its power, when as in other subjects, there is no need
of any such certain distance, as betwixt the Needle and the North-pole,
as also the Weapon-salve; for the Needle will turn it self towards
the North, whether it be near or far off from the North-pole; and
so, be the Weapon which inflicted the wound, never so far from the
wounded Person, as they say, yet it will nevertheless do its effect:
But yet there must withal be some conjunction with the blood; for as
your _Author_ mentions,[3] the Weapon shall be in vain anointed with
the Unguent, unless it be made bloody, and the same blood be first
dried on the same Weapon. Likewise the sounding of two eights when one
is touched, must be done within a certain distance: the same may be
said of all Infectious and catching Diseases amongst Animals, where
the Infection, be it the Infected Air, or a Poysonous Vapour, or any
thing else, must needs touch the body, and enter either through the
Mouth, or Nostrils, or Ears, or Pores of the body; for though the
like Antipathies of Infectious Diseases, as of the Plague, may be in
several places far distant and remote from each other at one and the
same time, yet they cannot infect particular Creatures, or Animals,
without coming near, or without the sense of Touch: For example; the
Plague may be in the _East Indies_, and in this Kingdom, at one and
the same time, and yet be strangers to each other; for although all
Men are of Mankind, yet all have not Sympathy or Antipathy to each
other; the like of several Plagues, although they be of the same kind
of disease, yet, being in several places at one time, they may not
be a kin to each other, nor one be produced by the other, except
the Plague be brought over out of an infected Country, into a sound
Country, by some means or other. And thus some Sympathy and Antipathy
is made by a close conjunction, or corporeal uniting of parts, but not
all; neither is it required, that all Sympathy and Antipathy must be
mutual, or equally in both Parties, so that that part or party, which
has a Sympathetical affection or inclination to the other, must needs
receive the like sympathetical affection from that part again; for one
man may have a sympathetical affection to another man, when as this
man hath an antipathetical aversion to him; and the same may be, for
ought we know, betwixt Iron and the Loadstone, as also betwixt the
Needle and the North; for the Needle may have a sympathy towards the
North, but not again the North towards the Needle; and so may the Iron
have towards the Loadstone, but not again the Loadstone towards the
Iron: Neither is Sympathy or Antipathy made by the issuing out of any
invisible rayes, for then the rays betwixt the North and the Needle
would have a great way to reach: But a sympathetical inclination in
a Man towards another, is made either by sight, or hearing; either
present, or absent: the like of infectious Diseases. I grant, that
if both Parties do mutually affect each other, and their motions be
equally agreeable; then the sympathy is the stronger, and will last
the longer, and then there is a Union, Likeness, or Conformableness,
of their Actions, Appetites, and Passions; For this kind of Sympathy
works no other effects, but a conforming of the actions of one party,
to the actions of the other, as by way of Imitation, proceeding from
an internal sympathetical love and desire to please; for Sympathy
doth not produce an effect really different from it self, or else the
sympathy betwixt Iron and the Loadstone would produce a third Creature
different from themselves, and so it would do in all other Creatures.
But as I mentioned above, there are many sorts of attractions in
Nature, and many several and various attractions onely in one sort of
Creatures, nay, so many in one particular as not to be numbred; for
there are many Desires, Passions, and Appetites, which draw or intice a
man to something or other, as for example, to Beauty, Novelty, Luxury,
Covetousness, and all kinds of Vertues and Vices; and there are many
particular objects in every one of these, as for example, in Novelty.
For there are so many several desires to Novelty, as there are Senses,
and so many Novelties that satisfie those desires, as a Novelty to the
Ear, a Novelty to the Sight, to Touch, Taste, and Smell; besides in
every one of these, there are many several objects; To mention onely
one example, for the novelty of Sight; I have seen an Ape, drest like a
Cavalier, and riding on Horse-back with his sword by his side, draw a
far greater multitude of People after him, then a Loadstone of the same
bigness of the Ape would have drawn Iron; and as the Ape turn'd, so did
the People, just like as the Needle turns to the North; and this is
but one object in one kind of attraction, _viz._ Novelty: but there be
Millions of objects besides. In like manner good cheer draws abundance
of People, as is evident, and needs no Demonstration. Wherefore, as I
said in the beginning, Sympathy is nothing else but natural Passions
and Appetites, as Love, Desire, Fancy, Hunger, Thirst, &c. and its
effects are Concord, Unity, Nourishment, and the like: But Antipathy is
Dislike, Hate, Fear, Anger, Revenge, Aversion, Jealousie, &c. and its
effects are Discord, Division, and the like. And such an Antipathy is
between a Wolf and a Sheep, a Hound and a Hare, a Hawk and a Partridg,
&c. For this Antipathy is nothing else but fear in the Sheep to run
away from the Wolf, in the Hare to run from the Hound, and in the
Partridg to flie from the Hawk; for Life has an Antipathy to that
which is named Death; and the Wolf's stomack hath a sympathy to food,
which causes him to draw neer, or run after those Creatures he has a
mind to feed on. But you will say, some Creatures will fight, and kill
each other, not for Food, but onely out of an Antipathetical nature. I
answer: When as Creatures fight, and endeavour to destroy each other,
if it be not out of necessity, as to preserve and defend themselves
from hurt or danger, then it is out of revenge, or anger, or ambition,
or jealousie, or custom of quarrelling, or breeding. As for example:
Cocks of the Game, that are bred to fight with each other, and many
other Creatures, as Bucks, Staggs, and the like, as also Birds, will
fight as well as Men, and seek to destroy each other through jealousie;
when as, had they no Females amongst them, they would perhaps live
quiet enough, rather as sympathetical Friends, then antipathetical
Foes; and all such Quarrels proceed from a sympathy to their own
interest. But you may ask me, what the reason is, that some Creatures,
as for example, Mankind, some of them, will not onely like one sort
of meat better then another of equal goodness and nourishment, but
will like and prefer sometimes a worse sort of meat before the best,
to wit, such as hath neither a good taste nor nourishment? I answer:
This is nothing else, but a particular, and most commonly an inconstant
Appetite; for after much eating of that they like best, especially if
they get a surfeit, their appetite is chang'd to aversion; for then all
their feeding motions and parts have as much, if not more antipathy
to those meats, as before they had a sympathy to them. Again, you may
ask me the reason, why a Man seeing two persons together, which are
strangers to him, doth affect one better then the other; nay, if one of
these Persons be deformed or ill-favoured, and the other well-shaped
and handsom; yet it may chance, that the deformed Person shall be more
acceptable in the affections and eyes of the beholder, then he that
is handsom? I answer: There is no Creature so deformed, but hath some
agreeable and attractive parts, unless it be a Monster, which is never
loved, but for its rarity and novelty, and Nature is many times pleased
with changes, taking delight in variety: and the proof that such a
sympathetical affection proceeds from some agreeableness of Parts,
is, that if those persons were vail'd, there would not proceed such a
partial choice or judgment from any to them. You may ask me further,
whether Passion and Appetite are also the cause of the sympathy which
is in the Loadstone towards Iron, and in the Needle towards the North?
I answer, Yes: for it is either for nourishment, or refreshment, or
love and desire of association, or the like, that the Loadstone draws
Iron, and the Needle turns towards the North. The difference onely
betwixt the sympathy in the Needle towards the North, and betwixt the
sympathy in the Loadstone towards the Iron is, that the Needle doth
always turn towards the North, but the Loadstone doth not always draw
Iron: The reason is, because the sympathy of the Needle towards the
North requires no certain distance, as I said in the beginning; and the
North-pole continuing constantly in the same place, the Needle knows
whither to turn; when as the sympathy between the Loadstone and Iron
requires a certain distance, and when the Loadstone is not within this
compass or distance, it cannot perform its effect, to wit, to draw the
Iron, but the effect ceases, although the cause remains in vigour. The
same may be said of the Flower that turns towards the Sun; for though
the Sun be out of sight, yet the Flower watches for the return of the
Sun, from which it receives benefit: Like as faithful Servants watch
and wait for their Master, or hungry Beggers at a Rich man's door for
relief; and so doth the aforesaid Flower; nay, not the Flower onely,
but any thing that has freedom and liberty of motion, will turn towards
those Places or Creatures whence it expects relief. Concerning ravenous
Beasts that feed on dead Carcasses, they, having more eager appetites
then food, make long flights into far distant Countries to seek food to
live on; but surely, I think, if they had food enough at home, although
not dead Carcasses, they would not make such great Journies; or if a
battel were fought, and many slain, and they upon their journey should
meet with sufficient food, they would hardly travel further before they
had devoured that food first: But many Birds travel for the temper of
the Air, as well as for food, witness Woodcocks, Cranes, Swallows,
Fieldfares, and the like; some for cold, some for hot, and some for
temperate Air. And as for such Diseases as are produced by conceit
and at distance, the cause is, the fearfulness of the Patient, which
produces Irregularities in the Mind, and these occasion Irregularities
in the Body, which produce such a disease, as the Mind did fearfully
apprehend; when as without that Passion and Irregularity, the Patient
would, perhaps, not fall sick of that disease, But to draw towards an
end, I'le answer briefly to your _Authors_ alledged example[4] which
he gives of Wine, that it is troubled while the Vine flowreth: The
reason, in my opinion, may perhaps be, that the Wine being the effect
of the Vine, and proceeding from its stock as the producer, has not so
quite alter'd Nature, as not to be sensible at all of the alteration
of the Vine; For many effects do retain the proprieties of their
causes; for example, many Children are generated, which have the same
proprieties of their Parents, who do often propagate some or other
vertuous or vicious qualities with their off-spring; And this is rather
a proof that there are sensitive and rational motions, and sensitive
and rational knowledge in all Creatures, and so in Wine, according to
the nature or propriety of its Figure; for without motion, sense and
reason, no effect could be; nor no sympathy or antipathy. But it is
to be observed, that many do mistake the true Causes, and ascribe an
effect to some cause, which is no more the cause of that same effect,
then a particular Creature is the cause of Nature; and so they are apt
to take the Fiddle for the hot Bricks, as if the Fiddle did make the
Ass dance, when as it was the hot Bricks that did it; for several
effects may proceed from one cause, and one effect from several causes;
and so in the aforesaid example, the Wine may perhaps be disturbed by
the alteration of the weather at the same time of the flowring of the
Vines; and so may Animals, as well as Vegetables, and other Creatures,
alter alike at one and the same point of time, and yet none be the
cause of each others alteration. And thus, to shut up my discourse, I
repeat again, that sympathy and antipathy are nothing else but ordinary
Passions and Appetites amongst several Creatures, which Passions
are made by the rational animate Matter, and the Appetites by the
sensitive, both giving such or such motions, to such or such Creatures;
for cross motions in Appetites and passions make Antipathy, and
agreeable motions in Appetites and Passions make Sympathy, although the
Creatures be different, wherein these motions, Passions and Appetites
are made; and as without an object a Pattern cannot be, so without
inherent or natural Passions and Appetites there can be no Sympathy or
Antipathy: And there being also such Sympathy betwixt your Ladiship and
me, I think my self the happiest Creature for it; and shall make it my
whole study to imitate your Ladiship, and conform all my actions to the
rule and pattern of yours, as becomes,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_faithful Friend, and humble Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of Sympathetical Mediums.

[2] In the Plague-Grave.

[3] In the Magnetick care of Wounds.

[4] _Ch._ Of the Magnetick Power.



XVI.


_MADAM,_

My opinion of Witches and Witchcraft, (of whose Power and strange
effects your _Author_ is pleased to relate many stories) in brief,
is this; My Sense and Reason doth inform me, that there is Natural
Witchcraft, as I may call it, which is Sympathy, Antipathy, Magnetisme,
and the like, which are made by the sensitive and rational motions
between several Creatures, as by Imagination, Fancy, Love, Aversion,
and many the like; but these Motions, being sometimes unusual and
strange to us, we not knowing their causes, (For what Creature knows
all motions in Nature, and their ways?) do stand amazed at their
working power; and by reason we cannot assign any Natural cause for
them, are apt to ascribe their effects to the Devil; but that there
should be any such devillish Witchcraft, which is made by a Covenant
and Agreement with the Devil, by whose power Men do enchaunt or bewitch
other Creatures, I cannot readily believe. Certainly, I dare say,
that many a good, old honest woman hath been condemned innocently,
and suffered death wrongfully, by the sentence of some foolish and
cruel Judges, meerly upon this suspition of Witchcraft, when as really
there hath been no such thing; for many things are done by slights
or juggling Arts, wherein neither the Devil nor Witches are Actors.
And thus an Englishman whose name was _Banks_, was like to be burnt
beyond the Seas for a Witch, as I have been inform'd, onely for making
a Horse shew tricks by Art; There have been also several others; as
one that could vomit up several kinds of Liquors and other things:
and another who did make a Drum beat of it self. But all these were
nothing but slights and jugling tricks; as also the talking and walking
Bell; and the Brazen-Head which spake these words, _Time was, Time
is_, and _Time is past_, and so fell down; Which may easily have been
performed by speaking through a Pipe conveighed into the said head:
But such and the like trifles will amaze many grave and wise men, when
they do not know the manner or way how they are done, so as they are
apt to judg them to be effected by Witchcraft or Combination with the
Devil. But, as I said before, I believe there is Natural Magick; which
is, that the sensitive and rational Matter oft moves such a way, as
is unknown to us; and in the number of these is also the bleeding of
a murdered body at the presence of the Murderer, which your _Author,_
mentions;[1] for the corporeal motions in the murthered body may move
so, as to work such effects, which are more then ordinary; for the
animal Figure, being not so quickly dissolved, the animal motions are
not so soon altered, (for the dissolving of the Figure is nothing else
but an alteration of its Motions;) and this dissolution is not done in
an instant of time, but by degrees: But yet I must confess, it is not a
common action in Nature, for Nature hath both common, and singular or
particular actions: As for example, Madness, natural Folly, and many
the like, are but in some particular persons; for if those actions were
general, and common, then all, or most men would be either mad, or
fools, but, though there are too many already, yet all men are not so;
and so some murthered bodies may bleed or express some alterations at
the presence of the Murtherer, but I do not believe, that all do so;
for surely in many, not any alteration will be perceived, and others
will have the same alterations without the presence of the Murtherer.
And thus you see, _Madam_, that this is done naturally, without the
help of the Devil; nay, your _Author_ doth himself confess it to be
so; for, says he, _The act of the Witch is plainly Natural; onely the
stirring up of the vertue or power in the Witch comes from Satan._
But I cannot understand what your _Author_ means, by the departing of
spiritual rays from the Witch into Man, or any other animal, which she
intends to kill or hurt; nor how Spirits wander about in the Air, and
have their mansions there; for men may talk as well of impossibilities,
as of such things which are not composed of Natural Matter: If man were
an Incorporeal Spirit himself, he might, perhaps, sooner conceive the
essence of a Spirit, as being of the same Nature; but as long as he is
material, and composed of Natural Matter, he might as well pretend to
know the Essence of God, as of an Incorporeal Spirit. Truly, I must
confess, I have had some fancies oftentimes of such pure and subtil
substances, purer and subtiler then the Sky or Æthereal substance is,
whereof I have spoken in my Poetical Works; but these substances, which
I conceived within my fancy, were material, and had bodies, though
never so small and subtil; for I was never able to conceive a substance
abstracted from all Matter, for even Fancy it self is material, and
all Thoughts and Conceptions are made by the rational Matter, and
so are those which Philosophers call Animal Spirits, but a material
Fancy cannot produce immaterial effects, that is, Ideas of Incorporeal
Spirits: And this was the cause that in the first impression of my
_Philosophical Opinions_, I named the sensitive and rational Matter,
sensitive and rational Spirits, because of its subtilty, activity
and agility; not that I thought them to be immaterial, but material
Spirits: but since Spirits are commonly taken to be immaterial, and
Spirit and Body are counted opposite to one another, to prevent
a misapprehension in the thoughts of my Readers, as if I meant
Incorporeal Spirits, I altered this expression in the last Edition, and
call'd it onely sensitive and rational Matter, or, which is all one,
sensitive and rational corporeal motions. You will say, perhaps, That
the divine Soul in Man is a Spirit: but I desire you to call to mind
what I oftentimes have told you, to wit, that when I speak of the Soul
of Man, I mean onely the Natural, not the Divine Soul; which as she is
supernatural, so she acts also supernaturally; but all the effects of
the natural Soul, of which I discourse, are natural, and not divine or
supernatural. But to return to Magnetisme; I am absolutely of opinion,
that it is naturally effected by natural means, without the concurrence
of Immaterial Spirits either good or bad, meerly by natural corporeal
sensitive and rational motions; and, for the most part, there must be a
due approach between the Agent and the Patient, or otherwise the effect
will hardly follow, as you may see by the Loadstone and Iron; Neither
is the influence of the Stars performed beyond a certain distance,
that is, such a distance as is beyond sight or their natural power to
work; for if their light comes to our Eyes, I know no reason against
it, but their effects may come to our bodies. And as for infectious
Diseases, they come by a corporeal imitation, as by touch, either of
the infected air, drawn in by breath, or entring through the pores
of the Body, or of some things brought from infected places, or else
by hearing; but diseases, caused by Conceit, have their beginning,
as all alterations have, from the sensitive and rational Motions,
which do not onely make the fear and conceit, but also the disease;
for as a fright will sometimes cure diseases, so it will sometimes
cause diseases; but as I said, both fright, cure, and the disease, are
made by the rational and sensitive corporeal motions within the body,
and not by Supernatural Magick, as Satanical Witchcraft, entering
from without into the body by spiritual rays. But having discoursed
hereof in my former Letter, I will not trouble you with an unnecessary
repetition thereof; I conclude therefore with what I begun, _viz._ that
I believe natural Magick to be natural corporeal motions in natural
bodies: Not that I say, Nature in her self is a Magicianess, but it
may be called natural Magick or Witchcraft, meerly in respect to our
Ignorance; for though Nature is old, yet she is not a Witch, but a
grave, wise, methodical Matron, ordering her Infinite family, which are
her several parts, with ease and facility, without needless troubles
and difficulties; for these are onely made through the ignorance of
her several parts or particular Creatures, not understanding their
Mistress, Nature, and her actions and government, for which they cannot
be blamed; for how should a part understand the Infinite body, when it
doth not understand it self; but Nature understands her parts better
then they do her. And so leaving Wise Nature, and the Ignorance of her
Particulars, I understand my self so far that I am,

Madam,

_Your humble and_

_faithful Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of the Magnetick cure of wounds.



XVII.


_MADAM,_

I am not of your _Authors_[1] opinion, That _Time hath no relation to
Motion, but that Time and Motion are as unlike and different from each
other as Finite from Infinite, and that it hath its own essence or
being Immoveable, Unchangeable, Individable, and unmixed with things,
nay, that Time is plainly the same with Eternity._ For, in my opinion,
there can be no such thing as Time in Nature, but what Man calls Time,
is onely the variation of natural motions; wherefore Time, and the
alteration of motion, is one and the same thing under two different
names; and as Matter, Figure, and Motion, are inseparable, so is Time
inseparably united, or rather the same thing with them, and not a
thing subsisting by it self; and as long as Matter, Motion and Figure
have been existent, so long hath Time; and as long as they last, so
long doth Time. But when I say, Time is the variation of motion, I
do not mean the motion of the Sun or Moon, which makes Days, Months,
Years, but the general motions or actions of Nature, which are the
ground of Time; for were there no Motion, there would be no Time; and
since Matter is dividable, and in parts, Time is so too; neither hath
Time any other Relation to Duration, then what Nature her self hath.
Wherefore your _Author_ is mistaken, when he says, Motion is made in
Time, for Motion makes Time, or rather is one and the same with Time;
and Succession is no more a stranger to Motion, then Motion is to
Nature, as being the action of Nature, which is the Eternal servant of
God. _But_, says he, _Certain Fluxes of Formerlinesses and Laternesses,
have respect unto frail moveable things in their motions, wherewith
they hasten unto the appointed ends of their period, and so unto their
own death or destruction; but what relation hath all that to Time: for
therefore also ought Time to run with all and every motion? Verily so
there should be as many times and durations as there are motions._ I
answer: To my Reason, there are as many times and durations as there
are motions; for neither time nor duration can be separated from
motion, no more then motion can be separated from them, being all one.
But Time is not Eternity, for Eternity hath no change, although your
_Author_ makes Time and Eternity all one, and a being or substance by
it self: Yet I will rather believe _Solomon_, then him, who says, that
there is a time to be merry, and a time to be sad; a time to mourn, and
a time to rejoyce, and so forth: making so many divisions of Time as
there are natural actions; whenas your _Author_ makes natural actions
strangers to Nature, dividing them from their substances: Which seemeth
very improbable in the opinion of,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_faithful Friend, and humble Servant._

[1] In his Treatise of Time.



XVIII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Authors_[1] opinion is, That _a bright burning Iron doth not
burn a dead Carcass after an equal manner as it doth a live one; For
in live bodies_, saith he, _it primarily hurts the sensitive Soul,
the which therefore being impatient, rages after a wonderful manner,
doth by degrees resolve and exasperate its own and vital liquors into
a sharp poyson, and then contracts the fibres of the flesh, and turns
them into an escharre, yea, into the way of a coal; but a dead Carcass
is burnt by bright burning Iron, no otherwise, then if Wood, or if any
other unsensitive thing should be; that is, it burns by a proper action
of the fire, but not of the life._ To which opinion, I answer: That my
Reason cannot conceive any thing to be without life, and so neither
without sense; for whatsoever hath self-motion, has sense and life; and
that self-motion is in every Creature, is sufficiently discoursed of in
my former Letters, and in my _Philosophical Opinions_; for self-motion,
sense, life, and reason, are the grounds and principles of Nature,
without which no Creature could subsist. I do not say, That there is
no difference between the life of a dead Carcass, and a live one,
for there is a difference between the lives of every Creature; but to
differ in the manner of life, and to have neither life nor sense at
all, are quite different things: But your _Author_ affirms himself,
that all things have a certain sense of feeling, when he speaks of
Sympathy and Magnetisme, and yet he denies that they have life: And
others again, do grant life to some Creatures, as to Vegetables, and
not sense. Thus they vary in their Opinions, and divide sense, life,
and motion, when all is but one and the same thing; for no life is
without sense and motion, nor no motion without sense and life; nay,
not without Reason; for the chief Architect of all Creatures, is
sensitive and rational Matter. But the mistake is, that most men, do
not, or will not conceive, that there is a difference and variety
of the corporeal sensitive and rational motions in every Creature;
but they imagine, that if all Creatures should have life, sense, and
reason, they must of necessity have all alike the same motions, without
any difference; and because they do not perceive the animal motions
in a Stone or Tree, they are apt to deny to them all life, sense, and
motion. Truly, _Madam_, I think no man will be so mad, or irrational,
as to say a Stone is an Animal, or an Animal is a Tree, because a Stone
and Tree have sense, life, and motion; for every body knows, that their
Natural figures are different, and if their Natures be different,
then they cannot have the same Motions, for the corporeal motions do
make the nature of every particular Creature, and their differences;
and as the corporeal motions act, work, or move, so is the nature of
every figure, Wherefore, nobody, I hope, will count me so senseless,
that I believe sense and life to be after the like manner in every
particular Creature or part of Nature; as for example, that a Stone or
Tree has animal motions, and doth see, touch, taste, smell and hear by
such sensitive organs as an Animal doth; but, my opinion is, that all
Sense is not bound up to the sensitive organs of an Animal, nor Reason
to the kernel of a man's brain, or the orifice of the stomack, or the
fourth ventricle of the brain, or onely to a mans body; for though we
do not see all Creatures move in that manner as Man or Animals do, as
to walk, run, leap, ride, &c. and perform exterior acts by various
local motions; nevertheless, we cannot in reason say, they are void and
destitute of all motion; For what man knows the variety of motions in
Nature: Do not we see, that Nature is active in every thing, yea, the
least of her Creatures. For example; how some things do unanimously
conspire and agree, others antipathetically flee from each other; and
how some do increase, others decrease; some dissolve, some consist,
and how all things are subject to perpetual changes and alterations;
and do you think all this is done without motion, life, sense, and
reason? I pray you consider, _Madam_, that there are internal motions
as well as external, alterative as well as constitutive; and several
other sorts of motions not perceptible by our senses, and therefore
it is impossible that all Creatures should move after one sort of
motions. But you will say, Motion may be granted, but not Life, Sense,
and Reason. I answer, I would fain know the reason why not; for I am
confident that no man can in truth affirm the contrary: What is Life,
but sensitive Motion? what is Reason, but rational motion? and do you
think, _Madam_, that any thing can move it self without life, sense
and reason? I, for my part, cannot imagine it should; for it would
neither know why, whither, nor what way, or how to move. But you may
reply, Motion may be granted, but not self-motion; and life, sense,
and reason, do consist in self-motion. I answer: this is impossible;
for not any thing in Nature can move naturally without natural motion,
and all natural motion is self-motion. If you say it may be moved by
another; My answer is, first, that if a thing has no motion in it self,
but is moved by another which has self-motion, then it must give that
immovable body motion of its own, or else it could not move, having
no motion at all; for it must move by the power of motion, which is
certain; and then it must move either by its own motion, or by a
communicated or imparted motion; if by a communicated motion, then
the self-moveable thing or body must transfer its own motion into the
immoveable, and lose so much of its own motion as it gives away, which
is impossible, as I have declared heretofore at large, unless it do
also transfer its moving parts together with it, for motion cannot be
transfered without substance. But experience and observation witnesseth
the contrary. Next, I say, if it were possible that one body did
move another, then most part of natural Creatures, which are counted
immoveable of themselves, or inanimate, and destitute of self-motion,
must be moved by a forced or violent, and not by a natural motion; for
all motion that proceeds from an external agent or moving power, is
not natural, but forced, onely self-motion is natural; and then one
thing moving another in this manner, we must at last proceed to such
a thing which is not moved by another, but hath motion in it self,
and moves all others; and, perhaps, since man, and the rest of animals
have self-motion, it might be said, that the motions of all other
inanimate Creatures, as they call them, doth proceed from them; but man
being so proud, ambitious, and self-conceited, would soon exclude all
other animals, and adscribe this power onely to himself, especially
since he thinks himself onely endued with Reason, and to have this
prerogative above all the rest, as to be the sole rational Creature
in the World. Thus you see, _Madam_, what confusion, absurdity, and
constrained work will follow from the opinion of denying self-motion,
and so consequently, life and sense to natural Creatures. But I, having
made too long a digression, will return to your _Authors_ discourse:
And as for that he says, _A dead Carcass burns by the proper action of
the fire_, I answer, That if the dissolving motions of the fire be too
strong for the consistent motions of that body which fire works upon,
then fire is the cause of its alteration; but if the consistent motions
of the body be too strong for the dissolving motions of the fire, then
the fire can make no alteration in it. Again: he says, _Calx vive, at
long as it remains dry, it gnaws not a dead Carcass; but it presently
gnaws live flesh, and makes an escharre; and a dead carcass is by lime
wholly resolved into a liquor, and is combibed, except the bone and
gristle thereof; but it doth not consume live flesh into a liquor,
but translates it into an escharre_. I will say no more to this, but
that I have fully enough declared my opinion before, that the actions
or motions of life alter in that which is named a dead Carcass, from
what they were in that which is called a Living body; but although
the actions of Life alter, yet life is not gone or annihilated; for
life is life, and remains full the same, but the actions or motions of
life change and differ in every figure; and this is the cause that the
actions of Fire, Time, and _Calx-vive_, have not the same effects in a
dead Carcass, as in a living Body; for the difference of their figures,
and their different motions, produce different effects in them; and
this is the cause, that one and the same fire doth not burn or act
upon all bodies alike: for some it dissolves, and some not; and some
it hardens, and some it consumes; and some later, some sooner: For put
things of several natures into the same Fire, and you will see how they
will burn, or how fire will act upon them after several manners; so
that fire cannot alter the actions of several bodies to its own blas;
and therefore, since a living and a dead Body (as they call them) are
not the same, (for the actions or motions of life, by their change or
alteration, have altered the nature or figure of the body) the effects
cannot be the same; for a Carcass has neither the interior nor exterior
motions of that figure which it was before it was a Carcass, and so the
figure is quite alter'd from what it was, by the change and alteration
of the motions. But to conclude, the motions of the exterior Agent,
and the motions of the Patient, do sometimes joyn and unite, as in one
action, or to one effect, and sometimes the motions of the Agent are
onely an occasion, but not a co-workman in the production of such or
such an effect, as the motions of the Patient do work; neither can the
motions of the Agent work totally and meerly of themselves, such or
such effects, without the assistance or concurrence of the motions
of the Patient, but the motions of the Patient can; and there is
nothing that can prove more evidently that Matter moves it self, and
that exterior agents or bodies are onely an occasion to such or such
a motion in another body, then to see how several things put into one
and the same fire, do alter after several modes; which shews, it is not
the onely action of fire, but the interior motions of the body thrown
into the fire, which do alter its exterior form or figure. And thus, I
think I have said enough to make my opinions clear, that they may be
the better understood: which is the onely aim and desire of,

Madam,

_Your humble and_

_faithful Servant._

[1] Of the disease of the Stone, _Ch._ 9.



XIX.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ is not a Natural, but a Divine Philosopher, for in
many places he undertakes to interpret the Scripture; wherein, to my
judgment, he expresseth very strange opinions; you will give me leave
at this present to note some few. First, in one place,[1] interpreting
that passage of Scripture, where it is said,[2] That the _sons of God
took to wives the daughters of men_: He understands by the Sons of
God, those which came from the Posterity of _Adam_, begotten of a Man
and a Woman, having the true Image of God: But by the Daughters of
Men, he understands Monsters; that is, those which through the Devils
mediation, were conceived in the womb of a Junior Witch or Sorceress:
For when Satan could find no other ways to deprive all the race of
Men of the Image of God, and extinguish the Immortal mind out of the
flock of _Adams_ Posterity, he stirr'd up detestable copulations,
from whence proceeded savage Monsters, as Faunes, Satyrs, Sylphs,
Gnomes, Nymphs, Driades, Najades, Nereides, &c. which generated their
off-springs amongst themselves, and their posterities again contracted
their copulations amongst themselves, and at length began Wedlocks with
Men; and from this copulation of Monsters and Nymphs, they generated
strong Gyants. Which Interpretation, how it agrees with the Truth of
Scripture, I will leave to Divines to judg: But, for my part, I cannot
conceive, how, or by what means or ways, those Monsters and Nymphs were
produced or generated. Next, his opinion is, That _Adam_ did ravish
_Eve_, and defloured her by force, calling him the first infringer of
modesty, and deflourer of a Virgin; and that therefore God let hair
grow upon his chin, cheeks, and lips, that he might be a Compere,
Companion, and like unto many four-footed Beasts, and might bear before
him the signature of the same; and that, as he was lecherous after
their manner, he might also shew a rough countenance by his hairs;
which whether it be so, or not, I cannot tell, neither do I think your
_Author_ can certainly know it himself; for the Scripture makes no
mention of it: But this I dare say, that _Eves_ Daughters prove rather
the contrary, _viz._ that their Grandmother did freely consent to their
Grandfather. Also he says, That God had purposed to generate Man by
the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, but Man perverted the Intent of
God; for had _Adam_ not sinned, there had been no generation by the
copulation of a Man and Woman, but all the off-springs had appear'd
out of _Eve_, a Virgin, from the Holy Spirit, as conceived from God,
and born of a woman, a virgin, To which, I answer, first, That it is
impossible to know the Designs and secret purposes of God: Next, to
make the Holy Spirit the common Generator of all Man-kind, is more
then the Scripture expresses, and any man ought to say: Lastly, it is
absurd, in my opinion, to say, that frail and mortal Men, can pervert
the intent and designs of the Great God; or that the Devil is able to
prevent God's Intent, (as his expression is in the same place.) But
your _Author_ shews a great affection to the Female Sex, when he says,
that God doth love Women before Men, and that he has given them a
free gift of devotion before men; when as others do lay all the fault
upon the Woman, that she did seduce the Man; however in expressing
his affection for Women, your _Author_ expresses a partiality in God.
And, as for his opinion, that God creates more Daughters then Males,
and that more Males are extinguished by Diseases, Travels, Wars,
Duels, Shipwracks, and the like: Truly, I am of the same mind, that
more Men are kill'd by Travels, Wars, Duels, Shipwracks, &c. then
Women; for Women never undergo these dangers, neither do so many kill
themselves with intemperate Drinking, as Men do; but yet I believe,
that Death is as general, and not more favourable to Women, then he
is to Men; for though Women be not slain in Wars like Men, (although
many are, by the cruelty of Men, who not regarding the weakness of
their sex, do inhumanely kill them,) yet many do die in Child-bed,
which is a Punishment onely concerning the Female sex. But to go on
in your _Authors_ Interpretations: His knowledg of the Conception of
the Blessed Virgin, reaches so far, as he doth not stick to describe
exactly, not onely how the blessed Virgin conceiv'd in the womb, but
first in the heart, or the sheath of the heart; and then how the
conception removed from the heart, into the womb, and in what manner
it was performed. Certainly, _Madam_, I am amazed, when I see men so
conceited with their own perfections and abilities, (I may rather
say, with their imperfections and weaknesses) as to make themselves
God's privy Councilors, and his Companions, and partakers of all the
sacred Mysteries, Designs, and hidden secrets of the Incomprehensible
and Infinite God. O the vain Presumption, Pride, and Ambition of
wretched Men! There are many more such expressions in your _Authors_
works, which, in my opinion, do rather detract from the Greatness of
the Omnipotent God, then manifest his Glory: As for example; That Man
is the clothing of the Deity, and the sheath of the Kingdom of God,
and many the like: which do not belong to God; for God is beyond all
expression, because he is Infinite; and when we name God, we name an
Unexpressible, and Incomprehensible Being; and yet we think we honour
God, when we express him after the manner of corporeal Creatures.
Surely, the noblest Creature that ever is in the World, is not able
to be compared to the most Glorious God, but whatsoever comparison is
made, detracts from his Glory: And this, in my opinion, is the reason,
that God forbad any likeness to be made of him, either in Heaven, or
upon Earth, because he exceeds all that we might compare or liken to
him. And as men ought to have a care of such similizing expressions, so
they ought to be careful in making Interpretations of the Scripture,
and expressing more then the Scripture informs; for what is beyond the
Scripture, is Man's own fancy; and to regulate the Word of God after
Man's fancy, at least to make his fancy equal with the Word of God,
is Irreligious. Wherefore, men ought to submit, and not to pretend to
the knowledg of God's Counsels and Designs, above what he himself hath
been pleased to reveal: as for example, to describe of what Figure
God is, and to comment and descant upon the Articles of Faith; as
how Man was Created; and what he did in the state of Innocence; how
he did fall; and what he did after his fall: and so upon the rest of
the Articles of our Creed, more then the Scripture expresses, or is
conformable to it. For if we do this, we shall make a Romance of the
holy Scripture, with our Paraphrastical descriptions: which alas! is
too common already. The truth is, Natural Philosophers, should onely
contain themselves within the sphere of Nature, and not trespass upon
the Revelation of the Scripture, but leave this Profession to those to
whom it properly belongs. I am confident, a Physician, or any other man
of a certain Profession, would not take it well, if others, who are not
professed in that Art, should take upon them to practise the same:
And I do wonder, why every body is so forward to encroach upon the
holy Profession of Divines, which yet is a greater presumption, then
if they did it upon any other; for it contains not onely a most hidden
and mystical knowledg, as treating of the Highest Subject, which is
the most Glorious, and Incomprehensible God, and the salvation of our
Souls; but it is also most dangerous, if not interpreted according to
the Holy Spirit, but to the byass of man's fancy. Wherefore, _Madam_, I
am afraid to meddle with Divinity in the least thing, lest I incur the
hazard of offending the divine Truth, and spoil the excellent Art of
Philosophying; for a Philosophical Liberty, and a Supernatural Faith,
are two different things, and suffer no co-mixture; as I have declared
sufficiently heretofore. And this you will find as much truth, as that
I am,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._

[1] _Ch._ The Position is demonstrated.

[2] _Gen._ 6. 2.



XX.


_MADAM,_

Although your _Author_[1] is of the opinion of _Plato_, in making
_Three sorts of Atheists: One that believes no Gods; Another, which
indeed admits of Gods, yet such as are uncarefull of us, and despisers
of small matters, and therefore also ignorant of us: And lastly, a
third sort, which although they believe the Gods to be expert in the
least matters, yet do suppose that they are flexible and indulgent
toward the smallest cold Prayers or Petitions_: Yet I cannot approve
of this distinction, for I do understand but one sort of Atheists;
that is, those which believe no God at all; but those which believe
that there is a God, although they do not worship him truly, nor live
piously and religiously as they ought, cannot, in truth, be called
Atheists, or else there would be innumerous sorts of Atheists; to
wit, all those, that are either no Christians, or not of this or that
opinion in Christian Religion, besides all them that live wickedly,
impiously and irreligiously; for to know, and be convinced in his
reason, that there is a God, and to worship him truly, according to
his holy Precepts and Commands, are two several things: And as for the
first, that is, for the Rational knowledg of the Existence of God, I
cannot be perswaded to believe, there is any man which has sense and
reason, that doth not acknowledg a God; nay, I am sure, there is no
part of Nature which is void and destitute of this knowledg of the
existence of an Infinite, Eternal, Immortal, and Incomprehensible
Deity; for every Creature, being indued with sense and reason, and
with sensitive and rational knowledg, there can no knowledg be
more Universal then the knowledg of a God, as being the root of
all knowledg: And as all Creatures have a natural knowledg of the
Infinite God, so, it is probable, they Worship, Adore, and Praise his
Infinite Power and Bounty, each after its own manner, and according
to its nature; for I cannot believe, God should make so many kinds of
Creatures, and not be worshipped and adored but onely by Man: Nature is
God's Servant, and she knows God better then any Particular Creature;
but Nature is an Infinite Body, consisting of Infinite Parts, and if
she adores and worships God, her Infinite Parts, which are Natural
Creatures, must of necessity do the like, each according to the
knowledg it hath: but Man in this particular goes beyond others, as
having not onely a natural, but also a revealed knowledg of the most
Holy God; for he knows Gods Will, not onely by the light of Nature,
but also by revelation, and so more then other Creatures do, whose
knowledg of God is meerly Natural. But this Revealed Knowledg makes
most men so presumptuous, that they will not be content with it, but
search more and more into the hidden mysteries of the Incomprehensible
Deity, and pretend to know God as perfectly, almost, as themselves;
describing his Nature and Essence, his Attributes, his Counsels, his
Actions, according to the revelation of God, (as they pretend) when as
it is according to their own Fancies. So proud and presumptuous are
many: But they shew thereby rather their weaknesses and follies, then
any truth; and all their strict and narrow pryings into the secrets of
God, are rather unprofitable, vain and impious, then that they should
benefit either themselves, or their neighbour; for do all we can, God
will not be perfectly known by any Creature: The truth is, it is a
meer impossibility for a finite Creature, to have a perfect Idea of
an Infinite Being, as God is; be his Reason never so acute or sharp,
yet he cannot penetrate what is Impenetrable, nor comprehend what is
Incomprehensible: Wherefore, in my opinion, the best way is humbly to
adore what we cannot conceive, and believe as much as God has been
pleased to reveal, without any further search; lest we diving too deep,
be swallowed up in the bottomless depth of his Infiniteness: Which I
wish every one may observe, for the benefit of his own self, and of
others, to spend his time in more profitable Studies, then vainly to
seek for what cannot be found. And with this hearty wish I conclude,
resting,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of the Image of the Mind.



