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Muit reafcend, what will betide the few

450 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 ?

Be sure they will, faid th' angel ; but from heav'ı He to his own a Comforter will fend, The promise of the Father, who shall dweil His Spi'rit within them, and the law of faith Working through love, upon their hearts shall write, To guid them in all truth, and also arm With fpiritual armcur, able to rcfift Satan's affaults, and quench his fiery darts, What man can do against them, not afraid, Though to the death, against such cruelties With inward confolations recompens'd,

495 And oft supported so as fhall amaze Their proudelt persecutors: for the Spirit Pour'd first on his apostles, whom he fends To' evangelize the nations, then on all Baptize'd, shall them with wondrous gift indue, sco To speak all tongues, and do all miracles, As heir Lord before them. Thus they win Great numbers of each nation to receive With joy the tidings brought from heav'n: at length, Their miniftry perform'd, and race well run, 505 Their doctrine and their story written left, They die.

But in their room, as they forewarn, Wolves thall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves, Who all the sacred mysteries of heaven To their own vile advantages shall turn

$10 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.

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Then shall they seek to' avail themselves of names,
Places, and titles, and with thefe to join
Seçular power, though feigning still to act
By spi'ritual, to themselves appropriating
The Spirit of God, promis'd alike and given
To all believers ; and from that pretence, 526
Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force
On every conscience; laws which none shall find
Left them inrolld, or what the Spirit within
Shall on the heart ingrave. What will they then
But force the Spirit of grace itself, and bind 525
His confort 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 perfecution shall arise
On all who in the worship persevere
Of spi'rit and truth; the rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms
Religion fatisfy'd ; truth fhall retire

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Bestuck with sland'rous 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 juft,

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And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of him fo lately promis'd to thy aid,
The woman's feed, obscurely then foretold,
Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
Lait in the clouds from heav'n to be reveal'd 545
In glory of the Father, to diffolve
Satan with his perverted world, then raise
From the conflagrant mafs, purge'd and refind,
New heavens, new earth, ages of endless date

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Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love, 559 To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.

He ended ; and thus Adam last reply'd. How soon hath thy predi&tion, feer blefs'd, Measur'd this transient world, the race of time, Till time stand fix'd ? Beyond is all abyss, 555 Eternity, whose end no 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 fole depend, Merciful over all his works, with good

565 Still overcoming evil, and by small Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise By fimply meek; that suffering for truth's fake Is fortitude to highest victory,

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

To whom thus also th' angel last reply'd. This having learn'd, thou hast attaind the sum 575 Of wisdom; hope no high'er, 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 fea, And all the riches of this world enjoy’dft, 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

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Of all the rest : then wilt thou not be loath 535
To leave this Paradise, but shalt poffefs
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,

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By me incamp'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 595
Portending good, and all her fpi'rits compos'd
To meek fubmiffion : thou at feason 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. 600
(For by the woman's feed) on all mankind :.
That ye may, live, which will be many days,
Both in one faith unanimous though fad,
With-cause for evils past, - yet much more cheer'd
With meditation on the happy end.

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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 fad she him.receiv'd.

Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know;
For God is also' in sleep, and dreams advise, 611
Which he hath fent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since with forrow' and heart's distress
Wearied I fell asleep : but now lead.on;
In me is no delay; with thee to go,

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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 banila'd hence.

This further confolation yet secure

620 Icarry hence; though all by me is lost, Such favour I unworthy am vouchfaf'd, 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 6202 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 Ris'n from a river o'er the marish glides, 630. And gathers ground fast at the lab’rer's heel Homeward returning. High in front advance'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,

635 Began to parch that temp’rate clime; whereat. In either hand the hast’ning angel caught Our ling'ring parents, and to th' eastern gate Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast To the subjected plain; then disappear’d. 640 They looking back, all th' eastern side beheld Of Paradise, fo late their happy seat, War'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 foon; The world was all before them, where to chuse 646 Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: They hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and low, Through Eden took their solitary way,

THE END,

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