Note: This is part of the Leveller Collection of Tracts and Pamphlets.
T.34 [1644.01.19] Richard Overton, Mans mortalitie: or, A treatise wherein ’tis proved, both Theologically and Philosophically, that whole Man (as a rationall creature) is a compound wholly mortall (19 January 1644).
Richard Overton, Mans Mortalitie: or, A Treatise wherein ’tis proved, both Theologically and Philosophically, that whole Man (as a rationall creature) is a Compound wholly mortall, contrary to that common distinction of Soule and Body: and that the present going of the Soule into Heaven or Hell is a meer Fiction: and that at the Resurrection is the beginning of our immortality, and then Actual Condemnation, and Salvation, and not before. With all doubts and Objections Answered, and resolved, both by Scripture and Reason; discovering the multitude of Blasphemies, and Absurdities that arise from the fancie of the Soule. Also divers other Mysteries, as, of Heaven, Hell, Christs humane residence, the extent of the Resurrection, the New Creation, &c. opened, and presented to the tryall of better judgments. By. R.O.
That which befalleth the sons of men, befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them all: as the one dyeth, so dyeth the other; yea they have all one breath, so that man hath no preheminence above a beast; for all is vanity. Ecclesiastes 3.19.
Amsterdam, Printed by John Canne. Anno Dom. 1644.
The pamphlet contains the following parts:
19 January 1644
TT1, p. 306; Thomason E. 29. (16.)
(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)
Thy serious perusall, but the scorne and derision of the multitude hereof is my expectation: Startle not thou, be patient, read, ponder, and Berean like try whether these things be so or no: If any thing in it be worth thy owning, take it, it is thine as well as mine, and I have my end, thy benefit: I wish it well to all, but I feare it will be a Parable to most; however, I have unbosom’d my duty, freely as I have received, I give it freely to the World; it is my faith, as I beleeve, so have I spoken. I expect an Answer; if it be such as will not hold tryall, it is likely I shall vindicate my selfe; but if by force of Argument it shall convince, I shall be ready and free thankfully to embrace it, and renounce my errour, whether it be in part or in whole, though in the maine I am nothing jealous, had I therein doubted, my weaknesse had not been thus visible to the World. Whereas in severall places scattered through the Booke, the use of the word Soule may seeme to some, to imply that, which I deny; let such know, it is for Argument sake, not intending in the least any selfe distinct Being by it. Thus desiring my endeavours may have a faire and equall tryall by Scripture and sollid Reason, I commit thee to the blessing of God in the perusall thereof, and rest
To omit tedious introductory Circumstances, which are as commonly uselesse as prolix: Observe: That when God had moulded, formed, and compleatly proportionated Adam of the Dust of the ground, he breathed in his face the breath of Lives, and Man became a living Soul: Gen. 2-7. That is, he gave that life-lesse Body a communicative rationall Faculty or property of life, in his kind: And so it became a living creature, or compleate ἀνθρωπος of whom was the Woman, both innocent and free from sin, and so from Death and mortality: For the wages of Sin is Death, Rom. 6.23. 1 Cor. 15.56. Thus Man was gloriously immortall, yet no longer a Creature incorruptible, then during innocent: For (Gen. 2.17.) God said, of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evill thou shalt not eate of it, for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely dye: that is, thy immortality shall be changed for mortality: Immortall Adam shall be made mortall, not a part of thee, but Thou shalt surely dye, even whole man, without the least exception of any, the worst or nobest part of him, unlesse God had a mentall reservation; but even the same Thou that livest, Thou shalt surely dye: that must dye wherein was life: then surely if he had an immortall Soul, which is the life of the body, that must be made mortall. The result of all which, is this:
That what of Adam was immortall through Innocency, was to be mortalized by Transgression:
But whole Adam (quatenus Animal rationale) was in Innocency immortall:
Ergo, all, and every part, even whole Man was lyable to Death by Sin: And so consequently, if Adam had then such an indefinable thing in him, and of him, without which he was not Man, (as is vulgarly supposed, but simply maintained by the Church of Rome, England &c.) as an Angelical Spirit, that neither could, nor can be subject to mortality: Then he had that he had not: which made him be what he was not: he sinned with that, with which he could not; which made him Fall when he did not: which Bo-peepe is impossible: For if Adam was mortalized, and That not, It was no part of him, this they must confesse, or else the other followes.
This being thus cleared, and proved from Adams Creation and Innocency: let us proceed to his Fall, Restitution, and Resurrection, who eating of the forbidden fruit, (whose nature was, as was supposed by Nemesius the Philosopher, to mortalize him, as Mala insana are to destroy and reduce rationality to madnesse) God fulfilled his threatned Curse upon him, saying, (Gen. 3.19.) In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eate bread, till thou returne unto the Ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for Dust thou art, and unto Dust thou shalt returne. Here he is plainly disrobed of all his immortality, he must to Dust, without the least mention of any Being thereafter, either of part or whole; till this Promise of Christ, The seed of the woman shall breake the Serpents Head, which is not compleated till the Resurrection: for then, and not before, Mans immortality is in Actuall Being, whose beatitude and infelicity comes through Faith and infidelity. So that Death reduceth this productio Entis ex Non-ente ad Non-entem, returnes Man to what he was before he was; that is, not to Be: Psal. 115. 17. the Dead prayse not the Lord, neither they that go down into silence: And Psal. 146.4. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to the Earth, in that very Day his thoughts perish. (see more pag. 5. 6. 7. 8.) But the Resurrection restoreth this non-ented Entitie to an everlasting Being, 1 Cor. 15.42. It is sowne in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
Thus Mortality is derivated to all Adams posterity: The first Man (quatenus homo) is of the Earth earthly, as is the earthly, such are they that are earth: (1 Cor. 15.47.48.) But the Earth of which Man is, is corruptible, and shall be burnt up with fire: 2 Pet. 3.10. Therefore whole Man is corruptible: for as in Adam all dye, (1 Cor. 15.22) even so in Christ shall all be made alive; what fell in Adam shall be raised by Christ; what was mortalized by the earthly Man shall be immortalized by the Heavenly man: wherefore All, not a part of Man was mortalized by Adam; or else onely the fallen part must be redeemed, and not the whole man: for no more of man then fell was redeemed, and if the body only fell, and his formall part (his soul) continued immortall, then that part of man (his body only) was purchased, not his constitutive or better part, his Soul: So that the bodies only of the Reprobate according to this fancy shall be damned: for nothing of Adam, but what fell of Adam, can be made lyable to condemnation; and what of him stood, shall stand, as well as the Angels that never fell: But in Christ we are compleate, Coll. 2.10. Therefore in Adam totally fallen.
Further: If Adams fall was not a compleat change of his whole manhood, from immortality to absolute mortality of the whole; then in the day that he did eate (the forbidden Fruit,) He did not surely dye; for He implyes his Manhood; (and my very Opposites confesse the Soul the very Essence and Being of Manhood:) and [in the Day] and [surely dye] imply, Execution as well as Transgression to be then; for both have equally relation to the Day: In the Day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely dye: so as well may we say, he did not eat, as did not dye That Day.
And if nothing dyed, that is, became mortall, but his Body; then fthat dyed, and his Soul lived; that is, must be as it was at first, before God breathed life into it; that is, a dead corps, and indeed was never other, if the Soul were a distinct Being of it self, and all life in itself, and the Body but an Instrument to it, whereby it performeth all motion and action (as Nemesius on Mans Nature p. 266. with others maintaine:) And thus it must needs follow, that this Death threatned was a meer Scar-crow, even nothing at all; for He, that is, his constitutive part (his Soul) continued immortall, and unchanged, and used his body instrumentally, as it did before the Transgression: and if it be Answered; it became sinfull and subject to sin, and so of finall Condemnation in Hell at the length. I Reply; That before he sinned he was subject to sin, or else he could not have sinned, for quicquid est in actu, prius fuit in potentia; and if the wages of sin be death, then he must be of necessity subject to death the effect, as well as sin the cause at the same time: And so consequently, the Souls possibility of sinning being producted into Actuall sin, the Soul must have its wages, Actuall mortality. Further, if the Soules Death be onely that of Hell; then the principall or efficient cause deepest in the Transgression was lesse punished, then the instrumentall, the Body being but the Souls instrument whereby it acts and moves: as if a Magistrate should hang the Hatchet, and spare the Man that beate a mans braines out with it: and so the Soul suffer the last death and scape the first: which is as preposterous, as, if this Death should be received before this Life. Moreover: Condemnation in Hell is not properly, but remotely the reward of Adams Fall; For properly Condemnation is the wages of Infidelity, or unbeleife in Christ, as Salvation is of Beleife: So that none can be condemned into Hell; but such as are actually guilty of refusing of Christ, because immortality or the Resurrection cannot be by Propagation or Succession, as mortality from Adam to his Issue; and so the Child though temporally, yet shall it not eternally be punished for his Fathers sin, but his Condemnation shall be of himself.
Having thus from the Creation, Fall, Restitution, and Resurrection laid a ground-worke for this mortality, let us see how it commensurates with the universality of Scripture and Reason.
JOB 4. 19, 21. How much lesse on them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth, doth not their excellencie which is in them goe away? they die even without Wisdome.
Job 14.1.2. Man that is born of a woman is of few daiies, and full of trouble, he commeth up like a flower, and is cut downe; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not: (and ver. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11 & 12.) For there is hope of a Tree, if it be cut downe, that it will sprout againe; and that the under-branch thereof will not cease: though the root thereof wax old in the ground, and the stock thereof drie in the earth; Yet through the sent of water it will bud, and bring forth branches like a plant. But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters faile from the sea, and the flood decayeth and dryeth up: So man Iyeth downe and riseth not, till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake out of their sleep.
Psal. 103.15.16. As for man, his dayes are as grasse, as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth; for the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more.
From these two places compared we may see that man (not his flesh only, for that makes not man; but flesh and spirit sensu conjuncto make Man) is not as a Tree, when he is cut downe, whose spirit liveth, and sprouteth forth, and continueth: but as the flowre of the field, (not the stalke, but the bare flowre) which totally fadeth and perisheth: Therefore Man is wholly mortall: He shall die, and the Son of Man shall be made as grasse, Isa. 51.12.
2 Cor. 126.96.36.199.4. there our Being after death is called A building of an house not made with hands, eternall in the heavens: with this the Apostle desires to be clothed: and what it is he defines, viz. mortalitie swallowed up of life: whence it is most evident, that all his hope of future life was grounded upon the Resurrection, and that his hope was altogether grounded thereon, he confirmes, 1 Cor. 15. arguing, If Christ be not risen, the dead should not rise: and (ver. 18.) They which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished, and (ver. 14.) Then is our faith also in vaine; whose end (1 Pet. 1.9.) is the salvation of our soules. How should then all be in vaine, if our soules as soone as breath is out of the body enter into glory and salvation? For by that, though there were no Resurrection of the flesh, we should receive the end of our Faith, the Salvation Of our Soules: Nay further, he maketh all our hope to be in this life, if there be no Resurrection; for ver. 19. having shown the evils that follow the denyall of the Resurrection, saith; if in this life onely we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable, whence plainly appeares, that the deniall of the Resurrection confines all our hopes within this life, and so all our sufferings, persecutions, prayers, faith, &c. were to no purpose: which could not be by this Soulary fancy of present reward of beatitude after this life.
1 King. 2.2. David saith to Solomon, I go the way of all the earth: that is, as all the earth must see corruption, so must he; and if his Soul were part of him, yea, himself, So Must it; else should he not go the way of all the earth.
