Leviathan eBook

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

Which question cannot bee resolved, without a more particular consideration of the Kingdome of God; from whence also, wee are to judge of the Authority of Interpreting the Scripture.  For, whosoever hath a lawfull power over any Writing, to make it Law, hath the power also to approve, or disapprove the interpretation of the same.


Of the signification of spirit, Angel, and inspiration
in the books of holy scripture

Body And Spirit How Taken In The Scripture Seeing the foundation of all true Ratiocination, is the constant Signification of words; which in the Doctrine following, dependeth not (as in naturall science) on the Will of the Writer, nor (as in common conversation) on vulgar use, but on the sense they carry in the Scripture; It is necessary, before I proceed any further, to determine, out of the Bible, the meaning of such words, as by their ambiguity, may render what I am to inferre upon them, obscure, or disputable.  I will begin with the words body, and spirit, which in the language of the Schools are termed, Substances, Corporeall, and Incorporeall.

The Word Body, in the most generall acceptation, signifieth that which filleth, or occupyeth some certain room, or imagined place; and dependeth not on the imagination, but is a reall part of that we call the Universe.  For the Universe, being the Aggregate of all Bodies, there is no reall part thereof that is not also Body; nor any thing properly a Body, that is not also part of (that Aggregate of all Bodies) the Universe.  The same also, because Bodies are subject to change, that is to say, to variety of apparence to the sense of living creatures, is called Substance, that is to say, Subject, to various accidents, as sometimes to be Moved, sometimes to stand Still; and to seem to our senses sometimes Hot, sometimes Cold, sometimes of one Colour, Smel, Tast, or Sound, somtimes of another.  And this diversity of Seeming, (produced by the diversity of the operation of bodies, on the organs of our sense) we attribute to alterations of the Bodies that operate, & call them Accidents of those Bodies.  And according to this acceptation of the word, Substance and Body, signifie the same thing; and therefore Substance Incorporeall are words, which when they are joined together, destroy one another, as if a man should say, an Incorporeall Body.

But in the sense of common people, not all the Universe is called Body, but only such parts thereof as they can discern by the sense of Feeling, to resist their force, or by the sense of their Eyes, to hinder them from a farther prospect.  Therefore in the common language of men, Aire, and Aeriall Substances, use not to be taken for Bodies, but (as often as men are sensible of their effects) are called Wind, or Breath,

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Leviathan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.