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mocritus's Opinions so the Change he made in
it was much for the worse. He only took ShelDemocri- ter in the Science of Nature, against the Terto adjecit rors of Religion. A Vacuum and Atoms are the perpauca Principles upon which he builds.. 'Tis no Wonmutans, fed ita, ut
der his Disciples should have so little In fight inque corri- to the Nature of Motion, since they were engere vult, tirely Strangers to the Nature of Time and depravare Place, which are of metaphyfical ConfideratiIdem de on. Yet in fpight of all this, Lucretius has reFin, i,
presented his Master Epicurus, as the greatest of Epicuro Philosophers and of Meny in those high Elogies duo efl'e he has bestow'd on him in several Parts of his principia Poem ; especially in the Entrance of his third inane.
Book, where he speaks of him in a Strain,
that makes him somewhat more than a Mortal. Æn.6. Amaphamius whom Cicera mentions, differ'd in Rerum nec nothing from Epicurus, whose Do&rine he comturâ cogmitted to Writing. Chrysippus's Book of Naperftitione ture and of natural Things, is cited by Plutarch, levamur, and highly commended by Phavorinus. The chief mortis me- Remains of the ancient Grecian Naturalists, conturba
we meet with in the Fragments collected by mur igno- Diogenes Laertius. We are promis’d from Florence Tarione a general Body of the ancient Phyficks by Rze rerum ex celiai, in which he has given the Draughts of thirty quá borri- fix different Systems. But as this Work, which biles éxi. fiunt for.
is written in Italian, and 'will make twelve VOmidines, lumes, could not be publish'd before the Authors Cic, de Death, fo we have Reason to fear, that the PobFin. 1. lick will never be obliged with it, since the gene
ral Loss that the learned World has had in the
very excellent Pieces on that Subject. Nothing was ever written in purer Latin, or with a more polite Air than Lucretius's Poem on the Philofophy of Epicurus, which Lambin prefers even to Virgil, for the Accuracy and Propriety of Expression, tho' nothing certainly can be more dangerous in respect of Morals and Principles. Cicero, who of all the Romans, best understood and best explain'd the Græcian Philosophy, fpeaks so dubiously of it, that we cannot easily determine what Hypothesis he valued above the rest. Those who best apprehend his Meaning, think he embraces no particular Sect, but rallies them All: Yet we may perceive that Plato and Aristotle were his Favourites. Seneca seems to have quite mistaken the preceptory Stile, in his Books of natural Questions. He makes very nice and curious Reflections, where 'twas only requisite to use the greatest Plainness and Simplicity; and affects to moralize where he ought only to be natural. No Latin Author has written fo largely of Physicks, or with so much Elegance, as Pliny. The idea of his work seems to be one of the greateft Designs that was ever forma by Man. He is the general Historian of Nature, who tells us his Opinion of every Thing, and always tells it finely. He has given a vast Number of Curiosities, which had been lost, but for his Gare in preserving them. Yet if we consult Salmafius's Observations upon Pliny, we shall find, that this great Author many times suffer'd himself to be impos’d upon by those that furnith'd him with Memoirs for his History; that he often goes out of his Way, in hopes of riding the more Ground; that he is over credulous in following other Mens Opinions, and too precipitate in giving his own ; that in his Reports, he very often considers more the Beauty of
Words, than the Truth of Things, and that the necessity he is often under of relying upon the In
tegrity of others, brings his own into Suspicion. Pintian. Not but that he has had his Defenders in these Rhenan. latter Days, who affirm that most of those Re
lations which have been some time doubted of,
have at length, upon full Enquiry, been found Zeglerus to be true. Yet 'tis my Opinion, that we canBeciche- not so well depend upon these Authors, aš upon mius.
Salmafius, who has illustrated Pliny with greater Learning than all before him; and that we cannot deny, but that Pliny's Work is of too wide a Compass to be exact. However, it must be confefs’d to be one of the noblest Designs of Antiquity.
