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Evan Roberts Quote : Christian Books : Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood

Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above

Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd

The stonie from thir hearts, and made new flesh

Regenerat grow instead, that sighs now breath'd

Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer

Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight

Then loudest Oratorie: yet thir port

Not of mean suiters, nor important less

Seem'd thir Petition, then when th' ancient Pair

In Fables old, less ancient yet then these,

DEUCALION and chaste PYRRHA to restore

The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine

Of THEMIS stood devout. To Heav'n thir prayers

Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious windes

Blow'n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd

Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then clad

With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd,

By thir great Intercessor, came in sight

Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son

Presenting, thus to intercede began.

See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung

From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs

And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt

With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring,

Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed

Sow'n with contrition in his heart, then those

Which his own hand manuring all the Trees

Of Paradise could have produc't, ere fall'n

From innocence. Now therefore bend thine eare

To supplication, heare his sighs though mute;

Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee

Interpret for him, mee his Advocate

And propitiation, all his works on mee

Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those

Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay.

Accept me, and in mee from these receave

The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live

Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days

Numberd, though sad, till Death, his doom (which I

To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)

To better life shall yeeld him, where with mee

All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss,

Made one with me as I with thee am one.

To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene.

All thy request for Man, accepted Son,

Obtain, all thy request was my Decree:

But longer in that Paradise to dwell,

The Law I gave to Nature him forbids:

Those pure immortal Elements that know

No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule,

Eject him tainted now, and purge him off

As a distemper, gross to aire as gross,

And mortal food, as may dispose him best

For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first

Distemperd all things, and of incorrupt

Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts

Created him endowd, with Happiness

And Immortalitie: that fondly lost,

This other serv'd but to eternize woe;

Till I provided Death; so Death becomes

His final remedie, and after Life

Tri'd in sharp tribulation, and refin'd

By Faith and faithful works, to second Life,

Wak't in the renovation of the just,

Resignes him up with Heav'n and Earth renewd.

But let us call to Synod all the Blest

Through Heav'ns wide bounds; from them I will not hide

My judgments, how with Mankind I proceed,

As how with peccant Angels late they saw;

And in thir state, though firm, stood more confirmd.

He ended, and the Son gave signal high

To the bright Minister that watchd, hee blew

His Trumpet, heard in OREB since perhaps

When God descended, and perhaps once more

To sound at general Doom. Th' Angelic blast

Filld all the Regions: from thir blissful Bowrs

Of AMARANTIN Shade, Fountain or Spring,

By the waters of Life, where ere they sate

In fellowships of joy: the Sons of Light

Hasted, resorting to the Summons high,

And took thir Seats; till from his Throne supream

Th' Almighty thus pronounced his sovran Will.

O Sons, like one of us Man is become

To know both Good and Evil, since his taste

Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast

His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got,

Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known

Good by it self, and Evil not at all.

He sorrows now, repents, and prayes contrite,

My motions in him, longer then they move,

His heart I know, how variable and vain

Self-left. Least therefore his now bolder hand

Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,

And live for ever, dream at least to live

Forever, to remove him I decree,

And send him from the Garden forth to Till

The Ground whence he was taken, fitter soile.

MICHAEL, this my behest have thou in charge,

Take to thee from among the Cherubim

Thy choice of flaming Warriours, least the Fiend

Or in behalf of Man, or to invade

Vacant possession som new trouble raise:

Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God

Without remorse drive out the sinful Pair,

From hallowd ground th' unholie, and denounce

To them and to thir Progenie from thence

Perpetual banishment. Yet least they faint

At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd,

For I behold them soft'nd and with tears

Bewailing thir excess, all terror hide.

If patiently thy bidding they obey,

Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveale

To ADAM what shall come in future dayes,

As I shall thee enlighten, intermix

My Cov'nant in the Womans seed renewd;

So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:

And on the East side of the Garden place,

Where entrance up from EDEN easiest climbes,

Cherubic watch, and of a Sword the flame

Wide waving, all approach farr off to fright,

And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:

Least Paradise a receptacle prove

To Spirits foule, and all my Trees thir prey,

With whose stol'n Fruit Man once more to delude.

He ceas'd; and th' Archangelic Power prepar'd

For swift descent, with him the Cohort bright

Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each

Had, like a double JANUS, all thir shape

Spangl'd with eyes more numerous then those

Of ARGUS, and more wakeful then to drouze,

Charm'd with ARCADIAN Pipe, the Pastoral Reed

Of HERMES, or his opiate Rod. Meanwhile

To resalute the World with sacred Light

LEUCOTHEA wak'd, and with fresh dews imbalmd

The Earth, when ADAM and first Matron EVE

Had ended now thir Orisons, and found,

Strength added from above, new hope to spring

Out of despaire, joy, but with fear yet linkt;

Which thus to EVE his welcome words renewd.

EVE, easily may Faith admit, that all

The good which we enjoy, from Heav'n descends

But that from us ought should ascend to Heav'n

So prevalent as to concerne the mind

Of God high blest, or to incline his will,

Hard to belief may seem; yet this will Prayer,

Or one short sigh of humane breath, up-borne

Ev'n to the Seat of God. For since I saught

By Prayer th' offended Deitie to appease,

Kneel'd and before him humbl'd all my heart,

Methought I saw him placable and mild,

Bending his eare; perswasion in me grew

That I was heard with favour; peace returnd

Home to my brest, and to my memorie

His promise, that thy Seed shall bruise our Foe;

Which then not minded in dismay, yet now

Assures me that the bitterness of death

Is past, and we shall live. Whence Haile to thee,

EVE rightly call'd, Mother of all Mankind,

Mother of all things living, since by thee

Man is to live, and all things live for Man.

To whom thus EVE with sad demeanour meek.

Ill worthie I such title should belong

To me transgressour, who for thee ordaind

A help, became thy snare; to mee reproach

Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise:

But infinite in pardon was my Judge,

That I who first brought Death on all, am grac't

The sourse of life; next favourable thou,

Who highly thus to entitle me voutsaf't,

Farr other name deserving. But the Field

To labour calls us now with sweat impos'd,

Though after sleepless Night; for see the Morn,

All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins

Her rosie progress smiling; let us forth,

I never from thy side henceforth to stray,

Wherere our days work lies, though now enjoind

Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,

What can be toilsom in these pleasant Walkes?

Here let us live, though in fall'n state, content.

So spake, so wish'd much-humbl'd EVE, but Fate

Subscrib'd not; Nature first gave Signs, imprest

On Bird, Beast, Aire, Aire suddenly eclips'd

After short blush of Morn; nigh in her sight

The Bird of JOVE, stoopt from his aerie tour,

Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove:

Down from a Hill the Beast that reigns in Woods,

First Hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace,

Goodliest of all the Forrest, Hart and Hinde;

Direct to th' Eastern Gate was bent thir flight.

