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under my Command are to hasten homeward with speedy March, where we possess the Quarters of tho North; there to prepare a fit Entertainment to receive our King, the greatMessiah, and his new Com, mands, for that he intends very soon to pass triumphantly through aļl their Hierarchịes, and give them Laws.
Thus spoke the false Arch-Angel and into the Breast of his unwary Associate infused bad Sentiments; who called together, or severally one by one, the regent Powers that governed under him, and told them as he was taught, that it was the Command of God. Now, before the Morning that the great hierarchal Standard was to move, teils the suggested Cause; throws in ambiguous Words between and Jealousies, either to sound or taint Integrity : But all obeyed the usual Signal and the superior Voice of their tentate: (For high indeed was his Degree and very great his Name in Heaven:) His Countenance that was like the Morning-Star, allured them, and with Lies, he drew after him the third part of the Hoft of Heaven.
MEAN while the Eye of God, (who discerns the most hidden Thoughts) from forth his holy Mountain, and irom within the golden Lamps that burn all Night before him, saw (without Help from their Light) Rebellion rising, saw in whom, how spread among the Sons of the Morning, and what Multitudes were leagued to oppose his great Decree ; when to his only Son, he said smiling :
Son, thou in whom I behold my own Glory in full Splendor, the Heir of all my Power ! It nearly concerns us now to be sure of our Omnipotence ; and with what Arms we mean to hold what we have claimed from all Eternity of Godhead, or of Empire; for such
a Foe is rising as intends to erect his Throne equal to ours, all through the spacious North; and not contented with this he has it in his Thoughts to try in Battle what our Power, or our Right is : Let us take Counsel, and to this Contest draw up with Speed the Power that is left, and enıploy it in our Defence, lest this Rebel Rout should assault this our high Place, our Hill, and Sanctuary. To whoin the Son with a calm and clear Countenance, that shone with Bright: nels unspeakable and divine, made Answer:
Almighty Father! Thou justly hast thy Foes in Derision, and in thy own Power secure, laughest at their vain Designs, and vain Tumults : Which to me is the Cause of Glory, whom their Hate shows more to Advantage, when they shall see all Power to quell their Pride; and find by the Event whether I am able to fubdue those who rebel against thee, or be found the weakest in Heaven. Thus spoke the Son : But SATAN with great Speed was far advanced with his Powers, a Hoft as innumerable as the Stars, of Night or Drops of Dew in the Morning. They palfed many Regions, and mighty Regencies of Seraphim, Potentates and Thrones, in their several Degrees: (Regions to which, all thy Dominions Adam is no more to be compared, than this Garden is to all the Earth, and all the Sea) which having passed, at length, they came into thé Limits of the North, and SATAN to his Royal Seat high upon a Hill like a Mountain upon a Mountain with Pyramids and Towers hewn from Quarries of Diamonds and Rocks of Gold, the Palace of great Lucifer(s), (so called that Structure interpreted in the Dialect of Men) which he not long after called the MOUNTAIN OF THE CONGREGATION in
(1) Lucifer ; Fr. Ital. Lat. j. e. his Fall: Because of his most A Bearer of Light. The first excellent Light and Glory. Name of this Arch-Angel before
Imitation of that Mountain whereon the MESSIAH was declared the only begotten Son in the Sight of Heaven ; so that he affected all Equality with God : And thither assembled all his Train; pretending that he was commanded so to do, to consult about the great Reception of their King Messiah, who was to come thither: And with calumnious Art and counterfeited Truth thus addressed the Angels under his Command :
THRONES! Dominions! Prinċedoms! Virtues ! and Powers! If these high Titles yet remain, or are not meerly titular, since another now has by Decree ingrofied all Power to himself, and eclipsed us under the Name of the ANOINTED KING; for whom we make all this Haite of Midnight March, and meet thus hurrying here, only to consult how we may best receive him, with what new Honours can be devised, he coming to receive from us a Knee-Tribute which we never yet paid : A vile Prostration! Too much to fhow to one, but double, how can it be endured! To one first, but now another, which he proclaims to be his Image. But what if better Counsels might influence our Minds, and teach how to cast off this Yoke? Will
your Necks? And do you chuse to bend your humble Knee? You will not, if I know or judge right of ye; or if ye know yourselves to be what ye are ; the Natives and Sons of Heaven ; poffeffed by none before ye; and if all are not equal yet all are free, equally free: For Orders and Degrees do not jar but consist well with Liberty. Who can then either in Reason, or Right pretend to assume Monarchy over such as by Right live his Equals, and if less in Power and Splendor are yet equal in Freedom? Or who can introduce a Law and Decree upon us, who being without Law cannot err? much less impose this anointed King upon us to be our LORD, and look for Adoration, to the Abuse of our imperial Titles,
which affert that we were ordained to govern, and not to serve.
