Imatges de pÓgina
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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
To evangelize the nations, then on all
Baptized, 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 weli run,
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 then
But force the Spirit of grace itself, and bind
His consort liberty; what, but unbuild
His living temples, built by faith to stand,
Their own faith, not another's? for, on earth
Who against faith and conscience can be heard
Infallible? yet many will presume:
Whence heavy persecution shall arise
170 all, who in the worship persevere

Of spirit and truth; the rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms
Religion satisfied; truth shall retire

Bestuck with slanderous darts, and works of faith
Rarely be found: so shall the world go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign;
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
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,
Founded in righteousness, and peace and love;
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss."
He ended; and thus Adam last replied:
"How soon hath thy prediction, seer blest,
Measur'd this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fix'd! Beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart;
#reatly 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 lif
Taught this by his example whom I now

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Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest."

To whom thus also the 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 the 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 loth
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,
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;

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

1 carry hence; though all by me is lost,
Such favour I unworthy am vouchsafed,
By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore."

So spake our mother Eve: and Adam heard Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now, too nigh The archangel stood; and,,from the other hill To their fix'd station, all in bright array, The cherubim descended; on the ground Gliding metéorous, as evening mist Risen from a river o'er the marish glides, And gathers ground fast at the labourer'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, Began to parch that temperate clime; whereat In either hand the hastening angel caught Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast To the subjected plain; then disappear'd. They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,

Wav'd over by that flaming brand; the gate With dreadful faces throng d. and fiery arms. Some natural tears they dropt, but wip'd them

soon;

The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and Through Eden took their solitary way

END OF PARADISE LOST

slow,

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