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BOOK at last the prevalent faction of Cylon, and his brutish -- party at Crotone, destroyed many of the disciples of
Pythagoras, and dispersed the rest. And Pythagoras himself ended his days either by violence, or the discontent he had to find his good designs disappointed in such a manner. The reputation of his school was for some time kept up by Archytas and Philolaus; and some that escaped the common danger, as Lysis, (who went to Epaminondas in Greece, and is supposed to have published the Golden Verses,) and several others, are mentioned by Porphyry and lamblichus. But Porphyry observes, that they only preserved some dark and obscure notions of the Pythagoric doctrine, and made wonderful secrets of them ; which he thinks did not contain the true doctrine of Pythagoras, but only some sparks of it, which were far from being clear. And the decay of the Pythagorean doctrine he doth not only impute to the violence of the faction raised against the Pythagorean society in those cities of Italy where they flourished, but to their enigmatical way of expressing their minds by numbers and figures; and to the Doric dialect, which was almost sacred among them: and after their books were come into Greece, he saith, Plato and others took out the best, and put it into smoother language, which made the rest be slighted. And he thinks some invented things on purpose, in their names, to expose them the more. So that it is no easy matter to judge now what was the genuine Pythagorean doctrine, except what we find mixed with Plato; who had the best opportunities of understanding their doctrine by going among them himself, and afterwards getting the books of Philolaus into his hands. And Porphyry, in the Life of Plotinus, doth particularly commend him for joining the doctrines of Pythagoras and Plato together, beyond any that had gone
before him. From whence it appears, that there was CHAP. no difference between them as to the first cause and the — production of things.
But what shall we say to Ocellus Lucanus, who is mentioned as a disciple of Pythagoras by Iamblichus ; and Archytas, in his Epistle to Plato, mentions a book of his of the Generation of Things; which hath been often published out of MSS. and doth plainly assert the world's eternity, and being from itself; and so overthrows the Pythagorean doctrine, of God's being the beginning of all.
In answer. That there is something genuine of Ocellus extant, I do not question. For Stobæus pro- Stobæus
Eclog. duces a fragment out of his Book of Law, written in Phys. c. 16. the Doric dialect, according to their custom, and the P. 32. precept of Pythagoras, wherein he doth positively assert, that God was the cause of the world, avtãs dè aitios 6 Ocós: but that is not all; for he saith, the world consists of two parts ; of that which governs, and is the principle of motion ; and that which is called passive, and is governed. The first, he saith, is active and divine, having reason and understanding; the other is made unreasonable, and liable to changes. How can this be reconciled to the principles of the other book ? And yet Vizzanius, who compared it with several MSS. and published it, hath printed this fragment at the end of the other. As to the different dialect, he supposes it was first written in Doric, but after turned into the Attic: but of this he offers no proof; only he saith, it was done as words are translated out of Portuguese into Castilian ; or, which answers more to the Doric, out of Scotch into English. No one questions but such things have been done, and may be so again. But how doth it appear that the whole book was so ? For there are some fragments of this very piece in Sto
can. c. I.
BOOK bæus, in the Doric dialect, which is the conclusion of 1.
the first chapter, and some parts of the second and third, which I suppose to have been genuine, and the groundwork of the rest; which some unknown philosopher built more upon, and turned these fragments into the Attic Greek, to make them all of a piece. The Pythagoreans did assert, that the world was in
corruptible, as appears by the fragments of Philolaus, Stobæus and others, in Stobæus; but that which is asserted Eclog. Phys. C. 24. in this piece is, that the world was self-originated, p. 44. ed.
