Catalogue Entry: THEM00333

Book I: Chapter 33

Author: John Milton

Source: A Treatise on Christian Doctrine, Compiled from the Holy Scriptures Alone, vol. 2 (Boston: 1825).

[Normalized Text] [Diplomatic Text]


..... truth shall retire

Bestuck with sland'rous darts, and works of faith

Rarely be found: so shall the world go on,

To good malignant, to bad men benign,

Under her own weight groaning; till the day

Appear of respiration to the just,

And vengeance to the wicked. Paradise Lost, XII, 536.


Compare Paradise Regained, III. 433. especially with reference to the passage quoted from Isaiah xxvii,

Yet he at length (time to himself best known)

Rememb'ring Abraham, by some wond'rous call

May bring them back, repentant and sincere,

And at their passing cleave the Assyrian flood,

While to their native land with joy they haste,

As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,

When to the promised land their fathers pass'd.


When thou, attended gloriously from heav'n

Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send

The summoning archangels to proclaim

Thy dread tribunal; forthwith from all winds

The living, and forthwith the cited dead

Of all past ages, to the general doom

Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep.

Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge

Bad men and angels; they, arraign'd, shall sink

Beneath thy sentence. Paradise Lost, II. 323.

..... Thence shall come

When this world's dissolution shall be ripe,

With glory and power to judge both quick and dead. XII. 458.

Last in the clouds from heav'n to be reveal'd

In glory of the Father, to dissolve

Satan with his perverted world. Ibid. 545.


Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr'd

All judgment, whether in heaven, or earth, or hell.

Easy it may be seen that I intend

Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee.

Man's friend, his mediator, his design'd

Both ransom and redeemer voluntary,

And destin'd man himself to judge man fall'n. Paradise Lost, X. 56,


..... only add

Deeds to thy knowledge answerable. Paradise Lost, XII. 581.

'He who from such a kind of psalmistry, or any other verbal devotion, without the pledge and earnest of suitable deeds, can be persuaded of a real and true righteousness in the person, hath yet much to learn.' Answer to Eikon Basilike. Prose Works, II. 406.


'Veniebat; perfecturus in terris mysterium redemptionis nostræ.' Junius on Dan. vii. 13.


Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by,

For regal sceptre thou no more shalt need,

God shall be all in all. Paradise Lost, III, 339.


..... meanwhile

The world shall burn. III. 333.


'Quidam enim eorum censent peccatum originis puniri tantum pœna damni; alii vero insuper ei pœnam sensus adjungunt.' Dissertatio Secunda de Peccato Originis, Curcell. 61. 'To which two heads, all that is necessary to be known concerning this everlasting punishment may be reduced; and we shall accordingly consider it as it is both pœna damni and pœna sensus, the punishment of loss and the punishment of sense.' Beveridge. Works, Vol. II. 449. See also Taylor, Works IX. 369.


.....Tophet thence

And black Gehenna call'd, the type of hell. Paradise Lost, I. 404


In the argument to the first book of Paradise Lost, hell is described as situated 'not in the center (for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet no made, certainly not yet accursed) but in a place of utter' (i.e. outer) 'darkness, fitliest called Chaos.'


Καὶ ποῦ, φησὶ, καὶ ἐν ποίῳ χωρίῳ αὕτη ἔσται ἡ γέεννα; τί σοι τούτου μέλε; τὸ γὰρ ζηούμενον, δεῖξαι ὄτι ἐστὶν, οὐ ποῦ τεταμίευται, καὶ ἐν ποίῳ..... ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ποίῳ τόπῳ, φησὶν, ἔσται; ἔξω που, ὡς ἔγωγε οἶμαι, τοῦ κόσμου πούτου παντός. καθάπερ γὰρ τῶν βασιλείων τὰ δεσμωτήρια καὶ τὰ μέταλλα πό᾽ρ῾ρω δίεστηκεν, οὕτω δὴ καὶ τῆς εἰκουμένης ταύτης ἔξω που ἔσται ἡ γέεννα. Chrysost. in Ep. ad Rom. Homil. 31.

Milton elsewhere refers to the locality of hell:

Such place eternal justice had prepared

For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd

In utter darkness, and their portion set

As far removed from God and light of heaven,

As from the center thrice to th' utmost pole. Paradise Lost, I. 70,

Again: 'to banish forever into a local hell, whether in the air or in the center, or in that uttermost and bottomless gulf of Chaos, deeper from holy bliss than the world's diameter multiplied, they thought not a punishment so proper and proportionate for God to inflict, as to punish sin with sin.' Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Prose Works, II. 11.


The distinction which Milton makes between the beginnings of bliss which are attainable in this life, and that perfect glorification which will ensue hereafter, coincides with the expressions in the Hymn on the Nativity:

And then at last our bliss

Full and perfect is,

But now begins, xviii. 165.


The following quotations will show that Milton took pleasure in frequently recurring to this idea.

The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring

New heav'n and earth, wherein the just shall dwell,

And after all their tribulations long

See golden days. Paradise Lost, III. 334.

Then heav'n and earth renew'd shall be made pure

To sanctity that shall receive no stain. X. 638.

..... To second life

Wak'd in the renovation of the just

Resigns him up with heav'n and earth renew'd. XI. 64.

..... till fire purge all things new,

Both heav'n and earth, wherein the just shall dwell. Ibid. 900.

..... to reward

His faithful, and receive them into bliss,

Whether in heav'n or earth; for then the earth

Shall all be Paradise, far happier place

Than this of Eden, and far happier days. XII. 461.

..... then raise

From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,

New heav'ns, new earth, ages of endless date

Founded in righteousness and peace and love,

To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.Ibid 547.

And again, in a splendid passage near the end of the treatise. On the Reformation in England: 'Thou, the eternal and shortly expected King, shalt open the clouds to judge the several kingdoms of the world, and distributing national honours and rewards to religious and just commonwealths, shall put an end to all earthly tyrannies, proclaiming thy universal and mild monarchy through heaven and earth; where they undoubtedly, that by their labours, counsels, and prayers, have been earnest for the common good of religion and their country, shall receive above the inferior orders of the blessed, the real addition of principalities, legions, and thrones into their glorious titles, and in supereminence of beatific vision, progressing the dateless and irrevoluble circle of eternity, shall clasp inseparable hands with joy and bliss, in over-measure for ever.' Prose Works, I. 58.

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