Of forme. Chap. 2.
OF the propertyes of matter, that bée now rehearsed, followeth the proper∣tyes of the selfe forme. And Aristotle saith, in lib. de quinque substantijs. For∣ma, is as it wer light giuing to al things fayrenesse, being, and signe and token. And forme or lyght that is shedde and commeth into matter is féeble and darke, as ye receiuing of matter asketh. And of forme is diuersitye, by the which one thing is diuerse from another, as hée sayth. And some forme is essentiall and some accidentall. Essentiall forme is that, that commeth into matter, & maketh it perfect: and accordeth therewith to the perfection of some thing. And when Forma is bad, then the thing hath his béeing. And when Forma is destroied, no∣thing of the substaunce of the thing is found: Therfore in Philosophie it is said, that Forma with matter is cause of all accidentalls. And Forma accidentalis is not the perfection of things, nor giueth, them being, as it is said, S. Metaphisice. But each forme accidentall néedeth a forme substantiall, that is cause of forme accidental: and each forme is more simple and more actuall and noble then matter. Therefore in li. de Anim. libus Aristo. saith, that forme hath it selfe as, it were a man. For it may informe many mat∣ters, as a man may bring many women Page [unnumbered] with child. And so the forme asketh, that shall bée printed in the matter, the mat∣ter ought to be disposed, and also arraied. For if fire shalbe made of matter of earth it néedeth yt the matter of earth be made subtill, and pured, and more simple. And if againewarde: then againewarde. And forme maketh matter knowne. For mat∣ter may neuer be séene nor felt but by substantiall forme & accidentall, but it be by waye of priuation: As darkenesse is seene, is seeing nothing: and silence is knowen, if no sound be heard, as Calcidi∣us saith super Pla. And the Commentor super .1. Metaphisice, saith, That matter is cause, that we sée things that be made. And so nothing is more common and generall then matter: and neuerthelesse nothing is more vnknowne then is mat∣ter: for matter is neuer seene without forme, nor forme maye not bée séene in deede, but ioyned to matter: and where∣as is more of forme, ther is lesse of mat∣ter: as it is sayd .4. Metap. And again∣ward, where more is of matter, there is lesse of forme. And the further matter is from nobility of forme, the more grose it is and vnpure, the more vnworthy & darke. And some forme is spirituall, and some corporall and bodylye. And some corporall forme is heauenly forme: and some elementall. And heauenly forme is to active, that it fulfilleth all the appetite and desire of his matter. Therefore for the presence of the forme, the which ful∣filleth and perfecteth wholy the heauen∣ly matter, the substaunce of heauen may not be destroyed nor corrupt, but rather by his forme that is most perfect in his déede, is kepte in euerlasting béeing.
The elementall forme maye not fulfill so great might in his matter, nor make so perfect the appetite thereof: and there∣fore hée leaueth somewhat of his mate∣riall might of the matter not perfectlye fulfilled: wherefore alwaye elementall matter requireth newe forme. And there∣fore such bodyes bée alwaye, corruptible in might, and all indéede: and the more noble and spirituall the forme is, and the more separated and sundered from the conditions of matter: the more a∣ble he is to worke, and the more vertu∣ous: as it fareth in Angelles, whose substance hath no bring of matter, as it is sayd .3. De anima. In thinges that haue matter, is not intellect. Neuerthe∣lesse I affirme not, that Angelles haue not matter in their forme: but whether the béeing of Angells be onely compoun∣ded of spirituall matter and forme, or no. This is helde for certeine, that the substance of them in comparison to bodi∣ly things, is most simple and most actu∣all: as a spirituall forme is more ac∣tuall then a bodily forme as Albumasar sayth: and so in comparison to matter of euery medled body, the forme is more noble: and the forme of element is more noble then the forme of a medled body: and the forme of the fifte bodye, that is heauen is most noble. But in noblenesse and actualtie in déede of spirituall forme, whether it bée Angel or mans soule, pas∣seth without comparison all materiall formes: and of properties of matter and of formes, & as it longeth to this worke: this that we haue treted sufficeth for this time.