The original, nature, and immortality of the soul a poem : with an introduction concerning humane knowledge
Davies, John, Sir, 1569-1626., Tate, Nahum, 1652-1715.
Page  11

OF THE Original, Nature and Immortality OF THE SOUL.

THE Lights of Heav'n (which are the World's fair Eyes)
Look down into the World, the World to see;
And as they turn, or wander in the Skies,
Survey all things that on the Centre be.
And yet the Lights which in my Tower do shine,
Mine Eyes, which view all Objects nigh and far,
Look not into this little World of mine,
Nor see my Face, wherein they fixed are.
Page  12
Since Nature fails us in no needful thing,
Why want I Means my inward Self to see?
Which Sight the Knowledge of my self might bring,
Which to true Wisdom is the first Degree.
That Pow'r which gave me Eyes the World to view,
To view my self infus'd an inward Light,
Whereby my Soul, as by a Mirror true,
Of her own Form may take a perfect Sight.
But as the sharpest Eye discerneth nought,
Except the Sun-beams in the Air do shine;
So the best Soul, with her reflecting Thought,
Sees not her self, without some Light Divine.
O Light, which mak'st the Light which makes the Day!
Which sett'st the Eye without, and Mind within;
Lighten my Spirit with one clear heavenly Ray,
Which now to view it Self doth first begin.
For her true Form, how can my Spark discern,
Which, dim by Nature, Art did never clear?
When the great Wits, from whom all Skill we learn,
Are ignorant both what she is, and where.
Page  13
One thinks the Soul is Air; another, Fire;
Another, Blood diffus'd about the Heart;
Another saith, the Elements conspire,
And to her Essence Each doth give a part.
Musicians think our Souls are Harmonies;
Physicians hold, that they Complexion's be;
Epicures make them Swarms of Atomies,
Which do by chance into our Bodies flee.
Some think one gen'ral Soul fill's ev'ry Brain,
As the bright Sun sheds Light in ev'ry Star;
And others think the Name of Soul is vain,
And that we only well mix'd Bodies are.
In Judgment of her Substance thus they vary,
And vary thus in Judgment of her Seat;
For some her Chair up to the Brain do carry,
Some sink it down into the Stomach's Heat.
Some place it in the Root of Life, the Heart;
Some in the Liver, Fountain of the Veins:
Some say, She's all in all, and all in ev'ry part:
Some say, she's not contain'd, but all contains.
Page  14
Thus these great Clerks their little Wisdom show,
While with their Doctrines they at Hazard play;
Tossing their light Opinions to and fro,
To mock the Lewd, as learn'd in This as They.
For no craz'd Brain could ever yet propound,
Touching the Soul, so vain and fond a Thought;
But some among these Masters have been found,
Which in their Schools the self-same thing have taught.
God only wise, to punish Pride of Wit,
Among Men's Wits hath this Confusion wrought;
As the proud Tow'r, whose Points the Clouds did hit,
By Tongues Confusion was to ruin brought.
But (Thou) which didst Man's Soul of Nothing make,
And when to Nothing it was fall'n again,
"To make it new, the Form of Man didst take;
"And God with God, becam'st a Man with Men.
Thou that hast fashion'd twice this Soul of ours,
So that she is by double Title thine,
Thou only know'st her Nature, and her Pow'rs;
Her subtile Form, thou only canst define.
Page  15
To judge her self, she must her self transcend,
As greater Circles comprehend the less:
But she wants Pow'r, her own Pow'rs to extend,
As fetter'd Men cannot their Strength express.
But thou bright Morning-Star, thou Rising-Sun,
Which in these latter Times hast brought to Light
Those Mysteries, that since the World begun,
Lay hid in Darkness, and Eternal Night.
Thou (like the Sun) dost, with an equal Ray,
Into the Palace and the Cottage shine;
And shew'st the Soul both to the Clerk and Lay,
By the clear Lamp of th' Oracle divine.
This Lamp, through all the Regions of my Brain,
Where my Soul sits, doth spread such Beams of Grace,
As now, methinks, I do distinguish plain,
Each subtile Line of her Immortal Face.
The Soul a Substance and a Spirit is,
Which God himself doth in the Body make,
Which makes the Man, for every Man from this,
The Nature of a Man, and Name doth take.
Page  16
And though this Spirit be to th' Body knit,
As an apt Means her Pow'rs to exercise,
Which are Life, Motion, Sense, and Will, and Wit;
Yet she survives, although the Body dies.


That the Soul is a Thing subsisting by its self, and has proper Operations without the Body.

SHE is a Substance, and a real Thing;
1. Which hath its self an actual, working Might;
2. Which neither from the Senses Power doth spring,
3. Nor from the Body's Humours temper'd right.
She is a Vine, which doth no propping need,
To make her spread her self, or spring upright.
She is a Star, whose Beams do not proceed
From any Sun, but from a Native Light.
For when she sorts Things present with Things past,
And thereby Things to come doth oft fore-see;
When she doth doubt at first, and chuse at last,
These Acts her Own, without her Body be.
Page  17
When of the Dew, which th' Eye and Ear do take
From Flow'rs abroad, and bring into the Brain,
She doth within both Wax and Honey make:
This Work is her's, this is her proper Pain.
When she from sundry Acts, one Skill doth draw;
Gath'ring from divers Fights, one Art of War;
From many Cases like, one Rule of Law:
These her Collections, not the Senses are.
When in th' Effects she doth the Causes know;
And seeing the Stream thinks where the Spring doth▪ rise;
And seeing the Branch, conceives the Root below:
These things she views, without the Body's Eyes.
When she, without a Pegasus, doth fly
Swifter than Lightning's Fire, from East to West;
About the Centre, and above the Sky,
She travels then, although the Body rest.
When all her Works she formeth first within,
Proportions them, and sees their perfect End,
E'er she in Act doth any Part begin:
What Instruments doth then the Body lend?
Page  18
When without Hands she doth thus Castles build,
Sees without Eyes, and without Feet doth run;
When she digests the World, yet is not fill'd:
By her own Pow'rs these Miracles are done.
When she defines, argues, divides, compounds,
Considers Virtue, Vice, and general Things;
And marrying divers Principles and Grounds,
Out of their Match, a true Conclusion brings.
These Actions in her Closet, all alone,
(Retir'd within her self) she doth fulfil;
Use of her Body's Organs she hath none,
When she doth use the Pow'rs of Wit and Will.
Yet in the Body's Prison so she lies,
As through the Body's Windows she must look,
Her divers Powers of Sense to exercise,
By gath'ring Notes out of the World's great Book
Nor can her self discourse or judge of ought,
But what the Sense collects, and home doth bring;
And yet the Pow'rs of her discoursing Thought,
From these Collections, is a diverse Thing.
Page  19
For though our Eyes can nought but Colours see,
Yet Colours give them not their Pow'r of Sight:
So, though these Fruits of Sense her Objects be,
Yet she discerns them by her proper Light.
The Workman on his Stuff his Skill doth show,
And yet the Stuff gives not the Man his Skill:
Kings their Affairs do by their Servants know,
But order them by their own Royal Will.
So, though this cunning Mistress, and this Queen,
Doth, as her Instruments, the Senses use,
To know all things that are felt, heard, or seen;
Yet she her self doth only judge and chuse.
Ev'n as a prudent Emperor, that reigns
By Sovereign Title, over sundry Lands,
Borrows, in mean Affairs, his Subjects Pains,
Sees by their Eyes, and writeth by their Hands;
But Things of weight and consequence indeed,
Himself doth in his Chamber them debate;
Where all his Counsellors he doth exceed,
As far in Judgment, as he doth in State.
Page  20
Or as the Man whom Princes do advance,
Upon their gracious Mercy-Seat to sit,
Doth Common Things, of Course and Circumstance,
To the Reports of common Men commit:
But when the Cause it self must be decreed,
Himself in Person, in his proper Court,
To grave and solemn Hearing doth proceed,
Of ev'ry Proof, and ev'ry By-Report.
Then, like God's Angel, he pronounceth Right,
And Milk and Honey from his Tongue doth flow:
Happy are they that still are in his sight,
To reap the Wisdom which his Lips do sow.
Right so the Soul, which is a Lady free,
And doth the Justice of her State maintain:
Because the Senses ready Servants be,
Attending nigh about her Court, the Brain;
By them the Forms of outward Things she learns,
For they return into the Fantasie,
Whatever each of them abroad discerns;
And there inrol it for the Mind to see.
Page  21
But when she sits to judge the Good and Ill,
And to discern betwixt the False and True,
She is not guided by the Senses Skill,
But doth each thing in her own Mirror view.
Then she the Senses checks, which oft do err,
And ev'n against their false Reports decrees;
And oft she doth condemn what they prefer;
For with a Pow'r above the Sense, she sees.
Therefore no Sense the precious Joys conceives,
Which in her private Contemplations be;
For then the ravish'd Spirit th' Senses leaves,
Hath her own Pow'rs, and proper Actions free.
Her Harmonies are sweet, and full of Skill,
When on the Body's Instruments she plays;
But the Proportions of the Wit and Will,
Those sweet Accords are even th' Angels Lays.
These Tunes of Reason are Amphion's Lyre,
Wherewith he did the Thebane City found:
These are the Notes wherewith the Heavenly Choir,
The Praise of him which made the Heav'n, doth sound.
Page  22
Then her self-being Nature shines in This,
That she performs her noblest Works alone:
"The Work, the Touch-Stone of the Nature is;
And by their Operations, Things are known.


That the Soul is more than a Perfection, or Reflection of the Sense.

