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At least our envious foe hath fail'd, who thought All like himself rebellious, by whose aid 140 This inaccessible bigh strength, the seat Of Deity supreme, us dispossessid, He trusted to have seiz'd, and into fraud Drew many, whom their place knows here no more; Yet far the greater part have kept, I see, Their station, Heav'n yet populous retains Number sufficient to possess her realms Though wide, and this high temple to frequent With ministeries due and solemn rites: But lest his heart exalt him in the harm 150 Already done, to have dispeopled Heav'n, My damage fondly deem'd, I can repair That detriment, if such it be to lose Self-lost, and in a moment will create Another world, out of one man a race Of men innumerable, there to dwell, Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd They open to themselves at length the way Up hither, under long obedience try'd, 159 And Earth be chang'd to Heav'n, and Heav'n to One kingdom, joy and union without end. [Earth, Meanwhile inbabit lax, ye Pow'rs of Heav'n, And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee This I perform, speak thou, and be it done: My overshadowing spi'rit and might with thee I send along ; ride forth, and bid the deep Within appointed bounds be Heav'n and Earth, Boundless the deep, because I Am who fill
Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
Though I uncircumscrib'd myself retire, 170
And put not forth my goodness which is free
To act or not, necessity and chance
Approach not me, and what I will is fate.
So spake th' Almighty, and to what he spake
His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect.
Immediate are the acts of God, more swift
Than time or motion, but to human ears
Cannot without procéss of speech be told,
So told as earthly notion can receive.
Great triumph and rejoicing was in Heav'n, 180
When such was heard declar'd the Almighty's will;
Glory they sung to the Most High, good-will
To future men, and in their dwellings peace :
Glory to him, whose just avenging ire
Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight
And th' habitations of the just; to him
Glory and praise, whose wisdom hath ordain'd
Good out of evil to create, instead
Of Spi'rits malign a better race to bring
Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse 190
His good to worlds and ages infinite.
So sang the Hierarchies : Meanwhile the Son
On his great expedition now appeard,
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd
Of majesty divine ; sapierce and love
Immense, and all his Father in him shone.
About his chariot numberless were pour'd
Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
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And Virtues, winged Spi'rits, and chariots wingid
From th' armory of God, where stand of old 200
Myriads between two brazen mountains lodg’d
Against a solemn day, harness'd at band,
Celestial equipage; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv’d,
Attendant on their Lord: Heav'n open'd wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory in his powerful Word
And Spirit coming to create new worlds.
On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore
They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss 211
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turn'd by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault
Heav'n's heigbt, and with the centre mix the pole.
Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, peace,
Said then th' omnific Word, your discord end :
Nor stay'd, but on the wings of Cherubim
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn; 220
For Chaos heard his voice: him all his train
Follow'd in bright procession to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, preparid
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things: .
One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd