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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 teftimony' of Heav'n, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I faw
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 fovran 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;
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 fee our danger on the utmost edge


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Of hazard, which admits no long debate,


But must with something sudden be oppos'd,

Not force, but well couch'd fraud, well woven snares, 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 beft to hope of like fuccefs.

He ended, and his words impreffion left
Of much amazement to th' infernal crew,
Distracted and furpris'd with deep dismay
At these fad 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 fufpected 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 smiling spake.


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Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold, 130 B


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 Ghost, and the pow'r of the Highest
O'er-shadow 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 assay

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 resist


All his folicitations, and at length

All his vaft force, and drive him back to Hell,

Winning by conqueft what the first man lost

By fallacy furpris'd. But firft 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 shall o'ercome Satanic ftrength,
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 salvation for the fons of men.


So fpake th' eternal Father, and all Heaven
Admiring stood a space, then into hymns
Burft forth, and in celeftial measures mov'd, 170
Circling the throne and finging, 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 best the mighty work he might begin

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Of Saviour to mankind, and which way first
Publifh 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 desert 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 fet 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 fweet, Made it my whole delight, and in it grew To fuch perfection, that ere yet my age

Had meafur'd twice fix years, at our great feast 210

I went into the temple, there to hear
The teachers of our law, and to propose
What might improve my knowledge or their own;
And was admir'd by all: yet this not all


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