ARE they not senseless then, that think the Soul
Nought but a fine Perfection of the Sense,
Or of the Forms which Fancy doth inrol;
A quick Resulting, and a Consequence?
What is it then that doth the Sense accuse,
Both of false Judgment, and fond Appetites?
What makes us do what Sense doth most refuse,
Which oft in Torment of the Sense delights?
Sense thinks the Planets Spheres not much asunder:
What tells us then their Distance is so far?
Sense thinks the Lightning born before the Thunder:
What tells us then they both together are?
Page  23
When Men seem Crows far off upon a Tow'r,
Sense saith, they're Crows: What makes us think them Men?
When we, in Agues, think all sweet things sowre,
What makes us know our Tongue's false Judg∣ment then?
What Pow'r was that, whereby Medea saw,
And well approv'd, and prais'd the better Course;
When her rebellious Sense did so withdraw
Her feeble Pow'rs, that she pursu'd the worse?
Did Sense perswade Vlysses not to hear
The Mermaid's Songs, which so his Men did please,
That they were all perswaded, through the Ear,
To quit the Ship, and leap into the Seas?
Could any Pow'r of Sense the Roman move,
To burn his own Right Hand with Courage stout?
Could Sense make Marius sit unbound, and prove
The cruel Lancing of the knotty Gout?
Page  24
Doubtless, in Man there is a Nature found,
Beside the Senses, and above them far;
"Though most Men being in sensual Pleasures drown'd.
It seems their Souls but in their Senses are.
If we had nought but Sense, then only they
Should have sound Minds, which have their Senses sound:
But Wisdom grows, when Senses do decay;
And Folly most in quickest Sense is found.
If we had nought but Sense, each living Wight,
Which we call Brute, would be more sharp than we;
As having Sense's apprehensive Might,
In a more clear, and excellent Degree.
But they do want that quick discoursing Pow'r,
Which doth in us the erring Sense correct;
Therefore the Bee did suck the painted Flow'r,
And Birds, of Grapes, the cunning Shadow peck'd.
Sense outsides knows, the Soul through all things sees:
Sense, Circumstance; She doth the Substance view:
Sense sees the Bark; but she the Life of Trees:
Sense hears the Sounds; but she the Concords true.
Page  25
But why do I the Soul and Sense divide,
When Sense is but a Pow'r, which she extends;
Which being in divers parts diversify'd,
The divers Forms of Objects apprehends?
This Power spreads outward, but the Root doth grow
In th'inward Soul, which only doth perceive;
For th' Eyes and Ears no more their Objects know,
Than Glasses know what Faces they receive.
For if we chance to fix our Thoughts elsewhere,
Though our Eyes open be, we cannot see:
And if one Pow'r did not both see and hear,
Our Sights and Sounds would always double be.
Then is the Soul a Nature, which contains
The Pow'r of Sense, within a greater Pow'r;
Which doth employ and use the Sense's Pains,
But sits and Rules within her private Bow'r.
Page  26


That the Soul is more than the Temperature of the Humours of the Body.

IF she doth then the subtile Sense excel,
How gross are they that drown her in the Blood?
Or in the Body's Humours temper'd well;
As if in them such high Perfection stood?
As if most Skill in that Musician were,
Which had the best, and best tun'd Instrument?
As if the Pensil neat, and Colours clear,
Had Pow'r to make the Painter excellent?
Why doth not Beauty then resine the Wit,
And good Complexion rectify the Will?
Why doth not Health bring Wisdom still with it?
Why doth not Sickness make Men brutish still.
Who can in Memory, or Wit, or Will,
Or Air, or Fire, or Earth, or Water find?
What Alchymist can draw, with all his Skill,
The Quintessence of these out of the Mind?
Page  27
If th' Elements which have nor Life, nor Sense,
Can breed in us so great a Pow'r as this,
Why give they not themselves like Excellence,
Or other things wherein their Mixture is?
If she were but the Body's Quality,
Then would she be with it sick, maim'd and blind:
But we perceive, where these Privations be,
An healthy, perfect, and sharp sighted Mind.
If she the Body's Nature did partake,
Her Strength would with the Body's Strength decay:
But when the Body's strongest Sinews slake,
Then is the Soul most active, quick and gay.
If she were but the Body's Accident,
And her sole Being did in it subsist,
As White in Snow, she might her self absent,
And in the Body's Substance not be miss'd.
But it on her, not she on it depends;
For she the Body doth sustain and cherish:
Such secret Pow'rs of Life to it she lends,
That when they fail, then doth the Body perish.
Page  28
Since then the Soul works by her self alone,
Springs not from Sense, nor Humours well agreeing,
Her Nature is peculiar, and her own;
She is a Substance, and a perfect Being.


That the Soul is a Spirit.

BVT though this Substance be the Root of Sense,
Sense knows her not, which doth but Bodies know:
She is a Spirit, and Heav'nly Influence,
Which from the Fountain of God's Spirit doth flow.
She is a Spirit, yet not like Air, or Wind;
Nor like the Spirits about the Heart, or Brain;
Nor like those Spirits which Alchymists do find,
When they in ev'ry thing seek Gold in vain.
For she all Natures under Heav'n doth pass,
Being like those Spirits, which God's bright Face do see;
Or like Himself, whose Image once she was,
Though now (alas!) she scarce his Shadow be.
Page  29
For of all Forms, she holds the first Degree,
That are to gross, material Bodies knit;
Yet she her self is bodyless, and free;
And though confin'd, is almost infinite.
Were she a Body, how could she remain
Within this Body, which is less than she?
Or how could she the World's great Shape contain,
And in our narrow Breasts contained be?
All Bodies are confin'd within some place,
But she all Place within her self confines.
All Bodies have their Measure, and their Space;
But who can draw the Soul's dimensive Lines?
No Body can at once two Forms admit,
Except the one the other do deface;
But in the Soul ten thousand Forms do sit,
And none intrudes into her Neighbour's Place.
All Bodies are with other Bodies fill'd,
But she receives both Heav'n and Earth together:
Nor are their Forms by rash Encounter spill'd,
For there they stand, and neither toucheth either.
Page  30
Nor can her wide Embracements filled be;
For they that most and greatest things embrace,
Enlarge thereby their Mind's Capacity,
As Streams enlarg'd, enlarge the Channel's Space.
All things receiv'd, do such Proportion take,
As those things have, wherein they are receiv'd:
So little Glasses little Faces make,
And narrow Webs on narrow Frames are weav'd.
Then what vast Body must we make the Mind,
Wherein are Men, Beasts, Trees, Towns, Seas and Lands;
And yet each thing a proper Place doth find,
And each thing in the true Proportion stands?
Doubtless, this could not be, but that she turns
Bodies to Spirits, by Sublimation strange;
As Fire converts to Fire the things it burns;
As we our Meats into our Nature change.
From their gross Matter she abstracts the Forms,
And draws a kind of Quintessence from things;
Which to her proper Nature she transforms,
To bear them light on her Celestial Wings.
Page  31
This doth she, when, from things particular,
She doth abstract the universal Kinds,
Which bodyless and immaterial are,
And can be only lodg'd within our Minds.
And thus, from divers Accidents and Acts,
Which do within her Observation fall,
She Goddesses, and Pow'rs divine abstracts;
As Nature, Fortune, and the Vertues all.
Again; How can she sev'ral Bodies know,
If in her self a Body's Form she bear?
How can a Mirror sundry Faces show,
If from all Shapes and Forms it be not clear?
Nor could we by our Eyes all Colours learn,
Except our Eyes were of all Colours void;
Nor sundry Tastes can any Tongue discern,
Which is with gross and bitter Humours cloy'd.
Nor can a Man of Passions judge aright,
Except his Mind be from all Passions free:
Nor can a Judge his Office well acquit,
If he possess'd of either Party be.
Page  32
If, lastly, this quick Pow'r a Body were,
Were it as swift as is the Wind, or Fire,
(Whose Atoms do the One down side-ways bear,
And th' Other make in Pyramids aspire)
Her nimble Body yet in time must move,
And not in Instants through all places slide:
But she is nigh and far, beneath, above,
In point of Time, which Thought cannot divide:
She's sent as soon to China, as to Spain;
And thence returns, as soon as she is sent:
She measures with one Time, and with one Pain,
An Ell of Silk, and Heav'ns wide-spreading Tent.
As then the Soul a Substance hath alone,
Besides the Body, in which she is confin'd;
So hath she not a Body of her own,
But is a Spirit, and immaterial Mind.
Since Body and Soul have such Diversities,
Well might we muse, how first their Match be∣gan;
But that we learn, that He that spread the Skies,
And fix'd the Earth, first form'd the Soul in Man.
Page  33
This true Prometheus first made Man of Earth,
And shed in him a Beam of Heav'nly Fire;
Now in their Mother's Wombs, before their Birth,
Doth in all Sons of Men their Souls inspire.
And as Minerva is in Fables said,
From Jove, without a Mother, to proceed;
So our true Jove, without a Mother's Aid,
Doth daily Millions of Minerva's breed.


Erroneous Opinions of the Creation of Souls.

THen neither from Eternity before,
Nor from the Time, when Time's first Point begun,
Made he all Souls, which now he keeps in store;
Some in the Moon, and others in the Sun:
Nor in a secret Cloyster doth he keep
These Virgin-Spirits, until their Marriage-day;
Nor locks them up in Chambers, where they sleep,
Till they awake within these Beds of Clay.
Page  34
Nor did he first a certain Number make,
Infusing part in Beasts, and part in Men;
And, as unwilling further Pains to take,
Would make no more than those he framed then.
So that the Widow-Soul, her Body dying,
Unto the next-born Body married was;
And so by often changing, and supplying,
Mens Souls to Beasts, and Beasts to Men did pass.
(These Thoughts are fond; for since the Bodies born
Be more in number far, than those that die,
Thousands must be abortive, and forlorn,
E're others Deaths to them their Souls supply:)
But as God's Handmaid, Nature, doth create
Bodies in time distinct, and Order due;
So God gives Souls the like successive Date,
Which Himself makes, in Bodies formed new:
Which Himself makes of no material thing;
For unto Angels he no Pow'r hath giv'n,
Either to form the Shape, or Stuff to bring
From Air, or Fire, or Substance of the Heav'n.
Page  35
Nor herein doth he Nature's Service use;
For though from Bodies, she can Bodies bring,
Yet could she never Souls from Souls traduce,
As Fire from Fire, or Light from Light doth spring.


