« ZurückWeiter »
And yet this first true cause, and last good end, If then by death the soul were quenched quite, She cannot here so well and truly see;
She could not thus against ber nature run; For this perfection she must yet attend,
Since ev'ry senseless thing, by Nature's light, Till to her Maker she espoused be.
Doth preservation seek, destruction shuu. As a king's daughter, being in person sought Nor could the world's best spirits so much err, of divers princes, who do neighbour near,
If Death took all, that they should all agree, On none of them can fix a constant thought, Before this life their honour to prefer: Though she to all do lend a gentle ear:
For what is praise to things that nothing be? Yet she can love a foreign emperor,
Again, if by the body's prop she stand; Whom of great worth and pow'r she hears to be, If on the body's life, her life depend, If she be woo'd but by ambassador,
As Meleager's on the fatal brand, Or but his letters or his pictures see:
The body's good she only would intend : For well she knows, that when she shall be brought we should not find her half so brave and bold,
Into the kingdom where her spouse doth reign; To lead it to the wars, and to the seas, Her eyes shall see what she conceiv'd in thought, To make it suffer watchings, hunger, cold,
Himself, his state, his glory, and his train. When it might feed with plenty, rest with ease. So while the virgin soul on Earth doth stay, Doubtless, all souls have a surviving thought,
She wood and tempted in ten thousand ways, Therefore of death we think with quiet mind; By these great pow'rs, which on the Earth bear But if we think of being turn'd to naught, sway;
A trembling horrour in our souls we find.
From the fear of death in the wicked souls. Bat she distastes them alt within awhile, And in the sweetest finds a tediousness.
And as the better spirit, when she doth bear
A scorn of death, doth show she cannot die ; But if upon the world's Almighty King,
So when the wicked soul Death's face doth fear, She once doth fix her humble loving thought,
E'en then she proves her own eternity.
For when Death's form appears, she feareth not
An utter quenching or extinguishment;
She would be glad to meet with such a lot,
That so she might all future ill prevent:
But she doth doubt what after may befall ; Bat when in Heav'n she shall his essence see,
For Nature's law accuseth her within,
And saith, “ 'T is true what is affirm'd by all, This is her sov'reigo good, and perfect bliss;
That after death there is a pain for sin."
Then she who hath been hoodwink'd from her birth, There is she crown'd with garlands of content;
Doth first herself within Death's mirror see ; There doth she manna eat, and nectar drink ;
And when her body doth return to earth, That presence doth such high delights present,
She first takes care, how she alone shall be, As never tongue could speak, nor heart could think.
Who ever sees these irreligious men,
With burthen of a sickness weak and faint,
But hears them talking of religion then,
And vowing of their souls to ev'ry saint ?
When was there ever cursed atheist brought For this, the better souls do oft despise
Unto the gibbet, but he did adore The body's death, and do it oft desire;
That blessed pow'r, which he had set at naught, For when on ground the barthen’d balance lies, Scorn’d and blasphem'd all his life before?
The empty part is lifted up the higher: Bat if the body's death the soul should kill,
These light vain persons still are drunk and mad, Then death must needs against her nature be;
With surfeitings and pleasures of their youth; And were it so, all souls would fly it still,
But at their death they are fresh, sober, sad; for nature bates and shuns her contrary.
Then they discern, and then they speak the truth. For all things else, which Nature makes to be, If then all souls, both good and bad, do teach,
Their being to preserve, are chiefly taught; With gea'ral voice, that souls can never die;
Yet never thing did long to turn to naught. Which, like God's oracles, can never lie.
For e'en the thought of immortality,
Being an act done without the body's aid,
Shows, that herself alone could move and be,
Although the body in the grave were laid.
Hear'n waxeth old, and all the spheres above Ev'n so the soul to such a body knit,
Shall one day faint, and their swift motion stay; Whose inward senses undisposed be; And time itself, in time shall cease to move;,
And to receive the forms of things unfit, Only the soul survives, and lives for ay.
Where nothing is brought in, can nothing see. “ Our bodies, ev'ry footstep that they make, This makes the idiot, which hath yet a mind,
March towards death, until at last they die: Able to know the truth, and choose the good; Whether we work or play, or sleep or wake, If she such figures in the brain did find, Our life doth pass, and with Time's wings doth As might be found, if it in temper stood. fly:"
But if a phrensy do possess the brain, But to the soul, time doth perfection give,
It so disturbs and blots the forms of things, And adds fresh lustre to her beauty still; As fantasy proves altogether vain, And makes her in eterpal youth to live,
And to the wit no true relation brings. Like her which nectar to the gods doth fill.
