Sivut kuvina

ther does the meat that n distributed into the members of animals, die and perish; but after it is concocted by the natural heat, it is converted into the nature of the body it feeds.

Ver. 63o. These twenty-nine verses includes the nineteenth argument. If the foul, fays he, when it goes out of the body, leaves some particles behind, they being thus separated, argue the soul to be subject to dissolution; if it leaves none, no cause can be alleged why so many worms take life in the carcase; for to pretend that so great a number of souls flow together from without to the place from whence one defined, would be very absurd indeed; and yet it would be more absurd to say that each soul chooses for itself what feeds are most proper to make itself a body, that (he may suffer all those ills from which she is exempted when out of a body; or that (he enters into a body already made, since it is impossible that (he can fit and fashion herself to inform each part of itIt is scandalous to waste time in confuting these trifles; however, to solve all these arguments in a word, I fay, that the human soul being incorporeal, it leaves not any remains of itself in the body, nor is the generation of worms in a dead carcase made of the corruption of the soul that animited that body, but of the corruption of that carcase only, as it likewise happens in cheese, in rotten earth, &c. Nor, lastly, are the souls of the worms infused from without, but, to use the words of Lucretius, are generated, as often as there happens to be in those carcases, or in any other putrified bodies, any seeds or atoms that are fit and proper to generate those insects.

Ver. 7C9. The twentieth argument is in these thirty verses, and attacks the doctrine of Pythagoras and of Plato. If these immortal souls, fays he, had so often been shifted out of the hody of e-,e animal to the body of another, the natural dispositions of the animals would by little and little have been changed and altered. Thus the lisa would not now be fierce, the deer riot fearful, the fox not crafty; the dog would run from the stag, and tbc dove would pursue the hawk; beasts would be wise, and men void of reason; for the fool of the dove would often be in the hawk, and the soul of a beast inform the body of a man, and in like manner on the contrary: but if it be pretended thac the nature of the soul changes according to the different natures of the oodie>, and that of whatever kinds the souls are, they put on the manners that agree with the bodies into which they enter, I aslt no more. for whatever can be changed is mortal, since in every change there must be a transposition, and consequently a dissolution of the parts. But if it be pretended, for example, that human souls go only into human bodies, why does that soul, which, but now, behaved itself wisely iq the body of a man grown up to the years of maturity, play the M at the rate it does when it is infused into the body nf a child? Does the mind grow weak and tender in a weak and tender body? If it does, it »changed; and no man in his fenses will dare

affirm, that a thing so often changed is immortal.

This whole argument is bent only against the Pythagoreans, who held that souls pass from body to body, as well as of man as of beast. But what he advances, thac fouls change according to the passions, dispositions, and manners of the different bodies, and grow with them, is already an. swered in the note on ver. 4Z9.

Ver. 717. Lucretius calls it ■' Canis Hyrcano de semine," a dog of the Hyrcanian breed. HyTcania is a country of Asia, which has the Caspian sea on the east, Iberia on the west, Armenia on the south, and Albania on the north. Now, in this country there are a great quantity of panthers, leopards, and tygers, the males of which animals, they fay, sometimes couple with hitches, who bring forth a very sagacious fort of dog, aud these are they of which our poet here speaks.

Ver. 7jo. For as Cicero fays in Cato, " Teme. ritas est florentis ætatis, prudentia senectutis s" Rashness is the effect of youth, and prudence of old age. And Aristotle teaches the fame thing in Ethic vi. where he fays, that though prudence be requisite in every thing, yet nothing is learned without experience and practice, therefore a child cannot be prudent, since age alone can make him so.

Ver. 735. What Lucretius means is this: They cannot deny but that the mind is tender in a tender body; for example, that the mind of a child of two or three years old is weak and infirm; but if it be true that a mind, which was strong before, becomes weak in a weak body, it follows from thence, that the mind is mortal. But the difference of the organs in the bodies answers this part of the argument.

Ver. 739. In these nine verses, is contained the twenty-first argument. Lucretius having hitherto sought this battle with his utmost strength, with all his skill and application of mind, and having besides, as he fancies, routed his adversaries, he now detaches some light-armed arguments in pursuit of the fugitives, and, in the first place, desires Co know why a soul is se passionately fond of an adult body? And why it lothes the members that are grown feeble with age, and hastens to get out of them? For, if it were immortal, it would not dread the imbecillity of infancy, nor the ruins of old age.

