« PreviousContinue »
THAT THE SOUL IS MORE THAN THE TEMPERATURE OF THE
HUMOURS OF THE BODY.
When men seem crows far off upon a tow'r,
If she doth then the subtle sense excel,
How gross are they that drown her in the blood ? What pow'r was that, whereby Medea saw,
Or in the body's humours temper'd well;
As if in them such high perfection stood ?
Which had the best, and best tund instrument? Did sense persuade Ulysses not to hear
As if the pencil neat, and colours clear,
Had pow'r to make the painter excellent ?
Why doth not beauty then refine the wit,
And good complexion rectify the will ?
Why doth not bealth bring wisdom still with it? To burn his own right hand with courage stout? Could sense make Marius sit unbound, and prove
Why doth not sickness make men brutish still. The cruel lancing of the knotty gout?
Who can in memory, or wit, or will,
Or air, or fire, or earth, or water find? Doubtless, in man there is a nature found,
What alchymist can draw, with all his skill, Beside the senses, and above them far;
The quintessence of these out of the mind? “ Though most men being in sensual pleasures drown'd,
If th' elements which have nor life, nor sense, It seems their souls but in their senses are."
Can breed in us so great a pow'r as this, If we had nought but sense, then only they
Why give they not themselves like excellence,
Or other things wherein their mixture is? Should have sound minds, which have their senses sound :
If she were but the body's quality, But wisdom grows, when senses do decay ;
Then she would be with it sick, maim'd, and blind: And folly most in quickest sense is found.
But we perceive where these privations be, If we had nought but sense, each living wight,
Au healthy, perfect, and sharp-sighted mind. Which we call brute, would be more sharp than If she the body's nature did partake, [cay: we;
Her strength would with the body's strength deAs having sense's apprehensive might
But when the body's strongest sinews slake, In a more clear and excellent degree.
Then is the soul most active, quick, and gay. But they do want that quick discoursing pow'r,
If she were but the body's accident, Which doth in us the erring sense correct;
And her sole being did in it subsist, Therefore the bee did suck the painted flow'r,
As white in snow, she might herself absent, And birds, of grapes, the cunning shadow peck'd.
And in the body's substance not be miss'd. Sense outsides knows, the soul tbrough all things But it on her, not she on it depends ;
For she the body doth sustain and cherish : Sense, circumstance; she doth the substance view: Such secret pow'rs of life to it she lends, Sense stes the bark; but she the life of trees :
That when they fail, then doth the body perish. Sense hears the sounds; but she the concords true.
Since then the soul works by herself alone,
Springs not from sense, nor humours well agreeing, Which being in divers parts diversify'd,
Her nature is peculiar, and her own; The divers forms of objects apprehends ?
She is a substance, and a perfect being. This power spreads outward, but the root doth grow
In th' inward soul, which only doth perceive; For th' eyes and ears no more their objects know,
SECTION IV. Than glasses know what faces they receive.
THAT THE SOUL IS A SPIRIT. For if we chance to fix our thoughts elsewhere, But though this substance be the root of sense, Though our eyes open be, we cannot see:
Sense knows her not, which doth but bodies know: And if one pow'r did not both see and hear, She is a spirit, and heav'nly influence,
Our sights and sounds would always double be. Which from th' fountain of God's spirit doth flow. Then is the soul a nature, which contains She is a spirit, yet not like air or wind;
The pow'r of sense, within a greater pow'r; Nor like the spirits about the heart or brain; Which doth employ and use the sense's paius,
Nor like those spirits which alchymists do find, But sits and rules within her private bow'r. When they in ev'ry thing seek gold in vain.
For sbe all natures under Heav'n doth pass, [see, Nor could we by our eyes all colours learn,
Being like those spirits, which God's bright face do Except our eyes were of all colours void; On like himself, whose image once she was, Nor sundry tastes can any tongue discern,
'Though now, alas! she scarce his shadow be. Which is with gross and bitter humours cloy'd. For of all forms, she holds the first degree, Nor can a man of passions judge aright, 'That are to gross material bodies knit;
Except his mind be from all passions free: Yet she herself is bodyless and free;
Nor can a judge his office well acquit, And, though confin'd, is almost infinite.
If he possess'd of either party be. Were she a body?, how could she remain
If, lastly, this quick pow'r a body were,
Were it as swift as is the wind or fire,
And th' other make in pyramids aspire.)
Her nimble body yet in time must move, But she all place within herself confines:
And not in instants through all places slide : All bodies have their measure and their space;
But she is nigh and far, bencath, above, But who can draw the soul's dimensive lines ? In point of time, which thought cannot divide : No body can at once two forms admit,
She 's sent as soon to China as to Spain; Except the one the other do deface;
And thence returns, as soon as she is sent : But in the soul ten thousand forms do sit,
She measures with one time, and with one pain, And none intrudes into her neighbour's place.
