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more than God would have us, it doth but tend (as gazing on the sun) to make us blind, and to doubt of certainties, because we cannot be resolved of uncertainties. To trouble our heads too much in thinking how souls out of the body do subsist and act, sensitively or not, by organs or without; how far they are one, and how far still individuate, in what place they shall remain, and where is their paradise, or heaven; how shall they be again united to the body, whether by their own emission, as the sunbeams touch their objects here, and whether the body shall be restored, as the consumed flesh of restored, sick men, aliunde, or only from the old materials : A hundred of these questions are better left to the knowledge of Christ, lest we do but foolishly make snares for ourselves. Had all these been needful to us, they had been revealed. In respect to all such curiosities, and needless knowledge, it is a believer's wisdom implicitly to trust his soul to Christ, and to be satisfied that he knoweth what we know not, and to fear that vain, vexatious knowledge, or inquisitiveness into good and evil, which is selfish, and savoreth of a distrust of God, and is that sin, and fruit of sin, which the learned world too little feareth.
Sect. 17. III. That God is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, and that holy souls shall be in blessedness with Christ, these following evidences, conjoined, do evince, on which my soul doth raise its hopes.
Sect. 18. i. The soul, which is an immortal spirit, must be immortally in a good or bad condition ; but man's soul is an immor
1 tal spirit, and the good are not in a bad condition. Its immortality is proved thus: A spiritual, or most pure, invisible substance, naturally endowed with the power, virtue, or faculty of vital action, intellection, and volition, which is not annihilated nor destroyed by separation of parts, nor ceaseth, or loseth, either its power, species, individuation, or action is an immortal spirit. But such is the soul of man, as shall be manifested by parts.
Sect. 19. 1. The soul is a substance, for that which is nothing can do nothing; but it doth move, understand, and will. No man will deny that this is done by something in us, and by some substance, and that substance is it which we call the soul. It is not nothing, and it is within us.
Sect. 20. As to them that say, it is the temperament of several parts conjunct, I have elsewhere fully confuted them, and proved, 1. That it is some one part that is the agent on the rest, which all they confess that think it to be the material spirits, or fiery part. It is not bones and flesh that understand, but a purer substance, as all acknowledge. 2. What part soever it be, it can do no more than it is able to do, and a conjunction of many parts, of which no one bath the power of vitality, intellection, or volition, formally, or eminently, can never by contemperation do those acts, for there can be no more in the effect than is in the cause, otherwise it were no effect.
The vanity of their objections that tell us, a lute, a watch, a book, perform that by co-operation which no one part can do, I have elsewhere manifested. 1. Many strings, indeed, have many motions, and so have many effects on the ear and fantasy, which in us are sound, and harmony : but all is but a percussion of the air by strings, and were not that motion received by a sensitive soul, it would be no music or melody; so that there is nothing done but what each part had power to do. But intellection and volition are not the conjunct motions of all parts of the body, receiving their form in a nobler intellective nature, as the sound of the strings maketh melody in man: if it were so, that receptive nature still would be as excellent as the effect importeth. 2. And the watch, or clock, doth but move according to the action of the spring, or poise; but that it moveth in such an order as becometh to man a sign and measure of time, this is from man who ordereth it to that use. But there is nothing in the motion but what the parts have their power to cause; and that it significth the hour of the days to us, is no action, but an object used by a rational soul as it can use the shadow of a tree, or house, that yet doth nothing. 3. And so a book doth nothing at all, but is a mere objective ordination of passive signs, by which man's active intellect can understand what the writer or orderer did intend ; so that here is nothing done beyond the power of the agent, nor any thing in the effect which was not in the cause, either formally or eminently. But for a company of atoms, of which no one hath sense or reason, to become sensitive and rational by mere conjunct motion, is an effect beyond the power of the supposed cause. VOL. II.
Sect. 21. But as some think so basely of our noblest acts as to think that contempered agitated atoms can perform them, that have no natural intellective, or sensitive, virtue or power in themselves, so others think so highly of them, as to take them to be the acts only of God, or some universal soul, in the body of man; and so that there is no life, sense, or reason in the world but God himself (or such an universal soul;) and so that either every man is God, as his to soul, or that it is the body only that is to be called man, as distinct from God. But this is the self-ensnaring and self-perplexing temerity of busy, bold, and arrogant heads, that know not their own capacity and measure. And on the like reasons, they must at last come, with others, to say, that all passive matter also is God, and that God is the universe, consisting of an active soul, and passive body. As if God were no cause, and could make nothing, or nothing with life, or sense, or reason.
Sect. 22. But why depart we from things certain, by such presumptions as these? Is it not certain, that there are baser creatures in the world than men or angels? Is it not certain that one man is not another?
