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The angel Michael continues from the flood to relate what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by degrees to explain who that seed of the woman shall be which was promised Adam and Eve in the fall. His incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension; the state of the church till his second coming. Adam, greatly satisfied and recomforted by these relations and promises, descends the hill with Michael; wakens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with gentle dreams composed to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery word waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking their stations to guard the place.

AS one who in his journey baits at noon,
Tho' bent on speed; so here the archangel paus'd
Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor❜d,
If Adam ought perhaps might interpose;
Then with transition sweet new speech resumes. 5

"Thus thou hast seen one world begin and end;
And man as from a second stock proceed.
Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceive
Thy mortal sight to fail; objects divine
Must needs impair and weary human sense.
Henceforth what is to come I will relate,
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.


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Upon their tongues a various spirit, to raze
Quite out their native language, and instead
To sow a jangling noise of words unknown.
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
Among the builders; each to other calls
Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,
As mock'd, they storm: great laughter was in

And looking down, to see the hubbub strange
And hear the din; thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd."

Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'd:
"O execrable son, so to aspire
Above his brethren, to himself assuming
Authority usurp'd, from God not given:
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but man over men
He made not lord: such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free.
But this usurper his encroachment proud
Stays not on man; to God his tower intends
Siege and defiance. Wretched man! what food
Will he convey up thither to sustain
Himself and his rash army, where thin air
Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross,
And famish him of breath, if not of bread?"





Hunting (and men, not beasts, shall be his game) 30
With war and hostile snare such as refuse
Subjection to his empire tyrannous:
A mighty hunter thence he shall be styl'd
Before the Lord, as in despite of heaven,
Or from heaven claiming second sov'reignty;
And from rebellion shall derive his name,
Though of rebellion others he accuse.
He with a crew, whom like ambition joins
With him or under him to tyrannize,
Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find
The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge,
Boils out from under ground, the mouth of hell:
Of brick, and of that stuff they cast to build

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Is lost, which always with right reason dwells
Twin'd, and from hath no dividual being.
Reason in man obscur'd, or not obey'd,


Immediately inordinate desires

And upstart passions catch the government
From reason, and to servitude reduce


Man till then free. Therefore since he permits 90
Within himself unworthy powers to reign

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Over free reason, God in judgment just
Subjects him from without to violent lords;
Who oft as undeservedly inthral
His outward freedom: tyranny must be,
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse,
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But justice, and some fatal curse annex'd,
Deprives them of their outward liberty,
Their inward lost. Witness th' irreverent son
Of him who built the ark, who for the shame
Done to his father heard his heavy curse,





Swallows him with his host, but them lets pass
105 As on dry land between two crystal walls,
Awed by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided, till his rescued gain their shore.
Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend,
Though present in his angel, who shall go
110 Before them in a cloud, and pillar of fire,
By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire,
To guide them in their journey, and remove
Behind them, while th' obdurate king pursues. 205
All night he will pursue, but his approach
Darkness defends between till morning watch,
God, looking forth, will trouble all his host,
Then through the fiery pillar and the cloud
And craze their chariot-wheels: when by command,
Moses once more his potent rod extends
Over the sea; the sea his rod obeys;

Of Pharaoh: there he dies, and leaves his race Growing into a nation; and now grown, Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them Inhospitably', and kills their infant males: [slaves Till by two brethren (those two brethren call Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim His people from inthralment, they return With glory' and spoil back to their promis'd land. But first the lawless tyrant, who denies To know their God, or message to regard, Must be compell'd by signs and judgments dire; 175 To blood unshed the rivers must be turn'd; Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land; His cattle must of rot and murrain die ; Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss, 180 And all his people; thunder mix'd with hail, Hail mix'd with fire, must rend th' Egyptian sky, And wheel on th' earth, devouring where it rolls; What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain, A darksome cloud of locusts swarming down Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green; Darkness must overshadow all his bounds, Palpable darkness, and blot out three days; Last with one midnight stroke all the first born Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds The river-dragon tam'd at length submits To let his sojourners depart, and oft Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as ice More harden'd after thaw, till in his rage Pursuing whom he late dismiss'd, the sea

