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than to dwell here, driven out from Bliss, and condemn'd in this abhorrid Prison to utter Woe; where Pain of unquencheable Fire must torment us, without any Hope of End ? We are the Objects of His eternal Wrath, whenever His unmerciful Scourge and the Hour of Torture calls us to Punishment : If we were to be more destroy'd than this, we should be quite annihilated and expire. What do we fear then? What Doubts do we raise, to inflame His utmost Rage ? which rais'd to the Height, will either consume us quite, and reduce these Effences of ours to nothing ; (which is happier far, than to be miserable and have eternal Being) or if our Natures be indeed immortal, and we cannot cease to be, then, at worst, we are on this Side nothing; and we feel by Proof, that our Power is sufficient to disturb His Heaven, and with continual Assaults to allarm His fatal Throne, altho' it may be inaccessible; which, if it is not Victory, it is nevertheless Revenge.
· HE concluded frowning, and his Look threaten'd desperate Revenge and dangerous Battle, to any who were less than Gods. On the other Side BELIAL rose up, more graceful and humane in his Carriage; a fairer Person did not lose Heaven; he seem'd compos'd for Dignity, and for high Exploits ; but all was false and hollow; tho’his Tongue was eloquent, and could make the worse Reason appear the better, to perplex and confound the wisest Councils: For his Thoughts were low, industrious to Vice, but timorous and Nothful to nobler Deeds; yet he pleas’d the Ear, and with moving and persuasive Oratory began thus:
I SHOULD, O Peers ! be very much for open War, (as not the least behind in Hate) if what was the main Reason infifted upon to perswade me to it, did not disswade me from it, and seem to caft an ill-boding Conjecture upon the Success of the whole; when he,
who who excells most in valiant Deeds, suspicious of the Event, builds his Courage upon Despair, and considers utter Diffolution as the scope of all his Aim, after some fatal Revenge. First, what Revenge ? The Towers of Heaven are always fill'd with armed Watch, which takes off the Possibility of all Access: Nay, the Legions of the holy Angels do often encamp upon the bordering Deep, or with darken'd Wings scout far and wide into the Regions of Night, and icorn all Surprize. Or could we by Force break our Way, and all Hell should rise at our Heels with blackest Rebellion, to confound Heaven's pure Light; yet our great Enemy would remain unpolluted and incorruptible on his Throne, and the heavenly Subftance not fubject to any Blot or Stain, would soon expel all Mischief, and victoriously purge off all our ineffectual Fires. Thus repuls'd, our final Hope would indeed be flat Despair, we should thus exasperate the Almighty Conqueror to spend all his Rage upon us, and that must end us ; that at laft must be our Cure, to be no more.----- A sad Cure! for who, tho’ full of Pain, 'would lose this wife and understanding Nature of ours; these Thoughts, that can wan. der thro' Eternity ; and rather chuse to perish, to be swallow'd up, and loft in everlasting Darkness, without Sense and Motion ? And fupposing this to be a Good, and to be chose before our present Pain, who knows whether our angry Foe can give it, or ever will? How he can is quite doubtful, but that he never will is very sure. Will he, who is so very wife, at once let loose his Anger ; belike through Want of Power to curb his Passions, or at unawares, to give his Enemies their Wish, and put an End to them in his Anger, whom his Anger faves only to punish for ever? ------Wherefore then say they who counsel War, why do we cease ? We are predestinated, resery'd, and destin'd to eternal Misery ; let us do what we will, what can we suffer more, what can we suffer
worse? . Is this then worst, thus in Arms, sitting and consulting ? What! when we fled swiftly, and the afflicting Thunder of Heaven purlu'd and struck us, and we besought the Deep to shelter us? This Hell, scorching as it is, then seem'd a Refuge from those Wounds. Or when we lay chain'd upon the burning Lake? That surely was worse. What if the same Breath that kindled those Fires, again provok’d, should blow them seven Times hotter, and plunge us in the Flames; or if from above the God of Vengeance, who has abated for a little Space, should, arm again his incensed Right-Hand to plague us; what if all Heaven were open'd, and this Firmament of Hell should spout out its Cataracts (c) of Fire ? Impending Horrors ! threatning hideous Fall upon our Heads: While we, perhaps, designing or consulting glorious War, shall be caught in a fiery Tempeft, and each of us be transfix'd on fome Rock, the Sport and Prey of continual and racking Whirlwinds; to converse there with everlasting. Groans, without any Intermiffion, unpitied and unrepriev'd, and this for Ages without End? This would be worse, therefore I declare against War, either open or conceal'd: For what can Force or Fraud do against him? Or who can pretend to deceive his Mind, who views all Things at one View ? HE from high Heaven fees and derides
(c) Cataralls; Ilal. Span. Fr. Lat. from the Gr. i, e. Falling down with Force, rushing violéntly downwards. Water-Falls in Rivers from high Rocks, as those of the Danube and Nile, which makes the Inhabitants deaf for three Leagues, through the hideous Noile of their Fail. Many such are in the great Rio ver Tornea in Lapland, and in most Rivers chat descend from high rocky Mountains. But the
Cataract of Nigaria near News York in North America, is the greatest in the World, being heard above thirty Miles off; for the Fall of it is several hundred Feet deep. Mr. Cockburn faw one in South America 600 Feet high, and heard the Noise of it two Days before they came to it, Journey, P. 224. Here the Sluices of Hell Fire let out upon the Fallen Angels..
