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With spiritual armour, able to resist
510 Of lucre and ambition, and the truth With superstitions and traditions taint, Left only in those written records pure, Though not but by the Spirit understood Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names Places and titles, and with these to join
516 Secular pow'r though feigning still to act By spiritual, to themselves appropriating The Spirit of God, promised alike, and given, To all believers; and from that pretence,
520 Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force On ev'ry conscience; laws which none shall find Left them inrolla, or what the Spirit within Shall on the heart ave. What will they then But force the Spirit of grace itself, and bind 523 His consort 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 conscience can be heard Infallible? Yet many will presume:
530 Whence heavy persecution shall arise On all who in the worship persevere Of spirit and truth; the rest, far greater part, 307. Acts xx. 20.
514. 1 Cor. il. 14.
Will deem in outward rites and specious formas
He ended; and thus Adam last reply'd :
560 Henceforth I learn that to obey is best, And love with fear the only God, to walk As in his presence, ever to observe His providence, and on him sole depend, Merciful over all his works, with good
565 Still overcoming evil, and by small Accomplishing 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 victory,
570 And to the faithful, death the gate of life : Taught this by his example, whom I now Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest. To whom thus also th' Angel last reply'd: 540. Of respiration ; in Scripture, the times of
refreshing. Acts iii. 19. 549. 2 Pet. iii. 13. See foriner nore on the same expression.
This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum 575
Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know: For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise, 611 Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
581. 2 Pet. i. 5. 588. Top of speculation, an eminence of contemplation, from which the eye of the mind saw the mysteries or Providence all cleared up.
608. An inconsistency is pointed out between this line and the argument to the book, in which it will be found that Adam is said to waken Eve, while he is here represented as tinding her
Presaging, since with sorrow' and heart's distress
620 I carry hence; thongh all by me is lost, (Such favour I unworthy am vouchsafed) By me the promised Seed shall all restore.
So spake our mother Eve; and Adam heard Well pleased, but answer'd not ; for now too nigh Th’ Arch-Angel stood, and from the other bill 626 To their fix'd station, all in bright array The Cherubim descended ; on the ground Gliding meteorons, as evening mist Risen from a river o'er the marish glides, 630 And gathers ground fast at the labourer's heel Homeward returning. High in front advanced, The brandish'd sword of God before them blazed Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat, Aud vapour as the Libyan air adust,
635 Began to parch that temp’rate clime : whereat In either hand the hast'ning Angel caught Our ling'ring parents, and to th’ eastern gate Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast To the subjected plain; then disappear'd. 640 They looking back, all the eastern side beheld Of Paradise (so late their happy seat) Waved over by that flaming brand, the gate With dreadful faces throng'd and fiery arms : Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon: The world was all before them, where to choose 618 Their place of rest, and Providence their guide. They hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and slow Through Eden took their solitary way.
630. Marish; 'rom the French Marais, a marsh. 618. The conclusion of this wonderful poem is not inferior in beauty to its progress. C'easing from the calm and unadorned narrative which occupies the former part of the last took, the author rises again into his accustomed sublimity, and then withe the most adınirable skill closes the poem with an appeal, deep and powerful, to all the feelings of awe ano tenderness which it ubject can awaken. Never, I think, nas worse taste been shew than by the critics who would have had the last two lines omittere
END OF PARADISE LOST.
The subject proposed. Invocation of the Holy Spirit. The poem opens with John baptizing at the river Jordan. Jesus coming there is baptized ; and is attested by the descent of the Holy Ghosi, and by a voice from heaven, to be the Son of God. Satan, who is present, upon this immediately Ales up into the regions of the air: where, summoning his infernal council, he acquaints them with his apprehensions that Jesus is that seed of the woman destined to destroy all their power, and points out to then the immediate necessity of bringing the matter to proof, and of attempting, by shares and fraud, to counteract and defeat the person from whom they have so much to dread. This office he offers himself to undertake; and, his offer being accepted, sets out on bis enterprise. Iw the mean time God, in the assembly of holy angels, declares that he has given up his son to be tempted by Satan; but foretells that the tempter shall be completel defeated by him: upon which the angels sing a hymn of iriumph. Jeslis is led up by the Spirit into the wilderness, while he is meditating on the conimencement of his great office of Shiviour of mankind. Pursuing bis meditations he narrates, in a soliloqiy, what divine and philanthropic impulses he bad test from his early youth, and how his mother Mary, on perceiving these dispositions in him, had acquainted him with thi circumstances of his birth, and in forned him that he was no less a person than the Son of God; to which he adds what his own inquiries and reflections had supplied in confirmation of this great truth, and particularly dwells on the recent attestat'on of it at the river Jordan. Oir Lord passes forty days, fasting, in the wilderness; where the wild beasts become mild and harmless in his presence. Salan now appears under the form of an old peasant; and enters into dis course with our Lord, wondering what could have brought him alone into so dangerons a place, and at the same time professing to recognise him for the person lately acknowledged by John, at the river Jordan, to be the Son of God. Jesus briefly replies. Satan rejoins with a description of the difficulty of supporting life in the wilderness; and entreats besis, if he he really the Son of God, to manifest his divine power, by changing some of the stones into bread. Jesus reproves him, and at the same time tells him that he knows who he is. Satan instantly avows himself, and offers an artful apology for himself and his conduct. Our blessed Lord severely reprimands him, and refutes every part of his justi fication. Satan, with much semblance of humility, still endeavours