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Surcharg'd, as had like grief been dew'd in tears, Without the vent of words, which these he breath'd:

O prophet of glad tidings, finisher Of utmost hopel 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 Heav'n: yet from my loins Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son Of God most High; so God with Man unites. Needs inust the serpent now his capital bruise Expect with mortal pain: say where and when Their fight, what stroke shall bruise the victor's heel?

To whom thus Michael: Dream not of their fight, 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 Satan, whose fall from Heav'n, 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: nur can this be. But by fulfilling that which thou didst want, Obedience to the law of God, impos'd On penalty of death, and suffering death, The penalty to thy transgression due, And due to theirs which out of thine will grow : 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

3 Imputed becomes theirs by faith, his merits To save them, not their own, though legal works. For this he shall live hated, be blasphein'd, Seiz'd on by force, judg’d, and to death condemn'd, A shameful and accurs'd; Daild to the croN **

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 crucify'd, Never to hurt them more who righuy trust In this his satisfaction. So he dies, But soon revives; death over him no pow'r Shall long usurp; ere the third Return, the stars of murn 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 God-like act Annuls thy doon, the death thou shouldst have dy'd, In sin for ever lost from life; this act Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength, befeating Sin and Death, his two main arms; And fix far deeper in his head their stings Than temp'ral 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 t'appear To his disciples, men who in his life Still follow'dhim: to them shall leave in charge To teach all nations what of him they learn d. 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 prepar'd, if so befal, For death, like that which the Redeemer dy'd. All nations they shall teach: for from that day Not only from 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. Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns 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 realms, and there confounded leave;
Then enter into glory, and resume
His seat at God's right hand, exalted high
Above all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come,
When this world's dissolution shall be ripe,
With glory and pow'r, to judge both quick and dead;
To judge th’unfaithful dead, but to reward
His faithful, and receive thein into bliss,
Whether in Heav'n or Earth; for then the earth
Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
Than this of Eden, and far happier days.

So spake th’ Archangel Michael, then pausid,
As at the world's great period; and our sire,
Replete with joy and wonder, thus reply'd:

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 Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring; To God more glory, more good-will to men From God, and over wrath grace shall abound. But say if our Deliverer up to Heav'n Must re-ascend, what will betide the few His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd, The enemies of truth? who then shall guide His people, who defend? will they not deal Worse with his followers than with him they dealt?

Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'n He to his own a Comforter will send, The promise of the Father, who shall dwell His Sp'rit 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 ian can do against them, not afraid, Though to the death, against such cruelties With inward consolations recompens’d,

And oft supported so as shall amaze
Their proudest persecutors; for the Spirit
Pour'd first on his Apostles, whom he sends
To evangelize the nations, then on all
Baptiz'd, shall thein 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 Heav'n: at length,
Their ministry perform’d, 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 Heav'n
To their own vile advantages shall turn
Of lucre and ambition, and the truth
With superstitions and traditions taint,
Left only in these written records pure,
Though not but by the Spirit understood.
Then shall they seek t'avaji themselves of names,
Places, and titles, and with these to join
Secular pow'r, though feigning still to act
By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
The Spirit of God, promis'd alike and given
To all believers; and from that pretence
Spiritual laws by carnal pow'r shall force
On every conscience; laws which none shall find
Left them inroll'd, or what the Sp'rit within
Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
But force the Sp'rit 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 sp'rit and truth, the rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms
Religion satisfy'd; truth shall relire
Bestruck with sland'rous 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 promis'd to thy aid,
The woman's seed, obscurely then foretold,
Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
Last in the clouds from Heav'n to be reveal'd
In glory of the Father, to dissolve
Satan with his perverted world, then raise
From the conflagrant mass purg'd and refin'd,
New heavens, new earth, ages of endless date,
Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love,
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.

He ended; and thus Adam last reply'd;
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer bless'd,
Measur'd this transient world, the race of timne,
Till time stand fix'd? Beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart. .
Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
of knowledge, what this vessel can contain;
Beyond which was my folly to aspire,
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
And love with fear the only God, to walk
As in his presence, ever to observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,
Merciful over all his works, with good
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simple meek; that suffering for truth's sake
Is fortitude to highest victory,
And, to the faithful, death the gate of life:
Taught this by his example whom I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever bless'd.. ..

To whom thus also th' Angel last reply'd: This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by name, and all th' ethereal pow'rs;

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