To which is added,
of a
New Blazing World.

By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent

Duchess of Newcastle.

Printed by A. Maxwell, in the 1666Year, 1666.

a1v a2r

Her Grace
Duchess of Newcastle,
On her Observations upon
Experimental Philosophy.

This Book is Book of Books, and onely fits

Great searching Brains, and Quintessence of Wits;

For this will give you an Eternal Fame,

And last to all Posterity your Name:

You conquer Death, in a perpetual Life;

And make me famous too in such a Wife.

So I will Prophesie in spight of Fools,

When dead, then honour’d, and be read in Schools.

And Ipse dixit lost, not He, but She

Still cited in your strong Philosophy.

William Newcastle.

a2v b1r

To his
Duke of Newcastle.

My Noble Lord,

In this present Treatise, I have ventured
to make some observations
upon Experimental Philosophy,
and to examine the Opinions of
some of our Modern Microscopical
or Dioptrical Writers; and though
your grace is not onely a lover of Vertuosoes, but a
Vertuoso your self, and have as good, and as many sorts
of Optick Glasses as any one else; yet you do not busie
your self much with this brittle Art, but employ
most part of your time in the more noble and heroick
Art of Horsemanship and Weapons, as also in the sweet
and delightful Art of Poetry, and in the useful Art of b Archi- b1v
Architecture, &c. which shews that you do not believe
much in the Informations of those Optick
glasses, at least think them not so useful as others do
that spend most of their time in Dioptrical inspections.
The truth is, My Lord, That most men in these latter
times, busie themselves more with other Worlds, then
with this they live in, which to me seems strange, unless
they could find out some Art that would carry them into
those Celestial Worlds, which I doubt will never be;
nay, if they did, it would be no better then Lucian’s, or
the French-mans Art, with Bottles, Bladders, &c. or like
the mans that would scrue himself up into the Moon:
And therefore I confess, I have but little faith in such
Arts, and as little in Telescopical, Microscopical, and
the like inspections, and prefer rational and judicious
Observations before deluding Glasses and Experiments;
which, as I have more at large declared in this
following work, so I leave it to your Graces perusal
and judgment, which I know is so just, so exact, and
so wise, that I may more safely rely upon it, then all
others besides; and if your Grace do but approve of it,
I care not if all the world condemn it; for your Graces
Approbation is all that can be desired from,

My Lord,
Your Graces honest Wife,
and humble Servant,



To the
most famous

Most Noble, and Eminently-Learned,

Do not judg it an Impertinency, that now again
I presume to offer unto you another piece of
my Philosophical Works; for when I reflect
upon the honour you have done me, I am
so much sensible of it, that I am troubled I cannot make you
an acknowledgment answerable to your great Civilities.

You might, if not with scorn, with silence have passed
by, when one of our Sex, and what is more, one that never
was versed in the sublime Arts and Sciences of literature,
took upon her to write, not onely of Philosophy, the
highest of all humane Learning, but to offer it to so famous
and celebrated a University as yours; but your Goodness and b2v
and Civility being as great as your Learning, would rather
conceal, then discover or laugh at those weaknesses and imperfections
which you know our Sex is liable to; nay, so far
you were from this, that by your civil respects, and undeserved
commendations, you were pleased to cherish rather, then quite
to suppress or extinguish my weak endeavours.

For which Favour, as I found my self doubly indebted to
you, so I thought it my duty to pay you my double acknowledgments;
Thanks, you know, can never be unseasonable, when
petitions may; neither can they be unpleasing, when petitions
often are troublesome; and since there is no sacrifice, which
God is more delighted with, then that of Thanks-giving, I
live in hopes you will not refuse this repeated offer of Gratitude,
but favourably, as a due to your Merits, receive it
from her, who both of your Ingenuity, Learning and Civility
is the greatest admirer, and shall always profess her

Your most Obliged and
Devoted Servant.
The c1r

to the

Tis probable, some will say, that my
much writing is a disease; but what
disease they will judg it to be, I cannot
tell; I do verily believe they
will take it to be a disease of the
Brain, but surely they cannot call
it an Apoplexical or Lethargical disease: Perhaps they
will say, it is an extravagant, or at least a Fantastical
disease; but I hope they will rather call it a disease of
wit. But, let them give it what name they please,
yet of this I am sure, that if much writing be a
disease, then the best Philosophers, both Moral and c Natural, c1v
Natural, as also the best Divines, Lawyers, Physitians,
Poets, Historians, Orators, Mathematicians, Chymists,
and many more have been grievously sick, and
Seneca, Plinius, Aristotle, Cicero, Tacitus, Plutarch,
Euclid, Homer, Virgil, Ovid, St. Augustin. St. Ambrose,
Scotus, Hippocrates, Galen, Paracelsus, and
hundreds more, have been at deaths door with the disease
of writing; but to be infected with the same disease,
which the devoutest, wisest, wittiest subtilest,
most learned and eloquent men have been troubled
withal, is no disgrace, but the greatest honour, even to the
most ambitious person in the world: and next to the
honour of being thus infected, it is also a great delight
and pleasure to me, as being the onely Pastime which
imploys my idle hours; in so much, that, were I sure
no body did read my Works, yet I would not quit
my pastime for all this; for although they should not
delight others, yet they delight me; and if all Women
that have no imployment in worldly affairs, should
but spend their time as harmlesly as I do, they would
not commit such faults as many are accused of.

I confess, there are many useless and superfluous
Books, and perchance mine will add to the number of
them; especially is it to be observed, that there have
been in this latter age, as many Writers of Natural
Philosophy, as in former ages there have been of Moral
Philosophy; which multitude, I fear, will produce such
a confusion of Truth and Falshood, as the number of c2r
of Moral Writers formerly did, with their over-nice
divisions of Vertues and vices, whereby they did puzle
their Readers so, that they knew not how to distinguish
between them. The like, I doubt, will prove amongst
our Natural Philosophers, who by their extracted, or
rather distracted arguments, confound both Divinity
and Natural Philosophy, Sense and Reason, Nature and
Art, so much as in time we shall have rather a Chaos,
then a well-order’d Universe by their doctrine: Besides,
many of their Writings are but parcels taken from
the ancient; but such Writers are like those unconscionable
men in Civil Wars, which endeavour to pull
down the hereditary Mansions of Noble-men and
Gentlemen, to build a Cottage of their own; for so do
they pull down the learning of Ancient Authors, to
render themselves famous in composing Books of
their own. But though this Age does ruine Palaces,
to make Cottages; Churches, to make Conventicles;
and Universities to make private Colledges;
and endeavour not onely to wound, but to kill
and bury the Fame of such meritorious Persons as the
Ancient were, yet, I, hope God of his mercy will
preserve State, Church, and Schools, from ruine and
destruction; Nor do I think their weak works will
be able to overcome the strong wits of the Ancient; for
setting aside some few of our Moderns, all the rest are
but like dead and withered leaves, in comparison to
lovely and lively Plants; and as for Arts, I am confident,dent, c2v
that where there is one good Art found in these
latter ages, there are two better old Arts lost, both of the
Ægyptians, Grecians, Romans, and many other ancient
Nations; (when I say lost, I mean in relation to
our knowledg, not in Nature; for nothing can be lost
in Nature) Truly, the Art of Augury was far more
beneficial then the lately invented Art of Micrography;
for I cannot perceive any great advantage this Art doth
bring us. Also the Ecclipse of the Sun and Moon was not
found out by Telescopes, nor the motions of the Loadstone,
nor the Art of the Card, nor the Art of Guns
and Gun-powder, nor the Art of Printing, and the
like, by Microscopes; nay, if it be true, that Telescopes
make appear the spots in the Sun and Moon,
or discover some new Stars, what benefit is that to
us? Or if Microscopes do truly represent the exterior
parts and superficies of some minute Creatures, what
advantages it our knowledg? For unless they could discover
their interior, corporeal, figurative motions, and
the obscure actions of Nature, or the causes which make
such or such Creatures, I see no great benefit or advantage
they yield to man: Or if they discover how reflected
light makes loose and superficial Colours, such
as no sooner percieved, but are again dissolved; what
benefit is that to man? For neither Painters nor Dyers
can inclose and mix that Atomical dust, and those
reflections of light to serve them for any use. Wherefore,
in my opinion, it is both time and labour lost; for the d1r
the inspection of the exterior parts of Vegetables, doth
not give us any knowledg how to Sow, Set, Plant,
and Graft; so that a Gardener or Husbandman will
gain no advantage at all by this Art: The inspection of
a Bee, through a Microscope, will bring him no more
Honey, nor the inspection of a grain more Corn; neither
will the inspection of dusty Atomes, and reflections of
light, teach Painters how to make and mix Colours,
although it may perhaps be an advantage to a decayed
Ladies face, by placing her self in such or such a reflection
of Light, where the dusty Atomes may hide her
wrinkles. The truth is, most of these Arts are Fallacies,
rather then discoveries of Truth; for Sense deludes
more then it gives a true Information, and an exterior
inspection through an Optick glass, is so deceiving,
that it cannot be relied upon: Wherefore Regular
Reason is the best guide to all Arts, as I shall
make it appear in this following Treatise.

It may be the World will judg it a fault in me, that
I oppose so many eminent and ingenious Writers, but
I do it not out of a contradicting or wrangling nature,
but out of an endeavour to find out truth, or at least
the probability of truth, according to that proportion of
sense and reason Nature has bestowed upon me; for
as I have heard my Noble Lord say, that in the Art of
Riding and Fencing, there is but one Truth, but many
Falshoods and Fallacies: So it may be said of Natural
Philosophy and Divinity; for there is but one Fundamentald mental d1v
Truth in each, and I am as ambitious of finding
out the truth of Nature, as an honourable Dueller is
of gaining fame and repute; for as he will fight with
none but an honourable and valiant opposite, so am I
resolved to argue with none but those which have the
renown of being famous and subtil Philosophers; and
therefore as I have had the courage to argue heretofore
with some famous and eminent Writers in Speculative
Philosophy; so have I taken upon me in this
present work, to make some reflections also upon some
of our Modern Experimental and Dioptrical Writers.
They will perhaps think my self an inconsiderable opposite,
because I am not of their Sex, and therefore
strive to hit my Opinions with a side stroke, rather covertly,
then openly and directly; but if this should
chance, the impartial World, I hope, will grant me
so much Justice as to consider my honesty, and their
fallacy, and pass such a judgment as will declare them
to be Patrons, not onely to Truth, but also to Justice
and Equity; for which Heaven will grant them their
reward, and time will record their noble and worthy
Actions in the Register of Fame, to be kept in everlasting

To d2r

To the

Curteous Reader,

Surrounding the dropped initial capital I is a ship at sea, flanked on the upper-left by a moon with stars, and on the upper-right by a shining sun.

Ido ingenioussly confess, that both for
want of learning and reading Philosophical
Authors, I have not expressed
my self in my Philosophical
Works, especially in my Philosophical
and Physical Opinions, so clearly
and plainly as I might have done, had I had the assistance of
Art, and the practice of reading other Authors: But though
my Conceptions seem not so perspicuous in the mentioned Book
of Philosophical Opinions; yet my Philosophical Letters,
and these present Observations, will, I hope, render
it more intelligible, which I have writ, not out of an ambitious
humour, to fill the World with useless Books, but
to explain and illustrate my own Opinions; For what benefit
would it be to me, if I should put forth a work, which by reason d2v
reason of its obscure and hard notions, could not be understood?
especially, it is known, that Natural Philosophy is the hardest
of all humane learning, by reason it consists onely in
Contemplation, and to make the Philosophical Conceptions
of ones mind known to others, is more diffficult then to
make them believe, that if A.B. be equal to C.D. then
E.F. is equal to A.B. because it is equal to C.D. But
as for Learning, that I am not versed in it, no body, I hope,
will blame me for it, since it is sufficiently known, that our
Sex is not bred up to it, as being not suffer’d to be instructed
in Schools and Universities; I will not say, but many of
our Sex may have as much wit, and be capable of Learning
as well as Men; but since they want Instructions, it is not
possible they should attain to it; for Learning is Artificial,
but Wit is Natural. Wherefore, when I began to read
the Philosophical Works of other Authors, I was so troubled
with their hard words and expressions at first, that had
they not been explained to me, and had I not found out some of
them by the context and connexion of the sense, I should have
been far enough to seek; for their hard words did more obstruct,
then instruct me. The truth is, if any one intends
to write Philosophy, either in English, or any other language;
he ought to consider the propriety of the language,
as much as the Subject he writes of; or else to what purpose
would it be to write? If you do write Philosophy in English,
and use all the hardest words and expressions which
none but Scholars are able to understand, you had better to
write it in Latine; but if you will write for those that do not understand e1r
understand Latin, Your reason will tell you, that you must
explain those hard words, and English them in the easiest
manner you can; What are words but marks of things?
and what are Philosophical Terms, but to express the
Conceptions of ones mind in that Science? And truly I
do not think that there is any Language so poor, which
cannot do that; wherefore those that fill their writings
with hard words, put the horses behind the Coach, and instead
of making hard things easie, make easie things hard,
which especially in our English writers is a great fault;
neither do I see any reason for it, but that they think to
make themselves more famous by those that admire all what
they do not understand, though it be Non-sense; but I
am not of their mind, and therefore although I do understand
some of their hard expressions now, yet I shun them
as much in my writings as is possible for me to do, and all
this, that they may be the better understood by all, learned
as well as unlearned; by those that are professed Philosophers
as well as by those that are none: And though I could
employ some time in studying all the hardest phrases and
words in other Authors, and write as learnedly perhaps as
they; yet will I not deceive the World, nor trouble my
Conscience by being a Mountebanck in learning, but rather
prove naturally wise then artificially foolish; for at best I
should but obscure my opinions, and render them more intricate
instead of clearing and explaining them; but if my Readers
should spie any errors slipt into my writings for want of
art and learning, I hope they’l be so just as not to censure e me e1v
me too severely for them, but express their wisdom in preferring
the kernel before the shells.

It is not possible that a young Student, when first he
comes to the University, should hope to be Master of Art
in one Month, or one Year; and so do I likewise not perswade
my self, that my Philosophy being new, and but lately
brought forth, will at first sight prove Master of Understanding,
nay, it may be not in this age; but if God
favour her, she may attain to it in after-times and if she
be slighted now and buried in silence, she may perhaps
rise more glorioussly hereafter; for her Ground being Sense
and Reason, She may meet with an age where she will
be more regarded, then she is in this.

But Courteous Reader, all what I request of you
at present, is, That if you have a mind to understand
my Philosophical Conceptions truly, You would be pleased to
read them not by parcels, here a little, and there a little,
(for I have found it by my self, that when I read
not a book thoroughly from beginning to end, I cannot
well understand the Authors design, but may easily mistake
his meaning; I mean such Books as treat of Philosophy,
History, &c. where all parts depend upon each other,)
But if you’l give an impartial judgment of my Philosophy,
read it all, or else spare your Censures; especially do I
recommend to you my Philosophical Opinions, which contain
the Grounds and Principles of my Philosophy, but
since they were published before I was versed in the reading
of other Authors, I desire you to join my Philosophicalphical e2r
, and these observations to them, which will
serve as Commentaries to explain what may seem obscure
in the mentioned Opinions; but before all, read this following
Argumental Discourse wherein are contained the Principles
and grounds of Natural Philosophy, especially concerning
the constitutive parts of Nature and their properties
and actions; as also be pleas’d to peruse the later
discourse of the first part of this Book, which treats of
Perception; for Perception being the chief and general
action of Nature, has occasioned me to be more prolix in explaining
it, then any other subject; You’l find that I go
much by the way of argumentation, and framing objections
and answers; for I would fain hinder and obstruct as
many objections as could be made against the grounds of
my Opinions; but since it is impossible to resolve all, for
as Nature and her parts and actions are infinite, so there
may also endless objections be raised; I have endeavoured
onely to set down such as I thought might be most material;
but this I find, that there is no objection but one
may find an answer to it; and as soon as I have made
an answer to one objection, another offers it self again,
which shews not onely that Natures actions are infinite,
but that they are poised and ballanced so that they cannot
run into extreams.

However I do not applaud my self so much, as to think
that my works can be without errors, for Nature is not
a Deity, but her parts are often irregular, and how is it
possible that one particular Creature can know all the obscurescure e2v
and hidden infinite varieties of Nature? if the Truth
of Nature were so easily known, we had no need to take
so much pains in searching after it; but Nature being
Material, and consequently dividable, her parts have
but divided knowledges, and none can claim a Universal
infinite knowledg. Nevertheless, although I may erre
in my arguments, or for want of artificial Terms; yet I
believe the Ground of my Opinions is True, because it is
sense and reason.

I found after the perusal of this present book, that several
places therein might have been more perspicuously
delivered, and better cleared; but since it is impossible that
all things can be so exact, that they should not be subject to
faults and imperfections; for as the greatest beauties are
not without moles, so the best Books are seldom without
Errors; I intreat the ingenuous Reader to interpret them
to the best sense; for they are not so material, but that
either by the context or connexion of the whole discourse,
or by a comparing with other places, the true meaning
thereof may easily be understood; and to this end I have set
down this following explanation of such places, as
in the perusal I have observed, whereby the rest may also
easily be mended.

When I say, that “Discourse shall sooner find out Natures
Corporeal figurative Motions, then Art shall
inform the Senses.” Part 1. c. 2.
pag. 6.
By Discourse, I do not mean speech,
but an Arguing of the mind, or a Rational inquiry into the
Causes of Natural effects; for Discourse is as much as Rea- f1r
Reasoning with our selves, which may very well be done
without Speech or Language, as being onely an effect or
action of Reason.

When I say, That “Art may make Pewter, Brass, &c.” C. 3. pag. 8.
I do not mean as if these Figures were Artificial, and not
Natural; but my meaning is, That if Art imitates
Nature in producing of Artificial Figures, they are most
commonly such as are of mixt Natures, which I call

When I say, That “Respiration is a Reception and
Emission of parts through the pores or passages proper
to each particular figure, so that when some
parts issue, others enter;” C. 4. pag. 15.
I do not mean at one and the
same time, or always through the same passages; for, as there
is variety of Natural Creatures and Figures, and of their
perceptions; so of the manner of their perceptions, and of
their passages and pores; all which no particular Creature
is able exactly to know or determine: And therefore
when I add in the following Chapter, That “Nature
has more ways of composing and dividing of parts,
then by the way of drawing in, and sending forth
by pores”
; I mean, that not all parts of Nature have
the like Respirations: The truth is, it is enough to know
in general, That there is Respiration in all parts of Nature,
as a general or universal action; and that this Respiration
is nothing else but a composition and division of
Parts; but how particular Respirations are performed,
none but Infinite Nature is capable to know.

f When f1v

When I say, That “there is a difference between Respiration
and Perception; and that Perception is an
action of figuring or patterning; but Respiration an action
of Reception and Emission of Parts:” C. 5. Pag. 16.
First, I
do not mean, that all Perceeption is made by patterning
or imitation; but I speak onely of the Perception of the
exterior senses in Animals, at least in man, which I
observe to be made by patterning or imitation; for as no
Creature can know the infinite perceptions in Nature, so
he cannot describe what they are, or how they are made.
Next, I do not mean, that Respiration is not a Perceptive
action; for if Perception be a general and universal
action in Nature, as well as Respiration, both depending
upon the composition and division of parts, it is impossible
but that all actions of Nature must be perceptive,
by reason perception is an exterior knowledg of forreign
parts and actions; and there can be no commerce or intercourse,
nor no variety of figures and actions; no productions,
dissolutions, changes and the like, without
Perception; for how shall Parts work and act, without
having some knowledg or perception of each other?
Besides, wheresoever is self-motion, there must of necessity
be also Perception; for self-motion is the cause of all
exterior Perception. But my meaning is, That the Animal,
at least Humane respiration, which is a receiveing
of forreign parts, and discharging or venting of its own
in an animal or humane Figure or Creature, is not the
action of Animal Perception, properly so call’d; that is, the f2r
the perception of its exterior senses, as Seeing, Hearing,
Tasting, Touching, Smelling; which action of Perception
is properly made by way of patterning and imitation,
by the innate, figurative motions of those Animal Creatures,
and not by receiving either the figures of the exterior
objects into the sensitive Organs, or by sending forth
some invisible rayes from the Organ to the Object; nor
by pressure and reaction. Nevertheless, as I said, every
action of Nature is a Knowing and Perceptive action;
and so is Respiration, which of necessity presupposes a
knowledg of exterior parts, especially those that are concern’d
in the same action; and can no ways be perform’d
without perception of each other.

When I say, That if “all mens Opinions and Fancies
were Rational, there would not be such variety
in Nature as we perceive there is;” Chap. 15.
pag. 44.
by “Rational” I
mean Regular, according to the vulgar way of expression,
by which a Rational Opinion is call’d, That which is
grounded upon regular sense and reason; and thus Rational
is opposed to Irregular: Nevertheless, Irregular Fancies and
Opinions are made by the rational parts of matter, as well
as those that are regular; and therefore in a Philosophical
and strict sense, one may call Irregular Opinions as
well Rational, as those that are Regular; but according
to the vulgar way of expression, as I said, it is sooner
understood of Regular, then of Irregular Opinions, Fancies
or Conceptions.

When f2v

When I say, that “None of Nature’s parts can be
call’d Inanimate, or Soul-less;” C. 16. pa. 47.
I do not mean the constitutive
parts of Nature, which are, as it were, the
Ingredients whereof Nature consists, and is made up;
whereof there is an inanimate part or degree of matter, as
well as animate; but I mean the parts or effects of this
composed body of Nature, of which I say, that none can
be call’d inanimate; for though some Philosophers think
that nothing is animate, or has life in Nature, but Animals
and Vegetables; yet it is probable, that since Nature
consists of a commixture of animate and inanimate matter,
and is self-moving, there can be no part or particle
of this composed body of Nature, were it an Atome, that
may be call’d Inamninmate, by reason there is none that has
not its share of animate, as well as inanimate matter,
and the commixture of these degrees being so close, it is
impossible one should be without the other.

When enumerating the requisites of the Perception of
Sight in Animals, I say, that “if one of them be wanting,
there is either no perception at all, or it is an
imperfect perception;” Cap. 20.
Pag. 63.
I mean, there is no Animal perception
of seeing, or else an irregular perception.

When I say, that “as the sensitive perception knows
some of the other parts of Nature by their effects; so
the rational perceives some effects of the Omnipotent
Power of God;” Cap. 21.
Pag. 76.
My meaning is not, as if the sensitive
part of matter hath no knowledg at all of God; for since
all parts of Nature, even the inanimate, have an innate and g1r
and fixt self-knowledg, it is probable that they may also
have an interior self-knowledg of the existency of the
Eternal and Omnipotent God, as the Author of Nature:
But because the rational part is the subtilest, purest, finest
and highest degree of matter; it is most conformable to
truth, that it has also the highest and greatest knowledg
of God, as far as a natural part can have; for God
being Immaterial, it cannot properly be said, that sense
can have a perception of him, by reason he is not subject
to the sensitive perception of any Creature, or part of
Nature; and therefore all the knowledg which natural
Creatures can have of God, must be inherent in every
part of Nature; and the perceptions which we have of
the Effects of Nature, may lead us to some conceptions
of that Supernatural, Infinite, and Incomprehensible Deity,
not what it is in its Essence or Nature, but that it
is existent, and that Nature has a dependance upon it, as
an Eternal Servant has upon an Eternal Master.

But some might say, How is it possible that a Corporeal
finite part, can have a conception of an Incorporeal,
infinite Being; by reason that which comprehends,
must needs be bigger then that which is comprehended?
Besides, no part of Nature can conceive beyond it self,
that is, beyond what is Natural or Material; and this
proves, that at least the rational part, or the mind, must
be immaterial to conceive a Deity? To which I answer,
That no part of Nature can or does conceive the Essence
of God, or what God is in himself; but it conceives g onely g1v
onely, that there is such a Divine Being which is Supernatural:
And therefore it cannot be said, that a natural
Figure can comprehend God; for it is not the
comprehending of the Substance of God, or its patterning
out, (since God having no Body, is without all Figure)
that makes the knowledg of God; but I do believe,
that the knowledg of the existency of God, as I mentioned
before, is innate, and inherent in Nature, and all
her parts, as much as self-knowledg is.

Cap. 24.
Pag. 83.
Speaking of the difference between Oil and other liquors;
for the better understanding of that place, I thought
fit to insert this Note: Flame is fluid, but not liquid,
nor wet: Oil is fluid and liquid, but not wet; but Water
is both fluid, liquid and wet. Oil will turn into
flame, and encrease it; but Water is so quite opposite to
flame, that if a sufficient quantity be poured upon it, it
will totally extinguish it.

When I say, that “Sense and Reason shall be the
Ground of my Philosophy, and not particular natural
effects;” Cap. 25.
Pag. 93.
My meaning is, that I do not intend to make
particular Creatures or Figures, the Principles of all the
infinite effects of Nature, as some other Philosophers do;
for there is no such thing as a Prime or principal Figure
of Nature, all being but effects of one Cause. But my
Ground is Sense and Reason, that is, I make self-moving
matter, which is sensitive and rational, the onely
cause and principle of all natural effects.

When g2r

When ’tis said, “That Ice, Snow, Hail, &c. return
into their former Figure of Water, whensoever they
dissolve;” Cap. 27.
Pag. 109.
I mean, when they dissolve their exterior Figures,
that is, change their actions.

When I say, That the “Exterior Object is the Agent,
and the Sentient Body the Patient;” Cap. 29.
Pag. 126.
I do not
mean that the Object does chiefly work upon the Sentient,
or is the immediate cause of the Perception in the
Sentient body, and that the Sentient suffers the Agent to
act upon it; but I retain onely those words, because they
are used in Schools; But as for their actions, I am
quite of a contrary Opinion, to wit, That the sentient
body is the principal Agent, and the external body the
Patient; for the motions of the sentient in the act of perception,
do figure out or imitate the motions of the object,
so that the object is but as a Copy that is figured
out, or imitated by the sentient, which is the chiefly Agent
in all transforming and perceptive actions that are
made by way of patterning or imitation.

When I say, That “one finite part can undergo infinite
changes and alterations;” Cap. 31.
Pag. 136.
I do not mean one single
part, whereof there is no such thing in nature; but I
mean, one part may be infinitely divided and composed
with other parts; for as there are infinite changes,
compositions and divisions in Nature, so they must be of
parts; there being no variety but of parts; and though
parts be finite, yet the changes may be infinite; for the
finiteness of parts is but concerning the bulk or quantity of g2v
of their figures; and they are call’d finite, by reason they
have limited and circumscribed figures; nevertheless,
as for duration, their parts being the same with the body
of Nature, are as eternal, and infinite as Nature her
self, and thus are subject to infinite and eternal changes.

When I say, “A World of Gold is as active interiously,
as a world of Air is exteriously;” Ibid. P. 140.
I mean,
it is as much subject to changes and alterations as Air; for
Gold though its motions are not perceptible by our exterior
senses, yet it has no less motion then the activest body
of Nature; onely its motions are of another kind then
the motions of Air, or of some other bodies; for Retentive
motions are as much motions, as dispersing or some
other sorts of motions, although not so visible to our perception
as these; and therefore we cannot say that Gold
is more at rest than other Creatures of Nature; for there
is no such thing as Rest in Nature; although there be
degrees of Motion.

When I say, That “the parts of Nature do not
drive or press upon each other, but that all natural
actions are free and easie, and not constrained;” Cap. 31.
Pag. 138.
meaning is not, as if there was no pressing or driving of
parts at all in Nature, but onely that they are not the
universal or principal actions of Natures body, as it is
the opinion of some Philosophers, who think there is no
other motion in nature, but by pressure of parts upon parts:
Nevertheless, there is pressure and reaction in Nature,
because there are infinite sorts of motions.

Also (g2)1r

Also when I say in the same place, That “Natures actions
are voluntary”
; I do not mean, that all actions
are made by rote, and none by imitation; but by voluntary
actions I understand self-actions; that is, such actions
whose principle of motion is within themselves, and doth
not proceed from such an exterior Agent, as doth the motion
of the inanimate part of matter, which having no motion
of it self, is moved by the animate parts, yet so,
that it receives no motion from them, but moves by the
motion of the animate parts, and not by an infused motion
into them; for the animate parts in carrying the inanimate
along with them, lose nothing of their own motion,
nor impart no motion to the inanimate; no more than a
man who carries a stick in his hand, imparts motion to
the stick, and loses so much as he imparts; but they bear
the inanimate parts along with them, by vertue of their
own self-motion, and remain self-moving parts, as well
as the inanimate remain without motion.

Again, when I make a distinguishment between voluntary Cap. 37.
Pag. 212.

actions, and exterior perceptions; my meaning is
not, as if voluntary actions were not made by perceptive
parts; for whatsoever is self-moving and active, is perceptive;
and therefore since the voluntary actions of
Sense and Reason are made by self-moving parts, they
must of necessity be perceptive actions; but I speak of
Perceptions properly so call’d, which are occasioned by
Forreign parts; and to those I oppose voluntary actions,
which are not occasioned, but made by rote; as for g2 example, (g2)1v
example, the perception of sight in Animals, when outward
Objects present themselves to the Optick sense to be
perceived, the perception of the Sentient is an occasioned
perception; but whensoever, either in dreams, or in
distempers, the sensitive motions of the same Organ, make
such or such figures, without any presentation of exterior
objects, then that action cannot properly be call’d an exterior
perception; but it is a voluntary action of the sensitive
motions in the organ of sight, not made after an outward
pattern, but by rote, and of their own accord.

When I say, That “Ignorance is caused by division,
and knowledg by composition of parts;” Cap. 9. p. 33.
I do
not mean an interior, innate self-knowledg, which is,
and remains in every part and particle of Nature, both
in composition and division; for wheresoever is matter,
there is life and self-knowledg; nor can a part lose self-
knowledg, any more then it can lose life, although it may
change from having such or such a particular life and knowledg;
for to change and lose, are different things; but I
mean an exterior, perceptive knowledg of forreign parts,
caused by self-motion, of which I say, that as a union or
combination of parts, makes knowledg, so a division or
separation of parts, makes Ignorance.

When I say, “There’s difference of Sense and Reason
in the parts of one composed Figure;” Cap. 15. p. 49
I mean not, as if
there were different degrees of sense, and different degrees
of Reason in their own substance or matter; for sense
is but sense, and reason is but reason; but my meaning is, That (g2)2r
That there are different, sensitive and rational motions,
which move differently in the different parts of one composed

These are (Courteous Reader) the scruples which
I thought might puzle your understanding in this present
Work, which I have cleared in the best manner I could;
and if you should meet with any other of the like nature,
my request is, You would be pleased to consider well the
Grounds of my Philosophy; and as I desired of you before,
read all before you pass your Judgments and Censures;
for then, I hope, you’l find but few obstructions, since
one place will give you an explanation of the other. In
doing thus, you’l neither wrong your self, nor injure the
Authoress, who should be much satisfied, if she could benefit
your knowledg in the least; if not, she has done
her endeavour, and takes as much pleasure and delight
in writing and divulging the Conceptions of her mind,
as perhaps some malicious persons will do in censuring
them to the worst.

(g2)2v h1r

Argumental Discourse

Concerning some Principal Subjects in Natural Philosophy,
necessary for the better understanding, not
onely of this, but all other Philosophical Works, hitherto
written by the Authoeresse.

When I was setting forth this Book of
Experimental Observations, a Dispute
chanced to arise between the
rational Parts of my Mind concerning
some chief Points and
Principles in Natural Philosophy;
for some New Thoughts endeavouring to oppose
and call in question the Truth of my former Conceptions,
caused a war in my mind, which in time grew
to that height, that they were hardly able to compose
the differences between themselves, but were in a manner
necessitated to refer them to the Arbitration of the
impartial Reader, desiring the assistance of his judgment
to reconcile their Controversies, and, if possible,h sible, h1v
to reduce them to a setled peace and agreement.

The first difference did arise about the question, “How
it came, that Matter was of several degrees, as Animate
and Inanimate, Sensitive and Rational?”
for my
latter thoughts would not believe that there was any
such difference of degrees of Matter: To which my
former coneceptions answered, That Nature, being
Eternal and Infinite, it could not be known how she
came to be such, no more than a reason could be given
how God came to be: for Nature, said they, is the
Infinite Servant of God, and her origine cannot be
described by any finite or particular Creature; for
what is infinite, has neither beginning nor end; but
that Natural Matter consisted of so many degrees as
mentioned, was evidently perceived by her effects or
actions; by which it appeared first, that Nature was a
self-moving body, and that all her parts and Creatures
were so too: Next, That there was not onely an
animate or self-moving and active, but also an inanimate,
that is, a dull and passive degree of Matter; for
if there were no animate degree, there would be no
motion, and so no action nor variety of figures; and
if no inanimate, there would be no degrees of natural figures
and actions, but all actions would be done in a moment,
and the figures would all be so pure, fine and subtil,
as not to be subject to any grosser perception such as
our humane, or other the like perceptions are. This Inanimatenimate h2r
part of Matter, said they, had no self-motion,
but was carried along in all the actions of the animate
degree, and so was not moving, but moved; which
Animate part of Matter being again of two degrees,
viz. Sensitive and Rational, the Rational being
so pure, fine and subtil, that it gave onely directions
to the sensitive, and made figures in its own degree,
left the working with and upon the Inanimate
part, to the Sensitive degree of Matter, whose Office
was to execute both the rational parts design, and
to work those various figures that are perceived in Nature;
and those three degrees were so inseparably commixt
in the body of Nature, that none could be without
the other in any part or Creature of Nature, could
it be divided to an Atome; for as in the Exstruction of
a house there is first required an Architect or Surveigher,
who orders and designs the building, and puts the
Labourers to work; next the Labourers or Workmen
themselves, and lastly the Materials of which
the House is built: so the Rational part, said they, in
the framing of Natural Effects, is, as it were, the Surveigher
or Architect; the Sensitive, the labouring or
working part, and the Inanimate, the materials, and
all these degrees are necessarily required in every composed
action of Nature.

