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the apostle's reprehension, Col. ii. 18. “intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.”
TIIE VISIBLE CREATION comprises the material universe, and all that is contained therein ; and more especially the human race.
The creation of the world in general, and of its individual parts, is related Gen. i. It is also described Job xxvi. 7, &c. and xxxviii. and in various passages of the Psalms and Prophets. Psal. xxxiii. 6—9. civ. cxlviii. 5. Prov. vii. 26, &c. Amos iv. 13. 2 Pet. iii. 5. Previously, however, to the creation of man, as if to intimate the superior importance of the work, the Deity speaks like to a man deliberating : Gen. i. 26. “God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness.” So that it was not the body alone that was then made, but the soul of man also (in which our likeness to God principally consists ); which precludes us from attributing pre-existence to the soul which was then formed, groundless notion sometimes entertained, but refuted by Gen. ii. 7. “God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; thus man became a living soul.” Job xxxii. 8. “there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." Nor did God merely breathe that spirit into man, but moulded it in each individual, and infused it throughout, enduing and embellishing it with its proper faculties. Zech. xii. 1.“he formeth the spirit of man within him.”
We may understand from other passages of Scripture, that when God infused the breath of life into man,
what man thereby received was not a portion of God's essence, or a participation of the divine nature, but that measure of the divine virtue or influence, which was commensurate to the capabilities of the recipient. For it appears from Psal. civ. 29, 30. that
2 . It is not good. God here presents himself like to a man deliberating; both to show us that the matter is of high consequence,' &c. Tetrachordon. Prose Works, III. 329.
3 Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of man
Paradise Lost, X. 784. 4 • Unde a quibusdam dicitur, particula auræ divine, Horat. II. Sat. i. quod non reprehendo, modo bene intelligatur non quasi a Dei essentia, tanquam ejus pars, avulsa fuisset ; sed quod ineffabili quodam modo profluere eam ex se fecerit.' Curcellæi Institutio, III. 7.
he infused the breath of life into other living beings also ;“thou takest away their breath, they die. ... thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created ;" whence we learn that every living thing receives animation from one and the same source of life and breath ; inasmuch as when God takes back to himself that spirit or breath of life, they cease to exist. Eccles. iii. 19. “they have ali one breath.” Nor has the word spirit any other meaning in the sacred writings, but that breath of life which we inspire, or the vital, or sensitive, or rational faculty, or some action or affection belonging to those faculties.
Man having been created after this manner, it is said, as a consequence, that man became a living soul ;5 whence it may be inferred (unless we had rather take the heathen writers for our teachers respecting the nature of the soul) that man is a living being, intrinsically and properly one and individual, not compound or separable, not, according to the common opinion, made up and framed of two distinct and different natures, as of soul and body,—but that the whole man is soul, and the soul man, that is to say, a body, or substance individual, animated, sensitive, and rational ; and that the breath of life was neither a part of the divine essence, nor the soul itself, but as it were an inspiration of some divine virtue fitted for the exercise of life and reason, and infused into the organic body; for man himself, the whole man, when finally created, is called in express terms a living soul. Hence the word used in Genesis to signify soul, is interpreted by the apostle, 1 Cor. XV. 45. “animal.” / Again, all the attributes of the body are
He form’d thee, Adam, thee, O man.
Paradise Lost, VII. 523. 6 See Beza's version in loc. •Factus est prior homo Adamus animal virens.'
when God said, Let the earth bring forth soul living in her kind. VII, 450. in which passage the original reading, even in the copies corrected by Milton, was foul instead of soul. Dr. Newton agrees with Bentley, Pearce, and Richardson, in preferring soul, and gives the following reason : We have observed beiore', that when Wilton makes the Divine Person
assigned in common to the soul : the touch, Lev. v. 2, &c. "if a soul touch any unclean thing,”—the act of eating, vii. 18. “the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity ;” v. 20. “ the soul that eateth of the flesh,” and in other places :hunger, Prov. xiii. 25. xxvii. 7.—thirst, xxv. 25. " waters to a thirsty soul.” Isai. xxix. 8.--capture, 1 Sam. xxiv. 11. “thou huntest my soul to take it.” Psal. vii, 5. “ let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it."
Where, however, we speak of the body as of a mere senseless stock, there the soul must be understood as signifying either the spirit, or its secondary faculties, the vital or sensitive faculty for instance.—Thus it is as often distinguished from the spirit, as from the body itself. Luke i. 46, 47.
1 Thess. v. 23. “ your whole spirit and soul and body.” Heb. iv. 12. “to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.” But that the spirit of man should be separate from the body, so as to have a perfect and intelligent existence independently of it, is nowhere said in Scripture, and the doctrine is evidently at variance both with nature and reason, as will be shewn more fully hereafter. For the word soul is also applied to every kind of living being; Gen. i. 30. “to every beast of the carth,” &c. “ wherein there is life” (anima vivens, Tremell.) vii. 22. “all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died ;" yet it is never inferred from these expressions that the soul exists separate from the body in any of the brute creation.
On the seventh day, God ceased from his work, and ended the whole business of creation : Gen. ii. 2, 3.
It would seem, therefore, that the human soul is not created daily by the immediate act of God, but propagated from father to son in a natural order;" which was considered as the more
speak, he keeps closely to Scripture. Now what we render living creature (Gen. i. 24.) is living soul in the Hebrew, which Milton usually follows rather than our translation.'
