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Of theologians, but with keen dispatch
To transubstantiate: what redounds, transpires
Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
As from the mine. Mean while at table Eve
Then had the sons of GOD excuse to have been
Not burden'd nature, sudden mind arose
Given him by this great conference, to know
455 his] Tickell, Fenton, Bently, read 'this' corruptly.
Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsaf'd
As that more willingly thou could'st not seem
To whom the winged Hierarch reply'd. O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom All things proceed, and up to him return, If not deprav'd from good, created all Such to perfection, one first matter all, Indu'd with various forms, various degrees Of substance, and, in things that live, of life.: But more refin'd, more spirituous, and pure, As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending, Each in their several active spheres assign'd, Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Proportion'd to each kind. So from the root Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
More aery, last the bright consummate flower
To intellectual, give both life and sense,
482 odorous] So Marino's Sl. of the Inn. by T. R. p. 60. 'The hills, and dales that plants odorous bore.' Todd.
Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
To proper substance: time may come, when men
Here or in heavenly paradises dwell;
ye be found obedient, and retain Unalterably firm his love entire,
Whose progeny you are.
Mean while enjoy
Your fill what happiness this happy state
To whom the patriarch of mankind reply'd.
O favourable spirit, propitious guest,
Well hast thou taught the way that might direct Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set
From center to circumference, whereon
In contemplation of created things
By steps we may ascend to GOD.
What meant that caution join'd, if ye be found Obedient? Can we want obedience then
To him, or possibly his love desert,
Who form'd us from the dust and plac'd us here Full to the utmost measure of what bliss Human desires can seek or apprehend?
To whom the angel. Son of heav'n and earth Attend that thou art happy, owe to GOD; That thou continu'st such, owe to thyself, That is, to thy obedience; therein stand. This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd. GOD made thee perfect, not immutable; And good he made thee, but to persevere He left it in thy power, ordain'd thy will By nature free, not over-rul'd by fate Inextricable, or strict necessity: Our voluntary service he requires, Not our necessitated, such with him
Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how
To whom our great progenitor. Thy words
Cherubic songs by night from neighbouring hills Aereal music send: nor knew I not
To be both will and deed created free;
After short pause, assenting thus began.
High matter thou enjoin'st me, O prime of men,
And perfect while they stood? how last unfold
This is dispens'd, and what surmounts the reach
557 sacred] Hor. Od. ii. 13. 29.
'Utrumque sacro digna silentio.' Richardson.