Is it not certain that some men are in torment of body and mind? And will it be a comfort to a man in such torment to tell him that he is God, or that he is part of an universal soul? Would not a man on the rack, or in the stone, or other misery, say, “Call me by what name you please, that easeth not my pain. If I be a part of God, or an universal soul, I am sure I am a tormented, miserable part. And if you could make me believe that God hath some parts which are not serpents, toads, devils, or wicked or tormented men, you must give me other senses, and perceptive powers, before it will comfort me to hear that I am not such a part. And if God had wicked and tormented parts on earth, why may he not have such, and I be one of them hereafter! And If I be a holy and happy part of God, or of an universal soul on earth, why may not I hope to be such hereafter?
Sect. 23. We deny not but that God is the continued, first cause of all being whatsover; and that the branches and fruit depend not, as effects, so much on the causality of the stock and roots, as the creature doth on God; and that it is an impious conceit to think that the
world, or any part of it, is a being independent, and separated totally from God, or subsisting without his continued causation. But cannot God cause, as a creator, by making that which is not himself? This yieldeth the self-deceiver no other honor nor happiness but what equally belongeth to a devil, to a fly, or worm, to a dunghill, or to the worst and miserable man !
Sect. 24. 2. As man's soul is a substance, so is it a substance differenced formally from all inferior substances, by an innate (indeed essential) power, virtue, or faculty, of vital action, intellection, and free-will: for we find all these acts performed by it, as motion, light, and heat are by the fire or sun. And if any should think that these actions are like those of a musician, compounded of the agents (principal and organical several) parts, could he prove it, no more would follow, but that the lower powers (the sensitive, or spirits) are to the higher as a passive organ, receiving its operations; and that the intellectual soul hath the power of causing intellection and volition by its action on the inferior parts, as a man can cause such motions of his lute, as shall be melody (not to it, but) to himself: and consequently, that as music is but a lower operation of man, (whose proper acts of intellection and volition are above it,) so intellection and volition in the body are not the noblest acts of the soul, but it performed them by an eminent power, which can do greater things. And if this could be proved, what would it tend to the unbeliever's ends, or to the disadvantage of our hopes and comforts?
Sect. 25. 3. That man's soul, at death, is not annihilated, even the atomists and epicureans will grant, who think that no atom in the universe is annihilated : and we that see, not only the sun and heav
ntinued, but every grain of matter, and that compounds are changed by dissolution of parts, and rarefaction, or migration, &c., and not by annihilation, have no reason to dream that God will annihilate one soul (though he can do it if he please, yea, and annihilate all the world): it is a thing beyond a rational expectation.
Sect. 26. 4. And a destruction, by the dissolution of the parts of the soul, we need not fear. For, (1.) Either an intellectual spirit is divisible and partible, or not; if not, we need not fear it; if it be, either it is a thing that nature tendeth to, or not; but that nature
doth not tend to it, is evident. For, there is naturally so strange and strong an inclination to unity, and averseness to separation in all things, that even earth and stones, that have no other (known) natural motion, have yet an aggregate motion in their gravitation : but if you will separate the parts from the rest, it must be by force. And water is yet more averse from partition without force, and more inclined to union than earth, and air than water, and fire than air ; so he that will cut a sunbeam into pieces, and make many of one, must be an extraordinary agent. And surely spirits, even intellectual spirits, will be no less averse from partition, and inclined to keep their unity, than fire, or a sunbeam is ; so that naturally it is not a thing to be feared, that it should fall into pieces.
(2.) And he that will say, that the God of nature will change, and overcome the nature that he hath made, must give us good proofs of it, or it is not to be feared. And if he should do it as a punishment, we must find such a punishment somewhere threatened, either in his natural or supernatural law, which we do not, and therefore need not fear it.
Sect. 27. (3.) But if it were to be feared, that souls were partible, and would be broken into parts, this would be no destruction of them either as to their substance, powers, form, or action, but only a breaking of one soul into many : for being not compounded of heterogeneal parts, but, as simple elements, of homogeneal only, as every atom of earth is earth, and every drop of water in the sea is water, and every particle of air and fire is air and fire, and have all the properties of earth, water, air, and fire; so would it be with every particle of an intellectual spirit. But who can see cause to dream of such a partition, never threatened by God?
Sect. 28. 5. And that souls lose not their formal powers, or virtues, we have great reason to conceive; because they are their natural essence, not as mixed, but simple substances: and though some imagine that the passive elements may, by attenuation or incrassation, be transmuted one into another, yet we see that earth is still earth, and water is water, and air is air ; and their conceit hath no proof : and, were it proved, it would but prove that none of these are a first or proper element : but what should an intellectual spirit be changed