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But as I rose out of the laving stream,
Heav'n open'd her eternal doors, from whence
The Spi'rit descended on me like a dove,
And last the sum of all, my Father's voice,
Audibly heard from heav'n, pronounc'd me his,
Me his beloved Son, in whom alone
He was well pleas’d; by which I knew the time
Now full, that I no more should live obscure,
But openly begin, as best becomes
Th' authority which I deriv'd from heaven.
And now by some strong motion I am led
Into this wilderness, to what intent
I learn not yet, perhaps I need not know ;
For what concerns my knowledge God reveals.



280. -out of the laving stream,] an opinion, which hath authoAlluding, I fancy, to the phrase rities enough to give it credit, laver of regenerution so frequently viz. that Christ was not, by virtue applied to baptism. It may be of the personal union of the two observed in general of this so- natures, and from the first moment hloquy of our Saviour, that it is of that union, possessed of all the not only excellently well adapted knowledge of the Aoroz, as far to the present condition of the as the capacity of a human mind divine speaker, but also very would admiti [See Le Blanc's artfully introduced by the poet Elucidatio Status Controversito give us a history of his hero arum &c. cap. 3.) In his early from his birth to the very scene years he increased in wisdom, with which the poem is opened. and in stature. St. Luke ii. 52.

And Beza observes upon this 281. eternal doors] So in place, that, ipsa SOTITOG plePsalm xxiv. 7, 9. everlasting nitudo sese, prout et quatenus doors.

ipsi libuit, humanitati assumtæ 286. - the time

insinuavit: quicquid garriant Now full,]

matæologi, et novi Ubiquitarii Alluding to the Scripture phrase, Eutychiani. Gerhard, a Luthethe fulness of time. When the ran professor of divinity, has the fulness of time was come &c. same meaning, or none at all, in Gal. iv. 4.

what I am going to transcribe. 293. For what concerns my Anima Christi, juxta naturalem, knowledge God reveals.] The et babitualem scientiam vere whole soliloquy is formed upon profecit, neque omniscio origrade


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So spake our Morning Star then in his rise, And looking round on every side beheld


suam, quæ est actu omnia scire things might be supposed unet cognoscere, per assumtam known to Christ, without prejuhumanitatem non semper ex- dice to the union, being not reerente. (Joh. Gerhardi Loci vealed to him by the united Word, Theol. tom. i. loc. iv. cap. 12.) it will follow that, till some cerGrotius employs the same prin- tain time, even the union itself ciple, to explain St. Mark xiii. might be unknown to him. This 32.-Videtur mihi, ni meliora time seems to have been, in docear, hic locus non impie posse Milton's scheme, after the soliloexponi hunc in modum, ut dica- quy, but before the forty days mus divinam Sapientiam, menti of fasting were ended, and the humanæ Christi effectus suos Demon entered upon the scene impressisse pro temporum ratione. of action : and then was a fit ocNam quid aliud est, si verba non casion to give him a feeling of his torquemus, ipOEXOTTE COQla, Luc. own strength, when he was just ii. 52? And our Tillotson ap- upon the point of being attacked proved the opinion. “ It is not by such an adversary. Calton. is unreasonable to suppose, that 'In the Paradise Lost, wbere " the Divine Wisdom, which the divine persons are speakers, “ dwelt in our Saviour, did com- Milton has so chastened his “ municate itself to his human pen, that we meet with few

