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Sense, circumstance; she doth the substance view: Sense sees the bark; but she the life of trees: Sense hears the sounds; but she the concords true.
But why do I the soul and sense divide,
When sense is but a pow'r, which she extends; Which being in divers parts diversify'd,
The divers forms of objects apprehends?
This power spreads outward, but the root doth grow
For if we chance to fix our thoughts elsewhere,
Then is the soul a nature, which contains
The pow'r of sense, within a greater pow'r; Which doth employ and use the sense's paius, But sits and rules within her private bow'r.
Since then the soul works by herself alone,
THAT THE SOUL IS A SPIRIT.
BUT though this substance be the root of sense,
She is a spirit, yet not like air or wind;
Nor like the spirits about the heart or brain; Nor like those spirits which alchymists do find, When they in ev'ry thing seek gold in vain.
For she all natures under Heav'n doth pass, [see,
For of all forms, she holds the first degree, That are to gross material bodies knit; Yet she herself is bodyless and free;
And, though confin'd, is almost infinite.
Were she a body, how could she remain
Within this body, which is less than she? Or how could she the world's great shape contain, And in our narrow breasts contained be?
All bodies are confin'd within some place,
But she all place within herself confines: All bodies have their measure and their space; But who can draw the soul's dimensive lines?
No body can at once two forms admit,
But in the soul ten thousand forms do sit,
All bodies are with other bodies fill'd,
But she receives both Heav'n and Earth together: Nor are their forms by rash encounter spill'd, For there they stand, and neither toucheth either.
Nor can her wide embracements filled be;
For they that most and greatest things embrace, Enlarge thereby their mind's capacity,
As streams enlarg'd, enlarge the channel's space.
All things receiv'd do such proportion take,
As those things have wherein they are receiv'd; So little glasses little faces make,
And narrow webs on narrow frames are weav'd.
Then what vast body must we make the mind,
From their gross matter she abstracts the forms,
To bear them light on her celestial wings.
This doth she, when, from things particular,
And thus, from divers accidents and acts
? That it cannot be a body.
Nor could we by our eyes all colours learn,
Nor can a man of passions judge aright,
If, lastly, this quick pow'r a body were,
Her nimble body yet in time must move,
And not in instants through all places slide: But she is nigh and far, beneath, above,
In point of time, which thought cannot divide:
She's sent as soon to China as to Spain;
And thence returns, as soon as she is sent: She measures with one time, and with one pain, An ell of silk, and Heav'n's wide spreading tent.
As then the soul a substance hath alone, Besides the body in which she 's confin'd; So hath she not a body of her own,
But is a spirit, and immaterial mind.
Since body and soul have such diversities,
Well might we muse, how first their match began; But that we learn, that he that spread the skies, And fix'd the Earth, first form'd the soul in man.
This true, Prometheus first made man of earth, And shed in him a beam of heav'nly fire; Now in their mother's wombs, before their birth, Doth in all sons of men their souls inspire.
And as Minerva is in fables said,
So our true Jove, without a mother's aid,
ERRONEOUS OPINIONS OF THE CREATION OF SOULS.
THEN neither from eternity before,
Nor from the time, when time's first point begun, Made he all souls, which now he keeps in store; Some in the Moon, and others in the Sun:
Nor in a secret cloister doth he keep
These virgin-spirits, till their marriage day; Nor locks them up in chambers, where they sleep, Till they awake within these beds of clay.
Nor did he first a certain number make,
So that the widow soul, her body dying,
(These thoughts are fond; for since the bodies born Be more in number far, than those that die, Thousands must be abortive, and forlorn
Ere others' deaths to them their souls supply :)
But as God's handmaid, Nature, doth create
Which himself makes of no material thing;
Nor herein doth he Nature's service use;
For though from bodies she can bodies bring, Yet could she never souls from souls traduce, As fire from fire, or light from light doth spring.
THAT THE SOUL IS NOT EX TRADUCE.
ALAS! that some who were great lights of old, And in their hands the lamp of God did bear! Some rev'rend fathers did this errour hold, Having their eyes dimm'd with religious fear.
For when, say they, by rule of faith we find,
How can we say that God the soul doth make,
For if God make her first he makes her ill, [unto ;)
Not Adam's body, but his soul did sin,
But our poor soul corrupted is within,
Ere she had sinn'd, either in act or thought:
And yet we see in her such pow'rs divine,
As we could gladly think, from God she came : Fain would we make him author of the wine, If for the dregs we could some other blame.
