THE VISION: OR A Dialog between the Soul and the Bodie. Fancied in a Morning-Dream.

Svmbolum Auth. Senesco, non segnesco.

LONDON, Printed for William Hope at the Blue [...] chor on the North side of the Roya [...] Exchange, Anno Dom. 1651.

To the knowing Reader.

MAn is the Worlds Abridgement, who en­rouls
Within himself a Trinitie of souls;
He runs through all Creations by degrees,
First, he is onely Matter on the lees,
Whence he proceeds to be a Vegetal,
Next Sensitive, and so Organical:
Then by Divine infusion a third soul,
The Rational doth the two first controul:
But when this soul comes in, and where she dwels
Distinct from others no Dissector tells.
And, which no creture else can say, that state
Enables her to be Regenerate;
She then becomes a Spirit, and at last
A Devil or a Saint, when she hath cast
That clog of flesh, which yet she takes again
To perfect her beatitude, or pain;
[Page]Thus Man is first or last allied to all
Cretures in Heven, Earth, or Hells black­hall
This Vision may conduce to let us know
Our present baseness, and our future bliss,
If it make any gentle souls to glow,
And mend their pace that way, I have my wish
JAM. HOVVELL.

TO The Right Honourable the Ladie ELISABETH DIGBYE, &c.

Madame,

COuld the Rational soul, whom Philosophy calls the Queen of forms, and Divinity, the Image of the Allmighty, be seen by the out­ward eye of sense, she would (as Pla­to sometimes spoke of Virtue were she so visible) rayse in us a world of admiration; We should be so ra­vish'd with her beauty, and so struck in love, that we would leave all things else to win her favour.

An odd Humorist vapouring once that Women had no souls, was an­swered by a modest Lady, [...] Sir, you are deceiv'd, for I can p [...]duce [Page] a good Text to the contrary. My soul doth magnifie the Lord, and it was a woman that spoke it: No less humorous was He, who would maintain that the salique Law was in force in Heaven, as well as in France, which excluded women from raigning. But much more civil was a farewell that the Count of Lemos took of the Dutchess of Pastrana, who having invited him to see a new Palace that she had built, with a stately Chappell annex'd, at his departure said, Madam, I see your body is fairly Housd, but I find that your soul is far better Housd than your Body. Madam, I have the happiness to know your L shp many years (near upon 4. lifes in the law) and truly I never knew any whose soul was better lodgd, and furnishd with more virtues and graces, which makes me resolv'd to live and die.

Your Lshps most humble and dutifull servant JAM. HOVVELL.

The PROEM.

IT was about the Summer solstice, when the Measurer of Time, that glorious Luminarie of Heven, al­lowed but little above three hours night to cover this part of the Hemi­sphere, That after my sleep, a second stole gently upon me, which happend about the dawnings of the day, when those grosser sort of soporiferous fumes, that are wont to ascend from the stomack to lock up the outward senses for their natural repose, being dissipated and spent, the purest kind of subtil rarified vapours rise up to the Region of the brain, which use to represent more plain and even objects to the Imagination, and make the sto­rie and circumstances of dreams more coherent and cleer, though the [...]ost lucid fancies that appear u [...] [...]s in sleep, be but as stars in a cloudie night, [Page] or the branches of trees in a thick standing pool; I say it was about the break of day, that I had an unusual Dream, or Vision rather; For, me thought, a little airie, or rather an aethereal kind of spark did hover up and down about my bodie; It seemed to have a shape yet it had none but a kind of reflexion, it was, me thought, within me, and it was not, but at such a distance, and in that posture, as if it lay Centinel. At last, I found it was my Soul which useth to make sol­lices in time of sleep, and fetch vaga­ries abroad, to practise how she can live apart after the dissolution, when she is separated from the bodie and be­comes a spirit. Afterwards the fan­tasma varying, she took a shape, and the nearest resemblance I could make of it, was to a veild Nunn with a flaming cross on the left side of her breast, who in dolefull tones and thr [...]g accents, broke out into these que [...]ous ejaculations.

A DIALOG between the SOUL and the BODIE.

Soul.

OMe! how much reason have I to rue the time that ever I was cloister­ed up among those walls of clay; What cause have I to re­pent that ever I was thrown into that dungeon, that corrupt mass of flesh? For when I first entered, I bore the image of my Creatour in som [...] lustre, but since that time, 'tis scarce discernable on me, in regard of those soul leprous spots and taintures which I have contracted from those frail corporeal organs, [Page 2] which have so pitifully disfigured and transformed me, that I cannot be called the same Thing I was at first, the Character of my Creatour being almost quite lost in me.

Bodie.

Dear Soul, how comes it to pass that you are in so much anxietie? how comes it that you are so dis­composed, and transported with passion, imputing the cause of your indispositions to me? Alas! you know well that I am but an unwiel­die lump of earth, a meer passive thing of my self. It is you that actuats and animats me, otherwise I could neither think, speak, or do any thing, nay without your im­pulss I could have no motion at all; you are the Pilot that steers [...]his frail Bark; you fit in the box of the Chariot, I am but the organ, you are the breath; you are the intelli­gence that governs and enlightens [Page 3] this dark orb of mine, so that all my motions are derived from the poles of your commands, it is you that de­nominates me a man; therefore, if any thing be amiss, 'tis I that have more reason to complain, in regard that being but a meer unwieldie trunk of my self, I am quickened altogether by you, whether you be [...] a continual motion as some Philosophers would have you to be, or [...] the perfection from whence all motion proceeds as others term you; therefore because I am liable also to future punishment as well as you, 'tis I that have more cause of complaint, and to repent me of that syneresis and union which is betwixt us: For it had been less danger for me to have been an inanimate thing, and to have had neither vegetal, sensitive, or rational Soul, either by traducti­on or infusion cast into me, for then I had been free from those num­berless [Page 4] incommodities which all three are liable unto; The First being subject to excess of moisture and drought, to blastings and the furie of the Meteors; The Second to hunger and thirst with multitudes of diseases; The Third, to wit the Rational, not onely to all these, but to vexation of spirit, to corroding cares, to griping thoughts, to a perpetual clashing and combating of the humours, insomuch that Man of all creatures is Heautontimoru­menos, a self-tormenter, a persecutor and crucifier of himself, all which are emanations from the Intellectu­al soul; which besides useth to puz­zle the brain with sturdie doubts, and odd furrnises, touching the my­steries of saving Faith, whereas in­deed, as sense should vail to reason, so reason should strike sail to faith; moreover she is forward oftentimes to question the very works of Cre­ation, and quarrel with Nature the [Page 5] hand-maid of the Almighty in the method of her Productions, as (to make one instance for all) the Phi­losopher was angry with Her, be­cause She did not make the stones of the river for bread, as she did the water thereof for drink.

Soul.

'Tis true (to answer the first part of your answer) that it is my office to inform and actuat you, which operations are emanations from me; I am, I confess being undivi­sible, inextensive, without parts and inorganical, Tota in toto, & to­ta in qualibet parte, I am diffused up & down throughout that fabrick of flesh, I am all in the whole, and all in every part; you have no move­ment at all without me, but you, yielding more obedience, and being more plyable to the sensual appetit, and the Will, than to the dictates and directions of the Intellect my [Page 6] principal facultie, have brought me to this pass; whereas those eyes of yours should be as crystal case­ments, through which I might be­hold the glorious firmament, and studie my Creator in the Volumes of Nature, you have made them to intromit, and let out beams of vanity and lightness; They are foyl'd so thick with earth, that I can scarce discern Heaven through them; Those ears of yours, where­as they should let in holy Exhorta­tions, and wholsom Precepts, you have used them as trunks to receive any idle discourses, and vain sounds, they have delighted more to hear Carrolls and Catches than Hymns and Anthems. That mouth, tongue and voice of yours, whereas they were given you for Organs to sound out the glory of your Creator, and sing Halelujahs unto Him, you have made them Instruments of equivo­cation, and profaness; Those hands [Page 7] of yours, whereas they were design­ed to be stretched forth to do deeds of Charitie, and to pen Divine Me­ditations, you have employed them to work your own revenges, and to scribble idle frivilous fancies; That throat of yours, whereas it was created for a conduit-pipe to let out Pious Ejaculations, you have made it the gullet of luxury and excess; Those feet of yours, whereas they were made you to walk in the paths of Pietie and Vertue, and lead you to Gods holy House, you have us'd them to run into the road of all li­centiousness; When I examine your heart, the seat of your affe­ctions, whereas you should have made it a Closet for your Creator to reside in, and kept it sweet and cleanly for that purpose, I find you have made it a cage of unclean birds, of hatred, hypocrisie, choller and spirituall pride, the fuliginous evaporation whereof hath fum'd [Page 8] up into your brain, and infected all the cels thereof, your Fantasie hath been extravagant and wild, your Memorie hath been like a fierce that hath kept the chaff, and let out the pure grain, you have been more mindfull of bad than good turns; your understanding hath been full of scepticisms, your will hath clashed with Reason, your Reason with Faith, your Faith with Heaven; In fine, when I take you all in a lump, I find you nought else but a blad­der puffed up with ayrie passions, and malignant humours, amongst whom I am perpetually crucified as betwixt so many Iudases; insomuch that I may justly say, that you stand as a rotten wall twixt me and the beams of my Creator, which would glance upon me with a stronger re­verberation, were it not for that foul bulk of matter, that Cargazon of all sorts of infirmities which are stowed up in that sluggie and frail vessel.

Bodie.
[Page 9]

A frail vessel indeed, yet, under favour, you sit at the helm of it; but I confess you cannot give me terms low and vile enough in com­parison of your self, who are of an infinitly more noble extraction, the rational soul being Queen of forms, and the bodie, when she departs from it, the gastliest, and most noi­som of things, yet though you be a ray of Divinitie, and I but a rag of mortalitie, though you bear God Almighties image, & I but Adams, though you be in me as a Diamond set in Horn, though you be by a my­sterious heavenly infusion, and I by a seminarie traduction, yet we have the same Creator, (as Ants and An­gels have) his hands have made me, and fashioned me in the womb, and the holy Text tells me, that I am wonderfully made; Nature his subor­dinate minister took much pains a­bout [Page 10] me, she used great deliberati­on in the business, for the passed four several successive acts before I was compleated.

First there was a conjunction and cooperation of the sexes, which a­mong some require divers years be­fore the work take effect, as the present King of France was two and twentie years a getting; and the last Prince of Conde thirteen moneths in the womb.

Secondly, Then followed Con­ception which required a well tem­pered vessel to conserve the genera­tive sperm by occlusion and con­stringement of the orifice of the Matrix, which sperm being first bloud, and afterwards cream, was by a gentle ebullition coagulated into a cruddie lump, which the womb by its natural heat made fit to receive form, and to be organi­zed, whereupon Nature fell a work­ing, to delineate all the members [Page 11] and other parts, beginning with those that are most noble, as the heart, the brain, and the liver, whereof the Galenists would have the liver to be first framed, in re­gard it is the source and shop of bloud; but the Peripatetiques held the heart to have the precedencie, because it is the first thing that lives and the last that dies.

Thirdly, Nature continued in this operation until a perfect shape was introduced, which was the third Act, and is called Formation, being nought else but a production of an organical shapen bodie out of the spermatical substance caused by the plastick virtue, and vigour of the vital spirits, nor can I tell whether this Act was finished in thirtie, fif­tie, fourtie two, or fourtie five days after the Conception, for the Natu­ralists allow such varietie of times according to the disposition of the matter before the Embrion be [Page 12] formed; moreover, they observe, that Nature proceeds with those deliberate pawses, that fourtie days after the Conception, the creature is no bigger than a grain of wheat.

Fourthly, This being done, I was wrapped in three tunicles or mem­branes, then I was animated with three souls, the first with that of Plants, called the vegetative soul, then with a sensitive, wherein I com­municate with brute animals, and lastly, with the rational soul, was immitted; The two first were gene­rated ex Radice, as the Philoso­phers term it, viz. from the seeds of the Parents, but the last, which is your self, was by immediate infu­sion from God himself, though nei­ther Naturallists nor Divines have yet positively determined when this Infusion is made; Nor could ever any Anatomists, by their curious dissections, and inspections, find yet any organ in the bodie, or crannie [Page 13] and receptacle in the brain, or any distinct place differing from other Animals where this rationall soul should reside in the Humane body: Thus hath man an intellectuall soul he knows not where, and infused he knows not how, nor when, so ig­norant he is of the manner of his Creation; This last Act is call'd Animation, and as the Physici­ans allow Animation double the time that Formation had, which sometimes happeneth in eight moneths, sometimes in ten, but most commonly in nine: By these degrees and pauses was I made, and casting off my secundine, I came into the world to be a domi­cile not a dungeon for you, to be a kind of ark to carry you to the port of Bliss, to be a tabernacle for you, nay, to be a Temple for the Holy Ghost to dwell in: Nor did Nature altogether play the Bungler in doing her work, for she was pia [Page 14] Mater, a Pious Mother in framing the cells of my brain, and though she set me forth in no great volume, yet by this slenderness & gracilitie of constitution, I have the advan­tage to carry less corruption about me, for the more flesh, the more corruption; Now, touching those fraylties you speak of, whereunto I am subject, you know they accom­panied me to the world, and that I derive them from the protoplast, from the loins of my Gransire A­dam, the rust and canker of whose skin and sin, stick unto me, being moulded of the same matter.

Soul.

'Tis true, that you are moulded of Earth as Adam was, but the earth it self which gave him his composition and denomination, did blush when she went to make him, fore-seeing, as it were his infirmi­ties and propensity to all ill.

[Page 15]But I find by this reply of yours, that you are well acquainted with your self, by the account you give me of the method that Nature used in your Generation; Now, self-ac­quaintance is, after the knowledge of the Creator, the wisest; it is one of the paths, though a slabbie one, that leads us to the high road to­wards heaven, (which is a rougher way than that you found ore the Alps and Pyrenean mountains; The speculations whereof would make you truely value and vilifie your self, it should prick those tumours, and timpanies of pride that use to rise up in the humane creature, when he contemplates how near that ves­sel wherein he slept so long in the bosom of his causes, is to the excre­mentitious parts.

