Imatges de pÓgina
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In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets' sound,
Ordain them laws;' part, such as appertain
To civil justice ; part, religious rites
Of sacrifice ; informing them, by types
And shadows, of that destined Seed to bruise
The serpent, by what means he shall achieve
Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God
To mortal ear is dreadful : they beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terrour cease: he grants what they besought,
Instructed that to God is no access
Without mediator; whose high office now
Moses in figure bears, to introduce
One greater, of whose day he shall foretell;
And all the prophets in their age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus, laws and rites
Establish’d, such delight hath God in men,
Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes
Among them to set up his tabernacle ;-
The Holy One with mortal men to dwell:
By his prescript a sanctuary is framed
Of cedar, overlaid with gold; therein
An ark, and in the ark his testimony,
The records of his covenant; over these
A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings
Of two bright cherubim; before him burn
Seven lamps, as in a zodiac representing
The heavenly fires; over the tent a cloud
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night;
Save when they journey, and at length they come,

r Ver. 230, dic. By these passages Milton seems to have understood no more of the Jewish institution than he saw in the small presbyterian systems; otherwise the true idea of the theocracy would have afforded some noble observations.-WARBURTON.

Milton speaks of the civil and the ritual, the judicial and the ceremonial precepts delivered to the Jews; but why did he omit the moral law contained in the ten commandments? possibly his reason might be, because this was supposed to be written

'iginally in the heart of man, and therefore Adam must have been perfectly acquainted with it; but however I think, this should have been particularly mentioned, as it was published at this time in the most solemn manner by God from Mount Sinai; and as it was thought worthy to be written with his own finger upon two tables of stone, when the rest was conveyed to the people by the writing and preaching of Moses, as a mediator between God and them.-GREENWOOD.

& Seven lampe, as in a zodiac. That the seven lamps signified the seven planets, and that therefore the lamps stood slope-wise, as it were to express the obliquity of the zodiac, is the gloss of Josephus, from whom probably Milton borrowed it. Joseph. Antiq. lib. iii. c. vi. and vii., and De Bel. Jud. lib. v. c. 5. See likewise Mede's discourse x, upon the seven archangels. Mr. Hume quotes likewise the Latin of Philo to the same purpose. See Cornelius à Lapide, upon Exod. xxv. 31.—Newton.

Save when they journey. See Exod. xl. 34, &c.: “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle: and when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the chil

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Conducted by his angel, to the land

Promised to Abraham and his seed: the rest 1

Were long to tell; how many battles fought;
How many kings destroy'd, and kingdoms won;
Or how the sun shall in mid heaven stand still
A day entire, and night's due course adjourn,
Man's voice commanding,-Sun, in Gibeon stand
And thou, moon, in the vale of Aialon
Till Israel overcome !—so call the third,
From Abraham, son of Isaac; and from him
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.

Here Adam interposed: 0 sent from Heaven,
Enlightener of my darkness, gracious things
Thou hast reveal'd; those chiefly, which concern
Just Abraham and his seed; now first I find
Mine eyes true opening, and my heart much eased;
Erewhile perplex'd with thoughts, what would become
Of me and all mankind : but now I see
His day, in whom all nations shall be blest;
Favour unmerited by me who sought
Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means.
This yet I apprehend not; why to those,
Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth,
So many and so various laws are given :
So many laws argue" so many sins
Among them: how can God with such reside?

To whom thus Michael ; Doubt not but that sin
Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
And therefore was law given them, to evince
Their natural pravity by stirring up
Sin against law to fight; that when they see

Law can discover sin, but not remove, dren of Israel went onward in all their journeys; but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up; for the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." Thus it was in all places wherever they came : and this is what Milton says: in short, the cloud was over the tent by day, and the fire (called here a fiery gleam) by night, when they journeyed not. He takes no notice how it was when they did: which this text (for the infinite beauty of which we have given it at length) explains; the cloud was then taken up; how then? "The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, to go by day and night.” c. xiii. 21. Other armies pitch their ensigns when they encamp, and lift them up when they march : 80 does the Lord of Hosts, leading forth his people. But, what ensigns! how sublime ! Milton seems too concise here.-RICHARDSON.

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argue. The scruple of our first father, and the reply of the angel, are grounded upon St. Paul's epistles, and particularly those to the Ephesians, Galatians, and Hebrews, as i the reader, who is at all conversant with these sacred writings, will easily perceive.

Compare the following texts with the poet: Gal. iii. 19. Rom. vii. 7, 8. Rom. iii. 20. Heb. ix. 13, 14. Heb. x. 4, 5. Rom. iv. 22, 23, 24. Rom. v. 1. Heb. vii. 18, 19. Heb.

Gal. iii. 11, 12, 23. Gal. iv. 7. Rom. viii. 15. Milton has bere, in a few verses, admirably summed up the sense and argument of these and more texts of Scripture. It is really wonderful how he could comprise so much divinity in so few words, and at the eame time express it with so much strength and perspicuity.-NEWTON.

many laws

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Save by those shadowy expiations weak,
The blood of bulls and goats; they may conclude
Some blood more precious must be paid for man;
Just for unjust; that in such righteousness
To them by faith imputed they may find
Justification towards God and peace
Of conscience; which the law by ceremonies
Cannot appease; nor man the moral part
Perform; and, not performing, cannot live.
So law appears imperfect; and but given
With purpose to resign them in full time,
Up to a better covenant; disciplined
From shadowy types to truth; from flesh to spirit;
From imposition of strict laws to free
Acceptance of large grace; from servile fear
To filial; works of law to works of faith.
And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
Highly beloved, being but the minister
Of law, his people into Canaan lead;
But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call;
His name and office bearing," who shall quell
The adversary serpent, and bring back
Through the world's wilderness long-wander'd man
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
Meanwhile they, in their earthly Canaan placed,
Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
National interrupt their public peace,