ADAM observ'd, and with his Eye the chase

Pursuing, not unmov'd to EVE thus spake.

O EVE, some furder change awaits us nigh,

Which Heav'n by these mute signs in Nature shews

Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn

Us haply too secure of our discharge

From penaltie, because from death releast

Some days; how long, and what till then our life,

Who knows, or more then this, that we are dust,

And thither must return and be no more.

VVhy else this double object in our sight

Of flight pursu'd in th' Air and ore the ground

One way the self-same hour? why in the East

Darkness ere Dayes mid-course, and Morning light

More orient in yon VVestern Cloud that draws

O're the blew Firmament a radiant white,

And slow descends, with somthing heav'nly fraught.

He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly Bands

Down from a Skie of Jasper lighted now

In Paradise, and on a Hill made alt,

A glorious Apparition, had not doubt

And carnal fear that day dimm'd ADAMS eye.

Not that more glorious, when the Angels met

JACOB in MAHANAIM, where he saw

The field Pavilion'd with his Guardians bright;

Nor that which on the flaming Mount appeerd

In DOTHAN, cover'd with a Camp of Fire,

Against the SYRIAN King, who to surprize

One man, Assassin-like had levied Warr,

Warr unproclam'd. The Princely Hierarch

In thir bright stand, there left his Powers to seise

Possession of the Garden; hee alone,

To finde where ADAM shelterd, took his way,

Not unperceav'd of ADAM, who to EVE,

While the great Visitant approachd, thus spake.

EVE, now expect great tidings, which perhaps

Of us will soon determin, or impose

New Laws to be observ'd; for I descrie

From yonder blazing Cloud that veils the Hill

One of the heav'nly Host, and by his Gate

None of the meanest, some great Potentate

Or of the Thrones above, such Majestie

Invests him coming; yet not terrible,

That I should fear, nor sociably mild,

As RAPHAEL, that I should much confide,

But solemn and sublime, whom not to offend,

With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.

He ended; and th' Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,

Not in his shape Celestial, but as Man

Clad to meet Man; over his lucid Armes

A militarie Vest of purple flowd

Livelier then MELIBOEAN, or the graine

Of SARRA, worn by Kings and Hero's old

In time of Truce; IRIS had dipt the wooff;

His starrie Helme unbuckl'd shew'd him prime

In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side

As in a glistering ZODIAC hung the Sword,

Satans dire dread, and in his hand the Spear.

ADAM bowd low, hee Kingly from his State

Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd.

ADAM, Heav'ns high behest no Preface needs:

Sufficient that thy Prayers are heard, and Death,

Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,

Defeated of his seisure many dayes

Giv'n thee of Grace, wherein thou may'st repent,

And one bad act with many deeds well done

Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord appeas'd

Redeem thee quite from Deaths rapacious claimes;

But longer in this Paradise to dwell

Permits not; to remove thee I am come,

And send thee from the Garden forth to till

The ground whence thou wast tak'n, fitter Soile.

He added not, for ADAM at the newes

Heart-strook with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,

That all his senses bound; EVE, who unseen

Yet all had heard, with audible lament

Discover'd soon the place of her retire.

O unexpected stroke, worse then of Death!

Must I thus leave thee Paradise? thus leave

Thee Native Soile, these happie Walks and Shades,

Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,

Quiet though sad, the respit of that day

That must be mortal to us both. O flours,

That never will in other Climate grow,

My early visitation, and my last

At Eev'n, which I bred up with tender hand

From the first op'ning bud, and gave ye Names,

Who now shall reare ye to the Sun, or ranke

Your Tribes, and water from th' ambrosial Fount?

Thee lastly nuptial Bowre, by mee adornd

With what to sight or smell was sweet; from thee

How shall I part, and whither wander down

Into a lower World, to this obscure

And wilde, how shall we breath in other Aire

Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits?

Whom thus the Angel interrupted milde.

Lament not EVE, but patiently resigne

What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,

Thus over fond, on that which is not thine;

Thy going is not lonely, with thee goes

Thy Husband, him to follow thou art bound;

Where he abides, think there thy native soile.

ADAM by this from the cold sudden damp

Recovering, and his scatterd spirits returnd,

To MICHAEL thus his humble words addressd.

Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or nam'd

Of them the Highest, for such of shape may seem

Prince above Princes, gently hast thou tould

Thy message, which might else in telling wound,

And in performing end us; what besides

Of sorrow and dejection and despair

Our frailtie can sustain, thy tidings bring,

Departure from this happy place, our sweet

Recess, and onely consolation left

Familiar to our eyes, all places else

Inhospitable appeer and desolate,

Nor knowing us nor known: and if by prayer

Incessant I could hope to change the will

Of him who all things can, I would not cease

To wearie him with my assiduous cries:

But prayer against his absolute Decree

No more availes then breath against the winde,

Blown stifling back on him that breaths it forth:

Therefore to his great bidding I submit.

This most afflicts me, that departing hence,

As from his face I shall be hid, deprivd

His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent,

With worship, place by place where he voutsaf'd

Presence Divine, and to my Sons relate;

On this Mount he appeerd, under this Tree

Stood visible, among these Pines his voice

I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk'd:

So many grateful Altars I would reare

Of grassie Terfe, and pile up every Stone

Of lustre from the brook, in memorie,

Or monument to Ages, and thereon

Offer sweet smelling Gumms Fruits and Flours:

In yonder nether World where shall I seek

His bright appearances, or footstep trace?

For though I fled him angrie, yet recall'd

To life prolongd and promisd Race, I now

Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts

Of glory, and farr off his steps adore.

To whom thus MICHAEL with regard benigne.

ADAM, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth

Not this Rock onely; his Omnipresence fills

Land, Sea, and Aire, and every kinde that lives,

Fomented by his virtual power and warmd:

All th' Earth he gave thee to possess and rule,

No despicable gift; surmise not then

His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd

Of Paradise or EDEN: this had been

Perhaps thy Capital Seate, from whence had spred

All generations, and had hither come

From all the ends of th' Earth, to celebrate

And reverence thee thir great Progenitor.

But this praeeminence thou hast lost, brought down

To dwell on eeven ground now with thy Sons:

Yet doubt not but in Vallie and in Plaine

God is as here, and will be found alike

Present, and of his presence many a signe

Still following thee, still compassing thee round

With goodness and paternal Love, his Face

Express, and of his steps the track Divine.