Now, out of your discourse may be inferred, that Man is that great Amphibion of Nature, he passeth through the degrees of all creati­ons; [Page 16] He was first but meer Mat­ter, then he grew up to be a Vege­tall, afterwards a sensitive, then a Human Creature, in which condi­tion he is capable of a regeneration, and he is to be at last a Spirit, good or bad;

Now, you have two things that distinguish and specificat you from the first three; the one is outward, which is that erect upright Posture and shape you bear to behold Hea­ven your last and indeed your one­ly true Countrey, this being but a transitory passage to that, whereas your other fellow Cretures have their faces looking upon the earth; The 2 is inward, viz. the faculty of Reson, which makes you a compen­sation for some inconveniences and weaknesses, whereby you are inferi­or to other elementary Creatures; By Reason man tames the Libian Lion, he puts Castles upon the Ele­phants back, makes the huge Ca­mel [Page 17] to kneel and take up his bur­den, by Reason he fetches the Eagle out of the Air, and with his Harp­ing-iron draggs up the great Levia­than out of the deeps; by Reason he rules and curbs Nature her self, making her pliable to his ends; Now all the operations of Reason, which are the best of human acts, you derive from me; But whereas you say that there can be no parti­cular place found out either within you, or without you, more than there is in the Sensitive Creature where I should reside, you must know, that as the Solar Light dis­playeth it self throughout the whole Hemisphere, yet it cannot be said to possess any place more than another; so I, being a beam of immortality, am diffused through that little World of yours to quicken and heat all parts, yet I confine my self to no peculiar cell, and this inorganitie sheweth, that I [Page 18] can live separat from you (though you by no means without me) as appears already by some functions that I exercise, and those abstract­ed speculations that I use without the help or concurrence of matter, and quantitie, which are my instru­ments onely in ordine ad sensibilia, not Intelligibilia: yet I let you know that I have some closets in that Fabrick of yours, more choice than others, I am radically in the heart, where the vital spirits have their residence, where the arterial and most illustrious bloud doth run in the left ventricle; But I am prin­cipally in the brain, where the ani­mal Spirits inhabit, and whereon I cast my intellectual influences for Discourse and Reason, which in­fluences, the brain of a brute ani­mal is not capable of, or adapted by Nature to receive; Moreover, the veins are branched up & down the body, the bloud is in the veins, [Page 19] the spirits in the bloud, and I am much in the spirits.

By this intimacie of communica­tion I am polluted daily more and more, I am infected hereby and le­prified with sin, and I fear me, that as the wounds of my Saviour ap­peared upon his bodie after his Re­surrection, so those gashes and black spots which I have received from you, will appear upon me after my separation; And whereas you al­ledge, that you are liable to future punishment as well as I for the ab­errations and transgressions of this life, I must tell you, that when af­ter my devorcement from you, I become a spirit, a simple substance and a sphere of my self, the sharp­ness and activity, the simpleness & subtility of my pain being purely spiritual will be farr more grievous and cruciatory than, any those gross members of yours can be ca­pable of, I shall endure all torments [Page 20] at once with certain knowledge of a succeeding perpetuity, without any hopes of the least discontinu­ance or relaxation.

Furthermore, whereas you say that I sit in the box to guide and go­vern that chariot of yours, tis true I do so, but as the divine Philoso­pher said, that chariot of the body is led by two horses, the one black, the other white, this last which are your good inclinations I can easily rule, but the black one, which are your turbulent wild passions and and obliquities I cannot govern, so that I am afraid he is oftentimes so headstrong & furious that he will at last tumble us both down the preci­pice of destruction; Lastly whereas you alledge that I sit at the stern of that leaking bark of yours, t'is true I do so, but I sayl in her as one passing upon some part of the Danubius, where she meets with the River Sa­va, and the two Rivers running in [Page 21] collaterall consortship many miles without intermingling, the Boats that row along the stream, have of­tentimes, on the one side, a black muddie water, and on the Danubs side, a clear stream. In this manner do I sail in that bodie of yours, through good and bad affections, through clear and turbid humours (though the last be more predomi­nant) whence such vapours arise, that cause strange tempests in me, and disturb the calm of my mind, which makes me wearie of this ha­bitation, when I think on those pol­lutions, and black specks wherewith I am contaminated, whereunto my meditations tended lately in these few Stanzas of multifarious ca­dences.

Lord I cry,
Lord I fly
To thy Throne of grace,
This world is irksom unto me;
In my mind
Stings I find
Of that dismal place
Where pains still growing young ne'r die;
O thou whose clemencie
Reacheth to earth from skie
Set my sins from me as wide
As is East
From the West,
Or the Court of bliss
From the Infern abyss,
So far let us asunder ever bide;
Angels blest,
With the rest
Of that Heavenly quire,
Which Halelujas always sing,
Fain would I
Mount on high,
And those seats aspire
Where every season is a constant spring;
[Page 23]O thou who thought'st no scorn
To be in Bethlem born
Though grand Monarch of the sky,
Through a floud
Of thy bloud
Let me safely dive
And at that port arrive,
Where I may ever rest from shipwrack free.
Faith and Hope
Take your scope,
And my Pilots be,
To waft me to this blisfull bay,
Gently guid
Through the tide
Of Mans miserie
My Bark, that it lose not the way,
When landed I shall be
At that Port, pardon me
If I bid you both farewell,
Onely love
Reigns above
'Mong celestial souls
Where passion not controuls,
Nor any thing but Charity doth dwel.
[Page 22]Lord of light
In thy sight
Are those Mounts of bliss,
Which humane brains transcend so far,
Ear nor ey
Can descry,
Nor heart fully wish,
Or toungs of men and saints declare,
Those sense-surmounting joys
That free from all annoys
For those few up-treasur'd lie,
Which ere sun
Shone at noon
Have their names enroll'd
In characters of gold
Through the white volums of Eterni­tie.
Bodie.

You are beholden to my frailties for this and such like Meditations, who raise them in you, as rusty steel useth to strike sparks of fire; sin it self becomes an advantage to us somtimes; nay, mankind may be said to be beholden to the Iews and Iu­das, [Page 25] because they were the outward Instruments that wrought salvation; for the Cross, which they set upon mount [...]alvarie for the crucifying of our Saviour, was the first Chri­stian Altar that ever was erected, and it may be well doubted, whe­ther he that hates the Altar, shall ever have benefit of the Sacrifice, as one said. But I am sorry to hear from you, that your dwelling in me is so tedious unto you, all that I can say, is, I could wish you were better hous'd; Now touching those Pas­sions and Affections you speak of, (which are also my Inmates) they are to the soul, as sayls to a ship, they are also as so many gales to fill those sayls, as so many breezes to blow this small Vessel of mine, wherein you are embarked to the haven of happiness, and as I said before, they are meer Emanations from you; for there is nothing of motion in me, but what I derive [Page 26] from you; Now touching Affecti­ons and Passions, how uncoth would all human actions be, unless they were sweetned by them: how stupid and slumbering would our Spirits be without them? What a dull thing were Generation, if there were no Concupiscence? What comfort would there be in educating children, if there were not a natural love that affected us? Charitie would grow key-cold, if Pity did not heat her to action; and that Souldier fights best, who be­ing in the field, is possess'd with the Passion of anger, which the Philo­sopher calls the Whetstone of forti­tude; He cannot becom a true Peni­tent, that is not affectē with sorrow nor a true Convert, who is not af­fected with hatred of sin.

Touching other infirmities you charge me withall, you know I have them by natural and heredi­tary propagation from my first Pa­rents, [Page 27] whose corruption was entail'd upon all mankind, which may al­so excuse, at least extenuat my faults. But besides these Resons, I have another that may serve for an Apologie in my behalf, which is, that all these members of mine, and that mass of bloud which runs through them, with the cestern of Humors, as likewise all the cells of my brain, are guided and governed by the motions of celestial bodies, whose influxes do perpetually in­vade me, and are irresistible: Add hereunto, that there is a malus Ge­nius an ill Spirit that is always busie about me, and ready to take all advantages to impel me to acts of weakness. All these things being well considered, and weigh'd in a just balance, conclude me to be of my self but a poor passive thing, and to act by the impulses of o­thers.

[Page 28]Touching those Affections and Passions you speak of, which are nought else but a conglobation of the Spirits, I not onely allow, but am glad of them, they serve as wings to carry me up to heaven (and you after me) or as you say, they are as so many gales to send me thither, provided that the one do onely blow, not bluster and raise tempests; And that the other be not irregu­lar or exorbitant, but directed to their true Object: The Passions are as so many pleaders wrangling at a bar, and Reson, my chiefest facultie, should be their Chancelor; But oftentimes those troops of furious Spirits, which Passion musters up, and sends up boyling to the brain, are so violent, that those Spirits which are under the jurisdiction of Reson, are not able to encounter them, though she unite all her for­ces to that purpose.

[Page 29]Moreover, whereas you would pin your infirmities upon your first Parents, 'tis true, that although A­dam at first was created in a state of integrity and perfection, being he was the Epitome of the Creation, and a kind of Microcosm, a little World of himself, whereunto there may be some allusion in his name, which comprehends the four cor­ners of the World, the word Adam being made up of [...], viz. East, West, North and South; Although at first he was compleated to that state, and yet made capable of a higher per­fection, which capacitie was no im­perfection, but a seale to a higher; I say, that although he was so ac­complish'd to present happiness, yet by the seducement of the ill Spirit, he fatally fell from it; nor was the fault as much in the Woman, being the weaker vessel, but in him who was the stronger; Now the tryal [Page 30] of mans universal Obedience, being intended in him, and he failing, the guilt thereof falls upon his Posteri­tie, that were all then potentially in his loins, who ever since have brought with them into the world the stains of that original Corrupti­on, which yet Christians have a way to wash off in the Font of Baptism, the lavoir of Regeneration: yet there is an Eve lurking still within the humane body, viz. the Will, which is so full of obliquities and fraylties, that while I lie at close ward against one infirmitie, another is ready to wound me; which makes me so great a sinner, that the Indulgences of a whole Jubile (had they such a virtue as some believe they have) were not able to ab­solve me.

Moreover, whereas you averr the Stars to bear sway, and to have an incontroulable predominance over all sublunary Cretures, and conse­quently [Page 31] over that body of yours; It is a truth that cannot be denied, as we find by daily experience, that all Elementary Cretures depend up­on the motion and virtue of the heavenly: but though these influx­es from above do by their opera­tion toss and tumble the humors as they lift, and work upon corpo­real things in man; yet notwith­standing, it cannot be said that these operations do extend to those inclinations and actions, that de­pend immediately upon the Em­pire of the Will, with the other fa­culties and Powers of the Mind, which are immanent, and meerly spiritual; yet I confess, if we observe the order and method that the Understanding and the Will do use in the production of their functions, it will be found, that the influence of the Celestial Luminaries, and the impressions that they make, must have something to do herein; [Page 32] but it is indirectly and accidently, in regard that all terrestrial bodies by a gradual kind of subordination be­ing govern'd, as was said before, by the superior, it must be inferred of necessitie, that whatsoever is natu­ral in the humane Creture, as the organs of that body of yours, must feel the Power of their influences; In regard that the spiritual facul­ties are so united, and have such an entercourse with the corporeal or­gans, that they cannot operate, un­less the said organs ministerially concur, and contribute thereunto, by presenting the objects, which are the sensible species; but I except the abstracted ideas and speculati­ons of the Mind; whence it inevi­tably comes to pass, that in regard of this strict league, and natural correspondence, which is between them, the inward faculties partake somewhat of, and submits to the do­minion that the Planets and Con­stellations [Page 33] have over the sensual ap­petite, which together with the will, are disposed often, and incited, I will not say constrained, by their influxes.

Out of these premisses this con­clusion doth follow, that the Stars do operate, and make impressions upon the humane creture (as well as other productions of the Ele­ments) both outwardly and inward­ly, but they serve themselves of those material parts and organs of yours, that are as portholes to let in the influxes which they dart from above to work upon the facul­ties, to incline and incite them to good or ill, according to their dispositions, though not by way of enforcement, for they have not such a tyrannical and absolute supremacie, but there is a freedom still left to a well-ordered Will; And as there are outward Bongraces, to preserve the face from being tanned [Page 34] by the violence of Solar heat, so there are intern Graces to keep the inward parts from all ill and ma­lignant influences that are lanced from above; according to the Poet, —Sapiens dominabitur Astris.

The Wise man sways ore the Stars; Therefore it was a very perti­nent answer that one gave to a Genethliacal Astrologer, who ha­ving taken much pains to prie in­to the horoscope for the calculating of his Nativitie, and telling the par­tie, that in regard such and such stars were in conjunction at the hour of his Birth, therefore he must be subject to such and such ill hu­mours and dispositions. 'Tis true, said he, that I was born such a one, but I was born again, meaning his spiritual regeneration: For as we find that a virtuous education doth oftentimes correct the infirmities, and rectifie the obliquities of na­ture, so there be interior motions of [Page 35] Grace, which come from a higher power than the Stars, that curb and check the operations which proceed from the supern influxes: Yet are the intellectual powers easily incli­ned to be transported, and snatched away by the sensual appetit, and the natural allurements thereof, for the humane soul is not sui juris, she is not so independent and absolut of her self, but that she may be said to depend upon the Totum composi­tum, upon the bodie in general, by the mediation of whose instruments she imploys her faculties, end exer­ciseth her actions in order to sensible things.

But as the stars in this firma­ment are whirled away by the over­ruling motion of the Primum mobi­le, the first mover from East to West, yet they have a particular and contrarie motion of their own from West to East, wherein they, proceed notwithstanding, in a con­stant [Page 36] interrupted pace; so I may be said to be oftentimes whirld away by the irregular and violent moti­ons of that Compositum, that fleshly sphere of yours, yet I go on still in my own motion towards my last goal, and my sovereign good.

Now whereas the Heavens work on inferior bodies, by three instru­ments, viz. by Light, Motion, and Influence, the first ingendering heat in the Ayr by attrition and rarefa­ction, which is done by a simple or compounded ray, to wit, reflection; The second, by measuring our times and seasons, both which may be said to be external visible instru­ments; The third, which is influence, is a hidden intern qualitie, it produ­ceth metals, causeth fluxes and re­fluxes, ripens the Embrion in the womb, with such like effects, and as it was discoursed before, it operates in the human creture upon his very intellectuals, through the exterior [Page 37] material parts; yet not by way of compulsion, but inclination, as was said before, therefore the influxes of Heaven are no excuse for you, as you alledg, because they are resi­stable.

Lastly, touching the Malus genius an ill spirit, which you say doth haunt you, and is ever at your el­bow, to push you forward to ill acti­ons, and suggest into you bad con­ceptions, I must tel you there is also a Bonus genius or daemon, a good spirit that always attends you, whose infusions, precepts, and cau­tions if you would obey, you would not onely see the best, and approve of it, but follow and put it in pra­ctise.

Bodie.

This discourse doth administer me but small comfort, yet I thank you that you make me know my self better by displaying unto me [Page 38] my own condition, and that maga­zin of infirmities which are stored up in this little tabernacle of yours, yet I shall never make those infir­mities, nor all the effects thereof, were they more in number, greater than my Creators mercie, either out of any despondencie of Spirit, and despair, in rejecting it as some do, or by presumption, in slighting it as others do: For if the first Man, who was immediatly moul­ded and made by God himself in such a state of perfection, had his frailties; If Samson the strongest man had also his; If Salomon the wisest man had his; If David, the holiest of men, who had so many ad­vantages, as to be a Prophet, and so anointed with oyl above others; if that Prophet who came of the chosen seed, and consequently, was not cast in so corrupt a mold as o­thers, I say, if the Prophet David who was a Man after Gods own [Page 39] heart, a character, the like whereof was never given to any but unto him, I say if such a man, and such men had infirmities in so high a measure, how is it possible but that I should have them in a greater number? therefore my transgressi­ons are but deeds of my defects, and effects of those general frailties that have attended, and are entail'd upon the best of men.

