<227>

CHAPTER VII.
OF THE CREATION.

THE second species of external efficiency is commonly called Creation. As to the actions of God before the foundation of the world, it would be the height of folly to inquire into them, and almost equally so to attempt a solution of the question.[1] With regard to the account which is generally given from 1 Cor. ii. 7. 'he ordained his wisdom in a mystery, even the hidden mystery which God ordained before the world,' —or, as it is explained, that he was occupied with election and reprobation, and with decreeing other things relative to these subjects, —it is not imaginable that God should have been wholly occupied from eternity in decreeing that which was to be created in a period of six days, and which, after having <228> been governed in divers manners for a few thousand years, was finally to be received into an immutable state with himself, or to be rejected from his presence for all eternity.

That the world was created, is an article of faith; Heb. xi. 3. 'through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.'

Creation is that act whereby God the Father produced every thing that exists by his Word and Spirit, that is, by his will, for the manifestation of the glory of his power and goodness.

Whereby God the Father. Job. ix. 8. 'which alone spreadeth out the heavens, Isai. xliv. 24. 'I am Jehovah that maketh all things: that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself, xlv. 6, 7. 'that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else: I form the light, and create darkness.' If there be any thing like a common meaning, or universally received usage of words, this language not only precludes the possibility of there being any other God, but also of there being any co-equal person, of any kind whatever. Neh. ix. 6. 'thou art Jehovah alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens.' Mal. ii. 10. 'have we not all one Father ? hath not one God created us?' Hence Christ himself says, Matt. xi. 25. 'I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth.' So too all the apostles, Acts iv. 24. compared with v. 27. 'Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is..... the kings of the earth stood up..... against the holy child Jesus. Rom. xi. 36. 'for of him, and through <229> him, and to him are all things.' 1 Cor. viii. 6. 'to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things.' 2 Cor. iv. 6. 'for God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.' Heb. ii. 10. 'him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things.' iii. 4. 'he that built all things is God.'

By his Word. Gen. i. throughout the whole chapter —'God said.' Psal. xxxiii. 6. 'by the word of Jehovah were the heavens made.' v. 9. 'for he spake, and it was done.' cxlviii. 5. 'he commanded, and they were created.' 2 Pet. iii. 5. 'by the word of God the heavens were of old,' —that is, as is evident from other passages, by the Son, who appears hence to derive his title of Word. John i. 3, 10. 'all things were made by him: by him the world was made.' 1 Cor. viii. 6. 'to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.' Eph. iii. 9. 'who created all things by Jesus Christ.' Col. i. 16. 'by him were all things created.' Heb. i. 2. 'by whom also he made the worlds;' whence it is said, v. 10. 'thou hast laid the foundation of the earth.' The proposition per sometimes signifies the primary cause, as Matt. xii. 28. 'I cast out devils (per Spiritum) by the Spirit of God.' 1 Cor. i. 9. 'God is faithful, (per quem) by whom ye are called,' —sometimes the instrumental, or less principal cause, as in the passages quoted above, where it cannot be taken as the primary cause, for if so, the Father himself, of whom are all things, would not be the primary cause; nor is it the joint cause, for in such case it would have been said <230> that the Father created all things, not by, but with the Word and Spirit; or collectively, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit created; which phrases are nowhere to be found in Scripture. Besides, the expressions to be of the Father, and to be by the Son, do not denote the same kind of efficient cause. If it be not the same cause, neither is it a joint cause; and if not a joint cause, certainly the Father, of whom are all things, must be the principal cause, rather than the Son by whom are all things; for the Father is not only he of whom, but also from whom, and for whom, and through whom, and on account of whom are all things, as has been proved above, inasmuch as he comprehends within himself all lesser causes; whereas the Son is only he by whom are all things;[2] wherefore he is the less principal cause. Hence it is often said that the Father created the world by the Son,[3] — but never, in the same sense, that the Son created the world by the Father. It is however sometimes attempted to be proved from Rev. iii. 14. that the Son was the joint, or even the principal cause of the creation with the Father; 'the beginning of the creation of God;' where the word beginning is interpreted <231> in an active sense, on the authority of Aristotle.[4] But in the first place, the Hebrew language, whence the expression is taken, nowhere admits of this sense, but rather requires a contrary usage, as Gen. xlix. 3. 'Reuben, thou art..... the beginning of my strength.' Secondly, there are two passages in St. Paul referring to Christ himself, which clearly prove that the word beginning is here used in a passive signification, Col. i. 15, 18. 'the first born of every creature, ..... the beginning, the first born from the dead,' —where the position of the Greek accent,[5] and the passive verbal πρωτότοκος, show that the Son of God was the first born of every creature precisely in the same sense as the Son of Man was the first born of Mary, πρωτότοκος, Matt. i. 25. The other passage is Rom. viii. 29. 'first born among many brethren;' that is, in a passive signification. Lastly, it should be remarked, that he is not called simply 'the beginning of the creation,' but 'of the creation of God;' which can mean nothing else than the first of those things which God created; how therefore can he be himself God? Nor can we admit the reason devised by some of the Fathers[6] for his being called, Col. i. 15. 'the first born of every creature,' —namely, because it is said v. 16. 'by him all things were created.' For had St. <232> Paul intended to convey the meaning supposed, he would have said, 'who was before every creature,'(which is what these Fathers contend the words signify, though not without violence to the language) not, 'who was the first born of every creature,' an expression which clearly has a superlative, and at the same time to a certain extent partitive sense, in so far as production may be considered as a kind of generation and creation; but by no means in so far as the title of first born among men may be here applied to Christ, seeing that he is termed first born, not only in respect of dignity, but also of time. v. 16. 'for by him were all things created that are in heaven.'