THUS far his bold Discourse had Audience with. out any Controul, when ABDIEL (+), one among the Seraphim, than whom there was none obeyed divine Commands more, or adored the Deity with more Ardency, stood up, and in a Flame of Zeal thus severely oppofed the Current of his Fury:
Ou proud, false, and blasphemous Argument ! Words ! which no Ear ever expected to hear in Heaven, and least of all thou ungrateful Wretch from thee, who art thyself placed so high above others ! Canst thou condemn with wicked Reproach the just Decree of God, which was pronounced and sworn ; that to his only Son, by Right honoured with the Royal Sceptre, every Soul in Heaven shall bow the Knee, and in' that due Honour confess him to be rightful King? Thou fayest it is unjust, positively unjust, to bind those who are free with Laws, and to let Equal reign over Equals, and one over all, to whom none is to succeed.Shalt thou give Laws to God ? Shalt thou dispute the Points of Liberty with him, who made thee what thou now, art, and formed and circumscribed the. Being of all the Powers of Heaven just as he pleased? Yet taught by Expericence, we know how good he is, and how.careful of our Good and Dignity; how far from any Thought of making us less j' rather bent, uniting us more near himself under one Head, to exalt our happy State.
----But suppose I were to grant thee, that it were unjutt, : that any Equal Thould reign as King over his Equals ; thou (though very great and glorious) doft thoų reckon-thyself, or think all the angelical Nature
Abeliel, Hebi i. e. The ferrant of God, the same as Oba.
joined in one, equal with him who is the begotten Son ? by whom (for he was the Word) the Almighty Father made all Things, even thee and all the other Spirits of Heaven, who were. by him created in their bright Orders, crowned with Glory, and given glorious Names, THRONES, DOMINATIONS, PRINCEDOMS, VIRTUES, and Powers, real and essential Powers, which are not obscured by his Reign, bui made more illustrious ; since he becoming our Head, becomes one of our Number, his Laws become our Laws, and all Honour. done to him returns back again to us.----- Then cease this impious Fury, and tempt not these Angels to fin; but hasten to appease the Wrath of the incensed FATHER, and the Wrath of the incensed Son, and repent in Time while Pardon
Thus spoke ABDIEL, the faithful and fervent Seraph, but none seconded his Zeal, as judged rath and singular, and out of Season, at which SATAN rejoiced, and grown more haughty thus replied :
SAYEST thou that we were made then ? and the Work of secondary Hands, by a Task transferred from the Father to the Son ? A strange and new Point of Doctrine! which we would know whence was learned : Who is it that saw when this Creation was ? Dost thou remember any Thing about thy being made, while the Maker was giving thee Being ? -We know no Time when we were not, as we are now; we know of none before us, but were produced by a natural Course of Things, self-raised by our own quickening Power, the ripe Birth of this our native Heaven, of which we are the natural Sons : Our Power and Strength is our own, which shall teach us Deeds of the highest Importance, to try by Proof who is our Equal : Then thou shalt behold, whether we intend to address and surround the Almighty