Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (Beobachtungen über das Gefühl des Schönen und Erhabenen) is a 1764 book by Immanuel Kant.

The first complete translation into English was published in 1799. The second was published in 1960 by the University of California Press.

Kant has subsequently written on the sublime in the chapter "Analytic of the Sublime" in The Critique of Judgment.


Section One

Of the Distinct Objects of the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime

Kant states that feelings of enjoyment are subjective. In this book, he describes his observations. His interest is not in coarse, thoughtless feelings or in the other extreme, the finest feelings of intellectual discovery. Instead, he writes about the finer feelings, which are intermediate. These require some sensitivity, intellectual excellence, talent, or virtue.

There are two kinds of finer feeling: the feeling of the sublime and the feeling of the beautiful. Kant gives examples of these pleasant feelings. Some of his examples of feelings of the beautiful are the sight of flower beds, grazing flocks, and daylight. Feelings of the sublime are the result of seeing mountain peaks, raging storms, and night.

In this section, Kant gives many particular examples of feelings of the beautiful and the sublime. Feelings of the beautiful "occasion a pleasant sensation but one that is joyous and smiling." On the other hand, feelings of the sublime "arouse enjoyment but with horror."

Kant subdivided the sublime into three kinds. The feeling of the terrifying sublime is sometimes accompanied with a certain dread or melancholy. The feeling of the noble sublime is quiet wonder. Feelings of the splendid sublime are pervaded with beauty.

Section Two

Of the Attributes of the Beautiful and Sublime in Man in General

Kant described the relationship between these finer feelings and humanity. The feelings are not totally separate from each other. Beauty and the sublime can be joined or alternated. Kant claimed that tragedy, for the most part, stirs the feeling of the sublime. Comedy arouses feelings for beauty. The personal appearance of humans prompts these feelings in various cases. A person's social position also affects these feelings.

Human nature has many variations of the feelings of the beautiful and the sublime. Some variations of the terrifying sublime are the adventurous and grotesque. Visionaries and cranks are persons who have fantasies and whims. The beautiful, when it degenerates, produces triflers, fops, dandies, chatterers, silliness, bores, and fools.

Sympathy or compassion and also good-natured agreeableness are not true virtues, according to Kant. True virtue is the quality of raising the feeling of humanity's beauty and dignity to a principle. When a person acts in accordance with this principle, regardless of inclination, that person is truly and sublimely virtuous.

"A profound feeling for the beauty and dignity of human nature and a firmness and determination of the mind to refer all one's actions to this as to a universal ground is earnest, and does not at all join with a changeable gaiety nor with the inconstancy of a frivolous person." With this observation, Kant will attempt to fit the various feelings of the beautiful and sublime, and the resulting moral characters, into Galen's rigid arrangement of the four humours or human temperaments: melancholic, sanguine, choleric, and phlegmatic.

Kant asserted that the human temperaments or dispositions are fixed and separate characters. An individual who has one frame of mind has no feeling or sense for the finer feelings that occur in a person of another temperament.

  • A person who has a constitution that is melancholic will have a predominating feeling for the sublime. That person may possess genuine virtue based on the principle that humanity has beauty and worth.
  • One who has a sanguine nature will mostly have a feeling for the beautiful. This results in an "adoptive" virtue that rests on goodheartedness. This person's compassion and sympathy depend on the impression of the moment.
  • A choleric human will have a feeling for the splendid or showy sublime. As a result, this person will possess an apparent virtue. Kant calls it "a gloss of virtue." This includes a sense of honor and concern for outward appearance.
  • Phlegmatic people have apathy or lack of any finer feeling. They therefore may have an absence of virtue.

As a whole, human nature in general is a combination of these virtues. As such, it is a splendid expression of beauty and dignity.

Section Three

Of the Distinction of the Beautiful and Sublime in the Interrelations of the Two Sexes

In Section Three, Kant asserts that women predominantly have feelings for all that is beautiful. Men, on the contrary, have mostly feelings for the sublime. Any other feelings that are only for the enhancement of the main feeling. Kant admits, though, that the distinction is not absolute. Since "we are dealing with human beings; we must also remember that they are not all alike."

Kant helps to root notions of inequality in the Western social structure. For example, Kant argues that "a woman is little embarrassed that she does not possess high insights; she is beautiful and captivates, and that is enough ... Laborious learning or painful pondering, even if a woman should greatly succeed in it, destroys the merits that are proper to her sex."

Women's mental ability and understanding, then, refer to the beautiful. Men's deep, noble understanding is not suitable for women. Women have beautiful virtues such as kindness and benevolence. Men's virtue is noble and has to do with principles and duty. Because a woman is concerned with the beautiful, the worst that can be said against her is that she is disgusting. A man's greatest defect, however, would be that he is ridiculous, as this is the opposite of the sublime.

In sexual selection, a woman demands that the man have noble and sublime characteristics. A man wants a woman to possess beautiful qualities. In a marriage, the husband and wife unite their disparate attributes to form, as it were, a single moral person. The man's understanding combines with the wife's taste to constitute a union.

Section Four

Of National Characteristics, so far as They Depend upon the Distinct Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime

Here Kant describes the different ways that various people have finer feelings. He qualifies his remarks by stating, "[W]hether these national differences are contingent and depend upon the times and the type of government, or are bound by a certain necessity to the climate, I do not here inquire."

The Italians have a strong feeling for the beautiful with some mixture of the thoughtful sublime. The French have mostly a feeling for the beautiful, but with the addition of the joyful sublime. The feeling of the Germans is an almost equal blend of both the beautiful and the splendid sublime in that they are much concerned with outward appearances. The feeling of the noble sublime predominates with the English, whose actions are guided by principles rather than impulses. With their cruel autos-da-fé and harsh conquests, the Spaniards have feeling for the terrifying sublime. Dutch people in Holland have no finer taste and are concerned only with what is useful. Arabs are like the Spaniards. Persians resemble the French. The Japanese are the Englishmen of the Orient. West India displays its love of the grotesque sublime, as also do the Chinese. African Negroes possess no finer feelings. North American Indians, however, have a feeling for the sublime in that they are adventurous, honorable, truthful, proud, brave, and valorous.

In antiquity, the ancient Greeks and Romans had remarkable feelings for both the beautiful and the sublime. However, with the Caesars, this decayed into a love of false glitter. The subsequent barbarian Gothic civilization had an overpowering feeling for the grotesque. Kant claimed that his time witnessed "the sound taste of the beautiful and noble blossoming forth both in the arts and sciences and in respect to morals." He declared that it is necessary to educate the younger generation so that they will have noble simplicity, high morals, and finer feelings.

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Hume's scepticism seems to be the favourite and inexhaustible topic, on which our modem champions of orthodoxy still insist, and the only fortress, against which they point their ecclesiastical cannon; w;hich fortr ress , however, has always proved impregn- able to them. No doubt can be entertained but they h^ve in view to insinuate themselves into the good graces and to obtain the patron- age of potent bigots who have vacant bene- fices in their disposal: they would, as sir \\ ft-ancis Seymour said, willingly exchange a good conscience for a bishopric. But thesQ modem inquisitors and ghostly practitioners, more attentive to the cant of their profession, than observant of the spirit of Christianity, and not seeming to possess more abilities to use fair reasoning, than their patrons capacity, perhaps, to understand it, betake themselves but to invective, personal attacks,* foul

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  • Would a certain author of v/ Sermon on Suicide, Tvho

xnakeB this uncliaritable and uiicliristianlike observation, -— 'Of all men that ever lived Mr. Hume is the only one, of whom I never heard a single good and benevolent action,* — take the trouble to read a letter, prefixed fco Hume^s


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aspersions and dec^lamation , instead of argti* inent. Such conduct can admit of no apolo^ry or extenuation, and men of candour and dis- cernment look upon it as disgraceful, not only to sacred offices , but' to the rank in so- ciety of men of letters. In order to contrast this turpitude and to set it in a full light, I shall avail myself of the opportunity which the preface affords and quote a passage , not from a theoJos^ical moralist, but from a moral theologian , of a verj' diffei ent cast of thought iridr*ed, and the only person who has ever y* t been able to subvert the reasoning of the JBriush sceptic, ( oppo^ita jux^ta se posita viagis ehicescwit).

Since the Essavs of Lock and of LeibnitZi (says Kant in his pi\olegomexa), or rathei: since the origin of metaph3'sic, so far as iLSfc history reaches, there has happened no ever^ i more decisive of the fate of this science, thaTc the attack David Hu:>ie made on it. threw no light, it is true,, on this species cognition, but he struck a spark, by whic


History of Eiftg^land , new eel. vol. i. p. xxiii, from doc Adam Smith to Williafti Stralian esquire, either his o^ ignorance, or something worse, would stare him in t^^ face. Doctor Smith says, 'Even in the lowest state of 1^ J (Hume's) lortune, his *jrcat and necessary frugality nev-^ ^= hiinierod him fr(»m exercising, on proper occasions , acts <^> both charity and generosity.' How different is this fro *^ tlu! judgment of thpt spiritual guide and orthodox preacli <^J of the gospel ! who w^ill suref}' not dare to douht doctcy^ tJinirli's veracity. — The translator, were it necAsarV' would dwell, with pleasure, on the amiable and estimabxtf quaiitios, with whio)i the great Hume ^vas adorned, wliic^ rt I'ucred him at oiice lo ji**«««tfl«' «* interesting and .so usciuLin society «Ut bfiloYc4 <

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had It fallen upon a susceptible tinder whose glimmer could be carefully kept up and in- creased , a light might have been kindled.

Hume set out chiefly from a' single but \Feighty conception of metaphysic, that of the connexion of cause and effect (therefore its consequent conception or power had ac- tion &c.), and summoned reason, who pre- tends to have begotten it, to give him an ac- count, with what right she thinks that some- thing may be of such a nature, that,' when it is laid down, something else must thereby of necessity be likewise laid down ; for this the . conception of cause says. He proved irre- fragably that to cogitate such a conjimccion n priori, and from conceptions, 4s totally ' , ' iBipossible for reason ; for that comprises necessity; but it is inconceivable, how, be- cause something is, something else must ne* cessarily be,%nd how the conception of such a connexion can be established a priori. Hence he concluded that reason quite deceives herself with this conception, and that she falsely holds it her own offspring, as it is nothing W a bastard of the imagiilfation which , im- BpregnaLcd by experience, has brought certain ^"^eseiitations under the law of association, I'd Substitutes a subjective necessity, that is, "tetoni, springing therefrom, in the room of I, objective one from introspection. From \he inferred, that reason has no facultj' at I think of such connexions, even but in jeneral, as its conceptions would in that l^b^mere fictions, and all its pretended ins subsisting a priori, but falsely )o( 4 stamped


Stamped experiences; all which signifiy that there neither is, nor can be , any melaphysic. *

However precipitate and wrong this conse- quence was, it was at least founded in in^ csti- gation, and this inve»ti{:atiun well-merited that the men of penetration and abilities in his tim£ should have united themselves, to resolve the problemmorehappilvjif possible, in lite sense he propounded it; whence then must have soon arisen a total leforin of the science.

But metaphysic, hitherto, has had the hard fate, to be understood by none., One cannot , without regret, reflect on the manner in which Hume's antagonists, Heid, Oswald, Seattle , and at last even Priestly too, missed the point of his problem and, while they constantly took for granted wliat he doubled, but on the contrary proved with vehemence a.nd for tlie most part with great rudeness and immodesty that which never ontb occurred to him to doubt, so grossly mistook what he , suggested for amendment, that every thing remained in the old state, as. if nothing had happened. It was not the question, whether the conception of cause be right, -useful and, relatively tci^the whole cognition of nature, indis-

' Iliime named even this destructive phllosopliT itself nternphvtiei , auJ $ft n tii£;li Tnlue on tli^iii. ISlet^tphysicl ■till iMi>ral . »niil he ■ are the most weighty braiiche'a of fciciTcei the Qlitlieiiiatiu aiid Physici are not of ha U so iiiiii:!) Tuiiie. But the acute Ilunie perceived here the Iii-g.itiTC Bdvaiiwge niLTclv . wliicli ilie nioiieraliug oLxhe ^ exaggerated pictensipns ot f^>eciil„tiri.' re^suii ivl'uLI hk^f, i| in order to taimiiiate =0 ii-.-mv .ii. |.<- r-i-.l |vrteciitliigj tli whic^ diMtncl iiiai:kii,j ; lit li.iwciLr liuL sight' ■nischief, which arise*, w)icpi rrjsi-n is ilepriTed 0°'


indispenaable , for of these Hume never har- boured a doubt; but whether it be thought a priori by reason , and in this manner tiave an internal tiuth inilependent upon all expe- rience, and therefore a more extensive utility, which is not limited merely to objects of«x- peiicnce : on this head Hume expected informa- tion and, as he himself says, siill kept his mind open to instruction , if any one would Toiichafe to bestow it on him.

The adrersaiies - of this celebrated philo- sopher, however, must, in order to do jusiice to the problem, have penetrated very deep' into the nature of reason , so far as 'it is Occu- pied in pure thinkings which n'ould have been rather irksome and incommodious to theni. They therefore, without flying in the face of all insight , found a more convenient niean, the appeal to common sense. It is indeed a great gift of heaven to possess f^ood (or, as it has been lately denominated, common) sense. But it must be evinced i)y facts, by what one thinks and speaks with reflection and rationally, but not appealed to as an ora^e, when one has nothing reasonable or ■ satisfactory to ofl^er in his justification. When IWiMpection, that is, cognition ii priori, and "Tence are put to the last shift, to appeal n and not sooner to common sense, is one U^e subtile discoveries of modern times, toeby the most sliallow prater may boldly irand stand the brunt with a man of the blOit profound understanding. Lut wliile "[.yet a small remain of introspection, ' ning recourse to this last refuge

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or help in need. And this appellation, narrow ly inspected, is nothing else than all appeal to the judgment of the multitude;, at whojl applause the philosopher blushes, but inwhicli the popular witling triumphs and exults. 1 should think, however, tliat Hume could la]f claim to sound understanding, as well, a1 least, as J3eattie, and besides, to what he never was endowed with, a critical rtason, which sets bounds to common sense, that it may not lose itself in speculations, or, when merely these are in question, desire ^o, decide anything, because it understands not to jus- tify itself w^th regard to its principles; for only in 'this manner does it remain sound iin- d.^rstanding. The chisel and mallet may be quite suflicient to cut or even to carve a piece of wood, but the 'burine must be used for the purpose of engraving. Thus is a sound un- derstanding, as well as a speculative one, use- ful, but each in its own way; that, when judgments, which have their immediate ap- plication in experience, are concerned, bul this, when one must judge in the general, from mere conceptions, for instance, inme- taphysic, whwe sound understanding, sc naming itself, but often per antiphrasin ^ ha! no judgment whatever.

I fcontinues Kant) freelv acknowledge thai the hint, which David Iliune dropped, waj what first roused me from a dogmatic lethargy in vv^hich I had slecped during many years,and gave quite another direction to my inquiries in the field of speculative philosophy. I wai by no means disposed to listen to him ii



regard of his con sequences that proceeded merely from his not having represented to himself his problem on the whole, but only- having hit a part of it which , without taking the whole into consideration, can give no light. When the beginning is made from a well-grounded ihoiigh not an amplified con- ception, which another has left ii^, one may hope, by continual reflection, to extend it farther than the acute man, whom we have to thank for the first spark of this light.

I therefore tried first, whether Hume's ob- jection could not be represented universally, and soon found That the conception of the connexion of cause and effect is bv no means the only one, by which the understanding conceives connexions of things a priori^ but rather that m^taphysic consists of them entire- ly. I endeavoured to secure their 'number and, as this succeeded with me according to my wish, from* one single princij)le, I pro- ceeded to the deduction of these conceptions, of which I was now assured that they are not, as Hume apprehended , derived from expe- rience ^^ but spring out of the pure intellect. This deduction, which seemed impossible to niy acute predecessor, and which, though

  • very one boldly used the conceptions with-

out inquiring upon what their objective vali- . dity bottomed, never entered into the mind of ^..'^y body but him, was the most diilicult that f could ever be undertaken for the behoof of J nietaphysic, and the worst ^vas that no mela- /, physic, so far as there was any extant, afforded ,^^.tae in this the smallest assistance, because I . that


tliat deduction .musf first constitute the possl- biliiy of a meiaphysic. As I had no,w suc- cefided in the suluLion of the Hume's problem not merely in a particular case, but with a view to the whole faculty of pure reason; I could take sure though never but slow steps, in order' hnally to determine completely and according to universal principles the whole circuit of pure reason, in its boundaries, as well as in its matter; which was what meta- physic stood in need of for the execution of its system according to a sure plan. ■^ I suspect, however, that the execution of Hume's problem in its possible greatest exten- sion (namely, the critic of pure reason) will have the same fate, as had the problem itself, wlien it was first represented: It will be false- ly judged, because it is not imderstood; it will not be understood, because one may in- deed turn over the leaves, but will never incline to study it thoroughly) and one will not taliC this trouble, because the work is dry, because it is obscure, because it clashes with all usual conceptions, and is over and above prolix. I own I did not expect complaints iiom ]>hilosopheis on account of want of po- pnlaritv, enteiiainnient ard ease, when the existence of a cognition, much esteemed and indispensable to humanity, is on the carpet, a cognition , which cannot be otherwise made out, than according to tlie strictest rules of a scholastic punctuality , on which in process^ of time popularity may inde);d foUow^, buC' liever can make the bc^inniiiir.

Should one ask the cool dispassionate


Hume, properly formed for the equipoise of judgment, What induced him to underuiine by difficultly discovered doubts* the persua- sion, so consolatory and usefiJ to nianhind, that their introspection of reason is sufficient to the maintaining, and to the determinate conception, of a Supreme Being? he would answer. Nothing but the design to advance reason in its self- cognition, and at the same time a certain indignation at the restraint that . one inclines to lay on reason, by lording »over it, and hindering it froni making a sincere and open acknowledgment of its weaknesses which become obvious to it by the trial and examination of itself. Ask, on the other hand, Priestley, who is devoted to the prin- ciples of an empirical use of reason only , and averse to all transcendental speculation, What "Were his motives for pulling down two such pillars of all religion, liberty and the immor- tality of our soul (the hope of a future life is with him but the expectation of a miracle of . resuscitation), Priestley, who is even a pious and a zealous teacher of religion; he could answer nothing else, than The interest of rea- •wi, which loses because one wishes to with- draw certain objects from the laws of material nature, the only ones that we know and can i ^Cern^ine. It would seem unjust to decry "l^^tter^ who' can unite his paradoxical asser- tion

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'^-*" Critic or pure Beasou, pac;e 792, where des and doubts are disentangled aiul cleared not" yet translated , and will be no easy bjdl bare the courage to uudertake ic



tion with the design of religion, and to vex a well-meaning man, because he, the moment he quits his own province, natural philosophy, [ knows no ti what to have recourse to. But this grace must be alike granted to the no less well-minded and, as to liis moral character, irreproachable Hume, who cannot quit his abstract speculation, because he holds, with reasoh, that its object lies totally without the pale of natural philosophy, in the field of pure ideas.

What is now to be done, .principally with refrard to the dan^rer, Avhich thereby seems to threaten the common weal? Nothing is more natural, nothing more just, than the resolu- tion which ye have to take on that account. Only let these people alone; if they have talents, if they show a spirit of profound and new inquiry, in a word , if they possess but reason, reason always gains. If ye use other means, than those of an unconstrained rea- son, if ye call out high treason, call together, as if by an alarmbell, the commonwealth, which by no means understands such subtile elaborations, ye render yourselves ridiculous. For it is not at all the question, what is in this advantao:eous or disadvanta^reous to the pommon weal, but only, how far reason can carry its speculation abstracting from all in- terest, and whether one must reckon any thing in general on it, or rather even give it up in favour of the practical. Therefore, insread of attacking sword in hand, rather behold quiet- ly from the secure seat of criticism this con- flict, which must be painful to the combatants,


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diverting to you and , with an issue certainly not bloody y must fall out beneficially to your introspections. For it is hiijhly absurd to expect enlightening from reason , and yet to prescribe to it previously, to what side it must of necessity incline. Besides.^ reason is of itself so well tamed and limited by reason, that ye have no occasion to call the watch , in order to oppose civil resistence to that party, vhose apprehended preponderancy seems dan- gerous to you. In this dialectic there is no victory , of which ye have cause to be appre- liensive.

Even reason requires such a contest very much, and it is to be wished that it had been carried. on sooner and with unlimited public permission. For a mature critic, on whose tppearanceall these controversies and varianc- es must naturally drop, by the contesting parties learning to discover the illusion and prejudices which disimited them, would the Woner have taken place.

In human nature there is a certain impuri- ty, which must, at last, like all that is derived from nature, contain a predisposition to good ends, namely, an inclination to conceal one's real sentiments and to display certain adopied ones that are held good and commendable. 9eyond a doubt men have by this projjensity, is well to dissemble, as to adopt an api^earance advantageous to them, not onlv cultivated, but step by step in some measure nioraiised themselves, because noone could succeed by the I colour of decency, honesty and juud(-sl}, tliere- ' fore in the putative genuine exdmples of the


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good, which he saw around him, found for himself a school of amendment. But this predisposition, to endeavour to appear better than one is and to utter sentiments which one never entertained, serves but, as it were, provisionally ,' to extricate man frbni a state of rudeness , and to let him at first adopt the manner of the good, at least, which he knows; but afterwards, when genuine principles are once unfolded and adopted in the way of thinlxing, that falsity must by degrees be pow- erfully combatted, as otherwise it corrupts the heart, and allows not good sentiments tp/ ^row among the weeds of fair appearance.

I am sorry to perceive the very same im- purity, dissimulation and hypocrisy in even tlie maijiifestations of the speculative cast of mind, wherein men have nauch fewer impedi- ments and no disadvantage at all in freely and openly acknowledging their thoughts. For what can be more disadvantageous to intro- spections, than to communicate to one an- other mere thoughts adulterated, to conceal doubts that we- feel contrary to our own as- -«everalions, or to give a colour of evidence to arguments, which are not satisfactory to ourselves? As long, however, as merely private vanity instigates this secret trick (which is commonly the case in speculative judgments that have no peculiar interest and are not easily capable of an apodictical cer- tainly), so long does the vanity of others resist with public assent, and matters at length are brought to that pass, \vhither pure minded- ness and sincerity had brought them, though



much carKer. But where the common we»ilth thinks that subtile reasoners machinate noLhing less, than to shake the foundation of the public welfare, it seems not only more conformable to prudence, but more allowable, and even laudable, to aid the good cause by seeming grounds, than to leave its opiniative adver- saries even but the advantage To alter our tone to the moderation of a merely practical conviction, and to oblige us to acknowledge the want of speculative and apodiclical cer- tainty. But I should think that nothing in the world can be so little united with the design of supporting a good cause, as artifice, dissimulation and fraud. That in the weii2:h- ing of the grounds of reason of a mere specu- lation every thing must be honourably con- ducted, is the least that can be required. Could but this little, however, be surely counted upon, the controversy of speculative reason concerning the important questions of God, of immortality (of the soul), of liberty, either would have been long ago decided, or were soon ended. Thus the purity of the xnindedness often stands in the converse rela- tion to the good quality of the thing itself; and this has perhaps more sincere and honour- able opponents, than defenders.

I therefore presuppose readers, who would

have a just cause unjustly defended, liela-

to which it is now decided that, accord-

^J|D.our principles of the Critic of pure

giy when that which happens is not con-

i^. but what in justice ought to happen,

properly speaking be no polemic

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of pure reason. — It is very foolish to cry- out against certain hazarded assertions, oir temerarious attacks on what has already on ita - side the approbation of the greater and bettci: part of the commonwealth, as dangerous j for that gives them an importance, which they by no means ought to have. — The dogmatic defender of the good cause against such ene- mies I would not read at all, as I know before hand that he will attack the seeming reasons of the others, only with a view to procure an inlet to his own, besides, an every day- appearance does not afford so much matter for new obserA'^ations , as a surprising one inge- niously excogitated. Whereas the opponent of religion, likewise dogmatical in his way, ■ affords my Critic the wished -for employment and occasion to more correctness and percision of its principles, without being tmder the smallest apprehension on his account.

But the youth, who is devoted to acade- mical learning, must at least be warned against such writings, and withholden from the early krowledge of so dangerous positions, till his judgement is ripened, or rather the doctrine, which is intended to be instilled into, his tender mind, iirnily rooted, in order to resist all persuasion to the contrary , whencesocvet it may come. —

Again, the endless contensions of a merely dogmatical reason finally necessitate to seek quiet in some one critic or other of this reason itself; the state of nature (as Hobbes main- tains) is a state of injustice and violence, and we must necessarily quit it, in order to sub- ject

^ • 'PR£FAC£« XIX

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ject ourselves to the legal coaction^ which retrains our liberty but to the condition, that •it can consist with the liberty of every other person and thereby of the commonwealth.

To this liberty , then , appertains also that of submitting one's thoughts and doubts, which he cannot resolve himself, to the judg- ment of the public , without being decried as a turbulent and dangerous citizen. This lies in the original right of human reason , which acknowledges no other judge, than the univer- sal reason of man itself, wherein each has his ^ voice; and, as from this must be' derived every melioration , of which our state is sus- ceptible , such a right is sacred , and must not be violated.


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' I *he various sensations of delight, or of chagrin, depend not so much on the quality of external things which excite them , as on every person's own feeling, thereby to be mov- ed with either pleasure or displeasure. Hence proceed the joys of some men in what others find disgust, the amorous passion that is often an enigma to everybody, or the insuperable aversion the one has to what is totally indiffe- rent to the other. The field of the observa- tions of these peculiarities of human nature extends to a great distance, and still conceals- a rich store for discoveries, w^hich are no less agreeable than instructive. At present I shall cast my eye but to a few places that 5eein to distinguish themselves particularly in this district , and even to these , more the eye - of an observer, than that: of a philosopher. As a man finds himself happy but so far as he satisfies an inclination; the feeling which makes him capable of enjoying great pleasure without requiring thereto distinguislied tal- ents , is certainly not a trifle. Persons in

A 2 good


good plight, whose most witty authors arc their cooks , and whose works of elegant taste are in their cellars, are as much over-joyed •with ribaldry and a coarse joke, as persons of fine feelings are transported with what they are so proud of. A man fond of his con- venience, who loves to have books read to him, because it is thereby so .easy to fall asleep; the .merchant, to whom all pleasures seem trifling and foolish, except that which, a prudent man enjoys w^hen he is casting up the profits of his commerce; he who loves the sex but so far as he considers them as objects of enjoyment; the lover of the chase, whe- ther he catches flies, like Domitian, or hunts wild beasts like A...; all these have a feeling which renders- them susceptible of enjoying pleasure in their own Way , without needing to covet other pleasures, or even being able to form to themselves a conception of them; but to this at presentlpay no attention. Ther^ i^ yet a feeling of a finer sort, which is 30 named, either because it may be longer en- joyed without satiety and exhausting, or be- cause it presupposes, so to say, an irritabi- lity of the soul, which at the same time ren- ders it fit for virtuous emotions , or because it indicates talents and superiority of understand- ing; whereas that may have place together wilh a total %vant of thought. This is the feeling, of which I shall contemplaDe one side. Yet I exclude from this the inclination that is fixed on profound introspections of intellect; and the stimulation, of which- Kepler was susceptible, when he, as Bayle relates, would





not hav€ spld one of his discoveries for a prin- cipality. This sensation is far too fine to be- long to the present outline, that is to treat hilt the sensible feeling, of which more vulgar souls are capable.

The liner feeling, which we shall now consider, is chiefly of a twofold nature; the Sentiment of .the sublime and of the beauti- fUL. The emotion of both is agreeable: but' in a very, different manner. The view of a mountain, w^hose snowy summit towers above the clouds, the description of a roaring ^em- pest, or Milton's- representation of the infern- al regions, excites coinplacency, but with dread; whereas the prospect of flowery mead- ows, vallies with winding rivulets, and co- vered with grazing cattle, the description of Elysium, or Homer's painting of Venus' girdle, likewise occasion an agreeable feeling, but which is sprightly and smiling. In order that that impression may be made on us siifiicient-. ly strong, we must have a sentiment of the suhlime J and in order to enjoy this properly,

  • ft sentiment of the heautifuL Lofty oaks and

solitary shades in . hallowed groves are sub- lime, beds of flowers, shrubs and young trees ftfe beautiful. Night is sublime, day is beau- i|^ tifui. Minds , disposed to feel the sublime,

    • , by the soft stillnefs of a summer evening,

/♦iien the twinkling light of the stars breaks Arough the dusky shaded of night, and the solitary moon, in mild and serene majesty, stands upon the horizon , insensibly inspired .with high sentiments, of friendship , of con- \ ^pt of the world , of eternity. Splendid '"■'. * A 3 day

<l«y infuses bnsyzeaJ and a feeling- of g Tlie sublime iiiov^s or touches , the hen chaniis. The mien of the peri;on , who himself in the full sentiment of liie sul is ierioiis, sometimes ftxed find nstuh On the other hand niinoimces ii?elf ihe' sentiment of tite beaiuitui hv a sparklin ry in the eye, by lineaments ofi9milin| frcr^uenily by loud nieniinenL , The si is of n diffeient nature. The feeling i ■ Sometimes accompanied with dread, c melancholy, in some cases with tranqi Uiiiaiioi) merely, and in others with » spread over a siibUng^ plan. The first name Uie Dr.r.Anrvi. or tkhaific stJi the second iheKoitLF, and the third die j ricrKT. Deep solitude is sublime, bu terrific manner. * Hence vast desertS)

  • A>li!>1t aiJiliifinlint an nnmpla of lb« dtatSft

wIiVb tlif ilctcription of a I out soliiiiilr c.-iii IM for ililf [lurpof Qti lt(^ a ievy puijtgei tioin Cmm in tho UrFiiirn M«^»«ino, vol. v. p.539- TKi» lidi mMi liid. ill |ji«i>vTiiou u hi* freattU




the immense Shamo in Tartary, haye always given occasion to place in them terrible shad- ows, goblins damn'd and frightful phantoms. The sublime must be simple, the beautiful may be dressed and ornamented. A great height is equally sublime w^ith a great depth ; but this is accompanied with shuddering, that with admiration; hence this feeling may be terribly sublime, and that nobly. The view of an Egyptian pyramid moves, as Hassel- quist mentions, much more, than one can represent to himself from any description: but its structure is both simple and noble. St. Peter's Church in Rome is magnificent. As in its plan , which is simple and great , beau- ty, for instance, gold, mosaic &c. &c. , is

A 4 .so

Thou liaat lived but for thyself, and therefore thou shale for tlie future live alone to all eternity, and be excluiled from every intercourse with the whole creation. In this ▼Wy moment I was iiurricd away hv an invisible j)ower. Mid driven through tlie stupendous fabric of the universe.

  • soon left behind me innumerable worlds. ■ As I approach-

ed the utmost end of. nature , I remarked , that the shades " of the unbounded inane sunk into the deep before me. A yightfiil kingdom of etei;nal calm* and solitude, and J^rknefs. Unspeakable dread seized me at this prospect.

  • lost sight by degrees of the last stars , and finally the ia?c

Summering appearance of light was extinguished in the ^tcrmost darknefs ! The agony of despair incrrased ever^-

  • |oment, as every moment augmentea my distance ivoin

'ne last inhabited world. I reflected with insufferable ^I'lei.

L "»at» when ten thousand times tlu>usand years shall h'iv.i rj*^nied me far beyond the boundaties of all that is create- 1, g^vat always look forward in an unfathomable abyfs of

Tiiefa, without help, or hope of any return. . ^'^^ '

amaxemenc I- stretched out my hands with such viol- after objects of reality, that I immediately awo:sc. now I have learned to esteem men ; for even the Bit of those, whom iu the pride of my fortune I turn- ip^. from rny gate, would, in that dismal waste, have '^nfened by mo to all the treasures of Golcon-


so diffused, that the sentiment of the sublime acts' the most throughout} tlte object is deno- minated mas:niticent. A^ arsenal must be simple and nobte, a palace magiiiiicent, a villa beautiful and decorated.

A lon^ duration is sublime. Is it of past time? it is noble; if it is foreseen in an im- mense futurity , it has in it something dread< ful. An edifice of the remotest antiquity ia veneriible. Haller's description of the future eternity instils a soft dread, and. of the past, gazing admiration.

S E C T I O N 11.




TTnderstanding is sublime, wit is beautiful. Boldnefs is at once great and sublime, arti- fice is little , but beautiful. Circumspection, said Cromwel , is a mayor's virtue. Veracity and probity are both simple and noble. Jest and courteous flattery are fine and beautiful. Agreeablenefs is the beauty of virtue. Disin- terested eagerness to serve is noble; politenefs and civility are beautiful. Sublime properties inspire esteem, but beautiful ones love. People, whose feeling inclines chiefly to the beau- tiful, look for their honest, constant, and se- rious friends biit in need; but for society they chuse the jocose, agreeable, and civil <»mpanions. One esteems many too much, to be able to love them. They inspire admi- ration: but they are too far above us, that We should presume to approach them with the familiarity of love.

Those , who unite in themselves both sen- tunents, will find. That the emotion of the sublime is more potent, than that of tlie beau- tiful; only that it without variety or the ac- W>mpanyment of the latter wearies , and can- ^'be long enjoyed. * The exalted feelings, '^■^' A 5 • ' to

^llic teilkunents of the sublime strain tlie powers of

moze , and. therefore tire sooner. One can read a

o longer at once, than Mtlton's Paradies I'ostf

longer tlian Young. It seems to me a fault:

'^■ter • as a moral poet , that he continues far



to which the converse in a well -chosen so- ciety somcLimes raises itself, must at inter- vals resolve themselves into sprightly joking, and the laughing friends ought to make the beautiful contrast with the moved seriou3 mien; both which sorts of feeling may be easi* ly varied. Friendship has principally . the stroke of the sublime in it, but the love of the sex i hat of the beautiful. Yet tendemefs and profound esteem give to the latter a cer- tain dignity and sublimity; whereas mimic joking and familiarity heighten the coloration of tlic beautiful in this feeling. Tragedy, in my ()|)inion, distinguishes itself from come- dy chiclly in I his, that in the former is touch- ed the sentiment of the sublime, in the lat- ter that of the beautiful. In the former show ihemselves generous sacrifices for other's w^ell, bold resolution in danger, and proved fideli- ty. Love is there sad," tender and full of osleem; the misfortune of others excites in the breast of the spectator sympatlietic feel* ings, and maizes his generous heart beat high for olhcr*s wants. He is softly moved, and fools the di:rnit\ of his own nature. Whereas rouu>dy represents fine tricks, wonderful em- barrassments, and ingenious persons" who know how to extricate ihemselves, fools tliaC sutler themselves to be duped, jesting and ridiculous characters. Love here is not so


tc*« unUom»ly in the sublime ic>no: lor ti:e lorce of the

iwprrtsion c,i:r.:.^t oe re-owedfcus :yci^:.:v.i5:iri: with fofi« 

, pM^Mi^^jk la ihf brA-.K::iil luna:::^: lir** r.-.^re i/.aii Ia':-^

^ riotis ATt i^er«iu bcu^} cd. Tbe cilv^n lo ciiatnn is jjiin-


lorose; it is gay and intimate. Yet, as in ther cases, so in this, the nuble may to a artain degree be united with the beautihtl.

Even vices and moral crimes frequently arry with them some strolies of cither the ubUme or the beautiful; at least so as they ppear to our sensible feeling; without being irought to the test of reason. The anger of I formidable man is sufclime, li)<e that of Ichilles in the Iliad. In general Homci's leroes are terribly sublime, those of Virgil oa Jie other band nobly so. Public bold revenge of a great injiiri,' has in itself something great, and how illicit soever it may be, it touches in the recital with dread and r.omp!a- tency. Hanway relates that Srhacli- Nadir, being attacked at niglit in his lent by several conspirators, called out, after he had recei- ved several w^ounds and deiendcd himself ^e^erately. Have mercy! I will jmrdon you 1. One of them, holding up his sword, ans- , thou-hast shown no mercy , and iiierl~ Upiqne. Tiesolute audacity in a villain is / dangerous; but it moves in the recite*!, » even when he is dragged to an ignomi- Ldeatli , lie in some measure ennobles it it daringly and with contempt. LS a cunningly contrived scheme, even 1 base trick is the object, has in it iifiDe, and is laughed at. Amorous Lgtry) in a refined sense, name- ' ^g^S^ ^"^ ^° charm, I agreeable , is perhaps dutiful , and is com- 'est serious decency. The

I •

I 12 ' £ S SAYS AI^^D

The figure of persons , who please by t cyutward appearance, falls someLimes into one, sometimes into the odier species of j ing. A great stature acquires consider^ and reverence, a small one more familial Even the tawny colour and black eyes are n er related to the sublinxe, blue eyes an

fair colour to the beautiful. A somewhat

age unites itself more with the proper tie the sublime, but youth with those of beautiful. In the same manner is distinction of ranks circumstanced, and ir these references just mentioned must even dresses accord with this difference of feeli Persons of great distinction must observe s plicity, at most magnificence, in their ap] el; little folks may be set out and adon Dark colours and uniformity in attire becc age; youth is set off and glitters in a brigl and more lively drefs. Among the classes men, 'when fortune and rank are equal, ecclesiastic must show the greatest simplic: the statesmaiT more splendour and magn c*uce. The cicisbeo may drefs himself out he pleases.

In the outward circumstances of forti too there is something which , at least acco ing to the fancy of men, belongs to th feelings. Birth and title find men commoi inclined to reverence. Opulence, even* w^ithc merit, is honoured by the disinterested the selves; perhaps because projects of great ; tioiis, which might thereby be carried ii execution, unite themselves with its repres< tation. This reverence is Qccasionally be


JF t


many a wealthy wretch , who never will per- form such actions , and has no conception of the noble feeling, which only can render tiches valuable. What augments the evil of poverty is the slighting that never can be totally outweighed, at Jeast in vulgar eyes,

\by merit itself, imlefs rank and title illude this coarse feeling and in some measure de- ceive to its advantage.

In himian nature are never to be found cammendable properties, without varieties of them running at the same, time by infinite sha^ngs into the utmost iniperfdction. The

,. property of the terrific sublime ^ when it be- comes totally unnatural, ^s portentous or strange,^ Unnatunil things, so far as the Sublime is meant in them, though it is little

or not at oil to be met with , are impertinent

flw. Who loves «ind believes the strange, is a Tpihantast^ the inclination to impertinencies nukes the humorist. On tlie other side the

, feeling of the beautiful degenerates, when the noble is totally wanting, and is named tri/ling. A man possessing this property , when he is

.young, is denominated a fop; is he of a middle age? he is n gawk. As to more ad- vanced years the sublime is the most neces-

'^Mrjr; an old gawk is the most contemptible

I creature in nature, as a yoimg hiunorist is the

I ttost nauseous and intolerable. Jest and aprightlinefs pertain to the feeling of the


' * 80 far as sublimity or bei^uty overleaps the known ■udinni, ic is usually (LisiinguidUcd by the appellation fo



beautiful. A considerable degree of understands^ ing, however, 'may shine through them, and so far they 'may be more or lefs- related to the sublime. He, in whose sprightliness this intermixture is insensible, ^toys. Who constantly toys is silly. It is obvious, that even wise people sometimes toy, and that no small power of mind is necessary to call thft understanding from its post for a whife; ■without any thing's being thereby overlooked. He, whose conversation or actions xxeitfaez aflFord pleasure nor touch , is tedious. The tedious, so far as he attempts to give pleasure and to move , is insipid. The insipid , when he is puffed up , is a fool or a coxcomb. *

I shall Tender somewhat more intelligible this wonderful sketch of human weaknesses by examples ; for he , who does not possess Hogarth's burine, must supply by description ■what is wanting to the delineation in eacpres- sion. Boldly tailing upon ourselves the dang- ers, as our own, of our native coiuitry, or of the rights of our friends, is sublime. The crusades, the antient chivalry, were strange or portentqus; duels, a miserable relic of the ' latter from a perverted conception, of the call


• One soon notices, tliat tins respectable society idividai itself into t\vo lodges, into that of the. humorists and that of the gawks. A learned hum or is t is civily named a jyedant. \^Tien he assumes the insolent mien of wisdonii like the dunces of ancient and modern times , the cap with bells fits him well. Tlie clafs of gawlxs is iiiose to be met with in tlie great world. It is perhaps still b'ettei than the former. There is a great deal to be gained from it and much lo be laughed at. In this caricature the one snakes the other a wry mouth and runs hifl addle pati against his brother's.


t)f honour, are impertinencies. Melancholy withdravdng fi-oni the noise and bustle of the world from a rightful di/gust is noble. Thd solitary or recluse devotion of the itticient hermits was strange. Cloisters and such graves, for the purpose of burying living saiiits, are impertinencies. The subduing of one's passions by principles is sublime. Abstinen- des, mortiiications , penances or castigations, vows and other such monkish virtues are im- pertinencies. Sacred bones, sacred wood and all^uch trumpery, the holy stool of the Grand Lama of Thibet not excepted, are impertinen- cies. Of the works of genius and of fine feel- ing, the epic poems of Virgil arid of Klopstock appertain to the noble , those of Homer and of Milton , to the portentous. Ovid's meta- morphoses are impertinencies , the fairj*^ tales of french levity are the most sorry imperti- nencies that ever' were hatched. The ana- creontic poems commonly approach very near towards the trifling.

The works of understanding and of subtil- ty, 8Q far as their subjects contain something for the feeling, take some- part likewise in the aforementioned varieties. The mathematical representation of the immense size of the fabric of the world, the metaphysical con- templations of eternity , of Proyidence , of tkc immortality of the soul , contain a certain dignity and sublimity. Whereas philosophy is deformed by many empty sub til ties, and the appearance of profundity does not hinder the four syllogistic figures from meriting to beaumberedto the school- impertinencies.




- In moral properties true virtue only is sublime. There are however good moral qualities, which aie fimiable and beautifu], and may, so far as they harmonize with vir- tue, be considered as noble, though they can- not, properly speaking, be numbered to the virtuous mindednefs. On this the judgment: is fine c^nd implicated. One certainly cannot: name virtuous that constitution of mind which is a source of such actions , to which indeed virtue too would lead, but from a ground that agrees therewith contingently only , but according to its nature may also frequendy collide with the universal rules of virtue. A certain tender- heartedniefs, which is easily brought to a w^arm feeling oi compassion^ i$ beautiful and lovely; for it shows a kind participation in the fate of other men, which principles of virtue likewise in join. Bufc this passion, though of a good quality, is vireak and always blind. For let us suppose, that this feeling prompts you to assist an in*- digent person with money, but you are in- debted to another, and thereby put it out of your power to discharge the strict duty of justice: thus it is manifest the action canriot spring from a virtuous intention ; for such a one could not possibly prompt you to sacri- fice a higher obligation to this blind fascina- tion. When, on the other hand, universal benevolence towards the human species i* become your principle, to which you always subordinate your actions, the love towards the indigent remains still; but it is nOW placed from a higher station in the true relatioij



towards your whole duty. Universal bene- volence is a ground of participation in hi^ distress , but at the same time of justice too, according to ' whose precept you must at present forbear this action. The moment that this feeling has mounted to its proper universality y it is sublime , but also colder. For it is not possible , that our bosom should swell with tendemefs for every man , and be overwhelmed with sorrow for the necessities of all others, else the virtuous, incessantly melting into tears of compassion like Hera* ditus, would, notwithstanding all this sin- cerity, be nothing but a tender-hearted idler* The second species of the benign feeling, which is indeed beautiful and amiable , but yet Dot the groundwork of a true virtue , is ci^nplaisance. An inclination to become agreeable to others by friendlinefs , by yield- ing to their desires , and by a conformit}'^ of our conduct to their sentiments. This ground of a charming complaisance is beautiful, and the flexibility of such a heart , of a good qua- lity. But it is so little a virtue, that, where


  • On ft nearer consideration one finds, that, however

jBttiWe the coiiipaesionate property may be, it has not ft'ilielf the dignity of virtue. A suffering child, an iin- bnunate and pleasant won-ian* fills our heart with this |riAf> while we at the banic lime liear with indifference «8 account of a battle , in wliich it may be presumed itt a considerable part of the human species must unae- crvedly sink under the most cruel evils. Many a prince, ifc) tiims away through sadness from a single unfortu- iia person, gives at the same time orders for war from -votive, frequently but vain. There is here no propor- OB at ail in the effect, how then can it be said« that i&TtfiSftl phiiantbxopy is the caiue?

Wol. u. s


higher principles do not confine and wealceii it^ every vice may spring out of it. For nol to mention, that this complaisance towards those, with whom we associate, is very fre- quently an injustice towards others, who an not within this small circle, such a man, whei this is the only impulse, may have all th< vices; not from immediate inclination, bu' because he willingly lives to please.- He oil of amiable complaisance becomes a liar,, ai idler, a drunkard &c. &c. , for he does no dct according to the rules of good conduci but according to an inclination which is beau tiful in itself, but, being witliout stabilit and principles, trifling.

Consequently true virtue can be graftei but upon principles, and the more genera they are, the nobler and more sublime doc it become. These principles are not specv lative rules, but the consciousnefs of a feel ing, which dwells in every human breast and extends itself much farther than to th< particular giounds of compassion and of com plaisance. I believe to comprehend every thing, when I say, it is the feeling of the beauty and of the dignity of human nature^ The former is a ground of universal bene- volence, the latter of universal revereiice, and if this feeling had the greatest perfection ifl any one human heart, this man would lov«  and esteem himself, it is true, but only 8fl far as he is one of all those, to whom extendi itself his enlarged and noble feeling. Onl"JI by subordinating our particular inclinatias to a so extensive one, can our benign instinctt



be proportionally applied , and effectuate the noble decency which is the beauty of virtue.

With regard to the weaknesses of human nature and the little potency, which the uni- versal moral feel ins: woiild exercise over the most hearts, Providence has laid in us such auxiliary instincts as supplements of viruie, which, by excitingj some, even without prin- ciples , to beautiful actions , may at the same time give others , who are governed by prin- ciples, a stronger impulse thereto. Compas- sion and complaisance are grounds of beauti- ful actions , which perhaps would be altoge- ther stifled by the preponderance of a coarser self-interest, but not immediate grounds of . virtue, as we have already seen, though, since i they are ennobled by the relation to it, they j acquire its name too. I may therefore term f them adopted virtues, but that which rests " upon principles, genuine virtue. Those are beautiful and charming, this only is sublime and respectable. The mind, in which predo- minate the former feelings, is named a good heart and the men of that sort good-hearted; whereas a noble heart is justly attributed to the virtuous from principles , but he himself i« denominated an honest man. These adopted

f virtues, however, as they comprise the feel- ing of an immediate pleasure in kind and bfincvolent actions, have a great similarity to the triie virtues. The good -hearted as- sociates with you peaceably and courteously out of ^immediate complaisance without any ibrther design, and feels a sincere sorrow for die 3uffori7igs pf another.

B a But,


But, as this moral sympathy is not suf* ficient to stimulate the shiggisli human natikro to actions of public use, Fvovidence has placed in us a certain feeling, which is fine, and can set us in motion, or even* keep in balance the coarse self-interest and the vulgar sensualit)^ This is the feeling or sense of honour, and its consequence shame. The opinion, wliich others may have of our worth, and their judgment of our actions are motives of great weight that draw from us many sacrifices; and what a great part of mankind would not have done, either from a good- hearted emotion immediately arising, or from principles, is often enough performed, merely for the sake of outward appearance, from a fancy, which is highly useful, though^ in itself very superficial: as if the judgment of others determined the value of us and of our actions. What is done from this incentive is not in jthe smallest degree virtuous, for which reason ever\^ one, who would be held such, cau- tiouslv conceals the motive of ambition. This inclination, as it cannot be immediately ex-* cited by the beauty of the actions, but by their beconiingness in the eyes of others , is not so nearly connected with genuine virtue as goodheartedness. I may therefore, as the sense of honour is delicate, denominate it, that which is similar to virtue , and what is thereby occasioned , the glitter of virtue.

If we compare the tempei*aments of men, so far as one of these three species of feeling predominates in them and determines the moral character; we shall find, that every one



of them stands in a near relation to one of the temperaments according to the usual division, yet so, tliat a greater want of moral fee'ing Tould fall to the share of the phlegmatical. Not as if the chief criterion in the character ofihese different dispositions of mind con* cemed tlie aforesaid strokes; for die coarser Jeding, for instance, self-interest, common Toluptuousness &c. , we by no means consider in this treatise, and yet upon such inclina- tions , in the usual division , attention ii chiefly bestowed ; but because the abovemen- ' tioned finer moral feelings may be easier united with either the one or the other of these temperaments and for the most part are actually therewith united.

An intimate feeling for the beauty and dignity of human nature, and a disposition ■nd strength of mind to refer one's actions tWeto,, as to an universal ground, is seiious, •nd does mot as&ociate itself well with a ilirt- Vigiimirth, nor with the fickleness of a light- headed person. It approaches even to melan- choly, a soft and noble feeling, so far as it .^founded upon that dread, which a limited j«ul feels, when it, full of a great design, |*es the dangers it has to support, and has ^fcyiew the difficult but great victory of the ^Ijvercoming. Genuine virtue, tiien, from l^ples, has something in itself, which I to have the most coiuiension with the mfoly constitution of mind in the tem-

^i fine irri-

B occasion which

22 ES SAYS A N b

which may occur , to be touched in single rasos wiih compassion, or -w^ih benevolence, is nuich subjected to the vicissitude of dr- ninisiinncos; and as the movement of the soul docs not rest upon a universal principle; it (the soxiH easily assumes various forms, ac- conliujily as the objects present the one or the olhor side. And as this inclination has the boauiilul for its object, it seems to unite itself the uiost naturally with that temperament ^oiunu^n'y n.uucd siiirpiitie^ which is incon- si%mt an.l atKUcicd to pleasure. In this tem- ptv.Murni \\ have to sceh the beloved proper* tics distinguished by the appellation of adopt- ed \iviues.

rhe tVeliui: for honour has commonly ' been ai^o}^:ed as a criterion ot the cJioleric Ck r.i- :e\ion . •ind we niav xherebv embrace t:.e Oi\'.-.>:on to investi^.^.te the moral conse- cv.eveiS of this fine feeirsc. vrhich for the ir.os: ;. ,=:t .lir.- at ir'ictevir.::. for the descripticm

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He, whose feeling inclines to the inelan- dtoly, is not so named because he, deprived of the joys of life, grieves in dark mojiing melancholy, but because his feelings, if ihey were encreased bcyoad a certain degree, or by any cause received a false bent, would easier lend to melancholy than to another sme. He has chiefly a feeling for the siibVnne. Even the beauty , for which he has a feeling liliewise, must not only charm, but, by inspiring: him at the same time with admira- tion, move him. The enjoyment of pleasure is with him more serious: but not on that account smaller. All emotions of the sublime have something in them more enchanting, than the jugglinp; charms of the beautiful. His being -well is rather contentment than mirth. He is steadfast. He therefore ranges his feelings under principles. They are the less subjected to inconstancy and to altera- tion, the more universal this principle is , to which they are subordinared, and the more enlargedthehigh feeling is which comprehends the lower under it. All particular groimds of inclination ,'■ if they are not deduced from ■wch aT\ high ground, are subjected to many

  • xcepLions and alterations. The vivacious

Y friendly Alcest says; I love and esteem ^fe, for she is beautiful, caressing and But who, when ahe is deformed by _ , -ffise , and grown peevish through age, after r uie first illusion is vanished, would not ap- i prudent to him, than any other. ' Mo longer exists, what can lination? Take, on the , ' B 4 , other


Other handy the benevoleiU and sedate Adrast who says to himself: I will treat this persoi kindly and with reyerencc, for she is my wife This sentiment is noble and magnanimouf Xet the casual charms alter , she is still hi wife. The noble ground remains and is nc so much subjected to the inconstanc)^ of ei temal things. Of such a quality are principle in comparison of emotions, which boil u by single occasions merely, and so is the ma of principles compared with him , who is o< casionally seized with a good-hear ted and kin movement. But how, when even the seen language of his heart is: I must assist thi nian, for he suffers; not as if he were m friend, or companion , or that I hdld him a pable, one day to acknowledge a benefactio with gratitude. There is at present no tim for too nice reasoning, and no delay to b made in starting questions. He is a man, an what befalls men, concerns me likewise. The his procedure rests upon the highest groua of benevolence in human nature, and is ez tremely sublime , as well as to its immutabil ty, as on account of the universality of i application.

To proceed with my observations. Tl man of a melancholy temper of mind giv himself little trouble about what others judj of, what they hold good oi: true, he relies c his own insight merely. As the motives wi liim assume the nature of principles; it not easy to bring him lo other thoughts; In sloaclfaslness sometimes degenerates into sti:i boinncss. He beholds the change of mod



with indifference and their glitter with con- tempt Friendship is sublime, and therefore for his feeling. He may perhaps lose a change- able friend; but the latter does not lose him 80 soon. The very memory of extinguished

  • firiendship is still venerable to him. Affability

is beautiful, thoughtful tacitumitv sublime. He is a good keeper of his own and of other's secrets. Veracity is sublime, and he hates lying of dissimulation. He has a high feeling for the dignity of human nature. He esteeais himself and holds a man a creature that merits reverence. He suffers np abject submission, and breathes liberty in a noble breast. All chains, from the golden, which are worn at court, to the heavy iron ones of galley-slaves, are to him abominable. He is a severe judge as well of himself as of others, and not seldom tired of himself and of the world.

In the degeneration of this character seri-

®B^ess inclines to melancholy, devotion to

fanaticism, the zeal for liberty to enthusiasm.

Insult and injustice kindle in him revenge.

He is then much to be feared. He braves

danger, and despises death. By the perversity

^f his feeling and the want of a serene reason

I **p falls into the portentous. Inspirations,

1 Jisions, fits. Is the intellect still weaker? he

  • 311s into impertinencies. -Prophesying dreams,

P^esensions, and prodigies. He is in danger

^f becoming either -a phantast or a humorist.

He of a sanguine constitution ha^ a predo- ?^it)ant feeling for the beautiful. Hence his J^ys are laughing and sprightly. If he is not 6^y, he is displeased and little knows con-

B 5 tented


tenter] tranquillity. Varlet}' is beautiful, and ha loves chaT);!in^. He seeks joy in himself uud ab lilt him, amuses others and is a good f;oinfianion. He has much moral sympathy, jfr. (\(. ifJ.rs in the paiely of others, and their grief makf;s him tender-hearted. His moral feel- in;^ is bf'.auLitul, but Mrithout principles , and always fh-jieiids immediately on the present impression, wliich the objects make on him. llii is a fricTid of all men, or, Mrhat is the .same, more properly never a friend, though Jie is inrlctHl good-hearted and benevolenL He cliis<;inbles ncit. To day he entertains you with Jiis friendliness and good humour, to morrow, if you arc sick or labouring under the weiirht of misfortunes, feels "true and undissc^nbled compassion, but slips, away sofily, lill the rircumslances alter. He never must be a jud^ie. The laws with him are ronunoniy loo stiict, and he allows himself to be gaiuod by tears. He is a bad saint, never very good and never very bad. He often de- bauches, and is vitious, more out of com- ]>liusanre than inclination. He is liberal and bonofioenl, but a bad payer of w^hat he o\M*s, beransc he has a great deal of feeling for bounty, but little for justice. Nobody has so good an opinion of his own heart , as ho. Though you do not esteem him; you must love him. In the greatest decadencv of his character he falls into the trifling, is toying and childish. I'nless age lessens the vivacitv, or vields more understand- ing, lie is in danger of growing an old |;awk.




He , who is distinguished by the choleric quality of mind, has a ruling feeling for that species of the sublime, which may be named the iiiagnijicejit. It is properly but the glitter of sublimity, and' a glaring colour w^hich hides the intrinsic value of the thing or of the person that is perhaps but common , and deceives and touches by the appearance. As a building with stucco, which represents hewn stone, makes just as noble an impression, as if it really consisted of the latter, andstuck-on cornices and pilasters , which convey the idea of firmness, though they have little stability and support nothing: thus shine tombac-vir- tues, tinsel wisdom and varnished merit.

The choleric considers his own value and that of his things and actions, from their hecomingness or their appearance. With re- gard to the intrinsic quality and the motive, vhich the object itself coihprises , he is cold ttid indifferent, neither warmed by true be- Jievolence, nor moved by reverence. * His "chaviour is artificial. He must know to take ^11 sorts of stations, in order to judge his ^corum from the different postures of the ^ctators; for he inquires little about what '^ is, but only what he appears. For wrhich 'cason he must well know the effect on the ^iversal taste and the various impressions, ^hich his demeanour will have on others. As ^® in this sly attention absolutely requires


He even holds liimself but so far happy, as he sup- I*^»ei that he is held so by others.

fls essatsAnd '

cool blood, and must not let himself be blinded by love, pity, and simpathy of h^rt; he will avoid many follies and vexations, into • which falls one of a sanguine temperament, who is fascinated by his immediate feeling. On that account he commonly seems more intelligent, than he really is. His benevolence is courteousness , his reverence ceremony, his love excogitated flattery. He is always full of himself, when he assumes the character of a lover or of a friend, and never is either the one or the 6:her. He endeavours to glitter by modes; but, as 'every thing in him is arti- ficial and made, he is therein stiff and unwiel- dy. He acts far more according to principlea, than the sanguine person, who is actuated merely by occasional impressions: these aie not , however , principles of virtue , but of honour, and he has no feeling for either the beauty or the worth of actions, but for the judgment which the public may pronounce on them. As his procedure, so far as the source from which it springs is not consider- ed, is almost of as common a benefit as virtue itself; he acquires in vulgar eyes the same estimation as the virtuous; but he carefully hides himself from finer eyes, because he well knows, that the discovery of the secret springs of ambition would destroy the reverence for him. He is thierefore much addicted to dissi- mulation , in religion hypocritical , in society a flatterer, in state -parties changeable accord- ing to circumstances. He is willingly a slave to the great, in order thereby to become a tyrant over the little. Naivete^ this noble or



beautiful simplicity, which bears on it the stamp of nature and not of art, is totally foreign to him. Hence, when his taste de- generates, his glitter is brawling, that is, in a disgustful manner boasting. He then falls, as well as to his style as to dress, into the gallimatia (the exaggerated) a species of im- pertinencies , which relatively to the magni- ficent is that, which is the strange or the chi- merical with regard to the serious sublime«  In offences he tlien falls upon duels or pro- ceases, and in the civil relations tipon ancestors, preoedence and title. So long as he is but vain, that is, seeks honour, and exerts himself to catch the eye, he may be easily supported; . but when, notwithstanding the total want of real preferences and talents, he is blown up, he is, what he would the least willingly be held, a fool.

FAs into the phlegmatic mixture no ingre- '^iicnts of either the sublime or beautiful usual- ly ljr,^ter in a very remarkable degree; this property of the mind belongs not to the con- iiexion of our discussions.

Of whatever nature these finer feelings, ' Jutherto handled, may be, whether they be

Sblime or beautiful , they have the common ..te, that they, in the judgment of those, u^'iHiose feeling is not attuned to thenx , always •«taa at once perverted and absurd. A man ^a tranquil and selfish diligence has, so to •peak, by no means the organs, to feel the '^ble touch either in a poem or in a heroic Virtue, he reads rather a Crusoe than a Grandi- ^^9 and holds Cato an obstinate fool. In the



5iime manner to persons of a somewhat sei di>[.C'<iLiun of mind that which is chart to Cillers appears trifling, and the bufl tiai'c:: oi a shepherds action is to ther sliid and chiluijh. And even, when mind is not toudlv destitiue of an accoi


ftne fcvHn^, the dcirrees of its irritabilit very oiderent, and it is obvious, that one f.iids something noble and becon which a^' pears tu the other great, indeed jKntenCOMS- The opportunities, which themselves in immor.il thins^s to disc iu.>meching of the feeling of another, may 0\va*ioii to conclude with tolerable probal on his feelings, lelativelv to the higher perties oc tlie mind and even of those o hcirt. Who tires during the performam a beauciuil piece of music , affords a presi tlv^n . th.»c tlie beauties of style and the <*nchaTur,iens o: kne will have little p over hi:n.

rhctc is a certain turn for trifles [espri K^ ^:\^V>\ \^hich indicates a sort of fine iTvc. ^'*t which directly tends to the coni oi the subHtiie, A taste for something, bee it is \ct\ artiri.ial and laboured, palindrc or \cvscs which may bo read backwards fvM wauls, riddles, waccjes in rings, ch loi tlcas v\c. \c. a taste f»>r every thing] suicvl w ic!i the compass and in a painfull nc vMvUil^. thor.i:!: '^-ifno lit use, for insta bos^ks w ::iv!! staTicI in lon^: rows in bookc tntelx o:n.»tiicn:cd. ami iU\ empty pat< boiio\t ,n'vi ;^c i:c;ij.!Ked with them; ro dccoiatcd UKc optical boxes aud washed c


^o excess y together with an inhospitable and surly landlord who inhabits them. A taste for all that is rare^ how little intrinsic value soever it may have. Epictetus' lamp, a glove of -Charles XII; the rage for coins falls in with this in a certain manner. Such pei sons are liable to great suspicion , to be in the sciences fan- cymongers and humorists, but in morals without feeling for all that is#in a free manner either beautiful or noble.

Persons wrong one another, when the one dispatches the other, who does not perspect the value, or the beauty of what moves, or charms him, by saying, he does not under- stand it. The question here is not so much, what the understanding perspects , as what is felt. Yet the capacities of the soul have so great a connexion , that for the most part one nuiy infer from the phenomenon of feeling to the talents of introspection. For these talents would be in vnin bestowed on him who has XiiM^y preferences of intellect, if he had not the same time a strong feeling for the true IfiDble or the beautiful; which must be the .D^g to apply well and regularly tliose gifts the mind. *


k 11 likewise obvious ; that a certain fiiievMss of feel-*

  1. K is accounted as a merit to a person. That one can

J"^ a hearty meal on roaft beef and plumpudding» or ^st'he sleeps incomparably well» is considered as a sign ^ f pod stomach and digestion, but'mever construed as a "•rit in him. Whereas , whoever sacrifices a part of hia M to a concert , or by a descri]>tion can be merged in an V'^ble absence of mind , or williiifty reads yviity pro«  AHctiont, were they but poetical trifle^* has almost in the ff>s of every body the consideration dl a man of fine feei- ng of whom one has a more layourftbie and for him more ^^^nounble opiuion.





It is customary to name useful that only, wl^ich can satisfy our coarser sensation , by supplying abundance of efFting and drinking, the expence of clothing, and the luxury and siimptuousn ess of entertainments andfeas tings, thouiih I do not see, wliv all that is "wished for by our most exquisite feelings should not alilce be numbered to the useful thines. But, ever>' thing taktfn on this footing, he whom self-interest rules is a man, with whom one never must reason on the finer and more ele- gant taste. A dunghil • fowl is indeed better in such a consideration than a parrot, an earthen pot more useful than a china basin, all the wits in the universe are not equalto a peasant, and the endeavour to discover the distance of the fixed stars, may be delayed;, till it is agreed upon, how plowing may be performed in the most advantageous manner. But what madness is it, to engage in such a contest, where it is impossible to lead one another to accordant feelings , because feeling is by no means accordant. One of the coarsest and most common feeling, however, may per- ceive, that the charms and sweets of life, which seem to be the least necessary , engross our greatest care and that, should we exclude those, we would have few springs left to so manv various endeavours. Yet nobody is so rude' as not to feci, that a moral action, at least in another, touches the more, the farther it is from self-interest, and the more those Zioble impulses are conspicuous in it.

When I notice the noble and the weals side of men, reciprocally, I upbraid myself, that I



am not able to tate that station, from which these contrasts represent in a touching!; form the great picture of the whole human nature. For I willingly concede^ that, so far irts it belongs to the great plan of nature, these grotesque positions can yield nothing but a noble expressic^ ; though one is far too shortsighted lo overlook them in this relation. In ordfir however to cast a feeble look on this, 1 believe I may make the following observa- tions. Those among mankind , who proceed according to principles^ are but very few^ which is no doubt good, as it can so easily happen to err in these principles, and then the dij^ad- yantage which arises therefrom extends itself the fardier, the more general the principle and the more steadfast the person is , who has laid them down for himself* Those, who act b from goodhearted instincts, are far more numerous; which, though it cannot be con- sidered singly as any great merit of the per- son, is highly excellent; for these virtuous instincts fail sometimes, but one with another they answer the great design of nature as well ?• the others that actuate the animal world

  • o regularly. Those who have in view their ,
  • no8t dearly beloved self, as the sole point of

reference of their exertions, and who en^lea- vour to turn everv thinij round self-interest, 2s the great axle, are the most numerous ; than ^Mch nothing can be more advantageous, for these arc the most diligent*, orderly, and cir- cumspect; they give to the whole firmness te I and stability, by being of public use even

1 1 ^thout their^ intention , they furnish tlie

^ I ' ^ol,. IL C necessaries

    • «e «a«*^^* Itvsti^*^- ,o«$oti»aW ^j^e

^^"^Itvt fe**>^Le at^^^Lfe o£ ^^^^^"^

  • -«*slotv» ^\,a the ^* , aig>^ity-


%- 111

HE Diriri-i-r

c BHAUTirr:: ir -

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under the i:=n* ir "-l* ^z::' z-^z. -ru.i^

laps to Sc.7 KzneLiir.i: li^tufr-jrr rir i^ hit it better, thar re iisLrif nf- i.-^»

igined- For. 'withcna '!2J'±:£: n-i: ir-.-.i*-

on, that their form is in r^.er3_ -jT/;^ti.-^r

Lures softer ar.d mc-re c-i-iii.-t. -^isr^nisr

the expressiiii of frieiii-izsess

kindness axjd LumEniTr s^oc

1 ensarinsi , then iLct of li * m

•gettip^, however, iLi* -»^:i

ducted for the secre: irj.zi: !•: they render onr jc>?i:- fi- :

ost advantaieov-s ifC£r>sL.i ::

i chiefiv in the cLtTb'.'^ if

X peculiar srroie*, whiii. :.*r'.- from ours, ar.1 "w^r^.r. iTrizjia

lake it hno-wn by tit :rli«rA-.t!

^ the other h£.T.^., L^y c'lIs: 1:

on of the nch!e itx , -srtsre i: 7.

noble disposition of iE3i,d.

f honour and rather to bestow

hem. By this is not to be

vomen yant noble propcTde§

^^e sex must totally dispense

C 2

T -J*

-!:* ItSli'lIlZTii

-ii— Jr—


- — - — .. "i::!.

lit Z:

»— >•• •» ^

, -c^

i tt* bet".-

sn-'vcfd, that each s

i.it all other cxct

.1 • unite themselves

, .^u- chaiacier of ihe bi

■ :cr point of reference ;

^ :tt,ilc properties the subi

i-t his sex, must be il

^ ; ,' iliis must refer all jiuljin

- ^.■^^^'i, as well ihc coninicnd,

".■.;Mi'. This niusL all ediuiil

,, , ..-.•!'. .iiicl all endeavours to forw

,■ V. -;«vumi of both, ha^e in view

,. . jii.tiiiifl distinction, which nature

,.• <nal«>' between two human sexe;

>.■ :.'u.h')tHl incliscemihlc. For it is li

^:;-, ■(--■;." I t«> represent men to one's self,

I. '.;h> vuiu: lime he noticed that the

f.i- uv'l *'l the same nature,

\\ k-mrn have an innate strong fee! «'! i!uu is beautiful, onianiented and i:.,'n^l. Virr.ady in youth tliey are ^v: ,; . ..w\l .luil tate a pleasure in beiiii: r 'i.-v .iiv * U'iUily and very delicate witli

,. ivi
\ lliiujc that occasions disgust.
..»*• ■,-,^;iii^, ""d can be entertaJnpi

UiBvs, if ti They aotiuii Know lo asf and (.u.-^.-.s « lien (Jill ue iiwliw.iiil ,111 »ym|KUli<Mi-

1 1 l.fl*


aupporC the expence of glitCer »nd dress. They are very sensible of the smallest offence, and in general acute in observing thesmallesEwanC of attention and reverence for them. In fine, they coniain the chief ground of the conrrast of the beautiful properties with the noble in human nature, and even refine the male sex.