XXI.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ is so much for Spirits, that he doth not stick to
affirm,[1] _That Bodies scarce make up a moity or half part of the
world; but Spirits, even by themselves, have or possess their moity,
and indeed the whole world._ If he mean bodiless and incorporeal
Spirits, I cannot conceive how Spirits can take up any place, for
place belongs onely to body, or a corporeal substance, and millions of
immaterial Spirits, nay, were their number infinite, cannot possess so
much place as a small Pins point, for Incorporeal Spirits possess no
place at all: which is the reason, that an Immaterial and a Material
Infinite cannot hinder, oppose, or obstruct each other; and such an
Infinite, Immaterial Spirit is God alone. But as for Created Immaterial
Spirits, as they call them, it may be questioned whether they be
Immaterial, or not; for there may be material Spirits as well as
immaterial, that is, such pure, subtil and agil substances as cannot
be subject to any humane sense, which may be purer and subtiller then
the most refined air, or purest light; I call them material spirits,
onely for distinctions sake, although it is more proper, to call them
material substances: But be it, that there are Immaterial Spirits,
yet they are not natural, but supernatural; that is, not substantial
parts of Nature; for Nature is material, or corporeal, and so are all
her Creatures, and whatsoever is not material is no part of Nature,
neither doth it belong any ways to Nature: Wherefore, all that is
called Immaterial, is a Natural Nothing, and an Immaterial Natural
substance, in my opinion, is _non_-sense: And if you contend with me,
that Created Spirits, as good and bad Angels, as also the Immortal Mind
of Man, are Immaterial, then I say they are Supernatural; but if you
say, they are Natural, then I answer they are Material: and thus I do
not deny the existence of Immaterial Spirits, but onely that they are
not parts of Nature, but supernatural; for there may be many things
above Nature, and so above a natural Understanding, and Knowledg,
which may nevertheless have their being and existence, although they
be not Natural, that is, parts of Nature: Neither do I deny that those
supernatural Creatures may be amongst natural Creatures, that is,
have their subsistence amongst them, and in Nature; but they are not
so commixed with them, as the several parts of Matter are, that is,
they do not joyn to the constitution of a material Creature; for no
Immaterial can make a Material, or contribute any thing to the making
or production of it; but such a co-mixture would breed a meer confusion
in Nature: wherefore, it is quite another thing, to be in Nature, or to
have its subsistence amongst natural Creatures in a supernatural manner
or way, and to be a part of Nature. I allow the first to Immaterial
Spirits, but not the second, _viz._ to be parts of Nature. But what
Immaterial Spirits are, both in their Essence or Nature, and their
Essential Properties, it being supernatural, and above natural Reason,
I cannot determine any thing thereof. Neither dare I say, they are
Spirits like as God is, that is, of the same Essence or Nature, no
more then I dare say or think that God is of a humane shape or figure,
or that the Nature of God is as easie to be known as any notion else
whatsoever, and that we may know as much of him as of any thing else
in the world. For if this were so, man would know God as well as he
knows himself, but God and his Attributes are not so easily known as
man may know himself and his own natural Proprieties; for God and
his Attributes are not conceiveable or comprehensible by any humane
understanding, which is not onely material, but also finite; for
though the parts of Nature be infinite in number, yet each is finite
in it self, that is, in its figure, and therefore no natural Creature
is capable to conceive what God is; for he being infinite, there is
also required an infinite capacity to conceive him; Nay, Nature her
self, although she is Infinite, yet cannot possibly have an exact
notion of God, by reason she is Material, and God is Immaterial; and
if the Infinite servant of God is not able to conceive God, much less
will a finite part of Nature do it. Besides, the holy Church doth
openly confess and declare the Incomprehensibility of God, when in the
_Athanasian_ Creed, she expresses, that the Father is Incomprehensible,
the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible, and
that there are not three, but one Incomprehensible God: Therefore, if
any one will prove the contrary, to wit, that God is Comprehensible,
or (which is all one) that God is as easie to be known as any Creature
whatsoever, he surely is more then the Church: But I shall never say or
believe so, but rather confess my ignorance, then betray my folly; and
leave things Divine to the Church; to which I submit, as I ought, in
all Duty: and as I do not meddle with any Divine Mysteries, but subject
my self, concerning my Faith or Belief, and the regulating of my
actions for the obtaining of Eternal Life, wholly under the government
and doctrine of the Church, so, I hope, they will also grant me leave
to have my liberty concerning the contemplation of Nature and natural
things, that I may discourse of them, with such freedom, as meer
natural Philosophers use, or at least ought, to do; and thus I shall be
both a good Christian, and a good Natural Philosopher: Unto which, to
make the number perfect, I will add a third, which is, I shall be,

Madam,

_Your real and faithful_

_Friend and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of the Magnetick cure of wounds.



XXII.


_MADAM,_

Though I am loth (as I have often told you) to imbarque my self in the
discourse of such a subject, as no body is able naturally to know,
which is the supernatural and divine Soul in Man; yet your _Author_
having, in my judgment, strange opinions, both of the Essence, Figure,
Seat and Production of the Soul, and discoursing thereof, with such
liberty and freedom, as of any other natural Creature, I cannot chuse
but take some notice of his discourse, and make some reflections upon
it; which yet, shall rather express my ignorance of the same subject,
then in a positive answer, declare my opinion thereof; for, in things
divine, I refer my self wholly to the Church, and submit onely to
their instructions, without any further search of natural reason; and
if I should chance to express more then I ought to do, and commit some
error, it being out of ignorance rather then set purpose, I shall be
ready upon better information, to mend it, and willingly subject my
self under the censure and correction of the holy Church, as counting
it no disgrace to be ignorant in the mysteries of Faith, since Faith
is of things unknown, but rather a duty required from every Layman to
believe simply the Word of God, as it is explained and declared by the
Orthodox Church, without making Interpretations out of his own brain,
and according to his own fancy, which breeds but Schismes, Heresies,
Sects, and Confusions. But concerning your _Author_, I perceive by him,
first, that he makes no distinction between the Natural or Rational
Soul or Mind of Man, and between the Divine or Supernatural Soul, but
takes them both as one, and distinguishes onely the Immortal Soul
from the sensitive Life of Man, which he calls the Frail, Mortal,
Sensitive Soul. Next, all his knowledg of this Immortal Soul is
grounded upon Dreams and Visions, and therefore it is no wonder, if
his opinions be somewhat strange and irregular. _I saw, in a Vision,_
says he,[1] _my Mind in a humane shape; but there was a light, whose
whole homogeneal body was actively seeing, a spiritual substance,
Chrystalline, shining with a proper splendor, or a splendor of its own,
but in another cloudy part it was rouled up as it were in the husk of
it self; which whether it had any splendor of it self, I could not
discern, by reason of the superlative brightness of the Chrystal Spirit
contain'd within._ Whereupon he defines _the Soul_ to be _a Spirit,
beloved of God, homogeneal, simple, immortal, created into the Image
of God, one onely Being, whereto death adds nothing, or takes nothing
from it, which may be natural or proper to it in the Essence of its
simplicity._ As for this definition of the Soul, it may be true, for
any thing I know: but when your _Author_ makes the divine Soul to be a
Light, I cannot conceive how that can agree; for Light is a Natural and
Visible Creature, and, in my opinion, a corporeal substance; whereas
the Soul is immaterial and incorporeal: But be it, that Light is not a
substance, but a neutral Creature, according to your _Author_; then,
nevertheless the Immortal Soul cannot be said to be a light, because
she is a substance. He may say,[2] The Soul is an Incomprehensible
Light. But if the Soul be Incomprehensible, how then doth he know that
she is a light, and not onely a light, but a glorious and splendorous
light? You will say, By a Dream, or Vision. Truly, _Madam_, to judg
any thing by a Dream, is a sign of a weak judgment. Nay, since your
_Author_ calls the soul constantly a light; if it were so, and that
it were such a splendorous, bright and shining light, as he says;
then when the body dies, and the soul leaves its Mansion, it would
certainly be seen, when it issues out of the body. But your _Author_
calls the Soul a _Spiritual Substance_, and yet he says, she has _an
homogeneal body, actively seeing and shining with a proper splendor
of her own_; which how it can agree, I leave to you to judg; for I
thought, an Immaterial spirit and a body were too opposite things, and
now I see, your _Author_ makes Material and Immaterial, Spiritual and
Corporeal, all one. But this is not enough, but he allows it a Figure
too, and that of a humane shape; for says he, I _could never consider
the Thingliness of the Immortal Mind with an Individual existence,
deprived of all figure, neither but that it at least would answer to
a humane shape_; but the Scripture, as much as is known to me, never
doth express any such thing of the Immortal Soul, and I should be loth
to believe any more thereof then it declares. The Apostles, although
they were conversant with Christ, and might have known it better, yet
were never so inquisitive into the nature of the Soul, as our Modern
divine Philosophers are; for our Saviour, and they, regarded more the
salvation of Man's Soul, and gave holy and wise Instructions rather,
how to live piously and conformably to God's Will, to gain eternal
Life, then that they should discourse either of the Essence or Figure,
or Proprieties of the Soul, and whether it was a light, or any thing
else, and such like needless questions, raised in after-times onely
by the curiosity of divine Philosophers, or Philosophying Divines;
For though Light is a glorious Creature, yet Darkness is as well a
Creature as Light, and ought not therefore to be despised; for if it
be not so bright, and shining as Light, yet it is a grave Matron-like
Creature, and very useful: Neither is the Earth, which is inwardly
dark, to be despised, because the Sun is bright. The like may be said
of the soul, and of the body; for the body is very useful to the soul,
how dark soever your _Author_ believes it to be; and if he had not
seen light with his bodily eyes, he could never have conceived the
Soul to be a Light: Wherefore your _Author_ can have no more knowledg
of the divine soul then other men have, although he has had more
Dreams and Visions; nay, he himself confesses, that the Soul is an
Incomprehensible Light; which if so, she cannot, be perfectly known,
nor confined to any certain figure; for a figure or shape belongs
onely to a corporeal substance, and not to an incorporeal: and so, God
being an Incomprehensible Being, is excluded from all figure, when as
yet your _Author_ doth not stick to affirm, that God is of a humane
figure too, as well as the humane Soul is; _For_, says he, _Since God
hath been pleased to adopt the Mind alone into his own Image, it also
seems to follow, that the vast and unutterable God is of a humane
Figure, and that from an argument from the effect, if there be any
force of arguments in this subject._ Oh! the audacious curiosity of
Man! Is it not blasphemy to make the Infinite God of a frail and humane
shape, and to compare the most Holy to a sinful Creature? Nay, is it
not an absurdity, to confine and inclose that Incomprehensible Being
in a finite figure? I dare not insist longer upon this discourse,
lest I defile my thoughts with the entertaining of such a subject
that derogates from the glory of the Omnipotent Creator; Wherefore, I
will hasten, as much as I can, to the seat of the Soul, which, after
relating several opinions, your _Author_ concludes to be the orifice
of the stomack, where the Immortal Soul is involved and entertained
in the radical Inn or Bride-bed of the sensitive Soul or vital Light;
which part of the body is surely more honoured then all the rest: But
I, for my part, cannot conceive why the Soul should not dwell in the
parts of conception, as well, as in the parts of digestion, except it
be to prove her a good Huswife; however, your _Author_ allows her to
slide down sometimes: For, _The action of the Mind_, says he, _being
imprisoned in the Body, doth always tend downwards_; but whether
the Soul tend more downwards then upwards, Contemplative Persons,
especially Scholars, and grave States-men, do know best; certainly, I
believe, they find the soul more in their heads then in their heels,
at least her operations. But, to conclude, if the Soul be pure and
single of her self, she cannot mix with the Body, because she needs
no assistance; nor joyn with the Body, though she lives in the Body,
for she needs no support; and if she be individable, she cannot divide
her self into several Parts of the Body; but if the Soul spread over
all the Body, then she is bigger, or less, according as the Body is;
and if she be onely placed in some particular part, then onely that
one part is indued with a Soul, and the rest is Soul-less; and if she
move from place to place, then some parts of the Body will be sometimes
indued with a Soul, sometimes not; and if any one part requires not
the subsistence of the Soul within it, then perhaps all the Body might
have been able to spare her; neither might the Soul, being able to
subsist without the body, have had need of it. Thus useless questions
will trouble men's brains, if they give their fancies leave to work.
I should add something of the Production of the Soul; but being tyred
with so tedious a discourse of your _Author_, I am not able to write
any more, but repose my Pen, and in the mean while rest affectionately,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of the Image of the Mind.

[2] Of the Spirit of Life.



XXIII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Authors_ comparison[1] of the Sun, with the immaterial or divine
Soul in Man, makes me almost of opinion, that the Sun is the Soul of
this World we inhabit, and that the fixed Stars, which are counted
Suns by some, may be souls to some other worlds; for every one man has
but one immaterial or divine soul, which is said to be individable
and simple in its essence, and therefore unchangeable; and if the Sun
be like this immaterial soul, then the Moon may be like the material
soul. But as for the Production of this immaterial and divine Soul in
Man, whether it come by an immediate Creation from God, or be derived
by a successive propagation from Parents upon their Children, I cannot
determine any thing, being supernatural, and not belonging to my
study; nevertheless, the Propagation from Parents seems improbable to
my reason; for I am not capable to imagine, how an immaterial soul,
being individable, should beget another. Some may say, by imprinting or
sealing, _viz._ that the soul doth print the Image of its own figure
upon the spirit of the seed; which if so, then first there will onely
be a production of the figure of the soul, but not of the substance,
and so the Child will have but the Image of the soul, and not a real
and substantial soul. Secondly, Every Child of the same Parents would
be just alike, without any distinguishment; if not in body, yet in the
Faculties and Proprieties of their Minds or Souls. Thirdly, There must
be two prints of the two souls of both Parents upon one Creature, to
wit, the Child; for both Parents do contribute alike to the Production
of the Child, and then the Child would either have two souls, or both
must be joyned as into one; which how it can be, I am not able to
conceive. Fourthly, If the Parents print the Image of their souls upon
the Child, then the Childs soul bears not the Image of God, but the
Image of Man, to wit, his Parents. Lastly, I cannot understand, how an
immaterial substance should make a print upon a corporeal substance,
for Printing is a corporeal action, and belongs onely to bodies. Others
may say, that the soul is from the Parents transmitted into the Child,
like as a beam of Light; but then the souls of the Parents must part
with some of their own substance; for light is a substance dividable,
in my opinion; and if it were not, yet the soul is a substance, and
cannot be communicated without losing some of his own substance,
but that is impossible; for the immaterial soul being individable,
cannot be diminished nor increased in its substance or Nature. Others
again, will have the soul produced by certain Ideas; but Ideas being
corporeal, cannot produce a substance Incorporeal or Spiritual.
Wherefore I cannot conceive how the souls of the Parents, being
individable in themselves, and not immoveable out of their bodies until
the time of death, should commix so, as to produce a third immaterial
soul, like to their own. You will say, As the Sun, which is the
fountain of heat and light, heats and enlightens, and produces other
Creatures. But I answer, The Sun doth not produce other Suns, at least
not to our knowledg. 'Tis true, there are various and several manners
and ways of Productions, but they are all natural, that is, material,
or corporeal; to wit, Productions of some material beings, or corporeal
substances; but the immaterial soul not being in the number of these,
it is not probable, that she is produced by the way of corporeal
productions, but created and infused from God, according to her nature,
which is supernatural and divine: But being the Image of God, how she
can be defiled with the impurity of sin, and suffer eternal damnation
for her wickedness, without any prejudice to her Creator, I leave to
the Church to inform us thereof. Onely one question I will add, Whether
the Soul be subject to Sickness and Pain? To which I answer: As for the
supernatural and divine Soul, although she be a substance, yet being
not corporeal, but spiritual, she can never suffer pain, sickness, nor
death; but as for the natural soul, to speak properly, there is no
such thing in Nature as pain, sickness, or death; unless in respect
to some Particular Creatures composed of natural Matter; for what Man
calls Sickness, Pain, and Death, are nothing else but the Motions of
Nature; for though there is but one onely Matter, that is, nothing but
meer Matter in Nature, without any co-mixture of either a spiritual
substance, or any thing else that is not Matter; yet this meer Matter
is of several degrees and parts, and is the body of Nature; Besides,
as there is but one onely Matter, so there is also but one onely
Motion in Nature, as I may call it, that is, meer corporeal Motion,
without any rest or cessation, which is the soul of that Natural body,
both being infinite; but yet this onely corporeal Motion is infinitely
various in its degrees or manners, and ways of moving; for it is
nothing else but the action of natural Matter, which action must needs
be infinite, being the action of an infinite body, making infinite
figures and parts. These motions and actions of Nature, since they
are so infinitely various, when men chance to observe some of their
variety, they call them by some proper name, to make a distinguishment,
especially those motions which belong to the figure of their own
kind; and therefore when they will express the motions of dissolution
of their own figure, they call them Death; when they will express
the motions of Production of their figure, they call them Conception
and Generation; when they will express the motions proper for the
Consistence, Continuance and Perfection of their Figure, they call them
Health; but when they will express the motions contrary to these, they
call them Sickness, Pain, Death, and the like: and hence comes also the
difference between regular and irregular motions; for all those Motions
that belong to the particular nature and consistence of any figure,
they call regular, and those which are contrary to them, they call
irregular. And thus you see, _Madam_, that there is no such thing in
Nature, as Death, Sickness, Pain, Health, &c. but onely a variety and
change of the corporeal motions, and that those words express nothing
else but the variety of motions in Nature; for men are apt to make more
distinctions then Nature doth: Nature knows of nothing else but of
corporeal figurative Motions, when as men make a thousand distinctions
of one thing, and confound and entangle themselves so, with Beings,
Non-beings, and Neutral-beings, Corporeals and Incorporeals, Substances
and Accidents, or manners and modes of Substances, new Creations,
and Annihilations, and the like, as neither they themselves, nor any
body else, is able to make any sense thereof; for they are like the
tricks and slights of Juglers, 'tis here, 'tis gone; and amongst those
_Authors_ which I have read as yet, the most difficult to be understood
is this _Author_ which I am now perusing, who runs such divisions, and
cuts Nature into so small Parts, as the sight of my Reason is not sharp
enough to discern them. Wherefore I will leave them to those that are
more quick-sighted then I, and rest,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._

[1] Of the seat of the Soul. _It._ Of the Image of the Mind.



XXIV.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ relates,[1] how by some the _Immortal Soul is divided
into two distinct parts; the Inferior or more outward, which by a
peculiar name is called the Soul, and the other the Superior, the
more inward, the which is called the bottom of the Soul or Spirit, in
which Part the Image of God is specially contained; unto which is no
access for the Devil, because there is the Kingdom of God_: and each
part has distinct Acts, Proprieties, and Faculties. Truly, _Madam_, I
wonder, how some men dare discourse so boldly of the Soul, without any
ground either of Scripture or Reason, nay, with such contradiction to
themselves, or their own opinions; For how can that be severed into
parts, which in its nature is Individable? and how can the Image of
God concern but one Part of the Soul, and not the other? Certainly,
if the Soul is the Image of God, it is his Image wholly, and not
partially, or in parts. But your _Author_ has other as strange and
odd opinions as these, some whereof I have mentioned in my former
Letters, the Souls being a Light, her Figure, her Residence, and many
the like: Amongst the rest, there is one thing which your _Author_
frequently makes mention of;[2] I know not what to call it, whether
a thing, or a being, or no-thing; for it is neither of them; not a
substance, nor an accident; neither a body, nor a spirit; and this
Monster (for I think this is its proper name, since none other will
fit it) is the Lacquey of the Soul, to run upon all errands; for the
Soul sitting in her Princely Throne or Residence, which is the orifice
of the stomack, cannot be every where her self; neither is it fit she
should, as being a disgrace to her, to perform all offices her self
for want of servants, therefore she sends out this most faithful and
trusty officer, (your _Author_ calls him _Ideal Entity_) who being
prepared for his journey, readily performs all her commands, as being
not tied up to no commands of places, times or dimensions, especially
in Women with Child he operates most powerfully; for sometime he
printed a Cherry on a Child, by a strong Idea of the Mother; but this
Ideal Entity or servant of the Soul, hath troubled my brain more, then
his Mistress the Soul her self; for I could not, nor cannot as yet
conceive, how he might be able to be the Jack of all offices, and do
Journies and travel from one part of the body to another, being no body
nor substance himself, nor tyed to any place, time, and dimension,
and therefore I will leave him. Your _Author_ also speaks much of the
Inward and Outward Man; but since that belongs to Divinity, I will
declare nothing of it; onely this I say, that, in my opinion, the
Inward and Outward man do not make a double Creature, neither properly,
nor improperly; properly, as to make two different men; improperly, as
we use to call that man double, whose heart doth not agree with his
words. But by the Outward man I understand the sinful actions of flesh
and blood, and by the Inward man the reformed actions of the Spirit,
according to the Word of God; and therefore the Outward and Inward
man make but one Man. Concerning the Natural Soul, your _Author_[3]
speaks of her more to her disgrace then to her honor; for he scorns to
call her a substance, neither doth he call her the Rational Soul, but
he calls her the Sensitive Soul, and makes the Divine Soul to be the
Rational Natural Soul, and the cause of all natural actions; for he
being a Divine Philosopher, mixes Divine and Natural things together:
But of the Frail, Mortal, Sensitive Soul, as he names her, which is
onely the sensitive Life, his opinions are, that she is neither a
substance, nor an accident, but a Neutral Creature, and a Vital Light,
which hath not its like in the whole World, but the light of a Candle;
for it is extinguished, and goes out like the flame of a Candle; it is
locally present, and entertained in a place, and yet not comprehended
in a place. Nevertheless, although this sensitive soul is no substance,
yet it has the honor to be the Inn or Lodging-place of the Immortal
Soul or Mind; and these two souls being both lights, do pierce each
other; but the Mortal soul blunts the Immortal soul with its cogitation
of the corruption of _Adam_. These opinions, _Madam_, I confess really,
I do not know what to make of them; for I cannot imagine, how this
Mortal soul, being no substance, can contain the Immortal soul, which
is a substance; nor how they can pierce each other, and the Mortal
soul being substanceless, get the better over an Immortal substance,
and vitiate, corrupt, and infect it; neither can I conceive, how that,
which in a manner is nothing already, can be made less and annihilated.
Wherefore, my opinion is, that the Natural Soul, Life, and Body, are
all substantial parts of Infinite Nature, not subsisting by themselves
each apart, but inseparably united and co-mixed both in their actions
and substances; for not any thing can and doth subsist of it self in
Nature, but God alone; and things supernatural may, for ought I know:
'Tis true, there are several Degrees, several particular Natures,
several Actions or Motions, and several Parts in Nature, but none
subsists single, and by it self, without reference to the whole, and to
one another. Your _Author_ says, the Vital Spirit sits in the Throne
of the Outward man as Vice Roy of the Soul, and acts by Commission of
the Soul; but it is impossible, that one single part should be King
of the whole Creature, since Rational and sensitive Matter is divided
into so many parts, which have equal power and force of action in their
turns and severall imployments; for though Nature is a Monarchess over
all her Creatures, yet in every particular Creature is a Republick,
and not a Monarchy; for no part of any Creature has a sole supreme
Power over the rest. Moreover, your _Author_[4] says, That an _Angel
is not a Light himself, nor has an Internal Light, natural and proper
to himself, but is the Glass of an uncreated Light_: Which, to my
apprehension, seems to affirm, That Angels are the Looking-glasses
of God; a pretty Poetical Fancy, but not grounded on the Scripture:
for the Scripture doth not express any such thing of them, but onely
that they are[5] _Ministring Spirits sent forth to minister for them
who shall be heirs of Salvation_: Which, I think, is enough for us to
know here, and leave the rest until we come to enjoy their company in
Heaven. But it is not to be admired, that those, which pretend to know
the Nature and Secrets of God, should not have likewise knowledg of
Supernatural Creatures; In which conceit I leave them, and rest,

Madam,

_Your real and faithful_

_Friend and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of the Image of the Soul.

[2] _Ch._ Of the Magnetick cure of wounds.

[3] Of the seat of the Soul.

[4] _Ch._ Of the Image of the Mind.

[5] _Heb._ 11. 14.



XXV.


_MADAM,_

Reason and Intellect are two different things to your _Author_;[1]
for _Intellect_, says he, _doth properly belong to the Immortal Soul,
as being a Formal Light, and the very substance of the Soul it self,
wherein the Image of God onely consists; But Reason is an uncertain,
frail faculty of the Mortal Soul, and doth in no ways belong, nor has
any communion with the Intellect of the Mind._ Which seems to me, as
if your _Author_ did make some difference between the Divine, and
the Natural Soul in Man, although he doth not plainly declare it in
the same Terms; for that which I name the Divine Soul, is to him the
Immortal Mind, Intellect, or Understanding, and the Seat of the Image
of God; but the Natural Soul he calls the Frail, Mortal, and Rational
Soul; and as Understanding is the Essence of the Immortal, so Reason
is to him the Essence of the Mortal Soul; which Reason he attributes
not only to Man, but also to Brutes: For _Reason and Discourse_, says
he, _do not obscurely flourish and grow in brute Beasts, for an aged
Fox is more crafty then a younger one by rational discourse_; and
again, _That the Rational Part of the Soul doth belong to brutes, is
without doubt_: Wherein he rightly dissents from those, which onely
do attribute a sensitive Soul to brutes; and Reason to none but Man,
whom therefore they call a Rational Creature, and by this Rational
Faculty do distinguish him from the rest of Animals. And thus I
perceive the difference betwixt your _Authors_ opinion, and theirs,
is, That other Philosophers commonly do make the Rational soul, to be
partly that which I call the supernatural and divine Soul, as onely
belonging to man, and bearing the Image of God, not acknowledging any
other Natural, but a Sensitive soul in the rest of Animals, and a
Vegetative soul in Vegetables; and these three souls, or faculties,
operations, or degrees, (call them what you will, for we shall not
fall out about names,) concurr and joyn together in Man; but the
rest of all Creatures, are void and destitute of Life, as well as of
Soul, and therefore called Unanimate; and thus they make the natural
rational soul, and the divine soul in man to be all one thing, without
any distinguishment; but your _Author_ makes a difference between the
Mortal and Immortal soul in Man; the Immortal he calls the Intellect
or Understanding, and the Mortal soul he calls Reason: but to my
judgment he also attributes to the immortal soul, actions which are
both natural, and supernatural, adscribing that to the divine soul,
which onely belongs to the natural, and taking that from the natural,
which properly belongs to her. Besides, he slights and despises the
Rational soul so, as if she were almost of no value with Man, making
her no substance, but a mental intricate and obscure Being, and so far
from Truth, as if there were no affinity betwixt Truth and Reason,
but that they disagree in their very roots, and that the most refined
Reason may be deceitful. But your _Author_, by his leave, confounds
Reason, and Reasoning, which are two several and distinct things; for
reasoning and arguing differs as much from Reason, as doubtfulness
from certainty of knowledg, or a wavering mind from a constant mind;
for Reasoning is the discoursive, and Reason the understanding part in
Man, and therefore I can find no great difference between Understanding
and Reason: Neither can I be perswaded, that Reason should not remain
with Man after this life, and enter with him into Heaven, although
your _Author_ speaks much against it; for if Man shall be the same
then, which he is now, in body, why not in soul also? 'Tis true, the
Scripture says, he shall have a more glorious body; but it doth not
say, that some parts of the body shall be cast away, or remain behind;
and if not of the body, why of the soul? Why shall Reason, which is
the chief part of the natural Soul, be wanting? Your _Author_ is much
for Intellect or Understanding; but I cannot imagine how Understanding
can be without Reason. Certainly, when he saw the Immortal Soul in
a Vision, to be a formal Light, how could he discern what he saw,
without Reason? How could he distinguish between Light and Darkness,
without Reason? How could he know the Image of the Mind to be the Image
of God, without the distinguishment of Reason? You will say, Truth
informed him, and not Reason. I answer, Reason shews the Truth. You
may reply, Truth requires no distinguishment or judgment. I grant,
that perfect Truth requires not reasoning or arguing, as whether it
be so, or not; but yet it requires reason, as to confirm it to be so,
or not so; for Reason is the confirmation of Truth, and Reasoning is
but the Inquisition into Truth: Wherefore, when our Souls shall be in
the fulness of blessedness, certainly, they shall not be so dull and
stupid, but observe distinctions between God, Angels, and sanctified
Souls; as also, that our glory is above our merit, and that there is
great difference between the Damned, and the Blessed, and that God is
an Eternal and Infinite Being, and onely to be adored, admired, and
loved, and that we enjoy as much as can be enjoyed: All which the Soul
cannot know without the distinguishment of Reason; otherwise we might
say, the Souls in Heaven, love, joy, admire and adore, but know not
what, why, or wherefore; For, shall the blessed Souls present continual
Praises without reason? Have they not reason to praise God for their
happiness, and shall they not remember the Mercies of God, and the
Merits of his Son? For without remembrance of them, they cannot give
a true acknowledgment, although your _Author_ says there is no use of
Memory or remembrance in Heaven: but surely, I believe there is; for if
there were not memory in Heaven, the Penitent Thief upon the Cross his
Prayers had been in vain; for he desired our Saviour to remember him
when he did come into his Kingdom: Wherefore if there be Understanding
in Heaven, there is also Reason; and if there be Reason, there is
Memory also: for all Souls in Heaven, as well as on Earth, have reason
to adore, love, and praise God. But, _Madam_, my study is in natural
Philosophy, not in Theology; and therefore I'le refer you to Divines,
and leave your _Author_ to his own fancy, who by his singular Visions
tells us more news of our Souls, then our Saviour did after his Death
and Resurrection: Resting in the mean time,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ The hunting or searching out of Sciences. _It._ Of the Image
of the Mind.



XXVI.


_MADAM,_

Concerning those parts and chapters of your _Authors_ Works, which
treat of Physick; before I begin to examine them, I beg leave of you
in this present, to make some reflections first upon his Opinions
concerning the Nature of Health and Diseases: As for _Health_, he is
pleased to say,[1] That _it consists not in a just Temperature of the
body, but in a sound and intire Life; for otherwise, a Temperature of
body is as yet in a dead Carcass newly kill'd, where notwithstanding
there is now death, but not life, not health_: Also he says,[2] _That
no disease is in a dead carcass._ To which I answer, That, in my
opinion, Life is in a dead Carcass, as well as in a living Animal,
although not such a Life as that Creature had before it became a
Carcass, and the Temperature of that Creature is altered with the
alteration of its particular life; for the temperature of that
particular life, which was before in the Animal, doth not remain in
the Carcass, in such a manner as it was when it had the life of such
or such an Animal; nevertheless, a dead Carcass hath life, and such a
temperature of life, as is proper, and belonging to its own figure: for
there are as many different lives, as there be different creatures,
and each creature has its particular life and soul, as partaking of
sensitive and rational Matter. And if a dead Carcass hath life, and
such a temperature of motions as belong to its own life, then there
is no question, but these motions may move sometimes irregularly in
a dead Carcass as well, as in any other Creature; and since health
and diseases are nothing else but the regularity or irregularity of
sensitive corporeal Motions, a dead Carcass having Irregular motions,
may be said as well to have diseases, as a living body, as they name
it, although it is no proper or usual term for other Creatures, but
onely for Animals. However, if there were no such thing as a disease
(or term it what you will, I will call it Irregularity of sensitive
motions) in a dead Carcass, How comes it that the infection of a
disease proceeds often from dead Carcasses into living Animals? For,
certainly, it is not meerly the odour or stink of a dead body, for
then all stinking Carcasses would produce an Infection; wherefore this
Infection must necessarily be inherent in the Carcass, and proceed
from the Irregularity of its motions. Next I'le ask you, Whether a
Consumption be a disease, or not? If it be, then a dead Carcass might
be said to have a disease, as well as a living body; and the Ægyptians
knew a soveraign remedy against this disease, which would keep a dead
Carcass intire and undissolved many ages; but as I said above, a dead
Carcass is not that which it was being a living Animal, wherefore
their effects cannot be the same, having not the same causes. Next,
your _Author_ is pleased to call, with _Hippocrates, Nature the onely
Physicianess of Diseases._ I affirm it; and say moreover, that as
she is the onely Physicianess, so she is also the onely Destroyeress
and Murtheress of all particular Creatures, and their particular
lives; for she dissolves and transforms as well as she frames and
creates; and acts according to her pleasure, either for the increase
or decrease, augmentation or destruction, sickness or health, life
or death of Particular Creatures. But concerning Diseases, your
_Authors_ opinion is, That _a Disease is as Natural as Health._ I
answer; 'tis true, Diseases are natural; but if we could find out the
art of healing, as well as the art of killing and destroying; and the
art of uniting and composing, as well as the art of separating and
dividing, it would be very beneficial to man; but this may easier be
wished for, then obtained; for Nature being a corporeal substance, has
infinite parts, as well as an infinite body; and Art, which is onely
the playing action of Nature, and a particular Creature, can easier
divide and separate parts, then unite and make parts; for Art cannot
match, unite, and joyn parts so as Nature doth; for Nature is not
onely dividable and composeable, being a corporeal substance, but she
is also full of curiosity and variety, being partly self-moving: and
there is great difference between forced actions, and natural actions;
for the one sort is regular, the other irregular. But you may say,
Irregularities are as natural as Regularities. I grant it; but Nature
leaves the irregular part most commonly to her daughter or creature
Art, that is, she makes irregularities for varieties sake, but she
her self orders the regular part, that is, she is more careful of her
regular actions; and thus Nature taking delight in variety suffers
irregularities; for otherwise, if there were onely regularities, there
could not be so much variety. Again your _Author_ says,[3] That _a
disease doth not consist but in living bodies._ I answer, there is
not any body that has not life; for if life is general, then all
figures or parts have life; but though all bodies have life, yet all
bodies have not diseases; for diseases are but accidental to bodies,
and are nothing else but irregular motions in particular Creatures,
which may be not onely in Animals, but generally in all Creatures;
for there may be Irregularities in all sorts of Creatures, which may
cause untimely dissolutions; but yet all dissolutions are not made by
irregular motions, for many creatures dissolve regularly, but onely
those which are untimely. In the same place your _Author_ mentions,
That _a Disease consists immediately in Life it self, but not in the
dregs and filthinesses, which are erroneous forreigners and strangers
to the life._ I grant, that a Disease is made by the motions of Life,
but not such a life as your _Author_ describes, which doth go out like
the snuff of a Candle, or as one of _Lucian's_ Poetical Lights; but
by the life of Nature, which cannot go out without the destruction of
Infinite Nature: and as the Motions of Nature's life make diseases or
irregularities, so they make that which man names dregs and filths;
which dregs, filths, sickness, and death, are nothing but changes
of corporeal motions, different from those motions or actions that
are proper to the health, perfection and consistence of such or such
a figure or creature. But, to conclude, there is no such thing as
corruption, sickness, or death, properly in Nature, for they are
made by natural actions, and are onely varieties in Nature, but not
obstructions or destructions of Nature, or annihilations of particular
Creatures; and so is that we name Superfluities, which bear onely a
relation to a particular Creature, which hath more Motion and Matter
then is proper for the nature of its figure. And thus much of this
subject for the present, from,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Call'd the Authors answers.

[2] _Ch._ Of the subject of inhering of diseases.

[3] _Ch._ The subject of inhering of diseases is in the point of life.
_It. Ch._ Of the knowledg of diseases.



XXVII.


_MADAM,_

In my last, I remember, I told you of your _Authors_ opinion concerning
the seat of Diseases, _viz._ that Diseases are properly in living
bodies, and consist in the life it self; but when I consider his
definition of Life, and of a Disease, I cannot conceive how they
should consist together; for he describes[1] _a Disease to be a real,
material and substantial being, truly subsisting in a body; but life
to be a meer nothing, and_ _yet the immediate mansion of a disease,
the inward subject, yea, and workman of the same; and that with the
life all diseases depart into nothing._ Surely, _Madam_, it exceedeth
my understanding; for, first, I cannot conceive how life, which is a
meer Nothing, can be a lodging to something? Next, how Nothing can
depart and die? and thirdly how Something can become Nothing? I think
your _Author_ might call a dead Carcass as well No-thing, as Life; and
since he names Diseases the Thieves of Life, they must needs be but
poor Thieves, because they steal No-thing. But your _Author_ compares
Life to Light, and calls it an Extinguishable Light, like the light of
a Candle; which if so, then the old saying is verified, That life goes
out like the snuff of a Candle. But I wonder, _Madam_, that grave and
wise men will seriously make use of a similising old Proverb, or of a
Poetical Fancy, in matter of natural Philosophy; for I have observed,
that _Homer, Lucian, Ovid, Virgil, Horace,_ &c. have been very
serviceable to great Philosophers, who have taken the ground of their
Fictions, and transferred them into Natural Philosophy, as Immaterial
substances, Non-beings, and many the like; but they can neither do any
good nor hurt to Nature, but onely spoil Philosophical Knowledg; and as
Nature is ignorant of Immaterials and Non-beings, so Art is ignorant
of Nature; for Mathematical Rules, Measures, and Demonstrations,
cannot rule, measure nor demonstrate Nature, no more, then Chymical
Divisions, Dissolutions and Extractions (or rather distractions, nay,
I may say destructions) can divide, dissolve, extract, compose, and
unite, as Nature doth; Wherefore their Instruments, Figures, Furnaces,
Limbecks, and Engines, cannot instruct them of the truth of Natures
Principles; but the best and readiest way to find out Nature, or rather
some truth of Nature, is sense and reason, which are Parts of Natures
active substance, and therefore the truest informers of Nature; but
the Ignorance of Nature has caused Ignorance amongst Philosophers,
and the Ignorance of Philosophers hath caused numerous Opinions, and
numerous Opinions have caused various Discourses and Disputes; which
Discourses and Disputes, are not Sense and Reason, but proceed from
Irregular Motions; and Truth is not found in Irregularities. But to
return to Life: it seems your _Author_ hath taken his opinion from
_Lucian's_ Kingdom of Lights, the Lights being the Inhabitants thereof;
and when any was adjudged to die, his Light was put out, which was his
punishment: And thus this Heathenish Fiction is become a Christian
Verity; when as yet your _Author_ rayls much at those, that insist upon
the Opinions and Doctrine of Pagan Philosophers. Wherefore I will leave
this Poetical Fancy of Life, and turn to Death, and see what opinion
your _Author_ hath of that. First, concerning the cause or original of
Death; _Neither God_, says he,[2] _nor the Evil Spirit, is the Creator
of Death, but Man onely, who made Death for himself; Neither did Nature
make death, but Man made death natural._ Which if it be so, then Death
being, to my opinion, a natural Creature, as well as Life, Sickness,
and Health; Man, certainly, had great Power, as to be the Creator of a
natural Creature. But, I would fain know the reason, why your _Author_
is so unwilling to make God the Author of Death, and Sickness, as well
as of Damnation? Doth it imply any Impiety or Irreligiousness? Doth
not God punish, as well as reward? and is not death a punishment for
our sin? You may say, Death came from sin, but sin did not come from
God. Then some might ask from whence came sin? You will say, From the
Transgression of the Command of God, as the eating of the Forbidden
Fruit. But from whence came this Transgression? It might be answer'd,
From the Perswasion of the Serpent. From whence came this Perswasion?
From his ill and malitious nature to oppose God, and ruine the race of
Mankind. From whence came this ill Nature? From his Fall. Whence came
his Fall? From his Pride and Ambition to be equal with God. From whence
came this Pride? From his Free-will. From whence came his Free-will?
From God. Thus, _Madam_, if we should be too inquisitive into the
actions of God, we should commit Blasphemy, and make God Cruel, as to
be the Cause of Sin, and consequently of Damnation. But although God
is not the Author of Sin, yet we may not stick to say, that he is the
Author of the Punishment of Sin, as an Act of his Divine Justice; which
Punishment, is Sickness, and Death; nay, I see no reason, why not of
Damnation too, as it is a due punishment for the sins of the wicked;
for though Man effectively works his own punishment, yet Gods Justice
inflicts it: Like as a just Judg may be call'd the cause of a Thief
being hang'd. But these questions are too curious; and some men will
be as presumptuous as the Devil, to enquire into Gods secret actions,
although they be sure that they cannot be known by any Creature.
Wherefore let us banish such vain thoughts, and onely admire, adore,
love, and praise God, and implore his Mercy, to give us grace to shun
the punishments for our sins by the righteousness of our actions, and
not endeavour to know his secret designs. Next, I dissent from your
_Author_,[3] That _Death and all dead things do want roots whereby they
may produce_: For death, and dead things, in my opinion, are the most
active producers, at least they produce more numerously and variously
then those we name living things; for example, a dead Horse will
produce more several Animals, besides other Creatures, then a living
Horse can do; but what _Archeus_ and _Ideas_ a dead Carcass hath, I can
tell no more, then what _Blas_ or _Gas_ it hath; onely this I say, that
it has animate Matter, which is the onely _Archeus_ or Master-workman,
that produces all things, creates all things, dissolves all things,
and transforms all things in Nature; but not out of Nothing, or into
Nothing, as to create new Creatures which were not before in Nature, or
to annihilate Creatures, and to reduce them to nothing; but it creates
and transforms out of, and in the same Matter which has been from all
Eternity. Lastly, your _Author_ is pleased to say, That _he doth not
behold a disease as an abstracted Quality; and that Apoplexy, Leprosie,
Dropsie, and Madness, as they are Qualities in the abstract, are not
diseases._ I am of his mind, that a disease is a real and corporeal
being, and do not understand what he and others mean by abstracted
qualities; for Nature knows of no abstraction of qualities from
substances, and I doubt Man can do no more then Nature doth: Besides,
those abstractions are needless, and to no purpose; for no Immaterial
quality will do any hurt, if it be no substance; wherefore Apoplexy,
Leprosie, Dropsie, and Madness, are Corporeal beings, as well as the
rest of Diseases, and not abstracted Qualities; and I am sure, Persons
that are affected with those diseases will tell the same. Wherefore
leaving needless abstractions to fancies abstracted from right sense
and reason, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of the knowledg of diseases.