And the expression in Josh. 2.13. Deliver our lives from death, importeth absolute mortality: for if Death be not dissolution of life, or its depravation, how can it be said to suffer death? not by a bodily seperation, for that is but as the laying down of a burthen, wherewith it was clogged and tyred, whereby it is made more lively ten thousand times; (as my Opposites confesse;) and so, can no more be said to be dead, then a Porter when he is disburthened of his Load.
Job. 34.15. All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turne again unto dust.
Eccl. 3.19. That which befalleth the Sons of Men befalleth Beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as one dyeth, so dyeth the other: they have all one breath, so that they have no preheminence above a Beast: for all is vanity.
Wherefore if their Breath be all one, then God breathed no other Breath, (that is, life or soul,) into Man, then he gave to Beasts: So that if Man be Fallen, and the Beasts be cursed for his sake, Man must be equally mortall with them.
II Tim. 4.8. I have fought a good fight, I have finisht my course, I have kept the faith, henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousnesse, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at THAT DAY, and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing. Here from the finishing of his course a Crown being laid up, (which is even the same which Peter Epist. 1. cap. 1.9. maketh the end of our, faith, the Salvation of our soules) to be given at THAT DAY, concludes an intermission to him and us till then.
1 Tim. 6.14.16. Keep this Commandement untill the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who only hath immortality dwelling in light, which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see.
Whence appeareth, that none ever entred into Heaven since the Creation: And it is in vaine for my Opposites to say it is meant of the corpulent matter only, for they make the Soul the very manhood: and none that enter therein, enter by halfes and peecemeal: and this is confirmed by Joh. 3.13. And no man hath ascended into Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man, which is in Heaven.
Psal. 6.5. For in death there is no remembrance of thee, in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
Psal. 88.11.12. Shall thy loving kindnesse be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulnesse in destruction? shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousnesse in the Land otforge fullnesse?
Isa. 38.18.19. For the grave cannot praise thee death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the Father to the Children shall make known thy truth.
Hence it is plain that during this Death Man is voyd of actuall Being: for had he then an incorruptible or present actuall Being in glory; he should be more capable of the praise and remembrance of the Lord, then he was before he died.
Job. 3. from the 11. to 20. Why died I not from the wombe? &c. for now should I have lyen still, and been quiet, I should have slept, and then I should have been at rest; as a hidden untimely birth, I had not been, as Infants that never saw light: there the Prisoners rest together, they heare not the voyce of the Oppressour.
Hence followeth, that during this Death there is no more present Being to man, then to an hidden abortive Embrio in this life; and no more capability, then light to unborne Infants; nor more oppression or torment, then where there is none to oppresse: which is to say, He absolutely IS NOT: Answerable to that of Jacob, me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, Gen. 4.2-36.
Job. 188.8.131.52.21. Whose foundation is in the dust, they perish for ever: that is, cease to Be till the Resurrection.
Luke 20.37.38. Now that the dead are raised &c. relating to Exod. 3.6. I am the God of Abraham, &c. From whence Christ proveth the resurrection: But if Abraham, Isaac, &c. had then lived in their soules, it had been no Argument to prove the resurrection; for he had been the God of living soules Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, though there had been no resurrection. Besides, he saith all live unto him: and this saying is ascribed unto the dead: therefore, as well may we argue from thence, that they lived in their bodies, as say, they were dead in body, but alive in soul unto God: for it is impossible to be potentially and actually living at the same time.
Psal. 89.48. What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.
Act. I. 31. He seeing this before, spake of the Resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in Hell, neither his flesh did see corruption: whence is cleare, that spirit, life, breath, or soul are subject to the grave, as well as body or flesh; for Christs soul as well as his flesh was in Hel, that is, the grave or bonds of death: so that he wholy and thoroughly died for us.
Eccl. 184.108.40.206. doth shew, that the living suffer oppression, but to the dead is none: and cap. 9.4.5. they know not any thing; for a living Dog is better than a dead Lion: therefore, Psal. 146.2 David saith, I will sing prayses unto my God while I have any being; implying that in death there is none: And Jam. 4.14. Our life is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. And Rev. 16.3. every living soul in the Sea dyed: and cap. 20.4.5. dead soules lived again. And Psal. 39.5 man at his best estate is altogether vanity; compared with Rom. 8. 19. the creature was made subject to vanity; that is corruption, all which declare mans totall death. And Act. 23.6. & 24.21. & 26.6.7. most clearly shew that all hope of future life and Being is in the Resurrection.
Thus much of Scripture, now to Naturall Reason.
If we will rationally argue concerning the Soul, it is necessary to define what that is, to which it is ascribed: But since it is defined by some one way, by some another way, I shall produce some Opinions about it; and then bring the most rationall to tryall, omitting the more frivolous: viz.
The Stoicks held it A certaine blast hot and fierie: or the vitall spirit of the blood: The Cretians, Blood: Gallen, a certaine exhalation of the purest blood: Zeno, Cleanthes, Antipater, and Possiodonius, a hot complexion, or corporeall quality diffused through the whole body: Democritus, Fire, and his opinion was, the round Attomes being incorporated by aire and fire doe make up the Soule: Pythagoras, opinionated it a Number moving of it selfe: Plato, a substance to be conceived in the mind, that received motion from it selfe, according to number and Harmonic: Aristotle, the first continual motion of a body naturall, haying in it those instrumentall parts, wherein was possibility of life: Dinarchus, an Harmonic of the four Elements: Nernesius divides it into Phantasie, judgment, Memorie: Aristotle in his Physicks, into vegetative, sensitive, motive, appetetive, intellective: And Ambrose Parey, pag. 895. saith, the soule is the inward Entelechia, or the primative cause of all motions and functions both naturall and animall, and the true Forme of a man: It seeth, heareth, smelleth, toucheth, tasteth, imagineth, judgeth, &c. And more exactly pag. 83. lib. 3. Cap. i. he saith, the soule is commonly distinguished into three Faculties: Animall, Vitall, Naturall: The Animall, into Principall, Sensetive, Motive: The Principall, into Imaginative, (seated in the upper part of the braine) Reasonable, (the middle part of the braine,) Memorative, (Cerebellum) or after-braine. The Sensetive, into Seeing, (the eyes) Hearing, (the eares) Smelling, (the nose) Tasting, (the tongue, pallat) Touching, (the body). The Motive, into Progressive, (legs) Apprehensive, (hands.)
The Vitall, into Dilative, or parts for respiration, (weason, lungs) Concoctive, or parts for vitall motion, (heart and arteries, understood by the Pulsificke Facultie.
The Naturall, into Nutrative, Active, Generative: which three are performed by the help of the Attractive, (the gullet) Retentive, (lower passage or the stomack) Concoctive, (body of the ventricle) Assimulative, (three small guts) Expulsive, (three great guts.)
Augustine and Athanasius say, it is a substance created, a spirit intelligent, invisible, immortall, incorporeall like the Angels.
And there be several Opinions of its Body: Lucippus and Hipparchus say, it hath a fierie Body: Critias and Anaxemines, Woolnor and others an aeriall body: Hesiod, an earthly: Epicurius, fierie and airie: Zenophon, watry and earthly: Drone, a middle betwixt the spirit and the body: Didimus and Origen, a third substance.
Divers other conceptions and fancies there be, to uphold this ridiculous invention of the Soule traducted from the Heathens, who by the Book of Nature understood an immortality after Death; but through their ignorance how, or which way; this invention (reported to be Platoes) was occasioned, and begat a generall beliefe: and so they, and after them the Christians have thus strained their wits to such miserable shifts, to define what it is, but neither conclude any certainty, or give satisfaction therein. Yet since it is generally concluded to be in man, and of man; but what, where, or how no man knowes, though such severall opinions be, if but examined: Ile pitch upon those which afford most conceptory definition: that is, that of Aristotle, Nemesius, or Ambrose Parey, which make the Soule to be all the internall and externall Faculties of Man joyntly considered: or Man Anatomized: and thereto Reply thus.
All the Faculties of Man (sensu diviso or conjuncto) are all, and each of them mortall; as well those that are peculiar to man, as those that are common to Beasts: and if all those, with his corpulent matter compleating Man, be proved mortall; then the invention of the Soule upon that ground vanisheth: which I thus prove.
All elementary compositions or Temperatures are mortall, and transitory: But Mans Faculties a minore ad majus are Temperatures: Ergo, Mortall.
The Minor is thus proved.
That which is subject to intention and remission is a Temperature:
But all Mans Faculties, yea those of Reason, Consideration Science, &c. all that distinguish Man from a Beast, are augmented by Learning, Education, &c. lessened by Negligence, Idlenesse, &c. and quite nullified by Madnesse: Ergo.
That those Faculties are Temperatures, I further prove thus:
A Temperature is a Quality; and a Quality may be in the Subject, or absent from it, without the destruction of the same subject.
But Reason, Understanding, &c. may be absent from the Body their Subject, and yet the Body living: as, in mad men, and persons in the Falling-sickness; and none will deny they are men at that same time:
Object. Qualities of the Body are subject to sense: But Understanding, &c. subject to none: Ergo.
Answ. A hot and drie braine is quick-witted, which by moisture and coldnesse is altered: and so we are disposed according to the present constitution of our Bodies.
If this suffice not, I adde: that, an effect is by passion from the cause, as motion cannot be without passion from that which moveth: for take away the cause, and the motion ceaseth: tolle causam tollitur effectus: Therefore quicknesse of wit cannot be without passion from heat and drynesse: for over-power that hot and dry braine with moisture and coldnesse, as may be with Opium, and the hotnesse and drynesse thereof ceaseth, and dulnesse followeth.
Further, even from my Opposites Assertions I prove this Soul they so talk on, to be elementall, as Woolnor and others, who ascribe unto it an Aeriall Body: For whatsoever is Aeriall is elementall, else could it not be Aeriall:
Ergo, this Soule is elementall, and so finite. If this immortall spirit have an Aeriall Body; I wonder what would become of it, if a living man were closed up in a Vessell, which were so sollid every where, that the Aire could not possibly evacuate, and there the man dye; either it must perish with the man, or else remaine there, through which there is no passage for its Aeriall Body: So that he so martyred hath an ill-favoured Paradice for his Soul.
And further, experience tels us, If the former Brain-pan be hurt, the Senses are hindred, but the Cogitation remaineth sound.
If onely the Middle-pan be harmed, the Cogitation is maimed; but the Seat of Sense keeps all the five Senses whole: If any hurt befall both to the Former and Middle-pan, both Sense and Cogitation decay.
If the Hinder-pan be disordered only, the Memorie alone, and neither Sense nor Cogitation receive harme.
So that in veritie, Man is but a creature whose severall parts and members are endowed with proper natures or Faculties, each subservient to other, to make him a living Rationall Creature; whose degrees or excellencies of naturall Faculties make him in his kind more excellent then the Beasts: So that though Parey and others doe so excellently set forth his severall endowments or properties of his severall members, it doth not follow, that those Faculties together are a Being of themselves immortall: For as the members cannot be perfect members without them, so they cannot be faculties without their members; and separation cannot be without destruction of both: As attraction or heat is the property of fire, which cannot be, if fire cease; nor fire be, if it cease: and as well may we say the heat of the fire continueth, after the fire is dead out, as those Faculties when their Body is dead: for spoyle one, spoyle both; kill one, kill both; this is in that, and that is in this: The Forme is so in the Matter, and the Matter so in the Forme; as thereby, and not else, is an Existence, or Humane Entity; And their Being is in this Union, and their Union is in this Being: So that, take away Forme, and Matter ceaseth; take away Matter and Forme ceaseth: destructio unius est interitum alterius. The Forme is the Forme of the Matter, and the Matter the Matter of the Forme; neither of them selves but each by other, and both together make one Being; therefore if one Be by the other, and thereby Both together; then one cannot consist without the other, but must Both perish together: For nothing can consist without that, by which it is.