Now, touching my corporeal Organs and Senses which you tax so much, 'tis true that my eyes have oftentimes gazed upon earthly va­nities, and grass-green objects, yet at other times they have looked up­on sky-colour. I have cast them up towards Heaven, and fixing them a good while (with some ejaculati­ons) upon a part of the deepest a­zure I could spy, they cur'd me once of a shrewd defluxion (by which experiment, I also found that such a fixation doth much corroberat the [Page 40] nerves and conserve the sight) that distil'd into them. I have by Them oft admir'd the fair fabrick of the Universs, surveing all the parts thereof round about as farr as my opticks could reach, & stood asto­nisht at their Excellencies, as beams streaming from a heavenly Creator (& refracting on the visible world) on whom their preservation de­pends, and in whom they were con­centred intentionally before they had any existence; I observe how Nature is here and there check'd by Him, when I see how he sets bounds to the vast tumbling Ocean, and that those mountains of snow, which hang in the Ayrie Region, & those floud-gates of waters do not fall down and precipitate at once to over-whelm the earth, which is so little a thing in comparison of the vast expansion of the Air; As also in the operation of divers other productions of Hers. For if Nature [Page 41] did go on still in her own course & constant method of effects and cau­ses, this might induce a belief, that she were Governness of all things; but when we see, that sometimes she hath not her full swing, intending things that she is not able to per­fect, but falls short of her purposes, as also that her ordinarie operati­ons are restrained, and grow lame, We must conclude, that there is a predominant Power that ore-sways her, and moves the sphere of her activitie as he lift. Thus by the opticks of the Ey, (the eminent­est of my senses) I make the [...], the Universe my Universitie to stu­die my Maker, breaking out often (when I go into the fields, and find all things subservient to Man) into that ejaculation of the Psalmist, Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders he doth for the children of men. Nor do I by the benefit of the Ey read [Page 42] Divinitie among sublunarie crea­tures where every spire of grass may serve for a letter, but I spel my Creator among the stars, and indeed there is not any mundane object doth delight and ravish me so much, as to contemplate those glorious lamps of Heven in a clear night, wherewith I find my self so much affected, that with Emilius I could find in my heart to congratu­late the Moons deliverie from an Eclips; therefore it may stand well with Christianitie, to hold those the best of Pagans, that ask blessing of the Sun.

Touching my Organs of hearing, 'tis true as you say, they serve too often to let in every frivolous tale, or sonet, yet as the Philosopher calls the Hearing sensum disciplinae, the sence of learning, whereby the soul, as he thought, being at first infusion a kind of rasa tabula, re­covers all her notions by way of [Page 43] Reminiscence, I have made it often (let all this be spoken without va­nity) the sense of saving knowledge for Faith comes by hearing; I have set open the anfractuous passages thereof to take in the sacred Ora­cles of God, and the mysteries of salvation, and when I hear a holy anthem it brings all my spirits to my ears in throngs; A grave ela­borat sermon works the like effect, such a sermon as he speak of, who coming out of a Church, and being asked whether the sermon was done, yes, said he, 'tis done in the church, but it begins now in me: but while my Faith is fed, I do not love to have my Reson famished, I do not love to be worded to death by such tautological & rambling insipid confused stuff that some Enthusiasists use to evaporat, wherein it is as dif­ficult to find any coherence in point of matter or methodical contex­ture, as it is to make a rope of that sand whereby they prate.

[Page 44]My feet 'tis true, go too often astray to the by-paths of vanity, but they come back again to the right track, as one going on a jour­ney, and hearing by the way a pack of hounds, he goes and follows the sport a while, and then returns to his road; I have the grace to di­rect them often to Gods holy house, where with leggs and knees I em­ploy them in the humblest manner of genu-flection, to offer him sacri­fices of prayer and prayses;

I reach out my hands sometimes to lend unto the Lord, by relieving the poor (according to my pittance) knowing that Charity doth cover a multitude of sins: my fingers also I find pliable now and then to write divine meditations, whereunto I employ them altogether upon the holy Saboth.

My mouth, my toung, and heart, also joyn (be it still spoke without vainness) at least to ejaculat my [Page 45] guilt and his glory; and I find the arterial bloud, which is in the least ventricle thereof boyling, me thinks, within me in affection towards him, the exhalations whereof rise up, and fill all the cells of my brain to contemplat his goodness, as will appear unto you in these few terna­ries of Stanzas.

Could I screw up my brain so high
With soaring raptures that mightfly
Unto the Empyrean skie,
How would I laud the Lord of light,
Who fills all things, and every wight
With plentie, vigor, and delight.
My voice with Halelujahs loud
Should pierce and dissipat the clouds
Which in the Airie region croud;
Then through the Element of fire
Unto the Stars they should aspire,
And so to the seraphic quire.
Thus earth and skie, with every thing
Should joyn with me, and carrols sing
Unto the everlasting King.

Touching my interior Passi­ons, I confess, they have too great a dominion in me, choler, which hath more heat than light in it, doth too often transport me, som fires glow in me, as if they were flown from hell, and such a fire no meaner man than Saint Paul, though a Convert, and one that had been a Traveller in the other world, felt within him, impatience and rashness, intemperance, self-conceit, and hatred have reigned in me, I have other odd things (and indeed all things which attend human weakness) that I am subject unto, as too much credulitie and light­ness; sadness contracts, and mirth too suddenly dilates my spirits, and makes them break out into violent fits of laughter, which though it be [Page 47] a harmless Passion, yet there is none that distorts a man so much, for it extends the fore-head, declines the brow, half shuts the eye, raising a kind of splendor about them, it crumples up the nose, drives back the cheeks, and makes pits in them, it shews the teeth, makes the toung pendant in the mouth, it hindereth the swallowing by contracting and shutting the muscles which serve that action, it gives such girds to the Diaphragma that it obstructs the respiration for the time, it con­tracts all the members, and beats upon the flancks, it puts forth arms, leggs and hands in strange posturs; It causeth Syncopes some­times, and raiseth an irregular mo­tion in the pulse; thus this Passion disguiseth me too often, & betrays my folly, though one, apologizing for this Passion, saith, that laughter doth not as much discover a man to be a fool, but that there is a fool [Page 48] in his companie, which causeth him to laugh. There is so much pro­digalitie in me, that I think I shall never be covetous, I shall never be condemned for a rich man, nor be so simple, as to roast meat for o­thers, while I starve my self; I have other Passions that dwell in me, whereof there can be no excess, as Hope and Love; by the first I think I shall be long liv'd, for of all the Passions there is none so ad­vantagious for health, in regard the spirits therein, which coroborat and quicken all the parts, are mode­rate, she stops, and keeps them back that they cannot dissipat nor make any vehement agitation or eagerness; for if the spirits be too active and violent in their operati­ons, they may produce strong acti­ons, but it shortens our daies, be­cause those spirits easily scatter, and so consume the natural moisture, which Hope useth not to do.

[Page 49]Touching the other Passion, viz. Love, Nature herein hath been be­nign, and bountifull unto me, for she hath given me good store, so that I think I am not in the arrear to any for that, I take much more pleasure in the retaliation of a good turn, than in the revenge of a wrong, &c.

This Love extends to all my fel­low Cretures, for it makes an im­pression of a kind of tenderness in me, when I see any of them go to the slaughter; Insomuch, that I could live a Pythagorean, all the daies of my life, upon roots, fruits, pulse and whit-meats, which Nature reacheth unto us so gently without any violence; what a coil there is with so many hounds, horses and men to take away the life of a Hare or Partridge: what blowing and puffing, what sweating and swear­ing is us'd in killing a poor Dear? which makes me think upon the mad-man, whom the Italian Do­ctor [Page 50] had put naked in a Pond up to the navil, and it hapning, that a Falconer passed by, luring after his Hawk, he asked the mad-man whether he had seen her, the mad-man staring upon him, and asking him divers questions touching his Hawks, Hounds, & horse, & finding that all that expence and pains was but to kill some poor Bird; he told the Falconer, Get you gon hence as soon as you can, for if [...]he Doctor comes out, and finds you, whereas he hath put me here but to the na­vil, he will clap you up to the very neck for a greater mad-man.

But touching Rational Cretures which are of my own species, and bear the Character of Christians, I can hate no man onely for his opi­nion, difference of Fancy and face to me is all one; it mov's Pity ra­ther in me than hatred; The Greek, all the while he hath the same Creed with me, though among o­ther [Page 51] tenents, he denies, that the souls of holy men do enjoy the blissfull vision of God, or the souls of wicked men are tormented in Hell before the day of judgement; The Melchites or Assyrians, the greatest sect of Christians in the Orient, though among other wrong opinions, they hold, That the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Fa­ther, &c. The Russian, though he receive Children, after seven years of age, to the Communion, and mingleth warm water with the Wine in the Eucharist, &c. The Nestorian, though he hold, That there are two Persons in our Savi­our, as well as two Natures, &c. The Iacobit, though he signs Chil­dren before Baptism, with the sign of the Cross, some in the face, some [...]n the arm, some in the breast, which badg of Christianitie, they carry with them to their grave, &c. The Cophti, or Christians of Egypt, [Page 52] though they baptize not their chil­dren till 40 daies after their birth, and then presently Administer the Sacrament of the Eucharist unto them, &c. The Habassins, which are the Ethiopians, a vast continent of Christians, as bigg as half Eu­rope, though they circumcise their children, as well as Baptise them, & so are Jews from the girdle down­ward, though the cake of unleaven­ed Bread which they administer in the Sacrament, have five dents in it, alluding to the five wounds of Christ, and that day they communicat, they do not spit till the Sun be set; and the Emperour, when in his Progress, he comes to the sight of a Church, he presently lights down off his Dromedary, and crawls a while on his knees, but never remounts, till he be out of the sight of the Church, with o­ther Ceremonies of theirs, &c. The Armenians, who have more [Page 53] priviledges in the Turks dominion than any other Christians, though they deny the Holy ghost to pro­ceed from the Son, and receive in­fants presently after baptism to the communion of the Eucharists &c. The Maronits that inhabit about mount Libanus though they hold that human souls were all created together from the beginning, that the father may dissolve the matri­mony of his son or daughter if he mislike it, Though they use to create children 5. or 6. years old sub-Deacons, and believe that no human creture entereth the King­dom of Heaven before the generall [...]udgement &c. The Anabaptists, [...]hough they baptise not their chil­dren till they come to years of dis­ [...]retion &c. The Presbyterian, though [...]e be against hierarchy, and the ce­ [...]emonies of the church and onely [...]n love with the wealth thereof &c. The Hollanders though they allow [Page 54] a man to cohabit with a woman all the daies of his life, and if upon his death bed he marry her, t'is time enough to restore her honour, and make the children formerly begot between them legitimate, &c. The Roman Catholicks, though they In­voke Saints, and pray for the dead, &c. All these, with sundrie sorts of Christians besides, all the while they have the Symbole of saving Faith, and same Apostolical Creed with me, all the while they have the Decalog, and holy Scriptures, I have so much Charitie to hold that they differ from me, not as much in Religion as in Opinion; (Now Opi­nion is that great Ladie which sways the World) therefore I wish that they might go up the same scale of bliss with me. Nor are the Swi [...]s and Gritons to be hated, because they permit the Lutheran to preach in one end of the Church, and the Calvinist in the other, yet in thei [...] [Page 55] moral civilities and negotiations, they live peaceably together.

To conclude this discours touch­ing common Charitie and Love, 'tis tru my Fellow-cretures, my Kindred and Friends have a great share of it, but I reserve the quint­essence thereof for my Creator and Saviour, the one being the sea, the other the spring of all felicitie. I love my Creator a thousand de­grees more than I fear him, which makes me praise him more often than pray unto him; and for matter of fear (as I displayed my self else­where) I fear none more than my self, who am indeed my greatest foe, I mean those obliquities and depra­vations which are my inmates, whereof the ill spirit takes his ad­vantage, ever and anon, to make me run into aberrations, so that I may say, I stand more in fear of my self than of the devil, or death who is the king of fears. Now touching [Page 56] this Elixer of love that I reserve for my Creator, it melted one morning into these Stanzas:

As the parchd field doth thirst for rain
When the Dog-star, makes Sheep, and Swain
Of an unusual drowth coplain,
So thirsts my heart for Thee.
As the chac'd deer doth pant and bray
After some brook, or cooling bay,
When hounds have worried her astray
So pants my heart for Thee.
As the forsaken Dove doth mone
When her beloved mate is gone,
And never rests while self-alone,
So mones my heart for Thee.
Or as the teeming Earth doth mourn
In black (like Lover at an urn)
Till Titan's quickning beams return,
So do I mourn, mone, pant & thirst
For Thee, who art my last and first.
Soul.
[Page 57]

I am glad beyond measure to hear these discourses drop from you, first that you make so good use of the objects of this Inferior world, as to study your Creator in them, proceeding from the effects, to the search of the cause which is the method of Philosophy, whereas the Theolog proceeds commonly from the cause to the effect. The Pagan Philosophers by the twilight of na­ture soard so high, that they came to discover there was a primus Mo­tor, an Ensentium, an optimus maxi­mus, they came to know that he was ubiquitary and diffus'd through the Universs, to give vigor, life and motion to all parts as I do in that bodie of yours, though invisibly, if I may be so bold as assimilat so incomprehensible a greatness to so small a thing; Now there is no finit intellect can form a quidditative apprehension of God, no not the [Page 58] Angels themselves. There may be negative conceptions of him, as to say he is immortal, immense, inde­pendent, simple, and infinit &c. Or there may be relative conceptions had of him, as when we call him Creator, Governor, King, &c. Or there may be positive conceptions of him, as the chiefest Good, a pure Act, or he may be described by an aggregation of Attributs, as, Mer­cifull, Wise, Pious, &c. But for the comprehensive quidditie of God, it cannot be understood by any created Power; Among all these, one of the best wayes to de­scribe him, is by Abstracts, as to call him goodness it self, Justice it self, Power, Pity & Piety it self, He be­ing the rule of all these; some of those ancient Wisards among the Egyptians and Grecians came by reach of natural resons, to the knowledge of one Incomprehen­sible Guide and conserver of the U­nivers; [Page 59] specially Tresmegistus and Socrates, but they durst not broach their opinions publiquely for fear of the fury of the Peeple, among whom there was a kind of zeal in those dark times; Plato flew as high as Socrates his Master in Divinitie, and among other Passages through­out his Works, there is one that is very pregnant, for Writing to a friend of his, he saith, When I write to thee seriously; I begin my Epi­stle with God save thee, when other­wise, The Gods save thee; Ari­stotle, Plato's scholler, courted Na­ture onely, groping her secrets; a great Philosopher he was, and no less a Sophister, he was the first that en­tangled Philosophy with subtilties, coin'd words and Paralogisms, as the Classicans did first distract divinitie, so that it was no im­proper Character which one gave, That Aristotles school was a great skold;

[Page 60]Touching the celestial bodies I love you the better, that you are affected with them so much, that you sometimes speculat and spel your Creator among the stars. Now some of the Rabbins hold, that the word Iehovah (which is the highest name of God Almigh­tie, and pronounced publickly in the Synagog but once a year) may be plainly made up among the Ori­ental stars. Nay, they affirm, that all the Hebrew letters may be found in the firmament, which letters were the true characters of the con­stellations before the Egyptians came with their Hieroglyphicks, & that the Greeks hois'd up such mon­sters so near the throne of God, as Bears, Bulls, Lions, Goats, Rams and Scorpions; together with pit­chers and planks of rotten wood. They hold moreover, that the fate and periods of Monarchies may be read, not onely in Comets, but in [Page 61] those fixd stars that are vertical o­ver them. When Medusa's head was vertical to Greece, there were divers that presaged her destructi­on. Ierusalem's ruin was read plainly among the stars, some years before. Nay, Postel, a Christian writer, takes God and Christ to wit­ness, that in the Hebrew characters among the stars, vidit omnia quae in Rerum natura constituta sunt, he saw all things that were constituted by nature. Doubtless that toung which was spoken in Paradise, and by the Almightie himself, may have some extraordinarie priviledge and mysteries in it, nor was Postel luna­tic when he broke out into such a protestation. But the Authors of this opinion add unto it this cauti­on, that he who will be a schollar, and a proficient in this sydereal school to spel the stars, and studie this book (for the Heavens are calld so in holy Scriptures) must be an [Page 62] extraordinarie pious, patient and prudent wel-wisd man, so he may find old Orpheus words to be tru, when speaking of God he sings,

[...],

[...].

