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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

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

Page xv

thee P                                                              V x
fay ~upier did f6, and fo; Buno persecuted the Trojans; Minerva inflrufted
l'elemachus, &c. which fems to
be all the Polytheifm the Inventors were guilty of; tho after-Ages, not perceiving
that this was the Work
of Poetry and Fi&ion, abfurdly took it in another Senfe.
IN effe&, the whole Phyfics of the Antients, was no other than a Theology;
as all juff Phyfics ought
to be. I may even add, that the making a Difference between the two Sciences,
and ereating 'em into Proving
ces independent of, and oppofite to each other, has proved moft pernicious
to both; and been the great Source
both of Irreligion and Ignorance ; which will never be dry'd up, till the
two be reffored to each other, and
laid together again. To run any length in either of 'em, without having recourfe
to the other ; as the gene.
rality of Authors affed to do, is downright inconfiftency. Some of our Syft
ems of Theology, one would take
for pure Infpiration thro'out; as if the Authors fuppofed they could know
any thing of God, otherwise than
by means of Senfe, and Phainomena: or as if Enthufiafm it felf did not pre-fuppofe
Senfe, or could arife
without it.-And, on the other hand, fome Treatifes of Philofophy feem to
have refined God out of the
World, by whom all things in it fubfiit; and which, in Seneca's Philofophy,
was no other than God him.
felf '.  They have made us an Univerfe fo fine, that it may Rfand of it felf,
withoutany God, i. e. without
any Caufe, at all: Occafion is the higheft Caufation they require. This is
to abftra& with a witnefs ; to dif-
tinguilh the Knowledge of the Caufe from that of the Effe&ft, and vice
versd: whereas there is no knowing any
thing of either, other than by their Relations to each other.
I M A Y add, that the further either of thefe Sciences is carried, on this
footing, the more idle and extrava-
gant it will become ; and that the one tends to downright Madnefs, and the
other to downright Atheifm.
On the one hand, to make a Syfteem without a.God, is nothing lefs than to
be a God one's felf: The Author's
Imagination muff fupply the Place of a Deity, by animating the Mafs, and
giving Connexion to the feveral
Parts and Members, i. e. by eftablifhing the Relation of Caufe and Effect,
which is the very thing that denomi-
nates God. Yet even fuch imaginary Syftem it felf, cannot arife without God,
aaing by his Laws upon the Imagi-
nation, in the Courfe of Things; fo as to produce fuch Effe't : And thus
what tends molt diredly to exclude
God, does at the fame time fuppofe him.---And, on the other hand, to make
a God without a Syftem;
that is, to give a Theology or Doitrine of God, without a Phyfiology, or
that of the World, is dire6tly to make
a God, not to find one. 'Tis to make an Effedt antecedent to its Caufe: Tis
to do, I am afham'd to fay what!
I AM afraid I may feem to have been too long abfent from my Subjec ; but
it has been all along in
my Eye, and a little Recapitulation will convince the Reader, that we have
not wander'd far out of the
way.-We have fhewn whence all our Knowledge originally rifes: that Senfation
is its only Source; that
what comes this way, comes by the Agency of the Divine Being: that it is
further modified in the Memory'
or Imagination, where new Affemblages are frequently made, which is called
Invention; that it is continually
altering, by the Admiffion of new Ideas from without; but ftill remains fubjed
to the Laws impofed by the
Creator, fo that nothing happens therein, but in consequence of fuch Laws.-Thus
far the Mind appears
merely paffive: And thus it fitands with refpe6t to the Matter of all Knowledge
and Art.--It remains, now, to
confider its Form, or that whereby fuch Knowledge becomes Art, i. e. becomes
fubfervient to human Purpo-
fes, and under the Diredion of human Reafon.
HER.E, therefore, a new State of the Mind, Agency, and a new Faculty thereof,
Reafon, come in play: the