Which that thou mayst beleeve, and be confirmd,

Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent

To shew thee what shall come in future dayes

To thee and to thy Ofspring; good with bad

Expect to hear, supernal Grace contending

With sinfulness of Men; thereby to learn

True patience, and to temper joy with fear

And pious sorrow, equally enur'd

By moderation either state to beare,

Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead

Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure

Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend

This Hill; let EVE (for I have drencht her eyes)

Here sleep below while thou to foresight wak'st,

As once thou slepst, while Shee to life was formd.

To whom thus ADAM gratefully repli'd.

Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path

Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heav'n submit,

However chast'ning, to the evil turne

My obvious breast, arming to overcom

By suffering, and earne rest from labour won,

If so I may attain. So both ascend

In the Visions of God: It was a Hill

Of Paradise the highest, from whose top

The Hemisphere of Earth in cleerest Ken

Stretcht out to amplest reach of prospect lay.

Not higher that Hill nor wider looking round,

Whereon for different cause the Tempter set

Our second ADAM in the Wilderness,

To shew him all Earths Kingdomes and thir Glory.

His Eye might there command wherever stood

City of old or modern Fame, the Seat

Of mightiest Empire, from the destind Walls



To PAQUIN of SINAEAN Kings, and thence

To AGRA and LAHOR of great MOGUL

Down to the golden CHERSONESE, or where

The PERSIAN in ECBATAN sate, or since


In MOSCO, or the Sultan in BIZANCE,

TURCHESTAN-born; nor could his eye not ken

Th' Empire of NEGUS to his utmost Port

ERCOCO and the less Maritine Kings


And SOFALA thought OPHIR, to the Realme

Of CONGO, and ANGOLA fardest South;

Or thence from NIGER Flood to ATLAS Mount

The Kingdoms of ALMANSOR, FEZ, and SUS,


On EUROPE thence, and where ROME was to sway

The VVorld: in Spirit perhaps he also saw

Rich MEXICO the seat of MOTEZUME,

And CUSCO in PERU, the richer seat

Of ATABALIPA, and yet unspoil'd

GUIANA, whose great Citie GERYONS Sons

Call EL DORADO: but to nobler sights

MICHAEL from ADAMS eyes the Filme remov'd

VVhich that false Fruit that promis'd clearer sight

Had bred; then purg'd with Euphrasie and Rue

The visual Nerve, for he had much to see;

And from the VVell of Life three drops instill'd.

So deep the power of these Ingredients pierc'd,

Eevn to the inmost seat of mental sight,

That ADAM now enforc't to close his eyes,

Sunk down and all his Spirits became intranst:

But him the gentle Angel by the hand

Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall'd.

ADAM, now ope thine eyes, and first behold

Th' effects which thy original crime hath wrought

In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd

Th' excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir'd,

Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive

Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds.

His eyes he op'nd, and beheld a field,

Part arable and tilth, whereon were Sheaves

New reapt, the other part sheep-walks and foulds;

Ith' midst an Altar as the Land-mark stood

Rustic, of grassie sord; thither anon

A sweatie Reaper from his Tillage brought

First Fruits, the green Eare, and the yellow Sheaf,

Uncull'd, as came to hand; a Shepherd next

More meek came with the Firstlings of his Flock

Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid

The Inwards and thir Fat, with Incense strew'd,

On the cleft Wood, and all due Rites perform'd.

His Offring soon propitious Fire from Heav'n

Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steame;

The others not, for his was not sincere;

Whereat hee inlie rag'd, and as they talk'd,

Smote him into the Midriff with a stone

That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale

Groand out his Soul with gushing bloud effus'd.

Much at that sight was ADAM in his heart

Dismai'd, and thus in haste to th' Angel cri'd.

O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n

To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd;

Is Pietie thus and pure Devotion paid?

T' whom MICHAEL thus, hee also mov'd, repli'd.

These two are Brethren, ADAM, and to come

Out of thy loyns; th' unjust the just hath slain,

For envie that his Brothers Offering found

From Heav'n acceptance; but the bloodie Fact

Will be aveng'd, and th' others Faith approv'd

Loose no reward, though here thou see him die,

Rowling in dust and gore. To which our Sire.

Alas, both for the deed and for the cause!

But have I now seen Death? Is this the way

I must return to native dust? O sight

Of terrour, foul and ugly to behold,

Horrid to think, how horrible to feel!

To whom thus MICHAEL. Death thou hast seen

In his first shape on man; but many shapes

Of Death, and many are the wayes that lead

To his grim Cave, all dismal; yet to sense

More terrible at th' entrance then within.

Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die,

By Fire, Flood, Famin, by Intemperance more

In Meats and Drinks, which on the Earth shal bring

Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew

Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know

What miserie th' inabstinence of EVE

Shall bring on men. Immediately a place

Before his eyes appeard, sad, noysom, dark,

A Lazar-house it seemd, wherein were laid

Numbers of all diseas'd, all maladies

Of gastly Spasm, or racking torture, qualmes

Of heart-sick Agonie, all feavorous kinds,

Convulsions, Epilepsies, fierce Catarrhs,

Intestin Stone and Ulcer, Colic pangs,

Dropsies, and Asthma's, and Joint-racking Rheums.

Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, despair

Tended the sick busiest from Couch to Couch;

And over them triumphant Death his Dart

Shook, but delaid to strike, though oft invok't

With vows, as thir chief good, and final hope.

Sight so deform what heart of Rock could long

Drie-ey'd behold? ADAM could not, but wept,

Though not of Woman born; compassion quell'd

His best of Man, and gave him up to tears

A space, till firmer thoughts restraind excess,

And scarce recovering words his plaint renew'd.

O miserable Mankind, to what fall

Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd?

Better end heer unborn. Why is life giv'n

To be thus wrested from us? rather why

Obtruded on us thus? who if we knew

What we receive, would either not accept

Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down,

Glad to be so dismist in peace. Can thus

Th' Image of God in man created once

So goodly and erect, though faultie since,

To such unsightly sufferings be debas't

Under inhuman pains? Why should not Man,

Retaining still Divine similitude

In part, from such deformities be free,

And for his Makers Image sake exempt?

Thir Makers Image, answerd MICHAEL, then

Forsook them, when themselves they villifi'd

To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took

His Image whom they serv'd, a brutish vice,

Inductive mainly to the sin of EVE.

Therefore so abject is thir punishment,

Disfiguring not Gods likeness, but thir own,

Or if his likeness, by themselves defac't

While they pervert pure Natures healthful rules

To loathsom sickness, worthily, since they

Gods Image did not reverence in themselves.

I yeild it just, said ADAM, and submit.

But is there yet no other way, besides

These painful passages, how we may come

To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?

There is, said MICHAEL, if thou well observe

The rule of not too much, by temperance taught

In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence

Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,

Till many years over thy head return:

So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop

Into thy Mothers lap, or be with ease

Gatherd, not harshly pluckt, for death mature:

This is old age; but then thou must outlive

Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change

To witherd weak gray; thy Senses then

Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forgoe,

To what thou hast, and for the Aire of youth

Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reigne

A melancholly damp of cold and dry

To waigh thy spirits down, and last consume

The Balme of Life. To whom our Ancestor.

