He did a man become

Out of the bosom of eternal bliss,
In which he reigned with his glorious sire,
He down descended, like a most demiss
And abject thrall, in flesh’s frail attire,
That he for him might pay sin’s deadly hire
And him restore unto that happy state,
In which he stood before his hapless fate.

In flesh at first the guilt committed was;
Therefore in flesh it must be satisfied:
Nor spirit nor angel, though they man surpass,
Could make amends to God for man’s misguide,
But only man himself, who self did slide.
So, taking flesh of sacred virgin’s womb,
For man’s dear sake he did a man become.

– from Edmund Spenser, “An Hymn of Heavenly Love”

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