Philosophers have taken credit to themselves, and have almost triumphed in the course of many ages, in respect of human comments upon the nature of the soul, its diversities and faculties, and generally of dreams without sleep, and shadow without substance; closely written volumes having been published on this argument, to the great damage not only of paper, time, and labour, but also of truth.

As soon, however, as we consult the Spirit of God in His oracles and in His most sacred records, it is very manifest that the wisdom of the age has attained to little or nothing of the truth. And how could it be otherwise in so sublime an argument, when those who are wise after the manner of men are blind even to things which lie in their path and are obvious to their senses, and who, as Scaliger says, lick the glass vessel, but never touch the pottage? Wherefore, although in this imbecility of our nature we neither can nor will promise an exact and accurate ^xr^ohayiav, yet we will contribute a compendious introduction, with the hope of making the whole matter more fruitful to others, and of affording both the occasion and the subject for its discussion and elaboration.

The first foundation, then, of the true doctrine of the human soul, appears as a sacred one in Gen. ii. 7, in these words: "Formavit Dominus Deus hominum pulverem de

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terra, et inspiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vitarum, et fuit homo in animam viventem."

Formavit, i.e. He constructed like a potter. Whence Job (x. 9), " Remember that Thou hast made me as the clay;" and Jer. xviii. 2, God is compared to the potter, and man to the clay. The Hebrews will have the Hebrew word WJl written with a double Jod, to signify the twofold formation, earthly and heavenly; for the reason that below, ver. 19 in the same chapter, "W! 15 found in reference to the construction of other animals with a single Jod, pointing to a single life, and that not immortal.

Dominus Deus hominem pulverem. Not only out of the dust of the earth, but man altogether was formed dust out of the earth. For which reason below. Dust thou art (not only "of dust"), and into dust shalt thou return.

De terra, or the mud of the earth.

Et inspiravit, i.e. He introduced breath with power. Where some persons are absurd who describe God anthropomorphically, as having blown into Adam's nostrils like one with distended cheeks, the breath or spirit, as if a particle of His own Spirit.

In faciem ejus. Thus the LXX. and Vulg. For in and by his countenance, man is chiefly seen, and his various affections, as anger, joy, sadness, etc. Therefore, although the inspiration was communicated to the whole body, yet that body is characterized from the most noble and conspicuous part—to wit, the countenance. In other respects, in the largest signification, aph and anaph mean that by which any kind of a thing is beheld, what and what like it is, except when rpoiry, it is taken for other things. Hence it is taken also for anger or rage; because chiefly this affection is manifest, and especially in the face. Moreover, it is taken for the nostrils, by which the face is largely characterized; for an injury to the nose disfigures the entire face. Mercerus, therefore, takes needless trouble to induce us to understand nostrils as the actual meaning in this passage, since it cannot be denied that in many places of Scripture this word implies the countenance.

Spiraculum vitarum, doubtless of more than one, and certainly of a twofold life, Heb. D^n nDEO (for neschama is the same which in Greek is irvorj, breath, blowing, breathing, respiration, and in construction nisclimat), which two words placed conjointly Paul seems to repeat separately, Acts xvii. 25, where he says that God gives to all tyaijv Koi irvorjv, i.e. life and breath. Whence Forster, in his Lexicon, infers a distinction between the natural man who eats, drinks, begets, etc., and the spiritual and heavenly man regenerated by faith in Christ, who performs spiritual actions, such as are knowledge of God, love and praise and joy in God,—such an one as shall be in perfection in life eternal.

Et fuit homo in animam viventem. This is repeated in these words in 1 Cor. xv. 45: "The first man Adam was made a living soul."

And thus in that verse Moses impresses upon us all the causes of man. The efficient cause, the Lord God; the matter, earth; the form, the breath of lives; the object, that he might become a living soul.

Then, in the way of foundation, are to be adduced what things are said about the formation of man in God's image, in or according to His likeness (Gen. i. 26, 27). Finally, to this fundamental place is to be added what has been observed from the concordances of the Hebrew Bibles, that the words t?W, and nn are so different, that neschama is the efficient soul, or the spirit with the idea of efficiency (although sometimes it is put for nephesch): nephesch is the spirit or soul, not simply, but efficient in dust, or the soul efficient in respect of the subject or the efficient subject (for which reason also it is sometimes taken for a corpse, or a lifeless body, as Lev. xix. 28): ruach is efficiency itself, or energy, or the force and efficacy of power. Wherefore, in the most sacred memorials, neschama and ruach are attributed to God, but not nephesch.

