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To save them, not their own, though legal, works.

For this he shall live hated, he blasphemed,

Siczed on by force, judged, and to death con~ demned

A shameful and accursed, nailed to the cross

By his own nation; slain for bringing life;

But to the cross be 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 front death redeems.

His death for man, as many as ofl'cred life

Neglect not, and the benefit embrace

By faith not void of works: this godlike act

Annuls thy doom, the death thou should'st have died,

In sin for ever lost from life; this act

Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his styength,

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 redecms; a death, like sleep,

A gentle wafting to immortal life.

Nor alter resurrection shall he stay

Longer on earth than certain times to appear

To his disciples, men who in his life

Still followed him; to them shall leave in charge

To teach all nations what of him they learned

And his salvation; them who shall believe

Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign

Of washing them from guilt of sin to life

Pure, and in mind prepared, if so befall,

For death, like that which the Redeemer died,

All nations they shall teach; for, from that day,

Not only to the sons of Abraham‘s loins

Salvation shall be preached, but to the sons

Of Abraham's faith, wherever through the world;

So in his seed all nations shall be blest.

Then to the Heaven of Heavens he shall ascend,

\Vith victory, triumphing through the air

Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise

The serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains

Through all his realm, and there confounded leave;

Then enter into glory, and resume

llis seat at God‘s right-hand, exalted high

Above all names in Heaven; and thence shall come, .

When this'world's dissolution shall be ripe,

With glory and power to judge both quick and dead;

To judge. the unfaithful dead, but to reward

His lalthful, and receive them into bliss,

Whether in Heaven or earth ; for then the earth

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But say, if our Deliverer up to Heaven

Must reascend, ,what will hetide the few

His faithful, left among the unfaithful herd, .

The enemies of truth’! who then shall guide

His people, who defend 2 will they not deal

\Vorse with his followers than with him they dealt '2"

“ Be sure they will," said the angel; “ but from

Heaven

He to his own a Comforter will send,

The promise of the Father, who shall dwell

His spirit within them; and the law of faith,

Working through love, upon their hearts shall write,

To guide them in all truth; and also arm

\Vith spiritual armour, able to resist

Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts;

\Vhat'man can do against them, not afraid,

Though to the death ; against such cruelties

With inward consolations recompensed,

And oft supported so as sha‘ll amaze

Their proudest persecutors: for the Spirit,

Poured first on his apostles, whom he sends

To evangelize the nations, then on all

Baptized, shall them with wondrous gifts endoa

To speak all tongues, and do all miracles,

As did their Lord before them. Thus they win

Great numbers of each nation to receive

With joy the tidings brought from Heaven: at length

Their ministry performed, and race well run,

Their doctrine and their story written left,

They die; but in their room, as they forcwarn,

YVolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves,

Who all the sacred mysteries of Heaven I

To their own vile advantages shall turn

Of lucre and ambition; and the. truth

With superstitions and traditions taint

Lcfl. only in those written records pure,

Though not but by the Spirit understood.

Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names

Places. and titles and with these to join

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Secular power- though feigning still to act By spiritual, to themselves appropriating The spirit of God, promised alike and given To all believers; and, from that pretence, Spiritual ans by carnal power shall force

“ This having learned, thou hast attained the sum Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by name, and all the ethereal powerg I All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works,

[Or works of God in Heaven, air, earth, or sea,

On every conscience; laws which none shall find And all the riches of this world enjoyedst,

Leti. them enrolled, or what the Spirit within

And all the rule, one empire; only add

Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then ‘ Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith,

But force the spirit of grace itself, and bind

His consort liberty'l what, but unbuild

His living temples, built by faith to stand

Their own faith, not another’s'l for, on earth,

\Vho against faith'and conscience can be heard

Infalliblc'l yet many will presume:

Whenoe heavy persecution shall arise

On all, who in the worship persevere

Of spirit and truth ; the rest, for greater part,

WVill deem in outward rites and specious forms

Religion satisfied; truth shall retire

Bestuck with slanderous darts, and works of faith

Rarely be found: so shall the world go on,

To good malignant, to bad men benign;

