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Descry'd, divinely warn'd, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his heavenly office, nor was long
His witness unconfirm’d: on him baptiz'd
Heav'n open'd, and in likeness of a dove
The spirit descended, while the father's voice
From heav'n pronounc'd him his beloved son.
That heard the adversary, who roving still
About the world, at that assembly fam’d
Would not be last, and with the voice divine
Nigh thunder-struck, th'exalted man, to whom
Such high attest was giv'n, a while survey'd
With wonder, then with envy fraught, and rage,
Flies to his place, nor refts, but in mid air
To council summons all his mighty peers,
Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd,
A gloomy consistory; and them amidit
With looks agast and fad he thus bespake.

O antient pow'rs of air and this wide world,
For much more willingly I mention air,
This our old conqueft, than remember hell
Our hated habitation; well

ye

know
How many ages, as the years of men,
This universe we have poffeft, and ruld
In manner at our will th'affairs of earth,
Since Adam and his facil consort Eve
Lost paradise deceiv'd by me, though since
With dread attending when that fatal wound
Shall be inflicted by the feed of Eve
Upon my head, long the decrees of heav'n
Delay, for longest time to him is short;

And now too soon for us the circling hours
This dreaded time have compast, wherein we
Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd wound,
At least if so we can, and by the head
Broken be not intended all our power
To be infring'd, our freedom and our being,
In this fair empire won of earth and air:
For this ill news I bring, the woman's feed
Destin'd to this, is late of woman born,
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,
But his growth now to youth's full flow'r, displaying
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to atchieve
Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear.
Before him a great prophet, to proclaim
His coming, is sent harbinger, who alt
Invites, and in the consecrated stream

Pretends to wash off fin, and fit them so
- Purifi'd to receive him pure, or rather
To do him honour as their king; all come,
And he himself among them was baptiz’d,
Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
The testimony of heav'n, that who he is
Thenceforth the nations may not doubt; I saw
The prophet do him reverence, on him rising
Out of the water, heav'n above the clouds
Unfold her chrystal doors, thence on his head
A perfect dove descend, what c'er it meant,
And out of heav'n the fov'reign 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 heav'n,

A

And what will he not do to advance his fon?
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 see our danger on the utmost edge
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 supream on earth.
I, when no other durft, fole undertook
The dismal 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 best to hope of like success,
He ended, and his words impression left
Of much amazement to th' infernal crew.
Distracted and surpriz'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 thriy'd
In Adam's overthrow, and led their march
From hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light,
Regents and potentates, and kings, yea gods
O£ many a pleasant realm and province wide.

So to the coast of Jordan he directs
His casie steps; girded with snaky wiles,
Where he might likeliest find this new-declar'd,
This man of men, attested son of God,
Temptation and all guile on him to try;
So to subvert whom he suspected rais'd
To end his reign on earth fo long enjoy'd:
But contrary unwecting he fulfillid
The purpos'd counsel pre-ordain'd and fixt
Of the Most High, who in full frequence bright
Of angels, thus to Gabriel (miling (pake.
Gabriel this day by proof thou shalt behold,
Thou and all angels conversant on earth
With man or mens affairs, how I begin
To verific that folemn message late,
On which I sent thee to the virgin pure
In Galilee, that she should bear a fun
Great in renown, and call'd the son of God;
Then tolart her, doubting how these things could be
To her a virgin, that on her should come
The Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest
O'er-Nadow her: this man born and now up-grows,
To lhew him worthy of his birth divine
And high prediction, henceforth I expose
To Satan; let him tempt and now alsay
His utmost subtility, because he boasts
And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng
Of his apostatie; he might have learnt.
Less overweening, since he fail'd in Job,
Whose constant perseverance overcame
What e'er his cruel malice could inyent.

He now shall know I can produce a man
Of female feed, far abler to resist
All his follicitations, and at length
All his vast force, and drive him back to hell,
Winning by conquest what the first man loft
By tallacy surpriz'd. But first I mean
To exercise him in the wilderness,
There he shall first lay down the rudiments
Of his great warfare, ere I send him forth
To conquer fin and death the two grand foes,
By humiliation and Atrong fufferance:
His weakness shall o'ercome fatanick strength
And all the world, and mass of finful Acth;
That all the angels and aetherial powers,
They now, and men hereafter may discern,
From what consummate virtue I have chose
This perfect man, by merit callid my son,
To earn salvation for the sons of men.

So fpake th'eternal Father, and all heav'n
Admiring stood a space, then into hymns
Burst forth, and in celestial measures mov'd
Circling the throne and singing, while the hand
Sung with the voice, and this the argument.

Victory and triumph to the son of God, Now entering his great duel, not of arms, Lut to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles. The father knows the fon; therefore fecure Ventures his filial virtue, though untry'd, Against what e'er may tempt, what e'er feduce, Allure, or terrifie, or undermine. Be frustrate all ye stratagems of hell,

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