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Of our omnipotence, and with what arms
To whom the Son with calm aspéct and clear,
So spake the Son; but Satan with his powers Far was advanc'd on winged speed, an host Innumerable as the stars of night,
745 Or stars of morning, dew-drops, which the sun Impearls on every leaf and every
flower. Regions they pass'd, the mighty regencies Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones In their triple degrees ; regions to which
750 All thy dominion, Adain, is no more
Than what this garden is to all the earth,
Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues,
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
submit your necks, and chuse to bend
795 His equals, if in power and splendor less, In freedom equal ? or can introduce Law and edict on us, who without law Err not? much less for this to be our Lord, And look for adoration to th' abuse
800 Of those imperial titles, which assert Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve.
Thus far his bold discourse without control 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 Heav'n 810 Expected, least of all from thee, Ingrate,
In place thyself so high above thy peers.
824 Such as he pleas'd, and circumscrib'd their being? Yet by experience taught we know how good, 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 state under one head more near 830 United. But to grant it thee unjust, That equal over equals monarch reign: Thyself through great and glorious dost thou count, Or all angelic nature join'd in one, Equal to him begotten Son ? by whom 835 As by his Word the mighty Father made All things, ev'n thee: and all the spi'rits of By him created in their bright degrees, (Heav'n Crown'd them with glory', and to their glory nam’d Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers,
Essential powers ; nor by his reign obscur'd, 841
816 Th' incensed father, and th' incensed Son, While pardon may be found in time besought.
So spake the fervent angel; but his zeal None seconded, as out of season judg'd,
850 Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'd Th' Apostate, and more haughty thus reply'd.
That we were form’d then say'st thou ? and the Of secondary hands, by task transferrid [work From Father to his Son? strange point and new! Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd:
856 When this creation was ? remember'st thou Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being? We know no time when we were not as now; Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais’d 860 By our own quick’ning power, when fatal Course Had circled his full orb, the birth mature Of this our native Heav'n, ethereal sons. Our puissance is our own; our own right hand. Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
863 Who is our equal; then thou shalt behold Whether by supplication we intend Address, and to begirt th'almighty thronc Beseeching or besieging. This report,