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To God more glory, more good-will to men In glory of the Father, to dissolve
From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd, Must reascend, what will betide the few
New Heavens, new Earth, ages of endless date, His faithful, left among the unfaithful herd, Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love; The enemies of truth? Who then shall guido To bring forth fruits, joy, and eternal bliss.” His people, who defend ! Will they not deal
He ended ; and thus Adam last replied. Worse with his followers than with him they dealt ?" How soon hath thy prediction, seer blest, "Be sure they will,” said the angel ; " but from Measur'd this transient world, the race of time, Heaven
Till time stand fix'd! Beyond is all abyss, He to his own a Comforter will send,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach. The promise of the Father, who shall dwell Greatly instructed I shall hence depart; His Spirit within them; and the law of faith, Greatly in peace of thought; and have my fill Working through love, upon their hearts shall write, of knowledge what this vessel can contain; To guide them in all truth: and also arm Beyond which was my folly to aspire. With spiritual armor, able to resist
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best, Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts ; And love with fear the only God; to walk What man can do against them, not afraid, As in his presence; ever to observe Though to the death; against such cruelties His providence; and on him sole depend, With inward consolations recompens'd,
Merciful over all his works, with good And oft supported so as shall amaze
Sull overcoming evil, and by small Their proudest persecutors; for the Spirit, Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak Pour'd first on his A postles, whom he sends Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise To evangelize the nations, then on all
By simply meek: that suffering for truth's sake Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue Is fortitude to highest victory, To speak all tongues, and do all miracles,
And, to the faithful, death, the gate of life ; As did their Lord before them. Thus they win Taught this by his example, whom I now Great numbers of each nation to receive
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest." With joy the tidings brought from Heaven: at length To whom thus also the angel last replied. Their ministry perform'd, and race well run, This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum Their doctrine and their story written left, Of wisdom ; hope no higher, though all the stars They die ; but in their room, as they forewarn, Thou knew'st by name, and all the ethereal powers Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves, All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works, Who all the sacred mysteries of Heaven
Or works of God in Heaven, air, earth, or sea, To their own vile advantages shall turn
And all the riches of this world enjoy'dst, of lucre and ambition ; and the truth
And all the rule, one empire ; only add With superstitions and traditions taint,
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable ; add faith, Left only in those written records pure,
Add virtue, patience, temperance; add love, Though not but by the Spirit understood.
By name to come call’d charity, the soul
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
Let us descend now therefore from this top
Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd His living temples, built by faith to stand,
To meek submission : thou, at season fit, Their own faith, not another's? for, on Earth, Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard ; Who against faith and conscience can be heard Chiefly, what may concern her faith to know, Infallible ? yet many will presume:
The great deliverance by her seed to come Whence heavy persecution shall arise
(For by the woman's seed) on all mankind : On all, who in the worship persevere
That ye may live, which will be many days,
With meditation on the happy end."
Lay sleeping, ran before: but found her wak'd; Under her own weight groaning; till the day And thus with words not sad she him receiv'd. Appear of respiration to the just,
Whence thou returu'st, and whither went'st, 1 And vengeance to the wicked, at return
know; Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid,
For God is also in sleep; and dreams advise, The woman's Seed ; obscurely then foretold, Which he hath sent propitious, some great good Now amplier known thy Savior and thy Lord; Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress Last, in the clouds, from Heaven to be reveal'd Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
In me is no delay; with thee to go,
kind. Pursuing his meditations he narrates, in Is to stay here ; without thee here to stay,
a soliloquy, what divine and philanthropic imIs to go hence unwilling; thou to me
pulses he had felt from his early youth, and how Art all things under Heaven, all places thou,
his mother Mary, on perceiving these dispositions Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.
in him, had acquainted him with the circumstances This further consolation yet secure
of his birth, and informed him that he was no I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
less a person than the Son of God; to which he Such favor I unworthy am vouchsafd,
adds what his own inquiries and refleetions had By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore."
supplied in confirmation of this great truth, and So spake our mother Eve; and Adam heard particularly dwells on the recent attestation of it Well pleas’d, but answer'd not: for now, too nigh at the river Jordan. Our Lord passes forty days, The archangel stood; and from the other hill
fasting, in the wilderness, where the wild beasts To their fix'd station, all in bright array
become mild and harmless in his presence. Satan The cherubim descended; on the ground
now appears under the form of an old peasant; Gliding meteorous, as evening mist
and enters into discourse with our Lord, wonderRis’n from a river o'er the marish glides,
ing what could have brought him alone into 80 And gathers ground fast at the laborer's heel, dangerous a place, and at the same time professing Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd to recognize him for the person lately acknowThe brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd, ledged by John, at the river Jordan, to be the Son Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat,
of God. Jesus briefly replies. Satan rejoins And vapor as the Libyan air adust,
with a description of the difficulty of supporting Began to parch that temperate clime; whereat life in the wilderness ; and entreats Jesus, if he In either hand the hastening angel caught
be really the Son of God, to manifest his divine Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate
power, by changing some of the stones into bread. Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast
Jesus reproves him, and at the same time tells To the subjected plain; then disappear'd.
