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At least our envious foe hath fail'd, who thought All like himself rebellious, by whose aid 140 This inaccessible high 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, 139 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 process 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, jostead 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 appear'd, Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd Of majesty divine ; sapience 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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