I almost fear least my Readers should suspect that I am usurping the Province of the Pulpit, and therefore I shall continue this Discourse in the Words of a Poet, who will ever be esteemed in the English Tongue. When Adam is doom’d to be turn’d out of Paradise, Milton has by a happy Machinery supposed, that the Angel Michael is dispatched down to pronounce the Sentence, and mitigate it by shewing Adam in Vision, what should happen to his Posterity. Amongst the rest, the Incarnation is shadowed out; and the Angel tells him, that the Messiah shall spring from his Loins, and make a Satisfaction for the Punishment, which he by his Transgression had earned on himself and his Race.
For this he shall live hated, be blasphem’d, Seis’d on by Force, judg’d, and to Death condemn’d, A shameful and accurst, nail’d to the Cross By his own Nation, slain for bringing Life; But to the Cross He nails thy Enemies The Law that is against thee, and the sins Of all Mankind, with him there crucified, Never to hurt them more, who rightly trust In this his Satisfaction: So he dies, But soon revives; Death over him no Power Shall long usurp: e’er the third dawning Light Return, the Stars of Morron shall see him rise Out of his Grave, fresh as the dawning Light, The Ransom paid, which Man from Death redeems.
I cannot better conclude the Triumph of this Promise, than by the Speech, in which Adam expresses his Joy and Wonder at these glad Tidings.
’O Goodness infinite! Goodness immense, That all this Good of Evil shall produce, And Evil turn to Good; more wonderful Than that, which by Creation first brought forth Light out of Darkness! Full of doubt I stand, Whether I should repent me now of Sin By me done and committed, or rejoice Much more, that much more Good thereof shall spring.
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Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the Angel in Pater-Noster-Row, where Advertisements and Letters from Correspondents are taken in.
By Sir JOHN FALSTAFFE.
To be Continued every Tuesday and Saturday.
Tristius baud illis monstrum,
nec saevior ulla
Pestis, & ira Deum, Stygiis sese extulit oris.
Saturday, April 23. 1720.
It is very odd to consider, yet very frequently to be remark’d, that tho’ we have all so many Passions and Appetites pushing for the Government of us, and every one of us has a Portion of Reason, that, if permitted, would regulate our Conduct: yet we are obstinate not to be directed by that Reason, and give the Rein and Regulation of our Actions over to the Passions and Appetites of other People. This is putting our selves upon the Foot of Epicurus’s Deities, who were too indolent to look after the World themselves, and left the Task of Providence to Chance and Second Causes.