Chapter VII
The Sense of Guidance

SAMSON AGONISTES BEGINS on the emotional level at which Paradise Lost leaves off. Adam and Eve are ushered out of Paradise by the angel Michael, following the blazing sword of God. Beyond the gate, they look back and see a throng of dreadful faces, fiery arms, and the flaming brand high above the gate to what has always been their home. Always. From the beginning of human time.

They start to weep at their ejection from Paradise. But they have had a promise that they will possess "A paradise within thee, happier far." And they have also been promised that, in the future, God's faithful people will be guided and defended by the Spirit of God. They wipe away their tears, and they step forth into a new world:

The World was all before them, where to choose
Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
They hand in hand with wand'ring steps and slow,
Through Eden took thir solitary way.

And so Paradise Lost concludes, with a sense of fellow feeling for Adam and Eve. Milton conveys compassion for them at having to suffer the consequences of their actions, respect for their firm reaction to the fearful prospect, pleasure in their display of confidence and faith, and hope that they can manage well in the world of choice before them. With Providence their guide.

Samson is being led by a "guiding hand" at the beginning of

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