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BOOK II.

THE ARGUMENT.

Tne diseiples of Jesus, uneasy at his long absenee, reason amongst themselves eoneerning it. Mary also gives vent to her maternal anxiety; in the expression of whieh she reeapitulates many eireumstanees respeeting the birth and early life of her 8on.—8atan again meets his infernal eonneii, reports the had sueeess of his first temptation of onr blessed Lord, and ealls upon them for eonnsel and assistanee. Relial proposes the tempting of Jesus with women. 8atan rebukes Relial for his dissoluteness, eharging on him all the profligaey of that kind aseribed by the poets to the heathen gods, and rejeets his proposal as in no respeet likely to sueeeed. 8atan then suggests other modes of temptation, partieularly proposing to avail himself of the eireumstanee of onr Lord's hungering; and, taking a hand of ehosen spirits with him, returns to resume his enterprise.—Jesus hungers in the desert.—Night eomes on ; the mauner in whieh onr 8aviour passes the night is deseribed.—Morning advanees.—8atan again appears to Jesus; and, after expressing wonder that he shonld be so entirely negleeted in the wilderness, where others had been miraeulously fed, tempts him with a sumptnous hanqnet of the most luxurious kind. This he rejeet.s, and the hanqnet vanishes.— 8atan, finding onr Lord not to be assailed on the ground of appetite, tempts him again by oIfering him riehes, as the means of aequiring power: this Jesus also rejeets, produeing many instanees of great aetions performed by persons under virtnous poverty, and speeifying the danger of riehes, and the eares and pains inseparable from power and greatness.

Meanwuile the new-baptized, who yet reraain'd
At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
Him whom they heard so late expressly eall'd
Jesus, Messiah, Son of God deelared,

And on that high authority had believed, 0

And with him talk'd, and with him lodged; I mean

Andrew and Simon, famous after known,

With others though in Holy Writ not named;

Now missing him, their joy so lately found,

lSo lately found, and so abruptly gone) 10

Began to doubt, and doubted many days,

And, as the days inereased, inereased their doubt.

Sometimes they thought he might be only shown,

And for a time eaught up to God, as onee

Moses was iu the mount and missing long; 10

And the great Thisbite, who on fiery wheels

Rode up to heaven, yet onee again to eome.

10. The great Tkuhiis. Elijah. there would be an Eiias before Cbrist's

17. Iet onee again to eome. II hath seeond eo,ning, as well as before bis first, been the opinion of the ebureb, that Mai. iv. 0; Matt . xvii. 11. But as it was Therefore, as those young prophets then with eare

Sought lost Elijah; so in eaeh plaee these

Nigh to Bethabara, in Jerieho 20

The eity of palms, Alnon, and Salem old,

Maehoerus, and eaeh town or eity wall'd

On this side the broad lake Genezaret,

Or in Peraea; but return'd in vain.

Then on the bank of Jordan, by a ereek, 23

Where winds with reeds and osiers whispering play,

Plain fishermen, lno greater men them eall)

Close in a eottage low together got,

Their unexpeeted loss and plaints out breathed:

Alas, from what high hope to what relapse so
Unlook'd for are we fallen! our eyes beheld
Messiah eertainly now eome, so long
Expeeted of our fathers; we have heard
His words, his wisdom full of graee and truth:
Now, now, for sure, deliveranee is at hand; 8S
The kingdom shall to Israel be restored:
Thus we rejoieed, but soon our joy is turn'd
Into perplexity and new amaze:
For whither is he gone? what aeeident
Hath rapt him from us? will he now retire 40
After appearanee, and again prolong
Our expeetation? God of Israel,
Send thy Messiah forth; the time is eome!
Behold the kings of the earth, how they oppress
Thy ehosen; to what highth their power unjust 48
They have exalted, and behind them east
All fear of thee: arise, and vindieate
Thy glory; free thy people from their yoke!
But let us wait; thus far He hath perform'd,
Sent his Anointed, and to us reveat'd him, G0
By his great prophet, pointed at and shown
In publiek, and with him we have eonversed:
Let us be glad of this, and all our fears
Lay on his Providenee; He will not fail,
Nor will withdraw him now, nor will reeall, 55
Moek us with his blest sight, then snateh him henee;
Soon we shall see our Hope, our Joy, return.