soul according to his pleasure, poetical images, and chiefly " and so his human Nature might scriptural sentiments, delivered, « at some times not know some as nearly as may be, in scrip“ things. And if this be not ad. tural, and almost always in un“ mitted, how can we understand ornamented, language. But the " that passage concerning our Poet seems to consider this cir“ Saviour, Luke ii. 52. that cumstance of the Temptation si Jesus grew in wisdom and (if I may venture so to express stature ?" (Sermons, vol. ix. p. myself) as the last, perfect, 273.] Grotius could find scarce completion of the initiation of any thing in antiquity to support the man Jesus in the mystery of his explication : but there is his own divine nature and office; something in Theodoret very at least he feels himself entitled much to his purpose, which I owe to make our Saviour while on to Whitby's Stricturæ Patrum, p. earth, and “ inshrined in fleshly 190. 70 [doudov pogons, ut vide- tabernacle," speak in a certain tur,] τοιαυτα κατ' εκεινο του καιρου degree ανθρωπινως, or, after the γινώσκουσης, όσα και ενοικουσα θεοτης manner of men. Accordingly all ufixade.Non est Dei Verbi the speeches of our blessed Lord, ignorantia, sed Formæ servi, in this poem, are far more elequæ tanti per illud tempus scie- vated than any language that is bat, quanta Deitas inhabitans put into the mouth of the divine revelabat. Repreh. Anath. quarti speakers in any part of the Cyrilli, tom. iv. p. 713. If some Paradise Lost. Dunster.

A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades ;
The way he came not having mark’d, return
Was difficult, by human steps untrod;
And he still on was led, but with such thoughts
Accompanied of things past and to come
Lodg'd in his breast, as well might recommend
Such solitude before choicest society..


grace !

294. So spake our Morning for solistude some times is best Star] So our Saviour is called in

sol ciety.

Such solitude beļfore choi/cest sol the Revelation, xxii. 16. the bright

ciety. and morning star: and it is properly applied to him here at his Or we must allow that an Alexfirst rising.

andrine verse (as it is called) may 294. And thus Spenser, in his be admitted into blank verse as Hymn of heavenly love.

well as into rhyme.

302. Mr. Dunster cannot acO blessed well of love ! O power of

cede to Bishop Newton's manner

of scanning these lines. He O glorious Morning Star! go


would read choicest accented on

the last syllable, (like vanquish 296. —on every side beheld in v. 175.) and says, “ the only À pathless desert, dusk with irregularity of the lines is their

horrid shades ;]. having two hypercatalectic sylCompare Virgil's Æn. ix. 381. lables, which Shakespeare and

the Dramatic Poets frequently Sylva fuit, late dumis atque ilice nigrâ

use. Thus in Macbeth, Horrida, quam densi complerant un. dique sentes :

Come take my milk for gall, ye Rara per occultos lucebat semila calles.

murd'ring ministers !” And Æn. i. 165.

Mr. Warburton remarks, (in a Horrentique atrum nemus imminet note on Comus, 633.) “ that in. umbra.

numerable instances of rough

Dunster. ness and redundancy of verse 298. -by human steps untrod ;)

occur in Milton; who, notwith

standing his singular skill in Silius Italicus, xvii. 502.

music, appears to have had a negatas Gressibus humanis Alpes.

very bad ear; so that it is hard Dunster,

to say, on what principle he

" modulated his lines.” But Mil. 302. Such solitude before ton (he adds) “says in the choicest society.) This verse is of Apolog. Smectymn. sect. vi. This the same measure as one in the good hap I had from a careful Paradise Lost, ix. 249. and is to education, to be inured and be scanned in the same manner. seasoned betimes with the best


Full forty days he pass'd, whether on hill
Sometimes, anon in shady vale, each night.
Under the covert of some ancient oak,
Or cedar, to defend him from the dew,
Or harbour'd in one cave, is not reveal'd ;
Nor tasted human food, nor hunger felt
Till those days ended, hunger'd then at last
Among wild beasts: they at his sight grew mild,


and elegantest authors of the “ we were sufficiently instructed learned tongues, and thereto by experience what the holy brought an ear that could mea- Psalmist means by the dew of sure a just cadence, and scan Hermon, (Ps.cxxxiii. 3.) our tents without articulating ; rather nice being as wet with it, as if it had and humorous in what was to- rained all night.” Dunster. lerable, than patient to read 307. one cave] Read, some every drawling versifier.' Prose cave. Jorlin. Works, vol. i. 120. This is spoken 310. they at his sight grew against hobbling distichs in Bishop mild,] All this is very common Hall's satires." .

