Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

PARADISE REGAINED.

wet 2 has; 6. hape is

BOOK II.

THE ARGUMENT.

The disciples of Jesus, uneasy at his long absence, reason Amongst themselves concerning it. Mary also gives vent to her maternal anxiety; in the expression of which she recaritulates many circumstances respecting the birth and early life of her son. Satan again meets his infernal council, reports the bad success of his first temptation of our blessed Lord, and calls upon them for counsel and assistance, Be lial proposes the tempting of Jesus with women. Satan rebukes Belial for his dissoluteness, charging on him all the profligacy of that kind ascribed by the poets to the heathen gods, and rejects his proposal, as in no respect likely to suc ceed. Satan then suggests other modes of temptation, par ticularly proposing to avail himself of the circumstance of our Lord's hungering; and, taking a band of chosen spirits with him, returns to resume his enterprise. Jesus hungero in the desert. Night comes cn; the manner in which out Saviour passes the night is described. Morning advances. Satan again appears to Jesus, and, after expressing wonder that he should be so entirely neglected in the wilderness, where others had been miraculously fed, tempts him with a sumptuous banquet of the most luxurious kind. This he rejects, and the banquet vanishes. Satan, finding our Lord not to be assailed on the ground of appetite, tempts him again by offering him riches, as the means of acquiring power: this Jesus also rejects, producing many instances of great ae tions performed by persons under virtuous poverty, and spe. sifying the danger of riches, and the cares and paips insepa. mble from power and greatness.

MEANWHILE the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'd
At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
Him whom they heard so late expressly call'd
Jesus Messiah, Son of God declar'd,

And on that high authority had believ'd,
And with him talk'd, and with him lodg'd; I mean
Andrew and Simon, famous after known,
With others, though in holy writ not nam’d; -

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

Now missing him, their joy so lately found,
(So lately found, and so abruptly gone,)
Began to doubt, and doubted many days,
And, as the days increas'd, increas'd their doubt.
Sometimes they thought he might be only shown
And for a time caught up to God, as once
Moses was in the mount and missing long,
And the great Thisbite, who on fiery wheels
Rode up to heaven, yet once again to come
Therefore, as those young prophets then with care
Sought lost Elijah, so in each place these
Nigh to Bethabara; in Jericho,
The city of palms, non, and Salem
Macherns, and each town or city wall'd
On this side the broad lake Genezaret,
Or in Perea : but return'd in vain.
Then on the bank of Jordan, by a creek,
Where winds with reeds and osiers whispering play,
Plain fishermen, (no greater men them call,)
Close in a cottage low together got,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Their unexpected loss and plaints outbreath'd
Alas, from what
hat high hope to what relapse
Unlook'd for are we fallen; our eyes beheld
Messiah certainly now come, so long
28 87851 bit A
Expected of our fathers; we have hearded 10.
His words, his wisdom
is wisdom full of grace and truth.
Now, now, f for sure, deliverance is at hand,
The kingdom shall to Israel be restor'd
Thus we rejoic'd,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[ocr errors]

T

I look'd for some great change; to honour ? no,“
But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of many in Israel, and to a sign, nant por
Spoken against, that through my very soul]
A sword shall pierce: this is my favour'd lot,
My exaltation to afflictions high !!.
Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest ; - 3054
I will not argue that, nor will repine.

[ocr errors]

dwar
But where delays he now? some great intent
Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce had
I lost him, but so found, as well I saw mod [seen,
He could not lose himself, but went about
His Father's business; what he meant I mus'd. "'!
Since understand; much more his absence now
Thus long to some great purpose he obscures.
But I to wait with patience am inur'd ;ament
My heart hath been a storehouse long of things,
And sayings laid up, portending strange events.”
Thus Mary, pondering oft, and oft to mind
Recalling what remarkably had pass'di ba
Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts
Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling ».
The while her Son, tracing the desert wild
Sole, but with holiest meditations fed, won
Into himself descended, and at once but.

All his great work to come before him set.
How to begin, how to accomplish best
His end of being on earth, and mission high :
For Satan with sly preface to return, y
Had left him vacant, and with speed was goner I
Up to the middle region of thick air, con mắt ch
Where all his potentates in council sate mont
There, without sign of boast, or sign of joy, y
Solicitous and blank, he thus began a veveg vis
"Princes, heaven's ancient sons, ethereal thrones;
Demonian spirits now, from the element of
Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call'da ase!
Powers of fire. air, water, and earth beneath, at

"So may we hold our place and these mild seats
Without new trouble,) such an enemy
Is risen to invade us, who no less

Threatens than our expulsion down to hell;
I, as I undertook, and with the vote

Consenting in full frequence was empower'd,"
Have found him, view'd him, tasted him; but find
Far other labour to be undergone

Than when I dwelt with Adam, first of men.
Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell,
However to this man inferior far;

If he be man by mother's side, at least

i das With more than human gifts from heaven adorn Perfections absolute, graces divine,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds 996
Therefore I am return'd, lest confidence {
Of my success with Eve in Paradise
Deceive ye to persuasion over-sure
Of like succeeding here: I summon all
Rather to be in readiness, with hand
Or counsel to assist lest I, who erst
Thought none my equal, now be over-match'd."

So spake the old serpent, doubting; and from al
With clamour was assur'd their utmost aid
At his command when from amidst them rose
Belial, the dissolutest spirit that fell,

The sensualist, and, after Asmodai,

The fleshliest incubus ; and thus advis❜d :

"Set women in his eye, and în his walk, Among daughters of men the fairest found:** Many are in each region passing fair

As the noon sky; more like to goddesses
Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet,
Expert in amorous arts, enchanting tongues
Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild

And sweet allay'd, yet terrible to approach,
Skill'd to retire, and, in retiring, drawiä ko
Hearts after them, tangled in amorous nets.®
Such object hath the power to soften and tamë”

« AnteriorContinua »