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Paradise Lost by John Milton - Barron's Booknotes
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LINES 480-551. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

In answer to Adam's question as to who will guide the people after Christ goes back to Heaven, Michael describes the coming of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit. You will remember from the note to Book III that the Christian God is a trinity, but the Holy Spirit is not mentioned until men need him. Like the Father and the Son, he has been present from the beginning. It is the Holy Spirit to whom Milton prays for help with writing Paradise Lost, as you will remember from the very first lines.



The future history of the church isn't all smooth sailing, however. The "wolves" referred to in line 508 are the popes of the Roman Catholic Church, whom Milton saw as deceivers, using the church to make themselves wealthy. (In his time he was probably justified; think about the magnificent buildings full of statues and paintings built by the Renaissance popes and their families.)

The world will go on in the same way, the good suffering and the bad prospering, until the Day of Judgment, when all shall get what they deserve and "new heavens and new earth" will be "founded in righteousness and peace and love."

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Paradise Lost by John Milton - Barron's Booknotes
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