Thus they, out of their plaints, new hope resume
To find whom at the first they found unsought:
But, to his mother Mary, when she saw 00

not Eiias ln person, but only ln spirit . who appeared before our Saviours first eo,ning, so R wiil also be before his seeond.—Newton.

'2U. Nigh to Brthahars. Our anthor makes the rlfceiples seek for Jesus first at Bethabnrs. on the .1onian, a iittle north of the Dead &ea; thenee, going to ,Enon and Salem, further north, on the west of the Jordan; thenee, erossing

over the Jordan, and going tbrongh Pera'a, on the east side of it, as far down u the town and eastle of Maebserus, south of Mount Nebe.

44. A'm;« of tht azrth. Ps. iL 2.

00. To hit matI,ev. A Lntinism, eorre* sponding to the dative of the remote objeet, or the dative for the genitive: "within her breast," that is, the breast of Mary.

Others return'd from baptism, not her Son,

Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none;

Within her breast though ealm, her breast though pure,

Motherly eares and fears got head, and raised

Some troubled thoughts, whieh she in sighs thus elad: 00

0, what avails me now that honour high
To have eoneeived of God, or that salute,—
Hail, highly favour'd among women blest!
While I to sorrows am no less advaneed,
And fears as eminent, above the lot 70
Of other women, by the birth I bore;
In sueh a season born, when searee a shed
Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me
From the bleak air; a stable was our warmth,
A manger his; yet soon enforeed to fly 7s
Thenee into Egypt, till the murderous king
Were dead, who sought his life, and missiiig fill'd
With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem:
From Egypt home returned, in Nazareth
Hath been our dwelling many years; his life 80
Private, unaetive, ealm, eontemplative,
Little suspieious to any king; but now,
Full grown to man, aeknowledged, as I hear,
By John the Baptist, and in publiek shown,
Son own'd from heaven by his Father's voiee, 8s
I look'd for some great ehange; to honour? no;
But trouble as old Simeon plain foretold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of many in Israel, and to a sign

Spoken against, that through my very soul S0
A sword shall pieree: this is my fa^tur'd lot,
My exaltation to afflietions high:
Afflieted I may be, it seems, and blest;
I will not argue that, nor will repine.

But where delays he now? some great intent 08

Coneeals him: when twelve years he searee had soen,

I lost him, but so found, as well I saw

He eould not lose himself, but went about

His Father's business: what he meant I mused,

Sinee understand; mueh more his absenee now loo

Thus long to some great purpose he obseures.

But I to wait with patienee am inured;

My heart hath been a storehouse long of things

And sayings laid up, portending strange events,

Thus Mary, pondering oft, and oft to mind lot Reealling what remarkably had pass'd Sinee first her salutation heard, with thoughts Meekly eomposed awaited the fulfilling: The while her Son, traeing the desert wild, Sole, but with holiest meditations fed, no

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Into himself deseended, and at onee

All his great work to eome before him set;

How to begin, how to aeeomplish best

His end of being on earth, and mission high:

For Satan, with sly prefaee to return, lis

Had left him vaeant; and with speed was gone

Up to the middle region of thiek air,

Where all his potentates in eouneil sat:

There, without sign of boast, or sign of joy,

Solieitous and blank, he thus began: 120

Prinees, Heaven's aneient sons, ethereal thrones;
Demonian spirits now, from the element
Eaeh of his reign allotted, rightlier eall'd
Powers of fire, air, water, and earth beneath!
lSo may we hold our plaee and these mild seats 12s
Without new trouble!) sueh an enemy
Is risen to invade us, who no less
Threatens than our expulsion down to hell;
I, as I undertook, and with a vote

Consenting in full frequenee was impower'd, 130

Have found him, view'd him, tasted him; but find

Far other labour to be undergone

Than when I dealt with Adam, first of men:

Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell,

However to this man inferiour far, 13s

If he be man, by mother's side at least,

With more than human gifts from Heaven adorn'd,

Perfeetions absolute, graees divine,

And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds.