[2] _Ch._ Called the Position.

[3] _Ch._ Of the knowledg of diseases.



XXVIII.


_MADAM,_

I am very much troubled to see your _Authors_ Works fill'd with so
many spiteful reproaches and bitter taunts against the Schools of
Physicians, condemning both their Theory and Practice; nay, that not
onely the Modern Schools of Physicians, but also the two ancient and
famous Physicians, _Galen_, and _Paracelsus_, must sufficiently suffer
by him; especially _Galen_; for there is hardly a Chapter in all his
Works, which has not some accusations of blind errors, sloth, and
sluggishness, Ignorance, Covetousness, Cruelty, and the like: Which I
am very sorry for; not onely for the sake of your _Author_ himself, who
herein doth betray both his rashness, and weakness, in not bridling
his passions, and his too great presumption, reliance and confidence
in his own abilities, and extraordinary Gifts; but also for the sake
of the Fame and Repute of our Modern Physicians; for without making
now any difference betwixt the _Galenists_ and _Paracelsians_, and
examining which are the best, (for I think them both excellent in
their kinds, especially when joyned together) I will onely say this
in general, that the Art of Physick has never flourish'd better then
now, neither has any age had more skilful, learned, and experienced
Physicians, then this present; because they have not onely the knowledg
and practise of those in ages Past, but also their own experience
joyned with it, which cannot but add perfection to their Art; and I,
for my part, am so much for the old way of Practice, that if I should
be sick, I would desire rather such Physicians which follow the same
way, then those, that by their new Inventions, perchance, cure one,
and kill a hundred. But your _Author_[1] will have a Physician to be
like a Handycrafts man, who being call'd to a work, promises that work,
and stands to his promise; and therefore, _It is a shame_, says he,
_in a Physician, being call'd to a sick man in the beginning of the
disease, and when his strength is yet remaining, to suffer the same
man to die._ This, in my opinion, is a very unreasonable comparison,
to liken a Handicrafts man to a Physician, and the art of Curing to
the art of Building, or any the like, without regard of so many great
differences that are between them, which I am loth to rehearse, for
brevities sake, and are apparant enough to every one that will consider
them: but this I may say, that it is not always for want of skill and
industry in a Physician, that the cure is not effected, but it lies
either in the Incureableness of the disease, or any other external
accidents that do hinder the success: Not but that the best Physicians
may err in a disease, or mistake the Patients inward distemper by
his outward temper, or the interior temper by his outward distemper,
or any other ways; for they may easily err through the variation of
the disease, which may vary so suddenly and oft, as it is impossible
to apply so fast, and so many Medicines, as the alteration requires,
without certain death; for the body is not able, oftentimes, to dispose
and digest several Medicines so fast, as the disease may vary, and
therefore what was good in this temper, may, perhaps, be bad in the
variation; insomuch, that one medicine may in a minute prove a Cordial,
and Poyson. Nay, it may be that some Physicians do err through their
own ignorance and mistake, must we therefore condemn all the skill,
and accuse all the Schools of Negligence, Cruelty, and Ignorance? God
forbid: for it would be a great Injustice. Let us rather praise them
for the good they do, and not rashly condemn them for the evil they
could not help: For we may as well condemn those holy and industrious
Divines, that cannot reform wicked and perverse Sinners, as Physicians,
because they cannot restore every Patient to his former health, the
Profession of a Physician being very difficult; for they can have but
outward signs of inward distempers. Besides, all men are not dissected
after they are dead, to inform Physicians of the true cause of their
death; nay, if they were, perchance they would not give always a true
information to the Physician, as is evident by many examples; but
oftentimes the blame is laid upon the Physician, when as the fault is
either in Nature, or any other cause, which Art could not mend. And
if your _Author_ had had such an extraordinary Gift from God as to
know more then all the rest of Physicians, why did he not accordingly,
and as the Scripture speaks of Faith, shew his skill by his Works and
Cures? certainly, could he have restored those that were born blind,
lame, deaf and dumb, or cured the spotted Plague, or Apoplexy after
the third fit, or the Consumption of Vital parts, or a Fever in the
Arteries, or dissolved a Stone too big to go through the passage,
and many the like; he would not onely have been cried up for a rare
Physician, but for a miracle of the World, and worshipped as a Saint:
But if he could not effect more then the Schools can do, why doth he
inveigh so bitterly against them? Wherefore I cannot commend him in
so doing; but as I respect the Art of Physick, as a singular Gift
from God to Mankind, so I respect and esteem also learned and skilful
Physicians, for their various Knowledg, industrious Studies, careful
Practice, and great Experiences, and think every one is bound to do
the like, they being the onely supporters and restorers of humane life
and health: For though I must confess, with your _Author_, that God
is the onely giver of Good, yet God is not pleased to work Miracles
ordinarily, but has ordained means for the restoring of health,
which the Art of Physick doth apply; and therefore those Persons
that are sick, do wisely to send for a Physician; for Art, although
it is but a particular Creature, and the handmaid of Nature, yet she
doth Nature oftentimes very good service; and so do Physicians often
prolong their Patients lives. The like do Chirurgeons; for if those
Persons that have been wounded, had been left to be cured onely by the
Magnetick Medicine, I believe, numbers that are alive would have been
dead, and numbers would die that are alive; insomuch, as none would
escape, but by miracle, especially if dangerously hurt. Concerning the
Coveteousness of Physicians, although sickness is chargeable, yet I
think it is not Charitable to say or to think, that Physitians regard
more their Profit, then their Patients health; for we might as well
condemn Divines for taking their Tithes and Stipends, as Physicians
for taking their Fees: but the holy Writ tells us, that a Labourer is
Worthy of his hire or reward; and, for my part, I think those commit a
great sin, which repine at giving Rewards in any kind; for those that
deserve well by their endeavours, ought to have their rewards; and such
Meritorious Persons, I wish with all my Soul, may prosper and thrive.
Nevertheless, as for those persons, which for want of means are not
able to reward their Physicians, I think Physicians will not deal so
unconscionably, as to neglect their health and lives for want of their
Fees, but expect the reward from God, and be recompenced the better by
those that have Wealth enough to spare. And this good opinion I have of
them. So leaving them, I rest,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend_

_and faithful Servant._

[1] In his Promises, _Column._ 3.



XXIX.


_MADAM_

I am of your _Authors_ mind, That _heat is not the cause of digestion_;
but I dissent from him, when he says, That it is _the Ferment of the
stomach that doth cause it_: For, in my opinion, Digestion is onely
made by regular digestive motions, and ill digestion is caused by
irregular motions, and when those motions are weak, then there is no
digestion at all, but what was received, remains unaltered; but when
they are strong and quick, then they make a speedy digestion. You may
ask me, what are digestive motions? I answer, They are transchanging,
or transforming motions: but since there be many sorts of transchanging
motions, digestive motions are those, which transchange food into the
nourishment of the body, and dispose properly, fitly and usefully of
all the Parts of the food, as well of those which are converted into
nourishment, as of those which are cast forth. For give me leave to
tell you, _Madam_, that some parts of natural Matter, do force or cause
other parts of Matter to move and work according to their will, without
any change or alteration of their parts; as for example, Fire and
Metal; for Fire will cause Metal to flow, but it doth not readily alter
it from its nature of being Metal; neither doth Fire alter its nature
from being Fire. And again, some parts of Matter will cause other parts
to work and act to their own will, by forcing these over-powred parts
to alter their own natural motions into the motions of the victorious
Party, and so transforming them wholly into their own Figure; as for
example, Fire will cause Wood to move so as to take its figure, to
wit, the figure of Fire, that is, to change its own figurative motions
into the motions of Fire: and this latter kind of moving or working
is found in digestion; for the regular digestive motions do turn all
food received from its own nature or figure, into the nourishment,
figure, or nature of the body, as into flesh, blood, bones, and the
like. But when several parts of Matter meet or joyn with equal force
and power, then their several natural motions are either quite altered,
or partly mixt: As for example; some received things not agreeing with
the natural constitution of the body, the corporeal motions of the
received, and those of the receiver, do dispute or oppose each other:
for the motions of the received, not willing to change their nature
conformable to the desire of the digestive motions, do resist, and
then a War begins, whereby the body suffers most; for it causes either
a sickness in the stomack, or a pain in the head, or in the heart, or
in the bowels, or the like: Nay, if the received food gets an absolute
victory, it dissolves and alters oftentimes the whole body, it self
remaining entire and unaltered, as is evident in those that die of
surfeits. But most commonly these strifes and quarrels, if violent, do
alter and dissolve each others forms or natures. And many times it is
not the fault of the Received, but of the Receiver; as for example,
when the digestive and transforming motions are either irregular, or
weak; for they being too weak, or too few, the meat or food received
is digested onely by halves; and being irregular, it causes that which
we call corruption. But it may be observed, that the Received food is
either agreeable, or disagreeable, to the Receiver; if agreeable, then
there is a united consent of Parts, to act regularly and perfectly in
digestion; if disagreeable, then the Received acts to the Ruine, that
is, to the alteration or dissolution of the Nature of the Receiver; but
if it be neutral, that is, neither perfectly agreeable, nor perfectly
disagreeable, but between both, then the receiver, or rather the
digestive Motions of the receiver, use a double strength to alter and
transform the received. But you may ask me, _Madam_, what the reason
is, that many things received, after they are dissolved into small
parts, those parts will keep their former colour and savour? I answer;
The cause is, that either the retentive Motions in the Parts of the
received, are too strong for the digestive and alterative Motions of
the receiver, or perchance, this colour and savour is so proper to
them, as not to be transchanged: but you must observe, that those
digestive, alterative and transchanging motions, do not act or move all
after one and the same manner; for some do dissolve the natural figure
of the received, some disperse its dissolved parts into the parts of
the body, some place the dispersed parts fitly and properly for the
use, benefit, and consistence of the body; for there is so much variety
in this one act of digestion, as no man is able to conceive; and if
there be such variety in one Particular natural action, what variety
will there not be in all Nature? Wherefore, it is not, as I mentioned
in the beginning, either Ferment, or Heat, or any other thing, that
causes digestion; for if all the constitution and nature of our body
was grounded or did depend upon Ferment, then Brewers and Bakers,
and those that deal with Ferments, would be the best Physicians.
But I would fain know the cause which makes Ferment? You may say,
saltness, and sowreness. But then I ask, From whence comes saltness and
sowreness? You may say, From the Ferment. But then I shall be as wise
as before. The best way, perhaps, may be to say, with your _Author_,
that Ferment is a Primitive Cause, and a beginning or Principle of
other things, and it self proceeds from nothing. But then it is beyond
my imagination, how that can be a Principle of material things, which
it self is nothing; that is, neither a substance, nor an accident.
Good Lord! what a stir do men make about nothing! I am amazed to see
their strange Fancies and Conceptions vented for the Truest Reasons:
Wherefore I will return to my simple opinion; and as I cannot conceive
any thing that is beyond Matter, or a Body; so I believe, according to
my reason, that there is not any part in Nature, be it never so subtil
or small, but is a self-moving substance, or endued with self-motion;
and according to the regularity and irregularity of these motions,
all natural effects are produced, either perfect, or imperfect;
timely births, or untimely and monstrous births; death, health, and
diseases, good and ill dispositions, natural and extravagant Appetites
and Passions, (I say natural, that is, according to the nature of
their figures;) Sympathy and Antipathy, Peace and War, Rational and
Phantastical opinions. Nevertheless, all these motions, whether
regular or irregular, are natural; for regularity and irregularity
hath but a respect to particulars, and to our conceptions, because
those motions which move not after the ordinary, common or usual way or
manner, we call Irregular. But the curiosity and variety in Nature is
unconceiveable by any particular Creature; and so leaving it, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXX.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ says,[1] it is an ancient Truth, _That whatsoever things,
meats being digested and cast out by vomit, are of a sowre taste and
smell, yea, although they were seasoned with much sugar._ But I do
not assent to this opinion; for I think that some Vomits have no more
taste then pure Water hath. Neither am I of his mind, That _Digestion
is hastened by sharpness or tartness:_ For do but try it by one
simple experiment; take any kind of flesh-meat, boyl or stew it with
Vinegar, or sowre wine, or with much salt; and you will find, that it
doth require a longer time, or rather more motions to dissolve, then
if you boyl it in fair water, without such ingredients as are sowre,
sharp, or salt; also if you do but observe, you will find the dregs
more sandy, stony and hard, being drest with much salt, and sharp
wine, or vinegar, then when they are not mixt with such contracting
and fixing Ingredients. Wherefore, if the Ferment of the stomack hath
such a restringent and contracting quality, certainly digestions will
be but slow and unprofitable; but Nature requires expulsion as much
as attraction, and dilation as much as contraction, and digestion is
a kind of dilation. Wherefore, in my judgment; contracting tartness
and sharpness doth rather hinder digestion then further it. Next I
perceive, your _Author_ inclines to the opinion, _That Choler is not
made by meat_:[2] But I would ask him, whether any humor be made of
meat, or whether blood, flesh, &c. are made and nourished by meat? If
they be not, then my answer is, That we eat to no purpose; but if they
be, then Choler is made so too. But if he says, That some are made, and
some not; then I would ask, what that humor is made of, that is not
made by meat or food received into the body? But we find that humors,
blood, flesh, &c. will be sometimes more, sometimes less, according
either to feeding, or to digestion, which digestion is a contribution
of food to every several part of the body for its nourishment; and when
there is a decay of those parts, then it is caused either by fasting,
or by irregular digestion, or by extraordinary evacuation, or by
distempered matter, &c. all which, causes sickness, paleness, leanness,
weakness, and the like. Again: your _Author_ is against the opinion of
the Schools, _That the Gall is a receptacle of superfluous humors and
dregs_: for he says, _it has rather the constitution of a necessary
and vital bowel, and is the balsom of the liver and blood._ Truly, it
may be so, for any thing I know, or it may be not; for your _Author_
could but guess, not assuredly know, unless he had been in a man as big
as the Whale in whose belly _Jonas_ was three days, and had observed
the interior parts and motions of every part for three years time, and
yet he might perchance have been as ignorant at the coming forth, as
if he never had been there; for Natures actions are not onely curious,
but very various; and not onely various, but very obscure; in so much,
as the most ingenious Artists cannot trace her ways, or imitate her
actions; for Art being but a Creature, can do or know no more then a
Creature; and although she is an ingenious Creature, which can and hath
found out some things profitable and useful for the life of others,
yet she is but a handmaid to Nature, and not her Mistress; which your
_Author_, in my opinion, too rashly affirms, when he says,[3] That _the
Art of Chymistry is not onely the Chambermaid and emulating Ape, but
now and then the Mistress of Nature_: For Art is an effect of Nature,
and to prefer the effect before the cause, is absurd. But concerning
Chymistry, I have spoken in another place; I'le return to my former
Discourse: and I wonder much why your _Author_ is so opposite to the
Schools, concerning the doctrine of the Gall's being a receptacle for
superfluities and dregs; for I think there is not any Creature that
has not places or receptacles for superfluous matter, such as we call
dregs; for even the purest and hardest Mineral, as Gold, has its dross,
although in a less proportion then some other Creatures; nay, I am
perswaded, that even Light, which your _Author_ doth so much worship,
may have some superfluous matter, which may be named dregs; and since
Nature has made parts in all Creatures to receive and discharge
superfluous matter, (which receiving and discharging is nothing else
but a joyning and dividing of parts to and from parts,) why may not the
Gall be as well for that use as any other part? But I pray mistake me
not, when I say _superfluous matter or dregs_; for I understand by it,
that which is not useful to the nourishment or consistence of such or
such a Creature; but to speak properly, there is neither superfluity
of matter nor dregs in Nature. Moreover, your _Author_ mentions a
_six-fold digestion_, and makes every digestion to be performed by
inbreathing or inspiration; For _in the first digestion_, he says,
_The spleen doth inspire a sowre Ferment into the Meat: In the second,
The Gall doth inspire a ferment, or fermental blas into the slender
entrails: In the third, The Liver doth inspire a bloody ferment into
the veins of the Mensentery_, &c. I answer, first, I am confident
Nature has more ways then to work onely by Inspirations, not onely in
General, but in every Particular. Next, I believe there are not onely
six, but many more digestions in an animal Creature; for not onely
every sort of food, but every bit that is eaten, may require a several
digestion, and every several part of the body works either to expel, or
preserve, or for both; so that there are numerous several Motions in
every Creature, and many changes of motions in each particular part;
but Nature is in them all. And so leaving her, I rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Of a Six-fold digestion.

[2] See _The passive deceiving of the Schools, the humorists,_ c. 1.

[3] _Ch._ Heat doth not digest efficiently.



XXXI.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_, in opposition to the Schools, endeavouring to prove
that there are no humors in an animal body, except blood, proves
many humors in himself. But I can see no reason, why Nature should
not make several humors, as well as several Elements, Vegetables,
Minerals, Animals, and other Creatures; and that in several parts of
the body, and many several ways; for to mention but one sort of other
Creatures, _viz._ Vegetables, they are, as we see, not onely produced
many several ways, but in many several grounds; either by sowing,
setting, or grafting, either in clayie, limy, sandy, chalky, dry, or
wet grounds: And why may not several humors be produced as well of
other Creatures and parts, as others are produced of them? for all
parts of Nature are produced one from another, as being all of one
and the same Matter, onely the variation of corporeal motions makes
all the difference and variety between them, which variety of motions
is impossible to be known by any particular Creature; for Nature can
do more then any Creature can conceive. Truly, _Madam_, I should not
be of such a mind, as to oppose the Schools herein so eagerly as your
_Author_ doth; but artificial actions make men to have erroneous
opinions of the actions of Nature, judging them all according to the
rule and measure of Art, when as Art oft deludes men under the cover
of truth, and makes them many times believe falshood for truth; for
Nature is pleased with variety, and so doth make numerous absurdities,
doubts, opinions, disputations, objections, and the like. Moreover,
your _Author_ is as much against the radical moisture, as he is against
the four humors; saying, that according to this opinion of the Schools,
a fat belly, through much grease affording more fuel to the radical
moisture, must of necessity live longer. But this, in my opinion,
is onely a wilful mistake; for I am confident, that the Schools do
not understand radical moisture to be gross, fat radical oyl, but a
thin oylie substance. Neither do they believe radical heat to be a
burning, fiery and consuming heat, but such a degree of natural heat,
as is comfortable, nourishing, refreshing, and proper for the life
of the animal Creature: Wherefore radical heat and moisture doth not
onely consist in the Grease of the body; for a lean body may have as
much, and some of them more Radical moisture, then fat bodies. But
your _Author_ instead of this radical moisture, makes a nourishable
moisture, onely, as I suppose, out of a mind to contradict the
Schools; when as I do not perceive, that the Schools mean by Radical
moisture, any other then a nourishable moisture, and therefore this
distinction is needless. Lastly, he condemns the Schools, for making
an affinity betwixt the bowels and the brain. But he might as will
condemn Politicians, for saying there is an affinity betwixt Governors
and Subjects, or betwixt command and obedience; but as the actions of
Particulars, even from the meanest in a Commonwealth, may chance to
make a Publick disturbance, so likewise in the Common-wealth of the
body, one single action in a particular part may cause a disturbance
of the whole Body, nay, a total ruine and dissolution of the composed;
which dissolution is called Death; and yet these causes are neither
Light, nor Blas, nor Gas, no more then men are shining Suns, or flaming
Torches, or blazing Meteors, or azure Skies. Wherefore leaving your
_Author_ to his contradicting humor, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXXII.


_MADAM,_

I do verily believe, with the Schools, the _Purging of the Brain_,
against your _Author_;[1] For I know no reason, why all the parts of
a man's body should not stand in need of evacuation and Purging, as
well as some. 'Tis true, if the substance or nourishment received were
all useful, and onely enough for the maintenance, subsistance and
continuance of the Creature, and no more, then there would be no need
of such sort of evacuation; but I believe the corporeal self-motions
in a body, discharge the superfluous matter out of every part of the
body, if the motions of the superfluous matter be not too strong, and
over-power the motions in the parts of the body; but some parts do
produce more superfluities then others, by reason their property is
more to dilate, then to contract, and more to attract, then to retain
or fix; which parts are the brain, stomack, bowels, bladder, gall, and
the like: wherefore, as there is nourishment in all parts of the body,
so there are also excrements in all parts, for there is no nourishment
without excrement. Next your _Author_ says, That _the nourishment of
the solid parts is made with the transmutation of the whole venal blood
into nourishment, without a separation of the pure from the impure._
But I pray give me leave to ask, _Madam_, whether the solid Parts
are not Instruments for the nourishment of the Venal blood? Truly, I
cannot conceive, how blood should be nourished, wanting those solid
parts, and their particular motions and imployments. Again: his opinion
is, _That the brain is nourished by a few and slender veins; neither
doth a passage or channel appear whereby a moist excrement may derive,
or a vapour enter._ And by reason of the want of such a passage, in
another place[2] he is pleased to affirm, _That nothing can fume up
from the stomack into the brain_, and therefore _Wine doth not make
drunk with fuming from the stomach into the head, but the Winie spirit
is immediately snatched into the arteries out of the stomach without
digestion, and so into the head, and there breeds a confusion._ First,
I am not of the opinion, that all nourishment comes from the veins, or
from one particular part of the body, no more do Excrements; neither do
I believe that every passage in the body is visible to Anatomists, for
Natures works are too curious and intricate for any particular Creature
to find them out, which is the cause that Anatomists and Chymists
are so oft mistaken in natural causes and effects; for certainly,
they sometimes believe great Errors for great Truths. Next, as for
Drunkenness, I believe that many, who drink much Wine, are drunk before
such time as the Wine spirit can get into the Arteries; but if there be
Pores to the Brain, as it is most probable, the spirit of Wine may more
easily ascend and enter those Pores, then the Pores of the Arteries,
or the Mouth-veins, and so make a circular journey to the Head. But
as for Excrements, whereof I spake in the beginning, as they are made
several manners or ways, and in several parts of the body, so they
are also discharged several ways from several parts, and several ways
from each particular part, indeed so many several ways and manners, as
would puzzle the wisest man in the world, nay your _Authors Interior
keeper of the Brain_, to find them out. Wherefore, to conclude, he is
the best Physician, that can tell how to discharge superfluity, and to
retain useful nourishments; or to restore by the application of proper
Medicines, decaying parts, or to put in order Irregular motions; and
not those that have Irregular opinions of Immaterial causes: To which,
I leave them, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] _Ch._ Call'd _The Erring Watchman, or Wandring Keeper_.

[2] _Ch._ call'd _The Spirit of Life_.



XXXIII.


_MADAM,_

I do not approve of your _Authors_ Doctrine, forbidding Phlebotomy or
blood-letting in Fevers, opposite to the received Practice of the
Schools; his reason is, that he believes there can be no corruption
in the blood. _Corrupted blood_, says he,[1] _cannot be in the veins,
neither doth a state of ill juice consist in the veins; for Gangrenes
do teach, that nothing of Putrified matter can long persist without a
further contagion of it self._ Also he says, _That the blood of the
Veins is no otherwise distinguished by its several colours and signs,
then as wine is troubled when the vine flourisheth._ To which I answer,
first, That I can see no reason why there should not be as well corrupt
blood, or an ill state of juice in the veins, as ill humors in the
body. Perchance he will say, There is no corruption in the body. But
Ulcers do teach the contrary. He may reply, Ulcers are not parts of the
body. I answer, 'Tis true; but yet they are evil Inhabitants in the
body, and the like may be in the Veins. But surely some men may have
corrupted parts of their bodies, and yet live a great while; witness
Ulcers in the Lungs, and other parts. But your _Author_ may say, When
a part of the body is corrupted, it is no longer an animal Part. I
grant it: but yet, as I said, that transformed part may remain in the
body some time without destruction of the whole body; and so likewise,
when some of the blood, is transchanged from being blood, so as not
to be capable to be reduced again, it may nevertheless remain in the
veins without definition of the veins, or of the whole body: Neither
do I conceive any reason, why corrupt blood should Gangrene in the
veins, and infect the adjoyning parts more then corrupted lungs do.
Next, as for the comparison of the various colours and signs of the
blood, with Wine being troubled when the Vine is flourishing; I answer,
That it doth not prove any thing; for we speak of such colours, as
are signs of corrupted, and not such as are signs of troubled blood:
Besides, it is an unlike comparison; for though Wine may become thick
by much fermentation, yet it doth not turn into water, as blood in
some sick and diseased persons will do. But corrupted blood may be,
not onely in the veins of sick, but also of healthy persons; and the
story says, that _Seneca_, when his veins were cut, they would not
bleed, although in a hot Bath, by reason that which was in the veins,
was rather like a white jelly, then blood, and yet he was healthy,
though old; which proves, that it is not necessary for the blood to
be so pure and fluid as your _Author_ will have it. The truth is, the
more fluid the blood is, the weaker it is; like balsam, the more gummy
it is, the stronger it is: but veins, which are the mouth, to receive
or suck in juices, as also the stomack which digests the meat that
after is turned into blood, may be defective either through weakness,
superfluity, obstruction, corruption, or evil and hurtful diet, or
through the disorders of other particular parts, which may disturb
all the parts in general, as skilful Physicians have observed, and
therefore apply remedies accordingly; for if the defect proceeds from
weakness, they give strengthening remedies; if from superfluities, they
give evacuating remedies; if from evil diets, they prescribe such a
course of diet as shall be beneficial, and conducing for the restoring
of health to the whole body. But your _Author_, as I perceive, believes
the blood to be the chief vital part of the body; which surely it is
not: for if it were, the least disturbance of the blood would endanger
the life of the whole body, and the least diminution would cause a
total dissolution of that animal Creature which has blood: Not but
that blood is as necessary as breath for respiration, and food for
nourishment of the body; but too much blood is as dangerous to the
life of the animal body, as too great a piece of food, which cannot
be swallowed down, but doth stick in the throat, and stop the breath,
or so much quantity as cannot be digested, for too great a fulness or
abounding makes a stoppage of the blood, or which is worse, causes
the veins to break, and an evil digestion, makes a corruption, or at
least such disorder as to indanger the whole animal Figure. But some
veins breed more blood, and some less, and some better, and some worse
blood, some hotter, and some colder, some grosser, and some purer, some
thicker, and some thinner; and some veins breed rather an evil juice or
corrupt matter then pure blood; the truth is, blood is bred somewhat
after the manner of Excrements, for the veins are somewhat like the
guts, wherein the excrements are digested. But you will say, A man may
live without excrements, but not without blood. I answer: a man can
live no more without excrements and excremental humors, then he can
without blood: but yet I am not of your _Authors_ mind, that bleeding
and purging are destructive; for superfluities are as dangerous as
scarcities, nay more; like as an house filled with rubbish is in more
danger to sink or fall, then that which is empty; and when a house is
on fire, it is wisdom to take out the Moveables, but a folly to let
them increase the flame. But your _Author_ says, Blood-letting takes
not onely away the bad, but also the good blood, by which it diminishes
and impairs much the strength of the body. I will answer by way of
question, Whether in War men would not venture the loss of some few
friends, to gain the victory, or save the whole body of the Army: or
whether the destroying of the enemies Army be not more advantageous,
then the loss of some few friends? For although some good blood may
issue out with the bad, yet the veins have more time, room, and some
more power to get friendly juices from the several parts of the body,
which will be more obedient, trusty, and true to the life and service
of the whole body. But neither Fevers, nor any other distempers, will
be more afraid of your _Authors_ words, Stones, Spirits, as also Rings,
Beads, Bracelets, and the like toys, fitter for Children to play
withal, then for Physicians to use; then an Army of men will be of
their enemies Colours, Ensigns, Feathers, Scarfs, and the like; knowing
it must be Swords, Pistols, Guns, Powder and Bullets, that must do the
business to destroy the enemy, and to gain the victory: Wherefore in
Diseases it must be Bleeding, Purging, Vomiting, using of Clysters,
and the like, if any good shall be done. 'Tis true, they must well be
ordered, otherwise they will do more hurt then good; for Diseases are
like Enemies, which sometimes take away our Armes for their own uses.
But your _Author_ says again, _That the Matter of a Fever floats not
in the veins, nor sits nigh the heart._ I answer: There are several
sorts of Fevers; for all Fevers are not produced after one and the
same manner, or from one and the same cause, as is very well known
to wise and experienced Physicians; but although some Fevers are not
in the blood, yet that doth not prove, that the blood is never in a
Fever; for sometimes the blood is in a Fever, and not the solid parts;
and sometimes the fluid and moveable humors, and not the blood, or
solid parts; and sometimes the solid parts, and not the blood, nor the
liquid and moveable humors; and sometimes they are all in a Fever; and
sometimes onely the radical parts, and neither the blood, humors, nor
solid parts: and this last kind of Fever, which is a hectick Fever, in
my opinion, is incureable; but the others may be cureable, if there
be not too many varieties of distempers, or irregular motions. And as
for a Fever in the solid parts, Letting of blood, and taking away the
humor, may cure it; for the veins being empty, suck the heat out of
the solid parts, which solid parts cannot draw out a distempered heat
in the veins, and the opening of the veins gives vent to some of the
interior heat to issue forth: Wherefore it is very requisite, that in
all sorts of Fevers, except Hectick-Fevers, blood-letting should be
used, not onely once, but often; for 'tis better to live with a little
blood, and a little strength, which will soon be recovered, then to
die with too much, or too hot and distempered blood. Also Purging, but
especially Vomiting is very good; for if the humors be in a Feaver,
they may infect the vital parts, as also the blood; but if they be not
in a Fever, yet the solid parts or blood may do the same, and so make
the contagion greater; for the humors are as the moveables in a house,
which ought to be cast out if either they or the house should be on
fire; and if a disorder proceeds from the error of a particular part,
then care must be taken to rectifie that part for the health of the
whole: Wherefore Physicians use in some cases Blood-letting, in some
Purging, in some Vomiting, in some Bathing, in some Sweating, in some
Cordials, especially after much evacuation, in some they prescribe a
good diet, and in some they mix and prescribe partly one and partly the
other, and in some cases they are forced to use all these remedies;
for though great evacuations may cause weakness, yet they often save
the life; and there is no Patient, but had rather lose some strength,
then life; for life can gather strength again; but all strong men are
not always long lived, nor all long-lived men very strong; for many
that are but weak, will live to a very old age. Lastly, concerning what
your _Author_ says, that there is but one Choler and Phlegme in Nature;
I answer, That is more then he knows: for all that is in Nature, is
not nor cannot be known by any Particular Creature; and he might say,
as well, the same of particular Metals, as that there is but one sort
of Gold or Silver, when as there is great difference in the weight,
purity, colour, and gloss, of several parts of Gold and Silver; Neither
is all Gold found in one place; but some is found in Rocks, some in
Sand, some in Mines, some in Stones; and so Silver, some is found in
the bowels of the Earth, some in the veins of Stones, and some in other
Metals, as Lead, and Iron, and some in Coals. And the like may be said
of Choler and Phlegme; for they may be several in several places or
parts of the body, and be of different colours, tastes, odours, and
degrees of heat or cold, thinness or thickness, or the like; for though
there is but one Matter in Nature, yet this onely Matter by its several
actions or motions changes into several figures, and so makes several
sorts of Creatures, and different particulars in every sort. And thus,
_Madam_, I have delivered unto you my opinion concerning the cure of
Fevers by Blood-letting: Which I submit to the correction of your
better judgment, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] In his Treatise of Fevers, _c._ 4.



XXXIV.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ is not onely against Phlebotomy or Blood-letting, but
against all Purging Medicines, which he condemns to _carry a hidden
poyson in them, and to be a cruel and stupid invention._ But certainly
he shall not have my assent; for if they be Poyson, they are a very
beneficial Poyson; and Physical Purgations, in my opinion, are very
necessary and profitable for the prolonging of life, and taking away
of diseases, provided they be proper for those diseases in which they
are used; and so is Phlebotomy, Vomits, and the like: but Medicines are
often wrong applyed, and many times the disease is so various, that
it is as hard for a Physician to hit right with several Medicines,
as for a Gunner or Shooter to kill with Powder and small Shot a Bird
flying in the Air; not that it is not possible to be done, but it
is not ordinary, or frequent: neither doth the fault onely lie in
the Gun, Powder, or Shot, but in the swiftness of the flight of the
Bird, or in the various motion of the air, or in a hidden wind, or
mist, or the like; for the same Gunner may perhaps easily kill a
Bird sitting in a bush, or hopping upon the ground. The like may be
said of Diseases, Physicians, and Medicines; for some diseases have
such hidden alterations, by the sudden changes of motions, that a
wise Physician will not, nor cannot venture to apply so many several
medicines so suddenly as the alteration requires; and shall therefore
Physicians be condemned? and not onely condemned for what cannot be
helped by reason of the variety of irregular motions, but what cannot
be helped in Nature? For some diseases are so deadly, as no art can
cure them, when as otherwise Physicians with good and proper medicines,
have, and do as yet rescue more people from death, then the Laws do
from ruine. Nay, I have known many that have been great enemies to
Physick, die in the flower of their age, when as others which used
themselves to Physick, have lived a very long time. But you may say,
Country-people and Labourers, take little or no Physick, and yet grow
most commonly old, whereas on the contrary, Great and rich Persons
take much Physick, and do not live so long as the common sort of men
doth. I answer: It is to be observed, first, that there are more
Commons, then Nobles, or Great and rich persons; and there is not so
much notice taken of the death of a mean, as of a noble, great, or
rich person; so that for want of information or knowledg, one may
easily be deceived in the number of each sort of persons. Next, the
Vulgar sort use laborious exercises, and spare diet; when as noble
and rich persons are most commonly lazie and luxurious, which breeds
superfluities of humors, and these again breed many distempers: For
example, you shall find few poor men troubled with the Gout, Stone,
Pox, and the like diseases, nor their Children with Rickets; for all
this cometh by luxury, and no doubt but all other diseases are sooner
bred with luxury, then temperance; but whatsoever is superfluous,
may, if not be taken away, yet mediated with lenitive and laxative
medicines. But as for Physicians, surely never age knew any better, in
my opinion, then this present, and yet most of them follow the rules
of the Schools, which are such as have been grounded upon Reason,
Practice, and Experience, for many ages: Wherefore those that will
wander from the Schools, and follow new and unknown ways, are, in my
opinion, not Orthodoxes, but Hereticks in the Art of Physick. But to
return to your _Author_, give me leave, _Madam_, to consider what his
opinions are concerning the Purging of Choler; _Come on_, says he to
the Schools,[1] _Why doth that, your Choler following with so swift
an efflux, stink so horribly, which but for one quarter of an hour
before did not stink?_ To which it may be answered, That though humors
may not stink in themselves, yet the excrements mixt with the humors
may stink; also the very passing thorow the excrements will cause a
strong savour. But your _Author_ thinks, That _by passing through so
suddenly, the humors cannot borrow such a smell of stinking dung from
the Intestines._ Truly, 'tis easily said, but hardly proved, and the
contrary is manifest by putting clear, pure water into a stinking
vessel, which straightway is corrupted with an ill smell. He talks
also of _Vitriol dissolved in Wine, which if it be taken, presently
provokes vomit; but if after drinking it, any one shall drink thereupon
a draught of Ale or Beer, or Water, &c. he indeed shall suffer many
stools, yet wholly without stink._ I answer: This expresses Vitriol
to be more poysonous, by taking away the natural savour of the bowels,
then Scammony, Coloquintida, Manna, Cassia, Sena, Rhubarb, &c. to
all which your _Author_ is a great enemy; and it is well known to
experienced Physicians, that Medicines prepared by the art of fire are
more poysonous and dangerous then natural drugs; nay, I dare say, that
many Chymical Medicines, which are thought to be Cordials, and have
been given to Patients for that purpose, have proved more poysonous
then any Purging Physick. Again your _Author_ says, _It is worthy of
Lamentation, that Physicians would have loosening things draw out one
humor, and not another, by selection or choyce._ My answer is, That
natural drugs and simples are as wise in their several operations, as
Chymists in their artificial distillations, extractions, sublimations,
and the like; but it has long been observed by Physicians, that one
simple will work more upon one part of the body, then upon another; the
like may be said of humors. But give me leave to tell you, _Madam_,
that if your _Author_ believes magnetick or attractive cures (as he
doth, and in whose behalf he makes very long discourses) he doth in
this opinion contradict himself. He may say, perhaps, There is no such
thing as what Physicians name humors. But grant there be none, yet he
cannot deny that there are offensive juices, or moveable substances
made by evil, as irregular digestions, which may be troublesom and
hurtful to the nature of the body. Or perchance he will say, There are
such humors, but they are beneficial and not offensive to the nature
of the body. I answer: Then he must make an agreement with every part
of the body, not to make more of these humors then is useful for the
body. Also he mentions some few that took Purging Physick, and died.
Truly so they might have done without taking it: but he doth not tell,
how many have died for want of proper and timely Purges. In truth,
_Madam_, 'tis an easie thing to find fault, but not so easie to mend
it. And as for what he speaks of the weighing of those humors and
excrements, which by purging were brought out of some Princes body, and
how much by the Schools rules remained, and of the place which should
maintain the remainder; I onely say this, that all the several sorts
of juices, humors, or moveable substances in a body, do not lie in one
place, but are dispersed, and spread all about and in several parts
and places in the body; so that the several Laxative medicines do but
draw them together, or open several parts, that they may have freedom
to travel with their chief Commanders, which are the Purging medicines.
But your _Author_ says, the Loadstone doth not draw rust. And I say, no
more do Purging drugs draw out pure Matter: for it may be as natural
for such medicines to draw or work onely upon superfluities, that is,
corrupted, or evil-affected humors, juices or moveable substances, as
for the Loadstone to draw Iron; and so it may be the property of Purges
to draw onely the rust of the body, and not the pure metal, which are
good humors. But few do consider or observe sufficiently the variety of
Natures actions, and the motions of particular natural Creatures, which
is the cause they have no better success in their cures. And so leaving
them to a more diligent inquisition and search into Nature, and her
actions, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] In his Treatise of Fevers, _c._ 5.



XXXV.


