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Corruptio With superstitions and traditions taint,
optimi 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, promised alike and given
To all believers; and, from that pretence, 520
Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force
On every conscience-laws which none shall find
Left them enrolled, 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:

530
Whence heavy persecution shall arise
On 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

540
And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of Him so lately promised 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 revealed

Sum of

In glory of the Father, to dissolve

The Satan with his perverted World ; then raise

Wisdom From

the conflagrant mass, purged and refined,
New Heavens, new Earth, Āges of endless date
Founded in righteousness and peace and love,
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.'

551
He ended; and thus Adam last replied
• How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest
Measured this transient World, the race of Time,
Till Time stand fixed ! Beyond is all abyss
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. 560
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 deemed

weak
Subverting worldly-strong, and worldly-wise
By simply meek ; that suffering for Truth's sake
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 blest.'

To whom thus also the Angel last replied :-
• This having learned, thou hast attained the sum
Of wisdom ; hope no higher, though all the star
Thou knew'st by name, and all the etherea

powers,

z

A All secrets of the Deep, all Nature's works, Paradise Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea. within

And all the riches of this world enjoy’dst, 580
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 called 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 encamped on yonder hill, expect 591
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 calmed,
Portending good, and all her spirits composed
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 600
(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 cheered
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 waked ;
And thus with words not sad she him received:-
•Whence thou return'st and whither went'st
I know;

610

For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise, Last Which he hath sent propitious, some great good look on

Paradise
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 banished hence.
This further consolation yet secure

620
I carry hence: though all by me is lost,
Such favour I unworthy am voutsafed,
By me the Promised Seed shall all restore.'

So spake our mother Eve; and Adam heard
Well pleased, but answered not; for now too nigh
The Archangel stood, and from the other hill
To their fixed station, all in bright array,
The Cherubim descended, on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as evening mist
Risen from a river o'er the marish glides, 639
And gathers ground fast at the labourer's heel
Homeward returning. High in front advanced,
The brandished sword of God before them

blazed,
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 disappeared. 640
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Waved over by that flaming brand; the gate

Paradise With dreadful faces thronged and fiery arms.
is lost Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped

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

slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.

THE END OF THE TWELFTH BOOR

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