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190

To

•Who 'Their sinful state, and to appease

betimes will re. The incensèd Deity, while offered grace, deem the forfeit of

Invites; for I will clear their senses dark Death ?'

What

may suffice, and soften stony hearts
To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.

prayer, repentance, and obedience due,
Though but endeavoured 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 hardened, blind be blinded more, 200
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 sing
Against the high supremacy of Heaven,
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, Heavenly Powers, where shall we find such

love?
Which of ye will be mortal, to redeem
Man's mortal crime, and just, the unjust to save?
Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?'
He asked, but all the Heavenly Quire stood

mute,

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220

And silence was in Heaven : on Man's behalf The Son Patron or intercessor none appeared

offers

himself Much less that durst upon his own head draw

to die
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 renewed :-
• Father, thy word is passed, 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, 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
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 pleased ; on me let Death wreak all his

rage.
Under his gloomy power I shall not long
Lie vanquished. 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

fall;

Admira. His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul

tion For ever with corruption there to dwell;
seized all
Heaven

252
But I shall rise victorious, and subdue
My vanquisher, spoiled of his vaunted spoil.
Death his death's wound shall then receive, and

stoop
Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarmed ;
I 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 shall look down and smile,
While, by thee raised, I ruin all my foes
Death last, and with his carcase glut the grave;
Then, with the multitude of my redeemed, 260
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 aspéct
Silent yet spake, and breathed immortal love
To mortal men, above which only shone
Filial obedience : as a sacrifice
Glad to be offered, he attends the will
Of his great Father. Admiration seized
All Heaven, what this might mean, and whither

tend,
Wondering ; but soon the Almighty thus re-

plied :

o 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

270

To me are all my works ; nor Man the least, How
Though last created, that for him I

mankind

spare Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save, restored

should be 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 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 291 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, ransomed with his own dear life. So Heavenly love shall outdo Hellish hate, Giving 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 assume Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own. Because thou hast, though throned in highest bliss Equal to God, and equally enjoying God-like 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,

300

310

They

Thee, Father, first they sung, Omnipotent, hymn the Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,

Father Eternal King; thee, Author of all being,
and the
Son

Fountain of light, thyself invisible
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitt'st
Throned inaccessible, but when thou shad'st
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, 380
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
Impressed the effulgence of his glory abides ;
Transfused on thee his ample Spirit rests.
He Heaven of Heavens, and all the Powers
therein,

390
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 drov'st of warring Angels disarrayed.
Back from pursuit, thy Powers with loud acclaim
Thee only extolled, Son of thy Father's might,
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes.
Not so on Man: him, through their malice

fallen,
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

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