Plutarch, Dioscorides, Ælian, and Solinus, have farther improv'd and enrich'd the Science of Physicks, each in his Way." Plutarch is rather a Moralist than a Naturalift. Dioscorides is rather a Physician than a Philosopher. Ælian is rather an Historian ; and Solinus rather a Geographer. Galen form’d his System of Nature upon the Model of Hippocrates; and he is largely beholden to Pliny, whom he kudied with great Application. The learned Men of the following Ages were divided, as their Inclination led them, in Favour of Plato or Aristotle, as were particularly Avicenna and Averroes. The School-men took the same way, in that Age which they seem to have govern'd. Yet the major Part embrac'd the Aristotelian System; notwithstanding all that Heat and Animosity with which they oppos’d each other. And the Schools, in fpight of their Pride and Conceit, shew'd so much Fidelity and Honour in this respect, as for the space of three hundred Years to advance nothing on the Subject of Nature, but what was agreeable to the Doctrine of Ariftotle.
IX. Modern Phyficks may date their Rise and Origin from the Age immediately preceeding ours. Galilei a Florentine was the first that framå this plan and Design, upon the Principles of Leucippus. He was happy in a strong and solid Genius, and by his perfe& Knowledge of Astronomy and Geometry, reason'd better upon the Nature of Motion, than any before or lince. He was the first" that found out the Proportion of the Vibration of Pendulums, and the Acceleration of the Motion of heavy Bodies in their De. scent; the Principles of which Doctrine he borrows from Aristotle. He had more of the Peripatetick in him than any of his Successors; but had the Skill to give a very modern Turn and Air, to what he learnt of the Ancients. For he reform'd and enrich'd Copernicus's System of the World; and by the Use of the Telescope discover'd many new Stars, observ'd the Spots in the Sun, found out Mountains and Valleys in the Moon, and distinguish'd the Phases of the Planet Venus. ' He few'd a great Force in all his Reasonings upon the idea of that new Motion which he invented ; and he rais'd so 'eminent a Reputation in Italy, as to be esteem'd the Author and Founder of modern Philofophy. Nor did Bacon less revive the Love of Philosophy in England. He had a vast and comprehensive Genius for the Study of Nature, but succeeded in no Part better than in his History of the Winds; tho” he appears sometimes too easie and credulous in admitting the Memoirs that were sent to him on that Subject. The rest of his Phyfick's is not of the fame Strength or Accuracy; yet he always shews some Strokes of his Genius and Character. His Writings contributed ex. ceedingly to the engaging his Countrymen in natural Pursuits, who have, in great Numbers, imitated his Passion for Nature, and have carried experimental Knowledge to a high and flou. rishing Condition. Toricelli, Viniani, and Michelino, all three of the Academy of Florence, have written excellently well of Motion. Gal. fendus is an Author never enough to be admir'á. We find no Philofopher of all Antiquity, that has left a Work of such Extent, (no less than fix great Volumes) compos'd with so much Art and Force, He is indeed but the Restorer of Epicurus's Theory, which he has improv'd and manag'd by Galileo's Doctrine of Motion; in all other Respects he is an Epicurean, foftend and mitigated by Principles of Conscience. He ackpowledges the Creation of Atoms, which Epicurus denied, he maintains that they receive from God their Motion, Extension, and Figure, all which Epicurus would have to be essentially and originally in themselves , he asserts a Providence, which that Philofopher excluded from his System; in a word, he makes Epicurus an honest Man, being really such himself
. But notwithstanding his great Temper and Moderation, he has usd Aristotle with the utmost Seve. rity; whom, on many Occasions, he charges with Ignorance, Folly, and Extravagance. As for Vanhelmont, who will allow nothing to be rational in Aristotle's System, it must be own'd that he had very little Judgment, and that Paracelsus had tura'd his Head. Campanella's Treatise of Physicks, in which he gives Sense to the smallest and most infenfible Things, and pretends to animate every part of Nature, is, a meer Whim and Fancy, such as he lov'd to indulge. Yet Telefius has embrac'd this Opinion in his » Discourse againk Galen; he is over presumptuous in his Decisions, and often corre&ts Aristotle