_MADAM,_

I find your _Author_ to be as great an enemy to Issues, Cauteries,
Clysters, and the like, as he is to Blood-letting and Purging;
especially to Issues, which he counts to be blasphemous against
the Creator, and blames much the Schools for prescribing them. But
concerning Blood-letting and Purging, I have declared my opinion in
my former Letters; and if you desire my judgment of Clysters and
Issues, I must needs tell you, that it is well known these many ages,
that in such diseases which lie in the guts, and cause pain in the
head, and stop the ureteres, Clysters have been very beneficial, but
wise Physicians do not prescribe them, unless upon necessity: As for
example; if the disease in the Guts proceed from cold or wind, they
prescribe a Sack-Clyster, with oyl of Walnuts; and if the disease in
the guts proceed from a sharp or bitter humor, then they prescribe
Milk, or Posset, sweetned with Sugar: the same if the guts be too
full of excrements or slime. But in case of diseases in the head or
stomack, they prescribe attractive Clysters, to wit, such as draw down
from the upper into the lower parts, wherein the Physical drugs are;
and if the guts be too dry, or dryer then their nature requires,
they prescribe moistening Clysters, such as have not onely wetting,
but slimy qualities. And surely Clysters properly and timely applyed,
are a safe, speedy, easie and profitable medicine, and far more safe
then Chymical Salts, Tartars, Spirits, or the like. Next concerning
Issues and Cauteries, your _Author_, I say, is so much against them,
as he counts them a blasphemy; for says he,[1] _I have beheld always
an implicite blasphemy in a Cautery, whereby they openly accuse the
Creator of insufficiency in framing the emunctories; for I have bidden
above a thousand Issues to be filled up with flesh._ Also, _That which
God hath made whole and entire, that it might be very good, seems to
the Schools, that it should be better if it be kept wounded._ Truly,
_Madam_, in my opinion, it is no blasphemy at all, neither directly
nor indirectly, to make Issues, but a meer superstition to believe the
contrary, _viz._ that they are blasphemy, and a great folly not to make
them when need requires it to the preservation of ones health. _God has
made our body whole and intire_, says your _Author_: by which he will
prove that no holes must be made in the body to let out excrementious
matter, and therefore he thinks that body to be whole and intire which
is without an Issue, when as yet our bodies have numerous issues,
which are the pores of the skin, to let out sweat; and therefore if
he counts that body not to be whole and intire that has Issues, then
no humane body is intire. Certainly, no Artificial Issue will make
the body maimed, but it will nevertheless continue whole and intire
although it has Issues. He says it is Blasphemy; But how will he prove
it? Surely not by the Scripture; and if not by the Scripture, then it
is a blasphemy according to his own brain and fancy. 'Tis true, God
gave no express Command to make Issues; but according to your _Author_,
God did never create Diseases, and so there was no need either to
make such Issues in bodies as to let out distempered Matter, or to
give any command for them; but we might as well say, we must not use
any Physick, because it is not so natural to man as food, and serves
not for the nourishment of the body, but onely to keep off, or drive
out diseases: Also no stone must be cut, but man must rather indure
torment and death. But setting aside this superstitious doctrine of
your _Author_, it is evident enough, and needs no proof, that Cancers,
Fistulas, Wenns, Eating-evils, Madness, Fevers, Consumptions, Rheumes,
Pleurisies, and numerous other diseases, are not better cured then by
Issues, or making of wounds, either by Lancets, Pen-knifes, Scissers,
Rasors, Corrosives, Causticks, Leeches, or the like. And although
your _Author_ says, That _that Matter which proceeds from, or out of
an Issue, is made in the lips of the wound, and not in the body; for
it cannot possibly drain or draw out any moisture, either from within
or between the skin and the flesh, having no passages_: Yet if this
were so, how come Fistulas, Cancers, and the like diseases, to have
passages from within the body to the exterior parts, so, as to make
a wound, out of which much sharp and salt humor issues? which humor
certainly is not made in the lips of the wound, but in the body: Also
whence comes the humor that makes the Gout? For though the swelling and
inflammation will sometimes appear exteriously, yet after some time
those tumors and humors retire back into the body from whence they did
flow; but he might as well say that Pit-falls or Sluces do not drain
Land from a superfluity of Water, as that Issues do not drain the body
of superfluous humors. Wherefore I am absolutely of opinion, that the
Practice of the Schools is the best and wisest Practice, as well in
making Issues, letting blood, Purging by Siege or Vomits, as any other
means used by them; for by Issues I have seen many cured, when no
other medicines would do any good with them; and letting blood, I am
confident, hath rescued more lives, then the Universal Medicine, could
Chymists find it out, perchance would do. So also Clysters and Vomits,
skilfully applied, have done great benefits to the life of men; for
every part and member hath its peculiar way to be purged and cleansed;
for example, Clysters principally cleanse the Guts, Purges the Stomack,
Vomits the Chest, Sneezing the Head, Bleeding the Veins, and Issues
drain the whole body of naughty humors: All which remedies, properly
and timely used, keep the body from being choak'd with superfluities.
There are several other ways of cures besides for several diseases, but
I leave those to learned and skilful Physicians, who know best how and
when to use them to the benefit and health of their Patients, although
your _Author_ finds much fault with them, and blames them for suffering
men to die miserably; but God has given power to Nature to make certain
dissolutions, although uncertain diseases, and uncertain remedies.
Neither hath she in her power to give Immortal Life to particular
Creatures, for this belongs to God alone, and therefore no Universal
Medicine will keep out death, or prolong life further then its thread
is spun, which I doubt is but a Chymæra, and an impossible thing,
by reason there are not onely so many different varieties in several
diseases, but in one and the same disease, as no Universal remedy
would do any good. But your _Author_ is much pleased with Paradoxes,
and Paradoxes are not certain Truths: Wherefore it is better, in my
judgment, to follow the old approved and practised way of the Schools,
grounded upon Experience and Reason, then his Paradoxical Opinions.
To which Schools, as your _Author_ is a great Enemy, so I am a great
Friend, as well as,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_humble Servant._

[1] Of Cauteries.



XXXVI.


_MADAM,_

I approve well of your _Authors_ opinion,[1] That _Drink ought not
to be forbidden in Fevers_; but yet I would not allow so much as to
drown and oppress the Patients life, but onely so much as to refresh
and moisten him; and therefore the best way is to drink little and
often. But as for Wine, which your _Author_ commends in Fevers, I am
utterly against it, unless the Fever proceed from a cold or crude
cause, otherwise cooling Ptisans are most beneficial to those that are
sick of a continual Fever, which for the most part is a general Fever
throughout the whole body, one part infecting the other, until they
be all infected, like as in the Plague. And to let you know the proof
of it; when I was once sick beyond the Seas, I sent for a Doctor of
Physick who was an Irish-man: and hearing of some that knew him, and
his practice, that he was not successful in his Cures, but that his
Patients most commonly died, I asked him what he used to prescribe in
such or such diseases? where amongst the rest, as I remember, he told
me, That he allowed his Patients to drink Wine in a Fever. I thought
he was in a great error, and told him my opinion, that though Wine
might be profitable, perhaps, to some few, yet for the most part it
was very hurtful and destructive, alledging another famous Physician
in _France_, Dr. _Davison_, who used in continual Fevers, to prescribe
onely cooling Ptisan, made of a little Barley, and a great quantity
of Water, so thin as the Barley was hardly perceived, and a spoonfull
of syrup of Limmon put into a quart of the said Ptisan; but in case
of a Flux, he ordered some few seeds of Pomegranats to be put into
it, and this cold Ptisan was to be the Patients onely drink: Besides,
once in Twenty four hours he prescribed a couple of potched Eggs, with
a little Verjuice, and to let the Patient blood, if he was dry and
hot; I mean dry exteriously, as from sweat; and that either often or
seldom, according as occasion was found: Also he prescribed two grains
of Laudanum every night, but neither to give the Patient meat nor drink
two hours before and after: Which advice and Practice of the mentioned
Physician concerning Fevers, with several others, I declared to this
Irish Doctor, and he observing this rule, cured many, and so recovered
his lost esteem and repute. But your _Author_ being all for Wine, and
against cooling drinks, or Julips, in hot Fevers, says, _That cooling
means are more like to death, to cessation from motion, and to defect;
but heat from moderate Wine is a mean like unto life._ To which I
answer, first, That cold, or cooling things, are as active as hot or
heating things; neither is death more cold then hot, nor life more hot
then cold; for we see that Frost is as active and strong as burning
heat; and Water, Air, and Earth, are as full of life, as Fire; and
Vegetables, Minerals, and Elements, have life as well as Animals: But
we, feeling a Man's flesh cold when he is dissolving from an Animal,
think death is cold; and seeing he was hot before the same alteration,
say, Life is hot: Also finding an animal, when it is dissolving, to be
without external local Motion, we say it is dead; and when it hath as
yet this local motion before its alteration, we call it alive; which
certainly is not proper. Next I say, that a wise Man when his house is
fired, will fling or squirt water upon it, to quench it, and take out
all moveables lest they should increase the flame; likewise he will
make vent for the flame to issue forth. But perchance your _Author_ may
say, that Fevers are not hot. Truly, in my opinion, he might say as
well that Fire is cold. Again, he may say, That although the effect
be hot, yet the cause is cold. I answer: That in some diseases, the
effects become so firmly rooted, and so powerfull, that they must be
more look'd upon then the cause: for such variety there is in Nature,
that oftentimes, that which was now an effect, turns to be a cause, and
again a cause an effect: For example; A cold cause often produces a hot
effect, and this hot effect becomes again a cause of a cold effect:
Which variation is not onely a trouble, but a great obstruction to wise
Physicians; for Nature hath more varieties in diseases, then Physicians
have remedies, And as for drink, if Fevers be neither hot, nor dry,
nor require drink for want of moisture; then I see no reason why drink
should be urged, and those Physicians blamed that forbid it; for if
thirst proceed from an evil digestion, drink will rather weaken the
stomack; for heat and driness draw soon away the drink in the stomack,
and putting much into a weak stomack doth rather hurt then good. But
if necessity require it, then I approve rather of raw and crude Water,
then of hot inflaming Wine. And so taking my leave, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] Of Fevers, _Ch._ 12.



XXXVII.


_MADAM,_

In your _Authors_ Treatise of Fevers, I find one Chapter[1] whose
Inscription is, _A Perfect Curing of all Fevers_, wherein he declares
the secrets of the Cures of Fevers, consisting all in Chymical
Medicines. But considering, that if all Fevers could be cured by such
Medicines, then all Physicians would strive to obtain them; I can
hardly believe (by your _Authors_ favour) that any such perfect curing
of all Fevers can be effected, but that your _Authors_ prescriptions,
if they should come to the tryal, might fail as well as any other.
Likewise he mentions a Medicine of _Paracelsus_, Named _Diaceltesson_,
or the _Coraline Secret_; which, he says, cures radically the Gout no
less then Fevers: Which if so, I wonder why so many Great, Noble and
Rich Persons, groan so much under the pains of the Gout; certainly
it is not for want of cost to have them prepared, nor for want of an
ingenious and experienced Chymist; for this age doth not want skilful
workmen in that Art, nor worthy and wise Physicians, which if they knew
such soveraign medicines, would soon apply them to their Patients;
but I suppose that they finding their effects to be less then the
cost and labour bestowed upon them, forbear to use them. Moreover, he
mentions[2] another remedy for most diseases, by him call'd _Driff_,
prepared also by the Art of Chymistry; but I believe all those remedies
will not so often cure, as fail of cure, like as the Sympathetical
Powder; for if there were such soveraign medicines that did never fail
of a successful effect, certainly men being curious, inquisitive,
and searching, would never leave till they had found them out. Also
amongst Vegetables, the herb _Chameleon_ and _Arsmart_ are in great
request with your _Author_; For, says he, _they by their touching
alone, do presently take away cruel diseases, or at leastwise ease
them._ Which if so, I wonder that there is not more use made of them,
and they held in greater esteem then they are; Also that your _Author_
doth not declare the vertue of them, and the manner and way how, and
in what diseases to use them, for the benefit of his neighbour, to
which end, he says, all his labours and actions are directed? But
again, your _Author_ confirms, as an Eye-witness, _That the bone of
the arm of a Toad presently has taken away the Tooth-ach at the first
co-touching._ Which remedy, if it was constant, few, in my opinion,
would suffer such cruel pains, and cause their teeth to be drawn out,
especially if sound. Likewise of the mineral _Electrum or Amber_ of
_Paracelsus_, he affirms[3] to have seen, that _hung about the neck, it
has freed those that were persecuted by unclean spirits_, and that many
simples have done the like effects; but surely, _Madam_, I cannot be
perswaded that the Devil should be put away so easily; for he being a
Spirit, will not be chased by corporeal means, but by spiritual, which
is Faith, and Prayer; and the cure of dispossessing the Devil belongs
to Divines, and not to Natural Philosophers or Physicians. But though
exterior remedies, as Amulets, Pomanders, and the like, may perform
sometimes such effects as to cure or preserve from some diseases, yet
they are not ordinary and constant, but meerly by chance. But there are
more false remedies then true ones, and if one remedy chance to work
successfully with one distempered person, it may fail of its success
applyed to others in the same kind of distemper; nay, it may cure
perhaps one and the same person of a distemper once, and in the return
of the same disease effect little or nothing; witness those remedies
that are applyed in Agues, Tooth-aches, and the like, especially
Amulets; for one and the same disease in several persons, or in one and
the same person at several times, may vary and change so often, and
proceed from so different causes, and be of so different tempers, and
have such different motions, as one and the same medicine can do no
good: And what would the skill of Physicians be, if one remedy should
cure all diseases? Why should they take so much pains in studying the
various causes, motions, and tempers of diseases, if one medicine had a
general power over all? Nay, for what use should God have created such
a number of different simples, Vegetables, and Minerals, if one could
do all the business? Lastly, your _Author_ rehearses[4] some strange
examples of Child-bearing Women, who having seen terrible and cruel
sights, as Executions of Malefactors, and dismembring of their bodies,
have brought forth monstrous births, without heads, hands, arms, leggs,
&c. according to the objects they had seen. I must confess, _Madam_,
that all Creatures are not always formed perfect; for Nature works
irregularly sometimes, wherefore a Child may be born defective in some
member or other, or have double members instead of one, and so may
other animal Creatures; but this is nevertheless natural, although
irregular to us: but to have a Child born perfect in the womb, and the
lost member to be taken off there, and so brought forth defective,
as your _Author_ mentions, cannot enter my belief; neither can your
_Author_ himself give any reason, but he makes onely a bare relation
of it; for certainly, if it was true, that the member was chopt, rent
or pluckt off from the whole body of the Child, it could not have
been done without a violent shock or motion of the Mother, which I am
confident would never have been able to endure it; for such a great
alteration in her body, would of necessity, besides the death of the
Child, have caused a total dissolution of her own animal parts, by
altering the natural animal motions: But, as I said above, those births
are caused by irregular motions, and are not frequent and ordinary; for
if upon every strange sight, or cruel object, a Child-bearing-woman
should produce such effects, Monsters would be more frequent then they
are. In short, Nature loves variety, and this is the cause of all
strange and unusual natural effects; and so leaving Nature to her will
and pleasure, my onely delight and pleasure is to be,

Madam,

_[Your] faithful Friend, and humble Servant._

[1] _Ch._ 14.

[2] In the _Ch._ named _Butler_.

[3] Ch. Of the manner of entrance of things darted into the body.

[4] _Ch._ Of things injected into the body.



XXXVIII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ reproving the Schools, that they forbid Salt to some
diseased persons, as pernicious to their health: _Good God_, says
he,[1] _how unsavoury are the Schools, and how unsavoury do they bid us
to be!_ But I suppose the Schools do not absolutely forbid all diseased
persons to abstein from salt, but onely not to use it excessively, or
too frequently; for experience proves, that salt meats have not onely
increased, but caused diseases, as the Stone, the Gout, Sciatica,
Fistula's, Cancers, sore Eyes, sore Throats, and the like: I do not
say, that those diseases are always bred with the excess of salt diets;
for diseases of one and the same kind, may be bred variously; but this
hath been observed, that whosoever is affected with such diseases,
shall after a salt meal find himself in more pain then before;
wherefore a constant or common salt diet cannot but be hurtful. Neither
are those persons that feed much on salt meats, or use strong drinks,
take number for number, so healthful or long-lived, as those that are
temperate and abstaining. Next, your _Author_[2] bewails _The shameful
simplicity of those, that give their Patients Leaf-Gold, Pearls, and
bruised or powder'd pretious Stones, as Cordials, in fainting fits,
and other distempers: For_, says he, _they may be dissolved, but not
altered; wherefore they cannot produce any powerful effect to the
health of the Patient._ Truly, _Madam_, I am not of his mind; for were
it that those remedies or cordials could not be transchanged, yet their
vertues may nevertheless be very beneficial to the sick: For example;
a man that is assaulted by enemies, or by chance is fallen into a
deep Pit, or is ready to be strangled, and in all not able to help
himself, yet by the help of another man, may be rescued and freed from
his danger, and from death, using such means as are able to release
him, which either by drawing his Sword against his enemies, or by
throwing a rope down into the Pit, and haling him out, or by cutting
the rope by which he hung, may save him, and yet neither the man, nor
any of his Instruments, as Sword, Rope, Knife, and the like, need to
be transchanged. The like may be said of the aforementioned medicines
or remedies; which if they be not transchangeable, yet they may
nevertheless do such operations, as by their natural active qualities
and proprieties to over-power the irregular motions in the natural
parts of the body of the Patient; for many diseases proceed more from
irregular motions then irregular parts: and although there is no motion
without matter, yet one and the same matter may have divers and various
changes of motions, and moving parts will either oppose or assist
each other without transchanging. And truly, _Madam_, I wonder that
your _Author_ doth condemn such Cordials made of Leaf-gold, Pearls,
powdered precious Stones, or the like, and yet verily believe, that
Amber, Saphires, Emeraulds, Beads, Bracelets, &c. outwardly applied or
worn, can cure more then when inwardly taken; surely, if this be so,
they cure more by Faith, then by Reason. But it seems your _Author_
regulates the actions of Nature to the artificial actions of his
Furnace, which although sometimes they produce wonderful effects, yet
not such as Nature doth; for if they cure one, they commonly kill ten;
nay, the best of their Medicine is so dangerous, as it ought not to be
applied but in desperate cases: Wherefore Wise Physicians must needs be
Provident and Cautious when they use them. And so leaving them, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] Of the disease of the Stone, _c._ 3.

[2] _Ch._ Of the reason or consideration of diet.



XXXIX.


_MADAM,_

I will not dispute your _Authors_ opinion concerning the Plague of Men,
which he says,[1] _doth not infect Beasts, neither doth the plague of
Beasts infect Men_; but rather believe it to be so: for I have observed
that Beasts infect onely each other, to wit, those of their own kind,
as Men do infect other Men. For example: the Plague amongst Horses
continues in their own kind, and so doth the Plague amongst Sheep;
and for any thing we know, there may be a plague amongst Vegetables,
as well as amongst Animals, and they may not onely infect each other
but also those Animals that do feed on those infectious Vegetables:
so that Infections may be caused several ways; either by inbreathing
and attracting or sucking in the Poyson of the Plague, or by eating
and converting it into the substance of the body; for some kinds of
poyson are so powerful, as to work onely by way of inbreathing. Also
some sorts of Air may be full of infection, and infect many Men,
Beasts, Birds, Vegetables, and the like; for Infections are variously
produced, Internally as well as Externally, amongst several particular
Creatures; for as the Plague may be made internally, or within the body
of a particular Creature, without any exterior infection entring from
without into the body, so an external Infection again may enter many
several ways into the body. And thus there be many contagious diseases
caused meerly by the internal motions of the body, as by fright,
terror, conceit, fancy, imagination, and the like, and many by the
taking of poysonous matter from without into the body; but all are made
by the natural motions or actions of animate matter, by which all is
made that is in Nature, and nothing is new, as _Solomon_ says; but what
is thought or seems to be new, is onely the variation of the Motions
of this old Matter, which is Nature. And this is the reason that not
every Age, Nation, or Creature, has always the like diseases; for as
all the actions of Nature vary, so also do diseases. But to speak of
the Plague, although I am of opinion, that the Plague of Beasts doth
not infect Men, unless they be eaten; nor the plague of Men, Beasts;
yet Magistrates do wisely in some places, that in the beginning of the
plague of Men, they command Dogs and Cats to be kill'd, by reason, as
your _Author_ saith, _The skins and flesh of Brutes may be defiled with
our Plague, and they may be pestiferous contagions unto us._ I will
add one thing more, which doth concern the Poyson of Measels, whereof
your _Author_ is saying,[2] That _it is onely proper to humane kind._
What kind of Measles he means, I know not; but certainly Hogs are often
affected with that disease, as is vulgarly known; but whether they be
different diseases in their kinds, and proceed from different motions,
I will let others inquire. And so I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] In the Plague-grave, _ch._ 17.

[2] _Ch._ Call'd, _The Lunar Tribute_.



XL.


_MADAM,_

Concerning the disease of the Stone, your _Author_ seems to be of an
opinion, That the stone in the Bladder, and the stone in the Kidnies,
are not made after one and the same manner: For, says he,[1] _The
Bladder and the same Urine in number procreates a duelech of another
condition, then that which is made in the Kidney._ And truly, _Madam_,
it may be so; for there are several ways or modes in irregularities,
as well as regularities, and not every kind is alike, no not every
Particular, but there is some difference between them: Wherefore, it
may very well be, that the corporeal motions that make the stone in
the Kidneys, are not just alike to those that make the stone in the
Bladder; and as each sort of stone is different, so their particular
causes ought to be different; but this is to be observed, that
generally all diseases which produce hardness, are made by contracting,
condensing and retenting motions, and therefore the remedies of them
must be dilating, rarifying and dissolving. Next your _Author_ says,
_The Stone is not bred by heat, but heat is rather an effect of the
stone; neither is a certain muscilage, or a slimy, snivelly Phlegme
the cause or matter of the stone, but the stone is the cause of the
phlegme._ But, in my judgment, it seems more probable, that a slimy
matter is more proper for a stone to be made of, then that a stone
should make slime, except it be in its dissolution; that is, when the
stone, as in its generation or production it did change from a slimy
or liquid substance to a stone by condensing and contracting motions,
doth, by dilating and rarifying motions, dissolve again into such a
liquid and slimy body. I will not say always, to wit, that the stone
must needs be resolved into a slimy matter, but oftentimes it may be
so. Neither can I absolutely affirm that either heat or cold onely is
the cause of a stone; for some may be produced by hot, and some by
cold contractions and densations, there being as many several sorts of
stones as there are of other Creatures: But this is to be well noted,
that as some sorts of hot contractions do make stones, so some sorts
of hot dilations do dissolve them: The like of cold contractions and
dilations. Again: your _Author_ speaking of the womb wherein the stone
is made; _Every generated thing or being_, says he, _must of necessity
have a certain place or womb where it is produced; for there must
needs be places wherein things may be made before they are bred._ I
answer: As there is not any body without place, nor any place without
body, so the womb is not the place of the body generated, neither
before nor after its generation, no more then a man can be said to
be in a room when he is not there, but every body carries its place
along with it. Moreover, concerning the voiding of bloody Urine, which
happens sometimes in the disease of the Stone, my opinion is, That
it doth not always proceed from the Stone, but many times from the
breaking or voluntary opening of some Veins. But as for the cure of the
disease of the Stone your _Author,_[2] is pleased to affirm, _That no
disease is incurable_, and so neither the disease of the Stone, _For
he himself has cured many of the Stone to which they had been obedient
for some years._ Indeed, _Madam_, I fear his words are more cheerful
then effectual; however it may be possible, if the Kidneys be no ways
impaired, or the Bladder hurt; but if there be some such imperfection
in either or both, then it is as much, in my opinion, as to say, Man
can do more then Nature doth: Neither can I believe, that then any of
your _Authors_ Chymical preparations, as _Aroph, Ludus, Alkahest_,
and the like, if they were to be had, would do any good, no nor
_Daucus_, or wild Carrot-seed, if the disease be as yet curable, will
prove an effectual remedy for it, although your _Author_ is pleased
to relate an example of a man, to whom it did much good; for I can
affirm the contrary by other the like Examples, that it never did any
good to those that used it; nor the liquor of the Birch-tree, whose
venue and efficacy I do not believe to be so great as your _Author_
describes:[3] But for the stoppage of Urine, Marsh-mallow and oyl of
Almonds, which he despises, I approve to be good, and better then any
of his Unknown, Chymical Secrets; for those Chymical Medicines, as he
himself confesses, are hard to be had, especially _Alkahest_, which is
onely to be obtained by a Particular favour from Heaven, and is rather
a supernatural Gift, then a natural remedy. But your _Author_ doth
wisely, to commend such remedies as can never, or with great difficulty
be obtained, and then to say that no disease is incurable. And so
leaving him to his unknown secrets, and those to them that will use
them, I am resolved to adhere to the Practice of the Schools, which I
am confident will be more beneficial to the health of,

Madam,

_Your real and faithful_

_Friend and Servant._

[1] Of the Stone, _ch._ 6. See the _ch._ called, _A Numero-Critical
Paradox of supplies_.

[2] _Ch._ 7.

[3] _Ch._ 8.



XLI.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ speaking of the _Gout_, and of that kind of Gout which
is called _Hereditary_, says, _It consists immediately in the Spirit
of Life._ First, as for that which is called an Hereditary Disease,
propagated from Parents upon their Children; my opinion is, That it
is nothing else but the same actions of the animate matter, producing
the same effect in the Child as they did in the Parent: For example;
the same motions which made the Gout in the Parent, may make the same
disease in the Child; but every Child has not his Parents diseases, and
many Children have such diseases as their Parents never had; neither is
any disease tied to a particular Family by Generation, but they proceed
from irregular motions, and are generally in all Mankind; and therefore
properly there is no such thing as an hereditary propagation of
diseases; for one and the same kind of disease may be made in different
persons, never a kin to one another, by the like motions; but because
Children have such a neer relation to their Parents by Generation, if
they chance to have the same diseases with their Parents, men are apt
to conclude it comes by inheritance; but we may as well say, that all
diseases are hereditary; for there is not any disease in Nature but is
produced by the actions of Nature's substance; and if we receive life
and all our bodily substance by Generation from our Parents, we may be
said to receive diseases too; for diseases are inherent in the matter
or substance of Nature, which every Creature is a part of, and are real
beings made by the corporeal motions of the animate matter, although
irregular to us; for as this matter moves, so is Life or Death,
Sickness or Health, and all natural effects; and we consisting of the
same natural matter, are naturally subject as well to diseases as to
health, according as the Matter moves. Thus all diseases are hereditary
in Nature; nay, the Scripture it self confirms it, informing us, that
diseases, as well as death, are by an hereditary propagation derived
from _Adam_ upon all Posterity. But as for the Gout, your _Authors_
doctrine is,[1] _That Life is not a body, nor proper to a body, nor the
off-spring of corporeal Proprieties_,[2] but a _meer No-thing_; and
that _the Spirit of Life is a real being, to wit, the arterial blood
resolved by the Ferment of the heart into salt air, and enlightned by
life_,[3] and that the Gout doth immediately consist in this spirit of
life. All which how it doth agree, I cannot conceive; for that a real
being should be enlightned by Nothing, and be a spirit of Nothing, is
not imaginable, nor how the Gout should inhabit in the spirit of life;
for then it would follow, that a Child, as soon as it is brought forth
into the world, would be troubled with the Gout, if it be as natural
to him as life, or have its habitation in the Spirit of Life. Also
your _Author_ is speaking of _an Appoplexy in the head, which takes
away all sense and motion._ But surely, in my opinion, it is impossible
that all sense and motion should be out of the head; onely that sense
and motion, which is proper to the head, and to the nature of that
Creature, is altered to some other sensitive and rational motions,
which are proper to some other figure; for there is no part or particle
of matter that has not motion and sense. I pray consider, _Madam_,
is there any thing in Nature that is without motion? Perchance you
will say, Minerals; but that is proved otherwise; as for example, by
the sympathetical motion between the Loadstone and Iron, and between
the Needle and the North, as also by the operation of Mercury, and
several others; Wherefore there is no doubt, but all kinds, sorts and
particulars of Creatures have their natural motions, although they are
not all visible to us, but not such motions as are made by Gas, or
Blas, or Ideas, &c. but corporeal sensitive and rational motions, which
are the actions of Natural Matter. You may say, Some are of opinion,
that Sympathy and Antipathy are not Corporeal motions. Truly, whosoever
says so, speaks no reason; for Sympathy and Antipathy are nothing else
but the actions of bodies, and are made in bodies; the Sympathy betwixt
Iron and the Loadstone is in bodies; the Sympathy between the Needle
and the North is in bodies; the Sympathy of the Magnetic powder is in
bodies. The truth is, there is no motion without a body, nor no body
without motion. Neither doth Sympathy and Antipathy work at distance
by the power of Immaterial Spirits, or rays, issuing out of their
bodies, but by agreeable or disagreeable corporeal motions; for if
the motions be agreeable, there is Sympathy; if disagreeable, there
is Antipathy; and if they be equally found in two bodies, then there
is a mutual Sympathy or Antipathy; but if in one body onely, and not
in the other, there is but Sympathy or Antipathy on one side, or in
one Creature. Lastly, concerning _swoonings or fainting fits_, your
_Authors_ opinion is, that they _proceed from the stomack_: Which I
can hardly believe; for many will swoon upon the sight of some object,
others at a sound, or report, others at the smell of some disagreeable
odour, others at the taste of some or other thing that is not agreeable
to their nature, and so forth: also some will swoon at the apprehension
or conceit of something, and some by a disorder or irregularity of
motions in exterior parts. Wherefore, my opinion is, that swoonings
may proceed from any part of the body, and not onely from the stomack.
But, _Madam_, I being no Physicianess may perhaps be in an error,
and therefore I will leave this discourse to those that are thorowly
learned and practised in this Art, and rest satisfied that I am,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_humble Servant._

[1] Of the disease of the Stone, _c._ 9.

[2] Of the subject of inhering of diseases in the point of life.

[3] Of the Spirit of Life.



XLII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_[1] is inquiring whether some cures of diseases may be
effected by bare co-touchings; and I am of his opinion, they may;
for co-touchings of some exterior objects may cause alterations of
some particular motions in some particular parts of matter, without
either transferring their own motions into those parts, (for that this
is impossible, I have heretofore declared) or without any corporeal
departing from their own parts of matter into them, and alterations may
be produced both in the motions and figures of the affected parts: but
these cures are not so frequent as those that are made by the entring
of medicines into the diseased parts, and either expel the malignant
matter, or rectifie the irregular and disordered motions, or strengthen
the weak, or reduce the straying, or work any other ways according to
the nature and propriety of their own substance, and the disposition of
the distempered parts: Nevertheless, those cures which are performed
exteriously, as to heal inward affects by an outward bare co-touching,
are all made by natural motions in natural substances, and not by
_Non_-beings, substancelesse Ideas, or spiritual Rays; for those that
will cure diseases by _Non_-beings, will effect little or nothing; for
a disease is corporeal or material, and so must the remedies be, there
being no cure made but by a conflict of the remedy with the disease;
and certainly, if a _non_-being fight against a being, or a corporeal
disease, I doubt it will do no great effect; for the being will be too
strong for the _non_-being: Wherefore my constant opinion is, that
all cures whatsoever, are perfected by the power of corporeal motions,
working upon the affected parts either interiously or exteriously,
either by applying external remedies to external wounds, or by curing
internal distempers, either by medicines taken internally, or by bare
external co-touchings. And such a remedy, I suppose, has been that
which your _Author_ speaks of, a stone of a certain Irish-man, which
by a meer external contact hath cured all kinds of diseases, either
by touching outwardly the affected parts, or by licking it but with
the tip of the Tongue, if the disease was Internal: But if the vertue
of the Stone was such, as your _Author_ describes, certainly, what
man soever he was that possessed such a jewel, I say, he was rather
of the nature of the Devil, then of man, that would not divulge it
to the general benefit of all mankind; and I wonder much, that your
_Author_, who otherwise pretends such extraordinary Devotion, Piety,
and Religiousness, as also Charity, _viz._ that all his works he has
written, are for the benefit of his neighbour, and to detect the errors
of the Schools meerly for the good of man, doth yet plead his cause,
saying, That _secrets, as they are most difficultly prepared, so they
ought to remain in secret forever in the possession of the Privy
Councel_, what Privy Counsels he means, I know not; but certainly some
are more difficult to be spoken to, or any thing to be obtained from,
then the preparation of a Physical Arcanum. However, a general good
or benefit ought not to be concealed or kept in privy Councels, but
to be divulged and publickly made known, that all sorts of People, of
what condition, degree, or Nation soever, might partake of the general
blessing and bounty of God. But, _Madam_, you may be sure, that many,
who pretend to know Physical secrets, most commonly know the least, as
being for the most part of the rank of them that deceive the simple
with strange tales which exceed truth; and to make themselves more
authentical, they use to rail at others, and to condemn their skill,
onely to magnifie their own: I say, many, _Madam_, as I have observed,
are of that nature, especially those, that have but a superficial
knowledg in the Art of Physick; for those that are thorowly learned,
and sufficiently practised in it, scorn to do the like; which I wish
may prosper and thrive by their skill. And so I rest,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_humble Servant._

[1] In the _ch._ call'd _Butler_.



XLIII.


_MADAM,_

Your _Author_ is pleased to relate a story[1] of one that died
suddenly, and being dissected, there was not the least sign of decay
or disorder found in his body. But I cannot add to those that wonder,
when no sign of distemper is found in a man's body after he is dead;
because I do not believe, that the subtillest, learnedst, and most
practised Anatomist, can exactly tell all the Interior Government
or motions, or can find out all obscure and invisible passages in a
mans body; for concerning the motions, they are all altered in death,
or rather in the dissolution of the animal figure; and although the
exterior animal figure or shape doth not alter so soon, yet the animal
motions may alter in a moment of time; which sudden alteration may
cause a sudden death, and so the motions being invisible, the cause
of death cannot be perceived; for no body can find that which is not
to be found, to wit, animal motions in a dead man; for Nature hath
altered these motions from being animal motions to some other kind
of motions, she being as various in dissolutions, as in productions,
indeed so various, that her ways cannot be traced or known thorowly
and perfectly, but onely by piece-meals, as the saying is, that is,
but partly: Wherefore man can onely know that which is visible, or
subject to his senses; and yet our senses do not always inform us
truly, but the alterations of grosser parts are more easily known, then
the alterations of subtil corporeal motions, either in general, or in
particular; neither are the invisible passages to be known in a dead
Carcass, much less in a living body. But, I pray, mistake me not, when
I say, that the animal motions are not subject to our exterior senses;
for I do not mean all exterior animal motions, nor all interior animal
motions; for though you do see no interior motion in an animal body,
yet you may feel some, as the motion of the Heart, the motion of the
Pulse, the motion of the Lungs, and the like; but the most part of
the interior animal motions are not subject to our exterior senses;
nay, no man, he may be as observing as he will, can possibly know by
his exterior senses all the several and various interior motions in
his own body, nor all the exterior motions of his exterior parts: and
thus it remains still, that neither the subtillest motions and parts
of matter, nor the obscure passages in several Creatures, can be known
but by several parts; for what one part is ignorant of, another part
is knowing, and what one part is knowing, another part is ignorant
thereof; so that unless all the Parts of Infinite Matter were joyned
into one Creature, there can never be in one particular Creature a
perfect knowledg of all things in Nature. Wherefore I shall never
aspire to any such knowledg, but be content with that little particular
knowledg, Nature has been pleased to give me, the chief of which is,
that I know my self, and especially that I am,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._

[1] _Ch._ 61. called, _The Preface_.



XLIV.


_MADAM,_

I perceive you are desirous to know the cause, _Why a man is more weak
at the latter end of a disease then at the beginning, and is a longer
time recovering health, then loosing health_; as also _the reason of
relapses and intermissions?_ First, as for weakness and strength, my
opinion is, they are caused by the regular and irregular motions in
several parts, each striving to over-power the other in their conflict;
and when a man recovers from a disease, although the regular motions
have conquered the irregular, and subdued them to their obedience, yet
they are not so quite obedient as they ought, which causes weakness:
Neither do the regular motions use so much force in Peace, as in War;
for though animate matter cannot lose force, yet it doth not always
use force; neither can the parts of Nature act beyond their natural
power, but they do act within their natural power; neither do they
commonly act to the utmost of their power. And as for Health, why it
is sooner lost then recovered; I answer, That it is easier to make
disorders then to rectifie them: as for example, in a Common-wealth,
the ruines of War are not so suddenly repaired, as made. But concerning
Relapses and Intermissions of diseases, Intermissions are like truces
or cessations from War for a time; and Relapses are like new stirs or
tumults of Rebellion; for Rebels are not so apt to settle in peace as
to renew the war upon slight occasions; and if the regular motions
of the body be stronger, they reduce them again unto obedience. But
diseases are occasioned many several ways; for some are made by a home
Rebellion, and others by forreign enemies, and some by natural and
regular dissolutions, and their cures are as different; but the chief
Magistrates or Governors of the animal body, which are the regular
motions of the parts of the body, want most commonly the assistance
of forreign Parts, which are Medicines, Diets, and the like; and if
there be factions amongst these chief Magistrates, or motions of the
parts of the body, then the whole body suffers a ruine. But since
there would be no variety in Nature, nor no difference between Natures
several parts or Creatures, if her actions were never different, but
always agreeing and constant, a war or rebellion in Nature cannot be
avoided: But, mistake me not, for I do not mean a war or rebellion in
the nature or substance of Matter, but between the several parts of
Matter, which are the several Creatures, and their several Motions; for
Matter being always one and the same in its nature, has nothing to war
withal; and surely it will not quarrel with its own Nature. Next you
desire to know, that if Nature be in a Perpetual motion, _Whence comes
a duration of some things, and a Tiredness, Weariness, Sluggishness,
or Faintness?_ I answer, first, That in some bodies, the Retentive
motions are stronger then the dissolving motions; as for example, Gold,
and Quicksilver or Mercury; the separating and dissolving motions of
Fire have onely power to melt and rarifie them for a time, but cannot
alter their nature: so a Hammer, or such like instrument, when used,
may beat Gold, and make it thin as a Cobweb, or as dust, but cannot
alter its interior nature: But yet this doth not prove it to be either
without motion, or to be altogether unalterable, and not subject to any
dissolution; but onely that its retentive motions are too strong for
the dissolving motions of the Fire, which by force work upon the Gold;
and we might as well say, that Sand, or an Earthen Vessel, or Glass,
or Stone, or any thing else, is unalterable, and will last eternally,
if not disturbed. But some of Natures actions are as industrious to
keep their figures, as others are to dissolve, or alter them; and
therefore Retentive motions are more strong and active in some figures,
then dissolving motions are in others, or producing motions in other
Figures. Next, as for Tiredness, or Faintness of motions, there is no
such thing as tiredness or faintness in Nature, for Nature cannot be
tired, nor grow faint, or sick, nor be pained, nor die, nor be any
ways defective; for all this is onely caused through the change and
variety of the corporeal motions of Nature, and her several parts;
neither do irregular motions prove any defect in Nature, but a prudence
in Natures actions, in making varieties and alterations of Figures;
for without such motions or actions, there could not be such varieties
and alterations in Nature as there are: neither is slackness of some
motions a defect, for Nature is too wise to use her utmost force in
her ordinary works; and though Nature is infinite, yet it is not
necessary she should use an infinite force and power in any particular
act. Lastly, you desire my opinion, _Whether there be motion in a dead
animal Creature._ To which, I answer: I have declared heretofore, that
there is no such thing as death in Nature, but what is commonly named
death, is but an alteration or change of corporeal motions, and the
death of an animal is nothing else but the dissolving motions of its
figure; for when a man is dying, the motions which did formerly work
to the consistence of his figure do now work to the dissolution of
his figure, and to the production of some other figures, changing and
transforming every part thereof; but though the figure of that dead
animal is dissolved, yet the parts of that dissolved figure remain
still in Nature although they be infinitely changed, and will do so
eternally, as long as Nature lasts by the Will of God; for nothing can
be lost or annihilated in Nature. And this is all, _Madam_, that I can
answer to your questions, wherein, I hope, I have obeyed your commands,
according to the duty of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._



XLV.


_MADAM,_

I have thus far discharged my duty, that according to your commands,
I have given you my judgment of the works of those four famous
Philosophers of our age, which you did send me to peruse, and have
withal made reflexions upon some of their opinions in Natural
Philosophy, especially those, wherein I did find them dissent from the
Ground and Principles of my own Philosophy. And since by your leave
I am now publishing all those Letters which I have hitherto written
to you concerning those aforesaid Authors, and their Works, I am
confident I shall not escape the censures of their followers; But, I
shall desire them, that they will be pleased to do me this Justice, and
to examine first my opinions well, without any partiality or wilful
misinterpretation of my sence, before they pass their censure: Next,
I desire them to consider, That I have no skill in School-learning,
and therefore for want of terms of Art may easily chance to slip, or
at least, not express my opinions so clearly as my readers expected;
However, I have done my endeavour, and to my sense and reason they
seem clear and plain enough, especially as I have expressed them in
those Letters I have sent you; for concerning my other Work, called
_Philosophical Opinions_, I must confess, that it might have been done
more exactly and perspicuously, had I been better skilled in such
words and expressions as are usual in the Schools of Philosophers;
and therefore, if I be but capable to learn names and terms of Art,
(although I find my self very untoward to learn, and do despair of
proving a Scholar) I will yet endeavour to rectifie that work, and
make it more intelligible; for my greatest ambition is to express my
conceptions so, that my Readers may understand them: For which I would
not spare any labour or pains, but be as industrious as those that gain
their living by their work; and I pray to God, that Nature may give me
a capacity to do it. But as for those that will censure my works out of
spite and malice, rather then according to justice, let them do their
worst; for if God do but bless them, I need not to fear the power of
Nature, much less of a part of Nature, as Man. Nay, if I have but your
Ladiships approbation, it will satisfie me; for I know you are so wise
and just in your judgment, that I may safely rely upon it: For which I
shall constantly and unfeignedly remain as long as I live,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships most faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._



SECT. IV.


I.


