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By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
The Spirit of God, promised alike, and given
To all believers; and, from that pretenee, 520
Spiritual laws by earnal power shall foree
On every eonseienee; laws, whieh none shall find
Left them inroll'd, or what the Spirit within
Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
But foree the Spirit of graee itself, and bind 025
His eonsort Liberty? what but unbuild
His living temples, built by faith to stand,
Their own faith, not another's? for on earth
Who against faith and eonseienee ean be heard
Infallible? yet many will presume: 500
Whenee heavy perseeution shall arise
On all, who in the worship persevere
Of spirit and truth; the rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and speeious forms
Religion satisfied; truth shall retire 535
Bestuek with slanderous darts, and works of faith
Rarely be found: so shall the world go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign;
Under her own weight groaning; till the day
Appear of respiration to the just, 540
And vengeanee to the wieked, at return
Of him so lately promised to thy aid,
The woman's seed: obseurely then foretold,
Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord:
Last, in the elouds, from heaven to lie reveal'd 545
In glory of the Father, to dissolve
Satan with his perverted world; then raise
From the eonflagrant mass, purged and refined,
New heavens, new earth, ages of endless date,
Founded in righteousness, and peaee, and love; 550
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.
He ended; and thus Adam last replied:
.V22. Laws whirh nmu shai l jind, &e. Laws, as Nrwtou M,ni Hume observe, neRher agreeable to revealed or natural reiigion: neither is) be found in llolv 8eripture nor written on their hearts by the 8pirit of Ged. tweordint r to the promise in Jev. xxxi. 33.
527. lfix liviug t.-mpise. Cbristians are raiied the "temples of Goti." 8ee 1 Coe. iii. 10. l7. and vi. 10.
M0. Respiration. This is ealled in 8eripture "the times of refreshing," 8ee Aets iii. W; Mutt, \vi. 27.
His providenee, and on him sole depend,
Mereiful over all his works, with good 000
Still overeoming evil, and by small
Aeeomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simply meek: that suffering for truth's sake
Is fortitude to highest vietory; 070
And, to the faithful, death the gate of life;
Taught this by his example, whom 1 now
Aeknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.
To whom thus also the angel last replied: This having learn'd.thou hast attain'd the sum 075 Of wisdom: hope no higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by name, and all the ethereal powers, All seerets of the deep, all Nature's works, Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea, And all the riehes of this world enjoy'dst, 580 And all the rule, one empire: only add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith, Add virtue, patienee, temperanee; add love, By name to eome eall'd eharity, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loth M8 To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A paradise within thee, happier far, Let us deseend now therefore from this top Of speeulation; for the hour preeise
Exaets our parting henee; and, see! the guards, 000
By me eneamp'd on yonder hill, expeet
Their motion; at whose front a flaming sword,
In signal of remove, waves fiereely round.
We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
Her also I with gentle dreams have ealm'd, 080
Portending good, and all her spirits eomposed
To meek submission: thou, at season fit.
Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard;
Chiefly, what may eoneern her faith to know,
The great deliveranee by her seed to eome eoo
lFor by the woman's seed) on all mankind;
That ye may live, whieh will be many days,
Both in one faith unanimous, though sad,
With eause, for evils past; yet mueh more eheor'd
With meditation on the happy end. 005
He ended, and they both deseend the hill:
Whenee thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know; 010
Presaging, sinee with sorrow and heart's distress
Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
In me is no delay; with thee to go, 015
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go henee unwilling: thou to me
Art all things under heaven, all plaees thou,
Who for my wilful erime art banish'd henee.
This further eonsolation yet seeure 020
I earry henee; though all by me is lost,
Sueh favour I unworthy am vouehsafed,
By me the promised Seed shall all restore.
So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard
Risen from a river o'er the marish glides, 030
And gathers ground fast at the labourer's heel
Homeward returning. High in front advaneed,
The brandish'd sword of God before them blazed,
Fieree as a eomet; whieh with torrid heat,
And vapour as the Libyan air adust, 035
Began to pareh that temperate elime: whereat
In either hand the hastening angel eaught
Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate
Led them direet, and down the eliff as fast
To the subjeeted plain; then disappear'd. 040
They, looking baek, all th<? eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Waved over by that flaming brand; the gate
With dreadful faees throng'd, and liery arms.
Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon: 045
The world was all before them, where to ehoose
Their plaee of rest, and Providenee their guide.
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.
Tne eleventh and twelfth hooks are bnilt upon the single eiroumstanee of the removal of onr first parents from Paradise; bnt thongh this is not in itself so great a subjeet as that in most of the foregoing books, it is extended and diversified with so many surprising ineidents and pleasing episodes, thnt these last two books ean by no means be looked upon as uneqnal parts of this divine poem.
Miiton, after having represented in vision the history of mankind to the Iirst great period of nature, dispatehes the remaining part of it in narration.
