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But on the hither side, a different sort

Giants of mighty bone, and bold emprise ;

From the high neighboring hills, which was their Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed,

seat,

Single or in array of battle rang'd

Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood.
One way a band select from forage drives
A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine,
From a fat meadow ground; or fleecy flock,
Ewes and their bleating lambs over the plain,
Their booty; scarce with life the shepherds fly,
But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray;
With cruel tournament the squadrons join;
Where cattle pastur'd late, now scatter'd lies

The men, though grave, ey'd them; and let their With carcasses and arms the ensanguin'd field,

Down to the plain descended; by their guise
Just men they seem'd, and all their study bent
To worship God aright, and know his works
Not hid; nor those things last, which might preserve
Freedom and peace to men: they on the plain
Long had not walk'd, when from the tents, behold!
A bevy of fair women, richly gay

In gems and wanton dress; to the harp they sung
Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on;

eyes

Rove without rein; till, in the amorous net
Fast caught, they lik'd; and each his liking chose;
And now of love they treat, till the evening star,
Love's harbinger, appear'd; then, all in heat
They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke
Hymen, then first to marriage rites invok'd:
With feast and music all the tents resound.
Such happy interview, and fair event
Of love and youth not lost, songs, garlands, flowers,
And charming symphonies, attach'd the heart
Of Adam, soon inclin'd to admit delight,
The bent of nature; which he thus express'd.

"True opener of mine eyes, prime angel blest;
Much better seems this vision, and more hope
Of peaceful days portends, than those two past;
Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse;
Here Nature seems fulfill'd in all her ends."

To whom thus Michael. "Judge not what is best
By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet;
Created, as thou art, to nobler end
Holy and pure, conformity divine.

Those tents thou saw'st so pleasant, were the tents
Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race
Who slew his brother: studious they appear
Of arts that polish life, inventors rare;
Unmindful of their Maker, though his spirit
Taught them; but they his gifts acknowledg'd none.
Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget;
For that fair female troop thou saw'st, that seem'd
Of goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,
Yet empty of all good wherein consists
Woman's domestic honor and chief praise;
Bred only and completed to the taste.
Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance,
To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye.
To these that sober race of men, whose lives
Religious titled them the sons of God,
Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame
Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles

Of these fair Atheists; and now swim in joy,
Ere long to swim at large; and laugh, for which
The world ere long a world of tears must weep."
To whom thus Adam, of short joy bereft.
"O pity and shame, that they, who to live well
Enter'd so fair, should turn aside to tread
Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint!
But still I see the tenor of man's woe

Holds on the same, from woman to begin."

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From man's effeminate slackness it begins," Said the angel," who should better hold his place By wisdom, and superior gifts receiv'd. But now prepare thee for another scene."

He look'd, and saw wide territory spread Before him, towns, and rural works between; Cities of men with lofty gates and towers, Concourse in arms, fierce faces threatening war,

Deserted: others to a city strong

Lay siege, encamp'd; by battery, scale, and mine,
Assaulting; others from the wall defend
With dart and javelin, stones, and sulphurous fire;
On each hand slaughter, and gigantic deeds.
In other part the scepter'd heralds call
To council, in the city-gates: anon
Grey-headed men and grave, with warriors mix'd
Assemble, and harangues are heard; but soon,
In factious opposition; till at last,
Of middle age one rising, eminent

In wise deport, spake much of right and wrong,
Of justice, of religion, truth, and peace,
And judgment from above: him old and young
Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands;
Had not a cloud descending snatch'd him thence
Unseen amid the throng: so violence
Proceeded, and oppression, and sword-law,
Through all the plain, and refuge none was found.
Adam was all in tears, and to his guide
Lamenting turn'd full sad: "O! what are these,
Death's ministers, not men? who thus deal death
Inhumanly to men, and multiply

Ten thousand-fold the sin of him who slew
His brother: for of whom such massacre

Make they, but of their brethren; men of men?
But who was that just man, whom had not Heaven
Rescued, had in his righteousness been lost?"

