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indifferently lead to truth or error, without a fuf. ficient judgment to consider the dissimilitudes of things, it will be proper to shew both the abuse and ufe of it. Therefore, we
ji. In the second place, shall be thewn some abuses: which men have fallen into by this reasoning. :nos
An appitude to perceive the similitudes of things being almost a distinct faculty in the human mind, from that of perceiving their differences; ar least one exercise of human ingenuity having obtained the name of wit, the other of judgment ; and these being fo far incomparable, that they are rarely found together in the same perfon; hence has it happened, that the searchers after fimilitudes have fo entirely neglected che specifical differences, that they have confounded the nature of things, making a fameness or identity, where there is an extraordinary difference; and, at last, reducing all things to one identity..
a Maximum & veluti radicale discrimen ingeniorum quoad philosophiam & scientias illud eft; quod alia ingenia sunt fortiora & aptiora ad notardas rerum differentias ; alia ad notandas rerum fimilitudines. Ingenia enim constantia & acuta figere contemplationes, & morari, & hærere in omni subtilitate differentiarum poffunt. Ingenia autem sublimia & discursiva etiam tenuiflimas & catholicas rerum fimilitudines & agnoscunt, & componunt. Utrumque autem ingenium facile labitur in exceffum, prensando aut gradus rerum, aut umbras. Bacon, Novum Organum, Lib. i. ;
In Procemio de interpretatione Naturæ, idem de feipfo ait : Habere mentem & ad rerum fimilitudinem (quod maximum est) agnofcendum, fatis mobilem, & ad differentiarum subtilitates observandas fatis fixam & intentam, &c. · De Augmentis Scientiarum, cap. 4. ait : Neque enim credibile eft (fingula percurrantur & notentur) quantum agmen idolorum philosophiæ immiferit naturalium operationum ad fin militudinem actionum humanarum reductio. Hoc ipsum, inquam, quod putatur talia naturam facere, qualia homo facit.
Thefe Quotations are taken from the Latin Edition of Lord Verulam's Works, printed at Leipfick, the rest, from the English edition by Shaw.
If this were not the case, why should it c.. ver be made a question whether matter can think? Whether the Soul be material? Whether there . be any such thing as Spirit, or a being of a contrary and superior nature to matter? Whether God be a being distinct from, and superior to, the uni- . verse? Or, whether the universe be not the Deity?
These questions must arise only in the minds of those who are too much accustomed to think of the fimilitudes of things, and too little of specifical differences. A narrow-minded reasoner, considering the scale of beings, from the purest spirit to the grosseft lump of matter, connected by a participation of qualities; the purest spirit to less pure , the less pure spirit, endued with reason, to those which are only guided by instinct ; these to vegetables, vege. tables to minerals, minerals to inert clay; can eally put a question, , whether man be any thing more, than a more rational brute ? b and a brute any thing. meaner than a less rational man? whether a brute be any thing more than a more active vegetable?
.. and . a The doctrine of the human soul has two parts, the one treats ing of the rational soul, which is divine: the other of the irrational foul, which we have in common with brutes. Two different emanations of souls are manifest in the first creation, the one proceeding from the breath of God, the other from the elements: As to the primitive emanation of the rational soul; the scripture says, God formed man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. But the generation of the ir: rational or brutal soul was in these words, let the water bring forth, let the earth bring forth. And this irrational soul in man is only an instrument to the racional one ; and has the same ori. gin in us, as in brutes, viz. the dust of the earth. We will there... fore style the firft part of the general doctrine of the human foul; the doctrine of the inspired substance : And the other part,' the doctrine of the sensitive or produced foul. But as we are here treating wholly of philosophy, we could not have borrowed this division from divinity; had it not alfo agreed with the princi- . ples of philosophy. For there are many.excelencies of the human foul above the soul of brutes, manifest even to those, who philosophise only according to sense. And wherever so many and such great excellencies are found, a specifical difference fhould always be made. Fran. Ba. human soul.
anda vegetable any thing less than a less active animal? Then, overlooking fome steps of this scale, at last seriously put a question, whether plants have not fouls as well as men? And at last even search for human shapes in vegetables, as some have done; even to assign them medicinal qualities, suitable to: those parts of a human body, which they are fanfi- 1 ed to represent. ' - And, to proceed farther, conceiving a Likeness between motion and thought, between very active subtle matter and a principle of cogitation; he is then disposed to put a question, whether matter may not think? Or, whether the principle of cogitation be not matter highly subrilized? And, having thus degraded human fouls, or rather human spirits; the supreme Spirit himself, by the same uncautious fimilitudinary reafoning, may at last be reduced to the same material class. The regular order of things shall be called fate, and freedom directed by wisdom shall be called neceffity. Such have been the opinions of fome metaphysical men ; and that which led them to those monstrous opinions was, in all probability, the argument of Analogy : The
See Crollius de Similitudinibus.
