THE GREAT VIRTUES OF NUMBERS, AS WELL IN NATURAL THINGS AS IN SUPERNATURAL.
THAT there lies wonderful efficacy and virtue in numbers, as well to good as to bad, the most eminent philosophers unanimously teach; especially Hierom, Austin, Origen, Ambrose, Gregory of Nazianzen, Athanasius, Basilius, Hilarius, Rubanas, Bede, and many more conform. Hence Hilarius, in his commentaries upon the Psalms, testifies that the seventy elders, according to the efficacy of numbers, brought the Psalms into order. The natural number is not here considered; but the formal consideration that is in the number;--and let that which we spoke before always be kept in mind, viz. that these powers are not in vocal numbers of merchants buying and selling; but in rational, formal, and natural;--these are the distinct mysteries of God and Nature. But he who knows how to join together the vocal numbers and natural with divine, and order them into the same harmony, shall be able to work and know wonderful things by numbers; in which, unless there was a great mystery, John had not said, in the Revelation--"He that hath understanding, let him compute the number of the name of the beast, which is the number of a man;"--and this is the most famous manner of computing amongst the Hebrews and Cabalists, as we shall shew afterwards. But this you must know, that simple numbers signify divine things, numbers of ten; celestial numbers of an hundred; terrestrial numbers of a thousand--those things that shall be in a future age. Besides, seeing the parts of the mind are according to an arithmetical mediocrity, by reason of the identity, or equality of excess, coupled together; but the body, whose parts differ in their greatness, is, according to a geometrical mediocrity, compounded; but an animal consists of both, viz. soul and body, according to that mediocrity which is. suitable to harmony. Hence it is that numbers work very much upon the soul, figures upon the body, and harmony upon the whole animal.