To this, my latter thoughts excepted, that in probability
of sense and reason, there was no necessity of
introducing an inanimate degree of Matter; for all those parts h2v
parts which we call gross, said they, are no more but
a composition of self-moving parts, whereof some are
denser, and some rarer then others; and we may observe,
that the denser parts are as active, as the rarest;
for example, Earth is as active as Air or Light, and
the parts of the Body are as active, as the parts of the
Soul or Mind, being all self-moving, as it is perceiveable
by their several, various compositions, divisions,
productions and alterations; nay, we do see, that
the Earth is more active in the several productions and
alterations of her particulars, then what we name Cœlestial
Lights, which observation is a firm argument to
prove, that all Matter is animate or self-moving, onely
there are degrees of motion, that some parts move
slower, and some quicker.

Hereupon my former Thoughts answered, that the
difference consisted not onely in the grossness, but in the
dulness of the Inanimate parts; and that, since the sensitive
animate parts were labouring on, and with the
inanimate, if these had self-motion, and that their motion
was slower then that of the animate parts, they
would obstruct, cross and oppose each other in all their
actions, for the one would be too slow, and the other
too quick.

The latter Thoughts replied, that this slowness and
quickness of motion would cause no obstruction at all;
for, said they, a man that rides on a Horse is carried
away by the Horses motion, and has nevertheless also his i1r
his own motions himself; neither does the Horse and
Man transfer or exchange motion into each other, nor
do they hinder or obstruct one another.

The former Thoughts answer’d, it was True, that
Motion could not be transferred from one body into
another without Matter or substance; and that several
self-moving parts might be joined, and each act a part
without the least hinderance to one another; for not
all the parts of one composed Creature (for example
Man) were bound to one and the same action; and this
was an evident proof that all Creatures were composed
of parts, by reason of their different actions; nay,
not onely of parts, but of self-moving parts: also they
confessed, that there were degrees of motion, as quickness
and slowness, and that the slowest motion was as
much motion as the quickest. But yet, said they, this
does not prove, that Nature consists not of Inanimate
Matter as well as of Animate; for it is one thing to
speak of the parts of the composed and mixed body of
Nature, and another thing to speak of the constitutive
parts of Nature, which are, as it were, her ingredients
of which Nature is made up as one intire self-moving
body; for sense and reason does plainly perceive,
that some parts are more dull, and some more lively,
subtil and active; the Rational parts are more agil, active,
pure and subtil then the sensitive; but the Inanimate
have no activity, subtilty and agility at all, by
reason they want self-motion; nor no perception, for i self- i1v
self-motion is the cause of all perception; and this Triumvirate
of the degrees of Matter, said they, is so necessary
to ballance and poise Natures actions, that otherwise
the creatures which Nature produces, would all be
produced alike, and in an instant; for example, a
Child in the Womb would as suddenly be framed, as
it is figured in the mind; and a man would be as suddenly
dissolved as a thought: But sense and reason perceives
that it is otherwise; to wit, that such figures as
are made of the grosser parts of Matter, are made by degrees,
and not in an instant of time, which does manifestly
evince, that there is and must of necessity be such
a degree of Matter in Nature as we call Inanimate; for
surely although the parts of Nature are infinite, and
have infinite actions, yet they cannot run into extreams,
but are ballanced by their opposites, so that all
parts cannot be alike rare or dense, hard or soft,
dilating or contracting, &c. but some are dense, some
rare, some hard, some soft, some dilative, some contractive,
&c. by which the actions of Nature are kept
in an equal ballance from running into extreams. But
put the case, said they, it were so, that Natures body
consisted altogether of Animate Matter, or corporeal
self-motion, without an intermixture of the inanimate
parts, we are confident that there would be framed as
many objections against that opinion as there are now
against the inanimate degree of Matter; for disputes are
endless, and the more answers you receive, the more objections i2r
objections you will find; and the more objections you
make, the more answers you will receive; and even
shews, that Nature is ballanced by opposites: for, put
the case, the Inanimate parts of Matter were self-moving;
then first there would be no such difference between
the rational and sensitive parts as now there is;
but every part, being self-moving, would act of, and
in it self, that is, in its own substance as now the rational
part of Matter does: Next, if the inanimate part was
of a slower motion then the rational and sensitive, they
would obstruct each other in their actions, for one
would be too quick, and the other too slow; neither
would the quicker motion alter the nature of the slower,
or the slower retard the quicker; for the nature of each
must remain as it is; or else it would be thus, then the
animate part might become inanimate, and the rational
the sensitive, &c. which is impossible, and against all
sense and reason.

At this declaration of my former Thoughts, the latter
appear’d somewhat better satisfied, and had almost
yielded to them, but that they had yet some scruples
left, which hindered them from giving a full assent to
my former rational conceptions. First they asked, how
it was possible, that that part of Matter which had no
innate self-motion, could be moved? for, said they, if
it be moved, it must either be moved by its own motion,
or by the motion of the animate part of Matter:
by its own motion it cannot move, because it has none; But i2v
But if it be moved by the motion of the animate, then
the animate must of necessity transfer motion into it:
that so, being not able to move by an innate motion, it
might move by a communicated motion.

The former Thoughts answered, that they had resolved
this question heretofore by the example of a
Horse and a Man, where the Man was moved and
carried along by the Horse, without any Communication
or Translation of motion from the Horse into the
Man; also a Stick, said they, carried in a Man’s hand,
goes along with the man, without receiving any motion
from his hand.

My latter Thoughts replied, That a Man and a Stick
were parts or Creatures of Nature, which consist of a
commixture of Animate or self-moving Matter, and
that they did move by their own motions, even at the
time when they were carried along by other parts; but
with the Inanimate part of Matter it was not so; for it
having no self-motion, could no ways move.

You say well, answered my former Thoughts, that
all the parts of Nature, whensoever they move, move
by their own motions; which proves, that no particular
Creature or effect of composed Nature, can act
upon another, but that one can onely occasion another
to move thus or thus; as in the mentioned example, the
Horse does not move the man, but occasions him onely
to move after such or such a manner; also the hand
does not move the Stick, but is onely an occasion that the k1r
the Stick moves thus, for the Stick moves by its own

But as we told you before, this is to be understood of
the parts of the composed body of Nature, which as
they are Natures Creatures and Effects, so they consist
also of a commixture of the forementioned degrees
of animate and inanimate Matter; but our discourse is
now of those parts which do compose the body of Nature,
and make it what it is: And as of the former parts
none can be said moved, but all are moving, as having
self-motion within them; so the inanimate part of
Matter considered as it is an ingredient of Naure, is
no ways moving, but always moved: The former parts,
being effects of the body of Nature, for distinctions
sake may be called Effective parts; but these, that is;,
the Animate and Inanimate, may be called constitutive
parts of Nature: Those follow the composition of
Nature, but these are the Essential parts, which constitute
the body of Nature; whereof the Animate, by
reason of their self-motion, are always active and perceptive;
but the Inanimate is neither active nor perceptive,
but dull and passive; and you may plainly perceive
it, added my former thoughts, by the alledged
example; for as the Stick has no animal motion, and yet
is carried along by and with the animal wheresoever it
goes; so the Inanimate Matter, although it has no
motion at all, yet it goes along with the animate parts
wheresoever they’l have it; the onely difference is this, k as k1v
as we told you before, that the Stick being composed
of animate as well as inanimate Matter, cannot properly
be said moved, but occasioned to such a motion by
the animal that carries it, when as the inanimate part
cannot be said occasioned, but moved.

My later Thoughts replied, That the alledged example
of the carried Stick, could give them no full satisfaction
as yet; for, said they, put the case the Stick had
its own motion, yet is has not a visible, exterior, local,
progressive motion, such as Animals have, and therefore
it must needs receive that motion from the animal
that carries it; for nothing can be occasioned to that
which it has not in it self.

To which the former answered first, that although
animals had a visible exterior progressive motion, yet
not all progressive motion was an animal motion: Next,
they said, that some Creatures did often occasion others
to alter their motions from an ordinary, to an extraordinary
effect; and if it be no wonder, said they,
that Cheese, Roots, Fruits, &c. produce Worms,
why should it be a wonder for an Animal to occasion
a visible progressive motion in a vegetable or mineral, or
any other sort of Creature? For each natural action,
said they, is local, were it no more then the stirring
of a hairs breadth, nay, of an Atome; and all composition
and division, contraction, dilation, nay, even
retention, are local motions; for there is no thing in so
just a measure, but it will vary more or less; nay, if it did k2r
did not to our perception, yet we cannot from thence
infer that it does not at all; for our perception is too
weak and gross to perceive all the subtil actions of Nature;
and if so, then certainly Animals are not the
onely Creatures that have local motion, but there is local
motion in all parts of Nature.

Then my later Thoughts asked, that if every part
of Nature moved by its own inherent self-motion, and
that there was no part of the composed body of Nature
which was not self-moving, how it came, that
Children could not go so soon as born? also, if the self-
moving part of Matter was of two degrees, sensitive and
rational, how it came that Children could not speak before
they are taught? and if it was perceptive, how it
came that Children did not understand so soon as born?

To which the former answered, That although there
was no part of Matter that was figureless, yet those figures
that were composed by the several parts of Matter,
such as are named natural Creatures, were composed
by degrees, and some compositions were sooner
perfected then others, and some sorts of such figures or
Creatures were not so soon produced or strengthened
as others; for example, most of four legg’d Creatures,
said they, can go, run and skip about so soon as they
are parted from the Dam, that is, so soon as they are
born; also they can suck, understand, and know their
Dam’s, when as a Bird can neither feed it self, nor fly
so soon as it is hatched, but requires some time before it can k2v
can hop on its leggs, and be able to fly; but a Butterfly
can fly so soon as it comes out of the shell; by which
we may perceive, that all figures are not alike, either in
their composing, perfecting or dissolving, no more then
they are alike in their shapes, forms, understanding,
&c. for if they were, then little Puppies and Kitlings
would see, so soon as born, as many other Creatures
do, when as now they require nine days after
their birth before they can see; and as for speech, although
it be most proper to the shape of Man, yet he
must first know or learn a language before he can
speak it; and although when the parts of his mind, like
the parts of his body, are brought to maturity, that is,
to such a regular degree of perfection as belongs to
his figure, he may make a language of his own; yet
it requires time, and cannot be done in an instant: The
truth is, although speech be natural to man, yet language
must be learned; and as there are several self-
active parts, so there are several Languages; and by
reason the actions of some parts can be imitated by other
parts, it causes that we name learning not onely in
Speech, but in many other things.

Concerning the question why Children do not understand
so soon as born: They answered, that as the
sensitive parts of Nature did compose the bulk of Creatures,
that is, such as were usually named bodies; and
as some Creatures bodies were not finished or perfected
so soon as others, so the self-moving parts, which by l1r
by conjunction and agreement composed that which
is named the mind of Man, did not bring it to the perfection
of an Animal understanding so soon as some
Beasts are brought to their understanding, that is, to
such an understanding as was proper to their figure. But
this is to be noted, said they, that although Nature is
in a perpetual motion, yet her actions have degrees,
as well as her parts, which is the reason, that all her
productions are done in that which is vulgarly named
Time; that is, they are not executed at once, or by one
act: In short, as a House is not finished, until it be
throughly built, nor can be thorowly furnished until
it be throughly finished; so is the strength and understanding
of Man, and all other Creatures; and as perception
requires Objects, so learning requires practice;
for though Nature is self-knowing, self-moving, and
so perceptive; yet her self-knowing, self-moving, and
perceptive actions, are not all alike, but differ variously;
neither doth she perform all actions at once, otherwise
all her Creatures would be alike in their shapes,
forms, figures, knowledges, perceptions, productions,
dissolutions, &c. which is contradicted by experience.

After this my later Thoughts asked, how it came
that the Inanimate part of Matter had more degrees
then the Animate.

The former answered, That, as the Animate part had
but two degrees, to wit, the sensitive and rational, so l the l1v
the Inanimate was but grosser and purer; and as for
density, rarity, softness, hardness, &c. they were nothing
but various compositions and divisions of parts, or
particular effects; nor was it density or hardness that
made grossness; and thinness or rarity of parts that
made fineness and purity; for Gold is more dense then
dross, and yet is more pure and fine; but this is most
probable, said they, that the rarest compositions are most
suddenly altered; nor can the grossness and fineness of
the parts of Nature be without Animate and Inanimate
Matter; for the dulness of one degree poises the activity
of the other; and the grossness of one, the purity of
the other; all which keeps Nature from extreams.

But replied my later Thouught, You say that there
are infinite degrees of hardness, thickness, thinness, density,
rarity, &c.

Truly, answered the former, if you’l call them degrees,
you may; for so there may be infinite degrees
of Magnitude, as bigger and bigger, but these degrees
are nothing else but the effects of self-moving Matter,
made by a composition of parts, and cannot be attributed
to one single part, there being no such thing in
Nature; but they belong to the infinite parts of Nature,
joined in one body; and as for Matter it self, there are
no more degrees, but animate and inanimate; that is, a
self-moving, active and perceptive, and a dull, passive,
and moved degree.

My l2r

My later Thoughts asked, since Natures parts were
so closely joined in one body, how it was possible that
there could be finite, and not single parts?

The former answered, That finite and single parts
were not all one and the same; for single parts, said they,
are such as can subsist by themselves; neither can they
properly be called parts, but are rather finite wholes;
for it is a meer contradiction to say single parts, they
having no reference to each other, and consequently not
to the body of Nature; But what we call finite Parts,
are nothing else but several corporeal figurative motions,
which make all the difference that is between the
figures or parts of Nature, both in their kinds, sorts
and particulars: And thus finite and particular parts
are all one, called thus, by reason they have limited and
circumscribed figures, by which they are discerned from
each other, but not single figures, for they are all joined
in one body, and are parts of one infinite whole,
which is Nature; and these figures being all one and
the same with their parts of Matter, change according
as their parts change, that is, by composition and division;
for were Nature an Atome, and material, that
Atome would have the properties of a body, that is,
be dividable and composable, and so be subject
to infinite changes, although it were not infinite in

My later Thoughts replied, That if a finite body could
have infinite compositions and divisions, then Nature needed l2v
need not to be infinite in bulk or quantity; besides, said
they, it is against sense and reason that a finite should
have infinite effects.

The former answered first, As for the infiniteness of
Nature, it was certain that Nature consisted of infinite
parts; which if so, she must needs also be of an
infinite bulk or quantity; for wheresoever is an infinite
number of parts or figures, there must also be an infinite
whole, since a whole and its parts differ not really,
but onely in the manner of our conception; for when
we conceive the parts of Nature as composed in one body,
and inseparable from it, the composition of them
is called a whole; but when we conceive their different
figures, actions and changes, and that they are
dividable from each other, or amongst themselves, we
call them parts; for by this one part is discerned from
the other part; as for example, a Mineral from a Vegetable,
a Vegetable from an Element, and Element
from an Animal, &c. and one part is not another part;
but yet these parts are, and remain still parts of infinite
Nature, and cannot be divided into single parts, separated
from the body of Nature, although they may be
divided amongst themselves infinite ways by the self-
moving power of Nature. In short, said they, a whole
is nothing but a composition of parts, and parts are nothing
but a division of the whole.

Next, as for the infinite compositions and divisions
of a finite whole, said they, it is not probable that a finite m1r
finite can have infinite effects, or can be actually divided
into infinite parts; but yet a body cannot but have
the proprieties of a body as long as it lasts; and therefore
if a finite body should last eternally, it would eternally
retain the effects, or rather proprieties of a body,
that is, to be dividable and composable; and if it have
self-motion, and was actually divided and composed,
then those compositions and divisions of its parts
would be eternal too; but what is eternal is infinite, and
therefore in this sense one cannot say amiss, but that
there might be eternal compositions and divisions of the
parts of a finite whole; for wheresoever is self-motion
there is no rest: But, mistake us not, for we do not mean
divisions or compositions into single or infinite parts,
but a perpetual and eternal change and self-motion of the
parts of that finite body or whole amongst themselves.

But because we speak now of the parts of Infinite
Nature, which are Infinite in number, though finite,
or rather distinguished by their figures; It is certain,
said they, that there being a perpetual and eternal self-
motion in all parts of Nature, and their number being
infinite, they must of necessity be subject to infinite
changes, compositions, and divisions; not onely as
for their duration, or eternal self-motion, but as for
the number of their parts; for parts cannot remove
but from and to parts; and as soon as they are removed
from such parts, they join to other parts, which is nothing
else but a composition and division of parts; m and m1v
and this composition and division of the Infinite parts of
Nature, hinders that there are no actual divisions or
compositions of a finite part, because the one counter-
balances the other; for if by finite you understand a
single part, there can be no such thing in Nature,
since what we call the finiteness of parts, is nothing else
but the difference and change of their figures, caused
by self-motion; and therefore when we say Infinite
Nature consists of an infinite number of finite parts, we
mean of such parts as may be distinguished or discerned
from each other by their several figures; which figures
are not constant, but change perpetually in the body
of Nature; so that there can be no constant figure allowed
to no part, although some do last longer then

Then my later Thoughts desired to know, whether
there were not degrees of Motion, as well as there are
of Matter?

The former answered, That without question there
were degrees of motion; for the rational parts were
more agil, quick and subtil in their corporeal actions
then the sensitive, by reason they were of a purer and
finer degree of Matter, and free from labouring on the
inanimate parts: but withal they told them, that the
several different and opposite actions of Nature hindred
each other from running into extreams: And as
for the degrees of Matter, there could not possibly be
more then Animate and Inanimate, neither could any degree m2r
degree go beyond Matter, so as to become immaterial.
The truth is, said they, to balance the actions of Nature,
it cannot be otherwise, but there must be a Passive
degree of Matter, opposite to the active; which
passive part is that we call Inanimate; for though they
are so closely intermixt in the body of Nature, that
they cannot be separated from each other, but by the
power of God; nevertheless, sense and reason may
perceive that they are distinct degrees, by their distinct
and different actions, and may distinguish them so far,
that one part is not another part, and that the actions
of one degree are not the actions of the other. Wherefore
as several self-moving parts may be joined in one
composed body, and may either act differently without
hinderance and obstruction to each other, or may
act jointly and agreeably to one effect; so may the sensitive
parts carry or bear along with them the inanimate
parts, without either transferring and communicating
motion to them, or without any co-operation or self-
action of the inanimate parts; and as for Matter, as
there can be no fewer degrees then Animate and Inanimate,
sensitive and rational; so neither can there be
more; for as we mentioned heretofore, were there nothing
but animate or self-moving Matter in Nature,
the parts of Nature would be too active and quick in
their several productions, alterations and dissolutions,
and all things would be as soon made, as thoughts.
Again, were there no Inanimate degree of Matter, the m2v
the sensitive corporeal motions would retain the figures
or patterns of exterior objects, as the rational do;
which yet we perceive otherwise; for so soon as the
object is removed, the sensitive perception is altered;
and though the sensititve parts can work by rote, as
in dreams and some distempers, yet their voluntary
actions are not so exact, as their Exterior perceptive
actions, nor altogether and always so regular as the rational;
and the reason is, that they are bound to bear
the inanimate parts along with them in all their actions.
Also were there no degree of Inanimate Matter, Natures
actions would run into extreams; but because all
her actions are ballanced by opposites, they hinder
both extreams in Nature, and produce all that Harmonious
variety that is found in Natures parts.

But said my later Thoughts, wheresoever is such an
opposition and crossing of actions, there can be no harmony,
concord or agreement, and consequently no
orderly productions, dissolutions, changes and alterations,
as in Nature we perceive there be.

The former answered, That though the actions of
Nature were different and opposite to each other, yet
they did cause no disturbance in Nature, but they
were ruled and governed by Natures wisdom; for
Nature being peaceable in her self, would not suffer
her actions to disturb her Government; wherefore although
particulars were crossing and opposing each other,
yet she did govern them with such wisdom and moderation, n1r
moderation, that they were necessitated to obey her
and move according as she would have them; but
sometimes they would prove extravagant and refractory,
and hence came that we call Irregularities. The
truth is, said they, contrary and opposite actions are
not always at war; for example, two men may meet
each other contrary ways, and one may not onely stop
the other from going forward, but even draw him back
again the same way he came; and this may be done with
love and kindness, and with his good will, and not violently
by power and force: The like may be in some
actions of Nature. Nevertheless, we do not deny,
but there is many times force and power used between
particular parts of Nature, so that some do over-power
others, but this causes no disturbance in Nature; for if
we look upon a well-ordered Government, we find
that the particulars are often at strife and difference with
each other, when as yet the Government is as orderly
and peaceable as can be.

My later thoughts replied, That although the several
and contrary actions in Nature did not disturb her Government,
yet they moving severally in one composed
figure at one and the same time, proved that Motion,
and Body could not be one and the same

The former answered, That they had sufficiently declared
heretofore that Matter was either moving, or moved:
viz. That the Animate part was self-moving, and the n Inanimate n1v
Inanimate moved, or carried along with, and by the
Animate; and these degrees or parts of Matter were
so closely intermixt in the body of Nature, that they
could not be separated from each other, but did constitute
but one body, not onely in general, but also in every
particular; so that not the least part (if least could be) nay,
not that which some call an Atome, was without this
commixture; for wheresoever was Inanimate, there
was also Animate Matter; which Animate Matter was
nothing else but corporeal self-motion, and if any difference
could be apprehended, it was, said they, between
these two degrees, to wit, the Animate and Inanimate
part of Matter, and not between the animate
part and self-motion, which was but one thing, and
could not so much as be conceived differently; and
since this Animate Matter, or corporeal self-motion is
thorowly intermixt with the Inanimate parts, they are
but as one body (like as soul and body make but one
man) or else it were impossible that any Creature
could be composed, consist, or be dissolved; for if there
were Matter without Motion, there could be no composition
or dissolution of such figures as are named
Creatures; nor any, if there were Motion without
Matter, or (which is the same) an Immaterial Motion;
For can any part of reason, that is regular, believe,
that that which naturally is nothing, should produce
a natural something? Besides, said they, Material
and Immaterial are so quite opposite to each other, as ’tis n2r
’tis impossible they should commix and work together,
or act one upon the other: nay, if they could, they
would make but a confusion, being of contrary natures:
Wherefore it is most probable, and can to the
perception of Regular sense and reason be no otherwise,
but that self-moving Matter, or corporeal figurative
self-motion, does act and govern, wisely, orderly and
easily, poising or ballancing extreams with proper and
fit oppositions, which could not be done by immaterials,
they being not capable of natural compositions
and divisions; neither of dividing Matter, nor of being
divided? In short, although there are numerous
corporeal figurative motions in one composed figure,
yet they are so far from disturbing each other, that no
Creature could be produced without them; and as the
actions of retention are different from the actions of digestion
or expulsion, and the actions of contraction
from those of dilation; so the actions of imitation or
patterning are different from the voluntary actions vulgarly
called Conceptions, and all this to make an equal
poise or ballance between the actions of Nature. Also
there is difference in the degrees of motions, in swiftness,
slowness, rarity, density, appetites, passions,
youth, age, growth, decay, &c. as also between several
sorts of perceptions: all which proves, that Nature
is composed of self-moving parts, which are the
cause of all her varieties: But this is well to be observed,
said they, that the Rational parts are the purest, and consequently n2v
consequently the most active parts of Nature, and have
the quickest actions; wherefore to ballance them, there
must be a dull part of Matter, which is the Inanimate,
or else a World would be made in an instant, and every
thing would be produced, altered and dissolved on
a sudden, as they had mentioned before.

Well, replied my later Thoughts, if there be such oppositions
between the parts of Nature, then I pray inform
us, whether they be all equally and exactly poised
and ballanced?

To which the former answered, That though it was
most certain that there was a poise and ballance of Natures
corporeal actions; yet no particular Creature was
able to know the exactness of the proportion that is
between them, because they are infinite.

Then my later Thoughts desired to know, whether
Motion could be annihilated?

The former said, no: because Nature was Infinite,
and admitted of no addition nor diminution; and consequently
of no new Creation nor annihilation of any
part of hers.

But, said the later, If Motion be an accident, it
may be annihilated.

The former answered, They did not know what
they meant by the word “Accident”.

The later said, That an Accident was something in a
body, but nothing without a body.

If o1r

If an Accident be something, answered the former,
Then certainly it must be body; for there is nothing
but what is corporeal in Nature; and if it be body,
then it cannot be nothing at no time, but it must of necessity
be something.

But it cannot subsist of, and by it self, replied my later
Thoughts, as a substance; for although it hath
its own being, yet its being is to subsist in another

The former answered, That if an Accident was nothing
without a body or substance, and yet something
in a body; then they desired to know, how, being nothing,
it could subsist in another body, and be separated
from another body; for composition and division,
said they, are attributes of a body, since nothing can
be composed or divided but what has parts; and nothing
has parts but what is corporeal or has a body, and
therefore if an accident can be in a body, and be separated
from a body, it would be non-sense to call it nothing.

But then my later Thoughts asked, that when a particular
Motion ceased, what became of it?

The former answered, it was not annihilated, but

The later said, How can motion be corporeal, and
yet one thing with body? Certainly if body be material,
and motion too, they must needs be two several

o The o1v

The former answered, That motion and body
were not two several substances; but motion and matter
made one self-moving body; and so was place, colour,
figure, &c. all one and the same with body.

The later replied, That a Man, and his action were
not one and the same, but two different things.

The former answered, That a Man, and his actions
were no more different, then a man was different from
himself; for, said they, although a man may have many
different actions, yet were not that man existent, the same
actions would not be; for though many men have the
like actions, yet they are not the same.

But then replied the later, Place cannot be the same
with body, nor colour; because a man may change his
place and his colour, and yet retain his body.

Truly, said the former, If Place be changed, then
Body must change also; for wheresoever is Place, there
is Body; and though it be a vulgar phrase, That a
man changes his place when he removes, yet it is not a
proper Philosophical expression; for he removes onely
from such parts, to such parts; so that it is a change or
a division and composition of parts, and not of place:
And as for colour, though it changes, yet that proves
not that it is not a body, or can be annihilated. The
truth is, though Figure, Motion, Colour, &c. do
change, yet they remain still in Nature, and it is impossible
that Nature can give away, or lose the least of
her corporeal Attributes or Proprieties; for Nature is o2r
is infinite in power, as well as in act; we mean, for acting
naturally; and therefore whatsoever is not in present
act, is in the power of Infinite Nature.

But, said my later Thoughts, if a body be divided
into very minute parts as little as dust, where is the colour

The Colour, answered the former, is divided as
well as the body; and though the parts thereof be not
subject to our sensitive perception, yet they have nevertheless
their being; for all things cannot be perceptible
by our senses.

The later said, That the Colour of a Man’s face
could change from pale to red, and from red to pale,
and yet the substance of the face remain the same; which
proved, that colour and substance was not the same.

The former answered, That although the colour of
a mans face did change without altering the substance
thereof, yet this proved no more that Colour was Immaterial,
then that Motion was Immaterial; for a man
may put his body into several postures, and have several
actions, and yet without any change of the substance
of his body; for all actions do not necessarily import
a change of the parts of a composed figure, there
being infinite sorts of actions.

We will leave Accidents, said my later Thoughts,
and return to the Inanimate part of Matter; and since
you declare, that all parts of Nature do worship and
adore God, you contradict your self in allowing an Inanimate o2v
Inanimate degree of Matter, by reason, where there is
no self-motion, there can be no perception of God, and
consequently no Worship and Adoration.

The former answered, That the knowledg of God
did not consist in exterior perception; for God, said
they, being an Infinite, Incomprehensible, supernatural
and Immaterial Essence, void of all parts, can no
ways be subject to Perception. Nevertheless, although
no part can have an exterior perception of the substance
of God, as it has of particular natural Creatures, yet
it has Conceptions of the Existence of God, to wit,
that there is a God above Nature, on which Nature
depends, and from whose Immutable and Eternal
Decree it has its Eternal Being, as God’s Eternal Servant;
but what God is in his Essence, neither Nature,
nor any of her parts or Creatures is able to conceive.
And therefore although the Inanimate part of Matter
is not perceptive, yet having an innate knowledg and
life of it self, it is not improbable but it may also have an
interior, fixt, and innate knowledg of the Existency of
God, as that he is to be adored and worshipped: And
thus the Inanimate part may after its own manner worship
and adore God, as much as the other parts in their
ways: for it is probable, that God having endued all
parts of Nature with self-knowledg, may have given
them also an Interior knowledg of himself, that is, of
his Existency, how he is the God of Nature, and ought
to be worshipped by her as his Eternal servant.

My p1r

My later Thoughts excepted, That not any Creature
did truly know it self, much less could it be capable
of knowing God.

The former answered, That this was caused
through the variety of self-motion; for all Creatures
(said they) are composed of many several parts, and
every part has its own particular self-knowledg, as
well as self-motion, which causes an ignorance between
them; for one parts knowledg is not another
parts knowledg; nor does one part know what another
knows; but all knowledg of exterior parts comes
by perception; nevertheless, each part knows it self
and its own actions; and as there is an ignorance
between parts, so there is also an acquaintance (especially
in the parts of one composed Creature) and
the rational parts being most subtile, active and free,
have a more general acquaintance then the sensitive;
besides, the sensitive many times inform the rational,
and the rational the sensitive, which causes a general
agreement of all the parts of a composed figure,
in the excecution of such actions as belong to it.

But how is it possible, replied my later Thoughts,
that the inanimate part of matter can be living and
self-knowing, and yet not self-moving? for Life
and Knowledg cannot be without self-motion; and
therefore if the inanimate parts have Life and Knowledg,
they must necessarily also have self-motion.

p The p1v

The former answered, That Life and Knowledg
did no ways depend upon self-motion; for had Nature
no motion at all, yet might she have Life and
Knowledg; so that self-motion is not the cause of Life
and Knowledg, but onely of Perception, and all
the various actions of Nature; and this is the reason
said they, that the inanimate part of matter is not
perceptive, because it is not self-moving; for though
it hath life and self-knowledg as well as the Animate
part, yet it has not an active life, nor a perceptive
knowledg. By which you may see, that a fixt and
interior self-knowedg, may very well be without
exterior perception; for though perception presupposes
an innate self-knowledg as its ground and principle,
yet self-knowledg does not necessarily require
perception, which is onely caused by self-motion;
for self-motion, as it is the cause of the variety of
Natures parts and actions, so it is also of their various
perceptions: If it was not too great a presumtion,
said they, we could give an instance of God,
who has no local self-motion, and yet is infinitely
knowing: But we’l forbear to go so high, as to draw
the Infinite, Incomprehensible God, to the proofs
of Material Nature.

My later Thoughts replied, first, That if it were
thus, then one and the same parts of matter would
have a double life, and a double knowledg.

Next they said, That if perception were an effect of p2r
of self-motion, then God himself must necessarily be
self-moving, or else he could not perceive Nature
and her parts and actions.

Concerning the first objection my former thoughts
answered, That the parts of Nature could have a
double life and knowledg no more, then one man
could be call’d double or treble: You might as well
said they, make millions of men of one particular
man, nay, call every part or action of his a peculiliar
man, as make one and the same part of matter
have a double life and knowledg.

But mistake us not, added my former thoughts,
when we say, that one and the same part cannot
have a double life and knowledg; for we mean not,
the composed creatures of Nature, which as they
consist of several degrees of matter, so they have also
several degrees of lives and knowledges; but it is
to be understood of the essential or constitutive parts
of Nature; for as the rational part is not, nor can
be the sensitive part, so it can neither have a sensitive
knowledg; no more can a sensitive part have
a rational knowledg, or either of these the knowledg
of the inanimate part; but each part retains its
own life and knowledg. Indeed it is with these parts
as it is with particular creatures; for as one man is
not another man, nor has another mans knowledg,
so it is likewise with the mentioned parts of
matter; and although the animate parts have an in- p2v
interior, innate self-knowledg, and an exterior, perceptive
knowledg; yet these are not double knowledges;
but perception is onely an effect of interior
self-knowledg, occasioned by self-motion.

And as for the second, they answered, That the
Divine Perception and Knowledg was not any ways
like a natural Perception, no more than God was
like a Creature; for Nature (said they) is material,
and her perceptions are amongst her infinite parts,
caused by their compositions and divisions; but God
is a Supernatural, Individable, and Incorporeal Being,
void of all Parts and Divisions; and therefore
he cannot be ignorant of any the least thing; but
being Infinite, he has an Infinite Knowledg, without
any Degrees, Divisions, or the like actions belonging
to Material Creatures. Nor is he naturally,
that is, locally self-moving; but he is a fixt, unalterable,
and in short, an incomprehensible Being, and
therefore no comparison can be made between Him
and Nature, He being the Eternal God, and Nature
his Eternal Servant.

Then my later Thoughts said, That as for the knowledg
of God, they would not dispute of it; but if there
was a fixt and interior, innate knowledg in all Natures
parts and Creatures, it was impossible that there could
be any error or ignorance between them.

The former answered, that although Errors belonged
to particulars as well as ignorance, yet they proceeded not q1r
not from interior self-knowledg, but either from want
of exterior particular knowledges, or from the irregularity
of motions; and Ignorance was likewise a want
not of interior, but exterior knowledg, otherwise called
Perceptive knowledg: for, said they, Parts can
know no more of other parts, but by their own perceptions;
and since no particular Creature or part of Nature
can have an Infallible, Universal, and thorow perception
of all other parts; it can neither have an infallible
and universal knowledg, but it must content it
self with such a knowledg as is within the reach of its
own perceptions; and hence it follows, that it must be
ignorant of what it does not know; for Perception has
but onely a respect to the exterior figures and actions of
other parts; and though the Rational part is more subtil
and active then the Sensitive, and may have also some
perceptions of some interior parts and actions of other
Creatures, yet it cannot have an infallible and thorow
perception of all their interior parts and motions,
which is a knowledg impossible for any particular
Creature to attain to.

Again my later Thoughts objected, That it was
impossible that the parts of one and the same degree
could be ignorant of each others actions, how various
soever, since they were capable to change their actions
to the like figures.

The former answered first, That although they
might make the like figures, yet they could not make q the q1v
the same, because the parts were not the same. Next
they said, that particular parts could not have infinite
perceptions, but that they could but perceive such objects
as were subject to that sort of perception which
they had; no not all such; for oftentimes objects were
obscured and hidden from their perceptions, that although
they could perceive them if presented, or coming
within the compass and reach of their perceptive faculty
or power; yet when they were absent, they could
not; besides, said they, the sensitive parts are not so
subtile as to make perceptions into the interior actions
of other parts, no not the rational are able to have exact
perceptions thereof; for Perception extends but to
adjoining parts and their exterior figures and actions,
and if they know any thing of their interior parts,
figures or motions, it is onely by guess or probable
conclusions, taken from their exterior actions or figures,
and made especially by the rational parts, which as they
are the most inspective, so they are the most knowing
parts of Nature.