From these three words in the holy writings, as if a priori, the nature of the soul is aptly shown by the Spirit of God; that nature which the philosophers are compelled to investigate only a posteriori; and thus, the foregone foundations being given, up to this point, we will approach the matter itself.

Chap. I. That Vegetables are not animated or living, notwitlistanding the assertions of Philosophers.

Those things which philosophers call living things—to wit, endowed with a vegetating soul as they call it, as roots, plants, trees, etc.—are not classed by God's Spirit among animate or living things; nay, they are absolutely distinguished and separated from these (Gen. i. 30); and therefore we most correctly say that herbs and trees are not animate or living. For the more abundant confirmation of which assertion, I adduce other passages of Genesis.

Gen. i. 24, the living soul is classified according to whatever species the earth produces; but herbs and trees are not enumerated, but cattle, reptiles, and beasts of the earth; and therefore in ver. 30 the herb is distinguished from the living soul by its being appointed for its food.

In Gen. vi.-ix. it is plain what things are said to have the spirit of life, or are said to be living things, or a living animal. For when God had determined to destroy every living soul that was on the dry land, He comprehended nothing under this designation except animals—winged, and living on the earth— beasts, and men; and these species He very often calls omnem aiiimam viventem, scil. in the dry land (vi. 7, vii. 22). Wherefore the Hebrews never consider the vegetative life worthy of being called by philosophers by the name of soul or life.

Chap. II.— Of the Senses.

The instruments and servants for the bodily, and, in like manner, for the mental functions, are the senses. In brutes I say they are for the purposes of nutrition; in man correspondingly they subserve the intellect.

Chap. III.— What Man is, and concerning his Origin.

Although philosophers accustomed to human speculations do not speak with the Spirit of God, since they are left destitute of suitable words in so sublime a matter, yet we most rightly say, following the Spirit of God, that man is a soul, that man is a spirit in the dust, etc. Thus also cattle, reptiles, and beasts of the earth, are called living souls. But man is called a soul, not by synecdoche, but by a scriptural phrase in which nephesch is not a part of a man, but a spirit in the dust, or the spirit of dust, i.e. man.

Besides, man is often called the world in the sacred writings, because he is, as it were, the nucleus of creatures (that which, when it putrifies in the fruit, the rest also putrifies), and airap^r j Twv Kriafiarwv, or chief of them all. Man especially is Kriais and Koafios, adorned and elaborated (and that not tropically or figuratively only) by God.

But every *tk«? has shone forth in God the Spirit, either that they may become only entities, or at the same time living entities, i.e. either entities potentially, or potentially living. For the efficacy of the Spirit of God is sometimes one thing, sometimes another, as some things may have received the spirit by which they are, others that they may live. All things, however, were made by the spirit of His mouth, i.e. by speaking. Hence being and living differ in the intensity of spirit, which indeed is plain from the intensity of the letters in the Hebrew words rrn and n'n mn and run (conf. Ps. civ. 29; Job xii. 10; Ezek. xviii. 4; Neh. ix. 6). Moreover, law and life have, according to Forster's Annotations, a great affinity between them.

Living things are divided, in respect of motion, into flying things, creeping things, and walking things (Gen. vi. 19).

But a certain Ktutk shone forth in the embrace of love in the moulded dust, to which, as there was its own face and form (species) (whereby it is looked at, so to speak, or known), the Lord, by the efficacy of His own Spirit, gave the spirit of lives, and then man was made a living soul; which peculiar efficacy is in this Krtaei beyond the rest, that to them it is not said that He breathed into them, although He made them by His own Spirit, and gave them the spirit of life.

And how intimately it shone forth in God, Moses declares (Gen. i. 26, 27), even into the very image of God with His likeness, to wit, the airavydafia and character of God giving itself as an image, in whose close embrace it might obtain the image of God Himself; that, as God Himself in His essence is an act of light knowingly true, of love mightily willing, and of the Holy living Spirit, so this /trials, in its essence mighty, might exist in light knowingly true, in love mightily willing, and in the Holy Spirit living.

Wherefore, as far as the spirit of lives is chiefly the spirit of this Kriais, its proper potentiality is noted by the designation of God's image; but as far as it is of bodily dust, it is described in words of fructifying and subduing. For the life of the mental functions is to see God, eV ovpavoh; that of the bodily functions is i^ovaid^eaOai, etc., iv olKovfievy.

