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Principles of Occult Philosophy. we confess that God is the iminediate force of acting, for it cannot retain any cause of all motion ;" and thus, as they figure, form or disposition; which think, they have furnished a beautiful effect, nevertheless, whilst they com. demonstration of God. But truly, if monly attribute to matter, they conany opinion in divinity or in physics, found by a manifest error, the essence opens the way to innumerable and and effect of the Creator, and created molt heavy errors, of a certainty this things. We will suppose a bealt to is it which we have now explained. have done some damage, or by misIt can izdeed, by this method of rea chance to have killed a man, whether foning, be demonstrated that there is a or not will it be that God did it by God, but so that there is left but little his providence, and may be said to be difference between God and the world: the chief cause of this loss? I having and these are the quicksands in which weighed all things and arguments relaBenedi&us Spinoza suffered shipwreck; tive to this subject, have made this he loft all sense of religion, for an ens, the sum of my thoughts. or being, which is powerful by no
(To be continued.)
Abridged from Green's Elements of Occult Philosophy: a scarce Work.
ONE of the greatest obstacles to the we think ourselves on the subject, and spreading useful knowledge, and re- confine our views intirely to what is be. ceiving information from each other, fore us; not to discard our own opinion, is owing to a fault which most people which is neither better nor worse, nor are apt to slide into, of looking at them. any ways affected by this seeming prefelves, not those they converse with. ference which is given to the new When we hear any thing proposed, gueft, but only that we inay be able to we consider whether it be agreeable judge whether it be worth receiving to our own prior sentiments, not whe. or no. In short, every man whilst he ther it be right or wrong; by this is hearing another man explain his means, not judging of it by its evi. sentiments, or reading his writings, dence, but comparing it with those should act the school boy, implicitly notions we have already, imbibed. If for the time acquiesce, as if he knew I would see an object in the light ano- nothing of the subject he is upon; ther doth, I mult put myself in the then he will see the whole of what is same line he stands in, or else it is im. laid before him, and may afterwards possible I fhould see it in the same call over again every particular, and point of view, without which it is im- try it by his own præcognita, set the poffible I should judge whether his old evidence against the new, and give obfervations on it are right or wrong. it a fair trial. We should, therefore, place ourselves This is what I would desire of the in the line we are directed, though at reader, to lay aside felf, and consider the fame time we may be persuaded and view things in the light I have that our own point of view is the belt ; put them, without rejecting what I by which means we shall be able to lay, merely because it may not be the judge whether it is so or no.
fame, or because it may contradict So to give another's argument its what he thought before, due weight, we ought to lay afide all Philosophy is a thing of consequence,
Ineffefl ual Powers of Matter.
because on the knowledge of nature, ary causes we see are employed. But or of the laws and effects of the natu- why may he not make use of them ral agents, depends the knowledge of as his inftruments to work with? Be. the Creator, and the only means of our cause Omnipotence can work forming true and distinct ideas or re well without such tools as with. He presentations of spiritual objects, whe- need not, by an immediate interpo. ther uncreated, or the created ones; fition, keep the earth folid to support all our ideas being derived from lense, man, when he could with the same as some happily and with great affidui.. ease support his feet, as kecp together, ty have maintained of late.
the atoms for a foundation for him to Those who at present are, or not tread upon. He could move the lungs long since were, in possession of this without the air, at the same time that source of all knowledge, have only he makes the air move them, and so nick-named the effects, and by a sleight have made but one trouble of it. It is of hand, passed those nick names up- going round about, and doing per pluon us for the agents. Sympathy and ra, what might as well be done per antipathy, or attraction and repulsion, pauciora. To enable, and that by a the first derived from the Greek tongue, continual aid, a second cause to do the other from the Latin, are the same, what might be done without its interand may well enough itand for the vention, is needless, to say no woi?. phænomena, or effects of nature, but It is notinconsistent indeed with thedi. are not agents. The grand question vine power to work in this manner, then is by what or whom, and in what because Omnipotence is equal to the manner these effects are performed. burthen, but not conform to divine
That matter is in itself inert, inca.. wisdom to set up an agent which canpable of moving, or exerting any act not work without an immediate hand ive power, unless mechanically, can upon it, when that immediatè hand hardly be denied. The question then would perform the talk without calling is, what is the mover? where are we in the supernumerary officer. Godcould to look for the agent or agents to whom make us see without fetching light we are to ascribe the administration in from the sun, to enable us to discern this system ? Is it in created matter objects by. It is no trouble indeed to or the creator? doth matter, any part Omnipotence to make the air make of it, rule over and direct the motion the fire burn, or labour to him whose of the remainder; or is the hand, power is unlimited, to carry the earth which gave being to the world, con round the sun, turning it at the same tinually, though unseen, employed in time on its own axis, in an angle to its performing the various works of nature, great orbit, that all parts may the more which are every moment the objects of equally partake of the light; but there,
admiration, as well as the support and ten thousand times ten thousand of our being, and well being?
