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lose and recover these objects, and that I had, at my will the power of destroying and reproducing this beautiful part of myself; and, although it seemed to me immense in its grandeur, from the quality of the rays of light, and from the variety of the colours, I thought I had discovered that it was all a portion of my being.
I was beginning to see without emotion, and to hear without agitation, when a slight breeze, whose freshness I felt, brought to me perfumes that gave me an inward pleasure, and caused a feeling of love for myself.
Agitated by all these sensations, and oppressed by the pleasures of so beautiful and grand an existence, I suddenly rose, and I felt myself taken along by an unknown power. I only made one step; the novelty of my situation made me motionless, my surprise was extreme; I thought my existence was flying from me: the movement I had made disturbed the objects around me, I imagined every thing was disordered.
I put my hand to my head, I touched my forehead and eyes; I felt all over my body; my hand then appeared to me the principal organ of my existence. What I felt was so distinct and so complete, the enjoyment of it appeared so perfect, compared with the pleasure that light and sound had caused me, that I gave myself up entirely to this substantial part of my being, and I felt that my ideas acquired profundity and reality.
Every part of my body that I touched seemed to give back to my hand feeling for feeling, and each touch produced a double idea in my mind. I was not long in discovering that this faculty of feeling was spread over every part of my body; I soon found out the limits of my existence, which had at first seemed to me immense in extent. I had cast my eyes over my body; I thought it of enormous dimensions, so large, that all the objects that struck my eye appeared to me, in comparison, mere luminous points. I examined myself for a long time, I looked at myself with pleasure, I followed my hand with my eyes, and I observed all its movements. My mind was filled with the strangest ideas. I thought the movement of my hand was only a kind of fugitive existence, a succession of similar things. I put my hand near my eyes; it seemed to me larger than my whole body, and it hid an infinite number of objects from my view.
I began to suspect that there was an illusion in the sensations that my eyes made me experience. I had distinctly seen that my hand was only a small part of my body, and I could not understand how it could increase so as to appear of immoderate size. I then resolved to trust only to touch, which had not yet deceived me, and to be on my guard with respect to every other way of feeling and being.
This precaution was useful to me. I put myself again in motion, and I walked with my head high and raised towards heaven. I struck myself slightly against a palm tree; filled with fear, I placed my hand on this foreign substance, for such I thought it, because it did not give me back feeling for feeling. I turned away with a sort of horror, and then I knew for the first time, that there was something distinct from myself. More agitated by this new discovery, than I had been by all the others, I had great difficulty in reassuring myself; and, after having meditated upon this event, I came to the conclusion that I ought to judge of external objects, as I had judged of the parts of my own body, that it was only by touching them that I could assure myself of their existence. I then tried to touch all I saw; I wanted to touch the sun; I stretched out my arms to embrace the horizon, and I only clasped the emptiness of air.
At every experiment that I made, I became more and more surprised; for all the objects around appeared to be equally near me; and it was only after an infinite number of trials that I learnt to use my eyes to guide my hand, and, as it gave me totally different ideas from the impressions that I received through the sense of
sight, my opinions were only more imperfect, and my whole being was to me still a confused existence.
Profoundly occupied with myself, with what I was, and what I might be, the contrarieties I had just experienced humiliated me. The more I reflected, the more doubts arose in my mind. Tired out by so much uncertainty, fatigued by the workings of my mind, my knees bent, and I found myself in a position of repose. This state of tranquillity gave new vigour to my senses. I was seated under the shadow of a fine tree; fruits of a red colour hung down in clusters within reach of my hand. I touched them lightly, they immediately fell from the branch, like the fig when it has arrived at maturity. I seized one of these fruits, I thought I had made a conquest, and I exulted in the power I felt of being able to hold in my hand another entire being. Its weight, though very slight, seemed to me an animated resistance, which I felt pleasure in vanquishing. I had put this fruit near my eyes; I was considering its form and colour. Its delicious smell made me bring it nearer; it was close to my lips; with long respirations I drew in the perfume, and I enjoyed in long draughts the pleasures of smell. I was filled with this perfumed air. My mouth opened to exhale it; it opened again to inhale it. I felt that I possessed an internal sense of smell, purer and more delicate than the first. At last, I tasted.
