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Which also God might in his works admire,
And here beneath yield him both pray’rand praise; As there, above, the holy angels choir
Doth spread his glory forth with spiritual lays.
Lastly, the brute, unreasonable wights,
Did want a visible king, o'er them to reign : And God himself thus to the world unites,
That so the world might endless bliss obtain.
IN WHAT MANNER THE SOUL IS UNITED TO THE BODY
But how shall we this union well express ?
Naught ties the soul, her subtlety is such ; She moves the body, which she doth possess ;
Yet no part toucheth, but by virtue's touch.
Then dwells she not therein, as in a tent;
Nor as a pilot in his ship doth sit; Nor as the spider in his web is pent;
Nor as the wax retains the print in it;
Nor as a vessel water doth contain ;
Nor as one liquor in another shed; Nor as the heat doth in the fire remain;
Nor as a voice throughout the air is spread:
But as the fair and cheerful morning light
Doth here and there her silver beams impart, And in an instant doth herself unite
To the transparent air in all and ev'ry part
Still resting whole, when blows the air divide;
Abiding pure when th' air is most corrupted; Throughout the air, her beams dispersing wide;
And when the air is toss'd, not interrupted : So doth the piercing soul the body fill,
Being all in all, and all in part diffus'd; Indivisible, incorruptible still;
Nor forc'd, encounter'd, troubled, or confus'd.
And as the Sun above the light doth bring,
Though we behold it in the air below;
Though in the body she her pow’rs do show.
HOW THE SOUL EXERCISES HER POWERS IN THE BODY.
But as the world's Sun doth effect beget
Diff'rent, in divers places, every day; Here autumn's temperature, their summer's heat ;
Here flow'ry spring-tide, and there winter grey, Here ev'n, there morn; here noon, there day, there night,
[some dead; Melts wax, dries clay, makes flow’rs, some quick, Makes the Moor black, the European white ;
Th’ American tawny, and th’ East Indian red : So in our little world, this soul of ours
Being only one, and to one body ty’d, Doth use, on divers objects, divers powers ;
And so are her effects diversify'd.
THE VEGETATIVE POWER OF THE SOUL
HER quick’ning power in ev'ry living part,
Doth as a nurse or as a mother serve; And doth employ her economic art,
And busy care, her household to preserve.
Here she attracts, and there she doth retain ;
There she decocts, and doth the food prepare ; There she distributes it to ev'ry vein,
There she expels what she may fitly spare.
This pow'r to Martha may compared be.
Who busy was, the household things to do: Or to a Dryas, living in a tree:
For e'en to trees this pow'r is proper too.
And though the soul may not this pow'r extend
Out of the body, but still use it there;
Which views and searcheth all things ev'ry where.
THE POWER OF SENSE.
Tais power is sense, which from abroad doth bring
The colour, taste, and touch, and scent, and sound, The quantity and shape of ev'ry thing
Within Earth's centre, or Heav'n's circle found.
This pow'r, in parts made fit, fit objects takes;
Yet not the things, but forms of things receives; As when a seal in wax impression makes,
The print therein, but not itself, it leaves.
And though things sensible be numberless,
But only five the sense's organs be; And in those five, all things their forms express,
Which we can touch, taste, feel, or hear, or see.
These are the windows, through the which she views
The light of knowledge, which is life's load-star : “And yet, while she these spectacles doth use,
Oft worldly things seem greater than they are.”
First, the two eyes, which have the seeing pow'r,
Stand as one watchman, spy, or centinel, Being plac'd aloft, within the head's high tow'r;
And though both see, yet both but one thing tell.
These mirrors take into their little space
The forms of Moon and Sun, and ev'ry star, Of ev'ry body, and of ev'ry place,
Which with the world's wide arms embraced are:
Yet their best object, and their noblest use,
Hereafter in another world will be,
That face to face they may their Maker see.
Here are they guides, which do the body lead,
Which else would stumble in eternal night: Here in this world they do much knowledge read,
And are the casements which admit most light:
They are her furthest reaching instrument,
Yet they no beams unto their objects send; But all the rays are from their objects sent,
And in the eyes with pointed angles end.
If th' objects be far off, the rays do meet
In a sharp point, and so things seem but small: If they be near, their rays do spread and fleet, And make broad points, that things seem great
Lastly, nine things to sight required are;
The pow'r to see, the light, the visible thing, Being not too small, too thin, too nigh, too far,
Clear space and time, the form distinct to bring
Thus see we how the soul doth use the eyes,
As instruments of her quick pow'r of sight: Hence doth th' arts optic, and fair painting rise ;
Painting, which doth all gentle minds delight.