Finally, we must observe that soul and spirit are sometimes distinguished, as Heb. iv. 12 and elsewhere. For the soul is so called in its natural powers; but in so far as it is enlightened by the light of the Holy Spirit, it is called spirit.

Chap. Iv.Of the Image of God in Man.

Thus man shone forth even in the image of God, which before the fall was like, afterwards unlike. The likeness of the image was, that his spirit beamed with love, or that it was light, love, and spirit, as God is. After the fall the light indeed remained, but unlike; the love remained, but unlike, etc. Thus that likeness must be restored in holiness in regard of ourselves, and in justice in regard of Xoyiafwv rov Oeov. Before the fall God shone forth in a fitting image, that man might reflect God, which light was the life or the to live of man; and this life obtained from that light, that it might reflect God fittingly, by which very thing man was eveiKos, and moreover evSo/a/io? (who in himself was evOeos, and a partaker of the divine nature) and evvofx01. For he was a law unto himself, his own essential conformity and perfection from within dictating to him what God in other cases from without dictates and prescribes; and that life was in very deed the vision of God, while God was shining forth in our spirit, and was thus being seen.

This light perished in the fall, and man died with death, and thus became aet/co? and avo/ios. The fallen Adam indeed retained his essence, and that a living one (Heb. ii. 14), but dead in respect of the perfection of its position. Hence Adam died. What life was left to him in life, was a dead life. And we all received from Adam such a flesh: dead we are, certainly, born of dead flesh. Wherefore it is necessary that we be transformed and daily assimilated to God, which assimilation, in proportion as we realize, in that proportion we see God; and because man has lost the likeness of the image of God, that is to be restored in Christ, in whom, as if in an image, we are built, and in whom intimately made to shine forth again, we have received etKova, from whom, I say, as if the head and beginning, the image of God Himself, the spirit living, although in moulded dust, has subsisted.

For God's counsel remains one and constant, and is not changed on account of the fall, sciL that we ought in Xoyw to return eUova, and thus to be united to God in an eternal covenant. That real change was made in the fall and by the fall, that what we had before by nature is now conceded to us by grace.

Chap. T.What ardais and {m6araais are in Man.

Stasis is in its nature nothing else than that in which the internal perfection of everything consists, and, moreover, that by which the thing itself is made to stand perfect: it is the internal status of the thing itself which the apostolic language designates either by a simple expression ardaeas (Heb. ix. 8), or a compound one, whether avardaew; (2 Pet. iii. 5) or vnoaraaeay; (Heb. i. 3, xi. 1).

Stasis and perfection, therefore, are one and the same thing, in such a way, however, that perfection may be said to belong to CTroaeci>?, as that which is of stasis.

But o-ra<rt? and inroaraais are different, although they sometimes concur in one. For mixed things, as this or that plant, this or that brute, have their ardaiv, but not vKoataaiv, because they have not yet attained to that artlaiv and reXelwaiv, beyond which it is not permitted them to ascend. For a living form, generally considered, is not restricted to the form of a plant, but may ascend to a nobler grade. In God reAeiWt? or <rrdais is called hypostasis, in whom all things are said to have avaraaiv and ardaiv, not inroaraaiv, man alone excepted, who is next under God, or His ardaei, and in whom the image is reflecting God: wherefore man is called both cwraro? and virocrraros.

Svararos by reason of God, in whom all things have their avaraaiv, but vir6<7raros in himself, and in respect of our inferior Kr/aea>?. Hence in this same airap^ji T&v Kriafidrwv, inrap!;is and v7rooraat? are different. For the rest of the Ktigk is inrapKros and avararOs; man, over and above, is viroararos, on account of reKelwaiv, whereby he excels the inferior Ktiaiv.

Hence Christ, in respect of His human nature, is called, not irwotrraro^, but avararOs, although He had an ulterior perfection differently from us men. For the natural ardai s of Christ, in which He was made like to us, is, that His human nature should be equally perfect as ours; whence it has the quality of being something, and not being reduced to nothing, otherwise He would not have assumed perfect human nature. But Christ in the divine orac"i? is wro'erraro?, which is a higher <rra<7t? and reXetWt?, intimately in God, in whom it subsists in the most internal manner; whence His humanity obtains far greater things than the privilege of not being reduced into nothing. But because every essence consists of a threefold <rrdais—as there will elsewhere be an opportunity of saying— completing its reKelajcriv, certainly also the human essence does so, essentially considered in its universal amplitude. And since, as regards the condition of matter when it is divisible, the individual is divided into various parts, even the units are called viroarara or v<f>i<rrdfieva.