Nor is the passage in Prov. viii. 22, 23. of more weight, even if it be admitted that the chapter in general is to be understood with reference to Christ: 'Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way before his works of old: 1 was set up from everlasting.'[7] For that which was 'possessed' and 'set up,' could not be the primary cause. Even a creature, however, is called the beginning of the ways of God, Job xl. 19. 'he (behemoth) is the chief (principium) of the ways of God.' As to the eighth chapter of Proverbs, it appears to me that it is not the son of God who is there introduced as the speaker, but a poetical personification of wisdom, as in Job xxviii. 20-27. 'whence then cometh wisdom? —then did he see it.'

Another argument is brought from Isai. xlv. 12, 23. 'I have made the earth..... unto me every knee shall bow.' It is contended that this is spoken of Christ, <233> on the authority of St. Paul, Rom. xiv. 10, 11. 'we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ: for it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me.' But it is evident from the parallel passage Philipp. ii. 9-11. that this is said of God the Father, by whose gift the Son has received that judgement seat and all judgement, 'that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow..... to the glory of God the Father;' or, which means the same thing, 'every tongue shall confess to God.'

And Spirit. Gen. i. 2. 'the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters;[8] that is, his divine power, rather than any person, as has been already shown in the sixth chapter, on the Holy Spirit. For if it were a person, why is the Spirit named, to the exclusion of the Son, by whom we so often read that the world was created? unless indeed that Spirit were Christ, to whom, as has been before proved, the name of Spirit is sometimes given in the Old Testament. However this may be, and even if it should be admitted to have been a person, it seems at all events to have been only a subordinate minister: God is first described as creating the heaven and the earth; the <234> Spirit is only represented as moving upon the face of the waters already created. So Job xxvi. 13. 'by his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens,' Psal. xxxiii. 6. 'by the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath (spiritu) of his mouth.' Now the person of the Spirit does not seem to have proceeded more from the mouth of God than from that of Christ, who 'shall consume that wicked one with the spirit of his mouth,' 2 Thess. ii. 8. compared with Isai. xi. 4. 'the rod of his mouth.'

By his will. Psal. cxxxv. 6. 'whatsoever Jehovah pleased, that did he in heaven and earth.' Rev. iv. 11. 'for thy pleasure they are and were created.'

For the manifestation of the glory of his power and goodness. Gen. i. 31. 'God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.' See also 1 Tim. iv. 4. Psal. xix. 1. 'the heavens declare the glory of God.' Prov. xvi. 4. 'Jehovah hath made all things for himself.' Acts xiv. 15. 'that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God which made heaven and earth and the sea, and all things that are therein.' xvii. 24. 'God that made the world and all things therein.' Rom. i. 20. 'for his eternal power and Godhead are clearly seen.'

Thus far it has appeared that God the Father is the primary and efficient cause of all things. With regard to the original matter of the universe, however, there has been much difference of opinion.[9] Most <235> of the moderns contend that it was formed from nothing, a basis as unsubstantial as that of their own theory.[10] In the first place, it is certain that neither the Hebrew verb ברא, nor the Greek κτίζειν, nor the Latin creare, can signify to create out of nothing.[11] On the contrary, these words uniformly signify to create out of matter. Gen. I. 21, 27. 'God created..... every living creature which the waters brought forth abundantly..... male and female created he them.' Isai. liv. 16. 'behold, I have created the smith..... I have created the waster to destroy.' To allege, therefore, that creation signifies production out of nothing, is, as logicians say, to lay down premises with out a proof; for the passages of Scripture commonly quoted for this purpose, are so far from confirming the received opinion, that they rather imply the contrary, namely, that all things were not made out of nothing. 2 Cor. iv. 6. 'God, who commanded the <236> light to shine out of darkness.' That this darkness was far from being a mere negation, is clear from Isai. xlv. 7. 'I am Jehovah; I form the light, and create darkness.' If the darkness be nothing, God in creating darkness created nothing, or in other words, he created and did not create, which is a contradiction. Again, what we are required 'to understand through faith' respecting 'the worlds,' is merely this, that 'the things which were seen were not made of things which do appear,' Heb. xi. 3. Now 'the things which do not appear' are not to be considered as synonymous with nothing, (for nothing does not admit of a plural, nor can a thing be made and compacted together out of nothing, as out of a number of things)[12] but the meaning is, that they do not appear as they now are. The apocryphal writers, whose authority may be considered as next to that of the Scriptures, speak to the same effect. Wisd. xi. 17. 'thy almighty hand that made the world of matter without form.' 2 Macc. vii. 28. 'God made the earth and all that is therein of things that were not.' The expression in Matt. ii. 18. may be quoted, 'the children of Rachel are not.' This, however, does not mean properly that they are nothing, but that (according to a common Hebraism) they are no longer amongst the living.

It is clear then that the world was framed out of matter of some kind or other. For since action and passion are relative terms, and since, consequently, <237> no agent can act externally, unless there be some patient, such as matter, it appears impossible that God could have created this world out of nothing; not from any defect of power on his part, but because it was necessary that something should have previously existed capable of receiving passively the exertion of the divine efficacy. Since, therefore, both Scripture and reason concur in pronouncing that all these things were made, not out of nothing, but out of matter, it necessarily follows, that matter must either have always existed independently of God, or have originated from God at some particular point of time. That matter should have been always in dependent of God, (seeing that it is only a passive principle, dependent on the Deity, and subservient to him; and seeing, moreover, that, as in number, considered abstractly, so also in time or eternity there is no inherent force or efficacy) that matter, I say, should have existed of itself from all eternity, is inconceivable. If on the contrary it did not exist from all eternity, it is difficult to understand from whence it derives its origin, There remains, therefore, but one solution of the difficulty, for which moreover we have the authority of Scripture, namely, that all things are of God.[13] Rom. xi. 36. 'for of <238> him, and through him, and to him are all things.' 1 Cor. viii. 6. 'there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things:' where the same Greek preposition is used in both cases. Heb ii. 11. 'for both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one.'

