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in either of which cases, they may seem to become constituent parts of a body, to which they did not originally belong: you may answer from discoveries in natural philosophy, owing to the fagacity of some late observers of natural things by the help of glasses; that all living bodies in their first state of existence confist of certain STAMINA, which are folded into a very narrow compass, yet are capable of a great expansion ; and that all that matter which was taken in by food, and which opened their original parts to the fize, which nature intended for them, does not constitute the parts of a human body which shall rife.: . - For that matter is only a kind of exuviæ, that muft be thrown off from the original ftamina which alone will rise. .
The foundation of this reafoning is very plain in most feeds of plants, which are found to contain in miniature every thing belonging to a full grown state.' An acorn is no less than an oak contracted into the size of a nut: And an oak is no more than an acorn expanded into the shape and Dimensions of a' Tree. This is but confirming and explaining St. Paul's meaning, who replies to the two questions : How are the dead raised? And with what body do they come ? to the first: How are the dead raised? he answers. Thou Fool that which thou fowest, is not quickened except it die, that is, the body must first die: To the second, and with what body do they come ? he answers : Thou fowejt not that body which Mall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or some other grain : But God givet) it a body, as it bath
pleafed pleafed bim, and to every feed bis own body.
That is, a in every grain of corn, is contained a minute feminal principle, which is itself the entire blade, and ear; and in due. season expands itself when all the rest of the grain is corrupted, and dead, that is, the lobe, which being single in corn, is almost peculiar to it. For most feeds have two or more lobes, which sometimes rise in dissimilar leaves; but in corn, the single lobe dies, and the seminal principle containing the plume and radical, evolves and unfolds itself, into the visible form of both, lo our present mortal and corruptible body may be but the extraordinary expansion, of some minute; hidden, and at present insensible principle, which at the resurrection fhall discover. itself in its proper form. .
Thus you see a confiderable use may be made of these kinds of studies even in matters of Rex ligion, to which in the opinion of the ignorant they seem to have no relation
And as natural philosophy affists you in dea fending Religion, so will mathematics also. From this science you may answer many of the objections to the mysteries of faith. For if it be required to assent to religious propositions, though we have not always clear and adequate ideas of things fignified by the terms, this is no more unreasonable, than the assent required to all the propositions relating to infinity, with which ihe mathematical science does abound; and which no man conversant in those kind of Itudies ever presumed to deny. For infinity is equally incomprehensible to the mind of man . . See part 2. and Grew's anatome of plants.,
whether it be applied to quantity or to fpiritual substance. And therefore the use of this and other incomprehensible terms, which are the foundation of many glorious and useful truths; ought not to be objected to, except by those, who, out of fondness to ignorance, error and vice, are endeavouring to render the road to knowledge impassable, : Does not the science of geometry begin with a trinity of mysteries ? For is there any such thing as a point without dimensions, a line without breadth, or a surface without profundity? Does not this science demonstrate, that the rninutest portion of matter has every dimension of the greatest, and is therefore still capable of division ? And does not this contradict the first definition? A point is that which in magnitude is indivisible even in thought. Yet this is a noble science, and there is no way of coming at truth in it, except by means of these fuppofitions, which are seemingly contrary to truth, but absolutely necessary to the weak comprehension of man, who cannot even conceive things by halves; but must be satisfied at the first setting out, with the unnatural presumed conception of the third part of the dimensions of quantity at once. .
From this science also you may reply very justly to all those, who refuse their afsent to truths upon account of some difficulties, which seem to follow from them; which difficulties do not arise from the uncertainty of reason, but very often from a subtilty of mind disposed to embarrass things, rather than to clear them up: But supposing that they may arise from the
things themselves ; are there not many ex ples of the demonstrative kind, from wl there follow such absurdities, that, if the fa spirit of dispute had always prevailed in world, which is now so remarkable; t would have stopped the progress of reason even in mathematics?
A remarkable instance of this we have in science of geometry. The nature of this scier you know, is to have every thing fairly : incontestably demonstrated, and what is cannot possibly have any demonstrations to contrary; nor any absurdities demonstrably co nected with it ; and every demonstration pends upon the undoubted truth of every dem stration previous to it. Yet is there one propo tion, which, although fairly demonstrated, 1 seemingly as fair demonftration of several a surd and contradictory things annext to | which our writers chuse to call paradoxes & the third book of Euclid it is the 16th prop fition. · Aright line perpendicular to the diameter a Circle, through the extremity, falls entir without the Circle, and touches it in the extres. point of the diameter ; nor can any right line drawn between it and the Circle to the point contact, that shall not cut the Circle. :
& In the edition of Euclid by Whifton upon Tacquet, you ma read
Demonftratur et folvitur fallacia paradoxorum, quæ ex ang!" lo contactus deduci folent quæ omnem captum human mencis excedunt.
Hæc et plura ex hac propofitione deduci folent, quæ profecto Si ita, ut proponuntur fefe habeant, merito incomprehenfibilia vi deri poflunt. . .
' ; ''!
This proposition is as fairly demonstrated, as any propofition belonging to the sciences, and yet several impossible things seem to be demonstrable consequences of it, and which the Geometricians endeavour to solve by a distinction; an angle, say they, is not quantitas but modus quantitatis: and even this solution (if it be one) was not given till it passed through a great number of hands, and all Geometricians, notwithstanding this, refted satisfied of the truth of the proposition fairly demonstrated, and were not at all staggered with those many absurdities, which had too much appearance of fair reasoning, to admit of any solution for many hundred years.
In this case you might ask a sceptick what was to be done? Should mankind quit the purfuit of geometrical knowledge, which is exceedingly beneficial to the world, inasmuch as without it, land could never be measured; neither a house could be built, nor a ship made, nor a town fortified, nor various utensils effected for the improvement of manufactures What! must all these useful, nay neceffary arts; without which human life is barbarous and ignorant, be thrown aside, as being without foundation of truth; since one proposition belonging to the principles, upon which they all depend, is attended with insuperable difficulties? Perhaps the sceptick will say, they are all to be thrown aside ; for what is there too absurd for the mind of man, when prejudice and errot rule in it, instead of reason and impartiality. But however absurdly the sceptick may speak, the bulk of mankind are not so sottilh, as not to B2