That the Soul is not ex Traduce.

ALas! that some who were great Lights of old,
And in their Hands the Lamp of God did bear!
Some Rev'rend Fathers did this Error hold,
Having their Eyes dimm'd with religious Fear.
For when (say they) by Rule of Faith we find,
That ev'ry Soul, unto her Body knit,
Brings from the Mother's Womb the Sin of kind,
The Root of all the Ill she doth commit.
How can we say that God the Soul doth make,
But we must make him Author of her Sin?
Then from Man's Soul she doth Beginning take,
Since in Man's Soul Corruption did begin.
Page  36
For if God make her first, he makes her ill,
(Which God forbid our Thoughts should yield unto;)
Or makes the Body her fair Form to spill,
Which, of it self, it had not Pow'r to do.
Not Adam's Body, but his Soul did sin,
And so her self unto Corruption brought;
But our poor Soul corrupted is within,
Er'e she had sinn'd, either in Act, or Thought:
And yet we see in her such Pow'rs Divine,
As we could gladly think, from God she came:
Fain would we make him Author of the Wine,
If for the Dregs we could some other blame.
Thus these good Men with holy Zeal were blind,
When on the other part the Truth did shine;
Whereof we do clear Demonstrations find,
By Light of Nature, and by Light Divine.
Page  37
None are so gross, as to contend for this,
That Souls from Bodies may traduced be;
Between whose Natures no Proportion is,
When Root and Branch in Nature still agree.
But many subtile Wits have justify'd,
That Souls from Souls spiritually may spring;
Which (if the Nature of the Soul be try'd)
Will ev'n in Nature prove as gross a thing.


Reasons drawn from Nature.

FOR all things made, are either made of nought,
Or made of Stuff that ready made doth stand:
Of nought no Creature ever formed ought,
For that is proper to th' Almighty's Hand.
If then the Soul another Soul do make,
Because her Pow'r is kept within a Bound,
She must some former Stuff, or Matter take:
But in the Soul there is no Matter found.
Page  38
Then if her heav'nly Form do not agree
With any Matter which the World contains,
Then she of nothing must created be;
And to create, to God alone pertains.
Again, if Souls do other Souls beget,
'Tis by themselves, or by the Bodies Pow'r:
If by themselves, what doth their Working let,
But they might Souls engender ev'ry Hour?
If by the Body, how can Wit and Will
Join with the Body only in this Act,
Since when they do their other Works fulfil,
They from the Body do themselves abstract?
Again, if Souls of Souls begotten were,
Into each other they should change and move:
And Change and Motion still Corruption bear;
How shall we then the Soul immortal prove?
If, lastly, Souls do Generation use,
Then should they spread incorruptible Seed:
What then becomes of that which they do lose,
When th' Acts of Generation do not speed?
Page  39
And though the Soul could cast spiritual Seed,
Yet would she not, because she never dies;
For mortal things desire their Like to breed,
That so they may their Kind immortalize.
Therefore the Angels, Sons of God are nam'd,
And marry not, nor are in Marriage giv'n:
Their Spirits and ours are of one Substance fram'd,
And have one Father, ev'n the Lord of Heaven;
Who would at first, that in each other thing,
The Earth and Water living Souls should breed,
But that Man's Soul, whom he would make their King,
Should from himself immediately proceed.
And when he took the Woman from Man's side,
Doubtless himself inspir'd her Soul alone:
For 'tis not said, he did Man's Soul divide,
But took Flesh of his Flesh, Bone of his Bone.
Lastly, God being made Man, for Man's own sake,
And being like Man in all, except in Sin,
His Body from the Virgin's Womb did take;
But all agree, God form'd his Soul within.
Page  40
Then is the Soul from God; so Pagans say,
Which saw by Nature's Light her heavenly Kind;
Naming her, Kin to God, and God's bright Ray,
A Citizen of Heav'n, to Earth confin'd.
But now I feel, they pluck me by the Ear,
Whom my young Muse so boldly termed blind;
And crave more heav'nly Light, that Cloud to clear;
Which makes them think, God doth not make the Mind.


Reasons from Divinity.

GOd, doubtless, makes her, and doth make her good,
And grafts her in the Body, there to spring;
Which, though it be corrupted Flesh and Blood,
Can no way to the Soul Corruption bring:
Yet is not God the Author of her Ill,
Though Author of her Being, and being there:
And if we dare to judge our Maker's Will,
He can condemn us, and himself can clear.
Page  41
First, God from infinite Eternity
Decreed, what hath been, is, or shall be done;
And was resolv'd, that ev'ry Man should be,
And in his turn, his Race of Life should run:
And so did purpose all the Souls to make,
That ever have been made, or ever shall;
And that their Being they should only take
In Humane Bodies, or not be at all.
Was it then fit that such a weak Event
(Weakness it self, the Sin and Fall of Man)
His Counsel's Execution should prevent,
Decreed and fix'd before the World began?
Or that one Penal Law by Adam broke,
Should make God break his own Eternal Law;
The settled Order of the World revoke,
And change all Forms of Things which he foresaw?
Could Eve's weak Hand, extended to the Tree,
In sunder rend that Adamantine Chain,
Whose golden Links, Effects and Causes be;
And which to God's own Chair doth fix'd remain?
Page  42
O, Could we see how Cause from Cause doth spring!
How mutually they link'd, and folded are!
And hear how oft one disagreeing String
The Harmony doth rather make, than marr!
And view at once, how Death by Sin is brought;
And how from Death, a better Life doth rise!
How This God's Justice, and his Mercy taught!
We this Decree would praise, as right and wise.
But we that measure Times by First and Last,
The sight of things successively do take,
When God on all at once his View doth cast,
And of all Times doth but one Instant make.
All in Himself, as in a Glass, he sees;
For from him, by him, thrô him, all things be:
His Sight is not discoursive, by degrees;
But seeing the whole, each single part doth see.
He looks on Adam, as a Root, or Well;
And on his Heirs, as Branches, and as Streams:
He sees all Men, as one Man, though they dwell
In sundry Cities, and in sundry Realms.
Page  43
And as the Root and Branch are but one Tree,
And Well and Stream do but one River make;
So, if the Root and Well corrupted be,
The Stream and Branch the same Corruption take.
So, when the Root and Fountain of Mankind
Did draw Corruption, and God's Curse, by Sin;
This was a Charge, that all his Heirs did bind,
And all his Off-spring grew corrupt therein.
And as when th' Hand doth strike, the Man offends,
(For Part from whole, Law severs not in this)
So Adam's Sin to the whole Kind extends;
For all their Natures are but part of his.
Therefore this Sin of Kind, not personal,
But real, and hereditary was;
The Guilt thereof, and Punishment to all,
By Course of Nature, and of Law doth pass.
For as that easie Law was giv'n to all,
To Ancestor and Heir, to First and Last;
So was the first Transgression general;
And all did pluck the Fruit, and all did taste.
Page  44
Of this we find some Foot-steps in our Law,
Which doth her Root from God and Nature take;
Ten thousand Men she doth together draw,
And of them all, one Corporation make:
Yet these, and their Successors, are but one;
And if they gain, or lose their Liberties,
They harm, or profit not themselves alone,
But such as in succeeding Times shall rise.
And so the Ancestor, and all his Heirs,
Though they in number pass the Stars of Heav'n,
Are still but one; his Forfeitures are theirs,
And unto them are his Advancements giv'n:
His Civil Acts do bind and bar them all;
And as from Adam, all Corruption take,
So, if the Father's Crime be capital,
In all the Blood, Law doth Corruption make.
Is it then just with us, to disinherit
Th' unborn Nephews, for the Father's Fault;
And to advance again, for one Man's Merit,
A thousand Heirs, that have deserved nought?
Page  45
And is not God's Decree as just as ours,
If he, for Adam's Sin, his Sons deprive
Of all those native Virtues, and those Pow'rs,
Which he to him, and to his Race did give?
For, What is this contagious Sin of Kind,
But a Privation of that Grace within,
And of that great rich Dowry of the Mind,
Which all had had, but for the first Man's Sin?
If then a Man, on light Conditions, gain
A great Estate, to him, and his, for ever;
If wilfully he forfeit it again,
Who doth bemoan his Heir, or blame the Giver?
So, though God make the Soul good, rich and fair,
Yet when her Form is to the Body knit,
Which makes the Man, which Man is Adam's Heir,
Justly forthwith he takes his Grace from it:
And then the Soul, being first from Nothing brought,
When God's Grace fails her, doth to Nothing fall;
And this declining Proneness unto Nought,
Is ev'n that Sin that we are born withal.
Page  46
Yet not alone the first good Qualities,
Which in the first Soul were, deprived are;
But in their place the contrary do rise,
And real Spots of Sin her Beauty marr.
Nor is it strange, that Adam's ill Desert
Should be transferr'd unto his guilty Race,
When Christ his Grace and Justice doth impart
To Men unjust, and such as have no Grace.
Lastly, The Soul were better so to be
Born Slave to Sin, than not to be at all;
Since (if she do believe) one sets her free,
That makes her mount the higher for her Fall.
Yet this the curious Wits will not content;
They yet will know (since God foresaw this Ill)
Why his high Providence did not prevent
The Declination of the first Man's Will.
If by his Word he had the Current stay'd
Of Adam's Will, which was by Nature free,
It had been One, as if his Word had said,
I will henceforth, that Man no Man shall be.
Page  47
For what is Man without a moving Mind,
Which hath a judging Wit, and chusing Will?
Now, if God's Pow'r should her Election bind,
Her Motions then would cease, and stand all still.
And why did God in Man this Soul infuse,
But that he should his Maker know and love?
Now, if Love be compell'd, and cannot chuse,
How can it grateful, or thank-worthy prove?
Love must free-hearted be, and voluntary;
And not inchanted, or by Fate constrain'd:
Nor like that Love, which did Vlysses carry
To Circe's Isle, with mighty Charms enchain'd.
Besides, Were we unchangeable in Will,
And of a Wit that nothing could mis deem;
Equal to God, whose Wisdom shineth still,
And never errs, we might our selves esteem.
So that if Man would be unvariable,
He must be God, or like a Rock or Tree;
For ev'n the perfect Angels were not stable,
But had a Fall more desperate than we.
Page  48
Then let us praise that Pow'r, which makes us be
Men as we are, and rest contented so;
And knowing Man's Fall was Curiosity,
Admire God's Counsels, which we cannot know.
And let us know that God the Maker is
Of all the Souls, in all the Men that be;
Yet their Corruption is no Fault of his,
But the first Man's, that broke God's first Decree.


