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Much less that durst upon his own head draw The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.

221

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, 225
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
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 off'ring meet,

230

Indebted and undone, hath none to bring. 235
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 giv'n me to possess
Life in myself for ev'r; by thee I live,
Though now to Death I yield, and am his due
All that of me can die; yet that debt paid, 246
Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave
His
prey, nor suffer
my unspotted soul

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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.

254

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 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. 265
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

Father. Admiration seiz'd

great Father.

270

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

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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 shall 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, 287
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
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 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

295

300

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

306

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, 310 Far more than great or high; because in thee Love hath abounded more than glory 'bounds, Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt

With thee thy manhood also to this throne:
Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign 315
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
Anointed Universal King: all pow'r

I give thee; reign for ever, and assume
Thy merits; under thee as Head Supreme
Thrones, Princedoms, Pow'rs, Dominions I re-

duce:

320

All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
In Heav'n, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n
Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send
The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaim 325
Thy dread tribunal, forthwith from all winds
The living, and forthwith the cited dead
Of all past ages to the gen'ral doom

Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep.
Then all thy saints assembl'd, thou shalt judge
Bad men and Angels; they arraign'd shall sink
Beneath thy sentence: Hell, her numbers full,
Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while
The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring
New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just
dwell,

shall

335

And after all their tribulations long

See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds, With joy and love triumphing, and fair truth. Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by,

For regal sceptre then no more shall need, 340
God shall be All in All. But all ye Gods,
Adore him, who to compass all this dies:
Adore the Son, and honour Him as me.

No sooner had th' Almighty ceas'd, but all The multitude of Angels, with a shout 345 Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from blest voices, utt'ring joy, Heav'n rung With jubilee, and loud Hosannas fill'd

Th' eternal regions: lowly reverent

Tow'rds either throne they bow, and to the

ground

With solemn adoration down they cast

35°

Their crowns, inwove with amaranth and gold; Immortal amaranth; a flow'r which once

In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,

Began to bloom; but soon, for man's offence, 355 To Heav'n remov'd, where first it grew, there

grows,

And flow'rs aloft, shading the fount of life,
And where the riv'r of bliss thro' midst of Heav'n
Rolls o'er Elysian flow'rs her amber stream;
With these, that never fade, the Sp'rits elect 360
Bind their resplendent locks inwreath'd with
beams,

Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright

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