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visible parts of a man, which he acknowledges to be mortal, should look on the soul to be a modification of that body, in a discourse wherein he was endeavouring to persuade another that it was immortal. It is to be acknowledged that truly great men, such as he was, are not wont so manifestly to contradict themselves. He had therefore no thought concerning the modification of the body of a man in the case: he was not such a trifler as to examine, whether the modification of the body of a man was immortal, when that body itself was mortal: and therefore, that which he reports as Dicæarchus's opinion, he dismisses in the beginning without any more ado, c. 11. But Cicero's was a direct, plain, and sensible inquiry, viz. What the soul was? to see whether from thence he could discover its immortality. But in all that discourse in his first book of Tusculan Questions, where he lays out so much of his reading and reason, there is not one syllable showing the least thought that the soul was an immaterial substance; but many things directly to the contrary.
Indeed (1) he shuts out the body, taken in the senses he uses corpus all along, for the sensible organical parts of a man; and is positive that is not the soul: and body in this sense, taken for the human body, he calls the prison of the soul: and says a wise man, instancing in Socrates and Cato, is glad of a fair opportunity to get out of it. But he nowhere says any such thing of matter: he calls not matter in general the prison of the soul, nor talks a word of being separate from it.
2. He concludes, that the soul is not, like other things here below, made up of a composition of the elements, c. 27.
3. He excludes the two gross elements, earth and water, from being the soul, c. 26.
So far he is clear and positive: but beyond this he is uncertain; beyond this he could not get: for in some places he speaks doubtfully, whether the soul be not air or fire. Anima sit animus, ignisve, nescio, c. 25. And therefore he agrees with Panatius, that, if it be at all elementary, it is, as he calls it, inflammata anima, inflamed air; and for this he gives several reasons, c. 18, 19. And though he thinks it to be of a peculiar nature of its own, yet he is so far from thinking it immaterial, that he says, c. 19, that the admitting it to be of an aerial or igneous nature will not be inconsistent with any thing he had said.
That which he seems most to incline to is, that the soul was not at all elementary, but was of the same substance with the heavens; which Aristotle, to distinguish from the four elements, and the changeable bodies here below, which he supposed made up of them, called quinta essentia. That this was Tully's opinion is plain from these words, Ergo animus (qui, ut ego dico, divinus) est, ut Euripides audet dicere, Deus; et quidem, si Deus aut anima aut ignis est, idem est animus hominis. Nam ut illa natura cœles
* C. 19, 22, 30, 31, &c.
tis et terrâ vacat et humore; sic utriusque harum rerum humanus animus est expers. Sin autem est quinta quædam natura ab Aristotele inducta; primum hæc et deorum est et animorum. Hanc nos sententiam secuti, his ipsis verbis in consolatione hæc expressimus, ch. 29. And then he goes on, c. 27. to repeat those his own words, which your lordship has quoted out of him, wherein he had affirmed, in his treatise De Consolatione, the soul not to have its original from the earth, or to be mixed or made of any thing earthly; but had said, singularis est igitur quædam natura et vis animi, sejuncta ab his usitatis notisque naturis: whereby he tells us, he meant nothing but Aristotle's quinta essentia: which being unmixed, being that of which the gods and souls consisted, he calls it divinum cœleste, and concludes it eternal; it being, as he speaks, sejuncta ab omni mortali concretione. From which it is clear, that in all his inquiry about the substance of the soul, his thoughts went not beyond the four elements, or Aristotle's quinta essentia, to look for it. In all which there is nothing of immate riality, but quite the contrary.
He was willing to believe (as good and wise men have always been) that the soul was immortal; but for that, it is plain, he never thought of its immateriality, but as the eastern people do, who believe the soul to be immortal, but have nevertheless no thought, no conception of its immateriality. It is remarkable what a very considerable and judicious author says in the case. No opinion, says he, has been so universally received as that of the immortality of the soul; but its immateriality is a truth, the knowledge whereof has not spread so far. And indeed it is extremely difficult to let into the mind of a Siamite the idea of a pure spirit. This the missionaries who have been longest among them are positive in. All the pagans of the east do truly believe, that there remains something of a man after his death, which subsists independently and separately from his body. But they give extension and figure to that which remains, and attribute to it all the same members, all the same substances, both solid and liquid, which our bodies are composed of. They only suppose that the souls are of a matter subtile enough to escape being seen or handled.-Such were the shades and manes of the Greeks and the Romans. And it is by these figures of the souls, answerable to those of the bodies, that Virgil supposed Æneas knew Palinurus, Dido, and Anchises, in the other world.