But suppose on the contrary, one could consist without the other, as they say the Soul can without the Body; then one may be generated without the other, Soul without Body, and so according to their preposterous precepts, it is not unnaturall for a Woman to bring forth a Spirit, that hath neither flesh, blood nor bones, instead of a Child.
Or if one Be without the other, as Forme without Matter: Masse concepted, without the Facultie conceptive: then should all corpulent Substances be as infinite as God, without beginning, and Be of themselves, and themselves Gods: But I hope all grant both impossible: Therefore they must as well end together as begin together; and begin together as end together. Moreover, experience further tels us, that they neither can Be, nor consist without other: For if Nature be deprived more, or lesse in her work of conception of her due, (her Formes or conceptions being by her powers Formative or conceptive, or her Formed Faculties by her Facultive Formes) her Effect is accordingly: If membrally impedited, a membrall impediment; if totally impedited, a totall frustration; of Matter and Forme, in Both: For he that is born without any member, hath neither Forme nor Faculty thereof at all: or with any membrall imperfection, that part hath not its perfection either of Forme or Faculty: so commeth it that some are borne Fooles, and never can be wise: Therefore their originall Being must be together. And that their ultimate end is together, we see, that the Eye is no Eye without the Sight: and Sight no Sight without the Eye: and so of all the other Senses and Faculties e minore ad majus. Wherefore, membral perfection is not so much in shape as in virtue; and virtuall perfection not so much in Masse as in due proportion, and both joyntly make naturall perfection, which is the gift of God, or natures generall instinct: So, as one can by no meanes be without the other, so one cannot subsist without the other: For could there be a Facultive substance (as that of the Soul is made) without its body; then a man might live when his head were cut off; yea, were his whole body quite burnt and consumed away, except his GREAT TOE; he, even his Soul might as well live in his GREAT TOE, as before in his whole Masse; yea, better in that, then without all, as they childishly suppose.
Therefore, they may as well say, the Popes Soul is in his GREAT TOE when men kisse it, as say, the Soul liveth, when the Body dieth.
Further, this Facultive Gift, or Natures endowment can no more be said to be a subsistent living Spirit, without its Receptacle, then the Sun-beames without the Sun, which are the gift or property of the Sun, But the Being of this communication must be in the Subject, as levitie in the Fire, ponderositie in the Earth: And though the natures of things be immediate communications of Gods Power to Nature, yet disjunctively those communications are no Entities, without God be so many severall Beings; for in that sence they are not communications but absolute Beings of themselves; for betwixt Faculty and Subject is a Relation to communication, as betwixt Father and Son to Fatherhood; neither without other, nor it without both: and to say notwithstanding, as this fancy of the Soul importeth, that there may be a Facultive Substance without its Subject; then Natures severall Faculties must not be the severall communications of One Being, but so many absolute irrelative Beings of themselves: So that this Doctrine of the Soul implyeth, no God; if a God, so many severall Gods as Faculties: and if but ONE then it chops that ONE smaller then hearbs to the pot: Therefore Faculty ceaseth with its Subject, or with the Subject God gathereth to himself the power, and yet his power no more by retraction, then lesse before by communication; and so but One Being, in whom all things are, or one Ens Entium.
Moreover, those severall Faculties cannot be united or comprehended in one body, but by the severall members of the same body; for we see, if the member decay, the faculty decayes: Therefore their unite substance must be terminated membrally in the body: And if it were possible they could subsist seperated from their members; then in that seperation their Being could not be conjunct or unite, for want of that which tyed them together, the severall members: And so, if any Being, so many severall Beings as severall Faculties: if any Soul, so many severall Soules: a Phantasticke Soul, a Rationall Soul, a Memorative Soul, a Seeing Soul, a Hearing Soul, a Smelling Soul, a Tasting Soul, a Touching Soul, with divers other Souls of all sorts, and sizes: as, saving your presence, an Evacuating Soul, &c.
And further, that those Faculties are thus in their Subjects, and are not without them, (as accidens non est nisi in subjecto) we see, that they increase and grow with their Subjects, and perfect together: For a Child is totally proportionated (as Adam when Godformed him of the Earth) before the vitall Faculty be actuall, (as Parey saith) and the Rationall requireth a due processe of time after birth, before it be ripe to bring forth the fruit of Rationality, & as its Subject groweth and ripeneth, so it increaseth and Perfecteth: for it is impossible, that the thing which is not actual in it self, should have a second thing actuall in it; and Rationality in an Infant, is no more in it, then a Chickin in the egge, only in posse: therefore a Child cannot possibly ratiocinate, before it be actually Rationall; which cannot be before Organnicall perfection: For Reason cannot Be, and not shew it self; shew it self and not Be; for its Being is its Rationality, and its Rationality its Being: therefore as its Organs are potentiall, it is potentiall; and as its Organs are weake and imperfect, it is weak and imperfect; and as they are perfect, it is perfect: Therefore Faculties increase with their Subjects, and if increase, they must decrease.
Anatomize Man, Take a view of all his Lineaments and Dimensions, of all his members and Faculties, and consider their state severally, and all are transitory, even all that goeth to the Subject Man is corruptible, and himself but a Bundle of corruption, or curious Masse of vicisitudes. If all of Man that goeth to his Manhood be mortall, where then, or what is this immortall thing the Soul they talke of? we have examined all his parts and faculties, and find even all mortall: It is not sure his prima materia though ingenerable, incorruptible, insensible, indefinite, &c. Nor his Forma prima, that principle which first gives Essence to a naturall Body; the first Active principle, informing and figurating the First Matter, sui appetentem; for both are generall to the whole Creation, whose Efficient Cause is onely immediately God himself, by whose power all things that are made shall be returned to that of which they were made, their Materia prima, or created matter: So that, (as Solomon saith,) Man hath no preheminence above a Beast, even one thing befalleth them.
What Reason is there now, that Mans Faculties in a higher Degree, should be an immortall Spirit, more then a Beasts in a lower degree? but both elementary and finite.
Further, if it be not unnaturall that Seeing, Hearing, &c. should be producted by an Elementary operation, as none deny in the propagation of Beasts: why is not the rationall facultie in Man as naturall in Man, and may as well be producted elementarily by Man, as the other by Beasts, and be as actually mortall? If this suffice not, observe; Substantia non recipit majus aut minus, a Giant is no more a man then a Dwarfe: there may be a graduall distinction, and yet no Essentiall difference; Degrees of Faculties in severall persons, and yet the Faculties the same, and of one nature, though not equally excellent: and the Degree doth not make a Facultie more a Facultie, or lesse a Facultie: Therefore, if the said Faculties in an inferiour Degree be elementary, so must they in a superiour: But in Brutes, whom none deny to be wholly mortall, and all their Faculties elementary, have our most noble parts and Faculties scattered amongst them, though in an inferiour degree: As Ambrose Parey saith, (Lib. 2. cap. I.) If we will diligently search into their nature, we shall observe the impressions of many virtues: as, of Magnanimity, Prudence, Fortitude, Clemency, Docility, Love, Carefulnesse, Providence; yea, Knowledge, Understanding, Memory, &c. is common to all Brutes; the Affections and Passions of the Mind, all his Qualities good and bad, and every Facultie he hath is to be found more or lesse amongst them: And Parey further saith, They are of quicke sense, observant of the Rites of Friendship and Chastity, they submit themselves to the Discipline of Man, they have taught Man many things, &c.
The Hare is eminent for Memory, the Dog for Apprehension and Fidelity, the Serpent for Wisdome, the Fox for Subtiltie, the Dove for Chastity and Innocency, the Elephant for Docility, Modesty, and Gratitude. Plinie saith, he commeth near the understanding of a man, that they worship the Moon and Stars: Plutarch, that they worship the Sun rising. The Ape is eminent for Imitation and Understanding, the Turtle for Love, the Crocodile for Deceit, the Lambe for Patience, the Waspe for Anger, &c. and for his Five Senses he is by them exceld.
Thus Man in sensu diviso, is to be found amongst the other Creatures, and in him alone those severall Faculties are eminent sensu conjuncto, and so only capable of God: Therfore those Faculties being elementary in an inferiour Degree, in an inferiour Creature, why may they not be elementary in a superiour Degree in a superiour Creature?
Now from all, this followeth, that if in man be an immortall spirit, then divers other Creatures have the like, though not in the same Degree; for if Degree therein should make or mar the thing it selfe, then some would have no more Soules then Beasts, and some lesse: as Mad-men; and Fooles no more; and Infants lesse. If it be the Rationall Facultie, then all men are borne without Soules, and some die before they had Soules, as Infants; and some after their Soules are gone, as Mad-men that live and perish in their madnesse; and some would be borne, live, and die without Soules, as Fooles; and some would have Soules but by fits and jumps, as Drunkards, persons with the Falling-Sicknesse, &c. nay all of us spend a great part of our dayes without our Soules, for while we are in sound sleep our Rationality ceaseth pro tempore: Thus this Immortall Spirit goes and comes as occasion serves.
Because I have onely met with one or two in this kind, I shall give a glance upon them, and passe to those Objections which are extorted from Scripture, which are various.
Object. Wooln. pag- 324. If the Soul be compounded of the Elements, it will not follow, that it must needs be mortall; because Corruption and Death comes not onely, nor so much from Propagation or Composition, as from divine Malediction: for the wages of sin is death: Without which even Adams Body should have been immortall as well as his Soul.
To which I answer. The Soule (by his owne grounds) was chiefly, the body but instrumentally in the Transgression: And so, if the wages of sin be death, the Soule was under the divine Malediction as well as the Body: so that it (if such a thing be) lost its supernaturality and immortality, as well as the body: Therefore, if by this Rule the Souls Immortality may be pleaded, much more may the Bodies.
I should (according to the import of the Title of this Chapter) have produced more Objections in this kind: but finding Naturall Reason silent therein, I Answer such silent ones with silence. Needs must Reason be silent in the defence of this fancie, since it cannot define what that is, to which this immortality is ascribed: Yet some beyond all Reason to uphold this ignote endlesse entitie, say, that though it cannot be defined what it is, yet it followeth not that it is not: as we cannot define what God is, yet it followeth not that there is no God: And so it mattereth not whether it be the Rationall Facultie, or no; or what it is, so long as it is.
To this I Answer, That this is to make no distinction betwixt Reason and Madnesse; As if we were bound to beleeve that, for which there is no sense nor reason; so might we beleeve there were ten thousand Gods, yea blocks and stones were Gods sufficient to save: But we find in Scripture and in Nature sufficient to convince our Reasons that there is but one God, and he that one whom we worship, though our Reasons are not able fully to comprehend him; so much of him wee know, as our Reasons is able to containe: whereas for this immortall spirit, there is not so much of it declared as may convince Reason what it is, or that it is; and to beleeve that it is, because we cannot know what it is, shall be no Article of my Beliefe.
Thus proved from Scripture and Reason, let us proceed to the Resolution of what from Scripture shall be obtruded.
Object. 1. Therefore we are alwayes confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: we are confident I say, and willing rather, to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord, 2 Cor. 5.6.8.
Whence is inferred a present injoyment of Glory immediately after death.
I Answer, that both the foregoing and subsequent matter deny such an Interpretation, or Consequence: for before, wishing to be clothed with our House from Heaven, on which is this expression of being present with the Lord, he expounds, that his meaning is thereby, that mortality might be swallowed up of life, or as he saith, I Cor. 15.53. -that this corruptible (man) might put on incorruption, and this mortall put on immortality: And the following matter of them words, being laid down as the reason or ground why he so spake, prove, that by his [presence with the Lord,] he meant nothing else, but his state after the Resurrection: for saith he, we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one, &c. ver. 1.
