The "Soul of Man is a Divine Ray, infused by God"
— Aristotle [pseud.]
Place of Publication
Printed for W.B. and are to be sold by most booksellers in London and Westminster
The "Soul of Man is a Divine Ray, infused by God"
Metaphor in Context
That the Soul of Man is a Divine Ray, infused by God, I have already made apparent, and now come to shew you that whatever immediately proceeds from him, must participate of his Nature, and from thence consequently, be as immortal as its Original; for although all other Creatures are indued with Life and Motion, yet want they a reasonable Soul: and from thence 'tis concluded, that Life is in their Blood, and that being corruptible, they perish, and after their expiring are no more. But Man being indued with a reasonable Soul, and stamped with the Divine Image, is of a different nature; and though his Body be corruptible, yet his Soul cannot perish, but must, when it is expelled its Earthly Tabernacle, return to God that gave it, either to receive reward or punishment; now that the Body can sin of it self it is impossible, because wanting the Soul, it cannot act nor proceed to any thing, either good or evil; for could it do so, additional Sins might be accumulated even in the Grave; but 'tis plain, that after Death there is a cessation; fox as Death leaves us, so Iudgment finds us . And St. Iohn , in the Fifth Chapter of his Gospel, tells us, That the hour shall come, that all that are in the Grave shall hear his Voice, and they that have done well shall come forth to the Resurrection of Life; and they that have done evil, to the Resurrection of Condemnation , And Holy Iob , in the 14 and 19 Chapter, speaking to the same purposes, says, For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the Earth: And though after my Skin Worms destroy this Body, yet in my Flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for my self, and mine Eyes shall be (gap: 1 letter) old, and not another, though my Reins be consumed within me: By this 'tis plainly proved, that the Soul is made of immortal Essence, incapable of Death, having a place assigned it after its separation from the Body, till the day of the general Resurrection, not in the Grave, but in a Mansion prepared by the Almighty for its Reception; and that through the mighty working of him, that is able to subdue all things to himself, it shall again enter the same Body that was laid down, tho' the dust thereof be scattered to the (our Winds of Heaven; nay, such force and vigour shall it have, that it shall (as it were) take up the Body; for Iob positively says, I shall rise out of the Earth at the last day , &c. Which being applicable to the future Tense , may be meant two ways (gap: 1 letter) I shall. or will rise; plainly foreseeing the Resurrection, he claimed it as the promise of his Creator. Nay, so far were the Heathens, by the Light of Nature, from doubting the Immortality of the Soul, that Plato in his Phaedro thus reasons; viz. What consists out of Elements (says he) is Immortal and can never dye. The Soul is not made of Elements, nor of created matter, but came fromGod, and therefore it cannot dye , &c. Then may it be without difficulty granted, that the Body which has been a long Companion of the Souls, will once again enjoy it never more to be separated; for the Body at the Resurrection shall be incorruptible and so as far from a capacity of perishing any more as the Soul, made so by him, that first created it. For St. Paul speaking of the Resurrection, saith, He shall change our vile Bodies, and make them like his glorious Body. The consideration of which, makes him in another place cry out, O the depth of the Riches, of the Wisdom and Knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his Iudgments, and his ways past finding out. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his Counsellor? For by him, and through him, and to him are all things. Nay, the Resurrection of Man's Body may be proved by the renewing of many inconsiderable Creatures, and their returning to Life after they seem dead; nay, some of them thereby also changed; as who hath not observed, that when a Grashopper is grown old, and hath cast his Skin, a lively new shrill insect will come forth of it. From a dying and sluggish Catterpiller, comes out a lively painted Butterfly. From Ants a winged Fly. The Silk-worm having spent her Bowels in weaving out her Web, after many days, seeming dead and motionless, becomes a Butterfly, proving for increase, by laying a number of Eggs, and then expires. But above all, the Phaenix , that the Learned Lactantius writes of, may put us in mind, if not confirm to us the Resurrection, for after she has lived in the Arabian Fields (as some affirm) about 600 Years, and finding her self wasted with Age and Infirmity, she gathers the Sprigs of Cassia , Myrrh, Frankincense, and other Aromatick Combustibles, when labouring with her Wings, she firing them by the heat of the Sun, which in those Countreys is excessive, she expires upon the Funeral-Pile, when out of her Ashes springs a Worm, and from that Worm another Phaenix , to supply her place; nay, further do we not behold Grain thrown into the Ground, continue there for a season, as if lost and dead, but when warmth and moisture gives it force, it springs up, and bears a hundred-fold: Yea, Herbs and Plants, whilst Winter with his Icy Arms grasps the Earth, seem dead, retiring, as it were, into the Grave, and wait the Resurrection of the Spring. But to conclude, as to this point, the infinite love towards Man, may convince him that he was not made to be annihilated, since the second Person of the Trinity condescended to take his Nature upon him. Even he who is the Wisdom of the Father, and of whom the wise Man testifies in the 3 d. of his Proverbs , viz. I was with God in the beginning, before any thing was made: I was with him from Eternity, when be made the Heavens, I was there when he compassed in the depth by a Law: I was present when he sustained the Heavens above, and the Earth beneath: I was with him, ordering all things, and was continually delighted before him, recreating my self in the Earth, and my Delight was with the Sons of Men.
Aristotle's Masterpiece, or, The Secrets of Generation Displayed in all the Parts Thereof ... Very Necessary for all Midwives, Nurses, and Young Married Women (Printed for W.B. and are to be sold by most booksellers in London and Westminster, 1694).
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