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To whom the Angel. Therefore what he gives (Whose praise be ever sung) to Man in part Spiritual, may of purest Spirits be found No ingrateful food ; And food alike those

pure Intelligential substances require, As doth your rational; and both contain Within them every lower faculty Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate, And corporeal to incorporeal turn. For know, whatever was created, needs To be sustain'd and fed: Of elements The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea, Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires Ethereal, and as lowest first the moon; Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd Vapours nor yet into her substance turn'd. Nor doth the moon no nourishment exhale From her moist continent to higher orbs. The sun, that light imparts to all, reecives From all his alimental recompence In humid exhalations, and at even Sups with the Ocean. Though in Heaven the trees Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines Yield nectar; though from off the boughs each morn We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground Cover'd with pearly grain : Yet God hath here Varied his bounty so with new delights,

As may compare with Heaven: and to taste
Think not I shall be nice. So down they sat,
And to their viands fell; nor seemingly
The Angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
Of Theologians but with keen despatch
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat
To transubstantiate: What redounds, transpire
Through Spirits with ease; nór wonder; if by fire
Of sooty coal the empirick alchemist
Can turn, or holds it possible to turn
Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold,
As from the mine. Mean while at table Eve
Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups
With pleasant liquours crown'd : 0 innocence
Deserving Paradise ! if ever, then,
Then had the sons of God excuse to have been
Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts
Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousy
Was understood, the injur'd lover's hell.

Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffic'd,
Not burden'd nature, sudden mind arose
In Adam, not to let the occasion pass
Given him by this great conference to know
Of things above his world, and of their being
Who dwell in Heaven, whose excellence he sář
Transcend his own so far; whose radiant forms,
Divine effulgence, whose high power, so far
Exceeded human; and his wary speech

Thus to the empyreal minister he fram’d.

Inhabitant with God, now know I well Thy favour, in this honour done to Man; Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsaf'd To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste, Food not of Angels, yet accepted so, As that more willingly thou couldst not seem At Heaven's high feasts to have fed: yet what com

pare?

To whom the winged Heirarch replied.
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,
Endued with various forms, various degrees
Of substance, and, in things that live, of life;
But more refin'd, more spiritous, 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
Spirits odorous breathes : flowers and their fruit,
Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd,
To vital spirits aspire, to animal,
To intellectual; give both life and sense,
Fancy and understanding; whence the soul

Reason receives, and reason is her being,
Discursive, or intuitive; discourse
Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
Wonder not then, what God for you saw good
If I refuse not, but convert, as you,
To proper substance. T'ime may come, when Men
With Angels may participate, and find
No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare;
And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,
Improv'd by tract of time, and, wing'd, ascend
Ethereal, as we; or may, at choice,
Here or in heavenly Paradises dwell;
If 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
Can comprehend, incapable of more.

To whom the patriarch of mankind replied.
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. But say,
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 plaed us here
Full to the utmost measure of what bliss
Human desires can seek or apprehend?

To whom the Angel Son of Heaven and Earth,
Attend : That thou art happy, owe to God;
That thou eontinuest such, owe to thyself,
That is, to thy obedience ; therein stand.
This was that caution given 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
Can hearts, not free, be tried whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By destiny, and can no other choose ?
Myself, and all the angelick host, that stand
In sight of God, enthron'd, our happy state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other surety none : Freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
And some are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
And so from Heaven to deepest Heli; 0 fall

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