Thy certain order doth run immu­table commands aong the starrs:

Now, touching those ancient no­taries of Nature, it may be well thought, those large Ideas of know­ledge they had, were illuminations from Heven, whence every good and perfect gift doth descend, therefore Erasmus cannot be much blamed for canonizing Socrates for a Saint, so confident he was of his salvation; And it were no profa­ness to say, That as the Holy Pro­phets were Harbengers to the Se­cond Person of the Trinitie, so the Philosphers were the Heralds of the First. Touching your Passions, Senses and Organs, though the first have been Traytors so often unto [Page 63] me within doors, and the other Rebells without, yet you apologize indifferently well for them; Age will take off their teeth and ougles in time, for they are no other than wild Beasts; Insomuch, that it was not said improperly of him, who having pass'd his gran Climacte­rique, viz. 63, said, that he was got loose from his unruly Passions, as from so many Tygars or Wolves. But I like it well, that you have so much of Hope and Love; Touch­ing the first, you say well, it maybe a cause of longevity, because it keeps the Spirits in a temperat motion, and preserves them from wasting too fast; And this may be one reson why Kings and Soverain Princes are not commonly so long liv'd as others, because they have fewer things to hope for, and more things to fear.

Touching the largeness of your Love, that it extends to a tender [Page 64] compassion towards sensitive ani­mals, it is a thing not to be altoge­ther discommended in you (though it may be smild at by some) nor are you alone herein, but there be some Noble Christian Authors that are of your disposition, who say, that they could find in their hearts to in­veigh against the cruel, bloudy and nasty sacrifices of the Jews, had they not served as Types of the great Oblation for Mankind; nor is your charitable large Love to­wards all those that bear God Al­mighties Image, to be blam'd, be­ing well interpreted, specially to­wards Christians, considering that they have the Decalog, wherein there are omnia facienda all things to be done, and the Dominical Prayer, wherein there are omnia petenda all things to be asked for, and lastly the Creed, wherein there are omnia cre­denda all things to be believed; though the Roman Church be ac­cus'd [Page 65] to mutilat one of them. 'Tis true, there have been Haeretiques and Hetroclits in Divinitie from all times, specially in this doting age, and not only in Divinitie, but also in Philosophy, and Policy. The Church of Christ, like Saint Peters bark, must expect, in this troublesom World, to be toss'd with cross winds, and somtimes with tempests, which proceed from the light and airy opinions of hu­man brains; and while they think to make the said bark tite, and stop the leaks, they make more holes in her; Others, going about to exalt the Church, do raise her upon the Devils back; And the worst is, that Peeple fall out about meer ni­cities, and extern indifferent forms; for though they agree in the funda­mentals and doctrin, yet they come to exercise mortal hatred one to the other; but it hath been so from the beginning: what a huge clash did [Page 66] one little Vowel made in a great general Councel, whether [...], or [...], was more Orthodoxal; and what a huge gulph of separati­on is made now among Christians, whether, in the holy Eucharist, we take panem Domini, or panem Do­minum; There may be garments of divers fashions made of one stuff; the same faith may admit of divers rites; And indeed, it is very ob­servable, how the Genius of a Na­tion may be discovered by their outward exercise and forms of Re­ligion; The Romans, who had large souls, did always delight in magnificence and Pomp, in stately Fabriques, in rich ornaments, in exquisit Music, in curious sculp­tures and Paintings, in solemnities and stately Processions; all these the Italians, who are extracted of the Romans, as also divers Fami­lies in Spain and France, do exercise in the practice of their Religion, [Page 67] thinking nothing too costly and precious for their Churches, and that it concerns all Arts to con­tribut their best, and most quintes­sential Pieces for the beautifying thereof, wherein all others, who are under the Roman Church do imitat Her; But there are other Peeple that have souls of another temper, they care not for Exterior shews, and appearances of pomp, or for feeding the eyes: And whereas the other Nations do deck, trim up, and imbellish Religion with the ra­rest Ornaments, and richest Jewels and furniture they can find, to set a good face upon Her, whereas they house Her in the stateliest manner they can, adorning, perfuming and keeping her Temples as neat and decent as possible can be, to draw the Peeple to a love and frequen­tation of them; The other sort of Peeple put Her in homely plain at­tire, being loth to spend much mo­ney [Page 68] upon her, least if devotion shold produce too much welth, the daugh­ter wold devour the Mother. Touch­ing the charitable conceit you bear towards those sects of Christians which you have nam'd, discovers a candid & charitable nature in you, for though the number of the Elect be few, yet to confine them to one clime, and coop them up in one cor­ner of the Earth, is a presumption; Yet every one shold be so confident of his own religiō, as to wish that all Mankinde were of the same as He.

I like it extremely well that you reserve the best and purest motions of love for your Creator, who is the source and wide sea, who is the sum and center of all happiness; This love you may be well assured will not be lost towards him who taketh delight in nothing more than in the good of his cretures, and to see them do well; He is always more ready to open than they to [Page 69] knock, more ready to hear than they to cry, more ready to bestow than they to begg; moreover I like well those submissive and decent postures wherein you prostrat your self be­fore him, there can be no exces of humility in your comportment that way, the inward man is known by the outward carriage, and when the members bow without, 'tis a signe that the heart doth so also within: I like it well also that your praises are more frequent than your pray­ers; prayers bend God, but prayses bind him; prayer concerns our own interest, but praise aymes princi­pally at his glory, and they who doth truly preform this part of pi­ety, may be saied to discharge the duty of an Angell upon earth; God, who is omniscious, knows all our wants before hand, and what's fitt­ing for us, therfore to be too im­portunat and over-tedious in one praier, to eflagitat him with reite­rations [Page 70] of the same thing discovers a doubting and diffident heart, therefore it more becomes a Chri­stian to be more vehement in prayse rather than in prayer, the one issuing out of the foggy vapours of sin, the other from the pure exhalations of piety and gratitude, which sooner ascend to heaven; Therefore a Chri­stian should not stand always knock­ing and begging at the gates of heaven, but endeavour to bestow some thing upon his Creator, and there cannot be a better gift than praise, with expressions of thank­fulness and with admiration of his longanimity and love, of his pre­servation and providence, of his power and greatness; yet prayer should have a longer preparation than praise, in regard by it we make our addresses immediatly to God in the second person, and familiarly speaks to him as it were face to face; whereas oblations of praise are [Page 71] commonly in the third person; Therefore under favour I do not much approve of their custom who before and after meat, when their brains are ful of worldly thoughts, and tied to civil compliances do rush rashly into a speech with him in the second person having no time for a fitting praemeditation; At such times a short ejaculation expressed in the third person (though it be only mental if the case requiers) may be more acceptable, and freer from presumption than a long grace, For among those innumerable sins which man is subject unto, the sin in prayer, though least thought up­on, is one of the greatest, when without trembling precogitations, God Almightie is spoken unto, and thou'd in the Vocative case. Now, those Benedictions, and strains of prayses which are utterd in the No­minative and other Cases, have a larger scope of boldness, and a [Page 72] greater latitude of notion, they keep at a further distance, and conse­quently require not so much re­verence, and recollection of the thoughts beforehand, but may be extemporal; 'Tis one thing to say God be praisd, another thing to say, O God I praise thee: the latter requires much more premeditation, for one presupposeth he is as it were locally and presentially before him, though the first may have as much of the heart, & be as effectual as the other. This makes me to take some paines when I invoke God in the second person by my orison, to obstract my self from all commerce with you for the present, and elevat my self upon the wings of Faith in the sublimest posture I can towards He­ven taking the choicest affections and ideas with me along where I figure to my self a huge mountain of most pure and inexpressible light wherein me thinks I discern a glori­ous [Page 73] majesty, but the more I look up­on him, the more he dazles mine eyes, that I cannot make him a fix'd object, or discover any shape in him, in regard of the refulgencie of his glory; during this action, I endea­vour to mingle with that light, for true love is nothing else but an ap­petit of Vnion, and if I hold my self to be a spark, or part of that light from the beginning, and to be dart thence into that body of yours, and made a soul, may be no extrava­gant speculation.

Now touching this last Notion, and the other concerning extempo­rall Prayer, it is not utter'd to give the least occasion of scandal to any other soul, but onely to intimat, that there are for Acts of Devoti­on, as well as for all things else, fit places and times, where there may be a greater opportunitie for one to summon his spirits, to marshall his irregular thoughts, and raise [Page 74] his affections towards that glori­ous object, to whom Prayer is di­rected.

Bodie.

Dear soul, my spirits are raised to an exceeding great height of comfort, that in the first part of this last discours, you are pleas'd with the method of my Devotions, and carriage towards Heaven; that I reserve my purest and most intense Affections for my Creator, which I shall be most carefull ever to do, —dum spiritus hos regit artus; He being my sole & soverain good; and truly, I must tell you, that when by my lubricities, as by too free a genius in the fruition of a friend or otherwise, I chance to have of­fended him, I can never be friends with my self, till I am reconcil'd to him, and that I conceive his coun­tenance to be turn'd again towards me; yet, I had once a long fit of de­jection [Page 75] of Spirit that made me break out into these complaints, which you may well remember, for they were Emanations from you.

Early and late, both night and day,
By moon-shine and the Sun's bright ray,
When spangling starrs emboss'd the skie,
And deck'd the World's vast canopy,
I sought the Lord of life & light,
But oh, my Lord kept out of sight.
As at all times, so every place
I made my Church, to seek his face;
In Forrests, Chaces, Parks and Woods,
On Mountains, Meadowes, Fields and Flouds,
I sought the Lord of life and light,
But still my Lord kept out of sight.
On Neptun's back, when I could see
But few pitch'd planks 'twixt death and mee,
[Page 76]In freedom & in bondage long
With grones & crys, with Pray'r and song,
I sought the Lord of life & light,
But still my Lord kept out of sight.
In chamber, closet (swoln with tears)
I sent up vowes for my arrears,
In Chappel, Church and Sacrament,
The soul's Ambrosian nourishment,
I sought the Lord of life and light,
But still my Lord kept out of sight.
What! is mild Heven turn'd to brass,
That neither sigh nor sob can pass!
Is all commerce 'twixt earth and sky
Cut off from Adam's Progeny?
That thus the Lord of life & light,
Shold so, so long keep out of sight?
Such Passions did my mind assail,
Such terrors did my spirits quail;
When lo, a beam of Grace shot out
Through the dark clowds of sin and doubt
[Page 77]Which did such quickning sparkles dart,
That pierc'd the Centre of my heart;
O how my spirits come again,
How ev'ry cranny of my brain
Was fill'd with heat and wonderment,
With joy, and ravishing content,
When thus the Lord of life & light
Did re-appeer unto my sight.
Learn sinners hence, 'tis ne're too late,
To knock and cry at Hevens gate,
That Begger's bless'd, who doth not faint,
But re-inforceth still his plaint;
The longer that the Lord doth hide his face,
More brighter wilbe his after­beams of Grace.

Thus at last I made mythridat of that Viper, which me thought had gnaw'd so long upon my Consci­ence, [Page 78] which prompted me all the while of my dangerous condition, and exhibited me my Quietus est at last.

Soul.

I like it very well, that you make the Conscience your Guide, and that you use to listen to his counsell; for he is my Dictator, & may be said to have a coordinat Power with God himself. Therefore it is the chief­est part of a wise Christian, to take his Conscience for his Admonisher here, least he become his Accuser hereafter, He is Fraenum, and Fla­grum, he is a bridle before, but a Scourge after sin. But I hope, those turbid intervalls of grief and gripings bettered you afterward; for confession and sorrow without amendment (as one truely said) is like the pumping of a Ship without stopping the leaks: It is a pithy and ponderous advice that an an­cient [Page 79] Father gives, Commissa dole, dolenda non committe, repent of things committed, and commit not things to be repented; there is an­other saying, that administreth both comfort and caution, that if sins present do not delight thee, sins passed will never destroy thee. There is a third which reflects upon God and man; Qui promittit poenitenti veniam non promittit peccanti poeni­tentiam. He who promiseth pardon to the penitent, doth not promise repentance to the peccant.

It behoves you now, that you have passed above seven Clima­cteriques; and seen above seven and twentie hundred Saboths, to make a more exact and frequent account with Heaven, for all the noble na­tural parts must grow less vigorous in you (and so draw you to your end) specially the heart, which ac­cording to the old Egyptian do­ctrine receives two dramms every [Page 80] yeer till it comes to 50, and then decreaseth so fast to a 100, whence turning to its original weight it makes no further progress; There­fore Rogus & urna meditanda, you must now meditate on the pile and the pitcher, viz. on your winding­sheet and grave: for death may lie in wait for you in your shadow as you tread it. You must not now thirst so much after humane know­ledge, and spend your time in the school of nature, by making such greedie researches into her causes and effects, you must seek after Theological verities, you must not so much look after Iacobs staff, as after his ladder. But in the search of divine mysteries, let me give you this caution, not to affect scepticism too much, for it may make you guiltie of spiritual pride, the two gran sins which reign in these times. It is a wholesom Rule satis est sapere ad sobrietatem. It is enough to be [Page 81] soberly wise, to be contented to be of Gods Court, not of his Coun­cel, specially of his Cabinet Coun­cel. Nor in adiaphorous things must you be to violent, strict and insolent, or hating any to destru­ction.

Bodie.

Well fare you now, and better may you fare hereafter, that you have so much care of me, as it ap­pears by affording me these instru­ctions. It is a while since that I have put them in practice, by im­ploying my intellectuals to Divine operations, and to give you some small instances, I will offer you from among others, a few of the Psalms of the holiest of Men, and the first instance shall be the verse that should precede all Prayers and Praises, which I have made to run upon English feet as smoothly and as faithfully as I could, diversi­fying [Page 82] it in four Stanzas, whereof the Reader may choose which he please.

PSALM 19. Vers. vlt.

