Syndernes forladelse (og kødets opstandelse)
I will beget a son and he shall bear The sins of all the world; he shall arise In an unnoticed corner of the earth, And there shall die upon a cross, and purge The universal crime; so that the few On whom my grace descends, those who are marked As vessels to the honor of their God, May credit this strange sacrifice and save Their souls alive. Millions shall live and die, Who ne'er shall call upon their Saviour's name, But, unredeemed, go to the gaping grave, Thousands shall deem it an old woman's tale, Such as the nurses frighten babes withal; These in a gulf of anguish and of flame Shall curse their reprobation endlessly, Yet tenfold pangs shall force them to avow, Even on their beds of torment where they howl, My honor and the justice of their doom. What then avail their virtuous deeds, their thoughts Of purity, with radiant genius bright Or lit with human reason's earthly ray? Many are called, but few will I elect. Af Percy Bysshe Shelley: Queen Mab, vers 135-156.Shelley forklarer selv om baggrunden for dette sted, i en note til vers 135-36:
A book is put into our hands when children, called the Bible, the purport of whose history is briefly this: That God made the earth in six days, and there planted a delightful garden, in which He placed the first pair of human beings. In the midst of the garden He planted a tree, whose fruit, although within their reach, they were forbidden to touch. That the Devil, in the shape of a snake, persuaded them to eat of this fruit; in consequence of which God condemned both them and their posterity yet unborn to satisfy His justice by their eternal misery. That, four thousand years after these events (the human race in the meanwhile having gone unredeemed to perdition), God engendered with the betrothed wife of a carpenter in Judea (whose virginity was nevertheless uninjured), and begat a son, whose name was Jesus Christ; and who was crucified and died, in order that no more men might be devoted to hell-fire, He bearing the burthen of His Father's displeasure by proxy. The book states, in addition, that the soul of whoever disbelieves this sacrifice will be burned with everlasting fire.Og dog er der stadig mennesker blandt os, som vil pådute os dette bedrag - Danmark er endnu ikke så afkristnet, som man kunne ønske.
During many ages of misery and darkness this story gained implicit belief: but at length men arose who suspected that it was a fable and imposture, and that Jesus Christ, so far from being a God was only a man like themselves...