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MAN'S transgression known, the guardian Angels forsake Paradise, and return up to heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved, God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors, who descends and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes them both, and reascends. Sin and Death sitting till then at the gates of hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by Man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of Man : to make the way
easier from hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad high-way or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made; then preparing for earth, they meet him proud of his success returning to hell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against Man; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise ; then deluded with a shew of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death; God foretels the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but for the present commands his Angels to make several alterations in the heavens and elements. Adam more and more perceiving his fallen condition heavily bewails, rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him : then to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not; but conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the Serpent, and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.
MEAN while the hainous and despiteful act Of Satan done in Paradise, and how He in the Serpent, had perverted Eve, Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit, Was known in heav'n; for what can 'scape the eye 5 Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart Omniscient? who in all things wise and just, Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind Of Man, with strength entire, and free will arm’d, Complete to have discover'd and repuls'd Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend. For still they knew, and ought to’ have still remember'd The high injunction not to taste that fruit, Whoever tempted; which they not obeying, Incurr'd (what could they less ?) the penalty, And manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.
12. For still they knew,] Man Milton's communion, reckon up collectively (ver. 9.) is antece- several sins as included in this dent to the plural relative they, one act of eating the forbidden as Gen. i. 26. God said, Let us fruit, namely, pride, uxoriousmake Man in our image, and let ness, wicked curiosity, infidelity, them have dominion &c. Heylin. disobedience, &c. so that for such
16. And manifold in sin, de- complicated guilt he deserved to serv'd to fall.] Every sin is com- fall from his happy state in Paraplicated in some degree: and dise. the divines, especially those of
Up into heav'n from Paradise in haste
17. Up into heav'n &c.] The That time celestial visages, yet tenth book of Paradise Lost has
mix'il a greater variety of persons in it With pity, violated not their than any other in the whole
bliss.] poem. The author
upon the What a just and noble idea does winding up of his action intro- our author here give us of the duces all those who had any blessedness of a benevolent tem
a concern in it, and shows with per, and how proper at the same great beauty the influence which time to obviate the objection that it had upon each of them. It is might be made of sadness dwelllike the last act of a well written ing in heavenly spirits! Thyer. tragedy, in which all who had a Here pity is made to prevent part in it are generally drawn up their sadness from violating their before the audience, and repre- bliss: but the latter passion is so sented under those circumstances far from alleviating the former, in which the determination of that it adds weight to it. If the action places them. I shall you read (mixed with pity) in a therefore consider this book un- parenthesis, this cross reasoning der four heads, in relation to will be avoided. Warburton. the celestial, the infernal, the It is plain that Milton conhuman, and the imaginary per- ceived sadness mixed with pily to sons, who have their respective be more consistent with heavenly parts allotted in it. To begin bliss than sadness without that with the celestial persons. The compassionate temper. There guardian angels of Paradise are is something pleasing, something described as returning to heaven divine even in the melancholy upon the fall of man, in order of a merciful mind. And this to approve their vigilance; their (adds Mr. Thyer) might be arrival, their manner of recep- farther confirmed by the delight tion, with the sorrow which ap- we take in tragical representapeared in themselves, and in tions upon the stage, where the those spirits who are said to re- pleasure arises from sympathizjoice at the conversion of a sin- ing with the distresses of our ner, are very finely laid together fellow creatures, and indulging in the following lines. Addison. a pitiful commiserating temper.
23. —dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet mix'd
Assembled angels, and ye pow'rs return'd
sincerest care could not prevent,
40. I told ye then &c.] See envy &c. book iii. 86–96.
45. --with lightest moment of 42. believing lies
impulse] The same metaphor Against his Maker ;)
that he had used before in vi." Such as Satan had suggested, 239. and we justified and exthat all things did not proceed plained it by Terence's paulo from God, that God kept the momento impellitur. forbidden fruit from them out of
On his transgression, death denounc'd that day?
60 Both ransom and redeemer voluntary, And destip'd Man himself to judge Man fall’n.
So spake the Father, and unfolding bright Tow’ard the right hand his glory, on the Son Blaz’d forth unclouded deity; he full
65 Resplendent all his Father manifest Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd mild.
Father eternal, thine is to decree,
53. Forbearance no acquitlance] According to that of the PsalmThese proverbial expressions are ist, Mercy and truth are met togevery improper any where in an ther, righteousness and peace have epic poem, but much more when kissed each other. Ps. lxxxv. 10. they are made to proceed from 62. And destin'd Man himself, the mouth of God himself. to judge Man falln.) And hath
56. —to thee I have transferi'd given him authority to execute All judgment,]
judgment also, because he is the For the Father judgeth no man, son of man, John v. 27. Dr. but hath committed all judgment Bentley reads thyself, but himself unto the Son. John v. 22.
is full as well or better.' 58. Easy it may be seen] We 68.
-thine is to decree, have printed it thus after the Mine—to do thy will] first edition. In the second edi. I came down from heaven, not to tion and others it is Easy it might do mi own roill, but
will of be seen, which is not so well. him that sent me. John vi, 38. E.,
59. Mercy colleague with justice,]