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To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Uitrain'd in arms, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by their delay
In the wide wilderness, there they fhall found
Their government, and their great fenate choose

Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordain'd:
God from the mount of Sinai whose grey top
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself,
In thunder, lightning, and loud tempest's found,
Ordain them laws; part such as appertain
To civil justice, part religious rites
Of facrifice, intorming them, by types
And shadows, of that destin'd feed to bruise
The ferpent, by what means he shall achieve
Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God

235 To mortal ear is dreadful; they beseech That Mofes might report to them his will, And terror cease; he grants what they befought, Instructed that to God is no access Without mediator, whole high office now 240 Moles in figure bears, to introduce One greater, of whole day he shall foretel, And all the prophets in their age the tiines Of great Meifi'ah fhall fing. Thus laws and rites Elablith'd, such delight hath God in men Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes Among them to set up his tabernacle, The holy One with mortal men to dwell: By his prescript a sanctuary is fram’d Of cedar overlaid with gold; therein

250 An ark, and in the ark his testimony, The records of his covenant ; over these A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings Of two bright cherubim; before him burn Sev’n lamps as in a zodiac, representing The heav'nly fires; over the tent a cloud Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night, Save when they journey, and at length they come, Conducted by his angel, to the land Promis'd to Abrahain and his feed : the rest 260

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Were long to tell how many battles fought,
How many kings destroy'd, and kingdoms won,
Or how the sun shall in mid heav'n stand still
A day entire, and night's due course adjourn,
Man's voice commanding, Sun in Gibeon stand, 265
And thou moon in the vale of Ajalon,
Till Ifrael overcome: fo call the third
From Abraham, son of Isaac, and from him
His whole descent, who thus Thall Canaan win,

Here Adam interpos’d : O sent from heav'ny. 270
Enlightner of my darknets, gracious things
Thou hast reveal'd, those chiefly which concern
Just Abraham and his feed: now first I find
Mine eyes true opening, and my heart much eas’d,
Erewhile perplex'd with thoughts what would become
Of me and all mankind; but now I see

His day, in whom all nations thall be bleft;
Favour unmerited by me, who fought
Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means.
yet I apprehend not, why to thole

280 Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth So many and to various laws are given ; So many laws


Among them; how can God with such reside ?

To whom thus Michael: Doubt not but that fin 285
Will reign among them, as of thee begot ;
And therefore was law giv’n them, to evince
Their natural pravity, by stirring up
Sin against law to fight; that when they see
Law can discover fin, but not remove,

Save by those thadowy expiations weak,
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude
Some blood more precious must be paid for man,
Just for unjust, that in such righteousness,
To them by faith imputed, they may find 295
Justification towards God, and peace
Of conscience, which the law by ceremonies
Cannot appease, nor man the moral part
Perform, and not performing cannot live.
So law appears imperfect, and but given


argue lo


With purpose to resign them in full time
Up to a better covenant, disciplin'd
From shadowy types to truth, from flelh to spirit,
From imposition of strict laws to free
Acceptance of large grace, from servile fear

To filial, works of law to works of faith.
And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
Highly belov’d, being but the minister
Of law, his people into Canaan lead ;
But Jothua, whoni the Gentiles Jesus call, 310
His name and office bearing, who thall quell
The adversary serpent, and bring back
Through the world's wilderness long wander'd man
Safe to eternal paradise of reit.
Mean while they, in their earthly Canaan plac’d, 315
Long time shall dwell and prosper; but when fins
National interrupt their public peace,
Provoking God to raise them enemies;
From whom as oft he saves them penitent
By judges first, then under kings; of whom 320
The second, both for piety renown'd
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his regal throne
For ever shall endure; the like shall fing
All prophesy, that of the royal stock

325 Of David (so I name this king) Mall rise A son, the woman's leed to thee foretold, Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust All nations, and to kings foretold, of kings The last, for of his reign thall be no end. But first a long succession mult enlue : And his next lon, for wealth and wisdom fam’d, The clouded ark of God, till then in tents Wand'ring, lhall in a glorious temple inshrine. Such follow him as fhall be register'd

335 Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll, Whole foul idolatries, and other faults Heap'd to the popular sum, will fo incense God, as to leave them, and expose their land, Their city, his temple, and his holy ark, 340


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With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud city, whole high walls thou saw'st
Left in confusion, Babylon thence callid.
There in captivity he lets them dwell
The space of sev'nty years, then brings them back,
Rememb’ring mercy, and his covenant sworn 346
To David, ñablith'd as the days of Hicav'n,
Return'd from Babylon by leave of kings
Their lords, whom God dispos’d, the house of God
They first re-edify, and for a while

In mean estate live moderate, till grown
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow :
But first among the priests dislention springs,
Men who attend the altar and Mould most
Endeavour peace; their frife pollution brings 355
Upon the temple itfeif: at last they seize
The sceptre, and regard not David's sons,
Then lose it to a stranger, that the true
Anointed king Messiah might be born
Barr'd of his right ; yet at his birth a star,
Unseen before in Heav'n, proclaims hiin come,
And guides the eastern sages, who enquire
His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold :
His place of birth a solemn angel tells
To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night; 365
They gladly thither hafte, and by a choir
Of squadron'd angels hear his carol fung.
A virgin is his mother, but his fire
The power of the Most High: he shall ascend
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign 370
With earth’s wide bounds, his glory with the heav'n's,

He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy
Surcharg'd, as had like grief been dew'd in tears,
Without the vent of words, which these he breath'd :
O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher

Of utmoit hope ! now clear I understand
What oft my steadiest thoughts have search'd in vain ;
Why our great expectation should be callid
The Seed of Woman: Virgin mother, hail,
High in the love of heav'n, yet from my loins 382

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Thou falt procecd, and from thy womb the Son
Ot God moit High; fo God with man unites.
Needs must the terpent now his capital bruise
Expect with mortal pain : say where and when 384
Their fight, what Itroke shall bruile the victor's heel.

To whom thus Michael: Dream not of their fight,
As of a duel, or the local wounds
Of head or heel : not therefore joins the Son
Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to foil
Thy enemy; nor so is overcome

390 Satan, whole fall from heav'n, a deadlier bruise, Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound; Which he, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure ; Not hy destroying Satan, but his works In thee and in thy feed : nor can this be

395 But by fulfilling that which thou didst want, Obedience to the law of God, impos'd On penalty of death, and suffering death, The penalty to thy transgression due, And due to theirs, which out of thine will grow: 400 So only can high justice rest appaid. The law of God exact he shall fulfi! Both by obedience and by love, though love Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment He shall endure, by coming in the flcth

405 To a reproachful life and cursed death, Proclaiming life to all who fall believe In his redemption, and that his obedience Imputed becomes theirs by faith, hii merits To save them, not their own, though legal works. For this he thall live hated, be blasphem'd, Seiz'd on by force, judg’d, and to death condemn'd A shameful and accurs'd, nail'd to the cross By his own nation, slain for bringing life : But to the cross he nails thy enemies,

415 The law that is against thee, and the fins Of all mankind, with him there crucify'd, Never to hurt them more who rightly trust In this his satisfaction ; so he dies, But soon revives; Death over him no power



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