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Man's transgression known, the guardian angels forsake Paradise,
and return up to Heaven to approve their vigilance, and are ap proved, God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by ihem 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 che 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 com. mands his angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Adam more and more perceiving his tallen 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 approves 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 exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended, Deity, by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act
With pity, violated not their bliss.
Assembled angels, and ye pow'rs return'd
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 B!az'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'sl, 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 nine Are to behold the judgment, but the jug'd, Those two; the third best absent is condemnn'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, froio whence Eden and all the coast in prospect lay. Down he descended straight; the speed of gods l'ime 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 born To sentence man: the voice of God they heard Now walking in the garden, by soft winds Brought to their ears, while day derlin'd; they heard And from his presence hid themselves among The thickest trees, both man and wife, till God