To whom thus Michael. "These are the product Of those ill-mated marriages thou saw'st; [selves Where good with bad were match'd, who of them Abhor to join; and, by imprudence mix'd, Produce prodigious births of body or mind. Such were these giants, men of high renown; For those days might only shall be admir'd, And valor and heroic virtue call'd; To overcome in battle, and subdue Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch Of human glory; and for glory done Of triumph, to be styl'd great conquerors, Patrons of mankind, gods and sons of gods; Destroyers rightlier call'd, and plagues of men. Thus fame shall be achiev'd, renown on Earth; And what most merits fame, in silence hid. But he, the seventh from thee, whom thou beheld'st The only righteous in a world perverse, And therefore hated, therefore so beset With foes, for daring single to be just, And utter odious truth, that God would come

To judge them with his saints: him the Most High
Rapt in a balmy cloud with winged steeds
Did, as thou saw'st, receive, to walk with God
High in salvation and the climes of bliss,
Exempt from death; to show thee what reward
Awaits the good: the rest what punishment;
Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold."

He look'd, and saw the face of things quite When violence was ceas'd, and war on Earth,
chang'd;
All would have then gone well; peace would have
crown'd

With length of happy days the race of Man;
But I was far deceived; for now I see
Peace to corrupt no less than war to waste.
How comes it thus? unfold, celestial guide,
And whether here the race of Man will end."

To whom thus Michael. "Those, whom last thou
saw'st

The brazen throat of war had ceas'd to roar:
All now was turn'd to jollity and game,
To luxury and riot, feast and dance;
Marrying or prostituting, as befell,
Rape or adultery, where passing fair
Allur'd them; thence from cups to civil broils.
At length a reverend sire among them came,
And of their doings great dislike declar'd,
And testified against their ways; he oft
Frequented their assemblies, whereso met,
Triumphs or festivals; and to them preach'd
Conversion and repentance, as to souls
In prison, under judgments imminent:
But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas'd
Contending, and remov'd his tents far off:
Then, from the mountain hewing timber tall,
Began to build a vessel of huge bulk;
Measur'd by cubit, length, and breadth, and height;
Smear'd round with pitch; and in the side a door
Contriv'd; and of provisions laid in large,
For man and beast; when lo, a wonder strange!
Of every beast, and bird, and insect small,
Came sevens and pairs; and enter'd in as taught
Their order: last the sire and his three sons,
With their four wives; and God made fast the door.
Meanwhile the south-wind rose, and, with black
wings

In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they
First seen in acts of prowess eminent
And great exploits, but of true virtue void;
Who, having spilt much blood, and done much waste.
Subduing nations, and achiev'd thereby
Fame in the world, high titles, and rich prey;

Wide-hovering, all the clouds together drove
From under Heaven; the hills to their supply
Vapor, and exhalation dusk and moist,
Sent up amain; and now the thicken'd sky
Like a dark ceiling stood; down rush'd the rain
Impetuous; and continued, till the Earth
No more was seen the floating vessel swum
Uplifted, and secure with beaked prow
Rode tilting o'er the waves; all dwellings else
Flood overwhelm'd, and them with all their pomp
Deep under water roll'd; sea cover'd sea,
Sea without shore; and in their palaces,
Where luxury late reign'd, sea-monsters whelp'd
And stabled; of mankind, so numerous late,
All left, in one small bottom swum embark'd.
How didst thou grieve, then, Adam, to behold
The end of all thy offspring, end so sad,
Depopulation! Thee another flood,

Of tears and sorrow a flood, thee also drown'd,
And sunk thee as thy sons; till, gently rear'd
By the angel, on thy feet thou stood'st at last;
Though comfortless; as when a father mourns
His children, all in view destroy'd at once;
And scarce to the angel utter'dst thus thy plaint.

"O visions ill foreseen! better had I
Liv'd ignorant of future! so had borne
My part of evil only, each day's lot
Enough to bear; those now, that were dispens'd
The burden of many ages, on me light

In apprehension than in substance feel,
Grievous to bear: but that care now is past,
Man is not whom to warn: those few escap'd
Famine and anguish will at last consume,
Wandering that watery desert: I had hope

