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Or to the earth's dark basis underneath,
467. Did I not tell thee, &c.] of the pains and dangers which This sentence is dark and per- awaited Jesus, if he persisted in plexed, having no proper exit. rejecting his offered aid, now at
467. The whole passage, from full age, fulness of time, his seuson, V. 467 to 483, should be com- when prophecies of him were best pared with the conclusion of the fulfilled. ` E. previous conversation, v. 368- 478. -many an hard assay] 393, to which Satan manifestly Thus, b. i. 263. refers. It will then be evident
that my way must lie that the sense of the passage is Through many a hard assay unto sufficiently complete, and that the death. Satan now repeats what he had
Dunster. before expressed, his conviction
What I foretold thee, many a hard assay
So talk'd he while the Son of God went on
Me worse than wet thou find'st not; other harm
To whom the Fiend now swoln with rage replied. Then hear, O Son of David, virgin-born ;
500. Then hear, 0 Son of Da- blasphemous obloquy he still revid, &c.] This last speech of covers himself, and offers with Satan is particularly worthy of his usual art a qualification of our notice. The Fiend “ swoln what he had last said, and a juswith rage" at the repeated failure tification of his persisting in furof his attacks, breaks out into the ther attempts on the divine perlanguage of gross insult, profess- son, by whom he had been so ing to doubt whether our Lord, constantly foiled. These are the whom he had before frequently masterly discriminating touches, addressed as the Son of God, is with which the poet has admirin any way entitled to that ap- ably drawn the character of the pellation. From this wantonly Tempter: the general colouring
For Son of God to me is yet in doubt :
is that of plausible hypocrisy, overshadow thee; therefore also through which, when elicited by that holy thing which shall be born the sudden irritation of defeat, of thee shall be called the Son of his diabolical malignity fre- God,) and yet he doubts of his quently flashes out, and displays being the Son of God notwithitself with singular effect. Dun- standing. This is easily acster.
counted for. On the terms of 501. For Son of God to me is the annunciation Christ might yet in doubt:) The Tempter had be the Son of God in a sense heard Christ declared to be Son very particular, and yet a mere of God by a voice from heaven. man as to his nature: but the He allows him to be virgin-born. doubt relates to what he was He hath no scruples about the more than man, worth calling Son annunciation, and the truth of of God; that is, worthy to be what Gabriel told the blessed called Son of God in that high woman, (Luke i. 35. The Holy and proper sense, in which his Ghost shall come upon thee, and sonship would infer his divinity. the power of the Highest shall Calton.
All men are sons of God; yet thee I thought
523. -this waste wild ;] And “ tinct from any which belongs Eden rais'd in the waste wilder- “ unto the rest of the sons of ness, b. i. ñ. Again, with v. 533. “ God, that he may be clearly Proof against all temptation, as a “ and fully acknowledged the rock of adamant. Compare Sams. “only-begotten Son. For al. Agon. 134.
though to be born of a virgin “ be in itself miraculous, yet
is frock of mail Adamantean proof.
- it not so far above the producDunster.
“ tion of all mankind, as to place
“ him in that singular eminence, 538. what more thou art than " which must be attributed to the man,
"only-begotten. We read of Adam Worth naming Son of God by “ the son of God as well as Seth
voice from heaven, ] “ the son of Adam : Luke iii. 38. See Bp. Pearson on the Creed, “and surely the framing Christ p. 106. “We must find yet a " out of a woman cannot so far
more peculiar ground of our “ transcend the making Adam “ Saviour's filiation, totally dis- “ out of the earth, as to cause so
Worth naming Son of God by voice from heaven,
So say’ing he caught him up, and without wing
great a distance, as we must 541. Æschylus in his Prome
believe, between the first and theus, v. 282, makes Oceanus “ second Adam.” Calton. travel on a winged sleed. Dun
541. and without wing ster. Of hippogrif &c.]
545. The holy city lifted high Here Milton designed a reflec- her towers,) Matt. iv. 5. Then the tion upon the Italian poets, and Devil taketh him up into the holy particularly upon Ariosto. An city, and setteth him on a pinnacle hippogrif. is an imaginary crea- of the temple, &c.
of the temple, &c. Jerusalem is ture, part like an horse and part frequently called the holy city in like a griffin. See Orlando Fu- the Old Testament; but Dr. rioso, cant. iv. st. 18. or 13th Townson remarks, that St. Matstanza of Harrington's transla- thew alone of all the Evangelists tion.
ascribes titles of this kind to Je
rusalem. And this arose, as he Only the beast he rode was not of art, But gotten of a griffeth and a mare,
conceives, from St. Matthew beAnd like a griffeth had theformer part, ing the earliest writer of the four, As wings and head, and claws that and from the character of sanc
tity being transferred, when the And passing strength and force, and vent'rous heart,
others wrote, to other cities which But all the rest may with a horse
had embraced Christianity. The compare.
towers of Jerusalem are frequently Such beasts as these the hills of Ryfee mentioned in Scripture. See 2 yield,
Chron. xxvi. 9. xxxii. 5. Dunster, Though in these parts they have been
549. There on the highest pinscen but seeld.
nacle he set Ariosto frequently makes use of The Son of God,) this creature to convey his herves He has chosen to follow the hither and thither; but Milton order observed by St. Luke in would insinuate that he em- placing this temptation last, beployed no such machinery. cause if he had with St. Matthew