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Darkness defends between till morning watch ;
Then through the fiery pillar and the cloud
God looking forth will trouble all his host,
And craze their chariot wheels : when by command 210
Moses once more his potent rod extends
Over the sea ; the sea his rod obeys;
On their imbattled ranks the waves return,
And overwhelm their war: the race elect
Safe towards Canaan from the shore advance
Through the wild desert, not the readiest

way,

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-no interdict Defends the touching of these viands disabled. Richardson.

is crazy, broken with age and pure.

The pot was crased is in ChauAnd so Spenser uses it, Faery cer. See Lye's Junius upon the Queen, b. iv. cant. iii. st. 32. word crasie. Himself to save, and danger to

216. - not the readiesl way, defend.

&c.] It is remarkable, that And so polite a writer as Sir here Milton omits the al William Temple, in the con cause (though he gives the poclusion of his Essay upon the etical) of the Israelites wandercure of the gout by Moxa, ing forty years in the wilderspeaking of wine says, that ness, and this was their poltron " the use of it pure was in some mutiny on the return of the

places defended by customs or spies. He omitted this with laws.”

judgment, for this last speech 210. And craze their chariot of the angel was to give such wheels :] Bruise or break them a representation of things, as in pieces.

Craze, from the might convey comfort to Adam : French ecraser, to bruise or otherwise the story of the brazen break. So i. 311, the chariot serpent would have afforded nowheels are said to have been ble imagery. Warburton. broken, though Exod. xiv. 25. 216. -not the readiest way,] it is only said they were For Exod. xii. 17, 18. It came taken off, so that the chariots to pass when Pharaoh had let the were driven heavily. Milton, people go, that God led them not who perfectly understood the through the way of the land of original, has therefore the Philistines, although thut was pounded this taking off to be

That was the nearest breaking; though that may way from Egypt to Canaan, mean no more, than what we and was a journey of not above do when we say such a one three days, as Philo says; others

ex

near.

220

Lest ent’ring on the Canaanite alarm’d
War terrify them inexpert, and fear
Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
Inglorious life with servitude ; for life
To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Untrain'd in arms, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by their delay
In the wide wilderness, there they shall found
Their government, and their great senate choose
Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordain'd:
God from the mount of Sinai, whose gray top
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets sound,
Ordain them laws; part such as appertain

230

say of ten. But certainly it was theocracy would have afforded no great way, for the sons of some noble observations. WarJacob went it often to and fro. burton. See Bishop Patrick. For God Milton speaks of the civil and said, Lest peradventure the peo- the ritual, that is, the judicial ple repent, when they see war, and the ceremonial, precepts and they return to Egypt. But delivered to the Jews ; but why God led the people about, through did he omit the moral law conthe way of the wilderness of the tained in the Ten CommandRed Sea.

ments ? Possibly his reason 227. —whose gray top] might be, because this was

-Gelidus canis cum montibus supposed to be written origihumor

nally in the heart of man, and Liquitur. Virg. Georg. i. 43. therefore Adam must have been Hume. perfectly acquainted with it: but

, But this epithet was more pro- however, I think this should per and peculiar to Sinai at that have been particularly mentime, as it was covered with tioned, as it was published at clouds and smoke. See Exod. xix. this time in the most solemn

230, &c. 245, &c.] By these manner by God from Mount passages, Milton seems to have Sinai; and as it was thought understood no more of the Jew- worthy to be written with his ish institution than he saw in own finger upon two tables of the small Presbyterian systems; stone, when the rest were conotherwise the true idea of the veyed to the people by the

235

240

To civil justice, part religious rites
Of sacrifice, informing them, by types
And shadows, of that destin'd Seed to bruise
The Serpent, by what means he shall achieve
Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God
To mortal ear is dreadful; they beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terror cease ; he grants what they besought
Instructed that to God is no access
Without mediator, whose high office now
Moses in figure bears, to introduce
One

greater, of whose day he shall foretel,
And all the prophets in their age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus laws and rites
Establish’d, such delight hath God in men
Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes
Among them to set up his tabernacle,
The Holy One with mortal men to dwell :
By his prescript a sanctuary is fram'd
Of cedar, overlaid with gold, therein
An ark, and in the ark his testimony,

