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To do him honor as their king; all come,
And he himself among them was baptiz'd,
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The testimony' of Heav'n, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I saw
The prophet do him reverence, on him rifing 80
Out of the water, Heav'n above the clouds
Unfold her crystal doors, thence on his head
A perfect dove descend, what-e'er it meant,
And out of Heav'n the sovran voice I heard,
This is my Son belov'd, in him am pleas'd.
His mother then is mortal, but his fire
He who obtains the monarchy of Heaven,
And what will he not do to' advance his Son?
His first-begot we know, and fore have felt,
When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep; 90
Who this is we must learn, for man he seems
In all his lineaments, though in his face
The glimpses of his Father's glory shine.
Ye see our danger on the utmost edge
Of hazard, which admits no long debate,
But muft with fomething sudden be oppos'd,
Not force, but well couch'd fraud, well woven fnares,
Ere in the head of nations he appear

Their king, their leader, and supreme on earth.
I, when no other durft, fole undertook


The difmal expedition to find out
And ruin Adam, and th' exploit perform'd




Successfully; a calmer voyage now

Will waft me; and the way found profp'rous once Induces best to hope of like fuccefs.



He ended, and his words impression left Of much amazement to th' infernal crew, Distracted and furpris'd 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 enterprize To him their great dictator, whose attempt At first against mankind so well had thriv'd In Adam's overthrow, and led their march From Hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light, Regents and potentates, and kings, ye Gods Of many a pleasant realm and province wide. So to the coast of Jordan he directs His easy steps, girded with fnaky wiles, Where he might likelieft find this new-declar'd, This man of men, attefted Son of God, Temptation and all guile on him to try; So to fubvert whom he fuspected rais'd To end his reign on earth so long enjoy'd: But contrary unweeting he fulfill'd The purpos'd counsel pre-ordain'd and fix'd Of the most High, who in full frequence bright Of Angels, thus to Gabriel fmiling spake.

Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold, 130






Thou and all Angels converfant on earth
With man or men's affairs, how I begin
To verify that folemn message late,
On which I fent thee to the Virgin pure
In Galilee, that fhe fhould bear a fon
Great in renown, and call'd the Son of God;
Then toldft her doubting how these things could be
To her a virgin, that on her should come
The Holy Ghoft, and the pow'r of the Highest
O'er-fhadow her: this man born and now up-grown,
To fhew him worthy of his birth divine
And high prediction, henceforth I expose
To Satan; let him tempt and now affay



His utmost subtlety, because he boasts
And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng 145
Of his apostasy; he might have learnt
Lefs overweening fince he fail'd in Job,
Whose constant perfeverance overcame
Whate'er his cruel malice could invent.
He now shall know I can produce a man
Of female feed, far abler to refift

All his folicitations, and at length

All his vaft force, and drive him back to Hell,
Winning by conqueft what the first man loft
By fallacy furpris'd. But first I mean
To exercife him in the wilderness,
There he shall first lay down the rudiments
Of his great warfare, ere I fend him forth





To conquer Sin and Death, the two grand foes,
By humiliation and strong sufferance :
His weakness fhall o'ercome Satanic strength,
And all the world, and mafs of finful flesh;
That all the Angels and ethereal Powers,
They now, and men hereafter
may discern,
From what confummate virtue I have chose
This perfect man, by merit call'd my Son,
To earn falvation for the fons of men.



So fpake th' eternal Father, and all Heaven Admiring stood a space, then into hymns Burst forth, and in celestial measures mov'd, 170 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 entring his great duel, not of arms, But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles. The Father knows the Son; therefore fecure Ventures his filial virtue, though untry'd, Against whate'er may tempt, whate'er seduce, Allure, or terrify, or undermine.


Be fruftrate all ye ftratagems of Hell,
And devilish machinations come to nought.

So they in Heav'n their odes and vigils tun'd:
Mean while the Son of God, who yet some days
Lodg'd in Bethabara where John baptiz'd,
Mufing and much revolving in his breast,
How beft the mighty work he might begin



Of Saviour to mankind, and which way first
Publish his God-like office now mature,
One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading,
And his deep thoughts, the better to converse 190
With folitude, till far from track of men,
Thought following thought, and step by step led on,
He enter'd now the bord'ring defert wild,
And with dark fhades and rocks environ'd round,
His holy meditations thus pursu’d.

O what a multitude of thoughts at once
Awaken'd in me fwarm, while I confider
What from within I feel myself, and hear
What from without comes often to my ears,
Ill forting with my present state compar'd!
When I was yet a child, no childish play
To me was pleasing; all my mind was set
Serious to learn and know, and thence to do
What might be public good; myself I thought
Born to that end, born to promote all truth, 205
All righteous things: therefore above my years,
The law of God I read, and found it sweet,


Made it my whole delight, and in it grew
To fuch perfection, that ere yet my age
Had measur'd twice fix years, at our great feast 210
I went into the temple, there to hear

The teachers of our law, and to propofe

What might improve my knowledge or their own; And was admir'd by all: yet this not all


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