Why the Soul is united to the Body.

THis Substance, and this Spirit, of God's own ma∣king,
Is in the Body plac'd, and planted here,
"That both of God, and of the World partaking,
"Of all that is, Man might the Image bear.
God first made Angels bodiless, pure Minds;
Then other things, which mindless Bodies be;
Last, he made Man, th' Horizon 'twixt both Kinds,
In whom we do the World's Abridgment see.
Page  49
Besides, this World below did need one Wight,
Which might thereof distinguish ev'ry part;
Make use thereof, and take therein delight;
And order things with Industry and Art:
Which also God might in his Works admire,
And here beneath yield him both Pray'r and Praise;
As there, above, the holy Angels Choir
Doth spread his Glory forth with spiritual Lays.
Lastly, The brute, unreasonable Wights,
Did want a visible King, o're them to reign:
And God himself thus to the World unites,
That so the World might endless Bliss obtain.


In what Manner the Soul is united to the Body.

BVT how shall we this Vnion well express?
Nought ties the Soul, her Subtilty is such;
She moves the Body, which she doth possess;
Yet no part toucheth, but by Virtue's Touch.
Page  50
Then dwells she not therein, as in a Tent;
Nor as a Pilot in his Ship doth sit;
Nor as the Spider in his Web is pent;
Nor as the Wax retains the Print in it;
Nor as a Vessel Water doth contain;
Nor as one Liquor in another shed;
Nor as the Heat doth in the Fire remain;
Nor as a Voice throughout the Air is spread:
But as the fair and chearful Morning Light
Doth here and there her Silver-Beams impart,
And in an Instant doth her self unite
To the transparent Air, in all, and ev'ry part:
Still resting whole, when Blows the Air divide;
Abiding pure, when th' Air is most corrupted;
Throughout th' Air, her Beams dispersing wide;
And when the Air is toss'd, not interrupted:
So doth the piercing Soul the Body fill,
Being all in all, and all in part diffus'd;
Indivisible, incorruptible still;
Not forc'd, encounter'd, troubled, or confus'd.
Page  51
And as the Sun above the Light doth bring,
Though we behold it in the Air below;
So from th' Eternal Light the Soul doth spring,
Though in the Body she her Pow'rs do show.


How the Soul exercises her Powers in the Body.

BVT as the World's Sun doth Effects beget
Diff'rent, in divers places ev'ry Day;
Here Autumn's Temperature, there Summer's Heat;
Here flow'ry Spring-tide, and there Winter-Gray:
Here Ev'n, there Morn; here Noon, there Day, there
Melts Wax, dries Clay, makes Flow'rs, some quick, some dead;
Makes the Moor black, the European white;
Th' American tawny, and th' East-Indian red:
So in our little World, this Soul of ours
Being only one, and to one Body ty'd,
Doth use, on divers Objects, divers Powers;
And so are her Effects diversify'd.
Page  52


The Vegetative Power of the Soul.

HER quick'ning Power in ev'ry living part,
Doth as a Nurse, or as a Mother serve;
And doth employ her Oeconomick Art,
And buisy Care, her Houshold to preserve.
Here she attracts, and there she doth retain;
There she decocts, and doth the Food prepare;
There she distributes it to ev'ry Vein,
There she expels what she may fitly spare.
This Pow'r to Martha may compared be,
Who buisy was, the Houshold-things to do:
Or to a Dryas, living in a Tree;
For ev'n to Trees this Pow'r is proper too.
And though the Soul may not this Pow'r extend
Out of the Body, but still use it there;
She hath a Pow'r which she abroad doth send,
Which views and searcheth all things ev'ry where.
Page  53


The Power of Sense.

THis Pow'r is Sense, which from abroad doth bring
The Colour, Taste, and Touch, and Scent, and Sound,
The Quantity and Shape of ev'ry thing
Within Earth's Centre, or Heav'n's Circle found.
This Pow'r, in Parts made fit, fit Objects takes;
Yet not the Things, but Forms of Things receives;
As when a Seal in Wax Impression makes,
The Print therein, but not it self, it leaves.
And though things sensible be numberless,
But only Five the Sense's Organs be;
And in those Five, all things their Forms express,
Which we can touch, taste, feel, or hear, or see.
Page  54
These are the Windows, through the which she views
The Light of Knowledge, which is Life's Load-Star:
"And yet while she these Spectacles doth use,
"Oft worldly Things seem greater than they are.



FIrst, The two Eyes, which have the Seeing Pow'r,
Stand as one Watchman, Spy, or Sentinel,
Being plac'd aloft, within the Head's high Tow'r;
And though both see, yet both but one thing tell.
These Mirrors take into their little Space,
The Forms of Moon and Sun, and ev'ry Star,
Of ev'ry body, and of ev'ry place,
Which with the World's wide Arms embraced are:
Yet their best Object, and their noblest Use,
Hereafter in another World will be,
When God in them shall heav'nly Light infuse,
That Face to Face they may their Maker see.
Page  55
Here are they Guides, which do the Body lead,
Which else would stumble in Eternal Night:
Here in this World they do much Knowledge read,
And are the Casements which admit most Light:
They are her farthest reaching Instrument,
Yet they no Beams unto their Objects send;
But all the Rays are from their Objects sent,
And in the Eyes with pointed Angles end.
If th' Objects be far off, the Rays do meet
In a sharp Point, and so things seem but small:
If they be near, their Rays do spread and fleet,
And make broad Points, that things seem great withal.
Lastly, Nine things to Sight required are;
The Pow'r to see, the Light, the visible thing,
Being not too small, too thin, too nigh, too far,
Clear Space and Time, the Form distinct to bring.
Thus see we how the Soul doth use the Eyes,
As Instruments of her quick Pow'r of Sight:
Hence doth th'Arts Optick, and fair Painting rise;
Painting, which doth all gentle Minds delight.
Page  56



NOW let us hear how she the Ears employs:
Their Office is, the troubled Air to take;
Which in their Mazes forms a Sound or Noise,
Whereof her self doth true Distinction make.
These Wickets of the Soul are plac'd on high,
Because all Sounds do lightly mount aloft;
And that they may not pierce too violently,
They are delay'd with Turns and Windings oft.
For should the Voice directly strike the Brain,
It would astonish and confuse it much;
Therefore these Plaits and Folds the Sound restrain,
That it the Organ may more gently touch.
As Streams, which with their winding Banks do play,
Stopp'd by their Creeks, run softly through the Plain:
So in th' Ear's Labyrinth the Voice doth stray,
And doth with easy Motion touch the Brain.
Page  57
This is the slowest, yet the daintiest Sense;
For ev'n the Ears of such as have no Skill,
Perceive a Discord, and conceive Offence;
And knowing not what's good, yet find the Ill.
And though this Sense first gentle Musick found,
Her proper Object is the Speech of Men;
But that Speech chiefly which God's Harolds Sound,
When their Tongues utter what his Spirit did pen.
Our Eyes have Lids, our Ears still ope we see,
Quickly to hear how ev'ry Tale is prov'd:
Our Eyes still move, our Ears unmoved be;
That though we hear quick, we be not quickly mov'd.
Thus by the Organs of the Eye and Ear,
The Soul with Knowledge doth her self endue:
"Thus she her Prison may with Pleasure bear,
"Having such Prospects, all the World to view.
These Conduit-pipes of Knowledge feed the Mind,
But th' other three attend the Body still;
For by their Services the Soul doth find,
What things are to the Body good or ill.
Page  58



THE Body's Life with Meats and Air is fed,
Therefore the Soul doth use the Tasting Pow'r
In Veins, which through the Tongue and Palate spread,
Distinguish ev'ry Relish, Sweet, and Sow'r.
This is the Body's Nurse; but since Man's Wit
Found th'Art of Cook'ry to delight his Sense,
More Bodies are consum'd and kill'd with it,
Than with the Sword, Famine, or Pestilence.



NExt, In the Nostrils she doth use the Smell:
As God the Breath of Life in them did give;
So makes he now this Pow'r in them to dwell,
To judge all Airs, whereby we breath and live.
Page  59
This Sense is also Mistress of an Art,
Which to soft People sweet Perfumes doth sell;
Though this dear Art doth little Good impart,
"Since They smell best, that do of nothing smell.
And yet good Scents do purify the Brain,
Awake the Fancy, and the Wits refine:
Hence old Devotion, Incense did ordain,
To make Men's Spirits more apt for Thoughts Di∣vine.



