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380

The throne hereditary, and bound his reign 370 With earth's wide bounds, his glory with the heavens.

He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy Surcharg'd, as had like grief been dew'd in tears, Without the vent of words, which these he breath'd. O prophet of glad tidings, finisher

375 Of utmost hope ! now clear I understand What oft my steadiest thoughts have search'd in vain; Why our great expectation should be call'd The Seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, hail, High in the love of heav'n, yet from my loins Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son Of God most high ; so God with Man unites. Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise Expect with mortal pain : say where and when Their fight, what stroke shall bruise the victor's heel. 385

To whom thus Michael. Dream not of their fight, As of a duel, or the local wounds Of head or heel : not therefore joins the Son Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to foil Thy enemy; nor so is overcome

390 Satan, whose fall from heav'n, a deadlier bruise, Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound: Which he, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure, Not by destroying Satan, but his works In thee and in thy seed : nor can this be,

395

370. -and bounds his reign 394.

-his works With earth's wide bounds, his In thee and in thy seed : ) glory with the heavens.] 1 John ïïi. 8. For this purpose 400

the Son of God was manifested, Imperium oceano, famam qui ter. minet astris.

that he might destroy the works of Virg. Æn. i. 287. the devil.

But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
Obedience to the law of God, impos’d
On penalty of death, and suffering death,
The penalty to thy transgression due,
And due to theirs which out of thine will grow :
So only can high justice rest appaid.
The law of God exact he shall fulfil
Both by obedience and by love, though love
Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment
He shall endure by coming in the flesh
To a reproachful life and cursed death,
Proclaiming life to all who shall believe
In his redemption, and that his obedience
Imputed becomes theirs by faith, his merits
To save them, not their own, though legal works.

405

410

400. And due to theirs which them, and not their own works, out of thine will grow :] Punish- though legal ones, and strictly ment is due to men's actual conformable to the law. Pearce. transgressions, though the ori- I rather understand the pasginal depravity, the transgres- sage thus. I apprehend that sion of Adam, was the root of the verb believe governs the rest them. Richardson.

of the sentence, Proclaiming life 403. -though love

to all who shall believe in his Alone fulfil the law ;]

redemption, and shall believe Rom. xiii. 10. Love is the fulfilm that his obedience imputed beling of the law.

comes theirs by faith, and shall 409. -his merits

believe his merits to sare them, To save them, &c.]

not their own, though legal works. Dr. Bentley says, that the con- 409. Dr. Newton writes as if struction demands Do save them, the verb believe governed his and so he supposes that Milton merits, and consequently their gave it. And indeed though I works. The last clause would dislike the Doctor's alteration, be clearer perhaps thus : and I confess that there is a difficulty shall believe that his merits are in the common reading. The to save them, not their own, though only sense that I can make of legal works. That his merits it is this, Which redemption and alone are to be the means of obedience are his merits to sare saving them. E.

415

420

For this he shall live hated, be blasphem’d,
Seiz'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemn'd
A shameful and accurs’d, nail'd to the cross
By his own nation, slain for bringing life;
But to the cross he nails thy enemies,
The law that is against thee, and the sins
Of all mankind, with him there crucified,
Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
In this his satisfaction ; so he dies,
But soon revives; death over him no power
Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise
Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems,
His death for man, as many as offer'd life
Neglect not, and the benefit embrace
By faith not void of works: this God-like act
Annuls thy doom, the death thou should'st have died,
In sin for ever lost from life; this act
Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength, 430

425

413. A shameful and accurs'd] mailing it to his cross. For it is written, Cursed is every 424. Thy ransom paid,) The one that hangeth on a trte. Gal. two first editions have Thy (the iii. 13. Deut. xxi. 23.

later ones The): and Milton's 415. But to the cross he nails word may be defended, if we thy enemies,] The enemies of suppose that Adam is here Adam were the law that was spoken of not as a single peragainst him, and the sins of all son, but as one in whose loins mankind, as springing originally all mankind was contained, or from him, and therefore in some as one who was representative sense chargeable upon him. The of the whole human species. author in this passage alludes to And so the poet speaks again Col. ii. 14. Blotting out the hand- in ver. 427. writing of ordinances that was

-this God-like act against us, which wus contrary Annuls thy doom, &c. to us, and took it out of the way,

Pearce. 435

440

Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms,
And fix far deeper in his head their stings
Than temp'ral death shall bruise the victor's heel,
Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
A gentle wafting to immortal life.
Nor after resurrection shall he stay
Longer on earth than certain times to’

appear
To his disciples, men who in his life
Still follow'd him ; to them shall leave in charge
To teach all nations what of him they learn’d
And his salvation, them who shall believe
Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign
Of washing them from guilt of sin to life
Pure, and in mind prepard, if so befal,
For death, like that which the Redeemer died.
All nations they shall teach ; for from that day
Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins
Salvation shall be preach'd, but to the sons
Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world ;
So in his seed all nations shall be blest.
Then to the heav'n of heav'ns he shall ascend
With victory, triumphing through the air
Over his foes and thine ; there shall surprise

445

450

432. And fix far deeper in his and confusion. Their too he head their stings

commonly writes thir, but this Than temp'ral death shall bruise greatly offends the eye, we are the victor's heel,]

so much habituated to the other; Before we come to a conclusion, and at the same time he fre

be

proper to remark quently uses theirs, and there here, once for all, that Milton seems to be no reason why the makes no distinction between one should be written differently then and than, but spells both from the other. It is hoped alike then, which must neces- therefore that these things have sarily occasion some obscurity been altered for the better.

it may

The Serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains
Through all his realm, and there confounded leave ; 455
Then enter into glory, and resume
His seat at God's right hand, exalted high
Above all names in heav'n; and thence shall come,
When this world's dissolution shall be ripe,
With glory' and pow'r to judge both quick and dead, 460
To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward
His faithful, and receive them into bliss,
Whether in heav'n or earth, for then the earth
Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
Than this of Eden, and far happier days.

So spake th' archangel Michaël, then pausid,
As at the world's great period ; and our sire
Replete with joy and wonder thus replied.

O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense !

465

457. -exalted high

469. O Goodness infinite, GoodAbove all names in heav'n ;] ness immense ! &c.] The poet Phil. ji. 9. Wherefore God also has very finely represented the hath highly exalted him, and joy and gladness of heart, which given him a name which is above rises in Adam upon his discoevery name. Or, as it is ex- very

of the Messiah. As he sees pressed Eph. i. 20, 21. Hath his day at a distance through set him at his own right hand in types and shadows, he rejoices the heavenly places, above every in it; but when he finds the name that is named, not only in redemption of man completed, this world, but also in that which and Paradise again renewed, he is to come.

breaks forth in rapture and 459. When this world's disso. transport. I have hinted belution shall be ripe,] In the later fore, that an heroic poem, aceditions we have the world's: cording to the opinion of the but I prefer this, which is found best critics, ought to end hapin the two first: because this pily, and leave the mind of the reading admits the ictus on the reader, after having conducted second syllable of the verse, it through many doubts and (where it ought to be,) whereas fears, sorrows and disquietudes, the other reading throws it off in a state of tranquillity and saupon the third. Pearce. tisfaction. Milton's fable, which

VOL. II.

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