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The ARGUMENT. DAM inquires concerning celestial Motions ; is doubtfully answer'd, and exhorted to search rather after Things
more worthy of Knowledge. Adam af sents to the Advice of Raphael, and being still defirous to detain him, relates te hiin what he remember'd since his own Creation; bis being plac'd in Paradise, and talking with God concerning Solitude and fit Society. Adam relates his first Meeting and Nuptials with Eve; his Discourse with the Angel thereupon, who after repeated Admonitions departs.
CH A P.
CH A P. I.
doubt fully answer’d, and exhorted to search ra-
HE Angel ended his Discourse, and his
newly awaken'd from Sleep, made this grateful Answer:
Divine Historian! what Thanks or Recompence fufficient, or equal to thy Goodness, have I to render thee! who thus largely hath allay'd the Thirst I had of Knowledge, and vouchsaf’d in such friendly Condescension to relate Things, by me else unsearchable, and now heard with great Wonder, but great Delight; · and (as is due) with Glory attributed to the high CREATOR. Yet I have some Doubts remaining, which can alone be clear'd up by thee.
When I behold this fair Frame the World, confisting of Heaven and Earth, and compute their Magnitude; this Earth being but a Spot, a Grain of Sand, an Atom, compar'd with the Firmament, and the prodigious Number of Stars that are therein, that seem to rowl incomprehensible Spaces, (as their Distance argues, and their daily and swift Return witnesses) meerly to bring Light round this dark Earth, this little Spot, only to bring one Day and one Night in all their vast Survey, and be useless besides: When I reason, I often admire how wise and frugal Nature could act such Disproportions; to create superfluously
so many nobler and much greater Bodies, to this one Use; (for any Thing which appears to the contrary) and impofe upon their Orbs such restless Revolutions, repeated every Day; while the Earth remaining without Motion, (that might move better, and in far lefs Compass) being attended by Bodies more noble than herself, attains her End, and does not move at all, and receives as Tribute her Warmth and Light, brought to her from such great Distance, and with such incredible Swiftness, as is not to be describ'd.
Our first Father spoke thus, and seem'd by his Countenance entering into abstruse and studious Thoughts; which when Eve perceiv’d, she rose from her Seat, where she sat at some Distance, though in Sight, and (with Lowliness ; yet withsuch Dignity and Grace, as whoever saw could not but with the would stay,) went forth among her Fruits and Flowers to see how they throve; for they were her Nursery, budding and blooming under her Tendance and Care. Yet she did not go, as not being delighted with such Discourse, or that her Ear was not capable of hearing Arguments upon the highest Subjects, but she reservd such Pleasure when ADAM should relate it to her, when they should be by themselves; she preferr'd her Husband to be the Relater before the Angel, and chose rather to ask of him; she knew he would mix his Discourse with agreeable Digressions, and solve high Dispute with conjugal Caresses; for it was not Words alone from his Lips that pleas’d her, (When meet now Pairs fo join'd in Love and mutual Honour ?) She went forth with a Demeanour like a Goddess, and not unattended, for a Pomp of winning Graces waited on her as a Queen, and created Delire in all Eyes, to wish to have her still in Sight. And RAPHAEL made this benevolent Reply to the Doubt propos’d by ADAM:
I do not blame thee for enquiring or searching, for Heaven is as the Book of GOD set before thee, wherein thou may’st read his wond'rous Works, and learn his Seasons, Hours, Days, Months, or Years. To attain this, it thou judge aright, it fignifies nothing to know whether Heaven moves, or the Earth ; the rest the great Architect did wisely to conceal from Man or Angel; and not divulge his Secrets to be canvass’d by them, who ought only to admire: Or if they have a Mind to conjecture, he hath left his Fabrick of the Heavens to their Disputes, perhaps to see the Weakness of their strange Opinions hereafter ; when they come to model Heaven, and to compute the Motions, Distance, and Situation of the Stars, how they will govern the mighty Frame; how build, unbuild, and contrive to save Appearances; (a) how incumber the Sphere with Centric and Excentric, with Cycle (b) and Epicycle (c), Orb (d) within Orb: Thus I guess already by thy reasoning, who art to lead thy Offspring, and supposest, that bright and greater Bodies should not serve the lesser that are not bright, nor run such Journeys through Heaven, the
(a) Appearances; Fr. Lat. A Circle above a Circle. An An Astrolog. T. The Risings, Astrolog. T. A lesler Circle, Motions, Places and Influences whole Center is in the Circumof che Planets. Here is a strong ference of the greater Circle, i. and pleasant Confutation of Ju e. one Cycle within another, or diciary Astrology, with some of Orb in Orb, as Planets, having its absurd Terms, by way of a their Center different from the Digreffion.
Center of the Earth, &c. b) Cycle; Lat. Gr. i. e. A (d) Orb; Fr. Lat. An Astron. Circle. An Astrol. T. A coil T. An hollow Sphere or Globe, tinual Revolution of Planets, used by Astronomers and Afrowhich goeth on from the firit logers to demonstrate the MotiNumber to the lalt without a ons, and Distances of Places, Globes ny Interruption; and then re or Spheres were first invented by turns to the lait, as the Cycle of Archimedes, an excellent Mathethe Sun, C.
macician of Sicily, about A. M. (5) Epissile; Lat. Giii. c.
Earth all the while sitting still, and alone receiving the Benefit. First consider, that Greatness or Brightness does not imply Excellence: The Earth, though not glistering and being so small in Comparison of Heaven, may contain more Plenty of solid Good than the Sun, that though it shines is barren, whose Virtue works no Effect upon itself, but in the fruitful Earth; there his Beams, (which would be otherwise unactive) when they are receiv’d, first find their Vigour. Yet it is not to the Earth that those bright Luminaries do their Office, but to thee, the Earth's Inhabitant: And for the wide Circuit of Heaven, let it speak the high Magnificence of the Maker, who built fo fpaciously, and stretch'd out his Line fo far, that MAN may know he dwells in an Edifice too large for him to fill; that he is lodg’d in a small Partition; and that the rest is ordain'd to Uses best known to his Lord. Attribute the Swiftness of those numberless Circles to his Omnipotence, that could add to material Substances Speed almost fpiritual. Me thou wilt not think now, who since the Morning set out from Heaven, where God resides, and before Noon arriv'd in EDEN; a Distance not to be express’d by any Numbers that have Name; but this I urge, admitting Motion in the Heavens, to show that invalid which mov'd thee to doubt it; not that I affirm it to be so, though it seems so to thee, who haft thy Dwelling upon Earth. God being minded to remove his Ways from human Sense, plac'd Heaven so far from Earth, that if earthly Sight Thould presume to pry, it might err in Things that are too high, and gain no Advantage. What if the Sun fhould be the Centre to the World, and other Stars, incited by their own and his attractive Virtue, move about him in various Circles? In six of them thou feeft their wand'ring Course, sometimes high, sometimes low then hid, then progressive; then going backwards, or standing still; (that is, in Appearance) and what if