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Of threescore and ten thousand Ifraelites
By three days pestilence ? such was thy zeal
To Israel then, the same that now to me.
As for those captive tribes, themselves were they
Who wrought their own captivity, fell off 465
From God to worship calves, the deities
Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth,
And all th’ idolatries of Heathen round,
Befides their other worse than heath’nish crimes ;
Nor in the land of their captivity

Humbled themselves, or penitent besought
The God of their forefathers; but so dy'd
Impenitent, and left a race behind
Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
From Gentiles, but by circumcision vain, 425
And God with idols in their worship join'd.
Should I of these the liberty regard,
Who freed, as to their ancient patrimony,
Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreform’d,
Headlong would follow'; and to their Gods perhaps
Of Bethel and of Dan? no, let them serve
Their enemies, who serve idols with God.
Yet he at length, time to himself best known,
Remembring Abraham, by some wondrous call
May bring them back repentant and sincere, 435
And at their passing cleave th’ Assyrian flood,
While to their native land with joy they haste,
As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,
When to the promis'd land their fathers pass’d;
To his due time and providence I leave them. 440

So spake Israel's true king, and to the Fiend
Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles.
So fares it when with truth falfhood contends.

The end of the Third Book.










The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,

Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric That fleek'd his tongue, and won so much on Eve, s So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve, This far his over-match, who self-deceiv'd And rash, before-hand had no better weigh'd The strength' he was to cope with, or his

own : But as a man who had been matchless held In cunning, over-reach'd where least he thought, To falve his credit, and for very spite, Still will be tempting him who foils him still, And never cease, though to his shame the more ; . Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,

IS About the wine-press where sweet must is pour d, Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound; Or surging waves against a solid rock, Though all to shivers dash’d, th' assault renew, Vain batt'ry, and in froth or bubbles end ; So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse Met ever, and to shameful silence brought, Yet gives not o'er though desp'rate of success, And his vain importunity pursues. He brought our Saviour to the western side



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