Chap. vr.— Of the Human Reason and its Acts.

Aor/os, or human reason, is that reKeloxrts and ardai s of man, or of the human soul, by which, by its own internal essential light, he can both receive, consider, and acknowledge, and embrace, retain, and approve, whatever has any light to shine by.

Therefore XoyiKol acts are excipere and amplexari. Some call them intellectum and voluntatem.

But that essential light of human reason, in which it was first established potentially efficacious by God, by that great judgment of God, has even perished and become deprived of its original perfection of brightly efficacious power, so that there has remained to it only a certain spark of light. Wherefore all men are exhibited by God's Spirit as Tj} Siavoia eV/cortafxevoi (Eph. iv. 18), and in that respect are alienated from the life of God by the ignorance that is in them.

Hence it is not sufficient for vividly embracing things, and bringing them before one's self in the light,—the things, indeed, which refer to the life of God,—and it plainly has no light left by which they can shine forth to itself; but occult in perpetual mysteries, secret and profound, they will be able to be revealed


by no spirit but tbat of God Himself, to be expounded or to be sought out by inquiry, concerning which thing we have spoken in our orations concerning the use of the human reason in divine mysteries.

Chap. Vii.Of the Twofold Life in Man.

Moreover, we have to determine how manifold that life is, in such a way as that the number may not be needlessly great. Some people ridiculously understand by many lives the two openings of the nostrils. Others generally understand a threefold life—vegetable, sentient, and rational. But we have already shown above, that the vegetable is not anywhere called a life in the Holy Scriptures, but that rather the contrary is suggested. Wherefore, since there is said to be in man the breathing-place of many lives, it cannot be thought that they are either other or more than corporis vita and mentis vita, since nothing else in man can be said to live. That one spirit, breathed into the dust from the earth, lives and pervades each life for the safety of the body and the mind; or, which is the same thing, one living soul lives the life of either kind with one spirit. But that the spirit of lives is also given to brutes (Gen. vi. 17), is an objection which may be answered: (1) That they have not neschama, but ruach chajim; (2) That in the same expression men are comprehended; (3) That there is in brutes also a certain other life than the merely nutritive, yet not mental, but sensual, and in every one according to its kind (comp. Prov. xxx. 25, vi. 6-8). The spirit of man is so sublime, that in Prov. xx. 27, nischmat Adam is said to be the light or lamp of Jehovah.

Chap. Viii.Of the Power of the Soul: in wliat way one, or manifold.

Since, then, the essence of one soul is one, and if, where the essence is, the essence is potential, and that, moreover, in the one potentiality essential to itself its essentially potential essence is potential, and moreover one, its essentially one essential potentiality is living, or actually able to live, with a twofold life. But that the essence is created in which there is such a potential essence, is manifest because of existent creatures. It is one thing elvai, another thing arrjval: the former is to be; Otmtk is to be able, or potentiality. Whence, moreover, on human ground, wise men concede that all created things, in respect to God, are a potentiality. But in God croat? is an act, yea, it is to act itself; and when we speak of God, who gives ardaiv, then arrjval also signifies to ordain, or to constitute. In order that this may be better understood, we must know that of every essence it is the essential condition to be prepared for action, or acting, which, if it is not prepared for not acting, then that essence is a mere act, or merely to act, because to act must always be thought of in an act, so that it may not be called potential in this sense that potentiality is opposed to act. But if, moreover, it is essentially prepared for not acting, and thus it is not a mere act, then it is understood and said to have a potentiality to act, so that it is not less essential to it not to act than to act, if the condition of the essence is turned to action; which potentiality of every essence, and, moreover, even of human essence, is preserved and sustained by God in His araxrei.

But that one essence, with a certain universality and generic amplitude in proportion to the variety of objects around which either life is occupied, is potential to perform actions distinct in kind, although essentially participating in a generic community, as far as the actions are of an essence essentially potential, with its own only potentiality; which actions the one essence of the soul and of either life controls.

