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None are so gross as to contend for this,
That souls from bodies may traduced be ;

Between whose natures no proportion is,
When root and branch in nature still agree.

But many subtle wits have justify’d,
That souls from souls spiritually may spring ;

Which (if the nature of the soul be try’d)
Will e'en in nature prove as gross a thing.




For all things made, are either made of nought,
Or made of stuff that ready made doth stand:

Of nought no creature ever formed ought,
For that is proper to th' Almighty’s hand.

If then the soul another soul do make,
Because her pow'r is kept within a bound,

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,

Then she of nothing must created be ;
And to create, to God alone pertains,

Again, if souls do other souls beget,
'Tis by themselves, or by the body's pow'r

If by themselves, what doth their working let,
But they might souls engender ev'ry hour?

If by the body, how can wit and will
Join with the body only in this act,

Since when they do their other works fulfil,
They from the body do themselves abstract.

Again, if souls of souls begotten were,
Into each other they should change and move :

And change and motion still corruption bear;
How shall we then the soul immortal prove 2

If, lastly, souls do generation use,
Then should they spread incorruptible seed:

What then becomes of that which they do lose,
When th’ act of generation do not speed

And though the soul could cast spiritual seed,
Yet would she not, because she never dies;

For mortal things desire their like to breed,
That so they may their kind immortalize.

Therefore the angels sons of God are nam’d,
And marry not, nor are in marriage giv'n:

Their spirits and ours are of one substance fram’d,
And have one father, e'en the Lord of Heaven;

Who would at first, that in each other thing
The earth and water living souls should breed,
But that man’s soul, whom he would make their
Should from himself immediately proceed.

And when he took the woman from man's side,
Doubtless himself inspir’d her soul alone:

For 'tis not said, he did man's soul divide,
But took flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone.

Lastly, God being made man for man’s own sake,
And being like man in all, except in sin,

His body from the virgin’s womb did take;
But all agree, God form'd his soul within.

Then is the soul from God; so Pagans say,
Which saw by Nature’s light her heav'nly kind;

Naming her kin to God, and God’s bright ray,
A citizen of Heav'n, to Earth confin'd.

But now I feel, they pluck me by the ear,
Whom my young Muse so boldly termed blind!
And crave more heav'nly light, that cloud to clear;
Which makes them think, God doth not make
the mind.



God doubtless makes her, and doth make her good,
And grafts her in the body, there to spring;

Which, though it be corrupted flesh and blood,
Can no way to the soul corruption bring :

Yet is not God the author of her ill,
Though author of her being, and being there :

And if we dare to judge our Maker's will,
He can condemn us, and himself can clear.

First, God from infinite eternity .
Decreed, what hath been, is, or shall be done;

And was resolv’d that ev'ry man should be,
And in his turn his race of life should run:

And so did purpose all the souls to make,
That ever have been made, or ever shall; -

And that their being they should only take
In human bodies, or not be at all.

Was it then fit that such a weak event
(Weakness itself, the sin and fall of man)

His counsel’s execution should prevent,
Decreed and fix’d before the world began

Or that one penal law, by Adam broke,
Should make God break his own eternal law;

The settled order of the world revoke,
And change all forms of things which he foresaw

Could Eve's weak hand, extended to the tree,
In sunder rent that adamantine chain,

Whose golden links, effects and causes be;
And which to God's own chair doth six’d remain *

O could we see how cause from cause doth spring
How mutually they link’d and folded are

And hear how oft one disagreeing string
The harmony doth rather make than mar'

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.

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.

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;
But seeing th' whole, each single part doth see.

He looks on Adam as a root or well;
And on his heirs as branches, and as streams:

He sees all men as one man, though they dwell
In sundry cities, and in sundry realms.

And as the root and branch are but one tree,
And well and stream do but one river make ;

So, if the root and well corrupted be,
The stream and branch the same corruption take

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,
And all his offspring grew corrupt therein.

And as when th’ hand doth strike, the man offends.
(For part from whole, law severs not in this)

So Adam's sin to the whole kind extends;
For all their natures are but part of his.
Vol. IV". E.

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