Then doth the wit, admitting all for true, The more she lives, the more she feeds on truth; Build fond conclusions on those idle grounds : The more she feeds, her strength doth more in- Then doth it fly the good, and ill pursue ; crease :
Believing all that this false spy propounds. , And what is strength, but an effect of youth, Which if time nurse, how can it ever cease? But purge the humours, and the rage appease,
Which this distemper in the fancy wrought; Then shall the wit, which never had disease,
Discourse, and judge discreetly, as it ought. SECTION XXXII. OBJECTIONS AGAINST THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL, So, though the clouds eclipse the Sun's fair light, WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE ANSWERS.
Yet from bis face they do not take one beam;
So have our eyes their perfect pow'r of sight, But now these Epicures begin to smile,
Ev'n when they look into a troubled stream. And say, my doctrine is more safe than true; And that I fondly do myself beguile,
Then these defects in sense's organs be,
Not in the soul, or in her workiug might:
These imperfections then we must impute, And that their brains grow sottish, dull and cold,
Not to the agent, but the instrument: Which were in youth the only spirits of note?
We must not blame Apollo, but his lute,
If false accords from her false strings be sent. What? are not souls within themselves corrupted ? How can their idiots then by nature be ?
The soul in all hath one intelligence; How is it that some wits are interrupted,
Though too much moisture in an infant's brain, That now they dazzled are, now clearly see?
And too much dryness in an old man's sense,
Cannot the prints of outward things retain: ANSWER. These questions make a subtil argument
Then doth the soul want work, and idle sit, To such as thiuk both sense and reason one ; And this we childishness and dotage call; To whom nor agent, from the instrument,
Yet hath she then a quick and active wit, Nor pow'r of working, from the work is knowu. If she had stuff and tools to work withal : But they that know that wit can show no skill, For, give her organs fit, and objects fair;
But when she things in sense's glass doth view, Give but the aged man the young man's sense; Do know, if accident this glass do spill,
Let but Medea Æson's youth repair, It nothing sees, or sees the false for true.
And straight she shows her wonted excellence. For, if that region of the tender brain,
As a good harper stricken far in years, Where th' inward sense of fantasy should sit, Into whose cunning hands the gout doth fall, And th' outward senses, gath'rings should retain ; All his old crotcbets in his brain he bears, By nature, or by chance, become unfit:,
But on his harp plays ill, or not at all.
But if Apollo takes his gout away,
And all the world applaud his minstrelsy.
If they return no news, doth nothing know; But of the sense; for if the mind did waste, But if they make advertisement of lies,
In all old men we should this wasting find, The prince's counsels all awry do go:
When they some certain term of years bad pass'd; VOL V.
But most of them, e'en to their dying hour,
Why should we not have other means to know? were young.
As children, while within the womb they live, For, though the body wasted be and weak,
Feed by the navel : here they feed not so.
These children, if they had some use of sepse, We oft are ravish'd to the heav'nly spheres.
And should by chance their mother's talking hear, That in short time they shall come forth from thence,
Would fear their birth, more than our death me OBJECTION IL
fear. Yet say these men, if all her organs die,
They would cry out, " If we this place shall leave, Then hath the soul no pow'r her pow'rs to use: Then shall we break our tender navel strings: So, in a sort, her pow'rs extinct do lie,
How shall we then our nourishment receive, When unto act she cannot them reduce,
Since our sweet food no other conduit brings ?" And if her pow'rs be dead, then what is she? And if a man should to these babes reply,
For since from ev'ry thing some pow'rs do spring; That into this fair world they shall be brought, And from those pow'rs, some acts proceeding be; Where they shall view the earth, the sea, the sky, Then kill both pow'r and act, and kill the thing. The glorious Sun, and all that God hath wmught :
That there ten thousand dainties they shall meet, ANSWER.
