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of all man's contemplations, we will now proceed to Natural Philosophy.

If then it be true that Democritus said, "That the truth of nature lieth hid in certain deep mines and caves:" and if it be true likewise, that the alchemists do so much inculcate, that Vulcan is a second nature, and imitateth that dexterously and compendiously, which nature worketh by ambages and length of time; it were good to divide natural philosophy into the mine and the furnace, and to make two professions or occupations of natural philosophers, some to be pioneers, and some smiths; some to dig, and some to refine and hammer: and surely I do best allow of a division of that kind, though in more familiar and scholastical terms: namely, that these be the two parts of natural philosophy, the inquisition of causes, and the production of effects: speculative and operative; natural science, and natural prudence.

For as in civil matters there is a wisdom of discourse, and a wisdom of direction; so is it in natural. And here I will make a request, that for the latter, or at least for a part thereof, I may revive and reintegrate the misapplied and abused name of natural magic, which, in the true sense, is but natural wisdom, or natural prudence; taken according to the ancient acception, purged from vanity and superstition.

Now although it be true, and I know it well, that there is an intercourse between causes and effects, so as both these knowledges, speculative and operative, have a great connexion between themselves; yet because all true and fruitful natural philosophy hath a double scale or ladder, ascendent and descendent; ascending from experiments, to the invention of causes; and descending from causes, to the invention of new experiments; therefore I judge it most requisite that these two parts be severally considered and handled.

Natural science, or theory, is divided into Physic and Metaphysic; wherein I desire it may be conceived, that I use the word Metaphysic in a differing sense from that that is received: and, in like manner, I doubt not but it will easily appear to men of judgment, that

in this and other particulars, wheresoever my conception and notion may differ from the ancient, yet I am studious to keep the ancient terms.

For hoping well to deliver myself from mistaking, by the order and perspicuous expressing of that I do propound; I am otherwise zealous and affectionate to recede as little from antiquity, either in terms or opinions, as may stand with truth, and the proficience of knowledge.

And herein I cannot a little marvel at the philosopher Aristotle that did proceed in such a spirit of difference and contradiction towards all antiquity, undertaking not only to frame new words of science at pleasure, but to confound and extinguish all ancient wisdom insomuch as he never nameth or mentioneth an ancient author or opinion, but to confute and reprove; wherein for glory, and drawing followers and disciples, he took the right course.

For certainly there cometh to pass, and hath place in human truth, that which was noted and pronounced in the highest truth, "Veni in nomine Patris, nec recipitis me; si quis venerit in nomine suo, eum recipietis." But in this divine aphorism, considering to whom it was applied, namely to Antichrist, the highest deceiver, we may discern well, that the coming in a man's own name, without regard of antiquity or paternity, is no good sign of truth, although it be joined with the fortune and success of an "Eum recipietis."

But for this excellent person, Aristotle, I will think of him, that he learned that humour of his scholar, with whom, it seemeth, he did emulate, the one to conquer all opinions, as the other to conquer all nations: wherein nevertheless, it may be, he may at some mens hands, that are of a bitter disposition, get a like title as his scholar did.


"Felix terrarum prædo, non utile mundo
Editus exemplum," etc.

"Felix doctrinæ prædo."

But to me, on the other side, that do desire as much as lieth in my pen to ground a sociable intercourse

between antiquity and proficience, it seemeth best to keep way with antiquity usque ad aras; and therefore to retain the ancient terms, though I sometimes alter the uses and definitions; according to the moderate proceeding in civil government, where, although there be some alteration, yet that holdeth which Tacitus wisely noteth, "eadem magistratuum vocabula.”

To return therefore to the use and acception of the term metaphysic, as I do now understand the word; it appeareth, by that which hath been already said, that I intend philosophia prima, summary philosophy, and metaphysic, which heretofore have been confounded as one, to be two distinct things. For the one I have made as a parent, or common ancestor, to all knowledge; and the other I have now brought in, as a branch, or descendent, of natural science. It appeareth likewise that I have assigned to summary philosophy the common principles and axioms which are promiscuous and indifferent to several sciences: I have assigned unto it likewise the inquiry touching the operation of the relative and adventive characters of essences, as quantity, similitude, diversity, possibility, and the rest; with this distinction and provision; that they be handled as they have efficacy in nature, and not logically. It appeareth likewise, that natural theology, which heretofore hath been handled confusedly with metaphysic, I have inclosed and bounded by itself.

