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By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
He ended; and thus Adam last replied:
522. Laws which none shall find, &c. ! 527. His liring temples, Christians are Laws, as Newton and Hume observe, called the temples of God." See 1 Cor. peither agreeable to revealed or natural iii. 16, 17, and vi. 19. -eligion: neither to be found in Iloly 510. Respiration. This is called in Scripture nor written on their heart by Scripture the times of refreshing," the Spirit of God, according to the pro- See Acts iii. 19; Matt. xvi. 27. mise in Jer. xxxi. 33.
His providence, and on him sole depend,
To whom thus also the angel last replied:
He ended, and they both descend the hill:
Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know;
588. This top of speculation : from this word speculation being used in the sense bill of prophecy and prediction: the of the Latin specula, "a watch-tower”
Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress
So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard
The eleventh and twelfth books are built upon the single circumstance of the removal of our first parents from Paradise; but though this is not in itself so great a subject as that in most of the foregoing books, it is extended and diversified with so many surprising incidents and pleasing episodes, that these last two books can by no means be looked upon as unequal parts of this divine poem.
Milton, after having represented in vision the history of mankind to the first great period of nature, dispatches the remaining part of it in carration.
In some places the author has been so attentive to his divinity that he bas neglected his poetry: the narrative, however, rises very happily on several occasions, where the subject is capable of poetical ornaments; as particularly in the confusion which he describes among the builders of Babel, and in his short sketch of the plagues of Egypt. The storın of bail and fire, and the darkness that overspread the land for three days, are described with great strength: the beautiful passage which follows is raised upon noble hints in Scripture :
Thus with ten wounds
To let his sojourners depart, &c. The river-dragon is an allusion to the crocodile, which inhabits the Nile, from whence Egypt derives her plenty. This allusion is taken from that sublime passage in Ezekiel :-" Thus saith the Lord God, Be. hold, I am against thee, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the great dragon that lyeth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is my own, and I have made it for myself.” Milton has given us another very noble and poetical image in the same description, which is copied almost word for word out of the history of Moses :
All night he will pursue, but his approach
Darkness defends between, till morning watch. As the principal design of this episode was to give Adam an idea of the Holy Person who was to reinstate human nature in that happiness and perfection from which it had fallen, the poet contines himself to the line of Abraham, from whence the Messiah was to descend. The angel is described as seeing the patriarch actually travelling towards the Land of Promise, which gives a particular liveliness to this part of the description, from ver. 128 to ver. 140.
The poet has very finely represented the joy and gladness of heart which rises in Adam upon his discovery of the Messiah. As he sees his day at a distance through types and shadows, he rejoices in it; but when he finds the redemption of man completed, and Paradise again renewed, he breaks forth in rapture and transport:
O gordnres infinite. goodness immense!
That all this good of evil shall produce, &c. Milton's poem ends very nobly. The last speeches of Allam and the archangel are full of moral and instructive sentiments. The sleep that dell upon Eve, and the effects it had in quieting the disorders of her inind, produce the same kind of consolation in the reader; who cannot peruso ibe last beautiful speech which is ascribed to the mother of mankind, without a secret pleasure and satisfaction. The following lines, which conclude the poem, rise in a mnost glorious blaze of poetical images and expressions.--Addison.
In the concluding passage of the poem there is brought together, with uncommon strength of fancy, and rapidity of narrative, a number of circumstances wonderfully adapted to the purpose of filling the mind with ideas of terrific grandeur:--the descent of the cherubim; the flaming sword; the archangel leading in haste our first parents down from the heights of Paradise, and then disappearing; and, above all, the scene that presents itself on their looking behind them :
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld
With dreadful faces thrung'd, and fiery arms: to which the remaining verses form the most striking contrast that can be imagined. The final couplet renews our sorrow, by exhibiting, with picturesque accuracy, the most mournful scene in nature; which yet is so prepared, as to raise comfort, and dispose to resignation. And thus, while we are at once melting in tenderness, elevated with pious hope, and overwhelmed with the grandeur of description, the divine poem concludes.---BEATTIE.
If ever any poem was truly poetical, if ever any abounded with poetry, it is “Paradise Lost." Wbat an expansion of facts from a small seed of bistory! What worlds are invented, what embellishments of nature upon what our senses present us with! Divine things are more nobly, more divinely represented to the imagination, than by any other poem; a more beautiful idea is given of nature than any poet has pretended to,nature, as just come out of the hand of God, in all its virgin loveliness, glory, and purity: and the human race is shown, not, as Homer's, more gigantic, more robust, more valiant; but without comparison more truly amiable, more so than by the pictures and statues of the greatest masters; and all these sublime ideas are conveyed to us in the most effectual and engaging manner. The mind of the reader is tempered and prepared by pleasure; it is drawn and allured; it is awakened and invigorated to receive such impressions as the poet intended to give it. The poem opens the fountains of knowledge, piety, and virtue; and pours along full streams of peace, comfort, and joy, to such as can penetrate the true sense of the writer, and obediently listen to his song. In reading the Illiad or Æneid we treasure up a collection of fine imaginative pictures, as when we read “ Paradise Lost;" only that from thence we have (to speak like a connoisseur) more Rafaelles, Correggios, Guidos, &c. Milton's pictures are more sublime and great, divine and lovely, than Homer's or Virgil's, or those of any other poets, ancient or modern.-RICHARDSON.
Throughout the whole of “ Paradise Lost" the author appears to bave been a most critical reader and passionate admirer of Holy Scripture : he is indebted to Scripture infinitely more than to Homer and Virgil, and all other books whatever. Not only the principal fable, but all his episodes are founded upon Scripture : the Scripture has not only furnished him with the noblest hints, raised his thoughts, and tired his innagination; but has also very much enriched his language, given a certain solemnity and majesty to his diction, and supplied him with many of his choicest, happiest expressions. Let men, therefore, learn from this instance to reverence the Sacred Writings: if any man can pretend to deride or despise them, it must be said of him, at least, that he has a taste and genius the most different from Milton's that can be imagined. Whoever has any true taste and genius, we are confident, will esteem this poem the best of modern productions, and the Scriptures the best of all ancient ones.NEWrox.
Milton opened his inimitable poem with the sublimely grand horror of the infernal regions; from whence he soared at once into the celestial mansions and the heaven of heavens; and then carried us into the beautiful scenes of a terrestrial paradise, with every delightful circumstance attendant on human beings in a state of the purest innocence and truest happiness. Having alternated in these three various regions, through the progress of his argument to the catastrophe of it, be, in the tenth book, intimates and prepares us for the great change, elementary as well as moral, introduced into the world by the fall of man, and the consequent entrance of sin and death. The eleventh and twelfth books gradually bring us into the world, in the state in which we are actually placed in it; and in this state the poet leaves us with admonitions of the inost salu