This argument is of so little weight, that it scarce deserves an answer. For who can believe that the soul retires from the body in apprehension of being crushed to pieces, or in dread of any danger that can happen to her from the fall of her tenement of clay ■ she leaves it because its organs are so impaired and weakened that (he can no longer perform in them the functions of life.

Ver. 748. The twenty-second argument is in these seven verses, where the poet urges, that it is ridiculous to believe that a multitude of souls are waiting at the coitions and births of animals, and contending who shall get first into the body, unless, perhaps, it is agreed among them that the first comer shall be first served.

This argument, absurd at it is, nevertheless, pressrs hard upon the Pythagoreans, though it do not in the least affect us, who teach and believe, that G <d c.eates the foal the very moment it is iiis'js'-d into a new-formed body.

V.t 7J5 I'he twenty-third argument is contain d ;n these fifteen verses, in which he observe-, that as a'l other thing* have a fixed and certain region or place allotted them, to be born, to grow, and to live in (o has the loul likewise, and therefore can no more exist out of the body than filb can out of the wattr, than a tree in the air, or than a cloud in the sea: Nor can u be doubted in the least, but that the soul is born, grows, lives, and exists in and with the whole body; for otherwile we (hould feel it formed, sometimes in the head, sometimes in the shoulder*, nay, in the heels, and perceive it diffusing itself by little and little rhrough the whole body.

This argument is to the fame purpose as the thirteenth, and is answered in the note on ver 593. The first thirteen verses of it are repeated, Book v. ver. 140.

Ver. 762. Here our translator has followed the emendation of Faber, which, nevertheless, in his Latin edition of Lucretius, he condemns, as not agreeing in the least with the lection ol any of the ancient copies; and therefore he is rather of opinion to reject entirely this verse of his author,

Tandem in eodem homine, atque in eodem vase maneret,

than to admit it, as corrected by Faber, who

makes it run thus:

Tandem in toto homine, aqua ut in toto vase maneret.

He own?, however, the correction to be ingenious, and that he is not better pleased with the conjectures of others concerning this passage.

Ver 770. In these fix verses, which contain the twenty.fourth argument, he fays, that it is downright folly to believe that things, so different as DVTtal and immortal beings, can be joined together, and. that a mor al thing (the body) which, when separated from that immortal thing (the loul), is subject to 110 harms nor inconveniencies, should, when it is united to that immortal thing, be liable to those pains and afflictions with which men are daily opt rifled.

If Lucretius could not comprehend how a mortal body could be joined to an immortal foul, how time he to find out that the void, which is in- | corporeal and eternal, is intermixed with created I things that are corporeal and mortal? But others,' and great philosophers too, could comprehend it »ery well; as Aristotle, who asserted immortal | fouls in mortal bodies; and Plato, who taught that the Eternal Mind is infused through all the parts of this transitory and corruptible world And Hermes, who, as Lactantius, lib. xii. de Divin. Pesem. witnesses, com; osed the nature of man os lomething mortal, aud something immortal, from whence is become, at it were, the hori- 1

zon that joins the highest to the lowest, and tie

earthly to the heavenly. Thus these men, and others too. acknowledged some things partly mortal, partly immortal: and indeed the extremes would otherwise have been without a middle, and therefore they were in the right to nuke some things mixed of mortal and immortal.

Ver. 776. The twenty-filth argument is contained in these twenty-one verles, and is to this effect s Nothing is eternal and immortal, eictpt either by reason of its solidity, as an atom, or bi> cause it is free from stroke, as the void, or lastly, because there is no place out of which, or ftotn whence any bodies can come to dash it to pieces, or into which its dissolved or broken parts can retire, as the c» H£y, universe. But the foul is nothing like any of those three things, for it ii composed of seeds, and therefore not perfectly solid - It is not a void, because it affects the body, and in its turn is affected by it: And no mac will pretend that the foul is the ri nit, universe; therefore it is mortal. These twenty-one versa are repeated, Book v ver. 395.