7 The question which Milton now begins to discuss, is thus stated by Fiddes in his Body of Divinity, book ini. Part I. Whether they were all created at once, in order to be united to certain bodies which should be prepared afterwards in convenient time for their reception ; or whether they are created at the instant when the bodies they are to inform are fit to receive them,are questions which have been much controverted But the arguments which have been produced for the pre-existence of souls appear to be more specious, and in the opinion of some of the
probable opinion by Tertullian and Apollinarius, as well as by Augustine, and the whole western church in the time of Jerome, as he himself testifies, Tom. II. Epist. 82. and Gregory of Nyssa in his treatise on the soul.8 God would in fact have left his creation imperfect, and a vast, not to say a servile task would yet remain to be performed, without even allowing time for rest on each successive Sabbath, if he still continued to create as many souls daily as there are bodies multiplied throughout the whole world, at the bidding of what is not seldom the flagitious wantonness of man.' Nor is there any reason to suppose that the influence of the divine blessing is less efficacious in imparting to man the power of producing after his kind, than to the other parts of animated nature ;' greatest men of antiquity, heathen and Christian, whom certain moderns of distinction in the learned world have followed, really conclusive. Our articles seem to leave the question undetermined, unless descent by propagation be conceived to be implied in the following words of the 9th article: Every man that is naturally engendered of the offspring of Adam'
Super animæ statu memini vestræ quæstiunculæ, immo inaxime Ecclesiasticæ questionis ; utrum lapsa de cælo sit, ut Pythagoras philosophus, omnesque Platonici, et Origenes putant; an a propria Dei substantia, ut Stoici, Manichæus, et Hispana Priscilliani hæresis suspicantur ; an in thesauro habeantur Dei olim conditæ, ut quidam Ecclesiastici stulta persuasione confidunt; an quotidie a Deo fiant, et mittantur in corpora, secundum illud quod in evangelio scriptum est, Pater meus usque modo operatur et ego operor ; an certe ex traduce, ut Tertullianus, Apollinarius, et maxima pars occidentalium autumant, ut quomodo corpus ex corpore, sic anima nascatur ex anima, et simili cum brutis animantibus conditione subsistat.' Hieronymi Epist. 82. (78. Edit. Benedict.) ad Marcellinum et Anapsychiam. Ουκ άρα νύν αι ψυχαί γίνονται το γάρ, ο Πατήρ μου έως άρτι εργάζεται, ουκ επί του κτίζειν, αλλ' επί του προνοείν ειρήσθαι και αυτό δοκεί 'Απολλιναριω τας ψυχάς από των ψυχών τίκτεσθαι ώσπερ από των σωμάτων. προϊέναι γαρ την ψυχήν κατά διαδοχήν του πρώτου ανθρώπου είς τους εξ εκείνου τεχθέντας, καθάπερ την σωματικών dadoxýv. Greg. Nyssen. De Anima.
9 •Deus absoluta sex diebus creatione mundi dicitur quievisse ab omni opere suo, Gen. xi. 2. Non autem vere a creando quievisset, si nunc singulis momentis ipse multas animas immediate produceret. Ut nunc non dicam indignum prorsus Deo videri, ut sit minister generationum fædarum et incestuosarum quas ipse abominatur, et severe in lege prohibuit ; ita ut simul atque libeat hominibus impuris corpora sua miscere, oporteat illum adesse, qui fætui, quantumvis illegitime concepto, animam infundat.' Curcell. Instit. III. 6.
Deus, Adamo et Eva creatis, ipsis benedictionem suam impertitus est ad humani generis propagationem, dicens, Crescite, &c. Gen. i. 28. et ix. I. Ergo dedit eis facultatem alios homines sibi similes, qui corpore et
Gen. i. 22, 28. Thus it was from one of the ribs of the man that God made the mother of all mankind, without the necessity of infusing the breath of life a second time, Gen. ii. 22. and Adam himself begat a son in his own likeness after his image, v. 3. Thus 1 Cor. xv. 49. “as we have borne the image of the earthy ;” and this not only in the body, but in the soul, as it was chiefly with respect to the soul2 that Adam was made in the divine image. So Gen. xlvi. 26.“ all the souls which came with Jacob out of Egypt, which came out of his loins.” Heb. vii, 10. “Levi was in the loins of Abraham :" whence in Scripture an offspring is called seed, and Christ is denominated the seed of the woman. Gen. xvii. 7. “I will be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” 1 Cor. xv. 44. “it is sown a natural body.” v. 46. “ that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural.”
But besides the testimony of revelation, some arguments from reason may be alleged in confirmation of this doctrine. Whoever is born, or shapen and conceived in sin,3 (as we all are, not David only, Psal. li. 5.) if he receive his soul immediately from God, cannot but receive it from him shapen in sin ; for to be generated and conceived, means nothing else than to receive a soul in conjunction with the body.
anima constarent, producendi ; quemadmodum et cæteris animantibus, quibus benedixit, talem communicavit Nec vero dixisset Moses Adamum genuisse, &c. Gen. v. 3. nempe ut ipse ad imaginem Dei factus erat. Ista enim Dei imago præcipue in anima consistit
Et rursus dicit Moses, cunctæ animæ, &c. Gen. xlvi. 25, Ergo non solum corpora, sed etiam animæ liberorum et nepotum Jacobi ab eo prognatæ sunt.' Curcell. Instit. III. 4.
God on thee
Paradise Lost, VIII. 219. On which passage, in answer to Warburton's insinuation, that one would think by this outward that Milton was of the sect of Anthropomorphites, as well as Materialists, Mr, Todd has well observed that the poet only meant to allude to the complete nature of man, the animal and the intellectual parts united, which the learned Hale, treating of the words in the image of God made he man, minutely and admirably illustrates. See also above, page 18, and the note there.
3 • Proclivitas ad malum, cumqua infantes nascuntur, huic etiam opinioni favet. Nam ea a Deo non est, ut omnes fatentur, neque etiam a corpore, quod non est vitii moralis capax.' Curcell. Instit. III. 8.