The Mechanics of Nature: - James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works 
The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington, with an Account of His Life by John Toland (London: Becket and Cadell, 1771).
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- Advertisement to the Reader.
- To the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Sherifs, and Common Council of London.
- The Preface.
- The Life of James Harrington.
- The Mechanics of Nature:
- The Grounds and Reasons of Monarchy Considered: and Exemplify’d In the Scotish Line, Out of Their Own Best Authors and Records.
- The Commonwealth of Oceana. to His Highness the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
- The Introduction, Or Order of the Work.
- The Preliminarys, Shewing the Principles of Government.
- The Second Part of the Preliminarys.
- The Council of Legislators.
- Oceana: the Model of the Commonwealth of Oceana.
- Anno Dom.
- Anno Domini.
- Anno Domini.
- Epitome of the Whole Commonwealth.
- Libertas. the Proclamation of His Highness the Lord Archon of Oceana Upon Promulgation of the Model.
- The Prerogative of Popular Government.
- Epistle to the Reader.
- The First Book, Containing: a Full Answer to All Such Objections As Have Hitherto Bin Made Against Oceana.
- The Preface.
- Chap. I. Antient and Modern Prudence.
- Chap. I.: Whether Prudence Be Well Distinguish’d Into Antient and Modern.
- Chap. II.: Whether a Commonwealth Be Rightly Defin’d to Be a Government of Laws and Not of Men, and a Monarchy to Be the Government of Som Man, Or a Few Men, and Not of Laws?
- Chap. III.: Whether the Balance of Dominion In Land Be the Natural Cause of Empire?
- Chap. IV. Chap. IV.: Whether the Balance of Empire Be Well Divided Into National and Provincial; and Whether These Two, Or Any Nations That Are of Distinct Balance, Coming to Depend Upon One and the Same Head, Such a Mixture Creates a New Balance.
- Chap. V.: Whether There Be Any Common Right Or Interest of Mankind Distinct From the Parts Taken Severally; and How By the Orders of a Commonwealth It May Be Best Distinguish’d From Privat Interest.
- Chap. VI.: Whether the Senatusconsulta, Or Decrees of the Roman Senat, Had the Power of Laws?
- Chap. VII.: Whether the Ten Commandments Were Propos’d By God Or Moses, and Voted By the People of Israel.
- Chap. VIII.: Whether a Commonwealth Coming Up to the Perfection of the Kind, Coms Not Up to the Perfection of Government, and Has No Flaw In It.
- Chap. IX.: Whether Monarchy Coming Up to the Perfection of the Kind, Coms Not Short of the Perfection of Government, and Has Not Som Flaw In It. In Which Is Also Treated of the Balance of France; of the Original of a Landed Clergy; of Arms, and Their Ki
- Chap. X.: Whether a Commonwealth That Was Not First Broken By Her Self, Was Ever Conquer’d By the Arms of Any Monarch?
- Chap. XI.: Whether There Be Not an Agrarian, Or Som Law of Laws of That Nature, to Supply the Defect of It In Every Commonwealth: and Whether the Agrarian, As It Is Stated In Oceana, Be Not Equal and Satisfactory to All Interests.
- Chap. XII.: Whether Courses Or a Rotation Be Necessary to a Well-order’d Commonwealth. In Which Is Contain’d the Courses Or Parembole of Israel Before the Captivity, Together With the Epitome of Athens and Venice.
- The Second Book; Or, a Political Discourse Concerning Ordination: Against Dr. H. Hammond, Dr. L. Seaman, and the Authors They Follow.
- Advertisment to the Reader.
- Order of the Discourse.
- A Political Discourse Concerning Ordination.
- The Introduction, Or First Chapter.
- Chap. II.: That the Citys, Or Most of Them Nam’d In the Perambulation of the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, Were At That Time Under Popular Government. In Which Is Contain’d the Administration of a Roman Province.
- Chap. III.: The Deduction of the Chirotonia From Popular Government, and of the Original Right of Ordination From the Chirotonia. In Which Is Contain’d the Institution of the Sanhedrim Or Senat of Israel By Moses, and That of Rome By Romulus
- Chap. IV.: The Deduction of the Chirothesia From Monarchical Or Aristocratical Government, and of the Second Way of Ordination From the Chirothesia. In Which Is Contain’d the Commonwealth of the Jews As It Stood After the Captivity.
- Chap. V.: Whether the Chirotonia Mention’d In the Fourteenth of the Acts Be Indeed, As Is Pretended By Dr. Mammond, Dr. Seaman, and the Authors They Follow, the Same With the Chirothesia, Or a Far Different Thing. In Which Are Contain’d the
- Advertisement to the Reader, Or Direction to the Answerer.
