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Of female Seed, far abler to resist

All his sollicitations, and at length

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

Winning by Conquest what the first man lost

By fallacy furpriz'd. But first I mean

To exercise him in the Wilderness,

There he shall first lay down the rudiments

Of his great warfare, e'er I fend him forth

To conquer Sin and Death the two grand foes j

By Humiliation and strong Sufferance:

His weakness shall o'ercome Satanick strength

And all the world, and mass of sinful flesh j

That all the Angels and Ætherial Powers,

They now, and men hereafter may discern,

From what consummate virtue I have chose

This perfect Man, by merit call'd my Son,

To earn Salvation for the Sons of men.

So spake 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 ha*tci Sung with the voice, and tfcis the argument. Victory and Triumph to the Son of God :; -!• Now

Now entring his great duel, not of arms,
But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles.
The Father knows the Son} therefore secure
Ventures his filial Virtue, though untry'd,
Against what e'er may tempt, what e'er seduce,
Allure, or terrisie, or undermine.
Be frustrate all ye stratagems of Hell,
And devillilh 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,
Musing and much revolving in his breast,
How best the mighty work he might begin
Of Saviour to mankind, and which way first
Publish his God-like Office now mature,
One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading j
And his deep thoughts, the better to converse -
With solitude, till far from track of men,
Thought following thought, and step by step led on.
He entred now the bordering desart wild,
And with dark shades and rocks environ'd rounds
His holy meditation thus pursu'd.
O what a Multitude of thoughts at once


Awaken'd in me swarm, while I consider
What from within I feel my self, and hear,
What from without comes often to my ears,
III sorting with my present state compar'd.
When I was yet a Child, no childish play
To me was pleasing, all my mind was set
Serious to learn and know, and thence to do • -
What might be publick good } my self I thought
Born to that end, born to promote all truth,
All righteous things: therefore above my years,
The Law of God I read and found it sweet,
Made it my whole delight, and in it grew
To such perfection, that e'er yet my age .
Had measur'd twice six years, at our great Feast
I went into the Temple, there to hear
The Teachers of our Law, and to propose
What might improve my knowledge or their own j
And was admir'd by all, yet this not all
To which my Spirit aspir'd, victorious deeds
Flam'd in my Heart, heroic acts, one while
Tp rescue Israel from the Roman Yoke,
Then to subdue and quel o'er all the earth
Brute violence and proud Tyrannick pow'r,

Till truth were freed, and equity restor'd:

Yet held it more humane, more heav'nly first

By winning words to conquer willing hearts,

And make perswasion do the work of fear;

At least to try, and teaeh the erring Soul

Not wilfully mis-doing, but unaware

Miss-led} the stubborn only to destroy.

These growing thoughts my Mother soon perceiving

By words at times cast forth inly rejoye'd,

And said to me apart, High are thy thoughts

O Son, but nourish them and let them soar

To what heighth sacred virtue and true worth

Can raise them, though above example high }

By matchless Deeds express thy matchless Sire.

For know, thou art no Son of mortal man,

Though men esteem thee low of Parentage,

Thy Father is th' Eternal King who rules

All Heav'n and Earth, Angels and Sons of men,

A messenger from God fore-told thy Birth

Conceiv'd in me a Virgin, he foretold

Thou should'st be great and sit on David's Throne,

And of thy Kingdom there shall be no end.

At thy Nativity a glorious Quire


Of Angels in the fields of Bethlehem fung
To Shepherds watching at their folds by night,
And told them the Messiah now was born,
Where they might see him, and to thee they came;
Directed to the Manger where thou lay'st,
For in the Inn was left no better room:
A Star, not seen before in Heav'n appearing
Guided the Wise Men thither from the East,
To honour thee with Incense, Myrrh, and Gold,
By whose bright course led on they found the place,
Affirming it thy Star new grav’n in Heav'n,
By which they knew the King of Israel born.
Just Simeon and Prophetick Anna, warn'd
By Vision found thee in the Temple, and spake
Before the Altar and the vested Priest,.
Like things of thee to all that present stood:
This having heard, straight I again revolv'd
The Law and Prophets, searching what was writ
Concerning the Messiah, to our Scribes
Known partly, and soon found of whom they spake
Iam; this chiefly, that my way muft lie
Through many a hard assay even to the death,
E’er I the promis'd Kingdom can attain,


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