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" 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 410 “ 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 prepared, if so befal,
445 “ 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
“ 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 blest.
" Then to the heaven of heavens he shall ascend
“ With victory, triúmphing through the air
“ Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise

“ The serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains 455 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, 460 “ With glory and power to judge both quick and dead

“ To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward

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!"

So spake th' archangel Michaël; then paus'a,
As at the world's great period: and our sire,
Replete with joy and wonder, thus replied :

“O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense ! 470 “ 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,

465

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485

“ Whether I should repent me now of sin, 475 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 Deliv'rer

up

to heaven 480 “ 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 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, 490 “ 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 495 “ 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
500 “Baptiz’d, 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 : 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 heaven 510 “To their own vile advantages shall turn

" Of lucre and ambition; and the truth

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520

530

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

Though not but by the Spirit understood. 515 “ 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, promis'd 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 enroll’d, or what the Spirit within

“Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then, 525 “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
“Of spirit and truth: the rest, (far greater part,)
“Will deem in outward rites and specious forms

Religion satisfied; truth shall retire
“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; 545 “Last, in the clouds, from heaven 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,

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540

555

565

550 “ 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,
“ Measur'd this transient world the race of time,
“ 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 ; 560 “ 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 simply meek; that suff'ring for truth's sake 570 " 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 th' angel last replied:
575 “ 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 the ethereal Powers
“ All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works,

“ Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea, 580 “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 call'd 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.

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585

590

600

“ Let us descend now therefore from this top
“Of speculation ; for the hour precise
“ Exacts our parting hence: and see! the guards,
“ By me encamp'd 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; 595 “ Her also I with gentle dreams have calm'd

Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd
“ 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 deliv'rance 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 cheer'd 605 “ With meditation on the happy end."

He ended ; and they both descend the hill:
Descended, Adam to the bower, where Eve
Lay sleeping, ran before; but found her wak’d:

And thus with words not sad she him receiv'd: 610 “Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know;

“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: 615 “In me is no delay: with thee to go,

“Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling: thou to me
“ Art all things under heaven, all places thou,
“Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.
“ This further consolation yet secure
“ I carry hence, though all by me is lost,
“ (Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf'd, -
“ By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore."

So spake our mother Eve: and Adam heard
625 Well pleas'd, but answer'd not: for now, too nigh

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