1 hope I may be excused from the enu- meration of the male properties, po far as tliey nin parallel with those, as it may siLflice to contemplate botb in the comparison. The female sex have und£rstfmdin<;, as well as the male, yet is it hut a fine understanding; our ' imderstanding must be a profound one, which ii an expression of the same signification with a sublime. ^

To the beauty of .ill actions it belongs, chiefty, that they jhow an easiness in them- ttW«R and seem to be accomplished without a painful exertion; whereas efltbrts and sur- ' mounted difficulties excite admiration and belong to the sublime. Deep reflection and along continued contemplation are noble, but difficult, and are not suitable to a person, in lyhom ought to appear charms without con- iaint and a beautiful nature. I^iborious or painful investigation , though a should succeed in it, destroys the jies peculiar to her sex, and may sintjiilarity render, her an object ation; but it at the same time |rnis, by which slie exercises rer the other sex. Woman, Uuffed with Greeh, like on profound disputes about


about mechanics, like the marchioness oj Chastelet, might have a beard to boot; foi this woiild perhaps express more remarkably the air of penetration , to which they aspire The fine uilderstanding chuses for its object; all that is nearly connected with the fine feel ing, and leaves abstract speculations ant knowledge , which are useful but dry , to thi diligent, solid and profound imderstanding Ladies consequently do not study geometry they know but as much of the position of sul ficient reason , orofmonades, as is necessary in order to perceive th^ salt in the satires o the shallow fancyinongers of our sex. Thi fair may let Cartesius* vortices continue t( revolve, without giving them|elves any troubl on that account, even shoiud the agreeabL Fontenelle bear them company among th< planets, and the attraction of their charmi loses nothing of its power, though they shoiik know nothing of all that Algarotti endeavour ed to point out, for their use, of the power of attraction of coarse matter according t< Newton. They should fill their heads neithe with battles from history, nor with forts fron geography; for it becomes them as little ts smell of gunpowder, as men of musk. .

It seems to be a wicked artifice of men t have wished to mislead the fair sex to thi perverted taste. For, well aware of thei weakness with regard to its natural charff and that a single waggish look throws thei into more confiision, than the most difficu. question of the schools , they find themselve as soon as the sex gives into this taste ^ 4^


treatisesj 59

cidedly superior, and in the advantage, which they otherwise would scarcely have, assist tlie weal&nesses of its vanity with a generous in«  diligence, * The isubject of the great science of wDnien is rather a hiisband, and of men, man. The philosophy of women is not to reason, but to feel. In the opportunity that is afforded them to cultivate their beautiful nature , this relation must always be had in view. One must endeavour to enlarge their whole moral feelilig, but not their memory, and that not by universal rules, but by some judgments on the conduct which they see around them. The examples that are borrowed from other times in] order, to perspect the influence that the fair sex have had in the affairs of the world , the various relations, in which they stood towards the male sex in other ages, as well as in foreign countries ; the character of both , so far as it may be hereby illustrated, and the variable taste of pleasures , constitute their whole his- tory and geography. It is proper, that the view of a map, which represents either the whole globe , or the chief parts of the world, should be rendered agreeable to women. This may be done by presenting it but for the pur- f pose of describing the various characters of I Nations that inhabit them, the differences of

their taste and moral feeling , especially with

regard to the effect which these have on the relations of the sexes ; with a few easy dilu- ^cidations from the difference of climates, of

Iithdr liberty or slavery. It is of little moment, •, iWhcther or not they know the particular divi- ^8 of these countries, their commerce,

C 4 potency


potency and rulers. In like manner it will; not be useful for them to know more of ih$ fabric of the world, than is necessary to render nioxin;: to them tlie a'^pecc of the^eavensin a beanriful evening , if thev have in soine nioisuie conipiehencled, that there are to be nif't wi.'Ii .siiil more worlds and in them other bcnutifiil creanires. Feeling for expressive dc-ciij-tiorif. , and for music, not so far asic slit^ws ar!, but sentiment, all this forms and lif'nes th^ tnsse of this sex, and has always sojijc connexion with moral emotions. Never a cold and speculative instruction, always .scrisiiitenLs or feelings, which remain as near as possible to their relation of sex. This instruction is so rare, because it requires talr cnis, experience and a feeling heart, and v/ouicn may do \vithout every other, as evep- without these they commonly cultivate or improve themselves very well.

The virtue of the female sex is a beautiful virtue. * Ihat- of the male must be a. nobl^ one. I'hose avoid the bad, hot because it is wiong, but because it is ugly, and virtuous adions sifinify, w^iilx them, such as are moral- ly benuriful. Nothing of ought , nothing oi must , nolhinfi!: of due. All orders and all surly compulsion are to women insupportable. They sonicMliing but because they are pleased so to do, and the art consists but in making tha'i


  • Tliis IS above (pajje 22), in a strict judgment, namfl^

odcjttru virtue; Iili'u, as on account of the character oi tlif sc\ ii merits a f.i\oura1)Ie justification, it is in generaJ deiioiiiinated a bcautiiui Tirtue.


i.which is good pleasing to them. I hardly .lelieve that the fair sex are capable of prin-. dpies, and in this I hope I do not offend, for these are very rare with men. Instead of which, however, Providence hath implanted in their ' breasts humane and benevolqnt sentiments, a fine feeling for becomingness , and a complai- sant soul. Let not sacrifices and maonanimous lelf- compulsion be" required. A man must never tell his wife, w^hen he risks a part of Ms fortune on account of a friend. Why should he fetter her sprightly affability by burdening her' mind with a weighty secret, the ^ lieeping of which is incumbent on him only? ' Even many of their weaknesses are, so to I- speak, beautiful faults. Injury or misfortune ►" moves tlieir delicate souls to sorrow. A man y must never shed but generous tears. Those I which he sheds in pain or for circumstances of fortune ■ render liim contemptible. The iHWity, with which the fair sex is so often upbraided , if it be a fault in them , it is but ft beautiful one.- For not to mention, that men, who so willingly flatter the fair, would be in a .sad case , were these not inclined to take it well; they really animate thereby their charms. This inclination is an incitement, to show agreeableness and good grace, to give play to their sprightly wit, as also to glitter by the variable sensations occasioned by dress, and to heighten their beautv. In this now "^re is nothing so offensive to others, but Wher, when it is done with good taste, some- thing so comely and elegant, that it is very ^^'Unannerly to inveigh severely against it. A

C 5 woman,



womaTi, who flirts aiid dazzles too much v .this, is ntanedn fools which term, hdwe has no such harsh meaning , as when app] to a man, insomuch that, when pers understand one another, it' may sometii denote even a familiar flattery. If vai is a fault which in a woman well me excuse ; to he pufied up with pride not only blameable' in them, as in i in general, but totally disfigures the < racter of their sex. ' For this prop) is stupid, ugly, and' totally opposite to engaging, insinuating, modest charm. T. such a person is in a slippery situation, must be content to be judged severely 'xvithout the smallest indulgence; for w^hoi boasts of meriting esteem, invites all aro; lier to censure. Bach discovery of even smallest fault affords a real joy to every b< and the word fool here loses it softe signification. Vanity and haug:htiness n always be distinguished. The former S( applause and in some measure honours th on whose accoimt it gives itself this troul the latter believes itseu already in its full ] session, and as it docs not endeavoiu- to quire it, it gains none. A few in<nredient vanity by no means disfigure a ^ fves of the male sex ; jMj^y s evident they are, the^^^^ sex among one anot" another veiy sharp to eclipse the clian who have great pi fieldom friends in i


I? To the beautiful there is nothing so oppo- l^nte as the disgustful, and nothing sinks more Beneath the sublime than the ridiculous. Hence • AO abuse can be more cutting to a man , than ' to name him a fool , and to a woman , than . that she is disgusting. The spectator takes it, that no reproach can be more mortifying - to a man , than to be held a liar , and to a voman none bitterer, than that she is un- chaste. I shall let this, so far as it is judged • according to strict morality, remain valid. \ Bat here the question is not, \srhat in itself merits the greatest blame, but what is actually the most severely felt. And I put the ques- tion to the reader, whether, when he has r reflected on this case, he does not coincide with my opinion. Miss Ninon Lenclos laid not the smallest claim to the honour of chas- tity, and yet she would have been irreconcil- ably o£Pended, had one of her lovers trans- gressed so much in his judgment: and we all hnow the ciaiel fate of Monaldeschi, on ac- count of an insulting expression of this na- ture , from a princess, who did not even wish to represent a Lucretia. It is« insupportable, that one should not even be able to db bad, though he had a mind to it, as the forbearance from it is never but a very ambiguous virtue.

In order to avoid this disgustfulness as much as possible, cleanliness is necessary, which indeed becomes eveiy person , but in the fair sex is among the virtues of the first rank, and by them cannot easily be carried too far, men, however, sometimes carry it to

excess and it is then named triAing.



44 . C S S A Y S A xV D '

Modesty is a secret of nature, to set boimclil to an inclination which is ve.ry iingovemabliu and, as it has the call of nature for it, always seems, though it rambles, to agree with good moral properties. It, therefore, as a supple* pient to principles, is highly necessary; fin there is no case where the inclination becomet so easily a sophist, to invent agreeable prin- ciples, as here. But modesty serves at £he same time to throw a mysterious veil • even over the fittest and most necessary ends of na^ ture, in order that the too intimate acquain- tance with them may not occasion disgust, or at least indifference , with regard to the final designs of an instinct, upon which are grafted the finest and most lively inclinations of hu- man nature/ This property is chiefly peculiar to the fair sex , and \ery beseeming to them. It is coarse and contemptible ill -breeding to occasion embarrassment or indignation to this delicate pudicity by that sort of vulgar joking named obscenity- As however, let the mystery be ever so much preserved, the inclination to sex ultimately forms the basis of all other charms, and a woman, as a woman, is alw'ays the agreeable subject of a good -mannered conversation; so it may perhaps be thence explained, why men, other- wise polite, sometimes take the liberty of insinuating through their wanton jokes a few line allusions , whifch occasion them to be de- nominated loose or icaggishy and w^ho, as they neither offend by prying looks, nor intend to violate the due reverence, believe to be entitled to name tlie person , who takes it with a re- served


served pr an indignant mien , a female pedant

of honour. I uicntion tliis but becaus^it is

commonly considered as a somewhat bold

. stroke of fine intercourse, and indeed much

flit hps hitherto been lavished on it: but as

to the ludgment according to moral strictness,

Ou it belongs not to this disqnisitiov , as I have

( to obseive and to explain but the phenojneaa

i in the feeling of the beautiful.

The noble properties of tliis sex, which I however, as we have already noticed, must

never render indiscernible the feeling of the

beautiful , annonjice themsehes by nothing more distinctly or more surely, than by discrC' tirf, a species of noble siniplicily and naivete accompanyin<r great excellencies. From which proceed a calm benevolence and reverence for irt^iefB, ai the samt; time combined with a cer- tain noble coiijidciice in one's self and a just wlf-esiiiuatioii , wliich are always to be met with in a sublime lenipcr of mind. As this fine mixture engages at the same time by I channs and tontJics by reverence; it puts all [ the otiier glitiei ing properties in safely against I the-petulance of censure and the rage of deri- Persons of this fmme of mind have also t for friendship which, as it is so very ^ a woman and at the same time must be |r charming , never can be sufllciently

Htion to judge on feelings,

ible to reduce if pos-

' '£ference of the im-

d the lineaments

b. This whole



ixichantment i^ at bottom spread oyer ti instinct', to sex. Nature pursues her great dc sign , and all purities , which associate them selves therewith , let them seem to be eve^ sc far removed from it , are but garnitures , and borrow their charm at last from the very sami source. Oi^e of a sound and strong taste, whc always keeps very near to this instinct, it little allured by the charm of decency , of fea- tures, of eyes &c. &c. , in a woman, and, aj his sole aim is the sex , he for the most pan considers the delicacy of others as empt] toying.

Though this taste is not fine , it is not 01 that account to be despised. For the Voll of mankind by means of it follow in «  very simple and secure manner the great ordc of nature. * Thereby are the greater nuxnbe of marriages brought about and indeed by th- more dilligent part of the human species, and as the man has not his head filled with bewitch ing languishing eyes , noble decency &c. &( and understands nothing of all this ; he i more attentive to household virtues, frugali ty &c. &c. , and to the dower. As to th somewhat fine taste, on whose account it ma be necessary to make a difference between th outward charms of the ladies; it adheres eithc to what is moral in the form and expressio


  • As every thing in the world has its bad sidcf it is '

be regretted, with regard to this laste, that it degeiierat znore easily than ^another into debauchery. For as the fii which one person has kindled, may be extinguished I every other ; there are not diiHculties enow to bridle 2 unruly inclination.



of the face, or to what is not moral. A woman with respect to the graces of the latter sort is named pretty. A well-proportioned shape, regular features, colour of the eyes and com- plexion, gracefully contrasted, merely beauties which plea^ in a nosegay and acquire a gold y applause. The face itself, though it is pretty, says nothing , and speaks not to the heart. With regard to the expression of the linea- ments , of the eyes and of the mien , that is moral; it tends to the feeling of either the sublime, or the beautiful, A woman, in whom Utit agrernens^ that grace her sex, render conspi- qious the moral expression of the sublime chiefly, is denominated beautiful in the proper sense of the word : she, w^hose moral delinea- tion, so far as it is conspicuous in the mien or the features , announces the properties of the beautiful , is agreeable , and when she is so in a high degree , charming. The former under an air of tranquillity and a noble de- cency displays by modest looks the glitter of s fine understanding, and, as a delicate feel- ing and a benevolent heart are portrayed in her face, she takes possession as well of the inclination as of the esteem of a male heart. The latter shows sprightliness and wit in laughing eyes, a somewhat fine petulance, jocularity and waggish prudeiy. She charms, when the other touches, and the sentiment of love, of which she is susceptible and with which she inspires others, is inconstant but I beautiful ; whereas the sentiment of the other ! is delicate, combined with reverence, and constant. I don't chuse to enter into too mi- nut?


nute dissections of this nature; for.in-snc. cases the author always seems to paint hi own inclination. But I must still touch ai the following: that the taste which man] ladies have for a healthy but pale colour, ma) be here understood. For this ccfmmonly ac- companies a disposition of mind of inort inward feeling and delicate sentiment, whicb belong to the property of the sublime, whereas the florid an4 blooming complexion announ- ces less of the former , but more of the gaj and sprightly temper of mind ; it is howeva more conformable to vanity to move and tc ravish , thati to attract and to charm. Persons on the other hand without all moral feelin? and without any expression of sentiment^ ma) be very pretty; but they neither touch noi charm, unless it be that strong taste aforemen tioned , which sometimes refines itself a littli and then chuses in its own way. It is unfor- tunate, that such beautiful creatures easil) fall into the fault of haughtiness, by the •consciousness of the elegant figure, which their mirror shcAvs them, and from a wtfnl of fine feelings; as then they render ever) body cold and indifferent towards them, ex- cept the flatterer, who has his views and devises tricks.

According to these conceptions something may perhaps be understood of the so difFerenI effect , which the fi^rure of the very same wo- man has on the taste of men. That, which in this impression refers too nearly to th< instinct to sex and may agiee with the parti' cular voluptuous fancy, with which it clothci



itself, I do not mention here, as it is not within the province of fine taste; and what Buffon presumes may perhaps be right, namely, that that figm^e, which makes the first impres* sion at the time, when this instinct is yet new and begins to unfold itself, remains the archetype , to which for the future must more or less refer all female shapes, which the phantastical longing may excite, whereby a pretty coarse inclination is obliged to choose among the different objects of a sex. As to the somewhat finer taste, I maintain, that that species of beauty , which we have named the pretty figiu-e, is judged nearly alike by all men , and that the opinions of it are not to different, as is commonly believed. Th6 Circassian and Georgian women have always been held. extremely pretty by all the Euro- peans, who iidve travelled in tlieir countries. The Turks, the Arabians, the- Persians, must Hpeiijpctly of this taste, as they are very desirous to embellish their nations by so fine Mood, and it may be remarked, that in this Ae Persian race has acLually succeeded. The nierchants of Indoslan do not fail to derive great advantage from a wicked trade in 80 beautiful creatures , by bringing them to ^^e rich voluptuaries of their country, and It may be observed, tliat, let the caprice of toste in the different parts of the world differ ®ver so much, that, which is once cognised as Vwy pretty in one of them, is held so in all

  • be others. But where in the judgment on

^^ fine figure that which is moral in the fea- ^es mixes itself, the laste in different men Vol.n. D is

fjO £ S S A Y S A N D

is always very different , as well arGcording^j as their moral feeling itself is different, as a< cording to the different signification, whi the expression of the physiognomy may have^ in every one's fancy. One finds, that those shapes , which at first sight have no extraordi- nary effect , because they are not decidedly pretty , commonly , as soon as they begin to please by a nearer acquaintance, engage much more and seem to embellish tliemselves eon- tinually ; whereas the pretty appearance, that annouT>ces itself at once, is afterwards per- ceived with greater frigidity^ prdbably because the moral charms, where they are evident, captivate more, as also because they by oc- casion of moral feelings put tliemselves in activity and in a manner discover themselves, but every discovery of a new charm always leaves room to presume still more such; in- stead of which, .all charms, thai do not conceal themselves, after they have just atMhe be- ginning exercised their whole effect^ can af- terwards do nothing farther, than cdol the enamoured curiosity and bring it gradually to indifference.

Aiuong these observations presents itself naturally the following remark. The whole simple and coarse feeling in the inclinations of the sexes leads directly to the great end of nature and, as it answers her demands, is proper to render the person himself happy without a roundabout J but on account of the great universality it easily degenerates into dessipation and* debauchery. A very refined taste » on the other hand, serves to abate the



fiplhess of a violent inclination lUid, by ttricting it but to a very few objects ^ to ^ der it modest and decent ; but it common- j^'misses the great final purpose of nature, and it requires or expects more , than she com- iiiily yields , it is wont to make the person ^f 90 delicate a feeling very seldom happy* ihe former disposition of mind is rude, as it lifers to all of a sex , the latter whimsical, by wferring properly to none, but is occupied about one object only, which the amorous inclination creates for itself in thought, and ornaments with all noble and beautiful pro- perties, which nature seldom unites in one man, and 'still seldomer bestows th^m on him Vfho can value them and would be worthy of •uch a property. Hence arise the delay and ultimately t^e total renunciation of the ho- nourable conjunction, or, what is perhaps just as bad, a peevish repentance when a choice, which does not answer the great ttcpegtations that were entertained, is once made ; for Aesop's cock does not unfrequently find a pearl, when a common barleycorn Aad suited him better. - ~

We may in general observe, that, let the impressions of the most delicate feeling be €ver so charming » there is reason to be care- fill in the refinement of it , if we would not by a too great irritability bring upon our- •tlves much ill-humour and find out a source of evils. I would propose, to more noble •Oiils, to refine, as much as they can, the feel- ing relative to those properties , which belong to themselves I or diose actions which they

D 8 themselves


-tbemselves perform, wheress,- relative what they either enioy or expect from^o to preserve the taste in its whole'simpl did I perspect but how this is possible done. But in the everit of its Ai plishmentf they would make others ] and likewise be happy themselves. It always be kept in view, that, in wK manner it be, no great claim must be 1 the joys of life and to the perfection of for |ie, whose expectations are always i rate, has the advantage, that the issue s< disappoints his hope, but, on the cbn is sometimes surprised by unexpected fections.

At last however age, the great destfc beauty, threatens all these charms, and, natural order is to be followed , othe su and noble properties must gradually o the place of tlie beautiful , in order to i a person , as she ceases to be lovely , a worthy.of a greater reverence. In my of the whole perfection of the fair sex ouj the bloom of years to consist in ilie bea simplicity,, elevated by a reiined feeling that is charming and noble. As tlie p sions to charms remit, the reading of and the enlarging of knowledge might i sibly supply the vacant place of the < by the Muses, and the husband ought the iirst insjigg^^ However, -w hen ol an epoch ; they even t they disfigi despaii



^ve themselves up to a morose and waspish humour.

A woman advanced in years , who graces a society with her modest and friendly be- haviour, is affable in a cheerful and rational .manner, favours with decency the pleasure of youth , in which she herself has no share, and , while she takes care of every thing , be- trays contentment and complacency in the joy 3he sees around her, is still a finer person, than a man of the same age, and perhaps more amiable than a young woman , though in an- other sense. Indeed tlie platonic love, which an ancient philosopher pretended, when he said of the object of his inclination, ^/le Graces* reside in her icr'nikles , and my very soul seems to hover on my lips^ when I kiss her withered rnoutJi , may be somewhat too mysti- cal; but such claims must then.be relinquished. An old man in love is a gawk, and similar . pretensions of the other sex are disgustful. It is never the fault of nature if we appear not with a good grace , but of our endeavouring to pervert nature.

In order not to lose sight of my text, I «liall#yet make a few observations on the in- fluence which the one sex may have on, the other, either to embellish or to ennoble its .feeling. Women have chiefly a feeling for ^Ac beautiful^ so far as it belongs to them- Ives; but for the nohle^ so far as it is to be with in the male sex. Man on the other las a decided feeling for the noble that

  • o his properties ; but for the heauti-

" as it is to be met with in the

D 5 women.


women. Hence must follow , that the endi of nature tend still more to ennoble the mvOL by the inclination to sex and still more to ] embellish the woman by the very same incli- nation, A woman is at no loss , because die ' does not possess certain deep introspections^^ because she is timid and not fit for weighty affairs 8cc. &c.; she is beautiful, she is en^ gaging, and that is enough. Whereas, she requires all these properties in a man and the sublimity of her soul discovers itself but by ' her knowing to value these noble properties, so far as they are to be met with in him. How would it otherwise be possible , that so many male apish faces, though they may have merit, could get so handsome and Bne wives? Man, on the other side, is much more delicate with regard to the beautiful charms of the women. He is by their fine figure, their sprightly naivete and I heir charming friendliness, suf- ficiently indemnified for the want of booh- lenniing and for other wants, which he must supply by his own talents. Vanity and modes may easily give a false direction to these na- tural impulses and of many a man make a beau , but of many a woman a -pedan^ox an amazon ; but nature alwavs endeavours to return to her own order. From this may be judged, what potent influence the inclination to sex would have chiefly on the male sex, in order to ennoble them, if, instead of much dry instruction, the moral sentiment of the \iromen were early developed , in order to feel sufficiently what belongs to the dignity and the sublime properties of the other sex , and




ihey were thereby prepared to consider the trif- ling fops with contempt, and to be attached to no'other property than merit. It is beyond a doubt that the power of their charms would thereby gain in general ; for it is obvious, that their magic for the most part acts but on iioble souls « others are not' fine enough to feel it. As the poet Simonides , wh^n he was advised to let the Thessaliens hear his fine cantatas, said, These fellows are too stupid to be deceived by such a man as I am. It has .always been considered as an effect of the in- tercourse with the fair sex , that the manners of the men are grown softer , their behaviour more agreeable and more polite; and their address more elegant; however this is but a secondary matter. * The greatest consequence* is, that the man as a man grow more perfect and the woman as a woman , that is , that the springs of the inclination to sex act conform- ably to the hint of nature, to ennoble the one still more and to embellish the properties of the other. When things come to the ex- treme-, the man may boldly say of his merit. Though you do not love me, I will compel you to esteem me, and the women, sure of the might of their charms , answer , Though

D 4 you

  • £Ten this advantage is very much diminiahed by the

^herv^tioHf iivhich one pretends to have made, that HOie men, who have too early and too often fre- d such societies, in which women give tlie ton, inly grow somewhat trifling, and in the commerce ^ len are either tiresome or contemptible, because \ost th« taste for a conversation, which must it it tru9 > but of intrinsic value* facetious, dbous diicourte.


you do not esteem us profoundly, we wil compel you to love us. For want of such principles men may be seen to adopt efFeminaf cieSy in order toplease, and women sometimes (though much seldomer} to affect a mascu- line air, in order to inspire esteem-; but wh^C is done contrary to the course of nature i» always very badly done.

In the connubial life Uie united pair must in a manner constitute one single moral per- son, who is animated and governed by the understanding of the man and by the taste of the woman. For not only that more insight grounded upon experience may be attributed to him, and to her more freedom nnd justness of feeling, but a disposition of mind, the

«niore sublime it is, is the more inclined tc place the greatest design of the exertions in

, the contentment of a beloved object, and on the other hand the more beautiful it is, tlw more it endeavours to retaliate this exertion In such a relation therefore a /;ontest for pre- ference is trilling and, where it happens, tlw surest criterion cither of a coarse , or of ar unequally matched taste. When it comes t( that pass , that the question is concerning thi right to command, the matter is already highly spoiled; for, where the whole union is found ed but upon inclination, it is, as soon a; shall begins to be heard , immediately dis solved. The pretension of the woman in thii harsh tone is extremely ugly, and of themai in the highest degree ignoble and contemp tible. The wise order of things, however will have it, that all tiiese finenesses and deli



cacies of- feeling shall liave their whole strength in the beginning only, but afterwards

L by commerce and domestic affairs grow in- sensibly blunter y and then degenerate into familiar love, where at last the great art con- sists in preserving sufficient rests of ijiose, in > order that indifference find disgust may not destroy the whole value of the pleasure, by which only is requited the entering into such

i. a conjunction.





A mong the nations of our part of ttie world the Italians and the French , in my opi* nion, are those, who distinguish themselves ' the most by the feeling of the beautiful , but the Germans , the Britons , and the SpaniarcU, by tliat of the' subinne. Holland may be held that coimtr}', where this fine taste is pretty imperceptible. The beautiful itself is either bewitching and moving, or gay and charming. The former has in it something of the sub- lime y and the mind in this feeling is mdan- choly and wrapt up in ecstasy, but in the feel« 


  • My design is by no meant to pjiint the cHancter of

uativ'>ns at lar«^e, but to sketch a few strokes only, Tirhick express in th.^>e.the sentinuMit of the beautiful ani sublime. It n^Av be easilv divinoii. tliat in suph a delineation nothing

lab who


in dispositions v^f mind, >vliich unite the most excellent properties of this sort. JV-r whic!i reason the censure that may occasionally fall on a naticn can otlend nobody « ai it is of such a nature . as evcrv v"ne may strike it baA like a ball, to his nei^hb.^ur. Wheiher these* Rational dif- ferences -re contingent ani liepe::*: en :he periocs and on cue sr.«.-we< of *:. rernmer.: , cr -rs by a certain necessicf bound CO ihe clin:a:e> I shall tioc here investigate*


f the second species smiling and joyful. le Italians seems that , to the French this f beautiful feeling to be chieHy suitable. B national character , which has the ex* on of the sublime in itself, this is eitlier >f the terrific species , that leans a little ds the portentous , or it is a feeling for Dble, or for the magnificent. I believe sre reason to attribute the feeling of the ort to the Spaniard , that of the second e Briton , and that of . the third to ihc an. The feeling for tlie magpificept is iing to its nature not original , like the species of taste ; ;ind though a spirit of tion may be combined with every other g, it is more peculiar to that of the glit- j: for this is, correctly speaking, a mixed ig of the beautiful and of the sublime, B every onfe contemplated apart is colder, lence the mind is free enough to attend amples in irs connexion and stands in of their impulse. The German has con- intly less feeling relative to the beautiful the Frenchman, and less of what refers e sublime than the Briton ; but in those , where both are to appear combined, it ire conformable to his feeling, as he then ily avoids the faults, into w-liich an ex- gant force of every one of tliese sorts of ig only can fall.

shall touch but slightly on the arts and ces , whose choice can confirm the taster le nations, which we have ascribed to I. The Italian genius has rendered itself picuous chiefly in music, painting, sta- tuary

luary mid -architecture.* All these j r.uil for themselves an equally line , I'lance, lhouf;h iheir benuly here is \ei IniC- '-the tasLe rehuive to poetical i lotial perfection falls in Frnnce mor< ).tcstuilul, in llritain nioie into thfr ThctP ;irc orif^lnal fine raillery an< tomedy, laughing satire, ninorou! and th^ easy aud njiturally flowii

  • here, im Uic other hand, thou^Jits on

subjects, Uaijcdy, epic jioetry, and wii of massy gold %vhii.h, under tin liammcr, may he beaten into very ieft*e». In Germany wiL glitters mi through folly. Formerly it was bra' examph:s and ihe undeFSiandiii"; of th it is tniJecd gruw^ more charming aH but tragedy IK with less imitrrre-', undejil with a less bold soaring, ilftm in till mentioned naiions. The laste of th nnlioii in a painful order nnd in « ■■ thnt occasiunti iTOahloandcnibarrasKniil 10 [(resume little seittiment ^vithregn: artless and frcn fli"bt5 of genius, whi ly is but dof^ftmoa by the anxious av< jfatilts. Nothing can poAitibty be moi cfll lo all alls And jcionire>, than a si ]!..ri.t.ri,.iN I 1-1.., a5 this (listoit-s na( -i: ' that U beauriful an

1- i.lsh nation has aha

fling for either the liberal arts or Uie

characters of mind of nation»,Eire't}ie iowable Jn Uint which is moral m for which rcnson we shall frutn ihia vicwtalte into consideration ihcir clif- Bntiments rehitive to the sublime And I.*

Spaniard is serious, reserved, yera- There are few honester niercliants in . Id thail tlic Spaniard. He has n ]irOu^ rd mor^feelinj^ for great than for benii- i'on$. A.^ in lii^ cumpesition HtUv ftnid t benevolence is to be met with, bpis Jy hard aiid evtn cruel. The j4uIo iln tdins itself not so much by sujiei'5ti< j by the jiorteiitoiis inclination of the which is moved by a solemn hurrible herein they see Snn Bmlto, )i«iint- J, conmiilled lo the f1anie5 that hit<j Isindled. It c<innoi be satd, hA id more higlimindcd or more [ one of iinqtlier luition; but lie Jgoiienious manner, -which is ^opjmon. 'To leave the plun^h ill the field with a s'-vord and a lite traveller is pa:j3ed , or in a bull- He-hfln. t),(. |i,.nps i;n,; h, -.,,iips of the I, lo an- nounce



Cm essatsakd

xioimce his mistress by a peculiar salai and then, to do her honour, to run th of his life in a dangerous combat with a beast, are uncommon and strange ac which greatly deviate from the natural.

The Italian seems to have a mixed fe that of a Spaniard and of a Frenchman; sentiment for the beautiful than the £< and more for the sublime than the lattei this manner may be explained, in my opJ the other strokes of his moral character.

The Frenchman has a predominant ft for the moral beautiful. He is agreeable lite and complaisant. He grows very qu familiar, is jocular and free in conversi and the expression he or she is du ho -can be understood but by those', who acquired the delicate sentiments of a Fr man.'*' Even his sublime feelings, oi\

  • The rcftJet will Be pleased to rem ark, that thi« ■

■was "written long before the Irench IlevoLution; which period the character and manners of tlie Frenc undergone so great a change, that the fine feelin amiable qualities t mentioned by our author, l^ve tunately given place to properties of a very diilerent W'^ith wliat epithets can we brand a nation , wh( sedition and rebellion bacred duties; w^ho have turue native country into a bear-garden, where there is : religion, nor morality, nor liberty, nor propertj laws, nor justice, nor humanity; %vhose /ive atr unrelenting, blood-thirsty tyrants and usurpers, ci all sense of virtue and honour, have, by projjagat mocratical and revolutionary principles, by exciting Tcctions , by sanguinary invasions a«id by rapine , p almost every surrounding nation into the deepest d and seek to fraternise, not only Europe, but the World, in the chains of a Jacobinical* reformation; know no other jg;lory than that of war, no means of ] nty» but extortion and robbery \brig»ndas«\\ wlio I


e »uborduinte to ^e feeling atid rvceive tlietr force buC iSeiision wi(h the lauei'. He is'verjr witty and sacrifices, without hesita^ Isonietliing of the irulli to a saUy. Where- whcrc one cinrtot bcwltty, * he shows Id introspection , as well a.s any person of ~ nation, fur instance, in ili« niathcma- in the other dry or profound arts and A ban mot with him ha» not the,j itoiy Talue an witli others, it i:i eRgerly BTOlnulg»t«d, and carefully trcisured up in books, like the most niomentouri event. He is a peaceable citizen (!) and revenges himself for th^ oppression of the Fanners General by siUlres, or by renionsu'anccs to pArlianient, which.

BBortte tluTnaelvea by iuperiJding lo iIir Inoienei*

~niplion di their lucisut moriill tlie igtiur.inca, the

~ , tiiA licciitioKsneti, the frronUv, «iiJ t1ie violoiica

y ol b«rbariMij ; ii»y , Cto oroivn tlieie onormitin*.

ist fill (he inindji of ihcue (iiicpptibln t>C the teel'

>4liiiiiaiiiiy willi liortuur Kni ilBieitiiiiuii.l wli» iiuva '

— ocean of innocent bIcniJ, arxl who lanttHj utt^s-

intl poiioning, nnii mnnlet. rniA regtadc? —

• heinoTis crime* , «t which nainte shoioer* > li«pc

,Bn^iiled> in soaie measure, by iha total ov^rilu'ow .iliuin of mosl of their lofamnul authou, Htii thvienisin- >*| fiw flagiiiou) We hitherto succeitful villaini. [hdnkt n [bs hydia of dEinocraticnl dtBOtiI«T > itmtl (Otivtinf^ npun '■vbrinil of deinociioni

, tiphyiK. in moral nnd in the dnccrlnea of reli-

, P^i onui cannot be enough on kit guird si-HLn*! the

. ^itngi of illii nation. There Goinmotilf provails in iti«m

^ *tlut ienl of beatitiful Itlnaion. which in a cold pniquiii-

^ doM nai itand the teat. The Frenchman lavet ili»

  • "« Ui'liis iuJgmencai bat, in order to KtAin iruA, onv

"■t not he bpid, but ciiciimipect. In hiiiacy tto k lonii

5 wemloie! L o» 10 will

will) ibat [bey ^


which, after they have conformably to their design given a beautiful patriotic appearance to the fathers of the nation , are of no farther consequence, than that they are crowned by an honourable mention and celebrated in in- genious panegyrics. The object, to which refer the most the merit and national abilities of the French , are the women. * Not as if they were more loved, or esteemed here than elsewhere , but because it affords the best oc- casion to display the most favourite talents of w^it , of agreeableness and of good breeding ; besides, a vain person of either sex never loves but himself: others are merely his playthings. As the French by no means want noble pro- perties, only that these can be animated but by the feeling of the beautifiJ; the fair sex here, were it endeavoiued to favour a little this bent of the national spirit , might have a


  • Tlie women in France give tlic ion to all societies and

to all intercouTSe. It ' is not to be denied , that societicj^ \vLthoiit the fair sex are rather insipid and tedious; but \i the lady gives the line ton, in them, *■ the man on his side ouglit to give the noble. Otherwise the commerce i.--. equally tiresome , but from an opposite ground ; aa liothing 18 so cloying as mere svveetness. Accor«Ung to the frencli fashion t one docs not ask^ Is your Master at home, but, Is Madam at home? INladam is at her toilet; r.'ladam has the vapours (a species of fine whims); in a Avord, all conversations, and pleasures, and amusements, are entirely taken up ■with madam. However, the women are thereby no longer honoured at all. A man who tova* is always destitute of feeling or sentiment, as 'v\'»^ll of true reverence as of delicate love. On no consideration •would I have said what Rousseau so audaciously main- t.iined. That a woman never grows any thing but a big child. But the quicksi^hted Swiss wrote this in France a.nd, as a so great defender of tiie fair sex, probably Jclt with anger, that ihey are not treaud tllffe witfa

norc real reverence.


Knore powerful influence to aw<a1(e and to stir up the noblest action of the other sex, thaix any thing else in the world. It's a pity that the lilies spin not.

The fault, on which this national character ]H>rders the nearest, is, trifling, or, if you chuse a more polite expression, levity. Im- portant matters are treated as sport, and baga- telles serve for a serious occupation. At an advanced period of life the Frenchman still sings lively airs, .and is, as much as he can, gallant towards the ladies. In these remarlis I have for me great guarantees of this same na- tion, and shelter myself behind a Montesquieu, and a d'Alambert, in order to be secure against every apprehended indignation.

The Briton at the beginning of every ac- quaintance is cold, and indifferent towards a stranger. He has little inclination to small complaisances; on the other hand, as soon as he becomes a fiiend , he is disposed to ren- der great services. In society he is not solici- tous to be witty, or to show a polite beha- viour, but he is intelligent and composed, lie is a bad imitator, inquires little about ivhat others judge, and follows his own taste entirely. Relatively to the fair he is not of the french agreeableness , but shows far more t«verence for them, and carries this perhaps loo far, as in the conjugal state he commcmly ^nts his wife an unlimited authority. He is tteadfast, sometimes to obstinacy, bold and resolute, frequently to temerity, and common- ly acts according to principles, even 'to in- lexibility. He easily becomes singular, not Vol. II. E through


through vanity , but because he gives himself little trouble about others, and does not easily do violence to his own taste out of complaisance, or imitation; and on that ao* count is seldom so much beloved as the Frenchman, but, when he is known, common?-> ly more esteemed.

The German has a mixed feeling of that of a Briton Vmd of a Frenchman , but seems to come the nearest to the former, and the greater similarity with the latter is but arti- f],cial and imitated. He has a hapj^y V(iixture in the feeling as well of the sublime as of the beautiful; and though he does not equal the Briton in the one, or the French- man in the other,* he, so far as he unites them , surpasses both. He shows more complaisance in society than the former, and does not bring into it so much agreeable vivacity and wit as the Frenchman, yet he manifests therein more discretion and under- standing. He is , as in every sort of taste, so in love, pretty methodical and, by combining the beautiful with the noble, in the sentiment of both cool enough, to occupy his head about the considerations of understanding, of mag- nificence and shew. Hence with him are family , title and rank in the civil relation as well as in love affairs of great importance. He inquires more than the others. What people think of him, and if there is any thing in his character that can excite the w^ish of a princi- pal amendment; it is this weakness, by which he dares not be original, though he has all the talents fit for being so , and enters too



much into the opinion of others ; which , by walking this moral properties inconstant and a£Eectedy deprives them of all support.

The Dutchvian is of an orderly and dili- gent disposition, and, as he attends merely to the useful, has but little feeling for what in the finer sense is beautiful or sublime.

With him a great man and a rich man are

synonymous, by a friend he means a corres- pondent, and a visit that is not productive is very tiresome to him. He contrasts the Frenchman as well as the Briton, and is in some measure a very phlegmatic German.

When we apply these thoughts to any one case, for example, in order to w^eigh the sense of honour , the following na- tional varieties present themselves. The sense of honour is in the Frenchman vmii- ty^ in tlie Spaniard loftiness or liigJunind" edness , in the Briton pride , in the German fastuousnessy^ndi in the Dutchman haughtiness. At first sight most of these words seem to be of the same signification, but fiom the richness of our language they denote a very obvious distinction. Vanity courts applause, is fichle and changeable, but its outward behaviour is courteous. The hiirh- minded is full 6f imaginary great merit and does not much court the approbation of others, * his demeanour is stiff and lofty. Pride in fact is but a greater coilscibusness of one's own value, which may be frequently veiy just, (wherefore it is sometimes denominated a noble pride ; but I never can attribute to any body a noble highmindedness , as this always

E A sliews


• \

shews a wrong and exaggerated self- estima- tion,) the behaviour of the proud man towards others is indifferent ^nd cold. The fastuou^ is a proud man, who is at the same time, vain. * But the applause , which he seel^s from others, consists in homage^ Hence ho willingly glitters by titles, genealogical re- gisters or trees of pedigrees, and pageantry. The German is chiefly subject to this w^eak- n^ss. The words, Gnddig^ Hochgeneigtj Hoch- und W olilgeb. and such like t)ombast , render his language stiflF and unwieldy , and Impede very much the beautiful simplicity, which other nations ^n give to their style^ The demeanour of a fastuous man in society is ceremonious. The haughty is a highminded person, who manifests in his conduct distinct" marks of contempt of others* He is coarse and vulgar in his behaviour. This miserable property is the farthest removed from a refined taste, as it is evidently stupid; for it is cer- tainly not the mean to satisfy the feeling or sense of honour by inviting every body around one through public contempt to hatred and biting mockery.

In love both the Germans and the Britons have pretty good stomachs, somewhat fine feeling , but more sound and strong taste. In this point the Italian is whimsical^ the


♦ It is not necessary that a fastuous person be at tli«  same time liiffhniindea , that is, form to himself an exaggerated false notion of his excellencies, but he may perhaps not value himself more than he is worth, ho ha» however but a fals« taste, ta render this his value out- wardly valid.

TK£,ATIS£$, 69

Spaniard phantastic , the Frenchman fasti«> dious.

' Religion in our quarter of the globe is not an aflFair of arbitrable taste , but of a more ve- nerable origin. Therefore nothing but the extravagancies in it, and what therein properly belongs to men, can afford signs of the diffe-r rent national characters. I shall reduce these extravagancies to the following chief concep- tions: Credulity^ superstition^ fanaticism ^ and indifferentisvu The ignorant part of every na-» tion, though it has no fperceptible fine feel-? ing, is for the most part credulous. Persua-» sion is easily induced by hearsay and a seem- ing consideration, without any sort of fine feeling containing the springs thereof. Examp-r les of whole nations of this nature must be looked for in the north. The credulous, when he has a portentous taste, grows superstitious. This taste is even in itself a groimd to believe something more easily , * and of two men , of whom the one is tainted with this feeling, but the other of a colder and more moderate tem-; per of mind, the former, though he has reaUy more understanding, is sooner misled by his ruling inclination to believe something un- natural , than the latter , who is not guarded

E 3 against

  • It is remarked that tlie En j^lisk » tliougk so- wise a ua*

tion, by a bold intiination of a "wonderful and absurd tiling can easily be induced to believe it at the beginning; ot this there are many instances. But a. bold or daring dis- position of mind, prepared by different experiences, in vvkich many odd things are found true , qiuckly remof e8> the small doubts , by which a weak and diffident head i» «oon impeded , and thus w^ithoiXC having- any lucsit is some- times preserved from errours.


70 E s s A y s A ^' D

against this extravagance by his parts or pene- tration , but by his common phlegmatic feel- ing. The superstitious in religion willihgly places between himself and the 'Supreme Object of adoration certain mighty and aston- ishing men, so to speak, giants of holiness, whom nature obeys and whose conjuring voice opens and shuts the iron gates of Tar- tarus, who, while they touch heaven with their heads, still have their feet upon the Iomt earth. In Spain the instruction of sound reason has consequently great obstacles to surmount, not because it has to expel ignorance from it,^ but because it is opposed by a strange taste, to which the natural is vulgar, and which^ imlcss its object is portentous, never^elieves to feel the sublime. Fanaticism is, so to say, a de^^out temerity, and is occasioned bv a certain pride and a too great confidence in one's self, to approach the heavenly natures and by an astonishing flight to set one's self above the common and prescribed order. The fanatic speaks but of inimediate inspiratii3n and of contemplative life, while the supersti- tious makes vow^s before the images of great saints ^vho have wrought miracJes, and puts his confidence in the imaginary and inimi- table excellencies of other persons of his own nature. Even the strayings and extravagancies, as we have above obsers'^ed , carry with them , signs of national feeling , and so fanaticism, *


  • See tliif word in dn jzebce to tJie £nt volume

page VIII, , ' ^ - • ..

tusatises. 71

at least in former times , was the most to be met with in Germany and in EngLind, and is ^ a manner an unnatural excrescence of the noble feeling, which pertains to the character of these nations and, though i^ is in the be* ginning impetuous, in general by far not so pernicious as the superstitious bias , since the heat of a fanatical spirit cools by degrees and according to its nature must at last arrive at an orderly moderation , instead of which su- perstition insensibly takes deeper root in a tranquil V and passive frame of mind, and to* tally deprives the fettered man of the confi- dence of ever freeing himself from a noxious fancy. Finally, a vairi and light person is always destitute of a strong feeling for the sublime, his reliirion is without emotion and for the most part but an affair of mode, which he follows* with every sort of neatness and remains frigid. This is the practical indif- fereiitism, to which the French national spirit seems to be the most inclined, from which to petulant wicked mockery there is but a single step, and which at bottom, when the intrinsic value is considered , has little prefe- rence to a total abnegation.

If we take a cursory view of the other parts of the world ; we shall find the Arabians to be the noblest men in the eajt, yet of a feeling that degenerates much into the porten- tous. They are hospitable, generous, and veracious; but their narrations , their history and their sentiments in general are always in- terwoven with something marvellous. Their heated imagination exhibits to thqjin things in

£ 4 imnatural


unnatural and false drawn images, and even the propagation of their religion was a great adventure. If the Arabians are the Spaniards of the east, the Persians afe the French of Asia. They are good poets , polite, and have a pretty fine taste. They are not so strict followers of Islam and allow, for their charac- ter of mind disposed for merriment, a tolerably mild exposition of the Koran. The Japanese may in a manne'V be considered as the Britons of this part of the world; but scarcely in any other property, than their steadfastness, which degenerates into the utmost stubbornness, their valour and contempt of death. Besides, they show few marks of a refined taste. The Indians have a predominant taste for imperti-r nencies, of that sort, which falls into the strange. Their religion consists of impertin nencies, idols of a prodigious size, the ines-r timable tooth of tlie mighty monkey Hanu-r jnann , the unnatural expiations of the Fakirs (Jieathen mendicant monks) &c. , are of this taste. The voluntary sacrifice of the women, on the very same funeral piles that consume their husbands, is an abominable adventure, Wliat trifling impertinencies contain not the longwinded and studied compliments of the Chinese; even their paintings are impertinent and represent w^onderful and unnatural figures, such as are to be met with nowhere in the w^orld. They have venerable impertinencies too, because they are of very ancient usage,*


  • 111 PeKin is still performed the ceremony, in an eclipse

or tlie 8UU or of the moon to turn out with great tintamar


and no nation on the face of the earth has more of them 1;han the Chinese.

The Negroes of Africa have by nature no feeling, which rises above the trifling. Mr. Hume chaUenges every body , to produce a single example where a ; Negro has shown talentSy"*" and maintains, That among a hundred thousand Blacks, who are transported from their native home , though many of them are emancipated, not a single one of them has ever been found that has performed any thing great, either in the arts or sciences, or shown any other commendable property, though among the Whites there are constantly some, who raise themselves up from among the populace, and acquire consideration in the world by dis- tinguished talents. So essential is the diflFer rence between these two races of men , and it appears to be equally great with regard to the mental capacities, as with regard to the colour. The Fetiche-religion so widely diffused among them is a species of idolatry , which perhaps sinlis as deep into the trifling, as it seems' possible for human nature to admit of. A feather, a cow-horn, a muscle, or any other conuxioxi thing, the moment it is consecrated by mutter- ing a few words, is an object of adoration, and

E 5 of

tlie dragon , who would devour tiiese celestial bodies , and tlius is preserved a pitiful custom of the most ancient times of ignorance 9 tliougb. mankind are at present better instructed.

  • During the American Tebellion the translator knew in

South Carolina a Negro physician of reputation; and in. Antigua a heaven-born Negro preacher, "vyi^thout shoes ^n^ Sfochings.

_-Of mvocalion

The blacIV


i reDiarlsnbly vain, but in a negro manner, I so loquacious, that lliey mii3t Dbsolulely f^^be scparaLcil by the cugeiic and conclusive guiiicnL of canin^^

Among all Sa]^ages Utere is no nad< which discovers a diaracter of mind so si lime, as rliat of NvrtU Atnerkti. They have a strong seniiiiient or seii^c of honour, and as they, ill order to acquire it, seek wild adv ttufes at many Inmrired iiiilea distance; th| arc very ailenlive lo pievcnt the smal derogation from It* when their bitierest en- after 111: has talten them prisoner, endt'i to force cowiirdly siglis from llicm by cri torments. The Canadian savage is ovi above veracious and honest. The friendshi which Im establisheSj is no less sirangc enthusiastic, than any thing ever relaieii the most ancient and fabulous time.s. Hi extremely proud, feels the whole value liberty and suffers, even in education, treatment thm would nialse him sensible of a servile submission; Lycurgus in all probabi-> lity gave laws to such savages; and shoi legislator arise among the six nations; a . l^n republic would be seen to olevftte it^i the new world; the fS^ iiatiies is little dilli ^editions of these '. preference over the honour of a iircek have litUe fe< a I sense, ni an offence,


tiful, is as a Yirtue not only totally imltnown among savages, but despised as pitiable coward- ice. Bravery is the greatest merit of savages, and revenge their sweetest voluptuousness. The other ^natives of this quarter of the globe shew few traces of a character of mind that is disposed to fine feelings, and an extraordi- nary insensibility constitutes the criterion of this race of men.

-When we contemplate the relation of sex in these parts of the world , we find , that the ' European only has discovered the searet, to deck with so many flowers the sensible sti- inulus of a potent inclination and to interlace it with so nuich of what is moral, that he has not only greatly heightened its agremens, but rendered them very decent. The inhabitant of the east has in this point a veiy false taste. As he has no conception of tlie moral beau> tiful, that may be combined with this in- stinct; he Sustains the loss of even the' value of the sensible pleasure , and his haram is for him a constant source of trouble. He falls into all sorts of imperlinencies , one of'the principal of which is the imaginary jewel {mundiis inuUebris], of whicli he endeav- ours above all things to »ssure himself, whose value consists but in its being broken, hich in our part of the world in ge- 'i roguish doubt is entertained, and I preservation he uses very unjust^ miently indelicate means. Hence here are always in prison, whether "ied , or have a barbarous, im- ays suspicious husband. In the


the countries of the blacks, what can be exn pected to be met with, but a thorough and most abject slavery of the female sex? A coward is always a strict master of the weak, aS; with us those , who have scarcely dared to appeat before any one out of their own house, are always tyrants of the kitchen. Father Labat mentions, that a negro carpenter, w^hom he upbraided with highmiiided procedure towards his wives , returned for answer : You w^hites are great fools, for ye first allow your wives too much, and afterwards com- plain , when they put you mad. It would seem as if tlierc were in this something, which perhaps merits to betaken into consideration; but this fellow was from the crown of his head ,to the very soles of his feet jet-black; a direct proof, that what he said was stupid.' Among all savages there are none, by whom the female sex are more really respected, tliaii by those of Canada. In this they perhaps surpass even our civilized part of the world. Not as if one did the women there humble services ; these are but compliments. No, they actually command. They assemble and deli- berate concerning the most weighty affairs of the nation , concerning' peace and war. On this they send their delegates to tlie counsel of the men and their voice commonly decides. But they piuchase this prerogative dear enough. They have the whole burden of the household affairs , and take a share in all the hardships of the men.

If finally v^ *• -"ve to history^ we see xhe, * *'way?

TA£ATIS£8. . 77

assuming various fonns. Tlie ancient times of the Greeks and Romans showed distinct marks of a genuine feeling for the beautiful as "well as for the sublime, in the art of poet* ry, staLiiafy, architecture j in legislation and even in morals. The government of the liomafn emperours changed as well the noble as the beautiful simplicity into the magnificent, and then into the false show, of which the re- mainder of their eloquence, poetry, and even the history of their manners may inform ps. This rest of fine taste was extinguished by degrees with the total fall of the state. The barbarians, after they had in their turn estab- lished their power, introduced a certain perverted taste, named gothick , which turned entirely on impertinencies. Im- pertineiicies were to be seen not only in architecture, but in the sciences and usag- es. The degenerate feeling, being once conducted by false art, assumed every other unnatural form , than the old simplicity of nature , and was either exaggerated or trif- ling. The highest flight that the human genius took to rise to the sublime consisted in mons- trosities. Both spiritual and mundane adven- tures were seen, and frequently a contrary and prodigious bastard sort of both. Monks, with the missal in the one hand and the banner in the other, whom whole hosts of deceived victims followed, in order to have their bones interred in other climates and in a holier land , consecrated w^arriours , hallowed by solemn promises to acts of violence and to crimes, afterwards an uncommon sort of


• >


phantasts , who styled themselves knights and went in quest of adventures, tournaments, duels, and romantic actions. During this period religion , together with the sciences and man- ners , was deformed by miserable impertinen-- cies, and it was remarked, that taste does not easily degenerate in one point, without exhibiting in every other distinct signs of its corruption in all that pertains to refined taste. ' The monastic vows made of a great part of useful men numerous societies of busy idlers, whose fancymonger-mode of life rendered them fit to brood thousands of scholastic im- pertinencies, which went thence into the wide world and disseminated their species. At last, after the human genius has, by a sort of palingenesis , happily recpvered itself from an almost total destruction, we see flourish in our days the just taste of the beautiful and noble as well in the arts and sciences as with regard to moral, and there is nothing more to be wished for, than that the false glitter, which so easily deceives , may not insensibly lead ^us away from the noble simplicity; but especially, that the yet undiscovered mystery of education be rescued from the old fancy, in order to exalt by times the moral feeling in the breast of every young citizen of the world to an active sentiment, that all fineness or delicacy may not tend to themeiely fleeting idle pleasure, to judge that which happens around us with more or less taste.









' *;'■




professor Lichtenberg of Goeltingen , in his ■*■ usual lively and .thoughtful manner , says somewhere in his writings that, 'The moon ought not indeed to have influence on the temperature of the air; but yet she has in- fluence on it,'

A. The position , * She ought not to have

it. ' For we know but two faculties, by ^vllich

she can have influence on our earth at so great

a distance: her light,* which she as a body


uitakneu of the moon'* light to be

m coniparUon but wilh th« proper

fixed itar, which the niooti it Rbnuc

simitied to «dd ■ conjectural explans'

n of Mr, Schroeter in Lilienthal, so

dewrring on account of iha mote e;i»ct kiiowJedgo of "■'"" at ih« nuiidane bodisi (Aitronomical TroMisa ■im). 'Mdtbarau <it i» tnii) diMppe«red not Y me aJTinciiig of the moon; and (.11. Mr. S. lotlt iba moou'i edge and Aldebaran with the »> it miktd Jar) he WM Titible i" tht Hhk 5 IMOAdb fulljr : when, withsut my ubiercing .. F '"




illumiDated by the sun reflects ; and her -pou

liim unj diminution of ligkt w an altered diamei Taniilicil so iiiddenlr , time auriug tlie Taoithing i ir a wliole> but pcrliapg a half second only, at It tainly iKit mncli niure, clapaed.' Tli is phenomenon my oniiiiou, to be aitribntod, not to an optical ttlusii t to the lime , which tlic light leqiiire) to come fr

9tiir at [lie diaiance of the moon to theeaVth, ivk

about ij of a second, Within which Aldebann i ^•crwi by the moon. Whether now during the betjiinli _ It llle tux is seen within the face of Uio motin (: merely in contact with her) ,^ as ^also during the percepci

ag tl ,

lias noVr oiaappeared, illicieiit for obser

«nd the

other 9 of a second (wliicli tion) niav not have passed away ; therefor the opiniative, though inevitable, nppai-eni ol do not ainoiuit to the 2 seconds Cas Mr. S. erants ' i proper judgment 01 this

exercised obscrvei



nied ' ■

admirablG discovbries ofhit, c of the iitoon'» surface , the half appears to be a body simtlait lint when i

IjiiTiied vulcanic droal, and uninhabited, ntsnnied that the cnipiioits of the elosiic substances fr iier intcriour, so long as she was in the state Cif fluid: dircclud llicmsch-ti more towards the side tnrncd to e.ivtli, than to ilie side tiinifid fioni It fwhicb , as the i fnrciice of the alLractions nf the former by the attract (if llie centre of the moon ix (ircnier , titnn that between nlliactinn of the centre aiiu tlie side turned away fr ' ll>R earth, and ela«ric matter ascending in a fluid exte: itself the mliro. llie less it is prrstcd , must, when t inimthinnbiidy lirc.-iiiK! ri(;id, ha%-u left ^fealer excavationi its ititeriiinr in the foruii:r than hi ihu latter hnU;; it n be easily cnncoived, tli:ir the centre of giavity would: coincide with that of ihu hidk of ihis Inidy, but would towards the sidu that is turned away frinn the earth , C'liiai'iiKTuco of vvliieh would ihim be ihnt the water i nil', which may be ii|>uii tlii« s.ilclliti: of the earth, q i.y ijowiiiu K. the latter,


of attraction whicli , as the cause of gravity, is qnnmen to her with all maUer. Of both we can sufficiently point out as well the laWs , as , by their effects , the "degree of their efficacy, in order to explain from those, as causes, the alterations which they occasion; ■ but to excogitate new hidden powers tor the behoof of certain phenomena, which are not' in conjunction , sufficiently conBritied by ex- perience , with those already known , is an , attempt, w^hich a sound natural philosophy does not easily make. And it , for instance, refuses to give credit to the pretended ob- servation that iish laid in the moonshine putrify sooner, than those lying in the shade of the moon: as the moonlight, concentrated- by even the greatest ,burning-glasses or mir- rors, has not the least perceptible e£Fec^ pn the most sensible thermometer ; -*- but yet to have some regard to the observation that the death of those ill of fevers, is , in Bengal, during the timd of a solar eclipse , very much hastened by the influence of the moon; be- cause her attraction (which at this time unites itself with the sun) unambiguously shows, by other experiences its- faculty of acting very perceptibly upon the bodies of the earth. ^ "When it is then to be decided it priori,

HHMiether the moon has or has not influence ^^^Huhe temperatures of the air, the light, which ^^^^kihrows on the earth, cannot.be in ques- ^^^^^■.by consequence there remains nothing ^^^^^Ib^ Ppwcr of attraction (according- to uni- ■»sof gravitation), from which this lithe atmosphere must be explicable, f 3 Now

^^ £5.8 AT 8 AND

Now her immediate action by this power can consist in the augmentation or diminutftn of the gravity of the air only ; but this , if it shall be sensible, must be observed by the barojneter. Therefore the above judgment (A) would be thus expressed, The alterations of the barometer regularly harmonizing with the moon's positions cannot be rendered com- prehensible from the attraction of this satellite of the earth. For

1. It may be. proved a priori that the moon's attraction, so far as the weight of our air may l;?e thereby increased or diminished, vi far too small for this alteration to be observed by the barometer (Lulof 's Introduction to the jiiathematical and physical Knowledge of the terrestrial Globe, § 3i»s): whether the air be thought . as a fluid Qaot an elastic) m^xxer^ w^here its surfaces, by the direction of their gravity altered by the attraction of the moon, lieep quite horizontal; or at the same time, as it actually is, an elastic fluidity ^ where it is still the question, whether its equally dense strata would at different heights remain in aequilibrio, but to explain which latter is here not the place.

Q. Experience evinces the insufficiency of the moon's attraction for a sensible alteration of the gravity of the air. For it would need, like the flux and reflux , to show itself by the barometer twice in ^4 hours; but of which the smallest trace is not perceived. *

B. The

  • One must form to liiraself but right conceptions of

the attractions of the moon and of the sun , so far as tliey



B* The antithesis J * The ^ moon has never- thelefSs an influence (partly observable by the barometer, partly otherwise visible) on. the temperature of the air.* — The temperature 6f the air (peinperies aeris) contains two parts, wiTid, and weather. The latter is either merely visible, as a clear, partly pure, partly clouded, and partly over-cast heaven ; or sensible, cold or warm, damp or dry, in breathing refresh- ing or oppressive. The same temperature of the air does not always , though it doea. fre-

F 3 qiiently

may have immediate influence on the barometer. Wh«;ti the tea (and like'wise the atmosphere) flows » and the columns of this fluid ascend , many represent to themselves that their weight (Like tlie pressure of tlic air upon the barometer) must, according to the theory, •grow greater (consequently the mercury in the barometer be hiSier) ; but it is directly inverted. The columns ascend but because they grow lighter by the external a|- traction ; as they now m the open sea never get time enough to attain the whole height, to w^hich they by means of that attraction would rise, if the sun and moon remained in the position of their greatest united influence; 80 at the place of the greatest flood the pressure of the sea (and liKewise the pressure of the air upon the baro- meter) must be smaller, consequently the mercury in the tube lower ,^ but at the time of ebb higher. — So far the rules of Toaldo harmonize perfectly "vvell with the theory, namely, that the mercury in the barometer in the syzygias falls, but in the quadratures rises; if the latter could but render comprehensible* how the attractions of those celestial bodies can in general have a sensible influence un • the barometer.

But as to the extraordinary height of the sea in straits and long hajrs^ chiefly at the tiniie of the spring flood* it is not at all taken into the account in our problein» because it is not occasioned immediately and hydrosta- tically by attraction, but only mediately, by a motion of the current proceeding from that alteration, therefote hydraulically i and the winds too may be disposed in the tame manner , . when they , put in motion by that attrac- tion, are obliged in a sea of an island to blow tliroii;.^li capes , straitSj and nsiirow passes lemaining open but to them.

q6 essatsahd

qiiently, accompany the sanrCwindj whether a loeal cause, altering the mixture of the air and together with it the temperature of the ' air', produces a certain wind, or this the tern- perainre of the air, is not always to be made out; and ^vith,the same state of the barome- ter, lliough it were in harmony with the posi- tion of the moon according to a certain rule, diiTcrcDt sorts ofweathermay be combined.-7- If the alteration of wind, however, is directed by thevariation of the moon as well of herself, ^ as in conjunction with the vicissitude of the four sensons; the moon, though the weather cannot be determined according to her, has influence (either directly or indirectly) on the temperature of the air, by consequence the discovered rules are more sei-viceable to the seaman than to the landman. But in favour . of this asseriion analogies , at least previously aji/Iicient, are obvious, which, though they do not equal the" astronomically computed laws of a calendar, merit attention as rules, to have regard to that temperature in future meteorological observations. To wit,

1. At the time of the new moon may almost always be observed endeavours^ at least, of the atmosphere, to alter the direction of the wind, which end cither in the wind's return- ing to its old place aftg (when it has wliollyj compass chiefly in t motion of the sun) which it prev.'ii

a. Every (juane\ the solstices and ei


new mooli after them , this endeavour is yet more distinctly perceived; and, wKichsor ever wind predominates the Ifirst two or tliree

'weeks after the new moon, usually prevails the whol^ three months.

To these rules the predictions of thCfWeath-

' er in the calendar seem for some time past to have had regard. For, as the common man him$elf pretends to have observed , they fall out at present better^ than before this calendar : probably because its author may have now consulted Toaldo. So it was however goo4 at last, that the design to bring into vogue calendars without superstition (like the rash de- termination of a Williams, A public propound- ing of religion without the bible), did not succeed. For the author of th^t popular book, in order not to misuse |the credulity of the people • till they become totally incredulous and he consequently lose his credit necessary for a great sale, is now obliged to trace the rules of the temperatures of the air formerly found out, though not fidly ascertained, to' lender them by degrees more determinate, and to bring them nearer, at least, to the certainty of an experience : so that the belief formerly adopted blindly from superstition may finally pass to a belief not merely rational ^ but even reasoning on the grounds. — Hence the places in the calendar for the signs. Good for -plant- igf good for cutting down timber for buildings still remain ; since , whether the moon, le kingdom of organised nature in J in particular on the vegetable '■ not actually allowed a sensible F 4 influence,


influence , is not yet so clearly made out, and those philosophically skilled in gardens and forests are thereby invited to supply , if pos- sible, even this want of the public. Only, the signs , which may mislead the, common man and induce him to try dangerous experi- , ments upon his health , must be indispensably left out.

Here is now a collision between the theory^ " which denies a faculty to the moon , and ex* perience, that grants it.

The Removing of this Collision.


The attraction of the moon, her only* motive power, by which she can have influence on the atmospherq, and perhaps on the tem- peratures of the air likewise, acts directly upon the air according to statical laivs^ that is, so far as this is a ponderable Hiiidity. But hereby, the moon is too unable to occasion a sensible aherarion on the state of the barometer , and, so far as the temperature of the air iniincdiate- ly depends upon the cau^e of that state, on this cause likewise, consequently (according to A) she ought so far to have no influence on the temperature of the air. — But when one assimies an imponderable matter (or mate- rial substances) extending itself (or them- selves) far above the height of the ponderable air (and on that account more exposed to alte- ration by a stronger attraction of the moon), covering the atmosphere, \vhich matter, moved by the moon's attraction and thereby either


- TI\BAfX9E8. 89

mixed at different times with our air , or se- parated from it, is able by the affinity with the latter (therefore not by its weight) partly tp strengthen , partly to weaken its elasticity, ' and so mediately (namely, in the former case the occasiioned deQiix of the lifted-up columns of air, in the latter by the afRux of the air to the lowered) to alter its w^eight;* it is found pos- sible, that the moon may have influence in- directly on the alteration of the temperature of the air (according toB), but properly ac- cording to cliymical laws. — But between

F 5 ' the

. * This exposition ptoperly refers but to the correspond dence of the tempemtuTc of the air with the state of^ the barometer (therefore to A) ; it still remains to explain from the same principle that of the winds with t^e aspects of

  • the moon and of the seasons (according to li) , in all

sorts of weather and states of the barometer (whereby it it always to be well- noticed, that absolutely hut the in^ fliience of the moon and perhaps the much smaller one of the sun likemse , but only by their attraction, n6t by the heat, are in question). It is astonishing that the jnoon in the aforementioned astronomical points should place and predetermine wind and weather in a diflercnc manner over different countries though lying in the same latitude. But as several days, nay weeks, are required to the establishment and determination of the prevailing wind , in which time the actions of the moon^s attraction on the gravity of the airt by consequence on the baro* meter, must annul one anothter, and therefore can pro- duce no precise direction of it ; so I cannot otherwise render in any manner comprehensible to myself that phe- nomenon , than by conceiving many motions; ivithout and beside one another, or even w^ithin one anoUier (including one ano^ier)» circular or vortical, occasioned by the moon's attraction, analogical to the tyjthones , of that imponderable matter extending bevond die atmosphere;, which motions , according to the diflFerence of the ground (of the waters, of the mountains t and even of the vegetation upon them) and its chymical reaction, may make its influence on the atmosphere diilnrent in the same parallel circle. But here experience quits us too much* evuu but to opin€ vvith tolerable probabiliiy.

the thesis, The moon has no influence directly on the temperature of the air, ai\d the anti- thesis, She lias an influence indirectly on it, therie is no contradiction.

This imponderable matter must perhaps be assumed as incoercible also (not to be. shut up); that is, such a substance, as cannot otherwise be shut up by other substances, than by its being in chymical aflinity with them (such as has place between the magnetip efiluvium and iron only), hut which acts freely throughout all the others; when the corn" viunionoi the air of the higher {jovial) regions,^ lying beyond the region of lightning', w^ith the subterraneous {volcanic) air, found deep under the mountains , which nianifests.. itself^ not indistinctly in many meteors, is taken into consideration. Perhaps thereto belongs likewise the quality of the air, which render*, some diseases, in certain countries, at a partcul^r tinije, epidemic (properly speaking raging), and which shows its influence not merely on a nation of men, but on a nation of a certain species of animals or of plants, whose vital principle doctor Schaefer in llatisbone, in his ingenious book On Sensibility ^ places not in tliejUy but in an external matter, analogous . to that imponderable matter, pervading thern. . This sojnething , then , is but small , and indeed little more than the acknowledgment of ignorance ; but which , since a de Luec has proved to us , that we by no means perspect what a cloud is, and how it is possible, (a matter, w^hioh -w^as perfectly easy twenty years ago) , can no longer be very surprising


  • r



and astonishing. — This is exactly circum- stanced as our catechism , which in our yo^th we perceived to ^ hair and believed to under- stand thoroughly, but which, the older and- the more considerate we grow, the less we understand, and for that reason, if we could but find any body else that understood it better , well deserve to be sent back again to school.

But when Mr. de Luec hopes that a more diligent observation of his cloud may one day or other still afford us insight of great conse- quience to chj^mistry; this is not to be thought of, but it was probably cast as a stumblingblock only for the antiphlogistics. For its laboratory lies in a region, whereat we cannot arrive to make experiments; and it may with reason be sooner expected . that chymistry will furnish, new insight into me-r teorology, than vice versa.

' I.-


' f iff












. ft









"^ature has not spread every where, in vain, ^^ a treasure of rarities for contemplation and admiration. Man, who is intrusted with thq oeconomy of the earth , not only po.ssesses a capacity, but takes a pleasure in learninj^ to know it, and through his introspections glorifieth the Creator. Even the terrible instru- ments of the visitation of the human species, the shakings of countries, the raging of the ocean, that is violently agitated to its very bottom, the volcanos or mountains that cast oiit flames, summon men to contemplation, and are not less implanted in nature (by God) as a just consequence of constant laws , than ij"' other usual causes of incpmmodityfunplcasmic i^'^ etoisequences] , which are holden more na-

    • . only because we are better acquainted

"hem. . "

^ The

96 E S S A%^ S A N D

The contemplation of such dreadful events is edifying. It humbles man, by showing him that he has no right, or at least that he has lost it, to expect convenient conse- quences only from the laws of nature, which God hath ordered, and he perhaps learns in this manner to perspect That this arena of his desires ought not equitably to contain the aim of all his views.


Of the Nature of the Earth in its Interiour.

We know pretty completely the surface 01 the earth, when the ampliation * is concerned* But we have under our feet a world still, with which we at present are but little acquainted^ The chasms of the mountains wnfathonmble to our plvmimet , the caverns which we xnQet w^ith in the bowels of the mountains, the deepest shafts o^ the mines, that we enlarge during centuries, are far insufficient to pro- cure us distinct knowledge of the internal structure of the great globe we inhabit.

The greatest depth, to which men have descended, does not amount to 500 fathoms; that is, the six thousandth part of the distance' to the centre of the earth, and yet these caverns .


  • Enlargement of '

exactiJ^ss ; extension \

are still found 'in the motmtaitis , and even alt terra firma is a mountain , in whieh , in order to arrive but at an equal depth with the bot- tom of the sea, we must go down at least, thrice as deep.