_MADAM,_

I perceive, you take great delight in the study of Natural Philosophy,
since you have not onely sent me some Authors to peruse, and give my
judgment of their opinions, but are very studious your self in the
reading of Philosophical Works: and truly, I think you cannot spend
your time more honourably, profitably, and delightfully, then in the
study of Nature, as to consider how Variously, Curiously, and Wisely,
she acts in her Creatures; for if the particular knowledg of a mans
self be commendable, much more is the knowledg of the general actions
of Nature, which doth lead us to the knowledg of our selves. The truth
is, by the help of Philosophy our minds are raised above our selves,
into the knowledg of the Causes of all natural effects. But leaving the
commending of this noble study, you are pleased to desire my opinion of
a very difficult and intricate argument in Natural Philosophy, to wit,
of Generation, or Natural Production. I must beg leave to tell you,
first, that some (though foolishly) believe, it is not fit for Women to
argue upon so subtil a Mystery: Next, there have been so many learned
and experienced Philosophers, Physicians, and Anatomists, which have
treated of this subject, that it might be thought a great presumption
for me, to argue with them, having neither the learning nor experience
by practice which they had: Lastly, There are so many several ways
and manners of Productions in Nature, as it is impossible for a single
Creature to know them all: For there are Infinite variations made
by self-motion in Infinite Matter, producing several Figures, which
are several Creatures in that same Matter. But you would fain know,
how Nature, which is Infinite Matter, acts by self-motion? Truly,
_Madam_, you may as well ask any one part of your body, how every
other part of your body acts, as to ask me, who am but a small part of
Infinite Matter, how Nature works. But yet, I cannot say, that Nature
is so obscure, as her Creatures are utterly ignorant; for as there
are two of the outward sensitive organs in animal bodies, which are
more intelligible then the rest, to wit, the Ear, and the Eye; so in
Infinite Matter, which is the body of Nature, there are two parts,
which are more understanding or knowing then the rest, to wit, the
Rational and Sensitive part of Infinite Matter; for though it be true,
That Nature, by self-division, made by self-motion into self-figures,
which are self-parts, causes a self-obscurity to each part, motion,
and figure; nevertheless, Nature being infinitely wise and knowing,
its infinite natural wisdom and knowledg is divided amongst those
infinite parts of the infinite body: and the two most intelligible
parts, as I said, are the sensitive and rational parts in Nature,
which are divided, being infinite, into every Figure or Creature; I
cannot say equally divided, no more, then I can say, all creatures are
of equal shapes, sizes, properties, strengths, quantities, qualities,
constitutions, semblances, appetites, passions, capacities, forms,
natures, and the like; for Nature delights in variety, as humane
sense and reason may well perceive: for seldom any two creatures are
just alike, although of one kind or sort, but every creature doth vary
more or less. Wherefore it is not probable, that the production or
generation of all or most Creatures, should be after one and the same
manner or way, for else all Creatures would be just alike without any
difference. But this is to be observed, that though Nature delights
in variety, yet she doth not delight in confusion, but, as it is the
propriety of Nature to work variously, so she works also wisely; which
is the reason, that the rational and sensitive parts of Nature, which
are the designing and architectonical parts, keep the species of every
kind of Creatures by the way of Translation in Generation, or natural
Production; for whatsoever is transferred, works according to the
nature of that figure or figures from whence it was transferred, But
mistake me not; for I do not mean always according to their exterior
Figure, but according to their interior Nature; for different motions
in one and the same parts of matter, make different figures, wherefore
much more in several parts of matter and changes of motion; But, as I
said, Translation is the chief means to keep or maintain the species
of every kind of Creatures, which Translation in natural production
or generation, is of the purest and subtilest substances, to wit, the
sensitive and rational, which are the designing and architectonical
parts of Nature. You may ask me, _Madam_, what this wise and ingenious
Matter is. I answer: It is so pure, subtil, and self-active, as our
humane shares of sense and reason cannot readily or perfectly perceive
it; for by that little part of knowledg that a humane creature hath, it
may more readily perceive the strong action then the purer substance;
for the strongest action of the purest substance is more perceivable
then the matter or substance it self; which is the cause, that most
men are apt to believe the motion, and to deny the matter, by reason
of its subtilty; for surely the sensitive and rational matter is so
pure and subtil, as not to be expressed by humane sense and reason.
As for the rational matter, it is so pure, fine, and subtil, that it
may be as far beyond lucent matter, as lucent matter is beyond gross
vapours, or thick clouds; and the sensitive matter seems not much less
pure: also there is very pure inanimate matter, but not subtil and
active of it self; for as there are degrees in the animate, so there
are also degrees in the inanimate matter; so that the purest degree
of inanimate matter comes next to the animate, not in motion, but in
the purity of its own degree; for it cannot change its nature so, as
to become animate, yet it may be so pure in its own nature, as not to
be perceptible by our grosser senses. But concerning the two degrees
of animate Matter, to wit, the sensitive and rational, I say that the
sensitive is much more acute then Vitriol, Aqua-fortis, Fire, or the
like; and the rational much more subtil and active then Quicksilver,
or Light, so as I cannot find a comparison fit to express them, onely
that this sensitive and rational self-moving Matter is the life and
soul of Nature; But by reason this Matter is not subject to our
gross senses, although our senses are subject to it, as being made,
subsisting and acting through the power of its actions, we are not
apt to believe it, no more then a simple Country-wench will believe,
that Air is a substance, if she neither hear, see, smell, taste, or
touch it, although Air touches and surrounds her: But yet the effects
of this animate matter prove that there is such a matter; onely, as I
said before, this self-moving matter causing a self-division as well
as a general action, is the cause of a self-obscurity, which obscurity
causes doubts, disputes, and inconstancies in humane opinions, although
not so much obscurity, as to make all Creatures blind-fold, for surely
there is no Creature but perceives more or less. But to conclude, The
Rational degree of Matter is the most intelligible, and the wisest part
of Nature, and the Sensitive is the most laborious and provident part
in Nature, both which are the Creators of all Creatures in Infinite
Matter; and if you intend to know more of this Rational and Sensitive
Matter, you may consult my Book of Philosophy, to which I refer you.
And so taking my leave for the present, I rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



II.


_MADAM,_

I understand by your last, that you have read the Book of that most
learned and famous Physician and Anatomist, Dr. _Harvey_, which treats
of Generation; and in the reading of it, you have mark'd several
scruples, which you have framed into several questions concerning that
subject, to which you desire my answer. Truly, _Madam_, I am loth to
imbarque my self in this difficult argument, not onely for the reasons
I have given you heretofore, but also that I do not find my self
able enough to give you such a satisfactory answer as perhaps you do
expect. But since your Commands are so powerful with me, that I can
hardly resist them, and your Nature so good that you easily pardon any
thing that is amiss, I will venture upon it according to the strength
of my Natural Reason, and endeavour to give you my opinion as well
and as clearly as I can. Your first question is; _Whether the action
of one or more producers be the onely cause of Natural Production
or Generation, without imparting or transferring any of their own
substance or Matter._ I answer: The sole co-action of the Producers may
make a change of exterior forms or figures, but not produce another
Creature; for if there were not substance or matter, as well as action,
both transferred together, there would not be new Creatures made out
of old Matter, but every production would require new Matter, which
is impossible, if there be but one Matter, and that infinite; and
certainly, humane sense and reason may well perceive, that there can be
but one Matter, for several kinds of Matter would make a confusion; and
thus if new Creatures were made onely by substanceless motion, it would
not onely be an infinite trouble to Nature, to create something out of
nothing perpetually, but, as I said, it would make a confusion amongst
all Nature's works, which are her several Parts or Creatures. But by
reason there is but one Matter, which is Infinite and Eternal, and this
Matter has self-motion in it, both Matter and Motion must of necessity
transmigrate, or be transferred together without any separation, as
being but one thing, to wit, Corporeal Motion. 'Tis true, one part of
animate or self-moving Matter, may without Translation move, or rather
occasion other parts to move; but one Creature cannot naturally produce
another without the transferring of its corporeal motions. But it is
well to be observed, that there is great difference between the actions
of Nature; for all actions are not generating, but some are patterning,
and some transforming, and the like; and as for the transforming
action, that may be without translation, as being nothing else but
a change of motions in one and the same part or parts of Matter, to
wit, when the same parts of Matter do change into several figures,
and return into the same figures again. Also the action of Patterning
is without Translation; for to pattern out, is nothing else but to
imitate, and to make a figure in its own substance or parts of Matter
like another figure. But in generation every producer doth transfer
both Matter and Motion, that is, Corporeal Motion into the produced;
and if there be more producers then one, they all do contribute to
the produced; and if one Creature produces many Creatures, those many
Creatures do partake more or less of their producer. But you may say,
If the producer transfers its own Matter, or rather its own corporeal
motions into the produced, many productions will soon dissolve the
producer, and he will become a sacrifice to his off-spring. I answer;
That doth not follow: for as one or more Creatures contribute to one
or more other Creatures, so other Creatures do contribute to them,
although not after one and the same manner or way, but after divers
manners or ways; but all manners and ways must be by translation to
repair and assist; for no Creature can subsist alone and of it self,
but all Creatures traffick and commerce from and to each other, and
must of necessity do so, since they are all parts of the same Matter:
Neither can Motion subsist without Matter, nor quit Matter, nor act
without Matter, no more, then an Artificer can work without materials,
and without self-motion Matter would be dead and useless; Wherefore
Matter and Motion must upon necessity not onely be inseparable, but
be one body, to wit, corporeal motion; which motion by dividing and
composing its several parts, and acting variously, is the cause of all
Production, Generation, Metamorphosing, or any other thing that is done
in Nature. But if, according to your _Author_, the sole action be the
cause of Generation without transferring of substance, then Matter is
useless, and of none or little effect; which, in my opinion, is not
probable.

Your second question is, _Whether the Production or Generation of
animals is as the Conceptions of the Brain, which the Learned say are
Immaterial?_ I answer: The Conceptions of the Brain, in my opinion,
are not Immaterial, but Corporeal; for though the corporeal motions
of the brain, or the matter of its conceptions, is invisible to
humane Creatures, and that when the brain is dissected, there is no
such matter found, yet that doth not prove, that there is no Matter,
because it is not so gross a substance as to be perceptible by our
exterior senses: Neither will your _Authors_ example hold, that as a
builder erects a house according to his conception in the brain, the
same happens in all other natural productions or generations; for, in
my opinion, the house is materially made in the brain, which is the
conception of the builder, although not of such gross materials, as
Stone, Brick, Wood, and the like, yet of such matter as is the Rational
Matter, that is, the house when it is conceived in the brain, is made
by the rational corporeal figurative motions of their own substance
or degree of Matter; But if all Animals should be produced by meer
fancies, and a Man and a Woman should beget by fancying themselves
together in copulation, then the produced would be a true Platonick
Child; But if a Woman being from her Husband should be so got with
Child, the question is, whether the Husband would own the Child; and
if amorous Lovers (which are more contagious for appetite and fancy
then Married persons) should produce Children by Immaterial contagions,
there would be more Children then Parents to own them.

Your third question is, _Whether Animals may not be produced, as many
Diseases are, by contagion?_ I answer: Although contagions may be made
at a distance, by perception; yet those diseases are not begotten
by immaterial motions, but by the rational and sensitive corporeal
motions, which work such diseases in the body of a Creature, by the
association of parts, like as the same disease is made in another body:
Neither are diseases always produced after one and the same manner, but
after divers manners; whereas animals are produced as animals, that
is, after one natural and proper way; for although all the effects in
particular be not alike, yet the general way or manner to produce those
effects is the same: As for example; there is no other way to produce
a fruitful Egg, but by a Cock and a Hen; But a Contagious disease, as
the small-Pox, or the like, may be produced by the way of Surfeits or
by Conceit, which may cause the sensitive corporeal parts, through the
irregular motions of the rational corporeal parts, to work and produce
such a disease, or any other ways. But neither a disease, nor no
creature else can be produced without matter, by substanceless motion;
for wheresoever is motion, there is also matter, matter and motion
being but one thing.

Your fourth question is, _Whether an Animal Creature is perfectly
shaped or formed at the first Conception?_ I answer: If the Creature
be composed of many and different parts, my opinion is, it cannot be.
You may say, That if it hath not all his parts produced at there will
be required many acts of generation to beget or produce every part,
otherwise the producers would not be the Parents of the produced in
whole, but in part. I answer: The Producer is the designer, architect,
and founder of the whole Creature produced; for the sensitive and
rational corporeal motions, which are transferred from the producer or
producers, joyn to build the produced like to the producer in specie,
but the transferred parts may be invisible and insensible to humane
Creatures, both through their purity and little quantity, until the
produced is framed to some visible degree; for a stately building may
proceed from a small beginning, neither can humane sense tell what
manner of building is designed at the first foundation. But you may
say, That many Eggs may be made by one act of the producers, to wit,
the Cock and the Hen, and those many Eggs may be laid at several
times, as also hatched at several times, and become Chickens at several
times. I answer; It may well and easily be so: for the rational and
sensitive parts or corporeal motions which were transferred in one act,
designed many produced through that one act; for those transferred
corporeal motions, although they have not a sufficient quantity of
themselves to make all the produced in their perfect shapes at once,
yet they are the chief designer, architect and founder of all that are
to be produced; for the corporeal motions which are transferred, joyn
with those they are transferred to, and being associates, work to one
design, the sensitive being the architect, the rational the designer,
which together with the inanimate parts of matter, can never want
materials, neither can the materials want labourers; for the degrees of
matter are inseparable, and do make but one body or substance. Again
you may say, That some parts of Matter may produce another Creature
not like to the producer in its species, as for example, Monsters.
I answer, That is possible to be done, but yet it is not usual; for
Monsters are not commonly born, but those corporeal motions which dwell
in one species, work according to the nature of the same species; and
when the parts of Matter are transferred from Creature to Creature,
that is, are separated from some parts, and joyned to other parts of
the same species, and the same nature; those transferred parts of
matter, although invisible in quantity, by reason of their purity and
subtilty, begin the work of the produced according to its natural
species, and the labourers in other parts of matter work to the same
end; just as it is in the artificial building of a house, where the
house is first designed by the Architect, or Master, and then the
labourers work not after their own fancy, (else it would not be the
same house that was designed, nor any uniformity in it) but according
to the architects or surveyors design; so those parts of matter or
corporeal motions that are transferred from the producer, are like the
architect, but the labourers or workmen are the assisting and adjoyning
parts of matter. But you will say, How comes it, that many creatures
may be made by one or two? I answer: As one owner or two partners may
be the cause of many buildings, so few or more transferred rational
and sensitive corporeal motions may make and produce as many creatures
as they can get materials and labourers; for if they get one, they
get the other, by reason the degrees of matter, _viz._ animate and
inanimate, are inseparably mixt, and make but one body or substance;
and the proof of it is, that all animals are not constant in the number
of their off-spring, but sometimes produce more, and sometimes fewer,
and sometimes their off-spring is less, and sometimes larger, according
to the quantity of matter. Again you may say, That in some Creatures
there is no passage to receive the transferred matter into the place
of the architecture. I answer: That all passages are not visible to
humane sense; and some humane Creatures have not a sufficient humane
reason to conceive, that most of Natures works are not so gross as
to be subject to their exterior senses; but as for such parts and
passages, whether exterior or interior, visible or invisible, as also
for copulation, conception, formation, nourishment, and the like in
Generation, I leave you to Physicians and Anatomists. And to conclude
this question, we may observe, that not any animal Creatures shape
dissolveth in one instant of time, but by degrees; why should we
believe then, that Animals are generated or produced in their perfect
shape in one instant of time, and by one act of Nature? But sense and
reason knows by observation, that an animal Creature requires more time
to be generated, then to be dissolved, like as an house is sooner and
with less pains pull'd down, then built up.

Your Fifth question is, _Whether Animals are not generated by the way
of Metamorphosing?_ To which I answer, That it is not possible that a
third Creature can be made without translation of corporeal motions;
and since Metamorphosing is onely a change of motions in the same parts
of Matter, without any translation of corporeal motions, no animal
Creature can be produced or generated by the way of Metamorphosing.

Your Sixth question is, _Whether a whole may be made out of a part?_ I
answer: There is no whole in Nature, except you will call Nature her
self a whole; for all Creatures are but parts of Infinite Matter.

Your Seventh question is, _Whether all Animals, as also Vegetables,
are made or generated by the way of Eggs?_ I have said heretofore,
That it is not probable, that different sorts, nay, different kinds
of Creatures, should all have but one manner or way of production;
for why should not Nature make different ways of productions, as well
as different Creatures? And as for Vegetables, if all their Seeds be
likened unto Eggs, then Eggs may very well be likened to Seeds; which
if so, then a Peas-cod is the Hen, and the Peas in the Cod is the
cluster of Eggs: the like of ears of Corn. And those animals that
produce but one creature or seed at a time, may be like the kernel
of a Nut, when the shell is broke, the creature comes forth. But how
this will agree with your _Author_, who says, that the creature in the
shell must make its own passage, I cannot tell; for if the Nut be not
broken by some external means or occasion, the kernel is not like to
get forth. And as for humane Eggs, I know not what to answer; for it is
said, that the first Woman was made of a mans ribb; but whether that
ribb was an egg, I cannot tell. And why may not Minerals and Elements
be produced by the way of Eggs as well as Vegetables and Animals? Nay,
why may not the whole World be likened unto an Egg? Which if so, the
two Poles are the two ends the Egg; and for the Elements, the Yolk is
the Fire, the White, the Water; the Film, the Air; and the Shell it
self will very well serve for the Earth: But then it must first be
broken, and pounded into one lump or solid mass, and so sink or swim
into the midst of the liquid parts, as to the Center; and as for the
several foetuses in this great Egg, they are the several Creatures in
it. Or it might be said, that the Chaos was an Egg, and the Universe,
the Chicken. But leaving this similizing, it is like, that some
studious Men may by long study upon one part of the body, conceive and
believe that all other parts are like that one part; like as those that
have gazed long upon the Sun, all they see for a time, are Suns to
them; or like as those which having heard much of Hobgoblins, all they
see are Hobgoblins, their fancies making such things. But, _Madam_, to
make a conclusion also of this question, I repeat what I said before,
that all Creatures have not one way of production; and as they have
not all one way of production, so they have neither one instant of
time either for perfection or dissolution, but their perfection and
dissolution is made by degrees.

Your Eighth question is, _Whether it may not be, that the sensitive and
rational corporeal motions in an Egg do pattern out the figure of the
Hen and Cock, whilest the Hen sits upon the Egg, and so bring forth
Chickens by the way of patterning?_ I answer: The action of patterning,
is not the action of Generation; for as I said heretofore, the actions
of Nature are different, and Generation must needs be performed by the
way of translation, which translation is not required in the action
of Patterning; but according as the Producers are, which transfer
their own matter into the produced, so is the produced concerning its
species; which is plainly proved by common examples; for if Pheasants,
or Turky, or Goose-eggs, be laid under an ordinary Hen, or an ordinary
Hens-egg be laid under a Pheasant, Turky, or Goose, the Chickens of
those Eggs will never be of any other species then of those that
produced the Egg; for an ordinary Hen, if she sit upon Pheasants,
Turky, or Goose-eggs, doth not hatch Chickens of her own species, but
the Chickens will be of the species either of the Pheasant, or Turky,
or Goose, which did at first produce the Egg; which proves, that in
Generation, or Natural production, there is not onely required the
action of the Producers, but also a Transferring of some of their own
parts to form the produced. But you may say, What doth the sitting Hen
contribute then to the production of the Chicken? I answer: The sitting
Hen doth onely assist the Egg in the production of the Chicken, as the
Ground doth the Seed.

Your Ninth question is, _Concerning the Soul of a particular Animal
Creature, as whether it be wholly of it self and subsists wholly in
and by it self?_ But you must give me leave first to ask you what Soul
you mean, whether the Divine, or the Natural Soul, for there is great
difference betwixt them, although not the least that ever I heard,
rightly examined and distinguished; and if you mean the Divine Soul,
I shall desire you to excuse me, for that belongs to Divines, and not
to Natural Philosophers; neither am I so presumptuous as to intrench
upon their sacred order. But as for the Natural Soul, the Learned have
divided it into three parts, to wit, the Vegetative, Sensitive, and
Rational Soul; and according to these three Souls, made three kinds
of lives, as the Vegetative, Sensitive, and Rational Life. But they
might as well say, there are infinite bodies, lives, and souls, as
three; for in Nature there is but one life, soul, and body, consisting
all of one Matter, which is corporeal Nature. But yet by reason this
life and soul is material, it is divided into numerous parts, which
make numerous lives and souls in every particular Creature; for each
particular part of the rational self-moving Matter, is each particular
soul in each particular Creature, but all those parts considered in
general, make but one soul of Nature; and as this self-moving Rational
Matter hath power to unite its parts, so it hath ability or power to
divide its united parts. And thus the rational soul of every particular
Creature is composed of parts, (I mean parts of a material substance;
for whatsoever is substanceless and incorporeal, belongs not to
Nature, but is Supernatural;) for by reason the Infinite and Onely
matter is by self-motion divided into self-parts, not any Creature can
have a soul without parts; neither can the souls of Creatures subsist
without commerce of other rational parts, no more then one body can
subsist without the assistance of other bodies; for all parts belong
to one body, which is Nature: nay, if any thing could subsist of it
self, it were a God, and not a Creature: Wherefore not any Creature
can challenge a soul absolutely to himself, unless Man, who hath a
divine soul, which no other Creature hath. But that which makes so many
confusions and disputes amongst learned men is, that they conceive,
first, there is no rational soul but onely in man; next, that this
rational soul in every man is individable. But if the rational soul is
material, as certainly to all sense and reason it is, then it must not
onely be in all material Creatures, but be dividable too; for all that
is material or corporeal hath parts, and is dividable, and therefore
there is no such thing in any one Creature as one intire soul; nay, we
might as well say, there is but one Creature in Nature, as say, there
is but one individable natural soul in one Creature.

Your Tenth question is, _Whether Souls are producible, or can be
produced?_ I answer: in my opinion, they are producible, by reason all
parts in Nature are so. But mistake me not; for I do not mean that any
one part is produced out of Nothing, or out of new matter; but one
Creature is produced by another, by the dividing and uniting, joyning
and disjoyning of the several parts of Matter, and not by substanceless
Motion out of new Matter. And because there is not any thing in
Nature, that has an absolute subsistence of it self, each Creature is a
producer, as well as a produced, in some kind or other; for no part of
Nature can subsist single, and without reference and assistance of each
other, or else every single part would not onely be a whole of it self,
but be as a God without controle; and though one part is not another
part, yet one part belongs to another part, and all parts to one whole,
and that whole to all the parts, which whole is one corporeal Nature.
And thus, as I said before, productions of one or more creatures, by
one or more producers, without matter, meerly by immaterial motions,
are impossible, to wit, that something should be made or produced
out of nothing; for if this were so, there would consequently be an
annihilation or turning into nothing, and those creatures, which
produce others by the way of immaterial motions, would rather be as a
God, then a part of Nature, or Natural Matter. Besides, it would be an
endless labour, and more trouble to create particular Creatures out
of nothing, then a World at once; whereas now it is easie for Nature
to create by production and transmigration; and therefore it is not
probable, that any one Creature hath a particular life, soul, or body
to it self, as subsisting by it self, and as it were precised from the
rest, having its own subsistence without the assistance of any other;
nor is it probable, that any one Creature is new, for all that is, was,
and shall be, till the Omnipotent God disposes Nature otherwise.

As for the rest of your questions, as whether the Sun be the cause of
all motions, and of all natural productions; and whether the life of a
Creature be onely in the blood, or whether it have its beginning from
the blood, or whether the blood be the chief architect of an animal, or
be the seat of the soul; sense and reason, in my opinion, doth plainly
contradict them; for concerning the blood, if it were the seat of the
Soul, then in the circulation of the blood, if the Soul hath a brain,
it would become very dizzie by its turning round; but perchance some
may think the Soul to be a Sun, and the Blood the Zodiack, and the body
the Globe of the Earth, which the Soul surrounds in such time as the
Blood is flowing about. And so leaving those similizing Fancies, I'le
add no more, but repeat what I said in the beginning, that I rely upon
the goodness of your Nature, from which I hope for pardon, if I have
not so exactly and solidly answered your desire; for the argument of
this discourse being so difficult, may easily lead me into an error,
which your better judgment will soon correct; and in so doing you will
add to those favours for which I am already,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships most obliged Friend_

_and humble Servant._



III.


_MADAM,_

You thought verily, I had mistaken my self in my last, concerning the
Rational Souls of every particular Creature, because I said, all
Creatures had numerous Souls; and not onely so, but every particular
Creature had numerous Souls. Truly, _Madam_, I did not mistake my self,
for I am of the same opinion still; for though there is but one Soul
in infinite Nature, yet that soul being dividable into parts, every
part is a soul in every single creature, were the parts no bigger
in quantity then an atome. But you ask whether Nature hath Infinite
souls? I answer: That Infinite Nature is but one Infinite body, divided
into Infinite parts, which we call Creatures; and therefore it may
as well be said, That Nature is composed of Infinite Creatures or
Parts, as she is divided into Infinite Creatures or Parts; for Nature
being Material, is dividable, and composable. The same may be said
of Nature's Soul, which is the Rational part of the onely infinite
Matter, as also of Nature's Life, which is the sensitive part of the
onely Infinite self-moving Matter; and of the Inanimate part of the
onely Infinite Matter, which I call the body for distinction sake,
as having no self-motion in its own nature, for Infinite Material
Nature hath an Infinite Material Soul, Life, and Body. But, _Madam_,
I desire you to observe what I said already, _viz._ that the parts
of Nature are as apt to divide, as to unite; for the chief actions
of Nature are to divide, and to unite; which division is the cause,
that it may well be said, every particular Creature hath numerous
souls; for every part of rational Matter is a particular Soul, and
every part of the sensitive Matter is a particular Life; all which,
mixed with the Inanimate Matter, though they be Infinite in parts, yet
they make but one Infinite whole, which is Infinite Nature; and thus
the Infinite division into Infinite parts is the cause, that every
particular Creature hath numerous Souls, and the transmigration of
parts from, and to parts, is the reason, that not any Creature can
challenge a single soul, or souls to it self; the same for life. But
most men are unwilling to believe, that Rational Souls are material,
and that this rational Matter is dividable in Nature; when as humane
sense and reason may well perceive, that Nature is active, and
full of variety; and action, and variety cannot be without motion,
division, and composition: but the reason that variety, division, and
composition, runs not into confusion, is, that first there is but
one kind of Matter; next, that the division and composition of parts
doth ballance each other into a union in the whole. But, to conclude,
those Creatures which have their rational parts most united, are the
wisest; and those that have their rational parts most divided, are the
wittiest; and those that have much of this rational matter, are much
knowing; and those which have less of this rational matter, are less
knowing; and there is no Creature that hath not some; for like as all
the parts of a humane body are indued with life, and soul; so are all
the parts of Infinite Nature; and though some parts of Matter are not
animate in themselves, yet there is no part that is not mixt with the
animate matter; so that all parts of Nature are moving, and moved.
And thus, hoping I have cleared my self in this point, to your better
understanding, I take my leave, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



IV.


_MADAM,_

In the Works of that most famous Philosopher and Mathematician of our
age _Gal._ which you thought worth my reading, I find, he discourses
much of upwards and downwards, backwards and forwards; but to tell
you really, I do not understand what he means by those words, for, in
my opinion, there is properly no such thing as upwards, downwards,
backwards, or forwards in Nature, for all this is nothing else but
natural corporeal motions, to which in respect of some particulars we
do attribute such or such names; for if we conceive a Circle, I pray
where is upwards and downwards, backwards and forwards? Certainly, it
is, in my opinion, just like that, they name Rest, Place, Space, Time,
&c. when as Nature her self knows of no such things, but all these are
onely the several and various motions of the onely Matter. You will
say, How can Rest be a motion? I answer: Rest is a word which expresses
rather mans ignorance then his knowledg; for when he sees, that a
particular Creature has not any external local motion perceptible by
his sight, he says it resteth, and this rest he calls a cessation from
motion, when as yet there is no such thing as cessation from motion
in Nature; for motion is the action of natural Matter, and its Nature
is to move perpetually; so that it is more probable for motion to be
annihilated, then to cease. But you may say, It is a cessation from
some particular motion. I answer: You may rather call it an alteration
of a particular motion, then a cessation; for though a particular
motion doth not move in that same manner as it did before, nevertheless
it is still there, and not onely there, but still moving; onely it is
not moving after the same manner as it did move heretofore, but has
changed from such a kind of motion to another kind of motion, and being
still moving it cannot be said to cease: Wherefore what is commonly
called cessation from motion, is onely a change of some particular
motion, and is a mistake of change for rest. Next, I find in the same
_Author_ a long discourse of circular and strait motions; to wit, _That
they are simple motions, and that all others are composed out of them,
and are mixt motions; Also, That the Circular Motion is perfect, and
the Right imperfect; and that all the parts of the world, if moveable
of their own nature, it is impossible, that their motions should be
Right, or any other then Circular: That a Circular motion is never to
be gotten naturally, without a preceding right motion: That a Right
motion cannot naturally be perpetual: That a Right motion is impossible
in the World well ordered:_ and the like. First, I cannot conceive why
natural Matter should use the Circle-figure more then any other in
the motions of her Creatures; for Nature, which is Infinite Matter,
is not bound to one particular motion, or to move in a Circle more
then any other figure, but she moves more variously then any one part
of hers can conceive; Wherefore it is not requisite that the natural
motions of natural bodies should be onely Circular. Next, I do not
understand, why a Circular Motion cannot be gotten naturally without
a precedent right motion; for, in my opinion, corporeal motions may
be round or circular, without being or moving straight before; and if
a straight line doth make a circle, then an imperfect figure makes
a perfect; but, in my opinion, a circle may as well make a straight
line, as a strait line a circle; except it be like a Gordian knot,
that it cannot be dissolved, or that Nature may make some corporeal
motions as constant as she makes others inconstant, for her motions
are not alike in continuance and alteration. And as for right motion,
that naturally it cannot be perpetual; my opinion is, that it cannot
be, if Nature be finite; but if Nature be infinite, it may be: But the
circular motion is more proper for a finite, then an infinite, because
a circle-figure is perfect and circumscribed, and a straight line is
infinite, or at least producible in infinite; and there may be other
worlds in infinite Nature, besides these round Globes perceptible by
our sight, which may have other figures; for though it be proper for
Globes or Spherical bodies to move round, yet that doth not prove, that
Infinite Matter moves round, or that all worlds must be of a Globous
figure; for there may be as different Worlds, as other Creatures. He
says, That a Right motion is impossible in the World well ordered; But
I cannot conceive a Right motion to be less orderly then a Circular
in Nature, except it be in some Particulars; but oftentimes that,
which is well ordered in some cases, seems to some mens understandings
and perceptions ill ordered in other cases; for man, as a part, most
commonly considers but the Particulars, not the Generals, like as every
one in a Commonwealth considers more himself and his Family, then the
Publick. Lastly, Concerning the simplicity of Motions, as that onely
circular and straight motions are simple motions, because they are made
by simple Lines; I know not what they mean by simple Lines; for the
same Lines which make straight and circular figures, may make as well
other figures as those; but, in my opinion, all motions may be called
simple, in regard of their own nature; for they are nothing else but
the sensitive and rational part of Matter, which in its own nature is
pure, and simple, and moves according to the Nature of each Figure,
either swiftly or slowly, or in this or that sort of motion; but the
most simple, purest and subtillest part is the rational part of matter,
which though it be mixed with the sensitive and inanimate in one body,
yet it can and doth move figuratively in its own matter, without the
help or assistance of any other. But I desire you to remember, _Madam_,
that in the compositions and divisions of the parts of Nature, there
is as much unity and agreement as there is discord and disagreement;
for in Infinite, there is no such thing, as most, and least; neither is
there any such thing as more perfect, or less perfect in Matter. And
as for Irregularities, properly there is none in Nature, for Nature is
Regular; but that, which Man (who is but a small part of Nature, and
therefore but partly knowing) names Irregularities, or Imperfections,
is onely a change and alteration of motions; for a part can know the
variety of motions in Nature no more, then Finite can know Infinite, or
the bare exterior shape and figure of a mans body can know the whole
body, or the head can know the mind; for Infinite natural knowledg is
incorporeal; and being corporeal, it is dividable; and being dividable,
it cannot be confined to one part onely; for there is no such thing as
an absolute determination or subsistence in parts without relation or
dependance upon one another. And since Matter is Infinite, and acts
wisely, and all for the best, it may be as well for the best of Nature,
when parts are divided antipathetically, as when they are united
sympathetically: Also Matter being Infinite, it cannot be perfect,
neither can a part be called perfect, as being a part. But mistake me
not, _Madam;_ for when I say, there is no perfection in Nature, as I do
in my _Philosophical Opinions_,[1] I mean by Perfection, a finiteness,
absoluteness, or compleatness of figure; and in this sense I say Nature
has no perfection by reason it is Infinite; but yet I do not deny, but
that there is a perfection in the nature or essence of Infinite Matter;
for Matter is perfect Matter; that is, pure and simple in its own
substance or nature, as meer Matter, without any mixture or addition of
some thing that is not Matter, or that is between Matter and no Matter;
and material motions are perfect motions although Infinite: just as
a line may be called a perfect line, although it be endless, and
Gold, or other Mettal, may be called perfect Gold, or perfect Metal,
although it be but apart, And thus it may be said of Infinite Nature,
or Infinite Matter, without any contradiction, that it is both perfect,
and not perfect; perfect in its nature or substance, not perfect in its
exterior figure. But you may say, If Infinite Matter be not perfect,
it is imperfect, and what is imperfect, wants something. I answer,
That doth not follow: for we cannot say, that what is not perfect, must
of necessity be imperfect, because there is something else, which it
may be, to wit, Infinite; for as imperfection is beneath perfection,
so perfection is beneath Infinite; and though Infinite Matter be not
perfect in its figure, yet it is not imperfect, but Infinite; for
Perfection and Imperfection belongs onely to Particulars, and not to
Infinite. And thus much for the present. I conclude, and rest,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_most obliged Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] _Part._ 1. _c._ 14.



V.


_MADAM,_

The _Author_, mentioned in my former Letter, says, _That Quietness is
the degree of Infinite slowness, and that a moveable body passing
from quietness, passes through all the degrees of slowness without
staying in any._ But I cannot conceive that all the Parts of Matter
should be necessitated to move by degrees; for though there be degrees
in Nature, yet Nature doth not in all her actions move by degrees. You
may say, for example, from one to twenty, there are eighteen degrees
between One, and Twenty; and all these degrees are included in the
last degree, which is twenty. I answer; That may be: but yet there
is no progress made through all those degrees; for when a body doth
move strong at one time, and the next time after moves weak; I cannot
conceive how any degrees should really be made between. You may say, by
Imagination. But this Imagination of degrees, is like the conception of
Space and Place, when as yet there is no such thing as Place or Space
by it self; for all is but one body, and Motion is the action of this
same body, which is corporeal Nature; and because a particular body
can and doth move after various manners, according to the change of
its corporeal motion, this variety of motions man call's Place, Space,
Time, Degrees, &c. considering them by themselves, and giving them
peculiar names, as if they could be parted from body, or at least be
conceived without body; for the Conception or Imagination it self is
corporeal, and so are they nothing else but corporeal motions. But it
seems as if this same _Author_ conceived also motion to be a thing by
it self, and that motion begets motion, when he says, That a body by
moving grows stronger in motion by degrees, when as yet the strength
was in the matter of the body eternally; for Nature was always a grave
Matron, never a sucking Infant: and though parts by dissolving and
composing may lose and get acquaintance of each other, yet no part
can be otherwise in its nature, then ever it was; Wherefore change of
corporeal motions is not losing nor getting strength or swiftness; for
Nature doth not lose force, although she doth not use force in all
her various actions; neither can any natural body get more strength
than by nature it hath, although it may get the assistance of other
bodies joyned to it. But swiftness and slowness are according to
the several figurative actions of self-moving matter; which several
actions or motions of Nature, and their alterations, cannot be found
out by any particular Creature: as for example, the motions of Lead,
and the motions of Wood, unless Man knew their several causes; for
Wood, in some cases, may move slower then Lead; and Lead, in other
cases, slower then Wood. Again: the same _Author_ says, _That an heavy
moveable body descending, gets force enough to bring it back again to
as much height._ But I think, it might as well be said, That a Man
walking a mile, gets as much strength as to walk back that mile; when
'tis likely, that having walked ten miles, he may not have so much
strength as to walk back again one mile; neither is he necessitated to
walk back, except some other more powerful body do force him back: for
though Nature is self-moving, yet every part has not an absolute power,
for many parts may over-power fewer; also several corporeal motions may
cross and oppose as well as assist each other; for if there were not
opposition, as well as agreement and assistance amongst Nature's parts,
there would not be such variety in Nature as there is. Moreover, he
makes mention of a _Line, with a weight hung to its end, which being
removed from the perpendicular, presently falls to the same again._
To which, I answer: That it is the appetite and desire of the Line,
not to move by constraint, or any forced exterior motion; but that
which forces the Line to move from the Perpendicular, doth not give it
motion, but is onely an occasion that it moves in such a way; neither
doth the line get that motion from any other exterior body, but it
is the lines own motion; for if the motion of the hand, or any other
exterior body, should give the line that motion, I pray, from which
doth it receive the motion to tend to its former state? Wherefore, when
the Line moves backwards or forwards, it is not, that the Line gets
what it had not before, that is, a new corporeal motion, but it uses
its own motion; onely, as I said, that exterior body is the occasion
that it moves after such a manner or way, and therefore this motion
of the line, although it is the lines own motion, yet in respect of
the exterior body that causes it to move that way, it may be called a
forced, or rather an occasioned motion. And thus no body can get motion
from another body, except it get matter too; for all that motion that a
body has, proceeds from the self-moving part of matter, and motion and
matter are but one thing; neither is there any inanimate part of matter
in Nature, which is not co-mixed with the animate, and consequently,
there is no part which is not moving, or moved; the Animate part of
matter is the onely self-moving part, and the Inanimate the moved:
not that the animate matter doth give away its own motion to the
inanimate, and that the inanimate becomes self-moving; but the animate,
by reason of the close conjunction and commixture, works together with
the inanimate, or causes the inanimate to work with it; and thus the
inanimate remains as simple in its own nature, as the animate doth in
its nature, although they are mixt; for those mixtures do not alter the
simplicity of each others Nature. But having discoursed of this subject
in my former Letters, I take my leave, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



VI.


