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Drink she squeezes Grapes, and many Sorts of Berries and makes new Wine; though new, yet not of fensive : And pressing of sweet Kernels, prepares Creams of an agreeable Taste; nor did she want pure and fit Vessels to hold such Liquors : She then strews the Ground with Roses, and sweet Odours from the Shrubs : Mean while our first great Father walks forth to meet his Godlike Guest, accompanied by no other Train than his own complete Perfections; all his State was in himself; much more folemn than the tedious Pomp that waits on Princes, when their rich and long Retinue of led Horses, and Grooms whole Habits fine with Gold, dazzles and sets all the Crowd a gazing. Adam coming nearer to the Angel, though he was not awed, yet approaching with Submission and meek Reverence, and bowing low, as to a superior Nature, spoke thus :
NATIVE of Heaven, (for no other place can contain fo glorious a Shape; since by descending down from the Thrones above, thou haft been pleased to leave those Places, and honour these with thy Prefence, vouchsafe to remain a while with us in yonder shady Bower, as being as yeť but two, who by the Gift of God possess this spacious Ground; please there to rest and taste the choicest Fruit the Garden bears, 'till this Noon-Heat be over, and the Sun in his Decline grow cool.
To whom the Angel RAPHAEL gave this mild Answer: ADAM! therefore I came; nor art thou created such, or dwelleft in such a Place, as may not often invite even the Spirits of Heaven to visit thet: Lead on, where thy Bower overshades, for all the Hours, 'till the Evening arise, I have Liberty to stay with thee. So they came to the fylvan Lodge, that looked like the Arbour of POMONA, ornamented with Flowers, and filled with Variety of Fragrance; but
Eve, without Onrament, except what was in herfelt, stood to entertain her Guest from Heaven; (more lovely than any Wood-Nymph, or the faireft of the three feigned Goddesses (0), that contended for the golden Prize upon Mount Ida) she needed no Veil, for she was Virtue-proof; no impure Thought altered her Cheek. On whom the Angel bestowed the holy Salutacion, used long after to the blessed Virgin MARY (D), who was the second Eve : " Hail ! Mother of Mankind! whose fruitful Womb shall hereafter fill the World, more numerous with Sons than the Trees of God have heaped this Table with these various Fruits.”—Their Table was raised with Turfs of Grass, and had round it Seats of Mols ; and on the Top of it, from Side to Side, was piled all the Fruits of Autumn, though Spring and Autumn were here at the same Time. They held Discourse a while before they eat, when thus AÐAM began to 1peak :
HEAVENLY Stranger! be pleased to taste these Bounties, which he who nourishes us and from whom all perfect Good comes without Measure to us, for
(0) Three Goddeffes ; Juno, i.e. Bitter, or very fad. MiPallas, and Venus, who itrove riam the Sister of Mofes, was for the Golden Apple, with this the first of that Naine ; becaule Motto, Let it be given to the The was born in the Time of a Fairefi. They chole Paris for bitier Amiction and Slavery in their Umpire, and promised him Egypt. See Exod. xiij. 20. and great Rewards to bring him over
Here the blessed to their Intereit. Vinus promis. Virgin Mary, the Mother of our ed him Helena the fairelt Wo Lord, who had a real Salutation, man in the World, &c. He, from the Archangel Gabriel, gave it and the Pre-eminence of four thousand Years after this. . Beauty to her, which was the “ And the Angel came in unto
original Cause of the Deftrac “ her, and said, Hail, thou art tion of Troy, himself and his Fa. “ highly favoured, the Lord is mily.