To all the objections he brings in this argument against the immortality of the foul, we answer, I. That the foul, indeed, is not an atotrt, but that not an acorn only is eternal. II. That the foul is not the void, but that not the void alone is eternal. Ill That indeed the foul is not the universe, but that not the universe only is eternal for God is eternal and immortal, and the fouls of men are eternal and immortal: thus, besides the three that Lucretius mentions, there is 1 fourth fort of immortal things. And Plutarch, de Nat. Deor. reasoning according to the doctrir: of Epicurus, tells us, that even he allowed four kinds of things to "be free from corruption, and that under the fourth kind was included the foul of man.

Ver. 797. The twenty.sixth, and last argument against the immortality of the foul, is containrd in these twelve verses. If any one pretend thi: the mind is either fenced from things that are contrary and destructive to it, or that if any things should advance against it, they cannot reach it, or if they do reach it, they cannot hart it, but are repelled before. This opinion is overthrown by the diseases of the body, of which the mind too bears a part: to which may be added, the restless cares and anxieties of life, and the dread of punishments after death: but what is yet more, and worse than all these, add con. science, that inward hell: and, lastly, add madness and lethargy. and thus you will he forced to confess, that the mind is not protected from pernicious things but that, on the contrary, it is miserably oppressed by- them.

This argument is, as we said before, not a proof of 3ny defect in the soul, or in the mind, but argues only the weakness and imperfections of the body and its organs Thus Lucretius concludes his disputation concerning the mortality of the soul: and to evirec the insufficiency of his arguments, and how much they fall short of reaching his design to prove the foul mortal, it will not be amisi to take a short view of them from the beginning of this book. First, then, he grants the fool to be a substance, distinct from these visible members, and divides it into two parts, the foul, properly so called, and the mind, which is the governing and ruling part, and take* the heart for its proper feat, whilst the foul is diffused over che whole body; but these two are but one nature, and united, because the mind can act on the soil, and the soul on the mind, and therefore both ar: material,

Tangerc enim et tangi sine corpore nulla potest ret.

r.-r nought but body can be touch'd or touch.

This substance of the soul is a congeries of round smooth atoms, and consists of four parts, wind, hot, air, and a fourth nameless thing, which is the principle of fense. This foul is not equal to the body, as Democritus imagined, but its parts are set it distance, and when pressed by any external objects, meet, and jumble against one another, ami so perceive. This is the description of the Epicurean soul, and the manner of its acting; and ill the arguments they propose against its immortality, endeavour likewise to evince it material, and that too from the mutual actiog of the soul and body on one another.

To examine each particular, I shall first grant it material, and rlicn consider the validity of that consequence; secondly, prove it immaterial, and (how that an immaterial being can act ors a material, and then discourse on the validity of that consequence, which infers it to be immortal, because it is immaterial.

And here I shall admit the distinction between soul and mind, taking one to be the principle of lift, and the other of sense, but cannot allow them to be one nature, because of their mutual aSing, unless the body too, on»the fame account, be but one nature with the seul, which Lucret'-J himself denies. This mind is seated in the brain, a thousand experiments assuring us, that when there happens'any obstruction in the nerves, tbe animal feels not though you cut the part that lies below the stoppage, and y«t the least prick •bove it raises 'he usual pains and convulsions. NW, seppofe this mind material, and consider, that it has been already proved, that matter i3 no: self-existent, and therefore depends on another substance for its being; now 1 suppose any tnaa will grant that it is as easy to prelerve as to make a thing, for preservation is only a continuing that being which is already given; and therefore though the foul were material, yet the consequence is weak. And thus the Stoics, though they acknowledge nothing but body, r*r li <i«%ni ytH?.t « nmj Q^afThf XtyVfii, in iuB'v: it Th euuxf* ^traXXyMa* pl4(f?S*i, aXX.' Wift'tigtt ritu; ^fwtj xaf atmt, rtlr fits 7w» rmtatii f£tY*i Tt,; *t wiif ataXv#t«f Tut viilmi, rit* }i rZi uffarut »«f W3r4[ rna; xf»»w. And aff.rm the foul to he generated and corruptible; yet it is not decoyed as soon at divided from the limbs, but rc

mains some time in that state; yet the fouls of the, viseious and ignorant seme few years, but those of the wise and good till the general conflagration of the world.

