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Eternal Father, from his secret cloud,
Assembled Angels, and ye Powers 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 40 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 toucb with lightest moment of impulse His Free-will, to her own inclining left In even scale.
But fall'n 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,
50) 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
60 Both rar.som and redeemer voluntary, VOL. II.
And destin'd Man himself to judge men fæll'n.
So spake the Father, and unfolding bright To'ward 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 Sapreme, that thou in me thy Son belov’d 70 May'st 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 thçe'; 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 theç appease.
79 Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none Are to behold the judgment, but the judg'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, Prinçedoms, 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 90 Time counts not thoughwith swiftest minuteswing'd. Now was the sun in western cadeace low
From noon, and gentle airs due at their hour
Hath told thee? hast thou eaten of the tree,
To whom thus Adam, sore beset, reply'd:
my Whose failing, while her faith to me remains, I should conceal, and not expose to blame
130 By my complaint; but strict necessity Subdues me, and calamitous constraint, Lest on my head both sin, and punishment, However insupportable, be all Devolv'd; though should I hold my peace, yet thoa Wouldst easily detect what I conceal. This Woman, whom thou mad'st to be my help, And gav’st me as thy perfect gift, so good,
fit, so acceptable, so divine, That from her hand I could suspect no ill, 140 And what she did, whatever in itself, Her doing seem'd to justify the deed; She gave me of the Tree, and I did eat.
To whom the Soyran Presence thus reply'd: Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey Before his voice, or was she made thy guide, Superior, or but equal, that to her Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place Wherein God set thee' above her, made of thee, And for thee, whose perfection far excell'd 150 Hers in all real dignity ? Adoru'd
She was indeed, and lovely to attract
So having said, he thus to Eve in few:
To whom sad Eve with shame nigh overwhelm’d, Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge 160 Bold or loquacious, thus abash'd replied: The serpent me beguil'd, and I did eat.
Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To judgment he proceeded on th' accus'd Serpent though brute, unable to transfer The guilt on him who made him instrument Of mischief, and polluted from the end Of his creation; justly then accurs’d, As vitiated in nature : more to know Concern'd not man (since he no further knew) 170 Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last To Satan first in sin his doom apply'd, Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best: And on the serpent thus his curse let fall: Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd Above all cattle, each beast of the field; Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go, And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life. Between thee and the woman I will put Enmity, and between thine and her seed; 180 Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.