This gentleman was not a man that travelled into those parts for his pleasure, and to have the opportunity to tell strange stories, collected by chance, when he returned: but one chosen on purpose (and he seems well chosen for the purpose) to inquire into the singularities of Siam. And he has so well acquitted himself of the commission, which his epistle dedicatory tells us he had, to inform himself exactly of what was most remarkable there, that had we
* Loubere du Royaume de Siam, T. 1. c. 19. § 4.
but such an account of other countries of the east as he has given us of this kingdom, which he was an envoy to, we should be much better acquainted than we are with the manners, notions, and religions of that part of the world inhabited by civilized nations, who want neither good sense nor acuteness of reason, though not cast into the mould of the logic and philosophy of our schools.
But to return to Cicero: it is plain, that in his inquiries about the soul, his thoughts went not at all beyond matter. This the expressions that drop from him in several places of this book evidently show. For example, that the souls of excellent men and women ascended into heaven; of others, that they remained here on earth, c. 12. That the soul is hot, and warms the body: that, at its leaving the body, it penetrates, and divides, and breaks through our thick, cloudy, moist air: that it stops in the region of fire, and ascends no farther; the equality of warmth and weight making that its proper place, where it is nourished and sustained, with the same things wherewith the stars are nourished and sustained, and that by the convenience of its neighbourhood, it shall there have a clearer view and fuller knowledge of the heavenly bodies, c. 19. That the soul also from this height shall have a pleasant and fairer prospect of the globe of the earth, the disposition of whose parts will then lie before it in one view, c. 20. That it is hard to determine what conformation, size, and place, the soul has in the body: that it is too subtile to be seen: that it is in the human body as in a house, or a vessel, or a receptacle, c. 22. All which are expressions that sufficiently evidence, that he who used them had not in his mind separated materiality from the idea of the soul,
It may perhaps be replied, that a great part of this which we find in chap. 19 is said upon the principles of those who would have the soul to be anima inflammata, inflamed air. I grant it. But it is also to be observed, that in this 19th, and the two following chapters, he does not only not deny, but even admits, that so material a thing as inflamed air may think.
The truth of the case in short is this: Cicero was willing to believe the soul immortal; but, when he sought in the nature of the soul itself something to establish this his belief into a certainty of it, he found himself at a loss. He confessed he knew not what the soul was; but the not knowing what it was, he argues, c. 22, was no reason to conclude it was not. And thereupon he proceeds to the repetition of what he had said in his 6th book, De Repub. concerning the soul. The argument, which, borrowed from Plato, he there makes use of, if it have any force in it, not only proves the soul to be immortal, but more than, I think, your lordship will allow to be true; for it proves it to be eternal, and without beginning, as well as without end: Neque nata certe est, et æterna est, says he.
Indeed, from the faculties of the soul he concludes right, that it is of divine original: but as to the substance of the soul, he at the end of this discourse concerning its faculties, c. 25, as well as at
this beginning of it, c. 22, is not ashamed to own his ignorance of what it is; Anima sit animus, ignisve, nescio; nec me pudet, ut istos, fateri nescire quod nesciam. Illud si ulla alia de re obscura affirmare possem, sive anima, sive ignis sit animus, eum jurarem esse divinum, c. 25. So that all the certainty he could attain to about the soul was, that he was confident there was something divine in it, i. e. there were faculties in the soul that could not result from the nature of matter, but must have their original from a divine power; but yet those qualities, as divine as they were, he acknowledged might be placed in breath or fire, which, I think, your lordship will not deny to be material substances. So that all those divine qualities, which he so much and so justly extols in the soul, led him not, as appears, so much as to any the least thought of immateriality. This is demonstration, that he built them not upon an exclusion of materiality out of the soul; for he avowedly professes he does not know but breath or fire might be this thinking thing in us: and in all his considerations about the substance of the soul itself, he stuck in air, or fire, or Aristotle's quinta essentia; for beyond those it is evident he went not.