U ndcr her own Weight groaning, till the day

Appear of respiration to the just,

And vengeance to the wicked, at return

Of him so lately promisedto thy aid,

The woman’s seed; obscurely then foretold,

Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord;

Last, in the clouds, from Heaven to be revealed

in glory of the Father, to dissolve

Satan with his peryerled world; then raise

From the conflagtant mass, purged and refined,

New Heavens, new earth, ages of endless date,

Founded in_rightcousness, and peace, and love;

To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss."
He ended ; and thus Adam last replied.

“ How soon hath thy prediction, Secr blest,

Measured this transient world, the race of time,

Till time stands fiXed! beyond is all abyss,

Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.

Greatly instructed I shall hence depart;

Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill

Of knowledge, what this vessel can contain;

Beyond which was my folly to aspire.

Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,

And love with fear the only God; to walk

As in his presence; ever to observe

His providence; and on him sole depend,

.Merciful over all his works, with good _

Still overcoming evil, and by small

Arcomplishing great things, by things deemed.

weak

Hubvcrting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By silnpiy meek: that suffering for truth’s sake
Ht fortitude to highest victory,
And, to the faithful, death the gate of life;
Taught this by his example, whom I now
Acknowledge mv Redeemer ever blest."

To whom thus also the angel last replied.

Add virtue, patience, temperance; mid love,

By name to come called charity, the soul

Ofall the rest: then wilt thou not be loath

To leave this Paradise, but shall possess

A Paradise within thee, happier far.

Let us descend now therefore from this to

Of speculation; for the hour precise

Exacts our parting hence; and see! the guards, By me encamped on yonder hill, expect_

Their motion; at whose front a flaming sword, in signal of remove, waves fiercely round:

\Vc may no longer stay: g0, waken Eve;

Her also I with gentle dreams have calmed
Portending good, and all her spirits composed
To meek submission; thou, at season fit,

Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard, _
Chiefly what may concern her faith to know,
The great deliverance by her seed to come

(For by the woman’s seed) on all mankind:
That ye may live, which will be many days,
Both in one faith unanimous, though sad,

\Vith cause, for evils past, yet much more cheered
\Vith meditation on the happy end."

He ended, and they both descend the hill; Descended, Adam to the bower where Eve Lay sleeping, ran before; but found her waited; And thus with words not sad she him received.

“ Whence thou roturn’st, and whither went’st, I

know; For God is also in sleep; and dreams advise, \Vhich he hath sent propitious, some great good Presaging, since with sorrow and heart‘s distre\Vearied I fell asleep: but now led on; in me is no delay; with thee to go, In to stay here; without thee here to stay, is to go hence unwilling; thou to me Art all things under Heaven, all places thou, \Vho for my wilful crime art banished hence. This further consolation yet secure 1 carry hence; though all by me is lost, Such favour I unworthy am vouchsafcd, By me the promised Seed shall all restore."

So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard
Well pleased, but answered not; for now too nigh
The archangel stood; and from the other hill
To their fitted station, all in bright array
The cherubim descended; on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as evening mist
Risen from a river o’er the marish glides,

And gathcr’s ground fast at the labourer's heel
Homeward returning. Higltin front advanced

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The brandishetl sword of God before them blazed, Waved over by that flaming brand, the gate

Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat,
And vapour as the Lybian air adust,

Began to parch that temperate clime; whercat
In either hand the hastening angel caught
Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate
Led them direct, and down the clifl' as fast

To the subjected plain; then disappeared.
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,

With dreadful faces thronged, and fury arms:

Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped theta soon;

The World was all before them where to choose

Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:

They, hand in hand, with wandering slcps, and slow,

Through Eden took their solitary way.

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THE ARGUMENT.

