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By none: and if not equal all, yet free,
Equally free; for orders and degrees
Jar not with liberty, but well confift.
Who can in reason then, or right, assume
Monarchy over fuch as live by right
His equals, if in pow'r and fplendour lefs,
In freedom equal? or can introduce


Law and edict on us, who without law

Err not? much lefs for this to be our LORD,
And look for adoration, to th' abuse


Of those imperial titles, which affert

Our being ordain'd to govern, not to servé.
Thus far his bold difcourfe 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 fevere
The current of his fury thus oppos'd.

O argument blafphemous, falfe and proud!
Words which no ear ever to hear in heav'n
Expected, leaft of all from thee, ingrate,
In place thyself fo high above thy peers.


Canft thou with impious obloquy condemn

The juft decree of GoD, pronounc'd and sworn,

That to his only Son, by right endu'd


With regal fceptre, ev'ry foul in heav'n

Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due

Confefs him rightful King? Unjuft, thou fay't,
Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free,

And equal over equals to let reign,


One over all with unfucceeded power.

Shalt thou give law to God? fhalt thou dispute
With him the points of liberty, who made

Thee what thou art, and form'd the powers of heav'n
Such as he pleas'd, and circumfcrib'd their being? 825
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 lefs, bent rather to exalt

Our happy state, under one head more near
Unite. But to grant it thee unjust,






Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were fent forth to battle against Satan and his angels. The firft fight defcribed: Satan and his powers retire under night: he calls a council, invents devilish engines, which in the fecond day's fight put Michael and his angels to fome diforder; but they at length pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the force and machines of Satan: yet the tumult not fo ending, God on the third day fends Meffiah his fon, for whom he had referved the glory of that victory: be in the power of his Father coming to the place, and caufing all his legions to ftand fill on either fide, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midf of his enemies, purfues them, unable to refift, towards the walls of heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confufion into the place of punishment prepared for them in the deep: Meffiah returns with triumph to his Father.


L L night the dreadlefs angel, unpurfu'd, Through heav'n's wide champain held his way, till morn,

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Wak'd by the circling hours, with rofy hand,
Unbarr'd the gates of light. There is
is a caver
Within the mount of God, faft by his throne,
Where light and darknefs in perpetual round
Lodge and diflodge by turns, which makes through
Graceful viciffitude, like day and night;
Light iffues forth, and at the other door
Obfequious darkness enters, till her hour

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To veil the heav'n, though darkness there might well
Seem twilight here: and now went forth the morn
Such as in higheft heav'n array'd in gold
Empyreal; from before her vanifh'd night,

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Shot through with orient beams; when all the plain 15
Cover'd with thick embattled fquadrons bright,
Chariots and flaming arms, and fiery steeds
Reflecting blaze on blaze, firft met his view.
War he perceiv'd, war in procinct; and found
Already known what he for news had thought
To have reported; gladly then he mix'd
Among thofe friendly pow'rs, who him receiv'd
With joy and acclamations loud, that one,
That of fo many myriads fall'n, yet one
Return'd not loft. On to the facred hill
They led him high applauded, and present
Before the feat fupreme; from whence a voice,
From midft a golden cloud, thus mild was heard.
Servant of GoD, well done, well haft thou fought
The better fight, who fingle haft maintain'd
Against revolted multitudes the cause.

Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms;
And for the teftimony of truth hast borne



Univerfal reproach, far worfe to bear

Than violence: for this was all thy care,


To ftand approv'd in fight of Gon, though worlds

Judy'd thee perverfe. The eafier conqueft now
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
Back on thy foes more glorious to return

Than fcorn'd thou did't depart; and to fubdue
By force, who reafon for their law refufe,
Right reafon for their law, and for their King
Meffiah, who by right of merit reigns.
Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince;
And thou in military prowess next,



Gabriel, lead forth to battle thefe my fons
Invincible, lead forth my armed faints,

By thoufands and by millions, rang'd for fight,

Equal in number to that godlefs crew

Rebellious: them with fire and hoftile arms


Fearless affault; and to the brow of heav'n

Purfuing, drive them out from God and blifs,

Into their place of punishment, the gulf
Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide
His fiery chaos to receive their fall.


Have rais'd inceffant armies to defeat
Thy folly or with folitary hand

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Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,
Unaided, could have finish'd thee, and whelm'd
Thy legions under darkness; but thou feest
All are not of thy train; there be who faith
-Prefer and piety to God, though then
To thee not vifible, when I alone
Seem'd in thy world erroneous to diffent
From all my fect thou feeft; now learn too late
How few fometimes may know, when thousands ert.
Whom the grand foe, with fcornful eye askance,
Thus anfwer'd. Ill for thec, but in with'd hour 159
Of my revenge, first fought for thou return'it
From flight, feditious Angel, to receive
Thy merited reward, the first effay

Of this right hand provok'd, fince firft that tongue,
Infpir'd with contradiction, durft oppofe

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A third part of the gods, in fynod met!
Their deities to affert, who while they feel


Vigour divine within them, can allow
Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'ft
Before thy fellows, ambitious to win


From me fome plume, that thy fuccefs may show
Deftruction to the reft: this pause between
(Unanfwer'd left thou boaft) to let thee know;
At first I thought that liberty and heav'n

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To heav'nly fouls had been all one; but now I fee that moft through floth had rather ferve,' Minift'ring fp'rits, train'd up in feast and song; Such haft thou arm'd, the minftrelfy of heav'n, Servility with freedom to contend, *As both their deeds compar'd this day fhall prove. 179 To whom in brief thus Abdiel ftern reply'd. Apoftate, ftill thou err'ft, nor end wilt find Oferring, from the path of truth remote: Unjustly thou depray'ft it with the name Of fervitude, to ferve whom God ordains, Or Nature; GOD and Nature bid the fame, When he who rules is worthieft, and excels Them whom he governs. This is fervitude,


To ferve th' unwife, or him who hath rebell'd
Against his worthier, as thine now ferve thee,
Thyfelf not free, but to thyself inthrall'd
Yet lewdly dar'ft our minift'ring upbraid.
Reign thou in hell, thy kingdom; let me ferve
In heav'n GoD ever bleft, and his divine
Behefts obey, worthieft to be obey'd;

Yet chains in hell, not realms, éxpect; mean while
From me return'd, as erft thou faidft, from flight,
This greeting on thy impious creft receive.

So fay'ing, a noble flroke he lifted high,
Which hung not, but fo fwift with tempeft fell
On the proud creft of Satan, that no fight,
Nor motion of fwift thought, lefs could his fhield,
Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge,
He back recoil'd; the tenth on bended knee,
His maffy fpear upstay'd; as if on earth

· Winds under ground, or waters forcing way,
Side-long had push'd a mountain from his feat,
Half funk with all his pines. Amazement feiz'd
The rebel thrones, but greater rage, to fee





Thus foil'd their mightieft; ours joy fill'd, and fhout, Prefage of victory, and fierce defire

Of battle: whereat Michael bid found




Th' Arch angel trumpet; through the vast of heav'n
It founded, and the faithful armies rung
Hofanna to the high'eft: nor ftood at gaze
The adverfe legions, nor lefs hideous join'd
The horrid fhock Now ftorming fury rofe,
And clamour fuch as heard in heav'n till now
Was never; arms on armour clashing bray'd
Horrible difcord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise
Of conflict; over head and difmal hifs
Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew,
And flying vaulted either hoft with fire,
So under fiery cope together rufh'd
Both battles main, with ruinous affault
And inextinguishable rage: all heav'n
Refounded; and had earth been then, all earth
Had to her center hook. What wonder? when


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