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Chambers, Ephraim, 1680 (ca.)-1740 / Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences : containing the definitions of the terms, and accounts of the things signify'd thereby, in the several arts, both liberal and mechanical, and the several sciences, human and divine : the figures, kinds, properties, productions, preparations, and uses, of things natural and artificial : the rise, progress, and state of things ecclesiastical, civil, military, and commercial : with the several systems, sects, opinions, &c : among philosophers, divines, mathematicians, physicians, antiquaries, criticks, &c : the whole intended as a course of antient and modern learning
(1728)

The preface,   pp. I [i]-xxx PDF (27.2 MB)


Page xi


The P I                       D k  E  FC                            X kE
Were all divinely infpir'd, in fome degree: which he illuffrates in the Cafe
of a Needle touch'd by a Magner,
which communicates an attraative Property to another Needle; that, to a third
; and fo on, with a continual Di-
minution.---Nor does the Effect end here, but the Profeffors df other Arts,
as Sculpture, Criticijm, and even Phi.
lofophy it felf, borrow their Flame and Infipiration from this Fire.  Thus
Phidias declared he was infpired to
make that Wonderful Statue of 7upiter Olympus, by the reading of Homer: And
thus Ariflotle may be faid
to have been infpired by the fame Poet, to compofe his immortal Poeticks:
The like is faid of Longinus
that he was infpired by the Mufes, or with the Fire of a Poet *.
BUT after Poetry, Rhetorick comes neareft, and fhares moft of the Spirit
thereof, even more than Criti.
cifm. Accordingly, Plato, in his Dialogue inscribed Menon, allows that "
as we fay Pythians, Prophets, and
" Poets are divinely agitated; fo we do Orators."  Elfewhere he
adds, " That they are certainly infpir'd
cr of God, and plainly pofIefs'd."  So Dion. Halicarna~feus t relates,
that " Demoflhenes did plainly 4Ow"o7."
And adds, that the Diftemper caught fo among his Audience, that " they
were poffefs'd at fecond hand,
" and brought to do many things againfi their own Reafon, and Judgment
:" And .tEfchines, his profefled
Enemy and Antagonift allows as much. I need not fay that Plutarch relates
the like of Cicero, in the Inftance of
his Oration to Ccfar, for Ligarius.
SOMETHING like this has been obferved, even in the Cafe of Prayer to God:
Several Hereticks are
on record for poffeffing their Hearers that way. Hacket, executed for Blafphemy
under Queen Elizabeth, is faid,
by theHifforian, " to have ravifh'd all that heard him at his Devotions
; and converted many in fpite of their
Teeth :" And Sarravia relates, the People were perfuaded that "
God directed his Tongue."  St. Bafil even
affirms t, " that our Prayers are never right or acceptable, till the
Ardor thereof carry us out of our felves, fo
-' that God poffefs us in foome extraordinary manner."  And hence the
learned and pious Cafaubon eflablifhes a
new kind of Enthufiafm, which he calls Supplicative, or Precatory; as he
does divers others, as Mu4AI Enthu-
fiafm, Mechanical Enthufiafm, &c. To fay no more, the Author laft mentioned
makes no fcruple to make
even " the ordinary Delights and Benefits Men receive from the Haranguetici
rators, Sophifts, Pfeachers, &c,
the Effe&t of Enthufiafm and Infpiration; as being what could never arife
from mere Reafon." And Plu-
*larch, and others, make that Ardor which the Soldier feels in Battle, of
the fame kind with that which infpir'd
the Prophet, Orator, and Poet *.
I WE have here little lefs than a Syftem, fufficient to account for moft
of the Phanomena in the Animal World,
on Principles of Enthufiafm. Reafon, it may be obferv'd, has here little
to do ; and it fhould feem, that Man
ought rather to be defined, Animal EnthufiaJlicum, than Animal Rationale.
 And yet this is only a few, out
of infinite Inflances, of the immediate Agency and Infpiration of the Deity.
WV   find the fame Principle in every
Art, every Invention, every Difcovery, where no natural and neceffary Connection
is perceiv'd between the Difco-
very, and Something known before, i. e. where the Reafon of fuch Difcovery,
is not apprehended by any intuitive
Knowledge. What has no immediate Dependance either on what we perceive by
Senfation or Reafon, comes by
the Vehicle of Infpiration, i. e. of Imagination or Invention, for there
it ends. The Imagination may be called the
Medium of Art, as Senfe is of Science. The Faculty of Reafon, can make no
