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Who can in reason then, or right, assume
coo Of those imperial titles, which allert Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve.
Thus far his bold discourse without controul Had audience; when among the seraphim Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal ador'd 805 The Deity', and divine commands obey'd, Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe The current of his fury thus oppos'd.
O argument blasphémous, false and proud ! Words which no ear ever to hear in heaven
810 Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate, In place thyself so high above thy peers. Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn The just decree of God, pronounc'd and sworn, That to his only Son, by right endu'd
815 With regal sceptre, every foul in heaven Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due Confess him rightful King? Unjust, thou say'it, Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free, And equal over equals to let reign,
820 One over all with unsucceeded power. Shalt thou give law to God, shalt thou dispute With him the points of liberty, who made Thee what thou art, and form’d the pow'rs of heaven Such as he pleas'd, and circumscrib'd their being? Yet, by experience taught, we know how good, 826 And of our good and of our dignity How provident he is; how far from thought
To make us less, bent rather to exalt
So fpake the fervent angel; but his zeal
That we were form’d then say'st thou? and the work Of fecondary hands, by talk transferr'd I'rom Father to his Son? Strange point and new! 855 Do&trine which we would know whence learn'd: who When this creation was ? remember'st thou [saw Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being ? We know no time when we were not as now; Know none before us, self-begot, felf-rais’d
860 By our own quick’ning power, when fatal course Had circled his full orb, the birth mature Of this our native heaven, ethereal fons.
Our puissance is our own; our own right hand
He said, and, as the sound of waters deep,
O alienate from God, O fpi'rit accurs'd, Forsaken of all good; I see thy fall Determin'd, and thy hapless crew involv'd In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread 880 Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth No more be troubled how to quit the yoke Of God's Meffiah; those indulgent laws Will not be now vouchsaf'd; other decrees Against thee are gone forth without recall; 885 That golden sceptre, which thou didst reject, Is now an iron rod to bruise and break Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise; Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly There wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath 890 Impendent, raging into sudden flame Distinguish not : for foon expect to feel His thunder on thy head, devouring fire. Then who created thee lamenting learn, When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know. 895
So fpake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found Among the faithless, faithful only he ; Among innumerable false, unmoy'd,
Unhaken, unseduc'd, unterrify'd,
END of the FIFTH BOOK.
ARGU ARGUMENT of Book VI.
Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel
were sent forth to battle against Satan and his angels. The first fight described : Satan and his powers retire under night: he calls a council, invents devilish engines, which in the second day's fight put Michael and his angels to some disorder ; but they, at length pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the force and machines of Satan : yet the tumult not so ending, God in the third day sends Messiah his Son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that victory : he in the power of his Father coming to the place, and causing all his legions to stand still on either side, quith his chariot and thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to refijt, towards the wall of heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of putnishment prepared for them in the deep : Mefiab re. turns with triumph to his Father.