After these and several other objections, questions
and answers between the later and former thoughts and
conceptions of my mind, at last some Rational thoughts
which were not concerned in this dispute, perceiving
that they became much heated, and fearing they would
at last cause a Faction or Civil War amongst all the
rational parts, which would breed that which is called
a Trouble of the Mind, endeavoured to make a Peace between q2r
between them, and to that end they propounded, that
the sensitive parts should publickly declare their differences
and controversies, and refer them to the Arbitration
of the judicious and impartial Reader. This
proposition was unanimously embraced by all the rational
parts, and thus by their mutual consent this Argumental
was set down and published after this
manner: In the mean time all the rational parts of my
Mind inclined to the opinion of my former conceptions,
which they thought much more probable then
those of the later; and since now it is your part, Ingenious
, to give a final decision of the Cause,
consider well the subject of thier quarrel, and be impartial
in your judgment; let not Self-love or Envy corrupt
you, but let Regular Sense and Reason be your
onely Rule, that you may be accounted just Judges,
and your Equity and Justice be Remembred by all that
honour and love it.

Observa- q2v A1r A3r

A Catalogue
of all the
Hitherto Published by the

Since it is the fashion to declare what Books one
has put forth to the publick view, I thought it not
amiss to follow the Mode, and set down the
Number of all the Writings of mine which hitherto
have been Printed.

  • 1.

    Poems in Fol. Printed twice, whereof the last Impression
    is much mended.
  • 2.

    Natures Pictures; or Tales in Verse and Prose, in Fol.
  • 3.

    A Little Tract of Philosophy, in 8o
  • 4.

    Philosophical and Physical Opinions, in Fol.
  • 5.

    The same much Enlarged and Altered, in Fol.
  • 6.

    Philosophical Letters, in Fol.
  • 7.

    The Worlds Olio, now to be reprinted.
  • 8.

    Playes in Fol.
  • 9.

    Orations in Fol.
  • 10.

    Sociable Letters in Fol.

There are some others that never were Printed yet,
which shall, if God grant me Life and Health,
be Published ere long.

B1r 1

Experimental Philosophy.

1. Of Humane Sense and Perception.

Before I deliver my observations upon
that part of Philosophy which is
call’d Experimental, I thought it
necessary to premise some discourse
concerning the Perception of Humane
Sense. It is known that man
has five Exterior Senses, and every sense is ignorant
of each other; for the Nose knows not what the Eyes
see, nor the Eyes what the Ears hear, neither do the
Ears know what the Tongue tastes; and as for Touch,
although it is a general Sense, yet every several part of
the body has a several touch, and each part is ignorant
of each others touch: And thus there is a general ignorance
of all the several parts, and yet a perfect knowledg
in each part; for the Eye is as knowing as the Ear, B and B1v 2
and the Ear as knowing as the Nose, and the Nose as
knowing as the Tongue, and one particular Touch
knows as much as another, at least is capable thereof:
Nay, not onely every several Touch, Taste, Smell,
Sound or Sight, is a several knowledg by it self, but
each of them has as many particular knowledges or
perceptions as there are objects presented to them: Besides,
there are several degrees in each particular sense;
As for example, some Men (I will not speak of other
animals) their perception of sight, taste, smell, touch,
or hearing, is quicker to some sorts of objects, then to
others, according either to the perfection or imperfection,
or curiosity or purity of the corporeal figurative
motions of each sense, or according to the presentation
of each object proper to each sense; for if the
presentation of the objects be imperfect, either through
variation or obscurity, or any other ways, the sense
is deluded. Neither are all objects proper for one
sense, but as there are several senses, so there are several
sorts of objects proper for each several sense.
Now if there be such variety of several knowledges, not
onely in one Creature, but in one sort of sense; to wit,
the exterior senses of one humane Creature; what
may there be in all the parts of Nature? ’Tis true,
there are some objects which are not at all perceptible
by any of our exterior senses; as for example, rarified
air, and the like: But although they be not subject
to our exterior sensitive perception, yet they are subject B2r 3
subject to our rational perception, which is much purer
and subtiler then the sensitive; nay, so pure and
subtil a knowledg, that many believe it to be immaterial,
as if it were some God, when as it is onely a pure,
fine and subtil figurative Motion or Perception; it is so
active and subtil, as it is the best informer and reformer
of all sensitive Perception; for the rational Matter is
the most prudent and wisest part of Nature, as being
the designer of all productions, and the most pious and
devoutest part, having the perfectest notions of God,
I mean, so much as Nature can possibly know of God;
so that whatsoever the sensitive Perception is either defective
in, or ignorant of, the rational Perception supplies.
But mistake me not: by Rational Perception
and Knowledg, I mean Regular Reason, not Irregular;
where I do also exclude Art, which is apt to delude
sense, and cannot inform so well as Reason doth;
for Reason reforms and instructs sense in all its actions:
But both the rational and sensitive knowledg and perception
being divideable as well as composeable, it
causes ignorance as well as knowledg amongst Natures
Creatures; for though Nature is but one body, and
has no sharer or copartner, but is intire and whole in
it self, as not composed of several different parts or substances,
and consequently has but one Infinite natural
knowledg and wisdom, yet by reason she is also divideable
and composeable, according to the nature of a
body, we can justly and with all reason say, That, as Nature B2v 4
Nature is divided into infinite several parts, so each several
part has a several and particular knowledg and
perception, both sensitive and rational, and again that
each part is ignorant of the others knowledg and perception;
when as otherwise, considered altogether and
in general, as they make up but one infinite body of
Nature, so they make also but one infinite general
knowledg. And thus Nature may be called both Individual,
as not having single parts subsisting without
her, but all united in one body; and Divideable, by
reason she is partable in her own several corporeal figurative
motions, and not otherwise; for there is no
Vacuum in Nature, neither can her parts start or remove
from the Infinite body of Nature, so as to separate
themselves from it, for there’s no place to flee to, but
body and place are all one thing, so that the parts of
Nature can onely joyn and disjoyn to and from parts,
but not to and from the body of Nature. And since
Nature is but one body, it is intirely wise and knowing,
ordering her self-moving parts with all facility and ease,
without any disturbance, living in pleasure and delight,
with infinite varieties and curiosities, such as no single
Part or Creature of hers can ever attain to.

2. Of C1r 5

2. Of Art, and Experimental Philosophy.

Some are of opinion, “That by Art there can be
a reparation made of the Mischiefs and Imperfections
mankind has drawn upon it self by negligence and intemperance,
and a wilful and superstitious deserting the Prescripts
and Rules of Nature, whereby every man, both
from a derived Corruption, innate and born with him, and
from his breediung and converse with men, is very subject
to slip into all sorts of Errors.”
But the all-powerful
God, and his servant Nature, know, that Art, which
is but a particular Creature, cannot inform us of the
Truth of the Infinite parts of Nature, being but finite
it self; for though every Creature has a double perception,
rational and sensitive, yet each creature or
part has not an Infinite perception; nay, although each
particular creature or part of Nature may have some
conceptions of the Infinite parts of Nature, yet it cannot
know the truth of those Infinite parts, being but a
finite part it self, which finiteness causes errors in
Perceptions; wherefore it is well said, when they confess
themselves, “That the uncertainty and mistakes of
humane actions proceed either from the narrowness and
wandring of our senses, or from the slipperiness or delusion
of our memory, or from the confinement or rashness of our
But, say they, “It is no wonder that our
power over natural Causes and Effects is so slowly improved,C proved C1v 6
seeing we are not onely to contend with the obscurity
and difficulty of the things whereon we work and think,
but even the forces of our minds conspire to betray us: And
these being the dangers in the process of Humane Reason,
the remedies can onely proceed from the Real, the
Mechanical, the Experimental Philosophy, which hath
this advantage over the Philosophy of discourse and disputation,
That whereas that chiefly aims at the subtilty of
its deductions and conclusions, without much regard to the
first ground-work, which ought to be well laid on the sense
and memory, so this intends the right ordering of them all,
and making them serviceable to each other.”
In which
discourse I do not understand, first, what they mean by
our power over natural causes and effects; for we have
no power at all over natural causes and effects, but
onely one particular effect may have some power over
another, which are natural actions; but neither can
natural causes nor effects be over-powred by man so,
as if man was a degree above Nature, but they must
be as Nature is pleased to order them; for Man is but a
small part, and his powers are but particular actions of
Nature, and therefore he cannot have a supreme and
absolute power. Next, I say, That Sense, which is
more apt to be deluded then Reason, cannot be the
ground of Reason, no more then Art can be the ground
of Nature: Wherefore discourse shall sooner find or
trace Natures corporeal figurative motions, then deluding
Arts can inform the Senses; For how can a Fool C2r 7
Fool order his understanding by Art, if Nature has
made it defective? or how can a wise man trust his senses,
if either the objects be not truly presented according
to their natural figure and shape, or if the senses be
defective, either through age, sickness, or other accidents,
which do alter the natural motions proper to each sense?
And hence I conclude, that Experimental and Mechanick
Philosophy cannot be above the Speculative part,
by reason most Experiments have their rise from the
Speculative, so that the Artist or Mechanick is but a
servant to the Student.

3. Of Micrography, and of Magnifying and Multiplying

Although I am not able to give a solid judgment of
the Art of Micrography, and the several dioptrical
instruments belonging thereto, by reason I have neither
studied nor practised that Art; yet of this I am
confident, that this same Art, with all its Instruments,
is not able to discover the interior natural motions of any
part or creature of Nature; nay, the questions is,
whether it can represent yet the exterior shapes and
motions so exactly, as naturally they are; for Art doth
more easily alter then inform: As for example; Art
makes Cylinders, Concave and Convex-glasses, and
the like, which represent the figure of an object in no
part exactly and truly, but very deformed and misshaped:shaped: C2v 8
also a Glass that is flaw’d, crack’d, or broke,
or cut into the figure of Lozanges, Triangles, Squares,
or the like, will present numerous pictures of one object.
Besides, there are so many alterations made
by several lights, their shadows, refractions, reflexions,
as also several lines, points, mediums, interposing
and intermixing parts, forms and positions,
as the truth of an object will hardly be known; for the
perception of sight, and so of the rest of the senses,
goes no further then the exterior Parts of the object
presented; and though the Perception may be true,
when the object is truly presented, yet when the
presentation is false, the information must be false
also. And it is to be observed, that Art, for the
most part, makes hermaphroditical, that is, mixt figures,
as partly Artificial, and partly Natural: for
Art may make some metal, as Pewter, which is between
Tin and Lead, as also Brass, and numerous
other things of mixt natures; In the like manner may
Artificial Glasses present objects, partly Natural, and
partly Artificial; nay, put the case they can present
the natural figure of an object, yet that natural
figure may be presented in as monstrous a shape, as it
may appear mis-shapen rather then natural: For example;
a Lowse by the help of a Magnifying-glass,
appears like a Lobster, where the Microscope enlarging
and magnifying each part of it, makes them bigger
and rounder then naturally they are. The truth is, D1r 9
is, the more the figure by Art is magnified, the more
it appears mis-shapen from the natural, in so much as
each joynt will appear as a diseased, swell’d and tumid
body, ready and ripe for incision. But mistake me
not; I do not say, that no Glass presents the true picture
of an object; but onely that Magnifying, Multiplying,
and the like optick Glasses, may, and do oftentimes
present falsly the picture of an exterior object;
I say, the Picture, because it is not the real body of
the object which the Glass presents, but the Glass onely
figures or patterns out the picture presented in and by
the Glass, and there may easily mistakes be committed
in taking Copies from Copies. Nay, Artists do
confess themselves, that Flies, and the like, will appear
of several figures or shapes, according to the several
reflections, refractions, mediums and positions of
several lights; which if so, how can they tell or judg
which is the truest light, position, or medium, that
doth present the object naturally as it is? and if not,
then an edge may very well seem flat, and a point of a
needle a globe; but if the edge of a knife, or point of
a needle were naturally and really so as the microscope
presents them, they would never be so useful as they
are; for a flat or broad plain-edged knife would not
cut, nor a blunt globe pierce so suddenly another body,
neither would or could they pierce without tearing
and rending, if their bodies were so uneven; and
if the Picture of a young beautiful Lady should be D drawn D1v 10
drawn according to the representation of the Microscope,
or according to the various refraction and reflection
of light through such like glasses, it would be
so far from being like her, as it would not be like a humane
face, but rather a Monster, then a picture of Nature.
Wherefore those that invented Microscopes,
and such like dioptrical Glasses, at first, did, in my opinion,
the world more injury then benefit; for this
Art has intoxicated so many mens brains, and wholly
imployed their thoughts and bodily actions about phænomena,
or the exterior figures of objects, as all better
Arts and Studies are laid aside; nay, those that are not
as earnest and active in such imployments as they, are,
by many of them, accounted unprofitable subjects to
the Commonwealth of Learning. But though there
be numerous Books written of the wonders of these
Glasses, yet I cannot perceive any such, at best, they
are but superficial wonders, as I may call them. But
could Experimental Philosophers find out more beneficial
Arts then our Fore-fathers have done, either for
the better increase of Vegetables and brute Animals to
nourish our bodies, or better and commodious contrivances
in the Art of Architecture to build us houses, or
for the advancing of trade and traffick to provide necessaries
for us to live, or for the decrease of nice distinctions
and sophistical disputes in Churches, Schools and
Courts of Judicature, to make men live in unity, peace
and neighbourly friendship, it would not onely be worth D2r 11
worth their labour, but of as much praise as could
be given to them: But as Boys that play with watry
Bubbles, Glass-tubes or fling Dust Atomes. into each others Eyes, or make
a Hobby-horse Exterior
of Snow, are worthy of reproof rather
then praise, for wasting their time with useless
sports; so those that addict themselves to unprofitable
Arts, spend more time then they reap benefit thereby.
Nay, could they benefit men either in Husbandry, Architecture,
or the like necessary and profitable imployments,
yet before the Vulgar sort would learn to understand
them, the world would want Bread to eat,
and Houses to dwell in, as also Cloths to keep them
from the inconveniences of the inconstant weather. But
truly, although Spinsters were most experienced in
this Art, yet they will never be able to spin Silk, Thred,
or Wool, &c. from loose Atomes; neither will Weavers
weave a Web of Light from the Sun’s Rays, nor an
Architect build an House of the bubbles of Water and
Air, unless they be Poetical Spinsters, Weavers and
Architects; and if a Painter should draw a Lowse as big
as a Crab, and of that shape as the Microscope presents,
can any body imagine that a Beggar would believe
it to be true? but if he did, what advantage would
it be to the Beggar? for it doth neither instruct him
how to avoid breeding them, or how to catch them,
or to hinder them from biting. Again: if a Painter
should paint Birds according to those Colours the Microscope
presents, what advantage would it be for Fowlers D2v 12
Fowlers to take them? Truly, no Fowler will be
able to distinguish several Birds through a Microscope,
neither by their shapes nor colours; They will be better
discerned by those that eat their flesh, then by Micrographers
that look upon their colours and exterior
figures through a Magnifying-glass. In short, Magnifying-glasses
are like a high heel to a short legg, which
if it be made too high, it is apt to make the wearer fall,
and at the best, can do no more then represent exterior
figures in a bigger, and so in a more deformed shape and
posture then naturally they are; but as for the interior
form and motions of a Creature, as I said before, they
can no more represent them, then Telescopes can the
interior essence and nature of the Sun, and what matter
it consists of; for if one that never had seen Milk before,
should look upon it through a Microscope, he
would never be able to discover the interior parts of
Milk by that instrument, were it the best that is in the
World; neither the Whey, nor the Butter, nor the
Curds. Wherefore the best optick is a perfect natural
Eye, and a regular sensitive perception, and the
best judg is Reason, and the best study is Rational
Contemplation joyned with the observations of regular
sense, but not deluding Arts; for Art is not onely
gross in comparison to Nature, but, for the most part,
deformed and defective, and at best produces mixt or
hermaphroditical figures, that is, a third figure between
Nature and Art: which proves, that natural Reason is E1r 13
is above artificial Sense, as I may call it: wherefore
those Arts are the best and surest Informers, that alter
Nature least, and they the greatest deluders that alter
Nature most, I mean, the particular Nature of each
particular Creature; (for Art is so far from altering
Infinite Nature, that it is no more in comparison
to it, then a little Flie to an Elephant, no not so much,
for there is no comparison between finite and Infinite.)
But wise Nature taking delight in variety, her
parts, which are her Creatures, must of necessity do
so too.

4. Of the Production of Fire by a Flint and Steel.

Some learned Writers of Micrography, having
observed the fiery sparks that are struck out by the
violent motion of a Flint against Steel, suppose them to
be little parcels either of the Flint or Steel, which by the
violence of the stroke, are at the same time severed and
made red hot; nay, sometimes to such a degree as they
are melted together into glass. But whatsoever their
opinion be, to my sense and reason it appears very difficult
to determine exactly how the production of Fire
is made, by reason there are so many different sorts of
Productions in Nature, as it is impossible for any particular
Creature to know or describe them; Nevertheless,
it is most probable, that those two bodies do
operate not by incorporeal but corporeal motions, E which E1v 14
which either produce a third corporeal figure out of
their own parts, or by striking against each other, do
alter some of their natural corporeal figurative parts, so
as to convert them into fire, which if it have no fuel to
feed on, must of necessity die; or it may be, that by the
occasion of striking against each other, some of their
looser parts are metamorphosed, and afterwards return
to their former figures again; like as flesh being bruised
and hurt, becomes numb and black, and after returns
again to its proper figure and colour; or like as Water
that by change of motion in the same parts, turns into
Snow, Ice, or Hail, may return again into its former
figure and shape; for Nature is various in her corporeal
figurative motions. But it is observable, that Fire
is like seeds of Corn sown in Earth, which increases or
decreases according as it has nourishment; by which
we may see that Fire is not produced from a bare immaterial
motion (as I said before;) for a spiritual issue
cannot be nourished by a corporeal substance, but it is
with Fire as it is with all, at least most other natural
Creatures, which require Respiration as well as Perception;
for Fire requires Air as well as Animals do.
By Respiration, I do not mean onely that animal respiration
which in Man, and other animal Creatures, is
performed by the lungs, but a dividing and uniting,
or separating and joyning of parts from and to parts, as
of the exterior from and to the interior, and of the
interior from and to the exterior; so that when some parts E2r 15
parts issue, others do enter: And thus by the name of
Respiration I understand a kind of Reception of forreign
Matter, and emission of some of their own; as
for example, in Animals, I mean not onely the respiration
performed by the lungs, but also the reception of
food, and of other matter entering through some proper
organs and pores of their bodies, and the discharging
of some other matter the same way; and if this be
so, as surely it is, then all or most Creatures in Nature
have some kind of Respiration or Reciprocal breathing,
that is, Attraction and Expiration, receiving of nourishment
and evacuation, or a reception of some forreign
parts, and a discharging and venting of some of
their own. But yet it is not necessary that all the matter
of Respiration in all Creatures should be Air; for
every sort of Creatures, nay every particular has such
a matter of Respiration, as is proper both to the nature
of its figure, and proper for each sort of respiration. Besides,
although Air may be a fit substance for Respiration
to Fire, and to some other Creatures, yet I cannot
believe, that the sole agitation of Air is the cause of
Fire, no more then it can be called the cause of Man;
for if this were so, then Houses that are made of Wood,
or cover’d with Straw, would never fail to be set on fire
by the agitation of the Air. Neither is it requisite that
all Respirations in all Creatures should be either hot or
cold, moist or dry, by reason there are many different
sorts of Respiration, acording to the nature and proprietypriety E2v 16
of every Creature, whereof some may be hot,
some cold; some hot and dry, some cold and dry;
some hot and moist, some cold and moist, &c. and in
Animals, at least in Mankind, I observe, that the respiration
performed by the help of their lungs., is an
attraction of some refrigerating air and an emission of
some warm vapour. What other Creatures respirations
may be, I leave for others to inquire.

5. Of Pores.

As I have mentioned in my former Discourse, that
I do verily believe all or most natural Creatures
have some certain kind of respiration, so do I also find it
most probable, that all or most natural Creatures
have Pores: not empty Pores; for there can be no
Vacuum in Nature, but such passages as serve for respiration,
which respiration is some kind of receiving
and discharging of such matter as is proper to the nature
of every Creature: And thus the several Organs
of Animal Creatures, are, for the most part, imployed
as great large pores; for Nature being in a perpetual
motion, is always dissolving and composing,
changing and ordering her self-moving parts as she
pleases. But it is well to be observed, that there is
difference between Perception and Respiration; for
Perception is onely an action of Figuring or Patterning,
when as the Rational and Sensitive Motions do figure F1r 17
figure or pattern out something: but Respiration is an
action of drawing, sucking, breathing in, or receiving
any ways outward parts, and of venting, discharging,
or sending forth inward parts. Next, although there
may be Pores in most natural Creatures, by reason
that all, or most have some kind of Respiration, yet
Nature hath more ways of dividing and uniting of
parts, or of ingress and egress, then the way of drawing
in, and sending forth by Pores; for Nature is so full
of variety, that not any particular corporeal figurative
motion can be said the prime or fundamental, unless it
be self-motion, the Architect and Creator of all figures:
Wherefore, as the Globular figure is not the
prime or fundamental of all other figures, so neither
can Respiration be called the prime or fundamental
motion; for, as I said, Nature has more ways then
one, and there are also retentive Motions in Nature,
which are neither dividing nor composing, but keeping
or holding together.

6. Of the Effluvium’s of the Loadstone.

It is the opinion of some, that the “Magnetical Effluviums
do not proceed intrinsecally from the stone, but
are certain extrinsecal particles, which approaching to the
stone, and finding congruous pores and inlets therein, are
channelled through it; and having acquired a motion
thereby, do continue their current so far, till being repulsed F by F1v 18
by the ambient air, they recoil again, and return into a vortical
motion, and so continue their revolution for ever
through the body of the Magnet.”
But if this were so,
then all porous bodies would have the same Magnetical
Effluviums, especially a Char-coal, which, they
say, is full of deep pores: besides, I can hardly believe,
that any Microscope is able to shew how those flowing
Atomes enter and issue, and make such a vortical motion
as they imagine. Concerning the argument drawn
from the experiment, that “a Magnet being made red hot
in the fire, not onely amits the Magnetical Vigor it had
before, but acquires a new one”
; doth not evince or prove
that the Magnetical Effluviums are not innate or inherent
in the stone; for fire may over-power them so as
we cannot perceive their vigour or force, the motions
of the Fire being too strong for the motions of the
Loadstone; but yet it doth not follow hence, that
those motions of the Loadstone are lost, because they
are not perceived, or that afterwards when by cooling
the Loadstone they may be perceived again, they are
not the same motions, but new ones, no more then
when a man doth not move his hand the motion of it
can be said lost or annihilated. But say they, “If the
Polary direction of the Stone should be thought to proceed
intrinsecally from the Stone, it were as much as to put a
Soul or Intelligence into the Stone, which must turn it about,
as Angels are feigned to do Celestial Orbs.”
which I answer; That although the turning of the Celestial F2r 19
Celestial Orbs by Angels may be a figment, yet that
there is a soul and intelligence in the Loadstone, is as true,
as that there is a soul in Man. I will not say, that the
Loadstone has a spiritual or immaterial soul, but a corporeal
or material one, to wit, such a soul as is a particle
of the soul of Nature, that is, of Rational Matter,
which moves in the Loadstone according to the propriety
and nature of its figure. Lastly, as for their argument
concluding from the different effluviums of other,
as for example, electrical and odoriferous bodies, &c. as
Camphire, and the like, whose expirations, they say,
fly away into the open air, and never make any return
again to the body from whence they proceeded;
I cannot believe this to be so; for if odoriferous bodies
should effluviate and waste after that manner, then all
strong odoriferous bodies would be of no continuance,
for where there are great expences, there must of neecessity
follow a sudden waste: but the contrary is sufficiently
known by experience. Wherefore, it is more
probable, that the Effluviums of the Loadstone, as
they call them, or the disponent and directive faculty
of turning it self towards the North, is intrinsecally inherent
in the stone it self, and is nothing else but
the interior natural sensitive and rational corporeal
motions proper to its figure, as I have more at
large declared in my Philosophical Letters, and
Philosophical Opinions; then that a stream of exterior
Atomes, by beating upon the stone, should turn F2v 20
turn it to and fro, until they have laid it in such a position.

7. Of the Stings of Nettles and Bees.

Icannot approve the opinion of those, who believe
that the swelling, burning, and smarting pain caused
by the stinging of Nettles and Bees, doth proceed from
a poysonous juice, that is contained within the points of
Nettles, or stings of Bees; for it is commonly known,
that Nettles, when young, are often-times eaten in
Sallets, and minced into Broths; nay, when they are
at their full growth, good-huswifes use to lay their
Cream-cheeses in great Nettles, whereas, if there were
any poyson in them, the interior parts of animal bodies,
after eating them, would swell and burn more
then the exterior onely by touching them. And as
for stings of Bees, whether they be poysonous or not,
I will not certainly determine any thing, nor whether
their stings be of no other use (as some say) then
onely for defence or revenge; but this I know, that
if a Bee once looseth its sting, it becomes a Drone;
which if so, then surely the sting is useful to the Bee,
either in making Wax and Honey, or in drawing,
mixing and tempering the several sorts of juices, or in
penetrating and piercing into Vegetables, or other
bodies, after the manner of broaching or tapping,
to cause the Liquor to issue out, or in framing the structure G1r 21
structure of their comb, and the like; for surely Nature
doth not commonly make useless and unprofitable
things, parts, or creatures: Neither doth her design
tend to an evil effect, although I do not deny but that
good and useful instruments may be and are often imployed
in evil actions. The truth is, I find that stings
are of such kind of figures as fire is, and fire of such a
kind of figure as stings are; but although they be all of
one general kind, nevertheless they are different in
their particular kinds; for as Animal kind contains many
several and different particular kinds or sorts of animals,
so the like do Vegetables, and other kinds of

8. Of the beard of a wild Oat.

Those that have observed through a Microscope
the beard of a wild Oat, do relate that it is onely
a small black or brown bristle, growing out of the side
of the inner husk, which covers the grain of a wild Oat,
and appears like a small wreath’d sprig with two clefts; if
it be wetted in water, it will appear to unwreath it self,
and by degrees to streighten its knee, and the two clefts
will become streight; but if it be suffered to dry again,
it will by degrees wreath it self again, and so return into
its former posture: The cause of which they suppose to
have two substances, one very porous, loose and spongy, G into G1v 22
into which the watry steams of air may very easily be
forced, which thereby will grow swell’d and extended;
and a second, more hard and close, into which the water
cannot at all or very little penetrate; and this retaining
always the same dimensions, but the other stretching
and shrinking, according as there is more or less
water or moisture in its pores, ’tis thought to produce
this unwreathing and wreathing. But that this kind of
motion, whether it be caused by heat and cold, or by
dryness and moisture, or by any greater or less force,
proceeding either from gravity and weight, or from
wind, which is the motion of the air, or from some springing
body, or the like, should be the very first foot-step
of sensation and animate motion, and the most plain,
simple and obvious contrivance that Nature has made
use of to produce a motion next to that of rarefaction
and condensation by heat and cold, as their opinion is,
I shall not easily be perswaded to believe; for if Animate
motion was produced this way, it would, in my
opinion, be but a weak and irregular motion. Neither
can I conceive how these, or any other parts,
could be set a moving, if Nature her self were not self-
moving, but onely moved: Nor can I believe, that
the exterior parts of objects are able to inform us of all
their interior motions; for our humane optick sense
looks no further then the exterior and superficial parts
of solid or dense bodies, and all Creatures have several
corporeal figurative motions one within another, which cannot G2r 23
cannot be perceived neither by our exterior senses, nor
by their exterior motions; as for example, our Optick
sense can perceive and see through a transparent body
but yet it cannot perceive what that transparent bodies
figurative motions are, or what is the true cause of its
transparentness; neither is any Art able to assist our
sight with such optick instruments as may give us a true
information thereof; for what a perfect natural eye
cannot perceive, surely no glass will be able to present.

9. Of the Eyes of Flies.

Icannot wonder enough at the strange discovery
made by the help of the Microscope concerning the
great number of eyes observed in Flies; as that, for example,
in a gray Drone-flie should be found clusters
which contain around 14000 eyes: which if it be really
so, then those Creatures must needs have more of the
optick sense then those that have but two, or one eye;
for my reason cannot believe, that so many numerous
eyes should be made for no more use then one or
two eyes are: for though Art, the emulating Ape of
Nature, makes often vain and useless things, yet I cannot
perceive that Nature her self doth so. But a greater
wonder it is to me, that Man with the twinkling of
one eye, can observe so many in so small a Creature,
if it be not a deceit of the optick instrument: for as I have G2v 24
have mentioned above, Art produces most commonly
hermaphroditical figures, and it may be,
perhaps, that those little pearls or globes, which
were taken for eyes in the mentioned Flie, are onely
transparent knobs, or glossie shining spherical parts of
its body, making refractions of the rayes of light, and
reflecting the pictures of exterior objects, there being
many Creatures, that have such shining protuberances
and globular parts, and those full of quick motion,
which yet are not eyes. Truly, my reason can hardly
be perswaded to believe, that this Artificial Informer
(I mean the Microscope) should be so true as it is
generally thought; for in my opinion it more
deludes, then informs: It is well known, that if a figure
be longer, broader and bigger then its nature requires,
it is not its natural figure, and therefore those
Creatures, or parts of Creatures, which by Art appear
bigger then naturally they are, cannot be judged
according to their natural figure, since they do not
appear in their natural shape; but in an artificial one,
that is, in a shape or figure magnified by Art, and
extended beyond their natural figure; and since
Man cannot judg otherwise of a figure then it appears,
besides, if the Reflections and Positionns of Light be so
various and different as Experimental Philosophers confess
themselves, and the instrument not very exact,
(for who knows but hereafter there may be many
faults discovered of our modern Microscopes which we H1r 25
we are not able to perceive at the present) how shall
the object be truly known? Wherefore I can hardly
believe the Truth of this Experiment concerning the
numerous Eyes of Flies; they may have, as I said before,
glossy and shining globular protuberances, but
not so many eyes; as for example, Bubbles of Water,
Ice, as also Blisters and watry Pimples, and hundreds
the like, are shining and transparent Hemispheres, reflecting
light, but yet not eyes; Nay, if Flies should
have so many numerous Eyes, why can they not see
the approach of a Spider until it be just at them; also
how comes it that sometimes, as for example, in cold
weather, they seem blind, so as one may take or kill
them, and they cannot so much as perceive their enemies
approach? surely if they had 14000 Eyes, all this
number would seem useless to them, since other Creatures
which have but two can make more advantage of
those two eyes, then they of their vast number. But
perchance some will say, That Flies having so many
eyes, are more apt to be blind then others that have but
few, by reason the number is the cause that each particular
is the weaker. To which I answer, That if
two Eyes be stronger then a Thousand, then Nature
is to be blamed that she gives such numbers of Eyes
to so little a Creature. But Nature is wiser then we
or any Creature is able to conceive; and surely she
works not to no purpose, or in vain; but there appears
as much wisdom in the fabrick and structure of her H works, H1v 26
works, as there is variety in them. Lastly, I cannot
well conceive the truth of the opinion of those, that
think all eyes must have a transparent liquor, or humor
within them, for in Crabs and Lobsters Eyes I can
perceive none such; and there may also be many other
animal Creatures which have none: for Nature is not
tied to one way, but as she makes various Creatures,
so she may and doth also make their parts and organs
variously, and not the same in all, or after one and the
same manner or way.

10. Of a Butter-flie.

Concerning the Generation of Butter-flies, whether
they be produced by the way of Eggs, as
some Experimental Philosophers do relate, or any other
ways; or whether they be all produced after one
and the same manner, shall not be my task now to determine;
but I will onely give my Readers a short account
of what I my self have observed: When I lived
beyond the Seas in Banishment with my Noble Lord,
one of my Maids brought upon an old piece of wood, or
stone (which it was I cannot perfectly remember)
something to me which seemed to grow out of that same
piece; it was about the length of half an inch or less, the
tail was short and square, and seemed to be a Vegetable,
for it was as green as a green small stalk, growing
out of the aforesaid piece of stone or wood; the part H2r 27
part next the tail was like a thin skin, wherein one
might perceive a perfect pulsation, and was big in proportion
to the rest of the parts; The part next to that,
was less in compass, and harder, but of such a substance
as it was like Pewter or Tin: The last and extreme part
opposite to the first mentioned green tail or stalk, seem’d
like a head, round, onely it had two little points or
horns before, which head seem’d to the eye and touch,
like a stone, so that this Creature appeared partly a Vegetable,
Animal and Mineral; But what is more, it
was in a continual motion, for the whole body of it
seemed to struggle as if it would get loose from that
piece of wood or stone the tail was joyned to, or out of
which it grew; But I cutting and dividing its tail from
the said piece, it ceased to move, and I did not regard
it any further. After some while I found just such another
insect, which I laid by upon the window, and one
morning I spied two Butter-flies playing about it; which,
knowing the window had been close shut all the while,
and finding the insect all empty, and onely like a bare
shell or skin, I supposed had been bred out of it; for
the shell was not onely hollow and thin, but so brittle
as it straight fell into pieces, and did somewhat resemble
the skin of a Snake when it is cast; and it is observable,
that two Butter-flies were produced out of one
shell, which I supposed to be male and female. But
yet this latter I will not certainly affirm, for I could not
discern them with my eyes, except I had had some Microscope,croscope, H2v 28
but a thousand to one I might have been
also deceived by it; and had I opened this insect, or
shell, at first, it might perhaps have given those Butter-flies
an untimely death, or rather hinder’d their
production. This is all I have observed of Butter-flies,
but I have heard also that Caterpillars are
transformed into Butter-flies; whether it be true or
not, I will not dispute, onely this I dare say, that I have
seen Caterpillers spin as Silk-worms do, an oval ball
around their seed, or rather about themselves.