But what nature hides frofit our eye and from our immediate essays, she herself dis- covers by her effects. The earthqualses haye revealed to us that the surface of the earth is full of vaults and cavities, and that under our feet hidden mines with various labyrinths run jBvery where^ The progress of the history of earthquakes will put this beyond a doubt. These cavities we have to ascribe to the very same cause, which prepared 'the beds for the seas. For it is certain , when one is informed of the reniains^ of the ocean's* former stay over the whole earth,, of the immense heap* of muscles^ that are found even in the bowels of the mountains , of the petrified seaanimals, which are brought up from the deepest shafts, I say, when one is in some measure informed of all tiiese, he may easily perspect that formerly the sea covered all the land , that its stay continued long and is older than the deluge , and that the water could ilot possibly retire otherwi^e^ than by its bottom here and there sinking inta' deep cavities, and preparing the same deep bason, into which it ha^ run, and to whose brims it is still confined., while the elevat- j*.. td parts of this sunk -in crust are become' !*a finna , which is every where undermin- ^"^ cavities, and whose, tract is occupied ^^teep ridges, which under the name

& of


of mountains run through the lugh«st fnxt of the land according to all diose directions, in which it extends itself to any considerable length.

All these cavities contain a glowing fire, or at least that comhustible matter, which requires but a small stimulation, in older i breats out into a violent JIame all aroun^ it and to shake or even to split the above it.

When we consider the territory of this subteirandous fire in the whole circuit, in which it extends, we must allow that tliere are few countries upon the earth, which have not sumelimes felt its effect. Tlie island of Icciand, in the remotest part of the north ,* is ■ subjected , and indeed not seldom , to its most violent shocks. In England and even Sweden there have heen a few gentle concus- sions. They are however to be found in the souihern countries , in my (opinion, in those that lie nearer the equator, niore frequent and stronger. Italy , thy Islands of all the seas, which lie near the equinoctial line, cliiefly; those in the Indian oeean, are distinbed b]| this agitation of their bottom. Among I latter there is scarcely a single one tha^Ll not a monntain, wliieh eith^ times still, or at least did ^ they are just as K It is a curious I Hiihners accot|| in order not i nutmegs and ] cultivated onl

theatisks. 99

boina only, to the danger of being extirpated from the earih , if a total destruction by an earthquake should happen to these islands, by always having a nursery of both plants upon another island at a great distance. Fern and Chili, that lie near the line, are more tormented by this evil , than any other country in the world. In the former a day seldom passes without a few small shocks of ■ en earthquake being felt. This must not be considered as a consequence of the far greater bent of the sim , which acts upon the earth of these countries. In a cave, that is not quite 40 feet deep, there is hardly any difference to be distinguished between summer and win- ter. So litde is the solar heat able to pene- trate the earth to great depths, in order to act upon the inilammable matter and to put ' it into commotion. The earthqiiafces ralher accommodate themselves to the nature of the subterranean caverns and these to those laws, according to which must have taken place at the beginning the sinkings of the uppermost crust of the earth, which, the nearer to the Une, have made the deeper and more various Kendings inwards , whereby these mines, that ~ liltain the tinder for the earthquakes, are I more extensive and thereby fitter for psion.

tparation by what we have said on

leaus passages is of no small im-

irthe insight of that which will

of the wide extending of

countries, of the tracks

[«ces, where they rage

'.a the


the most , and of those where they first take their rise.

I shall now begin from the history of the earthquake of 55 itself. I understand by it no history of the misfortunes , which men. have thereby suffered , no list,, of cities des- troyed and inhabitants buried under their ruins. Every thing horrible, which the rma- ginalion can represent to itself , must be col- lected . in order in some measure to fif^ure to ■ one's self the consternation, in which men must be, when the earth under' their feet ' moves and is torn wiih convulsions , when. every thing around them falls to the groimd, ^hen the water put in violent motion com- pletes the misfortune by overilowing, when the fear of death, the despair on account of the total loss of all property, and finally the sight of others in misery discourage 'the most steadfast mind. Such a narrative would be moving, it would, as it has an effect on the heart, perhaps have one lil^ewise on its amendrhent. But I leave this history to more abie hands, and shall here describe the work of nature only, the remarkable natural cir- cumstances, which accompanied the dreadhil event, and their causes.

0/ the Forerunners of this Eartliqutihe.


camo in Switzerland on the 14th. October 1754 at 8 o'clock in the morning. A warm vapour, as if comiilg out of an oven, diffused itself and in two hours turned into a red fog, , which towards evening occasioned a rain red as blood J that , w^hen it was caught , deposit- ed ^ of a reddish gluy sediment. The snow six feet deep was likewise tinged red. This purple rain was perceived to extend about 20- german miles in quadratuin^ nay, even to Suabia. On these meteors followed unnatural rains , that in three days made the water rise 23 inches, which is more than falls throughout the whole year in a country of a moderately damp nature. This rain continued upwards of 14 days, though not always with the same violence. The rivers in Lombardy that have their source in the mountains of SWitzerJand, as also the Rhone, swelled and overflowed their banks. From this time prevailed in the air frightful hurricanes , whidh raged every where furiously. In the middle of ngvember such a purple rain fell in Ulm, the disorder in'thQ atmosphere, the whirlwinds in Italy, and the extremely wet weather continued. If "we would form a conception of the causes of this phenomenon and of its consequences , we must observe the nature of the ground, upon vhich it happened. All the mountains of itzerland contain extensive cavities, w^hich lOut doubt aj:e connected with the deepest raneous passages. Scheuchzer numbers gulfs , which at certain times emit e suppose that the mineral sub- k. i)QL these cavities are mixed and 'f * G 3 thereby


thereby occasion with those, fluidities , with which they effervesce, an internal fermentation, which may prepare the materials nourisliing . the fire for that inAammation , that in a. few days is to break out entirely; if, for instance, w^ represent to ourselves that acid, which is . contained in the spirit of nitre, and' which nature herself necessarily prepares, how.it, put in motion either by the afilux of water cnr by other causes, attached the earth containing iron, upon which it fell; these substances must have been > heated by their being mixed , and have ejected red warm vapours from the caverns of tlie mountains, wherewith by the violenceof the ebullition the particles of the red earth containing iron were ^t the same time mingled and i^arried away, which occasioned the g/wy rainred as blood of which we have made men- tion. The nature of such vapours tends to diminish the expansive power of the air, and thereby to make the aqueous exhalations sus- pended in it run together, as also by the at- traction of all the humid clouds floating in the ambient atmosphere, by means of the natural declivity towards the region , where the Ji eight of the columns of air is lessened, to occasion that violent and constant rain in the coim tries aforementioned.

In this manner the subterranean fermenta- tiop previously announced by ejected vapours the misfortune , which it prepared in secret. *


  • Eiglit days before the concussion the ground near

Gulix was covered by a multitude of worms that had



^he achievement of destiny followed it with slow steps. A femientation does not imme!* diately break out into inflammation. This fermenting and heating substances, in order 'to produce incension , must meet -with a com- bustible oil, sulphur, petrol, or something of the same sorcJ The heating extends itself here and there in the subterraneous passageis; and the moment, when the dissolved com-r bustible substances are heated in the mixture with the others to the degree to catch fire, the vaults of the earth are shaken, and thedecre^ pf the fates is fulfilled.

The Earthquake and the Agitation of the Watex of the 1st. Novemher 1755.

The moment, at which this shock hap|)exi?. cd, seems to be the most accurately determin- ed at 50 minutes past 9 o'clock a. m, ^t Lis- i)on. This time exactly agrees with that , at which it was perceived in Madrid, froni 17 to 18 minutes after 10 o'clock, when the dif- ference of latitude of both cities is turned into tjie diflFerence of time. At the same time the waters, as well those that have a visible , as , those that may have a hidden , communica-

G 4 tioni

CToepedout of the earth. Only the adduced came drove them €>ttt. ^ Of several other earth<ju?.ke8 violent lightning in the air> and the fear that animals s^ow> 1)^V9 beoii ^e precnrsorSf


tion with the ocean, were shale en to an astonish- ing circuit. "From Abo in Finland to the Archi- pelago of the West Indies few or no coasts were free from it. Almost at the same time it commanded a tract of 1500 german miles* Were one assured that the time, at which it was feltatGluckstadt on theElb,might accord-i. ing to the public accounts be fixed at 30 minutes past 11 o'clocK, it would thence be concluded, that the agitaiion of the water took 15 minut- es to come from Lisbon to the coasts of Halstein., At this very time it was likewise felt on all the codsts of the mediterranean, ^nd its whole extent is not yet known.'

The waters, that appear to be deprived of every commimication with the sea, the sources of mineral water, the lakes, were at the same time put into an extraordinary commotion in many countries far distant from one another, Most of the lakes in Swisserland, the lake nea;^ Templin in the March , some lakes in Norway and Sweden, were put into an undu- lation far more boisterous, than in a storm, and the air was at the same time calm. Both the lakes of Neuschatql and of Meinungen , if we may rely upon the accounts, ran into hidden cavities, but soon returned. At this very moipent the mineral water of Toeplitz in Bo- hemia stopped, and returned red as blood. The force, with which the water was driven, widened its old passage, and it thereby ac- quired a greater afflux. The. inhabitants of this place might well sing te Deum laudamus^ while those of Lisbon uttered quite other cones. Such is the natufe of the incidents


TK£ATIS£$. 105.

that befall' the human species^. The joys o£ the one and the misfortunes of the other have frequently a common cause. In the kingdom jof Fez in Africa , a subterraneous power split a mountain and pour^ed water out of its gulf; Near Anguleme in France a subterrane^Cl noise w:as heard } a deep cavern opened itself on the plain and contained unfathomable water. At Ge* menox in Provence, a fountain grew suddenly slimy and ran afterwards of a reddish colour. The surrounding countries gave notice ^bf similar alterations in their sources. All these took place at the same minute that the earth* quake laid waste the coasts of PortugaL Here and there during" this short term of time a few concussions of the earth w^ere perceived in fav distant countries. But they almost all happened near the coast. At Cork in Ireland, as also at Glueckstadt and at several other places thaf lie near the sea small quakings happened, Milan is perhaps at the greatest distance from the sea of any place that was this day shaken. This morning at 8 o'clock Vesuvius raged and was quiet towards the time, when the con* cussions happened at Portugal^

CoiUanplation of the Cause of this Agitation

of the Water.

History affords no example of a commo* tion- of all the waters and of a great part of the earth ao extensive and at the same time in

G 5 th« 

106 2$SAT5 AND

the course of a few minutes. Hence circum* «pection is necessary, in order to -gather the cause of it from a single case. The following causes, especially, which may have produced this event of nature, may be conceived. By a (joncussion of the bottom of the sea every

, where immediately under those place^ , where the sea-' was shaken; but a reason must be given, why the veins of fire, which pro- duced these concussions, run under the botr tojn of the seas, without extending themselves under the countries that are more nearly con- joined with these seas and frequently interrupt their communication. One would find himself perplexed by the question , Whence the con- cussion of the bottom, as it extended itself from Glueckstadt on -the north sea to Lubec on the east and to the coasts of Meckldn- burgh, was not felt in Holstein, which lies in the middle betwixt these seas, and only a slight shahing was felt near the coast, but none in the interiour parts of the country?' But one is the most distinctly convinced by the undulation of the waters far distant from the sea, as of the lake of Templin-, of those

•in Switzerland and others. It may be easily imagined that, in order to put wMter into an undulation so violent by the shaking of the bottom, the concussion rr^ust certainly not be small. But why did* not all the circumja- cent countries, under which the vein of fire must of necessity have run , feel this violent shock ? It is easily seen that all the jcriteria of truth are contxB'^ cussion • wbif

it. I



solid mass of the earth itself by a violent shock happening at a place, as the ground shakes at a considerable distance, when a powdermill blows up, in the -application to this case loses all probability, as well from the cause assigned, as on accoimt of the prpdigious compass which , when it is com* pared with the compass of the whole earthy makes up a part of it so considerable, and w^hose concussion must necessarily draw after it a shaking of the whole globe. But we may learn from Buffon, that an eruption of sub- terraneous fire, which a mountain of 1700 i^iles long and 40 bro^d might throw a mile high J could not displace the earth an inch.

We have then to seek the extending of this agitation of the water in a medium that is fitter for communicating a concussion to great distances, to wit,, the water of the sea itself, which is in connexion with that, which is put into a violent and sudden commotion by an immediate shaking of the bottom of the sea,

In the Weekly Intelligencer of Koenigsberg I endeavoured to estimate the force, w^here- withthe sea is pushed on in the whole compass by the stroke proceeding fiom the concussion of its bottom , supposing the shaken place of the bottom of the sea but as a square , whose

side is equal to the distance of Cape 5t. Vincent

'from Cape Finisterre , that is , the length of the west coasts of Spain and Portugal, and ii**Ansidering the force of the rising ground, that of a mine of powder, which in 'ag is able to throw the bodies, that are



upou it« 15 feet high, and, according to the rules , by which ^the motion in a fluid matter is continued, found it greater on the coasts of Holstein than the most rapidly advancing current. Let us here contemplate from another point of view the force , which it used from these causes. Count Marsigli foimd the great- est depth of the mediterranean to be by the lead upwards of gooo feet, and it is certain that the ocean* at a proper distance froixi the land is yet deeper : but we shall here suppose 6000 feet only, that is, 1000 fathoms deep. We know, that the weight, with which a column of sea water presses upon the bottom of the sea , miist exceed almost 200 times the pressure of the atmosphere, arid that it still far exceeds the force of the fire behind a ball, which is projected from the cavity of a can- non in the space of a pulsation to the distance of 100 fathoms. This prodigious weight cotjjd not resist the force , with which the subterra- neous fire quickly ascended, by consequence this vix jnotrix w^as greater. By what pressure then was the water confined , in order to fly out. suddenly towards the sides? and is it astonishing , if within a few miViutes it is felt both in:J?'inland and in the West Indies. It is not possible to be made out, how great the basis of the immediate concussion may have been; it is perhaps much greater than we have assumed it; but among the seas, where the agitation of the water was felt without any earthquake, on the coasts of £ng1andi Holland and Norway and on the east sea it wa$ certainr iy not to be met with in thebojSliom of

■■'.A. » . *-.

^ '..1


For tlien the terra firma too would have cer- tainly been shaken in its interiour parts, but -which was by no means observed.'

Though I ascribe the violent concussion of all the continuous parts of the ocean to the single shock, which its bottom suffered in a certain circuit, I do not mean on that account to deny the actual diffusion of the ' subterrar neous fire under the terra firina of vAindst aW Europe. In all probability they happened at the same time , and both had part in the phe- nomena that came to pass, only that one in particular is not to be considered as the sol^ cause of them all. The commotion of the water in the north sea , which occasioned a sudden shock, was not the effect of an earth*- quake raging under the bottom. Such concus* sions must be very violent, in order to pro- duce the like effect, and must have therefore' been very sensibly felt under the terra firrna. But I do not disown on that account that even all terra finna is put into a gentle vacil- lancy, by a werfk power of vapours inflamed under its bottom or of other causes. This is seen with regard to Milan, which was threat- ened on this same day with the greatest danger of a total overthrow. We shall then lay down that the earth was by a gentle vacillation put into an easy motion, which was so great, that it, in loo Rhine yards,, shook the earth backwards and forwards to the distance of an inch; and this motion urould be so insensible, that a building of " A yards high could not thereby be put out of '^ perpeadicular positiozi more 'than half a



grain , that is, the half of the back of a knife, ' which even on the hio;hest towers would be scarcely perceptible. Whereas the lakes must have rendered this insensible motion very perceptible- For if a lake is but two german miles long, its water would be very strongly' shaken by this small vacillancy of its bottom. For the water has then in 14000 inches about an inch of fall , and a run , which is nearly but about the lialf smaller, than the run of a ' viiry rapid river; as the levelling of the w^ater of the Seine near Paris may teach us; which, after a few vacillations, may have well oc- casioned an extraordinary shaking of the water.* But we may with gpod reason assume the mo- tion of the earth as great again , as we have done, without its being easily felt on the terra Jirtna, and then the motion of the lakes is the more obvious and comprehensible.

It needs no longer surprise, if all the lakes in Switzerland, in Sweden, in Norway and . in Germany, without feeling a shake of the bottom, are discovered so troubled and boiling lip. 'But it is found somewhat extraordinary that certain lakes during this disorder even dried up; as the lake of Neuschatel, that of Cdmo and of Meinungen, though isome of them soon filled again. This event, however, is not without example. There are some lakes, which at certain times run out quite orderly by hidden canals, and return at a stated period. The lake of Cirnitzer in the Dutchy of Camiola is a remarkable instance of this. It has in its bottom a few hales, but through which it^oes not run off sooner, than towards



' St, James* , When it suddenly disappears with all the fishes and, after having left its bottom during three mouths as dry as a good meadow or a field, towards november suddenly returns. This event of nature is very conceivably ex- plained by the comparison with the diabetes of the hydraulics, but in the cases before us it may be easily imagined that, as many lakes receive an affliix from the springs under their bottom, those, which have their head in the neighbouring heights, after the eflfect of \ thev subterraneous heat and evaporation has consumed the air in the cavities , which are their reservoirs, must thereby have been drawn into them, and even have furnished a power-, ful suction to carry in. with them tlie lake which, after a re-established equilibrium of the air,. sought its natural- issue again. For that a lake, as \ras endeavoured to be explained by the public accounts of that of Meinungen, is maintained by the subterraneous communi- cation with the sea, because it- has no external afflux by brdoks or streamletsj, is, as well on account of the laws of equilibrium opposing it, as on account of the saltness of the sea "water , exposed to a palpable absurdity.

The earthquakes have this, as something- common to themselves, that they put the sources of water into disorder. I could here ' pft)duce, from the history of other earth- quakes, a whole register of sources that stop- ped at one place and broke out at M^other, of • fountain-water gushing very high out of the earth and such like; but I will not depart from my subject. We have intelligence that


_ f

Jia £5SAirS AND

in several parts of France some sources have stopped^ and others discharged an immense quantity of water. The source of warm water at Toeplitz disappeared , made the poor inha«^ bitants uneasy, and returned first muddy, then red as blood, and at last natural and stronger than before. * The coloration of the water in SO' many countries^, even in the Kingdom of Fez and in France, is according to my con- ception to be ascribed to the mixture of va» pours fallen into fermentatioi^ with sulphur and particles of iron, pressed through the layers or strata of earth , where the source* have their passage. When these vapours penetrate into the interiour parts of the cis- terns , which contain the source of the mineral waters, they either drive these out with great force, or, pressing the water into other pas- sages , alter their efflux^


  • It is remarltable tliat tliis- eartliqualie was not felt af

Carlsbad » which is but thirteen german miles distant from Toeplitz. The waters of Carlsbad (in Bohemia) are likewise warm, to 58* Reaumeur, and one of the best deobstnients perhaps in Europe. They contain mineral alkali, Glauber' and culinary salt, with somewhat calcareous earth, and jixed air; are very efficacious in gouty cases, the stone and gravel, and a sovereign remedy in complaints of th«  stomach and bowels. During the space of six'consecntive years the translator dranh upvv'ards of seven thousand goblets of this water , and was radically cured of inveterate- obstructions and haemorrhoids. Tliis doctor Daram of Carlsbad, who is not only a skilful and learned, but a suc- cessful physician, can attest. The late doctor Eecher virrote a treatise on tliese waters , w^hich contains a valuable descrip- tion and practical treatment of the diseases of the primcte viae and of the abdomen in general. AnotheiT happy cir- cumstance is that Eger (where there is a most excellent steel w^ater > which contains much more pui]g;ative salt thtat Pyrmont- water, and which is i.aeiB lind iloW|^vlal.eox>B«  b or ant after the use of til ▼icin^ge.


Thesri are the chief curiosities and most singular circumstances of the history of thd first of november, and of the agitation of the water. It is extremely credible to me that the concussions of the earth, which happened close to the seashore, or of wat^r thf^t has communication with the sea , in Cork in Ire- land, Glueckstadt, and here and there in' Spain , are for the most part to be attributed to the pressure of the confined seawater, whose force must be. incredibly great, when the violence, with which it dashes, is multiplied by the plane, which it strikes. And I am of opinion that the misfortune of Lisbon, as well as that of most of the other* cities on the west coast of Europe, is to be ascribed to the^ situation, which it had with regard to the moved part of the ocean , as its whole force, augmented besides in the mouth of the Tagus by the narrowness of a bay, must extraordi- narily shake the bottom. Let it be judged, whether the concussions, which were not sensible in the interiour of the country, could have been distinctly 'felt in the cities* only, which lie on the seashore, if the. pressure of the water had not had a share in them.

The last phenomenon of this great event is remarkable, as a considerable time, from an hour to an hour and a half after the earth- quake, an astonishing accumulation of the ,water of the ocean , and a swelling of the Tagus, which rose six feet higher than the ^lllghest flood, and soon after fell almost as lower than the lowest ebb, were seen. >ti6lk of the sea, which took place a

H consi*

114 ' USS-ATt, AND

consiclerable time after the earthquake, and after the amazing pressure of the water, com- pleted the destruction .of the city of Satuval, by, rising aboveats rubbish, and totally ruined what the concussion had spared. When one has previously formed a just conception of tho' violence of the seawater pushed forward by 'the moved bottom of the sea, he may easily represent to himself that it must, after its pressure has extended itself through all the immense regions around, return with violence. The time of its return depends on the great compass , in which it acted around it , and it» ebullition, chiefly on the coasts, must accord- ing to that have been just as terrible.* .

The Earthquake of 'the iQth. Novemter.

From the 17th. to the igth. of this month, the public accounts gave notice of a consi- derable earthquake on the coasts, as well of Portugal as of Spain , and in Africa. On the 17th. at la o'clock it was felt at Gibraltar, and towards the evening at Whitehaven in York- shire. On- the >7th. and igth. it was in the then English colonies of America. On the igth. it was violently felt in the neighbourhood of j\quapendente and della Grotta in Italy. ^


The Earthquake of the gtft. December.

According to the testimony of the public accounts, Lisbon suffered no such, violent shocks since the ist. november, as those of the 9th. december. ' This earthquake was felt on the southern coasts of Spain, on those of France, through the mountains of Swisser- land , Suabia , and Tyrol as far as Bavaria. It ranged from southwest to northeast, about 300 german miles and, keeping in the direc- tion of that chain of mountains, which runs along the greatest hei_ght of the terra finna of Europe according to its length, did not extend itself much sidewards. The most careful geographers Varen, Buffon &c Lulof observe, that, as all land, which extends more in length than in breadth, is crossed in the di- rection of its length by a principal mountain, the chief tract of the mountains of Europe from a head stock, the Alps, extends towards the west through the southern provinces of France, through th6 middle of Spain to the utmost shore of Europe' towards the west, though it shoots out on the way considerable collateral branches, and in like manner to the east, through the Tyrolcse mountains and other , less considerable ones, imites at last with the Carpathian mountains.

The earthquake ran through these in this

irection the same day. If thi time of the

ncussion of every place were accurately

the velocity might in some measure

_' and the situation of the first

n iooU probability determined;

.Ha but


116 X.SSs,ATS ANt>

but the accounts agree so little ^ that ."with •regard to th'em nothing can be relied upon,

I have already mentioned that the earth- . quakes, when they extend themselves, com- monly keep the tract of the highest mountains .through theit whole extent, though these, the more they approaclj the seashore, grow the less* The direction of long rivers denotes very well the direction of the mountains, since those rmi between the parallel rows of these, as in the lowest part of a long valley. This law of the extension of earthquakes is not an aflFair of speculation or of judgment, but is known by the observation of many earthquakes. The testimonies of Rai , Buffon, Gentil &c. must therefore be adhered to. • But this law has of itself so much probability, that it must easily acquire assent. When one reflects 'that the openings, whereby the stib- terraneous fire seeks vent, are nowhere else than in the sunimit3 of the mountains; that gulfs casting out flames are never perceived in the plains; that in the countries, w^here earthquakes are violent and frequent, most of, the mountains have wide mouths, that serve, to eject the fire^ and that, as to our European mountains, roomy cavities, which are. no doubt connected^ are no where disco- vered but in them; and when the. conception of the generation of all these subterranean vaults , above spolien of, is applied to these, no difficulty will, be found in the representa- tion, how the inflammation, chiefly under the chain of mountains , which run through the length of Europe ^ can ineet with open


TUBA TI S£S. 117

«nd.free passages, in order to extend itself quicker therein , than towards other regions. Even the continuation of the earthquake of the 18 nov. from Europe to America, under the bottom of a wide sea, is to be sou^rht in the connexion of the chaih of mountains , which chain y though in the continuation it grows so low, as to be covered by the sea, ren\ains the same mountain. For we know, that as many mountains are to be met with in the bottom of the ocean, as upon the land; and' in this manner tJie Azores, that lie halfway betweeir Portugal and North Anierica, must be placed in this connexion.

The Earthquake of the a 6, December.

After the incension of the qiineral sub- stances had penetrated the main trunk of the highest mountains of Europe, the Alps, it opened for itself the narrower boundary undev the 'chain of mountains, which runs rect- angularly from south to north, and extend itself in the direction ,of the Rhine which, like all rivers in general, occupies a long, valley between two ridges of hills,, from Switzerland to the northsea. It shook on the west side of the river the provinces of Alsace, Lorraine, the electorate of Cologne, Brabant and Picardy, and on the east side Cleves, a part of Westphalia, and probably a few coun- tries lying on this side of the Rhine, of which no accoimt9 have been given. It evidently jkept a tract parallel to the direction of this

H 3 great


138 £8^SATS kVln


great river 9 and extended itself not £ar from it towards the sides.

It may be asked, hovr^ as it penetrated into the Netherlands, which are not very mountainous, it can accord with what has been above said? But it is enough that a country is in an immediate connexion with certain ridges of mountains , and to be con* sidered as a continuation of them , in order to carry on the subterraneous inflammation un- der this low giound. For it is certain that then the chain ot cavities extends under it, in the same manner as it continues ' uifder th9 bottom of the sea , as aforesaid.

Of the Intervals that pass between some Earth-- quakes following one another.

When tne consequence of the concussions that have happened after one another is con- templated with attention , a period, in which the inflammation after an intervening cessa- tion broke out anew, might, if one chose to hazard a conjecture, be discovered. W# find after the ist. november a very violent concussion in Portugal on the 9th. as also on the i8th. as it extended towards England, Italy , Africa , and even to America. On the syth. a strong earthquake on the southern coasts of Spain, chiefly in Mal^*-!^^ From this tim0 it continued 13 days, 1 cember ran through tl tugal to Bavaria fr< northeast p and since

TR£ATi9;c:9. 119


•of i8.^ay», to. wit, the t6th. to the fi7th. decern ber it shook the breadth of Europe from south to north,* so that, when that time, w^hich it took to penetrate into the bowels of the mountains of oxir terra finna ^ and on tha 9th. december to move the Alps and the whole length of their chain is assumed » in general a pretty exact period of 9 or twice 9 days has passed between the repeated inflammations, I do not produce this with a view of conclude ing any thing from it , because the accounts • are far too little authentic for that purpose, but in similar cases in order to give occasiou to more accurate observation and reflection. • I shall here adduce but something in ge- neral of the concussions reciprocally remitting and recommencing, Mr. Bouguer, one of the deputies of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris to Peru , had the inconvenience of making some stay in this country near a, burn- ing mountain, whose thundering noise allowed him no test. The observation, which he made on this occasion, might in some degree in^ demnify him, as he remarked that the moun^ tain was always quiet at equal periods, and • its ragings followed one another in an orderly manner with exchanged points of rest. The remark , Mariotte made on a limekiln , which

H 4 was

  • On the 2iu. it "waa very violent In Lisbon, on the

.fi^d. in the mountains of Roussillon, Aud continued thero . . fill the fiyth. Froxn this it Aiay be seen that it began

^.' ^ tLgahi from the southwest and required a much longer

  • '-^' ::"<unc to extend. And when the place of incensiou , which

dear from the whole course of the earthquake, i^ in the ocean of Portugal tow?rd8 the west, its b kolmably connected mth th« period in hand.


was Idndled, and sometimes ejected, the air* out of an open window, sometimes 'drew it back again , whereby if iii some measure imi* iated the respiration of animals, has a great similarity with this; both depend upon the following causes. ^ When the subterraneous fire inflames y it forces all the air out of the cavities around it. Where this air, which is filled with the igneous parts, finds an opening, for instance, in the mouth of a volcano, it rushes out, and the mountain casts- out flames. But as soon as the air is' driven from the com- pass of the hearth of inflammation, the in- flammation remitsj for without the access of air all fire extinguishes. In like manner the«  eruptions of a burning mountain vary regu* •larly at certain intervals. It is the same with the subterraneous inflamniations , even where

  • the expanded air can find no issue through

the caverns of the mountains^ For when the inflammation begins at a place in the cavities of the earth , it forces the air to a great extent into all the passages of the subterranean vaults that, are connected therewith. At this moment the fire chokes for want of air. • And as soon as tliis expansive power of the air remits , that air, which was diffused through all the cavi- ties, returns with great force and blows up the smothered fire into a new earthquake^ It is remarkable that Vesuvius, which, when the fermentations in the bowels of the earth began w^ell, was put in motion and set onlir^ ISL!^!^ issue of the air forced suddenly remitted soon quake happened at lA


tkixy connexion with these cavities, and even that which is above the summit of Vesuvius, rushed through all the channels to the hearth of inflammation, where the diminution of the expansive power of the air allowed it access. What an astonishing object! To represent to one's self a chimney which , by air holes or vents , at laoo german miles distance , affords a sure draught!

It is the very same cause, which must pro- duce in the cavities of the earth subterranean storms, whose force, if the situation arid connexion of the cavities were suitable to their extension , would far exceed every thing, which we perceive upon the surface of the earth. The noise, that in the progress of an earthquake is heard und^ the feet, is probably to be attributed to no other cause than this.

From this w^e may presume with probabi- lity that not just all earthquakes are occa- sioned by the inflammation's happening di- rectly under the ground which is shaken; but that the fury of the subterraneous storm may shake the vault that is above them ; of which will be the less doubted, when one reflects that a much denser air, than that upon the surface of the earth , may by far more sudden causes than these be put in motion and, strengthened between passages that impede its extending , exercise an imheard-of power*. It may likewise be presumed that the slight Tacillancy. of the ground in the greater part of i . EUirope during the violent inflammation, which

  • ^*^ — ^-med in the earth on the first of novem-

^v'Haps to be derived &om nothing but r H 6 this


this violently agitated subterraneous air, which like a heavy storm gently shook the groujici that opposed its diffusion.

Of the Hearth of the subterraneous Inftamma'

tion , and the Places which are subjected to the

most frequent and most dangerous


By the comparison of the time we learn that the place of incension of the earthquake of the first of november was in the bottom of the sea. The Tagus'that swelled before the shake, the sulphur, which the mariner's lead brought up from the shaken bottom , and the violence df the concussion , which the sailors felt , confirm it. The history of former earth- quakes gives to know that in the bottom of the sea the most frightful concussions have always happened, and next to this at the places upon the seashore or not far from it. As a proof of the former I produce ihe raging fury , with vrhich the subterraneous inflammation has frequently raised up new islands from the bottom .of the sea and, for instance, in the year 1720, near the island St. Michael , one of the Azores, from a depth of sixty fathoms threw up, by an ejection of matter from the bottom of the sea , an island , which is one mile long and elevated some fathoms above the surface of the sea. The island near San-



torino in the mediterranean, which in our century in the presence of several persons rose from the bottom of the sea , and many other examples, which , in order to avoid prolixity, I pass over , ar^e proofs of this not to be re- jected.

How often do seamen suffer , so to say , a seaquake; and in many countries, chiefly in the vicinity of certain islands, the sea i^ plentifully filled with pumice and other sorts of ejections of a fire broken out through thf bottom of the ocean. The observation of the numerous concussions of the bottom of the sea is naturally connected with the question. Why of all places of the terra firrna none are subjected to more violent and more frequent earthquakes , than those that lie near the sea- shore? This latter position is undoubtedly just. Let us run over the history of earth- quakes , and we shall find inniunerable mis- fortunes happen through earthquakes to cities or countries , which are near the seashore, but very few and those of little consequence, that are perceived in the middle of the terra firma. Ancient history informs us of astonishing devastations, which this evil made upon the seacoasts of Little Asia, or Africa. But neither among them nor among the more modem do we find considerable concussions in the heart of great countries. Italy, which is a peninsula, most of the islands of all the seas , that part' of Peru, which lies on the coast, suffer the .greatest attacks of this eviL And in our days all tlie western and southern coasts of Spain and Portugal have been much more shaken,


.. . .1 . itiito-Ls: vdHS of these countries. Of

.!..-».-■:> .. ^ive the following solution:

, I ;jL ..\< continuous cavities under .a L^fi*.! Livx. crust of the earth, ^vithout „-._-v .^.. oi . *hich run un^er the bottom of ■- --«\», iiusi be the naiTOwest, because there ,»». .i.i.-uiuea bottom of the terra finna has i«^i.v^a (1^ the greatest depth, and must rest ujiuk^i '.ower upon its undermost basis, than ziic yl<toe$ that lie towards the middle of the tiv^ii.iu^ut. But it is known that in narrow w j^ i:i«r5 A kindled expansive matter, must act iuo»' furiously around it, than where it can extend itself. Besides, it is natural to believe ihit, as is not to be doubted of the subterra- neous incension, the effervescing mineral and intUmmable substances very often fall into fusion, as the streams of brimstone and lava, which are frequently poured from the volca- nos, may show; since on account of the na- tural declivity of the bottom of the subterra- nean cavities they must have always run towards the lowest cavities of the bottom of the sea, and also on account of the abundant store of inflammable matter, more frequent; and more powerful concussions must have here happened.

Mr. Bouguer conjectures, not without rea? son, that the penetratinfT ' 'theseawf by

the opening of a few «^ ^kLthe U the sea, must put i ""

naturally inclined to most violent ebullitic nothing can put he~ amazing fury, thar


constantly angments it, till its force extend*- ing itself on all sides prevents thb furtlier access of the water by ejecting all sorts p£- earthy substances and stopping up its opening. For aught I know the chief violence, with which a country lying upon the coast is shaken, takes its origin in part very nature ally from the weight, wherewith the seawatet loads its neighbouring bottom. For every bodv easily, perspects that^fthe force, with -which the subt^raneous Ere endeavours to xaise up this vault, upon which a weight su prodigious rests, is greatly kept back and, as it finds here no space for its extending, must turn its whole force towards the bottom of the dry land that is next it.

Of the Direction, according to which the Ground ■is shaken by an Earthquake,

The direction , according to which the earthquake extends in wide coimtries , is dif- ferent from that, according to which the ground, on which it "exercises its power, is' shaken. When the uppermost covering of the Jiidden cavity, wherein the inAamed matter expands itself, has an horizontal direction, it inust be reciprocally, elevated and depressed in licular posture, because there is na- ^fwi turn the motion more to one side Sut if the layer of earth, 1 the vault, inclines to one 3wer of the subterranealk fire


The history of the Royal Academy of Paris gives an account that, when Smyrna, which lies on the eastern coast of the mediterranean, whas shaken in 1688 > ^1 the walls, which had the direction from east to west, were thrown down, but those, that were built from north to south, stood.

The shaken ground makes a few vacilla- tions,^ and moves every thing, that is erected upon it according to the length in the direc- tion of the vacillation, the most. All bodies, which have a .great mobility , for instance^ girandoles in churches, during earthquakes usually point out the direction , according to which the shocks happen, and are far surer criterions for a city to discover the situatipn, according to which it must be built, than the soipewhat more doubtful signs already men- tioned.

Of the Connexion of Earthquakes luitfi the


The f rench academist Mr. Bougucr , whom we have frequently quoted, mentions in his voyage to Peru that, though earthquakes happen often enough in that coiuitry at all seasons, the most dreadful and the most frequent are felt in the autumnal months. Tiiis observa- tion is not only abundantly confirmed in America, as, besides the destruction of the city Lima ten years ago and the sinking of another city equally popHlous in the preceding



ccntiiiy, ihatiy instances of it have been no* tipedy but in our part of the world, besides the last earthquake (of 1755), we find many examples in histofy of concussions and ejec* tions of burning mountains, which have taken place more frequently in autumn, than in any other season. Does not a common cause give occasion to this agreenient? and what cause is more probable'than the rains, which con- tinue in Peru in the long Valley between the Cordilleras from September to april, and which are likewise th^ most frequent with us during harvest? We know that, in order to occa- sion a subterraneous conflagration, nothing else, than to put in fermentation the mineral substances in the cavities of the earth , is ne- cessary. But this is done by water, when it has penetrated into the clefts of the mountains and run into the deep passages. The rains first stimulated the fetmentation , which in the middle of October forced out of the bowels of the earth so many extraneous vapours. But these drew from the atmosphere still more humid influxes, and the water, which pene-. trated through the chinks of the rocks into the most profoimd cavities, finished tjie inflam«  Illation that was begun.

of the Influence of Earthquakes on the


We have above seen an example of the .ificcts which the comrulsion^ of the earth 'f Vol. H. 1 have

130 2S8ATS A'NX>

have on our air. It is to be beliered that more phenomena of nature depend upon the eruptions of subterraneous heated exhalations, than one commonlyimagines. It would scarce- ly be possible that such an irregularity and so little harmony could be met with in the temperatures of the air if extraneous causes did not sometimes put the proper alterations of our atmosphere into disorder. Can a probable ground be conceived, why, as the course of the sun and of the mooii is always fixed to the same laws, as water and earth, taken in the gross, always remain the same, the flux of rhe temperatures of the air, even one with atiother during many years , falls out almost always diflFerent? Since the unfortunate con- cussion and a little before it we have had in dll our part of the world so variable a tempera- ture of the air j that we cannot but suspect the earthquakes on that account. It is true , there was formerly warm weather in winter, with- out any previous earthquake; but is one sure that a fermentation in the bowels of the earth has not very often forced vapours through th«  chinks of the rocks, the slits- of the layers of earth, and.even through their loose substance, which may have drawn after them considerable alterations in the atmosphere? Muschenbroek, having observed that only since 1716 a very clear aurora borealis hq^ been seen in Europe and in its southern countries, holds the prob- able cause of these alterations in the atmos- phere, that the volcanos and the earthquakes, which some years before raged violently, threw h, out inflammable and yolatile 0^


by the natural deflux of the highest air accu* mulated towards the north , and produced tlie ftery phenomena of the air, which have since been so frequently seen , arid that in all pro- bability they must consume by degrees, till new exhalauons supply the diminution.

According to these principles let us inves* tigate, Whether it be not conformable to na* ture , that an altered temperature of the air, like what we have had, may be a consequence of that catastrophe. The clear temperature of the winter -air, and the cold that accompanies it, are not merely consequences of the great distance of the sun from our vertex at this season. For we frequently feel that, not- withstanding that, the air may be very tem- perate; but the draught of air from the norths which at times ends in an eastwind, brings us a^ cooled air from the frigid zone, that covers our vi^aters with ice, and lets ns feel a part of the winter of the northpole. This draught o£ air from the north to the south is in the autumnal and hibernal months, unless foreign causes interrupt it, so natural, that in the ocean at a suflicient distance from all terra finna^ this north or northeast- wind is the whole time throughout uninterruptedly met with. It proceeds quite naturally from the effect of the sun, which then rarifies the air above the southern hAuisphere , and there- by occasions the draught from the northern, so that this must be considered as a constant .law, which by the nalure of the countries ay in some measure be altered, but not ' td. 'When subterraneous fermentations

I a eject


' K



eject somewhere in the countries that li6' towards the south heated vapours, these in the beginning diminish the height of the atmos- phere iu the region, where they rise, by weakening its expansive power, and occasion showers , hurricanes &c. But afterwards this part of the atmosphere, as it is loaded with so many exhalations, moves the neighbouring part by ils weight, and occasions a draught of air from south to north. HoweVer, as the effort, which the atmosphere in our climate makes at this season from north to south, is natural, both these motions, opposing one another are stopped and, on account of the accumulated vapours, occasion clouds and rain, and also ai high state of the barometer,* because the air compressed by the conflict of two winds must occasion a high column; and one thereby understands the apparent irregu- larity of the barometer, when, notwithsland- inn; the great height of the mercury, there is riiiny weather. For then this humidity of the air is an effect of two currents of air opposing one another, which collect the vapours and yet can render the air considerably denser and heavier.

I cannot pass over in silence , That on the frif!;l)tful day of all saints the magnets in Aii^sburgh threw off their load, and the mag- netic needles were tHrowninto disorder. Boyle relates that the like once happened in Naples


  • As has been , during tins hnmid temperature of the

r>ir ill winter, almost constantly noticed.

--- c

after an earthquake. Wp knaw too little pf the hidden nature of the magnet' to assign a reason for this phenomenon.

Of the Use of Earthquakes.

One startles to see a rod of correction of men so frightful commended on the score of utility. I am certain, that, in order to be delivered but of the fear and danger, which are combined with it, men would willingly give it up. Of such a nature are we men, After we have laid an unjust claim to aH the agremens of life, we are pot disposed to purchase any advantiiges with charges. We desire that the earth niight be so conditioned, that one^ could wish to live upon it for ever. We imagine besides, that, if Providence had consulted us, every thing vyould have been better regulated for our advantage. We, for instance, w^ish to have the rain in our power , in order that we might divide it throughout the whole year according \,o our conveniency, and always enjoy agreeable days between the cloudy ones. But w^e forget the springs , which w^e cannot do without, and which could not at all be supplied in such a manner. We are ignorant of the use that the causes, which frighten us in the earthquakes, may be of to us, and yet would willingly discard them.

As men, who were bom to die, why cannot we bear that a few should die by an earth- quake, and as such, who are strangers- here l^elow and possess no property , why are we

I 3 in con-

134 t.siAr6 AKD

inconsolable I when goods, which had shortly been abandoned by the universal way of na- ture, are lost?

It may be easily divined that , when men build upon a ground, which is, filled with inflammable substances, sooner or late^ the whole magnificence of their building may be destroyed by concussions. But must they on that account be impatient of the ways of Providence? . Were it not better to judge thus: It was necessary, that earthquakes should sometimes happen upon the earth; but it was not necessary for us to build upon it gorgeous habitations, The inhabitants of Peru dwell in houses, whose fouQdations only are tof stone , the rest consists of reeds. Man must learn to accommodate himself to nature; but he would have nature to acconiniodate herself to him.

Whatever damage the cause of earthqual^es may have occasioned men on the one side, it can easily make it up with interest on the other. We know that the warm baths, which in process of time may perhaps have been serviceable to a considerable part of mankind for re-establishing health, owe their mineral property ai;id warmth to the very same causes, from which happen in the bowels of the earth the inflammations that shake it.

It has been long presumed that the ores in the mountains are a slow effect of the sub- terraneous heat which, by forming and boiling the metals in the heart of the rock by pene- trating vapours , brings them to perfection by gradual effects*



Our atmosphere, besides the coarse and inert substances, wliicli it contains, requires a certain active principle, volatile salts and parts that may enter into the composition of plants,, in order to move and to develope them. Is it not to be believed that the formations of na- ture, which constantly use a great part of them, and the alterations that all matter ulti- mately suffers by solution and composition, would in time totally^ consume the most active particles, unless from time to time a new a)Ilux took place? At least the earth grows alway3 weaker, vrhen it nourishes vigorous plants; but rest and nlin restore it, But whence would the corroborative matter, ^vhich is used without reparation, come at last, if another source did not supply its afflux? And this is probably the store, Avhich the subterra- nean cavities contain of the most active and most volatile substances, of which they from time to time diffuse a part upon the surface of the earth. I have still to observe that Hales by the fumigation of sulphvu' happily purified the prisons , and in general all places, whose air w^as infected by animal exhalatilins.

The burning: mountains throw out into the atmosphere an immense quantity of sulphu- reous vapours. Who knows but the animal exhalations, with which the atmosphere is loaded, would in progress of time become noxious , if thqse mountains did not furnish a powerful remedy against it.

In fine, the warmth in the bowels of tbo earth seems to me to afford a stronger proof of the eflicacy and of the gre^t us^e of the in*

I 4 flam ma-


jlaminAtions that happen in profound cavities* By daily experiences it is made out, that, in great, nay, in the greatest depths, at which men have arrived in the internal parts of the mountains, there is an everduring Mrarmth, which cannot possibly be attributed ,to the effect of the sun. Boyle cites a considex'able number of testimonies , from which it is evi- dent that during sunimer in all deep shafts the upper part is much .colder, than the ex- teinf^l air; but the deeper one goes down , it is found the warmer; so that in the greatest depths tlie workmen are obliged during their work to pull off their clothes. Every body easily con^prehends that, as the heat of the Sim penetrates but to a very small depth in the earth, it cannot have the smallest effect in the lowest cavities; and that the warmth thqre depends on a cause , which prevails but in the greatest depths, this is besides to be perceived from 4;he diminished warmth, the higher one ascends even in Rummer. Boyle, after having carefully compared and proved the experiences that were made, concludes verf rationally , That in the undermost cavi- ties, at Avhich we cannot arrive, constant in- flainmations must be to be met with , and an inextinguishable fire, that communicates no warmth to the upper crust, is thereby hept up. If the matter is thus, which one cannot but •grant, Jiave we not to pi^omise ourselves the piost advantageous effects from this sub-» terranean fire, which always furnishes the earth with a soft matter, at the time when the sun withdraws his influence from us, and




which is able to forward the vegetatio^n of plants and the ceponomy of the kingdom of nature. And with the appearance of so much usefulness can the disadvantage, -which arises to the human species from a few erujftions of this iiret ^^^ us from the gratitude we owe Providence for all his 4isp^^i'^i<>n8,

The grounds y I have adduced for encou* raging it, are indeed not of the nature of those, which afford the greatest conviction and certainty. But even conjectures, when the object is to move men to the desire of being grateful to the Supreme Being who, even when he chastiseth , is worthy of adora* tion and love, deserve to be assuxned.



I mentioned above that earthquakes forcf^ out sulphureous evaporations through the vault of the earth. The last accounts of the shafts in the mountains of Saxony confirm this by a new example. At present they are found so full of sulphurous vapours, that the workmen miist leave them. The event at Tuam in Ireland, where a luminous meteor appeared upon the sea in the form of flags and pendants, which altered their colours by degrees and at last diffused a clear light, on which followed a violent shock of an earth- quake, is a new confirmation of this. The alteration of the colours from the darkest blue to red and ultimately to a clear white appear- ance is to be ascribed to the broken-out , at

I 5 first



first very rarefied, evaporation that is grad- ually augmented by a more copious afilux of more exhalations which, as is known' in natural philosophy, must pass through the degrees of light from the blue colour to the red, and finally to a whit^e appearance. All these preceded the shock. It is a proof that the hearth of inflammation was in the bottom of the sea , as tlie earthquake was chiefly felt upon the shore.

If one chose to extend farther the observa- tions on the places of the earthy where the most frequent and the heaviest shakes have ever been felt, it might « till be added, that the western coasts have always suffered many more attacks, than the eastern. In Italy, in' South America, nay, lately in Ireland, ex- perience has confirmed this agreement. Peru, which lies upon the seacoast of the new world, has almost daily concussions , whereas Brasil, that has the ocean towards the west, feels nothing of them. If one had a mind to con- jecture a few causes of this strange analogy, a Gautier, a painter, might well be forgiven, when he- looked for the cause of all earth- quakes in the rays of the sun, the source of his colours and of his art , and imagined that these, by beating stronger on the western coast, turn our great globe round from west to east, and by that these coasts are troubled with so many shakes. But in a sound natural philosophy such a thought scarcely merits a refutation. The ground of this law seems to me to be in conjunction with another, of which no suificient explanation has been given,




namely, that the western and soi^them coasts of almost all countries are more steeply de- clivous, than the eastern and noftheiTi ; which is confirmed^ as well by the map, as by Dam? piers accounts, who found them almost univers- ally so in all his voyages. When the bendinga of the land are derived from the sinkings-in, deeper and more numerous cavities must be to be met with in the countries of the greatest declivity, and where the crust of the earth has but a gentle slope. But, as we have above seen, this has a natural connexion witli the concussions of the earth.

Concluding Contemplation.

The sight of so many miserable persons, as the last catastrophe has made among ourfellow- citizens, ought to excite philanthropy, and nialte us feel a part of the misfortune , which has happened to them with so much rigour. It is a gross mistake, when such fates are always considered as destined judgments on tlie desolated cities o^ account of their crimes, and when we contemplate as the aim of God's vengeance these unhappy persons, upon whom His justice pours all its punishments of wrath. This mode of judgment is a blameable audacity, which presumes to perspect the designs of the Divine decrees, and to intei'pret according to its insights.

Mali' is so much taken with himself, that he considers himself only as the sole object of tlie dispositions of the Almigiity, as if these



1 .40 £ S S A T S A N D

had no other aim,; fhan him alone, in the regiilcition of the measures in the government of the world. • We know that the whole com- plex pf nature is a worthy object of the Divine Wisdom and of its dispositions. We are a part of them and would be the whole. The rules of the perfection of nature in the gross must be tahen into no contemplation, and every thing must be suitable but to a just reference to us. What contributes to conve- nience and to pleasure in the world exists, as man figures to hiuiself , merely on his account,, and nature makes no alterations , which may be any cause of inconveniency to men , but either to chastise, to menace, or to wreak. ven- geance on; them.

Wf5 see, however, that innumerable yil* lains die in peace, that earthquakes, without distinction of ancient or modern inhabitants, have ever shaken certain countries, that the Christian Peru, as well as the pagan , is liable to convulsions of the earth, and that many cities , which can pretend to no preference in point of being irreprehensible, have never been subject to this devastation.

Thus is man in the dark, when he at- tempts to guess at the views of the Omnipo- tent in the goveiiiment of the world. But Ave are in no uncertainty , when the applica- tion how we ought to use these ways df Pro- vidence conformably to his end, is concerned, Man was not bom to build everlasting cot- tages upon this stage of vanity. Because his w^liole life has a far nobler aim. How beauti- fully do all tlie devastations , which the in- constancy

Tnl;ATisfes. t^i

tonStnticy of the world show^ evfti irt those things that appear to us the greatest and the most important, contribute to put us in mind that thfe goods of the 6aith cannot satisfy our instin^ct for happiness ?

Far be it from me to insinuate that man is left to an immutable fate of the laws of nature without regard to his peculiar advantaf^es. The same Supreme Wisdom, from whom the course of nature derives that accuracy, which requires no anlendment, has subordinated the inferiour ends to the superior , and in the very- designs, in which He has made the most w^eighty exceptions to the universal rules of nature, in order to attain the infinitely superior ends^ which are far elevated above all the means of nature, the guidance of the human species prescribes laws iii the government of the world even to the course of the things of nature. When a city or a country perceives the mischief, wherewith Providence alarms them or their neighbours, Is it doubtful, what part they have to act, in order to prevent the ruin that threatens them? And are the signs, which render comprehensible the designs, to whose accomplishment all the ways of Provi* dence agree eitlier to invite or to instigate man, ambiguous ?

A prince, who, prompted by a lioble heart, is moved by these calamities of the human race to avert the miseries of war from those, whom great misfortunes over and above threat- en on all sides, is a beneficent instrument in the bountiful hand of the Almighty, and a gift, which he bestowetli on the nations of


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14« iBSSATS.


the earth, whose value they never c^n estimate according to its greatness.

O shame to men ! Devil with devil damned Firm concord holds; men only disagree Of creatures rational » thoagh under hope Of heavenly grace: and God proclaiming peaee. Yet live in hatred, enmity and strife Among themselves f and levy cruel wars» Wasting the earth, each other to destroy: As if, which might induce us to accord, Man had not hellish foes enow besides. That day and night for his destruction wait.














n the Gentleman's Magazine, i783f there is a letter from the Russian privy counsellor Mr. ^epinus to Mr. JPallas on the account, which Mr. Magellan of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Fetersburgh communicated con- cerning a volcano in the moon, discovered by Mr. Herschel on the 4th. June of the same year. This novity was the more interesting to Mr. Aepinus, as he himself says, because in his opinion it evinced the justness of his conjecture on the volcanic origin of the iiiequa^ lities of the surface of the moon , which he formed in the year 1778 and published in Ber«  lin in 1731;* and wherein, as he owns with pleasure , three natuaralists (himself Mr. Aepinus in PetersVurgh, professor Bec- caria in Turin, and professor Lichtenberg in Goettingen,) have concurred , without com-* munication. As attention, however, has been


  • Of tlie Inequality of tlie Moon; in tfie ieCOnd volumer

' af the TreaditM of Um Society of the friends of Natural ^•^•'ofophy. . •

oi. n. K


SO nniversally directed to volcanic crateirs iii all countries by sir William Hamilton; that conjeciiire may be compared to overripe fruit, vi^hich must fall into th^ hands of the firsts wlio accidentally touches the tree. • In fine, in order not excite a difference between contem- poraries by pretensions to the honour of the first conjecture, he (Mr. A.) mentions the celebrated Robert Hoolce as the first author of it, in whose Micrography (printed in 1655) chapter the 20th. he met with directly the same ideas. Sic redit ad Doininum — ■

Herschels discovery , as a confirmation oF the ambiguous observations of Beccaria^s a'lcphew and of don Ulloa, is by all means of prcat value, and' leads to resemblances of the niooti (probably of other mundane bodies too) with our earthy which might have otherwise passed btit for hazarded conjectures. But (as I tal^e it) Mr. j4epinus' conjecture does nob con^ firni them. Notwithstanding ail the similitndd of the circular spots of the moon to craters of volcanos, there remains a material diffe- rence between both, and on the contrary a so striking resemblance of them to other cir- cular features of lionvolcctnic mountains or ridges of hills upon our earth shows itself, that rather another conjecture, though but in some measure analogical with that, on the formation of the mundane bodies might there-^ by be confirmed.

The circular elevations in the moon simi- lar to craters by all means make an ongfai by eruptions probable. Bui t £^>^|PH^ ^^^ earth two sorts of j**


which the one is but of so small a compass, that it, observed from the moon, could not be distinguished by any telescope whatever, and the substances, of which these co/isist, show their origin from volcanic eruptions. Other sorts, on tlie contrary, comprise^ whole countries or provinces of niany hundred square miles, within a ridge of hills beset with more or less high mountains and of a circular form. These only might be seen from the moon, and indeed of the same size, as we discern those circular spiDts in the moun , unless the similarity of their clothing (by forests or otlier productions of the ground) should impede the distinguishing of them at so great a distance. These allow a presumption of eruptions , from which they may have taken their origin, but which according to the testimony of the subs- tances , of which they consist , can have been by no means volcanic. — The crater of Vesu* vius has (according to del la Torre) in its highest circumference 5624 Parisian feet, and therefore about 500 Bhineland-zoods, and in diameter nearly 160; but such a one could certainly not be discovered in the moon by any telescope.* Whereas the spot in the moon

K Q Tycho,

  • But its fiery eruptioti^ miglit be seen in the moon's

night. In the above-nientionecL letters the remark is made to the observations of Beccaria's nephew and of don Ulloa, that boil I votcanos must have been of an astonishing com- pass t as Ilerscliel was the only one among all the spectators who could just observe his volcano by a telescope beyond comparison greater. But with regard to self- luminous substances » u does not depend so much on tbe compass as on tbe purity lof the fire, in order to be distinctly seen; tnd it is known of volcanos, that ihelr flames spread around them a light, toxnetixnes deaz , sometimes stifled in Anoke. —


£S91T9 AND

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face-contents. To \Vhat shall we now compare those circular eIe\'ationsin the moon (of which none of those that have been obser\'ed have less than a gernian mile, some thirty ^ernian miles, in diameter)? — In my opinion, to jtid^e according to analogv, only to tlie latter, wliich are not volcanic. For the form, only does not decide; the immense difference of the size must also be talten into the accoiinL Then, however, Herscliel's observation con- Brms, it is true, the idea uf volcanos in the moon , but only of such ones , whose craters neither have been nor can be seen by him or any body else; but it has not conhrnied the opinion tliat the visible circular configura- tions upon the surface of the moon are vol- < anic craters. For, if one may judge here ac- cording to the analog^' with similar great basms upon the earth, in all probability they are not. It would then need to be said, only, that, as the moon, 'with regard to the basin:: resembling craters, has so mucli likeness to b form the reservoirs of water upon 'r the ri\-ers, but are not volcanic, _ t presumed that she is formed in a r manner to Jse volcanic craters fuiitid " ! earth. Inoted we,cannot see the lat- t moon ; 'fftit there may be perceived jftt^ni^htself-limiinous points which, Sma • 1 ' upon the moon, may be the 111 thi- cause which may be to analogy.* K 3 Setting

1 ^U E S S A T S A N D

Setting aside now this small ambiguity in the consequence of the aforenamed celebrated men, •. — to what cause then can be ascribed the nonvolcanic craters so universally to be met with upon the surface of the earth? Here eruptions must naturally be laid as a founda- tion; but volcanic they cannot be, because the mountains, which form their edge, contain no substances of such a nature, but appear to . have originated from an aqueous mixture. I think, that, when the earth is represented as a chaos originally dissolved in water; the first eruptions, which must every where take place, even from the greatest depths, have been (in the proper sense of the word) atmo* sjjlierical. For it may be very w^ell assumed that our sea of air (aerosphere), w^hich is at pre- sent above the surface of the earth , w^as for- mferly mixed in a chaos with the other material substances of the mundane mass; that it, toge- ther, with many other elastic vapours, Las broken out from the heated globe in a manner in great bladders ; has in this ebullition (from which no part of the surface of the earth was free) thrown out in the form of craters llie substances, which form the original moun- tains; and thereby has laid the foundation for all the beds of tbe rivers, -with which, like the meshes of a net, the whole land is in- terwoven.

prodigious difference between them and those , which flpv^ Irpm the volcanos of our earth , relative to their magni- tnde , refutes this opinion , and makes it probable That tlicy arc chains of mountains which , like those upon our earth , proceed in the manner of radii from a principal stock of^mouutains.


thkjltises^ 151

ter woven. Those edges, as they consist. of matter, which was softened in the water, must gradually quit the water that dissolved them, which water in running off washed out the cuts, whereby those edges, at present mountainous and in the form of saws, are distinguished from the volcanic ones , which represent a continuous ridgp. These primeval mountains , after other substances , which did not crystallize or harden so soon, for instance, homstone and original chalk , w^ere separated, consist oi granite J upon which , as the ebulli- tion was always weaker , consequently lower at the same place, the latter, as washed-out substances, settled in an order like steps, ac-^ cording to tlieir less gravity or capacity of solution in water. Thus the first plastic cause of the inequalities of the surface was an at^ mospherical ebullition, but which I would rather name chaotic, in order to denote its first beginning. Upon these, it must be re<» presented, a -pelagian alluvion couched by little and little* substances,' which ior the most part contained m'lirine creatures. For those chaotic craters, where a multitude of them was in a manner grouped, formed wide* ly extended elevations above other regions, where the ebullition was not so violent. From those there was land with its mountains, from these the bed of the sea. As the superlluou^ crystallization's water slipped from the cd2;cs of those basins , and one basin let its water run off into another, but all of them to the low part of the surface of the earth just form- ing itself (namely, the sea); it formed tlic

K 4 passages


passages for the future rivers, that one still beholds -with admiration pass between steep wal^s of rocks, on which they c{in at present gain nothing, and seek thjD sea. This was therefore the figure of the skeleton of the sur- face of the earl 11 , so far as it consists of gran* ite that continues undfer all the horizontal layers, which the subsequent pelagian allu- vions placed upon that. But the figure of the countries , even where the new strata quit^ coveied the old granite at the bottom, must assume the form of craters, because their bed was so fonned. Hence may be drawn upon a map (upon which no mountains are marked) t!ie ridges of hills , when through the source^ of the streams that fall into a great river a con- tinual line , which always encloses a circle as the basin of the river, is drawn.

As the bed of the sea perhaps constantly deepened and drew to itself all the water run- ning out of the above-mentioned basins; so the beds of the rivers and the whole preseijt. stnicture of the land , which makes possible the union of the waters from so many basins in one channel , w^ere produced. For there is notlung more natural, than that the bed, wherein at present a river carries off the water from great countries, w^as formed by the very same water, to which it now leads, namely, the sea and its very ancient alluvions. By an nniveisal ocean, as Buffon would have it, a washing -away according to such a rule cannot possibly be conceived; because un- der the w^ater no flowing according to the declivity of the ground, which however



constitutes here the most essential paft, is possible. *

The volcanic eruptions appear to have been the latest , and not till the earth grew firm on its surface. They did not form the land, with its hydraulic regular architecture, for the pur- pose of the flowing of rivers, but perhaps single mountains only which , in comparison of the edifice of the whole terra finna and its mountains, are but a trifle.

The use then, which the thought of the aforenamed celebrated men may be of, and which Herschel's discovery confirms, though but iiidirectly, is with regard to cosmogony of importance; to wit, that the mundane bodies have received their first formation pret- ty much in a similar manner. In the beginning they were all in a fluid state; this is proved by their globosity and, where they can be observed, also, according to the rotation iipon the axis and the gravity on their surface, flatted form." Without heat however there is no fluidity. Whence came this original hec^? To derive it with Buffon from the heat of the sun, of which all the planetary globes are but broken -off pieces, is but a shift for a short time; for whence caine the heat of the

K 5 sun?

  • The course of riverr seems to me to be the proper key

to the theory of the earth. For thereto is required » in tho first place* that the country be divided by ridges of hilLs* as it were » into ponds : secondly » that the ffronnd , upon vrhich these ponds communicate to one anoUier their w«* tcr , in order to carry it off at last in one canal . shall be jEomaed and built by the water itself* "which falls by degrees from the highest betiaf to the lowest bason i the sea*



sun ? * When it is supposed (which from other grounds is very probable) that the ele- ment of all the mundane bodies in the whole extended space, in which tliey at present move, was at first diifused in the form of vapour, and that they formed themselves therefrom accord- ing to laws, at first of the chymical, but at ]asty and chiefly, of the cosmological, attrac- tion; Crawford's discoveries give a hint, to- gether with the fonpatioi) of the mundane


  • The saur wliich is i4>oof>oo tirne^ greater than the

earthy is, according to the- latest, highiv probable* opiiuQir, not an ij^neous but an electric globe , whose light is produc- ed by the friction of its incredibly quick gyration. Its bodyf according to Bode^s representation, is an originally planetary opaque body inrolved in ligiit (XAchtmateriti), which streams around it like an atmosphere of lire (nlto- tosphere) and h.as so.metinies empty places* tiirough vvuich we see the proper body, and which appear to its as spots Tupon the sun's disk. Tlie Sun^s rotation about his axis is, in. comparison of his \nagnitudc with that of his pla^icts, performed ^th greater velocity than any of theui. The much smaller ' eaitli turns round in 24 hours i but the kiijp^o body of the sun. in 25 days 14, hours; only Jupiter, who rarolTet in 9 hours 56 minutes, and is 1479 times bigger VmXi the earth t conies near to that rotation. The luminous substance (lumUrti), which, according 10 Dode's opinion, surrounds the real body of the sun , in itself opaque , is no true burning , but only light, whose aoni^neom rays pro- pagate themselves ihroiigh the ^ther , but lirst acctnuing CO the size of the an|;(e of incidence in the (planetary) at- mosphesa happening m every country (of the planets), vrifU^ their astonishing quick niotiou according to the naturo 01 the soil there and of the' vapours rising out oi* the earrii Csnd other planets), by dill'erent uiodihcatLOus and niixturi;s of its mineral, vegetable and animal primitive niaiLcr, ihun produce and occasion upon the surface of the cartii more or less heat, -— Caloritiue^ therefore, lies by all means in gha rays of tlie sun ; but it developcs itself lirst out of them* when they dart against any thing more rigid. Every body knows that it is cold upon high mountains though rhd sun. shi"M "oon tliem. Hence every pl.'utct has the modi. ficM^'^ ' >nsity ; hut the lig:ht oi the sun is strcngthun-

«d f planeu by tlie moon.

TKZ1ATI8E8. , lS5,

bodies to rendei^ comprehensible at the same time the generation of as great a heat , as one pleases. For, if the element of heat is of itself uniformly spread every where in the mundane space, but adhefes to diflFerent sub- stances in the proportion only as they attract it diflFerently; if, as he proves, diflFused sub- stances in the form of exhalations contain much more elementary heat in themselves, and also require more to a diflFusion in form of vapour , than they can keep , as soon as they pass to the state of denser masses, that is, unite themselves in munda^ie globes: these globes n^ust contain a proportion of warm matter above the natural equipoise with the warm substance in tlie space , in which they are; that is, their relative heat with respect to the- mundane space is augmented. (Thus the vitriolic acid air, when it touches ice, loses at once its sUte of being in vapour, and thereby the heat increases to such a degree, that the ice melts in a moment). We cannot discover how great the augmen- tation may be; yet the measure of the ori- ginal rarefaction , the degree of the con- densation afterwards, and the shortness of the time of it, seem here to come into com- putation. As the latter depends upon the degree of attraction , which united the dif^ fused matter, but this upon the quantity of the substance of the mundane body forming itself; so the greatness of the heat too must be proportional to the latter. In this; manner do we perspect, why the central body (as the greatest mass in every mmidane system)



can have the srieate^t heat, and also be a sun ; as also presume, wit!i some probability, that the hii!her planets, as they are partly greater, and partly formed of more rarefied matter, than the lower, may have more in- ternal heat than these, which they (as they receive from the sun nearlv but li*rht enough for seem^r) seem to require. Also the moun- tainous formation of the surfaces of the mun- dane bodies, to which oiu' observation reaches, of the earth, of the moon, and of venus, from atmospherical eruptions of their origi- nally heated, chaotic, fluid mass, appear to us as a pretty general law. Finally the vol- canic eruptions upon the earth, the moon, and even the sun (whose craters Wilson saw in its spots, by ingeniously comparing their phenomena with one another, as Huygens did those of Saturn's ring), receive an univer- sal principle of derivation and illustration.

Should one retort against me here the

fault, which I found above with Buffon's

mode of exposition, and ask. Whence then

came the first motion of those atoms in the

mundane space? I would answer. That I did

not thereby engage to point out the first of

all the alterations of nature, which in fact is

iidipossible. But yet I hold it not allowable

to stop at a quality of nature, for example,

the heat of the sun , which has a resemblance

to phenomena, whose cause we may at least

conjecture according to known laws; and in

a desperate manner to call in the immediate

"divine disposition as a groimd of explanation.

his must indeed, when nature on the whole



is in question, inevitably closcf our inquiry; but, in every epoch of nature, since none of these epochs can be given as the absolutely first in a sensible world, we are not freed from the obligation to search among the causes of the world , as far as it is but possible for us^ and to follow their chain according to laws l^nown to us, as long as its links are con- nected.

!■',.',* •

v.: < •


■• ■ •■ r.





T ^Vf*'


r .


9(r»' .TOu,





nrhe name of philosophy, after it had quitted its first signification, A scientific wisdom of life, came very early into vogue as a title of the ornament of the understanding of no common thinkers, for whom it now repre- sented a mode of unfolding a mystery. — • The Ascetics in the Macarian deserts termed their nionhdojn (if I may be allowed this word,) philosophy. The Alchymist named himself pliilosophus per ignein. Tlie lodges in ancient and more modem times are adepts of a mys- tery through tradition {pliilosophus per initia" tionern) , of which out of ill-wrtl they loill 4iselose nothing" to us. In (ine, the latest possessors of it are those who h<ive it in them-- selves, but unfortunately cannot disclose and communicate it universally by language {phU losophus per inspirationein). If there were a eognition of the supersensible (which only, I a theoretical view, is a true mystery) , to ^^^l •^hich in a practical vievr is by all >asibld for the human understanding ;

. L yet

yet such ft cognition from if, as.it faculty of coj ytilio]! by fo»cfjjti<j»j, Would be farinferiour tlial which as a faculty of intuition could be immediately perceived by the understanding: fur the discursive understanding nuist by- means of Llie former bestow much labour o)\ tlie resoluiion and corajjosiliun of its concep- tions accovdiiv^ lo principles, and ascend many steps with dilliculty, in order to make pro- gi-ess in cof:niuon , instead of which' an in- tellectttnl inluitiou w^Onld conceive and exhibit 'tiie ubjcct immediately and at once. — He, who imaa,ines himself to be in the possession cif the latter, looks down with contempt upon iJit former; and, conversely, the conveniency of such a use of reason is a strong sedueemeiit boJdl)' to assume such a faculty of intuiiJon, as also highly to recommend a philosophy fioiinded ihereupon: which may be easily explained from the natural selfish propensity of men iliat reason tacitly indulges.

