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But thee whofe ftrength, while virtue was her mate, Might have fubdued the earth,
Univerfally crown'd with highest praises.
SAMS. I hear the found of words, their fense the air Diffolves unjointed ere it reach my ear.
Сно. He speaks, let us draw nigh. The glory late of Ifrael, now the grief;
Matchless in [might,
We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown 180 From Efhtaol and Zora's fruitful vale,
To vifit or bewail thee, or if better,
Counsel or confolation we may bring,
Salve to thy fores; apt words have pow'r to fwage
The tumors of a troubled mind,
And are as balm to fefter'd wounds.
SAMS. Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I
Now of my own experience, not by talk,
How counterfeit a coin they are who friends
Yet that which was the worst now leaft afflicts me, 195
Am I not fung and proverb'd for a fool
CHO. Tax not divine difpofal; wifeft men
SAMS. The firft I faw at Timna, and the pleas'd Me, not my parents, that I fought to wed The daughter of an infidel: they knew not That what I motion'd was of God; I knew From intimate impulfe, and therefore urg'd The marriage on; that by occafion hence I might begin Ifrael's deliverance, The work to which I was divinely call'd. She proving falfe, the next I took to wife (O that I never had! fond wish too late,) Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila, That fpecious monster, my accomplish'd fnare. I thought it lawful from my former act, And the fame end; ftill watching to opprefs
Ifrael's oppreffors: of what now I fuffer
Who vanquish'd with a peal of words (O weaknefs!) Gave up my fort of filence to a woman.
CHO. In feeking just occasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy country's enemy,
Thou never waft remifs, I bear thee witness:
SAMS. That fault I take not on me, but transfer
On Ifrael's governors, and heads of tribes,
Who seeing thofe great acts, which God had done
The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the
But they perfifted deaf, and would not seem
To count them things worth notice, till at length 250 Their lords the Philistines with gather'd powers Enter'd Judea feeking me, who then
Safe to the rock of Etham was retir'd,
The harrafs of their land, befet me round;
I willingly on fome conditions came
Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me
Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threads Touch'd with the flame: on their whole hoft I flew
Unarm'd, and with a trivial weapon fell'd
Their choiceft youth; they only liv'd who fled.
And lorded over them whom now they serve :
Whom God hath of his fpecial favor rais'd
Of Madian and her vanquish'd kings:
Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument,
For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.
SAMS. Of fuch examples add me to the roll, 290 Me easily indeed mine may neglect,
But God's propos'd deliverance not fo.
CHO. Juft are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men;
Unless there be who think not God at all:
If any be, they walk obscure;
For of fuch doctrin never was there fchool,
But the heart of the fool,
And no man therein doctor but himself.
Yet more there be who doubt his ways not juft, 300 As to his own edicts found contradicting, Then give the reins to wandering thought, Regardless of his glory's diminution; Till by their own perplexities involv’d They ravel more, ftill lefs refolv'd,
But never find felf-fatisfying folution.
As if they would confine th' Interminable,
And tie him to his own prefcript,
Who made our laws to bind us, not himself,
And hath full right t' exempt
Whom so it pleases him by choice
From national obftriction, without taint
Of fin, or legal debt;
For with his own laws he can best dispense.
Down reason then, at least vain reasonings down,