Henceforth I flie not Death, nor would prolong

Life much, bent rather how I may be quit

Fairest and easiest of this combrous charge,

Which I must keep till my appointed day

Of rendring up. MICHAEL to him repli'd.

Nor love thy Life, nor hate; but what thou livst

Live well, how long or short permit to Heav'n:

And now prepare thee for another sight.

He lookd and saw a spacious Plaine, whereon

Were Tents of various hue; by some were herds

Of Cattel grazing: others, whence the sound

Of Instruments that made melodious chime

Was heard, of Harp and Organ; and who moovd

Thir stops and chords was seen: his volant touch

Instinct through all proportions low and high

Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue.

In other part stood one who at the Forge

Labouring, two massie clods of Iron and Brass

Had melted (whether found where casual fire

Had wasted woods on Mountain or in Vale,

Down to the veins of Earth, thence gliding hot

To som Caves mouth, or whether washt by stream

From underground) the liquid Ore he dreind

Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he formd

First his own Tooles; then, what might else be wrought

Fulfil or grav'n in mettle. After these,

But on the hether side a different sort

From the high neighbouring Hills, which was thir Seat,

Down to the Plain descended: by thir guise

Just men they seemd, and all thir study bent

To worship God aright, and know his works

Not hid, nor those things lost which might preserve

Freedom and Peace to men: they on the Plain

Long had not walkt, when from the Tents behold

A Beavie of fair Women, richly gay

In Gems and wanton dress; to the Harp they sung

Soft amorous Ditties, and in dance came on:

The Men though grave, ey'd them, and let thir eyes

Rove without rein, till in the amorous Net

Fast caught, they lik'd, and each his liking chose;

And now of love they treat till th' Eevning Star

Loves Harbinger appeerd; then all in heat

They light the Nuptial Torch, and bid invoke

Hymen, then first to marriage Rites invok't;

With Feast and Musick all the Tents resound.

Such happy interview and fair event

Of love youth not lost, Songs, Garlands, Flours,

And charming Symphonies attach'd the heart

Of ADAM, soon enclin'd to admit delight,

The bent of Nature; which he thus express'd.

True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest,

Much better seems this Vision, and more hope

Of peaceful dayes portends, then those two past;

Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse,

Here Nature seems fulfilld in all her ends.

To whom thus MICHAEL. Judg not what is best

By pleasure, though to Nature seeming meet,

Created, as thou art, to nobler end

Holie and pure, conformitie divine.

Those Tents thou sawst so pleasant, were the Tents

Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his Race

Who slew his Brother; studious they appere

Of Arts that polish Life, Inventers rare,

Unmindful of thir Maker, though his Spirit

Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none.

Yet they a beauteous ofspring shall beget;

For that fair femal Troop thou sawst, that seemd

Of Goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,

Yet empty of all good wherein consists

Womans domestic honour and chief praise;

Bred onely and completed to the taste

Of lustful apperence, to sing, to dance,

To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roule the Eye.

To these that sober Race of Men, whose lives

Religious titl'd them the Sons of God,

Shall yeild up all thir vertue, all thir fame

Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles

Of these fair Atheists, and now swim in joy,

(Erelong to swim at larg) and laugh; for which

The world erelong a world of tears must weepe.

To whom thus ADAM of short joy bereft.

O pittie and shame, that they who to live well

Enterd so faire, should turn aside to tread

Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint!

But still I see the tenor of Mans woe

Holds on the same, from Woman to begin.

From Mans effeminate slackness it begins,

Said th' Angel, who should better hold his place

By wisdome, and superiour gifts receavd.

But now prepare thee for another Scene.

He lookd and saw wide Territorie spred

Before him, Towns, and rural works between,

Cities of Men with lofty Gates and Towrs,

Concours in Arms, fierce Faces threatning Warr,

Giants of mightie Bone, and bould emprise;

Part wield thir Arms, part courb the foaming Steed,

Single or in Array of Battel rang'd

Both Horse and Foot, nor idely mustring stood;

One way a Band select from forage drives

A herd of Beeves, faire Oxen and faire Kine

From a fat Meddow ground; or fleecy Flock,

Ewes and thir bleating Lambs over the Plaine,

Thir Bootie; scarce with Life the Shepherds flye,

But call in aide, which tacks a bloody Fray;

With cruel Tournament the Squadrons joine;

Where Cattel pastur'd late, now scatterd lies

With Carcasses and Arms th' ensanguind Field

Deserted: Others to a Citie strong

Lay Siege, encampt; by Batterie, Scale, and Mine,

Assaulting; others from the Wall defend

With Dart and Jav'lin, Stones and sulfurous Fire;

On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds.

In other part the scepter'd Haralds call

To Council in the Citie Gates: anon

Grey-headed men and grave, with Warriours mixt,

Assemble, and Harangues are heard, but soon

In factious opposition, till at last

Of middle Age one rising, eminent

In wise deport, spake much of Right and Wrong,

Of Justice, of Religion, Truth and Peace,

And Judgement from above: him old and young

Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands,

Had not a Cloud descending snatch'd him thence

Unseen amid the throng: so violence

Proceeded, and Oppression, and Sword-Law

Through all the Plain, and refuge none was found.

ADAM was all in tears, and to his guide

Lamenting turnd full sad; O what are these,

Deaths Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death

Inhumanly to men, and multiply

Ten thousand fould the sin of him who slew

His Brother; for of whom such massacher

Make they but of thir Brethren, men of men?

But who was that Just Man, whom had not Heav'n

Rescu'd, had in his Righteousness bin lost?

To whom thus MICHAEL; These are the product

Of those ill-mated Marriages thou saw'st;

Where good with bad were matcht, who of themselves

Abhor to joyn; and by imprudence mixt,

Produce prodigious Births of bodie or mind.

Such were these Giants, men of high renown;

For in those dayes Might onely shall be admir'd,

And Valour and Heroic Vertu call'd;

To overcome in Battel, and subdue

Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite

Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch

Of human Glorie, and for Glorie done

Of triumph, to be styl'd great Conquerours,

Patrons of Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods,

Destroyers rightlier call'd and Plagues of men.

Thus Fame shall be achiev'd, renown on Earth,

And what most merits fame in silence hid.

But hee the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldst

The onely righteous in a World perverse,

And therefore hated, therefore so beset

With Foes for daring single to be just,

And utter odious Truth, that God would come

To judge them with his Saints: Him the most High

Rapt in a balmie Cloud with winged Steeds

Did, as thou sawst, receave, to walk with God

High in Salvation and the Climes of bliss,

Exempt from Death; to shew thee what reward

Awaits the good, the rest what punishment;

Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold.