195 Among them; bow can God with such reside ?" 284


To whom thus Michael: "Doubt not but that sin

Will reign among them, as of thee begot;

And therefore was law given them to evince
Their natural pravity, by stirring up



Sin against law to fight: that when they see
Law can discover sin, but not remove,
Save by those shadowy expiations weak,
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude
Some blood more precious must be paid for man,
Just for unjust, that in such righteousness,
To them by faith imputed, they may find
Justification towards God, and peace
Of conscience, which the law by ceremonies
Cannot appease, nor man the moral part
Perform, and, not performing, cannot live.
So law appears imperfect, and but given
With purpose to resign them in full time
Up to a better covenant, disciplin'd


From shadowy types to truth, from flesh to spirit,
From imposition of strict laws to free

Acceptance of large grace, from servile fear
To filial, works of law to works of faith.

And therefore shall not Moses, though of God



Highly belov'd, being but the minister
Of law, his people into Canaan lead;
But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call,
His name and office bearing, who shall quell
The adversary serpent, and bring back,
Through the world's wilderness, long wander'd man
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.

Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan plac'd, 315
Long time shall dwell and prosper; but when sins
National interrupt their public peace,
Provoking God to raise them enemies;
From whom as oft he saves them penitent,
By judges first, then under kings; of whom
The second, both for piety renown'd,
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his regal throne



375 [vain;

"O prophet of glad tidings, finisher
Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
What oft my steadiest thoughts have search'd in
Why our great expectation should be call'd
The Seed of Woman. Virgin Mother, hail!
High in the love of Heaven, yet from my loins 380
Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son
Of God Most High; so God with man unites.
Needs must the serpent now his capital bruise
Expect with mortal pain: say where and when
Their fight, what stroke shall bruise the victor's

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To whom thus Michael: "Dream not of their As of a duel, or the local wounds


Of head or heel: not therefore joins the Son
Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to foil
Thy enemy; Nor so is overcome


Satan, whose fall from heaven, a deadlier bruise,
Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound:
Which he, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,
Not by destroying Satan, but his works
In thee and in thy seed. Nor can this be,
But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
Obedience to the law of God, impos'd
On penalty of death, and suffering death,
The penalty to thy transgression due,





And due to theirs which out of thine will grow :
So only can high justice rest appaid.
The law of God exact he shall fulfil
Both by obedience and by love, though love
Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment
He shall endure by coming in the flesh
To a reproachful life and cursed death,
Proclaiming life to all who shall believe
In his redemption, and that his obedience
Imputed becomes theirs by faith, his merits
To save them, not their own, though legal works.
For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd, 411
Seiz'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemn'd
325 A shameful and accurs'd, nail'd to the cross
By his own nation, slain for bringing life;
But to the cross he nails thy enemies,
The law that is against thee, and the sins
Of all mankind, with him there crucified,
Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
But soon revives; death over him no power
Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise
Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light
Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems,
His death for man, as many as offer'd life
Neglect not, and the benefit embrace
By faith not void of works. This godlike act [died,
Annuls thy doom, the death, thou shouldst have
In sin for ever lost from life; this act
Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength,
Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms,
And fix far deeper in his head their stings
Than temp'ral death shall bruise the victor's heel,
Or theirs whom he redeems, a death-like sleep,
A gentle wafting to immortal life.
Nor after resurrection shall he stay
Longer on earth than certain times t' appear
To his disciples, men who in his life

For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
All prophecy, that of the royal stock
Of David (so I name this king) shall rise
A Son, the woman's seed to thee foretold,
Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
All nations, and to kings foretold, of kings
The last, for of his reign shall be no end.
But first a long succession must ensue,
And his next son, for wealth and wisdom fam'd,
The clouded ark of God, till then in tents
Wand'ring, shall in a glorious temple' inshrine.
Such follow him as shall be register'd
Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll,
Whose foul idolatries, and other faults,
Heap'd to the popular sum, will so incense
God, as to leave them, and expose their land
Their city', his temple, and his holy ark,
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud city, whose high walls thou saw'st
Left in confusion, Babylon thence call'd.
There in captivity he lets them dwell

