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spirit and matter, as man of soul and body; sometimes calling the supposed soul of the world, God; and sometimes calling the whole world, God; but still meaning that the universe was but one spirit and body united, and that we are all parts of God, or of the body of God, or accidents, at least.

Sect. 44. And even the popish mystical divines, in their pretensions to the highest perfection, say the same in sense; such as Benedict. Anglus, in his Regula Perfectionis, (approved by many doctors,) who placed much of his supereminent life in our believing verily that there is nothing but God, as the beams are to the sun, and as the heat is to the fire; (which really is itself;) and so teaching us to rest in all things as good, as being nothing but God's essential will, which is himself (resolving even our sins and imperfections accordingly into God, so that they are God's, or none).

Sect. 45. And all these men have as fair a pretence for the conceits of such an union with God now, as for such an union after death for their reason is, 1. That God being infinite, there can be no more beings than his own; but God and the smallest being distinct, would be more entity than God alone; but infinity can have no addition. 2. Because ens et bonum convertuntur; but God only is good.

And if we are, notwithstanding all this, distinct beings from God now, we shall not be so advanced as to be deified, and of creatures, or distinct beings, turned into a being infinitely above us. If we be not pai of God now, we shall not be so then.. But if they cou prove that we are so now, we should quickly prove to them, 1. That then God hath material, divisible parts (as the stoics thought). 2. And that we are no such parts as are not distinct from one another; but some are tormented, and some happy. And, 3. That (as is said) it will be no abatement of the misery of the tormented, n of the felicity of the blessed, to tell them that they are all parts of God: for, though the manner of our union with him, and dependence on him, be past our comprehension; yet that we are distinct and distant from each other, and have each one a joy or misery of his own, is past all doubt. Therefore, there is no union with God to be feared by holy souls, but the utmost possible to be highliest desired.

Sect. 46. And if our union with God shall not cease our individuation, or resolve us into a principle to be feared, we may say also of our union with any common soul, or many if we

be unible, we are partible, and so have a distinct, though not divided substance, which will have its proper accidents All plants are parts of the earth, really united to it, and radicated in it, and live, and are nourished by it; and yet a vine is a vine; and an apple is an apple; and a rose is a rose; and a nettle is a nettle. And few men would be toiled horses, or toads, if it were proved that they are animated by a common soul.

Sect. 47. But God letteth us see, that though the world be one, yet he delighteth in a wonderful diversity, and multiplicity of individuals. How various and numerous are they in the sea, and on the land, and in the air. And are there none in the other world? How come the stars therein to be so numerous, which are of the same element? And though, perhaps, Saturn, or some other planets, or many stars, may send forth their radiant effluvia, or parts, into the same air, which the sunbeams seem totally to fill and illuminate, yet the rays of the sun, and of other stars, are not the same, how near soever in the same air.

Sect. 48. Were there now no more contraction by egoity, or propriety among men, nor mine and thine did signify no more, nor the distance were greater than that of the several drops of water in the sea, or particles of light in the illuminated air, but I had all my part in such a perfect unity and communion with all others, and knew that all were as happy as I, so that there were no divisions by cross interests or minds, but all were one, certainly it would make my own comforts greater by far, than they are now? Are not an hundred candles set together and united, as splendid a flame as if they were all set asunder? So one soul, one love, one joy would be.

Sect. 49. Object. But it is only the fomes that individuateth lights as when the same sun, by a burning glass, lighteth a thousand candles, they are individuate only by the matter contracting, being still all united parts of the same sunbeams. And when they are extinct, they are nothing, or all one again.

Ausw. They were, before they were extinct, both one and many, none but fools think that extinction annihilateth them, or any part of them; they are after as much substance, and as much solar fire, though diffused, and as much and no more one than before, but not, indeed, many as before, but parts of one. Nature hath made the equal diffused sunbeams to be to the air and surface of the earth as the blood equally moving in the body ; and our candles and fires seem to be like the same blood

contracted in a bile or inflammation, which indeed is more felt than the equally diffused blood, but it is as the pain of a disease; and so when our fires go out,, they are but like a healed, scattered inflammation, and the same substance is more naturally and equally diffused. And if the individuation of souls were only by corporeal matter, and the union thus as great at their departure, it would not diminish, if it did not too much increase, their perfection and felicity; for there would be no diminution of any substance, or power, or activity, or perfection what


