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. Book XII. But first, among the priests diffenfion springs; Men who attend the altar, and should most Endeavour peace: their strife pollution brings 3.55 Upon the temple it self: at lalt 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 heav'n, proclaims him come; And guides the eastern sages, who inquire His place, to offer incenfe, myrrh, and gold : His place of birth a solemn Angel tells To fimple shepherds, keeping watch by night: 365 They gladly thither hafte ; and, by a choir Of squadron'd Angels, hear his carol sung. A virgin is His Mother, but His Sire The Pow'r of the Most High! He shall ascend The throne hereditary, and bound His reign 370 With earth's wide bounds, His glory with the heav'ns !"
He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy 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
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 feed 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 Goo Most High ; so God with man unites. Needs must che serpent now his capital bruise Expect with mortal pain : say, where and when 33.42 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 Man-hood to GOD-HEAD, with more strength to foil
Thy Thy enemy : nor so is overcome
390 SATAN, whose fall from heav'n (1 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 didft 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:
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 Wohall endure, by coming in the flesh
405 Tu 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 (tho' legal) works. For this He shall live hated, be blasphemd,
4111 Seiz'd on by force, judg’d, and to death condemn’d, A shameful and accurft! nail'd to the cross By His own nation; slain for bringing life. But to the cross He nails thy enemies,
Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength,
So spake th’ Arch-Angel MICHAEL: then pausid,
O goodness infinite ! goodness immense !
by creation first brought forth
Be fure they will, said th'Angel; but from heav'n
Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves !
525 His confort 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:
530 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 satisfy'd: truth shall retire
535 Bestuck with fland'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,
540 And vengeance to the wicked : at return Of Him fo lately promis'd to thy aid, The Woman's Seed ; obscurely then foretold ; Now amplier known thy Saviour, and thy LORD ; Leaft, in the clouds, from heav'n to be reveal'd 545 In glory of the FATHER, to diffolve Satan, with his perverted world; then raise