He look'd, saw the face of things quite chang'd;

The brazen Throat of Warr had ceast to roar,

All now was turn'd to jollitie and game,

To luxurie and riot, feast and dance,

Marrying or prostituting, as befell,

Rape or Adulterie, where passing faire

Allurd them; thence from Cups to civil Broiles.

At length a Reverend Sire among them came,

And of thir doings great dislike declar'd,

And testifi'd against thir wayes; hee oft

Frequented thir Assemblies, whereso met,

Triumphs or Festivals, and to them preachd

Conversion and Repentance, as to Souls

In prison under Judgements imminent:

But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas'd

Contending, and remov'd his Tents farr off;

Then from the Mountain hewing Timber tall,

Began to build a Vessel of huge bulk,

Measur'd by Cubit, length, breadth, and highth,

Smeard round with Pitch, and in the side a dore

Contriv'd, and of provisions laid in large

For Man and Beast: when loe a wonder strange!

Of everie Beast, and Bird, and Insect small

Came seavens, and pairs, and enterd in, as taught

Thir order; last the Sire, and his three Sons

With thir four Wives, and God made fast the dore.

Meanwhile the Southwind rose, with black wings

Wide hovering, all the Clouds together drove

From under Heav'n; the Hills to their supplie

Vapour, and Exhalation dusk and moist,

Sent up amain; and now the thick'nd Skie

Like a dark Ceeling stood; down rush'd the Rain

Impetuous, and continu'd till the Earth

No more was seen; the floating Vessel swum

Uplifted; and secure with beaked prow

Rode tilting o're the Waves, all dwellings else

Flood overwhelmd, and them with all thir pomp

Deep under water rould; Sea cover'd Sea,

Sea without shoar; and in thir Palaces

Where luxurie late reign'd, Sea-monsters whelp'd

And stabl'd; of Mankind, so numerous late,

All left, in one small bottom swum imbark't.

How didst thou grieve then, ADAM, to behold

The end of all thy Ofspring, end so sad,

Depopulation; thee another Floud,

Of tears and sorrow a Floud thee also drown'd,

And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently reard

By th' Angel, on thy feet thou stoodst at last,

Though comfortless, as when a Father mourns

His Childern, all in view destroyd at once;

And scarce to th' Angel utterdst thus thy plaint.

O Visions ill foreseen! better had I

Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne

My part of evil onely, each dayes lot

Anough to bear; those now, that were dispenst

The burd'n of many Ages, on me light

At once, by my foreknowledge gaining Birth

Abortive, to torment me ere thir being,

With thought that they must be. Let no man seek

Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall

Him or his Childern, evil he may be sure,

Which neither his foreknowing can prevent,

And hee the future evil shall no less

In apprehension then in substance feel

Grievous to bear: but that care now is past,

Man is not whom to warne: those few escap't

Famin and anguish will at last consume

Wandring that watrie Desert: I had hope

When violence was ceas't, and Warr on Earth,

All would have then gon well, peace would have crownd

With length of happy days the race of man;

But I was farr deceav'd; for now I see

Peace to corrupt no less then Warr to waste.

How comes it thus? unfould, Celestial Guide,

And whether here the Race of man will end.

To whom thus MICHAEL. Those whom last thou sawst

In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they

First seen in acts of prowess eminent

And great exploits, but of true vertu void;

Who having spilt much blood, and don much waste

Subduing Nations, and achievd thereby

Fame in the World, high titles, and rich prey,

Shall change thir course to pleasure, ease, and sloth,

Surfet, and lust, till wantonness and pride

Raise out of friendship hostil deeds in Peace.

The conquerd also, and enslav'd by Warr

Shall with thir freedom lost all vertu loose

And feare of God, from whom thir pietie feign'd

In sharp contest of Battel found no aide

Against invaders; therefore coold in zeale

Thenceforth shall practice how to live secure,

Worldlie or dissolute, on what thir Lords

Shall leave them to enjoy; for th' Earth shall bear

More then anough, that temperance may be tri'd:

So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd,

Justice and Temperance, Truth and Faith forgot;

One Man except, the onely Son of light

In a dark Age, against example good,

Against allurement, custom, and a World

Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,

Or violence, hee of thir wicked wayes

Shall them admonish, and before them set

The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,

And full of peace, denouncing wrauth to come

On thir impenitence; and shall returne

Of them derided, but of God observd

The one just Man alive; by his command

Shall build a wondrous Ark, as thou beheldst,

To save himself and houshold from amidst

A World devote to universal rack.

No sooner hee with them of Man and Beast

Select for life shall in the Ark be lodg'd,

And shelterd round, but all the Cataracts

Of Heav'n set open on the Earth shall powre

Raine day and night, all fountaines of the Deep

Broke up, shall heave the Ocean to usurp

Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise

Above the highest Hills: then shall this Mount

Of Paradise by might of Waves be moovd

Out of his place, pushd by the horned floud,

With all his verdure spoil'd, and Trees adrift

Down the great River to the op'ning Gulf,

And there take root an Iland salt and bare,

The haunt of Seales and Orcs, and Sea-mews clang.

To teach thee that God attributes to place

No sanctitie, if none be thither brought

By Men who there frequent, or therein dwell.

And now what further shall ensue, behold.

He lookd, and saw the Ark hull on the floud,

Which now abated, for the Clouds were fled,

Drivn by a keen North-winde, that blowing drie

Wrinkl'd the face of Deluge, as decai'd;

And the cleer Sun on his wide watrie Glass

Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh Wave largely drew,

As after thirst, which made thir flowing shrink

From standing lake to tripping ebbe, that stole

With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt

His Sluces, as the Heav'n his windows shut.

The Ark no more now flotes, but seems on ground

Fast on the top of som high mountain fixt.

And now the tops of Hills as Rocks appeer;

With clamor thence the rapid Currents drive

Towards the retreating Sea thir furious tyde.

Forthwith from out the Arke a Raven flies,

And after him, the surer messenger,

A Dove sent forth once and agen to spie

Green Tree or ground whereon his foot may light;

The second time returning, in his Bill

An Olive leafe he brings, pacific signe:

Anon drie ground appeers, and from his Arke

The ancient Sire descends with all his Train;

Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout,

Grateful to Heav'n, over his head beholds

A dewie Cloud, and in the Cloud a Bow

Conspicuous with three lifted colours gay,

Betok'ning peace from God, and Cov'nant new.

Whereat the heart of ADAM erst so sad

Greatly rejoyc'd, and thus his joy broke forth.

O thou that future things canst represent

As present, Heav'nly instructer, I revive

At this last sight, assur'd that Man shall live

With all the Creatures, and thir seed preserve.

