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which are to be found in this inimitable Book; of which may be affirm'd, what cannot be faid of any other Book in the World befide, that is, it never has been read and rightly understood by any, who have not given it the bigbeft Encomiums. Therefore, that all English Readers may have the like Pleafure, the following Work was taken in Hand; and to help Foreigners, whofe fmall Acquaintance with our Language, might otherwife prevent their Intelligence of the finest Poem that ever was wrote. It was not thought fufficient to pick out Lines here and there, and explain them only, for it is impoffible to know which Part may be difficult to each Reader; for which Reason, the whole is render'd into plain and intelligible Profe, the Senfe preferv'd, and nothing omitted that may make it clear to all Readers; Care being taken not to let any Word pass, whether proper Names of Men or Places, or technical Words, without a Note, to make them appear plain, and doing the fame by all the Mythology or Fables of the Antients. It muft certainly be a great Eafe, to have Recourfe to fuch
Tranfcript in Profe, and the Help of fuch a Number of explicit Notes: For this Work is not done to infinuate, that it is fuperior or any Way equal to the Poetry of PARADISE LOST; but, on the contrary, defign'd only to make it more univerfally intelligible, being fully afjured, that it will then be always held in Admiration; and if through my Means this should happen, I shalt think I have been of general Service; which is a Confideration that would be my Reward, if no other should arife from it, for then my chief End would be answered.
ROPOSES the whole Subject, Man's Difobedience, and the Lofs thereupon of Paradife wherein he was plac'd. Then touches the prime Caufe of his Fall, which was Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from GOD, and drawing to his Side many Legions of Angels, was by the Command of GOD, driven out of Heaven with all his Crew into the great Deep. Which Action pass'd over, the Author haftes into the midft of Things, prefenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell, defcrib'd, not in the Centre (for Heaven and Earth may be fuppos'd as not yet made, certainly not yet accurs'd) but in a Place of utter Darkness, moft fitly call'd Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-ftruck and aftonish'd, after a certain Space recovers, as from Confufion, calls up
him who next in Order and Dignity lay by him they confer of their miferable Fall. Satan awakens all his Legions, who lay till then confounded; they rife, their Numbers, Array of Battle, their chief Leaders nam'd, according to the Idols afterwards known in Canaan, and the Countries adjoining. Satan though fenfible of the Diminution of his Glory directs his Speech to the Fallen Angels, comforts them with Hope yet of regaining Heaven, but tells them of a new World, and new Kind of Creature to be created; according to an antient Prophecy or Report in Heaven, and threatens the Deity, which the rebellious Angels all affent to. The Affociates of Satan build Pandæmonium, and the Infernal Peers fit there in Council.
The whole Subject is propos'd, Man's Difobedience, and the Lofs thereupon of Paradife wherein be was plac'd. The prime Caufe of his Fall. Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell deferib'd, lying on the burning Lake. After a certain Space Satan calls to him who next lay by him. They confer of their miferable Fall.
EAVENLY Spirit of Truth and Harmony affift me! to write of Man's firft Difobedience, and of the Fruit of that forbidden Tree, the Tafting of which. brought Death and all our Woe into the World, and occafion'd the Lofs of Paradife, till JESUS CHRIST, a Man far greater than ADAM, reftore and redeem, and once more regain a Paradife for us.
THOU, who from the thick Clouds on the fecret Top of Mount OREB, (a) or, perhaps of SINAI (b), didft infpire MOSES when a Shepherd there, who first taught the Children of ISRAEL, how Heaven and Earth were created from the Elements, which were till then nothing but a mix'd and confus'd Heap, and without Form. Or if thy Prefence be more reveal'd on Mount SION, (c) or by the Brook of SILOA, B 2 (d) which
(a) Oreb, Horeb, or Choreb, Hebrew, i. e. Dryness; for it was a Defart or Dry Mountain in Arabia the Stony, where there was little or no Water, Deut. viii. 15. Horeb is a Part of Mount Sinai on the Weft Side; and Sinai lies on the East Side of it. There Mofes fed the Flock of Jethro, and there God appear'd to him firft in a burning Bub, Exod. iii....1.
