But his view of nature and of God is essentially Stoic. It was only (he declares) the weakness of humanity that had embodied the Being of God in many human forms endued with human faults and vices (ii.
" What ever was perfect under the sun," ask the translators of the Authorized Version (1611) in their preface, " where apostles and apostolick men, that is, men endued with an extraordinary measure of God's Spirit, and privileged with the privilege of infallibility, had not their hand?"
The essence of his views is contained in the following passage, which he follows up with the conclusion "that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life": "Would it be too bold to imagine that, in the great length of time since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind, - would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which the great First Cause endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions and associations, and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down these improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end!"
The propositions maintained in the argument are - "(1) That something has existed from eternity; (2) that there has existed from eternity some one immutable and independent being; (3) that that immutable and independent being, which has existed from eternity, without any external cause of its existence, must be self-existent, that is, necessarily existing; (4) what the substance or essence of that being is, which is self-existent or necessarily existing, we have no idea, neither is it at all possible for us to comprehend it; (5) that though the substance or essence of the self-existent being is itself absolutely incomprehensible to us, yet many of the essential attributes of his nature are strictly demonstrable as well as his existence, and, in the first place, that he must be of necessity eternal; (6) that the self-existent being must of necessity be infinite and omnipresent; (7) must be but one; (8) must be an intelligent being; (9) must be not a necessary agent, but a being endued with liberty and choice; (to) must of necessity have infinite power; (I I) must be infinitely wise, and (12) must of necessity be a being of infinite goodness, justice, and truth, and all other moral perfections, such as become the supreme governor and judge of the world."
It is rather in virtue of his general faith in the possibility of construction, which he still does not undertake, and because of his consequent insistence on the elucidation of general concepts, which in common with some of his contemporaries, he may have thought of as endued with a certain objectivity, that he induces the controversies of what are called the Socratic schools as to the nature of predication.