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quiries and reflections had supplied in confirmation of this great truth, and particularly dwells on the recent attestation of it at the river Jordan. Our Lord passes forty days, fasting, in the wilderness : where the wild beasts become mild and harmless in his presence. Satan now appears under the form of an old peasant; and enters into discourse with our Lord, wondering what could have brought him alone into so dangerous a place, and at the same time professing to recognize him for the person lately acknowledged by John, at the river Jordan, to be the Son of God. Jesus briefly replies. Satan rejoins with a description of the difficulty of supporting life in the wilderness; and entreats Jesus, if he be really the Son of God, to manifest his divine power, by changing some of the stones into bread. Jesus reproves him, and at the same time tells him that he knows who he is. Satan instantly avows himself, and offers an artful apology for himself and his conduct. Our blessed Lord severely reprimands him, and refutes every part of his justification. Satan, with much semblance of bumility, still endeavours to justify himself; and professing his admiration of Jesus and his regard for virtue, requests to be permitted at a future time to hear more of his con. versation; but is answered, that this must be as he shall find permission from above. Satan then disappears; and the Book closes with a short description of night coming on in the desert.
I, who erewhile the happy garden sung .
Thou Spirit, who ledst this glorious eremite
bounds, With prosperous wing full sum'd, to tell of deeds Above heroic, though in secret done, And unrecorded left through many an age; Worthy to have not remain'd so long unsung.
Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice More awful than the sound of trumpet, cried Repentance, and Heaven's kingdom nigh at hand
To all baptiz'd.' To his great baptism flock'd With awe the regions round, and with them came From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd To the flood Jordan; came, as then obscure, Unmark'd, unknown; but him the Baptist soon Descried, divinely warn'd, and witness bore As to his worthier, and would have resign'd To him his heavenly office; nor was long His witness unconfirm'd; on him baptiz'd Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a dove The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice From Heaven pronounc'd him his belov'd Son!' That heard the Adversary, (who, roving still About the world, at that assembly fam'd Would not be last) and, with the voice divine Nigh thunder-struck, the exalted Man, to whom Such high attest was given, a while survey'd With wonder; then, with envy fraught and rage, Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air To counsel summons all his mighty peers, Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd, A gloomy consistory; and them amidst, With looks aghast and sad, he thus bespake:
O ancient Powers of air, and this wide world, (For much more willing I mention air, This our old conquest, than remember Hell, Our hated habitation,) well ye know How many ages, as the years of men, This universe we have possess'd, and rul'd, In manner at our will, the affairs of earth, Since Adam and his facile consort Eve Lost Paradise, deceiv'd by me; though since With dread attending when that fatal wound Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve
Upon my head. Long the decrees of Heaven
His first-begot we know, and sore have felt,
He ended, and his words impression left