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155

That detriinent, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create
Another world, out of one man a race
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience tried,
And earth be chang’d to heav'n, and heav'n to earth,
One kingdom, joy and union without end.

161
Mean while inhabit lax, ye pow’rs of heaven,
And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee
This I perform, speak thou, and be it done:
My overshadowing Spi'rit and might with thee 165
I send along ; ride forth, and bid the deep

ven.

ven.

154. — and in a moment] 162. Mean while inhabit lax,] Our author seems to favour the Dwell more at large, there being opinion of some divines, that more room now than there was God's creation was instantane- before the rebel angels were exous, but the effects of it were pelled, or than there will be made visible and appeared in after men are translated to heasix days in condescension to the If this be the meaning, capacities of angels; and is so we cannot much commend the related by Moses in condescen- beauty of the sentiment, as it sion to the capacities of men. intimates that the angels might

160. And earth be chang'd to be straitened for room in heaheav'n, and heav'n to earth,] Milton's meaning seems to have 165. My overshadowing Spi'rit] been this, that earth would be As God's Spirit is said to do, so happy in being inhabited by Luke i. 35. The Holy Ghost obedient creatures, that it would shall come upon thee, and the be changed to, i. e. resemble, power of the Highest shall overheaven; and heaven by receiv- shadow thee : and we read Gen. ing those creatures would in i. 2. that the Spirit of God moved, this resemble earth, that it would or rather brooded, upon the face be stocked with men for its in- of the waters. The Spirit of God habitants. Pearce.

co-operated in the creation, and Or thus in short, the angels therefore is said to be sent along frequently visiting earth, and with the Son. men being translated to heaven.

170

Within appointed bounds be heav'n and earth,
Boundless the deep, because I am who fill
Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
Though I uncircumscrib'd myself retire,
And put not forth my goodness which is free
To act or not, necessity and chance
Approach not me, and what I will is fate.

So spake th' Almighty, and to what he spahe
His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect.
Immediate are the acts of God, more swift
Than time or motion, but to human ears
Cannot without process of speech be told,
So told as earthly notion can receive.
Great triumph and rejoicing was in heaven,
When such was heard declar'd th’ Almighty's will;
Glory they sung to the Most High, good will

175

180

168. Boundless the deep, &c.] An expression borrowed from The sense is, the deep is bound- Tasso, where Satan, mimicking less, but the space contained in the Deity, says to his followers, it is not vacuous and empty,

Sia destin ciò, ch' io voglio because there is an infinitude

Gier. Lib. cant, iv, st. 17. and I fill it. Though I, who Or rather from Claudian, De am myself uncircumscribed, set bounds to my goodness, and do Rapt. Pros. ii. 306. not exert it every where, yet

Sit fatum quodcunque voles.neither necessity nor chance in

Thyer. fluence

my actions, &c. Pearce. 182. Glory they sung to the 173. —and what I will is fate. Most High, &c.] The angels From Lucan, v. 91.

are very properly made to sing Deus magnusque potensque

the same divine song to usher Sive canit fatum, seu quod jubet ipse in the creation, that they did to canendo

usher in the second creation by Fit fatum.

Jesus Christ, Luke ii. 14. And Bentley. we cannot but approve

Dr. Or from Statius, Theb. i. 212. Bentley's emendation, Glory

they sung to God most high, grave et immutabile sanctis Pondus adest verbis, et vocein fata

instead of to the Most High, as sequuntur.

it improves the measure of the Jortin. verse, is more opposed to men

185

To future men, and in their dwellings peace :
Glory to him, whose just avenging ire
Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight
And th' habitations of the just; to him
Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordain’d
Good out of evil to create, instead
Of Spi'rits malign a better race to bring
Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse
His good to worlds and ages

infinite.
So
sang

the Hierarchies : Mean while the Son

190

no

immediately following, and Ille, velut pelagi rupes immota, reagrees better with the words of

sistit ;

Ut pelagi rupes St. Luke, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good But Milton seldom repeats the will towards men.

words without the additional 186. to him

beauty of turning them too, as Glory and praise,)

in this place; and in this book It may be worth remarking how before, he turns the words, ver. 184. -though fall’n on evil days, Glory to him, &c. and here, to On evil days though fall'n and evil

tongues ; him glory and praise One would wonder how it could ever have and I know not whether the been objected to Milton that English verse has not in this there were

turns of the respect the advantage of the words in him, when there are

Greek and Latin. more beautiful repetitions and 192. - Mean while the Son, turns of the words in him than &c.] The Messiah, by whom, in almost any poet.

