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God only in this character, that he was constituted heir and possessor of all things, whereas it must properly be sought in him, not without him; it is an internal excellence of the soul.
V. But before I proceed any farther, it is necessary to combat the Manictuean error, which Servetus has attempted to revive and propagate in the present age. Because God is said to have breathed into man the breath of life, (A) they supposed that the soul was an emanation from the substance of God; as though some portion of the infinite Deity had been conveyed into man. But it may be easily and briefly shewn how many shameful and gross absurdities are the necessary consequences of this diabolical error. For if the soul of man be an emanation from the essence of God, it will follow that the Divine nature is not only mutable and subject to passions, but also to ignorance, depraved desires, and vices of every kind. Nothing is more inconstant than man, because his soul is agitated, and variously distracted by contrary motions; he frequently mistakes through ignorance; he is vanquished by some of the smallest temptations; we know that the soul is the receptacle of every kind of impurity: all which Nee must ascribe to the Divine nature, if we believe the soul to be a part of the essence of God, or a secret influx of the Deity. Who would not dread such a monstrous tenet? It is a certain truth, quoted by Paul from Aratus, that "we are the offspring of God," but in quality, not in substance; forasmuch as he hath adorned us with Divine endowments, (i) But to divide the essence of the Creator, that every creature may possess a part of it, indicates extreme madness. It must therefore be concluded beyond all doubt, notwithstanding the Divine image is impressed on the souls of men, that they were no less created than the angels, And creation is not a transfusion, but an origination of existence from nothing. Nor because the spirit is given by God, and returns to him on its departure from the body, is it immediately to be asserted, that it was plucked off like a branch from his essence. And on this point also Osiander, while he is elated with his own illusions,
(A) Gen. ii. 7. (>) Acts xvii. 28.
has involved himself in an impious error, not acknowledging the image of God in man without his essential righteousness, as though God could not, by the inconceivable power of his Spirit, render us conformable to himself, unless Christ were to transfuse himself substantially into us. However some persons may attempt to gloss over these delusions, they will never so far blind the eyes of sensible readers, as to prevent their perceiving that they savour of the error of the Manicheans. And where Paul treats of the restoration of this image, we may readily conclude from his words, that man was conformed to God not by an influx of his substance, but by the grace and power of his Spirit. For he says that by beholding the glory of Christ, we are transformed into the same image as by the Spirit of the Lord: (i) who certainly operates in us not in such a manner as to render us consubstantial with God.
VI. It would be folly to seek for a definition of the soul from the heathen philosophers, of whom Plato is almost the only one who has plainly asserted it to be an immortal substance. Others indeed, the disciples of Socrates, hint at it, but with great doubts; no one clearly teaches that of which he was not persuaded himself. The sentiment of Plato therefore is more correct, because he considers the image of God as being in the soul. The other sects so confine its powers and faculties to the present life, that they leave it nothing beyond the body. But we have before stated from the Scripture, that it is an incorporeal substance; now we shall add, that although it is not properly contained in any place, yet being put into the body, it inhabits it as its dwelling, not only to animate all its parts, and render the organs fit and useful for their respective operations, but also to hold the supremacy in the government of human life; and that not only in the concerns of the terrestrial life, but likewise to excite to the worship of God. Though this last point is not so evident in the state of corruption, yet there remain some relics of it impressed even in our very vices. For whence proceeds the great concern of men about their reputation,£ut from shame? but whence proceeds shame, unless from a respect for virtue? The principle and cause of
.(i) 2 Cor. iii. X8.