It is therefore now a question, what is left remaining for metaphysic; wherein I may without prejudice preserve thus much of the conceit of antiquity, that physic should contemplate that which is inherent in matter, and therefore transitory; and metaphysic, that which is abstracted and fixed.

And again, that physic should handle that which supposeth in nature only a being and moving; and metaphysic should handle that which supposeth farther in nature a reason, understanding, and platform. But the difference perspicuously expressed, is most familiar and sensible.

For as we divided natural philosophy in general

into the inquiry of causes, and productions of effects; so that part which concerneth the inquiry of causes, we do subdivide according to the received and sound division of causes; the one part, which is physic, inquireth and handleth the material and efficient causes; and the other, which is metaphysic, handleth the formal and final causes.

Physic, taking it according to the derivation, and not according to our idiom for medicine, is situate in a middle term, or distance, between natural history and metaphysic. For natural history describeth the variety of things, physic the causes, but variable or respective causes; and metaphysic, the fixed and constant causes. "Limus ut hic durescit, et hæc ut cera quiescit, Uno eodemque igni."

Fire is the cause of induration, but respective to clay: fire is the cause of colliquation, but respective to wax. But fire is no constant cause either of induration or colliquation so then the physical causes are but the efficient and the matter.

Physic hath three parts, whereof two respect, nature united or collected, the third contemplateth nature diffused or distributed.

Nature is collected either into one entire total, or else into the same principles or seeds. So as the first doctrine is touching the contexture or configuration of things, as de mundo, de universitate rerum.

The second is the doctrine concerning the principles or originals of things.

The third is the doctrine concerning all variety and particularity of things; whether it be of the differing substances, or their differing qualities and natures; whereof there needeth no enumeration, this part being but as a gloss, or paraphrase, that attendeth upon the text of natural history.

Of these three I cannot report any as deficient. In what truth or perfection they are handled, I make not now any judgment: but they are parts of knowledge not deserted by the labour of man.

For Metaphysic, we have assigned unto it the inquiry of formal and final causes; which assignation,

as to the former of them, may seem to be nugatory and void, because of the received and inveterate opinion, that the inquisition of man is not competent to find out essential forms, or true differences: of which opinion we will take this hold, that the invention of forms is of all other parts of knowledge the worthiest to be sought, if it be possible to be found.

As for the possibility, they are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.

But it is manifest, that Plato, in his opinion of ideas, as one that had a wit of elevation situate as upon a cliff, did descry, "That forms were the true object of knowledge;" but lost the real fruit of his opinion, by considering of forms as absolutely abstracted from matter, and not confined and determined by matter ; and so turning his opinion upon theology, wherewith all his natural philosophy is infected.

But if any man shall keep a continual watchful and severe eye upon action, operation, and the use of knowledge, he may advise and take notice what are the forms, the disclosures whereof are fruitful and important to the state of man. For as to the forms of substances, man only except, of whom it is said, "Formavit hominem de limo terræ, et spiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vitæ," and not as of all other creatures, "Producant aquæ, producat terra; " the forms of substances, I say, as they are now by compounding and transplanting multiplied, are so perplexed, as they are not to be inquired; no more than it were either possible or to purpose, to seek in gross the forms of those sounds which make words, which by composition and transposition of letters are infinite.

But, on the other side, to inquire the form of those sounds or voices, which make simple letters, is easily comprehensible; and being known, induceth and manifesteth the forms of words, which consist and are compounded of them. In the same manner to inquire the form of a lion, of an oak, of gold; nay, of water, of air, is a vain pursuit: but to inquire the forms of sense, of voluntary motion, of vegetation, of colours, of gravity and levity, of density, of tenuity, of

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