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On even ground, against his mortal foe;
By me upheld, that he may know how frail
His fallen 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
Their sinful state; and to appease betimes
The 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.
To prayer, 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,
Light after light, well used, 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,
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 fealty, and sins
Against the high supremacy of Heaven,
Affecting Godhead, and, so losing all,
To expiate his treason hath nought left,
But to destruction sacred and devote,
He, with his whole posterity, must die;
Die, he or justice must : unless for him,
Some other, able, and as willing, pay
The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
Say, heavenly powers, where shall we find such
Which of ye will be mortal, to redeem [love ?
Man's mortal crime, and just, the unjust to save?
Dwells in all heaven charity so dear ?”
He ask’d; but all the heavenly quire stood mute,
And silence was in heaven: on man's behalf,
Patron or intercessor, none appear'd;
Much less that durst upon his own head draw
The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
And now, without redemption, all mankind
Must have been lost, adjudged to death and Hell
By doom severe; had not the Son of God,
In whom the fulness dwells of love divine,

His dearest mediation thus renew'd :

“Father! thy word is pass'd, 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, unimplored, 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 : 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 pleased. On me let Death wreak all his rage; Under his gloomy power, I shall not long Lie vanquish'd ; thou hast given me to possess Life in myself for ever ; by thee I live, Though now to Death I yield, and am his due, 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 My vanquisher, spoil'd of his vaunted spoil. Death his death's wound shall then receive, and Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarm'd. (stoop 1, through the ample air, in triumph high, Shall lead Hell captive, maugre Hell, and show The Powers of darkness bound. Thou, at the sight Pleased, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile ; While, by thee raised, I ruin all my foes, Death last, and with his carcass glut the grave : Then, with the multitude of my redeem'd, Shall enter Heaven, long absent, and return, Father! to see thy face, wherein no cloud Of anger shall remain, but peace assured, And reconcilement : wrath shall be no more Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire."

His words here ended; but his meek aspect Silent yet spake, and breathed immortal love To mortal men; above which only shone Filial obedience. As a sacrifice Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will Of his great Father. Admiration seized (tend All Heaven ; what this might mean, and whither

Wondering : but soon the Almighty thus replied.

“ () thou, in Heaven and Earth the only peace Found out for mankind, under wrath ! O thou, 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. 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, 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 restored As many as are restored ; without thee, none. His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit 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 judged and die; And dying rise, and, rising, with him raise His brethren, ransom'd with his own dear life. So heavenly love shall outdo hellish hate, Giring to death, and dying to redeem; So dearly to redeem, what hellish hate So easily destroyed, and still destroys In those who, when they may, accept not grace. Nor shalt thou, by descending to assuine Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own. Because thou hast, though throned in highest bliss, Equal to God, and equally enjoying Godlike 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, 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, 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, powers, dominions, I reduce :
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
In Heaven 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 proclaim
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
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 heaven and earth; wherein the just shall dwell,
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 sceptre shalt lay by,
For regal sceptre then no more shall need,
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 the Almighty ceased, but all
The multitude of Angels, with a shout,
Loud, as from numbers without number, sweet,
As from bless'd voices, uttering joy; Heaven rung
With jubilee, and loud hosannas fillid
The eternal regions : lowly reverent,
Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground,
With solemn adoration, down they cast
l'heir crowns, inwove with amaranth and gold
Immortal amaranth, a flower, which once
In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,
Began to bloom; but soon, for man's offence,
To Heaven removed, where first it grew; there

grows, And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life, And where the river of bliss, through midst of Heaven, Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream ; With these, that never fade, the Spirits elect Bind their resplendent locks, inwreathed with beams. Now in loose garlands, thick thrown off, the bright Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone, Impurpled with celestial roses, smiled. . Then, crown'd again, their golden harps they took, Harps ever tuned, 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
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,
Amidst the glorious brightness, where thou sit'st
Throned inaccessible; but when thou shadest
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;
Yet dazzle Heaven, 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 countenance, without cloud Made visible, the Almighty Father shines, Whom else no creature can behold : on thee Impress'd, the effulgence of his glory abides ; Transfused on thee, his ample Spirit rests. He Heaven of Heavens, and all the powers therein, By thee created, and by thee, threw down The aspiring dominations : thou, that day, Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare, Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook Heaven's everlasting frame; while o'er the necks Thou drovest of warring Angels disarray'd. Back from pursuit, thy powers, 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 fallin, 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 purposed, not to doom frail man
So strictly, but much more to pity inclined,
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
For man's offence. O unexampled love,
Love no where to be found, less than divine,
Hail, Son of God! Saviour of men ! Thy name
Shall be the copious matter of my song,

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