Of deepnesse. cap. 22.
AByssus is déepnesse of water vnséene, and thereof come and spring Wells and riuers: for out of the déepnes come all waters, and turne againe thereto by priuy waies, as to the mother of water, as Isidore saith li. 13. And therefore A∣byssus is said, as it were Abuisus, vn∣séene and out of sight, for the déepnesse thereof may not be séene. Or Abyssus is sayd as it were sine abisso, without cléerenesse, because of farnesse from the well of lyght, it is without hightinesse & fairnesse of lyght, as Iohn Damascene sayth. Abissus is nought els but much water, and the ende and deepnesse there∣of is vnséene, for shining of light stret∣cheth not, nor reacheth to the ende ther∣of. Or els Abissus is said as it wer sine base, bottomlesse, and the ground thereof is not séene with eye. And therefore it was the primordiall and first matter in the beginning of the world, & because in ye beginning it was not distinguished by certaine forme, it is called Abyssus, as Austen would meane. Therfore li. con∣fessionum 12. he saith, that Abyssus, is that bodely thing that God made to bée matter of bodely things, and that mat∣ter was with forme and shape without order and without light. And so Abys∣sus is that same thing, which is Ma∣teria prima the first matter, as Austen saith in li. de Symbolis. And he saith, that by this name Abissus, holye Writ called and approued the matter that was made of nought, to be first taker and re∣ceiuer of shapes, and that by the most or∣dinate gift of God, & for therof all thing that hath shape and forme, shoulde bée shaped and formed: & so the same mat∣ter is named water, for because that it is fleeting, and running, and mouing, & also for it taketh and receiueth all manner of formes and shapes. In likewise it was called earth, for the kindly stedfastnes or sadnesse, by the which it was subiect to generation & corruption, and it was cal∣led Abyssus, for vnshapefulnesse, for it was distinguished with no forme nor shape. And it was called water for able∣nesse to take vpon it forme & shape, for by that ablenesse it might take all man∣ner forme, and shape & qualitie, as Aust. saith. Also Abissus, yt is, déepnesse of wa∣ter, hath of it selfe dimnesse & déepnesse, & receiueth all water & lycour that run∣neth thereto, & hath neuer inough: for it taketh neuer so much water, but it may take more, and maye neuer be stopped, nor laued, nor emptied, & is cōmunicable.