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Who can in reason then, or right, affume
Err not? much lefs for this to be our Lord,
Of thofe imperial titles, which affert
Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve.
Thus far his bold difcourfe without controul
Had audience; when among the feraphim
Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal ador'd 805
O argument blafphemous, falfe and proud!
The juft decree of God, pronounc'd and fworn,
That to his only Son, by right endu'd
With regal fceptre, every foul in heaven
Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due
Confefs him rightful King? Unjuft, thou fay'ft,
And equal over equals to let reign,
Shalt thou give law to God, fhalt thou dispute
Thee what thou art, and form'd the pow'rs of heaven Such as he pleas'd, and circumfcrib'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
Our happy ftate, under one head more near
United. But to grant it thee unjust,
That equal over equals monarch reign;
Thyfelf, tho' great and glorious, dolt thou count,
Equal to him begotten Son? by whom,
As by his Word, the mighty Father made
All things, ev'n thee; and all the fpirits of heaven By him created in their bright degrees,
Crown'd them with glory', and to their glory nam'd
That we were form'd then say'ft thou? and the work
Of fecondary hands, by task transferr'd
From Father to his Son? Strange point and new! 855
Know none before us, felf-begot, felf-rais'd
Of this our native heaven, ethereal fons.
Our puiffance is our own; our own right hand
Address, and to begirt th' Almighty throne
He said, and, as the found of waters deep,
Thefe wicked tents devoted, left the wrath
When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know. 895 So fpake the feraph Abdiel, faithful found
Among the faithlefs, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmov'd,
Uafhaken, unfeduc'd, unterrify'd,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
And with retorted fcorn his back he turn'd
On thofe proud towers to swift destruction doom'd.
END of the FIFTH BOOK.
ARGUMENT of Book VI.
Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were fent forth to battle against Satan and his angels. The first fight defcribed: Satan and his powers retire under night: he calls a council, invents devilifh engines, which in the second day's fight put Michael and his angels to fome diforder; but they, at length pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the force and machines of Satan : yet the tumult not fo ending, God in the third day fends Meffiah his Son, for whom he had referved the glory of that victory : he in the power of his Father coming to the place, and caufing all his legions to ftand still on either fide, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midft of his enemies, pursues them, unable to refift, towards the wall of heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confufion into the place of punishment prepared for them in the deep: Messiah returns with triumph to his Father.