In the first place, there are, as is well known to all, four kinds of causes, —efficient, material, formal, and final.[14] Inasmuch then as God is the primary, and absolute, and sole cause of all things, there can be no doubt but that he comprehends and embraces within himself all the causes above-mentioned. Therefore the material cause must be either God, or nothing. Now nothing is no cause at all; and yet it is contended that forms, and above all, that human forms, were created out of nothing. But matter and form, considered as internal causes, constitute the thing itself; so that either all things must have had two causes only, and those external, or God will not have been the perfect and absolute cause of every thing. Secondly, it is an argument of supreme power and goodness, that such diversified, multiform, and inexhaustible virtue should exist and be substantially inherent in God (for that virtue cannot be accidental which admits of degrees, and of augmentation or remission, according to his pleasure) and that this diversified and substantial virtue should not remain dor <239> mant within the Deity, but should be diffused and propagated and extended as far and in such manner as he himself may will. For the original matter of which we speak, is not to be looked upon as an evil or trivial thing, but as intrinsically good, and the chief productive stock[15] of every subsequent good. It was a substance, and derivable from no other source than from the fountain of every substance, though at first confused and formless, being afterwards adorned and digested into order by the hand of God.[16]

Those who are dissatisfied because, according to this view, substance was imperfect, must also be dissatisfied with God for having originally produced it out of nothing in an imperfect state, and without form. For what difference does it make, whether God produced it in this imperfect state out of nothing, or out of himself? By this reasoning, they only tranfer that imperfection to the divine efficiency, which they are unwilling to admit can properly be attributed to sub <240> stance, considered as an efflux of the Deity. For why did not God create all things out of nothing in an absolutely perfect state at first? It is not true, however, that matter was in its own nature originally imperfect; it merely received embellishment from the accession of forms which are themselves material.[17] And if it be asked how what is corruptible can proceed from incorruption, it may be asked in return how the virtue and efficacy of God can proceed out of nothing. Matter, like the form and nature of the angels itself, proceeded incorruptible from God; and even since the fall it remains incorruptible as far as concerns its essence.

But the same, or even a greater difficulty still remains —how that which is in its nature peccable can have proceeded (if I may so speak) from God? I ask in reply, how anything peccable can have originated from the virtue and efficacy which proceeded from God? Strictly speaking indeed it is neither matter nor form that sins; and yet having proceeded from God, and become in the power of another party, what is there to prevent them, inasmuch as they have now become mutable, from contracting taint and contamination through the enticements of the devil, or those which originate in man himself? It is objected, however, that body cannot emanate from spirit. I reply, much less then can body emanate from nothing. For spirit being the more excellent substance, virtually and essentially contains within itself the inferior one; <241> as the spiritual and rational faculty contains the corporeal, that is, the sentient and vegetative faculty.[18] For not even divine virtue and efficiency could produce bodies out of nothing, according to the commonly received opinion, unless there had been some bodily power in the substance of God; since no one can give to another what he does not himself possess. Nor did St. Paul hesitate to attribute to God something corporeal; Col. ii. 9. 'in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.' Neither is it more incredible that a bodily power should issue from a spiritual substance, than that what is spiritual should arise from body; which nevertheless we believe will be the case with our own bodies at the resurrection. Nor, lastly, can it be understood in what sense God can properly be called infinite, if he be capable of receiving any accession whatever; which would be the case if any thing could exist in the nature of things, which had not first been of God and in God.

Since therefore it has (as I conceive) been satisfactorily proved, under the guidance of Scripture, that God did not produce everything out of nothing, but of himself, I proceed to consider the necessary consequence of this doctrine, namely, that if all things are not only from God, but of God, no created thing can <242> be finally annihilated. And not to mention that not a word is said of this annihilation in the sacred writings, there are other reasons, besides that which has been just alleged, and which is the strongest of all, why this doctrine should be altogether exploded. First, because God is neither willing, nor, properly Speaking, able to annihilate anything altogether. He is not willing, because he does everything with a view to some end, —but nothing can be the end neither of God, nor of anything whatever. Not of God, because he is himself the end of himself; not of any thing whatever, because good of some kind is the end of everything. Now nothing is neither good, nor in fact anything. Entity is good, non-entity consequently is not good; wherefore it is neither consistent with the goodness or wisdom of God to make out of entity, which is good, that which is not good, or nothing. Again, God is not able to annihilate anything altogether, because by creating nothing he would create and not create at the same time, which involves a contradiction. If it be said that the creative power of God continues to operate, inasmuch as he makes that not to exist which did exist; I answer, that there are two things necessary to constitute a perfect action, motion and the effect of motion: in the present instance the motion is the act of annihilation; the effect of motion is none, that is, nothing, no effect. Where there is no effect there is no efficient.

Creation is either of things invisible or visible.

The things invisible, or which are at least such to us, are, the highest heaven, which is the throne and habitation of God, and the heavenly powers, or angels.

<243>

Such is the division of the apostle, Col. i. 16. The first place is due to things invisible, if not in respect of origin, at least of dignity. For the highest heaven is as it were the supreme citadel and habitation of God. See Deut. xxvi. 15. 1 Kings viii. 27, 30, 'heaven of heavens.' Neh. ix. 6. Isai. lxiii. 15 'far above all heavens,' Eph. iv. 10. where God 'dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto.' 1 Tim. vi. 16.[19] Out of this light it appears that pleasures and glories, and a kind of perpetual heaven, have emanated and subsist. Psal. xvi. 11. 'at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.' Isai. lvii. 15. 'the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place.'

