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That fellowship in pain divides not smart,
Nor lightens aught each man's peculiar load;
Small confolation then, were man adjoin'd:
This wounds me moft (what can it lefs) that Man,
Man fall'n fhall be restor'd, I never more.

To whom our Saviour sternly thus reply'd:
'Deservedly thou griev'ft, compos'd of lyes
From the beginning, and in lyes wilt end;
Who boift'ft release from Hell, and leave to come
Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns: thou com'it indeed,
As a poor miferable captive thrall,
Comes to the place where he before had fat
Among the Prime in Splendor, now depos'd,
Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shun'd,
A fpectacle of ruin or of scorn

To all the Hoft of Heav'n; the happy place
Imports to thee no happiness, no joy,
Rather inflames thy torment, representing
Loft blifs, to thee no more communicable,
So never more in Hell than when in Heav'n.
But thou art ferviceable to Heav'ns King.
Wilt thou impute t'obedience what thy fear
Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites ?
What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem
Of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him
With all inflictions; but his patience won.
The other service was thy chofen task,
To be a lyar in four hundred mouths;
For lying is thy fuftenance, thy food.
Yet thou pretend it to truth? all Oracles
By thee are giv'n, and what confest more true
Among the Nations? that hath been thy craft,
By mixing fomewhat true to vent more lyes.
But what have been thy anfwers, what but dark,
Ambiguous, and with double fenfe deluding,
Which they who afk'd have feldom understood,
And not well understood as good not known?
Who ever by confulting at thy fhrine

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Return

Return the wiser, or the more instruct
To fly or follow what concern'd him most,
And run not fooner to his fatal fnare?
For God hath justly giv'n the Nations up
To thy Delufions, juitly, fince they fell
Idolatrous; but when his purpose is
Among them to declare his Providence

So fpake our Saviour; but the subtle Fiend, Though inly ftung with anger and disdain, Diffembled, and this Answer fmooth return'd.

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To thee not known, whence haft thou then thy truth,
But from him or his Angels prefident
In ev'ry Province, who themselves difdaining
T' approach thy Temple, give thee in command
What to the smallest tittle thou shalt fay
To thy Adorers? thou with trembling fear,
Or like a fawning Parafite obey'ft;
Then to thyfelf afcrib'ft the truth foretold.
But this thy glory fhall be foon retrench'd; -
No more fhalt thou by oracling buse
The Gentiles; henceforth Oracles are ceas'd,
And thou no more with Pomp and Sacrifice
Shalt be inquir'd at Delphos or elsewhere,
At deaft in vain, for they fhall find thee mute.
God hath now-fent his loving Oracle
Into the World to teach his final will,
And fends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwell
In pious Hearts, an inward Oracle

To all truth requifite for men to know.

Sharply thou haft infifted on rebuke,
And urg'd me hard with doings, which not will
But mifery hath wrested from me; where
Eafily canft thou find one miferable,
And not inforc'd oft-times to part from truth,
If it may ftand him more in ftead to lye,
Say and unfay, feign, flatter, or. abjure?
But thou art plac'd above me, thou art Lord;
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From thee I can and must fubmifs endure
Check or reproof, and glad t'escape so quit.
Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk,
Smooth on the tongue difcours'd, pleafing to th' ear,
And tuneable as Silvan Pipe or Song;
What wonder then if I delight to hear

Her dictates from thy mouth? most men admire
Virtue, who follow not her lore: permit me
To hear thee when I come (fince no man comes)
And talk at least, tho' I defpair t' attain.
Thy Father, who is holy, wife and pure,
Suffers the Hypocrite or Atheeus Priest
To tread his Sacred Courts, and minifter
About his Altar, handling holy things,
Praying or vowing; and vouchfäf'd his voice
To Balaam Reprobate, a Prophet yet
Infpir'd; difdain not fuch access to me.

To whom our Saviour with unalter'd brow, Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope,. I bid not or forbid; do as thou find'ft Permiffion from above; thou can'ft not more.

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He added not; and Satan bowing low
His gray diffimulation, difappear'd
Into thin Air diffus'd: for now began
Night with her fullen wings to double-shade
The Defart, Fowls in their clay nefts were couch'd ;
And now wild Beafts came forth the Woods to roam.

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The End of the First Book,

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