him that he knows who he is. Satan instantly They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld avows himself, and offers an artful apology for of paradise, so late their happy seat,
himself and his conduct. Our blessed Lord seWav'd over by that flaming brand ; the gate
verely reprimands him, and refutes every part of With dreadful faces throng'd, and fiery arms : his justification. Satan, with much semblance Some natural tears they dropt, but wip'd them soon; of humility, still endeavors to justify himself; The world was all before them, where to choose and, professing his admiration of Jesus and his Their place of rest, and Providence their guide : regard for virtue, requests to be permitted at a They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, future time to hear more of his conversation ; but Through Eden took their solitary way.
is answered, that this must be as he shall find permission from above Satan then disappears, and the book closes with a short description of night coming on in the desert.
I, who erewhile the happy garden sung
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
By one man's firm obedience fully tried
Through all templation, and the tempter foil'd
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd,
And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness. The subject proposed. Invocation of the Holy Thou Spirit, who ledd'st this glorious eremite
Spirit.—The poem opens with John baptizing at Into the desert, his victorious field, the river Jordan. Jesus coming there is baptized; Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence and is attested, by the descent of the Holy Ghost, By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire, and by a voice from Heaven, to be the Son of As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute, God. Satan, who is present, upon this immedi- And bear through height or depth of Nature's ately flies up into the regions of the air: where,
bounds, summoning his infernal council, he acquaints With prosperous wing full summ’d, to tell of deeds them with his apprehensions that Jesus is that Above heroic, though in secret done, seed of the Woman, destined to destroy all their And unrecorded left through many an age; power, and points out to them the immediate Worthy to have not remain'd so long unsung. necessity of bringing the matter to proof, and of Now had the great proclaimer, with a voice attempting, by snares and fraud, to counteract More awful than the sound of trumpet, cried and defeat the person, from whom they have so Repentance, and Heaven's kingdom nigh at hand much to dread. This office he offers himself to To all baptiz'd: to his great baptism flock'd undertake ; and, his offer being accepted, sets out with awe the regions round, and with them came on his enterprise. In the mean time God, in the From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd assembly of holy angels, declares that he has given To the flood Jordan; came, as then obscure, up his Son to be tempted by Satan; but foretells Unmark'd, anknown; but him the Baptist soon that the tempter shall be completely defeated by Descried, divinely warn'd, and witness bore him :-upon which the angels sing a hymn of As. to his worthier, and would have resign'd triumph. Jesus is led up by the Spirit into the To him his heavenly office; nor was long wilderness, while he is meditating on the com. His witness unconfirm'd: on him baptiz'd mencement of his great office of Savior of man- Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a dove
The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice I, when no other durst, sole undertook
Successfully: a calmer voyage now
He ended, and his words impression left With wonder; then, with envy fraught and rage, Of much amazement to the infernal crew, Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air Distracted, and surpris’d with deep dismay To council summons all his mighty peers,
At these sad tidings; but no time was then Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd, For long indulgence to their fears or grief; A gloomy consistory; and then amidst,
Unanimous they all commit the care With looks aghast and sad, he thus bespake. And management of this main enterprise
“O ancient powers of air, and this wide world, To him, their great dictator, whose attempt (For much more willingly I mention air,
At first against mankind so well had thrivid This our old conquest, than remember Hell, In Adam's overthrow, and led their march Our hated habitation,) well ye know
From Hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light, How many ages, as the years of men,
Regents, and potentates, and kings, yea gods,
His easy steps, girded with shaky wiles,
Temptation and all guile on him to try; Upon my head. Long the decrees of Heaven So to subvert whom he suspected rais'd Delay, for longest time to him is short;
To end his reign on Earth, so long enjoy'd : And now, too soon for us, the circling hours But, contrary, unweeting he fulfill'd This dreaded time have compass’d, wherein we The purpos'd council, preordain'd and fix'd, Must bide the stroke of that long-threaten'd wound, Of the Most High ; who, in full frequence bright (At least if so we can, and by the head
Of angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake. Broken be not intended all our power
“Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold, To be infring'd, our freedom and our being Thou and all angels conversant on Earth In this fair empire won of Earth and air.) With man or men's affairs, how I begin For this ill news I bring, the woman's seed To verify that solemn message, late Destin'd to this, is late of woman born.