It is improbable that God should have formed to himself such an abode for his majesty only at so recent a period as at the beginning of the world. For if there be any one habitation of God, where he diffuses in an eminent manner the glory and brightness of his majesty, why should it be thought that its foundations are only coeval with the fabrick of this world, and not of much more ancient origin? At the same time it does not follow that heaven should be eternal, nor, if eternal, that it should be God; for it was always in the power of God to produce any effect he pleased at whatever time and in whatever manner seemed good to him. We cannot form any conception of light independent of a luminary; but we do not therefore infer that a luminary is the same as <244> light, or equal in dignity. In the same manner we do not think that what are called 'the back parts' of God. Exod. xxxiii. are, properly speaking, God; though we nevertheless consider them to be eternal. It seems more reasonable to conceive in the same manner of the heaven of heavens, the throne and habitation of God, than to imagine that God should have been without a heaven till the first of the six days of creation.[20] At the same time I give this opinion, not as venturing to determine anything certain on such a subject, but rather with a view of showing that others have been too bold in affirming that the invisible and highest heaven was made on the first day, contemporaneously with that heaven which is within our sight. For since it was of the latter heaven alone, and of the visible world, that Moses undertook to write, it would have been foreign to his purpose to have said anything of what was above the world.

In this highest heaven seems to be situated the heaven of the blessed; which is sometimes called Paradise, Luke xxiii. 43. 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4. and Abraham's bosom, Luke xvi. 22. compared with Matt. viii. 11. where also God permits himself to be seen by the <245> angels and saints (as far as they are capable of enduring his glory), and will unfold himself still more fully to their view at the end of the world, 1 Cor. xiii. 12. John xiv. 2, 3. 'in my father's house are many mansions.' Heb. xi. 10, 16. 'he looked for a city which hath foundations..... they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly..... for he hath prepared for them a city.'

It is generally supposed that the angels were created at the same time with the visible universe, and that they are to be considered as comprehended under the general name of heavens. That the angels were created at some particular period, we have the testimony of Numb. xvi. 22. and xxvii. 16. 'God of the spirits,' Heb. i. 7.Col. i. 16. 'by him were all things created..... visible and invisible, whether they be thrones,' &c.[21] But that they were created on the first, or on any one of the six days, seems to be asserted (like most received opinions) with more confi <246> dence than reason, chiefly on the authority of the repetition in Gen. ii. 1. 'thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them,' —unless we are to suppose that more was meant to be implied in the concluding summary than in the previous narration itself, and that the angels are to be considered as the host who inhabit the visible heavens. For what is said Job. xxxviii. 7. that they shouted for joy before God at the creation, proves rather that they were then already in existence, than that they were then first created. Many at least of the Greek, and some of the Latin Fathers, are of opinion that angels, as being spirits, must have existed long before the material world;[22] and it seems even probable, that the apostasy which caused the expulsion of so many thousands from heaven, took place before the foundations of this world were laid. Certainly there is no sufficient foundation for the common opinion, that motion and time (which is the measure of motion) could not, according to the ratio of priority and sub <247> sequence, have existed before this world was made; since Aristotle, who teaches that no ideas of motion and time can be formed except in reference to this world, nevertheless pronounces the world itself to be eternal.[23]

Angels are spirits, Matt. viii. 16. and xii. 45. inasmuch as the legion of devils is represented as having taken possession of one man, Luke viii. 30. Heb. i. 14. 'ministering spirits.' They are of ethereal nature,[24] 1 Kings xxii. 21. Psal. civ. 4. compared with Matt. viii. 31. Heb. i. 7. 'as lightning,' Luke x. 18. whence also they are called Seraphim. Immortal, Luke xx. 36. 'neither can they die any more.' Excellent in wisdom; 2 Sam. xiv. 20. Most powerful in strength; Psal. ciii. 20. 2 Pet. ii. 11. 2 Kings xix. 35. 2 Thess. i. 7. Endued with the greatest swiftness, which is figuratively denoted by the attribute of wings;[25] Ezek. i. 6. In number almost infinite; Deut. xxxiii. 2. Job xxv. 3. Dan. vii. 10. Matt. xxvi. 53. Heb. xii. 22. Rev. v. 11, 12. Created in perfect holiness and righteousness; Luke ix. 26. John viii. 44. 2 Cor. xi. 14, 15. 'angels <248> of light.... ministers of righteousness.' Matt. vi. 10. 'thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.' xxv. 31. 'holy angels.' Hence they are also called sons of God,[26] Job i. 6. and xxxviii. 7. Dan. iii. 25. compared with v. 28. and even Gods, Psal. viii. 5. xcvii. 7. But they are not to be compared with God; Job iv. 18. 'his angels he charged with folly.' xv. 15. 'the heavens are not clean in his sight.' xxv. 5. 'yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.' Isai. vi. 2. 'with two wings he covered his face.'[27] They are distinguished one from another by offices and degrees;[28] Matt. xxv. 41. Rom. viii. 38. Col. i. 16. Eph. i. 21. and iii. 10. 1 Pet. iii. 22. Rev. xii. 7. Cherubim, Gen. iii. 24. Seraphim, Isai. vi. 2. and by proper names; Dan. viii. 16. ix. 21. x. 13. Luke i. 19. Michael, Jude 9. Rev. xii. 7. 1 Thess. iv. 16. 'with the voice of the Archangel.'Josh. v. 14. See more on this subject in the ninth chapter. To push our speculations further on this subject, is to incur the apostle's reprehension, Col. ii. 18. 'intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.'

