Page images

ge4- 950
Environ'd, wins his way; harder beset
And more endanger'd, than when Argo pass'd
Through Bosporus, betwixt the justling rocks:
Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunn'd
Charybdis, and by the other whirlpool steer'd.
So he with difficulty and labour hard
Mov’d on, with difficulty and labour he;
But, he once past, soon after, when man fell,
Strange alteration! Sin and death amain
Following his track, such was the will of Heaven,
Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way
Over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf
Tamely endur'd a bridge of wonderous length
From Hell continued, reaching the utmost orb
Of this frail world; by which the Spirits perverse
intercourse pass

to and fro
To tempt and punish mortals, except whom
God, and good Angels, guard by special grace.
But now at last the sacred influence
Of light appears, and from the walls of Heaven
Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night
A glimmering dawn: here Nature first begins
Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire
As from her outmost works a broken foe
With tumult less, and with less hostile din,
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light,
And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds

With easy

grz. 963 3
Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn;
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off the empyreal Heaven, extended wide
In circuit, undetermin’d square or round,
With opal towers and battlements adorn'd
Of living sapphire, once his native seat :
And fast by, hanging in a golden chain,
This pendant world, in bigness as a star
Of smallest magnitude close by the moon,
Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge,
Accurs'd, and in a cursed hour, he hies.






God sitting on his throne, sees Satan flying towards

this world then newly created: shews him to the Son who sat on his right hand; foretells the success of Satan in perverting mankind, clears his own justice and wisdom from all imputation, having created man free, and able enough to have withstood his tempter, yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he f.ll not of his own malice, as did Sutan, but by him seduc'd. The Son of God renders praises to his Father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose



but God again declares, that grace cannot be extended towards man without the satisfaction of divine justice. Man hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and therefore, with all his progeny devot. ed to death, must die, unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ransom for man; the Father accepts him, ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all names in heaven and earth; commands all the Angels to adore him; they obey and hymning to their harps in full quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Mean while Satan alights upon the bare convex of this world's outermost orb; where wandering he first finds a place, since called the limbo of vanity ; what persons and things fly up thither : thence comes to the gate of heaven, described ascending by stairs, and the waters above the firmament that flow about it: his passage thunce to the orb of the sun. he finds there Uriel, the regent of that orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner Angel; and pretending a zealous desire to behold the new creation, and man whom God had placed there, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed ; alights first on mount Niphates,

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