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The Mountain of the Congregation called;
For thither he assembled all his train,
Pretending so commanded to consult
About the great reception of their King
Thither to come, and with calumnious art
Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears :----
""Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues,


If these magnific titles yet remain
Not merely titular, since by decree
Another now hath to himself engrossed
All power, and us eclipsed under the name
Of King Anointed; for whom all this haste
Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here,
This only to consult, how we may best,
With what may be devised of honours new, 780
Receive him coming to receive from us
Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile!
Too much to one! but double, how endured--
To one and to his image now proclaimed?
But what if better counsels might erect
Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke!
Will ye submit your necks, and choose to bend
The supple knee? Ye will not, if I trust
To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves
Natives and Sons of Heaven possessed before 790
By none, and, if not equal all, yet free,
Equally free; for orders and degrees
Jar not with liberty, but well consist.
Who can in reason, then, or right, assume
Monarchy over such as live by right
His equals-if in power and splendour less,
In freedom equal? or can introduce
Law and edict on us, who without law

Satan incites to treason

Abdiel's Err not? much less for this to be our Lord, loyalty And look for adoration, to the abuse


Of those imperial titles which assert
Our being ordained 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 adored
The Deity, and divine commands obeyed,
Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe
The current of his fury thus opposed :—

""O argument blasphemous, false, and proud-
Words which no ear ever to hear in Heaven 810
Expected; least of all from thee, ingrate,
In place thyself so high above thy peers!
Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn
The just decree of God, pronounced and sworn,
That to his only Son, by right endued
With regal sceptre, every soul in Heaven
Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due
Confess him rightful King? Unjust, thou


Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free,
And equal over equals to let reign,
One over all with unsucceeded power!
Shalt thou give law to God? shalt thou dispute
With him the points of liberty, who made
Thee what thou art, and formed the Powers of


Such as he pleased, and circumscribed 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 None
United. But-to grant it thee unjust
That equal over equals monarch reign—
Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou



Or all angelic nature joined in one,
Equal to him, begotten Son, by whom,
As by his Word, the mighty Father made
All things, even thee, and all the Spirits of

By him created in their bright degrees, Crowned them with glory, and to their glory named

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues,

Essential Powers; nor by his reign obscured,
But more illustrious made; since he, the head,
One of our number thus reduced becomes;
His laws our laws; all honour to him done
Returns our own. Cease, then, this impious

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And tempt not these; but hasten to appease
The incensed Father and the incensed Son
While pardon may be found, in time besought."
'So spake the fervent Angel; but his zeal
None seconded, as out of season judged,
Or singular and rash. Whereat rejoiced
The Apostate, and, more haughty, thus re-



"That we were formed, then, say'st thou?
and the work

Of secondary hands, by task transferred

From Father to his Son? Strange point and


Satan Doctrine which we would know whence learned: Who saw

will try his puis- 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-raised 86c
By our own quickening power when fatal course
Had circled his full orb, the birth mature
Of this our native Heaven, Ethereal Sons.
Our puissance is our own; our own right hand
Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
Who is our equal. Then thou shalt behold
Whether by supplication we intend
Address, and to begirt the Almighty Throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,
These tidings, carry to the Anointed King; 870
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight."

He said; and, as the sound of waters deep,
Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause
Through the infinite host. Nor less for that
The flaming Seraph, fearless, though alone,
Encompassed round with foes, thus answered
bold :-


"O alienate from God, O Spirit accursed,
Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall
Determined, and thy hapless crew involved
In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread
Both of thy crime and punishment. Henceforth
No more be troubled how to quit the yoke
Of God's Messiah. Those indulgent laws
Will not be now vouchsafed; other decrees
Against thee are gone forth without recall;
That golden sceptre which thou didst reject
Is now an iron rod to bruise and break



Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise;
Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly
These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath
Impendent, raging into sudden flame,
Distinguish not for soon expect to feel
His thunder on thy head, devouring fire.
Then who created thee lamenting learn,
When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know."
So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found;
Among the faithless faithful only he;
Among innumerable false unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;
Nor number nor example with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant

mind, Though single. passed,

From amidst them forth he

Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustained



Superior, nor of violence feared aught;

And with retorted scorn his back he turned
On those proud towers, to swift destruction



departs unterrified

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