The soul is infused into the infant after (about) 45 days in the womb

— Aristotle [pseud.]

Place of Publication
Printed for W.B. and are to be sold by most booksellers in London and Westminster
The soul is infused into the infant after (about) 45 days in the womb
Metaphor in Context
If Man would understand the Excellency of the Soul, as far as it is capable of comprehending it self, let him, after serious Recollection, descend into himself, and search diligently his own Mind, and there he shall find so many admirable Gifts, and excellent Ornaments, that it must needs strike him with Wonder and Amazement, as Reason, Understanding, true Choice, ability of Wit, Memory, and divers other Faculties, that absolutely approve the Soul to be more admirable, than that any should imagine it to be finite, or subject to Annihilation, yet by reason of its many Offices and Operations, whilst in the Body it is specified under sundry dominations. For, as St. Augustine saith, when it enlivens the Body, it is called the Soul; when it gives it knowledge, the judgment, the min[d], when it recall things past, the memory, whilst it discourseth and discerneth reason, whilst it contemplates the Spirit, whilst it is in the sensitive parts of the Senses; and these are the principal Offices, whereby the Soul declares its power, and performs its actions; for placed in the highest part of the Body, and nearest Heaven, it diffuseth or disperseth effectually its force into every Member, not propagated from the Parents, nor mixed with gross matter, but the infused Breath of the Almighty, immediately proceeding from him, nor passing from one to another, as fond and absurdly the Pithagoreans have insinuated in their Opinions about the Transmigration of the Soul; and so vain were they, that they did not only imagine the Souls of deceased Men passed into now-born Infants, but into Beasts also; and from thence it was they forbid the eating of Flesh, and abstained themselves from so doing, lest, as they fondly fancied, they might, as Tertullian records it, Eat their Grand-father in a Calf. But such frivolous and superstitious Notions are to be rejected by Christians, and those true ones observed, which are both reasonable and agreeable to humane Capacities; for Orthodox Divines conclude in general, that the Soul is given to every Infant by Infusion, when he or she is perfected in the Womb, which happens about the 45th day after Conception, especially for Males, that in likelihood will be born at the end of Nine Months, but in Females (who are of a weaker Constitution, and not so soon formed and perfected thro' the defect of heat) not till the Fiftieth day.
(pp. 32-4)
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).
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.