" with thee; blessed art thou (0) Mari, or Mary; Heb.
among Women.” Miriam, Lar. and Gr. Maria,
Delight and Food) hath caused the Earth to yield, perhaps it may not be proper Food for spiritual Na ture; however, this I know, that it is only one celtRial Father that gives to all. To whom the Angel replied, Therefore what he (whose Praise be for ever sung) gives to Man in Part spiritual, may not be found disagreeable Food for purest Spirits; and these pure intelligential Substances require some Sort of Food, as well as doth your rational; and both contain within then every lower Faculty of Sense, by which they hear, see, smell, touch and taste; and tasting, concoct, digest, and turn corporeal to incorporeal : For know thou, that whatever was created, wants to be sustained and fed ; of the Elements the groffer feeds the purer, the Earth feeds the Sea, the Earth and Sea feed the Air, the Air feeds those etherial Fires, and as lowest, first the Moon, whence are in her sound Visage those Spots; being unpurged Vapours, not yet turned into her Substance: Nor is it fo, that the Moon exhales no Nourishment from her moist Continent to higher Orbs. The Sun, that imparts Light to all, in moist Exhalations; and at Evening drinks of the Ocean. Though the Trees of Life in Heaven bear ambrosial Fruit, and the Vines yield Nectar, and though we brush Manna each Morning from off the Boughs, and find the Ground covered with finest Grain ; yet God hath varied his Bounty here with such new Delight as may be compared with Heaven, and think not I shall be backward to taste. -So down they sat, and began to eat; the Angel not seemingly, nor in a Mist, (the common Gloss of Theologists) but with keen Dispatch of real Hunger, and concocting Heat, to digest Food: What redounds transpires with Ease through Spirits ; nor is it a Wonder, if it be true, that by Fire the Alchymist can turn, or holds it possible to turn, the basest and droffiest of Metals to Gold, perfect as from the Mine,
Mean while Eve served naked at the Table, and filled their flowing Cups with pleasant Liquors. Oh Innocence, truly deserving of Paradise! then, if ever, had the Sons of God (9) an Excuse to have been enamoured at cheir Sight; but in those Hearts reigned purest and chastest Love, nor was Jealousy (the Hell of the injured Lover) understood.
Thus when they had sufficed, not burthened Na. gure, with Meats and Drinks, a sudden Thought arole in the Head of Adam, not to let the Opportunity flip given him by this great Conference, to know something of Things that were above the World he was placed in, and of their Being who dwell in Heaven; whole Excellence he saw fo far to transcend his own; the divine Effulgence of whose radiant Forms, and whose high Power so far exceeded human Nature ; and thus he addressed his wary Speech to the Messenger from Heaven:
INHABITANT with God! now I perceive thy great Favour, in this Honour done to Man, under whose lowly Roof thou hast not disdained to enter, nor to taste these earthly Fruits, which though not the Food of Angels, thou hast accepted in such a Manner, as that thou couldst not seem to have eat more willing at the Feasts of Heaven ; yet what Comparifon can be made ?
To whom the Angel made this Reply : Oh Anam! there is but one ALMIGHTY, from whom all. Things proceed, and to whom all Things return, if not de
(9) The Sons of God; i. e. The Daughters were born unto boly Angels, whom some thought " them, That the Sons of God to have Conversation with Wo. “ faw the Daughters of Men, men, from a false Sense put upon, " that they were fair ; and they Gin, vi. And it came to pass “ took them Wives of all which " when Men began to multiply
they chose.” on the Face of the Eartb, and
praved from good, all created such to Perfection, one first Matter cloathed all with various Forms, various Degrees of Substance, and Life in Things that live but as nearer placed to God, or nearer tending to him, more refined, spirituous, and pure, each afligned in their leveral active Spheres ; 'till Body work up to Spirit, in the Bounds proportioned 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 breathes sweetest Perfumes; Man's Nourishment, Flowers and their Fruit, sublimed by Degrees aspire to vital Spirits, and so to animal and intellectual ; giving both Life, Sense, Fancy, and Understanding, whence the Soul receives Reafon, and Realon discoursive or intuitive is her Being; Difcourse is oftenest yours, and Intuition moitly ours; differing but in Degree, and being of the same Kind. Make no Wonder then, that I don't refuse to eat what God faw good for you, but convert it as you do to proper Substance. The Time may come, when Men may partake with Angels, and find no Inconvenience in the Diet, nor the Fare too light ; and from these corporal Nutriments, improved by Length of T'ime, 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 MANKIND 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 God. But tell me, I