4. which was contrary to their doctrine, and of Ocellus
Lucanus himself. There can be no dispute about the fragment of the Book of Law, where his opinion is plain and clear, that God is the cause of all, and that the first Cause is a wise and intelligent Being. Let
us now compare this with the doctrine of this book, Ocell. Lui- wherein he asserts, OTWS OWO kai tò tots ardous articv yıvósect. 8. “pevov tñs aútotenelas, aŭtò éavtoï aíTctedès, That the
world is the cause of perfection to other things, and therefore is perfect from itself. Vizzanius would have it believed that this was the Peripatetic doctrine. If he means that of Aristotle, I have already shewed how false it is; since he so plainly derives the being and perfection of the world from God, and not from itself. But that which will give the greatest light into this
matter is, that Nogarola, who published Ocellus in Phil. Oper. Italy, with notes, observes, that Critolaus, the Peripap. 946. Vol. ii. ed. tetic in Philo, used the same argument, that the world gey must be eternal, because it is the cause of its own being,
and of other things in it. Now this Critolaus succeeded in the Peripatetic school at Athens, after the doctrine
of it, about the beginning of things, had been altered by Acad. Qu. Strato Lampsacenus, who, as Cicero tells us, attributed Cicer. de all to nature, and nothing to God; supposing that naNat. D 1. i. c. 13.
or: ture had all causes within itself. And so Plutarch
saith, that Strato the Peripatetic supposed nature chap. alone to give a being to all things from itself. Here we have found the very principle of this book, which c goes under the name of Ocellus Lucanus, which is repugnant to what himself had expressly declared; but some one of these atheistic Peripatetics at Athens finding that Ocellus Lucanus had said something that might be turned to their purpose, takes what was ancient of Ocellus, and puts it out of the Doric into the Attic dialect, and makes a short System of the Universe ; which they thought would better pass in the world under the name of ancient Pythagorean. And this seems to me the truest account of this matter. As for the arguments themselves, such as they are, I shall consider them in a more proper place.
Thus I have gone through the opinions of the eldest philosophers of greatest esteem, about God and Providence, and the production of the world. But, before I proceed further, it will be necessary to make some reflections on the foregoing discourse, which may be very serviceable to my following designs.
That those philosophers who asserted the being of 1. God and Providence, were persons of the greatest reputation for wisdom and knowledge, and did not hold these things merely from tradition, but from the strongest evidence of reason; which appeared by this : that, after the atheistical hypotheses of Anaximander and Democritus were started, they were not in the least moved by them; but saw an absolute necessity, in point of reason, of holding a first Cause, which not only gave a beginning to the world, but continued to govern it: even Aristotle owning an universal Providence from such reasons, as will hold much further.
That these philosophers, who followed their natural reason, were very far from looking on the universe as
1. 1. c. 27.
BOOK made up only of bodies, or that an incorporeal sub
stance implied a contradiction. These were persons who understood very well what a contradiction meant; and if there had been any such repugnancy in the notion of mind or spirit as distinct from body, they would have found it out. But Anaxagoras asserted a superior Mind antecedent to matter or body; so did Socra
tes, and Plato, and Aristotle too; who expressly asserts Metaphys. God to be an essence without bulk and indivisible, or
"" without any parts; but this can never agree to a body,
although never so fine and subtle. And Cicero tells Cic. Tusc. us, Nec vero Deus ipse, qui intelligitur a nobis, alio
modo intelligi potest, nisi mens soluta quædam et libera, segregata ab omni concretione mortali, omnia sentiens et movens, ipsaque prædita motu sempiterno: That they could have no other notion of God but as a free mind, remote from any composition, knowing and perceiving, and moving all things. Even the Stoics,
who blundered most in this matter, yet yielded God Cic.de Nat. to be Numen præstantissimæ mentis, as Balbus in Deor. l. ii. Laert. Vit. Tully calls him; and Zeno in Laertius describes God Zenon.
to be an immortal, rational, and most happy Being,
uncapable of evil, and taking care of the world. SeSen. Con- neca saith, The world was framed by God, or by insol. ad Hel. c. 8.
corporeal Reason. If at other times they seem to contradict this, we are not here concerned to clear or vindicate them; because my inquiry is confined to those who were elder, and not so given to paradoxes and innovation in terms, as the Stoics were.
That the true and complete happiness of mankind lay in a similitude to God : herein Socrates and Pythagoras, and their scholars agreed, as abundantly appears in the Pythagorean Fragments; and that the way to be like God is to be virtuous, and good, and wise ; and that all other things, which mankind are apt to