The subject propowd. Invocation of the Holy Spirit.— The poem opens with John baptizing at the river Jordan. Jsus coming there is baptized; and is attested, by the descent of the Holy Ghost, and by a vuice from Ileavcn, to be the Son of God. Satan, who is present, upon this immediately flies up into the regions of the air: where, summoning his infernal council, he acquaint: them with his apprehensions that Jesus is that seed of the woman, destined to destroy all their power; and points out to them the immediate necesity of bringing the matter to proof, and ofattempting, by snares and fraud, to counteract and defeat the poison, from whom they have so much to dread. This office he offers himself to undertake; and his ochr being accepted, sets out on his emerprise—In the meantime God, in the amembly of holy angels, declares that he has given up h Son to be tempted by Satan; out forcteiis that the tempter shall be completely defeated by him :—upon which the angels sing a hymn of triumph. Jesus is lal up by the Spirit into the Wilderness, while he ls meditating on the commencement of his great office of Sn. viour of Mankind Pursuing his meditations he narrates, in asoliioquy, what divine and philanthropic impulms he had felt from his early youth, and how his mother Mary, on peroelvlng these dispositions in him, had acquainted him with the circumstance: of his birth, and informed him that he was no lea a person than the Son of God; to which he adds what his own inquiries 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 [noses forty days, fasting in the wilderness; where the wild beasts become mild and harmlm in his presence. $tan nowappears under the form of an old peasant; and enters into discourse with our Lord, wondering what could have brought him alone into lodangerous a plate, and at the mme time professing to recognisn 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 dillicultyofsnpponing life in the wilderness; and entreats Jams, if he be really the Son of God, to manifest his divine power, by changing some ofthe stones into broad. Jenn! reproves him and at the same time tells him that he knnws who he is. Satan instantly "on himself, and Offers an artful apology for himself and his condut'. Ourbiessed Lordseverely reprimantk him, and refutes every part of his justification. Satan, with much semblance of humility, 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 mverntim; but is answered, that this must be as he shall

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find permission from above. Satan then disappears, and the book clams with a short description of night coming on in the desert.

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I, wno erewhile the happy garden sung By one man’s disobedience lost, now sing Recovered Paradise to all mankind, By one man's firm obedienc'e fully tried Through all temptation, and the temer foiled In all his wiles, defeated and repulsed, And Eden raised in the waste wilderness. Thou Spirit, who led’st the glorious eremite Into the desert, his victorious field, Against 'the spiritual foe, and brought’st him thence By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire, As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute, And bear through height or depth of nature's bounds, ‘ With prosperous wing full summed, to tell of deeds Above heroic, though in secret done, And unrecorded left through many an age; Worthy to have not remained 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 baptized: to his great baptism flocked With awe the regions round, and with them came From Nazareth the son of Joseph deemed To the flood Jordan; came, as then obscure, Unmarketl, unknown; but him the Baptist soon Descried, divinely warned, and witness bore As to his worthier, and would have resigned To him his heavenly office; nor was long His witness unconfirmed : on him baptized Heaven opened, and in likeness of a dove The Spirit descended, while the Father’s was From Heaven pronounced him his beloved Son. That heard the Adversary, who, roving still About the world, at that assembly famed Would not be last, and, with the voice divine Nigh thunderstruck, the exalted Man, to warm

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Such high attest. was given, a while surveyed
\Vith wonnel ; then, with envy fraught and rage,
Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air
To council summons all his mighty peers,
\Vithin thick clouds and dark tenfold involved,
A gloomy consistory; and them amidst,
\Vith .oi-L's aghast and sad, he thus bespoke.