Thus these good men with holy zeal were blind,
None are so gross as to contend for this,
When root and branch in nature still agree.
But many subtle wits have justify'd,
REASONS DRAWN FROM Nature.
For all things made, are either made of nought,
If then the soul another soul do make,
Because her pow'r is kept within a bound, She must some former stuff or matter take; But in the soul there is no matter found.
Then if her heav'nly form do not agree
And to create, to God alone pertains.
Again, if souls do other souls beget,
"T is by themselves, or by the body's pow'r: If by themselves, what doth their working let, But they might souls engender ev'ry hour?
If by the body, how can wit and will
Join with the body only in this act,
Again, if souls of souls begotten were,
Into each other they should change and move: And change and motion still corruption bear; How shall we then the soul immortal prove?
If, lastly, souls do generation use,
Then should they spread incorruptible seed:
And though the soul could cast spiritual seed,
Who would at first, that in each other thing
And when he took the woman from man's side,
But took flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone.
Lastly, God being made man for man's own sake,
Then is the soul from God; so Pagans say,
Which saw by Nature's light her heav'nly kind; Naming her kin to God, and God's bright ray, A citizen of Heav'n, to Earth confin'd.
So, though God make the soul good, rich, and fair,
And then the soul, being first from nothing brought, When God's grace fails her, doth to nothing fall;
And this declining proneness unto nought,
Yet not alone the first good qualities,
Which in the first soul were, deprived are; But in their place the contrary do rise, And real spots of sin her beauty mar.
Nor is it strange, that Adam's ill desert
Should be transferr'd unto his guilty race, When Christ his grace and justice doth impart To men unjust, and such as have no grace.
Lastly, the soul were better so to be
Born slave to sin, than not to be at all; Since (if she do believe) one sets her free,
That makes her mount the higher for her fall.
Yet this the curious wits will not content;
They yet will know (since God foresaw this ill) Why his high providence did not prevent
The declination of the first man's will.
If by his word he had the current stay'd
For what is man without a moving mind,
And why did God in man this soul infuse,
But that he should his Maker know and love? Now, if love be compell'd, and cannot choose, How can it grateful or thank-worthy prove?
Love must free-hearted be, and voluntary;
Besides, were we unchangeable in will,
And of a wit that nothing could misdeem; Equal to God, whose wisdom shineth still, And never errs we might ourselves esteem.
So that if man would be unvariable,
He must be God, or like a rock or tree; For e'en the perfect angels were not stable, But had a fall more desperate than we.
Then let us praise that pow'r, which makes us be
And let us know that God the maker is
Of all the souls, in all the men that be; Yet their corruption is no fault of his,
But the first man's that broke God's first decree.
WHY THE SOUL IS UNITED TO THE BODY.
THIS substance, and this spirit of God's own making,
God first made angels bodiless, pure minds;
Then other things, which mindless bodies be; Last, he made man, th' horizon 'twixt both kinds, In whom we do the world's abridgment see.
Besides, this world below did need one wight, Which might thereof distinguish ev'ry part; Make use thereof, and take therein delight; And order things with industry and art:
Which also God might in his works admire,
And here beneath yield him both pray'r and praise; As there, above, the holy angels choir
Doth spread his glory forth with spiritual lays.
Lastly, the brute, unreasonable wights,
Did want a visible king, o'er them to reign: And God himself thus to the world unites, That so the world might endless bliss obtain.
IN WHAT MANNER THE SOUL is UNITED TO THE BODY. BUT how shall we this union well express?
Naught ties the soul, her subtlety is such; She moves the body, which she doth possess ; Yet no part toucheth, but by virtue's touch.
Then dwells she not therein, as in a tent;
Nor as the wax retains the print in it;
Nor as a vessel water doth contain ;
Nor as one liquor in another shed; Nor as the heat doth in the fire remain; Nor as a voice throughout the air is spread:
But as the fair and cheerful morning light
To the transparent air, in all and ev'ry part: Still resting whole, when blows the air divide; Abiding pure, when th' air is most corrupted; Throughout the air, her beams dispersing wide; And when the air is toss'd, not interrupted:
So doth the piercing soul the body fill,
Being all in all, and all in part diffus'd; Indivisible, incorruptible still;
.Nor forc'd, encounter'd, troubled, or confus'd.
And as the Sun above the light doth bring,