Imatges de pÓgina
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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
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,

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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
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 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,
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
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

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Salvation shall be preached, but to the sons

Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world;
So in his seed all nations shall be blest.

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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

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

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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 Michael; then paused,
As at the World's great period; and our Sire,
Replete with joy and wonder, thus replied:-

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"O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense, That all this good of evil shall produce, And evil turn to good-more wonderful

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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-
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,

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His faithful, left among the 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 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

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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 evangelize 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
Their ministry performed, and race well run,
Their doctrine and their story written left,
They die; but in their room, as they forewarn,

at length.

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

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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

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Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, far greater part,

Will deem in outward rites and specious forms

Religion satisfied; Truth shall retire

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

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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
In glory of the Father, to dissolve

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Satan with his perverted World; then raise
From the conflagrant mass, purged and refined,
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 replied:-
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
Measured this transient World, the race of Time,
Till Time stand fixed! Beyond is all abyss-
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
Greatly in peace of thought, and have iny 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

By simply meek; that suffering for Truth's sake

Accomplishing great things-by things deemed weak
Subverting worldly-strong, and worldly-wise

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 blest."

To whom thus also the Angel last replied:-
"This having learned, thou hast attained the sum
Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars
Thou knew'st by name, and all the ethereal powers,
All secrets of the Deep, all Nature's works,
Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea,
And all the riches of this world enjoy'dst,
And all the rule, one empire. Only add
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith ;
Add virtue, patience, temperance; add love,
By name to come called Charity, the soul
Of all the rest then wilt thou not be loth
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
A Paradise within thee, happier far.
Let us descend now, therefore, from this top

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Of speculation; for the hour precise

Exacts our parting hence; and, see! the guards,
By me encamped on yonder hill, expect
Their motion, at whose front a flaming sword,
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round.
We may no longer stay. Go, waken Eve;
Her also I with gentle dreams have calmed,
Portending good, and all her spirits composed
To meek submission: thou, at season fit,

Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard-
Chiefly what may concern her faith to know,
The great deliverance by her seed to come
(For by the Woman's Seed) on all mankind—
That ye may live, which will be many days,
Both in one faith unanimous; though sad
With cause for evils past, yet much more cheered
With meditation on the happy end."

He ended, and they both descend the hill.
Descended, Adam to the bower where Eve

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Lay sleeping ran before, but found her waked;

And thus with words not sad she him received:

"Whence thou return'st and whither went'st I know;

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For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise,

Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since, with sorrow and heart's distress
Wearied, I fell asleep. But now lead on;
In me is no delay; with thee to go
XIs to stay here; without thee here to stay
X Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me

Art all things under Heaven, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banished hence.
This further consolation yet secure

I carry hence: though all by me is lost,
Such favour I unworthy am voutsafed,

By me the Promised Seed shall all restore."

So spake our mother Eve; and Adam heard

Well pleased, but answered not; for now too nigh
The Archangel stood, and from the other hill
To their fixed station, all in bright array,

The Cherubim descended, on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as evening mist

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Risen from a river o'er the marish glides,

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And gathers ground fast at the labourer's heel

Homeward returning. High in front advanced,

The brandished sword of God before them blazed,

Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat,
And vapour as the Libyan air adust,

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