Imatges de pÓgina
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Deliverance of thy brethren, whose ten tribes,
Whose offspring in his territory yet serve,
In Habor, and among the Medes dispers'd":"
Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph, lost
Thus, long from Israel, serving, as of oʻ
Their fathers in the land of Egypt serva
This offer sets before thee to deliver
These if from servitude thou shalt restore
To their inheritance, then, nor till then,
Thou on the throne of David in full glory
From Egypt to Euphrates, and beyond,
Shalt reign, and Rome or Casar need not fear."
To whom our Saviour answer'd thus, unmov'd t
"Much ostentation vain of fleshly arm
And fragile arms, much instrument of war,
Long in preparing, soon to nothing brought,
Before mine eyes thou hast set; and in my ear
Vented much policy, and projects deep
Of enemies, of aids, battles, and leagues,
Plausible to the world, to me worth naught.
Means I must use, thou say'st, prediction else
Will unpredict, and fail me of the throne:
My time, I told thee, (and that time for thee
Were better farthest off,) is not yet come;
When that comes, think not thou to find me slack
On my part aught endeavouring, or to need
Thy politic maxims, or that cumbersome
Luggage of war there shown me, argument
Of human weakness rather than of strength.
My brethren, as thou call'st them, those ten tribes,
I must deliver, if I mean to reign

David's true heir, and his full sceptre sway

To just extent over all Israel's sons.

But whence to thee this zeal? Where was it then

For Israel, or for David, or his throne,

When thou stood'st up his tempter to the pride
Of numbering Israel, which cost the lives
Of threescore and ten thousand Israelites
By three days' pestilence? Such was thy zeal

To Israel then; the same that now to me.
As for those captive tribes, themselves were they
Who wrought their own captivity, fell off
From God to worship calves, the deities
Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth,
And all the idolatries of heathen round,
Besides their other worse than heathenish crimes 3
Nor in the land of their captivity r
Humbled themselves, or penitent besought
The God of their forefathers; but so died
*mpenitent, and left a race behind

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Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
From Gentiles, but by circumcision vain ;
And God with idols in their worship join'd."
Should I of these the liberty regard, '
Who, freed, as to their ancient patrimony,
Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreform'd,
Headlong would follow; and to their gods perhaps
Of Bethel and of Dan ? No, let them serve
Their enemies, who serve idols with God. et s
Yet he at length (time to himself best known)
Remembering Abraham, by some wondrous 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 promis'd land their fathers pass'd
To his due time and providence I leave them."

So spake Israel's true King, and to the Fiend Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles. Bo fares it, when with truth falsehood contends.

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BOOK IV.

THE ARGUMENT.

Satan, persisting in the temptation of our Lord, shows him Imperial Rome in its greatest poinp and splendour, as a power which he probably would prefer before that of the Parthians; and tells him that he might, with the greatest ease, expel Tiberius, restore the Romans to their liberty, and make him sell master not only of the Roman empire, but, by so doing of the whole world, and inclusively of the throne of David. Our Lord, in reply, expresses his contempt of grandeur and worldly power, notices the luxury, vanity, and profligacy of the Romans, declaring how little they merited to be restored to that liberty which they had lost by their misconduct and briefly refers to the greatness of his own future kingdom. Sa tan, now desperate, to enhance the value of his proffered gifts, professes that the only terms on which he will pestow them, are our Saviour's falling down and worshipping him Our Lord expresses a firm but temperate indignation at uch a proposition, and rebukes the Tempter by the title of Satan for ever damned. Satan, abashed, attempts to jus tify himself; he then asstimes a new ground of temptation, and proposing to Jesus the intellectual gratifications of wis dom and knowledge, points out to him the celebrated seat of ancient learning, Athens, its schools, and other various re sorts of learned teachers and their disciples; accompanying the view with a highly-finished panegyric on the Grecian mu sicians, poets, orators, and philosophers of the different sects, Jesus replies, by showing the vanity and insufficiency of the boasted heathen philosophy; and prefers to the music, poetry eloquence, and didactic policy of the Greeks, those of the in spired Hebrew writers. Satan, irritated at the failure of all his attempts, upbraids the indiscretion of our Saviour in rejecting his offers; and having, in ridicule of his expected kingdom, foretold the sufferings that our Lord was to under go, carries him back into the wilderness, and leaves him there Night comes ou Satan raises a tremendous storm, and ar tempts farther to alarm Jesus with frightful dreams, and ter rifie threatening spectres; which, however, have no effect upon him. A calm, bright, beautiful morning succeeds to the horrors of the night. Satan again presents himself to our blessed Lord, and, from noticing the storm of the preceding night as pointed chiefly at him, takes occasion once more to insult him with an account of the sufferings which he w