other actions, though inttances of the On this question our philosophers divine power, (forry ones ftill, in comare undetermined; they seem, however, parison of the single act of the crea. willing to lodge the administration in the tion) would be no proofs of the wircreature; dubious still upon the point, dom and foresight of the Creator, because ignorart of that mechanical but the very contrary, in making contrivance, by which one part of the such a number of wheels, such a varicreation is made to act upon, and give ety of works in his machine, when not motion to itself and the rest.
one of them could move without him, That God is not the immediate and the work be done much eafier, agent, they would grant most willing- and more directly, without them. ly: and if they would not, the whole But our senses assure us that many, face of nature proves it. No second. nay we see that most, of the operations
Economy of Nature. of nature are performed by second lodged in it--solid, or fluid matter ? causes; we see not indeed the mechan. The orbs, or that fluid in which they ism by which they are performed; are placed? Or, in other words, is moand what authority have we to faytion performed by impulse, or a pow. those agents, those causes, do not the er inherent in the atoms of matter, work without an immediate applica- continually and neceffarily exerting its tion of him who made them? Do -virtue, and so producing the effects we they see the hand of God upon them? are enquiring after ? To say the latter, No. That is not pretended to. Has is to affirm without knowledge ; behe told them so ? No. Why then is cause the parts or atoms of matter are this asserted to prove the divine pow. too small to be the object of our senses; er? Either way of acting proves that. nor are they any ways capable of To prove the divine wisdom. Where being brought under observation, so as is the wisdom in making and employ. to give us an opportunity of judging ing servants who cannot do the work whether they have such qualities or they are set about? A beautiful con not. Besides, a power acting invifitrivance or concatenation of causes bly, or a virtue which is immaterial, would be a far more illustrious proof is not an object of the senses, and of knowledge, far more befitting the consequently not the subject of our divine goodness, than either to work knowledge. They say, however, such by occult qualities, or by an invisible power is adherent to matter; but he hand; in both which cases man would ihat created matter hath not, that be deprived of the most convincing they pretend to, given them any adevidence, sensible ocular proof, of the thority for such an assertion. contrivance and wisdom of God; nay, And with submission, it is unsaying would want proof that these things what they lay down, with regard to were dependant creatures. But it is the inactivity of matter; for when surprising that they should appeal to they make matter incapable of moving nature for proofs of wisdom in the itself, it is so a fortiori, of moving any Creator, who allow him less skill than thing else. If it be naturally paflive, to any common mechanick. Man can it hath no active power in it. Nor make a machine to go regularly, and are they at all helped out of the diffi. methodically perform what he framed culty by allowing that such power was it for; but the wheels of God's ma- not originally in it; but super-induced, chine cannot go unless his finger be or added to it by the creator, a law, as continually upon them. That mat- they term it, impressed on all matter, for ter is capable of mechanism needs no the lesser quantity to tend towards the proof, and the Creator could want greater; because even so matter would neither power nor skill; and why act without means, and exert a power, then may not things act mechanically though it be allowed that such power God has affirmed they do, and the was given it. If it cannot act of itself, reason of the thing speaks the same it cannot receive a power of acting of language.