The philofopher who contents himself with the appearances of the material universe only, and the mechanical laws of motion, negle&ts what is moft excellent, and prefers what is im. perfect, to what is supremely perfect.
Such who attend not to manifest indications of supreme wifdom, and goodness, perpetually appearing before them, whereever they turn their views and enquiries, too much resemble those ancient philosophers, who made night, matter, and chaos, the original of all things. · They judge well who affirm that God himself can not make contradictions to be true at the same time, and represent the certain part of our knowledge of the wisdom of the Deity, imparted to us in the views of nature which he has laid before us.
The sublimity of the subject is apt to exalt and transport the minds of men, beyond what their faculties can always bear; therefore to support them, allegorical and enigmatical representations have been invented, which in process of time have produced the greateft abuses. Maclaurin on Newton,
like effect of 'which we find in moral reasoning, de rising from an imperfect comparison between moral creatures, and creatures which are merely endued with sense. . '
The lower part of the animal world being ob= served to act according to their appetites, and in all cases to gratify them; fome narrow-minded philosophers have analogically concluded the same of human nature. Why should one class of creatures, say they, be prohibited the indulgence of their desires, and so many be allowed it? And why, fhould not a man grasp at all objects of ambition, of lust, of revenge ; since he has appetites prompting him to them, as well as the brute crea- . tion indulge the appetites of hunger and venery? Has the author of nature made any thing in vain : And are not appetites as proper a rule of behavi. our to one as another ? :
Thus does this reasoning tend to the debasing of human nature, the destruction of society, and the ruin of mankind : when the attending to the specifical differences of things would ever prevent the putting such questions, much more their being embraced as opinions by any men. For reason and religion do so evidently distinguish men from brutes, and the moral froni the instinctive race of beings, that human appetites must be subject to those superior principles of reason and religion, otherwise the noblest part of human nature was given in vain: And it was to little purpose to create man in the image of God, if he is to live the life of a brute.
To such mischievous errors does Analogy lead, when the likeneffes of things are only considered, and not the differences. And when the mind is accustomed to conceive things according to likenesses, a rich imagination may fanfy it between any things. So far as it is used only to adorn fubjects, as poets do, it is allowable and agreeable; and the more
opposite the natures of the things are, between which the likeness is conceived, the prettier the Fanfy is reckoned. Joy, which is a human palsion, does not at all belong to mountains ; nor is there any real fimilitude between the growth of corn and singing: Yet there is no one, who is not pleafed with the Pfalmif's fansy, when he says, The little bills rejoice on every fide ; the valleys are con vered over with corn, they shout for joy, they also fing: But, considered in any other respect, it is exceedingly improper : Though poetically beautiful, it is philosophically untrue.
So that Analogy, which may lead to Beauties in Poetry, may also lead to great Errors in Philofophy, some of which have been shewn ; but if used with a good Judgment, it may be made the Foun. dation of useful knowledge : which is the last Head to be discoursed upon,
• Lætus ager
Et ipfa fuos mirantur Gargara mesjes. Virg. Georg. When a favourite of the muses is in this happy disposition, Nature appears in her gayest dress; the noblest Objects come in view ; they turn out their beauteous fides ; he sees their various positions, and stays for nothing but resemblance to join them to. gether. The torrent of the poetic passion is too rapid to suffer con fideration, and the drawing of consequences : If the images are but strong, and have a happy collusion, the mind joins them togetherwith inconceivable avidity.-But, at the same time, this force and collusion of imagery is susceptible of very different meanings, and may be viewed in various and even opposite lights. It often takes its rise from a likeness, which hardly occurs to a cool imagination, and which we are apt to take for downright non sense, when we are able to find po connexion between what went before, and the strange comparison which follows. Life of Homer, p. 152. 1735, London.".
Poetry is a kind of learning generally confined to the measure of words, but otherwise, extremely licentious, and truly belongs ing to the imagination ; which being unrestrained by laws, may make what unnatural mixture or separations it pleases. Francis Bacon. Inftauration, part. I. sect. 2. published by Shaw.