“ O ancient Powers of air, and this wide world,
(For much more willingly 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 possessed, and ruled,
In manner at our will, the alfairs of earth,
Since Adam and his facile consort Eve
Lost Paradise, deceived by me; though since
\Vith dread attending, when that fatal wound
Shall be inllicted by the seed of Eve
Upon my head; long the decrees of Heaven
Delay, for longest time to him is short;
And now, too soon for us, the circling hours
This dreaded time have eompassed, wherein we
Must hide the stroke of that long-threatened wound,
(At least if so we can, and by the head
Broken be not intended all our power
To be infringed, our freedom and our beingl
In this fair empire won of earth and air,)
For this ill news I bring, the woman’s Seed,
Destined to this, is late of Woman born.
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause;
But his growth now to youth’s full flower display-

mg

All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve
Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear.
Betore liim a great prophet, to proclaim
His coming, is sent harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the consecrated stream
Prctcnds to wash off sin, and fit them, so
Purified, to receive him pure, or rather
To do him honour as their king: all come,
And he himself among them was baptized;
Not thence to be more purc, but to receive
The testimony of Heaven, that who he is
Thencefortli the nations may not doubt; I saw
The prophet do him reverence; on him, rising
Out of the water, Heaven above the clouds
Unfold her crystal doors; thence on his head
A perfect dove descend, whatc'er it meant,
And wilt of Heaven the sovereign voice I heard,
' This is my son beloved, in him am pleased.’
His mother then is mortal, but his Sire
He who obtains the monarchy of Heaven:
And what will he not do to advance his Son?
His first-begot we know, and sore have felt,
\Vhen his fierce thunder drove us to the deep:
W be this is we must learn, for man he seems
In all his lincaments, though in his face
The glimpses of his Father’s glory shine.
Y" ore our danger on the utmost edge

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Of hazard, which admits no long debate,

But must with something sudden be opposed,

(Not force, but well couched fraud, Well wove; snares,)

Ere in the head of nations he appear,

Their Iiing, their leader, and supreme on earth

I, when no other durst, sole undertook

The dismal expedition to find out

And ruin Adam, and the exploit performed

Successfully; a calmer voyage now

Will watt me; and the way, found prosperous once,

Induces best to hope of like success."

He ended, and his words impression left

Of much amazement to the infernal crew,

Distracted and surprised with deep dismay

At these sad tidings; but no time was then

For long indulgence to their fears or grief;

Unanimous they all commit the care

And management of this main enterprise

To him their great dictator, whose attempt

At first against mankind so well had thrived

ln Adam's overthrow, and led their march

From hell's deep vaulted den to dwell in light,

Regents, and potentates, and kings, yea gods,

Of many a pleasant realm and province wide.

So to the coast of Jordan he directs

His easy steps, girded with snaky wiles,

\Vherc he might likeliest find this new-declared,

This man of men, attested Son of God,

Temptation and all guilc on him to try;

So to subvert whom be suspected raised

To end his reign on earth, so long enjoyed:

But, contrary, unweeting he fulfilled

The purposed council, preordaiiicd and fixed,

Of the Most High; who, in full frequciiee bright

Of angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake.

“Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold,

Thou and all angels conversant on earth

\Vith man or men's affairs, how I begin

To verify that solemn message, late

On which I sent thee to the Virgin pure

In Galilee, that she should bear a son,

Great in renown, and called the Son of God;

Then told'st her, doubting how these things could be

To her a virgin, that on her should come

The Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest

O'ershadow her: this man, born and now up grown,

To show him worthy of his birth divine

And high prediction, henceforth I expose

To Satan: let him tempt, and now assay

His utmost subtlety, because he boasts

And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng

Of his apostacy: he might have learnt

Less overweening, since he failed in Job,

Whose constant perseverance overcame

VVliate’er his cruel malice could invent.

He now shall know I can produce a man,

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Of female seed, far abler to resist

All his solicitations, and at length

All his vast force, and drive him back to hell,
Winning by conquest, what the first man lost
By fallacy surprised. But first l mean

To exercise him in the wilderness;

There he shall first lay down the rudiments
Of his great warfare, ere I send him forth
To conquer Sin and Death, the two grand foes,
By thiiliation and strong sufi'erance:

His weakness shall o’ercome Satanic strength,
And all the world, and mass of sinful flesh,
That all the angels and ethereal powers,
They now, and men hereafter, may discern
From what consummate virtue I have chose
This perfect man, by merit called my son,

To earn salvation for the sons of men."