Therefore I am return'd, lest eonlidenee 140

Of my sueeess with Eve in Paradise

Deeeive ye to persuasion over-sure

Of like sueeeeding here: I summon all

Rather to b0 in readiness, with hand

Or eounsel to assist; lest I, who erst lis
Thought none my equal, now be over-mateh'd.

So spake the old Serpent, doubting; and from all
With elamour was assured their utmost aid
At his eommand: when from amidst them rose
Belial, the dissolutest spirit that fell, 150
The sensualest; and, after Asmodai,
The fleshliest Ineubus; and thus advised:

Set women in his eye, and in his walk,

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Among daughters of men the fairest found:

Many are in eaeh region passing fair 100

As the noon sky; more like to goddesses

Than mortal ereatures; graeeful and disereet;

Expert in amorous arts, enehanting tongues

Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild

And sweet alluy'd, yet terrible to approaeh; 100

Skill'd to retire, and, in retiring, draw

Hearts after them tangled in amorous nets.

Sueh objeet hath the power to soften and tame

Severest temper, smoothe the rugged'st brow,

Enerve, and with voluptnous hope dissolve, 100

Draw out with eredulous desire, and lead

At will the manliest, resolutest breast,

As the magnetiek hardest iron draws.

Women, when nothing else, beguiled the heart

Of wisest Solomon, and made him build, 170

And made him bow to the gods of his wives.

To whom quiek answer Satan thus return'd:
Belial, in mueh uneven seale thou weigh'st
All others by thyself; beeause of old
Thou thyself doat'dst on womankind, admiring
Their shape, their eolour, and attraetive graee, 170
None are, thou think'st, but taken with sueh toys.
Before the flood thou with thy lusty erew,
False titled sons of God, roaming the earth,
Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men, 180
And eoupled with them, and begot a raee.
Have we not seen, or by relation heard,
In eourts and regal ehambers how thou lurk'st,
In wood or grove, by mossy fountain side,
In valley or green meadow, to way-lay 180
Some beauty rare, Calisto, Clymene,
Daphne, or Semele, Autiopa,
Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more
Too long; then lay'st thy seapes on names ador'd,
Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan, 100
Satyr, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts

153. Let women, Ae. As this temptation is not mentioned in the Gospels, it eonld not with any propriety have been proposed to our 8aviour: it is mueh more fitly made the subjeet of dehate among the wieked spirits themselves. All that ean be said in praise of the power of beauty, and all that ean iso alleged to depreeiate it, is here summed up with greut,T foree and eleganee than 1 ever remember to have seen in any other authov.—Newtox.

178. Fblte tiiled, ke . IIistobelamented that oar author has so often adopted the vulgar notion of the angels having eommeree with women, founded upon that mistaken text of 8eripture, Oen. Vi. 2. t8ee Paradise Lost iii.403.) But though

he seems to favonr that opinion, as we may suppose, to embeliish his poetry, yet be shows elsewhere that he understoed the text lightly, of the sons of 8oth, who were the worshippers of the trne Ged, intermarrying wRh the danghters of wieked Cain. Paradise Lost, xi. 021, 025.—Nswton.

ln0. 8eapes, vieious froiies, aets of lewdness, a word eommon in old Engiish poetry.

100. Apollo, Ae. Calisto, 8emele, and Antiopa were mistresses to Jupiter; Cfymene and Daphne to Apollo, and 8yrinx to Pan. Both here and elsewhere Miiton eonsiders the Geds of the heathens as Demons or Deviis.—NewTon.

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