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Mun'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 re-ascends. 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 had 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 show 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: then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not; but, conceiving better hope, 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 of the offended Deity by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
From earth arrived at heaven-gate, displeased
The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
"Assembled Angels, and ye Powers return'd From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd, Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth, Which your sincerest care could not prevent; Foretold so lately what would come to pass, When first the tempter cross'd the gulf from hell. I told ye then he should prevail, and speed On his bad errand; Man should be seduced, And flattered out of all, believing lies Against his Maker; no decree of mine Concurring to necessitate his fall, Or touch with lightest moment of impulse, His free-will, to her own inclining left In even scale. But fallen he is; and now What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass On his transgression, death denounced that day? Which he presumes already vain and void, Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd, By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find
Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end.
All judgment, whether in heaven, or earth, or hell.
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee,
Mine, both in heaven and earth, to do thy will
Conviction to the serpent none belongs."
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose Of high collateral glory: him thrones, and powers, Princedoms, and dominations ministrant, Accompanied to heaven-gate; from whence Eden and all the coast in prospect lay. Down he descended straight; the speed of gods Time counts not, tho' with swiftest minutes wing'd. Now was the sun in western cadence low From noon; and gentle airs, due at their hour, To fan the earth now waked, and usher in
The evening cool; when he, from wrath more cool,
"Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to meet
To offend; discountenanced both, and discomposed;