Page images

Such I created all th'ethereal Powers

100 And Spirits, both them who stood and them who fail'd; Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell. Not free, what proof could they have giv’n fincere Of true allegiance, constant faith or love, Where only what they needs must do appear’d, 105 Not what they would? what praise could they receive? What pleasure I from such obedience paid, When will and reason (reason also’ is choice) . Useless and vain, of freedom both despoild, Made passive both, had serv'd neceffity, 110 Not me? They therefore as to right belong’d, So were created, nor can justly' accuse Their maker, or their making, or their fate, As if predestination over-ruld Their will, dispos’d by absolute decree

te decree 115 Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed Their own revolt, not I; if I foreknew, .


• Providence for suffering Adam 117. - if I foreknew,] If here “ to transgress. Foolish tongues ! does not imply the least doubt or “ when God gave him reason, he uncertainty; but is used, as it is “ gave him freedom to choose, for sometimes in the best authors, in “ reason is but choosing: he had the sense of Though. Though I “ been elle a mere artificial Adam, foreknew, that foreknowledge had Esc. See his Speech for the liberty no influence. of unlicenc'd printing, p. 149, and 150. Edit. 1738.

121. Or

Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown.
So without least impulse or shadow' of fate, 120
Or ought by me immutably foreseen,
They trespass, authors to themselves in all
Both what they judge and what they choose ; for so
I form’d them free, and free they must remain, .
Till they inthrall themselves; I else must change 125
Their nature, and revoke the high decree
Unchangeable, eternal, which ordain’d
Their freedom, they themselves ordain'd their fall.
The first fort by their own suggestion fell,
Self-tempted, self-deprav’d: Man falls, deceiv'd 130
By th' other first: Man therefore shall find grace,


121. Or ought by me immutably foreseen as to be immutable. If

foreseen,] To foresee immuta- Milton had dictated immutable, he bly (says Dr. Bentley) are two would probably have said, ideas that cannot unite: he thinks therefore that Milton must have

Or ought immutable by me fore. given it immutably foredoom'd. His

seen. objection is right, but his emenda- 135. Thus while God spake, &c.] tion is wrong, I think. Milton The effects of this speech in the seems rather to have di&tated, blessed Spirits, and in the divine Or ought by me immutable fore. Person to whom it was addressid. seen,

cannot but fill the mind of the rea

der with a secret pleasure and comwhere ought immutable may signify placency.

Addison. any event that cannot be chang'd Our Milton here shows, that he or alter'd.

Pearce, was no servile imitator of the AnAmmutably forefeon seems to mean so cients. It is very well known that

The other none: in mercy' and justice both, Through Heav'n and Earth, fo shall my glory' excel, But mercy first and last shall brightest shine.

Thus while God fpake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd All Heav'n, and in the blessed Spirits elect 136 Sense of new joy ineffable diffus’d: Beyond compare the Son of God was seen Most glorious; in him all his Father None Substantially express’d; and in his face : 140 Divine compassion visibly appear'd, Love without end, and without measure grace, Which uttering thus he to his father spake.

O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd Thy soyran sentence, that Man should find grace; 145


his master Homer, and all who fol- him. There is a passage in Ariosto, lowed him, where they are repre- which is exactly in the same taste senting the Deity speaking, de- with what Milton has given us, scribe a scene of terror and awful Cant. 29. St. 30. confternation. The Heavens, Seas Dio così diffe ; e fe serena intorno and Earth tremble &c, and this, to

to L'aria, e tranquillo il mar più che be sure,

was contient enouga
was consistent enough a

mai fuffe. with their natural notions of the Thas said the Highest, and then supreme Being : but it would not

there did ensue have been so agreeable to the mild,

..A wondrous calm in waters and

A wondrous cal merciful, and benevolent idea of "

in air. Harrington. the Deity upon the Christian scheme, and therefore our author; .

Thyer. has very judiciously made the 140. Substantially express'd;} Acwords of the Almighty diffusing cording to Heb. I. 3. where the Son fragrance and delight to all around of God is stiled, the brightness of


For which both Heav'n and Earth shall high extol
Thy praises, with th’ innumerable found
Of hymns and sacred songs, wherewith thy throne
Incompass’d shall resound thee ever blest.
For should Man finally be loft, should Man, - 150
Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest son,
Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though join'd
With his own folly? that be from thee far,

That far be from thee, Father, who art judge
Of all things made, and judgest only right. 155
Or shall the Adversary thus obtain
His end, and frustrate thine? shall he fulfil
His malice, and thy goodness bring to nought,
Or proud return, though to his heavier doom,


his Father's glory, and the express join'd' to found and force, yet in image of his perfon; xafaulup ens sense refers to fongs and Spirits. See Úrogat!ws Oute, the character of allo X. 268. Again he dislikes his substance, as the original ex. found, because refound follows in the presseth it. Hume.

next verfe but one. But this way 147. ~with th' innumerable found of writing is common in this poem:

Of hymns and sacred songs, ) Dr. See I. 642. and II. 190, 192. Se Bentley reads with innumerable in I. 441, 442. we read songs unze Arains &c. He thinks it strange to fung. And we have the very thing find innumerable join'd to a singular which the Doctor finds fault wich number, unless the substantive im. in VII. 558. plies multitude in the very name : But is not innumerable found of fongs Follow'd with acclamation and the here the same with innumerable found force of Spirits in I. 101.? In both Symphonious of ten thousand places the word innumerable, tho' harps that tun'd


Yet with revenge accomplish'd, and to Hell 160
Draw after him the whole race of mankind,
By him corrupted? or wilt thou thyself
Abolish thy creation, and unmake
For him, what for thy glory thou hast made ?
So should thy goodness and thy greatness both 165
Be question’d and blasphem’d without defense.

To whom the great Creator thus reply'd.
O Son, in whom my soul hath chief delight,
Son of my bosom, Son who art alone
My word, my wisdom, and effectual might, 170
All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all
As my eternal purpose hath decreed:
Man shall not quite be loft, but fav’d who will,


Angelic harmonies: the earth, the may be justify'd as well from the air

Saxon. Rejounded. Pearce.

168. O Son, &c. The Son is 153.--that be from thee far, &c.] here address’d by several titles and An imitation of Genesis, XVIII. appellations borrow'd from Scrip25. That be far from thee to do af. ture. O Son, in whom my foul barb ter this manner, to say the righteous chief delight, from Mat. III. 17. with the wicked; and that the righ- My beloved Son in whom I am well fecus fpould be as the wicked, that be pleased. Son of my bosom, from John far from thee : fball not the judge of I. 18. The only begotton Son which is all the earth do right?

in the bofom of the Father. My -1958.- nougbe,] This word and word, from Rev. XIX. 13. And bis ought our author moft usually spells name is called the word of God. My naught and augbt; and they may wisdom and effe&tual might, from be spelt either way; but this is I Cor. I. 24. Cbrift the power of grown obsolete, and - the other God and the wisdom of God.

180. By

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »