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given thee this Pause between, (left if I had not, thou shouldest have boasted that I could not answer thee) to let thee know, that at first I thought that Liberty and Heaven had been the same Thing to heavenly Souls ; but now I perceive that most are so. Nothful, that they had rather serve, be attending Spirits, and trained up in Festivals and Songs ; fuch are these thou hast armed, the singing Minstrelsy of Heaven, Slavery contending against Freedom as the Comparison of this Day's Actions shall prove.
To whom in few Words ABDIEL replied sternly : Apostate Spirit! thou errest still, and wilt find no End of erring, being out of the Path of Truth ; unjustly thou brandest the Service that GOD or Nature ordains with the Name of Servitude; God and Nature command the fame Things, when he who rules is most worthy and most excellent above those he governs. It is Servitude to serve the Unwife, or who hath rebelled against that are worthier than himfelf, as thy Followers now serve thee, thou thyself not being free, but in Slavery even to thyself, yet impiously darest upbraid our Obedience. Do thou reign in Hell, thy Kingdom, and let me serve the everblessed God in Heaven, and obey his divine Commands, which are worthiest to be obeyed ! yet do not thou expect Realms, but Chains in Hell, and Punishment; mean while receive from me (who just now thou faidest was returned from Flight) this Greeting upon thy wicked Head. Saying this he lifted up his Arm to strike a Blow, which immediately with great Strength and Swiftness fell on SATAN's proud Crest, that no Sight nor Motion of swift Thought could intercept such Ruin, much less could his Shield : He recoiled back ten Paces; the tenth his massy Spear supported him upon his bended Knee ; as if upon Earth fubterranean Winds and Waters had forced their Way, and sidelong had pushed a Mountain from
its Seat; half funk with all its Trees. The rebellious Angels were seized with Amazement, but more with Rage, to see their great General thus foiled ; while our Powers were filled with Joy and Shouts, foretelling Victory and fierce Desire of Battle ; whereat MICHAEL ordered the Arch-Angel Trumpet to be founded through all the Heavens, and the faithful Armies rung with Hosanna to the Highest : Nor did the adverse Legions stand still to gaze, but with Sounds as hideous as ours were heavenly, joined the horrid Shock. Now storming Fury arose, and a Clamour, such as 'till now were never heard in Heaven ; Arms clashing upon Armour, ' made a harsh and terrible Discord, and the furious Wheels of brazen Chariots raged : The Noise of the Conflict was dreadful, the Hils of fiery Darts flew in Vollies over Head, and as they few covered either Army with Fire, under which they both rushed to Battle, with ruinous Affault and Rage not to be extinguished : All Heaven refounded, and all Earth had it been then would have been shaken to its Centre : What Wonder? when Millions of encountering fierce Angels fought on each side, the least of whom could move these Elements, and arm himself with all their Force : How much more Power had they, Army against Army, warring without Number, to raise dreadful Combustion, and disturb (though they had not Power to destroy) their native Seat I had not the Eternal and Almighty King, from the Seat of his Power, over-ruled and fet Limits to their Power : Though their Number was such, that each Legion might be thought a great Army, in Strength each armed Hand was as that of an entire Legion ; they were led in Fight, yet each single Warrior seemed like a Leader, and as in chief ; expert, and knowing when to advance, when to stand or turn the Sway of Battle, when to open, and when to close the Ranks ; they had no Thought of Flight or of Retreat, or any unbecoming Action that argued
Fear; each relied upon himself, as if only in his Arm lay the Balance of the Victory : Deeds were done of eternal Fame, for the War was spread wide and various ; sometimes a Itanding Fight upon firm Ground, then mounting upon main Wing, all the Air was troubled; for all the Air seemed then to be nothing but contending Fire ; the Battle hung a long Time in even Scale, 'till SATAN (who that Day had shewn prodigious Power, and in Arms had met no Equal) ranging through the dreadful Attack of Seraphim, confusedly fighting, at length saw where the Sword of Michael (mote and felled whole Squadrons at once ; his huge Weapon brandished aloft in both Hands, the horrid Edge came down, wasting far and near. SATAN hafted to withstand such Destruction, and
opposed his ample Shield that was of vast Circumference, a rocky Orb of tenfold Adamant. MICHAEL, the great Arch-Angel, gave over fighting at his Approach, glad as koping here to end intestine War in Heaven, by subduing SATAN, or dragging him Captive in Chains; but with a hostile Frown, and a Countenance all inflamed, first spoke to him :
Thou Author of Evil ! which 'till thy Revolt had no Name in Heaven, now as thou feest these Acts of hateful Strife are become plentiful; hateful to all, though by just Measure heaviest upon thyself and all thy Adherents : How hast thou disturbed the blessed Peace of Heaven, and brought Misery into Nature, which was not created 'till the Time of thy Rebellion ? How hast thou instilled thy Malice into Thousands, who were once upright and faithful, but now are proved false ? But think not to trouble holy Reft here in Heaven ; Heaven cafts thee out from all her Confines ; Heaven, which is the Seat of Bliss, suffers not Deeds of Violence and War to be done here : Hence then ! and let Evil, which is thy Offspring, go along with thee to Hell, the Place of Evil : Hence B b 2
thou and thy wicked Crew! and there ftir up Broils ; before this my avenging Sword begin thy Doom, or fome more sudden Vengeance, winged immediately
from God, hurl thee down headlong with still addi. itional Pain.