11. Of the Walking Motions of Flies, and other Creatures.

What Experimental Writers mention concerning
the feet of Flies, and their structure, to
wit, that they have two claws or talons, and two palms
or soles, by the help of which they can walk on the
sides of glass, or other smooth bodies perpendicularly
upwards; If this be the onely reason they can give,
then certainly a Dormouse must have the same structure
of feet; for she will, as well as a flie, run streight
upwards on the sharp edg of a glazed or well-polished
Sword, which is more difficult then to run up the
sides of Glass: And as for Flies, that they can suspend
themselves against the undersurface of many bodies; I
say, not onely Flies, but many other Creatures will
do the same; for not onely great Caterpillers, or such
worms as have many leggs, as also Spiders, but a Neut I1r 29
Neut, which is but a little Creature, will run up a wall
in a perpendicular line; nay, walk as Flies do with its
back down, and its leggs upwards. Wherefore it is
not, in my opinion, the Pores of the surface of the
body, on which those Creatures walk; as for example,
that a Flie should run the tenters or points of her feet,
which some have observed through a Microscope, into
the pores of such bodies she walks on, or make pores
where she finds none; (for I cannot believe, that in such
close and dense bodies, where no pores at all can be perceived,
a small and weak legg of a Flie should pierce a
hole so suddenly, and with one step) Nor an Imaginary
Glue, nor a dirty or smoaky substance adhering
to the surface of glass, as some do conceive; nor
so much the lightness of their bodies that makes those
Creatures walk in such a posture; for many can do the
same that are a thousand times heavier then a little Flie;
but the chief cause is the shape of their bodies; which
being longer then they are deep, one counterpoises the
other; for the depth of their bodies has not so much
weight as their length, neither are the heads and leggs
just opposite: Besides, many have a great number of
feet, which may easily bear up the weight of their bodies;
and although some Creatures, as Horses, Sheep,
Oxon, &c. have their leggs set on in the same manner as
Mice, Squirrels, Cats, &c. yet they cannot run or
climb upwards and downwards in a perpendicular line,
as well as these Creatures do, by reason of the depth I of I1v 30
of their bodies from the soles of their feet to the surface
of their back, the weight of their depth over-powering
the strength of their leggs. Wherefore the weight
of a Creature lies for the most part in the shape of its
body, which shape gives it such sorts of actions as are
proper for it; as for example, a Bird flies by its shape,
a Worm crawls by its shape, a Fish swims by its shape,
and a heavy Ship will bear it self up on the surface of
water meerly by its exterior shape, it being not so much
the interior figure or nature of Wood that gives it this
faculty of bearing up, by reason we see that many pieces
of Timber will sink down to the bottom in water. Thus
Heaviness and Lightness is for the most part caused by
the shape or figure of the body of a Creature, and all
its exterior actions depend upon the exterior shape of its

12. Whether it be possible to make Man and other Animal
Creatures that naturally have no Wings, flie as
Birds do.

Some are of opinion, that it is not impossible to make
Man, and such other Creatures that naturally have
no wings, flie as Birds do; but I have heard my
Noble Lord and Husband give good reasons against
it; For when he was in Paris, he discoursing one time
with Mr. H. concerning this subject, told him that he
thought it altogether impossible to be done: A Man, said I2r 31
said he, or the like animal that has no Wings, has
his arms set on his body in a quite opposite manner
then Birds wings are; for the concave part of a Birds
wing, which joins close to his body, is in man outward;
and the inward part of a mans arm where it
joins to his body, is in Birds placed outward; so that
which is inward in a Bird, is outward in Man; and
what it inward in Man, is outward in Birds; which
is the reason that a Man has not the same motion
of his arm which a Bird has of his wing. For Flying
is but swimming in the Air; and Birds, by the shape
and posture of their wings, do thrust away the air,
and so keep themselves up; which shape, if it were
found the same in Mans arms, and other animals
leggs, they might perhaps flie as Birds do, nay,
without the help of Feathers; for we see that Bats
have but flesh-wings; neither would the bulk of
their bodies be any hinderance to them; for there
be many Birds of great and heavy bodies, which
do nevertheless flie, although more slowly, and not
so nimbly as Flies, or little Birds: Wherefore it is
onely the different posture and shape of Mens arms,
and other Animals leggs, contrary to the wings of
Birds, that makes them unapt to flie, and not so much
the bulk of their bodies. But I believe, that a four-
legg’d Creature, or Animal, may more easily and
safely go upright like Man, although it hath its leggs
set on in a contrary manner to Mans arms and leggs; I2v 32
leggs; for a four-legg’d animals hind-leggs resemble
man’s arms, and its fore-leggs are just as man’s
leggs. Nevertheless there is no Art that can make
a four legg’d Creature imitate the actions of man,
no more then Art can make them have or imitate
the natural actions of a Bird: For, Art cannot give
new motions to natural parts, which are not proper
or natural for them, but each part must have
such proper and natural motions and actions as Nature
has designed for it. I will not say, but Art may
help to mend some defects, errors or irregularities in
Nature, but not make better that which Nature has
made perfect already. Neither can we say Man is
defective, becausse he cannot flie as Birds: for flying
is not his natural and proper motion; We should
rather account that Man monstrous that could flie, as
having some motion not natural and proper to his figure
and shape; for that Creature is perfect in its
kind, that has all the motions which are naturally requisite
to the figure of such a kind: But Man is apt to
run into extreams, and spoils Nature with doting too
much upon Art.

13. Of K1r 33

13. Of Snails and Leeches, and whether all Animals
have blood.

Whether Snails have a row of small teeth,
orderly placed in the Gums, and divided into
several smaller and greater; or whether they have but
one small bended hard bone, which serves them instead
of teeth, to bite out pretty large and half-round bits of
the leaves of trees to feed on, Experimental Philosophers
may enquire by the help of their Microscopes;
My opinion is, That Snails are like Leeches, which
will not onely bite, but suck; but this I do verily believe,
that Snails onely bite Vegetables, not Animals,
as Leeches do; and though Leeches bite into the skin,
yet they do not take any part away, but suck onely out
the juicy part, that is, the blood, and leave the grosser
substance of flesh behind; and so do Snails bite into
herbs, to suck out the juicy substance, or else there
would be found flesh in Leeches, and herbs in Snails,
which is not; so that Snails and Leeches bite for no end,
but onely to make a passage to suck out the juicy parts;
and therefore I cannot perceive that they have bones,
but I conceive their teeth or parts they pierce withal, to
be somewhat of the nature of stings, which are no more
Bones then the points of Fire are; I do not certainly affirm
they are stings, but my meaning is, that they are
pointed or piercing figures, that is, as I said, of the nature K of K1v 34
of stings, there being many several sorts of pointed and
piercing figures, which yet are not stings, like as there
are several sorts of grinding and biting figures which
are not teeth; for there are so many several sorts of figures
in Vegetables, Minerals, Animals and Elements,
as no particular Creature is able to conceive.
Again, it is questioned, whether those Creatures that
suck blood from others, have blood themselves, as
naturally belonging to their own substance; and my opinion
is, that it is no necessary consequence, that that
should be a part of their substance on which they feed;
food may be converted into the substance of their bodies
by the figurative transforming motions, but it is
not part of their substance before it is converted; and so
many Creatures may feed on blood, but yet have none
of themselves as a natural constitutive part of their being:
besides, there are Maggots, Worms, and several
sorts of Flies, and other Creatures, that feed upon
fruits and herbs, as also Lobsters, Crabs, &c. which
neither suck blood, nor have blood; and therefore
blood is not requisite to the life of every animal, although
it is to the life of man, and several other animal
Creatures; Neither do I believe, that all the juice in the
veins, is blood (as some do conceive) for some of
the juice may be in the way of being blood, and some
may have altered its nature from being blood, to corruption,
which later will never be blood again, and
some may onely be metamorphosed from blood, and reassume K2r 35
reassume its own colour again; for it is as natural for
blood to be red, as for the Sun to be light: Wherefore
when some learned are of opinion, that those white,
or yellow, or black juices which are found in the veins
of small insects, are their blood, they might as well say,
that brains are blood, or that the marrow in the bones,
is blood; or if the brain should all be turned to water,
say, that this water is brains; which would be as much
as if one should call a mans body turned to dust and
ashes, an animal Creature, or a man; for there are natural
properties which belong to every Creature, and
to each particular part of a Creature, and so is blood
in some animals a natural and vital part proper to the conservation
of its life, without which it cannot subsist:
for example, a young Maid in the Green-sickness, when
her veins are fuller of water, then blood, appears pale,
and is always sickly, weak and faint, not able to stir,
by reason her veins are fuller of water then blood, but
were it all water, she would presently die. Wherefore
all juices are not blood; nay, I cannot believe as
yet, that those they call veins in some insects, are veins,
much less that they contain blood, and have a circulation
of blood, nor that their motions proceed from
Muscles, Nerves and Tendons; but this I may say,
that the veins are the proper and convenient vehicles or
receptacles of blood, as the head is of brains, and the
bones of marrow; also it is as proper for blood to be
red, as for veins to contain blood, for bones to contain marrow, K2v 36
marrow, and for the head to contain brains; and
when they alter or change from their particular natures,
they are no more blood, brains nor marrow:
Wherefore those Creatures that have a juice which is
not red, have no blood; and if no blood, they have
no veins. I will not say, that all those that have
veins must of necessity have them full of blood; for
in Dropsies, as also in the Green-sickness, as I mentioned
above, they are fuller of water then blood, but
they must of necessity have some blood in their
veins, by reason the veins are the most proper receptacles
for blood, and no man can live without blood,
but when all blood is turned to water, he must of necessity

14. Of Natural Productions.

Icannot wonder with those, who admire that a
Creature which inhabits the air, doth yet produce a
Creature, that for some time lives in the water as a fish,
and afterward becomes an inhabitant of the air, for
this is but a production of one animal from another;
but what is more, I observe that there are productions
of and from Creatures of quite different kinds;
as for example, that Vegetables can and do breed Animals,
and Animals, Minerals and Vegetables, and
so forth: Neither do I so much wonder at this, because
I observe that all Creatures of Nature are produced L1r 37
produced but out of one matter, which is common to
all, and that there are continual and perpetual generations
and productions in Nature, as well as there are
perpetual dissolutions. But yet I cannot believe, that
some sorts of Creatures should be produced on a sudden
by the way of transmigration or translation of parts,
which is the most usual way of natural productions; for
both natural and artificial productions are performed
by degrees, which requires time, and is not done in an
instant. Neither can I believe, that all natural things
are produced by the way of seeds or eggs; for when I
consider the variety of Nature, it will not give me leave
to think that all things are produced after one and the
same manner or way, by reason the figurative motions
are too different, and too diversly various, to be
tied to one way of acting in all productions; Wherefore
as some Productions are done by the way of transmigration
or translation of parts, as for example, the
Generation of Man, and other Animals, and others
by a bare Metamorphosis or Transformation of their
own parts into some other figure, as in the Generation
of Maggots out of Cheese, or in the production of Ice
out of water, and many the like, so each way has its
own particular motions, which no particular Creature
can perfectly know. I have mentioned in my Philosophical
Letters, Sect. 4. Let. 2
that no animal Creature can be produced
by the way of Metamorphosing, which is a
change of Motions in the same parts of Matter, but (as L I L1v 38
I do also express in the same place) I mean such animals
which are produced one from another, and where
the production of one is not caused by the destruction
of the other; such Creatures, I say, it is impossible
they should be produced by a bare Metamorphosis,
without Transmigration or Translation of parts from
the Generator: but such insects, as Maggots, and several
sorts of Worms and Flies, and the like, which have
no Generator of their own kind, but are bred out of
Cheese, Earth and Dung, &c. their Production is
onely by the way of Metamorphosing, and not Transslation
of parts. Neither can I believe, as some do,
that the Sun is the common Generator of all those insects
that are bred within the Earth; for there are not
onely Productions of Minerals and Vegetables, but also
of Animals in the Earth deeper then the Sun can reach,
and the heat of the Sun can pierce no further then cold
can, which is not above two yards from the surface of
the Earth, at least in our climate: But why may not
the Earth, without the help of the Sun, produce Animal
Creatures, as well as a piece of Cheese in a deep Cellar,
where neither the Sun nor his Beams enter? Truly,
I wonder men will confine all Productions to
one principal agent, and make the Sun the common
Generator of all or most living insects, and yet confess
that Nature is so full of variety, and that the Generations
and Productions of insects are so various, as not
onely the same kind of Creature may be produced from several L2r 39
several kinds of ways, but the very same Creature
may produce several kinds. Nevertheless, I believe
that natural Creatures are more numerously and variously
produced by dissolution of particulars by the way
of Metamorphosing, then by a continued propagation
of their own species by the way of translation of parts;
and that Nature hath many more ways of Productions,
then by seeds or seminal Principles, even in Vegetables,
witness the Generation or Production of Moss, and the
like Vegetables that grow on Stones, Walls, dead Animals
sculls, tops of houses, &c. so that he who doth
confine Nature but to one way of acting or moving,
had better to deprive her of all motion, for Nature being
Infinite, has also infinite ways of acting in her particulars.
Some are of opinion, that the seed of
Moss being exceeding small and light, is taken up, and
carried to and fro in the air into every place, and by
the falling drops of rain, is wash’d down out of it, and
so dispersed into all places, and there takes onely root
and propagates where it finds a convenient soil for it to
thrive in; but this is onely a wild fancy, and has no
ground, and no experimental Writer shall ever perswade
me, that by his Dioptrical glasses he has made any
such experiment; wherefore I insist upon sense and reason,
which inform me of the various productions of Nature,
which cannot be reduced to one principal kind,
but are more numerous then mans particular and finite
reason can conceive. Neither is it a wonder to see Plants L2v 40
Plants grow out of the Earth without any waste
of the Earth, by reason there are perpetual compositions
and divisions in Nature, which are nothing else
but an uniting and disjoyning of parts to and from
parts, and prove that there is an interchangeable ingress
and egress, or a reciprocal breathing in all Natures
parts, not perceptible by man; so that no man
can tell the association of parts, and growing motions
of any one, much less of all Creatures.

15. Of the Seeds of Vegetables.

Some do call the seeds of Vegetables, “the Cabinet
of Nature, wherein are laid up her Jewels”
; but
this, in my opinion, is a very hard and improper expression;
for I cannot conceive what Jewels Nature
has, nor in what Cabinet she preserves them. Neither
are the seeds of Vegetables more then other parts
or Creatures of Nature: But I suppose some conceive
Nature to be like a Granary or Store-house of Pine-
barley, or the like; which if so, I would fain
know in what grounds those seeds should be sown to
produce and increase; for no seeds can produce of
themselves if they be not assisted by some other matter,
which proves, that seeds are not the prime or principal
Creatures in Nature, by reason they depend
upon some other matter which helps them in their
productions; for if seeds of Vegetables did lie never so long M1r 41
long in a store-house, or any other place, they would
never produce until they were put into some proper and
convenient ground: It is also an argument, that no
Creature or part of Nature can subsist singly and precised
from all the rest, but that all parts must live together;
and since no part can subsist and live without
the other, no part can also be called prime or principal.
Nevertheless all seeds have life as well as other Creatures;
neither is it a Paradox to say, seeds are buried in
life, and yet do live; for what is not in present act, we
may call buried, intombed or inurned in the power of
life; as for example, a man, when his figure is dissolved,
his parts dispersed, and joyned with others, we
may say his former form or figure of being such a particular
man is buried in its dissolution, and yet liveth in
the composition of other parts, or which is all one, he
doth no more live the life of a Man, but the life of some
other Creature he is transformed into by the transforming
and figuring motions of Nature; nay, although
every particle of his former figure were joyned with several
other parts and particles of Nature, and every
particle of the dissolved figure were altered from its former
figure into several other figures, nevertheless each
of these Particles would not onely have life, by reason
it has motion, but also the former figure would still remain
in all those Particles, though dispersed, and living
several sorts of lives, there being nothing in Nature
that can be lost or annihilated, but Nature is and continuesM tinues M1v 42
still the same as she was, without the least addition
or diminution of any the least thing or part, and
all the varieties and changes of natural productions proceed
onely from the various changes of Motion. But
to return to seeds; some Experimental Writers have
observed, that the seed of Corn-violets, which looks
almost like a very small Flea, through the Microscope
appears a large body cover’d with a tough, thick and
bright reflecting skin, very irregularly shrunk and pitted,
insomuch that it is almost an impossibility to find
two of them wrinkled alike, and wonder that there is
such variety even in this little seed: But to me it is no
wonder, when I consider the variety of Nature in all
her works, not onely in the exterior, but also in the interior
parts of every Creature; but rather a wonder
to see two Creatures just alike each other in their exterior
figures. And since the exterior figures of Creatures
are not the same with the interior, but in many or
most Creatures quite different, it is impossible that the
exterior shape and structure of bodies can afford us sure
and excellent instructions to the knowledg of their natures
and interior motions, as some do conceive; for how
shall a feather inform us of the interior nature of a Bird?
we may see the exterior flying motions of a Bird by the
help of its wings, but they cannot give us an information
of the productive and figurative motions of all the
interior parts of a Bird, and what makes it to be such a
Creature, no more then the exterior view of a mans head, M2r 43
head, arms, legs, &c. can give an Information of his
interior Parts, viz. the spleen, liver, lungs, &c. Also
in Vegetables; although those sorts of Vegetables which
are outwardly burning may be outwardly pointed, and
they that are hot and burning within may be inwardly
pointed, yet no Microscope is able to present to our
view those inward points by the inspection of the exterior
figure and shape of those Vegetables: Neither
doth it follow, that all those which are outwardly pointed,
must needs be of a hot and burning nature, except
they be also pointed inwardly. Nay although some
particular Creatures should seem to resemble each other
in their exterior shapes and figures so much as not
to be distinguished at the first view, yet upon better acquaintance
we shall find a great difference betwixt
them; which shews that there is more variety and difference
amongst Natures works, then our weak senses
are able to perceive, nay, more variety in one particular
Creature, as for example, in Man, then all the
kind or sort of that Creature, viz. Mankind, is able to
know. And if there be such difference betwixt the exterior
figures of Creatures of one sort, what may there
be betwixt their exterior shapes and interior natures?
Nevertheless, although there be such variety, not onely
in the General kinds of Creatures, but in every
Particular, yet there is but one ground or principle of
all this variety, which is self-motion, or self-moving
Matter. And I cannot enough admire the strange conceits M2v 44
conceits of some men, who perceiving and believing
such a curious variety and various curiosity of
Nature in the parts of her body, and that she is in a
perpetual motion, and knows best her own Laws, and
the several proprieties of bodies, and how to adapt and
fit them to her designed ends, nay, that God hath
implanted a faculty of knowing in every Creature,
do yet deny, nay, rail against Natures self-moving
power, condemning her as a dull, inanimate, senseless
and irrational body, as if a rational man could conceive,
that such a curious variety and contrivance of
natural works should be produced by a senseless and
irrational motion; or that Nature was full of immaterial
spirits, which did work Natural matter into such
various figures; or that all this variety should be caused
by an Immaterial motion, which is generated out
of nothing, and annihilated in a moment; for no man
can conceive or think of motion without body, and
if it be above thought, then surely it is above act. But
I rather cease to wonder at those strange and irregular
opinions of Man-kind, since even they themselves do
justifie and prove the variety of Nature; for what
we call Irregularities in Nature, are really nothing
but a variety of Natures motions; and therefore if all
mens conceits, fancies and opinions were rational,
there would not be so much variety as there is. Concerning
those that say, there is no variety in the Elemental
Kingdom, as Air, Water, and Earth; Air and N1r 45
and Water having no form at all, unless a potentiality
to be formed into globules, and that the clods and
parcels of Earth are all Irregular. I answer, This is
more then Man is able to know: But by reason their
Microscopes cannot make such Hermaphroditical figures
of the Elements, as they can of Minerals, Vegetables
and Animals, they conclude there is no such
variety in them; when as yet we do plainly perceive
that there are several sorts of Air, Fire, Water, Earth,
and no doubt but these several sorts, and their particulars,
are as variously figured as other Creatures:
Truly it is no consequence to deny the being of that
which we do not see or perceive; for this were to attribute
a Universal and Infinite knowledg to our weak
and imperfect senses. And therefore I cannot believe,
that the Omnipotent Creator has written and
engraven his most mysterious Designs and Counsels
onely in one sort of Creatures; since all parts of Nature,
their various productions and curious contrivances, do
make known the Omnipotency of God, not onely
those of little, but also those of great sizes; for in all
figures, sizes and actions is apparent the curious variety
of Nature, and the Omnipotency of the Creator,
who has given Nature a self-moving power to
produce all these varieties in her self; which varieties
do evidently prove, that Nature doth not work in all
Creatures alike: nor that she has but one Primary or
Principal sort of motions by which she produces all N Crea- N1v 46
Creatures, as some do conceive the manner of wreathing
and unwreathing, which they have observed in
the beard of a Wild-oat, mentioned before, to be the
first foot-step of sensation and animate motion, and the
most plain, simple and obvious contrivance Nature has
made use of to produce a motion next to that of rarefaction
and condensation by heat and cold; for this is a
very wild and extravagant conceit, to measure the infinite
actions of Nature according to the rule of one
particular sort of motions, which any one that has the
perfect use of his sense and reason may easily see, and
therefore I need not to bring many arguments to contradict

16. Of the Providence of Nature, and of some Opinions
concerning Motion.

Concerning those that speak of the Providence of
Nature & the preserving of Vegetables, to wit, that
Nature is very curious and careful in preserving their seminal
principles, and lays them in most convenient, strong
and delicate cabinets for their safer protection from
outward danger: I confess, Nature may make such protections,
that one Creature may have some defence from
the injuries and assaults of its fellow-Creatures; but
these assaults are nothing but dissolving motions, as
friendly and amiable associations are nothing else but
composing motions; neither can any thing be lost in Nature, N2r 47
Nature, for even the least particle of Nature remains
as long as Nature her self. And if there be any Providence
in Nature, then certainly Nature has knowledg
and wisdom; and if she hath knowledg and wisdom,
then she has sense and reason; and if sense and
reason, then she has self-motion; and if Nature has
self-motion, then none of her parts can be called inanimate
or soul-less: for Motion is the life and soul of Nature,
and of all her parts; and if the body be animate, the
parts must be so too, there being no part of the animate
body of Nature that can be dead, or without motion;
whereof an instance might be given of animal bodies,
whose parts have all animal life, as well as the body it
self: Wherefore those that allow a soul, or an informing,
actuating and animating form or faculty in Nature
and her parts, and yet call some parts inanimate or
soul-less, do absolutely contradict themselves. And
those that say, all the varieties of Nature are produced,
not by self-motion, but that one part moves another,
must at last come to something that moves it self: besides,
it is not probable, that one part moving another,
should produce all things so orderly and wisely as they
are in Nature. But those that say Motion is no substance,
and consequently not material, and yet allow
a generation and annihilation of Motion, speak, in my
opinion, non-sence: for first, how can self-motion,
the Author and Producer of all things, work all the varieties
that are in Nature, and be nothing it self? Next, how N2v 48
how can that which is nothing (for all that is not Material
is nothing in Nature, or no part of Nature) be
generated and annihilated? Nay, if Motion be Material,
as surely it is, yet there can neither be a new
generation, nor an annihilation of any particular Motion
in Nature; for all that is material in Nature has
its being in and from Infinite Matter, which is from
Eternity, it being impossible that any other new Matter
should be created besides this Infinite Matter out of
which all natural things consist, or that any part of this
matter should be lost or annihilated. But perhaps
those that believe new generations and annihilations of
particular motions, may say, that their opinion is not
as if those particular Motions were generated out of
some new matter, but that the matter of such motions is
the same with the matter of all other natural Creatures,
and that their perishing or annihilation is not an utter
destruction or loss of their being out of Nature, but
onely of being such or such a motion, like as some Vegetables
and Elements are generated and perish in one
night: Truly, if their meaning be thus, then it were
better to name it an alteration or change of Motion,
rather then a new Generation, and a Perishing or
Annihilation. But my intention is not to plead for
other mens opinions, but rather to clear my own,
which is, that Motion is material; for Figure, Motion
and Matter are but one thing; and that no
particular Motion is or can be lost in Nature, nor created O1r 49
created anew; as I have declared more at large elsewhere.

17. Des Cartes Opinion of Motion examined.

Icannot well apprehend what Des Cartes means, by
Matter being at first set a moving by a strong and
lively action, and by his extraordinary swift rotation or
whirling motion about the Center; as also by the shavings
of his æthereal subtil Matter which fill’d up all
vacuities and pores, and his æthereal globules; I would
ask whether this kind of motion did still continue;
if so, then not onely the rugged and uneven parts, but
also the æthereal globules would become less by this
continual rotation, and would make this world a very
weak, dizzie, and tottering world; and if there be any
such shaving and lessening, then according to his principles
there must also be some reaction, or a reacting
and resisting motion, and then there would be two opposite
motions which would hinder each other. But
I suppose he conceived, that Nature, or the God of
Nature, did produce the world after a Mechanical
way, and according as we see Turners, and such kind
of Artificers work; which if so, then the Art of Turning
is the prime and fundamental of all other Mechanical
Arts, and ought to have place before the rest, and
a Turner ought to be the prime and chief of all Mechanicks,
and highly esteemed; but alas! that sort of O people O1v 50
people is least regarded; and though by their turning
Art they make many dusty shavings, yet they get but
little profit by them; for all they get is by their several
wooden figures they make, as Spoons, Ladles,
Cups, Bowls, Trenchers, and the like, and not by
their shavings. Wherefore as all other Mechanicks
do not derive their Arts from Turners, so neither is it
probable, that this world and all natural Creatures are
produced by a whirling Motion, or a spherical rotation,
as if some spirits were playing at Bowls or Football;
for as I have often mentioned, Nature has infinite
ways of Motions, whereof none is prime or principal,
but self-motion, which is the producer of all the
varieties Nature has within her self. Next, as for his
Opinion of transferring and imparting Motion to other
bodies, and that that body which imparts Motion
to another body, loses as much as it gives, I have answer’d
in my Philosophical Letters; to wit, that it is
most improbable, by reason Motion being material
and inseparable from Matter, cannot be imparted without
Matter; and if not, then the body that receives
Motion would increase in bulk, and the other that loses
Motion would decrease, by reason of the addition
and diminution of the parts of Matter, which must of
necessity increase and lessen the bulk of the body, the
contrary whereof is sufficiently known.

18. Of O2r 51

18. Of the blackness of a Charcoal, and of Light.

Icannot in reason give my consent to those Dioptrical
Writers, who conceive that the blackness of a
Charcoal proceeds from the Porousness of its parts, and
the absence of light, viz. that light, not being reflected
in the Pores of a Charcoal, doth make it obscure, and
consequently appear black; for the opinion which
holds that all Colours are caused by the various reflexion
of Light, has but a weak and uncertain Ground,
by reason the refraction or reflection of light is so inconstant,
as it varies and alters continually; and there
being so many reflexions and positions of Light, if they
were the true cause of Colours, no Colour would appear
constantly the same, but change variously, according
to the various reflexion of Light; whereas, on
the contrary, we see that natural and inherent Colours
continue always the same, let the position and reflection
of Light be as it will; besides, there being different coloured
Creatures, if all had the same position and reflexion
of light, they would not appear of divers, but
all of one colour, the contrary whereof is proved by
experience. I will not say, but the refraction and various
position of light may vary and alter a natural and
inherent colour exteriously so, as to cause, for example,
a natural blew to appear green, or a natural
green to appear red, &c. but those figures which light O2v 52
light makes, being but superficially and loosely spread
upon other natural and substantial figures, are so uncertain,
inconstant and momentary, that they do change
according as the reflexion and position of light alters;
and therefore they cannot cause or produce any natural
or inherent colours, for these are not superficial, but
fixt, and remain constantly the same. And as for
blackness, that it should be caused by the absence of
light, I think it to be no more probable, then that
light is the cause of our sight; for if the blackness of a
Charcoal did proceed from the absence of light in its
pores, then a black Horse would have more or deeper
pores then a white one, or a sorrel, or any other coloured
Horse; also a black Moor would have larger
Pores then a man of a white complexion; and black
Sattin, or any black Stuff, would have deeper pores
then white Stuff: But if a fair white Lady should bruise
her arm, so as it did appear black, can any one believe
that light would be more absent from that bruised part
then from any other part of her arm that is white, or
that light should reflect otherwise upon that bruised
part, then on any other? Also can any body believe,
that the reflexion of light on a decayed Ladies face,
should be the cause that her complexion is altered from
what it was when she was young, and appeared beautiful
and fair? Certainly Light is no more the cause of
her Complexion then of her Wrinkles, or else she
would never complain of Age, but of Light. But to prove P1r 53
prove further, that the entering of light into the pores
of exterior bodies, can neither make perception nor
colours; if this were so, then the entering of light into
the pores of the Eye, would make it perceive all things
of as many colours as a Rain-bow hath: besides, if
several Eyes should have several shaped Pores, none
would agree in the perception of the colour of an exterior
object, or else it would so dazle the sight, as no
object would be truly perceived in its natural colour;
for it would breed a confusion between those reflexions
of light that are made in the pores of the eye, and
those that are made in the pores of the object, as being
not probable they would agree, since all pores are not
just alike, or of the same bigness; so as what with Air,
Light, Particles, and Pores jumbled together, and
thrust or crowded into so small a compass, it would
make such a confusion and Chaos of colours, as I
may call it, that no sight would be able to discern
them; wherefore it is no more probable that the perception
of sight is caused by the entering of light
into the pores of the Eye, then that the perception of
smoak is caused by its entrance into the Eye: And I
wonder rational men do believe, or at least conceive
Natures actions to be so confused and disordered,
when as yet sense and reason may perceive that Nature
works both easily and orderly, and therefore I rather
believe, that as all other Creatures, so also light is
patterned out by the corporeal figurative and perceptiveP tive P1v 54
motions of the optick sense, and not that its perception
is made by its entrance into the eye, or by pressure and
reaction, or by confused mixtures, by reason the way of
Patterning is an easie alteration of parts, when as all others
are forced and constrained, nay, unsetled, inconstant
and uncertain; for how should the fluid particles of air
and light be able to produce a constant and setled effect,
being so changeable themselves, what instances soever of
Geometrical figures be drawn hither to evince it? if
Man knew Natures Geometry, he might perhaps do
something, but his artificial figures will never find out
the architecture of Nature, which is beyond his perception
or capacity. But some may object, That neither
colour, nor any other object can be seen or perceived
without light, and therefore light must needs be
the cause of colours, as well as of our optick perception.
To which I answer, Although we cannot regularly
see any other bodies without light, by reason
darkness doth involve them, yet we perceive darkness
and night without the help of light. They will say, We
perceive darkness onely by the absence of light. I answer,
If all the Perception of the optick sense did come
from light, then the Perception of night or darkness
would be no perception at all, which is a Paradox, and
contrary to common experience, nay, to sense and
reason, for black requires as much Perception as white,
and so doth darkness and night. Neither could we say,
it is dark, or it is night, if we did not perceive it to be so, P2r 55
so, or had no perception at all of it: The truth is, we
perceive as much darkness as we do light, and as much
black as we do white; for although darkness doth not
present to our view other objects, so as light doth, but conceals
them, yet this doth not infer that darkness is not perceived;
for darkness must needs do so, by reason it is
opposite to light, and its corporeal figurative motions
are quite contrary to the motions of light, and therefore
it must also of necessity have contrary effects;
wherefore the error of those that will not allow darkness
to be a corporeal figurative motion, as well as light,
but onely a privation or absence of light, cannot make
it nothing; but it is on the contrary well known, that
darkness has a being as well as light has, and that it is
something, and not nothing, by reason we do perceive
it; but he that perceives, must needs perceive something,
for no perception can be of nothing: besides, I
have declared elsewhere, that we do see in dreams, and
that mad men see objects in the dark, without the help
of light: which proves, it is not the presence or entering
of light into the eye, that causes our seeing, nor
the absence of light, which takes away our optick Perception,
but light onely doth present exterior objects to
our view, so as we may the better perceive them. Neither
is a colour lost or lessened in the dark, but it is onely
concealed from the ordinary perception of humane
sight; for truly, if colours should not be colours in the
dark, then it might as rationally be said, that a man’s flesh P2v 56
flesh and blood is not flesh and blood in the dark,
when it is not seen by a humane eye: I will not say,
that the smalness and fineness of parts may not make
colours appear more glorious; for colours are like artificial
Paintings, the gentler and finer their draughts
and lines are, the smoother and glossier appear their
works; but smalness and fineness is not the true cause
of colours, that is, it doth not make colours to be colours,
although it makes colours fine. And thus
black is not black through the absence of Light, no
more then white can be white by the presence of light;
but blackness is one sort of colour, whiteness another,
redness another, and so of the rest: Whereof
some are superficial and changeable, to wit, such as
are made by the reflection of light, others fixt and inherent,
viz. such as are in several sorts of Minerals,
Vegetables and Animals; and others again are produced
by Art, as by Dying and Painting; which Artists
know best how to order by their several mixtures.

19. Of the Pores of a Charcoal, and of Emptiness.

Although I cannot believe, that the absence of
Light in the Pores of a Charcoal is the cause of
its blackness; yet I do not question the truth of its
Pores; for that all, or most Creatures have Pores, I
have declared before; which Pores are nothing else but Q1r 57
but passages to receive and discharge some parts
of matter; and therefore the opinion of those that
believe an entering of some Particles of exterior bodies
through the Pores of animal Creatures, and an
intermixing with their interior parts; as that, for example,
in the bathing in Mineral Waters, the liquid and
warm vehicles of the Mineral Particles, do by degrees
insinuate themselves into the pores of the skin, and intermix
with the inner parts of the body, is very rational;
for this is a convenient way of conveighing exteterior
parts into the body, and may be effectual either
to good or bad; and although the pores be very small,
yet they are numerous, so that the number of the pores
supplies the want of their largeness. But yet although
Pores are passages for other bodies to issue or enter, nevertheless
they are not empty, there being no such thing
as an emptiness in Nature; for surely God, the fulness
and Perfection of all things, would not suffer any Vacuum
in Nature, which is a Pure Nothing; Vacuum
implies a want and imperfection of something, but
all that God made by his All-powerful Command,
was good and perfect; Wherefore, although Charcoals
and other bodies have Pores, yet they are fill’d
with some subtile Matter not subject to our sensitive perception,
and are not empty, but onely call’d so, by reason
they are not fill’d up with some solid and gross substance
perceptible by our senses. But some may say, if there
be no emptiness in Nature, but all fulness of body, or Q bodily Q1v 58
bodily parts, then the spiritual or divine soul in Man,
which inhabits his body, would not have room to reside
in it. I answer, The Spiritual or Divine Soul in Man
is not Natural, but Supernatural, and has also a Supernatural
way of residing in man’s body; for Place belongs
onely to bodies, and a Spirit being bodiless, has
no need of a bodily place. But then they will say, That
I make Spirit and Vacuum all one thing, by reason I describe
a Spirit to be a Natural Nothing, and the same
I say of Vacuum; and hence it will follow, that particular
Spirits are particular Emptinesses, and an Infinite
Spirit and Infinite Vacuum. My answer is, That although
a Spirit is a Natural nothing, yet it is a Supernatural
something; but a Vacuum is a Pure nothing,
both Naturally and Supernaturally; and God forbid
I should be so irreligious, as to compare Spirits, and
consequently God, who is an Infinite Spirit, to a Vacuum;
for God is All-fulfilling, and an Infinite Fulness
and Perfection, though not a Corporeal or Material,
yet a Supernatural, Spiritual, and Incomprehensible
fulness; when as Vacuum, although it is a corporeal
word, yet in effect or reality is nothing, and
expresses a want or imperfection, which cannot be said
of any supernatural Creature, much less of God.

