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born were very wild at first, but by degrees they came chap. to understand one another, and to find out the con-. veniences of living. This is the short abstract of the account he gives : which is just the Epicurean hypothesis in other terms; which was much in vogue in the time of Diodorus Siculus, (which, saith Suidas, was that of Augustus,) especially after Lucretius's poem was in such reputation : for, he saith, he very well understood the Latin tongue, and had great helps to his history from Rome; and whosoever compares this with Lucretius, will scarce find any difference. And Eusebius observes, that he does not so much as Euseb.
Præp. Ev. once mention the name of God in it, but leaves all to 1. i. c. 7.
Plutarch.de chance and a fortuitous concourse; and as it is ex- Placit. Phil. pressed in Plutarch, where the Epicurean opinion is 1. i. C. 4. delivered much to the same purpose, the world is said to have come together at first by a motion of atoms, without Providence. Where there must be something defective in the beginning, to shew this to have been the Epicurean hypothesis ; for as it stands it seems to be Plutarch's own opinion, which is directly contrary to what he had said before in the foregoing chapter, where he blames Anaximander for leaving out the efficient cause ; for, saith he, matter alone can do nothing without it. And the same he repeats against Anaximenes; and saith plainly, ’Adóvatov yap ápxvv ular TV Plutarch.de Űrnu tūv örtwv, čĘ ñs tà távta úrootsvou årra kai tò trovavv1.1.c.3. aiTucv xem embrévat" sĩav, của aeropos deveĩ cò; rà KT đua ye-ed. Xyland. véobar, äv un kod TÒ TOOūv ñ, TOUTÉOTIV ó ápyupokótos that it is as impossible that matter alone should be the cause of things, as it is for metals to form themselves into pots and cups without an artist. So that Plutarch must be cleared from that opinion, which he so justly opposes; and he commends Anaxagoras in a particular manner, for adding mind as the efficient cause to mat
Hist. 1. i. c. 1.
BOOK ter; which brought it out of confusion into that order
- that appears in the world. Pliny saith of Diodorus, Plin. Nat.
Apud Græcos desiit nugari; but he only applies it to
the title of his book; and it is not true of the beginL. ii. c. 1. ning of it. Pliny himself took the world to be an
eternal Being, which he calls God; and so was against Diodorus's making of the world. But Diodorus quotes Euripides, the scholar of Anaxagoras, for his chaos: but that is not the point, whether there were such confusion at first, but how the world came out of it. It is certain that Anaxagoras did not only hold a chaos at first, but an Eternal Mind, which ordered the world,
and brought things into that beauty and usefulness Laert. in which they have. Diogenes Laertius saith, that Anaxa
goras followed Linus, and he was before Orpheus: if it were only in that of the chaos, there was nothing extraordinary in that; for all that supposed the world to be made, asserted it: but if it were of the mind as the efficient cause, that is a considerable testimony of the antiquity of that opinion among the old Greeks. And Orpheus, as Suidas gives an account of his doctrine, saith, That he held a chaos, and before that an æther of God's making; which was the great instru
ment in framing the world. Euseb. de But Eusebius charges the most part of the Greek Præp. Ev. 1. i. c. 8. philosophers with being of Diodorus's mind in this
matter : but I hope to make it appear otherwise in the progress of this discourse; being now only to consider this assertion as we find it in him. And I cannot but take notice of the unfairness of it; for he represents it as if there had been but two opinions among the philosophers; that of the eternity of the world, and its being made by chance; as if he had never heard of an Eternal Mind among them; which it is impossible so inquisitive and learned a man should be ignorant
of. But he offers no kind of proof of the truth of what CHAP. he lays down; not so much as the inscriptions of Her-mes, or the Commentaries of Taautus, which Sanchoniathon and Philo Byblius pretended to. He gave no manner of reason how the confused matter was put into motion, or how the separation of the lighter and heavier bodies was effected; how the heavenly bodies came to have distinct vortices, without interfering with each other; how the moister and heavier parts came to be divided, so as to make two such great bodies as the earth and sea to be so distinguished and parted from one another; which are considerable difficulties, and ought to have been cleared. It may be said, That he writes not like a philosopher, but as an historian; and only in general lays down the principles that had been received by philosophers. But this doth not vindicate him; for then he should have set down all their opinions, which he doth not, but purposely avoids that which would have resolved these difficulties. For if an Eternal Mind be supposed to give and direct the motion of matter, then we may easily conceive not only whence motion itself came, but whence gravitation, or the tendency of bodies towards their centre; whence the several great bodies of the heavens came to have their distinct circumvolutions ; and whence the earth and sea came to be so divided and parted from one another.
