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prav'd from good, all created such to Perfeótion, one first Matter cloath’d all with various Forms, various Degrees of Substance, and Life in Things that live; but as nearer plac'd to Go D, or nearer tending to him, more refin'd, spirituous, and pure, each assign'd in their several active Spheres; ’till Body work up to Spirit, in the Bounds proportion'd to each Kind: So from the Root the green Stalk springs lighter, and from thence the Leaves more airy, last the bright and full-blown Flower breaths sweetest Perfumes ; Man’s Nourishment, Flowers and their Fruit, sublim’d by Degrees aspire to vital Spirits, and so to animal and intellectual; giving both Life, Sense, Fancy, and Understanding, whence the Soul receives Reason, and Reason discoursive or intuitive is her Being; Discourse is oftenest yours, and Intuition mostly ours ; differing but in Degree, and being of the same Kind. Make no Wonder then, that I don’t refuse to eat what Go D saw good for you, but convert it as you do to proper Substance. The Time may come, when M E N may partake with Angels, and find no Inconvenience in the Diet, nor the Fare too light; and from these corporal Nutriments, improv’d by Length of Time, perhaps your Bodies at last may turn all to Spirit, and you may ascend with Wings to Heaven, like us, or dwell at your Choice here, or in heavenly PARADISEs; if ye be found obedient, and unalterably keep his Love firm and intire, whose Progeny you are. Mean while enjoy your Fill of what Happiness this happy State can afford, and know that you are incapable of more.
To whom the Father of M A N K I N D made Answer: Favourable Spirit! my gentle and kind Guest! thou hast well taught the Way that might direct our Knowledge, and set before us the Compass of the whole Creation; whereby we may, in Contemplation of Things created, ascend to Go D. But tell me, I
To whom, our great Ancestor, replied. Diving
Instructor! I have heard thy Words attentively, and with an Ear more delighted, than when the Songs of Cherubim, send heavenly Musick by Night from the neighbouring Hills. Nor was I ignorant, that I was. both as to Will and Deed, created quite free : Yet that we never shall forget to love and obey our MAKER,
Things that are in them, much like one another more than upon Earth they are imagin'd to be?
All ye Angels 1 Children of Light! Thrones | Dominations ! Princedoms! Virtues! and Powers? hear this my Decree, which shall stand irrevocable. This Day, have I begot whom I declare my only Son, and annointed him upon this holy Hill, he it is whom ye now behold at my Right Hand ; I appoint him to be your Head : And I have sworn by myself, that every Knee in Heaven shall bow to him, and confess him LoRD. Under his great Vicegerency do you all remain united, as though all were but one individual Soul, and be for ever happy : Who disobeys him, disobeys me, breaks the Union, and that Day becomes cast out from GoD, and all Blessedness, and falls into O Littöl" utter Darkness, deep into the lowest Gulph without any Redemption, and without End.
RE pos'd upon Banks of Flowers, and crown'd with rich Garlands, they eat, and drink, and in sweet Communion quaff Immortality, and Joy, before the all-bounteous KING, who gave with a copious Hand and rejoyc’d in their Joy. Now when the Night exhal’d with Clouds, from that high Mountain of God, whence Light and Shade both spring, had changed the full Brightness of Heaven to grateful Twilight ; (for Night does not come there, in total Darkness) and sweet Dews had dispos'd all to Rest, except the unsleeping Eye of GoD ; wide over all the Plain, and far wider than all this globose Earth, if it were spread out in Length (for such are the Courts of God) the Angels dispers'd in Bands, and Files,and extended their - - Camp