Before the divine reached the close of the confession, however, Richard reappeared at the door, and, as he moved lightly across the room, he took up the response, in a voice that betrayed no other concern than that of not being heard.
In the present instance he yielded, in many places, to the prejudices of his congregation; and when he had ended, there was not one of his new hearers who did not think the ceremonies less papal and offensive, and more conformant to his or her own notions of devout worship, than they had been led to expect from a service of forms, Richard found in the divine, during the evening, a most powerful co-operator in his religious schemes.
But, happily for us, my brethren, the fountain of divine love flows from a source too pure to admit of pollution in its course; it extends, to those who drink of its vivifying waters, the peace of the righteous, and life everlasting; it endures through all time, and it pervades creation.
But there is no reason to suppose that he is deriding them, any more than he is deriding the phenomena of love or of enthusiasm in the Symposium, or of oracles in the Apology, or of divine intimations when he is speaking of the daemonium of Socrates.
They are no longer allowed to have a divine insight, but, though acknowledged to have been clever men and good speakers, are denounced as 'blind leaders of the blind.
Adieu, dear and kind friend; may our divine
Saviour and His most Holy Mother keep you in their holy and all-powerful care!
Thus when with meats & drinks they had suffic'd, Not burd'nd Nature, sudden mind arose In ADAM, not to let th' occasion pass Given him by this great Conference to know Of things above his World, and of thir being Who dwell in Heav'n, whose excellence he saw Transcend his own so farr, whose radiant forms Divine effulgence, whose high Power so far Exceeded human, and his wary speech Thus to th' Empyreal Minister he fram'd.
Thy words Attentive, and with more delighted eare Divine instructer, I have heard, then when Cherubic Songs by night from neighbouring Hills Aereal Music send: nor knew I not To be both will and deed created free; Yet that we never shall forget to love Our maker, and obey him whose command Single, is yet so just, my constant thoughts Assur'd me and still assure: though what thou tellst Hath past in Heav'n, som doubt within me move, But more desire to hear, if thou consent, The full relation, which must needs be strange, Worthy of Sacred silence to be heard; And we have yet large day, for scarce the Sun Hath finisht half his journey, and scarce begins His other half in the great Zone of Heav'n.
That day, as other solem dayes, they spent In song and dance about the sacred Hill, Mystical dance, which yonder starrie Spheare Of Planets and of fixt in all her Wheeles Resembles nearest, mazes intricate, Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regular Then most, when most irregular they seem: And in thir motions harmonie Divine So smooths her charming tones, that Gods own ear Listens delighted.
He wishes them to know that the divine sign never interrupted him in the course of his defence; the reason of which, as he conjectures, is that the death to which he is going is a good and not an evil.
To this Socrates fairly answers, in accordance with the ideas of the time, that a downright atheist cannot believe in the sons of gods or in divine things.
Yet this singular and almost accidental character of his mission agrees with the divine sign which, according to our notions, is equally accidental and irrational, and is nevertheless accepted by him as the guiding principle of his life.