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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.
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
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.
O Son, in whom my soul hath chief delight,
Son of my bosom, Son who art alone
My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all
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


153 that] Newton observes that this is from Genesis, xviii. 'That be far from thee,' &c.

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169 Son] My Son, my only stay,

My hand, my honor, and my might.'

See Golding's Ovid. p. 62.

His lapsed powers, 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
His fall'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 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.
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, 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.

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176 lapsed] lapsas acuit mentes,' v. Sil. Ital. x. 606. 189 stony] Ezek. xxxvi. 26. 'I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh.' Gillies.


But yet all is not done; man disobeying
Disloyal breaks his fealty, and sins
Against the high supremacy of heav'n,
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,
Die he or justice must; unless for him
Some other able, and as willing, pay
The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
Say, heav'nly Powers, 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 choir 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,
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 The speediest of thy winged messengers,

To visit all thy creatures, and to all

Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought?

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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 pleas'd; on me let Death wreak all his rage;
Under his gloomy power I shall not long
Lie vanquish'd; thou hast giv'n me to possess
Life in
my self 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.



I through the ample air in triumph high
Shall lead hell captive maugre hell, and show 255


me] The frequent repetition of 'me' is like Virgil, Æn. ix. 427.


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maugre hell] Such Life that maugre Hell he lives.' Sir T. Hawkins' Horace, (1638) p. 72. Maugre thy fury,' v.

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The powers 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
Shall enter heaven 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.

His words here ended, but his meek aspect
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 275 My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear To me are all my works, nor man the least,

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Marino's Sl. of the Inn. p. 58. Maugre thine enemies' hate.' Gayton's Ch. Script. p. 3. 4to.

267 immortal love] See Lucret. v. 122.


mortali sermone notantes.' Aristot. de Rhetor. ii. 17. 2. ἀθανάτον ὅργην μὴ φύλαττε, θνητὸς ὤν.

277 least] Shakespeare's Lear, act i. scene 1.

Now our joy,

Although the last, not least.'

and Jul. Cæs. act iii. scene 1.

'Though last, not least, in love.' Newton.

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