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Good reason then, if I before-hand feek
To try thee, fift thee, and confefs have found thee
Of adamant, and as a center, firm,
To th' utmost of mere man both wife and good, 535 Not more; for honors, riches, kingdoms, glory Have been before contemn'd, and may again:
"of Adam the Son of God as well
what more thou art
than man, Worth naming Son of God by voice from Heaven, ] See Bishop Pearfon on the Creed. p. 106. "We must find yet a more pe"culiar ground of our Saviour's "filiation, totally diftinct from any which belongs unto the reft "of the fons of God, that he may "be clearly and fully acknow
ledged the only begotten Son. "For altho' to be born of a virgin be in itself miraculous, yet is it not fo far above the pro"duction of all mankind, as to "place him in that fingular eminence, which must be attributed to the only-begotten. We read
Therefore to know what more thou art than man, Worth naming Son of God by voice from Heaven, Another method I must now begin.
So fay'ing he caught him up, and without wing Of hippogrif bore through the air fublime Over the wilderness and o'er the plain; Till underneath them fair Jerufalem, The holy city lifted high her towers, And higher yet the glorious temple rear'd Her pile, far off appearing like a mount Of alabafter, topt with golden fpires: There on the highest pinnacle he fet
Only the beast he rode was not
But gotten of a griffeth and a
And like a griffeth had the former part,
549. There on the highest pinnacle be fet
The Son of God,] He has chofen to follow the order obferved by St. Luke in placing this temptation laft, because if he had with St. Matthew introduc'd it in the middle, it would have broke that fine thred of moral reafoning, which
been seen but feeld.
Such beafts as these the hills of is obferved in the courfe of the Ryfee yield, Thyer. Though in thefe parts they have In the Gofpel account of the temptation no difcovery is made of the incarnation; and this grand mystery is as little known to the Tempter at the end, as at the beginning,
As wings and head, and claws that hideous are,
And paffing ftrength and force, and ventrous heart,
But all the reft may with a horfe
Ariofto frequently makes ufe of this creature to convey his heroes VOL. I.
hither and thither; but Milton would infinuate that he employ'd no fuch machinery.
The Son of God, and added thus in fcorn.
There stand, if thou wilt ftand; to ftand upright Will ask thee skill; I to thy Father's house Have brought thee', and highest plac'd, highest is best, Now show thy progeny; if not to stand, Cast thyself down; fafely, if Son of God:
ginning. But now, according to Milton's fcheme, the poem was to be clos'd with a full difcovery of it there are three circumftances therefore, in which the poet, to ferve his plan, hath varied from the accounts in the Gospels. 1. The critics have not been able to afcertain what the aliguyor or pinnacle (as we tranflate it) was, on which Chrift was fet by the Demon: but whatever it was, the Evangelifts make no difficulty of his ftanding there. This the poet (following the common ufe of the word pinnacle in our own language) fuppofeth to be fomething like thofe on the battlements of our churches, a pointed fpire, on which Chrift could not ftand without a miracle. 2. In the poem, the Tempter bids Chrift give proof of his pretenfions by ftanding on the pinnacle, or by cafting himfelf down. In the Gofpels, the laft only is or could be fuggefted. 3. In the Gofpel account the prohibition Thou halt not tempt the Lord thy God is alleged only as a reason why Chrift (whofe divinity is concealed there)
must not throw himself down from
Nec Deus interfit, nifi dignus
It proves nothing but what the Tempter knew, and allow'd before. 2. There is a connection between Chrift's faying and ftanding, which demonftrates that he food, in proof of fomething he had said. Now the prohibition, Tempt not the Lord
For it is written, He will give command
To whom thus Jefus; Alfo it is written,
Lord thy God, as alleged in the Gofpels from the Old Teftament, was in no want of fuch an atteftation: but a miracle was wanting to juftify the application of it to the Tempter's attack upon Chrift; it was for this end therefore that he food. Calton.
I cannot entirely approve this learned Gentleman's expofition, for I am for understanding the words, Alfo it is written Tempt not the Lord thy God, in the fame fenfe, in which they were spoken in the Gofpels; because I would not make the poem to differ from the Gospel account, farther than neceffity compels, or more than the poet himself has made it. The Tempter fet our Saviour on a pinnacle of the temple, and there required of him a proof of his divinity, either by ftanding, or by cafting himself down as he might fafely do, if he was the Son of God, according to the quotation from the Pfalmift. To this our Saviour answers, as he answers in the Gofpels, It is written again Thou halt not tempt the Lord thy God, ta
citly inferring that his casting himfelf down would be tempting of God. He faid, he gave this reason for not cafting himself down, and food. His ftanding properly makes the difcovery, and is the principal proof of his progeny that the Tempter requir'd: Now show thy progeny. His ftanding convinces Satan. His ftanding is confidered as the difplay of his divinity, and the immediate caufe of Satan's fall; and the grand contraft is formed between the ftanding of the one and the fall of the other.
He faid, and stood: But Satan fmitten with amazement fell.
But Satan fmitten with amazement fell.
563. As when earth's fon Antæus] This fimile in the perfon of the poet is amazingly fine. Warburton. in Iraffa ftrove 564. With Jove's Alcides,] Iraffa is a place in Libya, mention'd by Herodotus, IV. 158. est de TW Xwew τύτω ονομα Ιρασα, and from him by Stephanus Byzant, who fays, Ίρασα, του Λίβυης, εις öv με πηγαγον Βατλον οι Λίβυες, ὡς Πgoவளரு.. where Berkelius notes, Hujus urbis quoque meminit Pindarus Pyth. IX. fed duplicis (read dupliciis) fcribitur :
Οιοι Λίβυσσας αμο
Ad quem locum fic fcribit Scho-
fœm. protulit, quod Schol. alio
ὅτι ο απο Ἡρακλευς καταγωνισθεις ΑναιΘ, Ἱρασσευς ην, απο ρασσων
εν τη Τριτωνίδι λίμνη, ώς φησι Φερεκύδης. From whence we may Stephanus, Irafa is the name of a obferve, that in Herodotus and place, in Pindar and his Scholiaft, the name of a town: that the name is Irafa in Herodotus, Hirafa in Stephanus, (though perhaps it fhould be Irafa, Igara, there) Iraja in Pindar and his Scholiaft: that