20. Of Q2r 59

20. Of Colours.

Although the sensitive perception doth pattern out
the exterior figure of Colours, as easily as of any
other object, yet all perceptions of Colours are not
made by Patterning; for as there are many perceptions
which take no patterns from outward objects, so there
are also perceptions of Colours which never were presented
to our sensitive organs: Neither is any perception
made by exterior objects, but by interior corporeal
figurative motions; for the object doth not print or
act any way upon the eye, but it is the sensitive motions
in the eye which pattern out the figure of the object:
and it is to be observed, that as the parts of some bodies
do consist of several different figures, which the learned
call Heterogeneous, one figure being included within
another; and some again, their parts are but of one
kind of figure, which they call Homogeneous bodies,
as for example, Water: so it may be with Colours;
for some, their parts may be quite thorow of one colour,
and others again, may be of several colours; and
indeed, most Creatures, as they have different parts,
so those different parts have also different colours; and
as those parts do alter, so do their colours: For example,
a Man that is in good health, looks of a sanguine
complexion, but being troubled with the Yellow or
black Jaundies, his complexion is of the colour of the humor,mor, Q2v 60
either black, or yellow; yet it doth not proceed
always from the over-flowing of the humor towards
the exterior parts; for many times, when the humor
is obstructed, it will cause the same effect; but then
the corporeal motions in the extream parts alter by way
of Imitation or Metamorphosing, as from a sanguine
colour into the colour of the predominant humor:
Wherefore it is no more wonder to see colours
change in the tempering of Steel (as some are pleased to
alledg this experiment) then to see Steel change and
rechange its temper from being hard to soft, from tough
to brittle, &c. which changes prove, that colours are
material as well as steel, so that the alteration of the
corporeal parts, is the alteration of the corporeal figures
of colours. They also prove, that Light is not essential
to colours; for although some colours are made by several
Reflexions, Refractions and Positions of Light,
yet Light is not the true and natural cause of all colours;
but those colours that are made by light, are
most inconstant, momentanry and alterable, by reason
light and its effects are very changeable: Neither are
colours made by a bare motion, for there is no such
thing as a bare or immaterial Motion in Nature; but
both Light and Colours are made by the corporeal figurative
motions of Nature; and according to the various
changes of those Motions, there are also various
and different Lights and Colours; and the perception of
light and Colours is made and dissolved by the sensitive figurative R1r 61
figurative motions in the optick sensorium, without the
exchange of exterior objects; but as the slackest, loosest
or rarest parts are of least solid or composed corporeal
figures, so are they most apt to change and rechange
upon the least disorder, as may well be observed
in colours raised by Passions, as fear, anger, or
the like, which will change not onely the complexion
and countenance, but the very features will have
some alteration for a short time, and many times the
whole body will be so altered, as not to be rightly composed
again for a good while; nay, often there follows
a total dissolution of the whole figure, which we
call death. And at all this we need not wonder,
if we do but consider that Nature is full of sense and
reason, that is, of sensitive and rational perception,
which is the cause that oftentimes the disturbance of
one part causes all other parts of a composed figure to
take an alarum; for, as we may observe, it is so in all other
composed bodies, even in those composed by Art; as
for example, in the Politick body of a Commonwealth,
one Traytor is apt to cause all the Kingdom to
take armes; and although every member knows not
particularly of the Traytor, and of the circumstances
of his crime, yet every member, if regular, knows its
particular duty, which causes a general agreement to
assist each other; and as it is with a Common-wealth,
so it is also with an animal body; for if there be factions
amongst the parts of an animal body, then straight R there R1v 62
there arises a Civil War. Wherefore to return to
Colours; a sudden change of Colours may cause no
wonder, by reason there is oftentimes in Nature a sudden
change of parts, that is, an alteration of figures in
the same parts: Neither is it more to be admired, that
one colour should be within another, then one figurative
part is within another; for colours are figurative
parts; and as there are several Creatures, so there are
also several Colours; for the Colour of a Creature is
as well corporeal as the Creature it self; and (to express
my self as clearly as I can) Colour is as much a
body as Place and Magnitude, which are but one thing
with body: wherefore when the body, or any corporeal
part varies, whether solid or rare; Place, Magnitude,
Colour, and the like, must of necessity change
or vary also; which change is no annihilation or perishing,
for as no particle of Matter can be lost in Nature,
nor no particular motion, so neither can Colour;
and therefore the opinion of those, who say, That
when Flax or Silk is divided into very small threads,
or fine parts, those parts lose their colours, and being
twisted, regain their colours, seems not conformable to
Truth; for the division of their parts doth not destroy
their colours, nor the composing of those parts regain
them; but they being divided into such small and fine
parts, it makes their colours, which are the finest of
their exterior parts, not to be subject to our optick perception;
for what is very small or rare, is not subject to R2r 63
to the humane optick sense; wherefore there are these
following conditions required to the optick perception
of an exterior object: First, The object must not be
too subtil, rare, or little, but of a certain degree of magnitude;
Next, It must not be too far distant, or
without the reach of our sight; then the medium must
not be obstructed, so as to hinder our perception; And
lastly, our optick sensorium must be perfect, and the
sensitive motions regular; of which conditions, if any be
wanting, there is either no perception at all, or it is an
imperfect perception; for the perception of seeing an
exterior object, is nothing else but a patterning out of
the figure of that same object by the sensitive figurative
and perceptive motions; but there are infinite parts that
are beyond our humane perception, and it would be
but a folly for us to deny that which we cannot see or
perceive; and if the perceptive motions be not regular
in our optick sense, we may see different colours in
one object; nay, the corporeal figurative motions in
the eye may make several figurative colours, even without
the patterns of outward objects; and as there are
several colours, so there are also several corporeal figurative
motions that make several colours in several
parts; and the more solid the parts are, the more fixt
are their inherent natural colours: But superficial colours
are more various, though not so various as they
would be, if made by dusty Atomes, flying about as
Flies in Sun-shine; for if this opinion were true, all colours,lours R2v 64
and other Creatures would be composed or made
by chance, rather then by reason, and chance being
so ignorantly inconstant, not any two parts would be
of the like colour, nor any kind or species would be preserved;
but Wise Nature, although she be fulll of variety,
yet she is also full of reason, which is knowledg;
for there is no part of Nature that has not sense and reason,
which is life and knowledg; and if all the infinite
parts have life and knowledg, Infinite Nature cannot
be a fool or insensible: But mistake me not, for I do not
mean, that her parts in particular are infinitely knowing,
but I say Infinite Nature hath an Infinite knowledg;
and by reason Nature is material, she is divideable
as well as composeable, which is the cause that
there is an obscurity in her Parts, in particular, but
not in general, that is, in Nature her self; nay, if there
were not an obscurity in the Particulars, men would not
endeavour to prove inherent and natural figures by superficial
Phænomena’s. But as for Colour, some do
mention the example of a blind man, who could discover
colours by touch; and truly I cannot account it
a wonder, because colours are corporeal figurative motions,
and touch being a general sence, may well perceive
by experience (which is gained by practice) some
Notions of other sensitive perceptions; as for example,
a blind man may know by relation the several touches
of Water, Milk, Broth, Jelly, Vinegar, Vitriol, &c.
as well as what is hot, cold, rare, dense, hard, soft, or S1r 65
or the like; and if he have but his touch, hearing,
speaking and smelling, perfectly, he may express the
several knowledges of his several senses by one particular
sense, or he may express one senses knowledg by
another; but if the senses be imperfect, he cannot
have a true knowledg of any object. The same may
be said of Colours; for several Colours being made
by several corporeal figurative motions, may well be
perceived by a general sense, which is Touch: I will
not say, that touch is the principle of all sensitive knowledg,
for then I should be of the opinion of those Experimental
Philosophers, which will have one principal
motion or figure to be the cause of all Natural things;
but I onely say, animal touch may have some Notion
of the other animal senses by the help of rational perception:
all which proves, that every part is sensible,
and every sense knowing, not onely in particular, but
that one sense may have some general notion or knowledg
of the rest; for there are particular and general
perceptions in sensitive and rational matter, which
is the cause both of the variety and order of Nature’s
Works; and therefore it is not necessary, that a
black figure must be rough, and a white figure smooth:
Neither are white and black the Ground-figures
of Colours, as some do conceive, or as others do
imagine, blew and yellow; for no particular figure
can be a principle, but they are all but effects;
and I think it is as great an error to believe Effects S for S1v 66
for Principles, as to judg of the Interior Natures
and Motions of Creatures by their Exterior Phænomena
or appearances, which I observe in most of our modern
Authors, whereof some are for Incorporeal Motions,
others for Prime and Principal Figures, others
for First Matter, others for the figures of dusty and insensible
Atomes, that move by chance: when as neither
Atomes, Corpuscles or Particles, nor Pores, Light,
or the like, can be the cause of fixt and natural colours;
for if it were so, then there would be no stayed
or solid colour, insomuch, as a Horse, or any other
Creature, would be of more various colours then a
Rain-bow; but that several colours are of several figures,
was always, and is still my opinion, and that
the change of colours proceeds from the alteration of
their figures, as I have more at large declared in my
other Philosophical Works: Indeed Art can no more
force certain Atomes or Particles to meet and join to the
making of such a figure as Art would have, then it can
make by a bare command Insensible Atomes to join into
a Uniform World. I do not say this, as if there
could not be Artificial Colours, or any Artificial Effects
in Nature; but my meaning onely is, that although
Art can put several parts together, or divide and
disjoyn them, yet it cannot make those parts move or
work so as to alter their proper figures or interior natures,
or to be the cause of changing and altering their
own or other parts, any otherwise then they are by their Natures. S2r 67
Natures. Neither do I say, that no Colours are
made by Light, but I say onely, that fixt colours are
not made by Light; and as for the opinion, that white
bodies reflect the Light outward, and black bodies inward,
as some Authors do imagine; I answer, ’Tis
probable, some bodies may do so, but all white and
black Colours are not made by such reflexions; the
truth is, some conceive all Colours to be made by one
sort of Motion, like as some do believe that all sensation
is made by pressure and reaction, and all heat by
parts tending outward, and all cold by parts tending
inward; when as there are not onely several kinds of
heat and cold, as Animal, Vegetable, Mineral and
Elemental heat and cold, but several sorts in each kind,
and different particulars in each sort; for there is a
moist heat, a dry heat, a burning, a dissolving, a
composing, a dilating, a contracting heat, and many
more: The like for colds; all which several kinds,
sorts and particulars, are made by the several changes of
the corporeal figurative Motions of Nature, and not
by Pressure and Reaction, or by tending inward and
outward. And as there is so great a variety and difference
amongst natural Creatures, both in their Perceptions
and interior natures, so there are also varieties of their
colours, the natural colours of men being different
from the natural colours of Beasts, Birds, Fish, Worms,
Flies, &c. Concerning their interior Natures, I’le alledg
but few examples; although a Peacock, Parrot, Pye, or S2v 68
or the like, are gay Birds, yet there is difference in
their Gayety: Again; although all men have flesh and
blood, and are all of one particular kind, yet their interior
natures and dispositions are so different, as seldom
any two men are of the same complexion; and as there
is difference in their complexions, so in the exterior
shapes and features of their exterior parts, in so much
as it is a wonder to see two men just alike; nay, as
there is difference in the corporeal parts of their bodies,
so in the corporeal parts of their minds, according to
the old Proverb, “So many Men, so many Minds”:
For there are different Understandings, Fancies, Conceptions,
Imaginations, Judgments, Wits, Memories,
Affections, Passions, and the like. Again: as
in some Creatures there is difference both in their exterior
features and interior natures, so in others there
is found a resemblance onely in their exterior, and a
difference in their interior parts; and in others again,
a resemblance in their interior, and a difference in their
exterior parts; as for example, black Ebony, and black
Marble, are both of different natures, one being
Wood, and the other Stone, and yet they resemble
each other in their exterior colour and parts; also,
white, black, and gray Marble, are all of one interior Nature,
and yet do differ in their exterior colour and
parts: The same may be said of Chalk and Milk, which
are both white, and yet of several natures; as also of a
Turquois, and the Skie, which both appear of one colour,lour, T1r 69
and yet their natures are different: besides, there
are so many stones of different colours, nay, stones of
one sort, as for example, Diamonds, which appear of
divers colours, and yet are all of the same Nature;
also Man’s flesh, and the flesh of some other animals,
doth so much resemble, as it can hardly be distinguished,
and yet there is great difference betwixt Man and
Beasts: Nay, not onely particular Creatures, but
parts of one and the same Creature are different; and for
example, every part of mans body has a several touch,
and every bit of meat we eat has a several taste, witness
the several parts, as legs, wings, breast, head, &c.
of some Fowl; as also the several parts of Fish, and other
Creatures. All which proves the Infinite variety in
Nature, and that Nature is a perpetually self-moving
body, dividing, composing, changing, forming and
transforming her parts by self-corporeal figurative motions;
and as she has infinite corporeal figurative motions,
which are her parts, so she has an infinite wisdom
to order and govern her infinite parts; for she has
Infinite sense and reason, which is the cause that no
part of hers is ignorant, but has some knowledg or other,
and this Infinite variety of knowledg makes a general
Infinite wisdom in Nature. And thus I have
declared how Colours are made by the figurative corporeal
motions, and that they are as various and different
as all other Creatures, and when they appear either
more or less, it is by the variation of their parts. T But T1v 70
But as for the experiment of Snow, which some do
alledg, that in a darkned room, it is not perceived to have
any other light then what it receives, doth not prove that
the whiteness of Snow is not an inherent and natural colour,
because it doth not reflect light, or because our eye
doth not see it, no more then we can justly say, that blood
is not blood, or flesh is not flesh in the dark, if our eye
do not perceive it, or that the interior parts of Nature
are colourless, because the exterior light makes no reflexion
upon them.. Truly, in my judgment, those
opinions, that no parts have colour, but those which
the light reflects on, are neither probable to sense nor
reason; for how can we conceive any corporeal part
without a colour? In my opinion, it is as impossible
to imagine a body without colour, as it is impossible for
the mind to conceive a natural immaterial substance;
and if so pure a body as the mind cannot be colourless,
much less are grosser bodies. But put the case all
bodies that are not subject to exterior light were black
as night, yet they would be of a colour, for black is as
much a colour as green, or blew, or yellow, or the
like; but if all the interior parts of Nature be black, then,
in my opinion, Nature is a very sad and melancholy
Lady; and those which are of such an opinion, surely
their minds are more dark then the interior parts of
Nature; I will not hope that clouds of dusty Atomes
have obscured them. But if not any Creature can
have imagination without figure and colour, much less can T2r 71
can the optick sensitive parts; for the exterior sensitive
parts are more gross then the rational, and therefore
they cannot be without colour, no more then without
figure: and although the exterior parts of Animals are
subject to our touch, yet the countenances of those several
exterior parts are no more perceptible by our
touch, then several colours are: By Countenances,
I mean the several exterior postures, motions, or appearances
of each part; for as there is difference betwixt
a face, and a countenance; (for a face remains constantly
the same, when as the countenance of a face may and
doth change every moment; as for example, there are
smiling, frowning, joyful, sad, angry countenances, &c.)
so there is also a difference between the exterior figure
or shape of a Creature, and the several and various motions,
appearances or postures of the exterior parts of
that Creatures exterior figure, whereof the former
may be compared to a Face, and the later to a Countenance.
But leaving this nice distinction; If any one
should ask me, Whether a Barbary-horse, or a Gennet,
or a Turkish, or an English-horse, can be known and
distinguished in the dark? I answer: They may be
distinguished as much as the blind man (whereof mention
hath been made before) may discern colours, nay,
more; for the figure of a gross exterior shape of a body
may sooner be perceived, then the more fine and pure
countenance of Colours. To shut up this my discourse
of Colours, I will briefly repeat what I have said T2v 72
said before, viz. that there are natural and inherent
colours which are fixt and constant, and superficial
colours, which are changeable and inconstant, as also
Artificial colours made by Painters and Dyers, and
that it is impossible that any constant colour should be
made by inconstant Atomes and various lights. ’Tis
true, there are streams of dust or dusty Atomes, which
seem to move varioussly, upon which the Sun or light
makes several reflections and refractions; but yet I do
not see, nor can I believe, that those dusty particles and
light are the cause of fixt and inherent colours; and
therefore if Experimental Philosophers have no firmer
grounds and principles then their Colours have,
and if their opinions be as changeable as inconstant
Atomes, and variable Lights, then their experiments
will be of no great benefit and use to the world. Neither
will Artificial Characters and Geometrical Figures
be able to make their opinions and experiments
more probable; for they appear to me like Dr. Dee’s
numbers, who was directed by I know not what
spirits, which Kelley saw in his holy stone, which neither
of them did understand; much less will Dioptrical
glasses give any true Information of them, but they
rather delude the sight; for Art is not onely intricate
and obscure, but a false informer, and rather blinds
then informs any particular Creature of the Truth of
Nature: but my reason perceives that Nature loves
sometimes to act or work blind-fold in the actions of Art; V1r 73
Art; for although they be natural, yet they are but
Natures blind, at least her winking or jugling actions,
causing some parts or Creatures to deceive others,
or else they are her politick actions by which she deceives
her Creatures expectations, and by that means
keeps them from knowing and understanding her subtile
and wise Government.

21. Whether an Idea have a Colour, and of the Idea of
a Spirit.

Ihave declared in my former discourse, that there
is no Colour without body, nor a body without
colour, for we cannot think of a body without
we think of colour too. To which some may object,
That if colour be as proper to a body as
matter, and if the mind be corporeal, then the mind
is also coloured. I answer, The Mind, in my opinion,
has as much colour as other parts of Nature. But
then perhaps they will ask me, what colour the Mind
is of? My answer is, That the Mind, which is the
rational part of Nature, is no more subject to one colour,
then the Infinite parts of Nature are subject to
one corporeal figurative motion; for you can no
more confine the corporeal mind to a particular complexion,
then you can confine Infinite matter to one
particular colour, or all colours to one particular figure.
Again, they may ask, Whether an Idea have a V colour? V1v 74
colour? and if so, whether the Idea of God be coloured?
To which I answer, If the Ideas be of corporeal
finite figures, they have colours according to the nature,
or property, or figure of the original; but as
for the Idea of God, it is impossible to have a corporeal
Idea of an infinite incorporeal Being; for though the
finite parts of Nature may have a perception or knowledg
of the existence of God, yet they cannot possibly
pattern or figure him, he being a Supernatural, Immaterial,
and Infinite Being: But put the case (although it is
very improbable, nay, against sense and reason) there
were natural immaterial Idea’s, if those Idea’s were finite,
and not infinite, yet they could not possibly express an
infinite, which is without limitation, by a finite figure
which hath a Circumference. Some may say, An
Immaterial Idea hath no Circumference. But then
I answer, It is not a finite Idea, and it is impossible for
an Idea to be Infinite: for I take an Idea to be the picture
of some object, and there can be no picture without
a perfect form; neither can I conceive how an immaterial
can have a form, not having a body; wherefore
it is more impossible for Nature to make a picture
of the Infinite God, then for Man, which is but a part
of Nature, to make a picture of infinite Nature; for
Nature being material, has also figure and matter,
they being all one, so that none can be without the other,
no more then Nature can be divided from her
self. Thus it is impossible for Man to make a figure, or V2r 75
or picture of that which is not a part of Nature; for
pictures are as much parts of Nature, as any other
parts, nay, were they monstrous, as we call them;
for Nature being material, is also figurative, and being
a self-moving matter or substance, is divideable, and
composeable; and as she hath infinite corporeal figurative
motions, and infinite parts, so she hath infinite
figures, of which some are pictures, others originals;
and if any one particular Creature could picture out
those infinite figures, he would picture out Nature; but
Nature being Infinite, cannot be pictured or patterned
by any finite and particular Creature, although she
is material; nevertheless she may be patterned in parts:
And as for God, He being individeable and immaterial,
can neither be patterned in part, nor in whole, by any
part of Nature which is material, nay, not by infinite
Nature her self: Wherefore the notions of God can be
no otherwise but of his existence, to wit, that we know
there is something above Nature, who is the Author
and God of Nature; for though Nature hath an infinite
natural knowledg of the Infinite God, yet being
divideable as well as composeable, her parts cannot have
such an infinite knowledg or perception; and being
composeable as much as divideable, no part can be so
ignorant of God, as not to know there is a God. Thus
Nature hath both an infinite and finite perceptions; infinite
in the whole, as I may say for better expressions
sake, and finite in parts. But mistake me not, I do not V2v 76
not mean, that either the infinite perception of Nature,
or the finite perceptions of natural parts and Creatures,
are any otherwise of that supernatural and divine being
then natural; but yet they are the most purest parts,
being of the rational part of Nature, moving in a most
elevating and subtile manner, as making no exact figure
or form, because God hath neither form nor figure;
but that subtile matter or corporeal perceptive
motion patterns out onely and over-ruling power, which
power all the parts of Nature are sensible of, and yet
know not what it is; like as the perception of Sight seeeth
the ebbing and flowing of the Sea, or the motion of
the Sun, yet knows not their cause; and the perception
of Hearing hears Thunder, yet knows not how it is
made; and if there be such ignorance of the corporeal
parts of Nature, what of God? But to conclude, my
opinion is, That as the sensitive perception knows some
of the other parts of Nature by their effects, so the rational
perceives some effects of the Omnipotent power
of God; which effects are perceptible by finite Creatures,
but not his Infinite Nature, nor Essence, nor
the cause of his Infiniteness and Omnipotency. Thus
although Gods Power may be perceived by Natures
parts, yet what God is, cannot be known by any part:
and Nature being composeable, there is a general acknowledgment
of God in all her parts; but being also
divideable, it is the cause there are particular Religions,
and opinions of God, and of his divine Worship and

22. Of X1r 77

22. Of Wood Petrified.

Icannot admire, as some do, that Wood doth turn
into stone, by reason I observe, that Slime, Clay,
Dirt, nay Water, may and doth often the same, which
is further off from the nature of Stone then Wood is,
as being less dense, and its interior figurative motions
being dilating: but yet this doth not prove that all
other Creatures may as easily be metamorphosed into
stone as they; for the parts of water are composed but
of one sort of figure, and are all of the same nature;
and so is wood, clay, shells, &c. whose parts are
but of one figure, at least not of so many different figures
as the parts of Animals, or other Creatures;
for as Animals have different parts, so these parts are
of different figures, not onely exteriously, but interiously;
as for example, in some or most Animals there
are Bones, Gristles, Nerves, Sinews. Muscles, Flesh,
Blood, Brains, Marrow, Choler, Phlegme, and the
like; besides, there are several sorts of flesh, witness
their interior and exterior parts, as the Heart, Lungs,
Liver, Spleen, Guts, and the like; as also the Head,
Breast, Armes, Body, Legs, and the like: all which
would puzzle and withstand the power of Ovid’s Metamorphosing
of Gods and Goddesses. Wherefore it is
but a weak argument to conclude, because some Creatures
or parts can change out of one figure into another X without X1v 78
without a dissolution of their composed parts, therefore
all Creatures can do the like; for if all Creatures could
or should be metamorphosed into one sort of figure,
then this whole World would perhaps come to be one
Stone, which would be a hard World: But this Opinion,
I suppose, proceeds from Chymistry; for since
the last Art of Chimystry (as I have heard) is the
Production of glass, it makes perhaps Chymists believe,
that at the last day, when this World shall be dissolved
with Fire, the Fire will calcine or turn it into Glass: A
brittle World indeed! but whether it will be transparent,
or no, I know not, for it will be very thick.

23. Of the Nature of Water.

The Ascending of Water in Pipes, Pumps, and
the like Engines, is commonly alledged as an argument
to prove there is no Vacuum: But, in my opinion,
Water, or the like things that are moist, liquid
and wet, their interior corporeal and natural motion is
flowing, as being of a dilating figure; and when other
parts or Creatures suppress those liquors, so that they
cannot rise, they will dilate; but when solid and heavy
bodies are put into them as Stones, Metals, &c. which
do sink, then they will rise above them, as being their
nature to over-flow any other body, if they can have
the better of it, or get passage: For concerning the floating X2r 79
floating of some bodies, the reason is not so much their
levity or porousness, but both their exterior shape, and
the waters restlessness or activity, the several parts of
water endeavouring to drive those floating bodies from
them; like as when several men playing at Ball, or
Shittle-cock, or the like, endeavour to beat those
things from and to each other; or like as one should
blow up a feather into the Air, which makes it not onely
keep up in the air, but to wave about: The like doth water
with floating bodies; and the lighter the floating parts
are, the more power have the liquid parts to force and
thrust them about. And this is also the reason why
two floating bodies of one Nature endeavour to meet
and joyn, because by joyning they receive more
strength to resist the force of the watry parts: The same
may be said when as floating bodies stick or join to the
side of Vessels; but many times the watry parts will
not suffer them to be at rest or quiet, but drive them
from their strong holds or defences. Concerning the
suppresion of water, and of some floating bodies in water
by air or light, as that air and light should suppress
water, and bodies floating upon it (as some do conceive)
I see no reason to believe it; but the contrary
rather appears by the levity of air, which is so
much lighter, and therefore of less force then either the
floating bodies, or the water on which they float. Some
again are of opinion, That Water is a more dense body
then Ice, and prove it by the Refractions of light, because X2v 80
because Water doth more refract the rays of light then
Ice doth: but whatsoever their experiments be, yet
my reason can hardly believe it; for although Ice may
be more transparent then water, yet it may be more
dense then water: for Glass is more transparent then
water, and yet more dense then water; and some bodies
will not be transparent if they be thick, that is, if they
have a great number of parts upon parts, when as they
will be transparent if they be thin, that is, if they have
few thin parts upon each other; so that transparent bodies
may be darkned, and those that are not transparent of
themselves, may be made so by the thickness or thinness
of parts, that one may see or not see through them; and
thus a thin body of Water, may be more transparent
then a thick body of Ice, and a thin body of Ice may be
more transparent then a thick body of water. As for
the expansion of Water, it doth not prove, that Water
is more dense then Ice, but on the contrary, it rather
proves, that it is more rare; for that body whose parts
are close and united, is more dense then that whose
parts are fluid and dilating. Neither doth Expansion
alter the interior nature of a body, any more then contraction,
but it alters onely the exterior posture; as
for example, when a man puts his body into several
postures, it doth not alter him from being a man, to
some other Creature, for the stretching of his legs,
spreading out of his armes, puffing up his cheeks, &c.
changes his nature, or natural figure, no more then when Y1r 81
when he contracts his limbs close together, crumpling
up his body, or folding his armes, &c. but his posture is
onely changed; the like for the expansions and contractions
of other sorts of Creatures. Nor can I readily give
my assent to their opinion, that some liquors are more
dense then others; I mean such as are perfectly moist,
liquid and wet, as water is; for there be numerous sorts
of liquors, which are not throughly wet as water; and
although their Circular lines may be different, as some
edged, some pointed, some twisted, and the like; yet
they do not differ so much, but that their inherent figures
are all of Circular lines; for the interior nature
or figure of water, and so of all other moist and wet liquors,
is Circular: and it is observable, that as Art may
be an occasion of diminishing those points or edges of
the Circular lines of some liquors, or of untwisting
them; so it may also be an occasion that some liquid and
wet bodies may become so pointed, edged, twisted, &c.
as may occasion those circles to move or turn into such
or such exterior figures, not onely into triangular,
square, round, and several other forms or figures, as
appears in Ice, Hail, Frost, and flakes of Snow, but into
such figures as they name Spirits; which several sorts
of figures belonging all to one sort of Creatures, may
cause several refractions, reflections and inflections of
the rayes of light. Wherefore Mechanicks may
very much be mistaken concerning the truth of the
interior Nature of bodies, or natural Creatures, by Y judging Y1v 82
judging them onely according to their exterior figures.

24. Of Salt, and of Sea- or Salt-water.

The reason, why Salt is made, or extracted out of
Salt-water, is, that the Circular lines of Sea- or
Salt-water, are pointed exteriously, but not interiously,
which is the cause that the saltish parts may be easily divided
from those watry lines; and it is to be observed,
that those points when joyned to the watry circles, are
rare, but being once separated, either by Art, or a
more natural way, by some sorts of dividing motions,
they become more dense; yet not so dense, but they
may melt or return again into the first figure, which
is a rare figure, and so become liquid salt, and afterwards
they may be densed or contracted again; for
there is no other difference between dry and liquid salt,
but what is made by the rarity or density of those sorts
of points. As for that sort of Salt, which is named volatile,
it is when some of those rare points become more
dilated or rarified, then when they are joyned to the
watry circle-lines; I say some, not all; for as some
points do condense or contract into fixt salt, so others
do dilate or arise into volatile salt. But perchance
some will say, How can there be several sorts of points,
since a point is but a point? I answer, There may
very well be several sorts, considering the Nature of their Y2r 83
their substance; for some sorts are rare, some dense,
some contracting, some dilating, some retenting, &c.
besides, all points are not alike, but there is great difference
amongst several pointed figures, for all are not like
the point of a Pin or Needle, but (to alledg some gross
examples) there be points of Pyramids, points of
Knives, points of Pins, points of the flame of a Candle,
and numerous other sorts, which are all several points,
and not one like another; for I do not mean a Mathematical
or imaginary point, such as is onely made by
the rational matter in the mind, (although even amongst
those imaginary points there is difference; for
you cannot imagine, or think of the several pointed figures
of several sorts or kinds of Creatures, or parts,
but you will have a difference in your mind) but I
mean pointed figures, and not single points. It is also
to be observed, that as some watry Circles will and
may have points outwardly, so some have also points
inwardly; for some watry Circles, as I have mentioned
in my Philosophical Opinions, are edged, to wit,
such as are in vitriol water; others pointed, as those
in salt water; and others are of other sorts of points,
as those in cordial or hot waters; but those last are more
artificial; and all these are different in their sorts or
kinds, although a litttle difference in their own natures
may appear great in our humane perception. Concerning
Oyl, there is also difference between Oyl and other
wet bodies; for Oyl, although it be rare, liquid and moist, Y2v 84
moist, yet we cannot say, it is absolutely that which we
name wet, as other liquors are, viz. Water and Wine,
or natural juices; and since the interior natural figure of
oyl is burning and hot, it is impossible to divide those
interior fiery points from the circle figure of Oyl without
dissolving those liquid circle lines. But as the
Penetrations of other acid and salt liquors are caused by
their exterior points, so oyl, whose points are interiously
in the circle-lines, cannot have such quick effects
of penetration as those that are exteriously pointed:
But mistake me not, I do not mean such exterior
parts as are onely subject to our humane perception,
but such as cause those Creatures or parts to be of such
a figure or nature.