all these our vain Motions : Nór is he more almighty to resist us, than he is wise to frustrate all our Plots and Stratagems. But, it will be faid, shall we then live here thus vile, who are the Race of Heaven, thus trampled on, thus expell’d, to suffer Chains and these Torments ? By my Advice, better these than worse, since inevitable Fate subdues us, and an omnis potent Decree; which is the Will of our Conqueror. Our Strength is equal to suffer, or to act, nor is the Law unjust that ordains it so; thus, if we were wife, we resolv'd at first, contending against so great an Enemy, and being so uncertain what might happen. I laugh, when those who are bold and adventerous at. the Spear, if that fail them,'fhrink, and are afraid of, what they knew must follow; that is, to undergo-Banishment, Ignominy, or Bonds, or Pain; if the Vic, tor pass such Sentence upon them. This is now what. we are doom'd to! which if we can support and suf-, tain, our supreme Foe may, in Time abate of his An, ger; and perhaps now we are thus far remov’d, not mind us, if we offend no more, but be satisfy'd with what is punish'd ; and then these raging Fires will slacken, if his Breath does not blow up their Flames : Our pure Essence will at length overcome their noxi. ous Vapour, or else being long inur’d to it, at last we shall not feel it; or chang'd and conform’d to the Place, in Temper and in Nature, we shall receive the fierce Heat familiar, and without Pain: What seems horrid now will grow mild, and this Darkness grow more like Light; besides what Hope the never-ending Course of future Time may bring, what Chance, what Change worth waiting for; since our present Lót, thinking of Happiness is but ill, yet though ill, not worst of all, except we become our own Enemies, and bring more Misery upon ourselves.
Thus BELIAL, in Words which appear’d to flow from Reason, counsell'd dishonourable Ease and
Sloth, not true Peace; and after him thus spoke MAMMON.
If War be best, we war, either to disinthrone the King of Heaven, or to recover our own loft Right: We may hope to unthrone him, then, when everlafting Fate Thall yield to Chance, and Chaos judge the Strife between him and us; to hope the former is vain, and that argues as vain, the latter, for what Place can there be for us in Heaven, unless we overpower him, who is the supreme Lord there? Suppose he should relent, extend his Mercy, and publish Grace and Pardon to us all, upon Promise made of new Subjection; with what Eyes could we stand humble in his Presence, and receive strict and severe Laws impos'd, to celebrate his Throne with Hymns, and fing to his Godhead forc'd Hallelujahs? (d) while he our envy'd Sovereign sits lordly, and his Al. tar breaths sweet Odours and ambrosial Flowers, which were our servile Offerings: This must be our Task in Heaven, nay, this must be our Delight, How wearisome would be an Eternity so spent, in paying Worship to one we hate! Let us not then pursue that which to do by Force is impossible, and if by Leave obtain'd, displeasing; for though it were in Heaven it would be but a State of splendid Vaflalage: Let us seek our own Good from ourselves, and live to ourselves, though it be in this Distance from Bliss, yet we may be free, and accountable to none, preferring hard Liberty before the easy Yoke of ser
Father anons of Praiteile selle
(d) Hallelujabs, from Hallelu. jab, Heb. i. e. Praise ge the Lord. Songs of Praise to God; tather an Invitation to do so. This Word is much used in the Psalms, and other Books of the Old and New Testament, in the
Jewith, Grecian, and other Li. turgies. It is the incessant Exercise of Angels of the Presence, and will be that of all the Redeemed for ever and ever in Hea. ven. See Rev. 19. I, The Greeks write it Allelujah,