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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 ar-guments from reason may be alleged in confirmation of this doctrine. Whoever is born, or shapen and conceived in sin,* (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 ?t 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
** 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.
+ Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none,
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 rightevusness.
Again, if sin be communicated by generation, and transmitted from father to son, it follows that what is the rôtov dextixòv,* or original subject of sin, namely, the rational soul, must be propagated in the same manner; for that it is froin 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.f 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,
** Subjectum distingui potest in recipiens, quod Græce dixtixò 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.
+ See Aristot. wipe yuxins, 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
All heart they live, all head, ail eye, all ear,
when communicated to the son by the laws of generation ? It is acknowledged by the common consent of almost all philosophers, that every form,* 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.t The texts which are usually advanced,
* 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.
tWe 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 illa ætate peccatum, nec a Deo damnari aliquam credo quam videt nullum habere peccatum.' Augustinus De Origine animæ, fc. ad Hieron. Quære ubi, vel unde, vel quando cæperint (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 VOL. I.
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 inore 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.* 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
novitatem, ut nulla propagatione ducuntur; et nobiscum quod inveneris fraterna dilectione communica.' Augustinus Ep. 157. (190. Edit. Benedict.) ad Optatum.
** Sunt quædam scripturæ loca, quæ id asserere videntur, ut Job xxxiii. 4. Eccles. xij. 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 lac 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.
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