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النشر الإلكتروني






Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordain'd:
God from the mount of Sinai, whose gray top
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
In thunder, lightning, & loud trumpets' sound,
Ordain them laws; part such as appertain
To civil justice, part religious rites
Of sacrifice, informing them, by types
And shadows, of that destined Seed to bruise
The Serpent; by what means he shall achieve
Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God
To mortal ear is dreadful : they beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terror cease : he grants what they besought,
Instructed that to God is no
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 & rites,
Establish’d; 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 zodiac, representing
The heavenly fires; over the tent a cloud
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night,
Save when they journey ; & at length they come,
Conducted by his Angel, to the land
Promised to Abraham & his seed. The rest
Were long to tell; how many battles fought,
How many kings destroy'd, & kingdoms won,
Or how the sun shall, in mid Heaven, stand still
A day entire, & night's due course adjourn,
Man's voice commanding, 'Sun, in Gibeon stand,
And thou moon, in the vale of Ajalon,'
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 reveal’d; those chiefly which concern











Just Abraham and his seed : now first I find
Mine eyes true opening, & my heart much eased
Erewhile perplex'd with thoughts, what would become
Of me and all mankind : but now I see
His day, in whom all nations shall be bless'd;
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 wander'd 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 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,
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 ensuc;
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 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, establish'd as the days of Heaven.
Return'd 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
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 Heavens."
He ceased, discerning Adam with such joy
Surcharged, as had, like grief, been dew'd 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 search'd in vain

Why our great expectation should be callid
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 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 30 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,
In thee and in thy seed : nor can this be,
But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
Obedience to the law of God, imposed
On penalty of death, and suffering death,
The penalty to thy transgression 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
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
To save them, not their own, though legal works.
For this he shall live hated, be blasphemed,
Seiz’d on by force, judged, and to death condemn'd;
A shameful and accursed, nail'd to the cross,






By his own nation; slain for bringing life:
But to the cross he nails thy enemies,

The law, that is against thee, and the sins
Of all mankind, with him there crucify'd,
Never to hurt them more, who rightly trust
In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
But soon revives; death over him no power

420 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; The ransom paid, which man from death redeems, His death for man, as many as offer'd life

125 Neglect not, and the benefit embrace By faith not void of works. This God-like 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 strength, 130 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 sleep, A gentle wafting to immortal life.

435 Nor, after resurrection, shall he stay Longer on earth than, certain times, to appear To his disciples, men who in his life Still follow'd him ; to-them shall leave in charge To teach all nations, what of him they learn'd, 440 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 befal, For death, like that which the Redeemer died.

445 All nations they shall teach; for, from that day, Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins Salvation shall be preach'd, but to the sons Of Abraham's faith, where ever through the world; So, in his seed, all nations shall be bless'd,

450 Then to the Heaven of Heavens he shall ascend, With 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, & there confounded leave: 455 Then enter into glory, and resume His seat at God's right hand, exalted high, Above all names in Heaven ; & thence shall come, When this world's dissolution shall be ripe, With glory & power, to judge both quick & dead; 460

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