Thus spake MICHAEL, the Prince of the An; gels; to whom the Adversary SATAN replied: Think not with empty and airy Threats to awe thole, whom yet with Deeds thou canst not : Haft thou put the least of these to Flight ? Or made fall, but that they rise again unvanquished ? Doft thou think it easier to contend with me, that thou shouldest hope, imperious Arch-Angel, with Threats to chale me hence? Miftake not to much, as to think that we shall end fo that Strife which thou callest Evil, but we stile the Strife of Glory; which we intend to win, orelse turn this Heaven itself into the Hell thou hast been telling Fables of; here intending however to dwell free if not to reign : Mean while thy utmost Force (and call him who is named ALMIGHTY to thy Afliftance) I have not fied from ; but instead of that, have fought thee far and near.
They ended talking, and both addressed themselves for Fight in a Manner not to be described; for whocan relate, though with the Tongue of Angels, or to what Things liken it that are feen
upon Earth, that may lift the human Imagination to such a Height of godlike Power? For they seemed likest Gods, whether they stood still or moved ; in Arms, in Stature, and Motion, fit to decide, the great Empire of Heaven : Now their fiery Swords waved, and made broad Circles in the Air ; their Shields, like two broad Suns, blazed opposite each ocher, while either Side looked on with Expectation and Horror : The Angelical Bands from each Hand where the Fight before was hottest retired with Speeds, and left. large Field for them to combat in;
it being unsafe to remain near such Commotion : Such (to fet great Things forth by small) as if the Concord of Nature being broke, War was sprung among the Constellations, and two Planets rushing from a malign Alpect of fierce Opposition, should meet in the Middle of the Sky, and confound their jarring Spheres. - Boch together, with an Arm next to Almighty, lift
ed up imminent, aimed one Stroke that might detérmine at once and not need Repetition, nor did there appear any Odds in Power, or in Swiftnefs, to prevent each other ; but the Sword of MICHAEL, which he had from the Armoury of God, was given him tempered so, that nothing either keen or folid might resift that Edge ; it met the Sword of SATAN, defcending with grear Force co strike, and cut it quite in two, nor staid there, but wheeling swift reverfed, deeply entering, divided all his Right-Side. It was then that Satan first knew Pain, and writhed himself to and fro, rowling about with Anguish, fo forely the piercing Sword with feparating Sharpness passed through him ; but the heavenly Substance foon clofed, which could not be long divided, and from the Gásh flowed Blood, such as celestial Spirits may bleed, and stained all his Armour, which before was fo bright. Forthwith on every Side many strong Angels run to his Aid, who interposed in his Defence ; while others bore him upon their Shields back to his Chariot, where it stood retired some Distance off the Files of War ; there they laid him, gnashing his Teeth for Anguish, Shame, and Despite, to find himself not matchless, and have his Pride humbled by fuch a Rebuke, so far beneath the Confidence he had conceived to have equalled God in Power : Yet he healed soon ; for Spirits that live throughout their whole Being, live wholly in every Part, (not like frail Man, whose Life is in his Entrails, Heart, Head, Liver, or Reins) and cannot die but by Annihilation, nor receive any mortal. Wound into their fine