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The Thy enemy; nor so is overcome bruising Satan, whose fall from Heaven, a deadlier bruise, of the Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound; Serpent's head Which he who comes thy Saviour shall recure, Not by destroying Satan, but his works In thee and in thy seed. Nor can this be, But by fulfilling that which thou didst want, Obedience to the law of God, imposed On penalty of death, and suffering death, The penalty to thy transgression due, And due to theirs which out of thine will grow : 400 So only can high justice rest appaid. The Law of God exact he shall fulfil Both by obedience and by love, though love Alone fulfil the Law; thy punishment He shall endure, by coming in the flesh To a reproachful life and cursed death, Proclaiming life to all who shall believe In his redemption, and that his obedience Imputed becomes theirs by faith-his merits To save them, not their own, though legal, works. For this he shall live hated, be blasphemed, 411 Seized on by force, judged, and to death condemned

A shameful and accursed, nailed to the cross
By his own nation, slain for bringing life;
But to the cross he nails thy enemies—
The Law that is against thee, and the sins
Of all mankind, with him there crucified,
Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
In this his satisfaction. So he dies,

But soon revives; Death over him no power 420
Shall long usurp.
Ere the third dawning light
Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise

All

Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
Thy ransom paid, which Man from Death re- nations

deems

shall be

blest

His death for Man, as many as offered life
Neglect not, and the benefit embrace
By faith not void of works. This godlike act
Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have
died,

In sin for ever lost from life; this act

Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength,
Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms, 431
And fix far deeper in his head their stings
Than temporal death shall bruise the Victor's heel,
Or theirs whom he redeems—a death like sleep,
A gentle wafting to immortal life.

Nor after resurrection shall he stay
Longer on Earth than certain times to appear
To his disciples-men who in his life

Still followed him; to them shall leave in charge
To teach all nations what of him they learned 440
And his salvation, them who shall believe
Baptizing in the profluent stream—the sign
Of washing them from guilt of sin to life
Pure, and in mind prepared, if so befall,
For death like that which the Redeemer died.
All nations they shall teach; for from that day
Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins
Salvation shall be preached, but to the sons
Of Abraham's faith wherever through the
world;

450

So in his seed all nations shall be blest.
Then to the Heaven of Heavens he shall ascend
With victory, triumphing through the air
Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise

Good out The Serpent, Prince of Air, and drag in chains of evil Through all his realm, and there confounded

leave;

Then enter into glory, and resume

His seat at God's right hand, exalted high
Above all names in Heaven; and thence shall

come,

When this World's dissolution shall be ripe,
With glory and power, to judge both quick and
dead-
460

To judge the unfaithful dead, but to reward
His faithful, and receive them into bliss,
Whether in Heaven or Earth; for then the
Earth

Shall be all Paradise, far happier place
Than this of Eden, and far happier days.'

So spake the Archangel Michaël; then paused,
As at the World's great period; and our Sire,
Replete with joy and wonder, thus replied :—
O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense,
That all this good of evil shall produce,
And evil turn to good-more wonderful
Than that which by creation first brought forth
Light out of darkness! Full of doubt I stand,
Whether I should repent me now of sin
By me done and occasioned, or rejoice
Much more that much more good thereof shall
spring-

470

To God more glory, more good-will to men
From God-and over wrath grace shall abound.
But say, if our Deliverer up to Heaven
Must reascend, what will betide the few,
His faithful, left among the unfaithful herd,
The enemies of truth? Who then shall guide

480

His people, who defend? Will they not deal Apostles Worse with his followers than with him they and

dealt ? '

Evangelists

" Be sure they will,' said the Angel; but
from Heaven

He to his own a Comforter will send,
The promise of the Father, who shall dwell,
His Spirit, within them, and the law of faith
Working through love upon their hearts shall
write,

To guide them in all truth, and also arm
With spiritual armour, able to resist
Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts-
What man can do against them not afraid,
Though to the death; against such cruelties
With inward consolations recompensed,
And oft supported so as shall amaze
Their proudest persecutors. For the Spirit,
Poured first on his Apostles, whom he sends
To evangelise the nations, then on all
Baptized, shall them with wondrous gifts endue
To speak all tongues, and do all miracles,
As did their Lord before them. Thus they win
Great numbers of each nation to receive
With joy the tidings brought from Heaven: at
length,

501

490

Their ministry performed, and race well run,
Their doctrine and their story written left,
They die but in their room, as they forewarn
Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous

wolves,

Who all the sacred mysteries of Heaven
To their own vile advantages shall turn
Of lucre and ambition, and the truth

510

Corruptio With superstitions and traditions taint, optimi Left only in those written records pure,

520

Though not but by the Spirit understood.
Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
Places, and titles, and with these to join
Secular power, though feigning still to act
By spiritual; to themselves appropriating
The Spirit of God, promised alike and given
To all believers; and, from that pretence,
Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force
On every conscience-laws which none shall find
Left them enrolled, or what the Spirit within
Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
But force the Spirit of Grace itself, and bind
His consort, Liberty? what but unbuild
His living temples, built by faith to stand-
Their own faith, not another's? for, on Earth,
Who against faith and conscience can be heard
Infallible? Yet many will presume:
Whence heavy persecution shall arise
On all who in the worship persevere
Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms
Religion satisfied; Truth shall retire

530

Bestuck with slanderous darts, and works of Faith
Rarely be found. So shall the World go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign,
Under her own weight groaning, till the day
Appear of respiration to the just
And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of Him so lately promised to thy aid,
The Woman's Seed-obscurely then foretold,
Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord;
Last in the clouds from Heaven to be revealed

540

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