which is, that they understand themselves to have been born for the cultivation of righteousness; and in which are included the seeds of religion. But as without controversy man was created to aspire to a heavenly life, so it is certain that the knowledge of it was impressed on his soul. And indeed man would be deprived of the principal use of his understanding, if he were ignorant of his felicity, the perfection of which consists in being united to God. Thus the chief operation of the soul is to aspire after it, and therefore the more a man studies to approach to God,' the more he proves himself a rational creature. Some maintain that in man there are more souls than one, a sensitive and a rational one; but notwithstanding some appearance of probability in what they adduce, yet as there is nothing solid in their arguments, we must reject them, unless we are fond of tormenting ourselves with frivolous and useless things. They say that there is a great repugnancy between the organic motions and the rational part of the soul. As though reason were not also at variance with itself, and some of its counsels were not in opposition to others, like hostile armies. But as this confusion proceeds from the depravity of nature, it affords no ground for concluding that there are two souls, because the faculties are not sufficiently harmonious with each other. But all curious discussion respecting the faculties themselves I leave to the philosophers; a simple definition will suffice us for the edification of piety. I confess indeed that the things which they teach are true, and not only entertaining to be known, but useful and well digested by them: nor do I prohibit those who are desirous of learning from the study of them. I admit then, in the first place, that there are five senses, which Plato would rather call organs, by which all objects are conveyed into a common sensory, as into a general repository; that next follows the fancy or imagination, which discerns the objects apprehended by the common sensory; next, reason, to which belongs universal judgment; lastly, the understanding, which steadily and quietly contemplates the objects revolved and considered by reason. And thus to the understanding, reason, and imagination, the three intellectual faculties of the soul, correspond also the three appetitive ones; the will, whose place it is to choose those things which the understanding and reason propose to it; the irascible faculty, which embraces the things offered to it by reason and imagination; and the concupiscible faculty, which apprehends the objects presented by the imagination and sensation. Though these things are true, or at least probable, yet since I fear that they will involve us in their obscurity rather than assist us, I think they ought to be omitted. If any one choose to make a different distribution of the powers of the soul, so as to call one appetitive which, though void of reason in itself, obeys reason, if it be under the guidance of any other faculty; and to call another intellective, which is itself a partaker of reason; I shall not much oppose it. Nor have I any wish to combat the sentiment of Aristotle, that there are three principles of action; sense, intellect, and appetite. But let us rather choose a division placed within the comprehension of all, and which certainly cannot be sought in the philosophers. For when they wish to speak with the greatest simplicity, they divide the soul into appetite and intellect, and make both these twofold. The latter, they say, is sometimes contemplative, being content merely with knowledge, and having no tendency to action; which Cicero thinks is designated by the word internum: and sometimes practical, variously influencing the will with the apprehension of good or evil. This division comprehends the science of living in a just and virtuous manner. The latter, that is, appetite, they divide into will and concupiscence; they call it " will," whenever appetite obeys reason; but when shaking off the yoke of reason it runs into intemperance, they give it the name of "concupiscence." Thus they imagine that man is always possessed of reason sufficient for the proper government of himself.
VII. We are constrained to depart a little from this mode of instruction, because the philosophers, being ignorant of the corruption of nature proceeding from the punishment of the fall, improperly confound two very different states of mankind. Let us therefore submit the following division: that the human soul has two faculties which relate to our present design, the understanding and the will. Now let it be the office of the understanding to discriminate between objects, as they shall respectively appear deserving of approbation or disapprobation: but of the will, to choose and follow what the understanding shall have pronounced to be good; to abhor and avoid what it shall have condemned. Here let us not stay to discuss those subtleties of Aristotle, that the mind has no motion of itself, but that it is moved by the choice, which he also calls the appetitive intellect. Without perplexing ourselves with unnecessary questions, it should be sufficient for us to know that the understanding is as it were the guide and governor of the soul; that the will always respects its authority, and waits for its judgment in its desires. For which reason Aristotle himself truly observed, that avoidance and pursuit in the appetite, bear a resemblance to affirmation and negation in the mind. How certain the government of the understanding is in the direction of the will, we shall see in another part of this work. Here we only intend to shew that no power can be found in the soul, which may not properly be referred to one or the other of those two members. But in this manner we comprehend the sense in the understanding, which some distinguish thus; sense, they say, inclines to pleasure, whereas the understanding follows what is good; that thence it happens that the appetite of sense becomes concupiscence and lust, and the affection of the understanding becomes will. But instead of the word "appetite," which they prefer, I use the word "will," which is more common.
VIII. God hath furnished the soul of man therefore with a mind capable of discerning good from evil, and just from unjust; and of discovering, by the light of reason, what ought to be pursued or avoided: whence the philosophers called this directing faculty tt nytfcttMoi, the principal or governing part. To this he hath annexed the will, on which depends the choice. The primitive condition of man was ennobled with those eminent faculties; he possessed reason, understanding, prudence and judgment, not only for the government of his life on earth, but to enable him to ascend even to God and eternal felicity. To these was added choice, to direct the appetites, and regulate all the organic motions; so that the will was entirely conformed to the government of reason. In this integrity man was endued with free will, by which, if he