Obj. 2. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better; neverthelesse, to abide in the flesh is much needfull for you, Phil. 1.23.24
I Answer: this is of the same nature, therefore must have the same Interpretation: for Paul did not preach one thing to the Philippians, and the contrary to the Corinthians. Besides, such manner of expressions are not contradictory to this mortality; for though there be long time to the Living till the Resurrection, there is none to the Dead: for from Adams death to his Resurrection at the end of the World, will be to him, as the twinkling of an eye to the Living; yea, the twinkling of an eye to the living, is more time, then a thousand, yea ten thousand yeares is to the dead: For Being onely commensurates with Time, or length of dayes; not to Be cannot possibly be capable thereof: So, that the Livings tedious anniversary expectation of the Resurrection, and end of their faith; is not a twinkling to the grave: the Livings Future is the Deads Present: Therefore, it is well figurated in Scripture by sleep, as slept with his fathers, I King. 11.43-falne asleep in Christ, 1 Cor. 15.18. &c. not that it is so long a time to the dead, but that in nature there is nothing so represents death, or non-being, as sleep: So that this may take away all carnall security; for who would not watch and pray over night, that knowes he must die in the morning? live well and be wary to day, that must rise and answer to morrow; beleeve to day, that would not be damned, but saved to morrow: This administers comfort to the righteous, but terrour to the wicked.
Object. 3. And it came to passe as her soule was in departing, Gen. 35.18. Ergo, there is such a thing as the Soule, which continueth its Being after death.
Answ. No such matter; for the sense of the words is, as she was dying, or life a departing, for the following words say she dyed; which could not be, if her soule (her constitutive part) lived still, no more then a man can be said to lose his hand, when he loses a finger.
Object. 4. And he stretched himselfe upon the Child three times, and cryed unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, pray thee, let this Childs soule come into him againe: And the Lord heard his voice, and the soule of the Child came into him again, and he revived. 1 King. 17.21.22. And Job 14.22. it is said, his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soule within him shall mourne.
Ergo, there is such a thing as the soule.
Ans. If it be meant life or breath, whose Being is consistent and terminated in a corpulent union: For, by that of the Child, is meant his breath or life, the thing that his corpulent matter wanted; as ver. 17. implyeth, which saith, his sicknesse was so sore, that there was no breath left in him: Therefore, that which was gone, was prayed for, his breath or life, as his Answer further proveth, which was, and it revived.
And by Soul in that of Job is meant, his conscience; whose seat is in the reasonable and memorative Faculties. Therefore, the use of the word Soule in those places, doe not prove such a thing in man as is supposed: For in Scripture it is variously used upon various occasions. It is put for the stomack Prov. 27.7. for the eyes, Jer. 13.17. for the heart, 1 Sam. 18. for God, Prov. 19.16. Heb. 10.38. Jer. 14.19. for the dead body, Psal. 16.10. for the whole man, Levit. 7.19. & 5.1. Acts 7.14. Num. 15.30. Rom. 13.1. Gen. 12.5. & 46. Act. 2.41. 1 Pet. 3.20. for breath, Act. 20.10. for life, Isa. 53.12.
Therefore, from those places those parts may as well be proved so many Soules, or Spirits of immortality, as from those where it is put for Breath or Life, its Being be proved, or such an immortall existence to be in the body.
Object. 5. For which cause we faint not; for though our outward man perish, yet the inward is renewed day by day.
Ergo, there is soule and body in man.
Answ. It is not said, Though our flesh perish, yet our soules is renewed; then ’twere something to little purpose, but it is said, our outward man, which compared with what is meant by inward man, must needs be whole man; for by inward man is meant faith or work of grace, (Rom. 1.17. & 14.8. & 8.1. 2 Cor. 5.1 7.) which is no part of naturall man: so that without it or its renewing we are men perfect, as well as with it.
Object. 6. Who knoweth the spirit of man, that goeth upward; and the spirit of a beast that goeth downward to the earth? Wherefore man hath a soule that goeth presently to Heaven, but the beasts to the earth.
Answ. It cannot beare that sense; for immediately before he saith, their breath is all one, there is no difference, as the one dyeth so dyeth the other, and goeth to one place, the dust: Therefore, if the beasts be reversed into the elements, so must mans. The meaning I take to be thus, that such a wonderfull thing is the breath of a man, that breatheth upward, and the breath of a beast that breatheth downward, (for Spirit signifieth breath) according to that of Ovid:
that its Faculty how it is, is past finding out: for Art in all her imitations could never touch that secret with her pensill.
Object. 7. Feare not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soule, but rather feare him, who is able to destroy both soule and body in hell.
Answ. This carryes the face indeed of the soules immortality: but if the interpretation must be confined to that sence, it overthrowes the current of the whole Scriptures: Wherefore, my opinion of it is, that by [not able to kill the soul] is meant, (as Luke hath it, C. 12 4) have no more that they can do: that is, though they have power over this life, which is sowen in corruption, they have none over that which is raysed in incorruption, But rather feare him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell; that, (as Luke hath it,) after he hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell. This doth not set forth any immortality before the Resurrection, but shewes, that onely that is in Gods hand, and he onely able to touch it, that is, cast it into Hell. That this must be so expounded, I further prove from the non-entity of Hell; for there can be no casting into Hell, before Hell be, which though it be ordained of old, Isa. 30.33. it is but in posse, not in esse till the Resurrection: For satisfaction, it is convenient to declare what we mean by Hell: for Hell is diversly used in Scripture: It is put for the grave, Psal. 16.10. & 55.15. Isa. 14.15 - for the Whale in which Jonah was, Jon. 2.2. for Sathans Kingdom leading to Hell, Mat. 16.18. for Satan, or his malignant spirits, Jam. 3.6. for the place of the damned, Mat. 5.29. & 10.28. Luke 12.5. & 16.23. 2 Pet. 2.4. and this last, [the place of the damned] is that which we meane by Hell: and it is likewise variously called: as, outer darknesse, Mat. 22.13. & 23.33. wrath to come, 1 Thes. 1.10. & 5.9. Chaines of darknesse, 2 Pet. 2.4. Jude 6. eternall fire, Jude 7. second death, Rev. 20.6. bottomlesse pit, Rev. 9.2. the place of torment, Rev. 14.10. & 20.10. Lake of fire, Rev. 19.20. & 21.8. everlasting punishment, Mat. 25.41.46. blacknesse and darknessefor ever, Jude 13. Those severall expressions are generally taken to set forth the end of the Reprobate, or the execution of Gods wrath upon them: Therefore, if none of the formentioned places that Hell is put for, save that of the place of the damned, be taken for Hell, then most of those severall expressions suite with it: but the expressions in generall grant no immediate execution after this death, but imply the contrary, as we may see, if we examine them.
First, in Mat. 22.13. where it is called outer darknesse, and 23.v.33. damnation of Hell, cornpared with cap. 25.41. where, it is said, Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, depart from me yee cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the Divel and his Angels: to this adde 2 Cor. 5.10. For we must all appeare before the judgment Seate of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in the flesh, whether good or evil: and to these adde 1 Thes. 1.10. & 5.9. where it is called, wrath to come: which thus compared shew plainely, it is to come; else execution must go before judgment, which in a Common-wealth would be ridiculous injustice, as first to hang men, and then judge them. At the day of judgment we all must receive our reward according to our deeds good or bad, THEN shall he say unto them on his left hand &c. and not before THEN: for it cannot be twice received: therefore, it is fitly called wrath to come; and the very divels confirme this themselves, Mat. 8.29. art thou come to torment us before the time? which proveth plainly, that the time of their torment was not come: and if the Divel cannot be believed, God further cleares it, 2 Pet. 2.4. For if he spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and delivered them into Chaines of darkenesse, to be reserved unto judgment. And Jude 6. The Angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting Chaines, unto the Judgment of the great day: in both which places it is said, they are reserved unto judgment: and Iude ver. 7. to the Reprobate is reserved the blacknesse of darkenesse for ever: and to this adde Rev. 220.127.116.11.13.14.15. which clearly shew, that at the day of Judgement both Divels and Reprobate together shall be cast into the Lake of fire: Therefore, if reserved for both till then, Ile be bold to say, it shall not be till, nor before then.
Moreover, Rev. 19.20. it is said, the beast and the false Prophet and them that worshipped his image were cast alive into the lake of fire and brimstone: and C.20.10. And the Devil that deceived them, was cast into the Lake: and this v.6 & 14. is called the second death: therefore, this casting into the Lake must be after the Fall of Antichrist, and after he hath done deceiving; and not before; for if he be there now, he hath done deceiving; for once there, it is impossible he should deceive: but that he hath not, there is more witnesses, then stars in the Skie, or sands in the Sea; our innumerable sinnes, whole just reward is the second death.
If it be Questioned, where then the Divels are?
Observe, they are but Creatures, and such as are fallen from their Heavenly mansions; therefore, within the Sublunary compasse, so that as the Earth is the proper place for ponderous and grosse bodies: and the Devils being more subtile and aiereal may be referred to the air; and not without ground from Scripture: for Ephef.2.2. the Devil is called the Prince of the power of the aire: so that their casting into Hell, must be the aire: and Hell may as well be put for the aire in those places, as in other for the grave, &c. their prison, or place of custody, as the grave to the dead. And Rev. 12.9. tis said, he was cast into the earth, and his Angels &c.
This premised, Hell and Damnation not yet; well might ignorance straine it self into such incertaine conceits about the place of it’s Being, and it not as yet: Some have feigned it in Mount Etna, some in the Element of Fire, which is betwixt the upper region of the Aire and the Globe of the Moon; some to be in the Caves of the Earth, and Conduits of the Sea; some only in the Sea, as Archer in his Personall raigne of Christ mentions, because the Divels were cast into the Swine, which ran violently down a steep place into the Sea, Mar. 5.13. surely, they might as wel say, they have Milstones about their necks, because it is also said, better a milstone were tyed about his neck, and he cast into the bottome of the Sea: for the one followeth no more then the other: Some say, it is in the earth equally so far distant from the surface, as Heaven is above it: as Phillips, &c. and this he labours to confirme with Scripture: as, Pro. 15.24. The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from Hell beneath. and Phil. 2.10. That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth: i.e. in Hell saith he. And Luke 16. The rich man saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosome: And Ezck. 31.18. Yet shalt thou be brought down with the Trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the Earth.
But those and such like places which literally seem to import Hell, conclude the thing no more, then other literall expressions prove God to have corpulent eyes, cares, hands, &c. but are expressions after the manner of men, to shew the gradation of condition betwixt the wicked and the righteous, the one the extreamest debasement, the other the extreamest exaltation, which could not be better figurated to sence, then by Heaven and Earth.
And in particular thus: The first, as Pro. 15.24. is litterall or figurative, which interpretation can neither be canonicall nor rationall; for thereby wise men must not tread upon the ground, but must walk upon the Aire, or upon the water, as Christ and Peter upon the Sea, (Mat. 14.25.29.) and there only the way of life: for it saith, their way is above. For the second; as, Phil. 2.10. that is both propheticall and figurative, to shew how in processe of time all Degrees shall subject to Christ: Angels, Men, Beasts, Devils, and Death, whose Degrees is thus literally expressed to sence by Heaven, Earth, under the Earth; or Angels that are highest in dignity, and so cœlestiall; Men and sublunars the midle, and so terrestriall; Divels and Death the lowest, and so subterrestriall.
The third, as Luke 16. is parabolicall: (of which more anon) and it seemes by this, if Hell be so deep in the Earth, the Damned have wonderfull good eyes, to see through the earths grosse body, and the Heavens 12. Spheares into the Coplum Empyreum, to spy Lazarus in Abrahams bosome; or else Heaven must be there too, even in the centure of the Earth: this is the consequence of such parabollicall Arguments. And the 4th. or last, as Ezek. 31.18. is a kin to those: for it is but to shew, how that Pharaoh in the height of his pride and fury was brought to confusion, which in the 15.v. is expressed by, In the day when he went down into the grave, and v. 14. unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, to the pit; and v. 17. into Hell: all which shew but the sudden death and utter confusion of Pharaoh and his Army: and at the utmost, Hell here can be put for death, or the grave, and not for any such place of torment.