Farr less I now lament for one whole World

Of wicked Sons destroyd, then I rejoyce

For one Man found so perfet and so just,

That God voutsafes to raise another World

From him, and all his anger to forget.

But say, what mean those colourd streaks in Heavn,

Distended as the Brow of God appeas'd,

Or serve they as a flourie verge to binde

The fluid skirts of that same watrie Cloud,

Least it again dissolve and showr the Earth?

To whom th' Archangel. Dextrously thou aim'st;

So willingly doth God remit his Ire,

Though late repenting him of Man deprav'd,

Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw

The whole Earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh

Corrupting each thir way; yet those remoov'd,

Such grace shall one just Man find in his sight,

That he relents, not to blot out mankind,

And makes a Covenant never to destroy

The Earth again by flood, nor let the Sea

Surpass his bounds, nor Rain to drown the World

With Man therein or Beast; but when he brings

Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set

His triple-colour'd Bow, whereon to look

And call to mind his Cov'nant: Day and Night,

Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost

Shall hold thir course, till fire purge all things new,

Both Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.

Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end;

And Man as from a second stock proceed.

Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceave

Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine

Must needs impaire and wearie human sense:

Henceforth what is to com I will relate,

Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.

This second sours of Men, while yet but few,

And while the dread of judgement past remains

Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie,

With some regard to what is just and right

Shall lead thir lives, and multiplie apace,

Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop,

Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock,

Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid,

With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast

Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwell

Long time in peace by Families and Tribes

Under paternal rule; till one shall rise

Of proud ambitious heart, who not content

With fair equalitie, fraternal state,

Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'd

Over his brethren, and quite dispossess

Concord and law of Nature from the Earth;

Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game)

With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse

Subjection to his Empire tyrannous:

A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'd

Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n,

Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie;

And from Rebellion shall derive his name,

Though of Rebellion others he accuse.

Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns

With him or under him to tyrannize,

Marching from EDEN towards the West, shall finde

The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge

Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell;

Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build

A Citie Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n;

And get themselves a name, least far disperst

In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost,

Regardless whether good or evil fame.

But God who oft descends to visit men

Unseen, and through thir habitations walks

To mark thir doings, them beholding soon,

Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower

Obstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision sets

Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase

Quite out thir Native Language, and instead

To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:

Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud

Among the Builders; each to other calls

Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,

As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'n

And looking down, to see the hubbub strange

And hear the din; thus was the building left

Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.

Whereto thus ADAM fatherly displeas'd.

O execrable Son so to aspire

Above his Brethren, to himself affirming

Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n:

He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl

Dominion absolute; that right we hold

By his donation; but Man over men

He made not Lord; such title to himself

Reserving, human left from human free.

But this Usurper his encroachment proud

Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends

Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food

Will he convey up thither to sustain

Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire

Above the Clouds will pine his entrails gross,

And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread?

To whom thus MICHAEL. Justly thou abhorr'st

That Son, who on the quiet state of men

Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue

Rational Libertie; yet know withall,

Since thy original lapse, true Libertie

Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells

Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:

Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd,

Immediately inordinate desires

And upstart Passions catch the Government

From Reason, and to servitude reduce

Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits

Within himself unworthie Powers to reign

Over free Reason, God in Judgement just

Subjects him from without to violent Lords;

Who oft as undeservedly enthrall

His outward freedom: Tyrannie must be,

Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.

Yet somtimes Nations will decline so low

From vertue, which is reason, that no wrong,

But Justice, and some fatal curse annext

Deprives them of thir outward libertie,

Thir inward lost: Witness th' irreverent Son

Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame

Don to his Father, heard this heavie curse,

SERVANT OF SERVANTS, on his vitious Race.

Thus will this latter, as the former World,

Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last

Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw

His presence from among them, and avert

His holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforth

To leave them to thir own polluted wayes;

And one peculiar Nation to select

From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,

A Nation from one faithful man to spring:

Him on this side EUPHRATES yet residing,

Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men

(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,

While yet the Patriark liv'd, who scap'd the Flood,

As to forsake the living God, and fall

To-worship thir own work in Wood and Stone

For Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafes

To call by Vision from his Fathers house,

His kindred and false Gods, into a Land

Which he will shew him, and from him will raise

A mightie Nation, and upon him showre

His benediction so, that in his Seed

All Nations shall be blest; hee straight obeys,

Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes:

I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith

He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soile

UR of CHALDAEA, passing now the Ford

To HARAN, after him a cumbrous Train

Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude;

Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealth

With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.

CANAAN he now attains, I see his Tents

Pitcht about SECHEM, and the neighbouring Plaine

Of MOREB; there by promise he receaves

Gift to his Progenie of all that Land;

From HAMATH Northward to the Desert South

(Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam'd)

From HERMON East to the great Western Sea,

Mount HERMON, yonder Sea, each place behold

In prospect, as I point them; on the shoare

Mount CARMEL; here the double-founted stream

JORDAN, true limit Eastward; but his Sons

Shall dwell to SENIR, that long ridge of Hills.

This ponder, that all Nations of the Earth

Shall in his Seed be blessed; by that Seed

Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise

The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon

Plainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest,

Whom FAITHFUL ABRAHAM due time shall call,

A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves,

Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;

The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departs

From CANAAN, to a Land hereafter call'd

EGYPT, divided by the River NILE;

See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthes

Into the Sea: to sojourn in that Land

He comes invited by a yonger Son

In time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deeds

Raise him to be the second in that Realme

Of PHARAO: there he dies, and leaves his Race

Growing into a Nation, and now grown

Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks

To stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guests

Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves

Inhospitably, and kills thir infant Males:

Till by two brethren (those two brethren call

MOSES and AARON) sent from God to claime

His people from enthralment, they return

With glory and spoile back to thir promis'd Land.

But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies

To know thir God, or message to regard,

Must be compelld by Signes and Judgements dire;

To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd,

Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fill

With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land;

His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die,

Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss,

And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile,

Haile mixt with fire must rend th' EGYPTIAN Skie

And wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rouls;

What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine,

A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming down

Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green:

Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,

Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes;

Last with one midnight stroke all the first-born

Of EGYPT must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds

This River-dragon tam'd at length submits

To let his sojourners depart, and oft

Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as Ice

More hard'nd after thaw, till in his rage

Pursuing whom he late dismissd, the Sea

Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass

As on drie land between two christal walls,

Aw'd by the rod of MOSES so to stand

Divided, till his rescu'd gain thir shoar:

Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend,

Though present in his Angel, who shall goe

Before them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire,

To guide them in thir journey, and remove

Behinde them, while th' obdurat King pursues:

All night he will pursue, but his approach

Darkness defends between till morning Watch;

Then through the Firey Pillar and the Cloud

God looking forth will trouble all his Host

And craze thir Chariot wheels: when by command

MOSES once more his potent Rod extends

Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;

On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return,

And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race elect

Safe towards CANAAN from the shoar advance

Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,

Least entring on the CANAANITE allarmd

Warr terrifie them inexpert, and feare

Return them back to EGYPT, choosing rather

Inglorious life with servitude; for life

To noble and ignoble is more sweet

Untraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on.

