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And therefore was law given them, to evince
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, 310 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 sins 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 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
3235 Of David (s) I name this king) shall rise A Son, the Woman's seed to thee foretold, Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust All nations; and to kings foretold of kings The last ; for of his reign shall be no end. 330 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
335 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 cheir land, Their 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
350 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 355 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 como ; And guides the eastern sages, who inquire
His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold:
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 callid 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.
To whom thus Michaël: 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 go 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,
395 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.
415 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 Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light, Thy ransomn paid, which Man from death redeems; His death for Man, as many as offer'd life 425 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 ivimortal life.
435 Nor after resurrection shall he stay longer on earth than certain times to appear To his disciples, men who in his life
Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge
456 Ais seat at God's right hand, exalted high Above all names in Heaven; and thence shall come, When this world's dissolution shall be ripo, With glory and power tu 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.
465 So spake the Archangel Michael; 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,
470 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 mo done and occasion'd; or rejoico
.476 Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring;