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THAT THE SOUL IS MORE THAN THE TEMPERATURE OF THE HUMOURS OF THE BODY.
If she doth then the subtle sense excel,
How gross are they that drown her in the blood? Or in the body's humours temper'd well;
As if in them such high perfection stood?
As if most skill in that musician were,
Which had the best, and best tun'd instrument?
Why doth not beauty then refine the wit,
Who can in memory, or wit, or will,
Or air, or fire, or earth, or water find? What alchymist can draw, with all his skill, The quintessence of these out of the mind?
If th' elements which have nor life, nor sense, Can breed in us so great a pow'r as this, Why give they not themselves like excellence, Or other things wherein their mixture is ?
If she were but the body's quality,
Then she would be with it sick, maim'd, and blind: But we perceive where these privations be, An healthy, perfect, and sharp-sighted mind.
If she the body's nature did partake,
Her strength would with the body's strength de-
If she were but the body's accident,
For she the body doth sustain and cherish :
That when they fail, then doth the body perish.
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,
No body can at once two forms admit,
Except the one the other do deface; But in the soul ten thousand forms do sit, And none intrudes into her neighbour's place.
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
If from all shapes and forms it be not clear?
? 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, From Jove, without a mother, to proceed; Doth daily millious of Minervas breed.
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,
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.
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;
Besides, this world below did need one wight,
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 a pilot in his ship doth sit; Nor as the spider in his web is pent; 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,