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With glory and power to judge both quick and 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.
Than this of Eden, and far happier days.
So fpake th'archangel Michael, then pausid,
As at the world's great period ; and our fire
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 me done and occasion d, or rejoice . Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring, 1. 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 tall guide His people, who defend ? will they not deal · Worse with his followers then with him they dealt ?
Be sure they will, said th’angel ; but from heav'n He to his own a comforter will send,
The promise of the Father, who Thatl dwell
His spirit within them, and the law of faith
Working through love, upon their hearts shall write,
To guide them in all truth, and also arm
With spiritual armour, able to resist
Satan's affaults, and quench his ficrie darts,
What man can do againft them, not afraid,
Though to the death, againft such cruelties
With inward confolations recompenc't,
And oft supported so as shall amaze
Their proudeft perfecuters : for the fpirit
Pour'd firft on his apostles, whom he fends
To evangelize the nations, then on all
Baptiz’d, Mall them with wondrous gifts endue
To speak all tongues, and do all miracles,
As did their lord before them. Thus they win
Great numbers of each nation to receive
With joy the tidings brought from heav'n : at length
Their ministry perform'd, and race well run,
Their doctrine and their story written left,
They die; but in their room, as they forewarn,
Wolves shall fucceed for teachers, grievous wolves.
Who all the facred myfteries of heav'n
To their own vile advantages thall curn
Of lucre and ambition, and the truth
With superftitions and traditions taint, .
Left only in those written records pure,
Though not but by the fpirit understood.
Then fall they seek to avail themfelves of names,
Places and titles, and with thefe to join
Secular power, though feigning fill to act
By spiritual, to themfelves appropriating
The spirit of God, promis'd alike and givin
To all believers; and from that pretence, . · Spiritual laws by carnal power thall force
On every confcience ; laws which none thall find Left them inrould, or what the fpirit within
· hall on the heart ingrave. What will they then
Tut force the spirit of grace itself, and bind
Iis consort libertie ; what, but unbuild
Iis living temples, built by faith to stand,
Cheir own faith not another's : 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 reft, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms
Religion satisfi'd truth shall retire
Bestuck with Nandrous darts, and works of faith
Rarely be found : so all the world go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign,
Under her own weight groaning, till the day
Appeer of respiration to the just,
And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of him fo lately promis'd to thy aid,
The woman's 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 diffolve
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 repli'd.
How soon hath thy prediction, seer blest,
Measur'd this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fixt : beyond is all abyfs,
Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I Thall hence depart,
Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
Of knowledge, what this veffel can contain;
Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
And love with fear the only God, to walk
As in his presence, ever to obferve
His providence, and on him fole depend,
Merciful over all his works, with good
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deein'd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wife
By simply meek ; that suffering for truth's fake
Is fortitude to highest vi&torie,
And to the faithful death the gate of life;
Taught this by his example whom I now
Acknowledge my redeemer ever bleft.
To whom thus also th’angel last repli'd :
This having learnt, thou hast attain'd the summ
Of wisdom ; hope no higher, though all the stars
Thou knewest by name, and all th'ethereal powers,
All secrets of the deep, all nature's works,
Or works of God in heav'n, air, earth, or fea,
And all the riches of this world enjoydst,
And all the rule, one empire ; only 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 falt pofsefs
A Paradise within thee, happier far.
Let us descend now therefore from this top
Of speculation ; for the hour precise
Exacts our parting hence; and see the guards,
By me encampt on yonder hill, expect
Their 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 fpirits compos'd
To meek submisfion : 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 woman's feed) on all mankind.
That ye may live, which will be many dayes,
Both in one faith unanimous though fad,
With cause for evils paft, yet much more cheerd
With meditation on the happie end.'
He ended, and they both descend the hill ;
Descended, Adam to the bowre where Eve
Lay Neeping ran before, but found her wak't ;
And thus with words not fad The him receav’d.
Whence thou return'ft, and whither wentit, I know;
For God is also in fleep, and dreams advise,
Which he hath fent propitious, some great good
Presaging, fince with sorrow and heart's distress
Wearied I fell asleep: but not lead on ;
In me is no delay; with thee to go,
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me
Art all things under heav'n, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime are banisht hence.