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Much pains must we expend on one alone,
And even then attain it not;-but you
And with truth.
For in the country whence I come, sciences
I were of that bright country! for in this
It is so true that I
Had so much arrogance as to oppose
And obtained many votes, and though I lost,
The attempt was still more glorious, than the failure
Could be dishonourable: if you believe not,
That which you know best, and although I
The offer gives me pleasure. I am now
Of Plinius, and my mind is racked with doubt
Of whom he speaks.
It is a passage, if
I recollect it right, couched in these words: "God is one supreme goodness, one pure essence, One substance, and one sense, all sight, all hands.”
What difficulty find you here?
I do not recognise among the Gods
Tainted with mortal weakness; in what manner
Of the old world masked with the names of Gods,
The attributes of Nature and of Man;
This reply will not satisfy me, for
Poetical or philosophic learning:
Consider the ambiguous responses
Of their oracular statues; from two shrines
But supreme goodness fails among the gods
I deny your major.
These responses are means towards some end
That I admit, and yet that God should not (Falsehood is incompatible with deity)
Assure the victory; it would be enough
His essence must be one.
To attain the end
The affections of the actors in the scene
Must have been thus influenced by his voice.
But for a purpose thus subordinate
He might have employed genii, good or evil,—
Who roam about inspiring good or evil,
These trifling contradictions
Do not suffice to impugn the unity
Of the high gods; in things of great importance They still appear unanimous; consider
That glorious fabric-man, his workmanship, Is stamped with one conception.
Who made man
Must have, methinks, the advantage of the others.
All hands, according to our author here,
Will remain conqueror?
And false hypothesis there can be built
That there must be a mighty God
Of supreme goodness and of highest grace,
Without an equal and without a rival;
The cause of all things and the effect of nothing,
One power, one will, one substance, and one essence.
His attributes may be distinguished, one
Sovereign power, one solitary essence,
One cause of all cause.
How can I impugn
So clear a consequence?
Do you regret