There is yet an other Opinion of the place of Hell, which is the best that ever I heard or read of, and that is (according to Archers judgment) the Earth reduced to its prima materia or created matter, which he saith cannot be consumed, and there shall the Damned be cast: But least I should dive further in the inquisition of the place then my Commission will reach, Ile leave it to the wofull experience of the damned at the day of judgment.
Object. 8. such a one caught up into the third Heavens: how that he was caught up into Paradice, 2 Cor. 12.2.4. there Paradice is put for the third Heavens: And to this compare Christs Answer to the theife upon the Crosse: This day, thou shalt be with me in Paradice: Therefore, Paradice is the third Heavens, the place for the souls of the righteous, whither the Theifes soul went that day.
Answ. First, Christ was not there that day himself; for his humanity was three dayes and three nights in the grave after his death.
2ly, His whole humanity (soul and body as ’tis called) suffered death, as it was necessary, for if his body only suffered, what should our souls have done for a Redeemer? (of this more hereafter) so that the saying of the prophet is fulfilled: Psal. 16.10. For thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell, (i.e. his manhood in the grave) nor suffer thine holy One to see corruption: i.e. or there to putrifie.
3ly, if so; then the souls of the righteous have an earthly fading habitation, for the 12. Spheares are as the earth is a meer elementall condensation; and at the Day of the Lord the Heavens shall passe away with a great noyse, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat: 2 Pet. 3.10. But their habitation is of a better and enduring substance, Heb. 10.34. eternall, 2 Cor. 5.1. an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, 1 Pet. 1.4. whereas, this makes it mortall, corruptible, and fading: so that, the soul changeth but one corruptible earthly mansion for an other, that shall fleet away, and no more place shall be found for it, Rev. 20.10. and 21.1.
4ly, Christ was the first fruits of them that slept, and thereby (as he tould his Disciples) he went to prepare a place for them in his Fathers house.
Therefore, if it were then to prepare, it was not then in esse, there could be none in, before it self was in Being: so that if Abraham, Isaac, &c. as soon as they died, entred presently therein, it is as if we should be actually in a House before the House be built, or enjoy the Purchase before the Price be paid, or Possession had.
I may (and not without ground) positively affirme, that the place of Glory for the dead Saints is not yet: and shall not actually Be till the dissolution of those Heavens and this earth, according to that of Isaiah 65.17. For behold I create New Heavens and a New Earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Chap. 66. the New Heavens and the New earth shall remaine before me saith the Lord. And 2 Pet. 3.13. tis said, we look for New Heavens and a New Earth, (after the dissolution of the old ver. 12.) wherein dwelleth righteousnesse. And John after he had revealed the end and finall dissolution of the world, and the judgment of the quick and dead; saith, And I saw a New Heaven, and a New Earth; for the first Heaven and the first Earth were passed away, and there was no more Sea. And ver 2.3.&c. And I saw the holy City, &c. Whence is observable, that Isaiah, Peter, and John with one consent in probation that they did not meane any state in this world, expresly conclude the dissolution of those Heavens & this earth, before their prophesie be fulfilled. 2ly, that they are not the same with those, they stile them New, to distinguish them from the old. 3ly, that they intend no renovation of the old, Isaiah maketh them a work of Creation: [I create New Heavens &c.] 4ly, to confirme it further, Isaiah declareth their eternity, [the New Heavens and the New Earth shall continue before me saith the Lord] 5ly, Peter maketh them pure and undefiled: [wherein dwelleth righteousnesse] And into this New Earth John saw the holy City, New Jerusalem comming down from God out of Heaven, (ver. 2.) and heard a voyce out of Heaven, saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. ver. 3. and ver. 27. there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth: whence it is most certaine, that it shall never be defiled with sin, for the glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof, ver. 23. and they shall raigne for ever and ever. cap. 22.5. 6ly, there shall be no teares, no death, nor sorrow, nor any more paine: for the former things are passed away. cap. 21.4. none of all which is computable with the state of this world: but if compared with those places which speake of the state of glory or habitation for the Saints that sleep in Christ, after this life: as, 1 Pet. 1.4. where it is made an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. and Heb. 10.34. it is called an enduring substance: and cap. 11.14. it is called a Countrey, and ver. 15. an heavenly Countrey: which so answer and correspond with this New Creation, that thereto only it is computable: therefore, they must needs be one and the same; and that they are, the prophesies themselves do witnesse, as, Rev. 21.24. the Nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of it: and cap. 22.5. there they shall raigne for ever and for ever: and Peter makes it the end of their faith, saying, we according to his promise look for new Heavens &c. and further to confirme it, compare Rev. 18.104.22.168.17. with cap. 22.214.171.124.4. and you shall find, that it shall be the reward of those that come out of tribulation &c. Therefore, this is the inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled &c. the purchased possession, Ephe. 1.14. the World to come, ver. 21. the reward and end of our faith. This being thus, it is impossible, that any should injoy that for the present, which is yet to create: So that the Thiefe is found a World too short of this Paradice.
Object. Peter saith, it is reserved in Heaven.
To that and such like expressions I Answer, that the word Heaven being fittest to expresse the highnesse of its degree, and exaltation of its glory to sence, is used for no other end: so that the meaning is, reserved in highest dignity: for Heaven in Scripture is oftentimes used, to expresse the height and dignity of a thing, as, Isa. 14.12.
Object. Isaiah, there shall be no more thence an Infant of dayes, nor an old man that hath filled his dayes: for the Child shall dye an hundred yeares old, &c.
Answ. That, if this be expounded by Johns Revelation, it cannot admit of an interpretation sutable to the state of this world: for he saith, there shall be no death there, cap. 21.4. and before he sheweth, that Death (the last enemy that shall be destroyed) was cast into the Lake: Therefore, it is impossible there should be any death there. So that those expressions of Isaiah are metaphoricall, to expresse the durance of their state, which John revealeth, to be for ever and ever, cap. 22.5. Some indeed attribute this of Isaiah to the Thousand years of Christs Raigne in the Gospels glory, which commeth betwixt the Fall of the Beast and the wars of Gog and Magog; to which though it should relate, yet that double cord of Peter and John is sufficient to confirm the thing, both without contradiction plainly and expresly affirming this New Creation to be after the destruction of the old.
Object. For Christ is not entred into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven it selfe now to appeare in the presence of God for us, Heb. 9.24.
Answ. If the subject or matter in hand of that place be observed, the obscurity or seeming contradiction hereto will vanish: the subject thereof is, the state of the two Covenants or Testaments; the Old and the New: the first worldly and carnall, the other heavenly and spiritual; the first the shadow, the second the substance; the first had a worldly Sanctuary, a Tabernacle made, with carnall Ordinances, patterns of heavenly things to come; which in this very place is called holy places made with hands, which were figures of the true, into which Christ entred not, but into heaven it selfe; that is, the Holyest of all, which was not made manifest while the first Tabernacle was standing, Ver. 8.12. which in this place is expressed by the title of heaven it selfe, not intending the place of glory for the dead Saints, or his locall ascension into any superiour materiall place, but respecting his Mediation or Offering of himselfe, whereby now (and for ever) to appeare in the presence of God for us: as ver. 25. & 26. further evidence.
Firstly, by the third heavens and Paradise in 2 Cor. 12.2.4. is meant nothing else but such a rapture as Daniel, Paul, John, &c. were in, when the Lord appeared to them in Visions, to declare wonderfull things unto them; for he that was thus caught up, heard unspeakable words, which was not lawfull for man to utter, ver. 4. And for Paradise in the other place, [To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise] If it be taken of any condition to be in that present day, it must be the same he was in himselfe; for he was to be with him, and that was at rest, where the wicked cease from troubling, Job 3. 17. where the prisoners rest together, and hear not the voice of the oppressour, ver. 18. If not to respect the present day, or any condition therein, (as is most probable) then it must be meant, (as the Malefactour desired) when he was in his Kingdome, which could not be before his Resurrection: therefore, the Malefactour could enjoy no such soulary beatitude, as from hence is supposed, and that before he had received this Kingdome himselfe; but must receive the Paradise as Christ did, by a totall Resurrection: wherefore it may well be he was one of the Saints that rose again soone after Christs Resurrection, Mat. 27.53.
Object. 9. By faith Enoch was translated, &c. Heb. 11.5. And Elijah went up by a whirl-wind into heaven, 2 King. 2.11.12.
Answ. This no way helpeth the fancie of the soule to a Paradise, but rather wholly confounds the conceit; for Elijah left his mantle, not his body behind, when he ascended the fierie charriot, and Enoch was wholly taken up by God, both translated or changed, and therefore, said, not to see death, because they did not sleep in their change: for in Scripture we reade of a threefold gradation in death; the one sleeping in corruption, which is generall, another sleeping but not seeing corruption, as Christs, the last a sudden change, as Paul saith, Behold, I shew you a mysterie, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, &c. and such as this, was that of Enoch and Elijah; and this may beare the title of death too, for as the other is a mediate, this is an immediate change, both end, and meet in one period, mortality swallowed up of life. And whereas before I affirme, that none ever except Christ ascended into heaven since the Creation, I mean of those that slept, of whom he was the first fruits, 1. Cor. 15.20.
Now that I may not seem to any, to contradict what before I affirmed concerning the New Heavens and the New Earth, as if I should make this place into which they ascended, to be the place intended for the Saints generally at the Resurrection, and so overthrow my former assertions, I shall shew the difference, which if considered, will remove the obscurity: For before, the place intended for the Saints, was cleerly proved incoruptible, and everlasting, whereas the place into which they ascended, is corruptible, and shall passe away, and its place no more be found; for the Scripture is plaine, they ascended into Heaven, and as plaine the Heavens shall be consumed with fire: But may be, it is supposed, that Christ and the rest passed the limits of the Creation, or that the Heavens, except that where he is, shall be dissolved.
To which I Answer, that the Scripture makes no such distinction or difference, but saitb, the Heavens shall melt away; or import any thing by Heaven’ in those places which speak even of Christs Ascension, then the same, or part of the same meant by Heavens in other places which speak of the dissolution.
Further, Reason tels us, that he must be within the compasse of the Creation, for there is no beyond, without it place or being is impossible; Humanity though glorifyed is but a Creature, and why not then within the Creation as well as the Angels, creatures as glorious as glorified humanity? (Luke 20.36.) if a Creature, therefore within the Creation, else could it not be a Creature, his glorification alters not his Creatureship; and the Scripture saith, Heaven must contain him till the restitution of all things, Act. 3.21. and every Continent implyeth a certaine place, and every place must be materiall, for non datur vacuum, and every matter must imply creation, else it could not be: therefore he is within the Creation. Moreover, his Humanity not being ubiquitorie, that is, every where at once, he must be in the creation, and in some certaine place of the creation.