Shall change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth
Surfeit, and lust; till wantonness and pride
Raise out of friendship hostile deeds in peace.
The conquer'd also, and enslav'd by war,
Shall, with their freedom lost, all virtue lose
And fear of God; from whom their picty feign'd
In sharp contést of battle found no aid
Against invaders; therefore, cool'd in zeal,
Thenceforth shall practise how to live secure,
Worldly or dissolute, on what their lords
Shall leave them to enjoy; for the Earth shall bear
More than enough, that temperance may be tried :
So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd;
Justice and temperance, truth and faith, forgot;
One man except, the only son of light
In a dark age, against example good,
Against allurement, custom, and a world
Offended: fearless of reproach and scorn,
Or violence, he of their wicked ways
Shall them admonish; and before them set
The paths of righteousness, how much more safe
And full of peace; denouncing wrath to come
On their impenitence; and shall return
Of them derided, but of God observ'd
The one just man alive; by his command
Shall build a wondrous ark, as thou beheld'st,
To save himself, and household, from amidst
A world devote to universal wrack.

No sooner he, with them of man and beast
Select for life, shall in the ark be lodg'd,
And shelter'd round; but all the cataracts
Of Heaven set open on the Earth shall pour
Rain, day and night; all fountains of the deep,
Broke up, shall heave the ocean to usurp
Beyond all bounds; till inundation rise
Above the highest hills: then shall this mount
Of Paradise by might of waves be mov'd
Out of his place, push'd by the horned flood,
With all his verdure spoil'd, and trees adrift
Down the great river to the opening gulf,
And there take root an island salt and bare,
The haunt of seals, and orcs, and sea-mews' clang:
To teach thee that God attributes to place
No sanctity, if none be thither brought

At once, by my foreknowledge gaining birth
Abortive, to torment me ere their being,
With thought that they must be. Let no man seek By men who there frequent, or therein dwell.

And now, what further shall ensue, behold."

Henceforth to be foretold, what shall befall
Him or his children; evil he may be sure,
Which neither his foreknowing can prevent;
And he the future evil shall no less

He look'd, and saw the ark hull on the flood,
Which now abated; for the clouds were fled,
Driven by a keen north-wind, that, blowing dry,
Wrinkled the face of deluge, as decay'd;
And the clear Sun on his wide watery glass
Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh wave largely drew,
As after thirst; which made their flowing shrink
From standing lake to tripping ebb, that stole

With soft foot towards the deep; who now had stopt
His sluices, as the Heaven his windows shut.
The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground,
Fast on the top of some high mountain fix'd.
And now the tops of hills, as rocks, appear;
With clamor thence the rapid currents drive,
Towards the retreating sea, their furious tide.
Forthwith from out the ark a raven flies,
And after him, the surer messenger,
A dove sent forth once and again to spy
Green tree or ground, whereon his foot may light:
The second time returning, in his bill
An olive-leaf he brings, pacific sign:
Anon dry ground appears, and from his ark
The ancient sire descends, with all his train:
Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout,
Grateful to Heaven, over his head beholds
A dewy cloud, and in the cloud a bow
Conspicuous with three listed colors gay,
Betokening peace from God, and covenant new.
Whereat the heart of Adam, erst so sad,
Greatly rejoic'd; and thus his joy broke forth.

"O thou, who future things canst represent
As present, heavenly instructor! I revive
At this last sight; assur'd that Man shall live,
With all the creatures, and their seed preserve.
Far less I now lament for one whole world
Of wicked sons destroy'd, than I rejoice
For one man found so perfect, and so just,
That God vouchsafes to raise another world
From him, and all his anger to forget.
But say, what mean those color'd streaks in Heaven
Distended, as the brow of God appeas'd?
Or serve they, as a flowery verge, to bind
The fluid skirts of that same watery cloud,
Lest it again dissolve, and shower the Earth?"
To whom the archangel. "Dextrously thou aim'st;
So willingly doth God remit his ire,
Though late repenting him of Man deprav'd;
Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw
The whole Earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh
Corrupting each their way; yet, those remov'd,
Such grace shall one just man find in his sight,
That he relents, not to blot out mankind;
And makes a covenant never to destroy
The Earth again by flood; nor let the sea
Surpass his bounds; nor rain to drown the world,
With man therein or beast; but, when he brings
Over the Earth a cloud, will therein set
His triple-color'd bow, whereon to look,
And call to mind his covenant: day and night,
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost,
Shall hold their course; till fire purge all things new,
Both Heaven and Earth, wherein the just shall
dwell."