Secondly, That the foul is immaterial, is evident from its operations; for when any external object presses on the organ, it can only move it; now, let this motion be inward, arising from the pressure of the external object, or let it be an endeavour outward, proceeding from the resistance of the heart, as Mr. Hobbes imagines, or else a little trembling of the minute parts, as the Epicureans deliver, yet what is cither of these motions to sense i For, strike any piece of matter, there arises presently that pressure inward, and the endeavour outward; and yet I believe no man accounts a workman cruel for breaking a stone, or striking a piece of timber, though, according to this opinion, he may raise a* quick a sense of pain in these as in a man: Nor must any one object the different figures and contrivances of stones and nerves, for those only make the motion more or less easy, but cannot alter the nature of the pressure; besides, let us take several round little balls, and shake them in a bag that they may meet, strike, and reflect, who can imagine that here is any perception? That these balls seel the motion, and know that they do so .' And indeed the Epicureans grant what we contend for, since they flee to a fourth nameless thing, i. e. they cannot imagine any matter under any particular schematism fit to think and perceive. But grant that simple apprehension could belong to matter, yet how could it unite two things in a proposition, and pronounce them agreeable ? How, after this conjunction, consider them again, and collect, and form a syllogism? For there is no cause of cither of those two motions, and therefore they cannot be in matter. For, suppose two things proposed to consideration, and let their simple pressure on the organs raise a phantasm, this is the only motion that can be caused by the objects; now, let these be removed, and any man will find himself able to consider the nature of these objects, compare their properties, and view their agreement, which must be a distinct motion from the former, and this too can be done several hours, months, or years, after the first pressure of the objects, and after the organs have been disturbed with other motions, and consequently the first quite lost; and, after all this, he can join these two objects thus compared, with a third, and compare them again, and, after that, bring the two extremes into a conclusion, and all this by the strength of his own judgment, without the help, the pressure, or direction of any external impulse. Besides, the Epicureans grant they have a conception of atoms, void, and infinite, of which they could never receive any image, and consequently no cause of their conception, matter being not to be moved hut by material images, and those too of equal Mpiess with the corpuscles that frame the foul. Other reasons may be produced from the disproportion of the image of the object to the organ, it being impossible that any thing should appear bigger than the organ, if sense were only the motion of it, or of some part9 contained in it, because it would be able to receive no more motion than what came from some part of the object of equal dimension* to it But I hasten to show, that an immaterial being can act on a material. And here we must mind again, th»t the sublunary matter is not self-ex istent, and therefore depends on something that is so: now, this being cannot be matter, for all matter is divisible, and therefore inconsistent with necessary existence; now, this substance, as he created, so he must move matter, for motion is not a necessary mode of it, as every man's senses will evince; and it is the fame tiling to create and preserve a being, with such and such a mode or accident, as it is barely to create it. And this Infers, that he can act on matter as much as the foul now does; and this action is not any thing distinct from his will; the fame power that created moves it; and, that this may be easily conceived, every man has a secret witness in himself, and may be convinced from his own actions. But let us consider a little farther, and we (hail find motion as difficult to be conceived ^as this mode of action; for thole that define motion to be only a successive mode of being in respect to place, only tell us the effect of it, when we inquire after its nature; I shall therefore take it fur a physical being, and distinct from matter as its transitions out of one body into another sufficiently evince; and any man may easily observe how full of contradictions Cartes is when he treats of this subject, having determined motion to be only a mode of nutter. Now, all the definitions of the philosophers prove, that we have no idea of this but from its effects, and there/ore its manner of acting, of transition, &c. is as hard to be conceived, as the mode of action in an immaterial substance, and yet no man doubts it.

