Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THAT THE SOUL IS MORE THAN THE TEMPERATURE OF THE

HUMOURS OF THE BODY

When men seem crows far off upon a tow'r, 1
Sense saith, they 're crows: what makes us think

SECTION III.
them men?
When we in agues think all sweet things sour,
What makes us know our tongue's false judg-
ment then?

If she doth then the subtle sense excel, What pow'r was that, whereby Medea saw,

How gross are they that drown her in the blood ?

Or in the body's humours temper'd well; And well approv'd, and prais'd the better course;

As if in them such

perfection stood ? When her rebellious sense did so withdraw Her feeble pow'rs, that she pursu'd the worse?

As if most skill in that musician were,

Which had the best, and best tun'd instrument? Did sense persuade Ulysses not to hear

As if the pencil neat, and colours clear,
The mermaid's songs which so his men did please,
That they were all persuaded, through the ear,

Had pow'r to make the painter excellent ?
To quit the ship and leap into the seas?

Why doth not beauty then refine the wit, Could any pow's of sense the Roman move,

And good complexion rectify the will ?

Why doth not health 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;
Though most men being in sensual pleasures

The quintessence of these out of the mind ? drown'd,

If th' elements which have nor life, nor sevse, 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, Bat 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. Whieh we call brute, would be more sharp than If she the body's nature did partake, [cay:

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 ip us the erring sense correct; And her sole being did in it subsist, Therefore the bee did sack 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 through all things But it on her, not she on it depends;
Sense, circumstance; she doth the substance view: Such secret pow'rs of life to it she leuds,

For she the body doth sustain and cherish :
Sense sees 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,
But why do I the soul and sense divide,
When sense is but a pow'r, which she extends;

Springs not from sense, nor humours well agreeing, Wbich 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.

we;

sees:

THAT THE SOUL IS A SPIRIT.

For if we chance to fix our thoughts elsewhere,

Though our eyes open be, we cannot see: And if one pow'r did not both see and hear,

Our sights and sounds would always double be. 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 pains,

But sits and rules within her private bow'r.

But though this substance be the root of sense,

Sense knows her not, which doth but bodies know: She is a spirit, and heav'nly influence,

Which from th' fountain of God's spirit doth flow. 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, 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; Oi 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, Within this body, which is less than she?

Were it as swift as is the wind or fire, Or how could she the world's great shape contaio, (Whose atoms do the one down side-ways bear, And in our narrow breasts contained be?

And th' other make in pyramids aspire.) All bodies are confin'd within some place,

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, beneath, above, But who can draw the soul's dimensive lines? In point of time, which thought cannot divide:

a

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 noue intrudes into her neighbour's place. An ell of silk, and Heav'n's wide spreading tent. All bodies are with other bodies fill'd,

As then the soul a substance hath alone,
But she receives both Heav'n and Earth together: Besides the body in which she's confin'd;
Nor are their forms by rash encounter spilld, So hath she not a body of her own,

For there they stand, and neither toucheth either. But is a spirit, and immaterial mind.
Nor can her wide embracements filled be; Since body and soul have such diversities,

For they that most and greatest things embrace, Well might wemuse, 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.

Doth in all sons of men their souls inspire.
Then what vast body must we make the mind,

Wherein are men, beasts, trees, towns, seas, and And as Minerva is in fables said,
And yet each thing a proper place doth find, [lands; So our true Jove, without a inother's aid,

From Jove, without a mother, to proceed;
And each thing in the true proportion stands?

Doth daily millions of Minervas breed. Doubtless, this could not be, but that she turns

Bodies to spirits, by sublimation strange; As fire converts to fire the things it burus; As we our meats into our nature change.

SECTION V.
From their gross matter she abstracts the forms,

And draws a kind of quintessence from things;
Which to her proper nature she transforms, Then neither from eternity before,
To bear them 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:
Sbe doth abstract the universal kinds,
Which borlyless and immaterial are,

Nor in a secret cloister doth he keep
And can be only lodg'd within our minds.

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 fail,

Till they awake within these beds of clay.
She goddesses and pow'rs divine abstracts;
As Nature, Fortune, and the Virtues all.

Nor did he first a certain number make,

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 forms it be not clear? So that the widow soul, her body dying,

Unto the next born 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.

ERRONEOUS OPINIONS OF THE CREATION OF SOULS.

REASONS DRAWN FROM NATURE.

(These thoughts are fond; for since the bodies born | But many subtle wits have justify'd,

Be more in namber 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'en in nature prove as gross a thing. But as God's handmaid, Nature, doth create

Bodies in time distinct, and order due ;
So God gives souls the like successive date,

SECTION VII.
Which himself makes, in bodies formed new:
Which himself makes of no material thing;
For unto angels be no pow'r hath giv'n

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 Hear'n. Of nought no creature ever formed ought,

For that is proper to th’ Almighty's hand. Nor herein doth he Nature's service use ;

For though from bodies she can bodies bring, If then the soul another soul do make,
Yet could she never souls from souls traduce, Because her pow'r is kept within a bound,
As fire from fire, or light from light doth spring. 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

With any matter which the world contains,
SECTION VI.