_MADAM,_

It seems, my former Letter concerning Motion, has given you occasion to
propound this following question to me, to wit, _When I throw a bowl,
or strike a ball with my hand; whether the motion, by which the bowl
or ball is moved, be the hands, or the balls own motion? or whether
it be transferred out of my hand into the ball?_ To which I return
this short answer: That the motion by which (for example) the bowl is
moved, is the bowls own motion, and not the hands that threw it: for
the hand cannot transfer its own motion, which hath a material being,
out of it self into the bowl, or any other thing it handles, touches,
or moves; or else if it did, the hand would in a short time become weak
and useless, by losing so much substance, unless new motions were as
fast created, as expended. You'll say, perhaps, that the hand and the
bowl may exchange motions, as that the bowls own motion doth enter
into the hand, and supply that motion which went out of the hand into
the bowl, by a close joyning or touch, for in all things moving and
moved, must be a joyning of the mover to the moved, either immediate,
or by the means of another body. I answer: That this is more probable,
then that the hand should give out, or impart motion to the bowl, and
receive none from the bowl; but by reason motion cannot be transferred
without matter, as being both inseparably united, and but one thing;
I cannot think it probable, that any of the animate or self-moving
matter in the hand, quits the hand, and enters into the bowl; nor
that the animate matter, which is in the bowl, leaves the bowl, and
enters into the hand, because that self-moving substance is not readily
prepared for so sudden a Translation or Transmigration. You may say,
It may as easily be done as food is received into an animal body and
excrement discharged, or as air is taken in, and breath sent out, by
the way of respiration; and that all Creatures are not onely produced
from each other, but do subsist by each other, and act by each others
assistance. I answer: It is very true, that all Creatures have more
power and strength by a joyned assistance, then if every part were
single, and subsisted of it self. But as some parts do assist each
other, so on the other side, some parts do resist each other; for
though there be a unity in the nature of Infinite Matter, yet there are
divisions also in the Infinite parts of Infinite Matter, which causes
Antipathy as much as Sympathy; but they being equal in assistance as
well as in resistance, it causes a conformity in the whole nature of
Infinite Matter; for if there were not contrary, or rather, I may
say, different effects proceeding from the onely cause, which is the
onely matter, there could not possibly be any, or at least, so much
variety in Nature, as humane sense and reason perceives there is.
But to return to our first argument: You may say, that motion may be
transferred out of one body into another, without transferring any
of the Matter. I answer: That is impossible, unless motion were that
which some call No-thing, but how No-thing can be transferred, I cannot
imagine: Indeed no sense and reason in Nature can conceive that which
is No-thing; for how should it conceive that which is not in Nature
to be found. You'll say, perhaps, It is a substanceless thing, or an
incorporeal, immaterial being or form. I answer: In my opinion, it is
a meer contradiction, to say, a substanceless thing, form, or being,
for surely in Nature it cannot be. But if it be not possible that
motion can be divided from matter, you may say, that body from whence
the motion is transferred, would become less in bulk and weight, and
weaker with every act of motion; and those bodies into which corporeal
motion or self-moving matter was received, would grow bigger, heavier,
and stronger. To which, I answer: That this is the reason, which denies
that there can be a translation of motion out of the moving body into
the moved; for questionless, the one would grow less, and the other
bigger, that by loosing so much substance, this by receiving. Nay if it
were possible, as it is not, that motion could be transferred without
matter, the body out of which it goes, would nevertheless grow weaker;
for the strength lies in the motion, unless you believe, this motion
which is transferred to have been useless in the mover, and onely
useful to the moved; or else it would be superfluous in the moved,
except you say, it became to be annihilated after it was transferr'd
and had done its effect; but if so, then there would be a perpetual and
infinite creation and annihilation of substanceless motion, and how
there could be a creation and annihilation of nothing, my reason cannot
conceive, neither is it possible, unless Nature had more power then
God, to create Nothing, and to annihilate Nothing. The truth is, it is
more probable for sense and reason to believe a Creation of Something
out of Nothing, then a Creation of Nothing out of Nothing. Wherefore
it cannot in sense and reason be, that the motion of the hand is
transferr'd into the bowl. But yet I do not say, that the motion of the
hand doth not contribute to the motion of the bowl; for though the bowl
hath its own natural motion in itself, (for Nature and her creatures
know of no rest, but are in a perpetual motion, though not always
exterior and local, yet they have their proper and certain motions,
which are not so easily perceived by our grosser senses) nevertheless
the motion of the bowl would not move by such an exterior local motion,
did not the motion of the hand, or any other exterior moving body give
it occasion to move that way; Wherefore the motion of the hand may
very well be said to be the cause of that exterior local motion of the
bowl, but not to be the same motion by which the bowl moves. Neither
is it requisite, that the hand should quit its own motion, because it
uses it in stirring up, or putting on the motion of the bowl; for it
is one thing to use, and another to quit; as for example, it is one
thing to offer his life for his friends service, another to imploy it,
and another to quit or lose it. But, _Madam_, there may be infinite
questions or exceptions, and infinite answers made upon one truth; but
the wisest and most probable way is, to rely upon sense and reason,
and not to trouble the mind, thoughts, and actions of life, with
improbabilities, or rather impossibilities, which sense and reason
knows not of, nor cannot conceive. You may say, A Man hath sometimes
improbable, or impossible Fancies, Imaginations, or Chymæra's, in
his mind, which are No-things. I answer, That those Fancies and
Imaginations are not No-things, but as perfectly imbodied as any other
Creatures; but by reason, they are not so grossly imbodied, as those
creatures that are composed of more sensitive and inanimate matter, man
thinks or believes them to be no bodies; but were they substanceless
figures, he could not have them in his mind or thoughts: The truth is,
the purity of reason is not so perspicuous and plain to sense, as sense
is to reason, the sensitive matter being a grosser substance then the
rational. And thus, _Madam_, I have answered your proposed question,
according to the ability of my Reason, which I leave to your better
examination, and rest in the mean while,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



VII.


_MADAM,_

Having made some mention in my former Letter of the Receiving of Food,
and discharging of Excrements, as also of Respiration, which consists
in the sucking in of air, and sending out of breath in an animal body;
you desire to know, _Whether Respiration be common to all animal
Creatures?_ Truly, I have not the experience, as to tell you really,
whether all animals respire, or not; for my life being, for the most
part, solitary and contemplative, but not active, I please my self
more with the motions of my thoughts, then of my senses; and therefore
I shall give you an answer according to the conceivement of my reason
onely, which is, That I believe, all animals require Respiration; not
onely those, which live in the air, but those also, which live in
waters, and within the earth; but they do not respire all after one
and the same manner; for the matter which they imbreath, is not every
where the same, nor have they all the same organs, or parts, nor the
same motions. As for example: Some Creatures require a more thin and
rarer substance for their imbreathing or inspiring, then others, and
some a more thick and grosser substance then others, according to
their several Natures; for as there are several kinds of Creatures,
according to their several habitations or places they live in, so they
have each a distinct and several sort of matter or substance for their
inspiration. As for example: Some live in the Air, some upon the face
of the Earth, some in the bowels Earth, and some in Waters. There is
some report of a Salamander, who lives in the Fire; but it being not
certainly known, deserves not our speculation. And, as in my opinion,
all animal Creatures require Respiration, so I do verily believe, that
also all other kinds of Creatures, besides animals, have some certain
manner of imbreathing and transpiring, _viz._ Vegetables, Minerals,
and Elements, although not after the same way as Animals, yet in a
way peculiar and proper to the nature of their own kind. For example:
Take away the earth from Vegetables, and they will die, as being, in
my opinion, stifled or smothered, in the same manner, as when the Air
is taken away from some Animals. Also, take Minerals out of the bowels
of the Earth, and though we cannot say, they die, or are dead, because
we have not as yet found out the alterative motions of Minerals, as
well as of Vegetables, or Animals, yet we know that they are dead from
production and increase, for not any Metal increases being out of the
Earth. And as for Elements, it is manifest that Fire will die for want
of vent; but the rest of the Elements, if we could come to know the
matter, manner, and ways of their Vital Breathing, we might kill or
revive them as we do Fire. And therefore all Creatures, to my Reason,
require a certain matter and manner of inspiration and expiration,
which is nothing else but an adjoyning and disjoyning of parts to and
from parts; for not any natural part or creature can subsist single,
and by it self, but requires assistance from others, as this, and the
rest of my opinions in Natural Philosophy, desire the assistance of
your favour, or else they will die, to the grief of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



VIII.


_MADAM,_

Th'other day I met with the Work of that Learned _Author_ Dr. _Ch._
which treats of Natural Philosophy; and amongst the rest, in the
Chapter of Place, I found that he blames _Aristotle_ for saying, there
are none but corporeal dimensions, Length, Breadth, and Depth in
Nature, making besides these corporeal, other incorporeal dimensions
which he attributes to _Vacuum_. Truly, _Madam_, an incorporeal
dimension or extension, seems, in my opinion, a meer contradiction; for
I cannot conceive how nothing can have a dimension or extension, having
nothing to be extended or measured. His words are these: _Imagine we
therefore, that God should please to annihilate the whole stock or
mass of Elements, and all concretions resulting therefrom, that is,
all corporeal substances now contained within the ambit or concave
of the lowest Heaven, or Lunar sphear; and having thus imagined, can
we conceive that all the vast space or region circumscribed by the
concave superfice of the Lunar sphere, would not remain the same in all
its dimensions, after as before the reduction of all bodies included
therein to nothing?_ To which, I answer: That, in my opinion, he makes
Nature Supernatural; for although God's Power may make Vacuum, yet
Nature cannot; for God's and Nature's Power are not to be compared,
neither is God's invisible Power perceptible by Natures parts; but
according to Natural Perception, it is impossible to conceive a Vacuum,
for we cannot imagine a Vacuum, but we must think of a body, as your
_Author_ of the Circle of the Moon; neither could he think of space
but from one side of the Circle to the other, so that in his mind he
brings two sides together, and yet will have them distant; but the
motions of his thoughts being subtiler and swifter then his senses,
skip from side to side without touching the middle parts, like as a
Squirrel from bough to bough, or an Ape from one table to another;
without touching the ground, onely cutting the air. Next, he says,
That an absolute Vacuum, is neither an Accident, nor a Body, nor yet
Nothing, but Something, because it has a being; which opinion seems to
me like that of the divine Soul; but I suppose Vacuum is not the divine
Soul, nor the divine Soul, Vacuum; or else it could not be sensible
of the blessed happiness in Heaven, or the Torments in Hell. Again
he says, _Let us screw our supposition one pin higher, and farther
imagine, that God, after the annihilation of this vast machine, the
Universe, should create another in all respects equal to this, and
in the same part of space wherein this now consists: First, we must
conceive, that as the spaces were immense before God created the world,
so also must they eternally persist of infinite extent, if he shall
please at any time to destroy it; next, that these immense spaces are
absolutely immoveable._ By this opinion, it seems, that Gods Power
cannot so easily make or annihilate Vacuum, as a substance; because he
believes it to be before all Matter, and to remain after all Matter,
which is to be eternal; but I cannot conceive, why Matter, or fulness
of body, should not as well be Infinite and Eternal, as his Conceived
Vacuum; for if Vacuum can have an eternal and infinite being, why may
not fulness of body, or Matter? But he calls Vacuum Immovable, which
in my opinion is to make it a God; for God is onely Immoveable and
Unalterable, and this is more Glorious then to be dependant upon God;
wherefore to believe Matter to be Eternal, but yet dependent upon
God, is a more humble opinion, then his opinion of Vacuum; for if
Vacuum be not created, and shall not be annihilated, but is Uncreated,
Immaterial, Immoveable, Infinite, and Eternal, it is a God; but if it
be created, God being not a Creator of Nothing, nor an annihilator of
Nothing, but of Something, he cannot be a Creator of Vacuum; for Vacuum
is a pure Nothing. But leaving Nothing to those that can make something
of it, I will add no more, but rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



IX.


_MADAM,_

That Learned _Author_, of whom I made mention in my last, is pleased to
say in his Chapter of Time, that Time is the _Twin-brother to Space_;
but if Space be as much as Vacuum, then I say, they are Twin-nothings;
for there can be no such thing as an empty or immaterial space, but
that which man calls space, is onely a distance betwixt several
corporeal parts, and time is onely the variation of corporeal motions;
for were there no body, there could not be any space, and were there no
corporeal motion, there could not be any time. As for Time, considered
in General, it is nothing else but the corporeal motions in Nature, and
Particular times are the Particular corporeal motions; but Duration is
onely a continuance, or continued subsistence of the same parts, caused
by the consistent motions of those parts; Neither are Time, Duration,
Place, Space, Magnitude, &c. dependents upon corporeal motions, but
they are all one and the same thing; Neither was Time before, nor can
be after corporeal motion, for none can be without the other, being all
one: And as for Eternity, it is one fixed instant, without a flux, or
motion. Concerning his argument of Divisibility of Parts, my opinion
is, That there is no Part in Nature Individable, no not that so small a
part, which the Epicureans name an Atome; neither is Matter separable
from Matter, nor Parts from Parts in General, but onely in Particulars;
for though parts can be separated from parts, by self-motion, yet upon
necessity they must joyn to parts, so as there can never be a single
part by it self. But hereof, as also of Place, Space, Time, Motion,
Figure, Magnitude, &c. I have sufficiently discoursed in my former
Letters, as also in my Book of Philosophy; and as for my opinion of
Atoms, their figures and motions, (if any such things there be) I will
refer you to my Book of Poems, out of which give me leave to repeat
these following lines, containing the ground of my opinion of Atomes:[1]


  _All Creatures, howsoe're they may be nam'd,
  Are of_ long, square, flat, _or_ sharp _Atoms fram'd._

  _Thus several figures several tempers make,
  But what is mixt, doth of the four partake._

  _The onely cause, why things do live and die,
  'S according as the mixed Atomes lie._

    _Thus life, and death, and young, and old,
    Are as the several Atoms hold:
    Wit, understanding in the brain
    Are as the several atomes reign:_
    _And dispositions, good, or ill,
    Are as the several atomes still;
    And every Passion, which doth rise,
    Is as each several atome lies.
    Thus sickness, health, and peace, and war,
    Are as the several atomes are._

If you desire to know more, you may read my mentioned Book of Poems
whose first Edition was printed in the year, 1653. And so taking my
leave of you, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._

[1] _Pag._ 7. in the second Impression. _Pag._ 9. _Pag._ 22. _Pag._ 24.



X.


_MADAM,_

I received the Book of your new _Author_ that treats of Natural
Philosophy, which I perceive is but lately come forth; but although
it be new, yet there are no new opinions in it; for the _Author_ doth
follow the opinions of some old Philosophers, and argues after the
accustomed Scholastical way, with hard, intricate, and nonsensical
words: Wherefore I shall not take so much pains as to read it quite
over, but onely pick out here and there some few discourses, which I
shall think most convenient for the clearing of my own opinion; in
the number of which, is, first, that of Matter, whereof the _Author_
is pleased to proclaim the opinion that holds Matter to be Infinite,
not onely absurd, but also impious. Truly, _Madam_, it is easily
said, but hardly proved; and not to trouble you with unnecessary
repetitions, I hope you do remember as yet what I have written to you
in the beginning concerning the infiniteness of Nature, or natural
Matter, where I have proved that it implies no impiety, absurdity, or
contradiction at all, to believe that Matter is Infinite; for your
_Authors_ argument, concluding from the finiteness of particular
Creatures to Nature her self, is of no force; for though no part of
Nature is Infinite in bulk, figure, or quantity, nevertheless, all the
parts of Infinite Nature are Infinite in number, which infinite number
of parts must needs make up one Infinite body in bulk, or quantity;
for as a finite body or substance is dividable into finite parts, so
an Infinite body, as Nature, or natural Matter, must of necessity be
dividable into infinite parts in number, and yet each part must also
be finite in its exterior figure, as I have proved in the beginning
by the example of a heap of grains of corn. Certainly, _Madam_, I see
no reason, but since, according to your _Author_, God, as the prime
Cause, Agent, and Producer of all things, and the action by which he
produced all things, is Infinite; the Matter out of which he produced
all particular Creatures may be Infinite also. Neither doth it, to my
sense and reason, imply any contradiction or impiety; for it derogates
nothing from the Glory and Omnipotency of God, but God is still the
God of Nature, and Nature is his Servant, although Infinite, depending
wholly upon the will and pleasure of the All-powerful God: Neither
do these two Infinites obstruct each other; for Nature is corporeal,
and God is a supernatural and spiritual Infinite Being, and although
Nature has an Infinite power, yet she has but an Infinite Natural
power, whereas Gods Omnipotency is infinitely extended beyond Nature.
But your _Author_ is pleased to refute that argument, which concludes
from the effect to the cause, and proves Matter to be infinite, because
God as the Cause is Infinite, saying, that this Rule doth onely hold
in Univocal things, (by which, I suppose, he understands things of
the same kind and nature) and not in opposites. Truly, _Madam_, by
this he limits God's power, as if God were not able to work beyond
Nature, and Natural Reason or Understanding; and measures Gods actions
according to the rules of Logick; which whether it be not more impious,
you may judg your self. And as for opposites, God and Nature are not
opposites, except you will call opposites those which bear a certain
relation to one another, as a Cause, and its Effect; a Parent, and a
Child; a Master, and a Servant; and the like. Nay, I wonder how your
_Author_ can limit Gods action, when as he confesses himself, that the
Creation of the World is an Infinite action. God acted finitely, says
he, by an Infinite action; which, in my opinion, is meer non-sense, and
as much as to say, a man can act weakly by a strong action, basely by
an honest action, cowardly by a stout action. The truth is, God being
Infinite, cannot work finitely; for, as his Essence, so his Actions
cannot have any limitation, and therefore it is most probable, that
God made Nature Infinite; for though each part of Nature is finite
in its own figure, yet considered in general, they are Infinite, as
well in number, as duration, except God be pleased to destroy them;
nay, every particular may in a certain sense be said Infinite, to
wit, Infinite in time or duration; for if Nature be Infinite and
Eternal, and there be no annihilation or perishing in Nature, but a
perpetual successive change and alteration of natural figures, then
no part of Nature can perish or be annihilated; and if no part of
Nature perishes, then it lasts infinitely in Nature, that is, in the
substance of natural Matter; for though the corporeal motions, which
make the figures, do change, yet the ground of the figure, which is
natural matter, never changes. The same may be said of corporeal
motions: for though motions change and vary infinite ways, yet none is
lost in Nature, but some motions are repeated again: As for example;
the natural motions in an Animal Creature, although they are altered
in the dissolution of the figure, yet they may be repeated again by
piece-meals in other Creatures; like as a Commonwealth, or united body
in society, if it should be dissolved or dispersed, the particulars
which did constitute this Commonwealth or society, may joyn to the
making of another society; and thus the natural motions of a body do
not perish when the figure of the body dissolves, but joyn with other
motions to the forming and producing of some other figures. But to
return to your _Author_. I perceive his discourse is grounded upon a
false supposition, which appears by his way of arguing from the course
of the Starrs and Planets, to prove the finiteness of Nature; for by
reason the Stars and Planets rowl about, and turn to the same point
again, each within a certain compass of time, he concludes Nature or
Natural Matter to be finite too. And so he takes a part for the whole,
to wit, this visible World for all Nature, when as this World is
onely a part of Nature, or Natural Matter, and there may be more, and
Infinite worlds besides; Wherefore his conclusion must needs be false,
since it is built upon a false ground. Moreover, he is as much against
the Eternity of Matter, as he is against Infiniteness; concluding
likewise from the parts to the whole; For, _says he_, since the parts
of Nature are subject to a beginning and ending, the whole must be
so too. But he is much mistaken, when he attributes a beginning and
ending to parts, for there is no such thing as a beginning and ending
in Nature, neither in the whole, nor in the parts, by reason there is
no new creation or production of Creatures out of new Matter, nor any
total destruction or annihilation of any part in Nature, but onely a
change, alteration and transmigration of one figure into another; which
change and alteration proves rather the contrary, to wit, that Matter
is Eternal and Incorruptible; for if particular figures change, they
must of necessity change in the Infinite Matter, which it self, and
in its nature, is not subject to any change or alteration: besides,
though particulars have a finite and limited figure, and do change,
yet their species do not; for Mankind never changes, nor ceases to be,
though _Peter_ and _Paul_ die, or rather their figures dissolve and
divide; for to die is nothing else, but that the parts of that figure
divide and unite into some other figures by the change of motion in
those parts. Concerning the Inanimate Matter, which of it self is a
dead, dull, and idle matter, your _Author_ denies it to be a co-agent
or assistant to the animate matter: For, says he, how can dead and idle
things act? To which, I answer: That your _Author_ being, or pretending
to be a Philosopher, should consider that there is difference betwixt a
Principal and Instrumental cause or agent; and although this inanimate,
or dull matter, doth not act of it self as a principal agent, yet it
can and doth act as an Instrument, according as it is imploy'd by the
animate matter: for by reason there is so close a conjunction and
commixture of animate and inanimate Matter in Nature, as they do make
but one body, it is impossible that the animate part of matter should
move without the inanimate; not that the inanimate hath motion in her
self, but the animate bears up the inanimate in the action of her own
substance, and makes the inanimate work, act, and move with her, by
reason of the aforesaid union and commixture. Lastly, your _Author_
speaks much of Minima's, _viz._ That all things may be resolved into
their minima's, and what is beyond them, is nothing, and that there
is one maximum, or biggest, which is the world, and what is beyond
that, is Infinite. Truly, _Madam_, I must ingeniously confess, I am
not so high learned, as to penetrate into the true sense of these
words; for he says, they are both divisible, and indivisible, and yet
no atomes, which surpasses my Understanding; for there is no such
thing, as biggest and smallest in Nature, or in the Infinite matter;
for who can know how far this World goes, or what is beyond it? There
may be Infinite Worlds, as I said before, for ought we know; for God
and Nature cannot be comprehended, nor their works measured, if we
cannot find out the nature of particular things, which are subject
to our exterior senses, how shall we be able to judg of things not
subject to our senses. But your _Author_ doth speak so presumptuously
of Gods Actions, Designs, Decrees, Laws, Attributes, Power, and secret
Counsels, and describes the manner, how God created all things, and the
mixture of the Elements to an hair, as if he had been Gods Counsellor
and assistant in the work of Creation; which whether it be not more
impiety, then to say, Matter is Infinite, I'le let others judg.
Neither do I think this expression to be against the holy Scripture;
for though I speak as a natural Philosopher, and am unwilling to cite
the Scripture, which onely treats of things belonging to Faith, and
not to Reason; yet I think there is not any passage which plainly
denies Matter to be Infinite, and Eternal, unless it be drawn by force
to that sense: _Solomon_ says, _That there is not any thing new_:
and in another place it is said, _That God is all fulfilling_; that
is, that the Will of God is the fulfilling of the actions of Nature:
also the Scripture says, _That Gods ways are unsearchable, and past
finding out._ Wherefore, it is easier to treat of Nature, then the God
of Nature; neither should God be treated of by vain Philosophers, but
by holy Divines, which are to deliver and interpret the Word of God
without sophistry, and to inform us as much of Gods Works, as he hath
been pleased to declare and make known. And this is the safest way, in
the opinion of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XI.


_MADAM,_

Your new _Author_ endeavours to prove, that Water in its own proper
nature is thicker then Earth; which, to my sense and reason, seems not
probable; for although water is less porous then earth in its exterior
figure, yet 'tis not so thick as earth in its interior nature: Neither
can I conceive it to be true, that water in its own nature, and as long
as it remains water, should be as hard as Crystal, or stone, as his
opinion is; for though Elements are so pliant (being not composed of
many different parts and figures) as they can change and rechange their
exterior figures, yet they do not alter their interior nature without a
total dissolution; but your _Author_ may as well say, that the interior
nature of man is dust and ashes, as that water in its interior nature
is as thick as earth, and as hard as Christal, or stone; whereas yet
a man, when he becomes dust and ashes, is not a man; and therefore,
when water is become so thick as earth, or so hard as stone, it is not
water; I mean when it is so in its interior nature, not in its exterior
figure; for the exterior figure may be contracted, when yet the
interior nature is dilative; and so the exterior may be thick or hard,
when the interior is soft and rare. But you may say, that water is a
close, and heavy, as also a smooth and glossy body. I answer: That doth
not prove its interior nature to be hard, dense, thick, or contracted;
for the interior nature and parts of a body may be different from the
exterior figure or parts; neither doth the close joyning of parts
hinder dilatation; for if so, a line or circle could not dilate or
extend: But this close uniting of the parts of water is caused through
its wet and glutinous quality, which wet and sticking quality is
caused by a watery dilatation; for though water hath not interiously
so rare a dilatation as Air, Fire, and Light, yet it hath not so close
a contraction as Earth, Stone, or Metal; neither are all bodies that
are smooth and shining, more solid and dense, then those that are
rough and dark; for light is more smooth, glossy, and shining, then
Water, Metal, Earth, or Transparent-stones, and yet is of a dilative
nature. But because some bodies and figures which are transparent and
smooth, are dense, hard, and thick, we cannot in reason, or sense,
say, that all bodies and figures are so. As for Transparency, it is
caused through a purity of substance, and an evenness of parts: the
like is glossiness, onely glossiness requires not so much regularity,
as transparency. But to return to Water; its exterior Circle-figure
may dilate beyond the degree of the propriety or nature of water, or
contract beneath the propriety or nature of water. Your _Author_ may
say, Water is a globous body, and all globous bodies tend to a Center.
I answer: That my sense and reason cannot perceive, but that Circles
and Globes do as easily dilate, as contract: for if all Globes and
Circles should endeavour to draw or fall from the circumference to the
Center, the Center of the whole World, or at least of some parts of the
World, would be as a Chaos: besides, it is against sense and reason,
that all Matter should strive to a Center; for humane sense and reason
may observe, that all Creatures, and so Matter, desire liberty, and a
Center is but a Prison in comparison to the Circumference; wherefore
if Matter crowds, it is rather by force, then a voluntary action. You
will say, All Creatures desire rest, and in a Center there's rest. I
answer; Humane sense and reason cannot perceive any rest in Nature: for
all things, as I have proved heretofore, are in a perpetual motion.
But concerning Water, you may ask me, _Madam_, Whether congeal'd
Water, as Ice, if it never thaw, remains Water? To which, I answer:
That the interior nature of Water remains as long as the Ice remains,
although the outward form is changed; but if Ice be contracted into
the firmness and density of Crystal, or Diamond, or the like, so as
to be beyond the nature of Water, and not capable to be that Water
again, then it is transformed into another Creature, or thing, which
is neither Water, nor Ice, but a Stone; for the Icy contraction doth
no more alter the interior nature of Water, which is dilating, then
the binding of a man with Chains alters his nature from being a man;
and it might be said as well, that the nature of Air is not dilating,
when inclosed in a bladder, as that Water doth not remain Water in
its interior nature, when it is contracted into Ice. But you may ask,
Whether one extreme can change into another? I answer: To my sense
and reason it were possible, if extremes were in Nature; but I do not
perceive that in Nature there be any, although my sense and reason doth
perceive alterations in the effects of Nature; for though one and the
same part may alter from contraction to dilation, and from dilation
to contraction; yet this contraction and dilation are not extremes,
neither are they performed at one and the same time, but at different
times. But having sufficiently declared my opinion hereof in my former
Letters, I'l add no more, but rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XII.


_MADAM,_

My discourse of Water in my last Letter has given you occasion to
enquire after the reason, _Why the weight of a great body of water doth
not press so hard and heavily as to bruise or crush a body, when it is
sunk down to the bottom?_ As for example: If a man should be drowned,
and afterwards cast out from the bottom of a great Sea, or River, upon
the shore; he would onely be found smother'd or choak'd to death, and
not press'd, crush'd, or bruised, by the weight of water. I answer;
The reasons are plain: for, first, the nature of a mans respiration
requires such a temperature of breath to suck in, as is neither too
thick, nor too thin for his lungs, and the rest of his interior parts,
as also for the organs and passages of his exterior senses, but fit,
proper, and proportionable to those mentioned parts of his body: As for
example; in a too thin and rarified air, man will be as apt to die for
want of breath, as in a too gross and thick air he is apt to die with
a superfluity of the substance he imbreaths; for thick smoak, or thick
vapour, as also too gross air, will soon smother a man to death; and as
for choaking, if a man takes more into his throat then he can swallow,
he will die; and if his stomack be filled with more food then it is
able to digest, if it cannot discharge it self, he will die with the
excess of food; and if there be no food, or too little put into it, he
will also die for want of food. So the eye, if it receives too many,
or too gross, or too bright objects, it will be dazled or blinded,
and some objects through their purity are not to be seen at all: The
same for Hearing, and the rest of the exterior senses: And this is the
reason, why man, or some animal Creatures are smother'd and choak'd
with water; because water is thicker then the grossest air or vapour;
for if smoak, which is rarer then water, will smother and choak a man,
well may water, being so much thicker. But yet this smothering or
choaking doth not prove, that water hath an interior or innate density
(as your _Authors_ opinion is) no more then smoak, or thick and gross
air hath; but the density of water is caused more through the wet and
moist exterior parts, joyning and uniting closely together; and the
interior nature of smoak being more moist or glutinous then thin air,
and so more apt to unite its exterior parts, it makes it to come in
effect nearer to water; for though water and smoak are both of rare
natures, yet not so rare as clear and pure air; neither is water or
smoak so porous as pure air, by reason the exterior parts of water and
smoak are more moist or glutinous then pure air. But the thickness
of water and smoak is the onely cause of the smothering of men, or
some animals, as by stopping their breath, for a man can no more live
without air, then he can without food; and a well tempered or middle
degree of air is the most proper for animal Respiration; for if the
air be too thick, it may soon smother or choak him; and if too thin,
it is not sufficient to give him breath: And this is the reason that
a man being drown'd, is not onely smother'd, but choak'd by water;
because there enters more through the exterior passages into his body
then can be digested; for water is apt to flow more forcibly and with
greater strength then air; not that it is more dilating then air, but
by reason it is thicker, and so stronger, or of more force; for the
denser a body is, the stronger it is; and a heavy body, when moved, is
more forcible then a light body. But I pray by this expression mistake
not the nature of water; for the interior nature of water hath not
that gravity, which heavy or dense bodies have, its nature being rare
and light, as air, or fire; but the weight of water, as I said before,
proceeds onely from the closeness and compactness of its exterior
parts, not through a contraction in its interior nature; and there is
no argument, which proves better, that water in its interior nature
is dilating, then that its weight is not apt to press to a point; for
though water is apt to descend, through the union of its parts, yet it
cannot press hard, by reason of its dilating nature, which hinders that
heavy pressing quality; for a dilating body cannot have a contracted
weight, I mean, so as to press to a Center, which is to a point; and
this is the reason, that when a grave or heavy body sinks down to the
bottom of water, it is not opprest, hurt, crusht, or bruised by the
weight of water; for, as I said, the nature of water being dilating,
it can no more press hard to a center, then vapour, air, or fire: The
truth is, water would be as apt to ascend as descend, if it were not
for the wet, glutinous and sticking, cleaving quality of its exterior
parts; but as the quantity and quality of the exterior parts makes
water apt to sink, or descend, so the dilating nature makes it apt to
flow, if no hinderance stop its course; also the quantity and quality
of its exterior parts is the cause, that some heavy bodies do swim
without sinking: as for example; a great heavy Ship will not readily
sink, unless its weight be so contracted as to break asunder the united
parts of water; for the wet quality of water causing its exterior parts
to joyn close, gives it such an united strength, as to be able to bear
a heavy burden, if the weight be dilated, or level, and not piercing or
penetrating; for those bodies that are most compact, will sink sooner,
although of less weight then those that are more dilated although of
greater weight: Also the exterior and outward shape or form makes some
bodies more apt to sink then others; Indeed, the outward form and shape
of Creatures is one of the chief causes of either sinking or swimming.
But to conclude, water in its interior nature is of a mean or middle
degree, as neither too rare, nor too grave a body; and for its exterior
quality, it is in as high a degree for wetness, as fire is for heat;
and being apt both to divide, and to unite, it can bear a burden, and
devour a burden, so that some bodies may swim, and others sink; and
the cause, that a sunk body is not opprest, crush'd, or squeesed, is
the dilating nature and quality of water, which hinders its parts
from pressing or crowding towards a point or center; for although
water is heavy, and apt to descend, yet its weight is not caused by
a contraction of its substance, but by a union of its parts. Thus,
_Madam_, I have obeyed your commands, in giving you my reasons to your
propounded question, which if you approve, I have my aim; if not, I
submit to your better judgment: for you know I am in all respects,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_to serve you._



XIII.


_MADAM,_

I am glad, you are pleased with my reasons I gave to your propounded
question concerning the weight of Water; and since you have been
pleased to send me some more of that subject, I shall be ready also
to give my answer to them, according to the capacity of my judgment.
First, you desire to know, _How it comes, that Water will by degrees
ascend through a narrow pipe, when the pipe is placed straight upright;
or perpendicular?_ The reason, in my opinion is, that Water, having a
dilative nature, when it finds an obstruction to descend or flow even,
will dilate it self ascendingly, according as it hath liberty, or
freedom, and strength, or quantity; the truth is, water would be more
apt to ascend then to descend, were it not for the close uniting of
its liquid Parts, which causes its exterior density, and this density
makes it of more weight then its nature is; and the proof that water
is apt in its nature to ascend, is, that some sorts of vapours are
made onely by the dilation and rarefaction of ascending Water. Your
second question is, _Why the surface of water seems to be concave in
its middle, and higher on every side?_ I answer, The interior figure
of water is a circular figure, which being a round figure, is both
concave, and convex; for where one is, the other must be; and the
motions of ebbing and flowing, and ascending or descending, are partly
of that figure; and so according to the exterior dilating strength
or weakness, the exterior parts of water become either concave or
convex; for in a full strength, as a full stream, the exterior parts
of water flow in a convex figure, but when they want strength, they
ebb in a concave figure. Your third question is, _What makes frozen
water apt to break those Vessels wherein it is contained, in the act
of freezing or congealing?_ I answer: The same cause that makes water
clear, as also more swell'd then usually it is: which cause is the
inherent dilative nature of water; for water being naturally dilative,
when as cold attractions do assault it, the moist dilations of water
in the conflict use more then their ordinary strength to resist those
cold contracting motions, by which the body of water dilates it self
into a larger compass, according as it hath liberty or freedom, or
quantity of parts; and the cold parts not being able to drive the
water back to its natural compass, bind it as it is extended, like as
if a beast should be bound when his legs and neck are thrust out at
the largest extent, in striving to kick or thrust away his enemies and
imprisoners: And so the reason why water breaks these vessels wherein
it is inclosed, in the act of its freezing or congealing is, that when
the cold contractions are so strong as they endeavour to extinguish the
dilating nature of water, the water refilling, forces its parts so, as
they break the vessel which incloses them: The same reason makes Ice
clear and transparent; for it is not the rarefaction of water that doth
it, but the dilation, which causes the parts of water to be not onely
more loose and porous, but also more smooth and even, by resisting the
cold contractions; for every part endeavours to defend their borders
with a well ordered and regular flowing or streaming, and not onely to
defend, but to enlarge their compass against their enemies. Your fourth
question is, How it comes _that Snow and Salt mixt together doth make
Ice?_ The reason, in my judgment, is, that Salt being very active, and
partly of the nature of fire, doth sometimes preserve, and sometimes
destroy other bodies, according to its power, or rather according to
the nature of those bodies it works on; and salt being mixt with snow,
endeavours to destroy it; but having not so much force, melts it onely
by its heat, and reduces it into its first principle, which is water,
altering the figure of snow; but the cold contractions remaining in
the water, and endeavouring to maintain and keep their power, straight
draw the water or melted snow into the figure of ice, so as neither
the salts heat, nor the waters dilative nature, are able to resist or
destroy those cold contractions; for although they destroy'd the first
figure, which is snow, yet they cannot hinder the second, which is Ice.
Your last question is, _How the Clouds can hang so long in the Skie
without falling down?_ Truly, _Madam_, I do not perceive that Clouds,
being come to their full weight and gravity, do keep up in the air,
but some of them fall down in showres of rain, others in great and
numerous flakes of snow; some are turned into wind, and some fall down
in thick mists, so that they onely keep up so long, until they are of
a full weight for descent, or till their figure is altered into some
other body, as into air, wind, rain, lightning, thunder, snow, hail,
mist, and the like. But many times their dilating motions keep or
hinder them from descending, to which contracting motions are required.
In my opinion, it is more to be admired, that the Sea doth not rise,
then that Clouds do not fall; for, as we see, Clouds fall very often,
as also change from being Clouds, to some other figure: Wherefore it
is neither the Sun, nor Stars, nor the Vapours, which arise from the
Earth, and cause the Clouds, nor the porosity of their bodies, nor the
Air, that can keep or hinder them from falling or changing to some
other body; but they being come to their full weight, fall or change
according as is fittest for them. And these are all the reasons I can
give you for the present; if they do not satisfie you, I will study for
others, and in all occasions endeavour to express my self,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._



XIV.


_MADAM,_

Since in my last, I made mention of the Congealing of Water into Ice
and Snow, I cannot choose, but by the way tell you, that I did lately
meet with an _Author_, who is of opinion, That Snow is nothing else but
Ice broken or ground into small pieces. To which, I answer: That this
opinion may serve very well for a Fancy, but not for a Rational Truth,
or at least for a Probable Reason; For why may not the cold motions
make snow without beating or grinding, as well as they make Ice? Surely
Nature is wiser then to trouble her self with unnecessary labour, and
to make an easie work difficult, as Art her Creature doth, or as some
dull humane capacities conceive; for it is more easie for Nature to
make Snow by some sorts of cold contractions, as she makes Ice by other
sorts of cold contractions, then to force Air and Wind to beat, grinde,
or pound Ice into Snow, which would cause a confusion and disturbance
through the Irregularity of several parts, being jumbled in a confused
manner together. The truth is, it would rather cause a War in Nature,
then a natural production, alteration, or transformation: Neither can
I conceive, in what region this turbulent and laborious work should be
acted; certainly not in the caverns of the Earth, for snow descends
from the upper Region. But, perchance, this _Author_ believes, that
Nature imploys Wind as a Hand, and the Cold air as a Spoon, to beat Ice
like the white of an Egg into a froth of Snow. But the great quantity
of Snow, in many places, doth prove, that Snow is not made of the
fragments of Ice, but that some sorts of cold contractions on a watery
body, make the figure of snow in the substance of water, as other sorts
of cold contractions make the figure of ice; which motions and figures
I have treated of in my Book of Philosophy, according to that Judgment
and Reason which Nature has bestowed upon me. The Author of this Fancy,
gives the same reason for Snow being white: _For Ice_, says he, _is
a transparent body, and all transparent bodies, when beaten into
powder, appear white; and since Snow is nothing else but Ice powder'd
small, it must of necessity shew white._ Truly, _Madam_, I am not so
experienced, as to know that all transparent bodies, being beaten
small, shew white; but grant it be so, yet that doth not prove, that
the whiteness of snow proceeds from the broken parts of Ice, unless it
be proved that the whiteness of all bodies proceeds from the powdering
of transparent bodies, which I am sure he cannot do; for Silver, and
millions of other things are white, which were never produced from the
powder of transparent bodies: Neither do I know any reason against
it, but that which makes a Lilly white, may also be the cause of the
whiteness of Snow, that is, such a figure as makes a white colour; for
different figures, in my opinion, are the cause of different colours,
as you will find in my Book of Philosophy, where I say, that Nature
by contraction of lines draws such or such a Figure, which is such or
such a Colour; as such a Figure is red, and such a Figure is green,
and so of all the rest: But the Palest colours, and so white, are the
loosest and slackest figures; Indeed, white, which is the nearest
colour to light, is the smoothest, evenest and straightest figure, and
composed of the smallest lines: As for example; suppose the figure of
8. were the colour of Red, and the figure of 1. the colour of White; or
suppose the figure of Red to be a _z._ and the figure of an _r._ to be
the figure of Green, and a straight _l._ the figure of White; And mixt
figures make mixt colours: The like examples may be brought of other
Figures, as of a Harpsichord and its strings, a Lute and its strings,
a Harp and its strings, &c. By which your Reason shall judg, whether
it be not easier for Nature, to make Snow and its whiteness by the way
of contraction, then by the way of dissolution: As for example; Nature
in making Snow, contracts or congeals the exterior figure of Water into
the figure of a Harp, which is a Triangular figure with the figure
of straight strings within it; for the exterior figure of the Harp
represents the exterior figure of Snow, and the figure of the strings
extended in straight lines represent the figure of its whiteness. And
thus it is easier to make Snow and its whiteness at one act, then first
to contract or congeal water into Ice, and then to cause wind and cold
air to beat and break that Ice into powder, and lastly to contract
or congeal that powder into flakes of Snow. Which would be a very
troublesom work for Nature, _viz._ to produce one effect by so many
violent actions and several labours, when the making of two figures by
one action will serve the turn. But Nature is wiser then any of her
Creatures can conceive; for she knows how to make, and how to dissolve,
form; and transform, with facility and ease, without any difficulty;
for her actions are all easie and free, yet so subtil, curious and
various, as not any part or creature of Nature can exactly or throughly
trace her ways, or know her wisdom. And thus leaving her, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XV.