BOOK XII.

promises, descends the hill with Michael; wa kens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with gentle dreams composed to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery sword waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking their stations to guard the place.

THE ARGUMENT.

Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor❜d,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then, with transition sweet, new speech resumes.
"Thus thou hast seen one world begin, and end;
And Man, as from a second stock, proceed.
Much thou hast yet to see; but I perceive
Thy mortal sight to fail: objects divine
Must needs impair and weary human sense:
Henceforth what is to come I will relate;
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.

46

This second source of men, while yet but few,
And while the dread of judgment past remains
Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity,
With some regard to what is just and right
Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace;
Laboring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop,
Corn, wine, and oil; and, from the herd or flock,
Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid,

With large wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred feast,
Shall spend their days in joy unblam'd; and dwell
Long time in peace, by families and tribes,
Under paternal rule: till one shall rise
Of proud ambitious heart; who, not content
With fair equality, fraternal state,
Will arrogate dominion undeserv'd
| Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
Concord and law of nature from the Earth;
Hunting (and men not beasts shall be his game)
With war, and hostile snare, such as refuse
Subjection to his empire tyrannous :

A mighty hunter thence he shall be styl'd
Before the Lord; as in despite of Heaven,
Or from Heaven, claiming second sovranty;
And from rebellion shall derive his name,
Though of rebellion others he accuse.
He with a crew, whom like ambition joins
With him or under him to tyrannize,
Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find
The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
Boils out from under-ground, the mouth of Hell
Of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build
A city and tower, whose top may reach to Heaven;
And get themselves a name; lest, far dispers'd
In foreign lands, their memory be lost;
Regardless whether good or evil fame.
But God, who oft descends to visit men
Unseen, and through their habitations walks
To mark their doings, them beholding soon,
Comes down to see their city, ere the tower
Obstruct Heaven-towers; and in derision sets
Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase
The angel Michael continues, from the flood, to re- Quite out their native language; and, instead,
late what shall succeed; then, in the mention of To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
Abraham, comes by degrees to explain, who that Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud,
seed of the woman shail be, which was promised Among the builders; each to other calls
Adam and Eve in the Fall; his incarnation, death, Not understood; till hoarse, and all in rage,
resurrection, and ascension; the state of the As mock'd they storm: great laughter
church till his second coming. Adam, greatly
Heaven,
satisfied and recomforted by these relations and And looking down, to see the hubbub str

As one who in his journey bates at noon,
Though bent on speed; so here the archangel
paus'd

And hear the din: thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd."
Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeas'd.
"O execrable son! so to aspire

Above his brethren; to himself assuming
Authority usurp'd, from God not given:
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but man over men
He made not lord; such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free.
But this usurper his encroachment proud
Stays not on man; to God his tower intends
Siege and defiance: wretched man! what food
Will he convey up thither, to sustain
Himself and his rash army; where thin air
Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross,
And famish him of breath, if not of bread?"

To whom thus Michael. "Justly thou abhorr'st
That son, who on the quiet state of men
Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
Rational liberty; yet know withal,
Since thy original lapse, true liberty
Is lost, which always with right reason dwells
Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:
Reason in man obscur'd, or not obey'd,
Immediately inordinate desires,

To Haran; after him a cumbrous train
Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude;
Not wandering poor, but trusting all his wealth
With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.
Canaan he now attains; I see his tents
Pitch'd about Sechem, and the neighboring plain
Of Moreh: there by promise he receives
Gift to his progeny of all that land,
From Hamath northward to the desert south;
(Things by their names I call, though yet unnam'd ;)
From Hermon east to the great western sea;
Mount Hermon, yonder sea; each place behold
In prospect, as I point them; on the shore
Mount Carmel; here, the double-founted stream,
Jordan, true limit eastward; but his sons
Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of hills.
This ponder, that all nations of the Earth
Shall in his seed be blessed by that seed
Is meant thy great Deliverer, who shall bruise
The serpent's head; whereof to thee anon
Plainlier shall be reveal'd. This patriarch blest,
Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,
A son, and of his son a grand-child, leaves;
Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown:
The grand-child, with twelve sons increas'd, departs
From Canaan, to a land hereafter call'd
Egypt, divided by the river Nile;

