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To mortal ear is dreadful ; they beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terror cease : he grants what they besought,
Instructed that to God is no access
Without Mediator, whose high office now
Moses in figure bears, to introduce
One greater, of whose day he shall foretell;
And all the prophets in their age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus laws and rites
Established, 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 framed
Of cedar, overlaid with gold; therein
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
Seven lamps, as in a zodiac representing
The heavenly 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
Promised to Abraham and his seed. The rest
Were long to tell ; how many battles fought;
How many kings destroyed, and kingdoms won;
Or how the sun shall in mid-heaven stand still
A day entire, and night's due course adjourn,
Man's voice commanding, Sun, in Gibeon stand,
And thou, moon, in the vale of Ajalon,
Till Israel overcome!' so called the third
From Abraham, son of Isaac; and from him
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.”

Here Adam interposed : “O sent from Heaven, Enlight'ner of my darkness! gracious things Thou hast revealed; those chiefly, which concern Just Abraham and his seed: now first I find Mine eyes true opening, and my heart much eased, Erewhile perplexed with thoughts what would become 1 That the seven lamps signified the seven planets, and that there fore the lamps stood slopewise, as it were to express the obliquity the zodiac, is the gloss of Josephus, from whom probably our author borrowed it.-Newton

So many

Of me and all mankind; but now I see
His day, in whom all nations shall be blest,
Favour unmerited by me, who sought
Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means.
This yet I apprehend not, why to those
Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth
So many and so various laws are given;


argue so many sins Among them; how can God with such reside ?"

To whom thus Michael : “ Doubt uot but that sin Will reign among them, as of thee begot; And therefore was law given them to evince Their natural pravity, by stirring up Sin against law to fight: that when they see Law can discover sin, but not remove, Save by those shadowy 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 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 With purpose to resign them in full time Up to a better covenant; disciplined From shadowy types to truth ; from flesh 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 beloved, being but the minister Of law, his people into Canaan lead; But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call, His name and office bearing, who shall quell The adversary serpent, and bring back Through the world's wilderness long-wandered man Safe to eternal Paradise of rest. Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan placed, Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins National interrupt their public peace, Provoking God to raise them enemies ; From whom as oft he saves them penitent,

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By judges first, then under kings; of whom
The second, both for piety renowned
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his regal throne
For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
All prophecy, that of the royal stock
Of David (so I name this king) shall rise
A son, the woman's seed 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 shall be no end.
But first, a long succession must ensue,
And his next son, for wealth and wisdom famed,
The clouded ark of God, till then in tents
Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine.
Such follow him as shall be registered,
Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scroll,
Whose foul idolatries, and other faults
Heaped to the popular sum, will so incense
God, as to leave them, and expose their land,
Their city, his temple, and his holy ark,
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud city, whose high walls thou saw'st
Left in confusion, Babylon thence called.
There in captivity he lets them dwell
The space of seventy years, then brings them back,
Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn
To David, 'stablished as the days of Heaven
Returned from Babylon by leave of kings,
Their lords, whom God disposed, 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 dissension springs;
Men who attend the altar, and should most
Endeavour peace : their strife pollution brings
Upon the temple itself: 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
Barred of his right; yet at his birth a star,
Unseen before in Heaven, proclaims him come,
And guides the eastern sages, who inquire

1 Herod.



His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold :
His place of birth a solemn angel tells
To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night;
They gladly thither haste, and by a quire
Of squadroned angels hear his carol sung.
A virgin is his mother, but his sire
The power of the Most High; he shall ascend
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign
With earth’s wide bounds, his glory with the Heavens.”

He ceased, discerning Adam with such joy
Surcharged, as had like grief been dewed in tears,
Without the vent of words, which these he breathed :

“O prophet of glad tidings ! finisher
Of utmost hope ! now clear I understand
What oft my steadiest thoughts have searched in vain;
Why our great expectation should be called
• The seed of woman.' Virgin mother, hail !
High in the love of Heaven! yet from my loins
Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son
Of God Most High ; so God with man unites.
Needs must the serpent now his capital bruise
Expect with mortal pain : 'say where and when
Their fight, what stroke shall bruise 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
Satan, whose fall from Heaven, a deadlier bruise,
Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound:
Which he, who comes thy Saviour, shall re-cure,
Not by destroying Satan, but his works
In thee and in thy seed: nor can this be,
But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
Obedience to the law of God, imposed
On penalty of death, and suffering death,
The penalty to thy transgression due,
And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:
So only can high justice rest appaid.
The law of God exact he shall fulfil
Both by obedience and by love, though love
Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment
He shall endure by coming in the flesh
To a reproachful life and cursed death,

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Proclaiming life to all who shall believe
In his redemption, and that his obedience
Imputed becomes theirs by faith, his merits
To save them, not their own, though legal, works.
For this he shall live hated, be blasphemed,
Seized on by force, judged, and to death condemned
A shameful and accursed; nailed to the cross
By his own nation; slain for bringing life:
But to the cross he nails thy enemies,
The law that is against thee, and the sins
Of all mankind, with him there crucified,
Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
In this his satisfaction: so he dies,
But soon revives; death over him no power
Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise
Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems,
His death for man, as many as offered life
Neglect not, and the benefit embrace
By faith not void of works: this God-like act
Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have died
In sin for ever lost from life; this act
Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength,
Defeating sin and death, his two main arms,
And fix far deeper in his head their stings
Than temporal death shall bruise the victor's heel,
Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
A gentle wafting to immortal life.
Nor after resurrection shall he stay
Longer on earth than certain times to appear
To his disciples, men who in his life
Still followed him; to them shall leave in charge
To teach all nations what of him they learned
And his salvation, them who shall believe,
Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign
Of washing them from guilt of sin to life
Pure, and in mind prepared, if so befall,
For death, like that which the Redeemer died.
All nations they shall teach ; for, from that day,
Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins
Salvation shall be preached, but to the sons
Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world;

i Bentley prefers “ their."

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