Sect. 50. And this would confute their fond opinion, who think that separated souls sleep in nudá potentiâ, for want of an organized body to operate in; for no doubt, but if all holy souls were one, this world, either in heaven or earth, hath a common body, enough for such a soul to operate in. Even those stoics that think departed souls are one, do think that that one soul hath a nobler operation than ours, in our narrow bodies, and that when our souls cease animating this body, they have the nobler and sweeter work, in part, of animating the whole world; and those that thought severls arbs had their several souls, of which the particular wighing or icipated, said the like of separar souls, as animatin souls becoming their globes and orbs. And though all the ey mean by annihilat heads with their own vain imaginations, ħat God who (as is ture of the matter tells us, which is conside; in the wonderful n the utmost fear of the infidel is, that souls all stars to be only olividuation or activity, and are resolved intgregative inclination, continue in a sleepy potentiality, for wan at there is individuat in, they do but contradict themselves, set innumerable ans truth, 1. That if all holy souls were one, as and witches a loser by the union, but it would be a greater gain than we must hope for; for a part of one is as much and as noble, and as active a substance, as if it were a separated person (and annihilation, or loss of specific powers, is not to be rationally fear) 2. And that one soul is now either self-subsisting without a body, or animateth a suitable body (as some ancients thought the angels stars). If that one soul can act without a body, so may ours, whether as parts of it, or not; if that one soul animate a suitable body, ours, were they united parts of it, would have part of that employment; so that hereby they confute themselves.

Sect. 51. Obj. But this would equalize the good and bad, or

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at least, those that were good in several degrees; and where then were the reward and punishment?

Answ. It would not equal them at all, any more than distinct personality would do: for, 1. The souls of all holy persons may be so united, as that the souls of the wicked shall have no part in that union. Whether the souls of the wicked shall be united in one sinful, miserable soul, or rather but in one sinful society, or be greatlier separate, disunited, contrary to each other, and militant, as part of their sin and misery, is nothing to this case. 2. Yet natural and moral union must be differenced. God is the root of nature to the worst, and however in one sense it is said, that there is nothing in God but God, yet it is true, that in him all live, and move, and have their being; but yet the wicked's in-being in God doth afford them no sanctifying or beatifying communion with him, as experience showeth us in this life; which yet holy souls have, as being made capable recipients of it. As I said, different plants, briars, and cedars, the stinking and the sweet, are implanted parts (or accidents) of the same world or earth. 3. And the godly themselves may have as difind at a share of happiness in one common soul, as they havethan tof holiness, and so as different rewards (even as "cles of light inary, and other hu, is, differ in the same guch a perfect unity a fruits in the same orchard, or on the samehat all were as hap, are unible, and so partible substances, thross interests or mine nor less of substance or holiness for thike my own comforts each have his proper measure. As a tun not an hundred cand sea will there still be the same, and mor flame as if they were into it. Sect. 52. Obj. But joy would be. quantitative, and so not pat is only the supposition is vain.

bodies extensive and le, and therefore your

Answ. 1. My supposition is but the objectors': for if they confess that spirits are substances, (as cannot with reason be denied; for they that spect, their operations by motion only, yet suppose a pure proper substance to be the subject or thing moved,) then when they talk of many souls becoming one, it must be by conjunction and increase of the substance of that one or when they say, that they were always one, they will confess withal that they now differ in number, as individuate in the body. And who will say, that millions of millions are no more than one of all those millions? Number is a sort of

quantity; and all souls in the world are more than Cain's or Abel's only; one feeleth not what another feeleth; one knoweth not what another knoweth. And indeed, though souls have not snch corporeal extension, as passive, gross, bodily matter hath, yet, as they are more noble, they have a more noble sort of extension, quantity, or degrees, according to which all mankind conceive of all the spiritual substance of the universe; yea, all the angels, or all the souls on earth, as being more, and having more substance than one man's soul alone. 2. And the fathers, for the most part, especially the Greeks, (yea, and the second council of Nice,) thought that spirits created, had a purer sort of material being, which Tertullian called a body; and doubtless, all created spirits have somewhat of passiveness; for they do recipere vel pati from the divine influx; only God is wholly impassive. We are moved when we move, and acted when we act; and it is hard to conceive, that (when matter is commonly called passive) that which is passive should have no sort of matter in a large sense taken; and if it have any parts distinguishable, they are by God divisible. 3. But if the contrary be supposed, that all souls are no more than one, and so that there is no place for uniting or partition, there is no place then for the objection of all souls becoming one, and of losing individuation, unless they mean by annihilation.

Sect. 53. But that God who (as is said) delighteth both in the union, and yet in the wonderful multiplicity of creatures, and will not make all stars to be only one; though fire have a most uniting or aggregative inclination, hath further given experimental notice that there is individuation in the other world as well as here, even innumerable angels and devils, and not one only as apparitions and witches, and many other evidences prove, of which more anon. So that, all things considered, there is no reason to fear that the souls shall lose their individuation or activity, (though they change their manner of action,) any more than their being or formal power and so it is naturally certain that they are immortal.

Sect. 54. And if holy souls are so far immortal, I need not prove that they will be immortally happy; for their holiness will infer it; and few will ever dream that it shall there go ill with them that are good, and that the most just and holy God will not use those well whom he maketh holy.

Sect. 1. II. That holy souls shall be hereafter happy, seemeth to be one of the common notices of nature planted in the

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