1 O Lord my Saviour and support,
Grant that the words and cries
My heart doth vent, and toung report
Be pleasing in thy eys.
2 O let the notions of my mind
And words my mouth doth yield,
Still in thy sight acceptance find
My Saviour, strength and shield.
3 O Lord my Saviour strength and might,
Grant that the thoughts and words
Be always pleasing in thy sight
My mouth and heart affoards.
4 O let the words my lips prolate,
And plaints my heart doth pour,
Find favour at thy mercie gate
My Saviour, strength and tow'r.

[Page 83]Now you shall receive some of the Penitential Psalms, which I hope I have not murthered in the version, as others are said to have done.

PSALM. 51.

1 Some pitie, Lord,
To me afford
Of thy abundant grace,
For thy great love
My sins remove
And trespasses deface.
2 Wash off the slime
Of this foul crime,
And throughly purge the blot;
For I confess
My wickedness,
I always see the spot.
3 O Lord 'gainst Thee
And onely Thee
Have I committed ill,
[Page 84]That thy words might
Be counted right
And cleer when judged still.
4 Lo, in a frame
Of sin and shame
Were knit my flesh and bone,
When I, alas,
An Embryon was
Of sinners I was one.
5 In the inmost parts
Of contrite hearts
Thou wisdom do'st demand,
And secretlie
Thou shalt make me
Tru wisdom understand.
6 With hyssop cleance
This foul offence,
And purge my soul from ill,
So shall I be
White in degree
To snow on Hermon hill.
7 O let me heer
News that may cheer
My trembling heart with joy,
May free from grones,
My shatterd bones,
Broke by Thee with annoy.
8 O turn aside
Thy face, and hide
It from my foul offence;
And throughly blot
This ugly spot,
Ere I be sumon'd hence.
9 Renew my heart
In every part,
Thy saving Grace inspire,
So that my brest
May be possess'd
With flames of heavenly fire.
10 Oh do not chace
Me from thy face,
Nor of thy spirit deprive,
[Page 86]For then should I
In misery
Be worst than thing alive,
11 Thy joyes once more
To me restore
Of thy salvation,
So shall I preach
And sinners teach
The way to Hevens throne.
12 O Lord from bloud
That cries so loud
Fo [...] vengeance me defend,
So shall I still
With accents shrill
Thy noble deeds extend.
13 My lips unseal
For to reveal
Thy wondrous acts of old,
So shall my toung
The saints among
Thy righteousness unfold.
14 Nor bloud of lambs,
Or fat of rams
Are pleasing in thy sight,
Else would I come
With Hecatoms
Didst thou in them delight.
15 The sacrifize
Which God doth prize
Are hearts with sorrow bruizd;
A heart broke so
And split with wo,
Lord, thou hast nere refus'd.
16 On Sion hill
O Lord, distill
Thy gifts in a good hour;
Build Salems walls
And keep from falls
Thy temple and her towr.

[Page 88]Here followeth another in a dif­fering cadence and Tune.

PSAL. 6.

1 Correct me not in rage,
Nor chastize me in ire,
But Lord thy wrath asswage,
And me with grace inspire,
For I am faint,
and all my bones,
are vex'd with grones
Of just complaint.
2 My soul doth also swell
For griefs that me torment,
But, Lord, how long, oh tell,
Wilt thou thy self absent?
Return O God,
Lord of all bliss,
For I do kiss
Thy smarting rod.
[Page 89] 3 For in the shades of night,
No mortall can thee mind,
And in the pit what wight
To thank thee canst thou find?
Behold my teares,
wherewith I drown
each night my down,
For old arrears.
4 My beauteous daies are past,
For griefs that me dismay,
And like a flower I fade,
And wither quite away,
For fear of those
that me annoy,
and would destroy
Like deadly foes.

PSALM. 130.

1 OUt of the fluds,
Out of the sudds
Of sin I roar and cry,
Lord bow thine ear,
'Tis time to hear:
My groans and agony.
2 If Thou observe
How oft we swerve
From thee, who can abide
To stand before
Thy judgement dore
To be arraignd and tri'd?
3 But there's with thee
Rich clemencie
And plenteous store of grace,
Which makes Thee Lord
To be ador'd
So much by human race.
4 My soul for Thee
Incessantlie
Waits as the Centinel
Waits for the day
And Phoebus ray,
Nights darkness to repel.
Let Israel
Then boldly dwell
And trust in God above.
For there's with Him
Up to the brim
Abundant store of love.
6 For it is He
Can onely free
And Israel forgive,
And of his crimes
Done at all times
An absolution give,
Soul.

I am mightily well pleased that you employ your thoughts and words (which are the chiefest Cre­tures of the mind) upon such me­ditations as these; It much joye's me that you wind up your spirits to Davids harp, a music that is sweet and rich enough to be of con­sort with that of the spheres, speci­ally if your heart keeps touch with the tone for He is the truest penman of heavenly things, who feeles the [Page 92] joyes thereof, while he is enditing them; Now, in those holy Hymns of David's, there is a coincidence of Prayer, and Prayse, which like two currents falling into one channel, makes the stream the stronger. But to inlarge my self a little fur­ther in that point whereon I insist­ed a little before, touching the stu­die of divine knowledge, which is the unicum necessarium, I advise you again, now that you have stepp'd a good way in the Autumne of your age, and that a little bark of yours hath been toss'd and shatter'd with so many tempests, It were wisdom that you wold think upon your last Port, and ballast her accordingly to arrive thither; Therefore whereas you have courted the Hand-maids so long, you shold now make your principal applicatiōs to the Mistress, you shold devote your self to the theory of divine things, which is the true fruit of the tree of knowledge, [Page 93] whereas the other are but the leafs thereof. Now Christianity of all o­ther Religions hath the hardest and highest reaches, the purest Ideas and abstracted furthest from sense, and harshest to flesh and bloud, in re­gard of sundry transcendencies, and mystical tenents she contains, as the Trinity, the Incarnation and Re­surrection, in the re-serches of which points the quickest sight, may be said to be but one degree above blindness, therefore in the discussion and investigation of these, it is fit that you make reson (whose utter­most ken can reach no higher than the sphere of nature) to lye succum­bent at faiths feet, and so conclude certainties out of impossibilities, and God being omnipotent may in ju­stice demand such beliefs from us. Nor must you be too presumptu­ous by prying into the Power, pre­rogative and nature of the Incom­prehensible Deity; for if all the fa­ges [Page 94] that ever were yet in the world, could not come to the knowledge of the least star in heaven, so far as to tell what substance she is made of: how is it possible for any hu­mane capacitie to ascend so high, as to the knowledge of the immense Majestie which created them; there­fore the safest and certainest knowledge touching God, is to confess, That we cannot know Him in any perfection. Inso­much that that inscription which was found upon the Pagan Altar a­mong the Greeks was a very modest one, & may be said to be still in date [...], To the unknown God: For the further that a finit Intellect doth launch forth into the boundless and bottomless sea of this cōtemplation, the more he is in danger to go astray and loose it self, all human brain being too narrow and uncertain a compass to steer the cours by, though stars and Angells [Page 95] contribute their help to direct him; Therefore it is a far securer way for a sober minded Christian to sit down in an humble astonishment, and to vent forth this interjection of wonder, O the inscrutableness & immensity of God, his ways are past finding out &c. Therefore you must be modest in your indagati­ons this way, and cautious how you go awry into any by-path from the beaten road, and so wander in the wilderness of your own imagina­tions: For it is the common practise of the Devil, when it pleaseth God to give him the reins to punish a nation, to tamper first with their intellectualls, and puzzle the brain with new doubts, and peremptory conceits, till he leads them into a maze of confusions, where at last he seizeth upon them for their spi­ritual pride. You must take heed of such an insobriety, and insolent zeal, but seek after singleness of [Page 96] heart, rather than after singularity of opinion; Be wary also how you meddle with classical divinity, but leave it to them whose holy fun­ction it is to controvert such mat­ters, and doubtles are specially in­spired for that purpose, employ your chiefest howers in penning or perusing things that may elevat the thoughts above the Elements, and fill them with pious raptures; But what Authors so ever you read whither old or new, whither Histo­rical, polemical, or paraenetical, take this rule along with you to believe Them for the Holy scriptures sake, and the scriptures for Themselves. Antiquity is venerable, therefore the older the Author is, the more to be valued, it being a maxim that may bear sway in divinity as well as in Heralday, Tutius est cum patri­bus quàm cum fratribus errare.

Body.
[Page 97]

These are wholsom precepts that you give me which I shall conform unto. And whereas in your former discourse you gave me an item of my age, and that having now made a good step in the Au­tumnal part thereof, therefore Rogus & urna medstands, it is sitting that the funeral pile and pitcher should be thought upon. Truly, were it the custom of Christianity, and that when you have left me, I must be reduced to my first princi­ples, I could be well contented that this small bottom of clay whereon the ravell'd and thrumb'd thread of my life hath been wound up so long, should be turned to earth and ashes by fire, which is the noblest of the Elements, rather than by letting it putrifie, and be made a feast for ugly worms in the grave so long, [Page 98] and to be digested in their maws. A conceit not altogether so extra­vagant as he who thought drown­ing to be the gentlest way of goin [...] out of the world, when the body b [...] smooth waving undulations glide [...] softly to its last home. Let it not b [...] term'd a vanity in me to tell yo [...] that touching this Elementar [...] world I have bin a good while o [...] of conceit with it, and had I b [...] ­lanc'd account with it, I could wi [...] ­lingly pay nature her last debt, an [...] render this small bag-full of bon [...] to the earth whence it first came [...] know ther be sundry modes ho [...] this debt is payed, in some life go [...] out like a lamp when the oil spent, and so takes a gentle fa [...] ­well, in others life is puffed out violence, and so it commonly ther streams away in blood, or i [...] thrust out at the postern door; in [...] ­thers, life is starv'd away, in som [...] in long lingring hectiques and s [...] [Page 99] like diseases; som fall like mellow fruit, others are plucked off; ther be a thousand wayes to go out, but one way to come into this world: I have liv'd already to see such things that former Ages never saw, nor future I beleeve, can ever see; I will confine my self within the compass of these last fifteen yeers, only, wherin ther have happen'd the most prodigious revolutions, and horridst accidents, not only in Europe, but all the earth over, that ever befell mankind since Adam cover'd himself with fig-leaves. I will begin with the fyeriest parts, with Africa, wher the mighty Habassin Emperor was met in nostile way, and slain, together with his two Sons, in open field, by [...] common vassall of his, who had [...]aised military forces against him, [...]nd so made himself chief of that [...]ncient and vast Empire of Ethio­ [...]ia; The wild Tartar rush'd [Page 100] through that four hundred mi [...]es huge wall, which fever's China from Tartary, and so piercing the very bowels of that luxurious and most delicate continent as far as Quinz [...]y (the celestiall City as they call her) and besieging the ve­ry palace of that most Eastern Monarch, he caus'd hin to set it all on fire, and to do away himsel [...] violently with his thirty Wive [...] and Children, rather then he would become an inglorious Captis [...] The great Ottoman Emperour, an [...] head of the Musulmans was stran­gled by his own slaves in the Se­raglio. The Knez org [...]an Duk [...] of Moscovia had some of his prim [...] Nobles, and principall Officer hack'd to pieces before his fac [...] and their heads being thrown int [...] vessels of strong water, they wer [...] fixed upon poles, and made t [...] burn before his Court gate. I [...] Naples a bare-footed Fisherma [...] [Page 101] made himself the head of an Ar­my in lesse then four daies of 50000 men, and rendred himself as absolute as any Monark: Two Provinciall Kingdoms revolted quite from Spain, viz. Catalonia on the one side, and Portugall on the other, renouncing all obedience unto him. The Republic of Ve­nice soly with her own strength of tresure hath wrastled seven yeers together with the great Turk. A King of Great Britain, the Defen­dor of the Faith, and Head of the Church, had his head chop'd off in a Juridicall way. I live in a time that Englands chiefest Tem­ples are turn'd to stables and ster­ [...]oraries, that dogs have bin christened at the Font, and horses [...]ed on the Communion Table, with sundry other spectacles, then which if I should live a thousand yeers longer, I think I shold not see more strange and stupendous.

Soul.
[Page 102]

All this that you say is too true, but ther is nothing to be wondred at now adaies. It is a good while since that I have given over won­dring at anything; And the grea­test wonder is, that peeple have bin so habituated to see such strange things of late yeers that they have quite lost their wondring: But it is the pleasure and permission of the great Architect of the world, in whose sight the vastest Monarchies are but as so many mole-hils; hee who transvolves Empires and tum­bles down Diadems as he lifteth, that things should be so: nor is all this and what daily happeneth, but the effects of that branch of our daily prayer, Thy will be done.

Moreover, when I seriously con­templat the frame of this frail in­ferior world, and find man to be [Page 103] the principall'st part of it; when (as I have touch'd else where) I consider that fluxible stuffe which goes to make him up, and that the humors within him according to the elements are in perpetuall agi­tation, man will be man still, hee will be subject to changes and in­novation; As long as the Moon shines above his head, and hath that dominion over him that he cannot cut a corn, or hair, or lop his tree, without seeking into her age: I say, as long as that instable Planet makes impressions upon his brain, and those sluces of blood that run up and down his body, he will bee ever covetous of no­velty, and gaping after mutation, specially the common fort of pee­ple, who will find som time or other to shew what they are: now, touching the Moon, they that pry into the influxes and operations of heavenly bodies, do observe that [Page 104] she hath a greater power over this Island then upon others, which causeth the Brittish seas to swell up above fourscore cubits high in some places; Besides, daily expe­rience shews, that Empires, Com­mon-wealths and Kingdomes, with all kind of civill bodies as well as naturall, are subject to di­stempers, to hot feavers, to fits of convulsions and vertigoes: They have also their degrees of growth, they have their consistences, decli­nings and Catastrophes: And in­deed the world it self which som held to be a great Animal, as well as its parts, hath the like, which is now come to its decrepit Age, the Infancy whereof may be said to have bin from Adam to Noah, the Childhood from Noah to Abra­ham, the Youth from Abraham to David, the Manhood from David to Christ; the old Age from Christ to the Consummation: Insomuch [Page 105] that the older the world growes, the more subject the parts therof are to distempers, so that it is not to be wondred at, that men grow worse, that charity growes colder, that morosity and peevish incon­stant humors reign more then e­ver, wherunto all revolutions, quarrels, and preli [...]tions may be attributed, wherby peeple becom active and eager oftentimes in the pursuits of their own ruine, and in li [...]u of those Feathers which they cryed out before were such grievous burdens unto them, they draw sows of lead upon their backs.

Body.

To this the Pagan Poet hath long since alluded, when he sung;

Hoc placet O superi vobis cum ver­tere cuncta
[Page 106]Propositum nostris erroribus ad­dere crimen.
Thus O yee Gods, when yee in­tend to frame
New Governments, our errors bear the blame.

This make some cry out that the times are such that they are a­ble to turne one to an Epicurean, who was not such an Atheist as to think there was no God, but that the sublunary things of this lower world were too mean for him to take care of; Whereat another Poet glanced, when he said,

Non vacat exiguis rebus adesse lovi.
Soul.

