… That thou art happy owe to God;
that thou continuest such, owe to thyself,
that is to thy obedience; Therein stand….
This was that caution given thee; be advised.
God made thee perfect, not immutable;
And good he made thee; but to persevere
He left it in thy power, ordained thy will
By nature free, not over-ruled by fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity.
Our voluntary service he requires,
Not our necessitated. Such with him
Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how
can hearts not free be tried whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they choose?
Myself , and all th’ Angelic host, that stand
In sight of God enthroned, our happy state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds.
On other surety none: freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall….
John Milton (1608-74), Paradise Lost.