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Re-visit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee, Sion and the flow'ry brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equall'd with me in fate,
So were I equall'd with them in renown,
Blind Thamyris and blind Maonides,
And Tiresias and Phineus, prophets old:
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year
Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of ev'n or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks or herds or human face divine;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair
Presented with an universal blank

Of nature's works, to me expung'd and ras'd,
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.
So much the rather thou, celestial light,

Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight."

Book iii. 1-55.

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ON PROVIDENCE.

"The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
They hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way."

Book xii. 646-649.

ON THE NECESSITY OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Speaking of his blindness, he says,

"And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.
So much the rather thou, celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.”

Book iii. lines 50-55.

ON THE ORIGIN OF EVIL.

"And now,

Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way,
Not far off Heav'n, in the precincts of light,
Directly tow'rds the new created world,

And man there plac'd, with purpose to essay
If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert,
For Man will hearken to his glozing lies,
And easily transgress the sole command,
Sole pledge of his obedience: so will fall
He and his faithless progeny. Whose fault?
Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me
All he could have; I made him just and right,

Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall."

They therefore as to right belong'd,

66

So were created, nor can justly accuse

Their Maker, or their making, or their fate,
As if predestination over-rul'd

Their will, dispos'd by absolute decree
Of high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
Their own revolt, not I: if I foreknew,
Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown.
So without least impulse or shadow of fate,
Or ought by me immutably foreseen,
They trespass, authors to themselves in all
Both what they judge and what they choose; for so
I form'd them free, and free they must remain,
Till they inthrall themselves; I else must change
Their nature, and revoke the high decree
Unchangeable, eternal, which ordain'd

Their freedom: they themselves ordain'd their fall.
The first sort by their own suggestion fell,
Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls, deceiv'd
By th' other first; Man therefore shall find grace,
The other none. In mercy and justice both,
Through Heav'n and Earth, so shall my glory excel,
But mercy first and last shall brightest shine."

66

Book iii. lines 85-100; 110—134.

ON THE PROPER DIVINITY OF THE SON OF GOD.

'Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
Most glorious; in him all his Father shone
Substantially express'd; and in his face
Divine compassion visibly appear'd,
Love without end, and without measure grace."
Book iii. lines 138-142.

ON PERSONAL ELECTION.

"As my eternal purpose hath decreed:

Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will,
Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
Freely vouchsafed.

Some have I chosen of peculiar grace

Elect above the rest! so is my will:
The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warn'd,
Their sinful state, and to appease betimes
Th' incensed Deity, while offer'd grace
Invites; for I will clear their senses dark,
What may suffice, and soften stony hearts
To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.
To pray'r, repentance, and obedience due,
Though but endeavour'd with sincere intent,
Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut;
And I will place within them as a guide
My umpire conscience, whom if they will hear,
Light after light well us'd they shall attain,
And to the end persisting, safe arrive.
This my long sufferance and my day of grace
They who neglect and scorn shall never taste;
But hard be harden'd, blind be blinded more,
That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;
And none but such from mercy I exclude.”

ON THE SUBSTITUTION OF CHRIST.

"He with his whole posterity must die, Die he or justice must; unless for him Some other able, and as willing, pay

The rigid satisfaction, death for death.

Say, heav'nly Powers! where shall we find such love?

Which of ye will be mortal to redeem

Man's mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save?
Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?"

Book iii. 208-216.

"Behold me then; me for him life for life
I offer; on me let thine anger fall;
Account me Man; I for his sake will leave
Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly die.
Well pleas'd: on me let Death wreak all his rage;
Under his gloomy pow'r I shall not long
Lie vanquish'd."

Book iii. 236-243.

ON FAITHFUL AND ARDENT ZEAL IN RELIGION.

"So spake the fervent Angel; but his zeal
None seconded, as out of season judg'd,
Or singular and rash; whereat rejoic'd
The Apostate."

"So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmov'd,
Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrify'd,
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."

Book v. 849-851; 896-903.

ON THE PLEASURES OF AN APPROVING CONSCIENCE.
"On to the sacred hill
They led him high applauded, and present
Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice,
From midst a golden cloud thus mild was heard :

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