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True Stays not on Man; to God his tower intends liberty Siege and defiance. Wretched man! what food dwells Will he convey up thither, to sustain with right 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'

reason

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
Twinned, and from her hath no dividual being.
Reason in Man obscured, or not obeyed,
Immediately inordinate desires

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And upstart passions catch the government
From Reason, and to servitude reduce
Man, till then free. Therefore, since he per-
mits

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Within himself unworthy powers to reign
Over free reason, God, in judgement 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 annexed,
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.

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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 invoked-
A nation from one faithful man to spring.
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in idol-worship-Oh, that men
(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
While yet the patriarch lived who scaped the
Flood,

IIO

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 voutsafes

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To call by wisdom 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

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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 called him, in a land unknown.
Canaan he now attains; I see his tents
Pitched about Sechem, and the neighbouring plain

The
Father

of the faithful called

The Of Moreh. There, by promise, he receives Patri- Gift to his progeny of all that land, archs From Hamath northward to the Desert south (Things by their names I call, though yet unnamed),

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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 150
Plainlier shall be revealed. This patriarch blest,
Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,
A son, and of his son a grandchild, leaves,
Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown.
The grandchild, with twelve sons increased,
departs

From Canaan to a land hereafter called
Egypt, divided by the river Nile;

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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
Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them
slaves

The

Inhospitably, and kills their infant males:
Till, by two brethren (those two brethren call Plagues
Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim 170
of Egypt
His people from enthralment, they return,
With glory and spoil, back to their promised

land.

But first the lawless tyrant, who denies
To know their God, or message to regard,
Must be compelled by signs and judgments dire:
To blood unshed the rivers must be turned;
Frogs, lice, and flies must all his palace fill
With loathed intrusion, and fill all the land;
His cattle must of rot and murrain die ;
Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss, 180
And all his people; thunder mixed with hail,
Hail mixed 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 tamed at length submits
To let his sojourners depart, and oft
Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as ice
More hardened after thaw; till in his rage,
Pursuing whom he late dismissed, the sea
Swallows him with his host, but them lets pass,
As on dry land, between two crystal walls,
Awed by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided till his rescued gain their shore:

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The Law Such wondrous power God to his Saint will from lend, Sinai given

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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 com-
mand,

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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 alarmed,
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
Untrained 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 or-
dained.

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God, from the Mount of Sinai, whose grey top
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself,
In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpet's sound,
Ordain them laws-part, such as appertain 230

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