It lies not only in the natural Ia7Jness, buC< in the vanity of man (a liberty misunderstood' iliat thoSc, who iinve enough to Uv£ u/;o) whether opulently or peniiiioiisly , in :fi( pa.'i:iOB of lliose -. i" . n .1 1.

iive, hold thenl^^ oi ilie .Ifofi *'(■<' , ■



and says, I wish yon may be under the neces- sity of cultivating the ground like the Rus- sinii .' The -latter, according to his way of thinking, perhaps would say, I wish you may be obliged to sit at the loom, like the Grrman! — In a word, Ail think them- selves gentle in proportion as they believe not to have occasion to work; and according to this principle it has been lately brought to such a pass, that a pretended philosophy freely and publicly announces itself, at which one needs notiuorA, but only hearken to the oracla in one's self and enjoy, in order to bring thoroughly into his possession all wisdom, by which is meant philosophy: and this in a ton , which shows that the devotees of this philosophy do not intend to put themselves on a footing with those who — scholastically — hold themselves bound to proceed slowly and circumspectly from the critic of their cognoscitive faculty to the dogmatical cogni- tion , but — in the manner of geniuses — by a single penetrating view of their interiour are able to perform all that diligence can, and still more. Many, with regard to sciences that require labour, as the mathematics, na- rtUTfll philosophy, ancient histoiy, knowledge ? languages Sec, even with regard to philo- phy, provided the^ be obliged to engage amethodieal unfolding apd a systematical nposition of conceptions, may behave in a iUd pedantic nu^T)'^ '.r; but to assume a gentle "" - ^ ' r of a man of quality, ad of none, but the , who does not by the J a herculean


herculean labour of self-cogiiition demonstrate himself from below upwards, but, as it were, over-flying it, by an apotheosis that costs him nothing, from aboVe downwards r as he there speaks from his own credit, and is therefore bound to be answerable to nobody.

And now to the point itself!

Fi.ATOf An equally good mathematician and philosopher^ admired in the properties of certain geometrical figures j for instance, a circle^ a sort of cofif drmity-'iO'ejid ^ that is, a fitness for the resolving of a variety of prob- lems , or a variety of the solution of the same problem (as in the doctrine of geometrical places) from one principle, as if the requisites / tp the construction of certain conceptions of quantities Were placed iii it, though they may be perspected and proved a ptiori ad iiecessary. Conform! ty-to-etid, hoWevei*^ is cogitable but by the reference of the object to all Ulider^ standings as the cause.

As with our understanding, as a ^dgnosci- live faculty hy c&ticeptions ^ we cannot extend the cognition beyond our conception a priori (which however actually takes place in the niaihematics); so Plato was under the neces- sity of assuming for us men intuitions a priori^ but which had not their first origin in our un- derstanding (for our imderstanding is not an intuitive, but only a discursive, or thinking faculty), but in such a one as is at the same time the first ground of all things j that is , the Divine understanding, which intuitions then merit to be named directly archetypes (ideas). But our intuition of these divine ideas


» >•



(for an intition a priori we must needs have, if we would render comprehensible to our- selves the faculty pf synthetical propositions a priori in the pure n^fttheni^tics) is distributed to us but iiidireptly ^ as fhe copies {ectypa)^ in ^ a manner the shadows (die Schattmbilder) of all things that we cognise a priori synthetical- ly, with piir birth , but which is at the same time attended with an pfFuscalion of these ideas, by the oblivion pf their priginj as a consequence pf which -e^ir spirit (now de- nominated soul) has entered into a body, grad- ually to shake pfF whose fetters must at pre- sent be the noble business of philosophy, *

But we must not forget Pythagoras, of whom indeed we Jiyiow too little to make out

li 3 an^

  • Plato proceeds in ^11 these conclusions consequential!/

at least. No doubt the question , ^ "which has been bit lately distinctly expressed, occurreil to .him, thou^ lac in an obscure niAnnei:. |low ^re synthetic positions ^ priori possible? JIad he fhen been able to divine wlat has been first found in later times : That there are by ill means intuitions a priori, but fiot pf human understand i^i but sensible (under the name pf space and of time), tUt therefore all objects of the senses fire for us as phcnom na merely* and even their forms , which we can deterumo « priori in the mathematics, not those of the things tt themselves , but (subjective) of our sensitiveness , whic sffe therefore valid for all objects of possible experiencet , but not a sinele step farther; he would pot have souglit the pure intuition (which he stood in need of to render comprehensible to himself the synthetical cognition a priori) in the Divine understandipg and its archetvpes of all beings, as self-sufficient objects, and thus have kindled the toTCu of fanaticism. — For he perspected full well that* if in the intuition upon which geometry is bottomed he should maintain to be able to intuite tmpirieally the object in itself, the geometrical judgment and the whole mathe- matics would be a science of experience merely ; which is inconsistent with the necgjsity , that (together w^ith the intuitiveness) is directly wlut tecuxet to them so high ii Yank among all tcieuces.


any thing fcertain concerning the principle of his philosophy. — As the wonders oi figures (of geometry) awoke the attention of Plato; so the wonders of numbers (of arithmetic) , that is , the appearance of a certain conformity-to- end, and a fitness, in a manner intentionally laid in the quality of them, for resolving many problems of reason of the mathematics, where intuition a priori (space and timie) and not merely a discursive cogitation must be pre- supposed, awoke that of Pythagoras, as to a species of jnagic^ only in order to render com- prehensible to himself the possibility, not only of the enlarging of our conceptions of quantities in general, but of their peculiar pro- perties, as it were, rich in secrets, — His- toiy says that the discovery of the relation cf numbers aniong the tones , and of the law axording to which only they constitute music, siggested to him the thought, that, as in this play of sensations the mathematics (as a scence of numbers) contain equally the prin- ciple of its form (and indeed, as it seems, a proriy on account of its necessity), an intui- tiin, though but obscure, of a nature, which 3. ordered according to equations of numbers Sy an understanding ruling over it, is inhe- rent in us; which idea then, applied to the celestial bodies, produced the doctrine of the harmony of the spheres. Now, nothing ani- mates the senses more tlian music; but the animating principle in man is the soUl/ and as music, according to Fytfiqgoras, x^Qj^ tipon perceived relations of ^

(which is to be v

principle in man, the soul, is at the same time a free being determining itself; so his de- finition of it, Anima est nwneriis se ipsiwi mo* venSj may perhaps be rendered imcIlUijibJe and justified; when it is supposed, tiiar by this faculty to move itself, he intended to point out its distinction from matter, as it in itself is inanimate, and moveable but by something external, consequently liberty.

It wAs then the matlieinatics^ on which Py- thagoras as well as Plato philosoplmed^ by numbering to the intellectual, all cognition ri jpriori (whether it contained intuition or con- ception), and believed by tliis philosophy to f'4il upon a secret J where there is none: not because reason can answer all the questions proposed to it, but because its oracle grows mute, when the question soars so high, that it has no longer any signification. When, for instance, geometry displays a few proper- ties of the circle named beautiful (as may be seen in Montucla), and it is inquired, Whence does it acquire these properties , which seem to contain a sort of extensive utility and conformity-to-end? no other answer can be given than, Quaeritur delirus quod non re- spondet Homerus. He who would resolve philosophically a mathematical problem, con-^ tradictSi himself; for example. What is the reason that the rational relation of the three aides of a rectajigular triangle can he but that .^t the numbers 3,4,5? But he who pldlo-

hises on a mathematical problem beJieves

to fall upon a secret, and on that account

s^pAtlimg exceedingly great, where he

L 4 see&

i6q essays and

sees nothing; and directly places genuine phi- losophy (philosophia arcani) in brooding over an idea in himself, which he can neither render intelligible to himself, nor communis caie to others, where then the poetic talent finds nourishment for itself to riot in feeling and enjoyment: which indeed is far more in- Viiii)g and glittering, than the law of reason, to acquire a possession for one's self by labour; — whereby however poverty and fastuous- ness yield the ridiculous phenomenon, to hear philosophy speali in a gentle tone^

The philosophy of Aristoti-k, on the? other hand, is labour. But I consider him here (like the two former) as a metaphysician only, that is, a dissector of all cognitions a -priori into their elements, and as an artificer of reason to compose them again from those elements (the categories); whose elaboration, so far as ii reaches, has preserved its usefulness, though indeed in advancing it did not succeed in extendino; the same principles that are valid in the sensible (without his observing the dan- gerous leap which he had to tahe here) to the supersensible, whither his categories do not reach: where it was necessary previously to divide and to measure, the organ of thinlting in himself \ reason] according to its two fields, the theoretical, and the practical, but which . labour was reserved for later times, *^ - .

  • This was tbe most difficult probbvBi

and of course to be xesolved t^|4»<^^* ba" promised immortality to whod ' it. Aristode's view of ;J^. ^



However, we shall now listen to and esti- mate the new ton (which has rendered phi- losophy unnecessary) in philosophising.

When men of quality philosophise, should it be to the very summit of metaphysic, it must redound to their greatest honour, and they merit indulgence in their (almost inevitT able) fault against the school, because they let themselves down to its level on the footing of civil equality,*

L 5 But

Hill categories ars nothing but an enutneratinn nr n triTinl arrange ID en t of 'mere predicates'. Whereas Kant went much deeper , and presented the categories under a very- different aspect J namely > as original modes of represen- tation, or as [he original procedure or manifestations of ' tellect, nay, as the dissections ol the very understaiul-

t, nay, as ing itself. But , ai this subject ii fully treated in - ■'-- ranslatot

needs not dwell on it. When the reader shall have taken as much pains to penetrate this subtile matter, vrhen he ■hall have received as much pleasure and instruction from this sublime sciencei as the translator has done, and when he shall have sufBciently reflected on the weiehty consequences of this nice and accurate anatomy of^tha Luman mind in Kant's transcendental deduction of the categories, he will not be apty to accuse the translator of either exaggeration or enthusiasm, -when be gives it 85 his opinion. That Kant is the onlx founder of all true philDiophy and tbe gitatnt niental anatomist that •vet uved.

  • There ii however ■ difference between pliiloso^ising,

wid affecting the philotopher. The Utter takes place in a gentle £i"s, irhsn the despotism over the reason of the veojtle (n»y, aren over one^ ownl by fettering in a blind tieliei is given out for pliilosophy. Thereto belongs, for instance, ihe belief in the thunder-legion in tlia nee of Marcus Auielius, ai also in the fire broken out by a miracle from under the rubbish of Jerusalem for a trick lo tltf ipini.iie .Imlim; whicli was given out for geiiuino philrnr,|.li V , -iii:l ill', tontrarv to il is named, the collier's .|uil-j>-l,,'r .;,,j^t .< i> tlut MtUiers, in ik'e bottoms of their 1 •tatva tin Wnj^ very uAbelieving with ■■— -'Mt in um>4 M» themj : tu wlil.h


of,- previously requires detenninat^ forms ■which it can lay as a foundation to that mat- ter! And suppose reason cannot at all explain • itself any farther concerning the rightfulness of the acquisiuon of these its high introspec- tions, it remains nevertheless a fact, 'That philosophy has its secrets which may be felt: * The

• A cslebrweil po'gemor •• of tliese exprei»es Iiimself on tliii he«a tlius: 'As Ji.nfc «i reasou , J bw^ver of tlia will, must s»v CO till; piifiiomeiia (tlie free BCtioiia of men we here umlersiooJ), thou yUaieit me, thou doii iiat pleaia mei so ioii^; ttiiijt it cciii«I.ler ilie plieiioniena as etfocti of TedHrie<i ; ' wlreiico lie ilien inferi that iti tegUlatiQn lequirei not only a /arm, but matter {stiilF, an endj •» a deiermi- jiativn of tlje ■-vill , id esc, a feeling cf jiUaiure (or di)' jiltajure) iinist precccie bs b" object, if riinii.ii shall l>o prac- tical. Tins crroiir, wliich, if if were allowed to

e!ip in, would destroy ^11 n)oral, aud lejive notliiii" behind but the maxim of felivity , whicli can liave no objectivo principle wlialevtr (because it it different accorditig to tli«  aiffereiYcc of [I'e sulijecij, cnn be brought to light by means of the following louehstane of feeling lUily. That pUasuro (or diapleasurej , which, in order that the fact may happen, lnii<>t iiecessarilv precede ihe law , ia pathological i but that which , in order that the fact may happen • '*« taoi must uecejsHrily precede, is moral. That has at bottom eininri- cal principles (the "niatcer of the ^riiitrement) , this a pure principle a priori (in w'hich the forin of the determination of the will only is conccniedj. — In this the sophism (fallacia caniae Hon cimiae) (nay be easily detected, as thv fudxmonist pr«teuds that tlie pleasure (eoiiteiumeiii) whicli ■II honest m^n lia« in vio^v, in order to feel it onetime or. other in the consciousness of Iris well spent life, (eon* ■ teqiiciitly the prospect of his fiiiur* /lapfiinti-i) is the proper tpriii^ of his le.iJing a good life (conformably' to the l*w), lot, as I must previon^ijy suppose liim to be honen or upright and obedient CO the law, that i», op* ^ith whom

u precedes the pUature , in oi^ra afterwards to 1%A ■

.. - tal pleasure in tlie conscionsoesi of liis well spent

life; so it is an empty circle in utEsriin^, cq qjoke thffA

  • The tianslatoi thinlii Schlnsser At poet i^

nld iiei'd lo be a bciin poet^ t^MVba* e tlie tisnsLiiM caniiAt Me U'^fi^


The case of this pretended sensiblencss of an object, which cannot be met with bur in pure reason, is as follows. — Hitherto, only three steps of holding-true to its vanishing in total ignorance were heard of: knowing, be-^ lieving, and opining,*


latter, which i« a tomequenc*, tlie tauii of tlial CouiM of life.

But «» to the tyiicrfilim nf a few moralists r to itlake thft miHaentony, thimgh nol lunaily, at least i-if^trf, the objcctivtt princii'ie of inOEaLitr (thalieh it were granted, that that ha«  tn an uiiobierred niantiet iiiT1iieitceiiiibjectii-ty on tlie dftcr- mination of the will of ttien vrliicli harm unices with diitvj; ii the sttaight wav to be without all principle. Wit tho •piings , boTTdwetf from felicity, niiiigLtng theiiiselve* tliercwitb , though they indeed tend to tlie verv ^^mo aciimti a» those which flow from pure moral |iriiici [lies, contaminate and T^e.iken at rile lame time tlie mural mi-id. edieu , whose value and high ranli just consist in being obedient to nothing but the taw.

  • The middle word ii soitietimei used in ■ theoretical

Knse as synonymous witli that to hold something lirobahlet and It must ha tvell noticed , that of what llel beyond all possible bounds of expcTiencd, it cannot be said that it it either jirohablc , or irayrobable, by CoiiaequenCe the word belief with regard to tiich an object in' a Ihtorafiea. ligiii- fitatian finds by no mean* place. — By the expression, this or that itprohable, is understood a medium fof holoing. ' tniej between opining and knowing; and it liaf the fata of ril Bi*iiiwtM, lint mat thing may be niad a of it one

gld >ay, it

'£eB that

_ -.- - __eh*lfo£

e nlEeictit reason). Tlie groiiiiJs therefore

Minlain a partial knowing, a part of th»

. i objeei 011 which is judged. If now ib« 

f-»b[rtt at all of a cognition possible for us ■

. _ . flia nature of tli* soul, «b a liv^inp Bub»tatic« 

«T(M 'T'UhdUt tii« omiuncuon with a bodf, ihst is , a '~"^^ pB, \\t poltibility neiOiet probability nor iinpro- ' ludiins whntinever Qaii be jud^rgd. For the '• of CBfjuititiM are in n swle). which bjr


^t prcjtCTit a new step, which has nothing

t ttl in common with loiric, and which is


ofvxiition , Aft they are r«ffTr«i1 ro ioTTi«thinj5 snper- «*!« , of whir.h » as such , no theoretical cogniiion

.1m belief in a frsiimony of another,' that regards

.««frftiinef ffiipoTAmftilile, is of rlie very same nature. The

JUivj.^'f.Tnti «»f a witness is always something empirical;

m. be person whose testimony I am to helieve must he

«t tvifftt ot «r\p«ri«Mire. liut if h« is assumed as a super-

MBi^e hein^; f ran loam bv no experience his existcnci?

-Jm£. cliereforf! that it is such a bein^ that testifies thif

t* m- rhecansf? rliar is inconsistent), also not to conclude

.: fitn Uie subjective impossibility of being able to ex« 

ioi! m myself the phenomenon of an internal call made

«9o: ne otherwise rlinn by a supernatural influence Citt

MBseoence of what lias just been said of the judgment

jffrfiisi|^ to probability^. IMierefore there is no theore-

ci jeiief iu the supersensible.

iic. in a prncrical fmorally practical) signification a _MK m the siiperstuisiblc is not only possible* but it is •^R Inseparably conjoined ^ith it. ror the sum of mo- Bcr in mn» though supf*rsensiblo, of course not eui- sica, is given (bv a categorical impcr.iiivc) with a rJL md an authority not lo bn niisial^eu, but whicli lOBDandi an end that , theoretical Iv contemplated, iviih- t... jotencv of a ruler of the world ro-operating , is by ^-'Dwers alone impracticable (the chief good). Rut tv> kiiu in it morally practically, docs not incau prcvious- •ri .issunie theoretically as true its reality, iu i)rticr to enlightenine to undersrand and springs to eiloc- rfaat commanded end: for the law of reason is al- oi itself thereto objectively sufiicicnt; but in order act according to the ideal of that end , as if such g, » j i »cm nient of tne world w^erc possible: because that .•qpeiitive (which does not command believing but .uuing) gsixxia on the side of man obedience and subjoriiou of -j^..ahitr€ment to the law, but on the siilu ol rlie f* giBiindirjj him an end at the same time a t.u'ulrv (tl'.xi gjt the human) suitable to the end, for \vlu»sr bolu^of iyiinman reason can, it is true, ronnnxtul tlir .». i'on<, ■f.na!L the consequence of the anions (iho .'in«i:nuM:i .>t t is neither alway.s, nor wIj.mU . m ilu» Therefore in the r.iliv.orical mr.- ui\ o .»l according to the niaili-r. \-\hi.i' 'i:\s u> tt thy actions shall lurnivMU'*- \>iii' I'e cis the urcsuppositiwu ot a U-^isUuvd ■ will


no progression of the understanding, but a presension (jjraevisio sensitiva) of that which is no object whatever* of the senses, id est, a presiientiinent of the supersensible , is added*

It is evident now, that in this there is a certain mystical tact , an overleap (salto rnor'^ tale) from conceptions to the incogitable, a faculty to seize that v^^hich no conception reaches, an expectation of .mysteries, or rather an arimsing w^itK fair hopes of such , but cor* recti y speaking a bent towards fanaticism* For presension is dark expectancy, and con- tains the hope of an unfolding, but which in problems of reason is possible by conception^ only , therefore as it is transcendent and can lead to no proper cognition of the object, a surrogate of it , supernatural communication (mystical illumination) , must be promised^ which is then the death of all philosophy.

Plato the acadeniist was then, though with- out his fault (for he used his intellectual in- tuitions but regressively , for tlie explaining of the ^possibility of a synthetical cognition a priori y not progressively, in order to extend it by those ideas legible in the divine under- standing), the father of all the fanaticism with • philosophy. — But I would not willingly con- found Plato the letter-writer (lately translated' intoGerman) with him. He, besides *the four things belonging to cognition, the name of the object, the description, the exhibition, and


will that cotnpifises all power ftlie Divine , will) is at the fame time thougIit« and does not require to be parti- cularly obtruded.



' (wheel to ^H

the science, would yet have 'n fifth' ( the cart), namely, 'the object itself and its true entity. — 'This inVariable being, that can be intuited but in the soul and by the soul, but in it, as by a leaping spark of fire, ' kindles a light of itself, he (as an exalted I philosopher) pretends to have caiighlf of | %hich one cannot however speak , (because I one would be directly convinced of his igno- I ranee) at least to the people ; as every essay of ] this sort would be dangerous, partly by these | sublime truths being exposed to a coarse con-J tempt, partly (that which is the most rationat_ here) by the sonl's being strained by vain hopes ' and an idle fancy of the knowledge of great mysteries. '

Who does not see here the mystagogue, who not only extravagates alone , but is at the same time a clubbist, and while he speaks to his adepts , in contradistinction to the people (by whom are understood all ihose not ini- tiated) , assumes an air of superiority with his pretended philosophy! — Allow me to ad- duce a few more recent examples of this.

In the modern mystical platonic language it is said, *A11 philosophy of men can show nothing but the aurora; the sun must be had a presension of.' But nobody can have a pre- sension of a sun, unless he has already seen one; for it might happen, that on our globe day should i ' ' history of the i able, on heaven, 1 tinue


vicissitude (of day and night and of the seas- ons). In such a state of things however a true philosopher would not have a presension of a sun (for that is not l>is business) , but he might perhaps guess at it , in order, by adopt- ing an hypothesis of such a heavenly body, to explain that phenomenon , and even hit it as happily. — Indeed to look into the ^m [the supersensible] , without growing blind, is impossible ; but to see it in the reflex (of reason morally illumining the soul), and even sufficient in a practical view, as the elder Plato did , is very feasible : whereas the new Platonists * certainly give us nothing but a playhouse sun,' as they wish to deceive us by feelings (pressentiments) , that is, merely what is subjective, which gives no conception at all of the object, in order to amuse us with the fancy of a knowledge of the objective, which is founded upon the transcendent. — In such typical expressions , which are to render that presension intelligible , the platonising phi* losopher by feeling is inexhaustible, for ins- tance, *to approach so near to the goddess Wisdom , as to hear the rustling of her gar- ilient ; ' but in praise of the false Plato , * as he cannot lift up Isis' veil, to mate it so thin, that one may have a pressentiinent of the god- dess under it.* How thin, is not mentioned here; probably so thick, however, that any ihijQg may be made of the phantom one pleas- '^^ for else it would be a seeing, which

by all means to be avoided.

^dt4 Mine behoof*, ^analogies, probabi-

luBfilii Junre been already spoken of

' M above).

178 ^9 SATS AND

above), and * danger of emasculadoh 'of reason, ^-whose nerves are grown so delicate by meta- physical "^ sublimation, that it would hardly

' hold

  • "What the new Flatonist Kas hithertq said, is; *s to

the treatment of his theme, uothin^^ but metaphystc; and can therefore concern the formal principles of reason only. BuA^t Insensibly involves at hyjjerphysic also , ' that is, not principles of practical reason j but a theory^of the nature of the supersensible (God, the human soal), and w^ill

  • n6t have this »o 9&ry fine'* Spiin. But how a philosophy,

which here concerns the matter Cthe object) of the puro conceptions of reason, -when it (as in transcendental tlieo- lofcy) is not carefully separated from all empirical threads* is nojthing at all, may bd explained by the following; exr.mple.

TI>e transcendentall cohce|>tion of Gbd, as the most real' ' BeiH^ , cannot, abstract as it is, be avoided in philo* 60[}hy; for it belongs to the band and at the same time to the purifying of all the concrete tli^ may afterwards cbme into the applied theolpgy and ddctfinel of religioa. . The question is now, Shall I conceive God-as the com' jilcx or aggregate of all tealltieis , or as the chief ground of them? If I do the former, I must adduce examples o£ this matter, of which I compose the Supreme Being, in* order that his conception may not be void and without meaning; I therefore attribute to him perhaps an under' standing t or even a willy and such like, as realities. But an understanding , whicli I KnoW, is a faculty of thinkings that is , a discursive faculty of representation , ot such a one, as is possible by a criterion that is common to several things (from whose difference I must therefore abstract in thinking) consequently not without limitation of the sub- ject. Therefor^' a Divine undcrstranding is not to be as- sumed as a faculty of thinkihg. Biit I have not the smal- lest concept'on of another nndetstanding , which is a facuky oi intuition; consequently the conception of an understanding ♦ which 1 ascribe to the Supreme Being* is totally v©ld of sense. — In like manner, when I place* in liiin another reality, a willj by which he is the cause of all things witliout him, I must assume such a one by which his contentment (acquiejcentia) does not absolutely depend upon the existence of the things w^ithout liim ; for that were limitation (negatio). Now X have not tlie smal- lest conception, and cannot give an example of a will, by which the subject does not. ground his contentment upon the succeeding of his volition, w^hich therefore does not depend upon the existence of the external object. Consequently


_ •


hold out in the struggle with vice , ' are , for the want of strict proofs , adduced as argu-

M Si ments;

the conception of a ^11 of tlie Supreme Being, as a reality inhering in him , is* like the former , either a void , or {what 18 still worse) an anthropodiorphistical conception* which , when it , as is unavoidable , is taken into the prac«  tical , spoils all religion , and transforms it into idolatry. -— -— But when I . form to myself a conception of the enx realissimum m the ground of all reality > I say, Go'd is the being who compriseth the ground of all that is in the >vorld for which we men have need to assun^e an understandutgf • (for instance, all that is conformable-to-end in it); lie is the Being from whom the existence of all the mundane beings has its origin, -not from the necessity of its naturg (per emaneuiongm) , but according to a relation for which we men must assume a free will in order to render intel- ligible to ourselves the possibility of it. Here now, w!iai; the nature of the Supreme Being is (ob jectiveiyj , mav ba totally inscrutable and placed quite beyond the sphere of all theoretical cognition possible for us, and yet Csubjcctivc- ly) reality in a practical view (to the course of lifej remain to these conceptions ; relatively to which an analogy only of the Divine understanding and will with those of m:iii and his practical reason may be assumed, notwithstanding, theoretically contemplated, no analogy at all has place ' between them« From the moral law, which our owa reason prescribes to us with authority* and from tlie thei>ry of the nature of things in themselves, proceeds now the conception of God , to form which for ourselves practical pure reason necessitates.

When therefore one of these vigorous men* who with inspiration announce a wisdom that gives them no trouble, because tliey catch this goddess by the hem of her garment, and pretend to have made themselves master of it, says*

  • he despises the man who thinks to make to himseU' his

God; that belongs to the peculiarities of their tribe, whose ton fas particularly favoured) is gentle. For it is Self-evident that a conception^ which must proceed from our reason, must be formed by ourselves. Had we chosen to take it from any one phenomenon (an object of expe- rience) * our ground of cognition had been empirical , and unfit for the validity for everybody, consequently for tho apodictical practical certainty, which an universally binding law must iiave. We must rather hold up first a wisdom, .that appears personally to us, to that conception, formoJl by ourselves, as the archetype, in order to see whether this person correspond to tae character of that archct) pe nude bj ourselycs; snd cyen "vyiien -vf« meet with nothing



xnents; whereas in these very principles a prioi'i practical reason suiEciendy feels its strength and vigour, otherwise never perceived befoiehand, and is rather emasculated and lamed by the supposititious empirical (which is on that account unfit fpr imiversal legis- lation).

Finally, the most modem German wisdom puts Its summons to philosophise by feeling (not^ like the wisdom several years older , to set the moral feeling pr sentiment in motion and activity hy philosophy) to a tri^l, by which it must of necessity lose. Its challenge run9 tlius , * The surest marli of th^ genuineness of the philosophy of man is not that it makes us more certain, but that it makes us better.^ — Of this trial it cannot be required that man's growing better (effectuated by the feeling of a mystery) shall be attested by a mintmaster essaying its morality upon the touchstone; for the due weight of gbod actions every one may easily poise, but^ of how much intrinsic value and purity [Mark Fein^ they contain in the mindedncss who can give a testimony publicly valid?^ There would need, how- ever, to be such a one, if thereby shall be proved that that feeling makes better men in


in Wm tliat is inconsistent witli it , it is netrertheless abso^ lutely impossible to cognise the suitableness to it otherwise than by supersensible experience (because the object is supersensible) : which is absurd. Thto-pJiany makes of PatoV idea an idol , which cannot be otherwise honoured, than superstitiously ; whereas theology t which sets ou* from conceptions of our own reason, erects an ideal, which, as it springs even from the most sacred duties independent on theology » extorts from us adoiscion.


general ,* and that the scientific theory is fruit- less and inactive. No experience can furnish the best for this^ but it must be sought in practical reason only , as given a priori. The internal experience, and the feeling (which is. in itself empirical and herewith contingent), are incited by the voice of reason only {dicta- men radonis) which speaks distinctly to evety body and is susceptible of a scientific cogni- tion; but not a particular rule for reason in- trodu<:^^by feeling, which is impossible ; be- cause ^ft could not otherwise be universally valid. It must therefore be to be perspected h priori what principle can and does make better men , when it is brought home to their breasts but distinctly and incessantly, and at- tention is given to the" powerful influence, which it has on them.

Now every man finds in his reason the idea of duty and, when, inclinations that tempt him to disobedience to it stir in him, trembles at hearing its brazen voice. He is convinced that, should all the latter united conspire against it, the majesty of the law, wliich his own reason prescribes to him , must undoubt- edly outweigh them all, and his will has also the ability. All this can and mirst be repre- sented to man, if not scientifically, at least distinctly, that he may be certain as well of the authority of his reason commanding him, as of its commandment itself; and is so far theo- ry. -^ I shall now represent man in the man- ner he quesflons himself: What is that in me, which occasions that I can sacrifice the most intimate allurements of my instincts, and all

M 3 the


the wishes which proceed from iny 'nature, tQ a law, ihat promises me no advantage as an equivalent, and threatens no loss by its trans-» gression; nay, that I honour the more since-f rely the stricter it commands and the less it offers as a reward ? This question by the asto-i nishmcnt at the greatness and sublimity [of the internal predisposition inhumanity, and at the same time the impenetrability of the mystery which veils it (for tfie answer , It is liberty ^ yvere tautological -5 as this c^j^titutes the very mystery itself), stirs up tl||^hole isoul. One never wearies viewing it, and ad-? miring in one's self a power that yields to no power of nature; and this admiration is just the feeling generated from ideas which, if, |)csides the doctrines of moral in schools and from pulpits, the representation ofthismys-r teiy made up a particular and often re-r peated occupation of teachers, .would pene-. Irate deep into the soul, and not fail to make men morally better.

Here is what Archimedes stood in need of, but did pot find, a firm point upon which reason can set its lever y and indeed without placing it either upop the present, or upon a future world, but merely upon its internal idea of liberty, which is shown by the im- moveable moral law, as a solid foundation, in order, by its principles, to move the hur jnan will, even in spite pf the resistance o£ all nature. That is now the mystery which, but after a slow unfolding of th^conceptions of the understanding and carefully proved

j)iinciple3, thertfpre but by labour, can be

TR£ ATl'S]|S*$. Ig


felt. — It is not given empirically (proposed to reason for solution) , but a priori (as actual introspection within the bounds of our rea-^ son) , arid enlarges even the cognition of rear son, but only in a' practical view, to the su- piersensible: not by a feeling that grounds cognition [the mystical feeling] , but by a llistinct cognition^ which has influence on (the moral) feeling. — The ton of him who thinks himself in the possession of this true mystery canpot be gentle; for nothing but dogmatical or historical knowledge puffs up. He by a critic of his own reason is inevi- tably obliged to a moderation in pretensions [modesty]; but the laying claim to the latter, the reading of Plato and of the classics, which belongs but to the culture of taste, does not constitute the philosopher.

The denunciation- or this pretension seemed to me, at this juncture, not to be superfluous, as setting-off with the title of philosophy i^ become a matter of fashion , and the philoso- pher of visions (if it be granted that there are such things), may, on account of ihe ease of attainiT^g the summit of knowledge by a bold soaring, insensibly collect a number of adherents (as boldness is catching) : which the police in the realm of science cani^ot suffer.

The disrespectful manner of speaking of the fornfal oi OUT cognition (which is however the chief business of philosophy) as pedantry, pnd of naming it a ^fonngiving innnufactory* ponfirm this suspicion, namely, a secret inten- tion, under the mask of philosophy to | ro- .s^ii])ep \n fact, all philosophy, and as her

M 4 va?ic^ui:sli-


x'anquisher to assume a gentle ton (pedibus sulh jecta vicissim Ohteribur ^ iios exaequat victoria coelo. Lucret.). — But how little this attempt can succeed , in opposition to a critic, always vigilant, may be gathered from the following exa^iple :

In the form consists the essence of the thing {forma dat esse rei^ say the Scholastics), so far as it shall be cognised by reason. If this thing is an object of sense, it is the form of things in the intuition (as phenomena), and the pure mathematics themselves are yiothilig but a doctrine of forms of pure intuition; in like manner as metaphysic, as pure philoso- phy, first grounds its cognition upon forms of tliinhing^ under which every object (the matter of cognition) may afterwards be sub- sumpted. Upon these forms rests the possi- bility of all synthetical cognition a priori^ the having of which we cannot disown. — But the transition to the supersensible, to which reason irresistibly urges us on , and which it can do but with a morally practical view , it effectuates by such (practical) laws only, which constitute the principle, not the r^iatter of free actions (their end) but only their form, the fitness of their maxims for the universa- lity of a legislation in general. In neither of the fields (the theoretical and the practical) is it a formgiving arbitrably arranged^ (for the behoof of the state) in the manner of a plan or even of ^Fabric, but a sedulous and solicitous labour or the subject's preceding all mfl/zuyac- ture handling the given object, nay, without thinking of it, to adopt and to estimate his

' * own


own faculty (of reason) ; whereas the man of honour, who discovers an oracle for the vi- sion of the supersensible, cannot exculpate himself from having laid the foundation of it in a mechanical treatment of the understand* ings, and given it the name of philosophy but for the sake of dignifying.

— But to what purpose all this dispute between two parties , who have at bottom the very same design, To .make men wise and virtuous? — It is a noise about nothing, a disagreement and misunderstanding, with re- gard to which no reconciliation, but only a reciprocal explanation is requisite, in order to enter into a coHtract, which for the future renders unanimity more cordial.

The veiled goddess, to whom we both bend the knee, is the moral law in us, in its invio- lable majesty. We hear her voice, and per- fectly understand her commandment also; but in hearing are indpubt whether it proceeds from man, out of the perfection of the po- tency of his own reason itself, or from another, whose essence is unknown to him , and who speaks to nian by this his own reason. At the bottom we would perhaps do better to save ourselves the trouble of this investiga- tion; as it is merely speculative and, whatever principle be laid as a foundation , what is in- cumbent on us to do remains always the same (objectively): only that the dialectic procedure to reduce according to the logical method the moral law in us to distinct con- ceptions, is solely philosophical ^ but that, to personify that law and to make out of the

- M 5 morally

V . -.



morally commanding reason a veiled Isi^, (though we cannot ascribe to; her any other properties, tlian those found according to that method), an aesthetical mode of representation . of the very same object; which may indeed, when the principles are once established by the former, be afterwards used, in order by a sensible though but analogical exhibition to animate those ideas, yet always with some danger of falling into a fanatical vision, which is the death of all philosophy. —

To have a presseiitiuient of that godde^^s, would then be an expression, that signifies nothing more than, To be led by one's moral feeling to conceptions of duty, before the principles upon which that feeling depends are made distinct i which presension of a law, as soon as it passes, by a scholastic treatment,' to a clear insight, is the proper business of phi'osophy, without which that decision of reason would be but the voice of an oracle, *


  • Tliis traffic of mystery is of a quite peculiar nature.

ItR adepts make no secret of their having kindled their lit;ht at Plato; and this pretended Plato freely owns, tliat, "\vhen one asks him , wherein it consists (what is thereby cnli^littiiied^ , he knows not. But so much the better! 3"or it is evident that he, a second Prometheus, stole the g];ark immediately from he4ven. One may well speak in a high rone when he is of tlie ancient h^^jreditary nobility and can say : In our subtle times every thing that is said pr done from feeling is wont to be held fanaticism. Poor jplato, hadst thou nop the stamp of antiquity upon thee, and if one could, without having read thee, lay claim to learning, who would yet reaa thee in the pro/«*c age , in "which are the highest wisdom, to sec nothing but what lies before one's feet, and to assume nothing but what can be laid hold of with the hands ." ' — But unfortunate- ly this conclusion is not consequent ^ it proves t^o much. For Aristotle » an extremely prosaic philosopher , certainly



which is exposed to ^1 sorts of interpre- tations.

But *if,* instead, of accepting this pror posal for an agreement , as Fontenelle said on another occasion , ^Mr. N. Mrill absolutely believe in the oracle still; nobody can prevent him/ •

has tlie -stamp of antiquity upon him likewise > and could, according to that principle, Ulj claim to be read! — ^ All philosophy , at bottom , is prosaic ; and a proposal now to philosophise again poetically , might be received in tha same manner as that to the merchant » To wzite his boohs for tlie future, not in prose, but in y^rse.


« •»-■•■

\ ■







  1. k

- -3f - .

■ ■ f*


it SO, it must by no means be judged as a fact , but as an inevitable consequence of the nature of things; or lastly, that it must at least be considered not as a fact of the Su- preme Author of rtll things, but merely of mundane beings, to whom something can be imputed, that is, men (perhaps higher, good or bad, spiritual beings also).

The author of a theodicee consents, then, thaftjiis action shall be brought before the court of reason ; engages himself as counsel for the defendant, by formally refuting all the charges preferred by th^ plaintiff; .and during the course of law must not put him oJE by an authoritative decision on the incompeten- cy of the tribunal of reason {exceptionein fori)^ that is, must not dispatch the charges by impos- ing on theplaihti£F a concession of the supreme w^isdom of the Author of the world, which di- rectly declares groundless, even without inqui- ry, all doubts that may be started; but must attend to the objections and, as they by na means derogate from the conception of the supreme wisdom,* by clearing them up aT>d


  • The proper conception of wisdom represents but the

property of a will , to harmonize with the chief good , as the final end or scope of all things ; nre , on the other hand> but the faculty in the use of the fittest means to ends laid down at -pleasure i art, when it proves itself as such, (which is adequate to ideas , whose possibility transcends alf introspection of human reason, for instance, when Tnean and end, as in organized bodies, produce one another reciprocally), as a divine art, may not be improperly dis- tdnguished by the name of wisdom; yet, in order not t<y permute the conceptions , by the name of a wi-sdom of art of tlie Author of the world, for the purpose of distiiv* guishing it from his moral wisdom. Ideology (and by xt y phyaicotkeologyj gives abundant pxoofs of ^Uia fosme« 

.H 4L


removing them, render every thing compre- hensible. — One thing, however, he has no occasion to enter on, namely, to prove the supreme wisdom of God from what expe- rience teaches of this world; for in this he would absolutely not succeed, as omniscience is thereto requisite , in order in a given world (as it gives to cognise itself in experience) to cognise that perfection, of which may be said with certainty that there is nowhere any great- er in the creation and its government possible. But the contrary-to-end {das Zioeckwidrige) in the world, which may be opposed to the wisdom of its Author, is of a threefold na* ture :

I. The absolute contrary •to -end, which can be approved and desired by wisdom, neith- er as an end , nor as a mean.

II. The conditional contrary-toend, which consists with the wisdom of a will; indeed never as an end, but yet as a mean.

The first is the moral contrary - to - end , as the proper bad (sin) ; the second , the physical

contrary- inexperience. But from it no inference to the moral wisclom of the Author of the world is valid, because la-v/of nature and moral law require quite heterogeneous principles, and the proof of the latter wisdom must be given » jjriori tot- ally, therefore absolutely not groifiided upon experience of w^liat. happens in (the world. As now the conception of God, that shall be fit for religion (for w© use it not for the behoof of the explanation of nature, of course in a speculative view) must be a conception of liim as a moral Being ; as this conception , as little as it can be grounded upon experience, just as little can it be exhibited from merely transcendental conceptions of an absolutely necessary Being, who is to us. totally transcendent: so it is siil- ficiently evident that the proof of the existcnco of tuck a Being can be no other than a moral oue.

yoi. n. . N



contrary -to"- end, evU (pain), — But there is a cx)n£ormity-to-end {.Zweckindfsigkeit) in the relation of the evils to the moral bad, as the latter once exists and neither can nor ought to be diminished ;:, namely , in the con- junction of evils and pains, as puni^ments, vv^ilh the bad, as a crime; and relatively to this conformity-to-end in the ^vorld the ques- tion is, whether in this justice be done to every one in the world. Consequently still a

  • III. species of the contrary - to - end in the

world must be to be conceived , namely , the disproportion of crimes and punishments in the world.

The attributes of the supreme wisdom of the Author of the world, against which those contraries -to -end appear as objections, are likewise three:

First, his holiness, as legislator (Crea- tor) , in contradistinction to the moral bad in the world.

Secondly, his goodness, as covei\:\'our (Prescr^'^ei) , contrasted with the innumerable evils and pains of the, rational mundane being:s.

Thirdly, his justice, as judge, in com- parison with the evil state , in which the dis- proportion between the impunity of the vi- tious and their crimes seems to show itself in the world. *


  • These three attributes, of which the one can by no

means be reduced to the other, as for instance justice to goodness, and so the "whole to a smaller number, consti- tute the ' moral conception of God. Nor can their order


The answer to those three impeachments must be represented in the abovementioned threefold different manner, and proved ac^ cording to their validity.

I. The first vindication of the holiness of the Divine will on account of the moral bad, which is complained of as disfiguring the world, his work, consists in this:

N a a. That

be altered (as for example to make the goodness tlie chief condition of the creation of the world, to which the lioliness of legislation is subordinated), without derogating from religion , which bottoms upon ^this very moral con- ception, Our own pure (practical) reason determines this order of rank, as v.- when the legislation conforms itself to the goodness* there is no more dignity of it and no Jirm conception of duties. Man wishes first of all, it is true , to be happy ; but perspccts , and grants (though unwillingly) that the worthiness of being happv, that is, the cunsen§ion of the use of his liberty witu the holy J law, mitst in the decree of the Author be the condition of its validity and therefore necessarily precede. For the w^ish, which the subjective end (of self-love) has at bottom , cannot determine the objective end (of wisdom), which the law, that gives tlie vrill unconditionally the rule, prescribes. — Punishment in the exercise of justice is bv no means gronnHe 1 as a mean , bat as an end in the legislative wisd6m : the transgression is combined with evils , not in order that anotlier good may arise , but because this combination is in itseU, id est, morally and jieoes8:»rily , good. Justice, it is true, presupposes goodness of the legislator (for if his will did not tend to flie weal of his subjects , it could not oblige them to obey him); it is not however gapdncss, but as justice essentially different from it, though comprehended in the universal conception nf wisdorti. Hence the complaint of the waiu of ^iiiticc , which shows- itself in the lot thai falls to nicu here in the ^vorld , is not that the good di) not fare well here , but that the bad do not

iarc ill ( though , wlicn the former is siij>eradded to the latter, the contrast still augments this difficulty). For in a divine governinent even ilic best man cannot ground his wish for wellbeing upon the Divine justice , but must always upon His goodness: because he, who docs kis duty merely, can lay no claim to the favour of God.



a. Thxt there is by no means, such an ab- sohte cuntrjr\"-to-end, as we tal«e the trans* i:tes6ion of the pure laws of our reason to be, but that it is only a fault in the eye of human \vi>dani ; tiiat the Divine judges them accord- ing to quite other rules incomprehensible to us, where, what we. indeed find rejectable with reason relatively to our practical reason and its determination, may perhaps, in rela- tion to Di\ine ends and supreme wisdom, be the fittest mean, as well for our particular weal, as for the good of the' world in general; that the ways of the Supreme are not our ways {sunt Superis sua jura)^ and we err» when we judge that, which ^ a law but re- latively for men in this life, absolutely as such, and thus hold that, which seems to our contemplation of things from a station so low contrary-to-end, to be so likewise, when contemplated from the highest station. — This apology, in ^vhich the defence is worse than the charge, requires no refutation, and may certainly be freely left to the detestation of every person, who has the smallest sentiment of morality.

b. The second pretended vindication grants, it is true , the actuality of the moral bad in the world, but excuses the Author of the world by its not having been possible to- be prevent- ed ; because it is grounded upon the limits of the nature of men , as finite beings. — But thereby that bad itself would be justified; and«  as it cannot be imputed to men asJtheir fft^Q^ one would need to cease to •-*-' ral bad.

TIVE'il^TISES, 197

c The third vindication, that, stippOvSe that with respect to what we denominate mo- ral bad men are actually guilty, no guilt must be imputed to God, as he hath from wise caus- es merely permitted, as a fact of men, but by no means approved and willed or prepared, that bad, tends (if no difficulty shall be found in the conception of the mere permitting of a Being, who is the sole Author of ihe world) to the same consequence with the foregoing apology (b), namely, that, as it was impos- sible for God himself to hinder this bad, with- out derogating from other higher and even moral ends, the ground of this evil (for it must now be^-properly named thus) must be unavoidably 5b be looked for in the essence of«things, namely, the necessary limits of hu- manity as finite nature, and consequently can- not be imputed to it.

11. The justification of the Divine good- ness for the evils, namely, pains, which are complained of in the world , consists* herein,

a. That in the fates of men a preponde- rance of evil over the agreeable enjoyment of life is falsely supposed, because every one, however badly he may fare , chuses rather to live, than to be dead, and those few, who re- solve on the latter, so long as they themselves delay it, thereby allow that preponderance still and, when they are insane enough to destroy themselves, merely pass to the state of insensibility, in which no pain can be ^.. jfelt. -^ But the answer to this sophistry may IfY :l^c!%jBft to tlie decision of every man of

TfttHmding, who has lived and N 3 reflected

193 I. ss A TS a:x D

reflected long enough on the value of life Lo b^ able to pronounce a judgment on this, when the question is proposed to him, Whether, I will not say on the same, but on any other conditions he pleases (only not of a fairy, but of this pur terrestrial , world) , he would not wish to act the play of life over again.*

b. To the second justification, that the pre- ponderancy of the painful feelings over the agreeable cannot be separated from the nature of an animal creature, like man, (as count Veri mfaintains in his book On, the Nature of Pleasure) — one would reply, that, if it is so, there occurs another query. Why tlie Aib- thor of our existence has callje4 tis i"to lile, when; according to our just^^alculation, it is not worthy of being wished for by us? Ill- humour here, as the Indian woihan said to Dschingislihan, who could neither give her satisfaction for the violence suffered, nor af- ford her security against the future, would answer, *If thou wilVst not protect us, Avhy dost thou conquer us?'

c. The third solution of the knot is, tliat for the sake of a future felicity God hath placed us out of goodness in the world, but that that beatitude which may be hoped for [must

^be preceded by a state of thorough trouble and misery of the present life, where we must by the struggle w^ith difficulties .become w^orthy of that future glory. — But^^ that this time of probation (in which the most succumb^ and the best have no proper satisf^4.iiV^ isi,. life) shall absolutely be the ,coi|i Supreme Wisdom of the ple^Hfir^


Other may be enjoyed by us, and that it was not feasiblfe to Jet the creature become con- tented with every epoch of his life , may in- deed be pretended, but absolutely cannot be perspectcd, and by an appeal to the Supreme Wisdom, who hath so willed it, the knot may be cut, to be sure, but not untied: to resolve which, however, the theodicee engages.

III. To the last charge preferped against the justice of the Governom^ of the world,* is answered:

a. That the pretext of the impunity of the vicious in the world has no ground; be- cause eveiy crime, according to its nature, carries with itself here the punishment suit- able to it, as the internal reproaches of con. science torment the vicious more than furies would. — But in this judgment there is evidently a misunderstanding, For the vir- tuous man herein lends his character of iftind to the vitious, namely, conscientiousness in its whole strictness which, the more vir-^ tuous the man is, punishes the more rigorous- ly on account of the smallest transgression,

N 4 ^ that

  • It is remarl^aUle that fimong all the di(Bcu1ties of

uniting the course of the events of the world with the divinity of its Author, none forces itself so strongly on the inind , as that of the appearance of justice therein "wanting. If it happens (thougli it is but seldom,) that an unjust villain, especially one possessing power, does liot escape out of the world unpunished ; the impartial '^"StatOT., in 11 manner reconciled to heaven, rejoices. Other eonforxnity - to - end in nature excites his nfTecc \9 by the aditiiration "of it, and so to of God be so easily discerned. Wiiy? kend) is here moral, and the only "'^^jch. one may hope to perceive in





that the moral law in him disapproves. But, wJiere this cast of mind and with fl: conscien- tiousness is wanting, there is lilcewise want- ing: the tormentor for crimes committed; and the vicious, if he can but escape the external chastisement for his crimes , ]aughs at the anxiety of the honest man to torment him- self in Lemally with his own rebukes; but the small reproaches, which he may sometimes make himself, - he makes either not at all through conscience, or, if he has any, they are abundantly outweighed and requited by the sensual pleasure, for which only he has

a taste. If that charge shall be further


b. by this, That it is indeed not to be denied that there is absolutely to be found no proportion conformable to justice between guilt and punishment in the world, and one nnill often perceive with indignation in tho course of it a life led with crying injustice and yet happy to the very end; that this how- ever lies in nature and is not intentionally prepared, consequently is not moral disso- nance, because it is a property of virtue to strug2;le with adversity, (to which bclono.s the pain that the virtuous must suffer by tlie comparison of his own misfortune with the good fortune of the vitious), and sufferings seive but to enhance the value of virtue, there- fore in the eve of reason this dissonance of the undeserved evils of life is resolved into the most glorious moral concord; — this so- lution is opposed by this, that, though these evils , when they , as the whetstone of virtue,




either precede or accompany it, mays it is true , be represented as in a moral harmony with it, when at least the end of life crowns the latter and punishes vice ; but that, when even this end falls out nonsensically, of which experience gives many examples, su£Fering seems to have fallen to the lot of the virtuous, not m order that his .virtue shall be pure, but because it has been so (but on the other hand was contrary to the rules of prudent self- love): which is directly the contrary to jus-*: tice , as man is able to form a conception of it to himself. For as to the possibility that the end of this terrestrial life may not perhaps be the end of all life , this possibility cannot be valid as a vindication of Providence, but is merely an authoritative decision of the mor- ally faithful reason, by which] the sceptic is referred to patience, but not satisfied.

c. If finally the third solution of this un- harmonious proportion between the moral value of men and the lot that falls to them, shall be attempted, by saying that. In this world must be )udged all weal or ill as. (a consequence of the use of the faculties of men merely according to laws of nature, propor- tioned to their applied address and prudence, at the same time to the circumstances also, into which they accidentally fall, but not ac- cording to their agreement with supersensible ends; whereas in a future world another olrder of things will subsist, and every one will obtain what his deeds here below are ^vorth according to a moral judgment; — thus is this presupposition arbitrable. Reason, if it

N 5 does



does not as a morally legislativo faculty give an authoritative decision x conformable to its interest,must raihcr find it probable according to mere rules of theoretical cognition, That the course of the world according to the order of na- ture, as here, so for the future, will determine our fate. For what other clew has reason for its theoretical presumption, than the law of nature? and, though it allowed itself, as was required of it (no. b.) , to be referred to patience and the hope of a better future world ; how can it ex- pect that, as the course of things here ac- cording to the order of nature is of itself wise, it would according to the same laws in a fu- ture world be unwise.? As, according to them, there is no comprehensible relation at all between the internal determining grounds of the will (namely, the moral cast of mind) according to laws of liberty, and between the (for the most part external) causes of our well- being independent of our will according to laws of nature; so the presumption remains, that the agreement of the fate of men with a Divine justice ^ according to the conceptions we form of it , is as little to be expected there as here.

The issue of this process before the forum of philosophy is, that all theodicee has hither- to not performed what it promises, namely, to juslif)'^ the moral wisdom in the govern- ment of the world against the doubts , which are entertained of it from what experience gives to cognise in this world ; though indeed those doubts as objections, as far as our in- sight into the nature of our reason reaches


T A £ A T I S £ 3. 20^

with regard to the latter, cannot prove the contrary. But whether in progress of time more proper grounds of its vindication may not be found , not to absolve the anaigned w^isdoni (as hitherto) merely ab instantia , re- mains stiil undetermined, if we do not suc- ceed in shewing with certainty tliat our rea- son is absolutely unable for the introspection of the relation y whicli a world ^ as we may always hnoio it by experience , bears to the Supreme Wisdom; for then all farther essays of opiniative human wisdom to perspect the ways of Divine wisdom are totally re- jected. That at least a negative wisdom, the insight of the necessary limitation of our pretensions with regard to what is beyond our reach, is attainable by us, must, in order to put an end for ever to this lawsuit, yet be proved; and this may be easily done.

We have a conception of a wisdom of art in the arrangement of this world, to which for our speculative faculty of reason objective reality is not wanting, for the ])urpose of arriving at a physicotheology. In like manner liave we a conception of a moral wisdom^ which may be placed in a w^orkl in gei^ral by a most perfect Author, in the moral idea of our own practical reason. — But of the imity in the agreement of that wisdom of art with the moral wisdom in a sensible world we have no conception , and can never ho])e to reach it, For, to be a creature , and as a being .of nature, to follow the will of its AutJiOf merely; but yet, fis a free agent (who has his will independent on external inRucnce, \\ liich



may be very contrary to the former), to be capable of imputation; and nevertheless to consider his own fact at the same time as the effect of a Supreme Being; are an association of conceptions, which w^e must conceive, it is true, in the idea of a world, as the chief ^ood; but which he only, who penetrates to the knowJedge of the supersensible (intelli- gible) world, and perspects the manner, in which it forms the basis of the sensible one, can introspect: upon which insight only the proof of the moral wisdom of the Author of the world can be grounded in the latter, as this presents but the phenomenon of the for- mer world, — an insight which no mortal can attain.

All theodicee ought, properly speaking, to be an explication of nature, so far as God makes known by it the design of his will. Now eveiy explication of the declared will of a leirislator is either doctrinal or authentic. The former is what discovers by reasoning; that ■will from the expressions, which it has used, in conjunction with the designs oi the law- fliver otherwise known; the latter the legis- Jatar himself gives.

The world, as a work of God, may be contemplated by us as a divine publication of ihc desiiins of his will. In this however it is frequently for us a shut book; but it is always this, wlien, to conclude from it, though an object of experience, e\ en the final end of God (which is always moral), is aimed at. The philosophical essays of this sort of explana- tion are doctrinal, and constitute the proper



theodicr'e , which may therefore be termed the doctrinal one. — Yet the mere obviati^ of all objections to the Divine wisdom cannot be refused the name of a theodicee , when it is a (limne authoritative decision, or (wliich in. this case is to the same purpose) when it is a judgment of the same reason, by which' wo form to oiu'sclves of necessity and before all experience the conception of God as a moral and wise Being. For there God is by our reas- on the very expounder of his own will an- nounced by the creation;-and this exposition we may denominate an authentic theodic^k Then, however, that is not the exDOgidra^^! a reasoning (spectilative) practical »

of a practical xeAson possessing potem_

as it is without farther, grounds absolutely commanding; in legislating, may be consjn* ered as the immediate declaration on! ■ of God, by which he giveth a mciniii letter of his creafion. Such an niiii. terjjretation, i\ovr, I find in an ancient i book allegorically expressed. ~

Job is represented as a man , tn tEig mcnt of whose life every thinf^ poja " conceived was united , in order vo •■ perfect. Healthy, opulent, free, t er of others whom he may tnnh« \\ai' rounded by a happy family, nintni:: friends ; and above aU (what ie thi sentinl), contented with himsdf'j conscience. AU these riches, cepted, a hard fate hung trial B^ital^aK .away : the ""^ —


come by degrees to recollection , he gave vent to cftnplnints against his disaster } on which between him and his friends who are prese/it under a pretext to console themselves is soon begun a disputation, wherein both parties, every- one according to his own way of thinking (but chiefly according to his situation), set . forth their particular theodicc'e, for the moral interpretation of that bad fate. Job's friends declare themselves for the system of the inter- pretation of all evil in the world from Divine justice, as so many -punishments for crimes perpetrated ; and, though they could not name any, with which they could charge the un- fortunate man , they believed to be able to judge a priori that he must needs be gixilty of some, else it would not be possible accord- ing to the Divine justice that he sliould be unhappy. Whereas Job — who protests, with emoiion, that his conscience does not reproach him in the least on account of his whole life; but as to inevitable human faults. Cod himself Isnoweth that lie made him as a frail creature, — declares himself for the sys- tem of the inconditioval decree of God. He ^ is of one mind, continues Job, and who can turn hitn?

In what both parties '-ei be allowed the word, ( thing remarkable; but' they do so, merits th speaks as he thinks , a: \uation w^ould be of friends, on the other Almighty, on who



gain whose favour by their judgment they have more at heart than the truth , listened to them in secreL These their tricks, ^orjthe sake of appearance to maintain things, which they must allow they do not perspect , and to feign a conviction, which in fact they have not, contrast well with Job's plain sincerity, w^hich is so far from false flattery as almost to border on temerity , greatly to his ad- vantage. IVill you , says he , . speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him? Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God? He will surely reprove you^ if ye do secretly accept persons ! — for an hyfjocritt shall not come before him.

The latter actuary confirms the issue of the history. For God deigned to discover to Job the wisdom of his creation, chiefly on the side of its inscrutableness. He let .him view the beautiful side of the creation where ends comprehensible to man set the wisdom and bountiful care of the Author of the world in an unambiguous light ; but on the other hand the frightful side too , by naming to him pro- ductions of his potency and among these even pemici^^ dreadful things, every one of whichji^ is true, seems to be adjusted for itself and for i^s species conformably-to-end, but with regard to others and even to men destructive , contrary-to-end , and not harmo- nizing with an universal plan arranged by goodness and wisdom; whereby however lie showeth the disposition and preservation oi the whole announcing the wise Author of the world, though at the same time his ways,



inscrutable to us, must be hidden even in the physical order of things , how much more then in their connexion with the moral (which is yet more impenetrable to our reason)? — The conclusion is., that, as Jc/b acknowledges to have judged, not maliciously, for he is conscious to himself of his probity , but only imprudently, on things, which are too high for him , and which he does not understand, <5od pronounceth the condemnation of Job's friends, because they did not speak of him (God) so well (in point of conscientiousness), as his serv^ant Job. If now the theory, which every one on both sides maintains, be ct)n- templated, that of his friends may carry w^ith it rather the appearance^of more speculative reason and pious humility: and Job in all probability would have experienced a bad fate before every tribunal of dogmatical theolo- gians, before a synod, an inquisition, a reve- rend classis, or every chief consisLoiy of our time (one only excepted). Therefore, only the sincerity of the heart, not the preference of knowledge, the honesty to acknowledge his doubts openly, and the aversion to feign conviction, where it is not felt, chi^^ before God (where this craft besides is Ab^R) , are the properties, which in the Divine judg- ment have decided the preference of the man of probity, in the person of Job, over the religious flatterer.

But the belief, which arose to him by so strange a solution of his doubts, namely, merely the conviction of his.ignorftnce. could enter into the mind of none 1>



the midst of his greatest doubts could say, till I die I will not remove my integrity from me^ &c. For by this mindedness he proved that he did not ground his morality upoii the belief, but the belief upon the morality: in which case this belief only, however weak it may be, is of a pure and genuine sort, that is, of tliat sort, which grounds a religion, not of courting favour, but of the good life.

Concluding Observation.

The theodice'e, as has been shown, has not so much to do with a problem for the advantage of science , as rather with an affair of belief. From the authentic theodicee we 6aw that in such things it does not depend so much upon reasoning, as.upon sincerity in the observation of the inability of our reason, and upon the honesty not to falsify ones thoughts in the utterance, let them be falsified with ever so pious a view. — This occasions the following short contemplation on a rich fimd of matter, namely, sincerity, as the chief requisite in affairs of faith, in collision with the propension to falsity and impurity , as the principal defects in human nature.

That what one says either to himself or to another, is true^ he cannot always be answer- able (for he may err); but he can and must be answerable for his profession or his acknow- ledgment's being veracious^ for of it he is im- mediately conscious to himself. In the former "^ "^ he compares his asseveration witli the

^;in jhe logical judgment (by the under- Jt in the latter, as he professes

O his


.his holding -triid, -vpith the subject (before con.^'Cience). Does he make the profession relntiiig to ihefonner, without being conscious to himself of the latter? he lies, as he gives out something else than what he is conscious of. — Th^ observation that there Is such an impurity in the human heart, is not new {for Job made it); but onew^ould almost think that the attention to it is new to teachers of morals niid religion: sb little is it found, that they, notwithstanding the diiHculty which a purifying of the minds of men, even if they would act conformably to duty, carries with it, have made sufficient use of that observar lion. — This veracity may be named the formal conscientiousness, tht: material consists in the circumspection to venture nothing on the risk of its being wrong : as on the contrary that consists in the consciousness of having employed this circumspection in tlie given case, — Moralists speak of an erring con- science. But an ening conscience is a nonen-* tity; and, were there such a thing, one could novcr be sure to have acted right, because the judge himself in the last instance might err. I may err, it is true, in the judgment, in ivhicli I believe to be in the right : for that be- longs to the understanding, which only judges objectively (whether true or false); but in the consciousness, fl hether in fact I believe to be in the' right (or merely pretend it) , 1 ab- solutely cannot err, as this judgment orrafUer this position says nothing but that I tlius judge the object.

B carefulness to be conscious to one's self


self of this belief (or unbelief), and not to give out any holding-true, of which one is not conscious, consists just the formal consci- entiousness, which is the ground of veracity. Therefore, who says to himself (and, what is the same in the confessions of religion ^ be- fore God) that he believes ^ without perhaps having examined himself, whether he is in fact conscious to himself of this holding-true or even of such a degree of it,* lies not only

O a in

  • The mean of extorting veracity in external deposing*

iJie oath (fortura spiritualis) is held before a liuinan tribunal not only allowed, but indispensable: a sad proof of th© little reverence of men for truth, even in the temple of public justice, where the mere idea of it ouglit of itself to inspire the greatest reverenced But men lie with regard to conviction, which tlkey have not, at least of the sort, or in the degree, they pretend, even in their internal pro- fessions; ana, as this improbity (since it tends by little and little to actual persuasion^ may also have external per- nicious consequents, so, that nUeiin of extorting veracity, the oath, (but indeed only an internal one , that is , the essay, whether the holding- true stand the test of an internal yMra-^ory examining of tlie profession) may too be very- well used to make the audaciousness more daring, at last, however, if not to restrain externally violent assertions, at least to stupify. — By an human tribunal nothing more is demanded of the conscience of him that makes oath, than the engaging that > if there is a future Judge of the world (therefore a God and a life to come) , lie will be answerable to him for the truth of his external profession ; that there is such a Jiids^e of the world, is a profession not necessary to be demanded of him, because, if the former protestation cannot w'itlihold the lie, the latter false profession "would.create just as little scruple. After this internal delation of an oath one would ask himself, Woutdest thou t.ihe V^bn the, by all that is dear and sacred to the, to ans\ver for the truth of that weighty tenet of faith or another kolden so? At such a demand conscience >vould be sud- ly roused by the danger, to which one exposes him- by ' pretending more, than he can maintain witli 'txft Inhere" the believing concerns an object that is all littainalda- by the w^ay of knowing [theoretical "taon}«vbut^ whose assuming, by its only Anderihg !S^' possible


in the most absurd manner (before a knower of heat ts), but in the most wicked, because it saps the very foundation of every virtuous rescliiticn, sincerity. It is easily conceived how soon sucl) blind and external confessio7is (which are easily united with an internal ton- fession just fis false), when they furnish iiicaiis of acquisition , may gradually occasion a certain falsehood in the cast of mind of even the commonwealth. — While this public purifying of the way of thinking in all proba- bility remains deferred to a distant period, tilt it perhaps one day becomes an universal principle of education and doctrine under the protection of the liberty of thinking; a few lines still may be here bestowed on the con- templniion of tha£ vice, w^hicb seems to be deeply rooted in hiunan nattire.

There is something touching and wliich moves the soul in displaying a sincere chaiact. er, tievcsted of all falsehood and positive dis- simulation; as integrity, however, a mere simplicity and rectitude of the way of thinking (especially when its ingenuity is excused) is tlie least that is requisite to a good character, and tlierefore it is not to be conceived upon what

postilile tlie cnnnexton of tlie cliief practical piinciplc of reucn wulitliac (if the theoretical coenition of nature iiione system (ami tliiisieaioiisgTceingvritKittelf), ii abcTre all recommend' able, but vet fllwars tf-e. — But profeasions of faith. Trhote st'urco is hittoncal, when they are enjoined others as pre- cepts , must still more be subjected, to tliis pcoof-by-fire of^Teracity : becauie £cre tlie impurity ami feigned convic- tion is extenued. to moce peisont , and tbeic guilt b»- come* a buiden on him. tvIio in a manner aniwen £{r .

tlr'mitt cbnsciencej.


what is grounded that admiration, with whicli we are impressed by sucli an object: it must then be, that sincerity is the property, witli which human nature is the least endowed. A melancholy observation! As by tJVat only all the other properties , so far as they rest upon principles, can have an intrinsic true value. None but a contemplative misanthrope (who wishes ill to nobody, but is inclined to be- lieve every thing bad of men) can be douhrful whether to find men worthy of hatred or of contempt. The properties, on v/hose account he would judge them to be qualified for the former treatment, are those, by which they designedly do harm. That property, however, which seems rather to expose tlieni to the lat- ter degradation, can be no other, than a pro- pensity, which is ill itself hadj though it hurts nobody, a propensity to what can be used as a mean to no end whatever; which is therefore objectively good for nothing. The former bad is nothing but that of enmity (more mildly expressed , unkindncss); the latter cart be nothing else than a lying disposition (false- hood, even without any design to do hurt). The one inclination has a view, which mav in certain other references be allowed and good, for instance, enmity against incorrigible dis- turbers of the peace. The other propensity, however, is that to the use of a mean (the lie) that, whatever be the view, is good for notii- ing, because it is in itself bad and blameablc.

> Sb the quality of man of the former species dbuere is wickedness^ yet with which there may

  • ' be- combined a fitness for good ends in certain
  • / , O 3 external

/ X

214 9 Assays and

external relations, and it sins but in the means, which are not rejectable ih every vie^. The bad of the latter sort is naughtiness {NichtS' wiirdigkeit) , by which all character is refused' to man. — Here I chiefly insist on the im?- purity lying deeply concealed , aa. man knows to falsify even " the internal declarations in presence of his own conscience. The less ought to surprise the external inclination to fraud; it must then be this, that, though every one hnows the falseness of the coin, with which he trades , it can maintain itself equally well in circulation^

In de Luec*s letters on the mountains, the history of the earth and of men , I remember to have read the following, result of his in part anthropological journey. The philanthropic author set out with the good quality of our species, and sought the confirmation of it, where city luxury cannot have such influence to corrupt the minds. In the mountains, from Switzerland to the Harze; and, after his belief in disinterested helping (Jlulfleistende) incli- nation began somewhat to stagger by an ex- perience in the former, he at last infers this conclusion. That man^ as to benevolence^ is good enough (no wonder ! for this rests upon implanted inclination , of which God is the Author); if a had"^ -propensity to fine deceit were hut not inherent in him (which is likewise


  • In the very intermixture of the had with the good lie

the great springs , which rouse into action the dormant

Sowers of humanity, and necessitate men to develope aU leir talents and to approach towards the perfection of their destination.

TKS4TI8ES, fil5

not astonishing; for to withhold this depends upon the character , which man himself must 'form in himself) ! — A result of the inquiry that every body , even without having travel- led in the mountains ^ inight have met with among his fellow* citizens ^ ^^Yf y^^ nearer^ in his own breast.


I -f

4 ■









» O a

— If there*8 a po^'r above uti (And that there is all nature cries aloud Through all her works) he must delight in virtue.

Adbisoh^i Cato.

r R F. r A c E.

A>f mca dona tiht. sUtdio dispostafiddi,

Intdlecta prius cjueutl siiit, contcmta rdpiqu/js.


X have not: sq; lii^h an opinion of t)ie use of ail ciidciivourjike the jirftsent, as if Uie niosl iai)iortnnt oi' all our co^niiioMs, thebk IS A Coo, wui"c, wiihcmt tlie assistance of deep metaphysical .invcsiigations, fluccuunt ami' in dandier. Providence liath not willed thnt nur Jnsiohis in llie highest degree neccs- tery to felicity should depend on the subtiliy of fiUB syllogiiuis, tiut lialn deiivared them. nuicdiiiioly (0 the natural common nnder-

^anding wliirh, when.it is not perplexed imd

cd by falsK art, does not fail to con- ! dirccdy lo the true and useful, so far j tftand ill iho utmost need of them. ) -that itsB of sound reason, whitdx is , lA'itbin ili(J limits of common intrpspea- , fit)iu.sl)(^s siidiciently convincing proofs

•' "■' = :?nd of the attributes of thi»

• liu subtile inquirer alwjiys (nilioA and the suitableness


une*l I

conceptions fe rfltiocinatJons. One cannuc

  • pr of V


however forbear to search whether this de- nioiislralion does not somewhere present itbclf. For, not to mention the just desire, which an understanding accustomed (,o perquisition can- not avoid, to attain something complete and distinctly comprehended in a cognition so M^eiglity, it is to be hoped that such an in- trospection, when one is mastei; of it, may clear up much more in this suhj<jct. But to accom])lish this end wc miist venture into the imf^itliomahle deptiis of inotaphysic. A dark ocean, unbounded by coasts and without beac- ons, where one must proceed like the mariner in a sea not yet navigated, wh«, as soon as he makes land, examines whrHher some un- observed currents have not. notwilhstandini^ ill I the circumsj)ection which the art of navi- gation may enjoin, disturbed his cotirse.