But Diodorus was sensible that there would be great objections made against the production of animals out of the earth, without any other cause than the heat of the sun, and moisture and putrefaction of the slimy substance of the earth. And therefore to answer them, the Egyptians, he saith, produce this experiment Diod. Sic. among them, that about Thebes, when the earth is ed. Wess: moistened by the Nile, by the intense heat of the sun
BOOK falling upon it, an innumerable multitude of mice do
-- spring out; which being done after the earth was so
much hardened, and the first influences abated, much more might all kind of animals come out of the earth at first.
But, in the first place, we have nothing but the testimony of these Egyptians for the original truth of this; who brought it as an argument to justify theiv
own hypothesis. And from them other writers have Ovid. Me- taken it, without examining the truth of it; as Ovid, tamorph. Plin. 1. ix. Mela, Pliny, &c. Ælian goes farther, (who lived in c. 58.
Adrian's time;) for he saith, in his way between Naples and Puteoli he saw such imperfect animals, half mud, and half living creatures; altera pars vivit, rudis est pars altera tellus, as Ovid, describes them. But this is very far from making any tolerable proof; for they might be perfect animals, and only one part appear out of the mud or dirt, and the other be covered over with it. And this in all probability was the case in Egypt; for these were seen only in the mud, after
the Nile was returned into its channel, as Mela affirms, Mela, 1. i. Ubi sedavit diluvia et se sibi reddidit, per humentes
campos quædam nondum perfecta animalia, &c. Now this was a very ill time for any persons to go farther than as to what appeared to them at a distance; and because they saw but some parts, they concluded the rest to be nothing but slime. But this is a very slight and imperfect way of making experiments. Did any of the Egyptians take and dissect any of these imperfect animals, and shew how it was possible, in the formation of them, for one part of them to be nothing but mud, when the rest had all the proper organs belonging to such animals? If the internal and vital parts be first formed, (as no doubt they are,) and the blood passing through the heart into the outward parts
be 'the great instrument of perfecting the organs of CHAP. sense and motion, how is it possible to conceive, that, where the inward parts are perfect in their kind, one main part of an animal should have nothing like organs, but merely be a mass of dirt ? And by what means could that afterwards be joined with the other, to make up one perfect animal? It is agreed among the best observers, and most curious inquirers into these things, that the heart is the first of the solid parts, and the blood of the fluid : but whether it be by a dilatation of the punctum saliens, or red beating speck, into several parts, whereof one is for the upper, and the other for the lower and remoter parts; or it be by extension of the several parts in little, as an embryo, (as it is in plants ;) or by a fermentation raised in the fluid matter by an active fluid conveyed into it, upon the conjunction of male and female, (which are the several hypotheses of the most inquisitive persons in this philosophical age ;) which way soever we take it, this Egyptian hypothesis of imperfect animals is repugnant to the most accurate observations which have been made about the generations of animals. And however such things might then pass among such who take all upon trust from the Egyptians, or others, who never examined them; yet it would be the only proof of imperfect animals, to find any in our age to defend those crude and absurd opinions. As though any thing were to be believed rather than the most reasonable things in the world, viz. God and Providence ; which appear most conspicuously in the production of animals : insomuch that our sagacious Dr. Harvey, after all his diligent and exact inquiries, confesses, that the power and presence of the Deity is no where Harveius
de Generat. more observable than in the formation of animals. Animal.
i Exercitat. Neque sane uspiam alibi, quam in animalis fabrica,
JAUKU, 49, 50.