Now seeing Heaven in Scripture is frequently used, to expresse height or excellencie of degree or dignity of a thing, (as Isa. 14.12. Heb. 6.4. Mat. 6.32. John 3.12. Ephes. 2.& 3.10.) and he ascended upward from the Earth into some part of the coelestiall bodies above, Act. 1.10. therefore, without doubt he must be in the most excellent, glorious, and heavenly part thereof, which is the SUN, the most excellent piece of the whole Creation, the Epitome of Gods power, conveyour of life, growth, strength, and being to every Creature under Heaven, it may be with other things, but nothing without it, the brightnesse whereof we are not able to behold at the farthest distance, and according to the famous Copernichus and Tycho Braheus, it is highest in station to the whole Creation: And it is called by the Learned, Cor Coeli, Anima & Oculus mundi, Planetarum & Fixarum Choragus, Author generationis: Fitly therefore may it be called the Right hand of God, by which through Christ in him we live, move, and have our being; for it is that which reflecteth the brightnesse, glory and power of the Creatour upon the Creatures mortall; his glory must of necessity be the light, else light could not be, therefore it must be by reflection, else would it be too glorious for mortall eyes, we could not see it and live: hee hath drawne a veile (the body of the Sun) before our eyes, that we may stand in his shadow and live; for this light is but his shadow, which the Sun as a glasse casteth upon the Creatures, it fills the Moon, Stars, and all Sublunars with as much of his glory as they are able to contain; Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of his wings: for with him is the fountaine of life, and in his light we shall see light, Psal. 36.7.9. yea, such glory is he of, that his shadow is our light, we can see him but in part, a glimpse of his glory filleth our eyes, yea the whole world with light, he is light, and in him is no darknesse: therefore light must come from him, or else all would be darke, nay were he not, there never could be Hell, or outer darknesse; for its being commeth by withdrawing both of shadow and substance of his glory, a great gulfe shall be betwixt it and the place of the Saints, that is, there shall be such a condense interposition, as nothing shall be to reflect the brightnesse of his glory upon it, so that it is impossible for them to find the light, and for the Saints to fall into the dark. If Gods glory be not light, but true light a created matter, then at the dissolution true light shall be dissolved for ever, and no more place found for it: so in the New Jerusalem there shall be no light, but the Saints as well as the Divels shall be in continuall darknesse: for there shall be no new light created for it, implyed in these words, it shall have no need of the Sun nor Moon, but the glory of God shall inlighten it, (and that which inlightneth must needs be light) and the Lamb is the light thereof; and he shall be the same he is now, yesterday and to day the samefor ever, Heb. 13.8. Therefore this inlightning glory, or glorious light that he dwelleth in now, shall be the light then, discovered naked without reflection, they being enabled to receive it, their corruption having put on incorruption. If God be not true light, the Creation could not be consumed with fire; for if fire be matter created, fire must be burnt with fire, but that is impossible: therefore, Gods glory or light must be this consuming fire, and not without reason, for hold a Burning-glasse against the light of the Sun, and the contracted light meeting with a grosse body, causeth it to burne: the reason why any thing burneth, is by the combustable grossenes of the body the which contracted light meeteth with, whereon it feeds, the corruption whereof consumeth or vanisheth before the purity of the light; for that which we call by the word, fire, is nothing but contracted light, whose nature is not to burne, but the heat and burning commeth from the grossenes of the matter it meets, therefore is it, that a Sea-cole fire is hotter then one of wood, the coale hotter then the flame: So when the true light is displayed, or light appeareth naked, that is, when Christ appeareth naked, that is, when Christ commeth to Judgment, clothed with honour and majesty, covered with light as with a garment, Psal. 104.1.2 (inlightned with the glory of the Deity,) it will be to the Creation a consuming fire; else might we behold him and live: but our corruption is not able to stand in his light; for no sooner shall we behold it, but we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye: and then shall we be enabled, as Job hath it, in his light to see light; Therefore was it, that the Lord put Moses in the clift of a rocke while his glory passed by; because his face (or naked glory) was not to be seen, but his back parts (or glory through a vaile) no man being able to see it naked and live, Exod. 126.96.36.199.23. If God were not light, there could be neither Sun, Moon, nor Stars to give light, or any light be in the world; yea the world could never have been, or could there be any God, or any thing: for if God be not light, he must be darknesse: now darknesse is no being, or can give being to any thing, it’s but a depravation of light; is not cannot be, or give being: Therefore, to say God is not light, is to say, he is not, or any Creation ever was or is: so that light is from everlasting to everlasting: As this formed light, or inlightning shaddow is now the Authour of motion, generation, and subsistance; so in the beginning the substance or true light was the beginner, and by it all beings had their beginnings: Wherefore, God being true light, it followeth, true light is no creature, or could be created, except God did create himself. And further, that he is light, the miraculous discovery of himself in visions by light doth evidence: as, his appearance to Moses in a flame of fire, Exod. 3.2. and Ezek. 10.4. his filling the Court with the brightnesse of his glory, his appearance to Peter in a light, which shined in the prison, Act. 12.7. and to Paul in a great light, which shone round about him. Further, day after day, and night after night, declare that he is light, for what is outer darknesse but deprivation of his presence? so the absence of the Sunlight manifests it a deprivation in some measure of his presence, the shaddow of his glory, or reflected light; because then is the fittest time for conjuration or dealing with Divels, raising of Spirits, or the like, according to Cornelius Agrippa; their power being greatest at the farthest distance of his glory, Diabolicall apparitions, or Walkes of Devils in divers places, are then only frequent, and the greater this deprivation is, the more formidable, uncough, and terrible it is, as a dayly shaddow, or type of eternall night, or outer darkness. And when Christ both God and Man was in the depth of his passion, the Sun was darkened, that he cried out, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? as if his presence in that Eclipse had quite left him: which plainly implyes, that God is light, and darknesse the absence of his glory, the which the more it is, the greater is the darknesse.
Object. God said, let there be light, and there was light: Ergo, light was created.
Answ. If that place be compared to what is ascribed to the fourth dayes work, and it will be found no other, as the body of the Sun, which was to cast the shadow of his brightnesse for light upon the earth, and so time distinguished into day and night by its presence and absence: in which sence light may be said to be made, and so shall have an end, this shadow or his back parts we behold, but not the substance, his face, or true light, which by mortality cannot be seen, Exod. 33.20. that is impossible. Now seeing it is cleare, that God is the true light which lightneth the world, and every one that commeth therein, and this glory chiefly in the Sun, the Moderatour and upholder of the whole Creation. Therefore, there must Christ be, or else he sitteth not at the right hand of God in all things, or hath immortality dwelling in light, the which no man can approach. As for the Coelum Empyreum which the Astronomers have invented for his residence, I know no better ground they have for it, then such as Dromodotus the Philosopher in Pedantius had to prove there was Divels: Sunt Antipodes: Ergo Dœmones. Sunt Cœli: Ergo Cœlum Empyreum.
Object. 10. Then shall the dust returne to the earth, as it was, and the spirit shall returne to God who gave it. Eccles. 12.7.
Answ. By spirit cannot be meant such a thing as the soul, except all soules go to God, and none to the Devil: for it is indifferently spoken of all: but by spirit is meant life, which hath various expressions in Scripture: it is the will of God, that dust shal be made man, and live, and it is done, and he liveth; and his will that it shall dye, and it dyeth, or returneth to what it was: he withdraweth his communicated power, and man ceaseth, [the spirit shall returne] the communication, power, or faculty of life shall cease, [to God that gave it] in him that communicated, or gave it, in whom we live, move and have our being: no otherwise mans spirit (or life) returneth to God that gave it: he taketh away the breath and the creatures dye, and returne to their dust, Psal. 104.29. for the life of man is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. Jam. 4.14.
Object. 11. And they stoned Steven, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit. Act. 7.59.
Answ. This is a commendation of his life or being into the hands of God, in whom with Christ our lives are hid, Col. 3.3. as a full assurance of his hope and faith in the Resurrection, that when Christ who is our life, should appeare, he also might appeare with him in glory: For God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him, Luke.20.38. And thus, and no otherwise, was his spirit commended, or returned to him that gave it, whose spirit goeth forth, and we are renewed, Psal. 104.30. answerable to that of the two Witnesses, into whom the spirit of life from God, after they had lien dead three dayes and an halfe, entered into them, and they stood upon their feet.
Object. 12. God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Gen. 2.7. Ergo man hath an immortal soul.
Answ. Then so is the soul of a Beast; for Solomon saith, their breath is all one, Eccl. 3.19. and David reckoning up the creatures, and man amongst them, saith indifferently of them all, God hideth his face, and they are troubled, he taketh away their breath, they dye, and returne to their dust, Psal. 104.29. and this is further amplified in Gen. 1.30. to every thing in the Earth wherein there is a living soul &c. and cap. 7.21.22. all flesh dyed, in whose nostrils was the breath of life: and Num. 31.28. all which make no difference betwixt them, but as the one dyeth, so dyeth the other, and man hath no preheminence above a beast: For what man is he that liveth, and shall not see death, or deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah. Psal. 89.48.
Object. 13. And it came to passe the Beggar dyed, and was carried by Angels into Abrahams bosome &c. Luke 16. from the 22. to the end.
Answ. There was never such a man as Dives or Lazarus, or ever such a thing happened, no more then Jothams Trees did walke and talke. Jud. 9.8. but was a Parable, to prove, that nothing is more effectuall for conversion then the ordinary preaching of the Word by the ministration of the servants of God: Further, the consequence concerning the soul is but drawn from the literall sence, in which sence I shall deny it canonicall Scripture; for it makes in that sence more for bodies then the souls present being in Heaven or Hell, ver. 23.24. and maketh Abraham the Father of the Damned, ver. 188.8.131.52. and ver. 22. Dives dyed and was buried; and yet v. 23. he lift up his eyes being in torment, and seeth Abraham &c. and v. 25. he cryed for Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger to coole his tongue; which in the literall sence thus applycated, must needs be contradictory, unlesse his eyes, tongue, and Lazarus finger was not buried, or their souls had corporeall corpulent members, which to conceit is ridiculous: Therefore, from this place the Resurrection of the body before the day of judgment (even as soon as a man is buried) may better be proved, then such a present soularie enterance into Heaven or Hell.
Object. 14. By which also he went, and preached to them in prison.
Answ. [By which] that is, by that whereby he was quickened, or raised from the dead; his divine nature, the God-head; as the foregoing words (whereon the sence of those depend) doth evidence, ver. 18. Christ once suffered &c. death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit, (ver. 19.) by which also he went &c. So that he went and preached by that, whereby he was quickened or raised: Therefore, the preaching, here meant, was not by that which was raised: but by that which did raise; which was ministerially, as the following words further evidence, shewing to whom he preached, even those which were disobedient in the dayes of Noah, on whom the long suffering of God waited while the Arke was a preparing: those were the spirits here meant, the wicked of those dayes, which are now in prison, that is, dead or imprisoned in the Elements. Here the grave or death is called a prison, as indeed it is, for therein all that dye are reserved in the chaines of death (the Elements) not to be delivered till Judgement Rev.20.13. according to Job. 3.18. there the prisoners rest together.
Object. 15. Therefore gloryfie God in your body, and in your spirit. 1 Cor. 6.20.
Answ. Before, he calleth the body the Temple of the holy Ghost, ver. 19. and ver. 15. the members of Christ; which needs must be the whole man, and not his bare carcase, for in death who can praise the Lord? in it can be no habitation for the holy Ghost, and therein were they to glorifie God: to make Christ the head of such members, were to make God, the God of the dead and not of the living: therefore, by body and spirit, is meant whole man, aiming at a thorough and perfect sanctification, as well in that which respecteth thought, [the spirit] as in that which respecteth action, [the body:] inwardly to glorifie God, as well as outwardly to flee fornication, &c.
Object. 16. I saw under the Altar the soules of them that were slaine for the word of God, &c. and they cried with a loud voyce, &c. Revel. 6.10.11.
Answ. They were such souls as lay under the Altar slaine, or sacrificed, or as ver. 11. hath it, were killed; these therefore being dead soules, or martyred Saints, their cry must be as the cry of the blood of Abel: And the like vision of dead Saints confirmes it, as Cap. 20. v. 4.5. And I saw the soules of them that were beheaded for the witnesse of Jesus, and they lived, and raigned with Christ a thousand yeares: but the rest of the dead lived not again till &c. whence it is plaine, that he beheld the Resurrection, or restoration of life unto dead soules, even of them that were beheaded, but the rest lay dead, or lived not again till &c.