An ell of silk, and Heav'n's wide spreading tent. All bodies are with other bodies filld,
As then the soul a substance hath alone,
For there they stand, and neither toucheth either. But is a spirit, and immaterial mind.
Since body and soul have such diversities, For they that most and greatest things embrace,
Well might we muse, how first their match began; Enlarge thereby their mind's capacity,
But that we learn, that he that spread the skies, As streams enlarg'd, enlarge the channel's space. And fix'd the Earth, first form'd the soul in man. All things receiv'd do such proportion take,
This true, Prometheus first made man of earth, As those things have wherein they are receiv'd;
And shed in him a beam of heav'nly fire; So little glasses little faces make,
Now in their mother's wombs, before their birth, And narrow webs on narrow frames are weav'd.
Dotb in all sons of men their souls inspire. Then what rast body must we make the mind,
Wherein are men, beasts, trees, towus, seas, and And as Minerva is in fables said, And yet each thing a proper place doth find, [lands;
From Jove, without a mother, to proceed; And each thing in the true proportion stands?
So our true Jove, without a mother's aid,
Doth daily millions of Minervas breed. Doubtless, this could not be, but that she turns
Bodies to spirits, by sublimation strange; As fire couverts to fire the things it burus; As we our meats into our nature change.
SECTION V. From their gross matter she abstracts the forms,
ERRONEOUS OPINIONS OF THE CREATION OF SOULS. And draws a kind of quintessence from things; Which to her proper nature she transforms, Then neither from eternity before, To bear thein light on her celestial wings.
Nor from the time, when time's first point begun,
Made he all souls, which now he keeps in store ; This doth she, when, from things particular,
Some in the Moon, and others in the Sun :
Nor in a secret cloister doth he keep
These virgin-spirits, till their marriage day; And thus, from divers accidents and acts
Nor locks them up in chambers, where they sleep, Which do within her observation fall,
Till they awake within these beds of clay. She goddesses and pow'rs divine abstracts;
Nor did he first a certain number make, As Nature, Fortune, and the Virtues all.
Infusing part in beast and part in men; Again; how can she sev'ral bodies know,
And, as unwilling further pains to take, If in herself a body's form she bear?
Would make no more than those he framed then. How can a mirror sundry faces show, If from all shapes and forins it be not clear?
So that the widow soul, her body dying,
Unto the next bora body married was;
And so by often changing, and supplying, ? That it cannot be a body.
Men's souls to beasts, and beasts to men did pass. 1 (These thoughts are fond; for since the bodies born But many subtle wits have justify'd,
Be more in number far, than those that die, That souls from souls spiritually may spring; Thousands must be abortive, and forlorn
Which (if the nature of the soul be try*d) Ere others' deaths to them their souls supply:) Will e'eu in nature prove as gross a thing. But as God's handmaid, Nature, doth create
Bodies in time distinct, and order due ;
For all things made, are either made of nought, Either to form the shape, or stuff to bring
Or made of stuff that ready made doth stand: From air or fire, or substance of the Heav'n. Of nought no creature ever formed ought,
For that is proper to th' Almighty's band.
If then the soul another soul do make,
But in the soul there is no matter found.
REASONS DRAWN FROM NATURE.
Then if her heav'nly form do not agree
With any matter which the world contains, Then she of nothing must created be;
Aud to create, to God alone pertains.
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.
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 engerder ev'ry hour?
Join with the body only in this act,
They from the body do themselves abstract.
Again, if souls of sonls 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?
For when, say they, by rule of faith we find,
That ev'ry soul unto her body knit,
The root of all the ill she doth commit.
But we must make him author of her sin ?
Snce in man's soul corruption did begin.
(Which God forbid our thoughts should yield Or makes the body her fair form to spill,
Which, of itself, it had not pow'r to do. Not Adam's body, but his soul did sin,
And so herself unto corruption brought; But our poor soul corrupted is within,
Ere she had sion'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.
If, lastly, souls do generation use,
Then should they spread incorruptible seed : What then becomes of that which they do lose,
When th' act of generation do not speed ? And though the soul could cast spiritual seed,
Yet would she not, because she never dies; For mortal things desire their like to breed,
That so they may their kind immortalize.
Therefore the angels sons of God are nam’d,
And marry not, nor are in marriage giv'n: Their spirits and ours are of one substance fram'd,
And have one father, e'en the Lord of Heaven;
When on the other part the truth did shine;
By light of nature, and by light divine.
That souls from bodies may traduced be ; Between whose natures no proportion is,
When root and branch in nature still agree.
Who would at first, that in each other thing
The earth and water living souls should breed, But that man's soul, whom he would make their king,
Should from himself immediately proceed.
Doubtless himself inspir'd her soul alone:
Bat took flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone.
Lastly, God being made man for man's own sake,
And being like man in all, except in sin,
But all agree, God forma'd his soul within.