great Difcoveries; it can only ad-
vance from one Step to another, which muft be ready laid to its Hand ; and
if thefe be any where interrupted or
difcontinued, there it is at a Stand. 'Tis, in fine, a limited Principle,
fubject to very narrow Bounds; whereas
the Imagination feems to be indefinite, and Still kept in the Creator's Hand,
to be occasionally made ufe of for
the Conduct of Mankind.
THE Truth is, when we fay, fuch a Thing is the Effect of Enthufiafm, or Infpiration;
fpeaking, I mean,
of profane Matters; (the Infpiration, for inftance, of Scripture, being Matter
of a very different Confideration,
and quite befide our prefent Purpofe) this does not remove it out of the
ordinary Courfe of Things: It does
not put it on any other Principle, different from that whereby Caufes and
Effects fucceed each other in the phyfical
World. We can account for the Phanomena of the Imagination, as well as thofe
of Senfation. They have their
refpeftive Laws, like other things; which they are fubjeft to; and to which
we have Arts, and Proceffes appropria-
ted. In effeft, all the Infpiration here fpoke of, may be produced without
any great Conjuration. -If the Rea-
der will not take Offence at this novel Philofophy, he may be convinc'd of
it.  And i0, in the Inftance of the
Mufical Kind.
ENTHUSIASM is defined, in an antient Author ft, to be " when a Perfon
engaged in fome Office of
"Religion; and hearing the Sound of Drums, Trumpets, Cymbals, &c.
becomes alienated, or transported out
" of himfelf, and fees Things unfeen to others."  And what is here
called Enthufiafm, is more fignificantly call'd
by another *t, xaukno; nroj , Madnefs occafioned by the Sound of brazen Infiruments:
which coincides with
the Furor Corybanticus, fo much fpoke of among the Antients.
N 0 W, as we do not know any immediate Correfpondence or Connexion between
any one    und, and any
Idea; 'tis no more ftrange that one Idea fhould be excited by it, than another
 There is a La  of the Crea-
tor, whereby a certain Order and Succeffion of Vibrations of the Air, is
arbitarily made the Occafion of a
certain Perception in our Minds ; and as the Circumflances of this Vibration
are altertd, a different Idea arifes: i. ea
to every different Combination of fuch Circumifances, a different Idea is
attach'd ; to ufual and ordinary Combina-
tions, ordinary Ideas; and to unufual and extraordinary, extraordinary Ideas.
And hence there is, perhaps, no Idea,
no Image whatever, but may be raifed by means of Sound. Now, I do not know
what Common Senfe is, unlefs it
be, the having common Ideas. Juft fo far as new Perceptions are rais'd in
us, in Exilufion of the old ones ; we
may be faid to be removed out of our felves, i. e. we are fo far got into
another Syftem; the Phxnomena which
now prefent themselves to us, being fo far different, from what they were
before, ,and even from what they
would fill be, to another Perfon in the fame Place, but under other Circuimftances.
On this Principle, we Ihall
fcarce find any thing but might be produced by Mufick; efpecially, when to
the Force of well-adjufted Inftruments,
which the Antients feem to have ftudy'd more, and underifood better, than
we ; was added to the Solemnity of a
Temple, the fuppofed Refidence of a God, whofe Statue there fRood before
'em; with the awful Rites of Invo-
cation; accompanied with furious Gefticulations, Dancings, and all the Devices
that could be thought of to
unhinge the natural Senfe, and Reafon, which we find is but frail and precarious
at beft, and apt to play us
falfe when moft duly looked to. Few People are able to fland up againft mere
Mufick; which unafliffed
with any thing elfe, has been made to produce, and remove fettled Madnefs;
cure Fevers #1l   Perfons
to kill themselves, or their Friends. 'Tis not long fince the Italian died,
who had reduced the turning of People
mad by his Mufick, into a regular Art; which he could depend on at any time
II.---The Reader ht hs a
mind to fee further on this Head, may confult the Articles, SO UN D, MusICK,
TARANTULA, AX    X   in
the Body of the Book.
*Popes E/fay on &iicrifm.       t tied v       uA,         .        
Apud. Cafaub. ubi fupra pa 2.74.
Ubi fupr.       tt e0t1, or Cdllefl. of Med. DefJi. aJ4rbe to Galen  Wt Epigr.
in Anthol. Grmc.
4I. do 1' Acad. R. des Scien. An. 1708, & i7i8. IR Nj   aitjjt, Rel.
Philofoph. Tom.1* Caeip. 24.
3                     ~~~~~~THE
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