Foundation and Office whereof, will be afcertain'd, by inquiring, What there
is in the Artift's, e. g. homer's,
Mind, that concur'd with his Infpiration or Invention, to the Produftion
of his Poem ? This will be found
to refolve into, firfr, an Inclination, or Defire to produce fome Piece,
in the way of a Fable, that Ihall ifrong-
ly represent the Mifchiefs of Difcord among Confederates; and, fecondly,
a Knowledge of the Means neceffary
to that End, or an Acquaintance with certain Rules and Meafures which tend
to produce fuch Effecft.
T HE firft is a Moral View or Motive, which has already been laid down as
the Spring or Principle of
all human Adion, and which is founded on the Apprehenfion of Good or Advantage
to arife from fuch Poem.
The second, viz. the Knowledge of the Means, ftands on the common Footing
of the Knowledge hitherto dif-
cours'd of.
T    HE Means and Meafures of an Art, make a kind of preliminary Do&rine,
neceffary or conducive there-
to, called the Theory of the Art; which, alfo, in one Senfe, may be confider'd
as another Art, diftindt from
the former: At leaft, to come at it is the Bufinefs of another Art.-If, for
inflance, a certain Pofition, or
Set of Motions of the Body, be conitituted by Nature the Occafion of a poetick
Infpiration; and fuch and fuch
Images and Ideas arifing herefrom, be conflcituted the Occafions of fuch
and fuch Paflions in the Mind of a
Reader, and fuch and fuch Views confequent thereon, viz. an Averfion to Enmity,
and Contention: To form
an Art productive of thefe EffeCts, we muft firft fee and obferve fuch or
the like Eifects, to arife from fuch
or the like Caufes ; and argue or infer, that 'tis probable thefe Motions,
or thefe Images, are the Occafions
thereof: and confider and collect the Order, Manner, and Circumftances thereof,
to form the Art, or Me-
thod.-So that we have here, as before, xf, Matter, viz. Phxnomena, firft
furnifhed by Senfation, and preferv'd
in the Memory; 20, Form, arifing from the Moral View, which led us to frame
an Art, and in order thereto,
to confider and dwell on the Phienomena, compare 'em together, and infer
Something from 'em.-It appears,
therefore, that we have two Arts of Poetry, very different from each other;
coming from different Caufes,
tending to different Purpofes, and rarely found, in any degree, in the fame
Perfon. The firft Art Homer has in
perfection, the fecond, Ariftotle.
BUT for all their difference, the two are really of the fame general Nature,
and Kind ; and only differ
in point of Degree, and Subordination ; as they are nearer to, or further
from, the Principle of all Knowledge
and Art, Senfation.-Homer, we have [hewn, was infpired: He derived his Art
only from Nature acting on
him in the ordinary Courfe of Things, and firft prefenting Objects to his
Senfe, then to his Imagination: And
others are infpired from him, i. e. derive the Infpiration from Nature thro'
his means: among whom is Aii-
fJotle. Nature, as (he appears to the Senfes, is Homer's Subject: as (he
(hews her felf in Homer, is Ari/lotle's;
by which time the Infpiration is grown a degree cooler, and lefs forcible,
and the Ideaasthus excited at fecond
hand moving the Mind lefs, it can attend more fteadily to 'em, and perceive
their Relations better. In the
firif it falls like Lightning, immediately from Heaven; the fecond may be
compared to the Reflexion of the
fame in a Mirror. The reading of Homer, i. e. the exciting and calling up
his Ideas and Images, does, as it were,
impregnate Afrifotle's Imagination ; and tranfplant the Poet's whole Nurfery
into the Philofopher's Garden, to be
further cultivated.  Accordingly, Arijtotle applying his Apprehenfion and
Reafon to 'em, and examining 'em
clofely on all Sides, perceives divers Relations and Analogies between 'em,
which Homer was not aware of; and
which the Warmth of his Imagination, and the quick Succeffion of new Ideas,
would nor give him room to
attend to. Thefe Analogies he calls Rules, or Laws; the Affemblage or Syftem
whereof, make what we call
Arifrotle's Art of Poetry.
* Totum hoc quo continemur & uaum 'eft & Deus; & focii eius flmis
& membra. Epift. 92.

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