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And therefore was law given them, to evince
Their natural pravity, by stirring up
Sin against law to fight : that when they see
Law can discover sin, but not remove,
Save by those shadowy expiations weak,
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude
Some blood more precious must be paid for Mar;
Just for unjust ; that in such righteousness
To them by faith imputed, they may find

295
Justification towards God, and peace
Of conscience; which the law by ceremonies
Cannot appease ; nor Man the mortal part
Perform; and, not performing, cannot live.
So law appears imperfect; and but given 300
With purpose to resign them, in full time,
Up to a better covenant; disciplined
From shadowy types to truth; from flesh to spirit;
From imposition of strict laws to free
Acceptance of large grace ; from servile fear 305
To filial; works of law to works of faith.
And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
Highly beloved, being but the minister
Of law, his people into Canaan lead;
But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call,
His name and office bearing, who shall quell
The Adversary Serpent, and bring back
Through the world's wilderness long-wander'd Man
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan placed, 315
Long time shall dwell and prosper ; but when siņs
National interrupt their public peace,
Provoking God to raise them enemies ;
From whom as oft he saves them penitent
By judges first, then under kings; of whom 320
The second, both for piety renown'd
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his regal throne
For ever shall endure ; the like shall sing

All Prophecy, that of the royal stock

325 Of David (59 I name this king) shall risë A Son, the Woman's seed to thee foretold, Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trost All nations; and to kings foretold of kings The last ; for of his reign shall be no end. But first, a long succession must ensue ; And his next son, for wealth and wisdom famed, The clouded ark of God, till then in tents Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine. Such follow him, as shall be register'd

330 Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll ; Whose foul idolatries, and other faults Heap'd to the popular sum, will so incense God, as to leave them, and expose their land, Pheir city, his temple, and his holy ark,

340 With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey To that proud city, whose high walls thou saw'st Left in confusion ; Babylon thence call’d. There in captivity he lets them dwell The space of seventy years; then brings them back, Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn 346 To David, stablish'd as the days of Heaven. Return'd from Babylon by leave of kings Their lords, whom God disposed, the house of God They first reedify; and for awhile In mean estate live moderate ; till, grown In wealth and multitude, factious they grow; But first among the priests dissension springs, Men who attend the altar, and should most Endeavour peace : their strife pollution brings 353 Upon the temple itself: at last they seize The sceptre, and regard not David's sons; Then lose it to a stranger, that the true Anointed King Messiah might be born. Barr'd of his right; yet at his birth a star, 360 Unseen before in Heaven, proclaims him come ; And guides the eastern sages, who inquire

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His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold: ,
His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night; 365
They gladly thithor haste, and by a cloir
Of squadronid Angels hear his carol sung.
A virgin is his mother, but his sire
The power of the Most High: He shall ascend
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign 370
With Earth's wide bounds, his glory with the Heavens.

He ceased, discerning Adam with such joy Surcharged, as had like grief been dew'd in tears, Without the vent of words; which these he breathed. O prophet of glad tidings, finisher

375 Of utmost hope ! now clear I understand What oft my steadiest thoughts have search'd in vain; Why our great Expectation should be call'd The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, hail, High in the love of Heaven; yet from my loins 380 Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son Of God Most High: so God with Man unites ! Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise Expect with mortal pain : say where and when 384 Their fight, what stroke shall bruise the victor's heel.

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As of a duel, or the local wounds
Of head or heel : not therefore joins the Son
Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to foil
Thy enemy; nor so is overcome

390
Satan, whose fall from Heaven, a deadlier bruise,
Disabled, not to give thee thy death's wound:
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; 100

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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

405
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. 410
For this he shall live hated, be blasphemed,
Seized on by force, judged, and to death condemn'd
A shameful and accursed, nail'd to the cross
By his own nation; slain for bringing life:
But to the cross he nails thy enemies,

415 The law that is against thee, and the sing 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 Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light, Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems; His death for Man, as many as offer'd 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, 430 Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms; 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

420

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Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge
To teach all nations what of him they learn'd .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 befal,
For death, like that which the Redeemer died 445
All nations they shall teach; for, from that day
Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins
Salvation shall be preach'd, but to the sons
Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world;
So in his seed all nations shall be bless'd. 450
Then to the Heaven of Heavens he shall ascend
With victory, triumphing through the air
Over his foes and thine ; there shall surprise
The Serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains
Through all his realm, and there confounded leave ;
Then enter into glory, and resume

456
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;
To judge the unfaithful dead, but to reward 461
His faithful, and receive them into bliss,
Whether in Heaven or Earth; for then the Earth
Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
Than this of Eden, and far happier days.

405
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 occasion'd; or rejoice

475 Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring

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