In somo plaees the author has been so attentive to his divinity that he bus negleeted his poetry: the narrative, however, rises very happiiy on several oeeasions, where the subjeet is eapable of poetieal ornaments; as partieularly in the eonfusion whieh he deseribes among the builders of Babel, and in Lis short sketeh of the plagnes of Egypt. The storm of hail and fire, and the darkness that overspread the land for three days, are deseribed with great strength: the beantiful passage whieh follows is raised upon noble hints in 8eripture:—
Thus with ten wounds
The river-dragon is an allusion to the eroeodile, whieh inhabits the Nile, from whenee Egypt derives her plenty. This allusion is taken fn.m that sublime passage in Ezekiel:—"Thus saith the Lord God, liehold, 1 am against thee, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the great dragon that lyeth in the midst of his rivers, whieh hath said, .My river is my own, and I have made it for myself." Miiton has given us another very noble and poetieal image in the same deseription, whieh is eopied almost word for word ont of the history of Moses :—
All night he wiil pursne, but his approaeh
As the prineipal design of this episode was to give Adam an idea of the Uoly Person who was to reinstate human nature in that happiness and perfeetion from whieh it had fallen, the poet eonfines himself to the line of Abraham, from whenee the Messiah was to deseend. The angel is deseribed as seeing the patriareh aetnally traveliing towards the Land of Promise, whieh gives a partieular liveiiness to this part of the deseription, from vev. 128 to vev. 140.
The poet has very finely represented the joy and gladness of heart whieh rises in Adam upon his diseovery of the Messiah. As he sees his day at a distanee through types and shadows, he rejoiees in it; but when he finds the redemption of man eompleted, and Paradise again renewed, he breaks forth in rapture and transport:—
O goodness infinite, goedness immensel
.Milton's poem ends very nobly. The lnst speeehes of Adnm and tho arehangel are full of moral and instruetive sentiments. The sleep that rfVlt upon Eve, and the effeets it had in qnieting the disorders of her mind, produee the same kind of eonsolation in the reader; who eaunot peruse the last beautiful speeeh whieh is aseribed to the mother of mankind, withont a seeret pleasure and satisfaetion. The following lines, whieh eonelude the poem, rise in a most glorious blase of poetieal images and expressions.—Addison.
In the eoneluding passage of the poem there is brought together, with uneommon strength of faney, and rapidity of narrative, a number of eireumstanees wonderfully adapted to the purpose of f11ling the mind with ideas of terrifie grandenr:—the deseent of the eherubim; the flaming sword; the arehangel leading in haste our first parents down from the heights of Paradise, and then disappearing; and, above all, the seene that presents itself on their looking behind them :—
They, looking hark, all the pa.-tern side beheld
to whieh the remaining verses form the most striking eontrast th.:t ean be imagined. The final eouplet renews our sorrow, by exhibiting, with pieturesqne aeeuraey, the most mournful seene in nature; whieh yet is so prepared, as to raise eomfort, and dispose to resignation. And thus, while we are at onee melting in tenderness, elevated with pions hone, and overwhelmed with the grandenr of deseription, the divine poein eoneludes.—Re Attie.
If ever any poem was truly poetieal, if ever any abonnded with poetry, it is "Paradise Lost." What an expansion of faets from a small seed of history! What worldg are invented, what embellishments of nature upon what onr senses present us with! Divine things are more nobly, more divinely represented to the imagination, than by any other poem; a more beantiful idea is given of nature than any poet has pretended te,— nature, as just eome ont of the hand of God, in all its virgin loveliness, glory, and purity: and the human raee is shown, not, as Homer's, more gigantie, more robust, more valiant; bnt withont eomparison more truly amiable, more so than by the pietures and statnes of the greatest masters; and all these sublime ideas are eonveyed to us in the most effeetual and engaging maunev. The mind of the reader is tempered and prepared by pleasure; it is drawn and allured; it is awakened and invigorated to reeeive sueh impressions as the poet intended to give it . The poem opens the fountains of knowledge, piety, and virtne; and pours along full streams of peaee, eomfort, and joy, to sueh as ean penetrate the trne sense of the writer, and obediently listen to his song. In reading the Illiad or vEneid we treasure up a eolleetion of fine imaginative pietures, as when we read "Paradise Lost;" only that from thenee we have lto speak like a eonnoissenrl more Rafaelles, Correggios, Guides, Ae. Milton's pietures are more subiime and great, divine and lovely, than Homer's or Virgii's, or those of any other poets, aneient or modern.—Rlenardson.
Throughont the whole of " Paradise Lost" the anthor appears to have been a most eritieal reader and passionate admirer of Holy 8eripture: he is indebted to 8eripture infinitely more than to Homer and Virgii, and all other books whatevev. Not only the prineipal fable, bnt all his episodes l,re founded upon 8eripture: the 8eripture has not only furnished him with the noblest hints, raised his thoughts, and fired his imagination; bnt has also very mueh enriehed his langnage, given a eertain solemuity* and majesty to his dietion, and supplied him with many of his ehoieest, happiest expressions. Let men, therefore, learn from this instanee to reverenee the 8aered Writings: if any man ean 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 Miiton's that ean be imagined. Whoever has any trne taste and genins, wo are eonfident, will esteem this poem the best of modem produetions, and the 8eriptures the best of all aneient ones.— Newton.
Milton opened his inimitable poem with the sublimely grand horror of the infernal regions; from whenee he soared at onee into the eelestial mansions and the heaven of heavens; and then earried us into the beautiful seenes of a terrestrial paradise, with every delightful eireumstanee attendant on human beings in a state of the purest iunoeenee and trnest happiness. Having alternated in these three various regions, throngh the progress of his argument to the eatastrophe of it, he, in the tenth book, intimates and prepares us for the great ehange, elementary as well as moral, introdueed into the world by the fall of man, and tbo eonseqnent entranee of sin and death. The eleventh and twelfth books gradnally bring us into the world, in the state in whieh we are aetnally plaeed in it; and in this state the poet leaves us with admonitions of the most salu