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Governs the inner man, the nobler part;
481. The great examples which monarchs have given of abdi cating their thrones were after the time of our Saviour, but it is most probable Milton had Diocletian and Charles V. in his mind. There is a great deal of noble sentiment in the above reply of our Lord; but the noblest morality of philosophy fails of inspiring those particular feelings of awe and trembling expectation with which the scene of Christ's mysterious contest fills ihe mind. Milton's imagination was, if I may use the expression, the imagination of sense, of vision, and material forms; his conception of purely spiritual things was imperfect, and hence his frequent recourse to the set phrases and nioral aphorisnis of the classic philosophers, when it is the exposition of the spirit itself, noi of particular sentiment, which the mind requires. Through out the poem the defect of his genius in this respect is constantly evident; our Saviour speaks through Milton's memory; no thought occurs which shews the God-man, as the one sole being who through eternity has united divinity and humanity, and the answers he makes might be put into the mouth of any virtuous and gifted mortal. The design of Paradise Regained, notwithstanding all commentators may say, was sufficiently large and perfect for a most noble poem, but the author wanted, to make buth a pian successful, a mind more fond of searching into the breat springs of thought aww poner.
THE ARGUMENT. Satan, in a speech of much flattering commendation, endeaTours to awaken in Jesus a passion for glory, by particularizing various instances of conquests achieved, and great actions performed, by persons at an early period of life. Our Lord replies, by shewing the vanity of worldly fame, and the improper means by which it is generally attained ; and contrasts with ii the true glory of religious patience and virtuous wisdom, as exemplified in the character of Job. Satan justifies the love of glory from the example of God himself, who requires it from all his creatures. Jesus detects the fallacy of this argument, hy shewing that, as goodness is the true ground on which glory is due to the great Creator of all things, sinful man can have no right whatever to it. Satan then urges our Lord respecting his claim to the throne of David; he tells luim that the kingdom of Judea, being at that time a province of Rome, cannot be got possession of' without much personal exertion on his part, and presses him to lose no time in beginning to reign. Jesus refers him to the time allotied for this, as for all other things; and, after intimating somewhat respecting his own previous sufferings, asks Satan why he should be solicitous for the exaltation of one, whose rising was destined to be his fall. Satan replies, that his own desperate state, by excluding all hope, leaves little room for fear; and that, as his own punishment was equally doomed, he is not interested in preveniing the reign of one, for whose apparent benevolence he might rather hope for some interference in his favour. Satan still pursues his former incitements; and, supposing that the seening reluctance of Jesus to be thus advanced might arise from his being unacquainted with the world and its glories, conveys him to the suminit of a high mountain, and from thence shews him most of the kingdom of Asia, particularly pointing out to his notice some extraordinary military preparations of the Parthians to resist the incursions of the Scythians. He then informis our Lord, that he shewed him this purposely that he might see how necessary military exertions are to retain the possession of kingdoms, as well as to subdue them at first, and advises bim to consider how impossible it was to maintain Judea against two such powerful neighbours as the Romans and Parthians, and how necessary it would be to form an alliance with one or other of them. At the same time he recommends, and enguges to secure to him, that of the Parthians; and tells him, that by this means his power will be defended from any thing that Rome or Cæsar might attempt against it, and that he will be able to extend his glory wide, and especially to accomplish what was particularly necessary to make the throne of Judea really the throne of David, the deliverance and restoration of the ten tribes, still in a state of captivity. Jesus, having briefly noticed the vanity of military efforts, and the weakness of the arm of Aesh, says, that when the time comes for his ascending bis allotted throne, le shall not be slack: he remarks on Satan's extraordinary zeal for the deliverance of the Israelites, to whom he had always shew'n himself an enemy, and declares their servitude to be the consequence of their idolatry; but adds, that at a future time it may perhaps please God to recall them, and restore them to their liberty and native land.
So spake the Son of God, and Satan stood A while as mute confounded what to say,
What to reply, confuted and convinced
5 With soothing words renew'd, him thus accosts :
I see thou know'st what is of use to know,
11. Shape, idea, in its most perfect sense.
31. See Luke iii. 23. 36. The Pontic king, Mitridates, against whom Pompey was rent, but he was then it is believed turned of forty.
The more he grew in years, the more inflamed 40
To whom our Saviour calmly thus reply'd :
50 Thing's vulgar, and, well weigh’d, scarce worth the
41. Julius Cæsar, it is said, wept on reading the life of Alex. ander, that he had done so little at his age.-Alexander died when be was about 34 years old.
67. Job 1. 8.
Nothing but ruin wheresoe'er they rove,
100 Aught suffer'd ; if young African for fame His wasted country freed from Punic rage, The deed becomes unpraised, the man at least, And loses, though but verbal, his reward. Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek, 105 Oft not deserved ? I seek not mine, but His Who sent me, and thereby witness whence I am.
To whom the Tempter murinuring thus reply'd: Think not so slight of glory ; therein least Resembling thy great Father; he seeks glory, 110 And for his glory all things made, all things Orders and governs ; nor content in Heav'n By all his angels glorify’d, requires Glory from men, from all men, good or bad, Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption; 115 Above all sacrifice, or hallow'd gift, Glory he requires, and glory he receives Proroiscuous from all nations, Jew or Greek,
101. Young African, Scipio Africanus, who freed Rome from the threatened invasion of the Carthaginians.
106. John viii. 49, 50.