Thus much of illegitimate Objections from Scripture: Now to the probation hereof from Procreation or Generation, and as near as I can to resolve all occurrent Objections thereon, that shall confront.
It is supposed (as I conceive) by none, that what naturally proceedeth from Man simply by the course of nature, can be immortall, but must first tast of mortality: And therefore there are two sorts of Opinions to maintaine this Heathenish Invention about the soul, whereon its immortality is grounded, which I shall chiefly encounter: the one, that it is created, and infused at the conception, and so only Gods work. The other, that it is concepted by the woman through the concurrence of the seed of both sexes, but not simply by the course of nature, but by the supernaturall and extraordinary assistance or efficacy of God in conception more then in other creatures: and so partly mans, and partly Gods work. But that I may utterly demolish the structure of this Invention, I shall turne up the foundation of each kind in its place: But first I shall speak a word or two in generall of Procreation it self.
That whole man is generated by man, observe: That as the whole Tree is potentially in the seed, and actually in time springeth from it: or as many graines of wheat are in one graine virtually, and perfectly actuall in time: so in the seed of mankind, is whole man potentially, and wholly actuall in time; or all Adams succession, which in time are propagated, were wholly in him, life and limbs, or as it is more common, soule and body. So that whatsoever in time is actuall by procreation, it was at first potentially wholly in its originall.
Further, Generatum sequitur naturam generantis (He begat a sonne in his own image, Gen. 5.3.) is not onely philosophically, but Theologically true, Mat. 7.16. Job. 4.14. Therefore, mortall Adam must beget mortall children in his owne likenesse, soule and body, except the soule was no part of his likenesse: For that which is immortall cannot generatively proceed from that which is mortall, as Christ saith, that which is borne of the flesh is (as it selfe is, corruptible, mutable) flesh, John 3.6. so then by this mortall flesh, cannot be generated an immortall spirit, or soule that can subsist by it selfe dissolved from the flesh; for if it should, in that act it should goe beyond it selfe, which is impossible; and thereby more should be done by man and woman in generation, then God did or could doe in the Creation; for he neither did, or could create any thing greater, purer, or more excellent of nature then himselfe, and such as could subsist without him: But if this doctrine be true, (as Woolner in his Originall of the soul averreth) fleshly man by a fleshly generation, or mixture of the seed of both Sexes doth beget or conceive something greater, purer, and more excellent then himselfe, an immortall substance, an Angelicall entitie, the Soule, that can subsist without the flesh by which it is; which is as fire without light, earth without heavinesse, grosnesse, &c. should be, by which they are: and further, the Effect to be prior dignitate, precedent to the Cause, as if a man because a creature, should be before his Creator: But if it be Replyed, that the soule is generated by the soule, as the body by the body. I Answer, then there must be He soules and She soules: for without Sexes is no generation.
But now to the first sort, who say it is by infusion, or as the saying is, Creando infunditur, & infundendo creatur.
To which I Answer, that in conception there is corruption or marring, according to the proverb, corruptio unius est generatio alterius: so that if it be by conceiving or creating infused, and by infusion concepted or created, that is as much to say, it is made in the marring, and mard in the making: or, infused in the marring, and mard in the infusion: whence followeth, that it is neither conceived, created, nor infused; neither made, nor mard: but must be, if it be, no man knowes what, or how; whether an Angel, a Beast, or a Monster, any thing, or nothing: Riddle me, riddle me what’s this? a Soule, a Soule! Creando infunditur, & infundendo creatur!
Secondly, if the Soule be a creature infused, then Christ did not take the whole manhood from the seed of the woman, but worse then a bare brutish body, a dead carcase: But Christ was made of the seed of the woman according to the flesh, Rom. 1.3. Act. 2.30. and was as we are, sinne excepted, Heb. 4.15. and this our Image he received wholly from the woman: Therefore receiving his whole humanitie from her, the soule can be no infused creature.
3. That which brake the Serpents head was Christs humanity: But the seed of the woman brake the Serpents head: Ergo.
4. If we consist of soule and body, and are not men without both, and receive not our soules from him, but are daily created: Then Adam is the father of no man. 2. Christ cannot be the Son of man, and so no Saviour, because thereby his manhood, constitutive part, even that which should make him man, could not be by the seed of the woman. 4. So a man is as much a father of fleas and lice, which receive their matter from him, as of his children. 5. Whereas God blessed man, and bid him, as the rest of the creatures in their kind, fill the Earth in his kind with men: then he commanded him to doe more then he had given him power for: And so to content nature, and supply her imbecility to obey, is forced to a daily creation. 6. Then God finished not the Creation in sixe dayes, but rested before hee had done creating.
Fourthly, If the soule be infused, it must be at the conception, or after the conception: if at the conception, then every abortive conception hath an immortall spirit in it, and must rise againe: If after, then there is growth before there is life, which is impossible; for the soule is made the vegetive as well as the motive, sensitive or rationall part: and if this immortall spirit be something else, then we are not conceived perfect men, and as we are conceived, so are we borne, trees, brutes, or I know not what, and afterwards are made men, if we be men at all: and so Infants that dye in the wombe, or in the birth are little better then trees, and worse then beasts.
Fiftly, if the soule be not generated with the body, but a creature infused into a dead body, for they say, the soule is forma formans that giveth life, and motion to the body: Then it is lawfull to be a Nigromancer: for Nigromancie is nothing but putting a spirit into a dead body, and so it is but an imitation of God, and God the onely Nigromancer, and all the men in the world but Nigromantick Apparitions, whose spirits when they have done the work for which they were put into the bodies, desert them, as other conjured Ghosts doe.
Sixtly, It is granted that the body considered meerly sensitive cannot sinne, and that the body is but an instrument, or as the pen in the band of a Writer, to the Soule, whereby it acts and moves: Therefore, if the Soule come immediately from God, or there be an immediate work of his in its production; then of necessity, that immortall thing, and not our mortall flesh, is Author of all sinne, and it onely prone to all sinne, and not the flesh, no more then a conduite though a meet instrument to convey water is the author, or fount of water, or prone to spring: And so Gods immediate hand is the cause of all sin, that man had better been without this soul; for it must needs be some damnable wicked spirit, or some Devil that God puts in him; for such as the fruit is, such must the tree be: but the fruit is damnably wicked: Therefore, the Soul must be some damnable wicked thing: No marvell then if Reprobates must needs sin and be damned, since God infuses such a malignant Soul, that councels them with Jobs wife to curse God and dye, yea such a one as wholy works out their condemnation: This is as if a man should break his horses legs and then knocke out his brains for halting. If it be said the soul comes pure from God, and it is the body that corrupteth it. I Answer, that this to excuse God one way, makes him like the tyrant Mezentius, that bound living men to dead bodyes, till the putrefaction and corruption of the stinking corps had killed them. Besides, the mind may sin without the Action of the body, but not the body without the mind, for a man may covet in his mind, and not act with his body, and yet sin; but if he do with his body, and not consent with his mind, he sinneth not: as for example, a man may accidentally and ignorantly kill a man by a blow, which was never intended or aimed at him, and yet he not guilty of murther: but if he intend it in his mind, though he never do it, he is guilty: Therefore the body may be made sinfull by the soul, but not the soul by the body.
Now to the other kind, who say, that this supernaturall work by nature, is effected by Gods speciall supernaturall assistance, operating or applicated to this naturall aptitude, in whose mutuall concurrence this immortall substance is concepted, and in conception united to the flesh, the whole in the whole, and the whole in every part.
To which I Answer, that there is no more speciall supernaturall efficiency from God in mans procreation then in other creatures, but that speciall gift or naturall instinct to every kind of creature given in the Creation to produce its kind, whether vegetative, sensitive, or rationall, Gen. 1.25. 1 Cor. 15.38. for the gift or blessing is all one and the same, and alike unto all according to their kinds, as appears, Gen. 1.22. God blessed the Fowles and Fish, saying, Be fruitfull and multiply, and fill the waters in the Seas, and let the Fowles multiply in the earth: And verse 28. the selfe same he speaks of man and woman, And God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitfull, and replenish the earth: and by this blessing, or Natures generall instinct equally unto all, men and all other creatures continue their multiplications and procreations: So that the Fowles, Fish, &c. have as great and speciall assistance as Man in their conceptions and procreations, equally mediate and naturall: Therefore if by Mans conception an Angelicall immortall Soul is producted, so likewise is there the like in other creatures. The result of all which is this, that as Fish, Birds, and Beasts each in their kind procreate their kind without any transcendency of nature: So man in his kind begets man, corruptible man begets nothing but what is corruptible, not halfe mortall, halfe immortall, halfe Angel, halfe man; but compleat man totally mortall: for through mortall organs immortality cannot be conveyed, or therein possibly reside.
If it be scrupled, that this destroyeth the hope of our faith. I Answer, It doth but remove it from a false principle to a true, from a deceitfull fancie to an infallible object, the Resurrection: For though I ascribe nothing actually to nature, but corruption; yet potentially I ascribe incorruption: as to the kernill of an Apple a Tree may not actually, yet potentially be ascribed: So I grant, that Nature produceth the Seed, to which when she hath done her elementary work, even all that shee can doe, and in all things transient finished her course, even from that corrupted seed Christ supernaturally raiseth an incorruptible body, 1 Cor. 15.36. Thou foole, that which thou sowest is not quickned, except it die, it is sowne in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sowne a naturall body, it is raised a spirituall body: Therefore nothing of Man can be immortall, but what first hath seen corruption. So that, if that which is made the better and most excellent part of Man, without which he is NO MAN (as is held) titled the Soul, shall not see corruption, it shall not participate of the immortallity purchased by Christ, but must needs perish except there be Ens extra Deum, as that strange invented Entitie must needs be, and so consequently, NO MAN shall be saved: And as before it incur’d this Absurdity, that the Soules of the damned shall not perish, but stand as well as the Stative Angels: So by this, the Soules both of the righteous and wicked shall for ever cease, and never be immortallized at the Resurrection: And thence the denyall both of Resurrection, Condemnation, and Salvation, Heaven and Hell, God and Christ is inavoydable: After rusheth in the Epicurean Blasphemy, Let us eat, and drinke, for to morrow we die: And so, so many bellyes, so many Gods, and no other.
It is objected, That the rarenesse of conception argues a supernaturall immediate assistance essentiall, without which the soul cannot be.
Answ. That commeth by a naturall defect, and not by the withholding of Gods immediate hand, else he should have a speciall and immediate hand in Adultery: And so Whoremongers and Adulterers sets God a work to create Souls for their Bastards, which is to make God a slave to their lusts.
Further, it is objected, That God hath from eternity decreed concerning man above all creatures, both who should come into the world, and at what time: Therefore, accordingly he must have a work in mans conception above other creatures.
Answ. No such thing followeth, for time and number may be appoynted, and yet the due course of nature proceed, as well without as with an immediate assistance, towards man in his kind, as in Beasts in their kind.
Moreover, Woolner in his Treatise on the Soul pag. 115. saith, That the more spirituall parts, and chiefly the Soul is (but partly mediately, partly immediately) conceived at the first instant, or union of the seed of both Sexes: For by it (pag. 127. he saith,) the corporeall parts are prepared and perfected: Therefore, it must of necessity be at the first instant, or else no conception: And pag. 129. That all Soules, as well of Beasts, as of men are essentially as perfect at the first instant of conception as ever afterwards, And pag. 97. he saith, The Soul can live without the body, and cannot be corrupted by it.
