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Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd 135 All heav'n, and in the blessed spirits elect Sense of new joy ineffable diffus’d. Beyond compare the Son of God was seen Most glorious: in him all his Father shone Substantially express'd ; and in his face 140 Divine compassion visibly appear'd, Love without end, and without measure grace, Which uttering, thus he to his Father spake: “O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd Thy sovran sentence, that man should find grace; 145 * For which both heav'n and earth shall high extol Thy praises, with th' innumerable sound Of hymns and sacred songs, wherewith thy throne Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest. For should man finally be lost, should man, 150 Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest son, Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though join'd With his own folly? That be from thee far, That far be from thee, Father, who art Judge Of all things made, and judgest only right. 155 Or shall the adversary thus obtain His end, and frustrate thine? shall he fulfil His malice, and thy goodness bring to naught, • Or proud return, though to his heavier doom, Yet with revenge accomplish'd, and to hell 160 Draw after him the whole race of mankind, • By him corrupted? or wilt thou thyself Abolish thy creation, and unmake For him, what for thy glory thou hast made? * So should thy goodness and thy greatness both 165 Be question'd and blasphem'd without defence.” To whom the great Creator thus replied: ‘0 Son, in whom my soul hath chief delight, Son of my bosom, Son who art alone My word, my wisdom, and effectual might, 170 All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all As my eternal purpose hath decreed: Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will, Yet not of will in him, but grace in me Freely vouchsaf’d; once more I will renew 175 His lapsed pow'rs, though forfeit, and enthrall'd By sin to foul exorbitant desires; Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand On even ground against his mortal foe; By me upheld, that he may know how frail 180 His fall'n condition is , and to me owe All his deliverance, and to none but me. Some I have chosen of peculiar grace, Elect above the rest; so is my will: The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warn'd 185 Their sinful state, and to appease betimes Th’ incensed Deity, while offer'd grace Invites; for I will clear their senses dark, What may suffice, and soften stony hearts

To pray, repent, and bring obedience due. 190
To pray’r, repentance, and obedience due,
Though but endeavour'd with sincere intent,
Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.
And I will place within them as a guide,
My umpire, conscience; whom if they will hear, 195
Light after light, well us’d they shall attain,
And to the end persisting, safe arrive.
This my long sufferance, and my day of grace,
They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste;
But hard be harden'd ; blind be blinded more, 200
That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;
And none but such from mercy I exclude.
But yet all is not done; man disobeying,
Disloyal, breaks his feilty, and sins
Against the high supremacy of Heaven, 205
Affecting Godhead, and, so losing all,
To expiate his treason hath naught left,
But to destruction sacred and devote,
He, with his whole posterity, must die,
Dic he or justice must; unless for him 210
Some other able, and as willing, pay
The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
Say, heav'nly Pow’rs, where shall we find such love?
Which of ye will be mortal, to redeem
Man's mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save? 215
Dwells in all heaven charity so dear?'
He ask'd, but all the heav'nly quire stood mute,
And silence was in heav'n: on man's behalf
Patron or intercessor none appear'd, -
Much less that durst upon his own head draw 220
The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
And now without redemption all mankind
Must have been lost, 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 230
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 240
Well pleas'd; on me let Death wreak 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 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 carcase glut the grave: Then, with the multitude of my redeem’d, . 260 Shall enter heav'n, long absent, 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 aspéct 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 seiz'd All heav'n, what this might mean, and whither tend, Wond'ring; but soon th' Almighty thus replied: *0 thou in heav'n and earth the only peace Found out for mankind under wrath! 0 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 a while, the whole race lost. 280 Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem, Their nature also to thy nature join; Aud 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 are restor'd, without thee none. His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit, 290 Imputed, shall absolve 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 hite, Giving to death, and dying to redeem,

So dearly to redeem, what hellish hate 300
So easily destroy'd, and still destroys
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: 320
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
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 Archangels to proclaim 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, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge 330
Bad men and angels; they arraign'd, shall sink
Beneath thy sentence: hell, her numbers full,
Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Meanwhile
The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring
New heav'n and earth, wherein the just shall dwell, 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 honour him as me.”
No sooner had th' Almighty ceas'd, but all
The multitude of angels, with a shout 845
Loud as from numbers without number, sweet
As from blest voices, uttering joy, heav'n rung
With jubilee, and loud hosannas fill'd
Th' eternal regions: lowly reverent
Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground 350
With solemn adoration down they cast
Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold
Immortal amarant, a flow'r which once
ln Paradise, fast by the tree of life.

Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence 355
To heav'n remov’d, where first,it grew; there grows,
And flow'rs aloft shading the fount of life,
And where the river of bliss through midst of heaven
Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber stream;
With these that never fade the spirits elect 360
Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with heams;
Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright
Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone,
Impurpled with celestial roses smil’d.
Then, crown'd again, their golden harps they took, 365
Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side
Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet
Of charming symphony they introduce
Their sacred song, and waken raptures high:
No voice exempt, no voice but well could join 370
Melodious part, such concord is in heaven.
“Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent,
Immutable, Immortal, Infinite, .*.
Eternal King; thee, Author of all being, -
Fountain of light, thyself invisible 375
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitt'st
Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st
The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud
Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear, 380
Yet dazzle heav'n, that brightest Seraphim
Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes,
Thee next they sang of all creation first,
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud 385
Made visible, th' Almighty Father shines,
Whom else no creature can behold ; on thee
Impress'd th’ effulgence of his glory abides,
Transfus’d on thee his ample Spirit rests.
He heav'n of heav'ns and all the pow’rs therein 390
By thee created; and by thee threw down
Th' aspiring dominations: thou that day
Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare,
Nor stop thy slaming chariot wheels, that shook
Heav'n's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks 395
Thou drov'st of warring angels disarray'd.
Back from pursuit thy pow'rs with loud acclaim
Thee only extoll’d, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes;
Not so on man: him, through their malice fall'n, 400
Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom
So strictly, but much more to pity incline:
No sooner did thy dear and only Son
Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail man
So strictly, but much more to pity inclin'd : 405
He, to appease thy wrath, and end the strife
Of mercy and justice in thy face discern'd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein he sat
Second to thee, offer'd himself to die

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