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Serpent though brute, unable to transfer
169. -more to know
thy life: and I will put enmity Concern'd not Mun, (since he no between thee and the Woman, and further knew,)]
between thy seed and her seed : il This is badly expressed. The shall bruise thy head, and thou meaning is, As man was not to shalt bruise his keel. Our author be let into the mystery of the ertainly here more in the redemption at this time, it did right than ever in adhering relinot concern him to know that giously to the words of Scripthe Serpent was but the instru- ture, though he has thereby ment of the Devil. When Milton spoiled the harmony of his verse. wrote this, I fancy he had it not He thought without doubt that then in his thoughts to make to mix any thing of his own Michael reveal to Adam in the would be a violation of decency, last book the doctrine of re- and a profanation, like that of demption; or if he did intend Uzzah's putting forth his hand it, he forgot that a theological to the ark of God. And the comment on those words in sentence is very well explained Genesis would ill agree with by bim, that it was pronounced what was to follow. Warburlon. immediately upon the Serpent
175. Because thou hast done as made the instrument of mischief this, &c.] As near as may be and citiated in nature, but is to to the very words of Scripture, be applied mediately to Satan, Gen. iii. 14, 15. And the Lord the old Serpent, though in mysteGod said unto the Serpent, Be- rious terms: and as the author cause thou hast done this, thou explains how the sentence was art cursed above all catlle, and to be understood before be reabove every beast of the eld: lates so he shews afterwards upon thy belly shalt thou go, and how it was fulfilled. dust shalt thou eat all the days of
Upon thy belly grovelling thou shalt go,
So spake this oracle, then verified
182. -Oracle, then verified wilderness. See the hymn of
When Jesus son of Mary, &c.] the angels at the conclusion of Here is a manifest indication, the poem. Par. Reg. iv. 633. that, when Milton wrote this
Hail, Son of the Most High, heir of passage, he thought Paradise
both worlds, was chiefly regained at our Sa- Queller of Satan ! on thy glorious viour's resurrection. This would work have been a copious and sub
Now enter ; und begin to save inan
kind. lime subject for a second poem.
E. The wonders then to be described would have erected even 184. Saw Salan fall like lightan ordinary poet's genius; and ning down from heaven, &c.] in episodes he might have in. Here are several allusions to troduced his conception, birth, Scripture; as particularly to miracles, and all the history of Luke x. 18. I beheld Salan as his administration, while on lightuing fall from heaven. Prince earth. And I much grieve, of the air, so he is called, Eph. that instead of this he should ii. 2. the prince of the power of choose for the argument of his the air. Spoiled principalities and Paradise Regained the fourth powers, triumphed in open shew, chapter of Luke, the temptation according to Col. ii. 15. And. in the wilderness; a dry, barren, having spoiled principalities and and narrow ground, to build an powers, he made a shew of them epic poeun on. In that work he openly, triumphing over them in has amplified his scanty mate- And with ascension bright rials to a surprising dignity; captivity led captive, led captive but yet, being cramped down those who had led us captive. by a wrong choice, without the Ps. lxviii. 18. Thou hast ascended expected applause. Bentley. on high, thou hast led caplivity
Though Milton entitled his captive, applied to our Saviour second poem
" Paradise Re- by St. Paul, Eph. iv. 8. The air gained,” it is not to be sup. the realm of Satan, who is thereposed that be considered the fore called the prince of the power salvation of men effected by the of the air, as we quoted before. defeat of the Tempter in the Whom he shall tread at last under
Prince of the air ; then rising from his grave
195 Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule.
On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd.
our feet: Rom. xvi. 20. And the unto Adam he said, Because thou God of peace shall bruise Satan hast hearkened unto the voice of under your feet. We see by thy wife, and hast eaten of the these instances what use our tree of which I commanded thee, author had made of reading the saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: Scriptures.
cursed is the ground for thy sake ; 192. And to the Woman thus in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all his sentence turn'd, &c.) Gen. the days of thy life: thorns also jii. 16. Unto the Woman he said, I and thistles shall it bring forth to will greatly multiply thy sorrow thee ; and thou shalt eat the herb and thy conception ; in sorrow of the field : in the sweat of thy thou shalt bring forth children; face shalt thou eat bread, till and thy desire shall be to thy thou return unto the ground, for husband; and he shall rule over out of it wast thou taken ; for thee.
dust thou art, and unto dust shalt 197. On Adam last thus judg- thou return. We quote these ment he pronounc'd, &c.] He passages at length, that without is equally exact in reporting any trouble they may be comthe sentence pronounced upon pared with the poem. Adam. Gen. iii. 17, 18, 19. And
Shalt eat thereof all the days of thy life;
So judg’d he Man, both judge and saviour sent,
214. -the form of servant to Eve came by the skins of assume, &c.] Alluding to Phil. beasts; and therefore our aui. 7. But made himself of no thor adds they were either slain, reputation, and took upon him the but he does not say whether by form of a servant. As when he one another, or for sacrifice, or washed his servants' feet, John for food; or they shed their coats xiii.
like snakes, and were repaid with 216. -he clad
new ones, a notion which we Their nakedness with skins of may presume he borrowed from beasts,]
some commentator rather than Gen. iii. 21. Unto Adam also advanced of himself.
It seems and to his wife, did the Lord God too odd and extravagant to be a make couts of skins, and clothed fancy of his own, but he might them. And our author, we see, introduce it out of vanity to understands it literally, though shew his reading. Pliny indeed it is sufficient if it was done by mentions some lesser creatures the divine providence and di- shedding their skins in the manrection. But some commenta- ner of snakes, but that is hardly tors torment themselves and the authority sufficient for such a text by asking how Adam and notion as this.
And thought not much to clothe his enemies :
Mean while ere thus was sinn'd and judg'd on earth, Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death,
219. And thought not much to salvation, he hath covered me with clothe his enemies :} Dr. Bent. the robe of righteousness. ley says that this line is cer- 229. Mean while ere thus was tainly of the editor's manufac- sinn'd and judg'd on earth,) Two ture, and quite superfluous; impersonals : before Man had because it divides what is na- thus sinned, and God had judged turally connected, and changes him, Sin and Deaih sat in counthe sentiments, from a family terview within the gates of hell: under a gracious father, to the but now upon Man's transgrescondition of enemies. But I do sion and God's judgment, Sin not see that it divides any na- thus began and addressed herself tural connexion : and as for to Death. changing the sentiments, it does 230. - sat Sin and Death,} it to a beauty, not to a fault: We now to consider the for it shews more goodness in a imaginary persons, or Sin and man to clothe his enemy, than Death, who act a large part in only one of his family. Milton this book. Such beautiful exseems to have bad in his thoughts tended allegories are certainly what St. Paul says, Rom. y. 10. some of the finest compositions When we were enemies, we were of genius : but, as I have before reconciled to God through the observed, are not agreeable to death of his Son. Milton again the nature of an heroic poem. had much the same sentiment, This of Sin and Death is very when he makes Adam say in exquisite in its kind, if not con. ver. 1059. Clothed us unworthy. sidered as a part of such a work. Pearce.
The truths contained in it are so 222. with his robe of righte- clear and open, that I shall not ousness,) Isa. lxi. 10. He hath lose time in explaining them; clothed me with the garments of but shall only observe, that a