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They open to themselves at length the way
And Earth be chang'd to Heav'n, and Heav'n to Earth,
the Angels frequently visiting Earth, and Men being tranflated to Heaven.
162. Mean while inhabit lax, Dwell more at large, there being
more room now than there was be
fore the rebel Angels were expell'd,
or than there will be after Men are tranflated to Heaven. If this be
the meaning, we cannot much com
mend the beauty of the fentiment, as it intimates that the Angels might be straiten'd for room in Heaven.
165. My overshadowing Spirit] As God's Spirit is faid to do, Luke I 35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest
hall overshadow thee:
168. Boundless the deep. &c] The the space contain'd in it is not vafenfe is, the deep is boundless, but cuous and empty, because there is an infinitude and I fill it. Tho' I, who am myself uncircumfcrib'd, fet bounds to my goodness, and do not exert it every where, yet neither neceffity nor chance influence my actions, &'c.
To act or not, neceffity and chance
Approach not me, and what I will is fate.
So fpake th' Almighty, and to what he spake
Immediate are the acts of God, more swift
Great triumph and rejoicing was in Heaven,
When fuch was heard declar'd th' Almighty's will;
Glory they fung to the moft High, good will
To future men, and in their dwellings peace:
182. Glory they fung to the most
High, &c.] The Angels are very properly made to fing the fame divine fong to usher in the creation, that they did to usher in the fecond creation by Jefus Chrift, Luke II. 14. And we cannot but approve Dr. Bentley's emendation, Glory they fung to God moft High, inftead of to the most High, as it improves the measure of the verfe, is more oppos'd to men immediately following, and agrees better with the words of St. Luke, Glory to God in the higheft, and on earth peace, good will towards
Glory to him, whofe juft avenging ire
Glory and praife, whose wisdom had ordain'd
Of Spi'rits malign a better race to bring
Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse
His good to worlds and
So fang the Hierarchies: Mean while the Son
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd
The Meffiah, by whom, as we are 192. Mean while the Son &c.] told in Scripture, the worlds were made, comes forth in the power of his Father, furrounded with an host
Immenfe, and all his Father in him fhone. About his chariot numberlefs were pour'd Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones, And Virtues, winged Spi'rits, and chariots wing'd From th' armoury of God, where ftand of old 200 Myriads between two brazen mountains lodg'd Against a folemn day, harness'd at hand, Celestial equipage; and now came forth Spontaneous, for within them Spirit liv'd,
of Angels, and clothed with fuch a majesty as becomes his entring upon a work, which according to our conceptions appears the utmost exertion of omnipotence. What a beautiful defcription has our author raifed upon that hint in one of the Prophets! And behold there came four chariots out from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of brass. (Zech. VI. 1.) I have. before taken notice of these chariots of God, and of the gates of Hea ven; and fhall here only add, that Homer gives us the fame idea of the latter, as opening of themfelves; though he afterwards takes off from it by telling us, that the Hours firft of all removed thofe prodigious heaps of clouds which lay as a barrier before them. Addifon.
206. On golden hinges moving,] Gates moving found on hinges. So III. 37. Thoughts move harmonious numbers.
Attendent on their Lord: Heav'n open'd wide 205 Her ever during gates, harmonious found
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory in his pow'rful Word
On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the fhore
Outrageous as a fea, dark, wafteful, wild,
Horace expreffes it in the fame man- Hic fuperum fator informem fpecu
ner, Ep. II. II. 86.
Verba lyræ motura fonum connec
The infernal doors had no fuch harmony; they grated harsh thunder that fbook Erebus, II. 881. Richardfon.
210. On beavenly ground they food,
&c.] I do not know any thing in the whole poem more fubdime than the defcription which follows, where the Meffiah is reprefented at the head of his Angels, as looking down into the Chaos, calm ing its confufion, riding into the midst of it, and drawing the firft out-line of the creation, Addifon.
211. They view'd &c.] Milton's defcription of God the Son and his attendent Angels viewing the vast unmeasurable abyss &c has a great resemblance to the following paffage in Vida. Chrift. Lib. 1.