LAstly, The Feeling Pow'r, which is Life's Root,
Through ev'ry living Part it self doth shed
By Sinews, which extend from Head to Foot;
And like a Net, all o'er the Body spread.
Much like a subtile Spider, which doth sit
In middle of her Web, which spreadeth wide;
If ought do touch the utmost Thread of it,
She feels it instantly on ev'ry side.
Page  60
By Touch, the first pure Qualities we learn,
Which quicken all things, hot, cold, moist, and dry:
By Touch, hard, soft, rough, smooth, we do discern:
By Touch, sweet Pleasure, and sharp Pain we try.


Of the Imagination, or Common Sense.

THese are the outward Instruments of Sense;
These are the Guards which ev'ry thing must pass,
E'er it approach the Mind's Intelligence,
Or touch the Fantasy, Wit's Looking-Glass.
And yet these Porters, which all things admit,
Themselves perceive not, nor discern the things:
One common Pow'r doth in the Forehead sit,
Which all their proper Forms together brings.
For all those Nerves, which Spirits of Sense do bear,
And to those outward Organs spreading go,
United are, as in a Centre, there;
And there this Pow'r those sundry Forms doth know.
Page  61
Those outward Organs present things receive,
This inward Sense doth absent things retain;
Yet strait transmits all Forms she doth perceive,
Unto an higher Region of the Brain,



WHere Fantasy, near Hand maid to the Mind,
Sits, and beholds, and doth discern them all;
Compounds in one, things diff'rent in their Kind;
Compares the Black and White, the Great and Small.
Besides, those single Forms she doth esteem,
And in her Ballance doth their Values try;
Wheresome things good, and some things ill do seem,
And Neutral some, in her fantastick Eye.
This buisy Pow'r is working Day and Night;
For when the outward Senses Rest do take,
A thousand Dreams, fantastical and light,
With flutt'ring Wings, do keep her still awake:
Page  62


Sensitive Memory.

YET always all may not afore her be;
Successively she this and that intends;
Therefore such Forms as she doth cease to see,
To Memory's large Volume she commends.
This Ledger-Book lies in the Brain behind,
Like Janus Eye, which in his Poll was set:
The Lay-man's Tables, Store-house of the Mind;
Which doth remember much, and much forget.
Here Sense's Apprehension End doth take;
As when a Stone is into Water cast,
One Circle doth another Circle make,
Till the last Circle touch the Bank at last.
Page  63


The Passion of the Sense.

BUT though the Apprehensive Pow'r do pause,
The Motive Vertue then begins to move;
Which in the Heart below doth Passions cause,
Joy, Grief, and Fear, and Hope, and Hate, and Love.
These Passions have a free commanding Might,
And divers Actions in our Life do breed;
For all Acts done without true Reason's Light,
Do from the Passion of the Sense proceed.
But since the Brain doth lodge the Pow'rs of Sense,
How makes it in the Heart those Passions spring?
The mutual Love, the kind Intelligence
'Twixt Heart and Brain, this Sympathy doth bring.
From the kind Heat, which in the Heart doth reign,
The Spirits of Life do their Beginning take;
These Spirits of Life ascending to the Brain,
When they come there, the Spirits of Sense do make.
Page  64
These Spirits of Sense, in Fantasy's high Court,
Judge of the Forms of Objects, ill or well;
And so they send a good or ill Report
Down to the Heart, where all Affections dwell.
If the Report be good, it causeth Love,
And longing Hope, and well assured Joy:
If it be ill, then doth it Hatred move,
And trembling Fear, and vexing Griefs annoy.
Yet were these natural Affections good,
(For they which want them, Blocks or Devils be)
If Reason in her first Perfection stood,
That she might Nature's Passions rectify.


Local Motion.

BEsides, another Motive-Power doth arise
Out of the Heart, from whose pure Blood do spring
The Vital Spirits; which born in Arteries,
Continual Motion to all Parts do bring.
Page  65
This makes the Pulses beat, and Lungs respire:
This holds the Sinews like a Bridle's Reins;
And makes the Body to advance, retire,
To turn, or stop, as she them slacks, or strains.
Thus the Soul tunes the Body's Instruments,
These Harmonies she makes with Life and Sense;
The Organs fit are by the Body lent,
But th' Actions flow from the Soul's Influence.


The Intellectual Powers of the Soul.

BVT now I have a Will, yet want a Wit,
T' express the working of the Wit and Will;
Which, though their Root be to the Body knit,
Use not the Body, when they use their Skill.
These Pow'rs the Nature of the Soul declare,
For to Man's Soul these only proper be;
For on the Earth no other Wights there are
That have these Heav'nly Pow'rs, but only we.
Page  66


Wit, Reason, Understanding, Opinion, Judgment, Wisdom.

THE Wit, the Pupil of the Soul's clear Eye,
And in Man's World, the only shining Star,
Look in the Mirror of the Fantasy,
Where all the Gath'rings of the Senses are.
From thence this Pow'r the Shapes of things abstracts,
And them within her Passive Part receives,
Which are enlightned by that part which Acts;
And so the Forms of single things perceives.
But after, by discoursing to and fro,
Anticipating, and comparing things,
She doth all Vniversal Natures know,
And all Effects into their Causes brings.
When she rates things, and moves from Ground to Ground,
The Name of Reason she obtains by this:
But when by Reason she the Truth hath found,
And standeth fix'd, she Vnderstanding is.
Page  67
When her Assent she lightly doth incline
To either part, she his Opinion's Light:
But when she doth by Principles define
A certain Truth, she hath true Judgment's Sight.
And as from Senses, Reason's Work doth spring,
So many Reasons Vnderstanding gain;
And many Vnderstandings, Knowledge bring,
And by much Knowledge, Wisdom we obtain.
So, many Stairs we must ascend upright,
E're we attain to Wisdom's high Degree:
So doth this Earth eclipse our Reason's Light,
Which else (in Instants) would like Angels see.


Innate Ideas in the Soul.

YEt hath the Soul a Dowry natural,
And Sparks of Light, some common things to see;
Not being a Blank where Nought is writ at all,
But what the Writer will, may written be.
Page  68
For Nature in Man's Heart her Laws doth pen,
Prescribing Truth to Wit, and Good to Will;
Which do accuse, or else excuse all Men,
For ev'ry Thought or Practice, good or ill:
And yet these Sparks grow almost infinite,
Making the World, and all therein, their Food;
As Fire so spreads, as no place holdeth it,
Being nourish'd still with new Supplies of Wood.
And though these Sparks were almost quench'd with Sin,
Yet they whom that just One hath justify'd,
Have them increas'd with heav'nly Light within;
And like the Widow's Oil, still multiply'd.


The Power of Will, and Relation between the Wit and Will.

AND as this Wit should Goodness truly know,
We have a Will, which that true Good should chuse,
Tho Will do oft (when Wit false Forms doth show)
Take Ill for Good, and Good for Ill refuse.
Page  69
Will puts in practice what the Wit deviseth:
Will ever acts, and Wit contemplates still:
And as from Wit, the Pow'r of Wisdom riseth,
All other Virtues Daughters are of Will.
Will is the Prince, and Wit the Counsellor,
Which doth for common Good in Council sit;
And when Wit is resolv'd, Will lends her Power
To execute what is advis'd by Wit.
Wit is the Mind's chief Judge, which doth controul
Of Fancy's Court the Judgments false and vain:
Will holds the Royal Scepter in the Soul,
And on the Passions of the Heart doth reign.
Will is as free as any Emperor,
Nought can restrain her gentle-Liberty:
No Tyrant, nor no Torment hath the pow'r
To make us will, when we unwilling be.
Page  70


The Intellectual Memory.

TO these high Pow'rs a Store-house doth pertain,
Where they all Arts, and gen'ral Reasons lay;
Which in the Soul, ev'n after Death, remain,
And no Lethaean Flood can wash away.


The Dependency of the Soul's Faculties upon each Other.

THis is the Soul, and these her Virtues be;
Which, though they have their sundry pro∣per Ends▪
And one exceeds another in Degree,
Yet each on other mutually depends.
Our Wit is giv'n, Almighty God to know;
Our Will is giv'n to love him, being known:
But God could not be known to us below,
But by his Works, which through the Sense are shown.
Page  71
And as the Wit doth reap the Fruits of Sense,
So doth the quick'ning Pow'r the Senses feed:
Thus while they do their sundry Gifts dispence,
"The Best the Service of the Least doth need.
Ev'n so the King his Magistrates do serve,
Yet Commons feed both Magistrates and King:
The Common's Peace the Magistrates preserve,
By borrow'd Pow'r, which from the Prince doth spring.
The Quick'ning Power would be, and so would rest;
The Sense would not be only, but be well:
But Wit's Ambition longeth to the best,
For it desires in endless Bliss to dwell.
And these three Pow'rs▪ three sorts of Men do make;
For some, like Plants, their Veins do only fill;
And some, like Beasts, their Senses pleasure take;
And some, like Angels, do contemplate still.
Therefore the Fables turn'd some Men to Flow'rs,
And others did with brutish Forms invest;
And did of others make Celestial Pow'rs,
Like Angels, which still travel, yet still rest.
Page  72
Yet these three Pow'rs are not three Souls, but one;
As One and Two are both contain'd in Three;
Three being one Number by it self alone,
A Shadow of the blessed Trinity.
Oh! What is Man (great Maker of Mankind!)
That thou to him so great Respect dost bear!
That thou adorn'st him with so bright a Mind,
Mak'st him a King, and ev'n an Angel's Peer!
Oh! What a lively Life, what heav'nly Pow'r,
What spreading Virtue, what a sparkling Fire,
How great, how plentiful, how rich a Dow'r
Dost thou within this dying Flesh inspire!
Thou leav'st thy Print in other Works of thine;
But thy whole Image thou in Man hast writ:
There cannot be a Creature more divine,
Except (like thee) it should be infinite.
But it exceeds Man's Thought, to think how high
God hath rais'd Man, since God a Man became:
The Angels do admire this Mystery,
And are astonish'd when they view the same.
Page  73
Nor hath he giv'n these Blessings for a Day,
Nor made them on the Body's Life depend:
The Soul, though made in Time, survives for ay;
And though it hath Beginning, sees no End.