So spake th' eternal Father, and all Heaven Admiring stood apaee, then into hymns Burst forth, and in celestial measures moved, Circling the throne and singing, while the hand Sung with the voice, and this the argument:

" Victory and triumph to the Son of God, Now entering his great duel, not of arms But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles!

The Father knows the Son; therefore secure
Ventures his filial virtue, though untried,
Against whate’er may tempt, whate‘er seduce,
Allure, or terrify, or undermine.

Be frustrate, all ye stratagcms of hell,

And, devilish machinations, come to nought!"

So they in Heaven their odes and vigils tuned: Meanwhile the Son of God, who yet some days Lodged in Bethabara, where John baptized, Musing, and much revolving in his breast How best the mighty work he might begin Of Saviour to mankind, and which way first Publish his godlike office, now mature, \ One day forth walked alone, the spirit leading And his deep thoughts, the better to converse \Vith solitude, till, far from track of men, Thought following thought, and step by step led on, He entered now the bordering desert wild, And, with dark shades and rocks environed round, Iiis holy meditations thus pursued.

“ 0, what a multitude of thoughts at once Awakened in me swarm, while I consider ‘Vhat from within] feel myself, and hear \Vhat from without comes often to my ears,

lll sorting with my present state compared!
\Vhen l was yet schild, no childish play

To me was pleasing; all my mind wasset
Serious to learn and know, and thence to do,
What might be public good; myselfi thought
Born to that end, born to promote all truth,

All rigt teous things: therefore, above my years,
The law of God l read, and found it sweet,
Made it my whole delight, and in it grew

1' r such perfection, that, ere yet my age

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Had measured twice siX years, at our great feast

I went into the temple, there to hear

The teachers of our law, and to propose

What might improve my knowledge or their own

And was admired by all: yet this not all

To which my spirit aspired; victorious deeds

Flamed in my heart, heroic acts; one while

To rescue Israel from the Roman yoke;

Then to subdue and quell, o’er all the earth,

Brute violence and proud tyrannic power,

Till truth were freed, and equity restored;

Yet held it more humane, more heavenly, first

By winning words to conquer willing hearts;

And make persuasion do the work of fear;

At least to try, and teach the erring soul,

Not wilfully misdoing, hut unware

Misled; the stubborn only to subdue.

These growing thoughts my mother soon perceivmg,

By words at times cast forth, iniy rejoiced,

And said tome apart; ' High are thy thoughts,

0 Son, but nourish them, and let them soar

To what height sacred virtue and true worth

Can raise them, though above example high;

By matchless deeds express thy matchless Sire,

For know, thou art no son of mortal man;

Though men esteem thee low of parentage,

Thy father is the eternal King who rules

All heaven and earth, angels, and sons of men;

A messenger from God foretold thy birth

Conceived in me a virgin; he foretold

Thou should’st be great, and sit on David's throne,

And of thy kingdom there should be no end.

At thy nativity, a glorious choir

Of angels, in the fields of Bethlehem, sung

To shepherds, watching at their folds by night,

And told them the Messiah now was born,

there they might see him, and to thee they came,

Directed to the manger where thou layest,

For in the inn was left no better room:

A star not seen before, in Heaven appearing,

Guided the wise men thither from the. east,

To honour thee with incense, myrrh, and gold:

By whose bright course led on they found the place,

Aflirming it thy star, now grnven in heaven,

By which they knew the king of Israel born.

Just Simeon and prophetic Anna, warned

By vision, found thee in the temple, and spake,

Before the altar and the Vested priest,

Like things of thee to all that present stood.’—

This having heard, straight 1 again revolved

The law and prophets, searching what was wru

Concerning the Messiah, to our scribes

Known partly, and soon found, of whom lhev s e

I am; this chiefly, that my way must 12!

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