Thirdly, There is a great contest about brutes, some allowing them perception, others asserting them to be nothing but machines, and as v >id «f all fense as an engine. This latter opinion is irreconcileable to their actions, and to that experience we have of their docility, and the relations of their cunning, even frpm those mens mouths, which are great sticklers for this- fancy: and this arises from a common opinion, that if they grant brutes immaterial fouls, as they must do if they allow them perception, the consequence will be unavoidable, therefore they are immortal. But to speak freely, 1 could never perceive any strength in this srgument; and if I had no stronger convictions, I could subscribe to Seneca's opinion, in his epistle ICJ. "Juvabat de animx æternitate quærerc, into mehercule credere; credebam cnim facile opinionibus magnorum virorum rem gravissmuim promittentium, magis quani probantium." It was delightful to inquire into the eternity of the foul, nay even to believe it: For I easily gave credit to the opinions of great men, who promised a thing of the highest importance, rather than proved it. For immateriality does not infer necessity of existence, or put the thing above

the power of him that framed it; therefore immartality is a gift of the Creator, and might likewise have been bestowed on matter; and thus beasts may be allowed substances capable of perception, which may direct, and govern them, and die, and he buried in the fame grave with their bodies. But we iiave such great evidence for the immortality of the mind of man, both from the dispensations of Providence, and infallible promises, that I could not give a firmer assent, nor have I stronger ground for my opinion, if the proofs could be reduced to figures, and proposed in squares, and triangles.

Best les the general, he produces many particular arguments, from the different operations of the f ml in the several stages of our life. He had observed (and who can be ignorant of it) that though both in childhood, youth, and old age, the notices of external objects are extremely dear and perfect, yet at first our apprehensions and our memories are weak, our judgment and reason little, and very different from the accurate perception of riper years : and that decay* again, and extreme old age slowly leads back to our Iwadling clothes and our cradles: To these he adds the various distempers that are incident to man; how sometimes the mind is lulled into a lethargy, and then waked again into a frantic fit; and how at last death steals in upon our life, and wins inch by inch, till it becomes master of the whole; And hence he infers the increase and decay of the mind, and that it is born, and dies; Now theie arguments cannot startle any one that confides the immortality of the foul is not to be inferrrd from any attribute of its own substance; but lat will and pleasure of the Author of its being : and therefore did it really suffer all those disturbances he imagines, yet who doubts but a tormented thing may be kept in being, since the torment itself f not death: But natural philosophy will account for these distractions, if we consider what Lie is, and how the foul must depend on the body, s> to its operation*: If we distinguish life from fa!t it is nothing else but a due motion and digestif os the humours; and this agrees to plants as well as sen :blcs; they are nourished, grow, aud liv: alike , and an animal dies, because some of their arc cither h'st, or depraved; for were her habitation good and convenient, the foul would nev;r leave it, she has no such rcluctancy to matter, nor is so afraid of its pollutions, as the Platoniil' fancy, that she should be eager to be gone; bu: when the boay fails, and is unfit for those animal motions, over which it was her office to preside, she must retire from the lump of clay, and go <J her appointed place: So that the soul suffers nothing when the limbs grow useless, as even common observation testifies; for a palsy in the arm or leg does not impair the judgment; and often when the limbs are feeble, and the body funk t« an extremity of weakness, the mind is vigorous and active, and very unequal company set * decaying matter. And as for the pain and torture that accompany death, and mike the trageny mere solemn, it is evident, that suffuse &{

immortal, it it impossible it should he otherwise; so that this can be no argument for the Epicureans jvriich, admit the contrary supposition, can he so easily explained : And here we must conceive the mind at the chief pa ft os man, a judging substance, but free from all anticipations and idea*; avplain "rasa tabula," but sit for any impressions from external objects, and capable to make deductions from them; in order to this, (he is pu: into a body curiously contrived, fitted with nerves and veins, and ail necessary instruments for animal motion; upon these organs external objects act hy pressure, and so the motion is continued to the feat of this foul, where she judges according to the first impulse, and that judgment is called either pain or pleasure; so that the action of the fool - still uniform aud the same; and the various passions arise only from the variety of the objects (he contemplate*: but now because (lie has memory, and from these notices once received can make deductions, (he is capable of all those affections which are properly called passions, as fries, joy, lie. All which are acts of reason, and are compatible to brutes too, according to their degree of perception: and besides, since the mind makes use of the body in her most intellectual actions, as is evident from that weariness that is consequent to the most abstracted speculations, the disturbance she receives, proceeds from the unfi ness of the organs but she works as rationally in a madman as in a sober, in a tool as in the most wife; because she acts according to the utmost perfection her instruments will permit

