Page images
PDF
EPUB

230

And silence was in Heav'n: on Mans behalf
Patron or intercessor none appear’d;
Much less that durft upon his own head draw 220
The deadly forfeiture, and ransome set.
And now, without redemption all mankind
Must have been loft, adjudg’d to Death and Hell
By doom severe; had not the Son of God,
In whom the fulness dwells of love divine, 225
His dearest mediation thus renew’d.

Father, thy word is past, Man shall find grace;
And shall grace not find means, that finds her way,
The speediest of thy winged messengers,
To visit all thy creatures, and to all
Comes unprevented, unimplor’d, unsought?
Happy for Man, so coming; he her aid
Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost;
Atonement for himself or offering meet,
Indebted and undone, hath none to bring: 235
Behold me then; me for him, life for life
I offer; on me let thine anger fall;
Account me Man; I, for his sake,will leave
Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly die
Well pleas'd; on me let Death wreck all his rage;
Under his gloomy pow'r I shall not long
Lie vanquish’d; thou hast giv’n me to possess
Life in myself for ev'r; by thee I live,
Though now to Death I yield, and am his due, 245

All

240

All that of me can die; yet that debt paid,
Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave
His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul
For ever with corruption there to dwell;
But I shall rise victorious, and subdue

250
My vanquisher, spoil'd of his vaunted spoil;
Death his death's wound shall then receive; and stoop
Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarm’d.
I through the ample air in triumph high .
Shall lead Hell captive, maugre Hell; and show 255
The Pow'rs of darkness bound. Thou at the sight
Pleas’d, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile;
While by thee rais'd I ruin all my foes,
Death last, and with his carcass glut the grave:
Then with the multitude of my redeem’d, 260
Shall enter Heav'n, long abfent, and return,
Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
Of anger shall remain, but peace assur’d
And reconcilement; wrath shall be no more
Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire. 265

His words here ended, but his meek aspect Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love To mortal men; above which only shone Filial obedience: as a sacrifice Glad to be offer’d, he attends the will 270 Of his great Father. Admiration seis'd All Heav'n, what this might mean, and whither tend, Wond'ring; but soon th’Almighty thus reply'd.

O'thou in Heav'n and Earth the only peace Found out for mankind under wrath, O thou 275 My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear To me are all my works, nor Man the least, Though last created; that for him I spare Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save, By losing thee awhile, the whole race loft. 280 Thou therefore, whom thou only canst redeem, Their nature also to thy nature join; And be thyself Man among men on earth, Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed, By wondrous birth: be thou in Adam's room 285. The head of all mankind, though Adam's son. As in him perish all men, so in thee, As from a second root, shall be restor'd As many as áre restor’d, without thee none. His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit, 290 Imputed shall abfolve them who renounce Their own, both righteous and unrighteous deeds, And live in thee transplanted, and from thee Receive new life. So Man, as is most just, Shall satisfy for Man, be judg’d and die; 295 And, dying, rise, and rising, with him raise His brethren, ransom’d with his own dear life. So heav'nly love shall outdo hellish hate, Giving to death, and dying to redeem, So dearly to redeem what hellish hate So easily destroy'd, and fill destroys

M

300

In those who, when they may, accept not grace. Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own. Because thou hast, though thron’d in highest bliss 305 Equal to God, and equally enjoying God-like fruition,quitted all to save A world from utter loss, and hast been found By merit more than birthright Son of God, Found worthiest to be so by being good, 310 Far more than great or high; because in thee Love hath abounded more than glory abounds, Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt With thee thy manhood also to this throne; Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign 315 Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man, Anointed universal king; all power I give thee; reign for ever, and assume Thy merits; under thee,as head supreme, Thrones, Princedoms, Pow’rs, Dominions I reduce: All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide 321 In Heav'n, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell. When thou attended gloriously from Heaven Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send The summoning Arch-Angels to proclame 325 Thy dread tribunal; forthwith from all winds The living, and forthwith the cited dead Of all past ages, to the general doom Shall hasten, such a peal shall rouse their sleep.

Then

Then all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge 330
Bad men and Angels; they, arraign’d,fhall sink
Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full,
Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while
The world shall burn; and from her ashes spring
New Heav'nand Earth, wherein thejustshalldwell; 335
And after all their tribulations long .
See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth.
Then thou thy regal scepter shalt lay by;
For regal scepter then no more shall need, - 340
God shall be all in all. But all ye Gods,
Adore him, who to compass all this dies;
Adore the Son, and honor him as me.

No sooner had th’Almighty ceas’d, but all
The multitude of Angels, with a shout

345 Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from bleft voices, uttering joy, Heav'n rung With jubilee, and loud Hosanna’s fill'd Th’eternal Regions: lowly reverent Tow ards either throne they bow; and to the ground, With solemn adoration, down they cast : 351 Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold; Immortal amarant, a flow'r which once In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, Began to bloom; but soon for man's offense, 355 To Heav'n remov’d, where first it grew, there grows, And flow’rs aloft shading the fount of life, M 2

And

« PreviousContinue »