'Tis true, ther are some sort of crying black sins that raign now adaies, which are able to eclipse [Page 107] the Sun it self, and obscure the whole face of Heaven; therefore I cannot be much blam'd of being weary of your consortship, and that I desire to be enfranchiz'd from that flesh, and made free Denison in a better world.

Body.

I confesse, my dear soul, that you have little comfort to sojourn in me, and I as litt [...]e to sojourn in the world as I said before; yet though I am not so happy here as I desire, I am not so wretched as I deserve. Ther are many odd extravagant humors that raigne now adaies, which make men to wander in the wildernes of their own exorbitant fancies, and leave the beaten road; now, the vialls of the Almighty's vengeance are various, but the sowrest and sorest are those which fall upon the [Page 108] brain, when the ill spirit is per­mitted to intoxicat the understan­ding, wherby som in searching af­ter the the Truth, do over-reach it as far as others com far short of it. The world was never so full of fancy, not only in d [...]vine noti­ons, but philosophicall also as now it is. Some presumptuous over­weening Sciolists to raise the tar­rasse of Reson, wold ruine the bat­tlements of Faith, they wold make the miracles of Holy Scripture to proceed from naturall causes, they wold make som asptaltique bitu­minous matter to be the cause of the burning of Sodom and Gomor­ra; They wold impute the drow­ning of Pharoh and his army to a high spring tide; The passing over of the Israelites to a low ebb and eddy water: They admire not the raining of Manna in the wildernes, because there is good store found in Calabria, and other [Page 109] places; They cannot believe that Lazarus was rais'd from the dead, but they must be satisfied where his soul was all the while; They censure the miracle of making the blind to see, because he saw men walk like trees, whereas he had never seen trees before, having bin blind from his nativity: They think it strange the [...] shold be a Tree in Paradise so soon, in regard the text saies positively that the plants of the fields were not yet grown, because it had not rain'd; They question whether the handle of Goliath's spear was as big as a wea­vers beam, and whether David had so many hundred thousand talents of treasure: Moreover, they cast blemishes upon Christian truth because general and great oecume­nicall Councels did so clash one with another: And that the Fa­thers of the Primitive Church in divers opinions were not only [Page 110] differing one from the other, but dissonant to themselfs, as among other positions in the computati­ons which they make of the Yeers from the Creation of the world to the Incarnation, wherin they are so discrepant; Nay, they wold derogat from the Dictats of the Holy Ghost himself touching som texts of Scripture, because in the second of Kings we read Michal for Merah, as may be perceived by comparing it with the first Book of the same History: As also be­cause St Matthew hath written Za­chary for Ieremy, chap. 27. Like­wise that St Mark in the first chap­ter cites a passage out of Isaiah which is recorded in Malachy: Moreover, when he saith that our Saviour was crucified on the third hour, whereas St Iohn saith, Chap. 19. that he was but only condem­ned by Pilat the sixth hour. So likewise where St Luke saith, that [Page 111] Cainan was the son of Arphaxad, and Salec the son of Cainan, the place is contradicted in Genesis 23. where it is said, that Salec was not Arphaxed's grandchild but his son, no other generation interve­ning betwixt the two; And when [...] is said Genesis the 11. that the Cave which Abraham bought was in Sichem, being indeed in Hebron, and that he bought it of the sonnes of Emor the son of Sechem, yet Moses saith it was of Ephron the Hittite; Moreover wheras he saith that Emor was Sichem's son, it is said in Genesis 3 [...]. quite contrary, that Emor was Sichem's Father, and not his son.

Other supercritical spirits wold cast aspersions upon Christianity, because Constantin the first Em­peror of that Religion was a very lewd man Gildas, accusing him to have bin a murtherer, a perjurer, the tyrannicall whelp of the unclean lion­ness [Page 112] of Dannonier's That likewise Clovis the first Christian king of France was as bad, And that Henry the eight, the first reformed king, worse then either of Them. Ther are others that have another kind of spiritual pride, it being not only sufficient to Arrogat from the Ho­ly Scriptures, to pick ho [...]es in Christianity, & criticize so upon her, but while they go about to ma­gnify man, they detract from the chiefest instruments of Gods glo­ry, and his principall attendants the blessed Angels, by paraleling mans Creation to theirs, and that they were made, as all things els, for man, whom they cry up to be the Epitome of the world, and that the principal ministerial function of the Angels is to gard him. Such as these may be said to be possessed with a giddy kind of spiritual drunkeness, or madness rather; and touching those of this last conceit, [Page 113] they are like the Cobler who drunk himself into a kingdom and thought himself a king while he continued in that humor.

Nor is Religion only troubled with such Critiques and Detra­ctors, but these times afford such in all sciences, to magnifie their own fancies they slight all Anti­quity, they will not stick to call Plato a dotard, and Hippocrates a quack-salver, thinking that they have more sublime notions then any. It is true, that in some sense, restraining it to saving knowledg, a child that understands his primer may be said to be more learned then all the Philosophers that ever were, as the least fly, in regard she hath a sensitive soul within her, may be said in som respects to be more noble then the sun because he is inanimat.

Soul.
[Page 114]

It is too tru that the present times do swarm with such arrogant and over-curious spirits, though they be full of doubts and still at a loss, going after nothing els but more teaching still, yet they seem to have such a peremptory certi­tude of their salvation, as if they had seen their names registred in the book of life, expunging thence all other but their own. They can­not modestly beleeve the Creed but they must know the very track that our Saviour went to Hell, they wold string the rainbow and be sa­tisfied what kind of wood it is that the man of the moon carrieth on his back, &c. With a spirit much like this was Scaliger possessed, who while he went about to amend the times, and correct errors, commit­ted as gross ones himself as any one [Page 115] Author he condemns; he makes Dagon a woman, the Emperour of Habassia, Prester Iohn; what shal­low conceits hath he of the depth of the sea, and how poorly was he vers'd in Cyclometria, how scurri­lously he railes against whole nati­ons, and would understand nothing but what he liked?

Body.

Truly I have bin ever averse to raise frivolous quaeres in any thing specially in the essentialls of faith, or enter into disputes and alterca­tions or heat touching matters in­different, I was never of their mind that against a Cap and a Surplis would put on a Helmet, and Armor; I have bin contented to follow the first road I was put in towards hea­ven, moving after the motion of the superior orbs that were plac'd in the firmament of the Church, [Page 116] though not altogether in an implicit way; I have always made Reson, and other sciences to truckle under Divinity their mistress; I have ta­ken as much spirituall delight (let all this be spoken without vanity, or any scandall to other souls) in other offices and holy duties of the Church as in Sermons; which makes me reflect upon a saying of S. Lewis the French king, to Henry the third of England, who asking him (in those times of implicit Faith) whether he would go sooner unto the Eucharist or to a Sermon, he answered. I had rather see my friend then hear him only spoken of; I have always inclined to love Or­der and degrees of respect, & to ab­hor confusion, to love decencies ra­ther then slut [...]isness, nor I hope, shall I be ever of their gang who to avoid superstition do fall into palp­able prophaness.

Soul.
[Page 117]

I like you humor well touching all these particulars, nor will they offend, I beleeve, any one that is of a s [...]ne & sober judgment; & concern­ing the last thing you spoke of, it makes the Church Militant to be most like the Church Triumphant, for in Heaven, which is nothing els but one great Temple, ther is among the Angels (which are compound­ed of Essence and Existence as you and I are of matter and form) ther is I say a most exact order. They are divided to three Hierarchies & in every Hierarchy ther are three orders; The first consists of Sera­phims, the second of Cherubims, the third of Thrones. The second con­sists of Dominations, of Vertues, and powers; The third consists of Prin­cipalities, of Archangels, and An­gels; Now those of the supremest [Page 118] Hierarchy partake of Divine illu­minations in a greater measure then of the inferior, and they one to another in respective manner, who are subordinat unto them; you and I are created in a capacity to dwell in that Temple of Eternity, you after the Resurrection, and I as soon as I part, with you, to see the face of my Creator, and con­verse with those holy Angels by thoughts and looks.

Body.

'Tis hard for flesh and blood to beleeve that, considering the im­mense distance which is twixt this ball of earth and [...] Empyrean Heaven, you should so instantane­ously arrive thither to behold the beatificall vision; For the lowest neighbour to earth of all the cele­stiall bodies which is the Moon, is by the opinion of the best Astro­nomers [Page 119] computed to be 52. Semi­diameters distant from the earth, every diameter containing nere upon 3500. miles; so that put case one could fly thither, and mount 100. miles an hour, yet he would be above four months in his jour­ney; moreover from the first sphere, the primum mobile, put case a millstone should descend thence to the centre, it would be 60. yeers a coming down, though it make 40. miles every hour as the prime of Astronomer averrs; ther­fore under favor, how is it possible that you should immediatly upon your separation from me post up with such inexcogitable speed up to Heaven, and behold the blissfull vision.

Soul.

Touching the operations, the movements, and conveyancies of [Page 120] Spirits you must know that they are instantaneous, and so wonder­full, that the speculation thereof strikes Philosophy dumb; They need no succession of Time or place, as bodies require in their motions, they meet with no stop or resistance at all in their passage: Now, if Light which is nothing els but dilated fire to the utmost tenuity that can be, and comes neerest to the nature of a spirit of any corporeal creature, if light I say doth exercise its function with such an admirable agility and suddennes as to expand it self from East to West over the whole sur­face of the Hemisphere, what shall we think of Spirits that are far ful­ler of activity: But you must un­derstand, that when I am devested of you, the wall of partition, that interposition is instantly taken a­way which stood 'twixt me, and my Creator, who is the Son of the In­visible [Page 121] world as that in the Firma­ment which you see with the sensi­tive optiques here is of this Mate­riall; therefore I shall immediatly behold that infinitly more glorious Sun the veyl of flesh being taken away, I shall be instantly within the Temple of glory, wherof every Corner is fill'd with the light of his countenance, insomuch that who is once in it, can never be able to go again out of it; Therefore though the blessed Angels are em­ployed up and down the world upon his service, yet they are alwayes within the verge of the Beatificall vision.

Body.

Let it not be held a petulant, or impertinent curiosity in me, if I covet to know, since you now speak of Angels, what degrees of diffe­rence [Page 122] ther may betwixt Them and separated souls in Heaven.

Soul.

As they agree in many things, so they also differ in many; Angels and separated souls agree in that both of them are spirits, both of them are intellectual and eternal Cretures, They behold the blissful vision; They are Courtiers of Heaven, and act meerly by the understanding, The merits of Christ was beneficiall to both, it made the one capable of the state of glory, and it confirm'd the other in it that they can never be Apostats hereafter; besides, (as som hold) at the day of judgment they are to receive augmentation of bliss by being freed from fur­ther employment, cares, and solici­tings for men, and continue in an uninterrupted rest.

[Page 123]Now, as the blessed Angels, and separated souls, do thus agree, so they differ also in sundry things; They differ in their very Essentialls; for the principles of Angels are meer­ly metaphysicall, viz. Essence and existence; but a separated soul continueth still a part of that com­positum which formerly consisted of matter and form, and is still apt to be reunited to the body, till then she is not absolutly completed for all that while she changeth not her nature but her state: moreover they differ in the Exercise of the under­standing, and manner of knowledg, for a separated soul knowes still by discours and ratiocination which an Angel doth not; They also differ in dignity of nature, for Angels have larger illuminations, and at the first instant of their Creation they beheld the beatificall vision, yet separated souls are capable to mount up to such a height of [Page 124] glory as to bee like them in all things, both in point of vision, adhaesion, and fruitio [...].

Body.

But when you are setled in that state of blissfulness, how can I expect that you will desire to bee united again, to re-efform so frail and foul a thing as this body of mine; why may not I think ra­ther that you will assume some bo­dy of a nobler and more refined matter, according to the specula­tion of him who imagin'd, that ra­tionall soules be they never so pi­ous and pure, mount not up pre­sently after their separation from the corrupt mass of flesh to enjoy the Beatificall vision which is the height of all celestiall happiness; but first they are carried to the bo­dy of the Moon, or som other Star according to their degrees of piety [Page 125] and goodness in this life, where they enter into, and actuar som bo­dies of a purer mould; and being refin'd then they reascend to som higher Star, and so to som higher then that, till at last they be made capable to behold the lustre of so glorious a Majesty in whose sight no impurity can stand; which fancy may be illustrated by this comparison, that if a prisoner (as I touch elswhere) after he hath bin kept close in a dark dungeon for many yeers, should bee taken out and brought suddenly to look up­on the Sun in the Meridian, it would endanger him to bee struck stark blind; So, no humane pol­luted soul, sallying out of a dark dirty prison as the body is, would be possibly able to appear before the incomprehensible Majesty of God, or be susceptible of the ful­gor of his all-glorious countenance, unless he be sitted before hand by [Page 126] certain degrees thereunto which might be done by passing from one Star to another; who, we are told in a good Text, differ one from the other in glory, and consequent­ly the creatures that are within them: Now, they who please themselfs in this fancy adhere to their opinion who think that every Star in heaven is peepled with som kind of creatures, which God Almighty hath pleased to place there for his honour and service, it standing not with his providence that the concavities of those vast bodies whereof some are computed to be many hundred of times bigger then the globe of the earth, should be empty and void; therefore these Theorists frame a kind of scale of of creatures; they place the Ele­mentary lowermost, as the most gross: The Selenites or Lunary peeple are of a finer composition then they, and as one Star exceeds [Page 127] one another in height and glory, the creatures that are coloniz'd within them do so accordingly, but the most immateriall, the pu­rest, and the most intellectuall are seated in the Sphere of the Sun where the Almighty hath setled his Throne, and they are his nea­rest attendants: The Elementary Creatures have more matter then form; The Solar have more form then matter, the Inhabitants of the Moon with other Astraean colonies are of a mix'd nature, and the nea­rer they approach the body of the Sun, who is the fountaine of light and heat, and the glorious Eye of the world, the more pure and spi­rituall they are.

Soul.

All this is but fancy, which al­though somthing of illumination and sublimity may bee in it, yet [Page 128] there is allo an extravagance in the Idea, nor is it any way consonant to the orthodoxal Faith, therfore never fear that by assumption of any other, I shall ever quite a­bandon that body of yours, but I shall reserve not only an aptitude, but a willingness to have you for my tabernacle again, and to bee recompact; I shall be desirous to be a soul again, till when I shall be only a Spirit; but that bulk of yours shall be refin'd and sublima­ted to the perfection of Celestiall matter, which is the purest and most quintescentiall part of the whole body of matter: It is the Region wherein we shall go in equal pace with eternity it self; therefore as man while he sojournes among the Elements, bears a body sutable, congruous, and sympathetique to them; so when he is exalted and made free Citizen of the Heavenly Jerusalem, which is the true [Page 129] Country for which he had a being, he shall be purified and ad [...]pted to the temper of it; wherein man shall not only return to his first state of perfection, but to a far higher and greater exaltation of glory; the [...] shall be no more [...] the Body sh [...]ll be no more a Sepulcher which may be the Ety­mology of it here, but it shall be­com a perpetuall Temple for the Holy Ghost; There his understan­ding shall not be subject to error, nor his will to passion, incertitudes and topiques shall be turn'd to de. monstrations, & Faith to intuition; provided, that he prepare himself accordingly, and in this School of nature make himself capable to remove thither; provided, that he make use of those means which his Creator hath prescrib'd him here, and that he employ his thoughts, words, and actions, to that end; for man shall have degrees of hap­piness [Page 130] in Heaven according to his works, though not for his works; which makes me reflect upon a passage that happen'd in the reigne of Edilred one of our Saxon Kings, who having chang'd his Crown for a Friers coule, and his Court for a Cloyster, went to visit a Fa­vorit of his that had bin a licenti­ous young man, who telling the King that a vision had appear'd unto him the night before of two youths which hee had seen, one at his beds head with a white book thinne written, the other at his beds feet with a large black book blurr'd and very thick written; The King answered that the mea­ning of this vision was, that the little book contained all his good works, the other his bad, yet God was so infinitely mercifull, that one good work would cover a multitude of bad ones, for hee never desir'd or absolutely design'd [Page 131] any Creature of his for damnati­on, &c.