This also shall they gain by thir delay

In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found

Thir government, and thir great Senate choose

Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:

God from the Mount of SINAI, whose gray top

Shall tremble, he descending, will himself

In Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets sound

Ordaine them Lawes; part such as appertaine

To civil Justice, part religious Rites

Of sacrifice, informing them, by types

And shadowes, of that destind Seed to bruise

The Serpent, by what meanes he shall achieve

Mankinds deliverance. But the voice of God

To mortal eare is dreadful; they beseech

That MOSES might report to them his will,

And terror cease; he grants them thir desire,

Instructed that to God is no access

Without Mediator, whose high Office now

MOSES in figure beares, to introduce

One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,

And all the Prophets in thir Age the times

Of great MESSIAH shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites

Establisht, such delight hath God in Men

Obedient to his will, that he voutsafes

Among them to set up his Tabernacle,

The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:

By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram'd

Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein

An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,

The Records of his Cov'nant, over these

A Mercie-seat of Gold between the wings

Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn

Seaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing

The Heav'nly fires; over the Tent a Cloud

Shall rest by Day, a fierie gleame by Night,

Save when they journie, and at length they come,

Conducted by his Angel to the Land

Promisd to ABRAHAM and his Seed: the rest

Were long to tell, how many Battels fought,

How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won,

Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav'n stand still

A day entire, and Nights due course adjourne,

Mans voice commanding, Sun in GIBEON stand,

And thou Moon in the vale of AIALON,

Till ISRAEL overcome; so call the third

From ABRAHAM, Son of ISAAC, and from him

His whole descent, who thus shall CANAAN win.

Here ADAM interpos'd. O sent from Heav'n,

Enlightner of my darkness, gracious things

Thou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerne

Just ABRAHAM and his Seed: now first I finde

Mine eyes true op'ning, and my heart much eas'd,

Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becom

Of mee and all Mankind; but now I see

His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,

Favour unmerited by me, who sought

Forbidd'n knowledge by forbidd'n means.

This yet I apprehend not, why to those

Among whom God will deigne to dwell on Earth

So many and so various Laws are giv'n;

So many Laws argue so many sins

Among them; how can God with such reside?

To whom thus MICHAEL. Doubt not but that sin

Will reign among them, as of thee begot;

And therefore was Law given them to evince

Thir natural pravitie, by stirring up

Sin against Law to fight; that when they see

Law can discover sin, but not remove,

Save by those shadowie expiations weak,

The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may conclude

Some bloud more precious must be paid for Man,

Just for unjust, that in such righteousness

To them by Faith imputed, they may finde

Justification towards God, and peace

Of Conscience, which the Law by Ceremonies

Cannot appease, nor Man the moral part

Perform, and not performing cannot live.

So Law appears imperfet, and but giv'n

With purpose to resign them in full time

Up to a better Cov'nant, disciplin'd

From shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,

From imposition of strict Laws, to free

Acceptance of large Grace, from servil fear

To filial, works of Law to works of Faith.

And therefore shall not MOSES, though of God

Highly belov'd, being but the Minister

Of Law, his people into CANAAN lead;

But JOSHUA whom the Gentiles JESUS call,

His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell

The adversarie Serpent, and bring back

Through the worlds wilderness long wanderd man

Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.

Meanwhile they in thir earthly CANAAN plac't

Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins

National interrupt thir public peace,

Provoking God to raise them enemies:

From whom as oft he saves them penitent

By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom

The second, both for pietie renownd

And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive

Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne

For ever shall endure; the like shall sing

All Prophecie, That of the Royal Stock

Of DAVID (so I name this King) shall rise

A Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold,

Foretold to ABRAHAM, as in whom shall trust

All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings

The last, for of his Reign shall be no end.

But first a long succession must ensue,

And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam'd,

The clouded Ark of God till then in Tents

Wandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine.

Such follow him, as shall be registerd

Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle,

Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults

Heapt to the popular summe, will so incense

God, as to leave them, and expose thir Land,

Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy Ark

With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey

To that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw'st

Left in confusion, BABYLON thence call'd.

There in captivitie he lets them dwell

The space of seventie years, then brings them back,

Remembring mercie, and his Cov'nant sworn

To DAVID, stablisht as the dayes of Heav'n.

Returnd from BABYLON by leave of Kings

Thir Lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God

They first re-edifie, and for a while

In mean estate live moderate, till grown

In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;

But first among the Priests dissension springs,

Men who attend the Altar, and should most

Endeavour Peace: thir strife pollution brings

Upon the Temple it self: at last they seise

The Scepter, and regard not DAVIDS Sons,

Then loose it to a stranger, that the true

Anointed King MESSIAH might be born

Barr'd of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr

Unseen before in Heav'n proclaims him com,

And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire

His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;

His place of birth a solemn Angel tells

To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night;

They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire

Of squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung.

A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire

The Power of the most High; he shall ascend

The Throne hereditarie, and bound his Reign

With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav'ns.

He ceas'd, discerning ADAM with such joy

Surcharg'd, as had like grief bin dew'd in tears,

Without the vent of words, which these he breathd.

O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher

Of utmost hope! now clear I understand

What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,

Why our great expectation should be call'd

The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,

High in the love of Heav'n, yet from my Loynes

Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son

Of God most High; So God with man unites.

Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise

Expect with mortal paine: say where and when

Thir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel.

To whom thus MICHAEL. Dream not of thir fight,

As of a Duel, or the local wounds

Of head or heel: not therefore joynes the Son

Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil

Thy enemie; nor so is overcome

SATAN, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise,

Disabl'd not to give thee thy deaths wound:

Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,

Not by destroying SATAN, but his works

In thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be,

But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,

Obedience to the Law of God, impos'd

On penaltie of death, and suffering death,

The penaltie to thy transgression due,

And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:

So onely can high Justice rest appaid.

The Law of God exact he shall fulfill

Both by obedience and by love, though love

Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment

He shall endure by coming in the Flesh

To a reproachful life and cursed death,

Proclaiming Life to all who shall believe

In his redemption, and that his obedience

Imputed becomes theirs by Faith, his merits

To save them, not thir own, though legal works.

