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War terrify them inexpert, and fear
Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
Inglorious life with servitude; for life
To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Untrain'd in arms, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by their delay
In the wide wilderness, there they shall found
Their government, and their great senate choose
Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordain'd.
God from the mount of Sinai, whose gray top
Shall tremble, He descending, will Himself
In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets' sound
Ordain them laws; part, such as appertain
To civil justice; part, religious rites
Of sacrifice, informing them by types
And shadows of that destined seed to bruise
The serpent, by what means He shall achieve
Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of GOD
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 bigh office now
Moses in figure bears, to introduce
One greater, of whose day he shall foretel;
And all the prophets in their age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing Thus laws and riten
Establish’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 framed
Of cedar, overlaid with gold, therein
An ark, and in the ark His testimony,
The records of His cov'nant, 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 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 como
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 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,
And thou moon in the vale of Aialon,
Till Israel overcome;-80 call the third
From Abraham, son of Isaac, and from him
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.

Here Adam interposed. O sent from heav'n,
Enlightener of my darkness, gracions things
Thou hast reveal'd, those chiefly which concern
Just Abraham and his seed : now first I find
Mine eyes true op’ning, and my heart much eased,
Erewhile perplex'd with thoughts what would become
Of me and all mankind; but now I see
His day, in whom all nations shall be bless'd;
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 givin•
So many laws argue so many sins
Among them; how can God with such reside?

To whom thus Michael. Doubt not 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 concinde 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 giv'n With purpose to resign them in full time Up to a better covenant, disciplined From shadowy types to truth, from flesh to spirity 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 led; 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 wander'd man Safe to eternal paradise of rest. Meanwhile they in their earthly Canaan placed Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins National interrapt their public peace, Provoking God to raise them enemies, From whom as oft He saves th-m penitent, By judges first, then under kir.gs; of whom The second, both for piety renown'd And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive Irrevocable, that his regal tlirone For ever shall endure; the like shall sing All prophesy, 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 Wand'ring, shall in a glorious temple enshrine. Such follow him, as shall be register'd Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scroll; Whose foul idolatries, and other faults

Heap'd 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 calld.
There in captivity He lets them dwell
The space of seventy years, then brings them back,
Rememb’ring mercy and His cov'nant sworn
To David stablish'd as the days of heav'n.
Return'd 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 ;a
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 him come;
And guides the eastern sages, who inquire
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 choir
Of squadron'd angels hear his carol sung.
A virgin is his mother, but his sire
The power of the Most High; he shall ascend

I The murder of Jesus, or Joshua, in the Temple by his brother John, the high priest, is perhaps alluded to here. Bagoas, the general of Artaxerxes's army, had promised to procure Jesus the high priesthood. In confidence of the Persian's support, Jesus insulted his brother in the Temple, and so provoked him that the latter slew him. Thus the Tomple was polluted by fratricide, comInitted by the high priest himself The old commentators suppose, however,

that the passage all'ides to the quarrela between Jason and Menelaus for the high priesthood, which led to the profanation of the Temple by Antiohus Epiphanes.

? Aristohulus, a Maccabee, or Asmo nean, erected the theocratic republic of the Jews into a kingdom 481 years after the return from the Babylonian cap tivity.

3 Herod, an Idunean ur blomita

The throne hereditary, and bound his reign
With earth’s wide bounds, his glory with the heav'ns

He ceased, discerning Adam with such joy Surcharged, as had like grief been dew'd 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 search'd in vain, Why our great expectation should be call’d The seed of woman: Virgin Mother, hail, High in the love of heav'n, 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 fighty 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 heav'n, a deadlier bruise, Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound; Which He, who comes thy Saviour, shall recurs, 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 grows So only can high justice rest appaid. The law of God exact He shall fulfil, Bcth by obedience and by love, though lovo Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment He shall endure by coming in the flesh To a reproachful life and cursèd death, Proclaiming life to all who shall believe

Psalm il. 8. Isaiah ix. 7. Zecb ix. l.

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