On which I sent thee to the virgin pure His birth to our just fear gave no small cause : In Galilee, that she should bear a Son, But his growth now to youth's full flower, displaying Great in renown, and call'd the Son of God; All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve Then told'st her, doubting how these things could be Things highest, greatest multiplies my fear. To her a virgin, that on her should come Before him a great prophet, to proclaim
The Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest His coming, is sent harbinger, who all
O'ershadow her. This man, born and now up Invites, and in the consecrated stream
grown, Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them, so
To show him worthy of his birth divine Purified, to receive him pure, or rather
And high prediction, henceforth I expose To do him honor as their king: all come, To Satan ; let him tempt, and now assay And he himself among them was baptiz'd ; His utmost subtlety, because he boasts Not thence to be more pure, but to receive And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng The testimony of Heaven, that who he is Of his apostacy: he might have learnt Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I saw Less overweening, since he fail'd in Job, The prophet do him reverence; on him, rising Whose constant perseverance overcame Out of the water, Heaven above the clouds Whate'er his cruel malice could invent. Unfold her crystal doors: thence on his head He now shall know I can produce a man, A perfect dove descend, (whate'er it meant,) Of female secd, far abler to resist And out of Heaven the sovran voice I heard, All bis solicitations, and at length • This is my Son belov’d, in him am pleas'd.' All his vast force, and drive him back to Hell ; His mother then is mortal, but his Sire
Winning, by conquest, what the first man lost, He who obtains the monarchy of Heaven: By fallacy surpris’d. But first I mean And what will he not do to advance his Son? To exercise him in the wilderness; His first-begot we know, and sore have felt, There he shall first lay down the rudiments When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep: Of his great warfare, ere I send him forth Who this is we must learn, for Man he seems To conquer Sin and Death, the two grand foes, In all his lineaments, though in his face
By humiliation and strong sufferance : The glimpses of his Father's glory shine.
His weakness shall o'ercome Satanic strength Ye see our danger on the utmost edge
And all the world, and mass of sinful flesh, Of hazard, which admits no long debate,
That all the angels and ethereal powers, But must with something sudden be oppos’d, They now, and men hereafter, may discern, (Not force, but well-couch'd fraud, well-woven From what consummate virtue I have chose snares,)
This perfect man, by merit call'd my Son, Ere in the head of nations he appear,
To earn salvation for the sons of men." Their king, their leader, and supreme on Earth. So spake the Eternal Father, and all Heaven
Admiring stood a space, then into hymns
Conceiv'd in me a virgin ; he foretold, Burst forth, and in celestial measures mov'd, Thou shouldst be great, and sit on David's throne, Circling the throne and singing, while the hand And of thy kingdom there should be no end. Sung with the voice, and this the argument. At thy nativity, a glorious quire
“ Victory and triumph to the Son of God, of angels, in the fields of Bethlehem, sung Now entering his great duel, not of arms,
To shepherds, watching at their folds by night, But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles !
And told them the Messiah now was born, The Father knows the Son; therefore secure Where they might see him, and to thee they came, Ventures his filial virtue, though untried,
Directed to the manger where thou lay'st, Against whate'er may tempi, whate'er seduce, For in the inn was left no better room : Allure, or terrify, or undermine.
A star, not seen before, in Heaven appearing, Be frustrate, all ye stratagems of Hell,
Guided the wise men thither from the east, And, devilish machinations, come to nought !" To honor thee with incense, myrrh and gold ;
So they in Heaven their odes and vigils tun'd: By whose bright course led on they found the place, Meanwhile the Son of God, who yet some days Affirming it thy star, new-graven in Heaven, Lodg'd in Bethabara, where John baptiz'd, By which they knew the king of Israel born. Musing, and much revolving in his breast, Just Simeon and prophetic Anna, warn'd How best the mighty work he might begin By vision, found thee in the temple, and spake, Of Savior to mankind, and which way first Before the altar and the vested priest, Publish his godlike office now mature,
Like things of thee to all that present stood.'One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading This having heard, straight I again revolvid And his deep thoughts, the better to converse The law and prophets, searching what was writ With solitude, till, far from track of men,
Concerning the Messiah, to our scribes Thought following thought, and step by step led on, Known partly, and soon found, of whom they spake He enter'd now the bordering desert wild,
I am ; this chiefly, that my way must lie And, with dark shades and rocks environ'd round, Through many a hard assay, even to the death, His holy meditations thus pursued.