Then she of nothing must created be;

And to create, to God alone pertains.
THAT THE SOUL IS NOT EX TRADUCE.

Again, if souls do other souls beget,
ALAS! that some who were great lights of old, 'T is by themselves, or by the body's pow'r:

And in their hands the lamp of God did bear! If by themselves, what doth their working let, Some rev'rend fathers did this errour hold,

But they might souls engender ev'ry hour? Having their eyes dimm'd with religious fear.

If by the body, how can fit and will
OBJECTION.

Join with the body only in this act,

Since when they do their other works fulfil, For when, say they, by rule of faith we find,

They from the body do themselves abstract. That ev'ry soul unto her body knit, Brings from the mother's womb the sin of kind, Again, if souls of souls begotten were, The root of all the ill she doth commit.

Into each other they should change and move:

And change and motion still corruption bear; How can we say that God the soul doth make, How shall we then the soul immortal prove ?

But we must make him author of ber sin ?
Then from man's soul she doth beginning take, If, lastly, souls do generation use,
Since in man's soul corruption did begin.

Then should they spread incorruptible seed :

What then becomes of that which they do lose, For if God make ber first he makes her ill, [unto ;) When th' act of generation do not speed ?

(Which God forbid our thoughts should yield Or makes the body her fair form to spill,

And though the soul could cast spiritual seed, Which, of itself, it had not pow'r to do

Yet would she not, because she never dies;

For mortal things desire their like to breed, Not Adam's body, but bis soul did sin,

· That so they may their kind immortalize. And so herself unto corruption brought; But our poor soul corrupted is within,

Therefore the angels sons of God are nam'd, Ere she had sinn'd, either in act or thought : And marry not, nor are in marriage giv’n:

Their spirits and ours are of one substance fram'd, And yet we see in her such pow'rs divine,

And have one father, e'en the Lord of Heaven ; As we could gladly think, from God she came : Pain would we make him author of the wine, Who would at first, that in each other thing If for the dregs we could some other blame. The earth and water living souls should breed,

But that man's sou), whom he would make their king,

Should from himself immediately proceed.
ANSWER.
Thus these good men with boly zeal were blind, And when he took the woman from man's side,

When on the other part the truth did shine; Doubtless himself inspir'd her soul alone:
Whereof we do clear demonstrations find,

For 't is not said, he did man's soul divide,
By light of nature, and by light divine.

But took flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone. None are so gross as to contend for this,

Lastly, God being made man for man's own sakey: That souls from bodies may traduced be;

And being like man in all, except in sin, Between whose natures no proportion is,

His body from the virgin's womb did take ; When root and branch in nature still agree. But all agree, God form'd his soul within.

REASONS FROM DIVINITY

Then is the soul from God; so Pagans say, He looks on Adam as a root or well;

Which saw by Nature's light her heav'nly kind; And on his heirs as branches, and as streams: Naming her kin to God, and God's bright ray, He sees all men as one man, though they dwell A citizen of Heav'n, to Earth confin'd.

In sundry cities, and in sundry realms. But now I feel, they pluck me by the ear,

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 his heirs did bind,
SECTION VIII.

And all his offspring grew corrupt therein.

And as when th' hand doth strike, the man offends, God doubtless makes her, and doth make her good, (For part from whole, law severs not in this)

And grafts her in the body, there to spriug; So Adam's sin to the whole kind extends ; Which, though it be corrupted flesh and blood, For all their patures 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,
And if we dare to judge our Maker's will,

By course of nature and of law doth pass.
He can condemn us, and himself can clear.
First, God from infinite eternity

For as that easy law was giv'n to all,
Decreed, what hath been, is, or shall be done;

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. And so did purpose all the souls to make,

Of this we find some footsteps in our law, That ever have been made, or ever shall;

Which doth her root from God and Nature take; And that their being they should only take

Ten thousand men she doth together draw, In human bodies, or pot be at all.