certainly to undergo. This only draws from our Lord a brief rebuke Satan, now at the highth of his desperation, con. fesses that he had frequently watched Jesus from his birth, purposely to discover if he was the true Messiah; and col lecting from what passed at the river Jordan that he most probably was so, he had from that time more assiduously fol lowed him, in hopes of gaining some advantage over him, which would most effectually prove that he was not really that Divine Person destined to be his "fatal enemy." In this he acknowledges that he has hitherto completely failed; "ut still determines to make one more trial of him. Accordingly, he onveys him to the temple at Jerusalem, and, placing hun ca pointed eminence, requires him to prove his divinity, either by standing there, or casting himself down with safety. Our Lord reproves the Tempter, and at the same time manifests is own divinity by standing on this dangerous point. Satan, amazed and terrified, instantly falls; and repairs to his in fernal compeers to relate the bad success of his enterprise. Angels in the meantime convey our blessed Lord to a beau tiful valley, and, while they minister to him a repast of ce. lestial food, celebrate his victory in a triumphant hymn.

PERPLEX'D and troubled at his bad success
The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope
So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric

That sleek'd his tongue, and won so much on Eve;
So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve;
This far his over-match, who, self-deceiv'd
And rash, beforehand had no better weigh'd
The strength he was to cope with, or his own:
But as a man, who had been matchless held
In cunning, over-reach'd where least he thought,
To salve his credit, and for every spite,

Still will be tempting him who foils him still,
And never cease, though to his shame the more;
Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,

About the wine-press where sweet must is pour'd,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;
Or surging waves against a solid rock,
Though all to shivers dash'd, the assault renew,
(Vain battery !) and in froth or bubbles end;
So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse
Met ever, and to shameful silence brought,
Yet gives not o'er, though desperate of success,

And his vain importunity pursues.

He brought our Saviour to the western side
Of that high mountair, whence he might behold
Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide,
Wash'd by the southern sea, and, on the north,
To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills [men,
That screen'd the fruits of the earth, and seats of
From cold septentrion blast; thence in the midst
Divided by a river, of whose banks

On each side an imperial city stood,
With towers and temples proudly elevate
On seven small hills, with palaces adorn'd,
Porches, and theatres, baths, aqueducts,
Statues, and trophies, and triumphal arcs,
Gardens and groves, presented to his eyes,
Above the highth of mountains interpos'd,
(By what strange parallax, or optic skill
Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass
Of telescope, were curious to inquire :)
And now the Tempter thus his silence broke :
"The city which thou seest, no other deem
Than great and glorious Rome, queen of the earth,
So far renown'd, and with the spoils enrich'd
Of nations; there the Capitol thou seest,
Above the rest lifting his stately head
On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel
Impregnable; and there mount Palatine,
The imperial palace, compass huge, and high
The structure, skill of noblest architects,
With gilded battlements conspicuous far,
Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires :
Many a fair edifice besides, more like
Houses of gods, so well I have dispos'd
My aëry microscope, thou may'st behold,
Outside and inside both, pillars and roots,
Carv'd work, the hand of fam'd artificers,
la cedar, marble, ivory, or gold.

Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see
What cdux issuing forth, or entering in :

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