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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

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

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
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 neighbouring 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's
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, departa
From Canaan, to a land hereafter call'd
Egypt, divided by the river Nile;

See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths
nto 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 over-growth, as inmate guests
'Too numerous ; whence of guests he makes thein
Inhospitably, and kills their infant males: [slaves
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 loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land;
His cattle must of rot and murren 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

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;
Awed by the ro of Moses so to stand
Divided till his rescued gain their shore :
Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend,
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 i
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,
Drdain 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 företel,
And all the prophets in their age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus laws and rite
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, the 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

Of me and all mankind: but now I see
His day in whom all nations shall be blest;
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 sucli reside ?"

To whom thus Michael: "Doubt not but that Will reign among them, as of thee begot; [sin 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 conclud 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

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