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Man's transgression known, the guardian Angels forsake Paradise, and return up to Heaven to approve their vigilance; and are approved, God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors, who descends and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes them both, and reascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by wondrous sympathy, feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the Sin by Man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in Hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of Man. To make the way easier from Hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made; then, preparing for earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to Hell: their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium; in full assembly relates, with boasting, his success against. Man; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise; then, deluded with a shew of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death. God foretells the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but, for the present, commands his Angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails; rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him: then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not, but, conceiving better hopes, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the Serpent, and exhorts her, with him, to seek peace with the offended Deity by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan done in Paradise, and how
He in the serpent had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in Heav'n; for what can 'scape the eye
Omniscient? who in all things wise and just,
Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind
Of Man, with strength entire, and free-will arm'd,
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to' have still remember'd,
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befell: they towards the throne supreme]
Accountable made haste to make appear
When first this tempter cross'd the gulf from Hell.
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
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,
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
Both ransom and redeemer voluntary,
And destin'd Man himself to judge Man fall'n."'