What a flavour! What a novel sensation! Until then I had only experienced pleasure; taste gave me the feeling of voluptuousness. The nearness of the enjoyment to myself, produced the idea of possession. I thought the substance of the fruit had become mine, and that I had the power of transforming beings.
Flattered by this idea of power, and urged by the pleasure I had felt, I gathered a second and a third fruit, and I did not tire of using my hand to satisfy my taste; but an agreeable languor by degrees taking possession of my senses, weighed on my members, and suspended the activity of my mind. I judged of my inactivity by the faintness of my thoughts; my weakened senses blunted all the objects around which appeared feeble and indistinct. At this moment, my now useless eyes closed, and my head, no longer kept up by the power of my muscles, fell back to seek support on the turf. Every thing became effaced, every thing disappeared. The course of my thoughts was interrupted, I lost the sensation of existence. This sleep was profound, but I do not know whether it was of long duration, not yet having an idea of time, and therefore unable to measure it. My waking was only a second birth, and I merely felt that I had ceased to exist. The annihilation I had just experienced caused a sensation of fear, and made me feel that I could not exist for ever. Another thing disquieted me. I did not know that I had not lost during my sleep some part of my being. I tried my senses. I endeavoured to know myself again. At this moment, the sun, at the end of the course, ceased to give light. I scarcely perceived that I lost the sense of sight; I existed too much to fear the cessation of my being; and it was in vain that the obscurity recalled to me the idea of my first sleep.
[THE life of Richard Hooker has been written by Isaac Walton. He was born near Exeter in 1553, of poor parents; was placed by an uncle at school; and through the patronage of Bishop Jewel was sent to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Having taken orders, he was presented to the living of Drayton Beauchamp, Bucks: and was preferred to be Master of the Temple in 1585. Here he became involved in a controversy on Church discipline, which determined him to write his 'Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.' To acquire leisure for the completion of this task, he retired from the career of ambition which was opened to him, and resided, first at Boscombe in Wiltshire, and then at Bishopsbourne in Kent, where he died in 1600. His great work in defence of the constitution and discipline of the Church of England is a masterpiece of learning, of acute reasoning, and of splendid eloquence. Amidst its rigid
disquisitions there are passages that are truly sublime. It is difficult in an extract to furnish an adequate notion of the comprehensiveness of his argument. We give a passage from his first book, Concerning Laws, and their several kinds in general.' The concluding sentence of Walton's Life of Hooker is a just tribute to his personal character: "Bless, O Lord, Lord bless his brethren, the clergy of this nation, with ardent desires, and effectual endeavours, to attain, if not to his great learning, yet to his remarkable meekness, his godly simplicity, and his Christian moderation: for these are praiseworthy; these bring peace at the last."]
I am not ignorant that by Law eternal, the learned for the most part do understand the order, not which God hath eternally purposed himself in all his works to observe, but rather that, which with himself he hath set down as expedient to be kept by all his creatures, according to the several conditions wherewith he hath endued them. They who thus are accustomed to speak apply the name of Law unto that only rule of working which superior authority imposeth; whereas we, somewhat more enlarging the sense thereof, term any kind of rule or canon, whereby actions are framed, a law. Now that Law, which, as it is laid up in the bosom of God, they call eternal, receiveth, according unto the different kind of things which are subject unto it, different and sundry kinds of names. That part of it which ordereth natural agents, we call usually Nature's Law; that which angels do clearly behold, and without any swerving observe, is a Law celestial and heavenly; the Law of Reason, that which bindeth creatures reasonable in this world, and with which by reason they most plainly perceive themselves bound; that which bindeth them, and is not known but by special revelation from God, Divine Law: Human Law, that which out of the law, either of reason or of God, men probably gathering to be expedient, they make it a law. All things therefore, which are as they ought to be, are conformed unto this second Law Eternal; and even those things, which to this Eternal Law are not conformable, are notwithstanding in some sort ordered by the First Eternal Law. For what good or evil is there under the sun; what action correspondent or repugnant unto the law which God hath imposed upon his creatures, but in, or upon it, God doth work according to the law, which himself hath eternally purposed to