- An Answer to Three Objections Against Popular Government, That Were Given Me After These Two Books Were Printed.
- The Art of Lawgiving: In Three Books.
- The Order of the Work.
- The First Book.
- The Second Book.
- The Third Book.
- The First Book, Shewing the Foundations and Superstructures of All Kinds of Government.
- The Preface. Considering the Principles Or Nature of Family Government.
- Chap. I.: Considering the Principles Or Balance of National Governments; With the Different Kinds of the Same.
- Chap. II.: Shewing the Variation of the English Balance.
- Chap. III.: Of Fixation of the Balance, Or of Agrarian Laws.
- Chap. IV.: Shewing the Superstructures of Governments.
- The Conclusion: Observing That the Principles of Human Prudence Being Good Without Proof of Scripture, Are Nevertheless Such As Are Provable Out of Scripture.
- The Second Book, Containing the Commonwealths of the Hebrews; Namely, Elohim, Or the Commonwealth of Israel; and Cabala, Or the Commonwealth of the Jews.
- The Preface, Shewing That There Were Commonwealths Before That of Israel.
- Chap. I.: Shewing That Israel Was a Commonwealth.
- Chap. II.: Shewing What Commonwealth Israel Was.
- Chap. III.: Shewing the Anarchy, Or State of the Israelits Under Their Judges.
- Chap. IV.: Shewing the State of the Israelits Under Their Kings, to the Captivity.
- Chap. V.: Shewing the State of the Jews In the Captivity; and After Their Return Out of It; With the Frame of the Jewish Commonwealth.
- Chap. VI.: Shewing How Ordination Was Brought Into the Christian Church, and the Divers Ways of the Same That Were At Divers Times In Use With the Apostles.
- The Conclusion: Shewing That Neither God, Nor Christ, Or the Apostles, Ever Instituted Any Government Ecclesiastical Or Civil Upon Any Other Principles Than Those Only of Human Prudence.
- The Third Book, Containing a Model of Popular Government, Practically Propos’d According to Reason, Confirm’d By the Scripture, and Agreable to the the Present Balance Or State of Property In England.
- The Preface. Containing a Model of Popular Government, Propos’d Notionally.
- Chap. I.: Containing the Civil Part of the Model, Propos’d Practicably.
- Chap. II.: Containing the Religious Part of This Model, Propos’d Practicably.
- Chap. III.: Containing the Military Part of This Model, Propos’d Practicably.
- Chap. IV.: Containing the Provincial Part of This Model, Propos’d Practicably.
- The Conclusion: Shewing How the Model Propos’d May Be Prov’d Or Examin’d; and Giving a Brief Answer to Mr. Wren’s Last Book, Intitl’d, Monarchy Asserted Against Mr. Harrington’s Oceana.
- A Word Concerning a House of Peers.
- Six Political Tracts Written On Several Occasions.
- Valerius and Publicola: Or, the True Form of a Popular Commonwealth Extracted Ex Puris Naturalibus.
- To the Reader.
- To the Parlament of the Commonwealth of England, &c. the Humble Petition, &c.
- The Petitioner to the Reader.
- A System of Politics Delineated In Short and Easy Aphorisms. Publish’d From the Author’s Own Manuscript.
- Chap. I.: Of Government.
- Chap. II.: Of the Matter of Government.
- Chap. III.: Of the Privation of Government.
- Chap. IV.: Of the Form of Government.
- Chap. V.: Of Form In the Civil Parts.
- Chap. VI.: Of Form In the Religious Part.
- Chap. VII.: Of Form In the Military Part.
- Chap. VIII.: Of Form In the Legal Part.
- Chap. IX.: Of Form In the Judicial Part.
- Chap. X.: Of the Administration of Government, Or Reason of State.
- Political Aphorisms.
- Seven Models of a Commonwealth: Or, Brief Directions Shewing How a Fit and Perfect Model of Popular Government May Be Made, Found, Or Understood.
- The First Part.
- Divers Models the First Model of Popular Government Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Israel.
- A Second Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d.
- A Third Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Sparta.
- A Fourth Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Athens.
- A Fifth Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Rome.
- A Sixth Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Venice.
- A Seventh Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Holland.
- The Second Part, Proposing a Model of a Commonwealth Fitted to the Present State of This Nation.
- Conclusion; Or, the Use of These Propositions.
- The Ways and Means Wherby an Equal and Lasting Commonwealth May Be Suddenly Introduc’d, and Perfectly Founded, With the Free Consent and Actual Confirmation of the Whole People of England.
- The Humble Petition of Divers Well Affected Persons, Deliver’d the 6th Day of July, 1659, With the Parlament’s Answer Therto.
