Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/415

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
409
BOOK XII.

Favor unmerited by me, who sought
Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means.
This yet I apprehend not, why to those280
Among whom God will deign to dwell on Earth
So many and so various laws are given;
So many laws argue so many sins
Among them; how can God with such reside?"
To whom thus Michael:—"Doubt not but that sin
Will reign among them, as thee begot;
And therefore was law given them, to evince
Their natural pravity, by stirring up
Sin against law to fight; that, when they see
Law can discover sin, but not remove,290
Save by those shadowy expiations weak
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude
Some blood more precious must be paid for Man,
Just for unjust, that in such righteousness,
To them by faith imputed, they may find
Justification toward God, and peace
Of conscience, which the law by ceremonies
Cannot appease, nor man the moral part
Perform, and not performing cannot live.
So law appears imperfect, and but given300
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