25. Of the Motions of Heat and Cold.

Those which affirm that Heat and Cold are the two
primary and onely causes of the Productions of
all natural things, do not consider sufficiently the
variety of Nature, but think that Nature produces all
by Art; and since Art is found out and practised by
Man, Man conceits himself to be above Nature; But as
neither Art, nor any particular Creature can be the
cause or principle of all the rest, so neither can heat
and cold be the prime cause of all natural productions,
no more then paint can produce all the parts of a man’s
face, as the Eyes, Nose, Forehead, Chin, Cheeks, Lips, Z1r 85
Lips and the like, or a Periwig can produce a natural
Head, or a suit of Clothes can make the body of
Man, for then whensoever the fashioned Garments or
Mode-dresses do change, men would of necessity
change also; but Art causes gross mistakes and errors, not
onely in sensitive, but also in rational perceptions;
for sense being deluded, is apt to delude Reason also,
especially if Reason be too much indulgent to sense;
and therefore those judgments that rely much upon the
perception of sense, are rather sensitive then rational
judgments; for sense can have but a perception of the
exterior figures of objects, and Art can but alter the outward
form or figure, but not make or change the interior
nature of any thing; which is the reason that
artificial alterations cause false, at least uncertain and various
judgments, so that Nature is as various in mens
judgments, as in her other works. But concerning
heat and cold, my opinion is, that they are like several
Colours, some Natural, and some Artificial; of which
the Artificial are very inconstant, at least not so lasting as
those that are not made by Art; and they which say, that
both heat and cold are not made by the sensories
or sensitive organs, are in the right, if their meaning
be that both heat and cold in their natures and with
all their properties, as they are particular Creatures,
are not made or produced by humane or animal senses;
nevertheless the sensitive animal perception of heat and
cold is made by the sensitive motions in their sensitive Z organs, Z1v 86
organs, for what heat and cold soever an animal Creature
feels, the perception of it is made in the sense of
touch, or by those sensitive motions in the parts of its
body; for as the perception of any other outward object
is not made by a real entrance of its parts into our
sensories, so neither is all perception of heat and cold
made by the intermixture of their particles with our
flesh, but they are patterned and figured out by the
sensitive motions in the exterior parts of the body as
well as other objects: I will not say, that cold or heat may
not enter and intermix with the parts of some bodies,
as fire doth intermix with fuel, or enters into its parts;
but my meaning is, that the animal perception of heat
and cold is not made this way, that is, by an intermixture
of the parts of the Agent with the parts of the Patient,
as the learned call them; that is, of the exterior object,
and the sentient; or else the perception of all exterior
objects would be made by such an intermixture,
which is against sense and reason; and therefore even in
such a commixture, where the parts of the object enter
into the body of the sentient, as fire doth into fuel, the
perception of the motions of fire in the fuel, and the
fuels consumption or burning, is not made by the fire,
but by the fuels own perceptive motions, imitating the
motions of the fire; so that fire doth not turn the fuel
into ashes, but the fuel doth change by its own corporeal
figurative motions, and the fire is onely an occasion
of it: The same may be said of Cold. Neither is every Z2r 87
every Creatures perception alike, no more then it can
be said, that one particular Creature, as for example
Man, hath but one perception; for the perception of
sight and smelling, and so of every sence, are different;
nay, one and the same sense may have as many
several perceptions as it hath objects, and some sorts
of perceptions in some Creatures, are either stronger or
weaker then in others; for we may observe, that in
one and the same degree of heat or cold, some will have
quicker and some slower perceptions then others; for
example in the perception of touch, if several men stand
about a fire, some will sooner be heated then others;
the like for Cold, some will apprehend cold weather
sooner then others, the reason is, that in their perception
of Touch, the sensitive motions work quicker or
slower in figuring or patterning out heat or cold,
then in the perception of others. The same may be
said of other objects, where some sentient bodies will
be more sensible of some then of others, even in one and
the same kind of perception. But if in all perceptions
of cold, cold should intermix with the bodies of animals,
or other Creatures, like as several Ingredients,
then all bodies upon the perception of cold would dissolve
their figures, which we see they do not; for although
all dissolving motions are knowing and perceptive,
because every particular motion is a particular
knowledg and perception, yet not every perception requires
a dissolution or change of its figure: ’Tis true, some Z2v 88
some sorts or degrees of exterior heat and cold may occasion
some bodies to dissolve their interior figures,
and change their particular natures, but they have not
power to dissolve or change all natural bodies. Neither
doth heat or cold change those bodies by an intermixture
of their own particles with the parts of the bodies,
but the parts of the bodies change themselves into a
mode-fashion, although oftentimes the senses will have
fashions of their own, without imitating any other objects;
for not all sorts of perceptions are made by Imitation
or patterning, but some are made voluntary, or
by rote; as for example, when some do hear and see such
or such things without any outward objects. Wherefore
it is not certain steams, or agitated particles in the
air, nor the vapours and effluviums of exterior objects,
insinuating themselves into the pores of the sentient,
that are the cause of the Perception of Heat and Cold,
as some do imagine; for there cannot probably be
such differences in the pores of animal Creatures of one
sort, as for example of Men, which should cause such
a different perception as is found in them; for although
exterior heat or cold be the same, yet several
animals of the same sort will have several and different
perceptions of one and the same degrees of exterior heat
and cold, as above mentioned; which difference would
not be, if their perception was caused by a real entrance
of hot and cold particles into the pores of their bodies: Besides, Aa1r 89
Besides, Burning-Fevers and Shaking-Agues, prove that
such effects can be without such exterior causes. Neither
can all sorts of Heat and Cold be expressed by
Wind, Air and Water, in Weather-glasses; for
they being made by Art, cannot give a true information
of the Generation of all natural heat and cold; but as
there is great difference between Natural and Artificial
Ice, Snow, Colours, Light, and the like; so between
Artificial and Natural Heat and Cold; and
there are so many several sorts of heat and cold, that
it is impossible to reduce them all to one certain cause
or principle, or confine them to one sort of Motions, as
some do believe that all sorts of Heat and Cold are
made by motions tending inward and outward, and
others, that by ascending and descending, or rising and
depressing motions, which is no more probable, then
that all Colours are made by the reflexion of Light, and
that all White is made by reflecting the beams of
light outward, and all black by reflecting them inward;
or that a Man when he is on Horse-back, or upon the
top of an House, or Steeple, or in a deep Pit or Mine,
should be of another figure then of the figure and nature
of man, unless he were dissolved by death, which
is a total alteration of his figure; for neither Gravity
nor Levity of Air, nor Altmospherical Pillars, nor any
Weather-glasses, can give us a true information of
all natural heat and cold, but the several figurative corporeal
motions, which make all things in Nature, do Aa also Aa1v 8690
also make several sorts of heat and cold in several sorts
of Creatures. But I observe experimental Philosophers
do first cry up several of their artificial Instruments,
then make doubts of them, and at last disapprove
them, so that there is no trust nor truth in them,
so much as to be relied on; for it is not an age, since
Weather-glasses were held the onely divulgers of heat
and cold, or change of weather, and now some do
doubt they are not such infallible Informers of those
truths; by which it is evident, that Experimental Philosophy
has but a brittle, inconstant and uncertain
ground, and these artificial Instruments, as Microscopes,
Telescopes, and the like, which are now so
highly applauded, who knows, but may within a
short time have the same fate, and upon a better and
more rational enquiry, be found deluders rather then
true Informers. The truth is, there’s not any thing
that has and doth still delude most mens understandings
more, then that they do not consider enough the variety
of Natures actions, and do not imploy their reason
so much in the search of natures actions, as they do
their senses, preferring Art and Experiments before
Reason, which makes them stick so close to some particular
opinions, and particular sorts of Motions or Parts,
as if there were no more Motions, Parts, or Creatures
in Nature, then what they see and find out by their
Artificial Experiments.

Thus the variety of Nature is a stumbling-block to most Aa2r 8791
most men, at which they break their heads of understanding,
like blind men that run against several posts
or walls; and how should it be otherwise, since Natures
actions are Infinite, and Mans understanding finite?
for they consider not so much the interior Natures
of several Creatures, as their exterior figures and
Phoænomena’s, which makes them write many Paradoxes,
but few Truths, supposing that Sense and Art
can onely lead them to the knowledg of truth, when as
they delude rather their judgments instead of informing
them. But Nature has placed Sense and Reason
together, so that there is no part or particle of Nature
which has not its share of reason as well as of sense;
for every part having self-motion, hath also knowledg,
which is sense and reason, and therefore it is fit we
should not onely imploy our senses, but chiefly our
reason in the search of the causes of natural effects; for
Sense is onely a workman, and Reason is the designer
and surveigher, and as reason guides and directs,
so ought sense to work. But seeing that in this age,
sense is more in fashion then reason, it is no wonder
there are so many irregular opinions and judgments amongst
men; However, although it be the mode, yet
I for my part shall not follow it, but leaving to our
Moderns their Experimental or Mode-Philosophy
built upon the deluding Art, I shall addict my self to the
study of Contemplative-Philosophy, and Reason shall
be my guide. Not that I despise sense or sensitive knowledg, Aa2v 92
knowledg, but when I speak of sense, I mean the perception
of our five exterior senses, helped (or rather
deluded) by Art and Artificial instruments; for I see
that in this present Age, Learned men are full of Art
and Artificial trials, and when they have found out
something by them, they presently judg that all natural
actions are made the same way; as for example,
when they find by Art that Salt will make Snow congeal
into Ice, they instantly conclude from thence
that all natural congelations are made by saline particles,
and that the Primum Frigidum, or the Principal
cause of all natural cold must needs be salt, by reason
they have found by Art that salt will do the same effect
in the aforesaid commixture with Snow. But
how grosly they are deceived, rational men may judg:
If I were a Chymist, and acknowledged their common
Principles, I might perchance have some belief
in it, but not whilest I follow reason; nay, I perceive
that oftentimes our senses are deluded by their own irregularities,
in not perceiving always truly and rightly
the actions of Art, but mistaking them, which is
a double error; and therefore that particular sensitive
knowledg in man which is built meerly upon artificial
experiments, will never make him a good Philosopher,
but regular sense and reason must do it, that is,
a regular sensitive and rational inquisition into the various
actions of Nature; For put the case a Microscope
be true concerning the magnifying of an exterior Bb1r 93
exterior object, but yet the magnitude of the object
cannot give a true information of its interior parts, and
their motions, or else great and large bodies would be
interiously known even without Microscopes: The
truth is, our exterior senses can go no further then the
exterior figures of Creatures, and their exterior actions,
but our reason may pierce deeper, and consider
their inherent natures and interior actions; and although
it do sometimes erre, (for there can be no
perfect or universal knowledg in a finite part concerning
the Infinite act of Nature) yet it may
also probably guess at them, and may chance to hit
the Truth. Thus Sense and Reason shall be the ground
of my Philosophy, and no particular natural effects, nor
artificial instruments; and if any one can shew me a better
and surer ground or Principle then this, I shall most
willingly and joyfully embrace it.

26. Of the Measures, Degrees, and different sorts of
Heat and Cold.

Some Experimental Philosophers are much inquisitive
into the measures of Heat and Cold; and
as we have setled standards for weight and magnitude,
and time, so they endeavour to measure the varying
temperature, and gradual differences of heat and cold;
but do what they can, their artificial measures or
weights neither will nor can be so exact as the Bb natural Bb1v 94
natural are, to wit, so as not to make them err in more or
less: Neither is it possible, that all the degrees of heat
and cold in Nature can be measured; for no man can
measure what he doth not know, and who knows all
the different sorts of heats and colds? Nay, if man
did endeavour to measure onely one sort of heat or
cold, as for example, the degrees of the heat or coldness
of the air, how is it possible that he should do it, by
reason of the continual change of the motions of heat
or cold of the air, which are so inconstant, that it were
surer to measure the fluidity of the air, then to measure
the degrees of heat or cold of the air; for the temper
of the air and of its heat and cold, may vary so,
as many times we shall never find the same measure again.
Wherefore if we desire to have some knowledg
of the degrees of some sorts of heat or cold, my opinion
is, that we may more easily attain to it by the help
of rational perception, then by a sensitive inspection
of artificial Weather-glasses, or the like; for
reason goes beyond sense; and although the sensitive
perception is best next the rational, yet the rational is
above the sensitive. But some of the learned conceive
the degrees of heat and cold are made by bare divisions,
whenas, in my opinion, they are made by the several
degrees of their corporeal figurative motions: They
do also imagine, that there’s no degree but must ascend
from one, to two; from two, to three; and so forth
through all numbers: and that from one to twenty, there Bb2r 95
there be so many degrees as there be numbers; when
as, in my opinion, there’s no more but one degree required
from one to a Million, or more; for though
both in Nature and Art there are degrees from one single
figure to another, yet there may also be but one degree
from one to a million, without reckoning any
intermediate degrees or figures: so that a body, when
it moves quick or slow, needs not to go through all
the intermediate degrees of quickness or slowness, as to
move quicker and quicker, slower and slower; but
may immediately move from a very slow, to a very
quick degree: the truth is, no man is able to measure
the infinite degrees of natural motions; for though Nature
consists of particular finites, yet it doth also consist
of infinite particulars; finite in figure, infinite in number;
and who can number from finite to infinite? But
having discoursed hereof elsewhere, I return to heat
and cold, annd let others dispute whether the degrees of
heat and cold in the air, be the same with the degrees of
animal perceptions, or with the degrees of animal cold
and heat; my opinion is, that there being several sorts,
and several particular heats and colds, they cannot be
just alike each other, but there’s some difference betwixt
them; as for example, there are shaking, freezing,
chilly, windy, numb, stiff, rare, dense, moist, dry,
contracting, dilating, ascending, descending, and other
numerous sorts of colds; nay, there are some sorts
of candied figures made by heat, which appear as if they Bb2v 96
they were frozen: Also there are fluid colds which are
not wet, as well as fluid heats that are not dry; for
Phlegm is fluid, and yet not wet; and some sorts of air
are fluid, and not wet; I say some, not all; for some
are hot and moist, others hot and dry. The same may
be said of some sorts of heat and cold; for some
are moist, and some dry; and there may be at one and
the same time a moist cold in the air, and a dry cold in
water; which, in my opinion, is the reason that in sealed
Weather-glasses, according to some Experimenters relations,
sometimes the air doth not shrink, but rather
seems to be expanded when the weather grows colder,
and that the water contracts; not that the cold contraction
of water causes an expansion of the air to prevent
a Vacuum; for there cannot be any such thing as a Vacuum
in Nature; but that there is a moist cold in the
air, and a dry cold in the water, whereof the dry cold
causes a contraction, and the moist cold an expansion;
nay, there is often a moist and dry cold in the air at one
and the same time; so that some parts of the air may
have a moist cold, and the next adjoyning parts a dry
cold, and that but in a very little compass; for there
may be such contractions and dilations in Nature, which
make not a hairs breadth difference, Nature being so
subtil and curious, as no particular can trace her ways;
and therefore when I speak of contractions and dilations,
I do not mean they are all such gross actions perceptible
by our exterior senses as the works of Art, but such Cc1r 97
such as the curiosity of Nature works. Concerning
the several sorts of animal heat and cold, they are
quite different from the Elemental, and other sorts of
heat and cold; for some men may have cold fits of an
Ague under the Line, or in the hottest Climates; and
others Burning-Feavers under the Poles, or in the
coldest climates. ’Tis true, that Animals, by their
perceptions, may pattern out the heat or cold of the
air, but these perceptions are not always regular or perfect;
neither are the objects at all times exactly presented
as they should, which may cause an obscurity
both in Art, and in particular sensitive perceptions,
and through this variety the same sort of Creatures
may have different perceptions of the same sorts of heat
and cold. Besides it is to be observed, that some parts
or Creatures, as for example, Water, and the like liquors,
if kept close from the perception either of heat
or cold, will neither freeze, nor grow hot; and if Ice
and Snow be kept in a deep Pit, from the exterior object
of heat, it will never thaw, but continuue Ice or
Snow, whenas being placed near the perception of
the Sun, Fire, or warm Air, its exterior figure will
alter from being Ice to Water, and from being cold
to hot, or to an intermediate temper betwixt both;
nay, it may alter from an extream degree of cold to
an extream degree of heat, according as the exterior
object of heat doth occasion the sensitive perceptive
motions of Water or Ice to work; for extreams are Cc apt Cc1v 98
apt to alter the natural temper of a particular Creature,
and many times so as to cause a total dissolution of its interior
natural figure; (when I name extreams, I do
not mean any uttermost extreams in Nature; for Nature
being Infinite, and her particular actions being
poised and ballanced by opposites, can never run into
extreams; but I call them so in reference onely to our
perception, as we use to say, it is extream hot, or extream
cold) And the reason of it is, that Water by
its natural perceptive motions imitates the motions of
heat or cold, but being kept from the perception of
them, it cannot imitate them, The same reason may
be given upon the experiment, that some bodies being
put into water, will be preserved from being frozen or
congealed; for they being in water, are not onely kept
from the perception of cold, but the water doth as a
guard preserve them; which guard, if it be overcome,
that is, if the water begin to freeze, then they will do
so too. But yet all colds are not airy, nor all heats
sunny or fiery; for a man, as I mentioned before, may
have shaking fits of an Ague in the hottest climate,
or season, and burning fits of a Fever in the coldest climate
or season; and as there is a differenc between elemental
and animal cold and heat, so betwixt other sorts;
so that it is but in vain to prove all sorts of heat and cold
by Artificial Weather-glasses, suppressions and elevations
of water, Atmosphærical parts, and the like; for
it is not the air that makes all cold, no not that cold which Cc2r 99
which is called Elementary, no more then it makes
heat; but the corporeal, figurative, self-moving, perceptive,
rational and sensitive parts of Nature, which
make all other Creatures, make also heat and cold.
Some Learned make much ado about Antiperistasis,
and the flight of those two contrary qualities, heat and
cold, from each other; where, according to their opinion,
one of them being surrounded and besieged by the
other, retires to the innermost parts of the body which
it possesses, and there by recollecting its forces, and animating
it self to a defence, is intended or increased in
its degree, and so becomes able to resist its adversary;
which they prove by the cold expelled from the Earth,
and Water by the Sun-beams, which they say retires
to the middle region of the Air, and there defends it
self against the heat that is in the two other, viz. the
upper, and the lower Regions; and so it doth in the
Earth; for, say they, we find in Summer, when the air is
sultry hot, the cold retreats into Cellars and Vaults, and
in Winter when the air is cold, they are the Sanctuary
and receptacle of heat; so that the water in wells and
springs, and the like places under ground, is found
warm and smoaking, when as the water which is exposed
to the open air, by cold is congealed into Ice. But
whatsoever their opinion be, I cannot believe that heat
and cold run from each other as Children at Boe-peep;
for concerning the Earths being warm in Winter, and
cold in Summer, it is not, in my opinion, caused by hot Cc2v 100
hot or cold Atoms, flying like Birds out of their nests,
and returning to the same; nor is the Earth like a Storehouse,
that hoards up cold and heat at several seasons
in the year, but there is a natural temper of cold and
heat as well in the Earth, as in other Creatures; and
that Vaults, Wells, and Springs under ground, are
warm in Winter, when the exterior air is cold; the
reason is, not that the heat of the air, or the Calorifick
atomes, as they call them, are retired thither to defend
themselves from the coldness of the air; but they being
so deep in the Earth where the cold cannot enter, are
kept from the perception of cold, so as they cannot
imitate so well the motions of cold as other Creatures
that are exposed to the open air. The like may be said
of the heat of the Sun in Summer, which cannot penetrate
deeper into the bowels of the Earth then cold can.
The truth is, the Earth is to them like an Umbrello,
which defends or keeps men from the Sun, rain, wind,
dust, &c. but although it defends them from the heat of
the Sun, or coldness of wind, yet they have those qualities
naturally within themselves, sometimes more, and
sometimes less: and so has the Earth its natural temper
of heat and cold; But what Umbrello the middle region
has, whether it be some Planet, or any thing else,
I am not able to determine, unless I had been there and
observed it; nay, ten to one but I might even then have
been mistaken. Wherefore all the contentions and
disputes about the doctrine of Antiperistasis, are, in my judgment, Dd1r 101
judgment, to little purpose, since we are not able to
know all the differences of heat and cold; for if men conceive
there is but one heat and cold in Nature, they
are mistaken; and much more if they think they can
measure all the several sorts of heat and cold in all Creatures
by artificial experiments; for as much as a Natural
man differs from an artificial statue or picture of
a man, so much differs a natural effect from an artificial,
which can neither be so good, nor so lasting as a natural
one: If Charles’s Wain, the Axes of the Earth,
and the motions of the Planets, were like the pole, or axes,
or wheels of a Coach, they would soon be out of order.
Indeed artificial things are pretty toys to imploy idle
time; nay, some are very useful for our conveniency,
but yet they are but Natures bastards or changelings,
if I may so call them; and though Nature takes
so much delight in variety, that she is pleased with them,
yet they are not to be compared to her wise and fundamental
actions; for Nature, being a wise and provident
Lady, governs her parts very wisely, methodically
and orderly; also she is very industrious, and
hates to be idle, which makes her imploy her time as a
good Huswife doth, in Brewing, Baking, Churning,
Spinning, Sowing, &c. as also in Preserving for those
that love Sweet-meats, and in Distilling for those that
take delight in Cordials; for she has numerous imployments,
and being infinitely self-moving, never wants
work, but her artificial works are her works of delight, Dd pleasure Dd1v 102
pleasure and pastime: Wherefore those that imploy
their time in Artificial Experiments, consider onely
Natures sporting or playing actions; but those that
view her wise Government, in ordering all her parts, and
consider her changes, alterations and tempers in particulars,
and their causes, spend their time more usefully
and profitably; and truly to what purpose should a
man beat his brains, and weary his body with labours
about that wherein he shall lose more time, then gain
knowledg? But if any one would take delight in such
things, my opinion is, that our female sex would be the
fittest for it, for they most commonly take pleasure in
making of Sweet-meats, Possets, several sorts of Pyes,
Puddings, and the like; not so much for their own eating,
as to imploy their idle time; and it may be, they
would prove good Experimental Philosophers, and inform
the world how to make artificial Snow by their
Creams or Possets beaten into froth, and Ice by their
clear, candied or crusted quiddinies or conserves of
fruits; and Frost by their candied herbs and flowers; and
Hail by their small comfits made of water and sugar
with whites of Eggs; and many other the like figures
which resemble Beasts, Birds, Vegetables, Minerals,
&c. But the men should study the causes of those
Experiments, and by this society the Commonwealth
would find a great benefit; for the Woman was given
to Man not onely to delight, but to help and assist him;
and I am confident, Women would labour as much with Dd2r 103
with Fire and Furnace as Men, for they’l make good
Cordials and Spirits; but whether they would find out
the Philosophers-stone, I doubt; for our sex is more
apt to waste, then to make Gold; however, I would
have them try, especially those that have means to
spend; for who knows but Women might be more
happy in finding it out, then Men, and then would
Men have reason to imploy their time in more profitable
studies, then in useless Experiments.

27. Of Congealation and Freezing.

The Congelation of Water into Ice, Snow, Hail,
and the like, is made by its own corporeal figurative
motions, which upon the perception of the exterior
object of cold, by the way of imitation, do contract
and condense water into such or such a figure.
Some are of opinion, that Water, or the like liquors,
are not contracted, but expanded or rarified by freezing;
which they prove both by the levity of congealed
Water, and the breaking of Glasses, Earthen Bottles,
or other the like Vessels in which water is contained
when it freezes: But although I mentioned in my former
discourse, that there are several sorts of colds, as
for example, moist and dry colds, whereof these contract
and condense, those dilate and rarifie; so that
there are cold dilations, as well as cold contractions;
yet Freezing or Congelation being none of the sorts of Dd2v 104
of moist, but of dry colds; it is not made by expanding
or dilating, but by contracting and condensing
motions; for, that liquid bodies when frozen are more
extended, ’tis not the freezing motions that cause
those extensions; but water being of a dilative nature,
its interior parts strive against the exterior, which figurative
motions do imitate the motions of cold, or frost,
and in that strife the water becomes extended or dilated,
when congealed into Ice: But the question is, Whether
solid bodies do dilate or extend when they freeze? and
my opinion is that they do not; for that solid bodies, as
Metal, and the like, are apt to break in a hard frost,
doth not prove an expansion, but the division of their
parts is rather made by contraction; for though the
motions of cold in metal are not so much exteriously
contracting as to be perceived by our optick sense, in
its bulk or exterior magnitude, as they are in the body
of water, whose interior nature is dilative; yet by
the division which cold causes, it may well be believed,
that freezing hath an interior contractive effect, otherwise
it could not divide so as many times it doth;
Wherefore I believe that solid bodies break by an extream
and extraordinary contraction of their interior
parts, and not by an extraordinary expansion. Besides
this breaking shews a strong self-motion in the
action of congealing or freezing, for the motions of
cold are as strong and quick as the motions of heat:
Nay, even those Experimental Philosophers which are Ee1r 105
are so much for expansion, confess themselves, that water
is thicker and heavier in Winter then in Summer;
and that Ships draw less water, and that the water can
bear greater burdens in Winter then in Summer; which
doth not prove a rarefaction and expansion, but rather
a contraction and condensation of water by cold: They
likewise affirm, that some spirituous liquors of a mixt
nature, will not expand, but on the contrary, do visibly
contract in the act of freezing. Concerning the
levity of Ice, I cannot believe it to be caused by expansion;
for expansion will not make it lighter, but ’tis onely
a change of the exterior shape or figure of the body;
Neither doth Ice prove Light, because it will float above
water; for a great Ship of wood which is very
heavy, will swim, when as other sorts of bodies that
are light and little, will sink. Nor are minute bubbles
the cause of the Ice’s levity, which some do conceive
to stick within the Ice, and make it light; for this is but
a light and airy opinion, which has no firm ground;
and it might as well be said, that airy bubbles are the
cause that a Ship keeps above water; but though wind
and sails make a ship swim faster, yet they will not
hinder it from sinking. The truth is, the chief
cause of the levity or gravity of bodies, is quantity of
bulk, shape, purity and rarity, or grossness and density,
and not minute bubbles, or insensible atomes, or
pores, unless porous bodies be of less quantity in water,
then some dense bodies of the same magnitude. And Ee thus Ee1v 106
thus it is the Triangular figure of Snow that makes it
light, and the squareness that makes Ice heavier then
Snow; for if Snow were porous, and its pores were
fill’d with atomes, it would be much heavier then its
principle, Water. Besides, It is to be observed, that
not all kind of Water is of the same weight, by reason
there are several sorts of Circle-lines which make water;
and therefore those that measure all water alike,
may be mistaken; for some Circle-lines may be gross,
some fine, some sharp, some broad, some pointed, &c.
all which may cause a different weight of water.
Wherefore freezing, in my opinion, is not caused by
rarifying and dilating, but by contracting, condensing
and retenting motions: and truly if Ice were expanded
by congelation, I would fain know, whether its expansions
be equal with the degrees of its hardness;
which if so, a drop of water might be expanded to a
great bigness; nay, if all frozen liquors should be
inlarged or extended in magnitude, according to the
strength of the freezing motions, a drop of water at the
Poles, would become, I will not say a mountain, but a
very large body. Neither can rarefaction, in my opinion,
be the cause of the Ice’s expansion; for not all
rarified bodies do extend; and therefore I do rather
believe a clarefaction in Ice, then a rarefaction, which
are different things. But some may object, That hot
and swelling bodies do dilate, and diffuse heat and scent,
without an expansion of their substance. I answer, That Ee2r 107
That it is more then any one is able to prove: the truth
is, when a fiery-coal, and an odoriferous body can heat
and scent (as we use to say) ’tis not that they do really
and actually expand or dilate heat or scent without body,
for there can be no such thing as an immaterial heat
ofr scent: neither can Nothing be dilated or expanded,
but both heat and scent being one thing with the hot and
swelling body, are as exterior objects patterned out by
the sensitive motions of the sentient body, and so are
felt and smelt, not by an actual emission of their own
parts, or some heating and smelling Atomes, or an
immaterial heat and smell, but by an imitation of the
perceptive motions in the sentient subject. The like
for cold; for great shelves or mountains of Ice, do not
expand cold beyond their icy bodies; but the air patterns
out the cold, and so doth the perception of those Sea-
men that fail into cold Countries; for it is well to be
observed, that there is a stint or proportion in all Natures
corporeal figurative motions, to wit, in her particulars,
as we may plainly see in every particular sort or species
of Creatures, and their Constant and orderly productions;
for though particular Creatures may change
into an infinite variety of figures, by the infinite variety
of Natures corporeal figurative motions, yet each kind
or sort is stinted so much as it cannot run into extreams,
nor make a confusion, although it makes a distinguishment
between every particular Creature even in one
and the same sort. And hence we may conclude, that Nature Ee2v 108
Nature is neither absolutely necessitated, nor has an
absolute free-will; for she is so much necessitated, that
she depends upon the All-powerful God, and cannot
work beyond her self, or beyond her own nature;
and yet hath so much liberty, that in her particulars she
works as she pleaseth, and as God has given her
power; but she being wise, acts according to her infinite
natural wisdom, which is the cause of her orderly
Government in all particular productions,
changes and dissolutions; so that all Creatures in their
particular kinds, do move and work as Nature pleases,
orders and directs; and therefore, as it is impossible
for Nature to go beyond her self; so it is likewise impossible
that any particular body should extend beyond
it self or its natural figure. I will not say, that
heat or cold, or other parts and figures of Nature, may
not occasion other bodies to dilate or extend; but my
meaning is, that no heat or cold can extend without
body, or beyond body, and that they are figured and
patterned out by the motions of the sentient, which
imitating or patterning motions of the sentient body
cannot be so perfect or strong as the original motions
in the object it self. Neither do I say, that all parts or
bodies do imitate, but some, and at some times there
will be more Imitators then at others, and sometimes
none at all; and the imitations are according as the
imitating or patterning parts are disposed, or as the object
is presented. Concerning the degrees of a visible expansion, Ff1r 109
expansion, they cannot be declared otherwise then by
the visibly extended body, nor be perceived by us, but
by the optick sense: But, mistake me not, I do not
mean, that the degrees of heat and cold can onely be
perceived by our optick sense, but I speak of bodies visibly
expanded by heat and cold; for some degrees
and sorts of heat and cold are subject to the humane perception
of sight, some to the perception of touch, some
to both, and some to none of them; there being so many
various sorts and degrees both of heat and cold, as
they cannot be altogether subject to our grosser exterior
senses, but those which are, are perceived, as I
said, by our perception of sight and touch; for although
our sensitive perceptions do often commit errors and
mistakes, either through their own irregularity, or
some other ways; yet next to the rational, they are the
best informers we have; for no man can naturally go
beyond his rational and sensitive perception. And thus,
in my opinion, the nature of Congelation is not effected
by expanding or dilating, but by contracting and condensing
motions in the parts of the sentient body, which
motions in the congelation of water do not alter the interior
nature of water, but onely contract its exterior
figure into the figure either of Ice, Snow, Hail, Hoar-
frost, or the like, which may be proved by their return
into the former figure of water, whensoever they dissolve;
for wheresoever is a total change, or alteration of
the interior natural motions of a Creature, when Ff once Ff1v 110
once dissolved, it will never regain its former figure;
and therefore although the exterior figures of congealed
water are various and different, yet they have all
but one interior figure, which is water, into which
they return as into their principle, whensoever they
change their exterior figures by dissolving and dilating
motions; for as a laughing and frowning countenance
doth not change the nature of a man, so neither do they
the nature of water. I do not speak of artificial, but
of natural congealed figures, whose congelation is made
by their own natural figurative motions; But although
all congelations are some certain kind of motions, yet
there may be as many particular sorts of congelations, as
there are several sorts of frozen or congealed bodies; for
though I name but one figure of Snow, another of
Ice, another of Hail, &c. yet I do not deny, but there
may be numerous particular sorts and figures of Ice,
Snow, Hail, &c. all which may have their several
freezing or congealing motions; nay, freezing in this
respect may very well be compared to burning, as being
opposite actions; and as there are various sorts of
burning, much differing from each other, so there are
of freezing; for although all burning is of the nature
of fire, yet not all burning is an elemental fire; for example,
Lime, and some Vegetables, and other Creatures
have burning effects, and yet are not an Elemental
fire: neither doth the Sun and ordinary fire burn
just alike. The same may be said of Freezing; and I observe, Ff2r 111
observe, that fluid and rare parts are more apt to freeze,
then solid and dense bodies; for I do believe all
sorts of metal can freeze, so as water, or watery liquors,
unless they were made liquid. I will not say, that Minerals
are altogether insensible of cold or frost; but
they do not freeze like liquid bodies; nay, not all liquid
bodies will freeze; as for example, some sorts of spirituous
liquors, Oil, Vinous spirits, Chymical extracts,
&c. which proves, that not all (that is to say)
the infinite parts of Nature, are subject to one particular
kind of action, to wit, the action of freezing; for if
Congelation did extend to the infinite parts of Nature,
it would not be a finite and particular, but an infinite
action; but, as I said, liquid bodies are more apt to
freeze, (especially water and watery liquors,) then
dense and hard bodies, or some sorts of oil, and spirits;
for, as we see that fire cannot have the same operation
on all bodies alike, but some it causes to consume and
turn to ashes, some it hardens, some it softens, and on
some it hath no power at all: So its opposite Frost or
Cold cannot congeal every natural body, but onely
those which are apt to freeze or imitate the motions of
cold. Neither do all these bodies freeze alike, but some
slower, some quicker; some into such, and some into
another figure; as for example, even in one kind of
Creatures, as animals; some Beasts, as Foxes, Bears,
and the like, are not so much sensible of cold, as Man,
and some other animal Creatures; and dead animals, or Ff2v 112
or parts of dead animals, will freeze much sooner then
those which are living; not that living animals have
more natural life then those we call dead; for animals,
when dissolved from their animal figure, although
they have not animal life, yet they have life according
to the nature of the figure into which they did change;
but, because of their different perceptions; for a dead or
dissolved animal, as it is of another kind of figure then
a living animal, so it has also another kind of perception,
which causes it to freeze sooner then a living animal
doth. But I cannot apprehend what some Learned
mean by the powerful effects of cold upon inanimate
bodies; whether they mean, that cold is onely animate,
and all other bodies inanimate; or whether both cold
and other bodies on which it works, be inanimate; if
the later, I cannot conceive how inanimate bodies can
work upon each other, I mean such bodies as have neither
life nor motion, for without life or motion there
can be no action: but if the former, I would fain know
whether Cold be self-moving? if not, I ask, What is
that which moves it? Is it an Immaterial Spirit, or
some corporeal being? If an Immaterial Spirit, we
must allow, that this Spirit is either self-moving, or
must be moved by another; if it be moved by another
Being, and that same Being again by another; we shall
after this manner run into infinite, and conclude nothing;
But if that Immaterial Spirit have self-motion,
why may not a natural corporeal being have the like, Gg1r 113
like? they being both Creatures of God, who can as
well grant self-motion to a corporeal, as to an incorporeal
Being; nay, I am not able to comprehend how
Motion can be attributed to a Spirit; I mean, natural
motion, which is onely a propriety of a body, or of a
corporeal Being: but if Cold be self-moving, then
Nature is self-moving; for the cause can be no less
then the effect; and if Nature be self-moving, no
part of Nature can be inanimate; for as the body is,
so are its parts; as the cause, so its effects. Thus
some Learned do puzle themselves and the world with
useless distinctions into animate and inanimate Creatures,
and are so much afraid of self-motion, as they
will rather maintain absurdities and errors, then allow
any other self-motion in Nature, but what is in themselves;
for they would fain be above Nature, and
petty Gods, if they could but make themselves Infinite;
not considering that they are but parts of Nature,
as all other Creatuures: Wherefore I, for my
part, will rather believe as sense and reason guides me,
and not according to interest, so as to extoll my own
kind above all the rest, or above Nature her self.
And thus to return to Cold; as Congelation is not a
Universal or Infinite action, which extends to the Infinite
parts of Nature, and causes not the like effects
in those Creatures that are perceptible of it; so I do
also observe, that not any other sorts of bodies but
Water will congeal into the figure of Snow, when as Gg there Gg1v 114
there are many that will turn into the figure of Ice; besides,
I observe that air doth not freeze beyond its degree
of consistency; for if it did, no animal Creature
would be able to breath, since all or most of them are
subject to such a sort of respiration, as requires a certain
intermediate degree of air, neither too thick, nor too
thin; what respirations other Creatures require, I
am not able to determine; for as there are several sorts of Respirations;
and I believe, that what is called the ebbing
and flowing of the Sea, may be the Seas Respiration; for
Nature has ordered for every part or Creature that
which is most fitting and proper for it.

