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Man's transgression known, the guardian angels forsake Paraa sehing
and return up to Heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved, God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors, who descends and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes
them both, and reascends. Sin and Death sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by won
drous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by man there committed, resolves to sit no longer con. fined in Hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of man : to make the way easier from Hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad high-way or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made; then preparing for Earth, they meet him proud of his success, returning to Hell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against man : instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise; then deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death; God foretels the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things: but for the present commands his angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Adam more and more perceiving his fallen condition heavily bewails, rejects the condolement of Eve: she persists, and at length appeases him : then to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he ap proves not, but conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the serpent, and exhurts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan done in Paradise, and how
He in the serpent, had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in heav'n; for what can 'scape the eye
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? who in all things wise and just,
Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind
Of man, with strength entire and free will arm’d,
Complete to have discover'd and repulsid
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remem-
The high injunction not to taste that fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying, .
Incurr’d (what could they less ?) the penalty,
And manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.
Up into heav'n from Paradise in haste
The angelic gúards ascended, mute and sad...
For man, for of his state by this they knew,
Much wond'ring how the subtle fiend had stol'n
Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome news
From earth, arriv'd at heav'n gate, displeas'd
All were who heard : dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet mix'd
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arriv’d, in multitudes
Th' etherial people ran, to hear and know
How all befel; they towards the throne supreme,
Accountable made haste to make appear
With righteous plea their utmost vigilance,
And easily approv'd; when the most high
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud :
Amidst, in thunder utter'd thus his voice:
Assembled angels, and ye pow'rs return'd
From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd,
Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent,
Foretold so lately what would come to pass.
When first this tempter cross'd the gulf from hell.
I told ye then he should prevail and speed
On his bad errand, man should be seduc'd
And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker; no decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
His free will, to her own inclining left
In even scale. But fallen he is, and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On his transgression, death denounc'd that day ?
Which he presumes already vain and void,
Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd,
By some immediate stroke ; but soon shall find
Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end
Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd.
But whom send I to judge them ? whom but thee
Vicegerent Son? to thee I have transferr'd
All judgment whether in heav'n, or earth, or hell.
Easy it may be seen that I intend
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee
Man's friend, his mediator, his design'd
Both ransom and redeemer voluntary,
And destin'd man himself to judge man fall’n.
So spake the Father, and unfolding bright
Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son
Blaz'd forth unclouded deity; he full
Resplendent all his Father manifest
Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd mild :
Father eternal, thine is to decree,
Mine both in heav'n and earth, to do thy will
Supreme, that thou in me thy Son belov'd
Mayst ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge
On earth these thy transgressors, but thou know'st,
Whoever judg'd, the worst on me must light,
When time shall be, for so I undertook
Before thee; and not repenting, this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
On me deriv'd, yet I shall temper so
Justice with mercy, as may illustrate most
Them fully satisfy'd, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none
Are to behold the judgment, but the jug'd,
Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law :
Conviction to the serpent none belongs.
Thus saying from his radiant seat he rose Of high collateral glory: him thrones and powers, Princedoms, and dominations ministrant Accompanied to heav'n gate, from whence Eden and all the coast in prospect lay. Down he descended straight; the speed of gods Time counts not, tho' with swiftest minutes wing'd. Now was the sun in western cadence low From noon, and gentle airs due at their hour To fan the earth now wak’d, and usher in The evening cool, when he from wrath more cool. Came the mild judge and intercessor both To sentence man: the voice of God they heard Now walking in the garden, by soft winds Brought to their ears, while day declin'd; they heard And from his presence hid themselves among The thickest trees, both man and wife, till God