- Appendix, Containing All the Political Tracts of James Harrington, Esq; Omitted In Mr. Toland ’s Edition of His Works.
- Pian Piano: Or, Intercourse Between H. Ferne, D. D. And J. Harrington, Esq; Upon Occasion of the Doctor’s Censure of the Commonwealth of Oceana.
- Epistle to the Reader.
- Intercourse Between H. Ferne, D. D. And James Harrington, Esq; Upon Occasion of the Doctor’s Censure of the Commonwealth of Oceana.
- The Queries I Shall Interweave With the Doctor’s Answer Unto Each of Them, Returned Unto Me With This Preamble.
- The First Query. How Much, Or In What the Author of Oceana Is Mistaken, to Think the Commonwealth of the Hebrews Appliable to His Purpose.
- The Second Query.
- The Third Query.
- The Fourth Query.
- The Fifth Query.
- The Sixth Query.
- The Seventh Query.
- The Stumbling-block of Disobedience and Rebellion, Cunningly Imputed By P. H. Unto Calvin, Remov’d, In a Letter to the Said P. H. From J. H.
- A Letter Unto Mr. Stubs, In Answer to His Oceana Weighed, &c.
- Politicaster: Or, a Comical Discourse In Answer to Mr. Wren ’s Book, Intituled, Monarchy Asserted, Against Mr. Harrington’ S Oceana.
- Pour Enclouer Le Canon.
- A Discourse Upon This Saying: the Spirit of the Nation Is Not Yet to Be Trusted With Liberty; Lest It Introduce Monarchy, Or Invade the Liberty of Conscience.
- A Discourse Shewing, That the Spirit of Parliaments, With a Council In the Intervals, Is Not to Be Trusted For a Settlement; Lest It Introduce Monarchy, and Persecution For Conscience.
- A Parallel of the Spirit of the People With the Spirit of Mr. Rogers; and an Appeal Thereupon Unto the Reader, Whether the Spirit of the People, Or the Spirit of Men Like Mr. Rogers, Be the Fitter to Be Trusted With the Government.
- A Sufficient Answer to Mr. Stubb.
- A Proposition In Order to the Proposing of a Commonwealth Or Democracy.
- The Rota: Or, a Model of a Free State, Or Equal Commonwealth.
The Mechanics of Nature:
An imperfect Treatise written by James Harrington during his Sickness, to prove against his Doctors that the Notions he had of his own Distemper were not, as they alleg’d, hypochondriac Whimsys or delirious Fancys.
HAVING bin about nine months, som say in a disease, I in a cure, I have bin the wonder of physicians, and they mine; not but that we might have bin reconcil’d, for books (I grant) if they keep close to nature, must be good ones, but I deny that nature is bound to books. I am no study’d naturalist, having long since given over that philosophy as inscrutable and incertain: for thus I thought with myself; “Nature, to whom it is given to work as it were under a veil or behind the curtain, is the art of God: now if there be arts of men who have wrought openly enough to the understanding (for example that of Titian) nevertheless whose excellency I shall never reach; how shall I thus, sticking in the bark at the arts of men, be able to look thence to the roots, or dive into the abyss of things in the art of God?” And nevertheless, Si placidum caput undis extulerit, should Nature afford me a sight of her, I do not think so meanly of myself but that I would know her as soon as another, tho more learned man. Laying therfore arts wholly, and books almost all aside, I shall truly deliver to the world how I felt and saw Nature; that is, how she came first into my senses, and by the senses into the understanding. Yet for the sake of my readers, and also for my own, I must invert the order of my discourse; for theirs, because, till I can speak to men that have had the same sensations with myself, I must speak to such as have a like understanding with others: for my own, because, being like in this discourse to be the monky that play’d at chess with his master, I have need of som cushion on my head, that being in all I have spoken hitherto more laid at than my reason. My discourse then is to consist of two parts: the first, in which I appeal to his understanding who will use his reason, is a platform of nature drawn out into certain aphorisms; and the second, in which I shall appeal to his senses who in a disease very common will make farther trial, is a narrative of my case.
A Platform or Scheme of Nature.
1. NATURE is the fiat, the breath, and in the whole sphere of her activity is the very word of God.
2. She is a spirit, that same spirit of God which in the beginning mov’d upon the waters, his plastic virtue, the Δύναμις ἠ διαπλαϛιϰὴ, Ἐνεργεία ξωτιϰὴ.
3. She is the Providence of God in his government of the things of this world, even that Providence of which it is said, that without it a sparrow cannot fall to the ground, Mat. 10. 29.
4. She is the anima mundi, or soul of the world;
- Principio cœlum, ac terras, camposque liquentes,
- Lucentemque globum lunæ, Titaniaque astra
- Spiritusintus alit, totamque effusa per artus
- Mens agitat molem, & magno se corpore miscet.