Concerning Artificial Congelations, as to turn
Water or Snow into the figure of Ice, by the commixture
of Salt, Nitre, Allum, or the like, it may, very
probably, be effected; for Water and watery liquors,
their interior figure being Circular, may easily change,
by contracting that Circular figure into a Triangle or
square; that is, into Ice or Snow, (for Water, in my
opinion, has a round or Circular interior figure, Snow
a Triangular, and Ice a Square; I do not mean an exact
Mathermatical Triangle or Square, but such a one
as is proper for their figures) and that the mixture of
those, or the like ingredients, being shaken together
in a Vial, doth produce films of Ice on the outside of
the Glass, as Experimenters relate; proves, not onely
that the motions of Cold are very strong, but also that there Gg2r 115
there is perception in all parts of Nature, and that all
Congelations, both natural and artificial, are made by the
corporeal perceptive motions which the sentient has of
exterior cold; which is also the reason, that Salt being
mixt with Snow, makes the liquor always freeze first
on that side of the Vessel where the mixture is; for
those parts which are nearest, will imitate first the motions
of frost, and after them the neighbouring parts,
until they be all turned into Ice: The truth is, that all
or most artificial experiments are the best arguments to
evince, there is perception in all corporeal parts of Nature;
for as parts are joyned, or commix with parts; so
they move or work accordingly into such or such figures,
either by the way of imitation, or otherwise;
for their motions are so various, as it is impossible for
one particulare to describe them all; but no motion can
be without perception, because every part or particle of
Nature, as it is self-moving, so it is also self-knowing
and perceptive; for Matter, Self-motion, Knowledg
and Perception, are all but one thing, and no more differing
nor separable from each other, the Body, Place,
Magnitude, Colour and Figure; Wherefore Experimental
Philosophers cannot justly blame me for maintaining
the opinion of Self-motion, and a general Perception
in Nature.

But to return to Artificial Congelations; there is as
much difference between Natural and Artificial Ice
and Snow, as there is between Chalk and Cheese; or between Gg2v 116
between a natural Child, and a Baby made of Paste
or Wax, and Gummed-silk; or between artificial Glass,
and natural Diamonds; the like may be said of Hail,
Frost, Wind, &c. for though their exterior figures
do resemble, yet their interior natures are quite different;
and therefore, although by the help of Art some
may make Ice of Water or Snow, yet we cannot
conclude from hence that all natural Ice is made the
same way, by saline particles, or acid Spirits, and the
like; for if Nature should work like Art, she would
produce a man like as a Carver makes a statue, or a
Painter draws a picture: besides, it would require a
world of such saline or acid particles to make all the Ice
that is in Nature. Indeed it is as much absurdity, as impossibility,
to constitute some particular action the
common principle of all natural heat or cold, and to
make a Universal cause of a particular effect; for no
particular Part or Action can be prime in Nature,
or a fundamental principle of other Creatures or
actions, although it may occasion some Creatures to
move after such or such a way. Wherefore those that
will needs have a Primum Frigidum, or some Body
which they suppose must of necessity be supremely cold,
and by participation of which, all other cold Bodies obtain
that quality, whereof some do contend for Earth,
some for Water, others for Air; some for Nitre, and
others for Salt, do all break their heads to no purpose;
for first, there are no extreams in Nature, and thereforefore Hh1r 117
no Body can be supreamely cold, nor supreamly
hot: Next, as I said, it is impossible to make one particular
sort of Creatures the principle of all the various
sorts of heat or cold that are in Nature; for there is an
Elemental heat and cold, a Vegetable, Mineral, Animal
heat and cold; and there may be many other sorts
which we do not know; and how can either Earth or
Water, or Nitre, or Salt, be the Principle of all these
different colds? Concerning the Earth, we see that
some parts of the Earth are hot, and some cold; the like
of Water and Air; and the same parts which are now
hot, will often in a moment grow cold, which shews
they are as much subject to the perception of heat and
cold, as some other Creatures, and doth plainly deny
to them the possibility of being a Primum Frigidum. I
have mentioned in my Poetical Works, that there is a
Sun in the Center of the Earth; and in another place,
I have described a Chymical heat; but these being but
Poetical Fancies, I will not draw them to any serious
proofs; onely this I will say, that there may be degrees
of heat and cold in the Earth, and in Water, as well as
there are in the Air; for certainly the Earth is not without
Motion, a dull, dead, moveless and inanimate
body; but it is as much interiously active, as Air and
Water are exteriously; which is evident enough by
the various productions of Vegetables, Minerals, and
other bodies that derive their off-spring out of the
Earth: And as for Nitre and Salt, although they may Hh occasion Hh1v 118
occasion some sorts of Colds in some sorts of Bodies,
like as some sorts of food, or tempers of Air, or the
like, may work such or such effects in some sorts of
Creatures; yet this doth not prove that they are the
onely cause of all kinds of heat and cold that are in
Nature. The truth is, if Air, Water, Earth, Nitre,
or Salt, or insensible, roving and wandering atomes
should be the only cause of cold; then there would be no
difference of hot and cold climates, but it would freeze
as well under the Line, as it doth at the Poles. But
there’s such a stir kept about Atoms, as that they are so
full of action, and produce all things in the world, and
yet none describes by what means they move, or from
whence they have this active power.

Lastly, Some are of opinion, that the chief cause
of all cold, and its effects, is wind; which they describe
to be air moved in a considerable quantity, and that
either forwards onely, or in an undulating motion;
which opinion, in my judgment, is as erroneous as
any of the former, and infers another absurdity, which
is, that all Winds are of the same nature, when as
there are as many several sorts and differences of
Winds, as of other Creatures; for there are several
Winds in several Creatures; Winds in the Earth are
of another kind then those in the Air, and the Wind
of an animal breath, is different from both; nay, those
that are in the air, are of different sorts; some cold
and dry, some hot and moist, and some temperate, &c. which Hh2r 119
which how they can all produce the effect of cold or
freezing by the compression of the air, I am not able
to judg: onely this I dare say, that if Wind causes
cold or frost; then in the midst of Summer, or in
hot Climates, a vehement wind would always produce
a great Frost; besides it would prove, that there
must of necessity be far greater winds at the Poles, then
under the Æquinoctial, there being the greatest cold:
Neither will this principle be able to resolve the question,
why a man that has an Ague feels a shaking cold,
even under the Line, and in the coldest weather when
there is no stirring of the least wind: All which
proves, that it is very improbable that Wind should
be the principle of all Natural Cold, and therefore it
remains firm, that self-moving Matter, or corporeal,
figurative self-motion, as it is the Prime and onely
cause of all natural effects, so it is also of Cold, and
Heat, and Wind, and of all the changes and alterations
in Nature; which is, and hath always been my
constant, and, in my simple judgment, the most
probable and rational opinion in Natural Philosophy.

28. Of Thawing or dissolving of Frozen bodies.

As Freezing or Congelation is caused by contracting,
condensing, and retentive Motions; so
Thawing is nothing else, but dissolving, dilating, and extending Hh2v 120
extending motions; for Freezing and Thawing are
two contrary actions; and as Freezing is caused several
ways, according to the various disposition of congelable
bodies, and the temper of exterior cold; so Thawing,
or a dissolution of frozen bodies, may be occasioned
either by a sympathetical agreement; as for example,
the thawing of Ice in water, or other liquors,
or by some exterior imitation, as by hot dilating motions.
And it is to be observed, That as the time of
freezing, so the time of dissolving is according to the
several natures and tempers both of the frozen bodies
themselves, and the exterior objects applied to frozen
bodies, which occasion their thawing or dissolution:
for it is not onely heat that doth cause Ice, or Snow, or
other frozen bodies to melt quicker or slower, but according
as the nature of the heat is, either more or less
dilative, or more or less rarifying; for surely an exterior
actual heat is more rarifying then an interior virtual
heat; as we see in strong spirituous liquors which are
interiously contracting, but being made actually hot,
become exteriously dilating: The like of many other
bodies; so that actual heat is more dissolving then virtual
heat. And this is the reason why Ice and Snow
will melt sooner in some Countries or places then in
others, and is much harder in some then in others;
for we see that neither Air, Water, Earth, Minerals,
nor any other sorts of Creatures are just alike
in all Countries or Climates: The same may be said Ii1r 121
said of heat and cold. Besides, it is to be observed, that
oftentimes a different application of one and the same
object will occasion different effects; as for example, if
Salt be mixed with Ice, it may cause the contracted
body of Ice to change its present motions into its former
state or figure, viz. into water; but being applied
outwardly, or on the out-side of the Vessel wherein
Snow or Ice is contained, it may make it freeze harder,
instead of dissolving it. Also Ice will oftentimes break
into pieces of its own accord, and without the application
of any exterior object; and the reason, in my
opinion, is, that some of the interior parts of the Ice, endeavouring
to return to their proper and natural figure
by vertue of their interior dilative motions, do break
and divide some of the exterior parts that are contracted
by the motions of Frost, especially those which have
not so great a force or power as to resist them.

But concerning Thawing, some by their trials
have found, that if frozen Eggs, Apples, and the like
bodies, be thawed near the fire, they will be thereby
spoiled; but if they be immersed in cold water, or wrapt
into Ice or Snow, the internal cold will be drawn out,
as they suppose, by the external; and the frozen bodies
will be harmlesly, though not so quickly thawed.
And truly this experiment stands much to reason; for,
in my opinion, when frozen bodies perceive heat or
fire, the motions of their frozen parts upon the perception,
endeavour to imitate the motions of heat or fire, Ii which Ii1v 122
which being opposite to the motions of cold, in this
sudden and hasty change, they become irregular in
so much as to cause in most frozen parts a dissolution
of their interior natural figure; Wherefore it is very
probable, that frozen bodies will thaw more regularly
in water, or being wrapt into Ice or Snow, then by
heat or fire; for Thawing is a dilating action, and
Water, as also Ice and Snow (which are nothing but
congealed water) being of a dilative nature, may easily
occasion a thawing of the mentioned frozen parts
by Sympathy, provided, the Motions of the exterior
cold do not over-power the motions of the interior frozen
parts; for if a frozen body should be wrapt thus into
Ice or Snow, and continue in an open, cold frosty
air, I question whether it would cause a thaw in the
same body, it would preserve the body in its frozen
state from dissolving or disuniting, rather then occasion
its thawing. But that such frozen bodies, as Apples, and
Eggs, &c. immersed in water, will produce Ice on
their out-sides, is no wonder, by reason the motions of
Water imitate the motions of the frozen bodies; and
those parts of water that are nearest, are the first imitators,
and become of the same mode. By which we may see,
that some parts will cloath themselves, others onely vail
themselves with artificial dresses, most of which dresses
are but copies of other motions, and not original actions;
It makes also evident, that those effects are not
caused by an ingress of frigorifick atomes in water, or other Ii2r 123
other congelable bodies, but by the perceptive motions
of their own parts. And what I have said of Cold, the
same may be spoken of heat; for it is known, that a part
of a mans body being burned with fire, the burning
may be cured by the heat of the fire; which, in my
opinion, proceeds from a sympathetical agreement betwixt
the motions of the fire, and the motions of the
burned part; for every part of a mans body hath its natural
heat, which is of an intermediate temper; which
heat being heightened by the burning motions of fire
beyond its natural degree, causes a burning and smarting
pain in the same part; and therefore as the fire did
occasion an immoderate heat, by an intermixture of its
own parts with the parts of the flesh; so a moderate
heat of the fire may reduce again the natural heat of the
same parts, and that by a sympathetical agreement
betwixt the motions of the Elemental and Animal heat;
But it is to be observed, first, that the burning must be
done by an intermixture of the fire with the parts of the
body: Next, that the burning must be but skin deep
(as we use to call it) that is, the burned part must not
be totally overcome by fire, or else it will never be restored
again. Neither are all burned bodies restored
after this manner, but some; for one and the same thing
will not in all bodies occasion the like effects; as we may
see by Fire, which being one and the same, will not cause
all fuels to burn alike, and this makes true the old saying,
“One Mans Meat is another Mans Poyson”. The truth is, Ii2v 124
is, it cannot be otherwise; for though Nature, and
natural self-moving Matter is but one body, and the
onely cause of all natural effects; yet Nature being
divided into infinite, corporeal, figurative self-moving
parts, these parts, as the effects of that onely cause,
must needs be various; and again, proceeding from one
infinite cause, as one matter, they are all but one thing,
because they are infinite parts of one Infinite body. But
some may say, If Nature be but one body, and the
Infinite parts are all united into that same body; How
comes it that there is such an opposition, strife, and war
betwixt the parts of Nature? I answer: Nature being
Materiaal, is composeable and divideable; and as
Composition is made by a mutual agreement of parts,
so division is made by an opposition or strife betwixt
parts; which opposition or division doth not obstruct
the Union of Nature, but, on the contrary, rather
proves, that without an opposition of parts, there could
not be a union or composition of so many several parts
and creatures, nor no change or variety in Nature; for
if all the parts did unanimously conspire and agree in
their motions, and move all but one way, there would
be but one act or kind of motion in Nature; when
as an opposition of some parts, and a mutual agreement
of others, is not onely the cause of the Miraculous
variety in Nature, but it poyses and ballances,
as it were, the corporeal, figurative motions,
which is the cause that Nature is steady and fixt in her Kk1r 125
her self, although her parts be in a perpetual motion.

29. Several Questions resolved concerning Cold, and
Frozen Bodies, &c.

First, I will give you my answer to the question,
which is much agitated amongst the Learned concerning
Cold, to wit, Whether it be a Positive quality,
or a bare Privation of Heat? And my opinion is,
That Cold is both a Positive quality, and a privation
of heat: For whatsoever is a true quality of Cold, must
needs be a privation of Heat; since two opposites cannot
subsist together in one and the same part, at one point of
time. By Privation, I mean nothing else, but an alteration
of Natures actions in her several parts, or which is all
one, a change of natural, corporeal motions; and so the
death of Animals may be called a privation of animal
life; that is, a change of the animal motions in that
particular Creature, which made animal life, to some
other kind of action which is not animal life. And in
this sense, both Cold and Heat, although they be positive
qualities, or natural beings, yet they are also privations;
that is, changes of corporeal, figurative motions,
in several particular Creatures, or parts of Nature.
But what some Learned mean by “Bare Privation,”
I cannot apprehend; for there’s no such thing as
a bare Privation, or bare Motion in Nature; but Kk all Kk1v 126
all Motion is Corporeal, or Material; for Matter,
Motion and Figure, are but one thing. Which is the
reason, that to explain my self the better when I speak
of Motion, I do always add the word corporeal or figurative;
by which, I exclude all bare or immaterial
Motion, which expression is altogether against sense
and reason.

The second Question is, Whether Winds have the
power to change the Exterior temper of the Air? To
which, I answer: That Winds will not onely occasion
the Air to be either hot or cold, according to their own
temper, but also Animals and Vegetables, and other
sorts of Creatures; for the sensitive, corporeal Motions
in several kinds of Creatures, do often imitate and figure
out the Motions of exterior objects, some more,
some less; some regularly, and some irregularly, and
some not at all; according to the nature of their own
perceptions. By which we may observe, that the Agent,
which is the external object, has onely an occasional
power; and the Patient, which is the sentient,
works chiefly the effect by vertue of the perceptive,
figurative motions in its own sensitive organs or

Quest.Question 3. Why those Winds that come from cold
Regions, are most commonly cold, and those that
come from hot Regions are for the most part hot? I
answer; The reason is, That those Winds have more
constantly patterned out the motions of cold or heat in Kk2r 127
in those parts from which they either separated themselves,
or which they have met withal. But it may be
questioned, Whether all cold and hot winds do bring
their heat and cold along with them out of such hot and
cold Countries? And I am of opinion they do not; but
that they proceed from an imitation of the nearest parts,
which take patterns from other parts, and these again
from the remoter parts; so that they are but patterns of
other patterns, and copies of other copies.

Quest.Question 4. Why Fire in some cold Regions will
hardly kindle, or at least not burn freely? I answer;
This is no more to be wondered at, then that some
men do die with cold; for cold being contrary to fire,
if it have a predominate power, it will without doubt
put out the fire; not that the cold corporeal motions
do destroy the fire by their actual power over it, but that
fire destroys it self by an imitation of the motions of
cold; so that cold is onely an occasional cause of the
fires destruction, or at least of the alteration of its motions,
and the diminution of its strength. But some might
ask, What makes or causes this imitation in several sorts
of Creatures? I answer, The wisdom of Nature, which
orders her corporeal actions to be always in a mean, so
that one extream (as one may call it) does countervail
another. But then you’l say, There would always be
a right and mean temper in all things. I answer: So
there is in the whole, that is, in Infinite Nature, although
not in every particular; for Natures Wisdom orders Kk2v 128
orders her particulars to the best of the whole; and although
particulars do oppose each other, yet all opposition
tends to the conservation of a general peace and
unity in the whole. But to return to Fire; since Air is
the proper matter of respiration for fire, extream colds
and frosts, either of air or vapour, are as unfit for the
respiration of fire as water is; which if it do not kill it
quite, yet it will at least make it sick, pale and faint; but
if water be rarified to such a degree, that it becomes
thin vapour, then it is as proper for its respiration, as air.
Thus we see, although fire hath fuel, which is its food,
yet no food can keep it alive without breath or respiration:
The like may be said of some other Creatures.

Qu.Question 5. Whether Wood be apt to freeze? My Answer
is, That I believe that the moist part of Wood, which is
sap, may freeze as hard as Water, but the solid parts cannot
do so; for the cracking noise of Wood is no proof
of its being frozen, because Wainscot will make such a
noise in Summer, as well as in Winter. And it is to
be observed, that some bodies will be apter to freeze in
a weak, then in a hard frost, according to their own
dispositions; which is as much to be considered, as the
object of cold or frost it self; for some bodies do
more, and some less imitate the motions of some objects,
and some not at all: and thus we see that solid
bodies do onely imitate the contractive motions of
cold, but not the dilative motions of moisture, which is Ll1r 129
is the cause they break in a hard frost, like as a
string, which being tied too hard, will fly asunder;
and as they imitate Cold, so they do also imitate

Quest.Question 6. Whether Water be fluid in its nature, or
but occasionally by the agitation of the air? I answer:
That Water is fluid in its own nature, needs no proof,
but ’tis known enough by the force of its dilating motions;
for Water, when it gets but liberty, it overflows
all, and dilates everywhere; which proves
it is not air that makes it fluid, but it is so in its own

Quest.Question 7. What produces those great Precipices and
Mountains of Ice which are found in the Sea, and other
great waters? I answer: That Snow, as also thick
Fogs and Mists, which are nothing but rarified water,
falling upon the Ice, make its out-side thicker, and
many great shelves and broken pieces of Ice joyning
together, produce such Precipices and Mountains as

Quest.Question 8. Whether Fishes can live in frozen Water?
I answer: If there be as much water left unfrozen,
as will serve them for respiration, they may
live; for it is well known, that Water is the chief
matter of respiration for Fish, and not Air; for Fish
being out of water, cannot live long, but whilst they
live, they gasp and gape for water: I mean such kinds
of Fish which do live altogether in Water, and not Ll such Ll1v 130
such Creatures as are of a mixt kind, and live in
water as well as by land, which the Learned call Amphibious
Creatures; as Otters, and the like, which
may live in the air, as well as in water: Those Fish, I
say, if the water be thorowly frozen, or if but the
surface of water be quite frozen over to a pretty depth,
will often die, by reason the water that remains unfrozen,
by the contraction of Ice has altered for that time
its dilative motions, to retentive motions; and like as
men are smothered in a close air, so Fish in close water,
that is, in water which is quite covered and inclosed
with Ice: but ats some men have not so nice
and tender natures as others, and some have larger
organs for respiration then others, and some are more
accustomed to some sorts of air then others, which
may cause them to endure longer, or respire more
freely then others; so some Fishes do live longer in
such close waters, then others; and some may be like
Men that are frost-bitten, which may chance to live
even in those waters that are quite thorowly frozen, as
Experimenters relate; but yet I cannot believe, that
the water, in which Fishes have been observed to live,
can be so thorowly frozen to solid Ice, that it should
not leave some liquidity or wetness in it, although not
perceptible by our sight, by which those Fishes were
preserved alive: However, it is more probable
for Fish to live in Ice, then for other Creatures, because
the Principle of Ice is Water, which is the matter Ll2r 131
matter of the Fishes respiration, which keeps them alive.

Quest.Question 9. Whether in decoctions of Herbs, when
congealed or frozen into Ice, the figures of the Herbs
do appear in the Ice? This is affirmed for Truth by
many Learned; and though I do not deny, but that such
liquors in freezing may have some resemblance of their
solid parts; yet I do not believe it to be universal;
for if the blood of an animal should be congealed into
Ice, I doubt it would hardly represent the figure of an
animal. Indeed there’s much difference between the
exterior figures of Creatures, and their interior natures,
which is evident even in frozen water, whose exterior
Icy figures are numerous, when as their interior nature
is but water; and there may also several changes
and alterations of exterior figures be made by Art, when
their interior nature is but one and the same.

Quest.Question 10. Whether Cold doth preserve Bodies from
Corruption? I answer: That, in my opinion, it may
be very probable: For Corruption or Putrefaction is
nothing but irregular dissolving motions; when as Freezing
or Congelation is made by regular contracting
and condensing motions; and so long as these motions
of Freezing are in force, it is impossible the motions
that make Corruption should work their effect. But
that such bodies as have been thorowly frozen, after
being thawed, are most commonly spoiled; the reason
is, that the freezing or congealing motions, being
not natural to those bodies, have caused such a thorow- alteration Ll2v 132
alteration of the natural motions of their parts, as a hundred
to one but they will never move regularly and orderly
again afterward; but on the contrary, their interior
motions do quite and absolutely change, by which
the figure is totally altered from its former nature: but
if a solid body be not throughly frozen, it may be reduced
to a perfect regularity again; for those natural motions
that are not altered, may occasion the rest to act
as formerly, to the preservation of that figure.

30. Of Contraction and Dilation

There have been, and are still great disputes amongst
the Learned concerning Contraction and
Extension of bodies; but if I were to decide their controversie,
I would ask first, Whether they did all agree
in one principle? that is, whether their principle was
purely natural, and not mixt with divine or supernatural
things; for if they did not well apprehend one anothers
meaning, or argued upon different principles, it would
be but a folly to dispute, because it would be impossible
for them to agree. But concerning Contraction
and Dilation, my opinion is, That there can be no
Contraction nor Extension of a single part, by reason
there is no such thing as a single or individeable part in
Nature; for even that which the learned call an atome,
although they make it a single body, yet being mateterial
or corporeal, it must needs be divideable: Whereforefore Mm1r 133
all Contraction and Dilation consists of parts as
much as body doth, and there is no body that is not
contractive and dilative, as well as it is divideable and
composeable; for parts are, as it were, the effects of a
body, by reason there is no body without parts; and
contraction and extension are the effects of parts, and
magnitude and place are the effects of contraction and
extension; and all these are the effects of corporeal figurative
self-motion, which I have more fully declared
in several places of my Philosophical Works.

But some may say, It is impossible that a body can
make it self bigger or less then by Nature it is? My
answer is, I do not conceive what is meant by being
little or great by Nature; for Nature is in a perpetual
motion, and so are her parts, which do work, intermix,
join, divide and move according as Nature pleases
without any rest or intermission. Now if there be
such changes of parts and motions, it is impossible that
there can be any constant figure in Nature; I mean, so
as not to have its changes of motions as well as the rest;
although they be not all after the same manner; And
if there can be no constant figure in Nature, there can
neither be a constant littleness or greatness, nor a constant
rarity or density, but all parts of Nature must change
according to their motions; for as parts divide and
compose, so are their figures; and since there are
contracting and dilating motions, as well as there are
of other sorts, there are also contracting and dilating Mm parts; Mm1v 134
parts; and if there be contracting and dilating parts,
then their magnitude changes accordingly; for magnitude
doth not barely consist in quantity, but in the extension
of the parts of the body, and as the magnitude
of a body is, so is place; so that place is larger, or less,
according as the body contracts or dilates; for it is well
to be observed, that it is not the interior figure of any
part or Creature of Nature that alters by contraction
or dilation; for example, Gold or Quicksilver is not
changed from being Gold or Quicksilver when it is rarified,
but onely that figure puts it self into several postures.
Which proves, that the extension of a body
is not made by an addition or intermixture of forraign
parts, as composition; nor contraction, by a diminution
of its own parts, as division; for dilation and
composition, as also division and contraction, are different
actions; the dilation of a body is an extension of
its own parts, but composition is an addition of forreign
parts; and contraction, although it makes the body
less in magnitude, yet it loses nothing of its own parts:
The truth is, as division and composition are natural
corporeal motions, so are contraction and dilation; and
as both composition and division belong to parts, so do
contraction and dilation; for there can be no contraction
or dilation of a single part.

31. Of Mm2r 135

31. Of the Parts of Nature, and of Atomes.

Although I am of opinion, that Nature is a
self-moving, and consequently a self-living and
self-knowing infinite body, divideable into infinite
parts; yet I do not mean that these parts are Atomes;
for there can be no Atome, that is, an individeable body
in Nature, because whatsoever has body, or is material,
has quantity, and what has quantity is divideable.
But some may say, if a part be finite, it cannot be divideable
into Infinite. To which I answer, that there
is no such thing as one finite single part in Nature; for
when I speak of the parts of Nature, I do not understand,
that those parts are like grains of Corn, or sand
in one heap, all of one figure or magnitude, and separable
from each other; but I conceive Nature to be an
Infinite body, bulk or magnitude, which by its own
self-motion is divided into infinite parts, not single or
individeable parts, but parts of one continued body, onely
discernable from each other by their proper figures,
caused by the changes of particular motions; for it is
well to be observed, first, that Nature is corporeal,
and therefore divideable: Next, That Nature is self-
moving, and therefore never at rest; I do not mean
exteriously moving; for Nature being infinite, is all
within it self, and has nothing without or beyond it,
because it is without limits or bounds; but interiously, so Mm2v 136
so that all the motions that are in Nature are within her
self, and being various and infinite in their changes, they
divide the substance or body of Nature into infinite
parts; for the parts of Nature, and changes of Motion
are but one thing; for were there no Motion, there
would be no change of figures: ’Tis true, Matter in
its own nature would be divideable, because wheresoever
is body, there are parts; but if it had no motion, it
would not have such various changes of figures as it
hath; wherefore it is well to be considered, that self-
motion is throughout all the body of Nature, and that
no part or figure, how small soever, can be without
self-motion; and according as the motions are, so are
the parts; for infinite changes of motions make infinite
parts; nay, what we call one finite part, may have infinite
changes, because it may be divided and composed
infinite ways. By which it is evident, first, that
no certain quantity or figure can be assigned to the parts
of Nature, as I said before of the grains of corn or sand;
for infinite changes of motions produce infinite varieties
of figures; and all the degrees of density, rarity,
levity, gravity, slowness, quickness; nay, all the effects
that are in Nature: Next, that it is impossible
to have single parts in Nature, that is, parts which are
individeable in themselves, as Atomes; and may subsist
single, or by themselves, precised or separated from
all other parts; for although there are perfect and whole
figures in Nature, yet are they nothing else but parts of Nn1r 137
of Nature, which consist of a composition of other
parts, and their figures make them discernable from
other parts or figures of Nature. For example:
an Eye, although it be composed of parts, and has a
whole and perfect figure, yet it is but a part of the Head,
and could not subsist without it: Also the Head, although
it has a whole and perfect figure, yet ’tis a part
of the Body, and could not subsist without it. The
same may be said of all other particular and perfect figures.
As for example: an Animal, though it be a
whole and perfect figure, yet it is but a part of Earth,
and some other Elements, and parts of Nature, and
could not subsist without them; nay, for any thing
we know to the contrary, the Elements cannot subsist
without other Creatures: All which proves, that
there are no single Parts, nor “Vacuum”, nor no Composition
of loose Atomes in Nature; for if such a whole and
perfect figure should be divided into millions of other
parts and figures, yet it is impossible to divide it into
single parts, by reason there is as much composition,
as there is division in Nature; and as soon as parts are
divided from such or such parts, at that instant of time,
and by the same act of division they are joyned to other
parts; and all this because Nature is a body of a continued
infiniteness, without any holes or vacuities: Nay,
were it possible that there could be a single part, that
is, a part separated from all the rest; yet being a part of
Nature, it must consist of the same substance as NatureNn ture Nn1v 138
her self; but Nature is an Infinite composition of
rational, sensitive and inanimate matter; which although
they do constitute but one body because of their close
and inseparable conjunction and commixture; nevertheless
they are several parts (for one part is not another
part) and therefore every part or particle of Nature
consisting of the same commixture, cannot be single
or individable. Thus it remains firm, that self-
motion is the onely cause of the various parts and
changes of figures; and that when parts move or separate
themselves from parts, they move and joyn to other
parts at the same point of time; I do not mean that parts
do drive or press upon each other, for those are
forced and constraint actions, when as natural self-motions
are free and voluntary; and although there are
pressures and re-actions in Nature, yet they are not universal
actions: Neither is there any such thing as a
stoppage in the actions of Nature, nor do parts move
through Empty spaces; but as some parts joyn, so others
divide by the same act; for although some parts
can quit such or such parts, yet they cannot quit all
parts; for example, a man goes a hundred miles, he
leaves or quits those parts from whence he removed
first; but as soon as he removes from such parts, he
joyns to other parts, were his motion no more then a
hairs breadth; so that all his journey is nothing else but
a division and composition of parts, wheresoever he
goes by water, or by land; for it is impossible for him to Nn2r 139
to quit parts in general, although it be in his choice to
quit such or such particular parts, and to join to what
parts he will.

When I speak of Motion, I desire to be understood,
that I do not mean any other but corporeal
motion; for there is no other motion in Nature;
so that Generation, Dissolution, Alteration,
Augmentation, Diminution, Transformation; nay,
all the actions of Sense and Reason, both interior, and
exterior, and what motions soever in Nature are corporeal,
although they are not all perceptible by our exterior
senses; for our senses are too gross to perceive
all the curious and various actions of Nature, and it
would be but a folly to deny what our senses cannot
perceive; for although Sense and Reason are the same
in all Creatures and parts of Nature, not having any
degrees in themselves, no more then self-knowledg
hath; for self-knowledg can but be self-knowledg, and
sense and reason can but be sense and reason; yet they
do not work in all parts of Nature alike, but according
as they are composed: and therefore it is impossible for
any humane eye to see the exterior motions of all Creatures,
except they be of some grosser bodies; For who
can see the motion of the Air, and the like? Nay, I
believe not that all exterior motions of grosser bodies
can be perceived by our sight, much less their interior
actions; and by this I exclude Rest: for if Matter,
or corporeal Nature be in a perpetual motion, there can Nn2v 140
can be no rest in Nature, but what others call rest, is
nothing else but retentive motions, which retentive motions,
are as active as dispersing motions; for Mr. Des
says well, that it requires as much action or force
to stay a Ship, as to set it a float; and there is as much
action required in keeping parts together, as in dispersing
them. Besides, interior motions are as active as
some exterior; nay, some more; and I believe,
if there were a World of Gold, whose parts are close
and dense, it would be as active interiously, as a world
of air, which is fluid and rare, would be active exteriously.
But some may say, How is it possible that
there can be a motion of bodies without an empty space;
for one body cannot move in another body? I answer:
Space is change of division, as Place is change of
magnitude; but division and magnitude belong to
body; therefore space and place cannot be without body,
but wheresoever is body, there is place also: Neither
can a body leave a place behind it; so that the distinction
of interior and exterior place is needless, because
no body can have two places, but place and body
are but one thing; and whensoever the body changes,
its place changes also. But some do not consider that
there are degrees of Matter; for Natures body doth
not consist of one degree, as to be all hard or dense like
a stone, but as there are infinite changes of Motion, so
there are in Nature infinite degrees of density, rarity,
grossness, purity, hardness, softness, &c. all caused by Oo1r 141
by self-motion; which hard, gross, rare, fluid, dense,
subtil, and many other sorts of bodies, in their several
degrees, may more easily move, divide and join, from
and with each other, being in a continued body, then
if they had a “Vacuum” to move in; for were there a “Vacuum,”
there would be no successive motions, nor no
degrees of swiftness and slowness, but all Motion
would be done in an instant. The truth is, there
would be such distances of several gaps and holes, that
Parts would never join if once divided; in so much
as a piece of the world would become a single particular
World, not joyning to any part besides it self;
which would make a horrid confusion in Nature contrary
to all sense and reason. Wherefore the opinion
of Vacuum is, in my judgment, as absurd as the opinion
of senseless and irrational Atomes, moving by
chance; for it is more probable that atomes should
have life and knowledg to move regularly, then that
they should move regularly and wisely by chance, and
without life and knowledg; for there can be no regular
motion without knowledg, sense and reason; and
therefore those that are for Atomes, had best to believe
them to be self-moving, living and knowing bodies,
or else their opinion is very irrational. But the
opinion of Atomes, is fitter for a Poetical fancy, then
for serious Philosophy; and this is the reason that I
have waved it in my Philosophical Works: for if
there can be no single parts, there cannot be Atomes Oo in Oo1v 142
in Nature, or else Nature would be like a Beggars
coat full of lice; Neither would she be able to rule those
wandering and stragling atomes, because they are not
parts of her body, but each is a single body by it self,
having no dependance upon each other; Wherefore
if there should be a composition of Atomes, it would
not be a body made of parts, but of so many whole
and intire single bodies meeting together as a swarm of
Bees: The truth is, every Atome being single, must
be an absolute body by it self, and have an absolute
power and knowledg; by which it would become a
kind of a Deity; and the concourse of them would rather
cause a confusion, then a conformity in Nature,
because all Atomes, being absolute, they would all be
Governours, but none would be governed.

Thus I have declared my opinion concerning the
parts of Nature, as also “Vacuum”, and Atomes; to wit,
That it is impossible there can be any such things in
Nature. I will conclude after I have given my answer
to these two following Questions.

