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"Paradise Regained," Satan appears before us in council again, but his form and the discourses of his co-mates have lost all their original brightness. Belial sinks into the mere sensualist, very different from the lofty but egotistic intellectualism to which we listened upon another great occasion. But if this production of Milton is inferior to "Paradise Lost," it is not wanting in poetry and fancy abundantly sufficient to immortalise an humbler bard. It has more nakedness of character—a rugged indifference: the condensed phraseology of its companion we do not often find, but the scholar shines here as of old; the fancies of the old poetic mythologies sport about; Grecian and Roman story are still more frequently called upon for appropriate hints or more extended pictures; while the great contest between the Saviour and Satan goes on,—the glorious eremite, in many an affecting position, appealing to our admiration, our affection, and our love; and Satan as frequently kindling our hatred or our scorn. Innumerable passages of extraordinary beauty might be quoted. The various methods of Satanic enchantment are placed with great art and skill. The table spread before our Saviour, when hungered in the wilderness—the pouring of the hosts of light-armed troops through the brilliant cities, —the cities of the earth themselves—Athens, the seat of intellectual glory—all are vividly described; while the replies of the Saviour to the panegyrics of the fiend are remarkable for the plainness and the force of their reasoning. One thing must be especially noticed throughout—the language of Satan is never simple, but always rich, highly-coloured, pictorial, and scholarly: the Saviour's in reply, is ever Hebraistic and plain. Let the following be taken as a specimen of the conduct of the various dialogues. "Behold," says Satan,—
"Where on the .<Egean shore a city stands,
By voice or hand, and various-measured verse,
"Remove their swelling epithets, thick laid
The Saviour's night in the wilderness, after the departure of Satan, is a powerful piece of life painting. The winds rushing from their stony caves from the four hinges of the world; the rain mingled with fire, falling on the vexed wilderness; while infernal ghosts, let loose from their dens, yelling and howling around, hurl their fiery darts.
"111 wast thou shrouded then,
Sats't unappalled, in calm and sinless peace,
Came forth with pilgrim steps, in amice grey,
The " Paradise Regained" is like some wonderful allegory, which man must read by his life experience. The temptations of the Saviour, it is easy to see, were regarded as the temptations common to us all—those of depraving sensualism, of glory, and of literary and intelLctual vanity.
Milton's Ecclesiastical Polity.
Milton did not love bishops; he did not regard episcopacy, as an institution, with love and approbation; he had no friendly feelings toward established religions. Our English Reformation stopped far too short for him; he could not tolerate a sensual religion; and all that he beheld in the episcopacy of his times, tended only to bury the spiritual beneath the superincumbent weight of observances and forms, "attributing purity or impurity to things indifferent, that they might bring the inward acts of the spirit to the outward and customary eyeservice of the body, as if they could make God earthly and fleshly, because they could not make themselves heavenly and spiritual. They began to draw down all the divine intercourse betwixt God and the soul; yea, the very shape of God himself, into an exterior and bodily form,