« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Fourth sphere. That of the Sun as a planet.
Tenth sphere. That of the “Primum Mobile” (first moved), a solid shell enclosing all, and separating the World from Chaos.
On the Earth, the innermost sphere, the Almighty places Man in the Garden of Eden. Satan's plan is to corrupt the inhabitants of this new creation. At the Pandemonian council he explains his plan, and announces that he alone will undertake its execution. He dismisses the council, and sets out on the awful journey. He makes his way to the gates of Hell, which are guarded by two hideous forms, Sin and Death; cajoles his way out; and takes his flight through the immeasurable distances of inky blackness of Chaos toward the World, suspended from the floor of Heaven at its gates, through which he himself, with his com peers, had been hurled by the victorious hosts of the Almighty. (Follow the crooked line, Fig. 4; read B. II., 629–1055.) Upward he takes his way, sometimes falling "plumb down ten thousand fathoms"; then hoisted upward again as many miles by the force of some chaotic explosion ; on through scenes of indescribable horror past Middle
Chaos, where Chaos himself and Old Night have their thrones (see small pavilion in crooked line on Fig. 4); on up, until he lights upon the outer shell of the World at some distance from the place where, near the gates of Heaven, a celestial stairway makes a broad passage from the World to Heaven. “A gleam of light shows him the entrance, and into this glorious world, through the opening, the Fiend, after à pause of wonder, suddenly precipitates himself. Winding his way among the fixed stars he makes first for the sun, which attracts him by its all-surpassing magnitude. Alighting on its body, and finding the Archangel Uriel there, who has been sent down from the Empyrean to be regent of the great luminary, he disguises himself, and pretends to be one of the lesser angels who, not having been present at the Creation, has now come alone, out of curiosity, to behold its glories. To his inquiries as to the particular orb which is the abode of newly created man, Uriel replies by pointing out the earth, shining at a distance in the sunlight. Thus informed, he wings off again from the sun's body, and, wheeling his steep flight toward the earth, alights at length on the top of Mount Niphates, near Eden.” (See Fig. 4 or 5, for Satan's flight through the World.)
In his first attempt to bring about "man's disobedience," he is discovered, and takes to flight; but
returns, and tempts the "mother of mankind," who partakes of the “ forbidden fruit.”
“ The rest is misery, The angels forsake the Earth; Satan hies back to Hell to announce his victory; the Son of God comes down to pronounce doom; and the guilty pair, who, after their first delirium of guilt, have broken out in mutual reproaches and revilings, are left wailing a night and a day in inconsolable despair.” The Archangel Michael prophesies what will be the destiny of the race of man:
till one greater Man Restore us and regain the blissful seat."
The cherubim now descend toward the gates.
“ High in front advanced,
The world was all before them, where to choose