Answ. That then it followeth, If a woman miscarry immediately after that very instant, that the Soul of that Effluction or unshapen deformed peece of congealed blood being immortal, must needs continue its immortality, and that Effluction as well as perfect bodies, shall be raised againe, for if degrees of corporall perfection hinder, then those that are borne imperfect, as without legs, arms, or hands, or any other member, as divers are, they shall never be raised and so out of the compasse of Christs and though it should be granted, that Christs death is denyed an Embrio, yet that soules immortality cannot be nullified, for immortality once begun, must never have an end, and he saith, it cannot suffer with the flesh: therefore, if not with the whole masse of mans corpulency growne to its full perfection, much lesse with an Embrio, that is ten times lesse imperfect and invalid; for he saith, it is as perfect at the first instant as ever afterwards: therefore, it must be saved or damned (if there be any for others) but no man knowes how or which way, except it can be proved, Christ dyed for bare soules, soules without bodies, which will puzzle the cunningest soule that ever was made in the marring, and mard in the making.
Further it is objected, Creatures propagated out of kind, as by buggery; as, Apes, Satyres, &c. are supposed, are not endowed with reasonable soules: Ergo, soules are created immediately, or however of necessity, Gods superficient power is joyned to the propagation thereof.
Answ. As I will not altogether confidently affirme they have rationall soules, so will I not altogether deny it: For in Man it is some organicall deficiency more or lesse, that is the cause, that some men are lesse rationall then others; for some have abundance of wisdome, and some are meere fooles: and in children, whose Organs are not come to perfection, there is not so much as there is in an Ape: This premised, why in some measure as far as by those improper Organs can be expressed, may they not be rationall, though not in the same degree as is capable of God, as well as Infants who are as uncapable pro tempore as Apes? But perchance, it will be replyed, that then Christ dyed for Apes, as well as for Infants. I Answer, Christ dyed not for the rationall part separated from the materiall, nor the materiall from the rationall, if there should be such buggery births, or if by that unnaturall course they should meet in one, (which is impossible, for the blessing of procreating any thing in its kind, is to the kind) for that neither, but for the naturall production by the conjunction of both Sexes legitimate from Adam, and not such unnaturall by-blowes: As for births out of kind, they come within the compasse of the Curse, and cannot any wayes claim priviledge in the Restoration, but must expect with Thornes, Bryars, and all manner of Vermin, and Filth which breedeth on corruption, to be done away, when mortality is swallowed up of life. For all other Creatures as well as Man shall be raised and delivered from death at the Resurrection: my Reasons and grounds for it be these. First, that otherwise the curse in Adam would extend further then the blessing in Christ, contrary to the Scriptures: For as in Adam all dye, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. 15.22. For the wages of sinne is death, but the gift of God is eternall life through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 6.23. Therefore, Death comming upon all the Creatures by the sinne of Adam, no death being before sinne, life shall come upon all by Christ. Secondly, the beasts were not given Man to eate in the Innocencie, but to all flesh wherein was the breath of life, was given the greene herbe for meat: Therefore, the death of the beasts, &c. was part of the Curse, and so to be done away by Christ. Thirdly, if the other Creatures doe not rise againe, then Christ shall not conquer Death, but when it is said, O Death where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory? it will be answered in Beasts, because they are still captivated under its bondage: But as by one man death entered into the world, Ro. 5.12. and by man came death, by man shal come resurrection from death, and the last Enemy that shall be destroyed is death, and death shall be swallowed up in victory, 1 Cor. 15.21.54. Therefore death shall not retaine them, but they must be delivered out of its jawes. Fourthly, those ensuing Scriptures doe clearly prove it: Col. 1.15. to the 23. All things were created by him and for him, whether they be things in Earth, or things in Heaven: and be not removed away from the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven: And Mar. 16.15. Go ye into all the world, & preach the Gospel to every creature: that is, Glad tydings, life and Resurrection from the bondage of corruption to every Creature by Christ: therefore, is he said to be the First borne of every Creature, the First that’s borne, or raised from the Dead: so that those whereof he is the First, must follow, that is every creature, else could he not be the First borne from the Dead of them all. And Rev. 21.5. after the dissolution of all things he saith, Behold, I make all things New: And Psa. 104. David reckoning up Men, Cattel &c. saith, thou takest away their breath, and they dye, thou sendest forth thy spirit, and renewest the face of the earth: and Psal. 102. speaking of the Heavens, saith, as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: and Isa. saith, in the New earth the Wolf and the Lamb shall feed together, and the Lion shall eat straw like a Bullock: and Paul saith, Rom. 184.108.40.206. The expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God: for the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope: because the Creature it selfe also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God: For we know that the whole Creation groaneth, and traveleth in Paine till now. Therefore the Gospel or Glad Tydings is unto all, all are under hope, and all things, men, beasts, &c. shall be made new, or restored at the Resurrection, and so Death shall be swallowed up in victory, and mortallity of life, or Death having given up her dead, shall be cast into the Lake, Rev. 20.13.15. Thus much by the by: Now to our matter in hand.
But be it granted, that those births are not endowed with reasonable soules, yet doth it not follow, that God createth immediately the soule, or immediately assisteth nature in its production more then the body: for this is an instance out of kind, therefore cannot expect the blessing of the kind, but be as it selfe is, unnaturall and cursed: for to the kind is required Sexes of the kind, and thereto God hath given the blessing to beget its kind, as well for man to beget perfect man, as for the beasts to beget perfect beasts; so that whatsoever is borne of man naturally, is man, though one be ennobled with more excellencies then another. A borne Foole would have been a better instance; for if to them rationall Soules were denyed, it might be thought, Nature naturally begetteth meere irrationall, brutish, inhumane bodies, and rationality, or humanity is a meer supernaturall work. To prevent such a cavill, I Answer, that by the Soularies ground there can be no borne fooles, Infants new borne, yea an Embrio should be as actually rationall as men of ripenesse of yeares; for they say, the soul is rationality it self, and that rationality is no more of the body, then inke is from the pen, and the soul is absolutely perfect at the first instant, yea it is forma formans: therefore, naturam expellas, furca licet usque recurres; it is made action, which cannot but appeare, for all action is apparant, and they say it is an immortall spirit, therefore cannot cease, and if not cease, it must shew it self: Now why are not Infants then as rationall as others? nay, let me ask one Question, If this endlesse soul be forma formans, the maker of our bodys, why have we not endlesse bodyes? for omne tale generat tale, every like brings forth its like; so then, if one be immortall the other must be immortall. Secondly, I Answer, that though some are fooles from their birth, yet it doth not follow, that Gods immediate hand is required to mans procreation, but rather the contrary: for imperfections in a thing argue the mediate generation thereof; because no imperfection of any kind can come immediately from the hand of God: imperfections are accidentall, or from the curse: therefore not of creation, but of procreation.
Now seeing all this while we have had to do with this immortall Soul, we cannot find, or the Soularies tell what it is, such likewise is its residence; for if we ask where it is? they flap us i’th mouth with a Ridle, tota in toto, & tota in qualibet parte, the whole in the whole, and the whole in every part: that is, the whole immortall Soul in the whole body, and the whole Soul wholy in every part of the body. To which I Answer, that this extends immortality or impossibility of death to the body: for if immortality be in every part, then no part of man from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot can be excepted; so we are all Soul all over, and every part a whole Soul immortall: So that it must either be held to be ubiquitory, which is an Attribute peculiar to God; or else multiplicable by a corpulent division: and so, were a man minced into Atomes, cut into innumerable bits, there would be so many innumerable whole Souls, else could it not be wholy in every part.
Monstrum horrendum, ingens; cui quot sunt corpore crines, Tot vigiles Animae supter, mirabile dictu! And thus the Ridle is unfolded.
That this is true secundum acturn naturæ, observe the sence of those ensewing Scriptures: viz.
Gen. 1.17.18. compared with the 22.ver. where man and beast have an equall blessing and charge to propagate their like.
Eccl. 3.19. There is no distinction betwixt them, &c.
Gen. 17.7. I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed after thee. Here by seed must be meant persons and not bare carcasses: else he had been the God of dead clots, and not of living soules.
Gen. 46.26. All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt which came out of his loynes, &c.
Job. 31.15. Did not he that made me in the wombe make him? and did not one fashion us in the wombe? Ergo, if his soul were immediately created, so was his body; for he, that is, his Entite, person, even all that went to make him man was formed and shapen in the. womb, both Epithites for procreation and not for creation.
Job. 10.10.11.12. Hast thou not poured me out as milke, and curdled me like cheese? thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinnues, thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. Here Job sets forth exactly the manner of mans procreation, from the act of generation even to his breathing: First, poured out as milke, that is, the seminary evacuation of both Sexes in conjunction: then curdled me like cheese; that is the changing of that to a grosser matter, congealed blood: then clothed me with flesh and skin: that is, the incarnation of that condensed blood: then fenced me with bones and sinnues; that is, that carnate matter was formed into humane shape, and grew into members: then grantedst me life: that is, began to breath: whence observe, that in ascribing the whole work to God, he doth ascribe it to one kind only, and not partly mediate, partly immediate; for he ascribeth even the evacuation of seed in carnall copulation, and the conception of flesh and bones in as high a measure, (yea, to take away all cavil rather a greater,) as he doth his life; poured, clothed, and fenced imply a more absolute act then granting, which is but a sufferance, permission, or assenting: therefore, his conception was meerly and wholy naturall: according to that of David, Psal. 51.5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. And to this adde that of Zach. 12.1. The Lord formeth the spirit of man within him. Whence it is clear, that whole man flesh and spirit is a second act, formed in the wombe; otherwise flesh as well as spirit must be created, which all deny.
Gen. 5.3. Adam begat a son in his own likenesse.
Psal. 139.15.16. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in a secret place, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the Earth: thine eyes did see my masse: yet being imperfect, and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet was none of them: whence is evident, that his whole Person was an act of nature in his mothers wombe or secret place; what of him was in the Book of Gods providence, he declareth, was made (not created) in a secret place, to wit, his substance or Masse, all that went to the subject man, and I hope the Soularies will not blot his Soul out of the Book of Gods providence, or say it was no part of him.
Luke 1.31. Thou shalt conceive in thy wombe and bring forth a son: whence observe, that what she was to bring forth, she was to conceive, to wit a son; and none will deny, Christ was borne compleat man, in all things as we are, sin excepted: And if any scruple arise from Rom. 1.3. He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, I Answer. That it is a distinction of his manhood from his godhead, as all Interpreters agree.
Gen. 4.1. She conceived and bare Cain: see the like cap. 220.127.116.11. Judg. 18.104.22.168. And Job 3.3. There is a man child conceived. And Gen. 17.6. And Kings shall come out of thee. ver. 20. twelve Princes shall he beget. And Judg. 8.30. Gideon had 70. Sons out of his body begotten. And Num. 5. Then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. and Heb. 11.11. compared with Gen. 17.8. and such like, plainly shew mans procreation wholy naturall.
Joh. 3.6. That which is borne of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is borne of the spirit, is spirit: Here is the naturall birth by nature, and the spirituall birth by grace declared each in his kind, the one a meer naturall, the other a supernaturall work: It is therefore inavoydably true, otherwise the Soul cannot be saved; for what is not borne again cannot be saved, as the immediate words testifie, except a man be borne again, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God: So then, the soul as well as the body is born, that is, proceeds from the flesh, except we be born without it: Wherefore, they are no more twaine, but one flesh.
Thus having found Mans Foundation to be wholy in the Dust, from thence taken, and thither to returne: Let this then be the use of all: That man hath not wherewith at all to boast no more then of dirt under his feet, but is provoked wholy out of himself, to cast himself wholy on Jesus Christ with whom in God our lives are hid, that when he who is our life shall appeare, he might also with him appeare in glory, to whom be the honour of our immortality for ever, and for ever.