(b) Sinai, Heb. from Seneh, i. e. A Bush, or Thorn; because thefe Bubes grew thereon in Abundance. It is a very steep and high Mountain in Arabia the Stony, about 156 Miles from Jerufalem to the South. These are not two diftin&t Mountains but one, which is parted into two Tops, like Parnafus, &c. of which Sinai is the higheft; having a fair and fpacious Plain between them: That Top towards the Weft is call'd Horeb, and that to the East Sinai. Mountain is round, takes 7000 Steps to the Top, has fome Olive Trees, Fig Trees, Date Trees, &c. and feveral Chapels, Monafteries, Cells, and Mofques, &c. It is called the Mount of God, because it is a great one; or becaufe God
appeared thereon frequently to Mofes, and delivered his Law there; by the Turks, Gibol Moufa, i. e. the Mount of Mofes; by the Arabians, Tor, i. e. The Mountain. Very much Venera tion is ftill paid to this Mountain, on Account of that antient and extraordinary Holiness, when the Almighty appeared upon it to Mofes.
(c) Sion, Zion, or Tzion, Heb. i. e. A Watch Tower; becauíe it is the highest Hill thereabout, and from it one might fee the Holy Land far and near. Mountain on the North Side, and fome Part of it within the City of Jerufalem, furrounded with fteep Sides, high Rocks, and deep Ditches, except on the North Side; therefore it was ve ry ftrong. Some of the Jebusites (Part of the old Canaanites) defended it against all the Force of the Ifraelites, Joh. xv. 63. 'till the valiant King David took it) from them; there he fortified the Old Cafle, built the Upper Town, furrounded it with new Walls, and called it the City of David; there he kept his Court and Retinue, 2 Sam. 5. 6. There were many fair Buildings and Houses
(d) which runs down from thence to the Temple where thy Oracle is plac'd, I intreat the Influence of thy Spirit from thence, to aid me in treating of this difficult Subject, feeing I muft elevate my Stile, above the best Poets, and discourse of such high, and facred Things, as have never been attempted before, either in Profe or Rhime. Inftruct me for thou knoweft, thou, who preferreft an upright and pure Heart before all Temples: Thou waft prefent from all Eternity, and moving on the great Deep didft infufe vital Heat, and as the Dove when the warms Eggs into Life make Nature prolific. What is dark in me do thou enlighten, and raise, and fupport me, where I am too low and weak, that I may affert the Wisdom and Justice of Eternal Providence, in a Manner worthy the Subject I have undertook to write on, and fo juftify thy Ways to Men.
of his Officers, especially his Houfe of Cedar-Wood, which he called the Caftle of Sion, and the Sepulchre of King David, Solomon, &c. within a Rock: Some of their Ruins are to be seen still. It is elegantly defcribed Pfalm 48. by Jofephus, Sands, &c. Sion was alfo called the Mount of the Houfe of the Sanctuary, and Millo, i. e. Plenty; because there was Abundance of all good Things for David's Family, and thofe of his Nobles. Sion was alfo a Type or Figure of the Church of Chrift, Heb. 12. 22. ** OBS. Mount Moriah and Mount Sion ftood directly in the Center, and Mount Calvarywithout the North Gate, in the Old Jerufalem, and at a confiderable Distance: But now Mount Sion
is without the Walls upon the South Side, and Mount Calvary almoft in the Middle of it.
(d) Siloe, Siloak, Siloam, Shiloach, Heb. i. e. Sent; for it was a Brook or Spring of Water gliding foftly down Mount Sion, on the East Side of the Temple of Jerufalem, and at the Bottom of it made a Pool, which was Sent from God, at the Prayer of Ifaias, a little before his Death, and when the City was closely befieged; as a Bleffing or Gift, to cure many Difeafes among his People. Herein a Blind Man washed his Eyes at Chrift's Command, and received his EyeSight, John 9. 7. There a Tower was built over it, by the Fall of which 18 Men were killed, Luke 13. 4.