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Done to his father, heard this heavy curse,
“ Servant of servants," on his vicious race.
Thus will this latter, as the former world,
Still lend 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. Othat men is
(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 wand'ring 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 neighb'ring plain
Of Moreh ; there by promise he receives
Gift to his progeny of all that land,
From Hamath northward to the desert south,

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(Things by their names I call, tho' yet unnam’d)
From Hernion 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 sev'n 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
Too numerous, whence of guests he makes them slaves
Inhospitably', and kills their infant males:
Till by two brethren (those two brethren call
Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim
His people from inthralment, 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 compellid hy signs and judgments dire;
To bldod unshed the rivers must be turn’d;

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Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill
With loath'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 th' Egyptian sky,
And wheel on th' 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,
Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided, till his rescued gain their shore.
Such wondrous pow'r God to his saint will lend,
Though present in his Angel, who shall go
Before them in a cloud, and pill'ar of fire,
By day a cloud, by night a pill'ar of fire,
To guide them in their journey, and remove
Behind them, while th' 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 embattel'd ranks the waves return,

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And overwhelm their war: the race elect
Safe towards Canaan from the shore advance
Through the wild desert, not the readiest way,
Lest ent'ring 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
Untraind in arms, where rashness leads not on.'
This also shall they gain hy 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 gray 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 hruise

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
Of great Messi'ah shall sing. Thus laws and 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 fram'd
Of cedar, overlaid with gold, therein

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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 bure
Sev'n lamps, as in a zodiac representing

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The heav'nly fires; over the tent a cloud
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam hy 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 Heav'n 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 Aijalon,
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, Enlightner 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, Ere while perplex'd with thoughts what would become 275 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 such reside ??

To whom thus Michael. .“ Doubt not but that sin 285 Will reign among them, as of thee begot; And therefore was law given them to evince..

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