Body.

Yet ther want not now adaies such busie and profane spirits who rushing into his secret Councels, do affirm that he hath by his de­terminat will preordain'd such and such creatures will they nill they for perdition; an opinion then which we cannot conceive worse of the Devill himself.

But, my dear soul, you solace me beyond imagination, that you tell me, I shall bee reunited unto you, & made fit to share of your future beatitude; yet, this, under cor­rection, is a hard thing for humane capacity to apprehend; that the very same entire body should bee found out and recompacted, after such putrefactions, after so many changes and revolutions; where [Page 132] can all the splinters of a bone which a Cannon bullet hath shi­ver'd and shatter'd to pieces bee found again? where can all the atomes which a corrasive hath ea­ten from our limbs bee found? what cohaerence, what rejoinder, is ther ever like to bee between a leg lost in Turkey, and an arm lost in India? The Shark and other ravenous fish of the Sea; the Ty­ger, the Bear, the Crocodile, with other savage beasts of the land use to devoure, to disgest and turn to chylus and so to blood, the bodies of thousands of men, and that blood goes to the generation of other such brute annimals, the wormes do the like in the grave; Burnt bodies are resolv'd into ashes, those ashes are blown into the gutter, that puddled water is carried by common-shores into rivers, those rivers pay tribute to the vast Ocean which runs in, [Page 133] and retreats by so many ebbings and flowings, how can it enter in­to the brain of man that all the parts of these bodies can be re­treev'd to make up the same Com­positum again?

Soul.

I know that the most searching and sagacious wits that ever were, were all at a loss when they medi­tated on this transcendent mystery, nor can the common principles of philosophy herein be preserved by any strength of Reson, for they are bones that Nature cannot disgest: But (as I told you before) in the scanning of divine mysteries we must oftentimes inferr certainties out of impossibilities, as also that God is omnipotent, otherwise it were not just for him to require such beliefs at our hands; Moreover, to illustrat unto you a little this ar­ticle [Page 134] of the Resurrection, you must understand that as at the Creation ther was a separation of the Chaos that huge indigested lump which went to the making of all cretures, so, after the last fire hath reduc'd all to their first principles and cal­cin'd them to ashes, ther shall be a separation of that confus'd mass of ashes by the same all powerfull hand, ther shall be a kind of second creation, and rallying of the indivi­duall bodies which were formed at first, and every soul shall enjoy her first consort, though much more purified then it was before.

Body.

You raise my heart to an excee­ding great height of comfort, me thinks you imp this dull body, with eagles feathers to fly up­wards, by telling me that after this transitory life which hangs upon [Page 135] such small filaments of sister threed is cut off, I shall be wrought into you again.

Soul.

To make this point a little more perspicuous unto you, you must consider that matter taken singly by it self hath no distinctive form at all ther is an indifference & homo­gereous identity runs through the whole bulk of Matter; it is the substantiall form which is the soul that doth give a distinguishing shape and numericall individuati­on to every Body; now, as long as she continueth the same, the creture is still the same; For that Body of yours though you have not the same flesh about you, nor the same blood in your veines which you had twenty yeers ago, yet is it still the same body as long as I inform it; For as the Bucentoro in Venice is [Page 136] held to be still the same vessel though having bin so often upon the carine, new caulk'd, ribb'd and plank'd, she may not have any of the first timber she was built of in the first dock; In like manner hu­mane bodies continue stil the same as long as the same Individuator is in them which is the soul, notwith­standing, that they are in a conti­nuall fluxibility, and a kind of succession of consumption and re­stauration; for although the flesh and bloud in no man be the [...]ame in his youth as it was in his Infancy, nor the same in his manhood that it was in his youth, because they use to wast away by the intern princi­ples of heat, as also to transpire, breathe out and evaporate insensi­bly through the pores to make still room for fresh nourishment which is concocted and so converted to new bloud, and new flesh, yet is the whole body alwayes numerically, [Page 137] and individually the same, as long as the same soul doth inform and actuat it; So at the general resur­rection what part or parcell so ever of that indifferent [...]omogeneous huge mass of calcin'd earth and ashes which my Creator shal assign me to reinform, it will be the very same that you bear about you now, though much refin'd, and so we shal cohabit eternally, without any fu­ture divorce.

Body.

The Revolution of Plato's great yeer seems to have some analogie with our Resurrection, whereof that divine and high soaring Philo­sopher might have a glimps when he held, that after such a period of yeers the world should be repeepled by the same Cretures; which makes me think (now that you have quickned my spirits) with these [Page 138] plesing ideas) upon the witty an­swer of the Tapster at Botley, who having fill'd two pots of ale to a poor scholler as he was returning from Wales to Oxford, and the scholler telling him that he had spent all his money in his journey, but he would pay him the next time they met, The Tapster ask'd when that would be, why said the scholler if it be not sooner, we are sure to meet here again at the revo­lution of Platoes great yeer, for at the period of so many thousand yeers all things return to their for­mer state, you and I shall meet here just as we do now, with the same bodies and minds, for so the world hath continued hitherto, and will so renew for ever; why then said the Tapster you and I mett here so many thousand yeers ago, yes said he; I thank you for putting me in mind of it, for I remember you left then two pots of ale upon the [Page 139] score, pay me for them first, and then I will trust you for these two.

Soul.

It cannot bee denyed but those great students of nature though they were soly guided by her twi­lights, had many glances of divine illuminations: Now touching these mysterious tenets of christi­an religion, it is with them as with the body of the Sun, ther is somwhat in that glorious Planet (according to the comparison of a very ancient Father of the Church) which we may behold, if we will b [...]e contented to see that, we may freely do ti: But ther is somwhat in the Sun, that may not be look'd on; now, if wee bee not satisfied to see what wee may see, we may chance come to s [...]e nothing at all, for he that gazeth [Page 140] and setleth his optiques too fixed­ly on the Sun, comes to see nothing at all, for he loseth his eyes: So the mysteries of saving Faith, ther is much in them that may bee ap­prehended by the faculty of Re­son, and by what is reveal'd unto us, but if we will not be contented with that, but pry further, wee may not only be dazzled, but struck stark blind; therefore wee must contemplat them with reservednes and sobriety: This may bee also paralell'd with the Moon; Ther is somwhat in the opacous orb of the Moon, that no mortall yet could ever come to the knowledge of it: The Astronomers by all their curious inspections, and op­tic instruments cannot tell what are the spots, what the darkness is, that goes interwoven in the body of the Moon, though she be nearest neighbour to us of all the heavenly: But there is somwhat in that Pla­net, [Page 141] which wee can tell what it is, and it is the luminous part, by that it affords us light to know what it is; So in the high points of salva­tion, ther be some dark parts that are not comprehensible, and ther be other parts that are com­prehensible; the first we may bold­ly look upon, but for the other, the dark and abstruse parts, we must close our eyes, and sit down with admiration, and comfort our selves that wee cannot understand them, That ther is somthing in this great work which concerns us, yet 'tis impossible to bee comprehended: Touching the parts which may be understood, we may look on them with a modest eye of inspection, but the parts that are obscure and cannot be look'd on, wee must not bee overcurious to find prospe­ctives to look into them, but believe them; let it satisfie us that they cannot be discern'd by mortall eye, [Page 142] in regard it is the pleasure of God not to have them known, let us be contented to bee ignorant of that which God would have us to bee ignorant of, till our Faith bee turn'd to intuition, and where the understanding shall be adaequate to Truth, as Truth is the adaequat object of the understanding, which must be in the other world, in that true Region of intellectuall light, where such abstracted specula­tions that so much puzzle us here, shall be as clear as the Sun in the Meridian, where we shall conceive the true sense of the ninth of the Romans, of the Apocalyps of Saint Iohn, and all other passages of holy Scripture without an Interpreter, and not to be subject to false judg­ments, constructions, or glosses.

Body.
[Page 143]

What an unutterable kind of joy do I feel running through al the veines of my heart, to hear that this flesh of mine shall rise again to be worn, and actuated by you, and to partake with you of that knowledge, and blissfullness which so far surpass all my senses, and your Imagination I believe as yet!

Soul.

I do not say you shall rise, but you shall be raised, for solus Chri­stus resurrexit, alii suscitati, Christ only did rise again by the power of his Godhead, all others shall be raised; that same body of yours shall be rais'd the same in substance not in quality, for it will be made purer and freer from Corruption; as I during the time of my separa­tion [Page 144] on I shall not change my nature but my state; I may be said to have no integrity, but remain as a part of you till our reconjunction, wher­unto I shall still incline and pro­pend, because you were the instru­ment wherby I became first a soul, which may be the cause that all the Saints in Heaven do so much long after the day of Judgement, because they may bee reunited to their bodies, and by that consort­ship have a fuller fruition of bliss. Those eyes of yours shall then re­ceive their reward for their lif­tings up to Heaven, those hands of yours for being instruments of cha­rity; those eares of yours for their attention to holy duties, those knees of yours for their bendings in Gods holy house, that mouth of yours for receiving the blessed Sa­crament in such humiliation; that tongue, heart, and brain of yours for their praises and ejaculations, [Page 145] and all other parts of yours that were the interpreters of your pie­ty, shall all then receive their reward in the Temple of Eterni­ty.

Body.

But after your recesse, and sepa­ration from me, let it not bee e­steem'd a too overbold curiosity, if I desire to know whether you will give then a finall farewell to Earth, and bee seen no more in the Ele­mentary world, because ther be so many stories told of spirits that walk to discover hidden tresures, to detect murthers, &c. As also that they have appear'd in Churchyards and Charnell hou­ses.

Soul.
[Page 146]

Touching this speculation and doctrine of walking of Spirits it hath gravel'd the highest wits both in Divinity, and Philosophy, they are all put to a nonplus, concer­ning the latter, they would pro­duce naturall reasons why in Ci­mitiers and other places they som­times appeer; and one is by the example of a vegetall body which being burnt and reduc'd into a­shes, the form of the same numeri­call plant by a curious Artist may be reviv'd visibly to the eye of the beholder, and made to start up out of those ashes being shut u [...] in a glasse, and heated in the bot [...] ­tome, in regard that the fixed fa [...] (though much of the volatil hat [...] flown away) remaines there still so a humane body or cadaver bein [...] reduced to ashes in the grave, b [...] [Page 147] the heat which the penetrating beams of the sun insuseth therinto, the shape of the said body may be exhal'd up and made to appeer in the air.

Now touching the Theologues, the common opinion is that it pleaseth God Almighty to give the Devil a priviledg and permit him to assume any shape, that of man not excepted, wherby he deludes, and makes compacts with the weaker sort of peeple to destroy their souls; for ther is no Creture that the Devil maligneth, and hates more then mankind, in regard he succeedes him in the beatitude that he lost; which makes som Divines hold, that when that number of Angels which fell, and were tum­bled down to Hell is filled up by humane souls, the day of judgment will come; But, as I said before, the ill spirit hath power by Gods permission to transform himself to sundry shapes and to transfer that [Page 148] power to his petty cacodaemons and imps to beguile and inveagle the simplest sort of mankind, and most commonly women the weaker vessels, who somtimes out of a de­sire of revenge, and to wreck their malice, somtimes for lucre, and som petty supplies of money use to indent and make pactions with him though alwayes without a witness; And hereof these times affoord more instances then ever any age did, therefore whosoever denieth ther are such kind of actu­all delusions, and ill spirits, shew­eth that he himself (as was said els­where) is possessed with the spirit of contradiction and obstinacy; For ther are no nations new or old but have published laws against such who adoperat, and make use of the devil for the ends afore men­tioned, as also for other curiosities and predictions, [...] a­gainst [Page 149] them; Ther are Edicts in France, and Acts of Parlement in England against such who invoke ill spirits, & make any contracts with them, wherof the very instrument and deed hath bin discover'd in di­vers places with the Devils claw for his signature; together with the injunctions that he layed upon them before hand, which in the Ro­mish Countreys are, that they must first renounce Christ and the ex­tended woman (meaning the blessed virgin) they must contemn the Sa­craments, tread on the Cross, spit at the Eucharist, &c. As I have no­ted els where. Therefore without any controversy ther are airy spi­rits that hover up & down perpetu­ally about us; But when I shall be­come a spirit which will be imme­diatly, upon my dissolution from that body of yours, I hope I shall appeer no more in this Elementa­ry world, till I attend my Saviour [Page 150] at the day of judgment, to fetch you up also to Heaven, as soon as we part from one another here you shall return to earth whence you first came, and I to God that gave me, you to your common Mother, and I to the Father of lights whence as a beam of immortality, I was sent to quicken, organize, and in­form that body of yours, and make it capable of heavenly beatitude in time, being refin'd, and fitted first for that purpose; I thank my Saviour, I have that within me which assures me hereof, I am not left to such incertitudes & anxietie that have any thing of despair in them, such that an Italian Prince expressed when being upon his death bed and comforted by his friends touching the joyes of the other world whereunto he was go­ing, he fetch'd a deep grone & said, Oh I know what's pass'd, but I know not what's to come; much like ano­ther [Page 151] in the same condition who said Dubius vixi, anxius morior, quò va­dam nescio, I liv'd doubting, I die anxious, I know not whither I go; To these may be added an odd speech of a French Baron not long since, who meeting two capuchins going barefoot in cold frosty wea­ther with their scrips upon their backs a begging, & knowing them to be gentlemen of a good family, He said, How grosly are these men cosen'd, if ther be no Heaven: That of Rab­lais was not so bad as this, who being upon his death bed, and the extreme unction applied unto him, a friend of his who had come to visit him among other passages of consola­tion wish'd him good speed for he was upon his journey, to a good Coun­trey, viz. to heaven, He answer'd, so it seems, that I am upon a journey, for you see they are lickering my boots already to that purpose: but that which is father'd upon Paul the [Page 152] third is beyond all these, when he said upon his death bed that short­ly he should be resolved of two things, whether ther be a God, and Devil, or whether ther were a Hea­ven and Hell; Therefore Earth may be said to be worse then Hell in one respect, because it bear's A­theists, which Hell doth not, but rather converts them, in regard they feel God ther by his judg­ments, and begin to have an histo­ricall faith of him, which here they had not. Nor am I of that drowsie opinion to think that I shall sleep all the while among the common mass of souls in som receptacles ordain'd I know not where for that purpose till I be rejoyn'd unto you; Nor doth the Religion I am of, admit of any suburbs in hell as purgatory and other places where I must be purified some yeers before I ascend to heaven; As Fray Iu­lian of Alcala doth averr upon [Page 153] record (which is made authen­tique) producing other spectators besides himself, that he visibly saw the soul of Philip the second going up to Heaven in two ruddy clouds some two yeers after his death at such an hour of the night.