For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd,

Seis'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemnd

A shameful and accurst, naild to the Cross

By his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life;

But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies,

The Law that is against thee, and the sins

Of all mankinde, with him there crucifi'd,

Never to hurt them more who rightly trust

In this his satisfaction; so he dies,

But soon revives, Death over him no power

Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light

Returne, the Starres of Morn shall see him rise

Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,

Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems,

His death for Man, as many as offerd Life

Neglect not, and the benefit imbrace

By Faith not void of works: this God-like act

Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy'd,

In sin for ever lost from life; this act

Shall bruise the head of SATAN, crush his strength

Defeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes,

And fix farr deeper in his head thir stings

Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,

Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,

A gentle wafting to immortal Life.

Nor after resurrection shall he stay

Longer on Earth then certaine times to appeer

To his Disciples, Men who in his Life

Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge

To teach all nations what of him they learn'd

And his Salvation, them who shall beleeve

Baptizing in the profluent streame, the signe

Of washing them from guilt of sin to Life

Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,

For death, like that which the redeemer dy'd.

All Nations they shall teach; for from that day

Not onely to the Sons of ABRAHAMS Loines

Salvation shall be Preacht, but to the Sons

Of ABRAHAMS Faith wherever through the world;

So in his seed all Nations shall be blest.

Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascend

With victory, triumphing through the aire

Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise

The Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in Chaines

Through all his realme, there confounded leave;

Then enter into glory, and resume

His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high

Above all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come,

When this worlds dissolution shall be ripe,

With glory and power to judge both quick dead,

To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward

His faithful, and receave them into bliss,

Whether in Heav'n or Earth, for then the Earth

Shall all be Paradise, far happier place

Then this of EDEN, and far happier daies.

So spake th' Archangel MICHAEL, then paus'd,

As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire

Replete with joy and wonder thus repli'd.

O goodness infinite, goodness immense!

That all this good of evil shall produce,

And evil turn to good; more wonderful

Then that which by creation first brought forth

Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,

Whether I should repent me now of sin

By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce

Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,

To God more glory, more good will to Men

From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound.

But say, if our deliverer up to Heav'n

Must reascend, what will betide the few

His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd,

The enemies of truth; who then shall guide

His people, who defend? will they not deale

Wors with his followers then with him they dealt?

Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'n

Hee to his own a Comforter will send,

The promise of the Father, who shall dwell

His Spirit within them, and the Law of Faith

Working through love, upon thir hearts shall write,

To guide them in all truth, and also arme

With spiritual Armour, able to resist

SATANS assaults, and quench his fierie darts

What Man can do against them, not affraid,

Though to the death, against such cruelties

With inward consolations recompenc't,

And oft supported so as shall amaze

Thir proudest persecuters: for the Spirit

Powrd first on his Apostles, whom he sends

To evangelize the Nations, then on all

Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue

To speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles,

As did thir Lord before them. Thus they win

Great numbers of each Nation to receave

With joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at length

Thir Ministry perform'd, and race well run,

Thir doctrine and thir story written left,

They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne,

Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves,

Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav'n

To thir own vile advantages shall turne

Of lucre and ambition, and the truth

With superstitions and traditions taint,

Left onely in those written Records pure,

Though not but by the Spirit understood.

Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,

Places and titles, and with these to joine

Secular power, though feigning still to act

By spiritual, to themselves appropriating

The Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv'n

To all Beleevers; and from that pretense,

Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall force

On every conscience; Laws which none shall finde

Left them inrould, or what the Spirit within

Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then

But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and binde

His consort Libertie; what, but unbuild

His living Temples, built by Faith to stand,

Thir own Faith not anothers: for on Earth

Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard

Infallible? yet many will presume:

Whence heavie persecution shall arise

On all who in the worship persevere

Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part,

Will deem in outward Rites and specious formes

Religion satisfi'd; Truth shall retire

Bestuck with slandrous darts, and works of Faith

Rarely be found: so shall the World goe on,

To good malignant, to bad men benigne,

Under her own waight groaning, till the day

Appeer of respiration to the just,

And vengeance to the wicked, at return

Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid,

The Womans seed, obscurely then foretold,

Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,

Last in the Clouds from Heav'n to be reveald

In glory of the Father, to dissolve

SATAN with his perverted World, then raise

From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,

New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date

Founded in righteousness and peace and love,

To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.

He ended; and thus ADAM last reply'd.

How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,

Measur'd this transient World, the Race of time,

Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss,

Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.

Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,

Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill

Of knowledge, what this vessel can containe;

Beyond which was my folly to aspire.

Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best,

And love with feare the onely God, to walk

As in his presence, ever to observe

His providence, and on him sole depend,

Merciful over all his works, with good

Still overcoming evil, and by small

Accomplishing great things, by things deemd weak

Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise

By simply meek; that suffering for Truths sake

Is fortitude to highest victorie,

And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;

Taught this by his example whom I now

Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.

To whom thus also th' Angel last repli'd:

This having learnt, thou hast attaind the summe

Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs

Thou knewst by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,

All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,

Or works of God in Heav'n, Air, Earth, or Sea,

And all the riches of this World enjoydst,

And all the rule, one Empire; onely add

Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,

Add Vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,

By name to come call'd Charitie, the soul

Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath

To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess

A Paradise within thee, happier farr.

Let us descend now therefore from this top

Of Speculation; for the hour precise

Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards,

By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expect

Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword,

In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;

We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;

Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm'd

Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd

To meek submission: thou at season fit

Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,

Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know,

The great deliverance by her Seed to come

(For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind.

That ye may live, which will be many dayes,

Both in one Faith unanimous though sad,

With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'd

With meditation on the happie end.

He ended, and they both descend the Hill;

Descended, ADAM to the Bowre where EVE

Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak't;

And thus with words not sad she him receav'd.

Whence thou returnst, whither wentst, I know;

For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise,

Which he hath sent propitious, some great good

Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress

VVearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;

In mee is no delay; with thee to goe,

Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,

Is to go hence unwilling; thou to mee

Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou,

VVho for my wilful crime art banisht hence.

This further consolation yet secure

I carry hence; though all by mee is lost,

Such favour I unworthie am voutsaft,

By mee the Promis'd Seed shall all restore.

So spake our Mother EVE, and ADAM heard

VVell pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too nigh

Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill

To thir fixt Station, all in bright array

The Cherubim descended; on the ground

Gliding meteorous, as Ev'ning Mist

Ris'n from a River o're the marish glides,

And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heel

Homeward returning. High in Front advanc't,

The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz'd

Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,

And vapour as the LIBYAN Air adust,

Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat

In either hand the hastning Angel caught

Our lingring Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate

Let them direct, and down the Cliff as fast

To the subjected Plaine; then disappeer'd.

They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld

Of Paradise, so late thir happie seat,

Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate

With dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes:

Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon;

The World was all before them, where to choose

Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:

They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,

Through EDEN took thir solitarie way.


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