<249>

The 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. viii. 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 a man deliberating:[29] 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, —a 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,[30] 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 <250> 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.[31] For it appears from Psal. civ. 29, 30, that 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 all 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;'[32] 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 <251> 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.'[33] Again, all the attributes of the body are 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. 'as cold 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 <252> 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 shown more fully hereafter. For the word soul is also applied to every kind of living being; Gen. i. 30, 'to every beast of the earth,' &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;[34] <253> which was considered as the more 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.[35] 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.[36] 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 <254> to the other parts of animated nature; Gen. i. 22, 28.[37] 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 soul[38] 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. <255> 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,[39] (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. If we receive the soul immediately from God, it must be pure, for who in such case will venture to call it impure?[40] But if it be pure, how are we conceived in sin in consequence of receiving a pure soul, which would rather have the effect of cleansing the impurities of the body; or with what justice is the pure soul charged with the sin of the body? But, it is contended, God does not create souls impure, but only impaired in their nature, and destitute of original righteousness, I answer, that to create pure souls destitute of original righteousness, —to send them into contaminated and corrupt bodies, —to deliver them up in their innocence and helplessness to the prison house of the body, as to an enemy, with understanding blinded and with will enslaved, —in other words, wholly deprived of sufficient strength for resisting the vicious propensities of the body —to create souls thus circumstanced, would argue as much injustice, as to have created them impure would have <256> argued impurity; it would have argued as much injustice, as to have created the first man Adam himself impaired in his nature, and destitute of original righteousness.

Again, if sin be communicated by generation, and transmitted from father to son it follows that what is the πρῶτον δεκτικὸν,[41] or original subject of sin, namely, the rational soul, must be propagated in the same manner; for that it is from the soul that all sin in the first instance proceeds, will not be denied. Lastly, on what principle of justice can sin be imputed through Adam to that soul, which was never either in Adam, or derived from Adam? In confirmation of which Aristotle's argument may be added, the truth of which in my opinion is indisputable.[42] If the soul be equally diffused throughout any given whole, and throughout every part of that whole, how can the human seed, the noblest and most intimate part of all the body, be imagined destitute and devoid of the soul of the parents, or at least of the father, <257> when communicated to the son by the laws of generation? It is acknowledged by the common consent of almost all philosophers, that every form,[43] to which class the human soul must be considered as belonging, is produced by the power of matter.

It was probably by some such considerations as these that Augustine was led to confess that he could neither discover by study, nor prayer, nor any process of reasoning, how the doctrine of original sin could be defended on the supposition of the creation of souls.[44] The texts which are usually advanced, <258> Eccles. xii. 7. Isai. lvii. 16. Zech. xii. 1. certainly indicate that nobler origin of the soul implied in its being breathed from the mouth of God; but they no more prove that each soul is severally and immediately created by the Deity, than certain other texts, which might be quoted, prove that each individual body is formed in the womb by the immediate hand of God.[45] Job x, 8-10. 'thine hands have made me..... hast thou not poured me out as milk?' Psal. xxxiii. 15. 'he fashioneth their hearts alike.' Job xxxi. 15. 'did not he that made me in the womb make him?' Isai. xliv. 24. 'thus saith Jehovah, ..... he that formed thee from the womb.' Acts xvii. 26. 'he hath made of one blood all nations of men?' We are not to infer from these passages, that natural causes do not contribute their ordinary efficacy for the propagation of the body; nor on the other hand that the soul is not received by traduction from the father, because at the time of death it again betakes itself to different elements than the body, in conformity with its own origin.

With regard to the passage, Heb. xii. 9. where 'the fathers of the flesh' are opposed to 'the Father of spirits,' I answer, that it is to be understood in a theological, not in a physical sense, as if the father of <259> the body were opposed to the father of the soul; for flesh is taken neither in this passage, nor probably any where else, for the body without the soul; nor 'the father of spirits' for the father of the soul, in respect of the work of generation; but the 'father of the flesh' here means nothing else than the earthly or natural father, whose offspring are begotten in sin; 'the father of spirits' is either the heavenly father, who in the beginning created all spirits, angels as well as the human race, or the spiritual father, who bestows a second birth on the faithful; according to John iii. 6. 'that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.' The argument too, will proceed better, if the whole be understood as referring to edification and correction, not to generation; for the point in question is not, from what source each individual originated, or what part of him thence originated, but who had proved most successful in the employment of chastisement and instruction. By parity of reasoning, the apostle might exhort the converts to bear with his rebuke, on the ground that he was their spiritual father. God indeed is as truly the father of the flesh as of 'the spirits of flesh,' Numb. xvi. 22. but this is not the sense intended here, and all arguments are weak which are deduced from passages of Scripture originally relating to a different subject.

With regard to the soul of Christ, it will be sufficient to answer that its generation was supernatural, and therefore cannot be cited as an argument in the discussion of this controversy. Nevertheless, even he is called 'the seed of the woman,' 'the seed of <260> David according to the flesh;' that is, undoubtedly, according to his human nature.

There seems therefore no reason, why the soul of man should be made an exception to the general law of creation. For, as has been shown before, God breathed the breath of life into the other living beings, and blended it so intimately with matter, that the propagation and production of the human form were analogous to those of other forms, and the proper effect of that power which had been communicated to matter by the Deity.

Man being formed after the image of God, it followed as a necessary consequence that he should be endued with natural wisdom, holiness, and righteousness. Gen. i. 27, 31. ii. 25. Eccles. vii. 29. Eph. iv. 24. Col. iii. 10. 2 Cor. iii. 18. Certainly with out extraordinary wisdom he could not have given names to the whole animal creation with such sudden intelligence, Gen. ii. 20.[46]

[1]

Milton elsewhere alludes to the less serious employments of the Deity before the creation of the world, referring —to Prov. viii. 24, 25, 30. 'God himself conceals us not his own recreations before the world was built; "I was," saith the eternal Wisdom, "daily his delight, playing always before him." Tetrachordon. Prose Works, II. 128. And again,

Before the hills appear'd, or fountain flow'd,

Thou with eternal Wisdom didst converse,

Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play

In presence of th' Almighty Father, pleas'd

With thy celestial song. Paradise Lost, VII. 8.

[2]

For an answer to this assertion, and indeed with reference to the whole of this chapter, see Waterland's Second Sermon in defence of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, where he proves that Christ is properly Creator.