That the Soul is Immortal, proved by several Reasons.

HER only End, is Never ending Bliss;
Which is, the Eternal Face of GOD to see;
Who, Last of Ends, and First of Causes is:
And to do this, she must Eternal be.
How senseless then, and dead a Soul hath he,
Which thinks his Soul doth with his Body dye:
Or thinks not so, but so would have it be,
That he might Sin with more Security?
For though these light and vicious Persons say,
Our Soul is but a Smoak, or airy Blast,
Which, during Life, doth in our Nostrils play,
And when we die, doth turn to Wind at last:
Page  74
Although they say, Come, let us eat and drink;
Our Life is but a Spark, which quickly dies:
Though thus they say, they know not what to think;
But in their Minds ten thousand Doubts arise.
Therefore no Hereticks desire to spread
Their light Opinions, like these Epicures;
For so their stagg'ring Thoughts are comforted,
And other Men's Assent their Doubt assures.
Yet though these Men against their Conscience strive,
There are some Sparkles in their flinty Breasts,
Which cannot be extinct, but still revive;
That though they would, they cannot quite be Beasts.
But whoso makes a Mirror of his Mind,
And doth with Patience view himself therein,
His Soul's Eternity shall clearly find,
Though th'other Beauties be defac'd with Sin.
Page  75

1. Reason.

First, in Man's Mind we find an Appetite
To learn and know the Truth of ev'ry thing,
Which is co-natural, and born with it,
And from the Essence of the Soul doth spring.
With this Desire, she hath a native Might
To find out ev'ry Truth, if she had time;
Th' innumerable Effects to sort aright,
And by Degrees, from Cause to Cause to climb.
But since our Life so fast away doth slide,
As doth an hungry Eagle through the Wind;
Or as a Ship transported with the Tide,
Which in their Passage leave no print behind;
Of which swift little Time so much we spend,
While some few things we through the Sense do strain,
That our short Race of Life is at an end,
E're we the Principles of Skill attain.
Page  76
Or God (who to vain Ends hath nothing done)
In vain this Appetite and Pow'r hath giv'n;
Or else our Knowledge, which is here begun,
Hereafter must be perfected in Heav'n.
God never gave a Pow'r to one whole Kind,
But most part of that Kind did use the same:
Most Eyes have perfect Sight, though some be blind;
Most Legs can nimbly run, though some be lame.
But in this Life no Soul the Truth can know
So perfecty, as it hath Pow'r to do:
If then Perfection be not found below,
An higher place must make her mount thereto.

2. Reason.

Again, How can she but Immortal be,
When with the Motions of both Will and Wit,
She still aspireth to Eternity,
And never rests, till she attain to it?
Page  77
Water in Conduit-pipes, can rise no higher
Than the Well-head, from whence it first doth spring:
Then since to Eternal GOD she doth aspire,
She cannot be but an Eternal Thing.
"All moving things to other things do move,
"Of the same kind, which shews their Nature such:
So Earth falls down, and Fire doth mount above,
Till both their proper Elements do touch.
And as the Moisture, which the thirsty Earth
Sucks from the Sea, to fill her empty Veins,
From out her Womb at last doth take a Birth,
And runs a Nymph along the grassy Plains:
Long doth she stay, as loth to leave the Land,
From whose soft Side she first did issue make:
She tasts all Places, turns to ev'ry Hand,
Her flow'ry Banks unwilling to forsake:
Yet Nature so her Streams doth lead and carry,
As that her Course doth make no final stay,
Till she her self unto the Ocean marry,
Within whose watry Bosom first she lay.
Page  78
Ev'n so the Soul, which in this Earthly Mould
The Spirit of God doth secretly infuse,
Because at first she doth the Earth behold,
And only this material World she views:
At first her Mother Earth she holdeth dear,
And doth embrace the World, and worldly things;
She flies close by the Ground, and hovers here,
And mounts not up with her Celestial Wings:
Yet under Heav'n she cannot light on Ought
That with her heav'nly Nature doth agree;
She cannot rest, she cannot fix her Thought,
She cannot is this World contented be.
For who did ever yet, in Honour, Wealth,
Or Pleasure of the Sense, Contentment find?
Who ever ceas'd to wish, when he had Health?
Or having Wisdom, was not vex'd in Mind?
Then as a Bee which among Weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet Flow'rs, with lustre fresh and gay;
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all;
But pleas'd with none, doth rise, and soar away:
Page  79
So, when the Soul finds here no true Content,
And, like Noah's Dove, can no sure Footing take,
She doth return from whence she first was sent,
And flies to him that first her Wings did make.
Wit, seeking Truth, from Cause to Cause ascends,
And never rests, till it the first attain:
Will, seeking Good, finds many middle Ends;
But never stays, till it the last do gain.
Now GOD the Truth, and First of Causes is;
GOD is the last good End, which lasteth still;
Being Alpha and Omega nam'd for this;
Alpha to Wit, Omega to the Will.
Since then her heav'nly Kind she doth display,
In that to GOD she doth directly move;
And on no mortal thing can make her Stay,
She cannot be from hence, but from above.
And yet this first true Cause, and last good End,
She cannot here so well, and truely see;
For this Perfection she must yet attend,
Till to her Maker she espoused be.
Page  80
As a King's Daughter, being in Person sought
Of divers Princes, who do neighbour near,
On none of them can fix a constant Thought,
Though she to all do lend a gentle Ear:
Yet can she love a foreign Emperor,
Whom of great Worth and Pow'r she hears to be,
If she be woo'd but by Ambassador,
Or but his Letters, or his Pictures see:
For well she knows, that when she shall be brought
Into the Kingdom where her Spouse doth reign;
Her Eyes shall see what she conceiv'd in Thought,
Himself, his State, his Glory, and his Train.
So while the Virgin-Soul on Earth doth stay,
She woo'd and tempted is ten thousand Ways,
By these great Pow'rs, which on the Earth bear sway;
The Wisdom of the World, Wealth, Pleasure, Praise:
With these sometimes she doth her Time beguile,
These do by fits her Fantasie possess;
But she distastes them all within a while,
And in the sweetest finds a Tediousness.
Page  81
But if upon the World's Almighty King
She once doth fix her humble loving Thought,
Who by his Picture drawn in ev'ry thing,
And sacred Messages, her Love hath sought;
Of him she thinks she cannot think too much;
This Honey tasted still, is ever sweet;
The Pleasure of her ravish'd Thought is such,
As almost here she with her Bliss doth meet:
But when in Heav'n she shall his Essence see,
This is her sov'reign Good, and perfect Bliss;
Her Longing, Wishings, Hopes, all finish'd be;
Her Joys are full, her Motions rest in this:
There is she crown'd with Garlands of Content;
There doth she Manna eat, and Nectar drink:
That Presence doth such high Delights present,
As never Tongue could speak, nor Heart could think.
Page  82

3. Reason.

For this, the better Souls do oft despise
The Body's Death, and do it oft desire;
For when on Ground the burthen'd Ballance lies,
The empty part is lifted up the higher:
But if the Body's Death the Soul should kill,
Then Death must needs against her Nature be;
And were it so, all Souls would fly it still,
For Nature hates and shuns her Contrary.
For all things else, which Nature makes to be,
Their Being to preserve, are chiefly taught;
And though some things desire a Change to see,
Yet never Thing did long to turn to nought.
If then by Death the Soul were quenched quite,
She could not thus against her Nature run;
Since ev'ry sensless thing, by Nature's Light,
Doth Preservation seek, Destruction shun.
Page  83
Nor could the World's best Spirits so much err,
If Death took all, that they should all agree,
Before this Life, their Honour to prefer:
For what is Praise to things that nothing be?
Again, If by the Body's Prop she stand;
If on the Body's Life, her Life depend,
As Meleagers on the fatal Brand,
The Body's Good she only would intend:
We should not find her half so brave and bold,
To lead it to the Wars, and to the Seas,
To make it suffer Watchings, Hunger, Cold,
When it might feed with Plenty, rest with Ease.
Doubtless, all Souls have a surviving Thought,
Therefore of Death we think with quiet Mind;
But if we think of being turn'd to nought,
A trembling Horrour in our Souls we find.
Page  84

4. Reason.

And as the better Spirit, when she doth bear
A Scorn of Death, doth shew she cannot die;
So when the wicked Soul Death's Face doth fear,
Ev'n then she proves her own Eternity.
For when Death's Form appears, she feareth not
An utter Quenching, or Extinguishment;
She would be glad to meet with such a Lot,
That so she might all future Ill prevent:
But she doth doubt what after may befal;
For Nature's Law accuseth her within,
And saith, 'Tis true what is affirm'd by all,
That after Death there is a Pain for Sin.
Then she who hath been hood wink'd from he Birth,
Doth first her self within Death's Mirrour see;
And when her Body doth return to Earth,
She first takes care, how she alone shall be.
Page  85
Who ever sees these irreligious Men,
With Burthen of a Sickness weak and faint,
But hears them talking of Religion then,
And vowing of their Souls to ev'ry Saint?
When was there ever cursed Atheist brought
Unto the Gibbet, but he did adore
That blessed Pow'r, which he had set at nought,
Scorn'd and blasphemed all his Life before?
These light vain Persons still are drunk and mad,
With Surfeitings, and Pleasures of their Youth;
But at their Death they are fresh, sober, sad;
Then they discern, and then they speak the truth.
If then all Souls, both good and bad, do teach,
With gen'ral Voice, That Souls can never die;
'Tis not Man's flatt'ring Gloss, but Nature's Speech,
Which, like GOD's Oracles, can never lye.
Page  86