And of them all one corporation make:

[ocr errors]

Was it then fit that such a weak event

Yet these, and their successors, are but one ; (Weakness itself, the sin and fall of man)

And if they gain or lose their liberties, His counsel's execution should prevent,

They harm or profit not themselves alone, Decreed and fix'd before the world began? But such as in succeeding times shall rise. Or that one penal law by Adam broke,

And so the ancestor, and all his heirs, Should make God break his own eternal law; Though they in number pass the stars of Hear'n, The settled order of the world revoke,

Are still but one; his forfeitures are theirs, And change all forms of things which he foresaw ? And unto them are his advancements giv’n: Could Eve's weak hand, extended to the tree, His civil acts do bind and bar them all; In sunder rent that adamantine chain,

And as from Adam all corruption take,
Whose golden links, effects and causes be;

So, if the father's crime be capital,
And which to God's own chair doth fix'd remain? In all the blood, law doth corruption make.
O could we see how cause from cause doth spring! Is it then just with us, to disinherit

How mutually they liok'd and folded are! Th’'unborn nephews, for the father's fault;
And hear how oft one disagreeing string

And to advance again, for one man's merit, The harmony doth rather make than mar! A thousand beirs that have deserved nought?

And view at once, how death by sin is brought;

And how from death, a better life doth rise ! How this God's justice, and his mercy taught !

We this decree would praise, as right and wise.

And is not God's decree as just as ours,

If he, for Adam's sin, his sons deprive
Of all those native virtues, and those pow'rs,

Which he to him and to his race did give?

But we that measure times by first and last,

The sight of things successively do take, When God on all at once his view doth cast,

And of all times doth but one instant make.

For what is this contagious sin of kind,

But a privation of that grace within,
And of that great rich dowry of the mind,

Which all bad had, but for the first man's sin ?

0

All in himself, as in a glass, he sees;

For from him, by him, through him, all things be; His sight is not discoursive, by degrees;

Biit seeing th' whole, each single part doth see.

If then a man on light conditions gain

A great estate, to bim and his, for ever ;
If wilfully he forfeit it again,

Who doth bemoan his heir or blame the giver i

[ocr errors]

So, though God make the soul good, rich, and fair,
Yet wben her form is to the body knit,

SECTION IX.
Which makes the man, which man is Adam's heir,
Justly forthwith he takes his grace from it:

WHY THE SOUL IS UNITED TO THE BODY.
And then the soul, being first from nothing brought, This substance, and this spirit of God's own making,
When God's grace fails her, doth to nothing

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 not 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, Bot in their place the contrary do rise,

In whom we do the world's abridgment see. And real spots of sin her beauty mar.

Besides, this world below did need one wight, Nor is it strange, that Adam's ill desert

Which might thereof distingnish 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 migbt in his works admire, Lastly, the soul were better so to be

And here beneath yield him both pray's 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 wigbts, Yet this the curious wits will not content ;

Did want a visible king, o'er them to reign :

And God himself thus to the world unites,
They yet will know (since God foresaw this ill)
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,

SECTION X It had been one, as if his word had said,

I will henceforth that man no man shall be. IN WHAT MANNER THE SOUL IS UNITED TO THE BODY. For what is man without a moving mind,

But how shall we this union well express ? Which hath a jadging wit, and choosing will? Naught ties the soul, her subtlety is such; Now, if God's pow'r should her election bind, She moves the body, which she doth possess;

Her motions then would cease and stand all still. Yet no part toucheth, but by virtue's touch.
And why did God in man this soul infuse,

Then dwells she not therein, as in a tent;
But that he should bis Maker know and love? Nor as a pilot in his ship doth sit;
Now, if love be compelld, and cannot choose, Nor as the spider in his web is pent;

How can it grateful or thank-worthy prove ? Nor as the wax retains the print in it;
Lore must free-hearted be, and voluntary ; Nor as a vessel water doth contain;
And not enchanted, or by fate constrain'd:

Nor as one liquor in another shed;
Nor like that love, which did Ulysses carry Nor as the heat doth in the fire remain ;

To Circe's isle, with mighty charms enchain’d. Nor as a voice throughout the air is spread :
Besides, were we unchangeable in will,

But as the fair and cheerful morning light And of a wit that nothing could misdeem;

Doth here and there her silver-beams impart, Equal to God, whose wisdom shineth still,

And in an instaut doth herself unite And never erts we might ourselves esteem. To the transparent air, in all and ev'ry part: So that if map would be unvariable,

Still resting whole, when blows the air divide; He must be God, or like a rock or tree;

Abiding pure, when th' air is most corrupted ; Por e'en the perfect angels were not stable, Throughout the air, her beams dispersing wide; But had a fall more desperate than we.

And when the air is toss'd, not interrupted: Tren let us praise that pow'r, which makes us be So doth the piercing soul the body fill, Men as we are, and rest contented so;

Being all in all, and all in part diffus'd; And, knowing man's fall was curiosity,

Indivisible, incorruptible still ; Admire God's counsels, which we cannot know. Nor forc'd, encounter'd, troubled, or confus'd. And let us know that God the maker is

And as the Sun above the light doth bring, Of all the souls, in all the men that be;

Though we behold it in the air below; Yet their corraption is no fault of his,

So from the eternal light the soul doth spring, But the first map's that broke God's first decree. Though in the body she her pow'rs do show.

« AnteriorContinuar »