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HE firft Book proposes, firft in brief, the whole Subject, Mans difobedience, and the lofs thereupon of Paradife wherein he was plac't: Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his fide many Legions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of Heaven with all his Crew into the great Deep. Which action past over, the Poem hafts into the midft of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell, describ'd here, not in the Center (for Heaven and Earth may be suppos'd as yet not made, certainly not yet accurst) but in a place of utter darkness, fitlieft call'd Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-struck and astonisht, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in Order and Dignity lay by him; they confer of thir miferable fall. Satan awakens all his Legions, who lay till then in the fame manner confounded; They rife, thir Numbers, array of Battel, thir chief Leaders nam'd, according to the Idols known afterwards in Canaan and the Countries adjoyning. To thefe Satan directs his Speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining Heaven, but tells them laftly of a new World and new kind of Creature to be created, according to an ancient Prophefie or report in Heaven; for that Angels were long before this vifible Creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this Prophefie, and what to determin thereon he refers to a full Councel. What his Affociates thence attempt. Pandemonium the Palace of Satan rifes, fuddenly built out of the Deep: The infernal Peers there fit in Councel.



HE Confultation begun, Satan debates whether another Battel be to be hazarded for the recovery of Heaven: fome advife it, others difsuade: A third proposal is prefer'd, mention'd before by Satan, to search the truth of that Prophefie or Tradition in Heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature equal or not much inferiour to themselves, about this time to be created: Thir doubt who shall be sent on this difficult search: Satan thir chief undertakes alone the voyage, is honourd and applauded. The Councel thus ended, the reft betake them several wayes and to feveral imployments, as thir inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He paffes on his Journey to Hell Gates, finds them fhut, and who fat there to guard them, by whom at length they are op'nd, and discover to him the great Gulf between Hell and Heaven; with what difficulty he passes through, directed by Chaos, the Power of that place, to the fight of this new World which he fought.


GOD fitting on his Throne fees Satan flying towards this world,

newly created; fhews him to the Son who fat at his right hand; foretells the fuccefs 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 fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him feduc't. The Son of God renders praifes to his Father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose towards Man; but God again declares, that Grace cannot be extended towards Man without the fatisfaction of divine Justice; Man hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to God-head, and therefore with all his Progeny devoted to death muft dye, unless fome one can be found fufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his Punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a Ranfome for Man: the Father accepts him, ordains his incar

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nation, pronounces his exaltation above all Names in Heaven and Earth; commands all the Angels to adore him; they obey, and hymning to thir Harps in full Quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Satan alights upon the bare Convex of this Worlds outermoft Orb; where wandring he first finds a place fince call'd The Lymbo of Vanity; what perfons and things fly up thither; thence comes to the Gate of Heaven, defcrib'd afcending by ftaires, and the waters above the Firmament that flow about it: His paffage thence to the Orb of the Sun; he finds there Uriel the Regient of that Orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner Angel; and pretending a zealous defire to behold the new Creation and Man whom God had plac't here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed; alights first on Mount Niphates.



ATAN now in profpect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprize which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and defpare; but at length confirms himfelf in evil, journeys on to Paradife, whofe outward prospect and feituation is difcribed, overleaps the bounds, fits in the shape of a Cormorant on the Tree of life, as highest in the Garden to lock about him. The Garden defcrib'd; Satans first fight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at thir excellent form and happy state, but with refolution to work thir fall; overhears thir discourse, thence gathers that the Tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his Temptation, by feducing them to tranfgrefs: then leaves them a while, to know further of thir state bv fome other means. Meanwhile Uriel defcending on a Sun-beam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the Gate of Paradise, that fome evil spirit had escap'd the Deep, and paft at Noon by his Sphere in the shape of a good Angel down to Paradife, difcovered after by his furious geftures in the Mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve, difcourfe of going to thir reft: thir Bower defcrib'd; thir Evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his Bands of Night

watch to walk the round of Paradife, appoints two strong Angels to Adams Bower, leaft the evill spirit should be there doing fome harm to Adam or Eve fleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling to Gabriel; by whom question'd, he fcornfully anfwers, prepares resistance, but hinder'd by a Sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradife.



ORNING approach't, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her: They come forth to thir day labours: Thir Morning Hymn at the Door of thir Bower. God to render Man inexcufable fends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free eftate, of his enemy near at hand; who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradife, his appearance defcrib'd, his coming difcern'd by Adam afar off, fitting at the door of his Bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choyceft fruits of Paradife got together by Eve; thir difcourfe at Table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates at Adams request who that enemy is, and how he came to be fo, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occafion thereof; how he drew his Legions after him to the parts of the North, and there incited them to rebel with him, perfwading all but only Abdiel a Seraph, who in Argument difwades and opposes him, then forfakes him.


RAPHAEL continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were
fent forth to battel against Satan and his Angels.
The first
Fight defcrib'd: Satan and his Powers retire under Night: He
calls a Councel, invents devilish Engines, which in the second dayes
Fight put Michael and his Angels to fome diforder; but they at
length pulling up Mountains overwhelm'd both the force and Ma-
chins of Satan: Yet the Tumult not fo ending, God on the third

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