5. Reason.

Hence springs that universal strong Desire,
Which all Men have of Immortality:
Not some few Spirits unto this Thought aspire,
But all Men's Minds in this united be.
Then this Desire of Nature is not vain,
"She covets not Impossibilities;
"Fond Thoughts may fall into some idle Brain,
"But one Assent of all, is ever wise.
From hence that gen'ral Care and Study springs,
That Launching, and Progression of the Mind,
Which all Men have so much of future things,
That they no Joy do in the present find.
From this Desire, that main Desire proceeds,
Which all Men have surviving Fame to gain,
By Tombs, by Books, by memorable Deeds;
For she that this desires, doth still remain.
Page  87
Hence, lastly, springs Care of Posterities,
For Things their Kind would everlasting make:
Hence is it, that old Men do plant young Trees,
The Fruit whereof another Age shall take.
If we these Rules unto our selves apply,
And view them by Reflection of the Mind,
All these true Notes of Immortality
In our Heart's Tables we shall written find.

6. Reason.

And though some impious Wits do Questions move,
And doubt if Souls immortal be, or no;
That Doubt their Immortality doth prove,
Because they seem immortal things to know.
For he who Reasons on both Parts doth bring,
Doth some things mortal, some immortal call;
Now, if himself were but a mortal thing,
He could not judge immortal things at all.
Page  88
For when we judge, our Minds we Mirrors make;
And as those Glasses which material be,
Forms of material things do only take;
For Thoughts or Minds in them we cannot see:
So when we God and Angels do conceive,
And think of Truth, which is eternal too;
Then do our Minds immortal Forms receive,
Which if they mortal were, they could not do.
And as if Beasts conceiv'd what Reason were,
And that Conception should distinctly show,
They should the Name of Reasonable bear;
For without Reason, none could Reason know:
So when the Soul mounts with so high a Wing,
As of Eternal Things she Doubts can move;
She Proofs of her Eternity doth bring,
Ev'n when she strives the contrary to prove.
For ev'n the Thought of Immortality,
Being an Act done without the Body's Aid,
Shews, that her self alone could move and be,
Although the Body in the Grave were laid.
Page  89


That the Soul cannot be destroy'd

AND if her self she can so lively move,
And never need a Foreign Help to take;
Then must her Motion everlasting prove,
"Because her self she never can forsake.
But though Corruption cannot touch the Mind
By any Cause that from it self may spring,
Some outward Cause Fate hath perhaps design'd,
Which to the Soul may utter Quenching bring.
Perhaps her Cause may cease, and she may die:
God is her Cause, his Word her Maker was;
Which shall stand fix'd for all Eternity,
When Heav'n and Earth shall like a Shadow pass.
Perhaps some thing repugnant to her Kind,
By strong Antipathy, the Soul may kill:
But what can be Contrary to the Mind,
Which holds all Contraries in Concord still?
Page  90
She lodgeth Heat, and Cold, and Moist, and Dry,
And Life, and Death, and Peace, and War toge∣ther;
Ten thousand fighting things in her do lie,
Yet neither troubleth, or disturbeth either.
Perhaps for want of Food, the Soul may pine;
But that were strange, since all things bad and good;
Since all God's Creatures, Mortal and Divine;
Since God himself is her eternal Food.
Bodies are fed with things of mortal kind,
And so are subject to Mortality:
But Truth, which is eternal, feeds the Mind;
The Tree of Life, which will not let her die.
Yet Violence, perhaps the Soul destroys,
As Lightning, or the Sun-beams dim the Sight;
Or as a Thunder clap, or Cannon's noise,
The Pow'r of Hearing doth astonish quite:
But high Perfection to the Soul it brings,
T' encounter things most excellent and high;
For, when she views the best and greatest things,
They do not hurt, but rather clear the Eye.
Page  91
Besides, as Homer's Gods, 'gainst Armies stand,
Her subtil Form can through all Dangers slide:
Bodies are Captive, Minds endure no Band;
"And Will is free, and can no Force abide.
But lastly, Time perhaps at last hath pow'r
To spend her lively Pow'rs, and quench her Light;
But old God Saturn, which doth all devour,
Doth cherish her, and still augment her Might.
Heav'n waxeth old, and all the Spheres above
Shall one Day faint, and their swift Motion stay;
And Time it self, in time shall cease to move;
Only the Soul survives, and lives for ay.
"Our Bodies, ev'ry Footstep that they make,
"March towards Death, until at last they dye:
"Whether we work or play, or sleep or wake,
"Our Life doth pass, and with Time's Wings doth fly:
But to the Soul, Time doth Perfection give,
And adds fresh Lustre to her Beauty still;
And makes her in eternal Youth to live,
Like her which Nectar to the Gods doth fill.
Page  92
The more she lives, the more she feeds on Truth;
The more she feeds, her Strength doth more in∣crease:
And what is Strength, but an Effect of Youth,
Which if Time nurse, how can it ever cease?


Objections against the Immortality of the Soul, with their respective Answers.