_MADAM,_

I have taken several questions out of your new _Author_, which I
intend to answer in this present Letter according to the conceptions
of my own sense and reason, and to submit them to your censure; which
if you vouchsafe to grant me without partiality, I shall acknowledg
my self much obliged to you for this favour. The first question is,
_Why wet Linnen is dried in the Air?_ I answer; That, according to my
sense and reason, the water which is spred upon the linnen, being not
united in a full and close body, dilates beyond the Circle-degree of
water and wetness, and so doth easily change from water to vapour,
and from vapour to air, whereby the linnen becomes as dry, as it
was before it became wet. The second question is, _Why Water and
Wine intermix so easily and suddenly together?_ I answer: All wet
liquors, although their exterior figures do differ, yet their interior
natures, figures and forms are much alike, and those things that are
of the same interior nature, do easily and suddenly joyn as into one:
Wherefore Wine and Water having both wet natures, do soon incorporate
together, whereas, were they of different natures, they would not so
peaceably joyn together, but by their contrary natures become enemies,
and strive to destroy each other; but this is to be observed, that
the sharp points of the Circle-lines of Wine, by passing through the
smooth Circle-lines of Water, help to make a more hasty and sudden
conjunction. The third question, is, _Why Light, which in its nature is
white, shining through a coloured Glass, doth appear of the same colour
which the Glass is of, either Blew, Green, Red, or the like?_ I answer:
The reason is, that though Light in its nature be white, and the Glass
clear and transparent, yet when as the Glass is stained or painted with
colours, both the clearness of the glass, and the whiteness of the
light, is obstructed by the figure of that colour the glass is stained
or painted withal, and the light spreading upon or thorow the glass,
represents it self in the figure of that same colour; indeed, in all
probability to sense and reason, it appears, that the lines or beams
of light, which are straight, small, even, and parallel, do contract
in their entrance through the glass into the figure of the colour the
glass is stained or painted with, so that the light passes through the
glass figuratively, in so much, as it seems to be of the same colour
the glass is of, although in it self it is white, lucent, and clear;
and as the light appears, so the eye receives it, if the sight be not
destructive. The fourth question, is, _Whether_ (as your _Authors_
opinion is) _kisses feel pleasing and delightful by the thinness of
the parts, and a gentle stirring and quavering of the tangent spirits,
that give a pleasing tact?_ I answer: If this were so, then all kisses
would be pleasing, which surely are not; for some are thought very
displeasing, especially from thin lips; wherefore, in my opinion, it
is neither the thinness of the parts of the lips, nor the quavering of
the tangent spirits, but the appetites and passions of life, reason,
and soul, that cause the pleasure; Nevertheless, I grant, the stirring
up of the spirits may contribute to the increasing, heightening, or
strengthning of that tact, but it is not the prime cause of it. The
fifth question, is, _Whether the greatest man have always the greatest
strength?_ I answer, Not: for strength and greatness of bulk doth not
always consist together, witness experience: for a little man may be,
and is oftentimes stronger then a tall man. The like of other animal
Creatures: As for example, some Horses of a little or middle size,
have a great deal more strength then others which are high and big;
for it is the quantity of sensitive matter that gives strength, and
not the bigness or bulk of the body. The sixth question, is, _Whether
this World or Universe be the biggest Creature?_ I answer: It is not
possible to be known, unless Man could perfectly know its dimension
or extension, or whether there be more Worlds then one: But, to speak
properly, there is no such thing as biggest or least in Nature. The
seventh question, is, _Whether the Earth be the Center of Matter, or of
the World?_ As for Matter, it being Infinite, has no Center, by reason
it has no Circumference; and, as for this World, its Center cannot be
known, unless man knew the utmost parts of its circumference, for no
Center can be known without its circumference; and although some do
imagine this world so little, that in comparison to Infinite Matter, it
would not be so big as the least Pins head, yet their knowledg cannot
extend so far as to know the circumference of this little World; by
which you may perceive the Truth of the old saying, Man talks much, but
knows little. The eighth question is, _Whether all Centers must needs
be full, and close, as a stufft Cushion; and whether the matter in
the Center of the Universe or World be dense, compact, and heavy?_ I
answer: This can no more be known, then the circumference of the World;
for what man is able to know, whether the Center of the world be rare,
or dense, since he doth not know where its Center is; and as for other
particular Centers, some Centers may be rare, some dense, and some may
have less matter then their circumferences. The ninth question is,
_Whether Finite Creatures can be produced out of an Infinite material
cause?_ I answer: That, to my sense and reason, an Infinite cause must
needs produce Infinite effects, though not in each Particular, yet in
General; that is, Matter, being Infinite in substance, must needs be
dividable into Infinite parts in number, and thus Infinite Creatures
must needs be produced out of Infinite Matter; but Man being but a
finite part, thinks all must be finite too, not onely each particular
Creature, but also the Matter out of which all Creatures are produced,
which is corporeal Nature. Nevertheless, those Infinite effects in
Nature are equalized by her different motions which are her different
actions; for it is not _non_-sence, but most demonstrable to sense and
reason that there are equalities or a union in Infinite. The tenth
question is, _Whether the Elements be the onely matter out of which
all other Creatures are produced?_ I answer: The Elements, as well as
all other Creatures, as it appears to humane sense and reason, are all
of one and the same Matter, which is the onely Infinite Matter; and
therefore the Elements cannot be the Matter of all other Creatures,
for several sorts of Creatures have several ways of productions, and
I know no reason to the contrary, but that Animals, Vegetables, and
Minerals, may as well derive their essence from each other, as from
the Elements, or the Elements from them; for as all Creatures do
live by each other, so they are produced from each other, according
to the several ways or manners of productions. But mistake me not,
_Madam_, for I speak of production in General, and not of such natural
production whereby the several species of Creatures are maintained: As
for example, Generation in Animals; for an Element cannot generate an
Animal in that manner as an Animal can generate or produce its like;
for as Nature is wise, so her actions are all wise and orderly, or
else it would make a horrid confusion amongst the Infinite parts of
Nature. The eleventh question is, _What is meant by Natural Theology?_
I answer: Natural Theology, in my opinion, is nothing else but Moral
Philosophy; for as for our belief, it is grounded upon the Scripture,
and not upon Reason.

These, _Madam_, are the questions which I have pickt out of your new
_Author_, together with my answers, of which I desire your impartial
Judgment: But I must add one thing more before I conclude, which is,
I am much pleased with your _Authors_ opinion, That Sound may be
perceived by the Eye, Colour by the Ear, and that Sound and Colour may
be smell'd and tasted; and I have been of this opinion eleven years
since, as you will find in my Book of Poems, whose first Edition was
printed in the Year, 1653. And thus I take my leave of you, and remain
constantly,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_to serve you._



XVI.


_MADAM,_

Concerning your question of the ascending nature of fire, I am
absolutely of _Aristotle's_ Opinion, that it is as natural for Fire
to ascend, as it is for Earth to descend; And why should we believe
the nature of one, and doubt the nature of the other? For if it be
granted, that there are as well ascending, as descending bodies in
Nature, as also low and high places, (according to the situation of
Particulars) and Circumferences, as well as Centers, (considering the
shape of bodies) I cannot perceive by humane reason, but that the
Nature of fire is ascending, and that it is very improbable, it should
have a descending or contracting nature, as to tend or endeavour to a
Center. But, _Madam_, give me leave to ask what sort of Fire you mean,
whether a Celestial, or a Terrestrial Fire, _viz._ that which is named
an Elemental fire, or any other sort of fire? for there may be as many
several sorts of fire, as of other Creatures; or whether you mean onely
that sort of fire that belongs to this terrestrial Globe, or all the
fire in general that is in Infinite Nature? and if you mean onely that
sort of fire which belongs to this Terrestrial World we live upon; I
answer, There are many several sorts of that fire too; for all the
fire belonging to this Earthly Globe, doth not lie in one place, body,
or part, no more then all metal, or but one sort of metal, as Gold,
lies in one mine, or all Mankind in one womb. Neither can I believe,
that the Sun is the onely Celestial Fire in Nature, but that there may
be as numerous Suns, as there are other sorts of Creatures in Nature.
But as for the ascending propriety of this terrestrial Fire, you may
say, That the Elements do commix and unite in this worldly Globe, and
if Fire should have an ascending motion, it would pierce into other
Globes, or Worlds, and never leave ascending. I answer: That, first of
all, the strength of fire is to be considered, consisting not onely
in its quantity, but also in its quality; as whether it can ascend
to those bodies and places which are far above it: For example; A
Man, or any other Creature, hath never so much strength, or ability,
or length of life, as to travel to the utmost parts of the Universe,
were the way never so plain and free, and the number of men never so
great: the like for Elementary fire, which hath life and death, that
is, generation and dissolution, and successive motion, as well as other
Creatures. But you would fain know, whether fire, if it were left at
liberty, would not turn to a Globous figure? I answer; That, to my
sense and reason, it would not: but some men, seeing the flame of fire
in an arched Oven, descend round the sides of the Oven in a Globous
figure, do perhaps imagine the nature of fire to be descending, and its
natural figure round as a Globe, which is ridiculous; for the fire in
the Oven, although every where incompassed and bound, yet, according
to its nature, ascends to the top of the Oven; and finding a stoppage
and suppression, offers to descend perpendicularly; but by reason of
a continual ascending of the following flame, the first, and so all
the following parts of flame are forced to spread about, and descend
round the sides of the Oven, so that the descension of the flame is
forced, and not natural, and its Globous figure is caused, as it were,
by a mould, which is the Oven. But some are of opinion, that all bodies
have descending motions towards the Center of this worldly Globe, and
therefore they do not believe, that any bodies do ascend naturally:
But what reason have they to believe one, and not the other? Besides,
how do they know that all bodies would rest in the Center of this
terrestrial Globe, if they came thither? For if it was possible, that a
hole could be digged from the superficies of this Earthly Globe thorow
the middle or Center of it unto the opposite superficies, and a stone
be sent thorow; the question is, whether the stone would rest in the
Center, and not go quite thorow? Wherefore this is but an idle Fancy;
and the proof that Fire tends not to a Center, is, because it cannot
be poised or weighed, not onely by reason of its rarity, but of its
dilative and aspiring Nature; and as fire is ascending, or aspiring,
so likewise do I, _Madam_, aspire to the top of your favour, and shall
never descend from the ambition to serve you, but by the suppression of
death. Till then, I remain,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend,_

_and faithful Servant._



XVII.


_MADAM,_

In your last, you were pleased to desire my answer to these following
questions: First, _What the reason is, that a Vessel, although it be
of a solid and compact substance, yet will retain the smell or odour
of a forreign substance poured into it, for a long time?_ I answer:
The Vessel, or rather the perceptive corporeal motions of the Vessel,
having patterned out the figure of the sent of the odorous substance,
retain that same figure of sent, although the odorous substance is
gone; and as long as that patterned figure is perfect, the sent will
remain in the Vessel, either more or less, according as the figure
doth last or alter. But you must consider, _Madam_, that although it
be the natural motions that make those patterns of odours, yet those
patterned figures are but as it were artificial, like as a man who
draws a Copy from an Original; for Nature has divers and several ways
of such motions as we call Art, for whatsoever is an imitation, is that
which man calls Art. Your second question was, _How it came, that the
mind and understanding in many did die or dissolve before the body?_
I answer: The reason is, because the rational corporeal motions alter
before the sensitive; for as in some, as for example, in Natural fools,
the rational motions never move to a regular humane understanding,
so in some dying Persons they do make a general alteration before
the sensitive. Your third question was, _Why a man, being bitten by
a mad Dog, is onely distempered in his mind, and not in his body?_
The reason, according to my judgment, is, that the rational part of
Matter is onely disturbed, and not the sensitive. The fourth question
was, _Why a Basilisk will kill with his eyes?_ I answer: It is the
sensitive corporeal motions in the organ of sight in the man, which
upon the printing of the figure of the eyes of the Basilisk, make a
sudden alteration. Your fifth question was, _Why an Asp will kill
insensibly by biting?_ The reason, in my opinion, is, That the biting
of the Asp hath the same efficacy as deadly _Opium_ hath, yea, and much
stronger. Your sixth question was, _Why a Dog that rejoyces, swings his
tail, and a Lyon when angry, or a Cat when in a fear, do lift up their
tails?_ I answer: The several motions of the mind may produce either
but one, or several sorts of motions in some part or parts of the body;
and as the sensitive motions of anger will produce tears, so will the
motions of joy; but grief made by the rational motions of the mind,
may by excess disturb and make a general alteration of the sensitive
motions in an animal: the same may excessive joy. But, _Madam_, you may
perhaps find out better reasons for your own questions then these are;
for my endeavour was onely to frame my answer to the ground of my own
opinions, and so to satisfie your desire, which was, and is still the
ambition of,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XVIII.


_MADAM,_

In your last, you were pleased to desire an account, how far, or how
much I did understand the ancient and modern Philosophers in their
Philosophical Writings. Truly, _Madam_, I can more readily tell you
what I do not understand, then what I do understand: for, first, I do
not understand their sophistical Logick, as to perswade with arguments
that black is white, and white is black; and that fire is not hot, nor
water wet, and other such things; for the glory in Logick is rather
to make doubts, then to find truth; indeed, that Art now is like
thick, dark clouds, which darken the light of truth. Next: I do not
understand in particular, what they mean by second matter; for if they
name figures and forms second matter, they may as well say, all several
motions, which are the several actions of Nature, are several matters,
and so there would be infinite several matters, which would produce a
meer confusion in Nature. Neither do I understand, when they say, a
body dissolves into the first matter; for I am not able to conceive
their first matter, nor what they mean by _magna_ and _major materia_;
for I believe there is but one matter, and the motion of that matter is
its action by which it produces several figures and effects; so that
the nature of the matter is one and the same, although its motions,
that is, its actions, be various, for the various effects alter not
the nature or unity of the onely matter. Neither do I understand what
they mean by corruption, for surely Nature is not corruptible. Nor do
I understand their individables in Nature, nor a bodiless form, nor
a privation, nor a being without a body; nor any such thing as they
call rest, for there's not any thing without motion in Nature: Some do
talk of moving _minima's_, but they do not tell what those _minima's_
or their motions are, or how they were produced, or how they came to
move. Neither do I understand when they say there is but one World,
and that finite; for if there be no more Matter then that which they
call the whole World, and may be measured by a _Jacob's_ staff, then
certainly there is but little matter, and that no bigger then an atome
in comparison to Infinite. Neither can my reason comprehend, when they
say, that not any thing hath power from its interior nature to move
exteriously and locally; for common sense and reason, that is sight
and observation, doth prove the contrary. Neither do I know what they
mean by making a difference between matter and form, power and act;
for there can be no form without matter, nor no matter without form;
and as act includes power, so power is nothing without act: Neither
can I conceive Reason to be separable from matter; nor what is meant
when they say, that, onely that is real, which moves the understanding
without. Nor do I understand what they mean by intentionals,
accidentals, incorporeal beings, formal _ratio_, formal _unity_, and
hundreds the like; enough to puzle truth, when all is but the several
actions of one cause, to wit, the onely matter. But most men make such
cross, narrow, and intricate ways in Nature, with their over-nice
distinctions, that Nature appears like a Labyrinth, whenas really she
is as plain as an un-plowed, ditched, or hedged champion: Nay, some
make Nature so full, that she can neither move nor stir; and others
again will have her so empty, as they leave not any thing within her;
and some with their penetrations, pressings, squeezings, and the like,
make such holes in her, as they do almost wound, press and squeeze
her to death: And some are so learned, witty, and ingenious, as they
understand and know to discourse of the true compass, just weight,
exact rules, measures and proportions of the Universe, as also of the
exact division of the _Chaos_, and the architecture of the world, to
an atome. Thus, _Madam_, I have made my confession to you of what I
understand not, and have endeavoured to make my ignorance as brief as I
could; but the great God knows, that my ignorance is longer then that
which is named life and death; and as for my understanding, I can onely
say, that I understand nothing better, but my self to be,

Madam,

_Your most faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._



XIX.


_MADAM,_

Since I have given you, in my last, an account how much I did
understand the Philosophical works of both the ancient and modern
Philosophers, or rather what I did not understand of them, you would
fain have my opinion now of the persons themselves. Truly, _Madam_, as
for those that are dead, or those that are living, I cannot say any
thing, but that I believe they all were or are worthy persons, men
of vast understandings, subtil conceptions, ingenious wits, painful
students, and learned writers. But as for their works, as I told you
heretofore, I confess ingeniously, I understand them not, by reason
I am ignorant in their Scholastical Arts, as Logick, Metaphysick,
Mathematicks, and the like: For to my simple apprehension, when as
Logicians argue of natural causes and effects, they make natural
causes to produce natural effects with more difficulty and enforcement
then Nature knows of; and as for Mathematicians, they endeavour to
inchant Nature with Circles, and bind her with lines so hard, as if she
were so mad, that she would do some mischief, when left at liberty.
Geometricians weigh Nature to an Atome, and measure her so exactly, as
less then a hairs breadth; besides, they do press and squeeze her so
hard and close, as they almost stifle her. And Natural Philosophers do
so stuff her with dull, dead, senceless _minima's_, like as a sack with
meal, or sand, by which they raise such a Dust as quite blinds Nature
and natural reason. But Chymists torture Nature worst of all; for they
extract and distil her beyond substance, nay, into no substance, if
they could. As for natural Theologers, I understand them least of any;
for they make such a gallamalfry of Philosophy and Divinity, as neither
can be distinguished from the other. In short, _Madam_, They all with
their intricate definitions and distinctions set my brain on the rack:
but some Philosophers are like some Poets, for they endeavour to write
strong lines. You may ask me, what is meant by strong lines? I answer:
Weak sense. To which leaving them, I rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XX.


_MADAM,_

I am not of your opinion, That nice distinctions and Logistical
arguments discover truth, dissolve doubts, and clear the understanding;
but I say, they rather make doubts of truth, and blind-fold the
understanding; Indeed, nice distinctions and sophistical arguments, are
very pernicious both in Schools, Church, and State: As for the Church,
although in Divinity there is but one Truth, yet nice distinctions, and
Logistical sophistry, have made such confusion in it, as has caused
almost as many several opinions as there are words in the Scripture;
and as for natural Theology, which is moral Philosophy, they have
divided vertues and vices into so many parts, and minced them so small,
that neither can be clearly distinguished. The same in Government; they
endeavour to cut between command and obedience to a hairs breadth.
Concerning causes of Law, they have abolish'd the intended benefit, and
banish'd equity; and instead of keeping Peace, they make War, causing
enmity betwixt men: As for Natural Philosophy, they will not suffer
sense and reason to appear in that study: And as for Physick, they have
kill'd more men then Wars, Plagues, or Famine. Wherefore from nice
distinctions and Logistical sophistry, Good God deliver us, especially,
from those that concern Divinity; for they weaken Faith, trouble
Conscience, and bring in Atheism: In short, they make controversies,
and endless disputes. But least the opening of my meaning in such plain
terms should raise a controversie also between you and me, I'le cut off
here, and rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXI.


_MADAM,_

Yesterday I received a visit from the Lady _N. M._ who you know hath
a quick wit, rational opinions, and subtil conceptions; all which she
is ready and free to divulge in her discourse. But when she came to
my Chamber, I was casting up some small accounts; which when she did
see, What, said she, are you at Numeration? Yes, said I: but I cannot
number well, nor much, for I do not understand Arithmetick. Said she,
You can number to three. Yes, said I, I can number to four: Nay, faith,
said she, the number of three is enough, if you could but understand
that number well, for it is a mystical number. Said I, There is no
great mystery to count that number; for one, and two, makes three. Said
she, That is not the mystery; for the mystery is, That three makes
one: and without this mystery no man can understand Divinity, Nature,
nor himself. Then I desired her to make me understand that mystery.
She said, It required more time to inform me, then a short visit, for
this mystery was such, as did puzle all wise men in the world; and
the not understanding of this mystery perfectly, had caused endless
divisions and disputes. I desired, if she could not make me understand
the mystery, she would but inform me, how three made one in Divinity,
Nature, and Man. She said, That was easie to do; for in Divinity there
are three Persons in one Essence, as God the Father, the Son, and the
holy Ghost, whose Essence being individable, they make but one God;
And as for Philosophy, there is but Matter, Motion, and Figure, which
being individable, make but one Nature; And as for Man, there is Soul,
Life, and Body, all three joyned in one Man. But I replied, Man's Life,
Soul and Body, is dividable. That is true, said she, but then he is no
more a Man; for these three are his essential parts, which make him to
be a man; and when these parts are dissolved, then his interior nature
is changed, so that he can no longer be call'd a man: As for example;
Water being turned into Air, and having lost its interior nature, can
no more be called Water, but it is perfect Air; the same is with Man:
But as long as he is a Man, then these three forementioned parts which
make him to be of that figure are individably united as long as man
lasts. Besides, said she, this is but in the particular, considering
man single, and by himself; but in general, these three, as life,
soul, and body, are individably united, so that they remain as long
as mankind lasts. Nay, although they do dissolve in the particulars,
yet it is but for a time; for they shall be united again at the last
day, which is the time of their resurrection; so that also in this
respect we may justly call them individable, for man shall remain
with an united soul, life, and body, eternally. And as she was thus
discoursing, in came a Sophisterian, whom when she spied, away she
went as fast as she could; but I followed her close, and got hold of
her, then asked her, why she ran away? She answer'd, if she stayed,
the Logician would dissolve her into nothing, for the profession of
Logicians is to make something nothing, and nothing something. I pray'd
her to stay and discourse with the Logician: Not for a world, said she,
for his discourse will make my brain like a confused _Chaos_, full of
senseless _minima's_; and after that, he will so knock, jolt, and jog
it, and make such whirls and pits, as will so torture my brain, that I
shall wish I had not any: Wherefore, said she, I will not stay now, but
visit you again to morrow. And I wish with all my heart, _Madam_, you
were so near as to be here at the same time, that we three might make
a Triumvirate in discourse, as well as we do in friendship. But since
that cannot be, I must rest satisfied that I am,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXII.


_MADAM,_

You were pleased to desire my opinion of the works of that Learned
and Ingenious Writer _B._ Truly, _Madam_, I have read but some part
of his works; but as much as I have read, I have observed, he is a
very civil, eloquent, and rational Writer; the truth is, his style is
a Gentleman's style. And in particular, concerning his experiments, I
must needs say this, that, in my judgment, he hath expressed himself to
be a very industrious and ingenious person; for he doth neither puzle
Nature, nor darken truth with hard words and compounded languages,
or nice distinctions; besides, his experiments are proved by his own
action. But give me leave to tell you, that I observe, he studies the
different parts and alterations, more then the motions, which cause
the alterations in those parts; whereas, did he study and observe
the several and different motions in those parts, how they change in
one and the same part, and how the different alterations in bodies
are caused by the different motions of their parts, he might arrive
to a vast knowledg by the means of his experiments; for certainly
experiments are very beneficial to man. In the next place, you desire
my opinion of the Book call'd, _The Discourses of the Virtuosi in
France_: I am sorry, _Madam_, this book comes so late to my hands, that
I cannot read it so slowly and observingly, as to give you a clear
judgment of their opinions or discourses in particular; however, in
general, and for what I have read in it, I may say, it expresses the
French to be very learned and eloquent Writers, wherein I thought our
English had exceeded them, and that they did onely excel in wit and
ingenuity; but I perceive most Nations have of all sorts. The truth
is, ingenious and subtil wit brings news; but learning and experience
brings proofs, at least, argumental discourses; and the French are
much to be commended, that they endeavour to spend their time wisely,
honourably, honestly, and profitably, not onely for the good and
benefit of their own, but also of other Nations. But before I conclude,
give me leave to tell you, that concerning the curious and profitable
Arts mentioned in their discourses, I confess, I do much admire them,
and partly believe they may arrive to the use of many of them; but
there are two arts which I wish with all my heart I could obtain: the
first is, to argue without error in all kinds, modes, and figures, in
a quarter of an hour; and the other is to learn a way to understand
all languages in six hours. But as for the first, I fear, if I want a
thorow understanding in every particular argument, cause, or point, a
general art or mode of words will not help me, especially, if I, being
a woman, should want discretion: And as for the second, my memory is
so bad, that it is beyond the help of Art, so that Nature has made
my understanding harder or closer then Glass, through which the Sun
of verity cannot pass, although its light doth; and therefore I am
confident I shall not be made, or taught to learn this mentioned Art
in six hours, no not in six months. But I wish all Arts were as easily
practised, as mentioned; and thus I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXIII.


_MADAM,_

Concerning your question, _Whether a Point be something, or nothing,
or between both_; My opinion is, that a natural point is material;
but that which the learned name a Mathematical point, is like their
Logistical Egg, whereof there is nothing in Nature any otherwise,
but a word, which word is material, as being natural; for concerning
immaterial beings, it is impossible to believe there be any in Nature;
and though witty Students, and subtil Arguers have both in past, and
this present age, endeavoured to prove something, nothing; yet words
and disputes have not power to annihilate any thing that is in Nature,
no more then to create something out of nothing; and therefore they can
neither make something, nothing; nor nothing to be something: for the
most witty student, nor the subtilest disputant, cannot alter Nature,
but each thing is and must be as Nature made it. As for your other
question, _Whether there be more then five Senses?_ I answer: There
are as many senses as there are sensitive motions, and all sensation
or perception is by the way of patterning; and whosoever is of another
opinion, is, in my judgment, a greater friend to contradiction, then to
truth, at least to probability. Lastly, concerning your question, why a
Gun, the longer its barrel is made, the further it will shoot, until it
come to a certain degree of length; after which, the longer it is made,
the weaker it becomes, so that every degree further, makes it shoot
shorter and shorter, whereas before it came to such a degree of length,
it shot further and further: Give me leave to tell you, _Madam_, that
this question would be put more properly to a Mathematician, then to
me, who am ignorant in the Mathematicks: However, since you are pleased
to desire my opinion thereof, I am willing to give it you. There are,
in my judgment, but three reasons which do produce this alteration:
The one may be the compass of the stock, or barrel, which being too
wide for the length, may weaken the force, or being too narrow for the
length, may retard the force; the one giving liberty before the force
is united, the other inclosing it so long by a streight passage, as
it loses its force before it hath liberty; so that the one becomes
stronger with length, the other weaker with length. The second reason,
in my opinion, is, That degrees of strength may require degrees of the
_medium_. Lastly, It may be, that Centers are required for degrees of
strength; if so, every _medium_ may be a Center, and the middle length
to such a compass may be a Center of such a force. But many times the
force being weaker or stronger, is caused by the good or ill making of
the Powder, or Locks, or the like. But, _Madam_, such questions will
puzle me as much as those of Mr. _V. Z._ concerning those glasses,
one of which being held close in ones hand, and a little piece being
broke of its tail, makes as great a noise as the discharging of a
Gun: Wherefore I beseech you, _Madam_, do not trouble my brain with
Mathematical questions, wherein I have neither skill, learning, nor
experience by Practice; for truly I have not the subtilty to find out
their mystery, nor the capacity to understand arts, no more then I am
capable to learn several languages. If you command me any thing else I
am able to do, assure your self, there is none shall more readily and
cheerfully serve you then my self; who am, and shall ever continue,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXIV.


_MADAM,_

I have heard that Artists do glory much in their Glasses, Tubes,
Engines, and Stills, and hope by their Glasses and Tubes to see
invisible things, and by their Engines to produce incredible effects,
and by their Stills, Fire, and Furnaces, to create as Nature doth;
but all this is impossible to be done: For Art cannot arrive to that
degree, as to know perfectly Natures secret and fundamental actions,
her purest matter, and subtilest motions; and it is enough if Artists
can but produce such things as are for mans conveniencies and use,
although they never can see the smallest or rarest bodies, nor great
and vast bodies at a great distance, nor make or create a Vegetable,
Animal, or the like, as Nature doth; for Nature being Infinite, has
also Infinite degrees of figures, sizes, motions, densities, rarities,
knowledg, &c. as you may see in my Book of Philosophy, as also in my
book of Poems, especially that part that treats of little, minute
Creatures, which I there do name, for want of other expressions,
Fairies; for I have considered much the several sizes of Creatures,
although I gave it out but for a fancy in the mentioned book, lest I
should be thought extravagant to declare that conception of mine for a
rational truth: But if some small bodies cannot be perfectly seen but
by the help of magnifying glasses, and such as they call Microscopia;
I pray, Nature being Infinite, What figures and sizes may there not
be, which our eyes with all the help of Art are not capable to see?
for certainly, Nature hath more curiosities then our exterior senses,
helped by Art, can perceive: Wherefore I cannot wonder enough at those
that pretend to know the least or greatest parts or creatures in
Nature, since no particular Creature is able to do it. But concerning
Artists, you would fain know, _Madam_, whether the Artist be beholden
to the conceptions of the Student? To which I return this short answer:
That, in my judgment, without the Students conceptions, the Artist
could not tell how to make experiments: The truth is, the conceptions
of studious men set the Artists on work, although many Artists do
ungratefully attribute all to their own industry. Neither doth it
always belong to the studious Concepter to make trials or experiments,
but he leaves that work to others, whose time is not so much
imployed with thoughts or speculations, as with actions; for the the
Contemplator is the Designer, and the Artist the Workman, or Labourer,
who ought to acknowledg him his Master, as I do your _Ladiship_, for I
am in all respects,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_humble and faithful Servant._



XXV.


_MADAM,_

Your Command in your last was to send you my opinion concerning the
division of Religions, or of the several opinions in Religions, I
suppose you mean the division of the Religion, not of Religions; for
certainly, there is but one divine Truth, and consequently but one
true Religion: But natural men being composed of many divers parts, as
of several motions and figures, have divers and several Ideas, which
the grosser corporeal motions conceive to be divers and several gods,
as being not capable to know the Great and Incomprehensible God, who
is above Nature. For example: Do but consider, _Madam_, what strange
opinions the Heathens had of God, and how they divided him into so many
several Persons, with so many several bodies, like men; whereas, surely
God considered in his Essence, he being a Spirit, as the Scripture
describes him, can neither have Soul nor body, as he is a God, but
is an Immaterial Being; Onely the Heathens did conceive him to have
parts, and so divided the Incomprehensible God into several Deities, at
least they had several Deitical Ideas, or rather Fancies of him. But,
_Madam_, I confess my ignorance in this great mystery, and honour, and
praise the Omnipotent, Great, and Incomprehensible God, with all fear
and humility as I ought; beseeching his infinite mercy to keep me from
such presumption, whereby I might prophane his holy Name, and to make
me obedient to the Church, as also to grant me life and health, that I
may be able to express how much I am,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXVI.


_MADAM,_

Since I spake of Religion in my last, I cannot but acquaint you, that I
was the other day in the company of Sir _P. H._ and Sir _R. L._ where
amongst other discourses they talk'd of Predestination and Free-will.
Sir _P. H._ accounted the opinion of Predestination not onely absurd,
but blasphemous; for, said he, Predestination makes God appear Cruel,
as first to create Angels and Man, and then to make them fall from
their Glory, and damn them eternally: For God, said he, knew before
he made them, they would fall; Neither could he imagine, from whence
that Pride and Presumption did proceed, which was the cause of the
Angels fall, for it could not proceed from God, God being infinitely
Good. Sir _R. L._ answer'd, That this Pride and Presumption did not
come from God, but from their own Nature. But, replyed Sir _P. H._
God gave them that Nature, for they had it not of themselves, but all
what they were, their Essence and Nature, came from God the Creator
of all things, and to suffer that, which was in his power to hinder,
was as much as to act. Sir _R. L._ said, God gave both Angels and Man
a Free-will at their Creation. Sir _P. H._ answered, that a Free-will
was a part of a divine attribute, which surely God would not give away
to any Creature: Next, said he, he could not conceive why God should
make Creatures to cross and oppose him; for it were neither an act of
Wisdom to make Rebels, nor an act of Justice to make Devils; so that
neither in his Wisdom, Justice, nor Mercy, God could give leave, that
Angels and Man should fall through sin; neither was God ignorant that
Angels and Man would fall; for surely, said he, God knew all things,
past, present, and to come; wherefore, said he, Free-will doth weaken
the Power of God, and Predestination doth weaken the power of man, and
both do hinder each other: Besides, said he, since God did confirm
the rest of the Angels in the same state they were before, so as they
could not fall afterwards, he might as well have created them all so
at first. But Sir _R. L._ replied, That God suffered Angels and Man to
fall for his Glory, to shew his Justice in Devils, and his Mercy in
Man; and that the Devils express'd God's Omnipotency as much as the
Blessed. To which Sir _P. H._ answered, That they expressed more God's
severity in those horrid torments they suffer through their Natural
Imperfections, then his power in making and suffering them to sin.
Thus they discoursed: And to tell you truly, _Madam_, my mind was more
troubled, then delighted with their discourse; for it seemed rather to
detract from the honour of the great God, then to increase his Glory;
and no Creature ought either to think or to speak any thing that is
detracting from the Glory of the Creator: Wherefore I am neither for
Predestination, nor for an absolute Free-will, neither in Angels,
Devils, nor Man; for an absolute Free-will is not competent to any
Creature: and though Nature be Infinite, and the Eternal Servant to
the Eternal and Infinite God, and can produce Infinite Creatures, yet
her Power and Will is not absolute, but limited; that is, she has a
natural free-will, but not a supernatural, for she cannot work beyond
the power God has given her. But those mystical discourses belong to
Divines, and not to any Lay-person, and I confess my self very ignorant
in them. Wherefore I will nor dare not dispute God's actions, being all
infinitely wise, but leave that to Divines, who are to inform us what
we ought to believe, and how we ought to live. And thus taking my leave
of you for the present, I rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXVII.


_MADAM,_

You are pleased to honor me so far, that you do not onely spend some
time in the perusing of my Book called _Philosophical Opinions_, but
take it so much into your consideration, as to examine every opinion
of mine which dissents from the common way of the Schools, marking
those places which seem somewhat obscure, and desiring my explanation
of them; All which, I do not onely acknowledg as a great favour, but
as an infallible testimony of your true and unfeigned friendship; and
I cannot chuse but publish it to all the world; both for the honour
of your self, as to let every body know the part of so true a friend,
who is so much concerned for the honour and benefit of my poor Works;
as also for the good of my mentioned Book, which by this means will be
rendred more intelligible; for I must confess that my Philosophical
Opinions are not so plain and perspicuous as to be perfectly understood
at the first reading, which I am sorry for. And there be two chief
reasons why they are so: First, Because they are new, and never vented
before; for the have their original meerly from my own conceptions, and
are not taken out of other Philosophers. Next, because I being a Woman,
and not bred up to Scholarship, did want names and terms of Art, and
therefore being not versed in the Writings of other Philosophers, but
what I knew by hearing, I could not form my named Book so methodically,
and express my opinions so artificially and clearly, as I might have
done, had I been studious in the reading of Philosophical Books, or
bred a Scholar; for then I might have dressed them with a fine coloured
Covering of Logick and Geometry, and set them out in a handsome array;
by which I might have also cover'd my ignorance, like as Stage-Players
do cover their mean persons or degrees with fine Cloathes. But, as I
said, I being void of Learning and Art, did put them forth according to
my own conceptions, and as I did understand them myself; but since I
have hitherto by the reading of those famous and learned _Authors_ you
sent me, attained to the knowledg of some artificial Terms, I shall not
spare any labour and pains to make my opinions so intelligible, that
every one, who without partiality, spleen, or malice, doth read them,
may also easily understand them: And thus I shall likewise endeavour to
give such answers to your scruples, objections, or questions, as may
explain those passages which seem obscure, and satisfie your desire. In
the first place, and in general, you desire to know, _Whether any truth
may be had in Natural Philosophy_: for since all this study is grounded
upon probability, and he that thinks he has the most probable reasons
for his opinion, may be as far off from truth, as he who is thought to
have the least; nay, what seems most probable to day, may seem least
probable to morrow, especially if an ingenious opposer, bring rational
arguments against it: Therefore you think it is but vain for any one
to trouble his brain with searching and enquiring after such things
wherein neither truth nor certainty can be had. To which, I answer:
That the undoubted truth in Natural Philosophy, is, in my opinion, like
the Philosopher's Stone in Chymistry, which has been sought for by many
learned and ingenious Persons, and will be sought as long as the Art
of Chymistry doth last; but although they cannot find the Philosophers
Stone, yet by the help of this Art they have found out many rare things
both for use and knowledg. The like in Natural Philosophy, although
Natural Philosophers cannot find out the absolute truth of Nature,
or Natures ground-works, or the hidden causes of natural effects;
nevertheless they have found out many necessary and profitable Arts and
Sciences, to benefit the life of man; for without Natural Philosophy
we should have lived in dark ignorance, not knowing the motions of
the Heavens, the cause of the Eclipses, the influences of the Stars,
the use of Numbers, Measures, and Weights, the vertues and effects
of Vegetables and Minerals, the Art of Architecture, Navigation, and
the like: Indeed all Arts and Sciences do adscribe their original to
the study of Natural Philosophy; and those men are both unwise and
ungrateful, that will refuse rich gifts because they cannot be masters
of all Wealth; and they are fools, that will not take remedies when
they are sick, because Medicines can onely recover them from death for
a time, but not make them live for ever. But to conclude, Probability
is next to truth, and the search of a hidden cause finds out visible
effects; and this truth do natural Philosophers find, that there are
more fools, then wise men, which fools will never attain to the honour
of being Natural Philosophers. And thus leaving them, I rest,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships_

_humble and faithful Servant._



XXVIII.


_MADAM,_

Your desire is to know, since I say Nature is Wise, Whether all her
parts must be wise also? To which, I answer; That (by your favour) all
her parts are not fools: but yet it is no necessary consequence, that
because Nature is infinitely wise, all her parts must be so too, no
more then if I should say, Nature is Infinite, therefore every part
must be Infinite: But it is rather necessary, that because Nature
is Infinite, therefore not any single part of hers can be Infinite,
but must be finite. Next, you desire to know, Whether Nature or the
self-moving matter is subject to err, and to commit mistakes? I answer:
Although Nature has naturally an Infinite wisdom and knowledg, yet she
has not a most pure and intire perfection, no more then she has an
absolute power; for a most pure and intire perfection belongs onely
to God: and though she is infinitely naturally wise in her self, yet
her parts or particular creatures may commit errors and mistakes; the
truth is, it is impossible but that parts or particular Creatures must
be subject to errors, because no part can have a perfect or general
knowledg, as being but a part, and not a whole; for knowledg is in
parts, as parts are in Matter: Besides several corporeal motions, that
is, several self-moving parts do delude and oppose each other by their
opposite motions; and this opposition is very requisite in Nature to
keep a mean, and hinder extreams; for were there not opposition of
parts, Nature would run into extreams, which would confound her, and
all her parts. And as for delusion, it is part of Natures delight,
causing the more variety; but there be some actions in Nature which
are neither perfect mistakes, nor delusions, but onely want of a clear
and thorow perception: As for example; when a man is sailing in a
Ship, he thinks the shore moves from the ship, when as it is the ship
that moves from the shore: Also when a man is going backward from a
Looking-glass, he thinks, the figure in the Glass goeth inward, whereas
it is himself that goes backward, and not his figure in the glass. The
cause of it is, That the perception in the eye perceives the distanced
body, but not the motion of the distance or medium; for though the man
may partly see the motion of the visible parts, yet he doth not see the
parts or motion of the distance or medium, which is invisible, and not
subject to the perception of sight; and since a pattern cannot be made
if the object be not visible, hence I conclude, that the motion of the
medium cannot make perception, but that it is the perceptive motions
of the eye, which pattern out an object as it is visibly presented
to the corporeal motions in the eye; for according as the object is
presented, the pattern is made, if the motions be regular: For example;
a fired end of a stick, if you move it in a circular figure, the
sensitive corporeal motions in the eye pattern out the figure of fire,
together with the exterior or circular motion, and apprehend it as a
fiery circle; and if the stick be moved any otherwise, they pattern
out such a figure as the fired end of the stick is moved in; so that
the sensitive pattern is made according to the exterior corporeal
figurative motion of the object, and not according to its interior
figure or motions. And this, _Madam_, is in short my answer to your
propounded questions, by which, I hope, you understand plainly the
meaning of,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXIX.