[3]

He Heaven of Heavens and all the Powers therein

By thee created. —Paradise Lost, III. 390.

..... By whom,

As by his Word, the mighty Father made

All things, ev'n thee; and all the Spirits of Heaven

By him created in their bright degrees. V. 835.

[4]

See Aristotle's Metaphys. iv. 1. Milton alludes to the same interpretation in his logical work. 'Hinc causa proprie dicta, principium quoque nominator a Cic. I. de Nat. Deorum, sed frequentius apud Græcos.' Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio, &c. Prose Works, VI. 205.

[5]

In allusion to the opinion of Isidore Pelusiota, Erasmus, and others (with whom Michaelis agrees, Annotat. ad Paraphr. ad Col. i. 15.) that it should not be read πρωτότοκος, primogenitus, but πρωτοτόκος, primus genitor.

[6]

Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Tertullian (contra Marcionem, lib. v.) Novatian. See also Athanasius, Orat. ii. contra Arianos.

[7]

See Waterland's Seventh Sermon on Christ's Divinity, &c. Works, Vol. II. 144.

[8]

Spiritus Dei incubabat. The word incubabat properly signifies brooded, as a bird over her eggs; and the beauty of the original image, which is not retained in our authorized translation, has been twice preserved with great effect in the Paradise Lost.

..... Thou from the first

Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread

Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss,

And mad'st it pregnant. I. 19.

..... On the wat'ry calm

His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,

And vital virtue infus'd, and vital warmth

Throughout the fluid mass. VII. 234.

[9]

The object of the next pages is to prove that the world was not created out of nothing. An intimation of this opinion occurs incidentally in Paradise Lost.

..... Fool, not to think how vain

Against th' Omnipotent to rise in arms;

Who out of smallest things could without end

Have rais'd incessant armies to defeat

Thy folly. VI. 135.

where Newton rightly observes, that Milton did not favour the opinion that the creation was out of nothing.

[10]

So Drusius, Paulus Fagius, Estius, &c, and nearly all the English commentators. Tillotson takes occasion to reply to the objections raised against the doctrine, in his sermon On the Power of God, from Psal. lxii. 11. With regard to the opinion of the Fathers, Lactantius says,(De Orig. Error, lib. ii.) 'Nemo quærat ex quibus ista materiis tam magna, tam mirifica opera Deus fecerit; omnia enim fecit ex nihilo.' Tertullian, (Advers. Hermog. cap. xlv.) 'Igitur in quantum constitit materiam nullam fuisse, ex hoc etiam quod nec talem competat fuisse qualis inducitur, in tantum probatur omnia a Deo ex nihilo facta.' Justin. (Aristotle. Dogm. evers.) δἰ οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ ὕλη ἀγέννητος, ὡς ὁ Θεὸς, καὶ δύνατι ὁ Θεὸς ἐκ τοῦ ἀγέννήτου ποιῆσαί τι, δῆλον ὡς δύνατι ὁ Θεὸς, καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ἁπλῶς μὴ ὄντος ποιῆσαί τι.

[11]

See this argument answered by Beveridge, Exposition of the First Article, Works, Vol. IX. p. 50.

[12]

There seems to be an error in the Latin MS. in this passage. It stands thus —neque compingi ex multis tanquam ex nihilo quicquam potest. It is probable that a confusion has arisen in the arrangement of the words, and that they ought to have been written as follows —neque compingi ex nihilo tanquam ex multis quicquam potest.

[13]

I am by no means confident that I have succeeded in conveying the meaning intended to have been expressed by Milton in the preceding sentences. In the original the passage is evidently corrupt, and it is not very easy to propose satisfactory emendations. I have ventured to translate it on the supposition that it was originally written and pointed thus: Ut extra Deum semper fuerit materia (quamvis principium tantummodo passivum sit, a Deo pendeat, eique subserviat; quamvis ut numeri, ita et ævi, vel sempiterni, nulla vis, nulla apud se efficacia sit) tamen ut ab æterno, inquam, per se materia extiterit intelligi non potest; nee si ab æterno non fuit, unde tandem fuerit intellectu est facilius; restat igitur hoc solum, præunte præsertim scriptura, fuisse omnia ex Deo.

[14]

'Quot autem modis alicujus vi res est, tot esse species causæ statuendum est: Modis autem quatuor alicujus vi res est; ut recte Aristot. Phys. II. 7. et nos supra diximus; vel enim a quo, vel ex quo, vel per quod, vel propter quod res una quæque est, ejus vi esse recte dicitur. His modis nec plures inveniuntur, nec pauciores esse possunt; recte igitur causa distribuitur in causam a qua, ex qua, per quam, et propter quam, id est, efficientem, et materiam, aut formam, et finem.' Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio. Prose Works, VI. 205.

[15]

'Producendi seminarium.' The same word is used in the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. 'Seeing then there is a two-fold seminary or stock in nature, from whence are derived the issues of love and hatred.'

&c. Prose Works, I. 370.

[16]

Won from the void and formless infinite.

Paradise Lost, III. 12.

I saw when at his word the formless mass,

This world's material mould, came to a heap:

Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar

Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;

Till at his second bidding Darkness fled,

Light shone, and order from disorder sprung;

Swift to their sev'ral quarters hasted then

The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire;

And this ethereal quintessence of Heav'n

Flew upward, spirited with various forms. Ibid. 708.

Compare also the more detailed account in Book VII. 192-275.

[17]

..... one first matter all,

Endued with various forms, various degrees

Of substance, and in things that live, of life.

Paradise Lost, V. 472.

[18]

..... Know that in the soul

Are many lesser faculties, that serve

Reason as chief. Paradise Lost, V. 100.

..... And food alike those pure

Intelligential substances require,

As doth your rational; and both contain

Within them every lower faculty

Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste,

Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,

And corporeal to incorporeal turn. ibid. 407.

