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which includes at length one-third of the entire Heavenly host. Then ensue the wars in Heaven,-Michael and the loyal Angels warring against Satan and the rebel Angels, so that for two days the Empyrean is in uproar. But on the third day the Messiah himself rides forth in his chariot of power, armed with ten thousand thunders. Right on he drives, in his sole might, through the rebel ranks, till they are trampled and huddled, in one indiscriminate flock, incapable of resistance, before him and his fires. But his purpose is not utterly to destroy them,--only to expel them from Heaven. Underneath their feet, accordingly, the crystal wall or floor of Heaven opens wide, rolling inwards, and disclosing a spacious gap into the dark Abyss or Chaos. Horrorstruck they start back; but worse urges them behind. Headlong they fling themselves down, eternal wrath burning after them, and driving them still down, down, through Chaos, to the place prepared for them.
The place prepared for them! Yes, for now there is a modification in the map of Universal Space to suit the changed conditions of
the Universe. At the bottom of what has hitherto been Chaos there is now marked out a kind of Antarctic region, distinct from the body of Chaos proper. This is Hell,-a vast region of fire, sulphurous lake, plain, and mountain, and of all forms of fiery and icy torment.
It is into this nethermost and dungeon-like portion of space that the Fallen Angels are thrust. For nine days and nights they have been falling through Chaos, or rather being driven down through Chaos by the Messiah's pursuing thunders, before they reach this new home destined for them (VI. 871). When they do reach it, the roof closes over them and shuts them in. Meanwhile the Messiah has returned into highest Heaven, and there is rejoicing over the expulsion of the damned.
For the moment, therefore, there are three divisions of Universal Space,—HEAVEN, Chaos, and HELL. Almost immediately, however, there is a fourth. Not only have the expelled Angels been nine days and nights in falling through Chaos to reach Hell; but, after they have reached Hell and it has closed over them, they lie for another period of nine days and nights (I. 50-53) stupefied and bewildered in the fiery gulf. It is during this second nine days that there takes place a great event, which farther modifies the map of Infinitude. Long had there been talk in Heaven of a new race of beings to be created at some time by the Almighty, inferior in some respects to the Angels, but in the history of whom and of God's dealings with them there was to be a display of the divine power and love which even the Angels might contemplate with wonder. The time for the creation of this new race of beings has now arrived. Scarcely have the Rebel Angels been enclosed in Hell, and Chaos has recovered from the turmoil of the descent of such a rout through its depths, when the Paternal Deity, addressing the Son, tells him that, in order to repair the loss caused to Heaven, the predetermined creation of Man and of the World of Man shall now take effect. It is for the Son to execute the will of the Father. Straightway he goes forth on his creating errand. The everlasting gates of Heaven open wide to let him pass forth; and, clothed with majesty, and accompanied with thousands of Seraphim and Cherubim, anxious to behold the great work to be done, he does pass forth,-far into that very Chaos through which the Rebel Angels have so recently fallen, and which now intervenes between Heaven and Hell. At length he stays his fervid wheels, and, taking the golden compasses in his hands, centres one point of them where he stands and turns the other through the obscure profundity around (VII. 224-231). Thus are marked out, or cut out, through the body of Chaos, the limits of the new Universe of Man : that Starry Universe which to us seems measureless and
the same as Infinity itself, but which is really only a beautiful azure sphere or drop, insulated in Chaos, and hung at its topmost point or zenith from the Empyrean. But, though the limits of the new experimental Creation are thus at once marked out, the completion of the Creation is a work of Six Days (VII. 243-550). On the last of these, to crown the work, the happy Earth receives its first human pair, the appointed lords of the entire new Creation, surveying it with newly-awakened gaze from the Paradise where they are placed, and where they have received the one sole command that is to try their allegiance. And so, resting from his labours, and beholding all that he had made, that it was good, the Messiah returned to his Father, reascending through the golden gates which were now just over the zenith of the new World, and were its point of suspension from the Empyrean Heaven; and the Seventh Day or Sabbath was spent in songs of praise by all the Heavenly hosts over the finished work, and in contemplation of it as it hung beneath them,
“ another Heaven, From Heaven-gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline.” And now, accordingly, this was the diagram of the Universal Infinitude :
There are the three regions of HEAVEN, Chaos, and HELL, as
before ; but there is also now a fourth region, hung drop-like into Chaos by an attachment to Heaven at the north pole or zenith. This is the New WORLD, or the STARRY UNIVERSE: all that Universe of orbs and galaxies which man's vision can reach by utmost power of telescope, and which even to his imagination is illimitable. And yet as to the proportions of this world to some part of the total map Milton dares to be exact. The distance from its nadir or lowest point to the upper boss of Hell is exactly equal to its own radius; or, in other words, the distance of Hell-gate from Heaven-gate is exactly three semidiameters of the Human or Starry Universe (I. 73, 74).
