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230 “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 255 "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 260

“ Promis'd 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 heaven stand still

“A day entire, and night's due course adjourn,
265 “Man's voice commanding, 'Sun, in Gibeon stand,

“And thou, moon, in the vale of Aialon,
"" Till Israel overcome !' so call the third
“From Abraham, son of Isaac ; and from him

“ His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win."
270
Here Adam interpos'd :

“ O sent from Heaven,
Enlight'ner of my darkness ! gracious things
“ Thou hast reveal'd; those chiefly, which concern
" Just A braham and his seed: now first I find
“Mine eyes true-op'ning, and my heart much eas'd,
“ Erewhile perplex'd with thoughts, what would be-

come
“ Of me and all mankind; but now I see
“ His day in whom all nations shall be blest;

“Favour unmerited by me, who sought
280 “ 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:

laws

argue so many sins “Among them; how can God with such reside ?" 285 To whom thus Michael ;

275

So many

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“ 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 290 “ 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 295 “ 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. 300 “ So law appears imperfect; and but given

“With purpose to resign them, in full time,

Up to a better covenant; disciplin'd
“ 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 belov'd, being but the minister

“Of law, his people into Canaan lead ;
310 “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.
315 “Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan plac’d,

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,

By judges first, then under kings; of whom
The second, both for piety renown'd
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive

305

320

325

330

“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 fam'd,
“ The clouded ark of God, till then in tents

“Wand'ring, shall in a glorious temple enshrine. 335 “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, 340 “ 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 call’d.

“ There in captivity He lets them dwell 345 “ The space of seventy years ; then brings them back,

“Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn
“ To David, 'stablished as the days of heav'n.
“Return'd from Babylon by leave of kings

“ Their lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God 350 “ 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
355 “ 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
360 “ Barr’d of his right : yet at his birth a star,

365

“Unseen before in heaven, 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 quire
“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 370 “ The throne hereditary, and bound his reign

“ With earth's wide bounds, his glory with the heavens!"

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 : 375 “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 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 385 “ 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 390 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 395 “ In thee and in thy seed: nor can this be

“But by fulfilling that which thou didst want-
“ Obedience to the law of God, impos'd

380

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400

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“ On penalty of death, and suff'ring death-
“ The penalty to thy trangression 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 405 “ He shall endure, by coming in the flesh

To a reproachful life, and cursed death;
“ Proclaiming life to all who shall believe
“ In his redemption ; and that his obedience,

Imputed, becomes theirs by faith ; his merits 410 “ To save them, not their own (though legal) works.

“For this he shall 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; 415 “ 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, 425 “ His death for man-as many as offer'd 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 430 “ 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 sleep435

A gentle wafting to immortal life :

420

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