Provoking God to raise them enemies; :

From whom as oft he saves them penitent
By judges first, then under kings; of whom
The second, both for piety renown'd
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his regal throne
For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
All prophecy, that of the royal stock
Of David (so I name this king) shall rise
A son, the woman's seed to thee foretold,
Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
All nations; and to kings foretold of kings
The last; for of his reign shall be no end.
But first a long succession must ensue;
And his next son for wealth and wisdom famed,

And therefore shall not Moses. Moses died in Mount Nebo, in the land of Moab, from whence he bad the prospect of the Promised Land, but not the honour of leading the Israelites to possess it; which was reserved for Joshua; Deut. xxxiv. Josh. i.-Htme.

w His name and office bearing. i

Joshua was in many things a type of Jesus; and the names are the same, “ Joshua" I according to the Hebrew, and “Jesus" in Greek. The Seventy always render “Joshua"

by “Jesus;" and there are two passages in the New Testament, where " Jesus" is used

for “Joshua ;" once by St. Stephen, Acts vii. 45, and again by St. Paul, Heb. iv. 8. And | the name Joshua, or Jesus, signifies a Saviour.— NEWTON. 1

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The clouded ark of God, till then in tents
Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine.
Such follow him as shall be register'd
Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll:
Whose foul idolatries, and other faults
Heap'd to the popular sum, will so incense
God, as to leave them, and expose their land,
Their city, his temple, and his holy ark,
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud city whose high walls thou saw'st
Left in confusion; Babylon thence call’d.
There in captivity he lets them dwell
The space of seventy years; then brings them back,
Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn
To David, stablish'd as the days of heaven.
Return'd from Babylon by leave of kings
Their lords, whom God disposed, the house of God
They first re-edify; and for a while
In mean estate live moderate; till, grown
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow :
But first among the priests dissension springs,
Men who attend the altar, and should most
Endeavour peace: their strife pollution brings :
Upon the temple itself: at last they seize
The sceptre, and regard not David's sons;
Then lose it to a stranger, that the true
Anointed King Messiah might be born
Barr’d of his right; yet at his birth a star,

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Unseen before in heaven, proclaims him come;
And guides the eastern sages, who inquire
His place, to offer incense, myrrh, and gold :
His place of birth a solemn angel tells
To simple shepherds, keeping watch by night:
They gladly thither haste, and by a quire
Of squadron’d angels hear his carol sung.
A virgin is his mother, but his sire
The power of the Most High; he shall ascend
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign
With earth's wide bounds, his glory with the heavens.

He ceased; discerning Adam with such joy
Surcharged, as had like grief been dew'd in tears,
Without the vent of words, which these he breathed :

O prophet of glad tidings, finisher
Of utmost hope; now clear I understand

» Their strife pollution brings. For it was chiefly through the contests between Jason and Menelaus, high priests of the Jews, that the temple was polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes. See 2 Maccab. v., and Prideaux. At last they seize the sceptre ; Aristobulus, eldest son of Hyrcanus, highpriest of the Jews, was the first who assumed the title of king after the Babylonish captivity; before Christ 107. And regard not David's sons, none of that family having had the government since Zerubbabel. Then lose it to a stranger ; to Herod, who was an Idumean, in whose reign Christ was born. See Josephus and Prideaux.-Newton.

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What oft my steadiest thoughts have search'd in vain;
Why our great Expectation should be call’d
The seed of woman: virgin mother, hail,
High in the love of Heaven; yet from my

loins
Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son
Of God Most High; so God with man unites.
Needs must the serpent now his capital bruise
Expect with mortal pain : say where and when
Their fight, what stroke shall bruise the victor's heel ?

To whom thus Michael : Dream not of their fight,
As of a duel, or the local wounds
Of head or heel : not therefore joins the Son
Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to foil
Thy enemy; nor so is overcome
Satan, whose fall from heaven a deadlier bruise,
Disabled not to give thee thy death's wound:
Which he, who comes, thy Saviour, shall recure,
Not by destroying Satan but his works,
In thee, and in thy seed : nor can this be,
But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
Obedience to the law of God, imposed
On penalty of death; and suffering death,
The penalty to thy transgression due,
And due to theirs which out of thine will grow :
So only can high justice rest appaid.
The law of God exact he shall fulfil
Both by obedience, and by love, though love
Alone fulfil the law; thy punishment
He shall endure, by coming in the flesh
To a reproachful life and cursed death ;
Proclaiming life to all who shall believe
In his redemption; and that his obedience,
Imputed, becomes theirs by faith; his merits
To save them, not their own, though legal works.
For this he shall live hated, be blasphemed,
Seized on by force, judged, and to death condemn'd
A shameful and accursed, nail'd to the cross
By his own nation; slain for bringing life:
But to the cross he nails thy enemies,
The law that is against thee, and the sins
Of all mankind with him there crucified,
Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
In this his satisfaction: so he dies,
But soon revives; death over him no power
Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
Return, the stars of morn shall see him rise
Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
Thy ransom paid, which man from death redeems,
His death for man, as many as offer'd life
Neglect not, and the benefit embrace
By faith not void of works : this godlike act

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