in description, but here very But surely we may in general judiciously employed as a mark suppose that Milton purposely of the returning Paradisiacal introduced lines of this kind state. Warburlon with a view to variety in his G. Fletcher, in his Christ's Trinumbers. And they often have umph on Earth, has given a simia good effect: which indeed we lar but more diffuse description should mar if we could really of the effects of our Lord's prealter the measure by alteration sence on the wild beasts in the of the accent. But no one will wilderness. Giles Fletcher (the in fact read vanquish or choicest younger brother of Phineas with the last syllable accented; Fletcher, author of the Purple the attempt at improvement is Island, and cousin of John more aukward than the supposed Fletcher the dramatic poet) pubfault; which we should correct, lished his Christ's Victory and if it be a fault, by pronouncing Triumph in 1610. It is in four the words in question without parts, and the subject of the any strong accent on either second part (above referred to) syllable. E.

is our Lord's Temptation ; but it 306. --to defend him from the is not often that we can trace dew,] The dews of that country our Author to any part of it. were very considerable. Maun. The whole poem has great merit, drell, in his Travels, when within considering the age in which it little more than half a day's was written. journey of Mount Hermon, says, The change which Milton

Nor sleeping him nor waking harm’d, his walk
The fiery serpent fled, and noxious worm,
The lion and fierce tiger glar'd aloof.
But now an aged man in rural weeds,

here supposes in the disposition for the reptile kind, and a serof the wild beasts, upon the ap- pent is called the mortal worin by pearance of perfect innocence in Shakespeare. 2 Henry VI. act a human form amongst them, iii. and so likewise by Cowley in corresponds with his descriptions his Davideis, book i. of them in the Par. Lost. Be- 312. Worm is also used for a fore the fall they are harmless, serpent, by Crashaw, in his void of ferocity to each other, Sospetto d'Herode, stanz. lix. and even affectionate towards and in the Midsummer Night's man. Immediately after the Dream, act iii. fall they begin to grow savage. Could not a worm, an adder do as See P. L. iv. 340. and x. 707.

much ? It is remarkable that Abp. And again in Antony and CleoSecker, in his Sermon on the patra, the aspic is called “the Temptation, from the words of pretty worm of Nilus;" on which St. Mark, i. 13. who says that Johnson observes, that “worm is our blessed Lord was with the the Teutonic word for serpent. wild beasts, infers that the fiercest We have the blind-worm and slowanimals were in reality “ awed worm still in our language, and by his presence, and so far laid the Norwegians call an enormous aside their savage nature for a monster, seen sometimes in the time.” Dunster. .

northern ocean, the sea-worni." . 312 -and noxious worm] Dunster. This beautiful description is 314. But now an aged man &c.] formed upon that short hint in As the Scripture is entirely siSt. Mark's Gospel, i. 13. and was lent about what personage the with the wild beasts. A circum- Tempter assumed, the poet was stance not mentioned by the at liberty to indulge his own other Evangelists, but excellently fancy; and nothing, I think, improved by Milton to show could be better conceived for his how the ancient prophecies be- present purpose, or more likely gan to be fulfilled, Isa. xi. 6-9. to prevent suspicion of fraud. hxv. 25. Ezek. xxxiv. 25; and The poet might perhaps take how Eden was raised in the waste the hint from a design of David wilderness. But the word worm, Vinkboon's, where the Devil is though joined with the epithet represented addressing himself noxious, may give too low an to our Saviour under the appearidea to some readers : but as we ance of an old man. It is to be observed upon the Paradise Lost, met with among Vischer's cuts ix. 1068, where Satan is called to the Bible, and is engraved by false worm, it is a general name Landerselt. Thyer.

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