Ere I the promis'd kingdom can attain, “O, what a multitude of thoughts at once Or work redemption for mankind, whose sins' Awakened in me swarm, while I consider
Full weight must be transferr'd upon my
head. What from within I feel myself, and hear
Yet, neither thus dishearten'd or dismay'd,
Not knew by sight,) now come who was to come
Refus'd on me his baptism to confer,
As much his greater, and was hardly won:
Heaven open'd her eternal doors, from whence The teachers of our law, and to propose
The Spirit descended on me like a dove; What might improve my knowledge or their own; And last, the sum of all, my Father's voice, And was admir'd by all : yet this not all
Audibly heard from Heaven, pronounc'd me his,
Now full, that I no more should live obscure,
The authority which I deriv'd from Heaven.
And now by some strong motion I am led Yet held it more humane, more heavenly first Into this wilderness, to what intent By winning words to conquer willing hearts, I learn not yet; perhaps I need not know, And make persuasion do the work of fear; For what concerns my knowledge God reveals." At least to try, and teach the erring soul,
So spake our Morning-star, then in his rise, Not wilfully misdoing, but unaware
And, looking round, on every side beheld Misled; the stubborn only to subdue.
A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades; These growing thoughts my mother soon perceiving, The way he came not having mark'd, return By words at times cast forth, inly rejoic'd,
Was difficult, by human steps untrod; And said to me apart, · High are thy thoughts, And he still on was led, but with such thoughts O son, but nourish them, and let them soar
Accompanied of things past and to come
Sometimes, anon on shady vale, each night
Nor tasted human food, nor hunger felt
Till those days ended; hunger'd then at last That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring,
To his destruction, as I had in charge ;
For what he bids I do. Though I have lost But now an aged man in rural weeds,
Much lustre of my native brightness, lost
Thy wisdom, and behold thy godlike deeds ?
To all mankind: why should I ? they to me
I gaind what I have gain'd, and with them dwell
If not disposer ; lend them oft my aid,
Envy they say excites me, thus to gain
Companions of my misery and woe.
Nor lightens aught each man's peculiar load.
“By miracle he may,” replied the swain ; This wounds me most, (what can it less ?) that Man “What other way I see not; for we here Man fall’n shall be restor’d, I never more." Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd To whom our Savior sternly thus replied. More than the camel, and to drink go far,
“ Deservedly thou griev'st, composid of lies Men to much misery and hardship born:
From the beginning, and in lies wilt end; But, if thou be the Son of God, command
Who boast'st release from Hell, and leave to come That out of these hard stones be made thee bread, Into the Heaven of Heavens : thou com’st indeed So shalt thou save thyself and us relieve
As a poor miserable captive thrall
He ended, and the Son of God replied. Among the prime in splendor, now depos’d, “ Think'st thou such force in bread? Is it not Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shunnid, written,
A spectacle of ruin, or of scorn, (For I discern thee other than thou seem'st) To all the host of Heaven : the happy place * Man lives not by bread only, but each word Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy, Proceeding from the mouth of God, who fed Rather inflames thy torment: representing Our fathers here with manna ? in the mount Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable, Moses was forty days, nor eat nor drank ;
So never more in Hell than when in Heaven. And forty days Elijah, without food,
But thou art serviceable to Heaven's King. Wander'd this barren waste : the same I now: Wilt thou impute to obedience what thy fear Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust, Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites ? Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art ?" What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem Whom thus answer'd the arch-fiend, now undis- of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him guis'd.
With all inflictions ? but his patience won. · "Tis true I am that Spirit unfortunate,
The other service was tlıy chosen task, Who, leagu'd with millions more in rash revolt, To be a liar in four hundred mouths; Kept not my happy station, but was driven For lying is thy sustenance, thy food. With them from bliss to the bottomless deep, Yet thou pretend'st to truth ; all oracles Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd
By thee are given, and what confess'd more true By rigor unconniving, but that oft,
Among the nations ? that hath been thy craft, Leaving my dolorous prison, I enjoy
By mixing somewhat true to vent more lies. Large liberty to round this globe of earth,
But what have been thy answers, what but dark, Or range in the air ; nor from the Heaven of Ambiguous, and with double sense deluding, Heavens
Which they who ask'd have seldom understood, Hath he excluded my resort sometimes.
And not well understood as good not known?
Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct,
And run not sooner to his fatal snare ? To draw the proud King Ahab into fraud For God hath justly given the nations up