This dej lions tration has never yet been discovered ; of which however others have alieady l.ilwiii notice. What I here deliver is tlie artimucnl onlv lor a demonstration, mate- rials for building collected with great labour, which are |)!<;senled to judges for examina- lion, in oider from their useiul parts to ex?- <;Mle the building according to the rules of louixruitv and siabilitv. As little as I wish that which I deliver to be held the demonstra- tion jlseir, as little are the solutions of the conce|>tion.s , I use, definitions. They are, meseems, riiiht crileria of the thinirs wliioU I ])an<ll(\ 111 lor attaining suitable explications serviceable in ihemselves for the purpose of Irulh aiul distinctness, but they wait for the last hand of the. artist, in order to be nuni-


TK£ATIS£9. i2ai

bercd among defiiutioils. There is a time when, in such a science as liictaphysic , one takes upon himself to explain and to cfemons- tiate every tiling, and there is a time, when one altem2)ts such tlndertakings but with fear and dillidence^

The contemplations^ which I expose to view f are the consequetits of long reflection, but the Qiode of propounding bears the mark of an unfmishcd work « as various occupa«> lions have not allowed the thereto requisite time. It is however a very fruitless insinua- tion, to beg pardon of the reader, because one cannot, whatever be the reason, present him but wdth something crude and undigested. He, let the author excuse himself as he pleas- es ^ will never forgive it. In my case the figure of the work, not fully formed, is not so much to be ascribed to a neglect, as to an intended omission. My design was to^tracc but the outlines of a principal plan, accord- ing to whi/:h, I believe, if under exercised hands the drawing should receive more just- ness in the parts and a finished regularity on the whole , an edifice of no small excellence mis^ht be erected. In this view it had been unnecessaiy io bestow too much anxious care

  • in accurately finishing all the strokes in single

parts, as the sketch on the whole has first to ^vait for the judgment of masters in the art. I therefore have frequently adduced proofs, without^ pretending at present to be able to point out distinctly their connexion with the consequence. I have sometimes adduced com* mon judgments of understanding tpo« without



asa ESSAYS and

giving them by logical art that form of soli- dity, which a component part in a system must nave, either because I found it dillicult, because the prolixity of the necessary prepara- tion was not conformable to the size tliat the work ought to have, or because I b.elieved to be entitled, as I announce no demonstration, to avoid the demand that is made with reason on systematical authors^ A small part of those, who assume to themselves the judg- ment dn tlie works of reason, cast bold looks to the whole of an essay, and chiefly con- tem])late the reference which, were certain defects supplied or faults corrected , the heads might have to a proper structme. It is this sort of readers, whose judgment is useful principally to human cognition. As to the other readers who, incapable of overlooking a connexion in the gross, fasten upon either the one or the other minute part with too nice iiujuiry, careless whether the censure, which it perhaps merits, afloct rlie v«luc of the whole, and Avhcther meliorations in sini^le parts may not support the chief plan that is faulty but in the parts, these readers, who never exert themselves, but to turn into ruins cvciy edifice just commenced, may be to be dreaded on account of their niunbers, it is* true, but their judgment, AA'ith regard to the decision of true value, is with reasonable persons of little moment.

Perhaps in some places I hf^ve not explain- ed myself siuHiciently , in order to dissaj)()int those, who wish but for an appArent*occasion to brand a publication with the bitter re-



ptoach-of lietcrodo^; but what precaution could' prevent this? I believe however to have spoken disiiiictly enough to those, who are not disposed to find any thing more in a writ- itigj than what the author designed to put in it. I have y notwithstanding my positions deviate so much from those of otliers, engaged as little as possible in confutations. The com- parison I leave to the reflection of the reader who has perspected both. Were the judg- ments of undissembled reason in persons thinking difierently proved with the sincerity of an incorruptible counsel, who so weighs the reasons of two litigant parties, tliat he, in thought, even puts himself in the place of those who assign these reasons , in order to be as sensible of them as possible, and then first to decide to which party he is to devote himself; there would be nuieh less dissagree^ ment in the opinions of philosophers , and an unfeigned equity in adopting the cause of the opposite in proportion to the possibility, "^'ould soon unilt; tlie scrutators in one way.

In a difficult conLenii>lalion , like the pre- sent, I can easily foresee that uwny positions will be erroneous, manv illustrations insuf- ficient , and nmch of the execution feeble and defective. I lay no claim to such an unlimited subscription of the reader, as I myself would hardly grant any author. Therefore it will not seem singular to me to receive from others better information on many points , and they will fmd me very docile and readv to listen to such instruction. It is diilicult to t^ivc up the pretension to rightness, which one con-

fiden tl V


4ii24 ES6ATS AND

fidently shows when he begins to propound grounds, but it is not so difficult when this pretension is moderate, insecure and modest. Even the most refined vanity , when it under- stands itself, remarks that it is no less mciri- torious to allow^ one's self to be convinced, than to convince, and that that action redoimds perhaps more to true honour, as more renun- ciation, and self-trial is thereto requisite than to this. It may seem to be a violation of the unity, which must in the contemplation of this object be had in view, that now and then occur pretty ample physical dilucidations; but as my design in thc^e cases is chiefly turn- ed towards the method , by means of natural philosophy to ascend to the cognition of God, without such examples I could not .well attain this end. The seventh contemplation of the se/Dond section will require somewhat more indulgence, especially as its contents are ex- tracted from an anonymous work, I formerly published,* where this subject is treated more


  • Under the title of Universal physiooont akd theo-

jVT OF THE HEAVEKS. Roeiiigsberg and Leipzig 1755. This book , which is little known , must not have come to the knowledge of the celebrated /. Jff. L,»mb6rt, who six yeais afterwaids propounded in his Cosmological Letters 1761. the very same tlieorv, of tlie systematical constitu- tion of the structure of tlie world in the gross » of the galaxv, of tlie nebulae &c. , which is to be met with in my abovementioned Theory of the Heavens, in the first part and likewise in the preface, and something of it IS pointed out in a short sketch in the present work. The agreement of the thoughts of this ingenious man with those I then propounded , which is to be perceived in ' even the smallest strokes , incre:ises my presumption that' this delineatioa will hereafter receive more couHrma- tion.


at laree, though in connexion with various liomewhaC hazarded hypotheses- The affinity, which at least the permitted Jibeity to venture on such explications has with my chief de- sign, as also the wish to see judges pronoun- ce on a few of these hypotheses , has given occasion to intermix this contemplation, which is perhaps either too short for understanding all its grounds, or too prolix for those who expect to find here nothing but metaphysic ; they may, however, easily pass it over.


. J '.' <






eAstIince of god.





Of Existence in general.


'T'he rule of profundity does not always re-

quire that even in the most penetrating

' propounding every occuning conception be

. unfolded or eiqplained; when one is assured

^^^a^ the bare clear common conception can, in

case whiBi^e it is used, occasion no misun-

■^odingj ^ the. geometncian discovers

./.'• Pa with


with the greatest certainty the most^hidden properties and relations of the extended, though in this he makes use of the common concep- tion of space merely, ^nd as even in the deep- , est of all sciences the word REri\£SENTA- TioN, though its meaning can never be re- solved by an explanation , is precisely enough understood and confidently used.

I therefore would not tower in these con- templations to the solution of the very simple and well-understood conception of existence, virere it not here directly the case, where this omission mifrht occasion confusion and great errours. It is certain that it can be applied without hesitation in all ^th|j other narts of philosophy without being aevelopfli as it occurs in common use , the only question of the absolutely necessary and contingent exist- ence excepted, for here a subtile inquiry has drawn from an unfcrlunately formed otherwise very pure conception erroneous conclusions, which have diffused themsel\es over one of the most sublime parts of ])hilosophy.

Let it not be expected that I am to make the beginning with a formal exposition of existence. It is to be wished that this were never done, where it is so uncertain to have expounded right, and this it is more frequent- ly than one imagines. I shall proceed like one, who seeks the definition /land previous- ly assures himself of w^hat can be said with certainty either affirmatively or negativdy of the obiect of the exposition., thoui^ bis'd not yet make out wherein 'jC*'^' determinate covicep


jfbsiiion of the object is hazarded, and even when one dares not venture to give it, much may be said of this object with the greatest certitude. I doubt whether it has ever been properly explained, what space is. But, with- out embarking, in this, I am certain that, where it is, there there must be external refe^ rences, that it can have no more than three measurements &c. Let a desire be what it pleases , it bottoms upon some one represen- tation , iind presupposes a pleasure in the ob- ject of desire &c. From what is certainly known of the thing previously to every de- finition that w^hich belongs to the design of our investigation may often be quite surely de-t duced, and we ventiue but into unnecessary dilficulties,, when we soar thither. The rage for methods, the imilation (or rather the aping) of the mathematician , who advances securely upon a well-paved way, has on the slippery ground of metaphysic occasioned a multitude of such false steps, as one sees every day, and yet there is little hope that philo- sophers will, thereby take warning and learn to be more circumspect. It is this method only, by virtue of which I hope for a few elucidations, which I have sought in vain from others; For, as to the flattering represen- tation,* which one frames, that he will by greater acuteness hit it better than others , it . ^f^^yiovLS that all those , who have wished ' i^ mi£tbm the errours of others into tlieir

U8|i€ikexl. .

1. Exis"



Existence is no Predicate at all or Detenirinor*

tion of any one Thing.

This position ^eems strange and nonsensi«  cal y but It is indubitably certain. Take any subject you please, for example, Jtdius Caesar. . Comprise in him all his imaginable predicat- es , even those of time and of place not ex- cepted, you will soon comprehend that he cJm exist, or not exist, with all these desig- nations. The Being, who gave existence to this world and to this hero in it , could cog- nise all these predicates, without excepting a single one, and consider him as a merely pos- sible thing that, his decree excepted, doth not exist. Who can deny that millions of thinti:s, which actually exist not, according to all the predicates they contain, would, did they exist, be merely possible; that in the representation which the Supreme Being hath of them not a' single one is wanting, though existence is not of the number, for he cog- niseth them but as possible things. It cannot therefore have place that, when they exist, they contain a predicate more, for in the pos- sibility of a thing according to its thorough designation no predicate at all can be want- ing. And had it pleased God Co create another series, of things, another world, it would, though it is possible merely, have existed with all the designations and no others than he cogniseth in it.

The word existence, however, is used as a


TRZATI8X8. djl

predicate and it may be done securely and without dread of errours , so long as it is not attempted to be derived from merely possible conceptions , as is usually done , when the absolutely necessary existence k to be evinced. For then one seeks in vain among the predi- cates of such a possible Being , existence is certainly not to be found among them. But existence in the cases where it occurs in com- mon discourse as a predicate is not so much a predicate of the thing itself, as rather of the thought that one has of it. For instance, ex- istence is suitable to the narwhale or sea-uni- corn, but not to the land -unicorn. This means notliing, but that thje representation of the seaunicorn is a conception of experience, that is, the representation of an existing thing. Hence in order to prove the rightnes3 of this position of the existence of such a thing one does not search in the conception of the sub- ject, for there are to be found predicates of possibility only, but in the origin of the cog- nition which we have of it. It is commonly said , I have seen it , or heard it from tliose, who saw it. It is therefore not a perfectly correct expression to say , A sea-unicom is an existing animal, but conversely, the predi- cates, which I think together with an unicorn, are suitable to a certain existing seaanimal. Not, regular hexagons exist in nature, but die predicates which are thought together with a hexagon are suitable to certain things in na- tme, like the cells in honey- comb$, or rock- crystal- Evepy human language from the contingencies of its origin has many faults

P 4 not


iiot to be altered y «Ad it would be hypercri- tical And. useless , where in the common use no misinterpretations at all can arise, to refine and to limit it, enough that in the uncom- mon cases of ^ more elevated contemplation , where it is n^ecessary, these distinctions are superadded. It will be but first possible to judge sufficiently of what has been handled in. this number, when the reader shall have attended to what follows.


Existence is the absolute Position of a Thing and is thereby distinguished from every Pre- dicate ^ which as such is always laid down but relatively to another Tiling.

The conception of position or laying down is perfectly simple and identical with that of entity in general. Now something can be posited or laid down as relatively merely , or rather the reference merely (respectus lo^icus) of something thought as a mark to a thing, and then the entity, that is, the position of this reference, is nothing but the conception of conjunction in a judgment. If not this reference, but the thing in and of itself, is contemplated as posited, this entity is as much as existence.

So simple is this conceptiojj, that nothing can be said to its developement, but only to




observe the precaution thatt it be not permuted with the relations 9 -wrhich the tilings have for their marks.

When it is perspected that our whole*, cognition ultiinately terminates in unresolv- able conceptions, it is also comprehensible that there are some, which are almost insolv- able, that is, where the marl^s are but very little clearer and simpler,* than the thing it- self. This is the case with our exposition of existence. I willingly acknowledge that by it the conception of the expounded becomes in a very small degree only distinct. But the nature of the object with reference to the fa- culty of our understanding allows no higher degree.

When I say God is omnipotent, this lo- gical reference only is thought between God and omnipotence, as the latter is a mark of the former. Nothing farther is posited here. Whether God be, that is, be absolutely po- sited o^ exist, is by no mecins therein con- tained. Hence this entity is used ^uite right even in those references , which have nonen- tities against one another. Exempli gratia^ Spinoza's god is subjected to incessant altera- tions.

When I represent to myself: Godpronoun- ceth 'with regard to a possible world his al- mighty FIAT, he communicateth to the whole represented in his intellect no new designa- tions, he addeth not a new predicate, but he positeth absolutely with all predicates this series of things, in which every thirrg was formerly posited but relatively to this whole.

P 5 The

(!'].'], BS9AT8 JkND

The references of all predicates to their subjects never denote any thing existing, for in that case the subject must be presupposed as exist- ing. God is omnipotent, must remain a true position even in the judgment of him, who does not acknowledge his existence , when he but understands me well, how I take the conception of God. But his existence must immediately pertain to the mode, in which his conception is posited, for in the predi- cates themselves it is not to be found. And if the subject is not presupposed as existing, every predicate remains undetermined, whe- ther it belongs to an existing or merely pos- sible x'subject. The existence itself can there- fore be no predicate. If I say, God 'is an ex- isting thing j it seems as if I expressed the reference of a predicate to the subject. There is however a fault in this expression. Accu- rately speaking, it ought to be: Something existing is God, that is, to an existing thing are suitable those predicates, w^hicji collec- tivelv talven we denote bv the word, God. These predicates are posited relatively to this subject, but the thing itself together with all the predicates is absolutely posited.

By to^o ])rolix an exposition of an idea so simple lam apprehensive of becoming obscure, 1 might also be afraid of offending the tender- ness of those, who chiefly complain of dry- ness. But without holding this censure of no moment, I must for this once entrCfit permis- sion to this point. For 1 have as little tijste as any body for the superfine wisdom of those, who fuse ^ and sublimate secure and useful

V . . concep-


TA£ATZS£S. «35

conceptions in their logical, crucibles, till they ^ evaporate in smoke and volatile salts ; yet the object of contemplation before me is of such a nature, that one must either totally give up every hope to attain a demonstrative cer- tainty of it, or condescend to resolve his con- ceptions into these atoms.


Can I say that there is more in Existence than

in mere Possibility?

Ere I answer this query I have first to ob- serve' that it must be distinguished, what is posited , and how it is posited. With regard to the former, in an actual tiling nothing more is posited than in a merely possible thing, for all the designations and predicates of the ac- tual may be met Avith in its mere possibility likewise, but as to the latter, more is by all means laid down by the actuality. For if X inquire , how is all this posited by the mere possibility, I perceive, it happens but rela- tively to the tiling itself, that is, when there is a triangle, there are three sides, an enclosed space, three angles &c. or rather tlie references of these designations to such a something as a triangle, are merely posited, but if they exist, all this is .ibsolute, that is, the thing itself together with these designations, consequent- ly mor^ posited. In order therefore in so subtile a representation to comprehend all that can prevent confusion , let us say that in an


'- «.. :' i> posited tlian in a

. ::i-ii tiie subject in haiul

.: by soiDCllun^ existing

,•!■ •! nieie possible, for

- ..\e ]Kisiiiim of the tbing

.0 |>ossiI>i!i[y is not the

.oit* references of -sonietliing

. ..liil tlown acconling to the

. . -.itradicLion, and ii leiiiains

.f is ])ro|>crly no predicate of

rbuii<;l( my design is by no

. -,i' in rfiliitaLions, and in my

^:i an autiior divested of prcju-

.. tbi; lbiuif;!its of otbers and bv

v'li'wilb connected has made ihcni

.' may f;ive liis jiid^nienl to tlie

. Iii.s new doctrines difieriiiLr from

L\.y safely i I shall open it but with

, , Widfian exjiosltlon of existence, that

.,'iii|<l('li<)n of possibility , is evidently

...^r.nilc. if it is not )ircviously Known,

. i.'.i.lfs ibe ))ossIbiliiy can be iboiiiibtin

■.1.;, it I aiinttt be learned by l)iis exposi-

i'.,iiiui:;.nli;ti adduces llio iboroiiiib in-

., ilisii'iialioii , so far as it completes wliat

,.i mdi-icrinined by ibe predicates lying in

,■ bc;ni', i>r llowiii^ ibciefrom , as that in

.1 , It there is Ui^^^w the existence than in

mere possibij^^^^^t we ba^gfl^lB. that

liiij eonjunci

I- predicates

LL from a mei

.•osition: iha

ni.th reJativeljl


finite, when it is taken iaccording to the letter, may occasion a great eirourj. For the. rule of the exclusion of a middle between- two con- tradictorily opposites forbids this, and it is • therefore ini])ossib]e that a man, for instance, shall not be of a certain stature, age, at a certain place,- time &c. It must rather be taken in this sense; by the predicates thought together with a thing, many others are il6t at all determined, as by what is taken together in the conception of a man as such there is nothing made out with regard tp particular criterions of age , place &c* But this sort of indeterminateness is then to be met with as weJl in an existing as in a merely possible thing, wliereforc it cannot be used as a dis- tinction between both. The celebrated Cni- sius numbered the somewhere and (if I may so say) the some when ^ to the infallible idesig- nations of existence. But without our enter- ing into tlie proof of the position itself: that all that exists must be either somewhere or somewhen, these predicates still appertain to merely possible things. For thus couTd exist at many determinate places at a certain ti'me many a man, all whose designations, as they would be present with him did he exist, and who actually does not exist , the Omniscient wellknoweth; and the errant jew Ahasverus in all the countries through which he is to travel, or during all the ages he is to live, is without doubt a possible man. It is tp be that the somewhere and somewhen will jquired to be sufficient ciiteiia of exist- ^hen the thing is actually the;:e or


938 Z8SATS AND '

then, for it would in that case be required that that , which one engages to niake kno\im of itself by an apposite mark, shaU be granted.




Necessary Distinction with regard to the Con^

ception of Possibility.

An that is' contradictory in itself, is in* temally impossible. This is a true position, tliough it is left undetermined , whether it be A true exposition. With regard to this con* tradiction however it is clear that something must be in a logical collision with something, that is . must negate or deny that which is in the very same thing at the same time. Even according to Crusius, who does not place this conflict in an internal contradiction merely, but maintains that it is in general perceived by the intellect according to a law natural to' it , that it is in the impossible always a con- nexion not something, which is posited, and something by which it is at the same time annulled. This repugnance I denominate the formal of incogitableness or impossibility; the material that is given by this , and which is ii\. such a conflict, is in itself something


Tn£ATIS£S. ^39

and may be conceived. A sqiiai^ trianglq is absolutely impossible. But a triangle and a square are something in themselves. neverthe- less. This impossibility rests upon entirely logical references of one cogitable to another, where the one cannot be a mark of the other. In the same manner in every possibility must be distinguished the something, which is thought, and then the agreement of what is at the same time thought in it, by the prin- ciple of contradiction. A Triangle that has a rectangle is in itself possible. The triangle and the rectangle arethe da^a or the material in this possible, but the agreement of the one with the other according to the position of contradiction is the formal of the possibility. I shall likewise term the latter the logical in- the possibility , as the comparison of the pre- dicates with their subjects according to the rule of truth is nothing but a logical reference, ^he something or w:hat is in this agreement is sometimes named the real of the possibili- ty. Besides, I have to observe that no other possibility or impossibility than the internal or the absolute is here the matter in ques- tion. ■

The intemat Possibility of all Things presup* poses some one Existence.

From what has been advanced it is obvious that the possibility drops , not only when an Viteiiial contradicdon is to be met with , but




when no material, no datum to think exists. For then nothing cogitable is gi\eii, but all that is. possible is something which can be cogitated, and to which is suitable the logical reference conformable to the proposition of contradiction.

» If no w^ all existence is annulled , nothing is absolutely posited , nothing at all is given, no material to any thing cogitable, ^and all ' possibility entirely vanishes. There is indeed no internal contradiction in the negation of all existerice. For as to this would be required that something should be posited and at the same, time annulled, but here there is no- thing posited , so it cannot be said that this annulling involves an internal contradiction.- But , that some one possibility is , and yet nothing at all actual, is inconsistent , because, when nothing exists nothing is given that is cogitable, and one contradicts himself, when he wills that something shall be possible. In the anatomizing of the conception of exist- ence we have understood that the entity or being <ibsolutely laid down, when these words are not used to express logical references of predicates to subjects, signifies the very same as existence. Therefore, to say: nothing exists , is as much as , there is nothing at all ; and it is a palpable contradiction to say , not- withstanding, that something is possible.

3. Is



It is absolutely impossible that Nothing at all


That, whereby all possibility in general is annulled, is absolutely impossible. For these are synonymous expressions. Now by what contradicts itself is nullified the formal of all possibility, namely, the agreement with the principle of contradiction, hence what is con- tradictory in itself is absolutely impossible. This is however not the case as we have to •contemplate the* privation of all existence. For therein lies , as is proved, no internal contra- diction. But by what the material and the data to all that is possible are annulled, by that is negated all possibility also. Now this talses place by nullifying all existence, there- fore if all existence is negated, all possibility • too is nullified. Consequently it is absolutely iuiposlsible that nothing at all exists.

All Possibility is given in Something actual^ either in it as a Designation , or by it as

a • Consequence.

It is to be shown of all possibility in -ge- neral and of every one in particular that it presupposes something actual, whether it be cme or more things. This reference of all possibility to any one existence may be two- VoLn. Q fold.

148 ES5AT9 AND

fold. F.ither the possible is but cogitable, so far as it itself is actual , and then the possibi- lity in the actual is given as a designation; or ii is possible because somelliing else is a^ tual, that is, its internal possibility is given as a consequent by another .'existence. The iltusiiative examples cannot yet be properly adduced here. The nature of that Subject, ■which is the only one that can serve for an example in this contemplation , must be iirst considered. Meanwhile, I have still to ob- serve that I shall denominate that actual, by which as a ground the internal possibility of ' other actuals is given, the hrst real groiqid of - ihisabsolutepossibility, in the same manner as the position of contradiction is its first logical ground, because in the agreement 'with it lies - the formal of possibility., as that furnishes the data and the material in the cogit-- able.

I well conceive that positions of such a nature, as are propounded in this contempla- tion, stand in need of many illustrations, in order to obtain that light, which is requisite to evidence. Eut the so abstract nature of the subject itself is an obstacle to every effort to greater enlightening, in lihe manner as the microscopic artifices of seeing enlarge the iniiigc of the object suificiently for the distinc- lit:n of very small parts, but diminish in the SiaAe measiue the clearness and vivacity of the impression. I shall however endeavour as much as 1 can to bring the thought* of the e^istence, which always forms die basis of tlic internal po!


proximity to , the more coimnon conceptions of a sound understanding.

You kno^ir that a fiery body, a cunning man, or the like, is something pos^ble, and if I ifequire nothing but the internal possibility,- you would not find it necessary that a body or fire &c. should exist as the data to it , for they are cogitable, and that is enough. The accord of the predicate fiery with the subject body according to the principle of contradic- tion lies in these conceptions tl^emselves, whether they be actual or merely possible things. I grant yOu that neither body nor lire needs be an actual thing , and yet a fiery body be internally possible. But I proceed to ask , is even a body in itself possible ? You, as you must not appeal here to experience, ■will natiurally enumerate the data of its pos- sibility, namely, extension, impenetrability, power and who knows what more , and still add that therein there is no internal collision. I grant you all that , but you must give me an account what right you have so directly to assume as a datum the conception of exten- sion, for suppose it signifies nothing, your pretended possibility of the body is an illu- sion. It would be very, .wrong to appeal to experience on account of this datum , for it is at present just the question, whether, though nothing at all should exist, an internal pos- sibility of the fiery body have place. Let us take for granted that at present you cannot any more divide the conception of extension more simple data , in order to show that k th^e is nothing clashing, as at last you

^ Q" a must


2tt I.<9AT9ATI>

n-.■!;^. of tierfl'-il'-v come to somethinz, whose pT.iiSrir,/ .'.arr.ot be di-_rfccted . tke que^doik ih-i is Uerr;, whefher spa'-e utA exteciion be t:n:jty Aorri-i , it if they (l*r*)te any thing. !•.•:(■: iiif: 'jvmt of a concracli'.l^n decides ni>> th.in;j; an emjity word no-.^ denotes any Liln/ f.cntradic-toiT.-. If flface doe3 not exis^ or ?ir. ie^:£ ii jj-jI ^ivcn by sorjeLhin;! esdidng as a ron^ff'jiienct, the word space aii-tiifies iifjtliln^ at all. So long a^ you asceruin the po:,',ibi!uie') by thft po^uiun of 'ii-ntradiciion, yfjii rely 'upon that which is eivea you co- fi'iVi':/]': in tFie thing, and ccntemplaLe but the (.(.nncxion ncr^rdin^ to this logical rule, but al. iiist, wi\tn yon consider how this is given you, yod never can appeal to any thing else than to nn ftxi-stcnce.

flijt we. shall wait for the issue of those conxiJdjiIaiions. Thfi application itself will rii(ni';i fiMiri; t.iinccivHhln a conception which, wiilioiit l>riri;.'iii{; onrsttlvcs lo our wits end, <,;iri M.iKCcIy lic ni.idc dislinc^ of itself, as it even trt:i^t:^ that, Upon which bottoms the (,f,^il,al.Ie.



micr piion of llic uhsotutely necessary Exis- til ice ill a^n^raU

Alisohitply necessi is in ilsvlf jinposiiibj



ly right nominal exposition. But if I ask. Upon iwhat does it depend , that the non- entity of a thing shall be absolutely im- possible? that is what I am looking for, the real exposition , which only can be useful to us for our end. All our conceptions of the internal necessity, in the properties of pos-r sible things, of wharever nature they may be, tend to this, namely, that the contrary con- tradicts -ii self. But when an absolutely neces- sary existence is concerned, one would en- deavour to understand any thing of it by the same mark with bad success. Existence is no predicate at all, and the nullifying of existen- ce no negation of a predicate, by which some- thing in a thing could be annulled, and an internal contradiction arise. The annulling of an existing thing is a total ncj^ation of all that which is absolutely posited by its exist- ence. The logical references between the thing as a possible thing and its predicates re- main however. But the5e are totc'illy different from the absolute position of the thing to- gether with its predicates; as therein consists existeriqe. Accordingly it is not just what is posited in the thing, but something else that is annulled by the nonentity, and herein there is consequently never a contradiction. In the last -contemplation of this work all this,' in the case , where the absolutely necesssary ex- istence was actually meant, will be rendered more convincing by a clear unfolding of this fimess. The necessity in the predicates of •^ possible conceptions may however be >cal necessity. But tliat, whose Q 3 chief


till--:- ~-]<uni. 1 im investigating, namelv, that .:^cin.-:. L; ::2<f absolute real necessUv. I

1 ^. iiuc -viae Iim absolutely to consider as .1:^^ in.i iJipo»dib)e, must destroy e\-ery ■^1.:^^ :■: ^•. ..i2l-i. For if there still remained

ic;iiii t; ■I'-' ^nin g to think of, it were not
  • .•: — '- uiL'o^itable , and absolutely impo^

'J ; reiiect a moment lyhy that which con- ' zz.i>ii>:zs Luelf is absolutely nothing and im- aoa*ibie, I obsene that, as thereby the posi- tion or contradiction, the last logical ground u; ill that is cogitable , is annulled , all pos- fibiliry ^anishes, and nothing is left to think c:. 1 i[uickly perceive that when X annul all «xL-;tfnce in ceneral, and hereby the last real s^ound of all that is cogitable drops, in like LUiTLuer all possibility vanishes, and nothing lu,'-'; ttniains to think of. Therefore something CJU b* absolutely necessary, either when by i;> ,-,■:; Iran.- the formal of all that is cogitable is irr.r.^t-d, -that is , when it contradicts itself, c: w h<;n its nonentity nullifies the material of iV. t^A[ i$ cogitable, and all the data thereto. I'rc- roinwr, as aforementioned, never has j-',i*v in existence, and as no third is possible, «--.:hov the conception of the absolutely neces- M'.N c-xistence is a very illusory and false con- t-t-.*::iM\, or it must rest upon the' nonenlity I't a thing's being at the same time the nega- tion ot the data of all that is cogitable. That this conception , lio' ^'(:; . is not but something tr chv '




' An absolutely necessary Being existeth.

All possibility presupposes something ac- tual , wherein and "wherebv all that is co«;it- able is given. There is therefore a certain actuality, whose annulling would annul even all internal possibility in general. But that, whose annulling or negation destroys all pos- sibility, is absolutely necessary. Consequently there exists of necessity something absolute, " . So far it is clear that an existence of one or more things forms the basis of even all pos- sibility, and that this existence is in itself necessary. Hence may be easily tal;en the conception of contingency. According to the nominal exposition contingent is that whose contrary is possible. But in order to find its real 'exposition, the following mode of dis-

. tinction must be attended to. In the logical sense that, as a predicate, is contingent in a subject, whose contrary does not contradict it. Exefnpli gratia^ it is contigent to a triangle in* general that it is rectangular. This con- tingency has place in tKe reference of the pre-

. dicates^o their subjects only, and suffers, ' ^ because existence is no predicate , no applica- tion at all to existence. In the real sense, on the other hand, that, whose nonexistence can be thought, id est^ whose annulling does not

^annul all that is cogitable,, is contingent. 'If

tfore the internal possibility of things

~it presuppose a certain existence, this

Lt, as its contrary annuls not the

"(T, That existence, whereby

~ Q 4 the

248 £$SilTSAND

■ -

the material to all tliat is cogitable is not given, without which therefore there ^s yet something to think of, that is, possible, whose contrary, in the real sense is possible/ is in t]ie very same sense contingent also.

The necessary Being is One,

I ■

As the necessary Being compriseth the last real ground of all other possibility, every other thing is but so far possible as it is given by him as a ground. Therefore every other. thing can have place but as a consequence of him, and of course the possibility and ex- istence of all other things are dependent upon him. But any thing which is itself dependent comprises not the last real ground of all pos- sibility, and therefore is not absolutely ne- cessary. Consequently several things cannot be absolutely necessary.

Suppose A is a necessary being, and*B another. Thus by means of the exposition, B is but so far possible, as it is given by an- other ground A, as its consequent. But as by mearfs of the presupposition B itself is neces- sary , so its possibility is given in it as a pre- dicate, and not as a consequence of another ground, and yet only as a consequence ac- cording to the foregoing^ which is incon- sistent.

. 4. The




The necessary Being is simple.

That nothing composed of many substanc- es can be an absolutely necessary being it ^fident from* what follows. . Let us suppose that there is but one of his parts absolutely necessary, the others collectively are possible by it but as consequences, and belong not to it as collateral parts. Imagine to yourself that several or all of them are necessary , this contradicts the foreoroing" number. Conse- quently there remains nothing else than that they must exist every one apart contingently, but all together absolutely necessarily. Now this is impossible, because an aggregate of substances can have no more necessity in the existence , than belongs to the parts , and as none at all belongs to these, but theii existen- ce is contingent, that of the whole must like- wise be contingent. Should one imagine to be able to rely upon* the exI)osition of the ne- cessary Being , by saying that in every one of . his parts are the last data of an intem'al pos- sibility , in all collectively of all that is pos- ' • sible, something totally absurd, only in a concealed manner, would be represented. For if the internal possibility is so imagined, that some parts may be annulled, yet so, that what is given cogitable by the other parts may remain , thus it would need to be repre- sented that it is in itself possible, that the internal possibility may be negated or annid- led. But it is totally incogitable and contra- dictory tliat something is nothing , and this

Q 5 signifies





,^ tno

the materi

^ TO internal possibi-


given, «ii something

-jii cuffiublc, whence «■ (0 ever)' coj^iiable

conuflry i

«s, whose annulling

tjievery ,.

-.■i"'itv, thnL iiier»<

. loiiiicl of nti HIk

i;i 11 rtJ- flll jiossibi- :

- 'V<iu«ncu tliis ffiound <

. ^llet-eni substances. *'



  • '


"■-. ;:; i( immutable and



•unl. t


MLi' IlP'


iJ rvm-y oiiierpossibilitTp, .r.,:c, no other mode of ic, that is to «av,*lhe . isht in different man- . ,^ is Uioroiighly deter- i»i\v 18 possible bill b«-


  • 1'

lui |M)ssibiUty of him has uir rts he in fact exists; he is V m no Other wny thjiii as he .•usetiuenrly cannot be either i^iwHn imotbei- ninmier. His ' abautiKi'ly impossihle, of '. .Mi<) Hissoliii.ion Mfiio liUb*

TASATI8E9. t^l



The necessary Being comprehendeth the highest


As the data to all possibility must be to be met with in him, either as his designations; or as consequences , which are given by him as the first real ground , it is obvious that all reality is in one way or another comprehended by him. But these very designations, by which this Being is the chief ground of all possible reality, place in him the highest de- gree of real properties that can ever belong to a thing. As such a Being then is the most real of all possible, beings, all others being possible but by him , so this is not to be un- • derstood, as if all possible reality belonged to his designations. This is a confounding of conceptions, which has hitherto exceedingly- prevailed. All realities are bestowed upon . God or the necessary Being without distinc- tion as predicates, without perceiving that they never can possibly have place in one single subject as designations beside one an* other. The impenetrability of bodies, exten- sion &c., cannot be properties of him, who is possessed of an intellect; and of a will. It is but all evasion to endeavour not to hold the above-mentioned qualities true reality. The p^cussion of a body, or the power of t^hevion / is beyond all doubt something

|^^!tiye. And the pain in the sen-

' -'^^ animated being is by no means

a. An erroneous thought


_t^ 1

signifies that, To ai^ lity, is to deairoy alii is manifest thiu the ■'«  must be given in thscj is the contraiy of all piM fore what conlnins the I/idi temal possiliility: containti lity in general, by ctinsw cannot be divided into i'~

The necessary Being n eternti>

' AsevenhJs own andevj^a presuppose this existence, his existence is possible, *< necessary Being cannoC ex*..

  • liers. * All that Exists h

mined, as this Being now 1 cause he exists, so no pojj

' place, excejif so far as he ■ therefore possible in no 015 is actual. He consequent determined or altered in g nonexistence is abgotaq course his origin and » wise, therefore is he eg

I'lK iitJCftssnry Being compi-isetli the ll'iirvnmid of qH other possibility^, the A'litita and negations of the casettce itHt also lie in hliii; whioli, were 1 ^ might Dccasion the oonclusion, iiffielf nmst have nt^gationu amoii^ and by no means nothing but I let Iiis established conceplinn be In his existence is ori;^inaUy possibiliiy. As there are otliec , of which he compiiseth the teal ♦ollows according to the principle »*r>Jon that it is not Uic j-ossibility

  • ' r«al Being hinisclf, and hence

■ .leeds be such possibilities as cfon- ■ .ns and wonts.

iicntly the possibility of all'other 'li regard to what is real in them,, t the necessary Being, as a real L lite wants, thereupon, because they I ihings and not ihe first Being hini- Ingical ground. The possibility of ,ir as it has cxteii.siun, powers Sec, i in the Chief of all beingS; so fitr rer of thinking is wnnling to ir i negation lies in itself, according [lion of i;i)ntra diction, •^« iji llieraselves, in fatt, are not logitabli:; whifli ni.iy be rcn- e in tliE follow ing oiaiincrr. linftl'tit Tiflfjnlion?:, iintfiijii' iit - — ,i,.l . ,, ,.,. ■■ ■ _ .^ Ih-


justified in appearance such a representatiota, \%. is said reality never contradicts reality , be- cause both are true affirmations; consequent* ly .they collide not with one another in a sub- ject. Though I grant that there is here no logical collision , the real repugnance is not; thereby removed. This has always place, when something as a ground annihilates by a real opposition the consequence of something else. The motive power of a body in one di- rection and the'tendence in the same degree in the o])posite involve no contradiction. They are actually possible in a body at the same time. But the one annihilates the real consequence of the other and , as otherwise the consequence of each in particular would be an actual motion, it is at present of both together in one subject o, that is, .the con- sequence of these opposite powers of motion is rest. Rest, however, is w^ithout doubt pos- sible, whence it is evident that the real re- pugnance is very different from the logical, or contradiction; for, what is consequent there- of is absolutely impossible. But in the most real Being there can'be no real repugnance or positive collision of his ov/n designations, as the consequence thereof would be a privation or a want, \vhich is inconsistent with his highest reality, and as, if all realities lay in him as designations, such a collision must arise, they cannot be collectively in him as predicates, therefore, as they are all given by him , they belong to either his designations or his conserjuences.

At first sight it might appear to follo\7



. that , as the necessary Being compriseth the last real ground of all other possibility, the ground of wants and negations of the essence of things must also lie in him ; which , were it admitted, might occasion the conclusion^ that he himself must have negations among his predicates, and by no means nothing but reality. But let his established conception be considered. In his existence is originally given his own possibility. As there are other possibilities , of which he compriseth the real ground, it follows according to the principle of contradiction that it is not the j^ossibility of the m'ost real Being himself, and hence there must needs be such possibilities as c*on- tain negations and wants.

• Consequently the possibility of all 'other things, with regard to what is real in them,, rests upon the necessary Being, as a real ground, but the wants, thereupon, because they arc other things and not the first Being him- self, as a logical ground. The possibility of body , so far as it has extension , powers &c., is grQunded in the Chief of all being* ; so far as the power of thinking is wanting to it (body), this negation lies in itself, according to the position of contradiction.

Negations in themselves , in fact , are not something, or cogitable; which may be ren- dered conceiva|)le in the following manner. Lay down nothing but negations, nothing at all is then given, and not any thing to be thought of. Negations are therefore cogitable but by the opposite positions , or rather, po- sitions, which are nob the greatest, arc pos- sible.


sible. And, herein lie according to the pro* position of identity the negations themselves. It is evident that all negations inherent in the possibilities of other things presuppose no real ground (as they are nothing positive) therefore, only a logical one.





' 1.

The necessary Being w a Spirit.


It was proved above that the necessary Being is a simple substance, as also that not only all other reality is given by him as a ground, but that the greatest possible reality, which can be comprised in a being as a de- signation , is inherent in him. Now different proofs can be given that to him appertain the properties of understanding and of will. For in the first place, both are true realities and both may consist with the greatest possible reality in one thing; which latter, thoilgh it cannot properly speaking be t)ronght to that distinctness, which logically perfect proofs require , one is compelled to grant by an im- mediate judgment of understanding.

Secondly, the properties of a spirit, in- tellect and will , are. c^ that nature , that we

'■ can


can conceive no reality, which could suifi-i ciently make amends for the want of them. And as these properties are those which are capable of the highest degree of reality, and also belong to the possible ones , so must be possible in others by the necessary Being, -as a ground, understanding and will, and all reality of the spdritiial nature, which would not however be niet with as a designation in him. Therefore the consequence would be greater than even the ground. For it is cer- tain that, if the Supreme Being hath not in- tellect and a will, every other, who is posited, through him , with these properties , though he is dependent, and has many other "wants, ^of power &c. , must relatively to these proper- ties outdo him in the highest degree in rea- lity. But, as the consequence cannot surpass ^ the ground, tlie necessary simple Substance must be endowed with intellect and a will as properties, that- is, he is a Spirit.

Thirdly, order, beauty, perfection in all that is possible, presupposes a Being in whose properties these references are either grounded, or at least by whose essence the things are possible conformably to these references as from a chief ground. Now the necessary Being is the sufficient real ground of every thing else that is possible without him, consequently that property, by which conformably to these 'references all without him can become actual, is to be met w^ith. But it seems that the ground of the external possibility, unless a ^will cyonformable to the understanding be pre- supposed, is not sufficient to order, beauty


. ifc


and perfection. These properties must there- fore be attributed to the Supreme Being.

Every body knows , that, notwithstanding all the grounds of the production of plants and trees, regular flower-gardens, avenues &c., are not possible but by an understanding that designs, and a will that executes them. All potency, all productive or plastic power, as also all other data to possibility without an understanding, are insufficient to render com- plete the possibility of such order.

From one of the grounds here alleged,- or from them collectively, may be deduced tjie proof that the Necessary Being hath a will and understanding, by consequence must be a Spirit. I shall content myself with merely rendering the argument complete. It is not my intention to offer a formal demonstration.


There is a God.

Something absolutely necessary exists. This is one in its essence , simple in its substance, a spirit according to its nature, eternal in its duration, immutable in its quality, all-suiE- cient relatively to all that is possible and actual. There is a God. I here give no de- terminate exposition of tlie concepldon pf God. I would need to do this, if. I had a mind 'to contemplate my object ^ystAjr I here exhibit is but the one may ^ualifjt;. ly*

mi ■^'

.»» ■ ■


trine. Meanwhile let the exposition o^the conception of God be ordered as one thinks fie, I am certain that that Being, whose exist- ence we have but just now evinced, is that Divine Being , whose distinctive sign will in one way or another be reduced to the shortest denomination.



As nothing more appears from the third contemplation, than that all reality must be given , either in the necessary Being as a de- signation , or by him as a groimd , till then it xnust remain undetermined , whether the pro- perties of understanding and of the will are to be met with in the Supreme Being as his designations, or if tJiey are to be considered as merely consequences of other things through him. Were the latter, his nature would, not- withstanding all the excellencies of this first Being, which are evident from the sufficiency, unity and independence of his existence as a great ground, be far inferiour to that which one must conceive, when he thinks of a. God. For without cognition and resolution he would be a blind necessary ground of other things, and even of other spirits, and be distinguished in nothing from- the eternal fate of a few an- cients, but m bemg more comprehensibly |be4* ,!li4fl| is the reason why in every ^';4ftr^|i^^ .attientlon muse be paid to vtiiaS?M^-£ii^^^j «nd why we could not

..<*• R In

•v •• • \



the whole connexion of all


hitliett^H nv proSf ■

I have nowhere used ihe word p«rieclion. ZSIot as it I held all reality as much as all pcrfep- tion, or that the greatest agreement to on) constitutes it, I have weighty reasons to diffj very much from this judgment ofmanyothm After having made long and aaref^l investiga lions concerning the conception of perfecUoi both in general and in particular, I havf learned that in a more exact Imowledge of fl there lies a great deal concealed, which cai enlighten the nature of a spirit, of our Dw feeling, and even the fiist conceptions of prad tical philosophy.

I perceive that the word peifection in L few cases suffers, according to the insecurity of every language, degenerations from Llio proper sense, which deviate pretty far, hut that it, in the signirication , to which e^-wy body chiefly attends, even in lliose aberra* tioms," alwp"^ t^raw....!."'"* ^ y^'- being, will' I i>n, Alj

it would I the arptimti.L i.. - this rL'feicnce, il-i the foundation u !■


i^ lUil !il iul J




After the proofs already given every one may ver^' easily add so obvious consequences, as arc the following: I, who conceive I, am not so absolutely necessary a being, for I am not the ground of all reality, 1 am variable: NO other being, whose nonexistence is possible, that is, whose annulling does not at the same time annul all possibility, no varJable thing, or in which there are limits, consequently the world is not of such a nature: The world is not an accident of the Deity, because in it are met with collision , want, mutability, all contraries to the designations of a Divinity; God is not the sole substance that exists there, andall other substances tliere are but dependent upon him 8Cc.

I shall add but a few words. The argu- inen.c for the existence of God, which we ad- duce, is built upon something's being possible only. Consequently it is a' proof that can be E^- given perfectly a priori. Neither my existen. ce, nor that of other spirits, not that of the corporeal world is presupposed. It is in fact ► tnken from the internifl criterion of absolute f jnecessity. The existence of tliis Being is V cognised in this manner from what actually i&dlutes his absolute necessity, therefore jgenelically, '

T proofe that might otherwise be given

t this Being as a cause from

f they proved ever so strict-

" nrer can render the nature

K a of


of this necessity comprehensible, because somelhing exists of absolute necessi- ty, is it possible that something is a first cause of other things, but of something's being a first, i<i est, independent, cause, is a con- sequence but that when the effects exist, jtiust lihewise exist, but not that it exists X an absolutely necessary manner.

As it is farther evident from the recoi mended argument that all the essence of othor' tilings and^he real of all possibility are ground- ed in iliis one Being, in which is to be met witli the greatest degree of understanding and of a will , which is the greatest possible', ground, and as in such a one all must bei|a the gieateA possible consension , it may be previously gathered, that, as a will always presupposes the internal possibility of the thing itself, the ground of possibility, tliat is, the essence of God is in tlie greatest concord ■witlrhis will, not as if God were by liis will the ground of the internal possibility, bi because the very same infinite nature, which' has the reference of a ground to alt the eiscno-' cs of things, has at the same lin rence of the highest desire to the sequences thereby i^i\«n , iind 'i.. i

be fruitful by th^' ..^ r, ,

mer only. Cun i ,,

the things tliein-

Divine n^iti" . . j . ■ ■ .

in this ai;r' i

tion. -A"!"; ■ ■ ■ I ■■ ■

tl,,- .■■■- ■ ■ . . 1. : . .



1- t


e s a t


TREATiaKS. abi

But if we perceive by a mature }udo;ment of the essential properties of things, which are known to us by experience , even in the necessary designations of their internal pos- sibility a unity in the multifarious, and con- sonance in the separated, we may conclude back on one single principle of all possibility by the way of cognition a posteriori, and find ourselves at last at the fundamental concep- tion of the absolutely necessary existence, from which we first set out by tbe way of cognition a priori. Our design shall now be directed to see, whether in even the internal possibility of things there are to be met with a necessary reference to order and harmony, and unity in tliis immense multifarious, in order that we may be able to judge, whether the essences of things themselves agnize a chief common giouud.






OF God IS concluded a posteriori.


The Unity in the Multifarious of the Essences of Things evinced by the Properties of


'J'he necessary designations of space aflFord the geometrician no common pleasure, not only by the evidence in the conviction and the exactness in the execution, but by the extensive compass of application, and the wRole human cognition has nothing; to exhibit that approaches , much less surpasses it. But I am at present to contemplate the same ob- ject in a very different point of view. I con- s^er it with a philosopliic eye , and perceive


TAEATI8E8. 2^3


that in so necessary designations order and harmony prevail, and in a prodigious multi- farious congruity and unity. For instance, I have a mind that a space shall be boimded by the motion of a straiorht line round a fixed point. I comprehend very easily that I there- by describe- a %ircle, which in all its points is at equal distances from the aforesaid fixed point. But I 'find no g>ccasion at all by a construction so simple to piPesume much mul- tifarious, which is just thereby subjected to great rules of order. Meanwliile I discover that all straight lines', which ,, drawn from any point at pleasure within the circle, cross one another, and touch i:he circiimference , are alwaH^cut in geometrical proportion;^ as also that^n those, which, drawn from a point without the circle, intersect it, are always cut into such parts, as are in the inverse ratio to their whole. When- one considers how many different situations these lines may assume, by intersecting tlie circle as abovementioned, and perceives how they constantly rank under the same laws, from which they cannot deviate, it is, notwithstanding that its truth is easily comprehended, something unexpected that so little preparation in thq describing of this figure, arid yet so much order, and in the multifarious a unity so perfect follow there- from.

Were it propdsed That oblique planes in

different inclinations towards the horizon, yet

arranged of such a length, that free rolling

. bodies .might arrive at the bottom directly at

the same time, every body that understands

R 4 the


the mechanical laws perslpects that to this belong various preparations. But these arrange- ments are to be found in the circle of itself with great variation of the situations, and. yet in every case with the greatest justness. For the chords that touch the vertical dia- meter, whether they proceed from its upper- most or imdermost point , according to any inclinations one pluses, have collectively this in common , that the free fall through til em happens in equal times. I remember that r*Ti intelligent youth, to whom I demons- trated this proposition, when he understood every thing well, was thereby no less struck, than if it had been a miracle. And in fact one is surprised by so strange a union ^fithe multifarious according to such fertile rJHf in a thing appearing so common and simple as is a circle, and justly filled with admiration. There is no wonder of nature which , by the beauty or the order that prevails therein, gives more cause for astonishment, it must then have happened because the reason of it is not to be perspected so distinctly, and admiration is a daughter of ignorance.

The field upon which I collect memorable things is so full of them, that, without going a step farther, innumerable beauties present themselves on the very spot where we are. There are solutions of geometry, where that, which seems to be possible but by extensive preparations, exhibits itself as it were with- out any art in the thing itself. These are found curious by every body, and this the more , the less one has to do with them , and



the more entangled the solutioir seems to be. The circular ring betwixt two circles , which have a common centre , has a figure very dif- ferent from a circular surface , and it appears at first difficult and artful to every body, to transform it into this .figure. But as soon as I perspect that the line touching the internal circle drawn -so far , till it cuts on both sides the perijJhery of the greater , is the diameter of this circle , whose surface is directly equal to the contents of the circidar ring, J cannot but express some surprise at the simple mode, in which the quaesituvi manifests itself so easi*- ly in the nature of the thing itself, and in this there is almost nothing to be attributed to my labour.

In order to remark iif the different proper- ties of space unity in the gieatest variety and connexion in what seems to have a necessity quite separate from the othier, we havQ cast an eye but to the circle , which has yet innumer- able properties , of which a small part only is known. Hence may be concluded what im- mensity of such harmonical references, of ' ^vhlch the higher geometry exposqfi many to view in the relations of the different sptecies of curves, lies besides in the properties of space, and all, besides the exercise of the understanding by their cogitable introspec- tion , move the feeling in a similar or rather more sublime manner than the contingent beauties of nature.

If in such dispositions of nature one is entitled to inquire after a ground of so very extensive a consension of the multifarious, must

R 5 one



one be less so* in perceiving the symmetry anl the unity in ihe infinitely mfinil'old designv lions of space, is this harmony less surprising! because il is necessary? I hold it on that 80 count but the more so. And as that many, which every one has its particular mid i pendent iieccssity, never could have on consistence and unity in the reciprocal reft rewces , is not one thereby led just as well , i by the harmony in the casual preparations c nature , to the presumption of a Chief Groum even of the essences of things, as the i of the ground occasions unity Ukewi^ in I circuit of all the conse(juence:>?

The XJji'ity in the Muttifarious of the.EiiQ of Things evinced in what is neci the Laws of Motion.

When there is discovered in natun order, which seems 10 be designed on acctf of a particjiJar end , as it would not h seined itself merely according lo t' properties of matter, we consideri^ siiion as contingent, and ii* tlt» r of a choice. If new a- use, and' particularly nr adjusted show thi?"t'--l' - the same niaun(.-L ■ ■ ■

forei^to tbonac.i. in this hannutn, f" »ome one so tfi ci <


cause can be given , why the claws of the cat, of the lion &c. are so formed as to be sheathed, as if some author had so designed them , in order to be secured from wearing away, as these animals must have stiltable instruments to seize and to hold fast their prey. But when certain more general qualities inherent in matter besides any advantage they yield, and on whose account it may be represented that they were so ordered>{ ' show, without tlie smallest new preparation, a peculiar iltness for still more consensipn, when a simple law, which every body will find necessary for thq sake of a certain good only, yet shows an ex- tensive fertility in many other things , when other advantages and consistencies ilow from it ^vitbout art, or rather of necessity, when finally this is foimd throughout the whola material nature, thorough references to unity and to connexion manifestly lie in even the essences of things , and an universal harmony di£fuses itself over the very kingdom of possi- bility. This occasions an admiration at so much fimess or natural congruity which , as . it xtenders the painful and forced art unneces- sary^, quiver can itself be .attributed to chance, but pointa out 4 umcrJyingin the possibili- ties themtolvcs a»d the common dependence , of even tlie esiieacca of things upon a Single Qtt**- &raimd. 1 shall by a £^ easy example^ en4o«rcmr 10 render this ver^- vat ciuiosity ^diailncE, by ovefuUy foUo-ft ^he method, at is jjtit- (vly certain ucral judg^,

• One


One reason among a thousand may | be chosen, why an atmosphere may be considered as necessary, if it is absolutely required to have an end as a ground , whereby a disposi* lion in nature was fust occasioned. This I grant, and name the respiration of men and animals as the ultimate purpose of this dis- posiLu-n. Now this atmosphere by the same properties and no more than are requisite to respiration only produces an infinity of beau* tiful consequences, which happen of necessity and need not be promoted by peculiar predis- positions. The very same elastic power and gravity of the air render suction possible^ without which young animals must want nourishment, and the possibility of the pump is a necessary consequence of them. By them it happens that humidity rises from the great reservoirs of water in exhalations or vapours, w^liich are condensed into clouds that embel- lish the day, frequently mitigate the excessive heat of the sun , but chiefly serve to moisten the arid ref!:;ions of the earth. The twilight, w^hich lengthens the day, and by impercep- tibly intervening degrees renders the transi- tion from nif2:ht to day innocuous to the eye, and principally the winds are quite natural consequents of them. Let us suppose that a person should project a design, how the coasts of the wai;m climates, which are neces- sarily warmer than the inlands, could enjoy * a somewhat more supportable heat, a 9^* >=.. breeze, which for this purpose must l3!li^K^,.filji^ during the hottest part of the day , Wfiiil^yBkii \ most naturally occiu: to him. ' Bat*





the night it grows much sooner cold at sea than upon the land, it might not he good that the same wind should constantly blow, he would wish that it had pleased Providence so to order it, that in the middle of the night the wind should return from the land, whit^h might also serve for other purposes. The ques- tion now would be, but by what mechanism and artificial Arrangement this regular change of wind could be maintained, and in this there would be great reason to apprehend that, aa man cannot require that all the laws of nature shall be suited to his convenience, this mean might indeed be possible, but so incon* gruous with the other necessary dispositions,

(that the Supreme Wisdom would not find it good to order it. All this deliberation, how- evet, is unnecessary. What a disposition choseQ on reflection would do , the air per- forms here according to the universal laws of motion, and the veiy same simple principle of its other usefulness produces these likcwiae without new and particular dispositions. The ajr rariiied by tlit: Iieat of the day upon the burn- ing ground of such a country necessarily yields to the denser and heavier upon the cool sea, and occasions tlie seahrccze, which on that account blows from the hottest hours of ihe diiy till late in the evening, and the Soa- Air, wiiich ftKin the sanie cau&e.-« was not so much iiuated duilmr thu dav. as that upon Uie i.m. I . , ■ , -I'racts itself^

lff\i\ ■ ■ land -air ni

. ni^t:' ..!'.' ' I Mlie coasts of

I Uitt tu»iU' Atiao eitju)- t.iu> vicuiaitutle of vi ]r.<'.

i i



fully independent nature, by a strongj cliance every tiling should be so exactly suite* as to be cunsoitiiiit to oiieanot)ici- and on t whole unity lesiitt. But, tlint ibis coiuCna; principle must nbt refer to the existence i this matter merely and to ilic properties colli ^iinlcated to ic, bill even to tlie possibilin of ninlter in general and to being itself, i perfectly obvious, because that whicli ," fill a space, wbat is to be capable of the m^ tioM of percussion and of gravitation , canna| at all be conceived on other conditions, ihiiiafl are those, whence the abovenamed laws r" necessity flow. In this manner may it bo \ perspected that the motive Jaws oy'mntfrr a absolutely necessary, that is, when the poj sibility of mutter is presupposed, it is conti^ diciory to it to act according lo otlier law which is a logical necessity of llic biglicdL sort: that howler the int^nal possibility ofl matter itself, namiily, the data and the r upon which this cogitable bottom , is i given independently or of itself, but is posited by some one principle, in which the molLi- farious receives unity, and thedisLuict, coi^ ne>don; which e\inces i be contingency oft laws of moLion in the rCoI :>ensc.



THINGS UPON God aT i-in; ^ronAi. Axrp tH



is a ground of it I


bill every thing else is not morat. If there- fore I maintnin tliat God containeth the last grouiid itself of the internal possibility of things , every body easily understands that this dependence can be but not moral ; for the will makes nothing possible, but resolves upon that only which is aheady presupposed as possiMe. So far as God comprehendelh the ground of the existence of things, I grant that this dependence is always moral, that is, that they exist, because he hath willed that tlicy should be.

The internal possibility of things presents to him who determined its existence mate- rials, which comprise an uncommon lUness for consension, and a congmity, lying in tlieir essence, to a whole beautiful and orderly in a manifold manner. That there is an at- mosphere may because of the ends to be there- by attained be attributed to God as a moral groimd. But, that so great a fertility lies in the essence of a single and so simple groimd, so much fitness and harmony lying in. its pos- sibility, w^hich require not new arrangements, in order to be suitable to other possible things conformably to the various rules of order of a M'orld, certainly cannot, on the other hand, be attributed toa free choice: because all reso- lution of a will presupposes the cognition of the possibility of what is to be resolved on.

All that, whose ground must be sought in a free choice/ Must so far be contingent. Now the union of miiny and various consequences, Vbicli of neceiSiLy flow from one ground, is nlingcnt union i Llicit^rjit "is cannot ft be


be ascribed to a voluntary determination. We have already seen that the possibility of xhe pump, of respiration, of the raising of fluid niatter into vapours , of winds &c. , are inse- parfble from one another, because they all depend upon one pronnd, the elasticity and gravity of the air, iience this ag;reement ofithe multifarious in one is by no niennS contin- gent, and consequently not to be attributed to a moral giound.

I proceed here but on the reference, which the essence of tlie aii-, or of every other thing has to the possible producing of so many beau- tiful consei^uences , tliat is , I contemplate but the fiutess of their nature for so many ends, and there the unity, on account of the con- seiision of a single ground ^vitli so many pos- siijle consequences, is certainty necessflty, »nd those possible- consequences are so far inse> parable from one another and from the thing ilscif. ■ As to the actual producing of this use, it is so far contingent, as one of the things, to which the thing refers, is wanting, <nr a' forcij^n power can impede the effect.

In the properties of space lie beautiful rda- tions, and in the imniensurable multifarious of iLs (iu terminations an adniirable/tmity. The existence cf all this consistency^ so far as natter must fill space, is, togethfr > ili ,M its consequences, to be attributed i< ! trenient of the First Cause; but witl to the uniting of so ti:;inicon one another, whi* mony with th^ tbiiij be absurd





but every thing else is not moral. If there- fore I maintain that God contained! the last ground itself of fhe internal possibility of things , every body easily understands that this dependence can be but not moral ; for the will makes nothing possible, but resolves upon that only which is already presupposed as possiWe. So far as God comprehendelh the ground of the existence of things, I grant that this dependence is always moral, that is, that they exist, because he hath willed that they should be.

The internal possibility^ of things presents to him who determined its existence mate- rials, which comprise an uncommon fitness for consension, and a congruity, lying in their essence, to a whole beautiful and orderly in a manifold manner. That there is an at- mosphere may because of the ends to be there- by attained be attributed to God as a moral ground. But, that so great a fertility lies in the essence of a single and so simple ground, so much fitness and harmony lying in its pos- sibility, which require not new arrangements, in order to be suitable to other possible things conformably to the various rules of order of a world, certainly cannot, on the other hand, be attributed to a free choice: because all reso- lution of a will presupposes the cognition of the possibility of what is to be resolved on.

All that, wliose ground must be sought in a free choice, must so far be contingent. Now the imion of many and various consequences, which of necessity flow from one ground, is not a contingent imion ; therefore this cannot

Vol. U. S be


£74 £8sa'ts and

be ascribed to a voluntary determination. We have already seen that the possibility of the pump, of respiration, of the raising of fluid jnaiter into vapours , of winds &cc% , are inse- parable from one another, because they all depend upon one ground, the elasticity and gravity of the air, lience this agreement of/the multifarious in one is by no meanS contin- gent, and consequently nqt to be attributed to a moral ground.

I proceed here but on the reference, which th% essence of the aii', or of every other thing has to the possible producing of so many beau- tiful consequences , that is , I contemplate but the fitness of their nature for so many ends, and there the unity, on account of the con- sen sion o:f a single ground with so many pos- sible consequences, is certainty necessary, and these possible- consequences are so far inse- parable from one another and from the thing itself.' As to the actual producing of this use, it is so far contingent, as one of the things, to which the thing refers, is wanting, or a foreign power can impede the efleci.

In the properties of space lie beautiful rela- tions, and in the immelisurable multifarious of its determinations an admirable unity. The existence cf all this consistency, so far as n^ a tier must fill space, is, together with all its consequences, to be attributed to the arbi- trement of the First Cause; but with regard to the uniting of so many consequences with one another, which are all in so great har- mony Avith the things in the world, it would be absurd to seek them again in a will. Among



Other nccessar} consequences of the nature of the air is to be numbered that, by which resist- ance is mdde to the substances therein moved. The drops . of rain , when they fall from a great height, are stopped by it, and descend with a moderate velocity, as without this retardation they would acquire a very destruc- tive power in falling from such a height. This is an advantage which, as without it the air is not possible, is not conioined with its other properties by a particular decree. The cohesion of the parts of matter Itiay, for instance, in water, be a necessary consequence of the possibility of matter in general, or a particularly arranged order, the immediate consequence thereof is the circular figure of small parts of it, as drops of rain. Thereby however is possible according to very general, laws of motion the beautifullv variegated rainbow, which, when the sun beams through the falling drops of rain, stands above the horizon with a moving magnificence and regu- larity. That fluid matter and heavy bodies exist, can be attributed but to the desire of this mighty Author, but that a cosmical body- in its fluid state endeavours to assume in a quite necessary manner in,;Consequence of so universal %ws a ' globular form , which after- wards harmonizes bfttter with the other ends of the universe than any other possible form, as such a surface is susceptible of the most uniform division of light, lies in the essence of the thing itself.

The cohesion of matter, and the resistance, which the parts conjoin with their separabi-

S a lity


lity, render friction, that 'is of 80 much use, necessary, and accord as well willi the order in all the various alterations of nature, as any tJiinp that has not flown from so universsl grounds, but is superadded by a particular pre p'a ration. If friction did not retard the motions, the prcser\'ing of the powers once prc<iui:ed would, by the communication Lo others, the repercussion and continual impul- sion and concussions, throw all at last into coniusion. The surfaces, upon which bodies tie, would always need to be perfectly hori- zontal, (which ihey can be but seldom) other- wise these would always slip. All twisted cords hold only by friction. For the threads, which are not of tlic wliole length ef the cord, would be drawn from one another with the smallest force, did not that of the friction conformable to the force, by which they are prcss'jd upon one anoilier by the twisting, Iteep them back.

I here prodi:ce so little regarded and com- mon consequences of the most simple and most general laws of nature, in order that as well the ^reat and inlinilely extended agree- ment, which the essence of things in general have among one another, and the great con- consequences that are to be ascribed to them, where one is not skilled enough to reduce many a disposition of nature to such simple and universal grounds, as in order that the nonsensicalness that lies therein may, when in such consensions the wisdom of God is said to be ^^Muu-liiru^^^Dund^be perceived. That tiiit^^^^^^^^^g^l^/M-.bea.uti£al ( tfftxeacGA j


references exist, is to be attributed to the wise choice of him who produced theui on account of this harmony, but that eveuy one of them compriises a so extensive fimess for manifold consonancies by simple grounds, and thereby an ^mirable unity can on the "whole be obtain™, lie in the possibility of the things themselves, and as here the con- tingent, which in ever^ choice must be pre-» supposed, vanishes, the ground of this unity may indeed be sought in a wise Being, but not by means of his wisdom,




Division of the Events of the World , so far . as they rank under the Order of Nature^

or not.

Something ranks under the order of na» ture, provided that either its existence or its alteration be sufliciendy groimded in the pow» ers of nature. Hereto is required, first, that the power of nature be the eilicient cause of it; secondly, that the manner how it is 'directed to the production of this effect be sufficiently grounded in a rule of the natural laws of effect. Such events are nam^ natural

S3 Events

. /


• * ■

events of the world merely. Whereas where this is not, the case that does not rank under such ft ground is something supernatural, and this finds place, either so £(vr as the nearest eilicient cause is without nature, that is, provided the divine power^roduce it imme- diately, or secondly, if tiff mode, in which the powers of nature are directed to this case, is but not contain ed^nder a rule of nature. In the first case I term the event Jiiaterialitery in the second f on naliter^ supernatural. As only t)ie latter case, the former being clear of itself, seems to require some illustration, I shall adduce examples of it. There are many powers in nature which have the facul- ty to destroy single men, states, or even the whole human race. Earthquakes , storms or tempests, comets Sec. It is sufficiently found- ed in the constvltiiiion of nature according to an universal law that one of these shall now and then happen. But the vices and the moral corruption of the human species arc no jiatural grounds at all that are in conjunction vriih the laws according to which it tahes place. The crimes of a city have no influence on tlie hidtlen fire of the earth, and the luxu- ries of the fust a'les belono;ed not to the efli- cient causes, which could draw down upon them the planets from their orbits. And when such a case hoj)pens, it is attributed to a na- tural law, v/hicli signifies that it is a misfor- tune, but not a punishment, th-e moral con- duct of men can be no g;round of an earth- ouake according; to a natural law, because no connexion of causes and effects «h48 here



place. When an earthquake lays waste Port lloyal in Jam<aica,* he, who names this a natural event, means that, though the \ices of the inhabitants', according to the testimo- ny of their preachers, well merited such a devastation as a judgment, this case is to be con- sidered as one of many cases, which somelimes happens, according to a universal la\v of na- ture, as rpgions of the earth, and^with these sometimes cities, and amoniz: these now and then very wiched cities are thus shaken. But, on the contrary, if it is to be considered as a punishment, these powers of nature, as they cannot have connexion with the conduct of men according to a natiu^al law , must be particularly directed in every such single case by the Supreme Being; then however is the event, though the middle cause is a power df nature, in the formal sense supematiural. -And if by a long series of preparations particularly placed in the active powers of the world ihis event should at last come to pass,, though it were supposed that God had made all the necessary dispositions in the creation that it should afterwards take place at the prgper time by the powers directed thereto in na- ture, (as this may be conceived from Wiston's theory of the flood , so far as it proceeds from a comet,) the supernatural is thereby not at all diminished, but only removed to the cre^.- tion , and by that means inexpressibly au;:;- znented. For this whole continuance of tl:e

S 4 series,

  • See Ray on the beginning, alteration and dissolution

«f the world.


series, so far as the mode of its disposition refers to the issue , as it is by no meai^s to be considered with regard to it as a consequence of universal la^s of nature, shows an im- mediate still greater divine care , which is directed to a so long chain of consequences, in order to avoid the impediments, which could occasion, to miss the exact attainment of tlie sou«rht effect.

Whereas tliere are rewards and punish- ments according to the' order of nature, be-' cause the moral conduct of men stands in con- nexion with them according to the laws of causes and effects. Wild voluptuousness and intemperance end in a life of sickness and 'torment. Tricks and cunning fail at last, and honesty is ultimately the only policy. In all this the connexion of the consequences hap- pens according to tlie laws of nature. But whatever number of those rewards, or punish- ments, or of any other events of the world tliere may be, the direction of the pOA^-^ers of nature to every single case must have always taken place in an extraordinary manner; though a certain uniformity prevails among many of them, they ^e subordinated to an immediate Divine law, to that of Divine wis- dom, but to no law of nature.

JDivision of the natural Events^ so far as they

rank under either the necessary^ or the con--

tin gent Order of Nature.

All things of nature»are contingent in their existence. The connexion of various soits


> ^


of things, for instance, earth, air, water, is ho. doubt contingent, and so far to be attri- buted -to the arbitrement of the ^Supreme Au- thor merely. But though the laws of nature seem so far to have no necessity, as the things themselves, as also connexions wherein they can be exercised, are contingent, there re- mains a species of necessity which is very re- markable. There are many laws cf nature, - whose unity is necessary, that is, where the very same ground of agreement with one law renders other laws necessary. For. example, the very same elastic power and gravity of the air are of necessity at the same time a ground of the possibility of the pump , of the possi- bility of clouds to be generated, of the main- tenance of fire, -of winds &c. It is necessary that, as soon as a ground exists but for a single one of them, the ground shall be met with for the others. On the other hand, when the ground of a certain sort of similar effects according to a law is not at the same time the ground of another sort of effects according to another law in the same being, the union of these laws is contingent or there prevails in these laws contingent unity, and what falls out afterwards in the thing, happens accord- ing to a contingent order of nature. Man sees, hears, smells, tastes &c. , but the very same properties, which are the grounds of seeing, are not those of tasting. He must have other organs for hearing , 4;han for smel- ling. The union of faculties so different is • casual and, as it tends to perfection* artifi- ^. ciaL .In every organ there is artificial unity.