[19]

..... God is light,

And never but in unapproachcd light

Dwelt from eternity. Paradise Lost III. 3

[20]

The same opinion has been held by the Fathers, as well as by most of the moderns. 'In libro de Trinitate, sive Novatiani sive Tertulliani sit, tam mundus angelicus quam superfirmamentarius conditus dicitur ante mundum Mosaicum his verbis. Quum etiam superioribus, id est, super ipsum quoque solidamentum partibus, angelos prius instituerit Deus, spirituales virtutes digesserit, thronos potestatesque præfecerit, et alia multa cœlorum immensa spatia condiderit, &c. ut hic mundus novissimum magis Dei opus esse appareat, quam solum et unicum. Denique Catholicorum communem hanc fuisse sententiam notat Cassianus suo tempore, nempe sæculo quinto ineunte; ante illud Genese, temporale principium, omnes illas potestates cœlestes Deum creasse, non dubium est.' T. Burnet Archæol. Philos. c. 8.

[21]

The opinion that angels were not created, but self-existent, is with great propriety attributed to Satan in Paradise Lost.

That we were form'd then say'st thou? and the work

Of secondary hands, by task transferr'd

From Father to his Son? strange point and new!

Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd? who saw

When this creation was? Remember'st thou

Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?

We know no time when we were not as now;

Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd

By our own quick'ning power, when fatal course

Had circled his full orb, the birth mature

Of this our native Heav'n, ethereal sons. V. 853.

In another place Satan proposes the question as doubtful;

Whether such virtue spent of old now fail'd

More angels to create, if they at least

Are his created-. IX. 145.

[22]

'Plures e patribus Christianis angelos extitisse ante terram, vel ante mundum Mosaicum, per ignota nobis sæcula, statuerunt; aliqui etiam cœlos supremos, vel cœlum empyreum. Sed de angelis constantior est et a pluribus celebrata sententia. Ut mittam Origenem, hoc Sanctus Basilius in Hexaëmero, Chrysostomus πρὸς τοὺς σκανδαλισθέντας, c. 7. πολλῷ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως πρεσβύτεροι, &c. Gregorius Nazianzenus Orat. 38. et alibi, Johannes Damascenus 1. ii. Orth. Fid. c. 3. Joh. Philoponus De Creatione Mundi, 1. i. c. 10. Olympiodorus in Job xxxviii. aliique e Græcis docuere. E Latinis etiam non pauci eidem sententiæ adhæserunt. Hilarius, 1. xii. De Trinitate; Hieronymus, Ambrosius in Hexaëmero, 1. i. c. 5. Isidorus Hispalensis, Beda, aliique.' T. Burnet. Archæol. Philos. 1. ii. c. 8. It is observable that Milton had indirectly declared himself to have believed in the pre —existence of angels in the Paradise Lost, where he represents Uriel to have been present at the creation of the visible world, and puts into his mouth the beautiful description quoted in a preceding page, —'I saw when at his word the formless mass,' &c.

[23]

See Aristot. Natural. Auscult. lib. viii. cap. 1. In reference to this Milton says elsewhere:

..... Time, though in eternity, applied

To motion, measures all things durable

By present, past, and future. Paradise Lost, V. 580.

[24]

Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,

Improv'd by tract of time, and wing'd ascend

Ethereal as we. Paradise Lost, V. 499.

And when Satan receives his wound from Michael,

..... th' ethereal substance clos'd,

Not long divisible. VI. 330.

[25]

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command

Of sovran pow'r-. I. 752.

[26]

I came among the sons of God, when he

Gave up into my hands Uzzean Job.

Paradise Regained, I. 368.

[27]

Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear,

Yet dazzle heav'n, that brightest Seraphim

Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.

Paradise Lost, III. 380.

[28]

'Yea the angels themselves, in whom no disorder is feared, as the apostle that saw them in his rapture describes, are distinguished and quaternioned into their celestial princedoms and satrapies, according as God himself has writ his imperial decrees through the great provinces of heaven.' Reason of Church Government, &c. Prose Works, 1.81.

[29]

'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, II. 127.

[30]

Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of man

Which God inspir'd —. Paradise Lost, X, 784.

[31]

'Unde a quibusdam dicitur, particula auræ divinæ, Horat. II. Sat. ii. quod non reprehendo, modo bene intelligatur non quasi a Dei essentia, tanquam ejus pars, avulsa fuisset; sed quod ineffabili quodam modo profluere cam ex se fecerit.' Curcellæi Institutio, III. 7.

[32]

..... He form'd thee, Adam, thee, O man,

Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd

The breath of life; in his own image he

Created thee, in the image of God

Express, and thou becam'st a living soul.

Paradise Lost, VII. 523.

[33]

See Beza's version in loc. 'Factus est prior homo Adamus animal vivens.'

..... when God said,

Let th' earth bring forth soul living in her kind. VII. 450.

in which passage the original reading, even in the copies corrected by Milton, was fowl instead of soul. Dr. Newton agrees with Bentley, Pearce, and Richardson in preferring soul, and gives the following reason: 'We observed before, that when Milton makes the Divine Person 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.'

[34]

The question which Milton now begins to discuss, is thus stated by Fiddes in his Body of Divinity, Book iii. 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 greatest men of antiquity, heathen and Christian, whom certain moderns of distinction in the learned world have followed, really conclusive.'

