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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.

Here Adam interpos’d. O sent from Heaven,
Enlightener of my darkness, gracious things
Thou hast reveal’d; those chiefly, which concern
Just Abraham and his seed: now first I find
Mine eyes true-opening, 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
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 ;
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 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; 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;
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.
Mean while they, in their earthly Canaan plac’d,
Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
National interrupt their publick 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's
And puissant deeds, 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 fam’d,
The clouded ark of God, till then in tents
Wandering, 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 call'd.
There in captivity he lets them dwell
The space of seventy years; then brings them back
Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn
To David, stablish'd as the days of Heaven.
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 dissention springs,
Men who attend the altar, and should most
Endeavour peace; their strife pollution brings
Upon the temple itself: at last they seise
The scepter, and regard not David's sons;
Then lose it to a stranger, that the true
Annointed King Messiah might be born
Barr'd of his right; yet at his birth a star
Unseen before in Heaven, proclaims him 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;
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
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign
With Earth's wide bounds, his glory with the Hea-

vens.

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 utmost hope ! now clear I understand
What oft my steadiest thoughts have searched 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 procecd, 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

figlit, 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 recure, 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, 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;

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