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wherein he beholds all past, present, and futuro Things, and foreseeing what was afterwards to be, thus ipoke to his only Son;
ONLY BEGOTTEN, dost thou behold what Ráge transports our Adversary, whom no prescribed Bounds, nor Bars of Hell, nor all the Chains heaped on him there, nor yet the vast Gulph now separated from the new Creation can hold? So eager he seems for desperate Revenge, which shall fall upon his own rebellious Head; now broke loose from his Confinement, he takes his Flight not far from Heaven, and upon the Borders of Light, directly towards the World newly created, and towards Man placed there, with Purpose to try if he can destroy him by Force, or what is worse, by some Allurement pervert him ; which last will be the Case; for Man will give Ear to his flattering and deceitful Lies, and transgress the only Command which is the Pledge of his Obedience; fo will he fall, and with hiin his faithless Progeny. Whofe is
Whose is the Fault? Whofe but his own? Ungrateful, disobedient Man! I made him just and right, with Power sufficient to have stood, yet left him free to fall; and fo I created all the Powers and Spirits of Heayen, both them who stood and them who failed; freely they stood who stood, and they who fell had the same Freedom. Had they not been free, what sincere Proof could they have given of Allegiance, true Love, or constant Faith, where nothing would appear but what they needs must do, not what they would? What Praise could they receive, or what Pleasure I, from such an Obedience? When Will and Reason (for Reason also is Choice) stripped of their Freedom, both become useless and vain, and would serve Necessity, not me; they therefore as belong to Right, were so created; nor can they with Justice accuse me, their Maker, or their Making, nor blame their Fate, as if Predestination had over-ruled
their Will, disposed by high Fore-knowledge and an absolute Decree : Their own Revolt they decreed themselves, and not I: If I did foreknow, my Foreknowledge had not the least Influence over their Fault, which had I not foreknown, had proved no less certain: So without the least Enforcement or Imagination of Fate, or any thing foreseen by me, which may hereafter happen, do they offend: Authors to themselves in every Thing, as well of what they judge, as of what they chufe; for I formed them free, and so they must remain 'till they ensave themselves ; else I must change their Nature, and abolish the high, unchangeable, and eternal Decree, which ordained their Freedom: It was they themselves that ordained their Fall: The first Sort fell felf-depraved, self-tempted, voluntarily, and by their own evil Thoughts: MAN falls too, but is first deceived by the other : Therefore Man lhall find Grace, but the other none;
so shall my Glory, both in Justice and Mercy, Shine through Heaven and Earth; but that which first and laft shall shine the brightest, shall be Mercy.
CH A P. II.
The Son of God on his Father's declariug that Di
vine Justice must be satisfied for Man's Sin, freely offers himself a Ransom for them; which the FATHER accepts.
HILE God spake, a sweet Fragrance
filled all Heaven, and diffufed a fresh and
unspeakable Pleasure in the blessed and clect Angels. The Son of God was seen most glorious and beyond Compare; all his Father shone in him, expressed substantially, and in his Face appeared visibly divine Compassion, Love without End, and Grace
without Measure, which to his Father he thus gave Utterance :
Oh Father! that Word was gracious which closed thy sovereign Sentence, and which promised that MAN should find Grace ; for which both Heaven and Earth shali highly extol thy Praises, with the Sound of innumerable Hymns and holy Songs, which round about thy Throne shall proclaim Thee ever bleft: For shall Man, thy Creature late so beloved, created since the Angels, be finally lost, and fall circumvented thus by Fraud, though joined with his own Weakness? Far be that from Thee, great Father! who art Judge of all created Things, and who alone judgest right. Or shall the Enemy thus obtain his Ends, and frustrate Thine? Shall he fulfil his Wickedness, and render thy Goodness useless, or proudly return to Hell, (though to a heavier Doom, yet with his Revenge accomplished) and draw after him the whole Race of Mankind corrupted by him? Or wilt Thou thyself unmake and abolish for him, what thou hast made for a Purpose of thy own Glory? So should thy Goodness and thy Greatness both be called in Question, and be blasphemed without Defence.
