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His end, and frustrate thine ? Shall he fulfil
His malice, and thy goodiess bring to nought,
Os 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
Be question’d and blasphem'd without defence,
To whom the great Creator thus reply'd.
O 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
hath decreed: Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will, Yet not of will in him, but grace Freely vouchsaf d; once more I will renew His lapsed pow'rs, though forfeit and inthrall 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 fail'n condition is, and to me owe All his deliv'rance, and to none but me. Some I have chosen of peculiar grace Elect above the rest ; so
is The rest shall hear me call, and oft he warn'd 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.
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,
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
I exclude. But yet all is not done; Man disobeying, Disloyal breaks his feälty, and sins Against the high suprernacy of Heaven, Affecting God-head, 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 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 ? Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?
He ask'd, but all the heav'nly quire stood mute, And silence was in Heav'ni 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 Hello By doom severe, had not the Son of God, In whom the fulness dwells of love divine, His dearest meditation 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: 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 wreck all his rage; Under his gloomy pow'r 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 çan 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
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 returii,
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.
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
Of his great Father. Admiration seiz'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 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 ;
And be thyself Man among men on earth,
Made flesh, when time sliall be, of virgin seed,
By wond'rous 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 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,
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 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
Equal to God, and equally enjoying