[35]

'Super animæ statu memini vestræ quæstiunculæ, immo maxime Ecclesiasticæ questionis; utrum lapsa de cœlo sit, ut Pythagoras philosophus, omnesque Platonici, et Origines 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. 32. (78 Edit. Benedict.) ad Marcellinum et Anapsychiam. Οὐκ ἄρα νῦν αἱ ψυχαὶ; τὸ γὰρ, ὁ Πατήρ μου ἕως ἄρτι ἐργάζεται, οὐκ ἐπὶ τοῦ κτίζειν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῦ προνοεῖν εἰρῆσθαι; καὶ ἀυτῷ δοκεῖ Ἁπολλιναριῳ τὰς ψυχὰς ἀπὸ τῶν ψυχῶν τίκτεσθαι ὥσπερ ἀπὸ τῶν σωμάτων. προϊέναι γὰρ τὴν ψυχὴν κατὰ διαδοχὴν τοῦ πρώτου ἀνθρώπου εἰς τοὺς ἐξ ἐκείνου τεχθέντας, καθάπερ τὴν σωματικὴν διαδοχήν.. Greg. Nyssen. De Anima.

[36]

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 fœdarum et incestuosarum quas ipse abominatur, et severe in lege prohibuit; ita ut simul atque libeat hominibus impuris corpora sua miscere, oporteat illum adesse, qui fœtui, quantumvis illegitime concepto, animam infundat.' Curcell. Instit. 111. 6.

[37]

'Deus, Adamo et Eva creatis, ipsis benedictionem suam impertitus est ad humani generis propagationem, dicens, Crescite, &c. Gen. i. 28. et ix. 1. Ergo dedit eis facultatem alios homines sibi similes, qui corpore et 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 crat. 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.

[38]

..... God on thee

Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd

Inward and outward both, his image fair.

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 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 22, and the note there.

[39]

'Proclivitas ad malum, cum qua 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.

[40]

Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none,

Created pure. Paradise Lost, V. 99.

[41]

'Subjectum distingui potest in recipiens, quod Græce δεκτικὸν appellant, et occupans, quod objectum dici solet, quia in eo adjuncta occupantur..... Sic anima est subjectum scientiæ, ignorantiæ, virtutis, vitii, quia hæc animæ adjunguntur, id est, præter essentiam accedunt.' Artis Logicæ plenior Institutio. Prose Works, VI. 220.

[42]

See Aristot. περὶ ψυχῆς I. 9. —'Per omnes ejus particulas tota simul adest, nec minor in minoribus, et in majoribus major, sed alicubi intensius, alicubi remissius, et in omnibus tota, et in singulis tota est.' Augustinus De Origine animæ hominis ad Hieron. Ep. 166. Edit. Benedict.

..... Spirits that live throughout

Vital in every part, not as frail man

In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins.-

.....

All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear,

All intellect, all sense. Paradise Lost, VI. 344.

..... if it be true

That light is in the soul,

She all in every part-. Samson Agonistes, 91.

[43]

Milton frequently uses the word forma in its philosophical sense. In his English works he commonly expresses it by the word shape.

..... saw

Virtue in her shape how lovely. Paradise Lost, IV. 846.

'Discipline is not only the removal of disorder; but if any visible shape can be given to divine things, the very visible shape and image of virtue.' The Reason of Church Government, &c. Prose Works, I. 81. 'Regenerate in us the lovely shapes of virtues and graces.' Ibid. 86. 'Truth indeed came once into the world with her divine master, and was a perfect shape most glorious to look on.' Speech for Liberty of Printing. Ibid. 319.

[44]

'We cannot deny but that besides Origen, several others of the ancient fathers before the fifth council seem either to have espoused the pre-existence of souls, or at least to have had a favour and kindness for it; insomuch that St. Augustine himself is sometimes staggering in this point, and thinks it to be a great secret whether men's souls existed before their generations or no, and somewhere concludes it to be a matter of indifferency, wherein every one may have his liberty of opinion either way without offence.' Cudworth's Intellectual System, chap. v. 'Hujus igitur damnationis in parvulis causam requiro, quia neque animarum, si novæ fiunt singulis singulæ, video esse ullum in ilia ætate peccatum, nec a Deo damnari aliquam credo quam videt nullum habere peccatum.' Augustinus De Origine animæ, &c. ad Hieron. 'Quære ubi, vel unde, vel quando cœperint (animæ) damnationis meritum habere, si novæ sunt, ita sane ut Deum non facias, nec aliquam naturam, quam non condidit Deus, vel peccati earum vel innocentum damnationis auctorem. Et si inveneris quod te quærere admonui, quod ipse adhuc, fateor, non inveni, defende quantum potes, atque assere animam infantium ejusmodi esse novitatem, ut nulla propagatione ducuntur; et nobiscum quod inveneris fraterna dilectione communica.' Augustinus Ep. 157. (190. Edit. Benedict.) ad Optatum.

[45]

'Sunt quædam scripturæ loca, quæ id asserere videntur, ut Job xxxiii. 4. Eccles. xii. 9. Zach. xii. 4. Respondeo, ex eo quod Jobus ait, spiraculum Omnipotentis vitam sibi indidisse, non magis sequi id factum esse immediate a Deo, quam ex eo quod idem dicit, nonne sicut la{illeg}mulsisti me, &c. Job. x. 8. colligi legitime potest corpora nostra a parentibus non gigni, sed immediate a Deo ipso formari.' Curcell. Instit. III. 10. 9.

[46]

In this illustration the chief stress is laid upon the suddenness with which Adam was enabled to give appropriate names to the brute creation, as it passed in review before him. Milton has two other allusions to this event, and the same circumstance is marked as the prominent feature of the case in both passages. There is nothing in the scriptural narration to suggest the particular idea, or the coincidence would have been less remarkable.

I nam'd them as they pass'd, and understood

Their nature, with such knowledge God endu'd

My sudden apprehension. Paradise Lost, VIII. 352.

'But Adam, who had the wisdom given him to know all creatures, and to name them according to their properties, no doubt but had the gift to discern perfectly that which concerned him much more, and to apprehend at first sight the true fitness of that consort which God provided him.' Tetrachordon. Prose Works, II. 133.

© 2017 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

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