Which by their mouths they sball with pleasure
take; Doubtless, the body's death, when once it dies,
Which shall be cordial too as well as sweet;
And of their little limbs tall bodies make :
This world they'd think a fable, e'en as we
Do think the story of the golden age; Bat (as the body living) wit and will
Or as some sensual spirits 'mongst us be, Can judge and choose, without the body's aid;
Which hold the world to come, a feigned stage: Though on such objects they are working still, As through the body's organs are convey'd:
Yet shall these infants after find all true,
Though then thereof they nothing could conSo, when the body serves her turn no more,
ceive: And all her senses are extinct and gone,
As soon as they are born, the world they view, She can discourse of what she learn'd before,
And with their mouths, the nurses' milk receive, m heav'nly contemplations, all alone.
So when the soul is born (for death is naught So, if one man well on the lute doth play, And have good horsemanship, and learning's Ten thousand things she sees beyond her thought;
But the soul's birth, and so we should it call) skill,
And in an unknown manner, knows them all. Though both his lute and horse we take away, Doth he not keep his former learning still?
Then doth she see by spectacles no more,
She l.ears not by report of double spies; He keeps it, doubtless, and can use it too;
Herself in instants doth all things explore ; And doth both th' other skills in pow'r retain;
For each thing's present, and before her lies And can of both the proper actions do, If with his lute or horse he meet again.
OBJECTION IY. So though the instruments (by which we live,
And view the world) the body's death do kill; But still this crew with questions me pursues: Yet with the body they shall all revive,
If souls deceas'd (say they) still living be, And all their wonted offices fulfil.
Why do they not return, to bring us news (see?
Of that strange world, wbere they such wonders
Under the zenith of both frozen poles,
But she hath means to understand no more. Why bear we not the like faith of our souls? Then what do those poor souls, which nothing get? The soul hath here on Earth no more to do,
Or what do those which get, and cannot keep? Than we have business in our mother's woinb: Like bucklers bottomless, which all out-let; What child doth covet to return thereto,
Those souls, for want of exercise, must sleep. Althongh all children first from thence do come!
But as Noah's pigeon, which return'd no more, And if that wisdom still wise 'ends propound,
Did show, she footing found, for all the flood; Why made be man, of other creatures, king; So when good souls, departed through Death's When (if he perish here) there is not found door,
In all the world so poor and vise a thing? Come not again, it shows their dwelling good..
If death dó quench us quíte, we have great wrong,
And doth appear before her Maker's face, That daws, and trees, and rocks should last so long,
But bless'd be that Great Pow'r, that hath us bless d
With longer life than Heav'n or Earth can have;
For though the soul do seem ber grave to bear,
And in this world is almost bury'd qaick,
We have no cause the body's derth to fear;
For when the shell is broke, out comes a chick.
To think our souls to Heav'n or Hell do go;
THREE KINDS OF LIFB ANSWERABLE TO THREE POWERS
OF THE SOUL.
Do you then think this moral virtue good ?
I think you do, ev'n for your private gain;
Apd common good the private doth contain.
Have you no means, her practice to maintain;
That good souls live in joy, and ill in pain?
Virtue and truth do ever best agree;
Since the effects so good and virtuous be.
So vice and mischief do bis lies ensưe :
But made this lie, which saith, it is not true.
Of ev'ry mortal man affirms for true ?
As, load-stone like, all hearts it ever drew.
The Persian, or the Turk, acknowledge this;
And to the cannibal and Tartar is.
As common in the north as in the east :
But of itself is native in the breasta
Their soul's eternity did ever doubt ;
Which no poor naked nation lives without.
(For only man the use thereof doth know)
How doth God's wisdom order things below?
For as the soul's essential pow'rs are three;
The quick’ning pow'r, the pow'r of sense and reason; Three kinds of life to her designed be,
(son. Which perfect these three pow'rs in their due seaThe first life in the mother's womb is spent,
Where she the nursing pow'r doth only use; Where, when she finds defect of nourishment,
Sh’expels her body, and this world she views. This we call birth; but if the child could speak,
He death would call it; and of nature plain, That she would thrust him out naked and weak, 1
And in his passage pinch him with such pain.
Where all his senses in perfection be;
And sounds to hear, and sundry forms to see.
His reason then a little seems to wake; [age, Which though she spring when sense doth fade with
Yet can she here no perfect practice make. Then doth aspiring soul the body leave,
Which we call death; but were it known to all, What life our souls do by this death receive,
.Men would it birth or jail-deliv'ry call.
In this third life, reason will be so bright,
As that her spark will like the sun-beams shine, And shall of God enjoy the real sight,
Being still increas'd by influence divine.
Lock'd up within the casket of thy breast?
What heav'nly treasure in so weak a chest?