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Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God
To mortal ear is dreadful : they beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terrour 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 foretel,
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 zodiack 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 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 interposed. O sent from Heaven,
Enlightener 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
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; 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 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 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,

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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;
Remembring 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 dissention 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
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

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