To whom the great Creator replied thus: My Son, in whom my Soul hath its chiet Delight, Son of my Bosom, who art alone my Word, my Wisdom, and my effectual Power ! all the words that thou haft spoken are my Thoughts, and as my eternal Purpose hath already decreed: Man shall not be quite Ioft, but who will shall be saved, yet not wholly of Will in him, but Grace in me, freely bestowed on him; I will once more renew his impaired Faculties, though forfeited, and dragged by Reason of Sin to foul and exorbitant Desires; yet once more upheld by me, he shall stand on even Ground against his mortal Foe, upheld by me; that he may fully know how frail his
fallen Condition is, and to me, and none but me, owe all his Deliverance. Some, out of my peculiar Grace, I have elected and chofen above the rest, such is my Will: the rest shall hear me call, and have frequent Warnings to leave their sinful State, and to appease betimes (while Grace is yet offered) an angry God; for I will sufficiently clear their dark Senses, and soften their stony Hearts, 'till they pray and repent, and bring due Obedience. To Prayer, Repentance, and due Obedience, mine Ear shall not be Now nor mine Eyes shut. And I will place within them, as a Guide, the Great Witness, CONSCIENCE ; whom if they will hear, they shall attain Light after Light, and persevering to the End, shall at last obtain eternal Happiness : They who neglect and scorn the Day of my Grace, and this my long Sufferance, shall never enter into my Rest, but being hard shall be the more hardened, and being blind shall be the more blinded, that they may make the inore Errors, and their Fall may be the greater ; and none but such have 1 excluded from Mercy. But all is not yet done; Man disloyally disobeying me, has broke my Commandment, and sins against the high Supremacy of Heaven, coveting to be a God, and losing all: To attone for his Treason there is nothing left, but he with his whole Posterity must die, devoted for Destruction ; he must certainly die, or else Justice must; unless some other, both able and willing, pay for him the compleat Satisfaction. Speak, Powers of Heaven! where shall we find such Love? Which of ye will become mortal to redeem Mankind, and being just, be willing to die to save the Unjust ? Dwells there in all Heaven so dear a Charity?
God asked the Question, but the Angels all were mute, and there was silence in Heaven; there was none who so much as appeared on the Behalf of Man, either to defend him or intercede for him, much less
that durít draw upon himself the deadly Penalty, or pay the Ransom required. And now by the levere Sentence of the FATHER, all Mankind must have been lost, and condemned to Death and Hell without Redemption, had not the Son of God, in whom dwells the Fulness of divine Love, thus renewed his dear Mediation.
V FATHER! thy Word is past, that Man shall
find Grace, and shall not Grace find out Means, that finds her Way the speediest of all thy Messengers ? That visits all thy Creatures, unfought for, unasked for, and unmerited? Happy for Man that so it comes, for he once lost and dead in Sin, can never seek her Asistance, and being indebted and undone, hath no Attonement or fit Sacrifice to bring for himfelf. Behold me then! I offer myself for him, my Life for his ; let all thy Anger fall upon me; account me as Man: For his Sake I will leave thy Bosom, and freely put off this Glory, which I pofleis next to Thee, and lastly with Pleasure die for him : Let Death execute all his Rage on me, I shall not lie long under his gloomy Power: Thou hast given me to possess Life in myself for ever, and by Thee I live; Though now I yield up and give to Death all of me that can die ; yet that Debt once paid, Thou wilt not leave me, his Prey, in the loathsome Grave, nor fuffer my unspotted Soul to dwell with Corruption there for ever ; but I shall rise victorious, and overcome my Vanquisher, and rob him of his Spoils ; DEATH shall then receive his last Wound, and disarined of his mortal Sting, shall be destroyed; I shall lead Hell captive in Triumph, spite of Hell, and thew all the Powers of Darkness bound; Thou at the Sight shall look down pleased out of Heaven, while I lupported by Thee ruin all my Foes; Death the last of all, and with his Carcase shall glut the Grave, then after long Absence shall return and enter Heaven,