itself. If an incapacity of acting be If then the creators do not act im an attribute or quality naturally ber mediately by themselves, we are to af- longing to matter, (which your very cribe the economy
to secondary concession of attraction, or any other caufes, leaving the great originals no of the powers they talk of, being superother business in the material world, induced doth suppose,) such quality than to overlook, and occasionally, cannot be taken from it, and a contra. when they see proper, over-rulethe naa ry one given it. So their solution of
the difficulty fails them. Omitting The next question then is, which that they have no authority for saying part of the creation hath the power matter has any such power, hath God
Power of Attraction. told them fo? Do they see such laws I do not say that our philosophers adhering to matter? No. They fee affert, that all bodies attract alike, be. that things move, and conclude that eve cause they cannot help seeing the ry effect hath a cause. They see that a contrary ; but if all matter be alike, ftone tends to the earth; that the the same as to the form and size of the earth encircles the sun, and the moon conftituent atoms, and this power be the earth. All this is right enough, either connate to matter, or super-adbut this brings us not to the point we ded to it, the heaviest bodies would aim at: Because we do not see the attract the strongest, which fince they earth act upon the stone, the sun upon do not, I conclude that attraction is the earth, or the earth
not a law of nature, but performed ky To believe this or that thing moves something diftinct from the, as they another, when we see it is not in the term it, attracting body. place it is said to act in, is to be more And if gravity or attraction, (and credulous than the most superfitious of fo we may say of all the other nickthe papists. To affirm it acts by a names they have blinded philosophy virtue invisible, and confess we can with) considered as a quality inherent neither see how, nor by deductions in, or super-added to matter, be in it. reach the manner of its supposed ope- self irrational, unphilosophical, as well ration, is to rest on occult qualities. as unproved, and also contrary to To say the weight or force with which the most common observations, our a ftone descends to the earth is owing philosophers
, are stript of their agent, to its gravity, is saying no more nor and we must look farther than they less, than that the weight of a body is have done for the cause of motion. owing to its weight. To offer to ex If then the creators neither act im. plain this, by saying the earth attracts mediately by themselves, nor have, or draws it, is doubling the cheat, that we know of, nay, as far as we because the horse cannot draw, unless know, cannot give a stock or a stone, he is fastened to the cart; and they or one atom power to move another, have not, nor do they offer to dhew us, but by impulse; nor that impel, unthe chain which faftens the stone to less it be first impelled itself; we must the earth, or iron to the loadstone. look out to see what doth impel, and
Besides, in fact, there is no law of whence its power arises. this nature in or on matter. The This power cannot be in the folid heaviest bodies do not attract each orbs, because they cannot act, or exert other, as by such a rule they ought, any active power, where their substance with the greatest force, Nor is the is present; much less can they act, adhesion of such bodies the strongelt. where they are not present; or, which Many Auids are heavier than many is the same thing, cannot impel with. solids ; their adhesion it is plain infi out touching. So the earth tends to nitely less. The loadstone attracts the sun, a stone to the earth, and iron strongly, quickfilver not at all: a dia. to a loadstone, by some other means. mond adheres strongly, and yet has The creator then doth not move things less matter in it, if we judge by weight, himself, and solids cannot. If attraction were a general law, all
It remains therefore that we ascribe bodies should attract each other, ac the cause of motion to the air, or that cording to the quantity of matter in fuid state of matter in which we them. The loadstone ought to have breathe, in which birds fly, and no more of this virtue in it than a in which he who made all things, tells diamond, or than lead hath: nor us the sun, moon, and ftars are pla. ought the virtue in it to be more iné ced. clined to draw iron, than to pull a feather to it.
To be continued,
3 B 2
( 482 )
GORDON'S PARADOXES SOLVED.
A PARADOX is a seeming falsity,
ANSWER. but a real truth ; it is that which to unthinking persons, seems absurd or
If by neither day nor night, be impossible; but to a thoughtful man, meant twilight, it may be any climate is plain and evident : the main drift of the frigid zones; but if it be un. whereof is to whet the appetite of an derstood that the Sun neither rises nor inquisitive learner, and to let him up- sets for 24 hours, the places must be on thinking
ninety degrees distant froin the Sun: thus, if the Sun be in the equator, then the poles are the places ; for at
those times the Sun circuits about their There are two remarkable places on horizon for twenty-four hours, half the globe of the earth, in which there above and half under it ; hence for fo is only one day and one night through long, it is neither day nor night then out the whole year.
The two remarkable places are the
There is a certain place of the earth, two poles ; for to the North Pole, the at which, if two men should chance to Sun rises about the roth of March, and meet, one would stand upright upon sets not till about the i 2th of Septem- the soles of the other's feet, and neither ber: and the ensuing twilight conti. of them should feel the other's weight, nues till the sun be eighteen degrees be and yet they both should retain their low the horizon, i. e. about the second natural posture. of November, then dark night conti-. nues till about the 18th of January, at which time the day breaks, and the morning twilight continues till sun rise
He says of the earth, not on the earth, on the 10th of March. Hence be- which therefore means the center there. twixt fun rise and sun set are fix months, of; for imagine an hole bored through, but betwixt day-break and twilight's from our feet, to and through the cenend are about two hundred and eighty- ter of the earth, to the opposite point, eight days, but totally dark only seven- or the Antipodes, and one man descend. ty seven days.
ed towards the center at one end of the Note, when it rises to the north hole, and another man descended at pole, it sets to the south, and e contra; the other end of the hole, till they both and because it rises but once, and sets
met at the center, so would they ftand but once in the year, to either, there is
on each other's feet, with their heads but one day and one night in the whole towards the zenith, in their natural year.
poiture without feeling each other's
weight. According to these maxims, PARADOX II.
no heavy body gravitates in the center,
and all heavy bodies tend to the center; There are also some places on the whereas a gravitation at the very cenearth, in which it is neither day nor ter must imply necessarily a divergen. night, at a certain time of the year, cy from the center, or an ascent, which for the space of twenty-four hours. is absurd.