- Inde hominum pecudumque genus, vitæque volantum,
- Et quæ marmoreo fert monstra sub æquore pontus.
- Igneus est ollis vigor, & cœlestis origo
- Seminibus, quantum non noxia corpora tardant,
- Terrenique hebetant artus, moribundaque membra.
- Hinc metuunt, cupiuntque, dolent, gaudentque, neque auras
- Dispiciunt clausæ tenebris & carcere cæco.
5. She is infallible: for the law of an infallible lawgiver must needs be infallible, and Nature is the law as well as the art of God.
6. Tho Nature be not fallible, yet she is limited, and can do nothing above her matter; therfore no miracles are to be expected from her.
7. As defects, redundancys, or such other rude qualitys of matter, ought not to be attributed to the artificer or his art; so neither is Nature, or the art of God, to be charg’d with monsters or imperfections, the things so reputed being the regular effects both of the matter and the art that forms it.
8. Nature is not only a spirit, but is furnish’d, or rather furnishes her self with innumerable ministerial spirits, by which she operats on her whole matter, as the universe; or on the separat parts, as man’s body.
9. These ministerial spirits are certain æthereal particles invisibly mix’d with elementary matter; they work ordinarily unseen or unfelt, and may be call’d animal spirits.
10. As in sound bodys there must needs be GOOD SPIRITS managing the œconomy of health; so in unsound bodies, as in chronical diseases, there must needs be EVIL SPIRITS managing the œconomy of distempers.
11. Animal spirits, whether in the universe, or in man’s body, are good or evil spirits, according to the matter wherin and wherof they are generated.
12. What is a good spirit to one creature, is evil to another, as the food of som beasts is poison to man; whence the gentleness of the dove, and the fierceness of the hauk.
13. Between the animal spirits of the whole or universe, and of the parts, as of man’s body, there is an intercourse or cooperation which preserves the common order of Nature unseen; and in som things often foretels or discovers it, which is what we call presages, signs, and prodigys.
14. The work of good spirits, as health for example, is felicitous, and as it were angelical; and that of evil spirits, as in diseases, is noxious, and as it were diabolical, a sort of fascination or witchcraft.
15. All fermentation is caus’d by unlocking, unbinding, or letting loose of spirits; as all attenuation is occasion’d by stirring, working, or provoking of spirits; and all transpiration by the emission or sending abroad of spirits.
16. Nothing in Nature is annihilated or lost, and therefore whatever is transpir’d, is receiv’d and put to som use by the spirits of the universe.
17. Scarce any man but at som time or other has felt such a motion as country people call the lifeblood; if in his ey, perhaps there has flown out somthing like a dusky cloud, which is a transpiration or emission of spirits, perhaps as it were a flash of fire, which also was an emission of spirits; but differenc’d according to the matter wherin and wherof they were wrought, as choler, &c.
18. Animal spirits are ordinarily emitted streaking themselves into various figures, answerable to little arms or hands, by which they work out the matter by transpiration, no otherwise than they unlock’d it, and wrought it up in the body by attenuation, that is, by manufacture: for these operations are perfectly mechanical, and downright handy work as any in our shops or workhouses.
19. If we find Nature in her operations not only using hands, but likewise somthing analogous to any art, tool, engin, or instrument which we have or use, it cannot be said that Nature had these things of men, because we know that men must have these things of Nature.
20. In attenuation and transpiration, where the matter of the disease is not only copious but inveterat, the work will not as I may say be inarticulat, as in the trembling call’d the lifeblood: but articulat, and obviously so to the sense of the patient by immediat strokes of the humor upon his organs, which somtimes may be strong enough (tho not ordinarily) to reach another’s.
21. Nature can work no otherwise than as God taught her, nor any man than as she taught him.
22. When I see a curious piece from the hands of an apprentice, I cannot imagin that his master was a bungler, or that he wrought not after the same manner as his servant learn’d of him: which I apply to God and Nature.
23. Physicians somtimes take the prudence of Nature for the phrensy of the patient.
24. If any man can shew why these things are not thus, or that they may be otherwise, then I have don, and there is said in this part already more than enough; but if they can neither shew that these things are not thus, nor know how they should be otherwise, then so far I stand my ground, and am now arm’d for my narrative cap a pè.
’TIS a thousand pitys that we have not this narrative, to which no doubt he apply’d these principles, and thence form’d the state of his distemper. But the manuscript containing no more, we may however evidently conclude, that the writer of it was not so greatly disorder’d in his thoughts, which are for the most part very just, and all as close and coherent as any man’s.