Wherefore, although in itself the essential potentiality is one in unity of essence, yet, in respect of its various effect in various objects, potential in various manners and in distinct actions, it is also invoked by distinct names; so that sometimes it is called the power of understanding, now of nourishing, of increasing, of changing, etc., that essential communion of the various actions in proportion to the variety of the objects mental and corporeal remaining meanwhile in the essential potentiality, as if with a general origin and general nomenclature, on account of the condition of the common essence.

As mind and body, as far as they are to be vivified by the power of the spirit of lives, are able to agree on many sides in this respect in a certain general community, but in respect of the special condition of every one, to differ also on many sides; thus also the destined objects of their life, and the actions of the same objects for either life and ample community, agree, and in special conditions differ. Whence, also, actions in either life, and in respect of the community indeed, are like to one another both in fact and in name, and for the special condition of every one are different.

As mental life alone is truly human life, so the potentiality which is called of the mental life in objects and actions is primarily potential; secondarily, it subserves the objects and actions of the bodily life. Hence, when in any action man or human soul is set forth as powerful, it will principally bear the appellation when around the mental life it is occupied in act; secondarily, when it serves the bodily life, unless in respect of either the one or the other, whether of mind or of body, from some special condition it is only peculiar to the other.

Chap. Ix.Of Death.

Death is the destruction of actions, or the deflexion (not perishing and annihilation) of the perfection of every oraaew?, as well of that which is common to man with the brutes, as of that in which he lives to God; and in respect of the latter, death is sin: for as far as it is avo/iov it is called sin, as far as it is aeiKov it is called death. For all sin is death, but not the contrary. For death, as it is the privation of life by which we externally live, is not considered as sin. Before the fall, God communicated to man that he might be a vofios to himself; but afterwards, because he became aei/co?, he became also avofios; and it is called sin as far as man is avo/xo?. This interchange of death and sin may be seen from Rom. v. 12, where it is said' "All have sinned," only it is not intended to refer to actual sin.

As soon as Adam fell, at that moment he began to die with death, or to sicken to death; for the potential essence was at once cast down from its status on account of the threatening uttered: In the day in which thou shalt eat of the forbidden tree, morte morieris. Therefore the human soul is not only mortal, but also most certainly dead, in a sense, not philosophical,—as if after death commonly so called it should survive,—but sacred. For any one is called dead by reason of the deficient image and oof?7? Tov Qeov, and of that vital image by which any one is called living.

For this reason, as soon as man is born, he is in the same position in which the fallen Adam was, as rightly said the poet, although ignorantly: Nascentes morimur, etc. Man dies, I say, daily; that is, he is subject to successive waste and abolition of his bodily actions, even to that sensible death, which death in this life is common as well to the pious as to the impious. But mental actions in the pious are renewed in this life gradually by regeneration, by which actions the pious are perfected in Christ and through Christ; and moreover the soul is spiritualized, until at length in the last day, joined with a spiritual body (which was sown an animal body), it becomes one spirit with God. In the wicked, neither is the soul spiritualized in this life, nor the body in the last day: it will not be subtle, agile, etc.; and although they rise again, yet they abide in that death in which they were before they were buried. Thus, in the Holy Scripture, resurrection of the dead is attributed to them, but not resurrection from the dead.

But if you should ask whether Adam, if he had not fallen, would not have been mortal also? I answer, To be mortal is said of the power of dying, or of the necessity. Any one may be in his essence prepared for the power of dying, and nevertheless of freeing himself from death. Because Adam was of the dust, he certainly had the capacity of dying; but if he had wished, he had at the same time before the fall the perfection of vindicating himself from death. But now, from the fall, necessity of dying has taken hold upon him.

Chap. X.Of the Stale of the Human Soul after Death.

When man dies by what is commonly called death, the soul of the pious is carried into Abraham's bosom; and where this is, since Scripture says nothing on it, it is fit that we also should be silent. It seems fitter to be said that the soul is at rest, than that it is locally moved by deserting the body (as the common people imagine), as a body from a body, since the soul is a spirit, not a body. Certainly, as in the good, everything which is" corruptible perishes and becomes spiritual; in the wicked, that even that perishes and leaves the body which hitherto was as if good, in respect to future evil. In the resurrection the wicked will not indeed be so well off as they have been in the tomb; although, moreover, they may feel horrible sufferings immediately after death and burial, which before they were not able to feel on account of this carnal life, in which they were able in some measure to discharge bodily functions.

What things may be objected to the matters brought together in these few chapters, will be able to be solved from the foundations laid in the procemium.

Moniti meliora sequemur.