S 5 In


In the eye there is a part, which allows the entrance of light, another that refracts it, and still another which receives the image. Where- as they are not different causes, that give the -globular form to the earth , that keep back the bodies on the earth against the circumgira- tion, that preserve the motion of the moon, but gravitation is the only cause, which of necessity suffices to all these. Now it is beyond a doubt a perfection that for all these effects giounds are to be met with in nature, and if the same ground, which determines the one, is also sufllcient for tlie others , the more unity thereby accrues to the whole. But this unity and with it the perfection are in the case here adduced necessary and cleave to the essence of things, and all consistence, fruitfulness and beauty, which are so far owed to it, depend, by means of ihe essential order of natiue, or by nieaus of that which is ne- cessary iii the order of nature, upon God. I hope I shall be uTulcri;tood that 1 would not have this necessit} extended to tlie existence of these thinj^s themselves, but only to the conscnsion and unity lying in their ])0ssibi- lity, as a necessary ground of a so vciy great fitness and fertility. The creatures of both the animal and vegetable Isingdom present every where tlie most admirable examj>!es of a unity continficnt indeed, but liarmonizing with great v/i.sdom. Vessels which suck in sap, vessels that inhale, those wliich elabo- rate the juice, and those that exhale it &c., a great multifarious, every single one of whicli has no fitness for the eflecls of the




Other, and where their union to the whole perfection is artificial , so that the plant itself with its references to so different ends consti- tutes a contin2;ent and arbitrable one.

whereas unorganized nature chiefly gives an inexpressible number of proofs of a neces- sary unity in the reference of a simple ground to many fit consequences, insomuch that one is inclined to presume that perhaps it may, where even in organized natm'e much perfection may at bottom seem to have its peculiar disposition , be a necessary conse- quence of the veiy same ground, which in its essential fertility with many other beautiful effects connects it, so that even in these kingdoms of nature there may be more neces- sary unity than one is well aware of. As now the powers of nature and their lav/s of action contain the ground of an order of nature AV^hich, so far as it comprehends manifold harmony in a necessary unity, occasions thai; the connexion of much perfection in one gi'ound becomes a law, so one has to contem- plate different effects of nature with regard to their beauty and usefulness under the essen- tial order of nature iind by means of it under God. As on ihe other hand, much perfection in a whole is not possible by the fruitfulness of a single ground, but requires different grounds arbitrably united with this view, so, much artificial order is the cause of a law, and the effects, which happen accordingly, range under the contingent and artificial order of nature , but by means of it under God.

.* ■ CON-








. What can he concluded from our Argument

to the Preference of the Order of Nature

above the Supernatural.

It is a SnowTi rule of philosophers , or ra- ther of sound reason in general, That without the most important reason nothing shall be holden a miracle, or a supernatural event. This rule contains, first, that miracles are rare, secondly, that the whole perfection of tlie universe is attained according: to the laws of nature conformably to the Divine will with- •out muchsujicniatural influence : iox everybody cognises That, if without many miracles the world should miss the end of its existence, supernatural events would need to be com- mon. Some are of the opinion , that the for- mal of the natural connexion of the conse- (juences with their grounds is in itself a per- fection , to which jDerhaps v/ould need to be j^oMponed a better consequent, ^vere it not Ic) be otiierwise obtained than in a super- natural manner. They "^Igpe in the natu- ral as such immediat6lj)r«' ||||^|||i|||^^|||^ause all tliat is supernatur interruption of an c d efo r mi ty . Ho we v


imaginary. Tlie good lies only in compassing the end , and is ascribed to the means but on its account. The natural order, when accord- ing lo it there are not perfect ; consequences^ has immediately no ground of a preference in itself, as it can be considered only as a sort of a mean^ which allows no proper esti- mation , but only one borrowed from the greatness of the end thereby atuined. The representation of the trouble, which men find in their immediate performances, secretly mingles itself herewith, and gives a prefe- rence to what can be trusted to other powers, even where in the issue something of the use aimed at is missed. If however one who lays the wood on a sawmill could just as well ,. without greater trouble, immediately transform it into deals, all the art of this machine, as its wliole value consists only in that of being a mean to this end, were but a plaything. Consequently something is not good, because it happens according to the course of natiue , but thq course of nature is good pro\ided that which Hows therefrom be good. And as God comprised in his decree a world, in which every thing for the most part by a natural coherence fulfils the rule of the good ; so he favoured it with his choice, not because there is tlierein a natural cohe- rence that the good is found, but because by this natural coherence without many wonders the perfect ends are the most exactly accom- plished.

And now occurs the question , How does come to pass that the imiversal laws of na- ture


ture correspond so beautifully to the will of the Supreme, in the course of ihe events of the world which happen accordiDg to them, and what ground has one to Ascribe to them this fitness, that secret supernatural expedient$, which incessantly supply their defects y must not be more frequently jiranled than they are. perceived?* Here our concc])lion of the de- . pendence o^cvcn the essence of nil things on God is of a more extensive advantage, than that which is expected from this question. The things of nature , even in the most ne- cessary determinations of their internal possi- bility, bear the mark of their dependence on that Being in himself, in whom every thing accords wiLh the properties of wisdom and goodness. From them (the things of nature) may be expected harmony, a beautiful con- nexion , and a necessary unity in the various advantageous references that a single ground has to many fit laws. It is not necessary that where nature acts according to ncccss;iry Jaws inuiicdiateDivincrei)arations should intervene, because, so far as the consequences are neces- sary accoidiiig to the order of n.TLuic, nothing that is disagreeable to God can ever fall out even


even according to the most general laws. For how should the consequences of things, whose casual connexion depends on the will of God, but their essential references as the srounds of the necessary in the order of nature proceed from that in God, which is in the greatest harmony with his attril^utes in general, how can these, I say, be contrary to his will? And thus must all the alterations of the world, w^bich are mechanical, consequently from the laws of motion necessary, always be good, because they are naturally necessary, and it is to be expected that the consequence is unimprovable , as soon as it is infallible ac- ' cording to the order of nature.* But in order to obviate all misunderstanding, I observe that the alterations in the world are either ne- cessary from the first order of the universe and the universal and particular laws of na- ture, such as is all that, which happens me- chanically in the corporeal world, or that they have in all this a contingency not suffi- ciently comprehended, like the actions from liberty, whose nature is not sufficiently per- spected. The latter species of the alterations of the w^orld, as far as it appears to have


  • If it is a necessary end of nature, as Newton irpa-

Cines, tliat a cosmical system, like that of our sun, shall finally attain a full stop and universal rest, I would not add mth him That it is necessary that God shall re- ^tablish it by a miracle. For, as it is a consequence, ^^yvhich nature according to its essential laws is of ne- ^ "Uy. determined , I presume that it is also good. This ^not to seem to us a grievous loss, for we knuw t ifnmensity plastic nature continually has in other .'ilpeeious, m order by creat fruitfuluess to repair '^^nffre this decay ot the univeilsc.




in itself a licentiousness with regard to deter- mining grounds and necessary laws , contains so far a possibility in ilself to vary from the universtil tendency of the things of nature to ' perfection. And it may on that account be expected that supernatural complements may be necessary, as it is possible that in this consideration the course of nature may be sometimes in collision with the will of God. However, as even the powers of free agents in connexion with the rest of the universe are not totally deprived of all laws, but always subjected though not to necessitating grounds, to such as render certain in another manner the exercise according to the rules of the arbi- trement; so is the universal dependence of the essence of things upon God always a great ground here to perspect in the main as fit and conformable to the rule of the good the con- sequences, which are produced, even among this sort of things, according to the course of nature, (without the seeming deviations in single cases needing to lead us astray); so that the order of nature siands but seldom in need of an immediate supernatural amend- ment or complement, as the revelation of it makes mention but relatively to certain times and to certain nations. Experience too agrees with this dependence of even the freest ac- tions upon a great natural rule. For how casual soever the resolution to marrying may be, it is found in the same country that, when great nimibers are taken, the proportion of marriages to the number of the living is pretty constant, and that, for instance, among iio persons of

- - bodi

TREATISE 3; i289

bath sexes there i3 a married couple. Every body hnows bow much the liberty of men contributes either to the lengthening or to the shortening of life. Even these free actions, however, must be subjected to a great order; as, one with another, when great multitudes are takem , the number of the dying always bears the very same proportion tovi^ards the. living. These few proofs may suffice to render in some measure intelligible that even the laws of liberty carry with them no. such licen- tiousness with respect to the rules of an univer- sal order of nature that the very same giound, which in the rest uf nature establishes in the essence of things itself an infallible reference to perfection and consistency, should not also occasion in the natural course of the free conduct a greater bent, at least, towards a complacency of the .Supreme Being withdut manifold miracles. But my attention is di- rected more to the course of the alterations of nature, so far as they are necessary by im- planted laws. Miracles in sucii an order are either not at all or but seldom necessary, be- cause it cannot be meet that there should na* turally be such defects as stand in need of them.

If I formed to myself the conception of the things of nature, which one commonly has^of them. That tlieir internal ppssibility is of itself independent and without a foreic^-n ground, I should not at all be surprised, were 'y it said that a world of any perfection is with- many supernatural ejffects impossible. I rather, find it strange and incompre- i .:.' T ' hensible,



hensible, how without a. constant series of miracles any thing good in it could be pcr- foimerl by a natuial great connexion. For it ■vVoukl be a siranpe chance, if the essences of • things, every one of which having its separate tifC'.'5>sliy> should so suit one another, that e\ ( n the Supreme Wisdom could utiite from thi.m a great whole,, in which is evident, not- ■vviihstanding so manifold dependence, unim- provable harmony and beauty according to universal laws; As, on tlie olher hand, I am instructed that, only because there is a God^ something else is possible, so I expect even from the possibilities of things a consonance conformable to their gi:eat Principle, and a fitness by universal dispositions to be con- gruous to a whole, that harmonize properly wiih the wisdom of the- same Beings from ^v1lOln they boirow their ground, and I find it even wondrous that, so far as soniethinir happens, or would happen, according to the couise of nature, agreeably to universal laws, it should be disagreeable to God and stand in need of a niiiacle for reparation, and when it comes to pass, even the occasion of it pertains to the things which soriietimes take place, but ' can never be comprehended by us.

It may be easily understood that, when the essential ground, why miracles can be seldom necessary to the perfection of the world, is pcrspected, this is vaiid of those too, v.liich in the foregoing contemplation we named supernatural events in the formal sense, and which are very frequently granted n common judgments, because by a perverted




conception one believes to find in them some- thing natural.

What can he concluded from our Argument to the Preference of either the one or the other Order of Nature.

In the procedure of the purified philosophy there prevails a rule -which, though it is not formally expressed, is always observed in the exercise; That in all investigations of causes to certain eflFects great attention must be bes- towed to maintain, as much as possible the unity of nature, that is, to derive many effects from a single ground already known , and on account of some seeming greater dissimilarity not directly to assume n^w and different effi- cient causes for different effects. It is conse- quently presumed that in nature there is great .unity with regard to the sufficiency of a single ground to various species of consequents, and one believes to have reason to consider the union of one species of phenomena with those

' of another species for the most part as some-

. thing necessary and not as an effect of an artificial and fortuitous order. How many effects are derived from the sole power of gravity, to which different causes were form- erly believed to be necessary: the rising of some bodies and the falling of others. The vortices, in order to maintain the celestial bodies in orbs, were abolished, as soon as

  • the cause of them was found in that simple

pOM^er of nature. It is presumed with great

' ' . ' . T fl , reason



reason That the expansion of bodies by heat, liplil, the electric power, thunder and lightnings, mill ]>erhaps the magnetic power of various phcTiomcna are of one sort of active •matter, whitli is every where diffused, namely, ether, and one is very unwilling to be obliged to assume a now principle for the same sort of c'liccts. Even where a very exact symmetry aj)|)cars to reijuire a particular artificial order, oi]e is obliged to attribute it to the necessary conse(|ucnce of universal laws and still to ob- serve the rule of unity before an artiAcial dis- position is laid do\vn. The snow-figures are so regular, and graceful so far beyond every chuusy thing that blind chance can produce, that the veracitv of those who have i2:iven us drawings of them oughtto be distrusted, did ju>t each winter give innumerable occasions to asstlre every body of it by proper expe- rionro, Fow ilowers, w^hicli, as far as can he outwardly perceived, sheAv more neatness and proportion, are to be met with, and ju)ihin:r tliat art can produce is to be seen more just than these jnodiictions, "which na- ture spreads over the surface of the earth Avith such profusion. . And yet it never entered into the mind of auv one to derive them from a ]>articular snow -seed, and to excogitate an arlifu ial order if nature, but tliev are ascribed as a lollatoral consequence to more general laws, which comprehend under themselves at iho same time with necessarv unitv the lonnation of tliis production."^


• Tlir /\sniT'r v^f monlJ »iaiil^r to ]: lists his in£r.:f£ rr:nr 10 r.«n-.i>cr it AiTiong iKe productionf ci tl^ t^j; •.-":>


Nature ho^wrever is rich in another species of productions, and all philosophy, that reflects on its 'mode of origin, finds itself obliged to quit this way. Great art and a casual union by free choice conformable to certain designs, are evident in it, and are at tlie same time the ground of a particular law of nature, which belongs to the artificial order of nature. The structure of animals and plants show such a disposition , to which the imiversal and necessary laws of nature are insuilicient. As it would now be absurd to consider the first generation of an animal or of a plant as a mechanical collateral conse- quence^of universal laws of nature, there still remains a twofold question , which is unde- cided by the adduced ground, namely, w^he- ther every individual of those be immediately made by God, and consequently of a super-" natural origin, and only the propagation, that is, the transition from time to time to dev elopement committed to a natural la^v, or whether some individuals of the animal and vegetable kingdoms be of immediate Divine origin, yet with a faculty, not comprehensible to us , to engender and not merely to deve- lope their like according to a regular law of nature. On both sides occur difliculties. It is perhaps impossible to make out which is the greatest difiiculty; but what concerns us , T 3 here

'According to other otscrvations , however, it

  • ' able that its apparent regularity cazi himler

■ Diaiia's tree to be looKeil upon as a coiijie- 'x>nixnoii laws of sublimation.


here is to remarlt the preponderance of the grounds only so far as Lhey are met^hysical. I'oi' instance, that a tiee by an internal mecha- nical constitution sliall be able so to form and to model the sap, that in the buds or in the seeds shnll arise something that either con- tains a similar tree in miniature, or from ■\\ iiich such an one can be produced, ,is accord- iii<: to all our knowledge in no manner to be persjicoLed. The internal forms of Buffon, aTid the elements of organized matter, which, in consequence of iheir reminiscences, accord- infi 10 ihe opinion MauperLuis, unite together conformably to the laws of appetidon and aveisalron, arc either just as unintelligible as the tjiin^ itself, or quite arbitrably excogi- taied. But at the same time that all such theories are repudiated, must another, equally arljitialjlu , be erected , namely, ti^at all these individuals arc of a supcniiilural origin, huciiuse llieir natural mode of beginning is not at all com prcii ended? Has c^ er any body rendered comprcliensible the faculty of yest to (ifiieiatc nieclianically its like? and yet one does not refer on that account to a super- natural ground.

As in this rase the origin of all such or- gaTii'^al produciioii supernatural , so it is belif is left for the natuml phi' is allowed to play with j gradual propagation. B that thereby the supematt fOrk't this supernatural f either at the time of the

oiisidered ievedUtat

as totall^r^l som e t hin&^l , ^whcn be^l ner of ■ in*-rel J






and little in different terms of time-, in llie latter case there is nothing more supcniaLiiral than in the former, for the wliole Jisiinciion does not consist in the decree of the inmiu-: diate Divine action, but in the (/un^t/o. ]Jut as to that natural order of unfolding, it is nt>t a rule of the fertility of nature, but a useless, roundabout method. For not lliu smuHe;:C degree of an immediatcDivinc action is there* by, put off. It therefore seems inevitablo, either in every_ coition to allribulc uumediaic- ly to a Divine action, the formation, of the fruit, or to allow the Hist Divine di:;))oai- tion of animals and planls n fitness, not only to develope, but actually to beget their like for the future according to a natiual law.

My sole intention' here is lo shew that a greater possibility , than usual , niitsL be granted the things of naiiue lo produce iluir conseiiuences according to universal laws.



theoh^ i?i general.

fr-mudes of cognising the existence

I ifcx filicccs may be reduced to ihe

this cognition is

of what interrupts



the order of natiirfe and immediately denotes that Potency to which nature is subjected, tliis conviction is occasioned by miracles; or ' tlie coniingciib order of nnturc^oi which is dis- tincily jjcK^ ;>ccled that it was possible in va- rious Oilier manners, in wliich however great art, jicaency and goodness are conspicuous, leads to t-ic Tjivine -Author; ot ihe necessary iiiiiiv 'A hich is perceived in nature and tlie Ciisciilia! order of ihinirs, conformable to the great ru es of perrection, in sho^'t, that which is jlct:e^^i.!ry in tlie regularity of nature leads to a Chief j'riuciple not only of this existence buL c\ en of all possibility.

Wiicn men aie grow^n quite savage, or blinded bv a stubborn wicliedness , the first mean solely seems to have some power- in irself lo convince them of the existence of the Suurcme y\e\r\^. Whereas the ri^ht conteni- plrticTi of a \voiJtli:]>oscd mind finds in so much cnsLial beauty and conjunction conformable- to-cnd, as the oicior oi nature presents, proofs enow .to conclude therefrom a Avill accom- panied with pent wisdom and ])otency, and to tliis conviction, so far as it is sufli- cicTU: to virtuous conduct, that is, morally ceiiain, the common conce])dons of under- sl::n:llna sullice. To the third mode of con- cli'diii^' philcsopliy is of necessity required an(' that onlv is susce]>iible of a hiiiher dei^ree of i'c, lo attain tlie same object with a clear- ness and conviction conformable to the great- ness of I hi truth. f%

The two Jailer modes ^ lU sico theological nietho'^


the way to ascend from tlie contemplations on nature to the cognition of God,


The Advantages and also the Faults of the

usual Physicotheology,

The chief criterion of the physicotheolo- gical method hitherto in use consists in this, That the perfection and regularity be sufli- ciently comprehended first as to tlieir contin- gency, and then the artificial order according to all references therein conformable- to -end evinced , and thence to infer and conclude a -wise and good will, but afterwards, by the superadded contemplation of the greatness of the work, the conception of the immense potency of the Author is at the same time there\vith united.

This method is excellent, first, because the conviction is extremely sensible, there- fore very striking and engaging, and yet easy and conceivable to the most common iptel- lect; secondly, because it is more natural than any other , as every one beyond a doubt begins from it first ; thirdly , because it fur- nishes a very intuiting conception of the su- preme wisdom , care or even the potency of the adorable Being, which fills the soul, and ,has the grentest power to impress astonish- ment, humility and awe. * This mode of

T 5 ■ proof

i^rcfl^ ^E?° '^^ microscopical observations of

  • ^d otluSll. to be inec 'with in the Hamburgb

• Magazine,


proof is much more practical than any other, even willi regard to the philosopher: For though he does not meet here with the deter- minate abstract idea of the Divinity for hi* searchin:^ and plodding understanding, and thous;^! the certainty itself is not mathematical but moral, so many proofs, every one niaking so great impression, taUe possession of his soul, and speculation, with a certain confi- dence, quietly follows a conviction which has already, tat en place. One would hardly risk his whole felicity on the^ssiuned right- ness of a metaphysical proof, especially if vivid sensible persuasions opposed it. But the power of the conviction, which arises therefrom, because it is so sensible, is ^Iso so solid and unmoveable, that it is in no - dandier from syi!o";isms and distinctions, and is far above tho mi^ht of subtile objections. This method, however, has its faults, which are considerable enoiijrh, though they are indeed to be im])uled but to the procedure of those who have used it.

1. It considers all perfection, harmony and beauty of nature as contingent, and as a dis- position

Magazine, and soe numerous species of animals in a sing^le drop oi "Water, rapacious sorts ^vllicll , equipped wich initruments of destraction , while they are readv to purs uo otliers, are destroyed by more jutent tyrai Ck of iliis aqueous ■worhi ; when 1 see tli*^ tricks, the violence, and the scene of disscntiou in a ])artic!e of matter, a|id ele^mtjft my eyA|| in order to behold the immense space filled iflflHiblsrorldb like clouds of dubt, no human laneiii


teeliiii^, which such a th(>ught exci^ meiapiiysical dissections fail far s!' r||| dignity peculiar to sucli an int* '


position by wisdom, as many of them flow with necessary unity from the essential rules of nature. That which is the most detrimen- tal to the design of physicotheology consists in its considering the contingency of the per- fection of nature as highly needful to the proof of a wise Author, hence all ilie necessa- ry consistencies of the things of ihe world become by this presupposition dangerous ob- jections.

In order to be convinced of this fault let the following be attended to. It is obvious how assiduous the authors are according to this method to rescue the productions of the animal and ve^rotable king-doms rich in innu- merable final designs not only from the power of chance , but from the mechanical necessity according to universal laws of material nature. And in this there is nothing diificult to them. The preponderance of the grounds on their " side is too much decided. But when they turn from organized to imorganzed nature, they still persist in the same method, they find themselves, however, almost always caught by die altered nature of things in diffi- culties, which they cannot avoid. They constantly speak of the union, hit by great wisdom., of so many useful properties of the, atmosphere, of the clouds « of rain, of the wdnds, of the twilight &;c. &c., as if the property , by which the air is destined to the * begetti^ of winds , were united in the same

iimUiby means of a. wise choice with that,

t^^'^'v^s up exhalations, or by which

^ becomes more rarefied , as



in a spider the different eyes wherewith it watches its prey , and the teats out of which the cobweb is drawn with their fine paws 6r that part of their feet, by which they glue it together or support themselves upon it, are connected in one animal. In tliis latter case tlie unity , notwithstanding all the combined uses, (as in which the perfection consists,) is manifestly contingent, and to be attributed to a certain arbitrement , whereas in the for*- mer it is necessary; and if a fitness like the aforementioned is ascribed, to the air, the other is not possible to be separated from it. Just because no other manner of judging the perfection of nature, than by the direction of wisdom, is granted, every extensive unity, • so far. as it is manifestly. cognised as necessa*- ry, will make a very dangerous objection. It w^ill soon be obvious that according to our method from such a imity is likewise coli- cludcd the Divine wisdom, but not so, that it is derived from the ^vise choice as its cause, but from such a ground in a Supreme licing, as must at the same time be in him a ground of great wdsdom , conse- cjiicnlly from a wise Leing, but not by his wisdom.

a. This method is not philosophical enough, and has oflcn much impeded the dis- SL'iuiiKUion of pliiJoso]>liical cugnilion. When a rL«: Illation of nature is useful, it is com- iiioniy ex])lained iiiiniediatcly from the design of ihe I)i\ine will, or by a particular order, of nnliire j)rcparod bv art; either because it iias been conceived that the eliects of nature,


« ff



conformable to their most general laws, could not tend to such consistency, or were it granted that they havcJ such consequences, this would signify, to trust the perfection of tlic world to a blind chance, by which the Divine Author would be much mistalien* Hence in such a case bounds are set to the inquiry of nature. Humbled reason willingly desists from a further investigatl^, because it considers such here as temerity, and the prejudice is the more dangerous, as it gives the lazy a preference to the indefatigable in- quirer by the pretext of devotion and the just; subjection to the Great Author, in whose cognition all wisdom must unite. The uses of the mountains, for instance, which are innumerable, are related, and when a great nimiber of them has been collected, and among these such as the human species can- not do without, it is believed that there is reason to consider them as an immediate Divine disposition. For to contemplate them as a consequence of universal laws of motion, (as it is by no means presumed of these that they should have a reference to beautiful and useful consequences , it must needs be by chance,) would in their opinion mean, to allow an essential advantage of the human species to depend upon yihd chance. In the very same manner is circumstanced the con- templation of the rivers of the earth. If ihe physicotheological writers are listened to, one ind^^^o represent to himself' that theberls

all excavated by God. It is list when, by contemplativ.g

ever v


every single mountain, or every sitigle stream^ as a particular design of God that would not have been attained according to univerisal laws, those mean$ are devised, which God may have particularly used in order to pro- duce these individual effects. For according to what is shown in the tli^rd contemplation of this section, such a production is so far ^always supernatural, nay, since it cannot be explained according to the order of nature (as it arose but as a single event by ^proper dis- position), such a mode of judging is. grounded in a perverted representation of the preference of nature in itself, though it must be led by compulsion to a single case, which according; to all our insight may be considered aS a roundabout mean and not as a proceeding of wisdom. * As Newton by infallible proofs convinced himself that the earth is of that figure, upon which all the directions of gravi- ty altered by the motion of rotation stand perpendicular, he concluded that the earth was at first fluid, and has according to the laws of statics by means of the revolvins: assumed directly this form. He linew as well as any body the advantages that lie in the


  • It i» to be "v^islicd tliat in siicli CAses, "wlien revela-

tion gives account that an event of tlie Tvorld 'is an cxtraordinarv divine destiny , the temerity of philo- sophers were moderated in dis])laying their physical insights; for they do no service at all to relij^ion , and render it but doubtful , whetlier the event he not a na- tural chance; as in that casCi when the destruction of the army under Sanherib is attributed to the saniiel wind. By this philosophy is commonly amder the necessity of using, as in the Whistonian theory, tlie astronomical know- ledge of comets for the expounding of the bible.


globular form of a cosmical body and also the highly necessary flatting in order to prevent the disadvantageous consequences of the turn- ing upongthe axis/ All these are arrangements worthy of a wise Author. Yet Newton attri- buted them, without hesitation, a^ an effect to the most necessary mechanical laWs, and , was not apprehensive on that account of losing sight of the Great Ruler of all -things.

It may certainly be presumed that, rela- tively to the fabric of the planets , their revo- lutions and the position of their orbs, Newton never would have had immediate recourse to a Divine direction, had he not judged that a mechanical origin is here impossible , not on account of its insufficiency to regularity and order in general , (for why did lie not appre- hend this unfitness in the aforementioned case?) butj because the celestial spaces are void, and no communion of the effects of the planets on one another, to determine their rolling in orbits, is in this state possible. If it had however occurred to him to ask , whe- ther these spaces were always void and whe- ther, in the very first state, at least, when these 6paces were perhaps filled in connexion, that effect, whose consequences have since maintained themselves, was not possible, if •he had had a grounded presumption of this very oldest quality, one may be assured that he would in a manner fit for philosophy have sought in the universal laws the grounds of the nature of the structure of the world, with- out being afraid on that account that this explication would deliver over the world from



the hanrls of the Creator to the. power of chance. The eminent example of Newton oiii!;hL not cons(!C]iieiitly to serve lazy confi- dence for a pretext to give out a jirecipitate appeal to an innnediate Divine arrangement for an explication in a philosoj)hical taste. Innumerable dispositions of nature, as they are according to the mo.st general laws still contingent, have generally .spealung no other CTOund, than the wise design of him, who w^illed that they should be so and not other- w^ise connected. Eut it cannot be conversely concluded that where a natiiral connexion harmonizes with what is conformable to a wise choice, it is also contingent according to the universal laws of effect of nature, knd extraordinarily established by artificial direc- tion. In this way of thinking it may often happen tliat the ends of the laws wliich one ima2:iTics arc wron^-, and then besides this errour (licre is vet the disauvantafre, to have passed l)y I ho efilcient causes and lo iiold im- mediately to a design that is but chimerical. Suessmilch was formerly of I he opinion fo find the ground, why more boys llian girls are borii, in tlie design of Providence, in order by tlie jirrat numl)cr oi' liioso of the male sex that the los.", which this sex sustains more than ihe other bv war an^! dau<rerous sorts of employments, rrjxy bo rejJiiirc'd. But by later observations this no !c*.^s circumspect than reasonable man vva>. tanj'ht ihat this surplus of boys in ihe ycais of childhood is taken away by dealii, l!iaL a less number of males than of females attain the age, when




the aforementioned causes can first contain the / grounds of the loss. There is reason to, be- lieve that thjs curiosity is a case, which may- rank under a much more general xule, namely, that the stiopger part of the human species has also a greater share in the generative ac- tivity , in order to render its own sort predo- minant in the productions of both sides, but that, on the other hand, as more is requisite to the end that something which has the gi'oundwork to greater perfection shall meet with all the circumstances proper for its at- tainment iri the formation, a greater number of those of a less perfect sort attain the degrjee of completeness, than of those to w^hose com- pleteness more coincidence of grounds is re- quired. But whatever the nature of this rule may be, the observation at least may be made. That it impedes the enlarging of pliilosophi- cal introspection to have recourse to moral "^grounds , that is , to the explication from ends, when it is yet to be presumed that physical grounds determine the consequence by a connexion with necessary laws that are more general.

3. This method can serve to prove but an Author of the connexions and artificial con- struction of the world, but not of matter itself and the origin of the constituent parts of the universe. This considerable fault must leave all those, who make use of this method only, in danger of that errour, denominated ,the more refined atheism, and according to "^hich God is considered as a workmaster and IS d Creator of the world, who hath indeed !!• U ordered

3o6 ' , B«9ATt AND

DM«red tmi fbnned, but not produced i Created, mattbr. ' Aa.} shall weigh this insuffi piency in the noxt contemplation , I shall ret satisfied with having only jnentioned it her ^ .Besides , the method in hand remains t

.' ^',thoa|^ethoi&^t which arc the most coi^ linnalHe'as well to the dignity as to the wea1t>' y&ife of t&fb^nmaB understanding. There ac* in Aict inlratMrable amngemenis in natur^' whose prdxune^ ground ittust be a Hnal design ofits Atithor, and it is Uie easiest way that leads t9 him, when those dispositions, which are immediately subordinRied to his wisdom, are pondered. Hence it is leaHonaMe to exert

. oiie's self rather to complete, than to impugn them, rftthitT, to correct tlieir faults, than It sl^ht.themon that account. The subsequen contemplation wiU he employed in this de^ sign.



I. I

Order and Fitness, though they are uecessdry^^: denote an intelligent jiulhor. ■': 1*^

Nothing can be more prejudicial to the thought of « Divine Author of the uniyera^' and at the same time 'more iiTational, thnn ' when one is disposed to attribute a great and fruitful rule of fitness , utility and hanuq^y.



to chance; such as was the clinamen of the atoms in the system of ,Democritus and Epi- curus.- It is needless to insist on the absurdity •and wilful delusion of this mode of judging, as it has been rendered by others sufficiently obvious, but I have to observe that'the per- ceived necessity in the reference of things, to regular connexions, and the cphesion of use- ^ ful laws with a necessary unity, as well as the contingent and arbitrable disposition , af- ford a proof of a wise Author; though the dependence on him in this point of view must be rspresented in another manner. In order to perspect this sufficiently it must be noticed that the order and various advantageous har- mony in general denote an intelligent Author, even 'before one reflects, whether this refe- rence is contingent or necessary to the things. According to the judgments of common soiind reason the course of the alterations of the world, or that connexion, in whose place another was possible, though it furnishes a clear proof of contingency, has little eflFect to occasion tKe understanding the presumption of an Author. Philosophy is thereto requisite and even its use is in this case implicated and slippery. Whereas great regularity and con- sistence in a harmony of many parts asto- nishes, and common reason itself, without an intelligent Author, can never find them possible. ^ Let the things themselves be ne- cessary or contingent, let the one rule of fitness essentially Ke in the other; or bejar- bitrably conjoined with it, one finds it directly impossible that order and regularity should of

IT A themselves

' \

' 'j F. S «. A T > A r D

. '•:■ \^\\-,f'.'. f.ri'i rji^ir.^ ^I=.her bv chance, or '• Ti :^::?.',r».-: r.i.iiriv thin:;::, v/hich have their r .../.. ':;.r. >^. .'■ .;./:rr'.«;, for rWWv^j-A harmoTiv is

ifi f>o : .ioj'i'v. ■. ;i';.cif:Tir.! V ^ ie.'Jed, .And here rnariireaf's i scir forrhv/lrh a ^reat difference betw*-':.'. y\\f: rno'J^s in v/hi^."i the perfection r'lr.cor^Ji/iSf to its orj'^ln i-. to b^: judcfed.


Scf.cvjiry Order of Suture denotes even an yiuth^)r of Matter tli/tt L so ordered,

'\\ifi orflfir iTi TifiJ.nre', so far as it is con-* 5ildf;ff!rl fis con?in{^#:rit and sjirinj^ing from the arl>irr#;riif:rit of an inW;llir:ent Iiein;:, is no (irodf at. all thai. t\in thirii^s oi nature also,

|f> V/i.'IfHij, lia-.<: tijfjr f: ■.ist^:n^f; iirjni t.iiij \f.iy .'luilior. I'oj oiiiy this r.rwi junction i 's of Mirlj a naiin'!, as to prrisujipfr;*: a rafiorial I J; n ; li'tnrc Ari Joih; .'inn niany other ancient [Wiilo .(/[Jinr '; riciivcd from tlif; Deity nrjL tue Mi.iiior or t.lic St nil of nature;, hut only tlxe (ojni. I*r»l)a|).s \)H\ since; lljc I inic that reve- l.;(ion lani'lit u'* a jxirfcct drrpciuNincc of the woiM on (fOcI, has philosophy ijrst taken tlie |>j()|M*.r pain:; to contrni|)lal(; I lie origin of lliin"s t li(!nis(!lvc*s, whir.lj constitute the raw niaictials olriatux!, as sonicthinf^ ihat is not possihln vvillifuit an Author. J doubt of any (uu:'.s havirffj; .suc(.(;edi:d in (his, and iu the JaSt

.section .shall assif^n reaHon.s for aiy judgment. At least the coniifigent ordf** ^Axfis of *


the world, so far as it indicates an origin from arbitrement , can contribute nothing at all to its proof. For instance, in the make of an animal members of sensation are so arti- ficially conjoined with those of voluntary motion and of the vital parts, that onA^iust be wicked, (for nobody can be so unreason* able,) as soon as he is led to mistake a wise Author, who hath brought the matter of which an animal body is composed into such excel- lent order. Nothing more at all follows from this. Whether this matter of itself be eternal and independent, or produced by the very same Author, is not at all therein decided. But, when it is perceived that all perfection of nature is not artificial, but rules of great utility are also conjoined with necessary uni- ty , and this union lies in the possibilities of the things themselves, the judghient falls out quite otherwise. What is to -be judged con- cerning these perceptions? Is this unity, this fertile consistence possible, without depen- dence upon a wise Author? The formal of so great and manifold regularity answers, no. As this unity is grounded even in the possi- bility of things,,, so there nnist be a wise Being, without whom all these things of .nature themselves are not possible, and in whom. as a great Ground the essences of so many ;tiii|igs of nature unite, themselves in so ,Meular references. But then it is clear jthat Jy the manner of conjunction.-, but the tb^diselves are possible by this Being ^^ ucan ^xist hut as effects of hi?ii,

ici&tly to. cognizjii' the "- " ' ■ total


total dependence of nature upon God. Is it now inquired, How this nature depends on such a Being, in order that I can Qierefrom understand the agreement with the rules of wisdom? My answer is, They depend upon that in this Being, which , whilst it contains the ground of the possibility of things, is also the ground of his own wisdom; for this pre-. Supposes that in general.* But together with this unity of the ground, as well of the essence of all things, as of 'wisdom, goodness and potency, it is necessary That all possibility shall harmonize with these properties.

6- Rules of the improved Method of Physico-


I comprehend them briefly in the follow- ing. Led by the confidence in the fruitfu)- ness of the universal laws of nature, on ac- count of their dependence upon the divine Being, let

I, The cause, even of the most advanta- geous constitutions, be sought in such univer- sal


in tiie jossibilicy of things i pprfeetioii to be found , \ l]iu were tlus possibility no himself, tliia wisdom COuL view iodependent.


sal laws , as , with a necessary unity , besides other fit consequences, stand m reference to the production of these eflFects.

2. Let the necessary in this connexion of different fitnesses in one ground be observed, since as well the mode , in or^r to conclude therefrom the dependence on God , is different . from that, which has the artificial and chosen unity in view, as in order^to distinguish from chance the consequence according to constant; and necessary laws.

3. Let there be presumed not only in the unorganized, but in the organized natur^, a greater necessary unity, than is directly obvious. For even in the structure of an ani- mal is to be presumed that a single predispo- sition has a fitness for many advantageous consequences, to which we at first might find necessary various particular dispositions. This attention is no less conformable to philoso- phy, than advantageous to thQ physicotheo- Ipgical consequence.

4; Let the manifest artificial order be used, in order thence to conclude the wisdom of an Author? as a ground , but of the essential and necessary unity in the laws of nature, in order to conclude a wise Being as a ground , not by means of his wisdom however , but by virtue of that in him, which must harmonize with it.

5. Let from the contingent combinations

the world be concluded the Author of the

\e£ in which the universe is conjoined,

LC necessary unity the very same

\utl^or even of matter and of

^ U4 the


the fundamental stuff of all the things of nature.

C. Let this method be enlarged by univer- sal rules, Tvhich can render intelligible' with the good of the whole the grounds of the con- sistence of w^hat is either mechanically or geo- metrically necessary, and let it not be ne- glected to perpend in this point of view the properties of space and from the unity in its great multifarious to dilucidalc the same chief conception.

4. Illustration of these Rules.

In order to render the aforesaid method more intelligible I shall adduce a few exam- ples. The mountains of the earth are one of the most useful constitutions on il, andliurnet, who considers thcni as nothing: better, than a devastation for the ])unishnieiit of our sins, is without doubt ^vronfr. Accordinsr to the usual method of physicotheology the extensive advantages of these tracts of mountains are related, and on account of so various desif^ned utility are considered as a Divine arrangement by great wisdom. According to such a mode of judging one is led to the thought, tliat .universal laws , without a peculiar artificial disposition to this case, had not brought to pass i'uch a form of the surface of the earthy and the appeal to the j mands a respectful silen' "Whereas , according



mind, the use and the beauty of this disposi- tion of nature are by no means a ground to pass by the universal and simplie laws of ac- * tion of matter, in order not to consider this constitution as a collateral consequence of them. It might perhaps be more difficult to make out, Whether this globous figure of the earth in general be not of more consider* able advantage and more weighty consequenc- es, than those inequalities, which make its surface deviate somewhat from this precise sphericity. Yet no philosopher hesitates to consider it as an effect of the most general static la^ws in the most ancient epoch of the world. Why should not the inequalities and prominences toq belong to such natural and inartificial effects? It seems That in every great mundane body the state, in which it gradually passes from fluidity to rigidity, is very necessarily combined with the produc- tion of extensive cavities , which must be found under its indurated crust, when the lightest substances of its internal yet fluid mass, among which is also air, rise up among these by a gradual separation, and that, as the extensiveness of these cavities must have a proportion to the size of the mundane body, the depressions of the firm vault are equally far extended. Even a sort of regularity, at least the chain of these inequalities , needs not ap- ytar strange and be unexpected. For it is known the rising of the light substances in a J.xture in one place, has an influence '"^ " "Wtoolacfti in the neighbouring part •A^-'it'^.is not my design here V 5 to



514 E55ATS ANt>

to shew any attachment , to this mode of expo- sition, I do not dwell long on it, but only

  • give a small illustration of the method of

judging by it.

All the land of the earth is traversed in a very advantageous manner by the beds of rivers like furrows. But there are also so many inequalities, vallies and flat tracts on all land , that at first sight it appears to be neces- sary that the canals, in which their -waters run, must be peculiarly built and ordered, else, * from the irregularity of all the other ground, the water miming from the heights extrava- gates to a great distance , overAo ws many plains, forms lakes in vallies, and must ren- der the land rather wild and useless than beau- tiful and "well-arranged. Who does not per- ceive here a great appearance of' a necessary extraordinary preparation? Meanwhile, an end is put to all inquiry of tJie naturalists concerning the cause of rivers by a supposed supernatural order. As I do not allow myself to be led astray by this sort of regularity, and do not so easily expect its cause ivithout the sphere of universal mechanical laws, so I shall follow observation, in order tlierefrom to conclude something of the mode of pro- duction of these rivers. I perceive that many beds of rivers still continue tfi form selves, and that they rais*' Vfk thei banks, till they do not ovet ing land so nuich as fori: that all rivers of old actu this manner, as we are ap must have done ao withi


direction , and hence I gather that no such extraordinary arrangement ever happened. The river Amazon in a tract of some hundred mij.- es shows distinct traces that it formerly had no limited bed, but nui^t have flooded the country to a great extent; for the land on both sides to a great distance is as flat as the sea, and consists of river-slime , where a pebble* is as rare as a diamond. The very same is found with regard to the Mississippi. And in ge- neral the Nile and other rivers show that these canals in process of time have been greatly lengthened, and where the river ap- peared to have its mouth , as near to the sea • it extends itself over the flat giound, it insen- sibly bends its course and flows farther in a lengthened bed. But then , after having been led into the track by experiences, I believe to be able to reduce the whole mechanism of the formation of the channels of all rivers to the following simple grounds. The fountain or rain water running from the heights at first poured irregularly according to the declivity of the ground, filled several vallijss, and extended itself over many flat countries. But in these tracks, wherever the current of water was the strongest, it could not so well, on account of the velocity, deposite its mud, which settled more plentifully on both sides. Thereby the banks were raised up, w^hile the strongest current kept its channel. In progress of time, when the afflux of the water itself was less , (which must finaljy take place, from causes known to those who are acquainted with the history of the earth) the river no



longer overflowed the banlts, which'it formed itself, and out of wild disorder arose regula- rity and order. It is evident that this still happens, chiefly at the mouths of rivers, which are their latest formed parts, and as according to this plan the subsiding of-the mud must happen more plentifully near the places where the river at first overflowed its new banks than farther from them, it i§ still to be per- ceived that in many places, where a river runs through flat countries, its channel lies higher than the surrounding plains. There are certain universal rules according to which

\ the efli^ects of nature happen , and which may throw sonic light on the reference of the me- chanical laws to order and consistency, one of ^vhich is, The powers of motion and of

, resistence act upon one another, till they cause one another the least impediment. The , grounds of this laVv may be easily perspected; but the reference which its consequences have to regularity and advantage is astonishingly extensive and great. The epicycloid," an al- gebraical curve, is of this nature: the denticles and spring- wheels rounded according to it sufl^er the least possible friction upon, one ifiiother. The celebrated professor Kfcstner mentions that one skilled in mining showed him in machines, which had been long used, that at last this figure actually Avears away by long motion; a figure, which has at bottom a pretty complicated construction, and which with all its reguljirity is a consequence of a common law of nature.

In order to produce something from the



bad eflFects of nature, which, whilst it ranks tinder the law just mentioned, on that account shows in itself a bias to regularity, I shall mention one of ttie effects of rivers, Becausje of the great varieties of 4:he declivity of all countries of the earth it is to be expected that the rivers, which run upon this declivity, will here and there have steep falls or cascades, a few of which actually though seldom occur, and occasion a great irregularity and inconve- nience. But it is evident that, though (as it is to be presum^ed) in the first wild state such cataracts w^ere numerous, the power of the fall must have washed away the loose earth, nay, even worn away i some sorts of rock not yet sufficiently hardened, till the river sunk its channel to a tolerably uniform declivi- ty, hence where there are still waterfalls, the ground is rocky and in many countries - the river bends its course between two steep banks, ^vhere it has itself perhaps cut its deep lying bed. It is found very useful that almost all rivets in the greatest part of their course do not exceed a certain degree of velo- city , w^hich is pretty moderate and whereby they are navigable. In the beginning this was scarcely to be expected alone without particular art from the so very different de- clivity of the ground upon which they run, yet it may be easily conjectured that in time a certain degree of rapidity , which they cannot JllHy ^surpass , must have been to be found of [1* let the ground of the country be ever if«-- if it is but loose? For they wash dl themselyes into it, and sink




1 tHer^


tinib^be^ in 'some places and raise it in othei tlQ.that. which they sweep away, when ihi -an swollen, ia tolerably equal to what thi let sink to thd bottom during the slower mi don. The poWer acts here till it has brought ^telf tec > more moderate degree, and till tlut .I«ea.pri>cel [eciyon of the percussion and of the

. mirtance ends in equality.

'- Nature gives innumerable examples of an •XtensiTC and various usefulness of the very

same thing. It is very perverted to consider these advantages directly as ends, and as the 'conaequences , which contain the motives, ■why thair causes are ordered by Divine arbi- trem^t in this world. The moon among other adv^nuges provides for this likewise^ that the' flux and reflux of the tide contrary toi^ or even without wind put ships in motion by' means of the current in the roads and near the land. By means of its and of Jupiter's satellit* es the longitude at sea is found) Every one of the productions of the hingdoms of nature is of great utility, some of which are used,

' It is a nonsensical way of judging, when, as it commonly happens , one numbers all the^ , to the motives of the Diwine choice and refers on account of the advantage of Jupiter's moons to the wise direction of the Author, -v/ho. thereby intended to furnish men with a me^n to determine the longitude of places. .. Care must be taken not to incur the mockery of a Voltaire who, in a similar tone, says, tlUt the reason why we have noses is , no d^be, in order to put s^fbctades upon thew A-Ja-flJ,* cient ground is notiip.'nn#:4i*»<

toiH by^

TH£ATIS£S. 319

  • why the very same means, which are alone

necessary to attain an end , are advantageous in so many other references. That admirable communion that prevails among the essences of all that is created, whose natures are not foreign to one another , but connected in ma- nifold harmony agree with one another of themselves , and comprise in their essence an

\ extensive necessary union to all perfection, is the ground of so various utilities, which according to our method may be considered as proofs of a highly wise Author, but not in all cases as dispositions, wjiich, on account ' of the particular collateral advantages, are conjoined by particular wisdom with the others. No doubt the motives of Jupiter's having moons are complete, though these moons were never used for measuring the lon- gitude by the invention of the telescope. These uses , which are to be considered as collateral consequences, are however taken into the account , in order thence to conclude the im- mense greatness of the Author of all things. For they are , together with millions of others of a similar sort^ proofs of the great chain w^hich , even in the possibilities of things, imites the parts of the creation that appear not to concern one another ; for else the use, which the consequence of a voluntary dispo- . sition draws after it and which the Author knows and comprehends in his decree, cannot always on that account be numbered to the motives of ^such 4 choice, were these, even abstracting from such collateral consequences,

'atrtady complete. It is beyond a doubt that -r - nature





nature did not place water horizontally , in order to serve for a looking-glass. Such ob- served usefulness cannot at all, if one is to judge rationally, be used for the purpose here in view, acbording to the limited physico- theological method in use ; but only the sup- plement which we have endeavoured to sub- join to it can render such collected observa- tions fit grounds of the weighty consequence of the universal subordination of all things to a supremely wise Being. Extend your views as much as you can to the immense use, which a creature oflFers, in a thousandfold reference according to the possibility at Jeast, (the single cocoa -tree affords the Indian innumerable uses), connect in such references the most remote members of the creation with one an- other. When you have reasonably admired the produclions of the imniediaLcly artificial dispositions, do not forbear, even in the deliglitful spectacle of the fertile reference, ^vluch the possibilities of created things have to thorough harmony, and the inartificial consequence of such various beauty which naturally presents itself, to admire and to adore that Potency, in w^hose original source, so to speak , lie ready the essences of things to an excellent plan.

I observe, by the way, that the great counteirelation, which is among the things of the world with respect to the frequent oc- casion it gives to similitudes, analogies, paral- lels and however ihey may be named, de- serves not to be so superficially overlooked. Not to dwell on the use which this has for-



the play of wit and Which forthemost/part is but imaginary, in my opinion there still lies herein hidden a weighty object of reflec- tion for the philosopher, how such an agree- ment of very different ithings in a certain com- mon groxuid of equiformity can be so great and extensive and yet at the same time so exact. These analogies are also very ne- cessary helps to our cognition, the mathe- matics furnish a few of them. I avoid ad- ducing examples, for it is to be feared that-, according to the different manner in which such similarities are felt, they might not have the sa- me effect on every oth^r understanding,andbe- sid'es, the thought which I here intersperse is incomplete and not yet sufliciently intelligible.

Should it be asted, What use can be made of the great unity in the various relations of space , which the geometrician investigates, I presume the universal conception of the uni- ty of the mathematical objects may give to cognise the grounds of the unity and perfec- tion in nature. For instance, of all figu- res the circle is that, in which the circum- ference comprehends the greatest possible space that such a ccfmpass can comprehend, because an exact equality in the- distance of this circumscription from a centre thoroughly prevails therein. If a figure shall be enclosed by straight lines, the greatest possible equali- ty relating to their distance from the centre can find place but when not only the distances of the centres from this centre among one another, but the perpendiculars from this to the sides are quite equal to one another. Hence

Vol. n. X ^ is

^iii^j.. ■


is formed a regular polygon j axid geometry shews, that with the very same periphery another polygon of the sam« number of sides always encloses a smaller space, than the re- gular one. Again, one and indeed the simplest sort of equality in the distance from a centre is possible, namely, when merely the distance of the points of the angles of the square from the same centre is" thoroughly equal, and there it is evident that every irregular polygon that can stand in a circle encloses the greatest space of all that can be closed by the same sides. Besides this there is that polygon , in vv^hich the size of the side is equal lo the dis- tance of the point of the angle from the cen- tre, that is, the regular hexagony of all figures in general is that one which, w^ith the greatest circumference , so encloses the greatest space, that it at the same time, externally composed w^ith otlier equal fij^ures, leaves no interstices. Here presents itselL very soon the observation, tliat the counterrelation of the {ireatest and of the smallest in space concerns the equality. And as nature furnishes a luaiiber of cases of a necessary equality, so the rules, which are taken from the said cases of geometry with respect to the universal ground of such coun- terrelations of the greatest and of the smallest, may be applied to the necessary observance of the law Oi frugality in nature. In the laws of percussion a certain equality is always so far necessary, tliat after the stroke the motion of both bodies, when tii^^ are notelasdc, is always equal, wh HfcfcJiIooi-5iiL2:i»«*u isi

are always struck ei


indeed with a force wherewith the percussion happened, that the centre of gravity of both bodies is not altered at all by the percussion in either its rest or its motion &c. &c. The relations of space are so infinitely various, and yet allow 50 certain a cogaition and clear intuition, that, as they have often served excellently for symbols of cognitions of quite another species, (for exampje, to express the expectations in the cases of fortune,) they can also furnish means to cognise\from the sim- plest and most general grounds the rules of perfection in natural necessary laws of action, so far as they concern relations.

Ere I conclude this contemplation , I shall adduce all the different degrees of the philo- sophical mode of explaining the phenomena of perfection occurring in the world, so far as they are altogether considered under God, be- ginning from that nvmner of judging, in which philosophy still hides itself, and ending with that, in which it shows its greatest effort. I am tb speak of the order, beauty and fitness so far as they are the ground of subordinating, in a manner suitable to philosophy, the things of the world to a Divine Author.

Firsts a single event in the course of na- ture may be looked upon as something imme- diately drawing its origin from a Divine ac- tion , philosophy here has no other bxisiness, than to assign a proof of this extraordinary dependence.

tfi: :^^^o^^^y f ^^ event of the world is con-

if^s one, to which as to a single case

jQL/of.the world was from the


X a creation.


creation particularly adjusted) as, for instaxice^ the deluge according to the system, of several moderns, But then the event is not less super* natural* TsTatufal philosophy, which the aferesaid . philosophers use in this , . serves but to show th^r own address in. exco- gitating something that mky come to pass according to universal laws , and whose con- sequence may terjninate in the pretended ex- traordinary event. For else such a procedure is not conformable to the Divine wisdom^ that never aims at boasting of useless art, ^ which would be blamed even in ^man who, if nothing hindered him to fire a cannon im- mediately, would affix a lock Msrith clockwork, by which it would by a mechanical ingenious mean fire at the appointed moment.

Thirdly , when certain parts of natiire are considered as a disposition which, continuing since the creation, immediately proceeds from the hand of the great workmaster; and indeed as a disposition, which is introduced as a single thing, and not as a disposition accord- ing to a constant law. For example, when it is maintained that God immediately regula- ted at the same time wdth the beginnino: of all things the mountains, the rivers, the planets and their motions. As a state of na- ture, in \vhich the form of things, as well as the matter, depends immediately on God, must no doubt be the first, this mode of judging has so far a philosophical ground. But, as it is precipitate , before the htnciss which is pe- culiar to the things of nature has been proved, hi attribute to the action of the creation im- mediately


mediately a disposition , because it is advan-i tageous and regular, it is so far in a very , small degree only philosophical.

Fourthly y when something is ascribed to an artificial order of nature, before the insuffi- ciency, which it has to this according to common laws, is properly cognised, for in- stance, when something, which perhaps lies in common mechanical powers, is explained, from the order of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, merely because order and beauty are therein great. That which is philosophi- cal of this manner of judging is yet smaller, when every single animal or plant isi imple? diately subordinated to the creation, a^ if^ besides a few immediately created, the other productions were subordinated to it according to a law of the faculty of procreation (not mereJy of the faculty of developement), be- cause in the latter case more is explained ac»- cording to the order of nature; it must ~ then be that this its insufficiency w^ith regard to it- may be clearly eviac^d. ButtQ this degree of the philosophical liibde of .fex^ plaining belongs also every derivation of;*^ disposition in the world from artificial'laws in general established for the sake of a d^Sigi>, and not merely in the animal .and vegetable kingdoms.* For instance, wben s^^ipw and

X 3 . thp

  • In the second number- of the third •eoiintcinpluiou of

this section I have adduced aniQug .(1^ exa];np}e$ of the

artificial order of nature those merely from the animal

I and vegetablo hingdoms. - iBut it is to be noticed that

every disposition of a law for the siike of a partici^lar

' use , because it is hereby excepted '. from the necessary

nnity with other laws of nature* is^ avtiilcial, 4S-an!(y ^ ^ iV^ {perceived from a few examples here mentioned.


^ tbfl Aurora borealls are spol^en of in sucbl 1. uinmier, as ii the urdev of naLuie that produces biilh ucre introduced fot the sake of th^e use of the Greenlander or of the I>aplander (in. onior ihat he may not during the long nights be in litter darkness), though it is slill pre- siinuitla that Urn is a welt-suited collateral ConsW|neiice with necessary unity ot other Imvs. There is almost always danger of this .f.iuU, whun a few uses for men are given as a ijround of a particular Divine regulation, for example, that the forests -and fields are for t\\v most part coverfed with a green colour, ns of all colours this has a middle strength, in order to maintain the eye in a moderate exer- ciW} whereas, it may be objected that the inhabitants of Davis' streights are almost bli^idtid by the snow and must have recourse ttf snow'-sp^taclbs. It is not blameable to seiiroh for the useful conseijM^nces and to attrl- ■bdiw them to"a' benign Author, but to repm- Ben% the brder of nature :according to w^kich tJi«yhappe»-a8' artificial ■and^'arbitrably. con- ^in^d with others , as it pttrhaps stands widi ■bth^S in a Btecessary unity; isWameablc.

■ .Pifthly, The- method of judging of the fMl^Bct di^&fiitions of nature '■ comprKes the •ihoak-thd spint of-brue philosophy, wheiuit is , Jftlways^ Mady to grant even supernatural erenta. as also not to miatake sitiOns «fi.xiature ,

and to 'aU cbnsisi

groundsr from bein miiversfil laws , jxreservation of uni


aversion to multiply on their account the ' number of the causes of nature. When to this is added 'the attention to the universal rules, which can render conprehensible the ground of the necessary conjunption of what naturally happen^ without a particular dispo- sition with the rules of the advantage lOr of the agreeablenesst to rational beings , and one < then ascends to the Divine Auxbor, this phy- sicotheological mode of judging sufficiently discharges its duties,*



An Hypothesis of a mechanical Mode of Ex-

plaijiing the Origin of the mundane Bodies and

the Causes of tJieir Motions , conformable to

the Rules before evinced.

The figure of the heavenly bodies, the mechanism according to which they move and compose a mundane system , as also the va- rious alterations to which the position of their orbits is in process of time subjected, all these are become a part of natural philosophy, which is comprehended with sd great distinct-

X 4 ness

  • By tliis I mean to say tliat this inuit be the -way for

^Jiuman reason. For who can ever prevent here manifold I^Jnroors ; accorduig to l^ope :

^^■*^ '^^ ^ jteach Eternal Wisdom how to rule •—

dtfojjp.iiito thyself, .and be a fool!


XS9A.T9 aVi

nesM^^^erUinty, that there cannot be shown another introspecdoii, which explains a na- liiral ohjec^'(that afiproacbes but in some S)ite t» this its muldfarioiiaBess,) in a manncL- so inahbitably right and witli such evidence. 'Vt'lian thii/is'tali9n into consideration, it can- liot.'bnt be presumed that the state of nature, in- which this spructure tootlt iu beginning, ntd the motions, which at .present runtinue

, According to so simple and comprehensible laws, were first impressed on it, will in like mannpr be easier to he perspected and more conceivable, than pethaps the most of which we seek the origin in natnre. The grounds

' favourable tp this presumption are obvious'. All th«se celestial bodies are round masses, for ^^at M^e ki^qw. without organization and isecr A preparation oi art, The power by which thiey are attracted is according to all appear- ance a fundamental power proper to matter,., therefori^ needs not, and cannot, he explained. The projectile motion -with which they per- ; form their flight and the direction according , to which this motion i^ communicated to them, are together with the formation of th^r masses the principal, nay, almost the only thing of jWljich the first natural causes 'are .tq be. sought, ,Sioiple and by far not so implir cated effects, as oi'ost of the others of iiatpr.;^ are , by which the laws according to which they happen are commonly not at all known, -with mathematioal accuracy , whereas here

, they lie open to vifew in the n\ost compiehetii sible plan. "VVit^ happy issue the

TI\£ATI8£S, . 529


tlian the impression of the moving greatness of such a member of nature as is a solar sysT tern , where the natural causes are all suspect- . ed, because their sufficiency seems to be much too weighty and opposite to the right of crea* tion of the Supreme Author. But could not this be said of mechanics likewise, bv which a great mundane fabric , when it once exists, preserves its motions henceforward. Their whole preservation depends on the very same laws, according to which a stone, that is projected in the air, describes its path; a simple law, productive of the most regular consequences , and worthy of being intrusted with the preservation of the structure of a whole world.

It may be said, on the other side, that w^c are not able to render distinct the causes of nature, whereby the meanest herb is ge- nerated according to fully comprehensible mechanical laws , and yet the explanation of . the origin of a cosmical system in the gross is attempted. But has ever a philosopher been able to render the laws only, according to which the growth , or the internal motion in a plant already extant , takes place, as distinct and mathematically sure, as are those to which all the motions of the mundane bodies ' are conformable. Here the nature of the ob- jects is quite altered. The great, the astonish- ing here is infinitly more comprehensible, than the ^mall and the admirable, and the production of a planet, together witli the nroiectile motion whereby it is slung in orr roll in an orb , is to all appearance to

X 5 be

350 ' £SsatIakd

be easier and more distinctly perspected, than the production of a single £ake of sdow^, in i Mrhicb tJie measured accuracy of a hexagon is according ro appearance es-acter than the ■ rounding of the circles in which the planets run, and in which the rays refer more acciira-t tely to a plane, than the orbits of these celcs- (ial hodiea do towards the common plane of their circulnr motions.

I flhall rejiresent the essay of an explana* tion of the' origin of the structure of the world according to universal mechiinical laws , not of tlie whole order of nature, but only of the great masses and their orbits, which inabe up the rudest foundation of nature. 1 hope, thou-jh my slsetch is but rude and uniinisbed, to advance vdiat may give occasion to weigh- ty contemplations by others, Some parts of which have in my opinion a degree of proba- bility, that in a smaller object would leave little doub[, and which nothing but the pre- judice of a greater requisite art, than is asdribed to tiic universal laws of nature, can oppose. It frequently happens that tliat which is sought is not found, but yet other advan- tages, not expected, are met with on this road. Sucii advantiiges, sliould they present them- selves to thereflectionof others, admit the chief end of the hypothesis thereby to disappear, would be a suHicientgain, lu this I presuppose the luiiversal gravitation of matter according to Newton or his followers. Those, who be- lieve, perhaps by a dehnition of metaphyseal in tiieir own taste, to aoaiibiia^ **"- — -^"^ quence drawn by €^



and a mathematical mode of concluding, may pass over the subsequent positions , as some- thing that has but a remote alhnity with the chief design of this, work,


jin enlarged Vieiv of the Contents of the

Universe. ,

The six planets * with their attendants move in. circles, which do not decline far from a common plane, the lengthened equato* rial plane of the sun. The comets on the other iiand run in orbs, which are at a great distance therefrom, and digress on all sides far from this plane of reference. If now, instead of so few planets or comets, a few thousands of them belonged to our solar world, the zodiac would appear as a zone illiunined by innumerable stars, or as a stripe that loses itself in a pale glimmer, in which some of the nearer planets would exhibit a tolerable lustre, but the more distant, by their number and faintness of the light, only a nebulous appearance. For in tliis martial motion , in


  • Since 1785 > "vvhen this treatise was piiblislied, the

knowledge 01 our solar system has been greatly enlarged. We now count seven primary and fourteen secondary planets. Kant foretold in 1755 (in his Universal pjiy- 810GOMY ASH THEORY or TJiE HEAVEN s) from theoietical grounds what Ilerschel discovered may years after by tho assistance of his gigan^c telescope. It cannot but be iiitetesting to compare the stttictuire of the heavens, \vliicU lone great man has conceiyed acoordine to Newtonian laws ticfwn the ori|pLual genesis . of the cefestial bodies , widi 'instruction of the heaVens as another great man has '^ jiccoxdiiig to obserratious.



^3^ K8*ATS AND

M hich all these are about the suii, there would always be a few in all parts of this zodiac, tlioiigh others had altered t heir places. Where- as the comets w^ould cover the regions on both sides of this luminous zone in all pos- sible dispersion. When we, prepared by this fictiop, (in which we have done nothing l)uC augment in thought the nmltitude of bodies of pur planetary world,) turn our eyes to the more extensive compass of the universe, we acttially see a bright zone, in which stars, though to all appearance they have very un- equal distances from, us, are heaped closer than elsewhere on the very same pi ane^. 'where- as the celestial regions are covered on. both sides with stars in every mode of diffusion. The milliyway , which I mean , has very ex- actly the direction ofoneof the greatest. circles, a determination worthy of every: attention, and whence may be understood tha?t our sun and we with him are comprehended in the same army of stars, which throngs the- most to a certain common plane of reference, and the analogy is here a very great ground to •presume. That these suns, to whose number our sun belongs, compose a mundane system, which in the ^rossis ordered according to'taws similar to those of our planetary wprld iiTthe small; that all these suns together with their attendants rhay have some one centra of their common circle, and that only on account of their Immense distance and of the long dura- tion of their circulary course they appear not '^t ^11 tp j^lter their places, though indeed in some a Tittle displacing is actually observed;


TiV£ATI.8SS« 353

that the orbits of these great mimdancf bodies refer in like manner to a common plane, from wliich they do not deviate and that those, which occupy the other regions of the heav- ens with much less accumulation, are therein similar to the comets of our planetary world. From this conception, which meseems has the greatest probability, may h6 presumed that, if ther^ are mote such high mundane dispo- sitions, as those to which pertains our sun, and vrhich f urnishe him, who is placed in the sun, the phenomenon of the galaxy, in the depth of the cosmical space some of them are to be seen like faint glimmering places , and when the plane of reference of such another order of fixed stars is obliquely placed towards us^ appear like elliptic figures^ which from a great distance exhibit in a small space a solar system as that of our milky- way is. And such little places astronomy has long ago discovered, though the opinions , which have been enter- tained of them , are very different, as may be seen in Maupertuis' work on the figure of the starS;.

I wish this contemplation may be consider- V ed with some attention. Not only because the conception of the creation iJiat thereby arises is much more touching, than it other- wise can bej (as an innumerable host of suns like our sun compose a system , whose mem- bers are conjoined by circular motions, but these systems , which in all probability are innumerable, of which we can perceive a. ^ few, may themselves l^e members of a yet "'^^'•ffher order,) but beicause even tlie observa- tion

SS4 ' *i*'A'**AKD

' dtm'O^ the fixe^ -stj^rs^ near us, or rather

dtf# imAdedn^- sum ,- Im by such a conceji*

. tiflU-'Aiiy-- perh'Ajp^ -di«60vAr many things iliac

eW^ attention when: t^r« is not a certain

jp^jan-of iiiTe«tigabi[>B. ■■ '■ ■

■ Groufi^. flf q mei^umcul Origin of our planetary H^orld in general.

•• jUlJtbeiplaneti rerolva about our sun in

the tBxne duection and with but a small decH- < .itationlnnii^ common plane of reference, the ecliptic, in- the same manner, as bodies carried avay-hi^'a matter which, whilst it Alls the wlio^'-apflK», perfoima^it motion whirling tOfinA-tn nds. ■'I'Jkll tliA pinnets gravitAtB* towards the sun, and tjie greatness of the side-motion , if they shall thereby be brought toroU in circular brbs, woald need to have an exactly measured correctness, and as in such a mechanical effect a geometrical exactness is not to be expected, so all the orbs deviate, though indeed |||ot much , from the circulari- ty. They xonsist of. substances , which ap- •' cording to Newton's calculation the farther they are from the sun are of the smaller densi- ty, as everybody, if they have formed then*-' selves in the space in which they float from . a mundane niattec there diffused, will find natural. For in the effort with which every- thing sinhs towards the sun , the substances , of a more dense namre must crowed more towards the sun and cumulate themselves: ^ ,.. r.': mpr« •



T1\£A.T1S£S. 335

more in hi^ proximity, than thbse of a lighter , sort, whose fall is more retarded on account of their less density. ' But the matter of the sun is according to BufFon's observation pretty equal in density to that which the computed mass of* all the planets together would have, which agrees well with a mechanical forma- tion , according to which in different altitudes , the planets may have formed themselves from different species of elements, all the other elements, however , which filled this space in a mingled manner ^ may have sunk to theit common centre the sun* \

Who, notwithstanding this, will have this structure immediately delivered into the hand of God, without attributing any thing to mechanical laws, is obliged to assign a reason, why he here finds necessary that which he 'does not easily grant in natural philosophy. He cannot at all name any ends why it were better that the planets should move ill orbits rather in one than in different directions, rather near one plane of reference, than through all regions. The heavenly space is at present void and notwithstanding all this motion they (the planets) would not impede one another. I willingly^ grant that there may be hidden ends which , according to common mechanics, would not be attained and which no mortal perspects; but nobody is allowed to presuppose them when he wishes to groimd * an opinion thereupon without being able to show them. In fine^ had God immediately distributed the projectile power and arranged their orbits, it is to be presumed that they.



- Would not bear 'the mffrk of imperfection and Variation, which is to She met with in every , jiroduction of nature.' If it were good that tl^ey should refer to a plane, it is to be pre- sumed he would have an-iinged iheir orbits to it, had a -circular motion been proper for theni,itmay be believed that their orbs would have been exactly circular ones, and it is not td' be conceived why there should remain ex- femptions from theigreatest accuracy even in ■ that which must bean immediate Divine per- formance of art. ■%

, The members of the solar world from the most dietaut regions, the comets, bend their Co'nrse in a very eccentric manner. They migbt;ifft depended upon an immediate Divine. action, jiist as well be moved in circul^^H Orbs, though their orbs should deviate «^^H so' much from the ecliptic The use of at^H eccentricity so great is in this case excogitated

• with great boldness, for it is sooner compr&* hensible that a mundane body always niovQS at ,an equal distance, in wiiaCever celestial region it be that has the order conformable to this distance, than that it is equally advantegeously ordered according to thegretit difference of the distance; and as to the ad- vantages assighed by Newton , it is evident that they have not the smallest probability, except that in the presupposed immediate Divine disposition they may serve at least for some pretence of an end:

Th*^ fault, immediately to subordinate the structure of the planetary world to Divine designs , is the most conspicuous , when one '


is disposed to feign motives of the density of the planets that may be conversely decreased with the increase of the distances. The effect of tlie sun, it is said, decreases in this ratio, aT\d it is fit that the density of tlie. bodies that are to be warmed by him should be ordered pro- portionally to it. Now it is known that the sun acts but at a small depth below the sur- face of a mundane body, and from his in*- fluence to warm it cannot be concluded the density of the whole mass; here the colnclu- sion from the end is far too great. The mean, namely, the diminished density of the whole mass , comprises an ampliation of disjjosition, which for the greatness of the end is super- fluous and lmnecessa^J^

In all natural productions , so far as they tend to consistency, order and use, agree- ment with Divine views is obvious, but also criteria of the origin from universal laws, M^hosc consequences reach much farther than to such single cases, and therefore in every single effect are to be seen traces of a mingling of such laws, which were not directed to this single production only* For which reason deviations from the greatest possible exactitude -wilh regard to a particular end find place. Whereas an inmiediate supernatural disposi- tion, as its execution by no means presup- poses the consequences of more general laws of action of matter, is not deformed by parti- cular collateral consequences of them inter- mingling themselves, but brings to pass exact- ly the plan of the greatest possible accui\ot:y. In th'e nearer parts of the platietary world to Vol.IL Y the



338 ESSA YS AlTD * ' .•

the common centre there is a greater approxi- mation to complete order and measured exac- titude which, towards the bQundaries of the sysiem, or far from the plane of reference to the sides, degenerates into irregularity and deviations j as is to be expected of a consti- tution of a mechanical origin. In an imme- diate Divine disposition incompletely accom- plished ends never can' be met with, but the greatest coiTectness and precision are every w^here displayed, as amongst othSr things may be perceived in the structure of ani- mals.

