Leviathan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 636 pages of information about Leviathan.

Neverthelesse it is not Prudence that distinguisheth man from beast.  There be beasts, that at a year old observe more, and pursue that which is for their good, more prudently, than a child can do at ten.

Conjecture Of The Time Past As Prudence is a Praesumtion of the Future, contracted from the Experience of time Past; So there is a Praesumtion of things Past taken from other things (not future but) past also.  For he that hath seen by what courses and degrees, a flourishing State hath first come into civill warre, and then to ruine; upon the sights of the ruines of any other State, will guesse, the like warre, and the like courses have been there also.  But his conjecture, has the same incertainty almost with the conjecture of the Future; both being grounded onely upon Experience.

There is no other act of mans mind, that I can remember, naturally planted in him, so, as to need no other thing, to the exercise of it, but to be born a man, and live with the use of his five Senses.  Those other Faculties, of which I shall speak by and by, and which seem proper to man onely, are acquired, and encreased by study and industry; and of most men learned by instruction, and discipline; and proceed all from the invention of Words, and Speech.  For besides Sense, and Thoughts, and the Trayne of thoughts, the mind of man has no other motion; though by the help of Speech, and Method, the same Facultyes may be improved to such a height, as to distinguish men from all other living Creatures.

Whatsoever we imagine, is Finite.  Therefore there is no Idea, or conception of anything we call Infinite.  No man can have in his mind an Image of infinite magnitude; nor conceive the ends, and bounds of the thing named; having no Conception of the thing, but of our own inability.  And therefore the Name of god is used, not to make us conceive him; (for he is Incomprehensible; and his greatnesse, and power are unconceivable;) but that we may honour him.  Also because whatsoever (as I said before,) we conceive, has been perceived first by sense, either all at once, or by parts; a man can have no thought, representing any thing, not subject to sense.  No man therefore can conceive any thing, but he must conceive it in some place; and indued with some determinate magnitude; and which may be divided into parts; nor that any thing is all in this place, and all in another place at the same time; nor that two, or more things can be in one, and the same place at once:  for none of these things ever have, or can be incident to Sense; but are absurd speeches, taken upon credit (without any signification at all,) from deceived Philosophers, and deceived, or deceiving Schoolemen.



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Leviathan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.