First, It may be asked, Whether the Parts of a
Composed figure do continue in such a Composition
until the whole figure be dissolved? I answer, My opinion
is, that in some compositions they do continue,
at least some longer then others; but although some
parts of a figure do disjoin from each other, and join
with others; yet the structure of the Creature may nevertheless
continue. Neither is it necessary, that those which Oo2r 143
which begin a building, must needs stay to the end or
perfection of it, for some may begin, others may work
on, and others may finish it; also some may repair,
and some may ruine; and it is well to be observed, that
the compositions of all Creatures are not alike, nor do
they continue or dissolve all alike, and at the same

Secondly, It may be questioned, Whether there
can be an infinite distance between two or more parts?
And my answer is, That distance properly doth not
belong to infinite, but onely to finite parts; for distance
is a certain measure between parts and parts, and wheresoever
is a measure, there must be two extreams; but
there are no extreams nor ends in infinite, and therefore
there can be no infinite distance between parts. Indeed,
it is a meer contradiction, and non-sense to say,
“Infinit between parts”, by reason the word “Between”, implies
a finiteness, as between such a part, and such a part.
But you will say, Because Nature is an infinite body, it
must have an infinite measure; for wheresoever is body,
there is magnitude and figure; and wheresoever
is magnitude and figure, there is measure. I answer:
’Tis true, body, magnitude and figure, are all but one
thing; and according as the body is, so is its magnitude
and figure; but the body of Nature being infinite, its
magnitude and figure must also be infinite. But mistake
me not: I do not mean a circumscribed and perfect
exterior magnitude, by reason there’s nothing exteriorterior Oo2v 144
in respect to Infinite, but in relation to its infinite
parts. The truth is, Men do often mistake in adscribing
to Infinite that which properly belongs to particulars;
or at least they consider the attributes of an infinite
and a finite body, after one and the same manner;
and no wonder, because a finite capacity cannot comprehend
what infinite is; but although we cannot positively
know what infinite is, yet we may guess at it by
its opposite, that is, by Finite; for infinite is that
which has no terms, bounds or limits; and therefore it
cannot be circumscribed; and if it cannot be circumscribed
as a finite body, it cannot have an exterior magnitude
and figure as a finite body, and consequently no
measure. Nevertheless, it is no contradiction to say,
it has an Infinite magnitude and figure; for although
Infinite Nature cannot have any thing without or beyond
it self, yet it may have magnitude and figure
within it self, because it is a body, and by this the magnitude
and figure of infinite Nature is distinguished
from the magnitude and figure of its finite parts; for
these have each their exterior and circumscribed figure,
which Nature has not. And as for Measure, it is onely
an effect of a finite magnitude, and belongs to finite
parts that have certain distances from each other. ’Tis
true, one might in a certain manner say, An infinite
distance; as for example, if there be an infinite Line
which has no ends, one might call the infinite extension
of that line an infinite distance; but this is an improperproper Pp1r 145
expression, and it is better to keep the term of
an infinite extension, then call it an infinite distance;
for as I said before, distance is measure, and properly
belongs to parts: Nay, if it were possible that there
could be an infinite distance of parts in Nature, yet
the perpetual changes of Motions, by which parts remove,
and join from and to parts, would not allow
any such thing in Nature; for the parts of Nature are
always in action, working; intermixing, composing,
dividing perpetually; so as it would be impossible for
them to keep certain distances.

But to conclude this Discourse, I desire it may be

  • 1. That whatsoever is body, were it an Atome,
    must have parts; so that body cannot be without
  • 2. That there is no such thing as rest or stoppage in
    Infinite Matter; but there is self-motion in all parts of
    Nature, although they are not all exteriously, locally
    moving to our perception; for reason must not deny
    what our senses cannot comprehend: although a
    piece of Wood or Metal has no exterior progressive
    motion, such as is found in Animals; nevertheless, it
    is not without Motion; for it is subject to Generation
    and Dissolution, which certainly are natural corporeal
    motions, besides many others; the truth is, the harder,
    denser, and firmer bodies are, the stronger are their
    motions; for it requires more strength to keep and Pp hold Pp1v 146
    hold parts together, then to dissolve and separate
  • 3. That without motion, parts could not alter their
    figures, neither would there be any variety in infinite
  • 4. If there were any such thing as Atomes, and Vacuum,
    there would be no conformity, nor uniformity
    in Nature.
  • Lastly, As there is a perpetual self-motion in Nature,
    and all her parts, so it is impossible that there can
    be perfect measures, constant figures, or single parts in

32. Of the Celestial Parts of this World; and whether
they be alterable?

It may be questioned, Whether the celestial parts of
the world never alter or change by their corporeal
figurative motions, but remain constantly the same
without any change or alteration? I answer: Concerning
the general and particular kinds or sorts of Creatures
of this world, humane sense and reason doth observe,
that they do not change, but are continued by
a perpetual supply and succession of Particulars without
any general alteration or dissolution; but as for the singulars
or particulars of those kinds and sorts of Creatures,
it is most certain, that they are subject to perpetual
alterations, generations and dissolutions; for example,ample, Pp2r 147
humane sense and reason perceives, that the
Parts of the Earth do undergo continual alterations;
some do change into Minerals, some into Vegetables,
some into Animals, &c. and these change again into
several other figures, and also some into Earth again,
and the Elements are changed one into another; when
as yet the Globe of the Earth it self remains the same
without any general alteration or dissolution; neither
is there any want or decay of general kinds of
Creatures, but onely a change of their particulars; And
though our perception is but finite, and must contain it
self within its own compass or bounds, so that it cannot
judg of all particulars that are in Nature: Nevertheless,
I see no reason, why the Celestial parts of the
World should not be subject to alteration, as well as
those of the Terrestrial Globe; for if Nature be full of
self-motion, no particular can be at rest, or without
action; but the chief actions of Nature are Composition
and Division, and changes of Parts: Wherefore,
although to our humane perception, the Stars and Planets
do not change from their general nature, as from
being such or such composed figures, but appear the same
to us, without any general or remarkable change of
their exterior figures; yet we cannot certainly affirm,
that the parts thereof be either moveless or unalterable,
they being too remote from our perception, to discern
all their particular motions: For put the case, the
Moon, or any other of the Planets, were inhabited by Pp2v 148
by animal Creatures, which could see as much of this
terrestrial Globe, as we see of the Moon, although
they would perceive perhaps the progressive motion of
the whole figure of this terrestrial Globe, in the same
manner as we do perceive the motion of the Moon, yet
they would never be able to discern the particular parts
thereof, viz. Trees, Animals, Stones, Water, Earth, &c.
much less their particular changes and alterations, generations
and dissolutions. In the like manner do the
Celestial Orbs appear to us; for none that inhabit this
Globe will ever be able to discern the particular parts of
which the Globe of the Moon consists, much less
their changes and motions. Indeed, it is with the
Celestial Orbs, as it is with other composed parts or
figures of Nature, which have their interior, as well as
exterior; general, as well as particular motions; for
it is impossible, that Nature, consisting of infinite different
parts, should have but one kind of motion; and
therefore as a Man, or any other animal, has first
his exterior motions or actions, which belong to his
whole composed figure, next his Internal figurative
motions by which he grows, decays, and dissolves, &c.
Thirdly, As every several part and particle of his body
has its interior and exterior actions; so it may be
said of the Stars and Planets, which are no more then
other parts of Nature, as being composed of the same
Matter which all the rest consists of, and partaking of
the same self-motion; for although our sight cannot discern Qq1r 149
discern more then their progressive, and shining or
twinkling motion; nevertheless, they being parts of Nature,
must of necessity have their interior and exterior,
particular and general motions; so that the parts of their
bodies may change as much as the parts of this Globe,
the figure of the whole remaining still the same; for as
I said before, they being too far from our perception,
their particular motions cannot be observed; nay, were
we able to perceive the exterior actions of their parts,
yet their interior motions are no ways perceptible by
humane sight; we may observe the effects of some interior
motions of natural Creatures; for example, of
Man, how he changes from infancy to youth, from
youth to old age, &c. but how these actions are performed
inwardly, no Microscope is able to give us a
true information thereof. Nevertheless, Mankind
is as lasting, as the Sun, Moon and Stars; nay, not
onely Mankind, but also several other kinds and species
of Creatures, as Minerals, Vegetables, Elements,
and the like; for though particulars change, yet the
species do not; neither can the species be impaired by
the changes of their particulars; for example, the Sea
is no less salt, for all there is so much salt extracted out
of salt-water, besides that so many fresh Rivers and
Springs do mingle and intermix with it; Neither doth
the Earth seem less for all the productions of Vegetables,
Minerals and Animals, which derive their birth and
origine from thence: Nor doth the race of Mankind Qq seem Qq1v 150
seem either more or less now then it was in former ages;
for every species of Creatures is preserved by a continued
succession or supply of particulars; so that when
some die or dissolve from being such natural figures, others
are generated and supply the want of them.
And thus it is with all parts of Nature, both what we
call Celestial and Terrestrial; nor can it be otherwise,
since Nature is self-moving, and all her parts are perpetually

33. Of the substance of the Sun, and of Fire.

There are divers opinions concerning the matter or
substance of the Sun; some imagine the Sun to
be a solid body set on fire; others that it is a fluid body
of fire, and others again, that it is onely a body of
Light, and not of fire; so as I know not which opinion
to adhere to: but yet I do rather believe the Sun
to be a solid, then a fluid body; by reason fluid bodies
are more inconstant in their motions then solid bodies;
witness Lightning, which is a fluid fire, and flashes
out through the divided clouds, with such a force as
water that is pumpt; and being extended beyond the
degree of flame, alters to something else that is beyond
our humane perception. Indeed, it is of the nature
of Air, or else Air inflamed; and as some sorts of Air
are more rare, subtil and searching then others, so are
some sorts of Lightning, as ’tis known by experience: or Qq2r 151
or it is like several sorts of flame, that have several sorts
of fuel to feed on; as for example, the flame of Oyl,
the flame of Wood, the flame of Aqua-vitæ, the flame
of Gums, and the like; all which are very different,
not onely in their several tempers and degrees of heat,
but also in their several manners of burning or flaming;
for the flame of Aqua-vitæ is far thinner and blewer, then
the flame of Wax, Wood, Tallow, or the like; in
so much, that there is as much difference between them,
as there is between the Azure Skie, and a white Cloud;
which shews, that the flame of spirituous bodies is more
airy and rare then the flame of others: For Flame is
onely the rare and airy part of fire, and there is a natural
body of Fire, as well as of Air, Earth and Water;
and as there are several sorts of Earth, Water and
Air, so there are also several sorts of Fire; and as there
are springs of Water, and springs of Air, so there may
also be springs of Fire and Flame. But to return to
the Sun; though I am not able certainly to determine
of what substance it is, yet to our perception it appears
not to be a fluid, but a solid body, by reason it keeps
constantly the same exterior figure, and never appears
either ebbing or flowing, or flashing, as lightning is;
nor does the whole figure of its body dissolve and
change into another figure; nevertheless, it being a natural
creature, and consisting of self-moving parts, there
is no question but its parts are subject to continual
changes and alterations, although not perceptible by our Qq2v 152
our sight, by reason of its distance, and the weakness
of our organs; for although this Terrestrial Globe, which
we inhabit, in its outward figure, nay, in its interior
nature remains still the same; yet its parts do continually
change by perpetual compositions and dissolutions, as
is evident, and needs no proof. The same may be
said of the Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets; which are
like a certain kind or species of Creatures; as for example,
Animal or Man-kind; which species do always
last, although their particulars are subject to perpetual
productions and dissolutions. And thus it is with all
composed figures or parts of Nature, whose chief
action is Respiration (if I may so call it) that is,
composition and division of parts, caused by the self-
moving power of Nature.

34. Of Telescopes.

Many Ingenious and Industrious Artists take
much labour and pains in studying the natures
and figures of Celestial objects, and endeavour to discover
the causes of their appearances by Telescopes, and
such like Optick Instruments; but if Art be not able to
inform us truly of the natures of those Creatures that
are near us, How may it delude us in the scearch and
enquiry we make of those things that are so far from
us? We see how Multiplying-glasses do present numerous
pictures of one object, which he that has not the Rr1r 153
the experience of the deceitfulness of such Glasses,
would really think to be so many objects. The like deceits
may be in other optick Instruments for ought man
knows. ’Tis true, we may perhaps through a Telescope
see a Steeple a matter of 20 or 30 miles off; but
the same can a natural Eye do, if it be not defective,
nor the medium obstructed, without the help of any
such Instrument; especially if one stand upon a high
place: But put the case, a man should be upon the
Alps, he would hardly see the City of Paris from
thence, although he looked through a Telescope never
so perfect, and had no obstruction to hinder his
sight: and truly the Stars and Planets are far more distant
from us then Paris from the Alps. It is well
known, that the sense of sight requires a certain proportion
of distance betwixt the Eye and the Object;
which being exceeded, it cannot perform its office;
for if the object be either too near, or too far off, the
sight cannot discern it: and as I have made mention
in my Philosophical Letters of the nature of those
Guns, that according to the proportion of the length
of the barrel, shoot either further or shorter; for the
Barrel must have its proportioned length; which being
exceeded, the Gun will shoot so much shorter as
the barrel is made longer; so may Prospective-glasses
perhaps direct the sense of seeing within a certain compass
of distance; which distance, surely the Stars and
Planets do far exceed; I mean so, as to discern their Rr figures Rr1v 154
figures as we do of other objects that are near us; for
concerning their exterior progressive motions, we may
observe them with our natural eyes as well as through
Artificial Tubes: We can see the Suns rising and setting,
and the progressive motion of the Moon, and
other Planets; but yet we cannot see their natural figures,
what they are, nor what makes them move;
for we cannot perceive progressive local Motion
otherwise, then by change of distance, that is, by
composition and division of Parts, which is commonly,
(though improperly) called change of Place, and no
glasses or tubes can do more. Some affirm, they have
discovered many new Stars, never seen before, by the
help of Telescopes; but whether this be true, or not,
or whether it be onely a delusion of the glasses, I will
not dispute; for I having no skill, neither in the art
of Opticks, nor in Astronomy, may chance to err, and
therefore I will not eagerly affirm what I do not certainly
know; I onely endeavour to deliver my judgment
as reason directs me, and not as sense informs, or
rather deludes me; and I chose rather to follow the
guidance of regular Reason, then of deluding Art.

35. Of Knowledg and Perception in General.

Since Natural Knowledg and Perception is the
Ground and Principle, not onely of Philosophy
both Speculative and Experimental, but of all other Arts Rr2r 155
Arts and Sciences, nay, of all the Infinite particular
actions of Nature; I thought it not amiss to joyn to the
end of this part a full declaration of my opinion concerning
that subject.

First, It is to be observed, That Matter, Self-motion
and Self-knowledg, are inseparable from each other,
and make Nature, one Material, self-moving, and self-
knowing Body.

2. Nature being Material, is dividable into parts;
and being infinite in quantity or bulk, her parts are
infinite in number.

3. No part can subsist singly, or by it self, precised
from the rest; but they are all parts of one infinite body;
for though such parts may be separated from such
parts, and joined to other parts, and by this means may
undergo infinite changes by infinite compositions and
divisions; yet no part can be separated from the body
of Nature.

4. And hence it follows, That the parts of Nature
are nothing else but the particular changes of particular
figures, made by self-motion.

5. As there can be no annihilation; so there can
neither be a new Creation of the least part or particle
of Nature, or else Nature would not be infinite.

6. Nature is purely corporeal or material, and there
is nothing that belongs to, or is a part of Nature, which
is not corporeal; so that natural and material, or corporeal,
are one and the same; and therefore spiritual beings, Rr2v 156
beings, non-beings, mixt beings, and whatsoever
distinctions the Learned do make, are no ways belonging
to Nature: Neither is there any such thing as
an Incorporeal motion; for all actions of Nature are
corporeal, being natural; and there can no abstraction
be made of Motion or Figure, from Matter or Body,
but they are inseparably one thing.

7. As Infinite Matter is divided into Infinite parts,
so Infinite knowledg is divided into Infinite particular
knowledges, and Infinite self-motion into Infinite particular

8. There is no other difference between self-knowledg,
and particular knowledges, then betwixt self-
motion, and particular self-actions; or betwixt a whole,
and its parts; a cause, and its effects: for self-knowledg
is the ground and principle of all particular knowledges,
as self-motion is the ground and principle of
all particular actions, changes and varieties of natural

9. As Infinite Nature has an infinite self-motion and
self-knowledg, so every part and particle has a particular
and finite self-motion and self-knowledg, by
which it knows it self, and its own actions, and perceives
also other parts and actions; which latter is properly called
Perception; not as if there were two different Principles
of knowledg in every particular Creature or
part of Nature; but they are two different acts of
one and the same interior and inherent self-knowledg,ledg, Ss1r 157
which is a part of Natures infinite self-knowledg.

10. Thus Perception, or a perceptive knowledg,
belongs properly to parts, and may also be called an
exterior knowledg, by reason it extends to exterior

11. Though self-knowledg is the ground and principle
of all particular knowledges and perceptions, yet
self-motion, since it is the cause of all the variety of natural
figures, and of the various compositions and
divisions of parts, it is also the cause of all Perceptions.

12. As there is a double degree of corporeal self-
motion, viz. Rational, and Sensitive; so there is also
a double degree of Perception, Rational, and Sensitive.

13. A whole may know its parts, and an Infinite a Finite;
but no particular part can know its whole, nor one
finite part that which is infinite. I say, no particular part;
for when parts are regularly composed, they may by
a general Conjunction or .Union of their particular
knowledges and perceptions, know more, and so judg
more probably of the whole, or of Infinite; and although
by the division of parts, those composed knowledges
and perceptions, may be broke asunder like a
ruined house or Castle, Kingdom or Government;
yet some of the same Materials may chance to be put to
the same uses, and some may be joined to those that
formerly imployed themselves otherways: And hence Ss I Ss1v 158
I conclude, That no particular parts are bound to certain
particular actions, no more then Nature her self,
which is self-moving Matter; for as Nature is full of variety
of motions or actions, so are her parts; or else she
could not be said self-moving, if she were bound to certain
actions, and had not liberty to move as she pleases:
for though God, the Authour of Nature, has ordered
her so that she cannot work beyond her own nature,
that is, beyond Matter; yet has she freedom to
move as she will; neither can it be certainly affirmed,
that the successive propagation of the several species of
Creatures is decreed and ordained by God, so that
Nature must of necessity work to their continuation,
and can do no otherwise; but humane sense and reason
may observe, that the same parts keep not always to the
same particular actions, so as to move to the same species
or figures; for those parts that join in the composition
of an animal, alter their actions in its dissolution,
and in the framing of other figures; so that the same
parts which were joined in one particular animal, may,
when they dissolve from that composed figure, join severally
to the composition of other figures; as for example,
of Minerals, Vegetables, Elements, &c. and
some may join with some sorts of Creatures, and some
with others, and so produce creatures of different sorts,
when as before they were all united in one particular
Creature; for particular parts are not bound to work
or move to a certain particular action, but they work according Ss2r 159
according to the wisdom and liberty of Nature, which
is onely bound by the Omnipotent God’s Decree
not to work beyond her self, that is, beyond Matter;
and since Matter is dividable, Nature is necessitated to
move in parts; for Matter can be without parts, no more
then parts can be without a whole; neither can Nature,
being material, make her self void of figure, nor
can she rest, being self-moving; but she is bound to
divide and compose her several parts into several particular
figures, and dissolve and change those figures again
infinite ways: All which proves the variety of Nature,
which is so great, that even in one and the same species,
none of the particulars resemble one another so much
as not to be discerned from each other.

But to return to Knowledg and Perception; I say
they are general and fundamental actions of Nature;
it being not probable that the infinite parts of Nature
should move so variously, nay, so orderly and methodically
as they do, without knowing what they do, or
why and whether they move; and therefore all particular
actions whatsoever in Nature, as respiration, digestion,
sympathy, antipathy, division, composition,
pressure, reaction, &c. are all particular perceptive
and knowing actions; for if a part be divided from other
parts, both are sensible of their division: The like
may be said of the composition of parts. And as for Pressure
and Reaction, they are as knowing and perceptive
as any other particular actions; but yet this does not prove Ss2v 160
prove, that they are the principle of perception; and
that there’s no Perception but what is made by Pressure
and Reaction, or that at least they are the ground of
Animal Perception; for as they are no more but particular
actions, so they have but particular perceptions;
and although all Motion is sensible, yet no part is sensible
but by its own motions in its own parts; that is, no
corporeal motion is sensible but of or by it self: Therefore
when a man moves a string, or tosses a Ball; the
string or ball is no more sensible of the motion of the
hand, then the hand is of the motion of the string or
ball, but the hand is onely an occasion that the string
or ball moves thus or thus. I will not say, but that it
may have some perception of the hand according to the
nature of its own figure, but it does not move by the
hands motion, but by its own; for there can be no
motion imparted without matter or substance.

Neither can I certainly affirm, that all Perception consists
in patterning out exterior objects, for although the
perception of our humane senses is made that way, yet
Natures actions being so various, I dare not conclude
from thence that all the perceptions of the infinitely
various parts and figures of Nature are made all after
the same manner. Nevertheless, it is probable to sense
and reason, that the infinite parts of Nature have not
onely interior self-knowledg, but also exterior perceptions
of other figures or parts, and their actions; by
reason there is a perpetual commerce and entercourse between Tt1r 161
between parts and parts, and the chief actions of Nature
are composition and division, which produce all
the variety of Nature; which proves, there must of
necessity be perception between parts and parts; but
how all these particular perceptions are made, no particular
creature is able to know, by reason of their variety;
for as the actions of Nature vary, so do the perceptions.
Therefore it is absurd to confine all perception
of Nature, either to pressure and reaction,
or to the animal kind of perception, since even in one
and the same animal sense; as for example, of seeing,
there are numerous perceptions; for every motion of
the Eye, were it no more then a hairs breadth, causes
a several perception; besides, it is not onely the five
organs in an animal, but every part and particle of his
body that has a peculiar knowledg and perception, because
it consists of self-moving Matter: Which if so,
then a Looking-glass that patterns out the face of a
Man, and a Mans Eye that patterns again the copy
from the Glass, cannot be said to have the same perception,
by reason a Glass, and an animal, are different
sorts of Creatures; for though a piece of
Wood, Stone, or Metal, may have a perceptive
knowledg of Man, yet it hath not a Man’s perception,
because it is a Vegetable or Mineral; and cannot have
an Animal knowledg or perception, no more, then
the Eye patterning out a Tree or Stone, can be said to
have a Vegetable or Mineral Perception; nay, when Tt one Tt1v 162
one Animal, as for example one man, perceives another,
he doth not perceive his knowledg; for it is one
thing to perceive the exterior figure of a Creature, and
another thing to perceive its interior, proper, and innate
actions; also it is one thing to perceive exterior
objects, and another to receive knowledg; for no part
can give away to another its inherent and proper particular
nature, neither can one part make it self another
part; it may imitate some actions of another part, but
not make it self the same part; which proves, that each
part must have its own knowledg and perception, according
to its own particular nature; for though several
parts may have the like perceptions, yet they are
not the same; and although the exterior figures of some
objects may be alike, yet the perceptions may be quite
different; ’tis true, sensitive and rational knowledg is
general and infinite in Nature; but every part being
finite, can have but a finite and particular knowledg,
and that according to the nature of its particular figure;
for as not all Creatures, although they be composed of
one Matter, are alike in their figures, so not all can
have the like knowledges and perceptions, though they
have all self-motion; for particular Creatures and actions
are but effects of the onely Infinite self-moving
Matter, and so are particular perceptions; and although
they are different, yet the difference of effects does not
argue different causes; but one and the same cause may
produce several and different effects; so that although there Tt2r 163
there be infinite different motions in Nature, yet they
are all but motions, and cannot differ from each other
in being motions or self-moving parts; and although
there be infinite several and different perceptions, yet
they are all perceptions; for the effects cannot alter the
cause, but the cause may alter the effects: Wherefore
rational and sensitive corporeal motions cannot change
from being motions, though they may change from
moving thus, to move thus; nor perceptions from
being perceptions, though they may change from being
such or such particular perceptions; for the change is
onely in particulars, not in the ground or principle
which continues always the same. The truth is, as it
is impossible that one figure should be another figure, or
one part another part; so likewise it is impossible, that
the perception of one part should be the perception of
another; but being in parts, they must be several, and
those parts being different, they must be different also:
But some are more different then others; for the perceptions
of Creatures of different sorts, as for example,
of a Vegetable and an Animal, are more different then
the perception of particulars of one sort, or of one composed
figure; for as there is difference in their interior
natures, so in their perceptions; so that a Mineral or
Vegetable that perceives the figure of an Animal, has
no more the perception of an Animal, then an Animal
which perceives or patterns out the figure of a Mineral
or Vegetable, has the perceptions of those Creatures; for Tt2v 164
for example, when a man lies upon a stone, or leans on
a tree, or handles and touches water, &c. although
these parts be so closely joined to each other, yet their
perceptions are quite different; for the man onely
knows what he feels, or sees, or hears, or smells, or
tasteth, but knows not what sense or perception those
parts have; nay, he is so far from that, that even one
part of his body doth not know the sense and perception
of another part of his body; as for example, one of
his hands knows not the sense and perception of his other
hand; nay, one part of his hand knows not the perception
of another part of the same hand; for as the
corporeal figurative motions differ, so do particular
knowledges and perceptions; and although sensitive
and rational knowledg is general and infinite in infinite
Nature, yet every part being finite, has but
finite and particular perceptions; besides, perception
being but an effect, and not a cause, is more various
in particulars; for although all Creatures are composed
of rational and sensitive Matter, yet their perceptions
are not alike; neither can the effect alter the cause;
for though the several actions of sensitive and rational
Matter be various, and make several perceptions, yet
they cannot make several kinds of sensitive and rational
Matter; but when as perceptions change, the parts of
the sensitive and rational matter remain the same in
themselves; that is, they do not change from being sensitive
or rational parts, although they may make numerousmerous Vv1r 165
perceptions in their particular parts, according
to the various changes of self-motion.

But some may say, If the particular parts of one composed
figure be so ignorant of each others knowledg,
as I have expressed, How can they agree in some action
of the whole figure, where they must all be imployed,
and work agreeably to one effect? As for example;
when the Mind designs to go to such a place, or do
such a work; How can all the parts agree in the performing
of this act, if they be ignorant of each others
actions? I answer: Although every Parts knowledg
and perception, is its own, and not anothers; so that
every part knows by its own knowledg, and perceives
by its own perception; yet it doth not follow from
thence, that no part has any more knowledg then of it
self, or of its own actions; for, as I said before, it is
well to be observed, that there being an entercourse
and commerce, as also an acquaintance and agreement
between parts and parts, there must also of necessity
be some knowledg or perception betwixt them, that is,
one part must be able to perceive another part, and the
actions of that same part; for wheresoever is life and
knowledg, that is, sense and reason, there is also perception;
and though no part of Nature can have an
absolute knowledg, yet it is neither absolutely ignorant,
but it has a particular knowledg, and particular perceptions,
according to the nature of its own innate and interior
figure. In short, as there are several kinds, Vv sorts Vv1v 166
sorts and particular perceptions, and particular ignorances
between parts, so there are more general perceptions
between some parts, then between others; the
like of ignorance; all which is according to the various
actions of corporeal self-motion: But yet no part can
have a thorow perception of all other parts and their
actions, or be sure that that part which it perceives has
the like perception of it again; for one part may perceive
another part, and yet this part may be ignorant
of that part, and its perception; for example, my eye
perceives an object, but that object is not necessitated to
perceive my eye again; also my eye may perceive the
pattern of it self made in a Looking-glass, and yet be
ignorant whether the Glass do the like. Again, when
two parts touch each other, one part may perceive the
other, and yet be ignorant whether t’other does the
like; for example, a man joins both his hands together;
they may have perception of each other, and
yet be ignorant of each others perception; and most
commonly, one part judges of anothers perception by
its own; for when one man perceives the actions of
another man, he judges by those actions what perceptions
he has, so that judgment is but a comparing of
actions; for as likeness of interior motions makes sympathy,
so comparing of actions makes judgment, to
know and distinguish what is alike, and what is not.
Therefore perception of exterior objects, though it
proceeds from an interior principle of self-knowledg, yet Vv2r 167
yet it is nothing else but an observation of exterior
parts or actions; so that parts in their several compositions
and divisions may have several perceptions of
each other, according to the nature of their figurative
corporeal motions; and although each parts knowledg
is its own, yet parts may have as much knowledg of
each other, as they can perceive, or observe of each
other; for the perceptive motions of one part, may
inform themselves of the actions of other parts. The
truth is, every particular part has its own motions figures,
sense and reason, which by a conjunction or
composition of parts, makes a general knowledg; for
as the division of parts causes a general obscurity, so
composition of parts makes a general knowledg and
understanding; and as every part has self-motion, so it
has self-knowledg and perception.

But it is to be observed, That since there is a double
perception in the infinite parts of Nature, sensitive
and rational; the perception and information of the rational
parts is more general, then of the sensitive, they
being the most prudent, designing and governing parts
of Nature, not so much encumbred with labouring on
the inanimate parts of matter as the sensitive: Therefore
the rational parts in a composed figure, or united
action, may sooner have a general knowledg and information
of the whole then the sensitive; whose knowledg
is more particular; as for example, a man may
have a pain in one of the parts of his body, although the Vv2v 168
the perception thereof is made by the sensitive corporeal
motions in that same part, yet the next adjoining
sensitive parts may be ignorant thereof, when as all the
rational parts of the whole body may take notice of it.
Thus the rational parts having a more general acquaintance
then the sensitive, and being also the designing
and architectonical parts, they imploy the sensitive parts
to work to the same effect; but these are not always ready
to obey, but force sometimes the rational to obey
them, which we call irregularity; which is nothing
but an opposition or strife between parts; as for example,
a man designs to imploy the exterior strength
and action of his exterior parts; but if through irregularity
the legs and arms be weak, the stomack sick, the
head full of pain; they will not agree to the executing
of the commands of the rational parts. Likewise the
mind endeavours often to keep the sensitive motions of
the body from dissolution; but they many times follow
the mode, and imitate other objects, or cause a dissolution
or division of that composed figure by voluntary

Thus the sensitive and rational motions do oftentimes
cross and oppose each other; for although
several parts are united in one body, yet are they not
always bound to agree in one action; nor can it be otherwise;
for were there no disagreement between
them, there would be no irregularities, and consequently
no pain or sickness, nor no dissolution of any
natural figure.

And Xx1r 169

And such an agreement and disagreement is not
onely betwixt the rational and sensitive parts, but also
betwixt the rational and rational, the sensitive and
sensitive; for some rational Parts, may in one composed
figure have opposite actions; as for example, the
Mind of Man may be divided so, as to hate one person,
and love another; nay, hate and love one and
the same person for several things at the same time,
as also rejoice and grieve at the same time. For example,
a man has two Sons; one is kill’d in the Wars,
and the other comes home with victory and honour;
the Father grieves for the slain Son, and rejoyces for
the victorious Son: for the Mind being material, is dividable
as well as composable; and therefore its parts
may as well oppose each other, as agree; for agreement
and friendship is made by composition, and disagreement
by division; and sense and reason is either
stronger or weaker, by composition or division, regularity
or irregularity, for a greater number of parts
may over-power a less; also there are advantages and
disadvantages amongst parts, according to the several
sorts of corporeal figurative motions; so that some
sorts of corporeal motions; although fewer or weaker,
may over-power others that are more numerous and
strong; but the rational being the most subtil, active,
observing and inspective parts, have, for the most
part, more power over the sensitive, then the sensitive
have over them; which makes that they, for the most Xx part, Xx1v 170
part, work regularly, and cause all the orderly and
regular compositions, dissolutions, changes and varieties
in the infinite parts of Nature; besides, their perception
and observation being more general, it lasts
longer; for the rational continue the perception of the
past actions of the sensitive, when as the sensitive keep
no such records.

Some say, that Perception is made by the Ideas of
exterior objects entering into the organs of the sentient;
but this opinion cannot be probable to sense and reason;
for first, If Ideas subsist of themselves, then they
must have their own figures, and so the figures of the
objects would not be perceived, but onely the figures of
the Ideas. But if those Ideas be the figures of the objects
themselves, then by entring into our sensories the
objects would lose them; for one single object can have
no more but one exterior figure at one time, which
surely it cannot lose and keep at one and the same time;
But if it be a Print of the object on the Air, it is impossible
there could be such several sorts of Prints as there
are Perceptions, without a notable confusion. Besides:
when I consider the little passages, as in the sense of
touch, the pores of the flesh, through which they must
enter, I cannot readily believe it; nay, the Motions
and Prints would grow so weak, and faint in their journey,
especially if the object be a great way off, as they
would become of no effect. But if their opinion be,
that Ideas can change and alter, then all immaterial substances Xx2r 171
substances may do the same, and spirits may change
and alter into several immaterial figures; which, in
my opinion cannot be: for what is supernatural, is
unalterable; and therefore the opinion of Ideas in perception,
is as irregular, as the opinion of senseless atomes
in the framing of a Regular World.

Again: Some of our Modern Philosophers are of
opinion, That the subject wherein Colour and Image
are inherent, is not the object or thing seen; for Image
and Colour, say they, may be there where the thing
seen is not: As for example, The Sun, and other visible
objects, by reflexion in Water or Glass; so that
there is nothing without us really which we call Image
or Colour; for the Image or Colour is but an apparition
unto us of the motion and agitation which the
object works in the brain or spirits, and divers times
men see directly the same object double, as two Candles
for one, and the like. To which I answer: That
all this doth not prove that the object is not perceived,
or that an object can be without image or colour, or
that figure and colour are not the same with the object;
but it proves, that the object enters not the eye, but is
onely patterned out by the perceptive motions in the
optick sense; for the reflection of the Sun in Water or
Glass, is but a copy of the original, made by the figurative
perceptive motions in the Glass or Water, which
may pattern out an object as well as we do; which copy
is patterned out again by our optick perception, and so Xx2v 172
so one copy is made by another. The truth is, Our
optick sense could not perceive either the original, or
copy of an exterior object, if it did not make those figures
in its own parts; and therefore figure and colour
are both in the object, and the eye; and not, as they
say, neither in the object, nor in the eye; for though
I grant that one thing cannot be in two places at once,
yet there may be several copies made of one original, in
several parts, which are several places, at one and the
same time; which is more probable, then that figure
and colour should neither be in the object, nor in the
eye, or according to their own words, that figure and
colour should be there where the thing seen is not;
which is to separate it from the object, a thing against
all possibility, sense and reason; or else, that a substanceless
and senseless Motion should make a progressive
journey from the object to the sentient, and there print,
figure and colour upon the optick sense by a bare agitation
or concussion, so that the perception or apparition,
(as they call it) of an object, should onely be according
to the stroke the agitation makes; as for example,
the perception of light after such a manner, figure after