keep; that is to say, the first Eternal Law? So that a twofold law eternal being thus made, it is not hard to conceive how they both take place in all things. Wherefore to come to the Law of Nature, albeit thereby we sometimes mean that manner of working which God hath set for each created thing to keep; yet forasmuch as those things are termed most properly natural agents, which keep the law of their kind unwittingly, as the heavens and elements of the world, which can do no otherwise than they do: and forasmuch as we give unto intellectual natures the name of voluntary agents, that so we may distinguish them from the other, expedient it will be, that we sever the Law of Nature observed by the one, from that which the other is tied unto. Touching the former, their strict keeping of one tenure, statute, and law is spoken of by all, but hath in it more than men have as yet attained to know, or perhaps ever shall attain, seeing the travel of wading herein is given of God to the sons of men; that perceiving how much the least thing in the world hath in it, more than the wisest are able to reach unto, they may by this means learn humility. Moses, in describing the work of creation, attributeth speech unto God: God said, let there be light: let there be a firmament: let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place: let the earth bring forth; let there be lights in the firmament of heaven. Was this only the intent of Moses, to signify the infinite greatness of God's power, by the casiness of his accomplishing such effects, without travel, pain, or labour? Surely, it seemeth that Moses had herein, besides this, a further purpose, namely, first, to teach that God did not work as a necessary, but a voluntary agent, intending beforehand, and decreeing with himlf, that which did outwardly proceed from him. Secondly, to show that God did
then institute a law naturally to be observed by creatures, and therefore according to the manner of laws, the institution thereof is described as being established by solemn injunction. His commanding those things to be which are, and to be in such sort as they are, to keep that tenure and course, which they do, importeth the establishment of Nature's Law. The world's first creation, and the preservation since of things created, what is it, but only so far forth a manifestation by execution, what the eternal law of God is concerning things natural? And as it cometh to pass in a kingdom rightly ordered, that after a law is once published, it presently takes effect far and wide, all states framing themselves thereunto; even so let us think it fareth in the natural course of the world: since the time that God did first proclaim the edicts of his law upon it, heaven and earth have hearkened unto his voice, and their labour hath been to do his will: He made a law for the rain; he gave his decree unto the sea, that the waters should not pass his commandment. Now, if Nature should intermit her course, and leave altogether, though it were but for awhile, the observation of her own laws; if those principal and mother-elements of the world, whereof all things in this lower world are made, should lose the qualities which now they have: if the frame of that heavenly arch erected over our heads should loosen and dissolve itself; if celestial spheres should forget their wonted motions, and by irregular volubility turn themselves any way as it might happen; if the prince of the lights of heaven, which now as a giant doth run his unwearied course, should, as it were, through a languishing faintness, begin to stand and to rest himself; if the moon should wander from her beaten way, the times and seasons of the year blend themselves by disordered and confused mixtures, the winds breathe out their last gasp, the clouds yield no rain, the earth be defeated of heavenly influence, the fruits of the earth pine away, as children at the breasts of their mother, no longer able to yield them relief; what would become of man himself, whom these things do now all serve? See we not plainly, that obedience of creatures unto the Law of Nature is the stay of the whole world? Notwithstanding, with nature it cometh sometimes to pass as with art. Let Phidias have rude and obstinate stuff to carve, though his art do that it should, his work will lack that beauty which otherwise in fitter matter it might have had. He that striketh an instrument with skill, may cause notwithstanding a very unpleasant sound, if the string whereon he striketh chance to be uncapable of harmony. In the matter whereof things natural consist, that of Theophrastus takes place, Пoλù TÒ OйX VπTAKOVOV ovôè dexóμevov tò củ. Much of it is oftentimes such, as will by no means yield to receive that impression which were best and most perfect. Which defect in the matter of things natural, they who gave themselves to the contemplation of nature amongst the heathen, observed often; but the true original cause thereof, divine malediction, laid for the sin of man upon these creatures, which God had made for the use of man, this being an article of that saving truth which God hath revealed unto his church, was above the