BVT now these Epicures begin to smile,
And say, My Doctrine is more safe than true;
And that I fondly do my self beguile,
While these receiv'd Opinions I ensue.
For, what, say they? Doth not the Soul wax old?
How comes it then that Aged Men do dote;
And that their Brains grow sottish, dull and cold,
Which were in Youth the only Spirits of note?
What? Are not Souls within themselves corrupted?
How can there Idiots then by Nature be?
How is it that some Wits are interrupted,
That now they dazled are, now clearly see?
Page  93
These Questions make a subtil Argument
To such as think both Sense and Reason One;
To whom nor Agent, from the Instrument,
Nor Pow'r of Working, from the Work is known.
But they that know that Wit can shew no Skill,
But when she Things in Sense's Glass doth view,
Do know, if Accident this Glass do spill,
It nothing sees, or sees the False for true.
For, if that Region of the tender Brain,
Where th'inward Sense of Fantasy should sit,
And th'outward Senses, Gath'rings should retain;
By Nature, or by Chance, become unfit:
Either at first uncapable it is,
And so few things, or none at all receives;
Or marr'd by Accident, which haps amiss;
And so amiss it ev'ry thing perceives.
Then, as a cunning Prince that useth Spies,
If they return no News, doth nothing know;
But if they make Advertisement of Lies,
The Prince's Counsels all awry do go:
Page  94
Ev'n so the Soul to such a Body knit,
Whose inward Senses undisposed be;
And to receive the Forms of Things unfit,
Where nothing is brought in, can nothing see.
This makes the Idiot, which hath yet a Mind,
Able to know the Truth, and chuse the Good:
If she such Figures in the Brain did find,
As might be found, if it in temper stood▪
But if a Phrensy do possess the Brain,
It so disturbs and blots the Forms of Things,
As Fantasy proves altogether vain,
And to the Wit no true Relation brings.
Then doth the Wit, admitting all for true,
Build fond Conclusions on those idle Grounds:
Then doth it fly the Good, and Ill pursue;
Believing all that this false Spy propounds▪
But purge the Hamours, and the Rage appease,
Which this Distemper in the Fansy wrought;
Then shall the Wit, which never had Disease,
Discourse, and judge discreetly, as it ought.
Page  95
So, though the Clouds eclipse the Sun's fair Light,
Yet from his Face they do not take one Beam;
So have our Eyes their perfect Pow'r of Sight,
Ev'n when they look into a troubled Stream.
Then these Defects in Sense's Organs be;
Not in the Soul, or in her working Might:
She cannot lose her perfect Pow'r to see,
Though Mists and Clouds do choak her Window-Light.
These Imperfections then we must impute,
Not to the Agent, but the Instrument:
We must not blame Apollo, but his Lute,
If false Accords from her false Strings be sent.
The Soul in all hath one Intelligence;
Though too much Moisture in an Infant's Brain,
And too much Driness in an old Man's Sense,
Cannot the Prints of outward things retain:
Then doth the Soul want Work, and idle sit,
And this we Childishness and Dotage call;
Yet hath she then a quick and active Wit,
If she had Stuff and Tools to work withal:
Page  96
For, give her Organs fit, and Objects fair;
Give but the aged Man, the young Man's Sense;
Let but Medea, Aeson's Youth repair,
And straight she shews her wonted Excellence.
As a good Harper, stricken far in Years,
Into whose cunning Hands the Gout doth fall,
All his old Crotchets in his Brain he bears,
But on his Harp plays ill, or not at all.
But if Apollo takes his Gout away,
That he his nimble Fingers may apply;
Apollo's self will envy at his Play,
And all the World applaud his Minstralsy.
Then Dotage is no Weakness of the Mind,
But of the Sense; for if the Mind did waste,
In all old Men we should this Wasting find,
When they some certain Term of Years had pass'd:
But most of them, ev'n to their dying Hour,
Retain a Mind more lively, quick and strong;
And better use their understanding Pow'r,
Then when their Brains were warm, and Limbs were young.
Page  97
For, though the Body wasted be, and weak,
And though the Leaden Form of Earth it bears;
Yet when we hear that half-dead Body speak,
We oft are ravish'd to the heav'nly Spheres.
Yet say these Men, If all her Organs die,
Then hath the Soul no pow'r her Pow'rs to use:
So, in a sort, her Pow'rs extinct do lie,
When unto Act she cannot them reduce.
And if her Pow'rs be dead, then what is she?
For since from ev'ry thing some Pow'rs do spring;
And from those Pow'rs, some Acts proceeding be;
Then kill both Pow'r and Act, and kill the thing.
Doubtless, the Body's Death, when once it dies,
The Instruments of Sense and Life doth kill;
So that she cannot use those Faculties,
Although their Root rest in her Substance still.
But (as the Body living) Wit and Will
Can judge and chuse, without the Body's Aid;
Though on such Objects they are working still,
As through the Body's Organs are convey'd:
Page  98
So, when the Body serves her turn no more,
And all her Senses are extinct and gone,
She can discourse of what she learn'd before,
In heav'nly Contemplations, all alone.
So, if one Man well on the Lute doth play,
And have good Horsemanship, and Learning's Skill;
Though both his Lute and Horse we take away,
Doth he not keep his former Learning still?
He keeps it, doubtless, and can use it too;
And doth both th'other Skills in Pow'r retain;
And can of both the proper Actions do,
If with his Lute or Horse he meet again,
So though the Instruments, (by which we live,
And view the World) the Body's Death do kill;
Yet with the Body they shall all revive,
And all their wonted Offices fulfil.
But how, till then, shall she her self employ?
Her Spies are dead, which brought home News before:
What she hath got, and keeps, she may enjoy,
But she hath Means to understand no more.
Page  99
Then what do those poor Souls, which nothing get?
Or what do those which get, and cannot keep?
Like Buckets bottomless, which all out-let;
Those Souls, for want of Exercise, must sleep.
See how Man's Soul against it self doth strive:
Why should we not have other Means to know?
As Children, while within the Womb they live,
Feed by the Navil: Here they feed not so.
These Children, if they had some use of Sense,
And should by chance their Mother's talking hear,
That in short time they shall come forth from thence,
Would fear their Birth, more than our Death we fear.
They would cry out, If we this place shall leave,
Then shall we break our tender Navil-strings:
How shall we then our Nourishment receive,
Since our sweet Food no other Conduit brings?
And if a Man should to these Babes reply,
That into this fair World they shall be brought,
Where they shall view the Earth, the Sea, the Sky,
The glorious Sun, and all that God hath wrought:
Page  100
That there ten thousand Dainties they shall meet,
Which by their Mouths they shall with pleasure take;
Which shall be cordial too, as well as sweet;
And of their little Limbs, tall Bodies make:
This World they'd think a Fable, ev'n as we
Do think the Story of the Golden Age;
Or as some sensual Spirits 'mongst us be,
Which hold the World to come, a feigned Stage:
Yet shall these Infants after find all true,
Tho' then thereof they nothing could conceive:
As soon as they are born, the World they view,
And with their Mouths, the Nurses Milk receive.
So when the Soul is born (for Death is nought
But the Soul's Birth, and so we should it call)
Ten thousand things she sees beyond her Thought;
And in an unknown manner, knows them all.
Then doth she see by Spectacles no more,
She hears not by report of double Spies;
Her self in Instants doth all things explore;
For each thing's present, and before her lies.
Page  101
But still this Crew with Questions me pursues:
If Souls deceas'd (say they) still living be,
Why do they not return, to bring us News
Of that strange World, where they such Wonders see?
Fond Men! If we believe that Men do live
Under the Zenith of both frozen Poles,
Though none come thence, Advertisement to give,
Why bear we not the like Faith of our Souls?
The Soul hath here on Earth no more to do,
Than we have Bus'ness in our Mother's Womb:
What Child doth covet to return thereto,
Although all Children first from thence do come?
But as Noah's Pigeon, which return'd no more,
Did shew, she footing found, for all the Flood;
So when good Souls, departed through Death's Door,
Come not again, it shews their Dwelling good.
And doubtless, such a Soul as up doth mount,
And doth appear before her Maker's Face,
Holds this vile World in such a base Account,
As she looks down and scorns this wretched Place.
Page  102
But such as are detruded down to Hell,
Either for Shame, they still themselves retire;
Or ty'd in Chains, they in close Prison dwell,
And cannot come, although they much desire.
Well, well, say these vain Spirits, thought vain it is
To think our Souls to Heav'n or Hell do go;
Politick Men have thought it not amiss,
To spread this Lye, to make Men virtuous so.
Do you then think this Moral Virtue good?
I think you do, ev'n for your private Gain;
For Commonwealths by Virtue ever stood,
And common Good the private doth contain.
If then this Virtue you do love so well,
Have you no Means, her Practice to maintain;
But you this Lye must to the People tell,
That good Souls live in Joy, and Ill in Pain?
Must Virtue be preserved by a Lye?
Virtue and Truth do ever best agree;
By this it seems to be a Verity,
Since the Effects so good and virtuous be.
Page  103
For, as the Devil, the Father is of Lies,
So Vice and Mischief do his Lies ensue:
Then this good Doctrine did not he devise;
But made this Lye, which saith, it is not true.
For, how can that be false, which ev'ry Tongue
Of ev'ry mortal Man affirms for true?
Which Truth hath in all Ages been so strong,
As, Load-Stone-like, all Hearts it ever drew.
For, not the Christian, or the Jew alone,
The Persian, or the Turk, acknowledge this;
This Mystery to the wild Indian known,
And to the Canibal and Tartar is.
This rich Assyrian Drug grows ev'ry where;
As common in the North, as in the East:
This Doctrine doth not enter by the Ear,
But of it self is native in the Breast.
None that acknowledge God, or Providence,
Their Souls Eternity did ever doubt;
For all Religion takes Root from hence,
Which no poor naked Nation lives without.
Page  104
For since the World for Man created was,
(For only Man the Use thereof doth know)
If Man do perish like a wither'd Grass,
How doth God's Wisdom order things below?
And if that Wisdom still wise Ends propound,
Why made he Man, of other Creatures, King;
When (if he perish here) there is not found
In all the World so poor and vile a thing?
If Death do quench us quite, we have great wrong,
Since for our service all things else were wrought;
That Daws, and Trees, and Rocks should last so long,
When we must in an instant pass to nought.
But bless'd be that Great Pow'r, that hath us bless'd
With longer Life than Heav'n or Earth can have;
Which hath infus'd into our mortal Breast
Immortal Pow'rs not subject to the Grave.
For though the Soul do seem her Grave to bear,
And in this World is almost buri'd quick,
We have no Cause the Body's Death to fear;
For when the Shell is broke, out comes a Chick.
Page  105


Three Kinds of Life answerable to the three Powers of the Soul.

FOR as the Soul's Essential Pow'rs are three;
The quick'ning Pow'r, the Pow'r of Sense and Reason;
Three kinds of Life to her designed be,
Which perfect these three Pow'rs in their due Sea∣son.
The first Life in the Mother's Womb is spent,
Where she her Nursing Pow'r doth only use;
Where, when she finds defect of Nourishment,
Sh'expels her Body, and this World she views.
This we call Birth; but if the Child could speak,
He Death would call it; and of Nature plain,
That she would thrust him out naked and weak,
And in his Passage pinch him with such Pain.
Yet out he comes, and in this World is plac'd,
Where all his Senses in Perfection be;
Where he finds Flowers to smell, and Fruits to taste,
And Sounds to hear, and sundry forms to see.
Page  106
When he hath pass'd some Time upon the Stage,
His Reason then a little seems to wake;
Which, though she spring when Sense doth fade with Age,
Yet can she here no perfect Practice make.
Then doth aspiring Soul the Body leave,
Which we call Death; but were it known to all,
What Life our Souls do by this Death receive,
Men would it Birth, or Goal-Deliv'ry call.
In this third Life, Reason will be so bright,
As that her Spark will like the Sun-Beams shine,
And shall of God enjoy the real Sight,
Being still increas'd by Influence divine.


The Conclusion.

OIgnorant poor Man! what dost thou bear,
Lock'd up within the Casket of thy Breast?
What Jewels, and what Riches hast thou there?
What heav'nly Treasure in so weak a Chest?
Page  107
Look in thy Soul, and thou shalt Beauties find,
Like those which drown'd Narcissus in the Flood:
Honour and Pleasure both are in thy Mind,
And all that in the World is counted Good.
Think of her Worth, and think that God did mean,
This worthy Mind should worthy things embrace:
Blot not her Beauties with thy Thoughts unclean,
Nor her dishonour with thy Passion base.
Kill not her Quickn'ng Pow'r with Surfeitings:
Mar not her Sense with Sensuality:
Cast not her serious Wit on idle things:
Make not her Free Will Slave to Vanity.
And when thou think'st of her Eternity,
Think not that Death against her Nature is;
Think it a Birth: And when thou go'st to die,
Sing like a Swan, as if thou went'st to Bliss.
And if thou, like a Child, didst fear before,
Being in the dark, where thou didst nothing see;
Now I have brought thee Torch-Light, fear no more;
Now when thou dy'st, thou canst not hood wink'd
Page  108
And thou, my Soul, which turn'st with curious Eye,
To view the Beams of thine own Form divine,
Know, that thou canst know nothing perfectly,
While thou art clouded with this Flesh of mine.
Take heed of Over-weening, and compare
Thy Peacock's Feet with thy gay Peacock's Train:
Study the best and highest Things that are,
But of thy self an humble Thought retain.
Cast down thy self, and only strive to raise
The Glory of thy Maker's sacred Name:
Use all thy Pow'rs, that blessed Pow'r to praise,
Which gives thee Pow'r to be, and use the same.