But with all his proofs out of Plato, to whose authority he defers so much, with all the arguments his vast reading and great parts could furnish him with for the immortality of the soul, he was so little satisfied, so far from being certain, so far from any thought that he had, or could prove it, that he over and over again professes his ignorance and doubt of it. In the beginning he enumerates the several opinions of the philosophers, which he had well studied, about it: and then, full of uncertainty, says, Harum sententiarum quæ vera sit, Deus aliquis viderit; quæ verisimillima, magna quæstio, c. 11. And towards the latter end, having gone them all over again, and one after another examined them, he professes himself still at a loss, not knowing on which to pitch, nor what to determine. Mentis acies, says he, seipsam intuens, nonnunquam hebescit, ob eamque causam contemplandi diligentiam amittimus. Itaque dubitans, circumspectans, hæsitans, multa adversa revertens, tanquam in rate in mari immenso, nostra vehitur oratio, c. 30. And to conclude this argument, when the person he introduces as discoursing with him tells him he is. resolved to keep firm to the belief of immortality; Tully answers, c. 32, Laudo id quidem, etsi nihil animis oportet confidere: movemur enim sæpe aliquo acute concluso; labamus, mutamusque sententiam clarioribus etiam in rebus; in his est enim aliqua obscuritas.
So unmoveable is that truth delivered by the spirit of truth, that though the light of nature gave some obscure glimmering, some uncertain hopes of a future state; yet human reason could attain to no clearness, no certainty about it, but that it was JESUS CHRIST alone who had brought life and immortality to light through the gospel *. Though we are now told, that to own the inability of natural reason to bring immortality to light, or, which
* 2 Tim. i. 10.
passes for the same, to own principles upon which the immateriality of the soul (and, as it is urged, consequently its immortality) cannot be demonstratively proved, does lessen the belief of this article of revelation, which JESUS CHRIST alone has brought to light, and which consequently the scripture assures us is established and made certain only by revelation. This would not perhaps have seemed strange, from those who are justly complained of for slighting the revelation of the gospel, and therefore would not be much regarded, if they should contradict so plain a text of scripture, in favour of their all-sufficient reason: but what use the promoters of scepticism and infidelity, in an age so much suspected by your lordship, may make of what comes from one of your great authority and learning, may deserve your consideration.
And thus, my lord, I hope, I have satisfied you concerning Cicero's opinion about the soul, in his first book of Tusculan Questions; which, though I easily believe, as your lordship says, you are no stranger to, yet I humbly conceive you have not shown (and, upon a careful perusal of that treatise again, I think I may boldly say you cannot show) one word in it, that expresses any thing like a notion in Tully of the soul's immateriality, or its being an immaterial substance.
From what you bring out of Virgil, your lordship concludes, *That he, no more than Cicero, does me any kindness in this matter, being both assertors of the soul's immortality. My lord, were not the question of the soul's immateriality, according to custom, changed here into that of its immortality, which I am no less an assertor of than either of them, Cicero and Virgil do me all the kindness I desired of them in this matter; and that was to show, that they attributed the word spiritus to the soul of man, without any thought of its immateriality; and this the verses you yourself bring out of Virgil †,
Et cum frigida mors animâ seduxerit artus,
Omnibus umbra locis adero; dabis, improbe, pœnas;
confirm, as well as those I quoted out of his 6th book; and for this Monsieur de la Loubere shall be my witness in the words above set down out of him; where he shows, that there be those amongst the heathens of our days, as well as Virgil and others amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans, who thought the souls or ghosts of men departed did not die with the body, without thinking them to be perfectly immaterial; the latter being much more incomprehensible to them than the former. And what Virgil's notion of the soul is, and that corpus, when put in contradistinction to the soul, signifies nothing but the gross tenement of flesh and bones, is evident from this verse of his Æneid vi. where he calls the souls which yet were visible,
Tenues sine corpore vitas.
answer concerning what is said Eccles. xii.