Meanwhile, just as this final and stupendous modification of the map of Infinitude has been accomplished, Satan and his rebel adherents in Hell begin to recover from their stupor,-Satan first, and the others at his call. There ensue Satan's first speech to them, their first surveys of their new domain, their building of their palace of Pandemonium, and their deliberations there in full council as to their future policy. Between Moloch's advice for a renewal of open war with Heaven, and Belial's and Mammon's counsels, which recommend acquiescence in their new circumstances and a patient effort to make the best of them, Beelzebub insinuates the proposal which is really Satan's, and which is ultimately carried. It is that there should be an excursion from Hell back through Chaos, to ascertain whether that new Universe, with a new race of beings in it, of which there had been so much talk in Heaven, and which there was reason to think might have come into existence about this time, had come into existence. If it had, might not means be found to vitiate this new Universe and the favoured race that was to possess it, and to drag them down to the level of Hell itself? Would not such a ruining of the Almighty's new experiment at its outset be a revenge that would touch Him deeply? Would it not be easier than open war? And on the stepping-stone of such a success might they not raise themselves to further victory, or at least to an improvement of their present condition, and an extent of empire that should include more than Hell?
Satan's counsel having been adopted, it is Satan himself that adventures the perilous expedition up through Chaos in quest of the new Universe. He is detained for a while at Hell-gate by the ghastly shapes of Sin and Death, who are there to guard it; but, the
gates being at length opened to him, never to shut again, he emerges into the hideous Chaos overhead. His journey up through it is arduous. Climbing, swimming, wading, flying, through the boggy consistency, now falling plumb-down thousands of fathoms, again carried upwards by a gust or explosion, he reaches at length, about midway in his journey, the central throne and pavilion where CHAOS personified and Night have their government. Here he receives definite intelligence that the new World he is in search of has actually been created. Thus encouraged, and directed on his way, again he springs upward, "like a pyramid of fire," through what of Chaos remains; and, after much farther flying, tacking, and steering, he at last reaches the upper confines of Chaos, where its substance seems thinner, so that he can wing about more easily, and where a glimmering of the light from above begins also to appear. For a while in this calmer space he weighs his wings to behold at leisure (II. 1046) the sight that is breaking upon him. And what a sight!
“ Far off the Empyreal Heaven extended wide
In circuit, undetermined square or round,
Of smallest magnitude close by the moon.” Care must be taken not to misinterpret this passage. Addison misinterpreted it most woefully. He speaks of Satan's distant discovery “of the Earth that hung close by the Moon” as one of the most “wonderfully beautiful and poetical” passages of the poem. But it is more wonderfully poetical than Addison thought. For, as even a correct reading of the passage by itself would have shown, the “pendent World” which Satan here sees is not the Earth at all, but the entire Starry Universe, or Mundane System, hung drop-like by a golden touch from the Empyrean above it. In proportion to this Empyrean, at the distance whence Satan gazes, even the Starry Universe pendent from it is but as a star of smallest magnitude on the edge of the full or crescent moon.1
At length (III. 418-422) Satan alights on the opaque outside,
1 Heaven or the Empyrean being necessarily represented in our diagram as of definite dimensions, instead of infinite or indefinite, this minuteness of the Mundane System in comparison has to be imagined.