Body.

Let not my Soul bee offended if I bee curious to know somthing touching that most comfortable point of the immortality of the Soul; and this curiosity doth not arise out of any doubt, but a desire to be further confirm'd therein; because there be some busie Spi­rits that stumble at it, alledging that it is but a new tenet of Chri­stian Faith not establish'd in the Church till the latter Lateran Councell, and pumping out other quaeres and cavils concerning this Article.

Soul.
[Page 154]

It is in Divinity as in Philoso­phy; for as it was said long since that in this an impertinent Sceptic may blurt out a question which all the Sages of Greece were they alive, could not answer; So in Divini­ty, an irresolute, inconformable stubborn spirit may raise doubts that the whole Academy of Chri­stian learning cannot solve, such Pyrrhonians, and perverse spirits have bin in all Ages, ther are no principles can tie them; their braines may bee said to bee like a skein of thrumb'd small threed, a­ny thing will entangle them, and their thoughts like a bush of thornes that takes hold of any thing; they are never satisfied ei­ther in points of faith or the opera­tions of nature, like him who would [Page 155] have found somthing to shear off upon an egge. This may be cal'd one of the truest sorts of superstiti­ons, whose etymologie is super stare to stand too precisely and peremptorily upon a thing, speci­ally things indifferent, and to bee over hot either in the abolition or maintenance of them to the destru­ction of whole Nations, as also in recerches after supererogatory knowledg, and interpretations of Scriptures, wherby they would make the Holy Spirit speak what he never meant; whereas the mo­derat, and submiss sober min­ded he or she are the best profici­ents in the school of Divine know­ledg.

But wheras you say that you de­sire to be strengthned and illumi­nated further touching the imateri­ality, and consequently the incor­ruptibleness and immortality of the [Page 156] Rational Soul, Let me tell you that not only Christian Divines but the best of Pagan writers both Po­ets, Philosophers, and Orators have done Her that right. One calls Her — Divinae particulam aurae. Another sings, Igneus est olli vigor, & coelestis imago; Another Mens infusa Deo, mortalis nescia sortis. And Cicero among other hath a remarka­ble saying to this purpose, si erro, credendo Animam esse Immortalem, libenter erro; If I err in beleeving the soul to be immortall, I willing­ly erre. Moreover the Intellectuall humane soul doth prove Her self to be immortall both by her desires, her apprehensions and operations; Her desires are infinit, and still longing after eternity; now ther is no natu­rall passion given to any finit Cre­ture to bee frustraneous; Her apprehending of notions of Eter­nall truth which are her chiefest [Page 157] employ­ment and most adaequat objects, declare her immortall; Al corrupti­on comes from matter and from the clashing of contraries, now, when the soul is sever'd from the body, she is beyond the sphere of matter, therefore no causes of mor­tality can reach her, ther is nothing in her that can tend to a not being: Her operations also pronounce her immortall, which she doth exer­cise without the ministery of cor­poreall organs, for they are rather a clogg to Her; she doth use to spi­ritualize materiall things in the understanding, to abstract ideas from all Individuals; she is an engin that can apprehend negations, and privations, she can frame colle­ctive notions, all which conclude her immateriality, and where no matter is found ther's no corrupti­on, and wher ther is no corrupti­bleness ther must be an immorta­lity; [Page 158] now her prime operations being without any concurrence of matter, she may be concluded immortall by that common prin­ciple, Modus operandi sequitur modum essendi: for in the world to come the state of the soul shall be a state of pure Being, nor will ther be either action or passion in that state; whence may be inferr'd she shall never perish, in regard that all corruption comes from the action of another thing upon that which is corruptible, therfore that thing must be capable of being made better or worse, now, if a se­parate soul be in her utmost final estate that she can be made neither, it follows she can never lose the being she hath; Moreover, since the egress out of the body doth not alter her Nature but only her condition, it must be granted that she was of the same nature while [Page 159] shee continued incorporated, though in that imprisonment of hers, she was subject to be forg'd as it were by the hammers of materi­all objects beating upon her, yet so, as she was still of her self what she was; Therfore when she goes out of the passible ore wherin she suf­fers by reason of the foulness and impurity of that ore, she imme­diatly becomes impassible and a fix'd subject of her own nature, that is, a simple pure Being; Both which states of the soul may be illustratedSir K.D. in som measure by what we find passeth in the coppelling of a fix'd mettall, for as long as any lead or dross, or any allay remains with it, it continueth melting, flowing, and in motion under the muffle, but as soon as they are parted from it, and that it is become pure without mixture, and single of it self, it contracteth it self to a narrower [Page 160] room, and at that instant ceaseth from all motion, it grows hard, permanent, and resistent to all o­perations of the fire, and admitteth no change or diminution in it's subject by any extern violence; so the Rational Soul when she departs from the drossy ore of the body and comes be her single self, she be­comes as it were exalted gold & to be perfectly by her self; she can never be liable any more to diminution, to action, passion, or any kind of alteration, but continueth fix'd for ever.

Add hereunto that every humane Soul is still breath'd, and imme­diatly created by God Almighty himself, for though the sacred Code tells us that he rested from all his works the sixth day, yet touching Rational souls he may be said to be still a perpetuall A­gent touching their creation, not [Page 161] any creture els to concurr in that work, as he useth to do in the production of mortall and cor­ruptible cretures.

Therfore ther are none but they whose souls s [...]ar no higher then their senses, but may feel within them an immortall essence, the apprehension whereof is as irk­some to the reprobat, as it is comfortable to the Elect.

Body.

Let me not be held too bold a sceptic if I desire to know whe­ther you carry with you to the other world the knowledg you had here, and reserve it still?

Soul.
[Page 162]

Yes, I shall bring along with me the habit of all the science, and intelligible species that I had here, and get an infinit addition of more, for I shall not arrive to the full use of my understanding till then; I shall retain also the ha­bit though not the operations of the Vegetall and sensitive soules as I did in the time of information when I was embodyed: I shall still know things by Ratiocination and discourse, which Angels use not to do; I shall become an in­divisible substance exempt from place and time, yet present to both, my activity shall require no ap­plication to either of them, but I shall be mistresse of both, compre­hending all quantity whatsoever in an indivisible apprehension, [Page 163] ranking all the parts of motion in their compleat order, and know­ing at once what is to happen in every one of them, wheras when I was immers'd in the body, and confin'd to the use of exterior sen­ses, I could look but upon one definit place or time at once, nee­ding a long chain of various dis­courses to comprehend the cir­cumstances of any one singular a­ction.

My capacity shall not bee con­fin'd to the small multitude of ob­jects, which division and time gives way unto, I shall bee a selfe Activity, an essence free from all encombrances oftime; For to bee subject to Time, or comprehen­ded in Time, is to be one of those moveables whose Being consisting in motion taketh up part of Time, and useth to be measur'd by Time, which belongs to Bodies; But when [Page 164] I shall become a Spirit, and have my operations entire, as being no­thing but my selfe, I shall bee ab­solutely free from Place and Time, though both do glide by me and un­der me, Insomuch that all wch I shal know or do, I shal do it at once with one Act of the understanding, therfore I shall not need time to manage and order my thoughts as when I was affix'd to that orb of yours, nor shall I need any extrin­secall mover, or the work of fancy, or any previous speculations re­siding in the memory; I shall be a simple and self-subsisting form, a cement, and miroir to my self.

Body.
[Page 165]

These high abstracted notions do far transcend the short reach of of my sensitive faculty, but, under favour, you speak only of your a­ctivity and encrease of knowledge in the life to come, I would bee glad to hear somthing of the joyes and blissefulnes thereof.

Soul.

These, as they are beyond ex­pression, so are they beyond all ima­gination, that vast sea of felicity which I am capable to receive, cannot flow into me till those banks of earth be removed; The joyes of Heaven have length with­out points, breadth without lines, depth without surface, they are even and uninterrupted joyes, and [Page 166] to endeavour to relate them in their perfection, were the same task as to go about to measure the Ocean in Cockle shels, or com­pute the number of the sands with pebble stones.

Touching these faint and fading earthly pleasures, wee covet them when we need them, and the desire languisheth in the fruition; more­over, worldly things when wee want them wee use to love them most, but lesse when we have them; meats and drinks they nauseat af­ter fulness, carnall delights cause sadnesse after the enjoyment, all pleasures breed not only a satiety but a disgust, and the contentment terminats with the act: 'Tis o­therwise with celestiall things, they are most lov'd when they are en­joy'd, and most coveted when they are had, they are alwaiesful of what is desir'd, and the desire still la­steth, [Page 167] but it is a desire of compla­cency and continuance, not an appe­tite of more, because they are per­fect of themselves; Yet there is still a desire, and satiety, but the one findes no want, nor can the o­ther breed a surfet: The higher the pleasure is, the more intense is the fruition, and the oftner repea­ted, the greater the appetite will be; whence this inference may be made, that ther can be no propor­tion at all' twixt the delights of a separate and an embodyed Soul.

But it must not bee forgotten, that as good Soules being become purely spirituall, and beatified as soon as they are separate from the body, do by their simplicity and acutenesse apprehend and enjoy the blisses of Heaven in their true nature, beyond the extent of quan­tity, and above all conceit of fan­cy: [Page 168] So a damned Soul being a simple Act also, and nothing but Spirit, doth apprehend and endure the torments of Hell, with all the activity, subtlenesse and energy that can bee, still receiving new strength and vigor to bee able to lie under the said torments: And as the assurance of a succeeding e­ternity delights the one, so it doth torture the other. Moreover, as the greatest straines of anguish which torments the one, is to have lost Heaven, so one of the highest conceptions of joy to the other, is to have escap'd Hell; Insomuch that Heaven in som sort may be called the Hell of the damned, and Hell the Heaven of the Blessed.

Body.
[Page 169]

Let it not be term'd a presump­tion in me, if I desire to bee recti­fied in one point, that considering the humane creature is finite, and temporary, and that all which proceeds from him is so, how can it stand with the justice of All­mighty God, whose will is the Rule of Justice and equity, who also is the source and sea of mercy, how can it stand, I say, with his goodnes, that ther should be such a disproportion betwixt the offence & the punishment, as to punish his poor frail finit creature with infi­nit and eternall torment?

Soul.
[Page 170]

This hath bin a quaere much scann'd & discuss'd in the very in­fancy of the Church, which made one of the Originall Fathers therof out of excesse of charity, to thinke that the damned soules, and De­vils should be sav'd at the day of Judgement. But you must consider that though humane transgressions are finite, yet they are committed against an infinite and eternall Majesty; and had the sinner who committed them liv'd eternally, hee would have sinn'd eternally; Besides the reward which is reserved for humane soules is infinite and eternall, therefore it is just the forfaiture therof should be so to the forfaiture of Heaven, one dram of whose happinesse is more then the whole [Page 171] masse of all earthly contentments; One drop of whose abstracted, pure, permanent and immarcessi­ble delights is infinitely more sweet then all those mixt and muddy streames of corporeall and mundane pleasures, then all those no other then Vtopian pleasures of this transitory world were they all cast into a li [...]beck, and the very Elixir of them distill'd into one vessell.

Body.

Me thinks, I feel that small triangle of flesh which beats to­wards the left side of my brest dilated with excess of joy to hear this discours touching your immor­tality, being so infinitly happy that I have so precious a guest within me, specially when I look upon the former discours you [Page 172] made touching the Resurrection, and that I shall be also fitted to be reunited unto you in the Re­gion of Eternity: moreover these patheticall expressions of yours have fill'd me with thoughts of Mortification, whereof I shall endeavour to shew som future symptomes; A salad or posie gather'd in a Church-yard shall be more pleasing to me, and that my shirt be dried ther hereafter rather then in a garden; therefore I desire that you would joyn with the rest of the separated souls in Heaven that the time of my reunion with you may be hastned; And so, good morrow to my soul.

Vpon this the Nun vanish'd in­to me I know nor how, and diffus'd Her self through all the cells of my brain, and through the whole mass of blood among the spirits; Now, it is observ'd that it is the practice [Page 173] of Humane souls in time of sleep and the silent listning night to go oftentimes abroad, and exercise their abstracted notions, as also to try here (as it was touch'd before) how they can live separate hereaf­ter by these noctivagations. It is re­corded of Iulius Casar that he dream't to have layn one night with his Mother, and I may be said to have layn with my Soul; By his mother was interpreted the Earth the common parent of all, and it was presag'd of him by that Dream that he should be Conqueror of the world, which prov'd true; so I hope this dream may foretell that I shall conquer this little world of mine, For both Divines and Phi­losophers make every Man a Mi­crocosm or little world of himself.

And now 'twas high time for me to awake, which I did.

For, lo, the golden Orientall gate Sp.
Of gray-fac'd Heaven 'gan to open fair,
And Phaebus like a Bridegroom to his mate
Came dancing forth, shaking his dewy hair
And hurles his glitt'ring beams through gloomy Air.
So Rest to Motion, Night to Day doth yeeld,
Silence to Noise, the Stars do quit the Field:
My Cinque Ports all fly ope, the Phantasie
Gives way to outward objects, Ear and Eye
Resume their office, so doth hand, and lip,
I hear the Carrmans wheel, the Coachmans whip;
[Page]The prentice (with my sense) his shop unlocks,
The milk maid seeks her pail, por­ters their frocks,
All crys and sounds return, except one thing,
I hear no bell for Mattins toll or ring.
Being thus awak'd, and staring on the light
Which silver'd all my face and sight,
I clos'd my Eyes again to recol­lect
What I had dream't, and make my thoughts reflect
Vpon themselfs, which here I do expose
To every knowing soul; And may all those
(Whose brains Apollo with his gentle ray
Hath moulded of a more refined clay)
[Page]That read this Dream, therby such profit reap
As I did plesure, Then they have it cheap.
Est sensibilium simia somnium.
I. H.
FINIS.

The Ingredients, whereof this Discours is compounded, are

  • 1. Divinity,
  • 2. Metaphysic,
  • 3. Philosophy,
  • 4. Poesie, &c.

The principall points it hand­leth are

  • The Faculties & functions of the soul.
  • The generations and frailties of the Body.
  • The Influxes and operations of the stars.
  • The wayes of knowing God Almighty.
  • The Heavenly Hierarchies and their degrees.
  • The Resurrection.
  • Of walking Spirits, of the old Philo­sophers.
  • Of the state of Souls after this life.
  • [Page] [...] the joyes of Heven.
  • [...] he torments of Hell.
  • [...] sceptiques and Critiques.
  • [...] Sund [...]y sorts of Christians through­out the world with many emergen­cies of new matter.
  • [...] The prose goeth interwoven with sompeeces of poesie, and History all along.

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