Then is the soul from God; so Pagans say,
He looks on Adam as a root or well;
In sundry cities, and in sundry realms.
And as the root and branch are but one tree, Whom my young Muse so boldly termed blind ! And well and stream do but one river make; And crave more heav'nly light, that cloud to clear; So, if the root and well corrupted be, Which makes them think, God doth not make The stream and branch the same corruption take. the mind.
So, when the root and fountain of mankind
Did draw corruption, and God's curse, by sin;
This was a charge, that all bis heirs did bind,
And all his offspring grew corrupt therein.
And as when th’ hand dotb strike, the man offends, Gov doubtless makes her, and doth make her good, (For part from whole, law severs not in this)
And grafus her in the body, there to spring; So Adam's sin to the whole kind extends ; Which, though it be corrupted flesh and blood, For all their natures are but part of his. Can no way to the soul corruption bring :
Therefore this sin of kind, not personal, Yet is not God the author of her ill,
But real and hereditary was; Though author of her being, and being there :
The guilt thereof, and punishment to all,
By course of nature and of law doth pass.
For as that easy law was giv'n to all,
To ancestor and heir, to first and last; And was resolv'd that ev'ry man should be,
So was the first transgression general; And in his turn his race of life should run :
And all did pluck the fruit, and all did taste.
REASONS FROM DIVINITY
Could Eve's weak hand, extended to the tree, His civil acts do bind and bar them all;
And as from Adam all corruption take,
So, if the father's crime be capital,
How mutually they link'd and folded are ! Th' unborn nephews, for the father's fault;
And to advance again, for one man's merit,
And how from death, a better life doth rise ! If he, for Adam's sin, bis sons deprive
We this decree would praise, as right and wise. Which he to him and to his race did give?
But a privation of that grace within,
had had, but for the first map's sin ? All in himself, as in a glass, he sees;
If then a man on light conditions gain For from him, by him, through him, all things be;
A great estate, to him and his, for ever; Mis sight is not discoursive, by degrees;
If wilfully he forfeit it again, But seeing th’ whole, cach single part doth see. Who doth bemoan his heir or blame the giver?
So, though God make the soul good, rich, and fair,
WHY THE SOUL IS UNITED TO THE BODY.
Is in the body plac'd, and planted here, fall;
“ That both of God, and of the world partaking, And this declining proneness unto nought,
Of all that is, man might the image bear." is e'en that sin that we are born withal.
God first made angels bodiless, pure minds; Yet pot alone the first good qualities,
Then other things, which mindless bodies be; Which in the first soul were, deprived are;
Last, he made man, th' horizon 'twixt both kinds, But in their place the contrary do rise,
In whom we do the world's abridgment see. And real spots of sio her beauty mar.
Besides, this world below did need one wight, Nor is it strange, that Adam's ill desert
Which might thereof distinguish ev'ry part; Should be transferr'd unto his guilty race,
Make use thereof, and take therein delight; When Christ his grace and justice doth impart
And order things with industry and art: To men unjust, and such as have no grace.
Which also God might in his works admire, Lastly, the soul were better so to be
And here beneath yield him both pray'r and praise; Born slave to sin, than not to be at all;
As there, above, the holy angels choir Since (if she do believe) one sets her free,
Doth spread his glory forth with spiritual lays. That makes her mount the higher for her fall.
Lastly, the brute, unreasonable wights, Yet this the curious wits will not content;
Did want a visible king, o'er them to reigu : They yet will know (since God foresaw this ill)
And God himself thus to the world unites, Why his high providence did not prevent
That so the world might endless bliss obtain. The declination of the first man's will.
If by his word he had the current stay'd
Of Adam's will, which was by nature free, It had been one, as if his word had said,
I will benceforth that man no man shall be. For what is man without a moving mind,
· Which hath a judging wit, and choosing will ? Now, if God's pow'r should her election bind,
Her motions then would cease and stand all still. And why did God in man this soul infuse,
But that he should bis Maker know and love? Now, if love be compellid, and cannot choose,
How can it grateful or thank-worthy prove ? Love must free-hearted be, and voluntary;
And not enchanted, or by fate constrain'd: Nor like that love, which did Ulysses carry
To Circe's isle, with mighty charms enchain'd. 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;
But had a fall more desperate than we.
Men as we are, and rest contented so;
Admire God's counsels, which we cannot know. 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 bis,
Bat the first man's that broke God's first decree.
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.
Nor as a pilot in his ship doth sit;
Nor as the wax retains the print in it;
Nor as one liquor in another shed;
Nor as a voice throughout the air is spread:
Doth here and there her silver-beams impart, And in an instaut doth herself unite
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 :
Being all in all, and all in part diffus’d;
· Nor forc'd, encounter'd, troubled, or confus'd. And as the Sun above the light doth bring,
Though we behold it in the air below;
Though in the body she her pow'rs do show.