_MADAM,_

The scruples or questions you sent me last, are these following. First,
you desire to be informed what I mean by _Phantasmes_ and _Ideas_? I
answer: They are figures made by the purest and subtilest degree of
self-moving matter, that is to say, by the rational corporeal motions,
and are the same with thoughts or conceptions. Next, your question
is, what I do understand by _Sensitive Life_? I answer: It is that
part of self-moving matter, which in its own nature is not so pure and
subtil as the rational, for it is but the labouring, and the rational
the designing part of matter. Your third question is, _Whether this
sensitive self-moving matter be dense or rare?_ I answer: density and
rarity are onely effects caused by the several actions, that is, the
corporeal motions of Nature; wherefore it cannot properly be said, that
sensitive matter is either dense, or rare; for it has a self-power to
contract and dilate, compose and divide, and move in any kind of motion
whatsoever, as is requisite to the framing of any figure; and thus
I desire you to observe well, that when I say the rational part of
matter is purer in its degree then the sensitive, and that this is a
rare and acute matter, I do not mean that it is thin like a rare egg,
but that it is subtil and active, penetrating and dividing, as well as
dividable. Your fourth question is, _What this sensitive matter works
upon?_ I answer: It works with and upon another degree of matter,
which is not self-moving, but dull, stupid, and immoveable in its own
nature, which I call the inanimate part or degree of matter. Your fifth
question is, _Whether this inanimate Matter do never rest?_ I answer;
It doth not: for the self-moving matter being restless in its own
nature, and so closely united and commixed with the inanimate, as they
do make but one body, will never suffer it to rest; so that there is no
part in Nature but is moving; the animate matter in it self, or its own
nature, the inanimate by the help or means of the animate. Your sixth
question is, _If there be a thorow mixture of the parts of animate and
inanimate matter, whether those parts do retain each their own nature
and substance, so that the inanimate part of matter remains dull and
stupid in its essence or nature, and the animate full of self-motion,
or all self-motion?_ I answer: Although every part and particle of
each degree are closely intermixed, nevertheless this mixture doth not
alter the interior nature of those parts or degrees; As for example;
a man is composed of Soul, and Body, which are several parts, but
joyned as into one substance, _viz._ Man, and yet they retain each
their own proprieties and natures; for although soul and body are so
closely united as they do make but one Man, yet the soul doth not
change into the body, nor the body into the soul, but each continues in
its own nature as it is. And so likewise in Infinite Matter, although
the degrees or parts of Matter are so throughly intermixed as they do
make but one body or substance, which is corporeal Nature, yet each
remains in its nature as it is, to wit, the animate part of matter doth
not become dull and stupid in its nature, but remains self-moving;
and the inanimate, although it doth move by the means of the animate,
yet it doth not become self-moving, but each keeps its own interior
nature and essence in their commixture. The truth is, there must of
necessity be degrees of matter, or else there would be no such various
and several effects in Nature, as humane sense and reason do perceive
there are; and those degrees must also retain each their own nature and
proprieties, to produce those various and curious effects: Neither must
those different degrees vary or alter the nature of Infinite Matter;
for Matter must and doth continue one and the same in its Nature,
that is, Matter cannot be divided from being Matter: And this is my
meaning, when I say in my _Philosophical Opinions, There is but one
kind of Matter_: Not that Matter is not dividable into several parts
or degrees, but I say, although Matter has several parts and degrees,
yet they do not alter the nature of Matter, but Matter remains one and
the same in its own kind, that is, it continues still Matter in its
own nature notwithstanding those degrees; and thus I do exclude from
Matter all that which is not Matter, and do firmly believe, that there
can be no commixture of Matter and no Matter in Nature; for this would
breed a meer confusion in Nature. Your seventh question is, _Whether
that, which I name the rational part of self-moving Matter makes as
much variety as the sensitive?_ To which I answer: That, to my sense
and reason, the rational part of animate or self-moving Matter moves
not onely more variously, but also more swiftly then the sensitive;
for thoughts are sooner made, then words spoke, and a certain proof
of it are the various and several Imaginations, Fancies, Conceptions,
Memories, Remembrances, Understandings, Opinions, Judgments, and the
like: as also the several sorts of Love, Hate, Fear, Anger, Joy, Doubt;
and the like Passions. Your eighth question is, _Whether the Sensitive
Matter can and doth work in it self and its own substance and degree?_
My answer is, That there is no inanimate matter without animate, nor
no animate without inanimate, both being so curiously and subtilly
intermixt, as they make but one body; Nevertheless the several parts of
this one body may move several ways. Neither are the several degrees
bound to an equal mixture, no more then the several parts of one body
are bound to one and the same size, bigness, shape, or motion; or the
Sea is bound to be always at the high tide; or the Moon to be always
at the Full; or all the Veins or Brains in animal bodies are bound to
be of equal quantity; or every Tree of the same kind to bear fruit, or
have leaves of equal number; or every Apple, Pear, or Plum, to have an
equal quantity of juice; or every Bee to make as much honey and wax as
the other. Your nineth question is, _Whether the Sensitive Matter can
work without taking patterns?_ My answer is, That all corporeal motion
is not patterning, but all patterning is made by corporeal motion;
and there be more several sorts of corporeal motions then any single
Creature is able to conceive, much less to express: But the perceptive
corporeal motions are the ground-motions in Nature, which make, rule,
and govern all the parts of Nature, as to move to Production, or
Generation, Transformation, and the like. Your tenth question is, _How
it is possible, that numerous figures can exist in one part of matter?
for it is impossible that two things can be in one place, much less
many._ My answer in short is, That it were impossible, were a part of
Matter, and the numerous figures several and distinct things; but all
is but one thing, that is, a part of Matter moving variously; for there
is neither Magnitude, Place, Figure, nor Motion, in Nature, but what
is Matter, or Body; Neither is there any such thing as Time: Wherefore
it cannot properly be said, _There was_, and _There shall be_; but
onely, _There is_. Neither can it properly be said, from this to that
place; but onely in reference to the several moving parts of the onely
Infinite Matter. And thus much to your questions; I add no more, but
rest,

Madam,

_Your faithful Friend_

_and humble Servant._



XXX.


_MADAM,_

In your last, you were pleased to express, that some men, who think
themselves wise, did laugh in a scornful manner at my opinion, when
I say that every Creature hath life and knowledg, sense and reason;
counting it not onely ridiculous, but absurd; and asking, whether you
did or could believe, a piece of wood, metal, or stone, had as much
sense as a beast, or as much reason as a man, having neither brain,
blood, heart, nor flesh; nor such organs, passages, parts, nor shapes
as animals? To which, I answer: That it is not any of these mentioned
things that makes life and knowledg, but life and knowledg is the
cause of them, which life and knowledg is animate matter, and is in
all parts of all Creatures: and to make it more plain and perspicuous,
humane sense and reason may perceive, that wood, stone, or metal, acts
as wisely as an animal: As for example; Rhubarb, or the like drugs,
will act very wisely in Purging; and Antimony, or the like, will act
very wisely in Vomiting; and Opium will act very wisely in Sleeping;
also Quicksilver or Mercury will act very wisely, as those that have
the French disease can best witness: likewise the Loadstone acts very
wisely, as Mariners or Navigators will tell you: Also Wine made of
Fruit, and Ale of Malt, and distilled Aqua-vitæ will act very subtilly;
ask the Drunkards, and they can inform you; Thus Infinite examples may
be given, and yet man says, all Vegetables and Minerals are insensible
and irrational, as also the Planets and Elements; when as yet the
Planets move very orderly and wisely, and the Elements are more active,
nay, more subtil and searching then any of the animal Creatures;
witness Fire, Air, and Water: As for the Earth, she brings forth her
fruit, if the other Elements do not cause abortives, in due season; and
yet man believes, Vegetables, Minerals, and Elements, are dead, dull,
senseless, and irrational Creatures, because they have not such shapes,
parts, nor passages as Animals, nor such exterior and local motions
as Animals have: but Man doth not consider the various, intricate and
obscure ways of Nature, unknown to any particular Creature; for what
our senses are not capable to know, our reason is apt to deny. Truly,
in my opinion, Man is more irrational then any of those Creatures,
when he believes that all knowledg is not onely confined to one sort
of Creatures, but to one part of one particular Creature, as the head,
or brain of man; for who can in reason think, that there is no other
sensitive and rational knowledg in Infinite Matter, but what is onely
in Man, or animal Creatures? It is a very simple and weak conclusion to
say, Other Creatures have no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no tongues
to taste, no noses to smell, as animals have; wherefore they have no
sense or sensitive knowledg; or because they have no head, nor brain as
Man hath, therefore they have no reason, nor rational knowledg at all:
for sense and reason, and consequently sensitive and rational knowledg,
extends further then to be bound to the animal eye, ear, nose, tongue,
head, or brain; but as these organs are onely in one kind of Natures
Creatures, as Animals, in which organs the sensitive corporeal motions
make the perception of exterior objects, so there may be infinite other
kinds of passages or organs in other Creatures unknown to Man, which
Creatures may have their sense and reason, that is, sensitive and
rational knowledg, each according to the nature of its figure; for as
it is absurd to say, that all Creatures in Nature are Animals, so it is
absurd to confine sense and reason onely to Animals; or to say, that
all other Creatures, if they have sense and reason, life and knowledg,
it must be the same as is in Animals: I confess, it is of the same
degree, that is, of the same animate part of matter, but the motions
of life and knowledg work so differently and variously in every kind
and sort, nay, in every particular Creature, that no single Creature
can find them out: But, in my opinion, not any Creature is without
life and knowledg, which life and knowledg is made by the self-moving
part of matter, that is, by the sensitive and rational corporeal
motions; and as it is no consequence, that all Creatures must be alike
in their exterior shapes, figures, and motions, because they are all
produced out of one and the same matter, so neither doth it follow,
that all Creatures must have the same interior motions, natures, and
proprieties, and so consequently the same life and knowledg, because
all life and knowledg is made by the same degree of matter, to wit, the
animate. Wherefore though every kind or sort of Creatures has different
perceptions, yet they are not less knowing; for Vegetables, Minerals,
and Elements, may have as numerous, and as various perceptions as
Animals, and they may be as different from animal perceptions as their
kinds are; but a different perception is not therefore no perception:
Neither is it the animal organs that make perception, nor the animal
shape that makes life, but the motions of life make them. But some may
say, it is Irreligious to believe any Creature has rational knowledg
but Man. Surely, _Madam_, the God of Nature, in my opinion, will be
adored by all Creatures, and adoration cannot be without sense and
knowledg. Wherefore it is not probable, that onely Man, and no Creature
else, is capable to adore and worship the Infinite and Omnipotent
God, who is the God of Nature, and of all Creatures: I should rather
think it irreligious to confine sense and reason onely to Man, and to
say, that no Creature adores and worships God, but Man; which, in my
judgment, argues a great pride, self-conceit, and presumption. And
thus, _Madam_, having declared my opinion plainly concerning this
subject, I will detain you no longer at this present, but rest,

Madam,

_Your constant Friend_

_and faithful Servant._



XXXI.


_MADAM,_

I perceive you do not well apprehend my meaning, when I say in my
_Philosophical Opinions,_[1] _That the Infinite degrees of Infinite
Matter are all Infinite:_ For, say you, the degrees of Matter cannot
be Infinite, by reason there cannot be two Infinites, but one would
obstruct the other. My answer is; I do not mean that the degrees of
Matter are Infinite each in its self, that is, that the animate and
inanimate are several Infinite matters, but my opinion is, that the
animate degree of matter is in a perpetual motion, and the inanimate
doth not move of it self, and that those degrees are infinite in their
effects, as producing and making infinite figures; for since the cause,
which is the onely matter, is infinite, the effects must of necessity
be infinite also; the cause is infinite in its substance, the effects
are Infinite in number. And this is my meaning, when I say,[2] that,
although in Nature there is but one kind of matter, yet there are
Infinite degrees, Infinite motions, and Infinite parts in that onely
matter; and though Infinite and Eternal matter has no perfect or exact
figure, by reason it is Infinite, and therefore unlimited, yet there
being infinite parts in number, made by the infinite variations of
motions in infinite Matter, these parts have perfect or exact figures,
considered as parts, that is, single, or each in its particular figure:
And therefore if there be Infinite degrees, considering the effects
of the animate and inanimate matter, infinite motions for changes,
infinite parts for number, infinite compositions and divisions for
variety and diversity of Creatures; then there may also be infinite
sizes, each part or figure differing more or less, infinite smallness
and bigness, lightness and heaviness, rarity and density, strength and
power, life and knowledg, and the like: But by reason Nature or Natural
matter is not all animate or inanimate, nor all composing or dividing,
there can be no Infinite in a part, nor can there be something biggest
or smallest, strongest or weakest, heaviest or lightest, softest
or hardest in Infinite Nature, or her parts, but all those several
Infinites are as it were included in one Infinite, which is Corporeal
Nature, or Natural Matter.

Next, you desire my opinion of _Vacuum_, whether there be any, or not?
for you say I determine nothing, of it in my Book of _Philosophical
Opinions_. Truly, _Madam_, my sense and reason cannot believe a
_Vacuum_, because there cannot be an empty Nothing; but change of
motion makes all the alteration of figures, and consequently all that
which is called place, magnitude, space, and the like; for matter,
motion, figure, place, magnitude, &c. are but one thing. But some
men perceiving the alteration, but not the subtil motions, believe
that bodies move into each others place, which is impossible, because
several places are onely several parts, so that, unless one part could
make it self another part, no part can be said to succeed into anothers
place; but it is impossible that one part should make it self another
part, for it cannot be another, and it self, no more then Nature can be
Nature, and not Nature; wherefore change of place is onely change of
motion, and this change of motion makes alteration of Figures.

Thirdly, you say, You cannot understand what I mean by Creation, for
you think that Creation is a production or making of Something out of
Nothing. To tell you really, _Madam_, this word is used by me for want
of a better expression; and I do not take it in so strict a sense as
to understand by it, a Divine or supernatural Creation, which onely
belongs to God; but a natural Creation, that is, a natural production
or Generation; for Nature cannot create or produce Something out of
Nothing: And this Production may be taken in a double sence; First,
in General, as for example, when it is said, that all Creatures are
produced out of Infinite Matter; and in this respect every particular
Creature which is finite, that is, of a circumscribed and limited
figure, is produced of Infinite Matter, as being a part thereof: Next,
Production is taken in a more strict sense, to wit, when one single
Creature is produced from another; and this is either Generation
properly so called, as when in every kind and sort each particular
produces its like; or it is such a Generation whereby one creature
produces another, each being of a different kind or species, as
for example, when an Animal produces a Mineral, as when a Stone is
generated in the Kidneys, or the like; and in this sence one finite
creature generates or produces another finite creature, the producer
as well as the produced being finite; but in the first sence finite
creatures are produced out of infinite matter.

Fourthly, you confess, You cannot well apprehend my meaning, when I
say,[3] that the several kinds are as Infinite as the particulars; for
your opinion is, That the number of particulars must needs exceed the
number of kinds. I answer: I mean in general the Infinite effects of
Nature which are Infinite in number, and the several kinds or sorts of
Creatures are Infinite in duration, for nothing can perish in Nature.

Fifthly, When I say,[4] that ascending and descending is often caused
by the exterior figure or shape of a body; witness a Bird, who although
he is of a much bigger size and bulk then a Worm, yet can by his
shape lift himself up more agilly and nimbly then a Worm; Your opinion
is, That his exterior shape doth not contribute any thing towards his
flying, by reason a Bird being dead retains the same shape, but yet
cannot fly at all. But, truly, _Madam_, I would not have you think that
I do exclude the proper and interior natural motion of the figure of
a Bird, and the natural and proper motions of every part and particle
thereof; for that a Bird when dead, keeps his shape, and yet cannot
fly, the reason is, that the natural and internal motions of the Bird,
and the Birds wings, are altered towards some other shape or figure,
if not exteriously, yet interiously; but yet the interior natural
motions could not effect any flying or ascending without the help of
the exterior shape; for a Man, or any other animal, may have the same
interior motions as a Bird hath, but wanting such an exterior shape, he
cannot fly; whereas had he wings like a Bird, and the interior natural
motions of those wings, he might without doubt fly as well as a Bird
doth.

Sixthly, Concerning the descent of heavy bodies,[5] that it is more
forcible then the ascent of light bodies, you do question the Truth
of this my opinion. Certainly, _Madam_, I cannot conceive it to be
otherwise by my sense and reason; for though Fire that is rare, doth
ascend with an extraordinary quick motion, yet this motion is, in my
opinion, not so strong and piercing as when grosser parts of Creatures
do descend; but there is difference in strength and quickness; for had
not Water a stronger motion, and another sort of figure then Fire,
it could not suppress Fire, much less quench it. But Smoak, which is
heavier then Flame, flies up, or rises before, or rather, above it:
Wherefore I am still of the same opinion, that heavy bodies descend
more forcibly then light bodies do ascend, and it seems most rational
to me.

Lastly, I perceive you cannot believe that all bodies have weight;
by reason, if this were so, the Sun, and the Stars would have long
since cover'd the Earth. In answer to this objection, I say, That as
there can be no body without figure and magnitude, so consequently not
without weight, were it no bigger then an atome; and as for the Sun's
and the Stars not falling down, or rising higher, the reason is, not
their being without weight, but their natural and proper motion, which
keeps them constantly in their spheres; and it might as well be said, a
Man lives not, or is not, because he doth not fly like a Bird, or dive
and catch fish like a Cormorant, or dig and undermine like a Mole, for
those are motions not proper to his nature. And these, _Madam_, are my
answers to your objections, which if they do satisfie you, it is all
I desire, if not, I shall endeavour hereafter to make my meaning more
intelligible and study for other more rational arguments then these
are, to let you see how much I value both the credit of my named Book,
and your _Ladiships_ Commands; which assure you self, shall never be
more faithfully performed, then by,

Madam,

_Your Ladiships most obliged Friend_

_and humble Servant._

[1] _Part._ 1. _c._ 4.

[2] _Ch._ 8.

[3] _Part._ 4. _c._ 10.

[4] _Ch._ 20.

[5] _Ch._ 21.



XXXII.


_MADAM,_

Since my opinion is, that the Animate part of Matter, which is sense
and reason, life and knowledg, is the designer, architect, and creator
of all figures in Nature; you desire to know, whence this Animate
Matter, sense and reason, or life and knowledg (call it what you will,
for it is all one and the same thing) is produced? I answer: It is
eternal. But then you say, it is coequal with God. I answer, That
cannot be: for God is above all Natural sense and reason, which is
Natural life and knowledg; and therefore it cannot be coequal with
God, except it be meant in Eternity, as being without beginning and
end. But if Gods Power can make Man's Soul, as also the good and evil
Spirits to last eternally without end, he may, by his Omnipotency
make as well things without beginning. You will say, If Nature were
Eternal, it could not be created, for the word Creation is contrary
to Eternity. I answer, _Madam_, I am no Scholar for words; for if you
will not use the word Creation, you may use what other word you will;
for I do not stand upon nice words and terms, so I can but express my
conceptions: Wherefore, if it be (as in Reason it cannot be otherwise)
that nothing in Nature can be annihilated, nor any thing created out
of nothing, but by Gods special and all-powerful Decree and Command,
then Nature must be as God has made her, until he destroy her. But if
Nature be not Eternal, then the Gods of the Heathens were made in
time, and were no more then any other Creature, which is as subject to
be destroyed as created; for they conceived their Gods, as we do men,
to have Material Bodies, but an Immaterial Spirit, or as some Learned
men imagine, to be an Immaterial Spirit, but to take several shapes,
and so to perform several corporeal actions; which truly is too humble
and mean a conception of an Immaterial Being, much more of the Great
and Incomprehensible God; which I do firmly believe is a most pure,
all-powerful Immaterial Being, which doth all things by his own Decree
and Omnipotency without any Corporeal actions or shapes, such as some
fancy of Dæmons and the like Spirits. But to return to the former
question; you might as well enquire how the world, or any part of it
was created, or how the variety of creatures came to be, as ask how
Reason and sensitive corporeal Knowledg was produced. Nevertheless,
I do constantly believe, that both sensitive and rational Knowledg
in Matter was produced from God; but after what manner or way, is
impossible for any creature or part of Nature to know, for Gods wayes
are incomprehensible and supernatural. And thus much I believe, That
as God is an Eternal Creator, which no man can deny, so he has also
an Eternal Creature, which is Nature, or natural Matter. But put the
case Nature or natural Matter was made when the World was created,
might not God give this Natural Matter self-motion, as well as he gave
self-motion to Spirits and Souls? and might not God endue this Matter
with Sense and Reason, as well as he endued Man? Shall or can we bind
up Gods actions with our weak opinions and foolish arguments? Truly,
if God could not act more then Man is able to conceive, he were not a
God of an infinite Power; but God is Omnipotent, and his actions are
infinite, supernatural, and past finding out; wherefore he is rather to
be admired, adored and worshipped, then to be ungloriously discoursed
of by vain and ambitious men, whose foolish pride and presumption
drowns their Natural Judgment and Reason; to which leaving them, I rest,

Madam,

_Your Faithful Friend_

_and Servant._



XXXIII.


_MADAM,_

In obedience to your commands, I here send you also an explanation
and clearing of those places and passages in my Book of Philosophy,
which in your last Letter you were pleased to mark, as containing some
obscurity and difficulty of being understood.

First, When I say,[1] _Nature is an Individable Matter_, I do not mean
as if Nature were not dividable into parts; for because Nature is
material, therefore she must also needs be dividable into parts: But my
meaning is, that Nature cannot be divided from Matter, nor Matter from
Nature, that is, Nature cannot be Immaterial, nor no part of Nature,
but if there be any thing Immaterial, it doth not belong to Nature.
Also when I call Nature a _Multiplying Figure_;[2] I mean, that Nature
makes infinite changes, and so infinite figures.

Next, when I say,[3] _There are Infinite Divisions in Nature_; my
meaning is not, that there are infinite divisions of one single part,
but that Infinite Matter has Infinite parts, sizes, figures, and
motions, all being but one Infinite Matter, or corporeal Nature. Also
when I say single parts, I mean not parts subsisting by themselves,
precised from each other, but single, that is, several or different, by
reason of their different figures. Likewise, when I name Atomes, I mean
small parts of Matter; and when I speak of Place and Time, I mean onely
the variation of corporeal figurative motions.

Again: when I say,[4] _Nature has not an absolute Power, because she
has an Infinite power_; I mean by _absolute_, as much as finite, or
circumscribed; and in this sense Nature cannot have an absolute power,
for the Infiniteness hinders the absoluteness; but when in my former
Letters I have attributed an absolute Power onely to God, and said that
Nature has not an absolute power, but that her power, although it be
Infinite, yet cannot extend beyond Nature, but is an Infinite natural
power; I understand by an absolute Power, not a finite power, but such
a power which onely belongs to God, that is, a supernatural and divine
power, which power Nature cannot have, by reason she cannot make any
part of her body immaterial, nor annihilate any part of her Creatures,
nor create any part that was not in her from Eternity, nor make her
self a Deity; for though God can impower her with a supernatural gift,
and annihilate her when he pleases, yet she is no ways able to do it
her self.

Moreover, when I say,[5] _That one Infinite is contained within
another_; I mean, the several sorts of Infinites, as Infinite in
number, Infinite in duration; as also the Infinite degrees, motions,
figures, sizes, compositions, divisions, &c. all which are contained in
the Infinite body of Nature, which is the onely Infinite in quantity or
substance, neither can the parts of Nature go beyond Infinite.

Also when I say,[6] _That Matter would have power over Infinite,
and Infinite over Matter, and Eternal over both_; I mean, that some
corporeal actions endeavour to be more powerful then others, and thus
the whole strives to over-power the parts, and the parts the whole:
As for example, if one end of a string were tied about the little
finger of ones hand, and the other end were in the power of the other
whole hand, and both did pull several and opposite ways; certainly,
the little finger would endeavour to over-power the hand, and the hand
again would strive to over-power the little finger: The same may be
said of two equal figures, as two hands, and other the like examples
may be given. And this is also my meaning, when I say, that some
shapes have power over others, and some degrees and temperaments of
matter over others; whereby I understand nothing else, but that some
parts have power over others. Also when I say,[7] that outward things
govern, and a Creature has no power over it self, I mean, that which is
stronger, by what means soever, is superior in power.

When I say,[8] That _the Animate part of Matter is not so gross an
Infinite as the Inanimate_, I do not attribute an Infiniteness to a
part, as if animate matter considered as a part were infinite; but my
meaning is, that the Animate matter produces infinite effects: For,
it being the Designer, Architect, and Creator of all Figures, as also
the Life and Soul of all Creatures, it must needs be infinite in its
effects, as also infinite in its duration. But you may object, That a
part cannot produce infinite effects. I answer, It is true, if animate
matter should be considered in it self without the inanimate, it could
not produce infinite effects, having nothing to work upon and withal;
but because there is such a close and inseparable conjunction of
those parts of matter, as they make but one body, and that Infinite,
none can be or work without the other, but both degrees of matter,
which make but one infinite Nature, are required in the production of
the infinite effects and figures in Nature: Nevertheless, since the
Animate part of Matter is the onely architect, creator, or producer
of all those effects, by reason it is the self-moving part, and the
Inanimate is onely the instrument which the Animate works withal, and
the materials it works upon, the Production of the infinite effects
in Nature is more fitly ascribed to the Animate then the Inanimate
part of matter; as for example, If an architect should build an
house, certainly he can do nothing without materials, neither can the
materials raise themselves to such a figure as a house without the help
of the architect and workmen, but both are of necessity required to
this artificial production; nevertheless, the building of the house is
not laid to the materials, but to the architect: the same may be said
of animate and inanimate matter in the production of natural effects.
Again, you may reply, That the animate and inanimate parts of matter
are but two parts, and the number of Two is but a finite number,
wherefore they cannot make one infinite body, such as I call Nature
or natural Matter. I answer, _Madam_, I confess, that a finite number
is not nor cannot make an infinite number; but I do not say, that the
animate and inanimate parts or degrees of matter are two finite parts
each subsisting by it self as circumscribed, and having its certain
bounds, limits and circumference; for if this were so, certainly they
being finite themselves, could not produce but finite effects; but my
meaning is, that both the animate and inanimate matter do make but
one Infinite bulk, body, or substance and are not two several and
dividable bodies in themselves, and thus they may be divided not into
two but into Infinite parts; Neither are they two different Matters,
but they are but one Matter; for by the animate Matter I do understand
self-motion; and that I call this self-motion Matter, the reason is,
that no body shall think as if self-motion were immaterial; for my
opinion is, that Nature is nothing but meer Matter, and that nothing is
in Nature which is a part of Nature, that is not material; wherefore
to avoid such a misapprehension (seeing that most learned men are
so much for abstractions and immaterial beings) I called self-motion
animate matter, or the animate part of matter; not as if they were two
several matters, but that all is but one natural Matter, or corporeal
Nature in one bulk, body, or substance, just like as the soul and body
do make but one man; and to avoid also this misapprehension, lest they
might be taken for several matters, I have upon better consideration,
in this volume of _Philosophical Letters_, call'd the animate matter
corporeal self-motion, which expression, I think, is more proper,
plain, and intelligible then any other: Neither would I have you to
scruple at it, when I say, that both parts or degrees of animate and
inanimate matter do retain their own interior natures and proprieties
in their commixture, as if those different natures and proprieties,
where one is self-moving, and the other not, did cause them to be two
different matters; for thus you might say as well, that several figures
which have several and different interior natures and proprieties,
are so many several matters. The truth is, if you desire to have the
truest expression of animate and inanimate matter, you cannot find
it better then in the definition of Nature, when I say, Nature is an
infinite self-moving body; where by the body of Nature I understand the
inanimate matter, and by self-motion the animate, which is the life
and soul of Nature, not an immaterial life and soul, but a material,
for both life, soul and body are and make but one self-moving body or
substance which is corporeal Nature. And therefore when I call _Animate
matter_ an _Extract_,[9] I do it by reason of its purity, subtilty and
agility, not by reason of its immateriality. Also when I name the word
Motion by it self, and without any addition, I understand corporeal
Motion; and when I name Motion, Matter and Figure, I do not mean three
several and distinct things, but onely figurative corporeal motion, or
figurative self-moving matter, all being but one thing; the same when I
speak of Place, Time, Magnitude, and the like.

Concerning Natural Production or Generation; when I say,[10] _The same
matter or figure of the producers doth not always move after one and
the same manner in producing, for then the same producers would produce
one and the same creature by repetition_, I do not mean the very same
creature in number, unless the same motions and parts of matter did
return into the producers again, which is impossible; but I understand
the like creature, to wit, that one and the same sort of particular
motions would make all particular figures resemble so, as if they were
one and the same creature without any difference.

When I say,[11] _Sensitive and Rational knowledg lives in sensitive
and rational Matter, and Animate liveth in Inanimate matter_, I mean
they are all several parts and actions of the onely infinite matter
inseparable from each other; for wheresoever is matter, there is also
self-motion, and wheresoever is self-motion, there is sense and reason,
and wheresoever is sense and reason, there is sensitive and rational
knowledge, all being but one body or substance, which is Nature.

When I say,[12] _The death of particular Creatures causes an obscurity
of Knowledge, and that particular Knowledges increase and decrease,
and may be more or less_, I mean onely that parts divide themselves
from parts, and joyn to other parts; for every several Motion is a
several Knowledge, and as motion varies, so doth knowledge; but there
is no annihilation of any motion, and consequently not of knowledge
in Nature. And as for more or less knowledge, I mean more or less
alteration and variety of corporeal figurative motions, not onely
rational but sensitive, so that that creature which has most variety
of those perceptive motions is most knowing, provided they be regular,
that is, according to the nature and propriety of the figure, whether
animal, vegetable, mineral, or elemental; for though a large figure
is capable of most knowledge, yet it is not commonly or alwayes so
wise or witty as a less, by reason it is more subject to disorders and
irregularities; like as a private Family is more regular and better
ordered then a great State or Common-wealth. Also when I say, _That
some particular Knowledge lasts longer then some other_, I mean that
some corporeal motions in some parts do continue longer then in others.

When I say,[13] _A little head may be full, and a great head may be
empty of rational matter_, I mean there may be as it were an ebbing
or flowing, that is more or less of Rational Matter joyned with the
Sensitive and Inanimate: And when I say, _That, if all the heads of
Mankind were put into one, and sufficient quantity of Rational Matter
therein, that Creature would not onely have the knowledge of every
particular, but that Understanding and Knowledge would increase like
Use-money_, my meaning is, that if there were much of those parts of
rational matter joyned, they would make more variety by self-change of
corporeal motions.

When I name _Humane sense and reason_, I mean such sensitive and
rational perception and knowledge as is proper to the nature of Man;
and when I say _Animal sense and reason_, I mean such as is proper
to the nature of all Animals; for I do not mean that the sensitive
and rational corporeal motions which do make a man, or any Animal,
are bound to such figures eternally, but whilest they work and move
in such or such figures, they make such perceptions as belong to the
nature of those figures; but when those self-moving parts dissolve the
figure of an Animal into a Vegetable or any other Creature, then they
work according to the nature of that same figure, both exteriously and
interiously.

When I say,[14] _That Place, Space, Measure, Number, Weight, Figures,
&c. are mixed with Substance_, I do not mean they are incorporeal, and
do inhere in substance as so many incorporeal modes or accidents; but
my meaning is, they are all corporeal parts and actions of Nature,
there being no such thing in Nature that may be called incorporeal; for
Place, Figure, Weight, Measure, &c. are nothing without Body, but Place
and Body are but one thing, and so of the rest. Also when I say,[15]
_That sometimes Place, sometimes Time, and sometimes Number gives
advantage_, I mean, that several parts of Matter are getting or losing
advantage.

When I say,[16] an Animal or any thing else that has exterior local
motion, goeth or moveth to such or such a place, I mean, to such or
such a body; and when such a Creature doth not move out of its place, I
mean, it doth not remove its body from such or such parts adjoyning to
it.

When I say,[17] _The rational animate matter divides it self into
as many parts, and after as many several manners as their place or
quantity will give way to_, I mean their own place and quantity: also,
as other parts will give way to those parts, for some parts will assist
others, and some do obstruct others.

When I say,[18] _That the Nature of extension or dilation strives or
endeavours to get space, ground, or compass_, I mean those corporeal
motions endeavour to make place and space by their extensions, that
is, to spread their parts of matter into a larger compass or body. And
when I say, _That Contractions endeavour to cast or thrust out space,
place, ground, or compass_, My meaning is, That those corporeal motions
endeavour to draw their parts of matter into a more close and solid
body, for there is no place nor space without body.

Also when I name[19] several _tempered substances and matters_, I mean
several changes and mixtures of corporeal motions.

Also when I speak of _Increase_ and _Decrease_, I mean onely an
alteration of corporeal figurative motions, as uniting parts with
parts, and dissolving or separating parts from parts.

When I say,[20] That the motions of cold, and the motions of moisture,
when they meet, make cold and moist effects, and when the motions of
heat and moisture meet, make hot and moist effects; and so for the
motions of cold and dryness: I mean, that when several parts do joyn
in such several corporeal motions, they cause such effects; and when
I say cold and heat presses into every particular Creature, I mean,
that every Creatures natural and inherent perceptive motions make such
patterns as their exterior objects are, _viz._ hot or cold, if they do
but move regularly, for if they be irregular, then they do not: as for
example; those in an Ague will shake for cold in a hot Summers day, and
those that are in a Fever will burn with heat, although they were at
the Poles.

When I say,[21] that hot motions, and burning motions, and hot figures,
and burning figures do not associate or joyn together in all Creatures:
I mean, that the corporeal motions in some figures or creatures, do act
in a hot, but not in a burning manner; and when I say, some creatures
have both hot and burning motions and figures, I mean, the corporeal
motions act both in a hot and burning manner; for though heat is in a
degree to burning, yet it is not always burning, for burning is the
highest degree of heat, as wetness is the highest degree of moisture.

When I say,[22] _Warmth feeds other Creatures after a spiritual manner,
not a corporeal_, My meaning is, not as if heat were not corporeal, but
that those corporeal motions which make heat work invisibly, and not
visibly like as fire feeds on fuel, or man on meat.

Also when I say, _Excercise amongst animals gets strength_, I mean,
that by excercise the inherent natural motions of an animal body are
more active, as being more industrious.

When I say,[23] _That the passage whence cold and sharp winds do
issue out, is narrow_, I mean, when as such or such parts disjoyn or
separate from other parts; as for example, when dilating parts disjoyn
from contracting parts; and oftentimes the disjoyning parts do move
according to the nature of those parts they disjoyn from.

Concerning the actions of Nature, my meaning is, that there is not any
action whatsoever, but was always in Nature, and remains in Nature so
long as it pleases God that Nature shall last, and of all her actions
Perception and self-love are her prime and chief actions; wherefore it
is impossible but that all her particular creatures or parts must be
knowing as well as self-moving, there being not one part or particle
of Nature that has not its share of animate or self-moving matter, and
consequently of knowledg and self-love, each according to its own kind
and nature; but by reason all the parts are of one matter, and belong
to one body, each is unalterable so far, that although it can change
its figure, yet it cannot change or alter from being matter, or a part
of Infinite Nature; and this is the cause there cannot be a confusion
amongst those parts of Nature, but there must be a constant union and
harmony betwixt them; for cross and opposite actions make no confusion,
but onely a variety, and such actions which are different, cross and
opposite, not moving always after their usual and accustomed way, I
name Irregular, for want of a better expression; but properly there is
no such thing as Irregularity in Nature, nor no weariness, rest, sleep,
sickness, death or destruction, no more then there is place, space,
time, modes, accidents, and the like, any thing besides body or matter.

When I speak of _unnatural Motions_,[24] I mean such as are not
proper to the nature of such or such a Creature, as being opposite or
destructive to it, that is, moving or acting towards its dissolution.
Also when I call Violence supernatural, I mean that Violence is beyond
the particular nature of such a particular Creature, that is, beyond
its natural motions; but not supernatural, that is beyond Infinite
Nature or natural Matter.

When I say, _A thing is forced_, I do not mean that the forced body
receives strength without Matter; but that some Corporeal Motions joyn
with other Corporeal Motions, and so double the strength by joyning
their parts, or are at least an occasion to make other parts more
industrious.

By _Prints_ I understand the figures of the objects which are patterned
or copied out by the sensitive and rational corporeal figurative
Motions; as for example, when the sensitive corporeal motions pattern
out the figure of an exteriour object, and the rational motions again
pattern out a figure made by the sensitive motions, those figures of
the objects that are patterned out, I name Prints; as for example, _The
sense of Seeing is not capable to receive the Print_,[25] that is, the
figure or pattern _of the object of the whole Earth_. And again, _The
rational Motions are not alwayes exactly after the sensitive Prints_,
that is, after the figures made by the sensitive motions. Thus by
Prints I understand Patterns, and by printing patterning; not that the
exteriour object prints its figure upon the exteriour sensitive organs,
but that the sensitive motions in the organs pattern out the figure of
the object: but though all printing is done by the way of patterning,
yet all patterning is not printing. Therefore when I say,[26] that
_solid bodies print their figures in that which is more porous and
soft, and that those solid bodies make new prints perpetually; and as
they remove, the prints melt out, like verbal or vocal sounds, which
print words and set notes in the Air_; I mean, the soft body by its own
self-motion patterns out the figure of the solid body, and not that
the solid body makes its own print, and so leaves the place of its own
substance with the print in the soft body; for place remains always
with its own body, and cannot be separated from it, they being but
one thing: for example; when a Seal is printed in Wax, the Seal gives
not any thing to the Wax, but is onely an object patterned out by the
figurative motions of the Wax in the action of printing or sealing.

When I make mention[27] _of what the Senses bring in_, I mean what the
sensitive Motions pattern out of forreign objects: And when I say,[28]
_that the pores being shut, touch cannot enter_, I mean, the sensitive
corporeal motions cannot make patterns of outward objects.

Also when I say, _our Ears may be as knowing as our Eyes_, and so of
the rest of the sensitive organs; I mean the sensitive motions in those
parts or organs.

When I say,[29] _The more the Body is at rest, the more active or busie
is the Mind_, I mean when the sensitive Motions are not taken up with
the action of patterning out forreign objects.

When I say,[30] the Air is fill'd with sound, and that words are
received into the ears, as figures of exterior objects are received
into the eyes, I mean, the sensitive motions of the Air pattern out
sound, and the sensitive motions of the Ears pattern out words, as the
sensitive figurative motions of the Eyes pattern out the figures of
external objects.

Also when I speak of _Thunder_ and _Lightning_, to wit, _That Thunder
makes a great noise by the breaking of lines_: My meaning is, That the
Air patterns out this sound or noise of the lines; and by reason there
are so many patterns made in the air by its sensitive motions, the Ear
cannot take so exact a copy thereof, but somewhat confusedly; and this
is the reason why Thunder is represented, or rather pattern'd out with
some terrour; for Thunder is a confused noise, because the patterns are
made confusedly.

But concerning Sound and Light, I am forced to acquaint you, _Madam_,
that my meaning thereof is not so well expressed in my Book of
Philosophy, by reason I was not of the same opinion at that time when I
did write that Book which I am now of; for upon better consideration,
and a more diligent search into the causes of natural effects, I have
found it more probable, that all sensitive perception is made by the
way of Patterning, and so consequently the perception of Sound and of
Light; wherefore, I beseech you, when you find in my mentioned Book
any thing thereof otherwise expressed, do not judg of it as if I did
contradict my self, but that I have alter'd my opinion since upon more
probable reasons.

Thus, _Madam_, you have a true declaration of my sence and meaning
concerning those places, which in my _Philosophical Opinions_ you did
note, as being obscure; but I am resolved to bestow so much time and
labour as to have all other places in that Book rectified and cleared,
which seem not perspicuous, lest its obscurity may be the cause of its
being neglected: And I pray God of his mercy to assist me with his
Grace, and grant that my Works may find a favourable acceptance. In
the mean time, I confess my self infinitely bound to your Ladyship,
that you would be pleased to regard so much the Honour of your Friend,
and be the chief occasion of it; for which I pray Heaven may bless,
prosper, and preserve you, and lend me some means and ways to express
my self,

Madam,

_Your thankfull Friend,_

_and humble Servant._


[1] _Part._ 3. _c._ 13.

[2] _Ibid._

[3] _Part._ 1. _c._ 11.

[4] _Part._ 1. _c._ 13, 14.

[5] _P._ 1. _c._ 8.

[6] _P._ 6. _c._ 3.

[7] _P._ 3. _c._ 10.

[8] _P._ 1. _Ch._ 3.

[9] _P._ 4. _c._ 3, 32.

[10] _P._ 1. _c._ 22.

[11] _P._ 3. _c._ 15.

[12] _Ibid._

[13] _P._ 6. _c._ 11.

[14] _P._ 3. _c._ 21.

[15] _c._ 14.

[16] _P._ 5. _c._ 51.

[17] _P._ 6. _c._ 8.

[18] _P._ 4. _c._ 34.

[19] _Ibid._

[20] _P._ 5. _c._ 4.

[21] _P._ 5. _c._ 13.

[22] _P._ 5. _c._ 27.

[23] _P._ 5. _c._ 45.

[24] _P._ 7. _c._ 11.

[25] _P._ 3. _c._ 2.

[26] _P._ 5. _c._ 23.

[27] _P._ 6. _c._ 13.

[28] _P._ 7. _c._ 12.

[29] _P._ 6. _c._ 13.

[30] _P._ 6. _c._ 29.



  _Eternal God, Infinite Deity,
  Thy Servant_, NATURE, _humbly prays to Thee,
  That thou wilt please to favour Her, and give
  Her parts, which are Her Creatures, leave to live,
  That in their shapes and forms, what e're they be,
  And all their actions they may worship thee;
  For 'tis not onely Man that doth implore,
  But all Her parts, Great God, do thee adore;
  A finite Worship cannot be to thee,
  Thou art above all finites in degree:
  Then let thy Servant Nature mediate
  Between thy Justice, Mercy, and our state,
  That thou may'st bless all Parts, and ever be
  Our Gracious God to all Eternity._


FINIS.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Philosophical Letters: or, modest Reflections upon some Opinions in Natural Philosophy" ***

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