245

250

writing and preaching of Moses, to God &c. as a mediator between God and 242. of whose day he shall them. Greenwood.

foretel, 237. That Moses might report]

And all the prophets &c.] Dr. Bentley would read 'may Acts iii. 22, 24. For Moses truly report.

said unto the fathers, A prophet 238. —he grants what they shall the Lord your God raise up besought] In the first edition unto you of your brethren, like it was thus, he grants them their unto me--yea, and all the prodesire, but in the second it was phets from Samuel, and those altered to this, he grants what that follow after, as many as they besought: I suppose that the have spoken, have likewise fore. construction might be plainer told of these days. in what follows, Instructed that

255

The records of his covenant, over these
A mercy-seat of gold between the wings
Of two bright Cherubim ;, before him burn
Sev'n lamps as in a zodiac representing
The heav'nly fires ; over the tent a cloud
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night,
Save when they journey, and at length they come,
Conducted by his Angel to the land

255. Sev’n lamps as in a zodiac went onward in all their journeys. representing

But if the cloud were not taken The heav'nly fires :]

up, then they journeyed not, till That the seven lamps signified the day that it was taken up. the seven planets, and that there. For the cloud of the Lord was fore the lamps stood slopewise, upon the tabernacle by day, and as it were to express the ob- fire was on it by night, in the liquity of the zodiac, is the sight of all the house of Israel, gloss of Josephus, from whom throughout all their journeys, probably our author borrowed Exod. xl. 34, 8c. Thus it was it. Joseph. Antiq. lib. iii. c. 6 in all places wherever they and 7.jand De Bell. Jud. lib. v. came: and this is what Milton c. 5. See likewise Mede's Dis- says in short, the cloud was course 10,

upon
the seven arch-

over the tent by day, and the angels. Mr. Hume quotes like- fire (called here a fiery gleam) wise the Latin of Philo to the by night, when they journeyed same purpose: Mysticè cande- not. He takes no notice how it labrum hoc septifidum imago was when they did, which this erat sphæræ septilustris, sive text (for the infinite beauty of septem planetarum. Taberna- it we have given it at length) culum typus mundi. Sanctum explains: the cloud was then sanctorum, typus cæli empyrei taken up; how then? the Lord beatorum. See Cornelius a La- went before them by day in a pide upon Exod. xxv. 31. pillar of a cloud to lead them

258. Save when they journey,] ihe way, and by night in a pillar Then a cloud covered the tent of fire to give them light, to go by of the congregation, and the glory day and night, chap. xiii. 21. of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Other armies pitch their ensigns And Moses was not able to enter when they encamp, and lift them into the tent of the congregation up when they march. So does because the cloud abode thereon, the Lord of Hosts leading forth and the glory of the Lord filled his people. But what ensigos! the tabernacle. And when the how sublime! Milton seems too cloud was taken up from over the concise here. Richardson. tabernacle, the children of Israel

Promis'd to Abraham and his seed: the rest 260
Were long to tell, how many battles fought,
How many kings destroy'd, and kingdoms won,
Or how the sun shall in mid heav'n stand still
A day entire, and night's due course adjourn,
Man's voice commanding, Sun in Gibeon stand, 265
And thou moon in the vale of Aialon,
Till Israel overcome ; so call the third
From Abraham, son of Isaac, and from him
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.

Here Adam interpos’d. O sent from heaven, 270
Inlight'ner of my darkness, gracious things
Thou hast reveal’d, those chiefly which concern
Just Abraham and his seed: now first I find
Mine eyes true opening, and my heart much eas'd,
Erewhile perplex'd with thoughts what would become
Of me and all mankind; but now I see

276 His day, in whom all nations shall be blest, Favour unmerited by me, who sought Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means. This yet I apprehend not, why to those Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth

and so various laws are given ; So many laws argue so many sins

280

So many

270. Here Adam interpos’d.] Gen. iii. 5. Your eyes shall be These interpositions of Adam opened, &c. have a very good effect, for 277. His day,] An allusion otherwise the continued nar to that of our Saviour, John viii. ration of the angel would ap- 56. Your father Abraham rejoiced pear too long and tedious.

to see my day; and he saw it, 274. Mine eyes true opening,] and was glad. For that was a false promise 283. So many laws argue so many which the Serpent had made, sins] This scruple of our first

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