A bare as we are told in Scripture, the repetition of the words often worlds were made, comes forth gives great force and beauty to in the power of his Father, surthe sentence, as in Iliad. xx. 371. rounded with an host of angels,

and clothed with such a majesty Του δ' εγω αντιος ειμι, και as becomes his entering upon a

xupas soixiy, Es tupe zuugas sore, pesvos go all we work, which according to our σιδηρώ.

conceptions appears the utmost and Iliad. xü. 127.

exertion of Omnipotence. What

a beautiful description has our Τω οαριζιμεναι, ασε παρθενος ηίθεος τε, author raised upon that hint in Παρθενος ηλθεος, , οαριζετον αλλη.

one of the prophets! And behold

there came four chariots out from and Virg. Æn. vii. 586.

between two mountains, and the VOL. II.

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195

On his great expedition now appear’d,
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd
Of majesty divine; sapience and love
Immense, and all his Father in him shone.
About his chariot numberless were pour'd
Cherub and Seraph, potentates and thrones,
And virtues, winged Spi'rits, and chariots wing'd
From th' armoury of God, where stand of old
Myriads between two brazen mountains lodg’d
Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand,
Celestial equipage ; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them Spirit liv’d,
Attendant on their Lord : heav'n open'd wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound

200

205

berless

mountains were mountains of -and saw what numbers numbruss. (Zech. vi. 1.) I have before taken notice of these cha

The city gates oui pour'd. riots of God, and of the gates And so in Virg. Æn. i. 214. of heaven ; and shall here only Fusi per herbam, and vii. 812. add, that Homer gives us the agris effusa juventus, and fresame idea of the latter, as open- quently elsewhere. But the ing of themselves; though he word poured has still more proafterwards takes off from it by priety here, as it shews the reatelling us, that the hours first of diness and forwardness of the all removed those prodigious angels to attend the Messiah's heaps of clouds which lay as a expedition : they were so earbarrier before them. Addison. nest as not to stay to form them197. About his chariot num

selves into regular order, but berless were pour'd

were poured numberless about his Cherub and Seraph,]

chariot. Pearce. Dr. Bentley calls cherub pour'd

206. Her ever-during gates,] an awkward expression: but yet So in Par. Reg. i. 281. we read in ii. 997.

Heaven opened her eternal doors.

As in Psal. xxiv. 7, 9. everlasting -Heav'n gates

doors. Dunster. Pourd out by millions her victorious bands.

206. -harmonious sound

On golden hinges moving,] Par. Reg. iii. 310.

Gates moving sound on hinges.

On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory in his pow'rful Word
And Spirit coming to create new worlds.
On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore 210
They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turn'd by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault

creare

So iï. 37. Thoughts move har Prima videbatur moliri exordia remonious numbers. Horace ex

rum

Ipse micans radiis, ac multâ luce presses it in the same manner,

coruscus. Ep. ii. ii. 86.

And that he had this in his eye Verba lyræ motura sonum conne is I think the more probable, ctere digner ?

because his account of the creThe infernal doors had no such ation of light and its being afharmony; they grated harsh terwards transplanted into the thunder that shook Erebus, ii. sun's orb, which was not yet 881. Richardson.

created, carries a strong allusion 210. On heav'nly ground they to the succeeding lines, stood, &c.] I do not know any

Jamque videbatur fulvå de nube thing in the whole poem more sublime than the description Stelligeri convexa poli, terrasque, which follows, where the Mes fretumque, siah is represented at the head

Et lucem simul undivagam, mox

unde micantes of his angels, as looking down

Et solis radios, et cæli accenderet into the chaos, calming its con

ignes. fusion, riding into the midst of

Thyer. it, and drawing the first outline of the creation. Addison,

214. And surging waves,] We 211. They view'd &c.] Mil- have already given some inton's description of God the Son stances where we thought that and his attendant angels viewand and in have been misprinted ing the vast unmeasurable abyss, the one for the other : and I &c. has a great resemblance to question whether in this place the following passage in Vida.

we should not read In surging Christ. lib. i.

Naves as mountains ; for it seems

better to say of the sea, Up from Hic superùm sator informem specu the bottom turned in surging

latus acervum, Æternam noctemque, indigestumque waves, than Up from the bottom profundum,

turned by surging waves.

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