See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths
Into the sea to sojourn in that land
He comes, invited by a younger son

In time of dearth; a son, whose worthy deeds
Raise him to be the second in that realm
Of Pharaoh: there he dies, and leaves his race
Growing into a nation; and, now grown,
Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks
To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests [slaves
Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them
Inhospitably, and kills their infant males:
Till by two brethren, (these two brethren call
Moses and Aaron,) sent from God to claim
His people from enthralment, they return
With glory, and spoil, back to their promis'd land.
But first, the lawless tyrant, who denies
To know their God, or message to regard,
Must be compell'd by signs and judgments dire;
To blood unshed the rivers must be turn'd;
Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill
With loth'd intrusion, and fill all the land;
His cattle must of rot and murrain die;
Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss,
And all his people; thunder mix'd with hail,
Hail mix'd with fire, must rend the Egyptian sky.
And wheel on the Earth, devouring where it rolls;
What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain,
A darksome cloud of locusts swarming down
Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green;
Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
Palpable darkness, and blot out three days;
Last, with one midnight-stroke, all the first-born
Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds
The river-dragon tam'd at length submits
To let his sojourners depart, and oft

To worship their own work in wood and stone
For gods! Yet him God the Most High vouchsafes
To call by vision, from his father's house,
His kindred, and false gods, into a land

Which he will show him; and from him will raise Humbles his stubborn heart; but still, as ice

More harden'd after thaw; till, in his rage
Pursuing whom he late dismiss'd, the sea
Swallows him with his host; but them lets pass,
As on dry land, between two crystal walls;
Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided, till his rescued gain their shore:
Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend,

And upstart passions, catch the government
From reason; and to servitude reduce
Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits
Within himself unworthy powers to reign
Over free reason, God, in judgment just,
Subjects him from without to violent lords;
Who oft as undeservedly enthral
His outward freedom: tyranny must be;
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But justice, and some fatal curse annex'd,
Deprives them of their outward liberty;
Their inward lost: witness the irreverent son
Of him who built the ark; who, for the shame
Done to his father, heard this heavy curse,
Servant of servants, on his vicious race.
Thus will this latter, as the former world,
Still tend from bad to worse; till God at last,
Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
His presence from among them, and avert
His holy eyes; resolving from thenceforth
To leave them to their own polluted ways;
And one peculiar nation to select
From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,
A nation from one faithful man to spring:
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in idol-worship: O, that men
(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
While yet the patriarch liv'd, who 'scap'd the flood,
As to forsake the living God, and fall

A mighty nation; and upon him shower
His benediction so, that in his secd

All nations shall be blest: he straight obeys;
Not knowing to what land, yet firm believes :
I see him, but thou canst not, with what faith
He leaves his gods, his friends, and native soil,
Ur of Chaldæa, passing now the ford

Though present in his angel; who shall go
Before them in a cloud, and pillar of fire;
By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire;
To guide them in their journey, and remove
Behind them, while the obdurate king pursues :
All night he will pursue; but his approach
Darkness defends between till morning watch;
Then through the fiery pillar, and the cloud,
God looking forth will trouble all his host,
And craze their chariot-wheels: when by command
Moses once more his potent rod extends
Over the sea; the sea his rod obeys;

On their embattled ranks the waves return,
And overwhelm their war: the race elect
Safe towards Canaan from the shore advance
Through the wild desert, not the readiest way;
Lest, entering on the Canaanite alarm'd,
War terrify them inexpert, and fear
Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
Inglorious life with servitude; for life
To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Untrain'd in arms, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by their delay
In the wide wilderness: there they shall found
Their government, and their great senate choose
Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordain'd:
God from the mount of Sinai, whose grey top
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
In thunder, lightning, and 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 destin'd 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 access,
Without mediator, whose high office now
Moses in figure bears; to introduce

One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,
And all the prophets in their age the times

Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.

Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus, laws and rights Through the world's wilderness long-wander'd man
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 fram'd
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, and at length they come,
Conducted by his angel, to the land
Promis'd to Abraham and his seed-the rest
Were long to tell; how many battles fought;
How many kings destroy'd; 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 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;
Favor 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

Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan plac'd,
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 prophesy, 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,

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