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النشر الإلكتروني

Will is the prince, and wit the counsellor,

Which doth for common good in council sit; And when wit is resolv’d, will lends her pow'r

To execute what is advis’d by wit.

Wit is the mind's chief judge, which doth control

Of fancy's court the judgments false and vain: Will holds the royal sceptre in the soul,

And on the passions of the heart doth reign.

Will is as free as any emperor,

Nought can restrain her gentle liberty : No tyrant, nor no torment hath the pow'r

To make us will, when we unwilling be.



To these high pow’rs a store-house doth pertain,

Where they all arts and gen’ral reasons lay; Which in the soul, e'en after death, remain,

And no Lethean flood can wash away.




This is the soul, and these her virtues be; (ends,

Which, though they have their sundry proper And one exceeds another in degree,

Yet each on other mutually depends.

Our wit is giv'n Almighty God to know ;

Our will is giv'n to love him, being known : But God could not be known to us below, (shown.

But by his works, which through the sense are

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And as the wit doth reap the fruits of sense,

So doth the quick’ning pow'r the senses feed: Thus while they do their sundry gifts dispense,

“ The best the service of the least doth need."

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Ev'n so the king his magistrates do serve,

Yet commons feed both magistrates and king: The common's peace the magistrates preserve, By borrow'd pow'r, which from the prince doth


The quick’ning power would be, and so would rest ;

The sense would not be only, but be well : But wit's ambition longeth to the best,

For it desires in endless bliss to dwell,

And these three pow’rs three sorts of men do

make; For some, like plants, their veins do only fill ; And some, like beasts, their senses' pleasure take;

And some, like angels, do contemplate still.

Therefore the fables turn’d some men to flow'rs,

And others did with brutish forms invest; And did of others make celestial pow'rs,

Like angels, which still travel, yet still rest.

Yet these three pow’rs are not three souls, but

one ; As one and two are both contain'd in three ; Three being one number by itself alone,

A shadow of the blessed Trinity.

Oh! what is man, great Maker of mankind!

That thou to him so great respect dast bear! That thou adornost him with so bright a mind,

Mak’st him a king, and e'en an angel's peer!

Oh! what a lively life, what heav'nly pow'r,

What spreading virtue, what a sparkling fire, How great, how plentiful, how rich a dow'r

Dost thou within this dying flesh inspire!

Thou leav'st thy print in other works of thine ;

But thy whole image thou in man hast writ: There cannot be a creature more divine,

Except (like thee) it should be infinite!

But it exceeds man's thought, to think how high .

God hath rais'd man, since God a man becante:

The angels do admire this mystery,

And are astonish'd when they view the same.

Nor hath he giv'n these blessings for a day,

Nor made them on the body's life depend : The soul, though made in time, survives for ay ;

And though it hath beginning, sees no end.




Her only end is never-ending bliss,

Which is, the eternal face of God to see; Who, last of ends, and first of causes is :

And, to do this, she must eternal be.

How senseless then and dead a soul hath he,

Which thinks his soul doth with his body die : Or thinks not so, but so would have it be,

That he might sin with more security ?

For though these light and vicious persons say,

Our soul is but a smoke, or airy blast, Which, during life, doth in our nostrils play,

And when we die doth turn to wind at last :

Although they say, “Come, let us eat and drink;

Our life is but a spark, which quickly dies :" Though thus they say, they know not what to

think; But in their minds ten thousand doubts arise.

Therefore no heretics desire to spread

Their light opinions, like these epicures; For so their stagg'ring thoughts are comforted,

And other men's assent their doubt assures.

Yet though these men against their conscience

strive, There are some sparkles in their flinty breasts, Which cannot be extinct, but still revive ; That, though they would, they cannot quite be


But whoso makes a mirror of his mind,

And doth with patience view himself therein, His soul's eternity shall clearly find,

Though th’ other beauties be defac'd with sin.


Drawn from the desire of knowledge.

First, in man's mind we find an appetite

To learn and know the truth of ev'ry thing, Which is co-natural, and born with it,

And from the essence of the soul doth spring.

With this desire, she hath a native might

To find out ev'ry truth, if she had time; Th’innumerable effects to sort aright,

And, by degrees, from cause to cause to climb.

But since our life so fast away doth slide,

As doth a hungry eagle through the wind;



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