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“ And hear the din: thus was the building left
“Ridiculous, and the work Confusion' nam'd."

Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeas'd :

“ O execrable son! so to aspire
65 “ Above his brethren; to himself assuming

Authority usurp'd, from God not given :
“He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold

• By his donation : but man over men
70 “ He made not lord; such title to himself

“ Reserving, human left from human free.
“ But this usurper his encroachment proud

Stays not on man; to God his tower intends

Siege and defiance. Wretched man! what food 75 “ Will he convey up thither, to sustain

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'st 80 “ 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 85 “ Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being :

“ Reason in man obscur’d, or not obey'd,

Immediately inordinate desires,
“ And upstart passions, catch the government
“ From reason; and to servitude reduce

Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits
“ Within himself unworthy powers to reign
“ Over free reason, God, in judgment just,
“Subjects him from without to violent lords ;

“ Who oft as undeservedly enthral
95 “ 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 annex’d, 100 “ 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.
105 “ 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 invokid-
“ A nation from one faithful man to spring.

“ Him, on this side Euphrates yet residing, 115

“Bred up in idol-worship-( 0, that men-
“ Canst thou believe ?-should be so stupid grown,
“ While yet the patriarch lived who 'scap'd the flood,
As to forsake the living God, and fall

“ To worship their own work in wood and stone 120

“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 130

To Haran; after him a cumb'rous 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 133


“ Pitched about Sichem, 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; 140 (Things by their names I call, though yet unnam'd,)

“ 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, 145 “ 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 bless'd : by that seed

Is meant thy great Deliv'rer, who shall bruise 150 “ The serpent's head; whereof to thee anon

“ Plainlier shall be reveal’d. This patriarch blest,

Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,

A A son, and of his son a grand-child, leaves ; “Like him in faith, and 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 seven mouths “ Into the sea.

To sojourn in that land 160 “ 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, 163 “Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks

To stop their over-growth, as inmate guests
“ Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
" Inhospitably; and kills their infant males;

“ Till by two brethren (these two brethren call 170 “ Moses, and Aaron) sent from God to claim

“His people from enthralment, they return
“ With glory, and spoil, back to the promis'd land.
“But first the lawless tyrant, who denies





“ To know their God, or message to regard,
175 “ Must be compelled 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 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 the 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 190“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 195 “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 rod 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
205 “ 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, 210 “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, 215 “ 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 220 “ 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 225 “ 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, 230 “ 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 bruise

“ The serpent, by what means he shall achieve 235 “ Mankind's deliv'rance: 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
240 “ Without Mediator, whose high office now

“ Moses in figure bears, to introduce
“One greater, of whose day he shall fortel;
And all the prophets in their age the times

“Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus laws and rites 245

“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

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