Bat because? this notion of a " rasa tabula" will not agree with those who are fond of some. 1 know not what, innate, speculative, and practical ideas, it will be necessary to consider the instances they produce. The first is that of many geometrical figurti; for instance a chilugon, of which wt can make perfect demonstrations, which presuppose an idea os the subject, though we can nave no image or representation of it from our fancy: but in proposing this instance they do not attend, that these properties belong to a chiliagon, because it contains lo many triangles, which is a figure ohvktus enough to fense: The second is ttot of a deity, upon which. Cartel's whole philofnphy depends; and here he grants this to be ""perfect, i. e. really none at all, because not agrecable to the object, whose idea it pretends to be: yet this is enough to guide us in our religion, because the highest mir mind* can reach : but even this we have from fense; from the consideracinn of the imperfections of all things, with which we ac conversant, we rise to the knowledge of an allperfect; so that all the attributes we can conceive, -re just in opposition to what we discover here; and therefore according to the different apprehensi ns that mtn have entertained of such things, so variots have been their notions of the Dei-y, as "evident from the heathen world: And this makes *ay to discover, how we got all those particular nr-twios which we call the law of nature, and art ftid to be written iu our b:-:t§: for When man

Taa.Ni. II.

I was first created in his perfect state, without any I prejudice of infancy or education, he had a- much knowledge as was designed for that order of creatures in the universe; the nations of all things were clearly represented, and good and evil appeared naked, and in their proper shapes: These 1 notions have been delivered down td us, and j from these once made plain, the mind necessarily 1 infers such practical rules, as are cajlcd the law of nature: And this explication will give an account of the diversity of manners and opinions amongst men, and of the various interchanges of barbarity and civility throughout the world.

Ver. 809. But grant the foul to be mortal, that I it was once born, and that a time will come when it must die, what advantage is this to us? Lucretius answers in these eleven verses. We, who are wholly mortal, need no longer be in dread of death, nor of the punishments after death, at which the generality of mankind are so dismayed: For as the battles, tumults, and Carthaginian wars did not molest us, who were not born in those days; so 100. since the soul is mortal, as well as the body, no wars, no tumults, nor any other cares, or afflictions will vex us after death. Epicurus, in Laertius, lib. 10. fays, Ivufl^i Si riavTH i» r;7 raut^etv pto'ii trc«? ii/e*f «r«i re* SjeMr/ji*,

■urdflVlSf' e Sava/V, ytZm c^fSi /uaSi* *»tmo rg^l\ «fix; Ts» ^a»«]av. Accustom thyself to consider that death i> nothing to us, because all good and ill are discerned by but death is a privation of all fense, whence we truly know that death is nothing to us. This opinion Cicero, lib. I. Tuseul. Quæst. has included in these words: "Natura vero lie se habet, ut quomodo initium nohis rerum omnium orrus noster efferat, sic evitum mors; quas ut nihil pertiuuit ad nos ante ortum, sic nihil post mortem peninehit. In quo quid potell else mali; cum mors uec ad vivos pertineat, nec ad mortuos? alter i nulli sent, alteros non attingit." Such'is the nature of man, that as our biith was to us a beginning of all things, so death will put an end to all. And as death was nothing to us before! we were born, so neither will it be any tiling to us when we are dead. What ill then can there be in death, since it belongs neither to the living, nor the dead. The living feel it not, dead arc not.

For when our mortal frame shall be disjoin'd,
The lifeless lump uncoupled from the mind;
From fense of grief and pun we shall be free;
We sliali not feel, because we shall not be.


Ver. 812. The chief city of Africa, and for a long time the rival of Rome, with whom she thrice contended for the empire of the world. Scipio first took it, and made it tributary to Rome i and afterwards dcipio Æmilianus destroyed it.

Ver. 819. For as Cicero fays, "Q^i satis vident id quod est luce clarius, animo rt corpora lonsempto, tutoque animante dcleto, et facto in•tcrilU universe, id animal, quod fact-m Gg

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