' 3-

A short Delineation of the probable Manner in which a planetary System may have been

mechanically formed.

The arguments in support of a mechanical oiig n at present adduced are so Aveighty, that even but a few of tliem have lono; since in- diiced all naturalists to seek the cause of the planetary way in natural motive pow^ers, chiefly as the planets in th6 very same direc- tion in which the sun turns upon his axis roll round hiuj in orbits, and their orbits coincide so very nearly with this their equatorial plane. Newton was the great destroyer of all these vortices, to \rhich ho\X^ever manv adhered long after his demonstrations," as may be seen by ihe exar^ple of the celebrated Marian. The sure and convincing proofs of the Newtonian





philosophy evidently show that such things, as the vortices must be, whicli carry found ll>e planets, are by no means tobc met. with in the heavens and that there is no current at all of such fluidity in these spaces, that evenr' the tails of the comets continue their unmoved motion obliquely through all these orbits. » It was sure hence to conclude that, as the celes- tial space is at present void or infinitely rar^, no mechanical cause which imprint^di on the planets their osbicular motion can find place. But directly to pass by all mechanical laws, and by a bold hypothesis to let Gud imme- d^tely project the planets with hi^ hand , in order tliaj: they in conjunction with their gravitation should move in orbs, was tjoo great a step to remain within the. compass of philosophy. It is immediately obvious that there yet remains a case, where mechanical laws of this constitution are possible; name- ly, if the space of the fabric of the planets •which is now void was formerly filled, in order to occasion a communication of m9tive powers through all the tracts of .this district ■wherein prevails the attraction of our sun.

And here I can point out that quality, the only one possible, by which a mechanical cause of the heavenly mplipns has plaqe, a considerable circumstance for the justification, of an hypothesis., which can be but seldom boasted of. As the spaces are at present void, they must have formerly been full, otherwise an extensive effect of the mptive powers driv- intj; in orbits never could have had place. And consequently this diffu3ied xiiatter must have

f ^ Y , a after*


iifterwards collected iuelf upon the celestial boiiies: That is, when I conieniplate it nearer, e\ta these celestial bodies, hayg formed them- selves tVom the diffused fundamental substance iu the spaces of the solar structure, and the uiution, which the parts of their composition had in the state of dispersion , remains with them after the union in separate masses. Evei* since have the spaces been empty^ They con- tain no matter which ^mong these bodies could serve for the commimicaiion of the prbicular motion. But they hate not always oeen empty, and we perceive motions, of* which at present no natural causes can fyr^d place, but which are remains of thg most an-^ cient rude state of nature.

• From this * observation I shall take biifr t another step , in order to approach to a prob* able conception of the manner of beginning of these great masses and of the cause of their motions, whilst I leave to the inquiring reader himself the more solid finishing of a faint representation. When therefore the matter for the formation of the sun and all the heavenly bodies, which are at the command of his powerful attraction , was diffused through the whole space of the planetary^ world, and there was perhaps in the place which the sun's mass now occupies matter of stronger powers of attraction , an imiversal gravitation hereto arose, and the attraction of the solar body increased with its mass. It may be easily presumed that in the universal" J^all of the particles themselves from the re-', motes t regions of the fabric of the world the'




treatises; f^ 341

substances of a denser nature in the deep re- gions, wbere^ every thing qrowded to the common centre, were accumulated in propor- tion as they were nearer to the centre, though in all the regions theie were substances of every degree of density. For only the p^r-X tides of the heaviest sort could have the great faculty in this chaos to press through the . /.multitude of the lighter, in order to arrive at a greater proximity to ^ the point of gravita- tion. In the motions which sprang in the Sphere around from falls of a different height, the resistance of the particles impeding one ' another could never be so perfectly equal, that ; ' the acquired velocities would not incline to ^some one side or other. And in this circum^ ^^^'^ 'stance is manifested a very common rule of the reaction of substances , that they drive or bend and limite one another, till they affe of the least impediment to one another; con- .^fonnably to which the side motions were finally obliged to unite themselves, in a com- mon revolving towards the same region^ By consequence the particles of which the sun is formed arrived at him with this side\mo- tion, and the sun, formed of this matter, must needs revolve in the very same direction.

From the laws of gravitation, howeveir, it is clear that in this mundane matter, thus agitated , all the parts must have endeavoured to intersect the plane , which in the direction of their common revolution goes through the centre of the sun, and ^hich according to our conclusions coincides with the equatorial plane » of this celestial body^ unless they were already

T 3 ii^

• « 


iu it. Consequently all these parts chiefly * near the sun have their greatest accumulation in the space which is near his lengthened ec^iatorial plane. In short, it is very, natural that, as the particles either inij^ede or accele- '• rate one another, in a word, push or drive one another till the one can no longer disttirb the motion of the other, at last every thing falls into the state, that only those parts, Avhicn have exactly the degree of side motion that is required at the distance in which they are from the sun to hold the gravitation in equipoise , in order that every one may roll ■ in a free motion in concentric circles, remain floating. This velocity is an effect of the fall, and the side motion a consequence of the.^ counterpercussion continuing till every thing shall have naturally fitted itself for the consti- tution of the smallest impediment. The other particles, which could not attain such a ' nioiisured exactness, must by a gradually decreasing motion have sunk to the centre of univervSal irravitalion , in order to au":ment the sun's mass, Avhich therefore has a density pretty equal to that of the other substances, one willi another, in the space around him; yet so, rhht according to the adduced. circum- stances their mass of necessitv far exceeds the qiKHiity of matter which remains floating in the district arouiul them.

In ihis st;!te, which seems to me to be na- tural, where a diffused matter for the formation of difierent heavenly bodies, in a narrow space ncKt to the lengthened plane of the solar I equator, is the denser the nearer to tlie centre,

  • and

■ \

/ • *

^ ^ I


and revolves every where according to the central laws to jgreat distances round the sun with' ^ motion sufficient at this' distance for the free circular motion, if it is taken for granted that out of these particles planets ^ formed themselvQg, they could not but have motive powers, by which they must move in ' orbits that approach very nearly to circles, though they deviate somewhat therefrom , as they formed themselves of particles from differ rent heights* It is likewise very natural that those planets, which form themselves at great heights, (where? the space around them is much greater, 'which occasions that the diffe- rence pf the velocity of the particles exceeds the l^orce with which they are (J^aAvn to the cen- tre of the planet,) there acquire grearer masses than near the sun. The agreement with many other ctiriosities of the planetary world I pass over, because it naturally presents itself.* 'In the remotest parts of the system and chielly at great distances from the plane of reference the bodies forming thernselves, the comets, cannot have this regularity. And thus, after every thing has united itself in separate mas- ses, the space of the planetary world will 4>e- come void. . Yet in later epochs from the Utmost boundaries of the sphere of attraction may have suAk particles, whioh for the future ^

Y 4 ^ may

  • Tlie formation of a smaller system that as a part

belongs to the planetary wprld, lifce Jupiter and Saturn, ' as also the turnuig ubon the J^et of th^se celestial bodies are on account ol analogy comprelunded under this ex< plication.

'• /. * ^34^ essaVs and

^ may in celestial space always move freely ih .

, ' ' orbits round ine sun. Substances of the grcik*

'. i^ est rarity and perhaps the substance of whitll

■." ,1 ponsiststhe liglii of the zodiac,

r 1 ^ 4- *.

■ " S'o h olion. ■ ,

^f, . ■ ^ '

^. The chief design of this contemplation is

■ ■'^ to give an' example of the procedure, to^ wliic^^

' our antecedent proofs liave authorized us, by-' ^\ removing the iin<2TOHnded apprehension, as if I every explanation of a great disposition of (he T I ' wprid from iiTii^ ersal laws- of nature should

. ■-. '-make a breach in the fortifications of religion, J

H . for its wicfeed enemies to enier into. .Tin

  • ,, ' adduced liypolhesis, in my Opinion, has i

',;. least poiinds enow for itself to invite men c

enlarged iindnrst.'tndincs to a closer exn . • tion of the plan {which is but an imperfect sJtetch) therein I represented. My end, so far ■ " as it concerns this publication, is accomplished, "if ene , prepared by the conAdence "in the re- gularity and order, which' mpy flow from universaJ laws of nature, opens a free field , J bift .to. natural philosophy, and can be induced

to consider a mode of explication, like this 'or any other, as. possible aAd harmoniting with the co^ition of a wis&ipod. •'

■ It would be worthy of a philosophical

effort, after the vortices, the favourite instru-

" pient of &6 many syst^us, have been banished

/ willioui the sphere of nature to Milton's Limi-

bo or paradise oii^gAs, fo inquire stifficiently

wheiher nature hertMf ipes not offer some-

i^' ' thing,

' I


thing, which can, without feigning particular powers, explaki the centrifugal motion of the. pMnets directed entirely tojane region, since the other motion of the central powers ' in gravitation is given as a durable band of nature. At least this plan, sketched by us, does not swerve from the rule of unity, for even this

, centrifiigal power is considered as ^ conse- quence of gravitation J as is suitable .to con- tingent motions, for these are consequences of the powers inherent in matter even at rest. I have besides to observe that the aComical system of Dempcritus and Epicurus, notwith- standing the first appearance of similarity, tias

S a quite different reference to concluding an Author of the world, than the delineation of our system. In that the motion is eternal and without an author and the conjunction, the : rich source of so much order, axhance, pf w^hich no ground is any where to be found. In this a known and true law of nature con- ducts, according to a very comprehensible presupposition , of necessity and with o»der^ and as a determining ground of a bias to Re- gularity is here to be met w^ith ; iind some-r thing that keeps nature in the track of <ion-r sistency and beauty , so one is led to the pre»» sumption of a ground, from which the ne- cessity of the reference to perfection may be understood.

In order however by another example to render comprehensible, How the effect of gravitation in the conjunction of diffused ele- ments is necessarily determined to produce re*- gularity and beauty , I shall add an exposition

5 of




^4V ' ESSAf S AND '

1%^' tf the mechanical mocle of generation of Sa- '-■' - tara's ring, which nieihinfss* has as much ■" .'■ ^robBbility, as can be expected from an hy-

VOtbcsis. Let it be granted me, only, that ..

, ^fiatyiai in the first sge of the world was sur-» w

tonqded by an atmosphere, such as is seen ■

J '^^jllMmt several comets, which do not approach '■

^_ . TiBrynear tothesim, andappear with trains,

'.-■;■ 'j, tbat the particles of the atmosphere ascended

■■fr9W 'his planet (to which we shall allow a

- nKption upon the axis), and ihat afterwards^

-.^, diwft vapours, whether it be that the planet

..; ■ . t adoled, or fiom other causes, began to descend

  • ■ 'to hini again, therestfoUowe'd with mechanical

' Mccurncy, For as all the particles from the H

im jtoiiit of the surface where thuy arose must j^m

_-'^iefW' a velocity eqtial to this 'place to niovi^^H

tV-' /;. Wwmd the axis of the planet, so all of theinv^H

■ ^y means o£ this side motion must have I endeavour^ to describe according to the rules

of -the cental powers free orbs round Saturn.* I , But all those particles, whose^ velocity has not ^ . . -the -Trery degree, whiph by centrifugal power exactly holds the balance of the attraction of ^ - tKe height: where they float, mu9t of necessity strike against and retail one another, tiU . ' only thpse> which can iroll according to cen- . tral laws in a free circular motion , reqi&ia ' moved round Saturn in orbits,, the other4 • however, fall back by degrees to his surface.


•AceoTdjiig to the pretapyotitioii > Sstiitn tnovM ipon Iii« vcig. Every particLa tlut strands from him muit tlieiefoie have ine very lune.tide liiocion anil, vrhaterer helglit it may undn, oAnduRM' ib.- '

^ ;^ TABATISEa. * 347

Now all these circular motions must neceis- sarily intersect the lengthened 'plane of Sa- turn's equator; which is known to every- body, who is acquainted with the central laws; thus the other particles of his former' atmosphere finally press round Saturn to a circular plane, which occupies the lengthened equator of this, planet, and whose outerinost edge is cut off by the same cause, as in the ^comets determines the boundiAy of the atmo- sphere. This Vunhus of freely moved mundane matter must necessarily become a ring, or rather the said motions cannot terminate in i any other figure than that of a ring. For as they can all haye their velocity for a circular motion but from, the points of the surface of Saturn , whence they arose, those which arose from his equator possess the greatest velocity. As now^of all the distances from his centre there is but one, where this velocit/y is exactly appo- site to the circular motion, and at every smaller distance is too weak, so a fcircle may be de- scribed in this limbo from the centre of Sa- turn, within which all the particles must sink to the surface of this planet, but all the others between this circle and that of his outermost edge ^consequently those contained in a circular space,) henceforward remain in motion roiftid him freely floating in circular orbits, ,

After such a solution one arrives at conse- quences, by which the time ff Saturn's turn- ing upon his axis is given, and indeed with so much probability, that these grounds, by which it is at the same time determined, are



<• .




iLi'sKJs XJtiy

granted. For, as the pnrlicTes of tlic internal edge have the'same velocity as those which a point of Saturn's equator has , and over and above this vcloeity according to tiie laws of • gravitation has the degree suitable to a circu- lar motion, so from the relation of the dis- tance of one of Saturn's sfitellites lo the dis- tance of fhc internal edge of the ring from th«, centre of the planet, as also from the giveaj time of the revolution of the satellite, may b€^ found the time of tlie revolving of tlie parA tides in the internal edge, but fiom this a the relation of the smallest diameter of thei ring to that of the planet, this his rotationi about his axis. And thus is found, by calcu-|[ lation, that Saturn must '*iirn upon his axis in 5 hours and about 40 minutes , which, when the an.Tlogy with the other planets is consuhed , seems lo harmonize well with the time of their revolving. ' " ■ .

And now whether the presupppsition of the^ cometary atmosphere, which Satumlnay • have had in the beginning, be granted or not, the inference, whi»^ I thence drew for ^ho -illustration of njy chief position, remain^

  1. meseems, .pretty secure: that, if such aa

atmosphere was around hin^, the mechanical generation of a floating ring mu* be a necea-t Sary consequent thereof, and that therefois the issue of nature left toimiversal la*?, tends even from the chaos to regularity.





The sum of all these conteitiplakions lead$ tis to a conception of the Supreme Being ■^hich , wheiv men made of dust venture to \look behind the curtain that conceals from created eyes the mysteries of thd-^nscrutable^ comprehends in itself every thing possible ta be thought. God is all-sufficient. What ex- ists, whether it .be possible or actual, is but something , so far as it is given by Him. A human language may let the Infinite speali to himself thus , I am from eternity to eternity^ besides me there is nothing y something is hut SO far as it is through mei This thought, the ' most sublime of any is yet much neglected^ or for the most part not touched on. That which in the possibilities of things presents itself for perfection and beauty in excellent plans , is to be considered as of itself a neces- sary object of the Divine wisdom, but not as a consequence of this incomprehensible Beings Th« dependence of other things has been lilteited to their existence merely, whereby i great share in the groimd of so much perfec- tion is taken away from that Supreme Nature a:^d attributed to I know not what eternal nonentity, . . ^

Fruitfulness of a single ground in many consequences, ..harmony and aptitude of na- tures to be congruent in a regular plan ac- cording to universal laws without frequent collision ^ must fitst be met with in the possi- bilities


350 XSSATS'AND , ,

billties of thinps, and then onlj can wisdom be aclive in choosin": llieni. What limits^ >voiild beset to the Independent from a foreign ground, if even these possibilities were not grounded in iiini? And what an unintelli- gible fortuitousness is to be found in this field of possibility, without presupposing some One existing, unity and confrruity, by which the Being of thi highest degree of potency and wisdom, when those external relations are compared with his internal faculty, seeth himself able to effectuate great perfection? Certainly such a representation never deliven the origin of the good witiiout all detriment into the hand of a single beinjr. When Hu^en invented the pendulum of a clock, he could never, if heithought on't, totally attribute to himseMf that imiformity which constitutes i^ perfection; the nature of the cycloid only, -which makes it possible that small and great arcs are (iescribcd in it in equal time by a free fall, could put this performance in his power. That from the simple ground of gravitation so ereat a compass of bcautifiiJ consequences is even but ])ossiblc, would, did it not depend upon him who linth produced all this connexi- on by actual execution, niiinifcstly lessen, and divide his part in the charming unity and the great compass of so much order deriving fi*om i one single ground.

The admiration of the consequence, of M effect ceases the moment I distinctly and ea/lilj ^ perspect the suliiciency of its cause, 'tbo^ji when I contemplate the mechanical sto^**""^^ of the human body, or any artifioijiLf

l^AE ATIfSES. 351

tion whatever j as ^ work of the Jklmighty, no admirauon more can find place; For it is to be easily and distinctly understood That He who can every thing, may likewise pro- duce such a macliine Avhenit is possible. But, though this may have been adduced for the purpose of comprehending more easily, there * still remains cause for admiration. For it is astonishing that such a thing as. an animal is even possible. And though I could fully per- spect the nature of fethers and tubes, ojf all the nervous vessels, of the lymphatics, of the lever and mechanical arrangement of it; how it is possible that so manifold perfor- mances could be united in one structure, how the different worfes in order to one end are so well suited to that by which anotlxer end is attained, how the very same conjunction serves over and above to preserve the machine and to repair the consequences of accidental injuries, and how it is possible that a man can be of so fine a texture and, notwithstand- ing so many grounds of destruction, last so long, are all objects of admiration. Though I have finally informed myself tliat so'niuch unity and harmony are possible, because there exists a Being, who compriseth together with the grounds of actuality those also of all pos- sibility, this does not yet annul the ground of admirf^tion. For a conception may, it is true, be formed by the.., analogy with what men exercise, how a being can be the cause of something actual, .j^utvnever how it conv prehendsthe.'fiKV^iBd .|||^ internal possi- bility of Ql^ i fj^f^ns as. if this

.: tl.iought



thought soared too high to he reached lijj [Reared being.

This hif^h conception of ihe Divine nntt Aien we conceive of it rtccordin-* to its nlSl fciencT, can, even in the jiulgnicnt on m Bunlity of |>u»sible things, wiicre immtiditilf p-omid» of decision atie wHniinf: Lo us, serV4»a tor no exjietiient to conclude from il ground furiden possibility ns a conseqitetf l1)c question is. Whether anion;^ ;iil poss' worliU , s\s no natural order nl nil is posaiH above which slill a mure excellenL nifty, i' be thought, a rising withoiU end isTiofcto^ met in the degrees of peifection ; ngain , should herein grant a highest degree, Whell there are not iit least difleri'iii worlds, wb^ are surpHSsed, by none, t|iutc equal t-\ .>n* another in perfection? VVilii such ijin; : i. ns it is difficiJt and perhaps ini))Opaib!e t(i de(Mte_ _Sny jhing from the con tcni illation ot possil]^

    • ■ 4 only. But, when I wfi;;h both [

^ems in connexion with llie Mivine^ ud cognise that the preference of t (rhich the One world has before 1 may be gathered witlmut ilie

the jiidginciU of ■ ' Ibhuses, or even conii [|t in lh(^ iiHn r

thisati sbs. 553

prcliena That there Is much less ground, from jjiesupposed possiMlities, which cannot how- ever be sufltciemly ascertained, to conclude a necessary conchict of the most perfect Pichig, (wliich is of such a nature, as to seem to lessen the conception of the greatest harnionv in him) than from the cognised harmony, in ■which the possibilities of things must be witli the Divine nature, from what is cognised it) be the most suitable to this Being to conthide the possibility. I therefore presume that in the possibilities of all worlds there can be no such relations.as must contain a ground of the embarrassment in the rational choice of llie Su- preme Being; for this very Supreme Being con- taineth the last ground of all this possibiliu-, in ■which, then, nothing else, than wliat har- monizes with its origin, can be met with.

This conception of the Divine alsuj/iciaicv extended beyond all that is possible and actual is a much more correct expression , to denote thft greatest perfection of this Being, than that of the Infinite, which is commonly used. Tor though the latter may be interpreled as one pleases, it is according to its proper signi- fication manifestly mathematical. It denotes the iMttatibn' of one quantity to another as the measure, -which relation is greater than all number. Hence in the proper sense of tlic •word the Divine copntion would be deno- minated infiniie, so ).ji .f it, comparatively rith any other cogu'. possible to be pro- ' h.is a re!.iti»» x-h transcends all

BTiunib'^r. A* ^iich a comparison

r dciignal- h those of created




things reduces to a Iiomogeneity which can- not, be well niiiintained, and besides does not directly give lo understand that which is thereby mcint , namely , the undiminished possession of all perfection; so, on the con- trary, nil tliiit is possible to be thought on this is found united in ihe word, alsufliciency. The aj)pcllation, infinity, however, is beau- tiful and, coiTectly speahing, icslheLical. The enlarging beyond all conceptions of number moves , and by a certain embarrassment fills the soul with astonishment. Whereas the word we recommend is more suitable to the logical accuracy.



ADi-ib'tKo An«n:v(EXT Ko othrU roi\ a de-

mokstjvatiox of the existence of

God is possible.

Division of all. possible ^rgttmejits iji Support bj the Existence of God.

ri-'he conviction of llie great truth , there is a God, if it shall have the highest dejrrfie of mathetiiatical certainty, has this peculiar to itselL That it can be attained but in one way and gives this conteraplaiion the preference, that th^ philosophical efforts nmst unite them- selves in a single argument, in order rather to correct the faults, which may have slipt into the prosecution of it than to repudiate it, as. soon «9 one is convinced that no choice among other uninmems of the satrie sort is pessibtL-.

I have to notice that

to be fulfilJed, must

Mcly , not to evince

' ljU and very perfect

pieiiie Being, not

• f supreme beings,



but of One only, and this not by great grounds of probability, btit with mathema- tical evidence*

All arguments for the existence of God can be taken but either from the intellectual con- ceptions of the merely possible j or from the conception of the existing taken fiom expe- rience. In the former case is concluded either from the possible as a ground the existence of God as a consequence, or from the possible as a co7?5^^w^72c^ the Divine existence as a ground. In the latter case, on the oiher hand, is collected either from that, whose existence we experience, the existence of a first and inde-peiidenb cause merely , but by means of the anatomizing of this conception his Divine attributes, or from vrhat experience teaches are immediately inferred as well his existence as his attributes.


Proof of the ArguDients of the former Sort.

If from the conception of the naerely pos- sible as a e:round shall be concluded the exis- tence as a consequence, the said existence must be to be therein found by the dissection of this conception; for there is no other deriva- tion of a consequence from a conception of the possible than by the logical solution. Lut then the existence must be comprised in tl.e possible as a predicate^ As this now accord- ing to the first contemplation of the first sec- tion never finds place, so it is evident That



a proof of the truth of what we are speaking 4S in the aforesaid manner impossible.

AVe have a famous proof , however, built upon this ground , named the Cartesian. Let a conception of a possible thing, in which is represented united all true perfection, be first imagined. Now let it be supposed that ex- istence is likewise a perfection of things j therefore * from the possibility of a perfect being is concluded his existence. In the same manner from tlie conception of every thing, which is represented but as the most perfect of its species, for instance, thence only be- cause a perfect world is conceivable, may itai existence be concluded. But i^lthout em- barking in a circumstantial refutation of this, proof, which is already to be met wiih in other works , I refer but to that which is ex- plained in the beginning of this treatise, na-^ mely, that existence is by no means a pre-^ dicate, consequently no predicate of perfec- tion neither, and hence from an explication^ which contains an arbitrable imion of different predicates, in order to make up the concep- tion of any one possible tiling, can never be concluded the existence of this thing and therefore not the existenpe of God.

Whereas, the conclusion from the possi- bilities of things as consequences of the ex- istence pf God as a ground, is quite of another nature. Here is investigated, whether, in order that something may be possible, some one existing thing must not be presupposed, and whether that existence, without which «ven no internal po9sibiUt;y has pl^ce^ do^s

Z z not


.i>or comprehend such properties as we com- bine in the cojtceplion of the Divinity. In this case it is first of all clear that, unless I presuppose tlie existence of that which is pos- sible but on certain conditions, I cannot con- clude an existence from the contingent possi- bilily , for this gives only to understand th(it something can exist but in certain connexions, and the existence of the cause is shown but so far as the consequence exists, but here it must not be concluded from its existence,^ hence such a proof, provided it find place, can be made from the internal possibility only. Further, it is perceived that it must spring from the absolute possibility of all things in general. For it is but the internal possibility itself of which must be cognised that it pre- supposes some one existence and not the par- ticular predicates by which one possible thing distinguishes itj^clf from anolher; for ihe dis- tinclion of })re(licatcs tahes place in the mere- ly possible too, and never denotes any thing existing. Theieiore in the abovemenfcioned manner from the internal possibility of all that is cogitable nnist be gathered a Divine existence. That this can be done, has been shown in the whole first section of this w^ork.

Proof of the Arguments of the latter Sort.

The proof, by which is inferred from the conceptions of experience from what exists to the existence of a first independent Cause according to the rules of caudal conclusions,



but from this by logical dissection of the con* caption to theprpperties of that which denotes a Deity, is celebrated and brought into high repute chiefly by the school of Wplfian phi-? losophers, it is however totally impossible) I grant that every thing is regularly inferred as far as the position , if there exists something there likewise exists some thing that depends not upon any other things I grant too that the ex- istence of any one or more things , wljiich are not effects of another thing, is clearly evinced. Now the second step to the position, That this independent thing is absolutely ne- cessary ^ is rriuch less certain, as it must be conducted by means pf the position of suflicient reason , that is still impugned; but I make no hesitation to subscribe every thing as far as this. Consequently there exists something of absolute necessity. From this . conception of the absolutely necessary Being must now be derived his attributes of the highest perfection and unity. But the con- ception of absolute necessity, which here forms the basis, may, as has* been shown in the first section , be taken in a twofold man- ner. In the one, as it is named by us the logical necessity, must be. shown that the contrary of that thing, in which is to be met with all perfection or reality , is inconsistent w^ith itself, and that that being only, whose predicates are all truely aflirmative, is abso- lutely necessary in existence. And as from the very same thorough union of all reality in one Being must be concluded that he is one^ it is clear that the anatomizing of the concep-

Z 4 tions



tions of the necessary rests upon such grounds, according to which I must be able conversely to conclude, that that, wherein all reality is,, necessarily exists. Now this mode of conclu- sion is not dnly impossible according to the preceding number, but it is particularly re- marlwable that in lliis manner the proof is not at all built uj)on the conception of experience, which is presupposed without making the least use of it , but is like the Cartesian fronx conceptions only, in w-hich the existence of a being is imagined to be found in either the identity or the collision of the predicates.*

It is not my intention to dissect the proofs themselves, which dissection may be seen in several autliors conformably to this method. It is easy to detect their paralogisms, and this detection has already been made in part by others. As it may still be hoped, however, that iheir faults are to be corrected , it may be perceived from our contemplation that, what- ever be done to them, they never can become any thing else than conclusions from concep- tions qf possible things, but not from expe- riencc,and, v/hatever happens, are therefore to be numbered with the proofs of theformer sort.

As to the other proof of that sort, w^here


  • This is on wliat T chiefly j)rocceJ liere. When I place

the necrssity of a conception m the contrary's contradict- ing itself, and then maintain that the infinite is of suck SL nature, it is quite nnnecessary to presuppose the ex- istence of the necessary Being, as it follows from the conception ol the infinite. Nay, that presupposed existence is in this proof evtn totally idle. For as in its prt\£jress the conceptions of necessity i'.nd of infinity are considered as akernate conceptions, so from the existence of the jieccbsary is actually conclu<'.rd infinity, because the in- finite (and indeed it only) neoessajrily e^dsts.

from conceptions of existing things taken from experience the existence of God and at the same time his attribues are concluded , it is quite otherwise circumstanced. This proof is not only possible, but in every respect worthy to be brought by united efforts to due perfection. The things of the world that discover themselves to our senses , show as well distinct criteria of their contingency, as, by the gpreatness, the order and dispositions conformable -to -end, everywhere to be per- ceived, proofs of a rational Author of great wisdom, and potency, and goodness. From the great imity in a whole so extensive may 'be collected that there is but a single A'utiior of all these things , and though in all these conclusions no geometrical strictness is conspi- cuous, they indisputably contain so much energy, that, according to rules which the natural sound understanding follows, they, leave not a moniient's doubt to any reasonably persQn*

In . general there are hut two Proofs of th^ Existence of God possihle.

From all these judgments is to be learned that, if one would conclude from conceptions of possible things , no other argument for the existence of God is possible, than that, in which even the internal possibility of all things is considered as something that presupposes some one existence; as was done in the first section

Z 5 of


of this work. As also it is evident that , if from what experience te«aches us of existing things the conclusion shall amount to the very same truth, the proof can be given of the existence as well as of the qualitii of the chief Cause but by the properties perceived in the things of the world and the contingent disposition of tlie universe. May I be allowed to name the ibrmer proof the ontological, and the latter the cosmological ?

This cosmological proof, meseems, is as old as human reason. It is so nature^l, sp enjraging and enlarges one's r^flectipn so much with the ])rogress of our introspections , that it must last as long as there is any one ratio- nal creature, who wishes to tal«5 part in the noble contemplation, to cognise God. from his works. The endeavours of Derhani, Nicnwcntvt and manv others have with this view, though soaietiinds iiiterniixcd wijh much vanity, to give by the sijinal of reli- gious /.eal a veneiable appearance to all sorts ol physical kuowlc'lgc or even to faiicit'S, done honour to human roiison. INotwithiilanding all this excellence this mode of proof is still incajKihle of juathemalical certahity and ex- actitiule. Only some one incomprehensibly great Author of that whole which jjveseiits itself to our senses mav alwavs be cojicluded, but not the existence of the most ])crfect of all possible beings. It is the greatest proba- bility in the world that there is but one first Aiithor, but this conviction wants much of the fulness, which dares the hoidcst scepti- cism. That occasions that we cannot conclude



more or greater properties in the c^use , than we find directly necessary in order thence tp imderstand tlie degree and quality of - tlie ef- fects; when we have no other occasion to judge of the existance of this cause, than what the effects give us. Now we cognise much perfection, greatness and ord^r in the world, and cannot thence conclude more with logical strictness , than that their cause must possess much understanding, potency and goodness, but by no. means that it is omni- scient, omnipotent &c. It is an immense whole in which we perceive unity and thorough connexion, and we may thence conjecture w^ith great reason that there is but one Author of it. But we must acknowledge that we do not know all that is created, and hence judge that, what is known to us bespeaks but one Author, from which vsre presume that what is unknown to us is of the very same nature; which indeed is very rationally thought, but does; not conclude strictly.

On the contrary j unless we flatter our- selves too much , our projected ontological proof 3eems to be susceptible of that mathe- matical strictness, which is required fqr a demonstration. Were it the question, how- ever , which of the two in general is the best, the answer would be, Whenever logical exact- ness and completeness are upon the carpet, it is the ontological proof, but if comprehen- sion to the common just conception, liveli- ness of impression , beauty and the power of moving the moral springs of humiin natiu'e, the preference is to be granted to the cosmo-


  1. »


lojrica], ^nd, whilst at the same time sound UTulerstaiiding is convinced, as it is wiiliout doubt of more importance to animate men with hi^-h feelin£[s , which are fertile in noble activity, than to instruct in carefully weighed syllogisms, with a view to satisfy the more refined speculation , so , when the procedure is sincere, the preference of tlie more general usefulness caimot be refused to the known cosmological proof.

It is therefore no flattering artifice that courts the approbation of others , but sinceri- ty , when , to such an amplification of the weighty co£nition of God and ot his attributes, as Keijnariis delivers in his book on Xatural lielifrion, I willingly giant the preference of usefulness before every other j-roof, in which logical strictness is more considered, and of course before niine. For without talvins: into considcraliun the v«il;io of t}iis and other writ- ings of this man, which cliicny consist in an unarliiiciai use of a soimd and beautiful rea- tion, such grounds have actually great force of 'a\<j:\uucnl aud excite more intuition, than the loivical absiract concei'tions, lhoi]2h these

■ ■ J ' v..

iiivc to undcr^taiul the object more e::artlv.

Yd as a seairhlng under- tanning, when it has once fallen cjtx the tracl; of invc.^ti<:ation, is not satisfied till evciv thinn: around it is Jiifht and, if 1 may so express myself, till the circle that boinuis its question is quite closed, so nobody will hold useless and superfluous an endeavour v.hjcli is, lihe the present , em- ]>Ioved about the loiiical exactitude in a cotini- tiou so very momentous, especially as there



are itlanv cases, -wherein without such care the application^ of its cohceptions would remain insecure and doubtfuh

There is but one Demonstration of the Existence

of God possi])le^ in Support of which the

ylrginnejit is above given.

From the foregoing it is evident that among the four imaginable arguments, which we have reduced to two principal sorts, the Cartesian as well as that from the conception of existence taken from experience carried on by means of the solution of the conception of an independent thing, is false and totally impossible^ that is, these arguments are not only not proved with sufficient strictness, but they inrenotat all proved. It has been farther shown that the proof, from the properties of things of the world to conclude the existence and the attributes of the Deity, involves aii apposite and a very beautiful argument, only that it is never capable df the strictness of a demonstra- tion. * Nothing now remains but that either no strict proof of this whatever is possible, or that it must rest upon that argument, which we have above adduced. As the possibility of a proof is absolutely the subject of present inquiry, nobody will maintain the former, and the issue is conformable to what we have pointed out. There is but one God and only one argument, by which it is possible to per-

  • spect

366 SS9ATS

spect his existence with the perception of that necessitv, which «'ibsolutely clcstiovs all that is contrary. A jiulgment, lo wliiclj even the quality of the object mifiht immediaLely lead. All other thinffs that exist anv where nii:£ht also not exist. The experience of contin£cnt things, therefore, cannot .yield an ar*:unient fit for coj:ni5>ing the existence of him, of whom it is impossible that he should not ex- ist. Only in this, that the negation of the Divine existence is absolutely nothing, lies the distinction of His existence from that of other things. The inteiTial possibility, the essence of things is that, whose annulling destroys all that is co^rltable. Herein then consists the proper criterion of the existence of the Being of all beings. In this seek the proof and, when you are of opinion not to find it here, turn from this uribealen path to the broad highway of human reason. It is absolutely necessary lo convince one's self of tlie existence of God ; but it is uot just so ne- cessai-y that it should be demoiistrated.





Let uft reniove from devotion all those mistakes, to -f^hich the corruptions of men, or their ignorance and prejudices, hare given rise. With us let it be the worship of God, in jpirit and in truth; the eleyation of the soul towards him in simplicity and love. Let us pursue it as the principle of virtuous conduct, and of inward peace » by frequent and serious inedithtion on the great objects of religion , let us la^ ourselves open to its influence. By means of the institutions of the Gospel, let us cherish its impressions.

Blair , On Dewoiiou.

' \






TThe category moral liberty has been al- ready represented (in The Principles of the critical Philosophy) as a moral predisposi- tion in man [an original laying down of the causality of the will as independent upon every determination of nature, that is, every material determinative .of the will]. But, between this moral predisposition and the morally good will the distinction is very. great. Only that will, vv^hich is devested


  • Tins treatise, extracted, at tli^ translator's request,

by professor Eeck , ^out of Kant's great work bearing this title, was published as the fourth part of I'/tc Friitciples of the critical r/tiiosojjJiy t but, several inaccuracies, whicli disfigure it, having unfortunately creeped in^ the translator deemed a subject of such sublimity and im- portance worthy of this zeyisal.

Vol. n. A a


from sensitive determinatives , is morall good.

All moral religion, however, consists i the refleciion of (he virtuous man on nature^ wherein he expects that it will correspond to^ the moral worth otniankind, which expecta- tion cannot be grounded but in the concep- tion of nature as a whole, and conscquentlytd its reference to a luoral Author of the vi^orIdi«i| The conception of this is indted transcendent) like that of the intellect whicli, as the Authoc' J of organized beings, v^e have in thought in the judgment of them. But, as tlie concejitio&fl of the thing that harmonizes with and de lopes itself ooniormably to the unity of en has meaning; sq has mtaning the expectatic^ of the virtuous, who projnises himself froij natme, contemplated as a whole, that, whicT the part he inhabits alFords not. . From this arises an aspect of revealed I'eU- glon , so named , as a moral religion^i - lu phenomenon ih, the world is an event of na- ture , ancl as -$uch completely determined by causes natural. Thus is circimistanced every , alteration which the establishment of Chiisiia' nism has occasioned.

So far, however, as .vpb refer nature in general to a moral Author of nature, in this xcference we shall comprehend that pheno- menon too , so conformable to the moral destination of man. As the generation, the growth, the nuti-ition of the plant, is an event of nature , and yet we can by no means do without the conception of a cause accord- ing to ends (as a principle, quite different


from the mechanism of nature, and which even uses this mechanism,) in order but to think of the plant as an organized being, and to distinguish it from other things by a crite- rion; so may the gospel,, though its pheno- ' menon is but an event of nature, be referred to a principle, diflFerent from it, and which has for its end the producing of moral order in nature.

Thus have we given a conception of reve-^ lation, which no doubt has signification, though but moral and not theoretical. Wesliall now- represent it more at large in this form : Man is,//r5^, on account of his moral predisposition, a moral being and cogitable as such by a concep- tion, whereby we separate him from nature. But he is, secondly ^ an object of nature at the same time. Notwithstanding all that moral principle of man, experience teaches vis to know him as morally bad, that is, as a being, who subsists not independently upon sensual determinatives, but whd frequently discovers himself a slave to his inclinations. We shall therefore represent, as a position of ex- perience, that a bad principle is to be found in man (or in humankind) beside that good principle of the moral predisposition itself. If it is right that every person, with the earliest manifestations of his consciousness, makes his inclinations the chief principle of hia actions, the morality of mankind (as an object of experience) can commence but with a coti^ flict of the had principle with the good one that dwells by it. Now the victory of the good principle in man over the bad is what consti-

Aa a tutes

■ >

  • '^ut« ■ ill him the morally good r[iiality. Bi

the morally ^od man, as a necessitous beings always. Tcmams eaqrosed to be fioverned by

, the 'bad priiiciplef-lyet ihe dommion of the good jstrimipU ov^. ihc bad in manUud in oe~ h/mfd-ia fon every -ouiE a fojitdiiLion to fortify in' a mo^lly good vray of thinking and iike- wise-for iw duration. That thy CJirisuan Be- ligioh, as a stable proof tbat lijc good prin-

- ciple has 'stniefcoi root in manhindin general, is tOvbe.comidered as a testinumy of the do- aiini(m of the good jnincip]t; over iJie bad, will he evinced in thf sequel o^ this treatise..

■Pf Oa Dmmn^of the had Principle tf


or on the radical Had in human Nature.

As the position , hian is hy nature good.

Or he is by nature bad, seems to involve a

contradiction, we shall represent its sensis

more clearly. When the moral quality, and

not the moral predisposition , of man, is in

- question, one thinlis of that which is" to Be-

imputed to him , whereof the mere possib^ty

only is thought in the conception of his mo-

. ,"ral predisposition. This moral quality, which

man originally gives himself, is then meant,

, when' it is judged that he is either good or

.had. To I^e by nature good or bad ,' would be

contradictory, if by nature were understood

the ground of the quality, that is quite foreign ■

TRE ATI SES. . 373

to the person himself and found without him. But wh€n we say either the one or the other of man, it is but with a view. to point out, that , as the last ground of the moral quality of mankind is entirely hidden from us, he, with the first manifestations of his conscious- ness, appears to us either morally good, or morally bad. This last ground of his mo- ral-quality, however, by virtue of his moral predisposition (his personality) , lies not less in him entirely, and this quality must not be the less imputed to him. But the ex- pression of the innate moral character of man must be understood as the mere incomprehen-: sibility of the first ground of the moral quali- ty. , Therefore the position, man is. by nature good, or he is by nature bad, or, his moral character is innate, says nothing more nor less , than that the first principle of the adop- tion of legal or of illegal maxims is inscrut- able to us, and man himself, should he trace this ground to even his earliest youth, would not be capable to discover it,

But though the meaning of the expression, man is by nature good, or bad, is shown, it may be aslied, whether, man is by nature citlt^r good or bad, be a proper disjunctive position. This question cannot be answered but when it is compared with the principle of all moral conceptions. As a morally good 'cast of mind is totally different from that which consists in the intention of mailing the bare legality of actions the higheM maxim of the will , so one of them only can be of vali- dity, man has either made, ornotmade, this

Aa 3 mere


mere legality tlie highest maxim of his will, and can therefore be but one of them , either morally good, or morally bad. Consequently if we hold up to the transcendental station of all moial judgment, as well the position, man is by nature neither good nor bad, as, man is by nature both, at the same time, (in some points good, in others bdd,) it is obvious that all practical import is wanting to- both. Those, who incline to that severe manner of thinhing, the exclusion of a third, namely, the position, man is either good or bad, are named rigorists^ and their antipodes may be denominated lat'Uiidinarians ; these are either latitudinarians of neutrality, and may be temied indijf events ^ or of coalition, and may be distinguished by the appellation of syn-^ ere lists.

Before the tribunal of tlie practical reason, man, accordini: to liis uiteUi^iibilLS character, lliouglit by a conception, Avliereby we se- ])arate liim from nature, is, then, by nature, either good or bad. Tliis conce])tioii allows no mean , because man is not thereby thought as an object of experience, but by a mere idea, M'hich has no tlieoretical signification. If Iiowever we contemplate in man his empirical character, id est ^ himself as an object of ex- perience, he appears to us as a being affected by inclinations, which intrude upon him as ■ first determinatives of his will. Under this ■conception now he may easily be thought as in some pointe good and, at the same time, y in others bad, as the moral cast of mind, that '"is, the independence of the will upon material




determinatives , in man in experience , neces- sarily has a degree, and by consequence he may grow morally better, than he is at every instant. Bpth positions, man is by nature bad and good at the same time and, man is by nature neither good nor bad, are valid with men as objects of experience. The fprmer says that every one , from his earliest ybuth, finds himself in a certain , somewhat greater, somewhat smaller degree of receptibility of a morally good way of thinking; but the latter , that the moral state and imputableness of man are something, which arosb in him.

Man is, first, an animal^ secondly, a rational being j thirdly, capable of imputation^ id estf a moral being. So far as he is the last (a person) , does he possess the receptibi- lity of reverence for the moral law, as of it- self a sufficient spring of the arbitrement. The personality itself can be thought but as a pre- disposition to jirbper worth. It is the possi- bility to be either morally good , or morally bad. Only of the two first predispositions (animality and hum«anity) can it be said that vice may be grafted upon them; not of the last, as this contains but the possibility of being wicked. The predisposition to anima- lity in man is threefold, first ^ to self-preserva- tion, secondly J to the propagation of the species , thirdly , to intercourse with other men , that is , the instinct for society. These predispositions are not bad in themselves, but moral bad may be grafted upon them , to wit, when man, by virtue of his personality, makes these instincts the chief determinatives

Aa /f of

" - ^ z s s A T < A :: D

  • . '

fA hi: -.Vj;!. Tilt ':ir.f:y ^o rtrliins

tii'j.f: u: i.*f; r:iC^;r.e.3 of nature and, in \'\k:M:X f't: i;itiori froni tLe end or nature, tikeT an; itiunfi'l ur 'tal tices: s{'utto\yf ro/ap^aotts- //^'.*, firifl .mntie liccit'ttniync s. The predis- j>'/jiiojj V.} Ji!:;ii«iniLy itself is likewise not ij'i'J. Ill it lies the inclination to procure fjfie ', A.W ,'i wciitli in the eves of others. Is llii> iiK I'jn.'iiion itself, Iiowever, the chief clrtr ii.iliiallvc of the will? then, man loses jiH iniM.h proper worth , as he believes to gain in tlic opiiirin ofolheis. The vices growided iijioii ihii iiu.linaiion are denominated vices i>i' Mihiire, Mirl, in the highest degree of their dc'itiavily, diabolical vices.

Vid's may ihiis be grafted upon the pr6-*< 4lis|w)sili()iKs in man to aniniality and to hd- luanlty, yri these themselves aie not morally hail. : hiMiIil V. e I'^ml a i-rinciple for the bad in iiMn!.iniI ju) early as the Hist nianiiesta- t'uuis nt iv'MSi iiiiSiU/S , naniOiv, a principle ti^ r.Mi.i^ ;ho :'i.i:l;\Mli. n lu' ihc inclinations tlie \iiU4 ;".a\'i:;i iS l!iO will, Muh a principle ^^i^;:^•. !^*;«i' !i\l a " .'^ -cyry.'.' \- lo llie bad, which, tl .^; :./» it "u"S in :'... hr.ir...n r.-.iu: e ilself , is

• • * ' ■% • 1*

_ > *• ••• •- ■'"<; ■■■•% ■» •.-■'-■ ^ T F"- f npr

  • ••*"• ^. I, ..^»_'-, •J"

% « 


in general, wherein we remove him from na- ture (ihe complex of all that is intelligible, of couise coruprlhensible) and cogitate him as the absoluieiy first cause of the maxims of his will. A propensity toT the bad is therefore an act^ and not to be coiriniuted with a phy- sical propensity, that is, with a mere predis- position in human nature, or with an incli- nation grounded thereupon. This propensity to the good or to the bad in the human nature is that which is denominated the good, or the bad lieart.

iSpealdng here of the bad heart, or of the propensity to the bad, we mean, as it. can be an object oi experience, and as such it .;* may present itself in three diifferent degrees. First J as a fragility or frailty of human na- ture, that is, as a weakness in the following of adopted maxims; secondly j as an impurity or improbity , that is, as a propensity to the mixing of immoral with the moral springs, insomuch that, not as it ought to be, the mere reverence for the law, but, and that perhaps in all cases, still other springs are necessary, in order to determine the will to legal ac- tions ; tJiirdlyj as a vitiosity^ pravity or corrup- tion of the limnan heart, that is, as a propen- sity to the adoption of bad maxims. In the last consists the highest degree of the natural propensity to the bad, which is a principle X)f overthrowing moral maxims and so of the destruction of the reverence for the law. But how legal soever a man's actions may always be, he is, so long as the mere moral laAv is not the sole determinative of his will, but a

Aa 5 man


man of good morals, and not a morally goo4 man.

The propensity to the bad (t'he radical h^d) in human nature , has not its ground in the sensitiveness of manliind. The inclinations by which man is affected, can be conceived but as the touchstone of the decree of the<mo- ral cast of mind (as it reveals itself in exue^ rience), vt^hich, however, subsists of itself independently of such trials^ that serve no other purpose, than to the empirical assurance of the proper moral strength. It happens that men believe themselves morally good, as the opportunity only has been wanting to. commit illegal actions, and as outward cir^ - ciunstances have protected them from the; \. springing up of certain inclinations, (which is however not their doing), because they have not in view the proper point of morality, but put the mere legality of actions only iix the place of the morality, they ol^en believe, therefore, to be morally better than others, w^hen they have but more fortunately escaped the bad consequences of their actions.

The natural propensity in man consists just as little in the maxim, to ])erform illegal actions, merely because they are illegal. Herein contiists the conception of wickedness that renders the subject a diabolical being, but which conception is not ap])licable to man. Man, however, though he aclinowledges the authority of ihe moral law, and is but herein (in the category, moral liberty,) a moral being, is at the same time a sensible being too, under the influence of inclinations, and all moral



bad in lilm entirely consists in his giving his inclinalions the preference to the reverence for the moral law. The propensity lln human nature, to the bad is therefore to be named a perversity only, and not a depravity, of the heart. But, that such a principle of destruc- tion of the maxims and subordination of the reverence for the moral law to the spring of the inclinations is. to be found in human na- ture, experience convinces us. If we take a view of men in a rude state of nature , of a people in a cultivated state , or of the delation w^hich nations bear to one another, as they live in a perpetual state of warfare, and har- bour not even the intention of quitting it , we shall find the propensity in man to the bad to reveal itself, insomuch that we must hold it to belong to the character of his species, and therefore innate in him, though he on that account is not less blameworthy.

All experience, however, can teach nothing but that man is bad, that is, that he has adopted the occasional deviation from the good as bis maxim. But as to the principle of his perversity, the propension to the bad, which, is inborn in him , we name it inborn, in order to show that no experience can teach lis its origin, but that it is to us incompre- hensible. Here now the origin 6f time must be well distinguished from the origin of rea- son of the moral bad in man. In the inquiry into the former I remain in the sphere of the intelligible, and there seek the cause of every action which lies in the preceding time, and every action of man (his adoption of every


essats and

■jmaxini) is detennined by previous causes. Bttt ■ the conception of morality elevates the sub- ject abu^ iho spbere of nauiie, and in Uii;» elevation only is he thought as a person and _ as a being capable of imputation. Here no ^ ^ M M consists ihe origin of reason of the bad , in a ' causality which, as an event, presupposes no i other, the original act, and lis independent upon every cause natural. This origin of rea- son of the moral bad is therefore totally in- explicable, and that^ because it lies not in the sphtre of" the explicable tiiature]. The origin of reason of the bad , and how it came into ihe world, are then inexjilicable, and only so far as it is an object in the world (an object of experience, a phenomenon,} does j rank as an event under the law of causnl' TJie bible signifies that inexplicableness in | allegoriciil narration of the fall of our firit' parents, in mahing their seducer a spirit,' -whose origin fed tbe bad in him lie hot in nature. But with regard to the propagatitm of the ,eyil by inhenisKice , this notiony.w in , it is directly annulled the concep'^jon c^^o* rality , which is the prOper act of eyeiy: pct-

. son, -is absurd. ' . -f.

That .man, therefore, is by nature, bad and that even in the best inen is to be found the principle, the maxim , "tltt»- occa^iona^ over- throwing of all niaxiins, namely ,' the subor- dination of the reverence for the nloial law

'to the springs of the sensitive faculty ^^ may be considered as a position resting upon ex- perience. But as the origin of reason of the moral bad^ though it must of necessity be-

' ■ . : thought, ■


thought,' since in this conception only man in general is cogitated as a moral being, can- not be comprehended, so the origin of reason of the moral good (the return to it, or its re- establishment in man) is equally incompre- hensible. Only the phenomenon of this al- teration of mind can' as an object of experience be comprehensible. This return from the bad to the good is a revolutioii of the mode of thinking according to the origin of reason, but, according to the origin of time, it is a gradual progression to the better. In the con- ception of the former, however, and so of man as a moral being, it l.ies, that this revo- lution must be his own work. Though the conception of x man as a being obnoxious to inclinations, and iiihis depravation as govern- ed by these sensitive springs, could furnish the conception of a supernatural assistance, in order to recover the original predisposition to the good; the origin of reason of this revolu- tion ot the way of thinhing of man , whereby . he is to be thought as worthy of a superna- tural assistance , must be nowhere placed but in himself.

Of the Conflict of the good Principle with the had for the t)07ninion over Mankind,

That man has inclinations, therein con- sists not the moral bad of his nature, and the Stoic was in the wrong to maintain that the moral good in man consists in the combattins:


essats and

of his inclinntiona. The enemy of the good

lies nearer to man, namely, in his own per-

' , son, but the inclinations, on the contrary,

belong not originally to himself (ihey are

■ liis worli). The moral bad in man consisQi ',, '^^.nOJ in the inclinations, but in iheadopLio

of the maxim, to subordinate the revereno for the moral law to the spring of the JncliJ nations. From the exUrpalion of llie mor^

  • " ' bad, which is man's proper act and to be in:

A., puted to him, begins the moral good in niaaiU

■ ii.' (fl' h* cognises himself in experience), whOjH

'rM:'~i how^ early soever he may direct his nttentioain

>«* to his moral state, always finds th^it the moralT

bad has already lalsen place in liim.

The bad principle has uJteu root in evet^ man, and he always cognises himself first i bad, yet he is capable of this cognition b^

■ ' virtue of his moral ,predispOittion only , thiS

comprises the possibility of the good prin- . ciple , which man , so long as he continues conscious of it, can never lose. Of this good principle the scripture gives an idea personi- ■ fied; only this, humanity in its moral per- fection, is it, on whose account the world can be thought as the end of the creation of the 'Divine will. This man only acceptable' to God was in him. from the begitming. ' This idea lies in the essence of God and its object is so far not created , but' his only begotten son; the word (the Fiat!) ky which alCthin^s

■ were made; and ivithoUt which was itot any thi'lg made, that was made.

The idea of moral perfection lies in every Jiuman aoul and rests upon the moral prin-

Tll£ATIS£S. 583

ciple [moral liberty] in man. Since we can- . not comprehend its origin (we, in this con- ception , separate man from nature) , we may say that this prototype is descended from, heaven , and sp 'far he, though holy and there- fore obnoxious to no suffering, takes it upon himself in the fullest measure, in order to forward the it;e//'ar^ of mankind", who, nearer free from deqjerit, are Unworthy of this union of the prototype with them, it is named a hiuniliation of the Son of God.

Only he, who is firm in the practical belief in this Son of God, that is, who is ^ conscious to himself that he would be able, like this prototype, to give a similar proof of a morally good mind, to support the greatest suffering, if the good of mankind required it, and that he would steadfastly resist the greatest temptations; only such a person, I say, dares hold himself an object not unworthy of the Divine complacency."

With regard to the reality of this idea of the son of God, it lies in the conception of jthe moral'nature of man, and every one, who, by virtue of the moral liberty in him , agnisejf himself as a moral beings, is at the same time coriscious to be able to produce in himself the moral worth, which that idea requires of him. But whoever exacts still more from an ex- ample of this idea in experience, than he sees, to whom the innocent and, so much as one can observe , meritorious conduct of a person, is not su/ilcient, but desires miracles in order to fiud himself adequate to this idea, shows his unbelief in the son of God, that i^, in



virtue, and tliereby prdves the distinctioTi of his own moral value from that which is re- pifsented to him by this idea. It is not to be conceived vi-hal should render it necessary wiclr a praclical view to find more in such an ( atople, than a man nalurally created, ev tinder the, supposition ihat he h;id by nieangf*! of*& revolution produced an. inlinitel|^ gre* good among mankind^ the sujyrnalura^nej of lu5 descent, on the contrary, and so hS absohite impossibility to sin , \iiight be ■%■ hinderance to ihe force, whicli this prolotyp ■would have as an example for imitation;

Diiiicullies however arise Concemins;' thfrJ reality of this idea of a son of God, namelyj^ concerning its ap]>rupnatioil, whrrein ifij vrhole practical morality consists , whidhidi^ ' cultics must be solved. The idea ddqn' holiueis, that is, perfect harnion'y of ibe maxtinS^ of oiir will wiLhr^the ideal of the moral' good. , (Be ye therefore holy , even as your Fitthkr ^ ivhicw is in heaven is holy). But the m*biiU. quality of inan , who always sets otit from- the bad, from which to holiness' the duunce ifi immense, is- defective in every finite time. ■ How'.can man now eve^ conhdently believe to ■ attain' that archetype i.-'Sfhich is set before- ^him? ■ .^he answer to this is, As to man's act Tas a phenomenon , it will constantly disfiover itself as a progi-ession froA' bad to better. Thiff' constant progression itself, however, rests upon a principle, which consists in thepure sentiment of the heart and is the germeof aU' good in the phenomenon. On accOunt'b^ ^^A£.:i senjiment, provide^ ^*



be pure in man, he may expect, in whatever instant his existence may be broken off, to be still , in general, acceptable to God.

A second difficulty presenting itself con- cerning the reality of sthe son of God is the following. What is it that assures man of the permanency of his good mindedness, .which w^ hold to be in him the principle of the constant advancement to the good? One might indeed address those apprehensive on this head in this manner , The spirit beareth ivLtness with our spirit y that we are the children of Godf that is, whoever possesses su^h a pure mindedness as is required, is certain that he never can fall so low as\ to be ^once more in love with the bad. But, as man decAves himself in nothing so willingly , as in that which concerns the good opinion of himself, so it seems more, advantageous to wor/i out Ids salvatioii with fear and tremhl'ni^. Without a trust in one's self, however, and^ confidence in the constancy of one's good

  1. nindedness , that permanence would scarcely

be possible. The solution of this difficulty, can be no other than the followin^^. Nothing: but the previous duration of the good prin- ciple that is received in the mind, can assiu-e man of its permanency in the subsequent time. He may accordingly hope that, as the force of liis mind increases in the progress, he in all probability will never fall back entirely into the bad. He, on the other hand, who is c^scious to himself never to have been jUfOughly attached to the good, must be ap- ive that the bad is always rooted in '•. ' Bib' his


3(36 ES 5 ATS AND

his mind, anSthat, were his days still pro- longed, he would fiot for all that conduct himself better. Herein consists the objective validity of the conception of a blessed or^not blessed eternity} whereas, a dogma of either tlit iinity or the infinity of the punishments or torments of hell would transcend all our cognition and herewith all intelligibility.

A third difficulty concerning the prac- tical validity of the idea of tlie prototype of the moral good occurs. However pure and gcrod the mindedtless'of a person may bey and however constant he may have been in it. yet he set out from the bad, afid it is' not possible for him to do away this demerits' Because 4^6 has adopted good' sentiments, he h^s not discharged the debts of his former cpurse of life, and As these must be thought as the most personal of all, they cannot be considered as transmissible, or that anofher can acquit thenl in his stead. The question now is, in vv^hat state of marl can the punish- ment for his transgressions (tJie expression o& the Divine displeasure with him) be thought executed? So far as he has adopted good sentiments he is a new man and therefore an object of Divine complacency. How can his punishment, as it was not inflicted before his amendment, be now conceived? The solution is as follows. In the state of the alteration of mind itself, wherein he quits the old, and becomes a new man, in the de- posing of the inclinations from their sove-

reiixntv, and in the establishment of the re ve- er' * '

rence for the moral law in it , must the dis- charging



charging of the debt and so the satisfaction of the Divine justice be placed. Though the new man as an object of experience, is the very same who^ formerly as the old man, lived in the bad sentiment, he is, in Live eye /of the Divine Judge, after the alteration of ynind, a man agreeable to God and by con- sequence another man. As such, that is, in the mind of the son of God, or, when^ we personify this idea, this' person, as a suhsti- tute , .even bears for him (fol* another, the old man) the guilt of the sinner, through suffering and death gives satisfaction, as a redeemer^ to the Supreme Justice and, ^s an advocate ^ oc- casions that yoi^fnay hope to appear before your Judge as justified, only that (in this mode of representation) that suffering, whicl^ the new man, in quitting the old, must con- tinually undertake in life, is exhibited by the reptesentative of hmmanity. as a death once for all suffered. The imputation of this merit, however, never happens but out of grace, because we have no title that that, which al- w^ays consists with us but in merely hecoming (naniely, to be a man acceptable to' God,)

. shall be so imputed, to "us, as if we already ^ were in the full possession of it.

We have here exposed the jconception of justification, and exhibited its practical vali- dity. But the question is, whether this ex- position can have any practical use, and what this can be? As it falls out that he, who

' would appropriate this imputation to himself, must already find himself in the state of a morally good mindedness; no positive use

B b 2 can

  1. ■'


can be made of it for amendment. Moreover,' as the consciousness of a good mindedfTes*, so far as it has already proved itself to Jje ge- nuine and constant by a long cantinqance, brings about of itself thii tranquillity of a man aQceptable to God, so it cannot. ie thought as a mean too of producing this tranquillity. A negative use of it, however, may be thought* For ihia insight into the conception of justifi- cation must convince every body that nothing ih the world can supply the place of a good mindedness and the alteration of the manner of thinlting, in order to malfe him , in the ey» of God, a man agreeabl^e to God. > Though the bad prlnci^kv in the worlii care has been tahen that it dever shouJd con pletely obtain tjie dominion over the huinatt ■ species. In order not entirely to lose the claim which the good principl^has upon man , it was necessary there shoinB be a nation, by w^om the good principle is honoured^ and so, as it were, its remeinbrance preserved- Final- ly, ^ere appeared a man of this nation, who expounded, according to its internal contents, that which hitherto had been hut oulwardly "known and" honoured. By his own life he gave an example of the dominion of the good principle over' men and of the inward reve- rence for it, which consists in its admission into the mind. The doniinion of the bad principle was hereby exposed to danger; it therefore exerted all ?ts energy to resist the good printl who had !. persecutiojl


^ . . r ' ' '

Buffering, -which none but the well -minded t ensihly feel , , calumniated the purity of his intentions and doctrines , and pursued him to even the most ignominious death , without being able, by means of these assaults upon

\ his steadfastness and openness of heart in doc* Irine and example for the welfare of the most profligate and unworthy, in the smallest de- gree to effectuate any thing against him.

The .dominion of the bad principle , howv' evef, is not therewith banished from the earth, but still continues. But the possibility of quitting it is become evident by that example. This consists in nothing but in- the practical belief in the son of God, that is to say„ in the revolution of the maxims of the way of thinking. We scie that , if in this manner we divest the fnode of representation in the bible of the phenon^enon of the son of God upon earth of its niystical vail, its sense remains valid for the whole world, and at all times, which sense consists in there being absolutely no salvation fo.r man, but in the most inti- mate admission jinto his mind of genuine mo- ral principles.

'1*0 conclude; .m endeavour, like the pre- sent, to seek in the scriptures that, sense^ which harmonizes, with the most sacredy what reason teaches, cannot be considered as only

' permitted , but must be rather held duty , and one has but to call to mind that which the wiie teacher said to his disciples of somebody, who went his own way > whereby he at last must reach the very same aim, Forbid hini not: For he^that is not against us jis on our part.

B b 3 The

• •*

» ' « -



r '. ',l9li» present exposition of the contents of

tht' iCIirutian religion und. its exhibition as a

"^ . mmAhttli^ion are very diffetent indeed from

rtSt,' by which it, its promulgation , and the

|fhefiOmenon and events of the hero of its

putative, are pretended to Ue miracles; but

"iVthe latter exjKisition has ihe issue, that ihe

AiorU' aijject of thia religion is thereby lost,

wh'jcli lakes place, when the precepts of the

. .;AaMl lakv are not deduced from the principle

' jt^^xf laord liberty, but from tlie will of God,

.Uli^H'^livered over to man in the bible, and

-Sa^^fe^i' notwithstanding all pioral exactitude

\--'^ ^itftknis, tjiey are deprived of all morality ;

tf.ths son of God is holdtfn to be him, who

. ttfiiQed for the transgresssgl^ °^ mankind;

' -Vtadtjf it is opined that the t^oreticnl belief ilVJ

Afaifc'Can' redeem men from guilt
Then is it

duty earnestly to oppose this exposition ; that

it in its^f and the conception of a miracle in

general fall into. the urii«tel!igible, is, after

the dissection or (hat which constitutes all

intelligibility, easily perceived. The only

praf^cally valid representation of a miracle

is the reference of the whole phenomenon of

• thie moraj.religion of the gospel, so beneficent

M man, to a sUbstrgt^ of nature. But this i

• phenomenon itself remains , notwithstan'ding

this refercoice, an event natural , and rankq

\ ulider intelligible Iq^s of nature, )

5. The


'Tfie J^ictory of the good Principle over the bad J and the Founding of a Kingdom of

God upon Earth.

All that man can gain in this life over the bad principle , is , deliverance frmn its donii- jiion. Of his constancy ii^ this sertice of the good principle the continuapce in the good xnindedness of his fprmer life may well assure him. But he never can become completely certain df it. His morality,- however, is in the greatest danger from the relation in which he stands Xo od^ers , and it is not necessary that they shoula be. presupposed as sunk into the bad and as seducing examples; itis enough that they exist, that they surround him , and that they are men, in order to torrupt one another mutualJy in their moral predisposi- tions and to make ope another bad. No mean, now, to operate against this depravation re- sulting from the combination of men , i^^n be conceived, but ^n union of them instituted for the opposite end. Such a conjunction of men under mere laws of virtue , for the pur- pose of obtaining the good principle to reign among them, is denominated an ethical oi^e^ and so far as these laws fire public, an ethical 1 civil society , or an ethical commonwealth.

A political state is that relation of men to one another, so far as they r^nk in common under public laws of jus (which are all coac- tive). An ethical civil state is that , where

Bb 4 men


'men'ira iliiJteaundRIa'w?i^e from coael

that: is, mere latos ofjvurtue. To the 1

ir this juri4fcal , to tni»&ttA(^the ethical, stale

. of nature opposed. , In both e\'a^ person is ms own judge, and there exists no public fluthoVity posse^siiig potettcy, ^^'Tlic]l dcter- ,iiunes in a^alid mvinei; '^[hat, in oc^nztiilg' . cases, 'e^ery one's dnty Isj find c^ifiei tfaa

.into'uniTeraale;Kecution. • . ■ .^v, -

1 In a^olidcid commonwealth tMlifitii.Mii| nay find themselves in the etfll^' statw'ejf. , iiittui)i' and not have hie an imion -acc<Bi" ineni-laws'of 'Vortiie. So much foUoiii the ^onpeption of an ethical coimu6B-« ,

thab<he political one caniiQ|h|prce in titizem- to enteikinto that atate. v iflBbe former di|fi|b tinguishes itaelf fttncn tJie^^^PHSfin thia^^^dB ibm- ipiidical civil state; -ao^^mEtc^the laifi^ir iconstituting it, may be very different,^ ^nt the ethical, as the Inws that constitute it, at«  laws of tirtue, can be but one, by cobse* quencethe conception of it, as an ideal, com- prehends in. itself the whole human race.

T^ juridical state of nature is a state of war of every one against every one , that is, the^state , wherein , as every body is his own judge, 'the liberty of every one is constantly in danger of being infringed , and it is there- fore duty:to quit that state of nature as soon

. as pos^ble. The .ethical state of nature is that, wherein men mutually corrupt one an- other morally , and it is equally duty to quit

'this state and to enter into an ethical com-

•monwealth.' This duty is of that peculiar

sort^ that it is not towards other men, bilt a


■ Ti;£ ATISE 5, 395



duty which the human species owe to them- selves. It is then duty to contribute to effec- tuate a -whole, (jo produce the chief good,) which, however, we cannot hnow, whether it, as such, be in our power. Consequently it cannot be accomplished but under the idea of a moral Author of nature , and the concep- tion that the progress of nature will by de- grees reach this aim.

In a juridical civil state the people them- selves must be thought as legislators. The end of every civil constitution is directed to- wards the mere legality of actions. Their harmony with the liberty of every body ac- cording to an universal law. In an- ethical commonwealth., which has "^ the -morality of., 'actions only for its object, the people cannot g be thought as lawgivers. Nq^ can the laws of an" ethical . commonwealth be considered as arbitraiy laws of a sovereign. As, ,in regard of their observance, the mindedness only is concerned, the legislator Inust be thought as a tnower of hearts. By consequence the con- ception of an ethical commonwealth is foimd- ed in the idea«of God , whose commandments express the moral law, who therefore requires the good intent, and allows the participation of felicity to every one according to his worth. An ethical commonwealth, 'then, is. possible to be thought as a people of God luerelv.

An ethical commfonwealth under the Divine moral legislation is a church which , so far as ii is no object of possible experience, is termed tlie mvisible church (a mere idea of the union

Bb 5 of

0t #9 As -Tirtiuj^ under t}ie Divine iniin«- . y cl^tt bu^mont government of ihe world, as if wret. ^a an arcbeLype for every one to be ,fo}mAe^'}(Y.jaa.n). The visible is the actual imifjq of men ifi' a whole, that harmonizes wiA that ideal, r^he true (visible) church is fhaf wh^^eprtMiits the (moral) kingdom of God upon parth. The requiaiies, of course ' , ifje ciiteria , ^f the true church are:

' t, ItB? ttniv^satity and consetjuent nntme- ft-ifical un^yf to Which it must contain in itself the prjBcliliposicioii , that, though divided into < yccidentfil ppifiioM and disunited , it is , -with rwpeot to tin essential design , erected upon •OCh-pxinciples, as must necessarily lead it to '.nnfTermL unioa J|t one chui{^, (therefore hq

I y. Jtt quality,- that is, the purity, the' union upder no other thfin moral sptings. (Purified from the iiubecility of superstitiot^ ^d (hi^i&enzy of fanaticism).

3. The relation under thp principle of liber- ty, as well the internal relation of its mem- bers to^ojie another, as (he external of the chiii^cb to political potency , Ijoth as in a free state (therefore neitii^ .hierarclty , nor illumi- nisin, % species of deinocfocy through peculiar inspirations, fvhich may be different according

^o every-, o^'a different fancy).

4, According to modality, the immutabi- lity of its constitutioi), but with the reserve, accprding to time and to circumstances, to 1 alter tjre casual arrangements only of its consti- tution , for which it must contain in itself (in

- the idea of its end) the sur^ principles 4 prtoW. .. Thercr-



Therefore under original laws, like a code^ published together for precept, not arbitrable , symbols which, since authenticity is yp'anting to them, are contingent, exposed to contrar diction , and variable,

An ethical commopwealth, as a church, • that is, cpnsidered as a representative of the kingdom of God, has, according to its prin- ciples, no cpnstitution similar to the political. The constitution in it is neither inouarchical (under a pope or patriarch), aristocratical (under bishops and prelate^), nor democratical (as sectarian illuj nines), Jt might best of all be compared to that of ^ family, un4er a common, though invisible. Father, so f^r as his holy son, -ifha i^nows his >yill, and is at

ihe same time in consanguinity with all the

members, represented him in it, by nipking his will better known to these , who honour the Father in hirii, and thus enter with one another into a voluntary, uniyei^al, an4 lasting, union of hearts.