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For death, like that which the Redeemer died. 445
All nations they shall teach; for from that day
Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins
Salvation shall be preach'd, but to the sons
Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world;
So in his seed all nations shall be bless'd.
Then to the heaven of heavens shall he ascend
With victory, triumphing through the air
Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise
The serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains
Through all his realm, and there confounded leave;
Then enter into glory, and resume


His seat at God's right hand, exalted high
Above all names in heaven; and thence shall come,
When this world's dissolution shall be ripe,
With glory' and power to judge both quick and


To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward
His faithful, and receive them into bliss,
Whether in heaven or earth, for then the earth


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"O goodness infinite! goodness immense! That all this good of evil shall produce, And evil turn to good; more wonderful Than 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 To God more glory, more good-will to men [spring, From God, and over wrath grace shall abound. But say, if our Deliverer up to heaven Must re-ascend, what will betide the few His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd, The enemies of truth? who then shall guide His people, who defend? will they not deal Worse with his followers than with him they dealt ?"


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He to his own a Comforter will send,
The promise of the Father, who shall dwell
His Spirit within them, and the law of faith,
Working, through love, upon their hearts shall
To guide them in all truth, and also arm [write,
With spiritual armour, able to resist
Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts;
What man can do against them, not afraid,
Though to the death, against such cruelties
With inward consolations recompens'd,
And oft supported so as shall amaze
Their proudest persecutors: for the Spirit
Pour'd first on his Apostles, whom he sends
T'evangelize the nations, then on all
Baptiz'd, shall 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 [length,
With joy the tidings brought from heaven: at
Their ministry perform'd, and race well run, 505
Their doctrine and their story written left,
They die; but in their room, as they forewarn,
Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves,
Who all the sacred mysteries of heaven
To their own vile advantages shall turn
Of lucre and ambition, and the truth

With superstitions and traditions taint, Left only in those written records pure, Though not but by the Spirit understood.




Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
Places, and titles, and with these to join
Secular power, though feigning still to act
By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
The Spirit of God, promis'd alike and given
To all believers; and from that pretence,
Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force
On every conscience; laws which none shall find
Left them enroll'd, or what the Spirit within
Shall on the heart engrave. What will they


Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love, 550 To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss."



He ended; and thus Adam last replied:
"How soon hath thy prediction, seer bless'd!
Measur'd this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fix'd? beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end na eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
Of knowledge, what this vessel 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 observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,
Merciful over all his works, with good
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simply meek; that suffering for truth's sake
Is fortitude to highest victory,

And to the faithful death the gate of life;
Taught this by his example, whom I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever bless'd."





To whom thus also th' angel last replied: "This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by name, and all th' ethereal powers, All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works, Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea, And all the riches of this world enjoy'dst, And all the rule, one empire; only add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith, Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love, By name to come call'd charity, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess 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 590
By me encamp'd 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 spirits compos'd
To meek submission: 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 Seed) on all mankind;
That ye may live, which will be many days,
Both in one faith unanimous though sad,
With cause, for evils past, yet much more cheer'd
With meditation on the happy end."

He ended, and they both descend the hill;
Descended, Adam to the bower where Eve
Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak'd,
And thus with words not sad she him receiv'd:



"Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st I know; 610

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For God is also' in sleep, and dreams advise
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress
Wearied I fell asleep: but now 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 heaven, all places thou.
Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.
This further consolation yet secure
I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf'd,
By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore."



Under her own weight groaning, till the day

Appear of respiration to the just


And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of him so 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 heaven to be reveal'd 545
In glory of the Father, to dissolve
Satan with his perverted world, then raise
From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,
New heavens, new earth, ages of endless date,

So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard 624 Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too migh Th' archangel stood, and from the other hill To their fix'd station, all in bright array, The cherubim descended; on the ground Gliding meteorous, as evening mist Risen from a river o'er the marish glides, And gathers ground fast at the lab'rer's heel Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd The brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat, And vapour as the Libyan air adust,



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