reach of their merely natural capacity and understanding. But howsoever, these swervings are now and then incident into the course of nature; nevertheless, so constantly the laws of nature are by natural agents observed, that no man denieth but those things which nature worketh are wrought either always, or for the most part, after one and the same manner. If here it be demanded, what this is which keepeth Nature in obedience to her own law, we must have recourse to that higher law, whereof we have already spoken; and because all other laws do thereon depend, from thence we must borrow so much as shall need for brief resolution in this point. Although we are not of opinion therefore, as some are, that Nature in working hath before her certain exemplary draughts or patterns, which subsisting in the bosom of the Highest, and being thence discovered, she fixeth her eye upon them, as travellers by sea upon the pole star of the world, and that accord
ing thereunto she guideth her hand to work by imitation: although we rather embrace the oracle of Hippocrates, That each thing, both in small and in great, fulfilleth the task which destiny hath set down. And concerning the manner of executing and fulfilling the same, What they do, they know not, yet is it in show and appearance as though they did know what they do; and the truth is, they do not discern the things which they look on: nevertheless, for as much as the works of Nature are no less exact, than if she did both behold and study how to express some absolute shape or mirror always present before her; yea, such her dexterity and skill appeareth, that no intellectual creature in the world were able by capacity to do that which Nature doth without capacity and knowledge; it cannot be, but Nature hath some director of infinite knowledge to guide her in all her ways. Who is the guide of Nature, but only the God of Nature? In him we live, move, and are. Those things which Nature is said to do, are by divine art performed, using Nature as an instrument; nor is there any such art or knowledge divine in Nature herself working, but in the guide of Nature's work. Whereas therefore things natural, which are not in the number of voluntary agents, (for of such only we now speak, and of no other,) do so necessarily observe their certain laws, that as long as they keep those forms which give them their being, they cannot possibly be apt or inclinable to do otherwise than they do; seeing the kinds of their operations are both constantly and exactly framed, according to the several ends for which they serve, they themselves in the mean while, though doing that which is fit, yet knowing neither what they do, nor why; it followeth, that all which they do in this sort, proceedeth originally from some such agent, as knoweth, appointeth, holdeth up, and even actually frameth the same. The manner of this divine efficiency being far above us, we are no more able to conceive by our reason, than creatures unreasonable by their sense are able to apprehend after what manner we dispose and order the course of our affairs. Only thus much is discerned, that the natural generation and process of all things receiveth order of proceeding from the settled stability of divine understanding. This appointeth unto them their kinds of working; the disposition whereof, in the purity of God's own knowledge and will, is rightly termed by the name of Providence. The same being referred unto the things themselves, here disposed by it, was wont by the Ancients to be called Natural Destiny. That law, the performance whereof we behold in things natural, is as it were an authentical, or an original draught, written in the bosom of God himself; whose Spirit being to execute the same, useth every particular nature, every merc natural agent, only as an instrument created at the beginning and ever since the beginning used to work his own will and pleasure withal. Nature therefore is nothing else but God's instrument. In the course whereof, Dionysius, perceiving some sudden disturbance, is said to have cried out, Aut Deus naturæ putitur, aut mundi machina dissolvitur; either God doth suffer impediment, and is by a greater than himself hindered; or if that be impossible, then hath he determined to make a present dissolution of the world; the execution of that law beginning now to stand still, without which the world cannot stand. This workman, whose servitor Nature is, being in truth but only one, the Heathens imagining to be more, gave him in the sky the name of Jupiter; in the air, the name of Juno; in the water, the name of Neptune; in the earth, the name o Vesta, and sometimes of Ceres; the name of Apollo in the sun; in the moon, the name of Diana; the name of Aeolus, and divers other, in the winds; and to conclude, even so many guides of Nature they dreamed of as they saw there were kinds of things natural in the world. These they honoured, as having power to work or cease accordingly as men deserved of them. but unto us, there is one only guide of all agents natural, and he both the Creator and the worker of all in all, alone to be sed, adored, and honoured by all for ever.