It is duty in men to quit the ethical stai|e of nature, and to enter into an ethical com<» monwealth, yet, when men are contemplated as they are exhibited to us in experience , no other /node pf founding a visible phurch, than that men have holden certain rules immediate statutes of the Divine will , can well be con- ceived. Such a belief, which we in order to distinguish it from the pure nioral belief shaU name church - belief ^ must precede in order to • furnish a visible point of iinion for ihe insti- tution of an ethical commonwealth. As long ^iT'^.^.as this is a church -belief and not a moral be*


M I \ 'i - -:-. -'■

Heft*. M^longit llAvrcUg^n a loorshipt K^.

■;^ .apt a mOTal religion : Thit, though veij di#( ;

. . ' .tinccfrom this^ yet.perhaps necessary intirder 'to found it and a trup' church, coufd be obtain- ed by nothing so well as Vf 3 holy writ,, whici) comprU«th those statutes considered as Divine. So mucb» now, as moral Veligjon is pro--

. ■ *|»agated among mahkind^sp much is the CCtfir- aidsration of the ichiirc^;balie^.$linuAishi^i -

when the rules of xhelatfert'whic^ a,., -.

to be- the oracles of the Div^eipplf -^p,--^.' aiich a nature, as not to be jiurtfuItoJ^afi^ r^Ugton, nay, when iliase^pzeteiided'^jHrai'l: ' coqunandinents >Iead^ precisely to moiw^^Utt' gioii> and the lend of a' obtain rerel^^on ii ffvidratly that, to maIie>a^|Ue£.in it 5Mp«i^ir* ^uouiV-'dten is this holy wf||^irh*ch aiq;^.<^|p^. the. dbnihilation of the .(cH^tibdca]) belit^ivi ■, its Divine nature* a certain criterion of its divinity, namely, the possibility of the refe- rence of* this holy Writ, as a phenomenon, to a moijd Author of nature^

In the proportion that moral religif^ isf Jeveloped.in the class of men, who are united -with one another in a certain church-beUef, in the same propbrtion does this pure belief . of religion become the expounder* of the church -belief and of the sacred writ upon . which it i^ built. The historical faith is dead being alone, that is to say, considered by itself as a profession , it neither contains, nor leads to any thing, which has a moral value for" us. The merit of the clergyman, who labours to find the sense of a passage of st^ip- ture and its author's u^aning-^ may thereby,^- .


TA£ ATI SZS. . 397

as a satisfaction of a desil*e for knowledge, al- ways preserve his value; to' tliose,. whose moral beliet has still furtlier occasion for the veil, insomuch that they require that their pure belief of reason shall also be found in the scriptures, that learned exposition, by ttoding to establish in thetn the good minded-* ness , wiH have a moral value.

The church-belief is by its very nature a particular belief; it is founded in historj'-, and is a belief in events , which must be in con- junction with the supersensible; accordingly this belief can be valid but fbr those, whom the history has reached, and A^ho observe not the leap into the unintelligible, consequently its void. The pure belief of reason, on the contrary, which is founded ip nothing but the consciousness of morally good sentiments, is an universal belief. So far now as a cer- tain church - belief has in itself the principle, finally to resolve itself into the moral belief, the church that adheres to it may always be termed the true church; it will however be still a poleifiical church, because its faith, as a church -faith, is but a particular one, arid yet never ceases to lay claim to universality, with the prospect to terminate, at last, in the immutable and all -uniting triumphing church.

The faith of every persoA, who possesses

the moral receptibility (worthiness) of being

eternally happy, is denominated the saving

faith. It is therefore, notwithstanding all

•^'**^iirch'- faith in a- subject, the moral faith,

far itoia every belie:^ in traditions, is




■ > tfaestA^ bf nfiiid of the virtuous, who, in the

consciousness of his good way of thinking, re- .

.. fewnaturetoits mural Author. Thesaving faith

' &nta|ai.t9P0 conditions of this hope of salva-

, ^on-;-nfi one-wilh regard to what the virfuous

.nunhimSflf caimot do. Justly (before a Divine',

. :Aidge) to undo his actions already done, the

'/ . Other witf^regird to>what he himself can and

ought to'db,' To conduct himself in a new life \ -' , cdmomwbly to hj^ duty. The former belief is ' 1 tVat in a ttatisfaction (acquitting his debts, re- demption; i-econcilifitiun with God), the laiteria - the belief to h'e ibie, in a farther course of life, ' - * f to becpmfe acceptable to God. Both points make ! lip t)lit one faith , and this cofljiinction cannot^

i>therinse, be thought, than that he who,'

inatMta df tht springs of the inclinations, .lias made the moral- law the chief iliaxim of his Vail, and who, in the consciousness of his good Rtihdedness, holds himself assured to be a man agreeable to God. This assurance com- prises that of reconciliation , (of laying aside the old man; wMch is a penitence mr the trespass in the persoii Of the new).

If this mbral side of the saving belief is neglected , and if it is holden but a doctrinal' belief; it then involves the following anti- xnony: In order tp be able to take the resolu- tion to leave oiF the bad and, from all pre- * sumptions grounded upon preceding expe- ■' rience that he will allways fall back again

into it, not to be discouraged, it is necessary

for man to hf^A himself assured of the blot- ting out of his guilt already ipcurfred. But/ of whatever nature such an atonunent may



TREATISl^S. , 399

be , he can appropriate it to himself oh hd other condition, than so far as he has already- adopted good sentiments j consequentl/y so fat only as heisagoodman. Here are not two prin- ciples distinct in 'themselves , where opposite ways are^ to be tals^n to begin, either the one^' or the other ^ but only one practical idea,fi:oni ,. w^hich we set put,- firsts so far as it represents the archetype as to be found iri Gpd, and pro- ceeding from him, secondly ^ so far its it re- presents it as to be found in us, ^nd botJi^ so far as it represents it as the rule 6f our life; the antinomy, therefore, is biit seeiliirig; since it considers the very same practical idea , but, . through a misu][}<|erstanding ^ talien in a dis- tinct reference^- ais two distinct ptitlcipleSi

of the good principle can but first be! said that its dominion is foimdediipon earth, when any where Upon it the principle for-an ethical' commonwealth obtains* That ' the gospel, . though its vail is a chijrch-f^ith; embraces moral religion, and that the Whole predispo- sition of this church -faith aims at resolving itself into the moral and pure belief of reason, are beyond a doubt. But when we examine history concerning the origin of this founda- tion of the kingdom of God upon earth, we find that, though Judaism -vyas the occasion of the ueligion of reason to be found in the evangel, this religion. was not at ali contained in it, Judaism was by.no means a religious constitution; in it God is represented but a$ govemour of the world , who pretends to the outward obedience only of his orders, bi^t directs not his attention to the moral senti- ments

\ \

■'■ J

. •;/•,'

406 \

1 X

> t % :


Ji-]^ '


' jnents of hir'triDLbjects. It is obyibus , '//ir^ beotfbse all the eoituna&ds of lddbS8i&-«re ikf ^jMicIik ^ nature, that^a political comstitudlrfa can '^isist of them and injoin theian.as coMm vtive 'p!^9 because they concern oAtwnaA . actions only ^^condi^, theft all *coiiseqncii«M ||»f the helping and txan^[ressing 6£ these ^idM^ ^ ^handntfents^ every' ri^MFd and ptinisllmefi^ were coiifihed but to such, asj;;$oidfd be dSlh* • tributed to every body in "this wfMlj^^ Wd4 ' ' evisn these .not according^ to vethi<^-^0jm '

tion9 , ^s bQth affected the deseendailttf^v 1m1i# 4

bore no practical part in 'eith^ those ^eds W .misdeeds'; which, in a political conjititotiiENiV miy,.it is true, be a pru^bliribbsl nieaii\t# 1WP»^ cure obedience,. but, iiL^anlmiical, wovddlij^ ' r^ugh'iu^t to all equity.. T/urd^, • Judaistn. succeeded so ill in constituting an epoch per- taining to the state of the universal chirrcJi , or .^even, in its* time, this universal church it- f self, that it rather excluded the whole human race from its community, .as a separate people, *'" chosen by God , and who bore enmity to all ^ other nations, and therefore were holden, in aversion by every body. It is not to be over- - rated that this people admitted* but one God, as the universal sovitreign of the -vv^rld^ not to be represented by any visible s>r giiven image: For it is to be found among most other nations that their .doGtrine of belief had that in view likewise, and became suspected of polytheims but through the worshippings of certain inferiour deities subordinate to that mighty One. For a god, who,willeth the keeping of such commandments only, to >

\ ' . ^' - - which




-vv^hich no amended moral mindedAess is at all required, is not that moral .15 eifie, whose conception we Stand in need of for a religion : This would rather take place from a Ijelief in many such invisible beings , if a naticpi con- ceived these in such a'manner, that they, not- withstanding the difference of their depart-., ments, mere all unanimous in thinking him,' who attaches himself with all his heart to virtue, worthy of their complacency, than if the belief / were devoted to a single being only, but who ma^ kes of the main work a mechanical business.

If by an ethical commonwealth is to be understood that church -union only, which contains in itself the principle of working out the moral belief, its beginning and the first origin of that church which, in our days, because of this principle proceeding on reli- gion of reason, is named the true church, must not be placed earlier than the phenome- non of Christianity. Its first teachers explained this phenomenon and the events thatit brought about as the fulfilling of the prophecies con- tained in Judaism, whereby their design evi- dently was to introduce a pure moral religion, instead of an ancient w^orship , to which the people were but too much accustomed, yet without directly shocking their prejudices. The subsequent abolition of the bodily signs, which entirely served to separate that nation from others, leaves room to judge that tlie new belief, not bound to the statutes of the ancients » nay, not to any statutes , must have contained a. religion valid for the whole world and not £or a single nation*

yoLIL Cc The



'^oiC . '..asfATS Airs

Xbn ffciidBr* of OaiMdaatf raMd 'cAttrch-futh^'Which pievailcd-in ■' Sot the pnrpoie of iniroducin^tfac nligu^, thii u«e wa* in itsuf an _ turn ojl^w cfaurch-;£uth: Besides they' epp— I »i toeflrtain nmu, named miiaclcif wbiah- ^^!ew the attention f^ the -Jews, inorderthev Vien might thereby be the more eaMlfmaJa •ttcaitiTe to t&e monl contents t|Mt 1^ hidJea . under this vail.* But whirtorc^tbe stats -tt-^ these iiiii'erifii, or the origiu of their iiam aiy ^ nay befsne plan of prondehce prooeediw en moral zdigion cannot^ Cbough the Jewiik ■atidn iris goremed by a leamra nation dmts . took no not£e at all, durinaynrecal <»tttwriei^ ,«ather of the phenomenon a!chnstianity, m of the'mitfadea whjcb jgrounded ity be inif* taken in them. But it must bec<»ie Inudl . easier for every subsequent time to liy aside this vHl of true relijjion belonging to the church -faith , which in the infancy of huma- nity was necessary , in order not to lose this ^ jewel , and to lead mankind to the pure belief of reason, itself.

In the whole church-history hitherto known, the present time , of Which may be said that 'the church -belief inclines mote in it, than iix „ any preceding, towards the pure belief of reason, is unquestionably, the best. For, first, auK^ng all true reverers of religion in every country of our quarter of the globe it is be- come a prinrijjle , nellher to attack the book itself -which , though it has moral religion in view, according |i "i9b49t^ic*i^ P'l't, a mere church -


by petulant^ assaults, but to use it further as ^ a foundation of church - education , yet so as not to obtrude upon any person the belief iiji it as necessar-y to salvation. Secondly^ the principle prevails always more and morei to distinguish the church -faith of the ^criptuies that may be constantly controverted front the pure moral faith , which is exalted above all controversy, and to refer to this the bea- tific power formerly ascribed to that.

Thirdly and lastly, the kingdom of heaven is represented by the gospel not only in its approach, biit in its entrance, and so must be considered, as a symbolical representation tending to the greater animation of hope and courage and of the aspiration to it, th^ pro- phecy of the completion of tiie great altera- tion of the. world,, in the picture of a visible kingdom of God upon earth (under the govern- ment of his substitute and vicegerent descend- ing again,) and of felicity which, after the separation and expulsion of the rebels, who. once- more attempt their resistance, will be enjoyed here upon earth under him.


Of Worship and of spurious Worship under

the Dominion of the good Principle , or of

Religion and Priestdom."^

The union of men in the pure religion of reason, without all statute -laws, is the invi-

Cc 2 sible

^ Priestdom {7iiero4uliay (if the translator may be allowed ua tliiit .word, ^ jpriciUraft, Yvhiol^ comes the




i: .


sibJe church. Its conception is a mere idea, to w^hii;h every visible churchy under statute- laws, ought to aspire. Accordingly thi^ idea excludes all church - service or -office^ None

but the visible church, which is built upon B churclj- faith, comprises a church - service, and but in it are there ecclesiastics or minis** ters of the gospel. What lies, however, in this conception of an ecclesiastic, is, that the church -faith and the ecclesiastics, as its ad-^ ministrators , shall strive to render useless all church -faith and to resolve it. into the pure belief of reason. But when churchmen do not observe this and, on the contrary, even interpret the aspiring to this aim as condenin- ablci then is the church -service, of vrhich they are apprehensive, a mere spurious service, whereby they themselves effectuate the end o£ a church as an ethical commonwealth.

From the origin may be totally abstracted, when the fitness or unfitness of a religion to be an imiversal one for jnanlund is judged of. In this respect, however, all religion is either the natural y or a learned y religion: of the former every one may be convinced by his own reason : But the latter requires learning, by which he, who would be convinced of it, nuist be led: Therefore, natural religion only is capable of universal communication.

Every revealed religion is also a learned


aenrest of unr vocable in English to PfaffentJmm in Gcr- JKian. is not' comprehensive enough in this seuseO is» in general, the usurped dominion of the clcr^ over tko minds , by their (the clergy's) giving themselves the aix of being in the exclusiTe potteuion o^ me meant of grace^


religion. For, as we live remote from the time of its origin, learning is required in order to transpose ourselves to that time. But ft revealed religion may at the same time be the natural religion. It is so , when its doc-i trines. are of such. a nature, that reason of it- self could likewise have hit on it; and a con^ viction of its truth is to be obtained from rea- son only, and not from revelation by means of learning. Such a revelation would have this merit vrith the human species, that it would found an ethical commonwealth earlier, than it would have been done without its appearance. Suppose, now, that a certain religion of this sort should exist tmder the title of a revealed one, the conception of its supernatural origin would always remain un- intelligible to us. It would, however, ^if nothing of its essence vrere lost, have the eharacter of truth and the fitness for an univer- sal religion of man; let us siippose too that the history of its origin should be either lost or called in question, which would happen, if', according to its internal quality, the belief in its supernatural origin should be considered as something quite contingent. We shall be able to illustrate this conception of revealed religion, so far as it is at the same time the natural, ^y an examplle. We shall represent the Christian religion, first y as a natural, and secondly , as a revealed, one ; and in this confine ourselves to the New Testament, as the fountain of the Christian doctrine of faith.

If we find that the founder of the Christian religion taught the pure religion of reason,

Cc 3 conceiv-


conceivable by every body, in spite of a burdensome chiirrh - faith , which aimed not at all at moral religion, and at the same time was Universal, and that he added certain sta- tutes which, though they contain forms and observances, serve as means to bring about a church grounded upon those principles; '^ivc %annut, notwithstanding the contingency and Arbitrariness of his ordinances aiming at this, refuse it the name of the true universal churchy nor him the authority to summon mankind to unittf in it, yet without being willing to aug- ment the belief by new oppressive ordinances, or even to make those, first hit by him, pe- culiarly sacred of themselves and obligatory points of religion.

He willeth , that not the observance of outward, civil or statutory church -dnlies* but only the pure moral sentiment of the -heart, can. make men acceptable to God (Mat, V. 3o-4'8); that sins in thought ar^con* sidered , before God , equal to the deed (sq)* and in general 'holiness is the aim to whicfa, they must as|Are (45), that to hate in the heart is as much as to kill (33), that an injury done the neighbour be amended by satisfaction to himself, but not by religious acts (34), and that, in point of veracity, the oath, the civil mean of extortion , is derogatory from the reverence for truth itself (04-37)1 — that the natural but bad propensity of the htnnan heart must be entirely converted; the sweet sense of revenge must make a transition ■ to tolerance (39, 40) and the hatred of one's ene- mies to beneficence (44); Thus, sayethhe, is

  • his



his intention to fulfil entirely the Jewish law (17), whereby, however, evidently not scrip- ture- learning, but pure religion of reason must be its interpreter; for, talien according to the letter, it permits directly the contrary of all these: Moreover, he doUi not forget the misconstruction of the law under the denomi- nations of strait gate and narrow way, which men allow themselves, in order to pass by their true moral duty, and to indemnify them- selves for it by the performing of church-duty (vix. 13): of these pure sentiments he requir- eth that they shall prove themselves by works (i6), and deprlveth those of their delusive hope, who ar^ of opinion to supply their want by the invocation and extolling of the Supreme Lawgiver in the person of his mi- nister , and to obtain favour by means of flatr tery (21) : He willeth that these works be per- formed for the sake of example, forimitation, publicly and with a cheerful mind, not as actions exacted in a servile manner (vr. 16), and that thus, from a small beginning of codi^ munication and propagation of such senti- ments, like a grain of yiustard-seed in a good field or a leven of the good , religion through internal power would increase by degrees to a kingdom of God (xiii. 31,32, 33): In fine, he compriseth , 1 . in an universal rule (which contains in itself as well the internal, as the external^ moral relation of man), namely, discharge thy duty from no other spring, than from the immediate estimation of its value, that is , love God (the legislator of all duties) above all, fi. in a /^ar^icu/ar rule (wliich con-

Gc 4 cems

408 Z5SAT6 AND

cems the external relation to othermen as an universal duty), namely, love every one as thyself, tliat is, promote their wellbeing out of immediale benevolence, not out pf benevo- lence deriyed from selBsh springs ; which commandn^ents. are not only laws of virtue, but precepts of sanctity, to which we ought to. Hspite, and the mere aspiring to which is named virtue: But those who, with arms a-cros3, passively expect this moral good, .as fl celestial gift from above, doth he refuse all hope. "Whoever leaves unemployed the na- tural predisposition to the good, -which (as a talent conuuitted to his charge) lies in human nature, in indolent confidence that a. superior moral influence will otherwise supply the moral quality and peifection that are wanting to him, him doth he threaten that even the jrood, which he from his natural predisposi- tion might have done, shall, on account of this neglect, stand him in no stead (xxv. 29): As to the natural expectation of a lot conform- able to the moral conduct of man with regard to felicity, chiefly by so many sacrifices of the latter, whicii myst have been made on a.ccount of the former, for that he promiseth the reward of a future life (v. 11, 12); but, according to the difference of the mindedness in this conduct, those, who discharge their duty for the sake of reward (or of releasing from a nierit^ punifihnient) , in another man- ner, than (hff ' 'LOVmen, who performed it for its uun ^^^ft^^Ue, whuUL self- in.- the j^^^^^^^^^^i^jpvems , is, when he.


it through reason and extends it beyond the narrow sphere, of the present, represented as one (Luke xvi, 3-9), who cheats that master of liis through himself, and gains sacrifices . from him in behalf of duty: For, when he conceives the thought that he must one time or other, perhaps soon, leave the world, that the cannot take with him to the other what he possessed in this , he resolves to deduct • from his account what he , or his master, self- interest, had to demand here lawfully from, indigent men and, so to speak, to procure for himself in return bills, payable in another world; in which, as to the springs of such beneficent actions, he indeed proceeds more prude?itially than morally ^ but conformably to the moral law nevertheless, at I^ast accord- ing to the letter, and may hope that he will be recompenced for this hereafter: When with this is compared that which is said of the beneficence to the poor from bare motives of duty (Mat. xxv. 35-40), where the Sove- reign Judge of the world declares those, who give assistance to persons suffering want, without ever imagining that such a thing deserves a reward , and that they thereby , as it were, oblige heaven to a remuneration, just because they did il without the considera- tion of a reward , to be the proper elect for his kingdom; It is obvious that the teacher of the Gospel , when he sppke of the rewards in the world to come, did not intend to constitute tliem springs of actions, but only (as soul- exalting representations of the completion of . .the Divine goodness and wisdom in conduct- -S. Cc 5 ing


ing the human species) objects of the purest reverence and of the greatest moral com««  placency for a reason judging the destination of manfeind on the whole.

Here is now a complete religion, which may be conceivably ana convincingly repre- setited to all men by their own reason, and •which ^ by an ei^ample, whose possibility and even necessity to be an archetype of imitation for us (as much as men are capable of it) , is made intuitive, without either the truth oiF that doctrine or the authority and dignity of the teacher standing in need of any other attestation whatever (to which learning or miracles, that are not every one's afiairs, would be required). When appeals to older (Mosaic) legislation and typical .representation occur in it , these are not made with a view to confirm the truth of the doctrine itself, but only to serve for an introduction ftmong those, who adhere entirely and blindly to what is ancient; v^^hich, among men, whose heads, filled with statute-articles of creed, are almost become unsusceptible of the religion of rea- son, must always be much more difficult, then if they w^ere brought to the reason of un- instructed but uncorrupted men. Wherefore it ought not to surprise any one, if he should find a propounding, conformable to the pre- judices of old, enigmatical for the present times and requiring a careful exposition; though it every where betrays a doctrine of religion, and at the same time often ex- pressly points out the way to it, . which must, without any expence of learning,


> A.-


be intelligible and convincing to' every body. •

Where the Christian religion contains tenets, which, distinct from the former, lie* not in reason itself and cannot be unfolded out of it, it is a learned religion. For, were it granted that, through miracles and actions, these tenets, in the eyes of the contemporaries of the founders of Christianity and of the ignorant, immediately obtained valid authen- ticity, in our days, their sense, as well as their actual descent from the founder of the religion , cannot otherwise be so well shown, as by means of learning. When these doc- trines of religion, on whose account the Christian religion is a learned one and deno- minated Christian faith ^ are given out for necessary articles of belief, this must not be so understood, as if the tenets of belief were the chief principle, upon which the mortal reli- gion, that is contained in the Christian reli- gion , must be built. Conversely, the univer- sal leligion of reason must be the chief prin- ciple , from which , in the Christian religion, the beginning is to be made, and the necessity of the adoption of the articles of faith peculiar to it must lie in moral religion only, which articles must be suitable to lead mankind to this religion and to render it conceivable to the illiterate.

But if the matter is reversed and the sta- tute-belief allowed to precede, the church- service is converted into a spurious service. Such a church has not servants {ininistri) , but high officers {pjjiciales) , who , after they have


4i^ . xr^iATS x^D ,

by'A^iJveB stripped the pure religion of reason ■ of the dignity due to it to be the chief inter- '.'pnUr of- the holy writ, and have ordered teripCura-rlearnin^ only to be used for the ' Ifeboof of. the church - faith , wish- to be heldJ .ijlie.oiily' .persons, whose vocation it is to exil pOwbd th'at writ. "

When the slalutes, which are to be ad- miLted as Divine hut for the behoof of a Giuirch , ^d which, according; to their ilRture, ■rs perhapfi to he confined to one nation only, ■re ; ascribed to the essence of religion, and vhen the obseiTance of these, relatively tS religion^ ^uite casual ordinances are repre- smted' as necessary to obtain the favour of ^e Supreme Being; in thei>e consists thefajicy^u ■ of rdi^oru

The. fiincy of religion, like every fancjj consists in [lie permutation of what is but a. mean , , with its end , and aUo in our attri- buting to that, which is but a mean, the Talue of the end. All fancy of religion rests upon the following principle: by all that we do but merely with a view of pleasing the Deity (when it is not just directly contrary to mora- lity, though it contributes not the smallest to it,) we prove our obsequiousness to God, as obedient and by consequence agreeable subjects, and therefore serve God {in po- tentia.)

The principle of moral religion, in contra- distinction to the fancy of religion, is. That ^an can be agreeable to the Supreme Being through nothing but a morally good minded- .• aoss. No persoi^ is able to give proof of a perfectly


perfectly pure and holy mind , yet no revela- tion can assure more, than that God, in some i manner or other, totally unknown to man^. will supply this want of proper righteousness, provided man render himself worthy of this supernatural grace. Even the acceptance of such tendered means of grace must therefore Consist in the good mindedness. But when this maxim is departed from , superstition has no bounds , since there are an infinite number of arbitrable actions , which men may resolve upon , in order to do the will of the Deity,

Whoever opines, through actions which in themselves contain np moral value at all, immediately to obtain the complacency of God, and by means of which to be able to produce natural events suitable to his wisheSj has the fancy, by natural m^ans to produce a supernatural effect. Essays of this sort are commonly named sorcery/ but which (as it conveys the accessory cpnception of an inter- course with the bad principle, whereas that essay may be thought as undertaken • out of misunderstanding with a good moral design,)^' we shall exchange for the known expression, the making of fetiches*, Of every species of superstition that of the belief, which is made a duty, is, for conscientious men, the most troublesome, which belief, since it rests upon historical grounds, or is-in itself even unin- telligible, cannot be altogether ftniversally convincing, and is therefore a liiore heavy load, than all other in joined observances, to which it is sufficient that one but attends, in order to be congruous to a regulated eccle- siastical

kii AfiD

siastical institution, without lying under the necessity of either inwardly or outwardly making jjrofession of faiih that one holds, diem ordinances founded by God. For by this is the ronsclence grievously burdened. "

Pricstdom consists in the conslilulion of a church, wherein prevails a fetiche- worship, which is always to be met with, when sta- tute-commands, rules of faith, rites or ex- M^mal observances, biit not principles of mo- Jfftlity , constitute its foundation and essence. — ' 3ugh the ordinances, to which obedietit

^L omission is made a di y, be ever so few, ^^^^p 4t belief, whereby the jltitude are govem- ^^H «' robbed of tlieir moral liberty , is

^^^^^ii Qcy by religions actions of worship

^flBVP I i something with regard to the

)iaStih(5a[ion before God is tlie religious super- stitions as the fancy to wi^b to effectiiale tUis

' by an endeavour cowards an opiniative inter-

course with God, is the religious faniUfeisia, Bigotry {devotio spuria) is the cuslxun, ioBtead

' of actions agreeable to God (disc^ar^ag all

the duties of men) , to place the exercise of piety in .the immediate occupation about God by 'doing homage or by demonstrations of awe; which exercise must then be considered ■■ vUlanage (opus operatum) , only that it adds , tb superstition the iunatical fancy of imagino* ry supers&sible (celestial) feelings.

'• J


Of the Guide of Conscience in Matters of

Belief ^ •

It is not; the question here, How conscienc6 shall be guided , (for it requires no* guide ; it is. sufficient to have a conscience), but how it itself may serve for a guide in the most doubt- ful moral resolutions* — -

Coiiscience is a consciousness ^ that is duty of itself But how is it possible to conceive such an one; As the consciousness of all our representations seems , if we would render our representations clear, to be necessary but with* a logical view, therefore in a conditional manner only, by consequence cannot be un- conditional duty?

It is a hiatal principle^ requiring no pro6f, Thcit dne should not run the risk of any thing that nidy he wrong {quod dujbitas^ nefeceris! Plin.); That the consciousness then> that an action, which I have a mind to undertake ^ i$ right, is unconditional duty. Whether an Action in general be right or wrong , of that the understanding j udges , not conscience* It is not absolutely necessary to know of all possible actions, whether they are right or not. But of that action, which /have a mind to undertake, I must not only judge, and opine, but I must be certain^ that it* is not wrong, and this demand is a postulate of conscience, to which is opposed the profc«&£- lisrn^ that is, the principle, That the mere opinion that an action may be right, is suffi- cient to undertake it. — Conscience might be thus defined, It is the moral judgment judg- ing

fa Mwni


IMC itself i but ihis definition would much rfM|uire a preceding explanation of the con-' cvptions contained in it. Conscience judj-ea not the notions a$ cases that rank under th«  law ; ft>r rvuson , so far as it is subjectively* uacticdl, does that, (hence the emus conscieitm tiae and casui:str\', as a species of dialectic oS constienc*): but here reason itself judgei whether it has actually undertaf^en that judg- t of the actions with all circumspection-

whether they be right or wron^), and pro* res mail is a witness, eitheryiir or agaittst

.Ase^f, that this has, or has not, happened.

^ Let us for instance take an inquisitor, who "y adheres to his statute-belief as the only even to martyrdom, and who haa ta , judge an heretic , so named , (otherwis*^ a ' good citizen) accused of unbelief, and now I ask, whether, when he hiLS condemned liiui " to death, it can be said that he judf^e4 him confonnahly to iis conscience (though er- _ ring), or whether ne may rather be absolutely ' charged with want of conscience^ let him' have erred or done wrong with consciousness ?~ as one may positively say to him that in such a case' he never can be fully certain that he does ngt completely wrong. He was probably of the firm belief that a supernatural revealed Divine will (perhaps according to the dictum: compeUite intrare) allowed him , if not even made it duty; to exterminate the opiniativa unbelief together with, the infidel. , But was he then actually so much' convinced of such a revealed doctrine , and also of this sense of tt» as is required, in order to risk puttings muk



to deaih? that it is wrong to take the life of a man on account of his belief of religion, is certain : unless (in order to grant the most,) a Divine extraordinary -wiil, become kno^n to him , has otherwise directed it. But that God ever uttered this frightful will rests upoa historical dociunents and is never apodictical- Iv certain. The revelation reached him but through men, was expounded by them, and seemed to him to come from God' himself, (lihe the order delivered to Abraham to butcher^ his son like a sheep,) yet it is at least J)ossible that an erroiu: obtains here. But then he would run the risk to do some thing that were highly wrong, and just in this he acts unconscientiously. — All belief of history and phenomenon are so circumstanced, that the possibility always remains that an errour is to be therein met with , consequently it is unconscientiotis to give way to it with the possibility that that, which it either requires, or allows, is wrong, that is, at the risk of the violatio^i of a duty of man certain in itself. Besides , let an action , which such a posi- tive law (held) of revelation commands, be in itself allowed , the question is , what clerical chiefs or teachers would, according to their opiniativc conviction (and at the risk of losing, their places) , impose it to be professed by the people as an article of creed? As the convic- tion has no other than historical arguments for it, but in the judgment of this people (if tliey try themselves but in the least), the ab- solute possibility of an errour happening per- haps in them, or in their classical interpreta- Vol. n. D 4 tion

^- , -I « - WT*

  • • . ■ ** . « 


^' 418- MBsS^ Axri^ « 

• ',*'■ . ■ ' ■ ^ ji -•

tion always remawtf; so the cUffejrliMin w«iiiUI' becessitaM^'the ^Mple to^^el^ere'tomethiBg^ / ' at least iiiw*rd%y» as tme^ as « they believer Gord; that is, to profess j. as ijt wepre^ befofv

  • % Gpdf that which they dfqUot (now certainly.

4tf?tru/e, for ewnple, ' to atlinowledge iho f ' / appointment of a certain ^day for tlie.ficnor ^ . ,. \-dical. public furtherance of piety ^ as a patt^^

' feligion immediately oirder^d by Go^^.or to.

^gp'rofess a 'ihiystery^ which they do not even . derstehd, ^as firmly believed from hinu ^ .4%eir ecclesiastical chief would in this pto* €eed against' his conscience ^ t0 obtrude upon 6thers for belief something, of wfaidi he hmt* %r ielf- never tim hp fiilly conviiiceay a&d theine* .fbire ought to reflect weU on« what he ^ioesj ' as he'must answer for allHie abuse from soch ^ a base belief IProhngtauben]. — Perhaps there may then \fi truth in what is believed, but yet at the same time want of veracity in , believing , (or even in its merely internal pro- fessioti), and this is in itself condemnable.

It w^as above observed that men, who have made but the least possible beginning in liber- ty,* as they were formerly under a slavish


  • I own I don't rightly understand the expression, w^hich

even prudent men use , namely » The nation is not ripe

-- , rding to such a pre*

supposition, liberty -will never take place; for a person ■cannot ripen for it, unless he be previously set at liberty (one roust be free, in order to uj»e his povirers in liberty conformably - to - end). The first essays are indeed rude, and combined with a more troublesome and a more dan- gerous state , as men are yet at the orders and under the «iure of others ; but men never ripen for reason otherwise,





yol^e of belief , (exempli gratia y the protes* tants) directly hold themselves, so to say^ ennobled, the less they have need to be* ^ lieve (what is positive and belonging to the precept of priests) , yet it is with those , who have neither been able nor willing to make an essay of this sort, quite the reverse; for their principle is, It is adviseable, rather to believe too much, than too little. For what one does more than is incumbent on him, does at least no harm , but may perhaps be of great use. — In this fancy, which lays down dishonesty in* professions of religion as a principle, (which one resolves upon the easier , as religion mar kes amends for every fault, consequently that of dishoriesty too), is founded the maxim of safety, so named, in matters of belief {armAr- inentum a^tuto)i If what I profess with regard to God is true, I have hit it'^^if it is not true but at the same time nothing in itself un- allowed, I have believed it superfluously mere- ly, which, it is true, was not necessary, but which has occasioned me trouble only, that is however no crime. The danger from the dis-

Dd 2 * honesty

than by tlicir oxmt essays fto be able to make "which thev xnusf be free). I have no objections that those, who have the power in their hands, necessitatecl by the circumstances

the ti

gj^n* . . — ^

under their subjection, and tJiat they have a right to deprive them of it for ever, is an encroachment upon the sovereignty of theDeitv himself, who creited men to he free. It is indeed more convenient, when such a principJe cau be maintained, to rule in the state, in the house, in the

  • church. r>ur, Is it justerY — -,- When w^iii the i^oor

slayer in the West -Indian colonies be ripe for liberty?


. . . . g ,.

faoftesiy of hh Wpvetext^ . tfie' i>idUKiM . D/^^ign^ J ^science -9 ta give out as certain eveii 1>efior6 6o4 il ^ «ome(hiiigr of' which' he is caihsciqiis> that it i& not of die quality to be a^naae4 witk m^ ' ' conditional confidence » all these ihc hypocfUm

^d>fr^^^^« — *'^'^® ^^'y, genuine*' maaddt t^

Wifky' i^ited with ' religion > is directly tlw

. conve^, What, as a mean, or as.a condiiiom

of salvation , cannot be hnown io me by tay

i v',. ^w^ reason > but by revelation « and by meine

^tf^-' of a belief of history only adopted into my

^ * iprc&ssions, but which is not repugnant tcvilA

piire liioral ptanciples, I cannot indeed believe

-and^'assure as ieertain , but just as little rpfvS^

^ diiue as cerliainly falser , Without determiiiuitf*

'.anv^tlqng, however, /With respept^o this;l

^reckoen that what may be therein salutaqr'<AriU^

eo for as I do not render myself unworthy of

it by the want^'nioral mindedness in a good

life, be for my advantage. In^this maxinA

there is true moral safety, before conscience,

(and more cannot be required of a man,)

vi^hereas the greatest danger and unsafeness are

in the opiniative prudential mean^ ciaftity to

avoid the disadvantageous consequence, which

may arise to me from not professing and, by

being well with both parties, to be well with

neither of them. —

If the author of a symbol, if the teacher of a church - doctrine , nay, if every man, so far as he inwardly owns to himself the convic- tion of tenets as Divine revelations, asked himself, Wouldest thou venture in presence of the Knower of hearts, at the risk of the giving up of every thing that is valuable and'



sacred to the^, to assure the truth of these teneu? One must have a very disadvanta-^ geous notion of human ]:iature (at least not totally incatpable of the good) ^ not to pr^$up-i pose that even the boldest teacher of belief ' must tremble at this*/*^ But if that i& so., how does it accord with conscientiousness to urg6 such ^13, explanation erf bdief, as allows no limitauon , to have the audaG^iousness to. giv0 _ out such assurances eveli as duty and belong- ing to Ddyine service, and thereby to destroy entirely the liberty of men, which is atselui tely required to all that is moral (such as ^ the a3.option of a religion) ^ and not eve' ^^ leave room for the good will, that says, -^^^^9. - J believe; help thou iniiie unbelief/ **

Dd 3

  • The same man, \v'ha is daring cnoi^j' j *^. *J-

wlioever does not believe in tliis or jt be hl^'^*"^ kistory as a sacred irutli is damned ^ j^^ • ^ '® ^ay,

ril he dcLinned if what I here'reUte^l^ncinff s^ 1^*^*^^ *^ \Vere there any body capable of piieasures^to be \ake'n r*hle jtidgmeiu, I would ad vu,us Persian j„"*«^ with regard lo lunj accordnig ;» IMecca (^ a nilSrl^.^ Badgi : If any one has been ocs with you- has hll quit the house which he mhn which he lives • h,,tTe twice there V quit the stB, oh! then n...v .1' """• " he lias been thrice ix\ MiicU he resides '°"^*

or even the country , ^nrxa . whv art tl,^. a

« Onnc.rur> t^ixow «uch iLd hal? we^T d^"'" tlie earth to heai-'nsc.ence and therefore nf^H • ""T thee (the basis >"' to us ? I ««>-„?.« ,1 '?'""?* xeligionj do'g5^«"eJ. that can dourer ooPnh°"^\" "

"•would be in their oVi"^" »'^S'«««d. the hu^an

.ofound contempt. ~ B°^ ,Cl ^ "" °)^« "f the most

lund IS such an one af . desired property of the

-d occasion xnan/W-rifi^e^^-l KM'^'^-'-

  • «^» aenc© requires mor«l




tlut it, vinue (iliat mnM he ac^airedj, bnt iniicc warclied anJ cultivueJ (hsn eT«T . because ilie opposite pny)eiisioii , if it be allowed i ika rout, i> tlie niuu ilillicuU lo lie erxilicBled, — me compsTc ilicTnvilh our mode at education, i^hieltf Mitt oJF religion, or lather, ilia docciines of belief I the fnitlvliiUies* of the meniory , id aniwering ili« 

ioDs lelatiiig to ilieni, without cansUering the IsitL-

iiilneia nf tbe prnfesiioa (of wliich a trial ie ne\rei made), if KC-JTcd as mlliciBnt tO' make n belieycT , tvho (t>->et not Undt'TSliiiid vvlial he Eoleinnly affirms, and one noeJi no latiger wonder at the -want of unceritj, frliicli niAket aotliing but ptoiound. liyjioctitet.

Wolves tiiall sooceed for teachers, grievoot ■wolveil Who fU the »acred mysteriea nt He.iv'n, To^llieir O-wn vile adyantagei shall tniiTi, tii luMc and ambition i and tUe trudi W'iili lupcr&tiiions iind tradUioiis taint, ■»..fl oi.lv in llioje written records pure. "^ough not buc by tbe Spixit tutderstood.

FaxAdise Lost.



Dd 4

• ■







Tt is usual, especially in pious language, to Jet a dying man say that he is going out of tune into eternity.

This expression would in fact say nothing, if by eternity should here be understood a time going on to infinite; for in that case man coilld never go out pf time, but would always go but out of the one into the other. By that, therefore, must be meant an end of all tbne'^ in the uninterrupted duration of man , but this duration (his existence contemplated as a quantmn) as a quajttuni totally incomparable . with time {duratio nownenon), of which W6 can form to ourselves no conception (but a negative one). — This thoi^ht has in itself soiiiething d^^dful, as it, so to speak, leads^ to the brink of a:n abyss, from which for those that sink into it no return is possible {Ihn aher halt am emsten Orte , Der nichts zuriicke Idfsty Die Elvigheit rnit starken Annen fest. Haller) ; and yet something attractive at thfr same time: for one cannot avoid turning back to it his aflErighted eye (nequeunt expleri corda tuendo. Virgil}. It is terribly sublime^ part- ly on account of its darkness, in which the imagination is accustomed to act more power- fully, than in a clear li^ht. T^rxaUy , it must lvo\v'ever beintorvroven m a wonderful manner

Dd 5 with


  • 4

with ithe universal hninan reasoft: as it is itt all times : to Ub met witl) « dressed in one iW^* 6/ another, aigong al) reasoning nations. «^ When .we follow die transition %t>m time to etmnlty (this idea, theoxetict^baif^nUlt^ as an enlarging of cognitioityuKy or may not have o1)jective reality), as xmon onahes iit^to y itself with a moral view jT we fi^ upon thif^^nl of all things, as tempordi bcjings and.#s fi^fiCtl^ of possible experience; but which en^isj^i^

* moral ordflr of ends is. at the iwu.tjmf. th« 

beginning of a 4urati9n of ^these Vfffy ^Mfiifff^

as 0^per$enulflfi f coinsequmtly i^t,,|;anh|llg'

imder con4]iions of tim9f yliioh 4»^fSiQn

> ;then and whose state Are. capfl^la of.giO;pd|ev

^ • jhan aritfor4:(i^t«mi;nation pf'tb^

Days a«^ ^P to say, childrfl9ri|Ofr#B)«b .^ Jieeause the foll^iwing dayt tagedifri.vitli what it contains, is the production of the fore«  going. As the last child is named the youngest of its parcTits; so our (German) language is pleased to name the last day (the period that ends all time) the youngest day. The youngest day, therefore, siill belongs to time; for some- thing or other (not pertaining , to eternity, where nothing more tafecs place, because that would be continuing time) yet happens to it, namely, men giving; an account of their con-- duct during their whole lifetime. It is a day of judgment; the judgment of pardopi or of condemnation, then, is the proi)er end of all things in time, and at the same time the be- ginning of (either the blessed or th^; accursed) etenilt^, jn which the lot of every one re- mains as it feU to lUuftut th^, mpmem pf thp

L sentence.

TBSATISE8, 4^7 '

Thus the last day comprehends in itself the last judgment, — If with the last things should be numbered the end of the world ^s it ap- pears in its present form , namely , the falling , of the stars from heaven as an arch, the tumbling of this heaven itself (or its departing as a scroivl when it is rolled together), the burn- ing of both , the creation of a new heaven and of a new earth for the seat of the blessed, and of hell for that of the damned: that day of judgment would not indeed be the last day; but many others would follow it. As the idea of an end of all things, however, does not take its rise from the reasoning on the physical , but on the moral course of things in the world*, and is occasioned by it only ; the latter solely can be referred to the supersen- sible, (which is intelligible but by the moral), such as is the idea of eternity : so the repre- sentation of those last Uiings, that are to come after the last day , miRt be considered as a mode of rendering the latter sensible together w^ith its moral consequences, otherwise not theoretically comprehensible to us.

But it is to be observed that since the most anciem times there has been two systems touching tl»o future eternity: the one that of the unitarians^ rrho decree to all men (purified, by longer or short^^ expiations) eternal salva- tion; the other that i^f the dualists,"^ who


  • Such a system was in the antio*«« T>«Ts!au r^'i^iftion (of

Zoroaster) grounded upon the presupposu/^" ^^ t^^vf> first beings engaged in a perpetual r«^»ilict wnn one another, the good principle, Ormuzd^ and the bad, Ari/iman, — It is strange that the language of two countries lax distant " Svota


4S8 , »t»At*'AJrv


dMree Mlv»tii»n to it felt elect, bilt-dbtftvd^^* eternal 4s>Kiiiation.- For-a gystem^'^cis^i^ to Mrhuih all are liesdne^i to be iJoM^df -dOuld Slot well find pla^y^^else there ii^Mil4^1^-nQ justifying ground ,- -why they;;.weA is j^ilBral ipreatedlj blit the mnnSulatinjptjii aU ^ronld denote a', balked wisdpm which v disMtiified with its own worh, Icnowsno other ^baigg^^ll^ .

Its defects, than to -destroy k. ^rkigmam

difficulty, howeiretM which pr^vrntedb' the >= > etemid'-*damnatioa oB ' all from bein^ thonght m^, stands constantly in the- wa^ withtt'd^. ^st;.-fo/' tp.whafe^end, might it be in^nirtod^ * "werct the few created >^ why 'ei^railkll^d*'lrifixf^tf |>erson, if he should exist bM^IM^Ibe okw put; for everl^ jwbiph i$ infofs^ 4iii«4Bdt 4o^ekist

/ Indeed., so far as we perspect iif'WQ ^ e* - ^we can penetrate into ourselves, the dualislio

system has (but on^ under one supremely good Being), with a practical view , for every man as he has to judge himself (though not as he is entitled to judge others), a preponderating ground in itself ; for, so far as he knows him-* self, rea^n leaves him no other prospect in

• cr^emity^

from one anotlicr, but stiU farther fro^ ^« present seat of

the German iaiigmge, is, in the tJenomination of botk

these first beii^gs, German. r'«i'"^'nt>er to have read in

Sonuerat that in Ava (ihc. c-^i^^'Y of the Biir^dunapsj th9

frond principle is nanicd ^odernan (which word seems tO ie in the name JOnrius ^odoinunnus t«.o); and, as the, word -Arnj>7ian sounds vcrj ^i^e ihc arg a Mu: my and the present Persian co»itV}i(,s ^ -'•fnber O: words onginaJIy German ; so it may be a jv'.blem for ihrt aniic;uarie8 to trace bv the clew of the njjn.iiy of i^.,r.,,aga the origin of the present eonccpnons of nruifion of jii^y nations. (See Sowierat'» Travels, B. 2, chap. s. B;.


eternity , than what his own conscience opens to him at the end of life from his course of life hitherto led* But for a dogma j corise* quently in order to make of it a theoretical tenet valid in itself [oibjectively], it, as a mere judgment of reason > is by far not suffi- cient. For who knows himself, who knows others so through and through, as to be able to decide whether, if he separated from the causes of his opiniatively well -spent life all that is termed merit of fortune, as his inborn temperament of a good quality, the natural greater strength of hii' higher powers (of im* derstanding and of reason in order to tame his instincts), and besides the opportimity where chance ffortunately saved him from many temptations, into which another fell; if he separated all these from his real character (as, in order to estimate this sufficiently, he must of necessity deduct them , because he cannot ascribe them, as gifts of fortune, to his own merit) ; who will then decide, I say , whether before the all -seeing eye of a Judge of the world one man, as to his internal moral value, has any preference whatever before another, and whether it may not perhaps be an absurd self-conceit, with this superficial self- cogni- tion, to pronounce to his own advantage any one judgment on the moral value (and the merited 'fate) either of himself or of others. — The system of the Unitarians, therefore, as well as of the Dualists, both contemplated as dogmas, seems to lie totally beyond the grasp of the speculative faculty of human reason, and 10 lead us to reduce every thing to the


k .-.


absolute limitation of thdse ideas to the condi- tions of the practical use only. For we see nothing before us that can inform us of our fate in a future world, but the judgment of our own conscience, that is, what our present moral state, so far as we know ourselves, allows us reasonably to judge thereof, namely, that such principles of our course of life as 'w^e have found predominant in us till its end (whether they be those of the good or of the bad), will after death continue to be so like- wise; w^ithout our having the smallest reason to assume an alteration of them in that futuri- ty. We must therefore have to expect for eternity the consequences suitable to that merit or to this guilt, imder the dominion cither of the good or of the bad principle ; in which respect it is then ^vise so to act , as if another life, and the moral state in which we terminate the present, together ^vith its con- sequences, were at our entry into that un- alterable. With a practical view therefore the increasing: system must be thedualistic; witli- out however willing to make out which of the two, in a theoretical and merely specula- tive view, merits the preference; especially as the unitarian seems to lull too much in indolent security.

But why do men expect an end of the zvorld in general? and, if this were even granted them, why just an end with terrour (for the greater part of the human speciCvS) ? . . . Tlie ground of the former seems to be that reason says to them that the continuance of the world has bi ■ * xational


beings in it are conformable to the scope of their existence, but if this shall not be attain* ed, the creation seems to them to be to no end: like a play that has no issue, and gives to cognise no rational design^ The latter is founded in the opinion of the corrupt quality of the human species , * which is carried even, to ^ total wrant of hope ; to put an end to which species and indeed a frightful end , is the only fit measure (for the gieater part of men) of the highest wisdom and justice. — ■- Hdnce the


• Thinking sages fot philosopliers) , without deigning to bestow the smallest attention to the predisposition to the good in human nature* have epthausted theraseflves in disagreeable* and in part disgusting, comparisons, in order to represent- our terrestrial world, the abode of men, very despicably.

1. As an inn (or a caravansary) , as the Dervis considers it* "where every one putting up on his iourney through lifo must expect to be soon dispossessed by a following one.

2. As a liouse of correction*, which opinion the Brahmans, Thibetians , and other sages of the east (and even Plato^ favour : a place of chastisement and purification for falleii spirits, cast out of lieaven , at present human or animal souls. 5. As a intLdhouse : w^liere not only every one apart destroys his o^vn designs , but the one occasions the other cVfery imaginable vexation, and over and above holds tho address and i)Ow^er to be able to do that the greatest honour. 4. And lastly as a common sewer, where all the illth of other worhls is thrown. The last fancy is in a certain manner original, and for which we are inclebted to

a Persian witling, who places paradise, the abode of tho' first human pair, in heaven,' in which are to be met •with garden -trees enow, loaded with the most delicious fruits, whose superfluity, after being eat, loses itself by insensible perspiration ; a single tree in tUe middle of th©

garden excepted , which bears a charming fruit , it is true, ut w^hich cannot be ])erspired. As our first parents,, notwithstanding the prohibitjon, desired to eat of it ; there was, in order that they should not dellle heaven, no other advise , than that one of the angels showed them the earth ^t a great distance , and said , that is the jukes of thm Universe t conducted them thither to do the needful, loft them there, and Hew back to heayen, Tiieuce sprang Ui# tn species upon eartli.


■** -■



fdreU^jiens ,cf iJie last day (for where does ^ imagination moved by great' expectations let - .jjoliens and mifaolea be wanting?)^ Jr^ all of. the ^^horribje sort. Some 8^ the]|Aij|n the* . prevailing 'ihjusuce, in the expression of the .- poor by the gormandizing and* excessive Iflunvf of the rich,^^ and .the universal loss of tni^j^pnd faidi ; or in the flames of bloody wars hjfiming. in all the comers of the earth ^ in a word, in* the, moral fall and in the rapid increase of aU -vices, together with the attending evile^ suoh, as- they rancy, as -former times never saw. Others , bn the contrary, in rnicommon altera* tions of nature, in earthquakes, huilicailes and deluges , or in meteors an^ comets.

In fact men feel the burden of ifaeif^ ex* $stence, not without cause, though they thenvr selves are the cause of it« TThe reason of which seems to me to be the following. — In the progressions of the hiiman species the culture of talents, of address and of taste (and of their consequence, luxury), naturally forerun the unfolding of morality; and this state is direct- ly the most burdensome and the most dange* rous both to morality and to physical well- being: because the wants increase uiuch faster, than the means to satisfy them. But the mo- ral predisposition of humanity, which (like Horace's poena ^ pede claudo) always hobbles - after it (humanity), will one day (as may well be hoped for un(3erawiseGovemourof the world) overtake it^ which entangles itself in its pre- cipitate course and often stumbles ; and thus, even according to the proofs of expe- rience of the preference of morality in our age,


  • f

.TR£ATIS«£S. 433

in comparison with all the foregoing ages, may be indulged the hope that the last day ■will rather arrii'^c with an ascension of Elias, than with a descent to hell like the gang of Korahy and bring about the end of all things upon earth. This heroical belief in virtue, .however, seems to have, subjectively, an influence on the minds not so universally powerful for the purpose of conversion, as that in a scene, which is thought as pre- ceding the last things, accompanied with terrour.

Observation. As we have here to do (or to play) merely with ideas that reason frames for itself, the objects of which (if there are such) lie quite beyond our horizon , which ideas, though to the speculative cognition trans- cendent, are not in every reference to be holden void, but with a practical view are furnished us by legislative reason itself, not in order to muse on their objects, what they are in themselves and according to their na- ture, but as we have to think of them for the behoof of the moral principles, directed to the scope of all things (by which they, which w^ere otherwise void, acquire objective prac- tical reality); — thus have we before us a free ' field to divide this prodiiction of our own reason, the universal conception of an end of all things, according to the relation w^hich it bears to our cognoscitive faculty, and to classify the conceptions ranking under it.

Accordingly the whole is divided i. into Vol. n. E e the

=. . r ^"^^ ' sskATs Ait to

F ' ■

tlie natural * end of all tiling^, accorfUng to

i the order of moral ends of Divine wisdom^

^, . - which end we c;in (in a practical view) well

•,'■ ' utjderstnnd , a. into their mystical (super'-

■' natural) end, in the order of efficient causes^

of whi'jh we understand nothing:, 3. into tlie

preteriiaturnt (perveitcd) «ind of all thin^^

y, ' -which is bronglit about by ourselves, by ynis-

L. , understanding the scopej and represented ia'

W" ' three divisions, the Hrst of which has beeft

  • . just treated and now the two olliers follow; '

'An Angel lifted up his hand lo lieaven,/- and sWiire by him that liveth for ever and /■ ' fever, who created heaven &c., that there should be time no more.' (Rev. x. 5, 6).

Unless it be supposed that thisangel 'with 1^ his voice of seven thunders' (v. .^) intended ttt

speaK nonsense, he must have meant that' henceforlhi there shall be no alteration ; for if there were alteration in the world, time also 'would be there, because that cannot talie place but in this and, without this presupposition, is by no means cogitable.

Here bow is represented , as an object of sense , an end of all things , of which we caa form to Ourselves no conception at all: be- cause we, if we would take a single step out


  • Natural fformatlr) menni, v^tixt netettkiily folloTT^

according to Uwe of a certain order, wliicUsbeTer it be, consequently the moral too , f tliertforo not always, the p^y- aiCiil merely). To it -is opposed tlie unnatural, which may- bo either the lupematural, or the preierrialural. Ttie necessary fiOm <a"JBi of naiiire it also rejireseiitcd at ma- terially natural {physically necesjaryj.



THE: \






S.ECTION I. F. .,.-.

• . • . ... fa .

Of the diiFerent Objects of tlie Sentiment of the

Sublime and Beautiful ^

S E C T I O N 11.

Of the Properties of the Sublime auii Beautiful in

Man in general 9

SECTIOKIII. . Of the Distinction of the Beautiful and of the

Sublime in the Counterrelation of both Sexes ' ' 55


Of national Character*, so far as they rest upon the distinct Feeling of the Beautiful and of the Sublime 58







)o( THE



SECTION t. Argument fot the Deinontt'^tion of tlie. Ejuttencd of God «97


Of the gtnt Aivmtagt peculiar to this Mo^s of Proof in p*rticitUi ^S

SECTION rii. Wherein i* erinced chat betides the adduced Ar- gumetit no other in (iipport of ■ Dewonttration I of the Existehce of God is postible 35$



Representation of the Christian Beligioii ai ■ itioitl

Religion 565

0/ i>/e Dwelling of the lad PrUidplt hj the good,

or oil the radical .Tio(£ in hitmait Kntute jje

, Of the Confiict of lite good rrinciple wltk iht bad

Jor tht Tiominian over Man ggt


The Victory of tht goad rri,ui,,U over tlie had, and the Foundation ef a Kingdam, of God ujioh Earth . gqi


Of Worihip and of falie WanJiiji under the Daml. nion of the good Principle , or of lleligiou and Frieitdom 405

Of the Guide of Contciente in Maiteri of Belief ^i^


TA£ATIS£8. 43^« 

of the sensible world into the intelligible, un-j avoidably involve ourselves inacoiitradictloni which happens here, as the moment that mak- es the end of the one , must be the beginning of the other, consJequently this is brought into the very same series of (ime with that; which is contradictory.

But we say too that we conceive a dura-; tion as infinite (as etemitj'^): not because We have any one determinate conception of its length — for that is impossible, as time| as its measure, is totally wanting to it; — but that conception is, because, where there is no time, 720 end has place, merely a negative conception of the perpetual duration^ by which we do not advance a single step in our cognition, but it is meant to be said, only, that reason, with a (practical) view to the scope, never can be satisfied on the way of constant alterations: though, if it attempted it with the principle of the stop and of the alterations of the state of mundane beings, it would satisfy itself just as little with regard to its theoretical use, and would rather fall into thoughtlessness; as then nothing remains for it but to thinli of an alteration proceeding to infinite (in time), in the continual advance- ment to the scope, by which the mindedness (which is not, like that, a phenomenon, but something supersensible, therefore not variable in time^ remains and is constantly the same. The rule of the practical use of reason , con- formable to this idea, says nothing more, than' that we must so take our maxims, as if,

Ee fl in

V ..



in all alterations going in mjimtum from the ^ofod to the belter, our moral slate, according fo the niintfedness , (the homo nownenon^ 'whose coiiversaiion is in heaven') were sub- jected to no vicissitude of lime vi^hatever.

Biit I hat an article of liiiie, when all altera- tion (and tojiLctlier with it time itselJF) will Cease, shall one tlay arrive, is a representation shocking' tb the imagination. Then all nature grows rigid and, as it were, becomes petri- iiedr'the last' thought, the last feelin"; in the thinll;ing subject stops then and always re- mains thcsame without change. For a beings TV ho can. be conscious to himself of his ex- istence aJid of the length of it (as a duration) but in time, such a life, if it may be termed life, must seem like annihilation: because he , in order to conceive himself in such a stnie, must cojrilale somelhing in general; but cosi'tation contains reflecting, w^hich can liaj)pen in lime only. — Hence the inhabi- tants of the other AvorJd are so represented, as tlicy, accordiTig to the diflereiice of their place of abode (heaven or liell), utter either always the same spiritual song their hallelujah, or eternally the very same lamentation (:xix, 1-6; XX, 15): whereby is shown the total want of all change in their state.

'i'his idea, however, though it surmounts our fnculty of comprehension so much, is in a practical reference nearly related to reason. If we should even suppose the morally phy- sical Slate of man here in life on the best footing, namely, a constant advance- ment

. u. J. .\m*J^--. .TjmX « ':


ment and approximation to the chief good (set up as an aim to him); yet he (even in the consciousneiSiS of the immutability of his zaindedness) cannot combine coritcntinejit with the prospect of an ev^rduring alteration of hisi state (of the moral as well ^s of the physical). For the state^ in whicl^ he. is at present ^ al- ways reiiiair^ . ^n evijl , cpi^^paratively with the better, into which he is ready to enter; and the representation of an infinite advance- ment to th^ scope is at the same time a pros- pect \n an infinite series pf evils which, though they are outweighed by the greater good , da not allow the contentment, th^t he cannot conceive but by the scope's being finally reachf edL , to find plaqe.

The musing man, npw, falls into mystic cism (for reason, as it is not easily satisfied w^ith its immanent, id e^t ^ practical, use, but willingly ventures something in the trans- cendent, has its mysteries too), when his reason understands neither itself, nor what it \vilJs, but, rather than confine itself, as be*!* comes the intellectual inhabitant of a sensible .world J within is boundaries, extravagates or falls into reveries. Hence comes Laokiun's n^onstrous system of the chief good,\N:hic\icoi\r si$ts o( nothijig J that is, in the consciousness oi feeling one's self swallowed up in th^gplph of the Godhead, by the coniliience with it and therefore by the annihilation of one's persona- lity i in order to have the presension of vyhigh state, Chinese philgisophers,. an dark rooms, with shut eyes, endeavour to cpnceive and to

E e 5 » feel


ici ;iiis thnr nothing. Hence the •pantheism i Liii: LUibetians and other enstern nations) ; . I'-i aiterwards spiuozism peneraled from the -i:c:'i;i|'h>sical siibtimation of the fonner: both whit h are nearly allied to the very qld system or enianalion of all human souls out of thtf LH'icy (and their final resorptiofi by him). >Ieiely that men may ultimately have to re-^ joice in perpetual rest, which then constituted t^eir imaginaiy happy end of all things; s conception , with which their wnderstanding i» at the same time extinguished and all thinliin^ at an end. '

Tlie end of all things, which go through men's hands, is, even notwithstanding their pood ends, folly, that is, the use of such means to their ends, as are directly contrary to these. J-Visdoui , that is, practical reason in the suiLibleness of its measures fidly cor- responding to the scope of all tilings, the chief pood , dwells'wiLh God only; and to act bur not evidcTilly conLrary to its idea, is wliat may be named hiunan wisdom. But this security from folly, which man can hope fo receive but by essays and the frequent altera- tion of his plans, is more a pri~e , for ivldch the best can only run so that he may obtain it i but he must never allow self-love to persuade him that he has obtained it, and much less to proceed as jfl^Mkad. — Hei^^^^e from time to time iJP^^BBrequtnlly^^^Bmsical , pro- jects for ■ ^^t" i^inlet ^n in n whole iiatiO'i ]. that it


' TKEATISfS. 439

with you nothing is constant , but incons- tancy !

When these essays, however, have at last succeeded so far, that the commonwealth \% capable and inclined to hearken not only ta the received pious doctrines, but to practical reason illustrated by them (as it is absolutely necessary to a religion); when the (in al^iman manner) wise niert among the people make objections, not by concerting together (as a clergy), but as fellow -citizens, and for thd most part agree therein , which prove , in a manner not liable to suspicion, that their only aim is truth; and I he people on the whole (though not yet in the smallest detail), by the universally felt want of the necessary cultiva- tion of their moral predisposition , not built upon authority, take an interest therein : no- thing seems to be more adviseable, than to let those pursue their course undisturbedly, as, with regard to the idea which they trace, they ate in the right way: but as to the conse- quence of the means chosen for the best scope, since it always remains uncertain how it may fall out according to the course of nature, to leave it to Provideiice. For, let owe be ever so hard of beliefs he must, where it is abso- lutely impossible to foresee with certainty the consequence of certain means taken according to all human wisdom (which , if it shall merit its name, 'must refer to the moral Entirely), believe in a practical manner in a concurrence rCtf Divine wisdom to the course of nature, ^vnless he would rather chuse to give up his " ' ' Ee 4 scope*

scope. .—» It 13 indeef! pretended That it has already been often -said that ihe present pJau is [lie best; it must henceforward be always adhwed to : that is at present astatefor eterni- ty : He (according to tliis conception) thnt is ri^kceous, let him he riglueoia ^tiU; and lie that jj unjust (conti'Si'y to it) , let him be unjust

■ stiU; as if eternity, and togelliori villi it the

■ end or ail tliinjis, could be already.anived; — i and yet alwa\ s nevv plans, the newest one o£

wliich is often but the re-establishment oS

^ an, old one, have been since projected, and more last scheiues will not be wanting for the fulute. •■ I am so conscious of my inability pf malting in this a new and Iiappy essay , that I I .would (to which Indeed belongs nq great [ jjQwer of invention) rather advise lo leave mailers as lliey are at last, and liave proved themaelves almost during a man's age-toleraby, good in their consequences. But as that may not.be the opinion of men of either a, great or an enterprising spirit; allow me hunibly to obeerve, not so much wh.it they have to do, as sgainst what they niusi have a care not to offend, as theyiwould otherwise act con- trary .to... their own design (were it the very ibestj;.!-^ '•...-.:

Christianity, besides the greatest reverence, which the holiness of its laws irresistibly inspires, has in ,it ■ something- 7()«W/y, (I ■ do not mean here the amiablcness of the per- son wjio acquired it for us by great sacrifice but of the thing itself, namely., the moral consli-


cons titiitioifi which he founded; for that can be inferred but from this). Reverence is with* out doubt the first, because without it no true love can have place ; though without love one may have a great reverence for a person. But when not only the representation of duty^ but its observance is concerned, when one inquires after the subjective ground of the actions, from w^hich, if it may be presupposed, may first be expected, what man will do^ not merely after the objective or\eyivhat he ought to do^ love, as a free adoption of the will of another among one's maxims, is an indispensable 'complement- of the imperfection* of human nature (to be necessitated to that which reason prescribes by the law) : far what one does not wiUingly do, he does so sparingly, and even with sophistical evasions of the command-* ment of duty,' that, without the accession of reverence, no great stress is to be laid upon love,- as a spring.

But if, in order to malse it very good, "any one authority (^vere it even the Divine) is superadded to Christianism , let the intention be ever so well-meant and the end actually ey>ji so good; its amability is gone; for it is a contradiction to coimnand any body that he shall not only do something, but that he shall do it iviUingly,

The Christian religion has in view To forwaiil love to the business of the observance of one's diity in general, and produces this love also ; because its Founder speahs'not in the quality of a commander, who enforces his

Ee 5 will

EssATs ».vr>

ill rcquirinij^ obedience, but in that of a J lanlhiopist, wlio brings home to his fel- low-men their own will well-understood, that is, according: to which, they of their own acnord , if they sulUciently tried themsclvea, would naiuraliy act.

It is therefore the liberal castofmind

qually far remote from servility, and from

iicEmtiousness — from which Christianity ex-

pcetsefiect to its doctrine, by which it is able

K to win for itself the earls of men , whose

Tinders landing is alr( illitiiiinated by the

"■oresentation of tb' ■ their duty. The

iling of liberty i mice of the hnal

d is that whicti muKes the legi&Iatioii

Ily. — Though the. Teacher of it an-- uuces putiishneiits , this is not to be so iin-

I -stood, at least' it is not suitable to the Jieciiliar qualily of the Christian religion so to cxplaib.lt, .as if they should beco.me the springs, to Iseep its commandmeqts; for so for it" would c«ase to be worthy of Ipve. But, this may be interpreter} only as a kipd warm iug. arising from the benevolence of the legis- ■ fetor, to- beware of the disadvantage, w|iicb must inevitably spring from the transgressioij . of the law (for; lex est res surda et inexorar h'dis. LivLus); because not Christianity, ' as a voluntarily adopted luaxiin of life, but the Jaw here threatens:- which , as an order Im- jnutably 'lying in the nature of things, is not

, left, even to the arbitrement of the Creator, to decide in this ur that manner the conse- quences of it. -'

, c_ When

£ R R A T A^

IX ' 6 & 4 /or affettion read affect.

XII S3 for ajfection read affect

14a 24 /or prejudices r^ati premisses

^^ ««8 Note 16 for 19 read xo

149 t for immensurabU read indgmomtrahUi

It 6 L. II.

i^ r«a<£ otliers* 'weal. a4 read others' wants^

8 read of romantic,

6 for mose read more

x6f6T compassion read sjrmpathjr of sorrow,

8 r0/tc{ others'

x6 after principle read is 17 <£'tf/tf is X for In like manner read And 9 /or for read tc*

3 /or fabric read structure • ,

b, 10 for trade r^ati commerce XX foT in read upon

xo rtfad those spring»; x5 /. them r. these? c/iyitlei, t6 for Qnaeritur read Quaerit 10 rea<i « collier's unbelief* b 5 a/^er follow read night X for among read of 3 /or none read no difficulty

9 /or in a manner rerwi as it were xo for it must then be this r^a^but it may per*

haps surprise us 3 after hundred read Oetman 3 for oautiuuance read continuance
















Note i











■ •.

t. ■ I '





When the Christian religiori promised re- ivards (for instance, Rejoice , and Ve exceeding glad; for great, is your reward in heaven) ^ that mnSt not, according to the liberal way of thinking, be so expounded-, as if it were an oflFer, so to express myself, to bargain with men to lead good lives: for hiere Chris- tianity again were not of itself worthy o£ - love. Only a demand of such actions, as ariie from disinterested motives, can inspire mail with reverence for him, who makes the de- mand; but without reverence. there is no true love. To that promise- then must not be affixed the sense, as iftherewardsshould.be taken for the springs of the actions. The love*| by which a liberal cast of mind is fetter* ed to a benefactor, is not directed by the bepe- faction, which the needy receives, but merely by the goodness of the will of him > who is inclined to bestow it: even should he not be possessed of the means ,*or be hindered in the execution by other motives , which the con- sideration of the universal good of the world carries with it.

That is the moral amability , that Chrislia- nism carries with it, which, by various coactions externally applied to it, has, not- withstanding the frequent change of opinions, still made its way, and supported itselfl against the aversion it must otherwise have' met with; and (what is remarkable) which, durinji; the time of the o;reatest enlis-htenino- that ever was among men, always shows itself in a clearer light.


les) lincU I 1. way of liiinkt* .who is OVrr •• of theJasi 'iu, * ment (piofri'ili'i thtei«at): 111' destined tu ■' worW, but to he, woiili:

should the Christian religion ever be brought to such a pass, as to cease to be amiable (vvlych might well happen, if it, instead of Its mild spirit, were armed with imperious authority): an aversion and oppo- sitiiion to it, as in moral things no neutrality {and still leas a coalition of opposite princip- les) finds place, must become the prevailing way of thinking of men; and the antichrist, who is over and above holden the harbin^M- of the last day, would begin his short ^otern- nient (probably founded upon fear and self- interest): then, however, as Christianity was destined to be the universal religion of the ■world, but would not be/fliJOureJ by fate so to be, would happen, in a moral considera-i tioii, f/je (perverted) end of all things.

W I K I S.

AUG 1 7 1965

See also

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