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Norwill withdraw him now, nor will recall, Mock us with his blest sight, then snatch him hence; Soon we shall see our hope, our joy, return.” Thus they, out of their plaints, new hope resurne To find whom at the first they found unsought: But, to his mother Mary, when she saw Others return'd from baptism, nother son, Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none, spure, Within her breast though calm, her breast though Motherly cares and fears got head, and rais'd Some troubled thoughts, which she in sighs thus clad. “O, what avails me now that honour high To have conceiv'd of God, or that salute, "Hail highly favour'd among women blesto While I to sorrows am no less advanc'd, And fears as eminent, above the lot Of other women, by the birth I bore; In such a season born, when scarce a shed Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me From the bleak air: a stable was our warmth, Amanger his; yet soon enforc’d to fly, Thence into Egypt, till the murderous king Were dead, who sought his life, and missing fill’d With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem; From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth Hath been our dwelling many years; his life Private, unactive, calm, contemplative, Little suspicious to any king; but now Full grown to man, acknowledg'd, as I hear, By John the Baptist, and in public shown, Son own'd from Heaven by his Father's voice, Hook'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 Israël, and to a sign 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; I will not argue that, nor will repine. 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 [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 ; My heart hath been a store-house long of things And sayings laid up, portending strange events.” Thus Mary, pondering oft, and oft to mind Recalling what remarkably had pass'd 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, into himself descended, and at once 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, Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone Up to the middle region of thick air, Where all his potentates in council sat; There, without sign of boast, or sign of joy, Solicitous and blank, he thus began.
“Princes, Heaven's ancient sons, ethereal thrones; Demonian spirits now, from the element Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call’d Powers of fire, air, water, and earth beneath, (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 impower'd, Have found him, view’d him, tasted him ; but Far other labour to be undergone [find Than when I dealt with Adam, first of men, Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell, However to this man inferiour far; If he be man by mother's side, at least With more than human giftsfrom Heavenadorn'd, Perfections absolute, graces divine, And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds. 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 With clamour was assured their utmost aid [all At his command: when from amidst them rose Belial, the dissolutest spirit that fell, The sensuallest, and, after Asmodai, The fleshliest incubus; and thus advis'd. “Set women in his eye, and in his walk, Among daughters of men the fairest found: Many are in each region passing fair As the moon sky; more like to goddesses Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet, Expert in amorous arts, enchanting tongues Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild o And sweet allay’d, yet terrible to approach, Skill'd to retire, and, in retiring, draw Hearts after them, tangled in amorous nets. * Such object hath the power to soften and tame Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow, Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve, JDraw out with credulous desire, and lead At will the manliest, resolutest breast, As the magnetic hardest iron draws. Women, when nothing else, beguil'd the heart Of wisest Solomon, and made him build, And made him bow, to the gods of his wives.” To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd. “Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'st All others by thyself; because of old Thou thyself doat'dston womankind, admiring Their shape, their colour, and attractive grace, None are, thou think'st, buttaken with such toys. Before the flood thou with thy lusty crew, False titled sons of God, roaming the Earth, Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men, And coupled with them, and begot a race, Have we not seen, or by relation heard, In courts and regal chambers how thou lurk'st, In wood or grove, by mossy fountain side, In valley or green meadow, to way-lay Some beauty rare, Calisto, Clymene, Daphne, or Semele, Antiopa, Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more
Too long, thenlay'stthyscapes on names ador'd,
“in his prime youth, the fair Iberian maid.
For Solomon, he liv'd at ease, and full
"Wrought that effect on Jove, so fables tell;
How would one look from his majestic brow, Seated as on the top of Virtue's hill, Discountenance her despis'd, and put to rout All her array; her female pride deject, Or turn to reverent awe! for Beauty stands In the admiration only of weak minds Ledcaptive; cease to admire, and all her plumes Fall flat, and shrink into a trivial toy, At every sudden slighting quite abash'd. Therefore with manlier objects we must try His constancy; with such as have more show Of worth, of honour, glory, and popular praise, Rocks, whereon greatestmen have oftest wreck'd; Or that which only seems to satisfy Lawful desires of nature, not beyond; And now I know he hungers, where no food Is to be found, in the wide wilderness: The rest commit to me; Joshall o: No advantage, and his strength as oft assay.” He ceas'd, and heard their grant in loud acclaim; Then forthwith to him takes a chosen band Of spirits, likest to himself in guile, To be at hand, and at his beck appear, If cause were to unfold some active scene Of various persons, each to know his part: Then to the desert takes with these his flight; Where, still from shade to shade, the Son of God After forty days fasting had remain'd, Now hungering first, and to himself thus said. “Where will this end? four times ten days I've pass'd Wandering this woody maze, and human food Nor tasted, nor had appetite; that fast To virtue I impute not, or count part Of what I suffer here; if nature need not, Or God support nature without repast Though needing, what praiseisit to endure? But now 1 feel I hunger, which declares Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God Can satisfy that need some other way, Though hunger still remain: so it remain
Without this body's wasting, I content me, And from the sting of famine fear no harm; Nor mind it, fed with better thoughts, that feed Me hungering more to do my Father’s will” It was the hour of night, when thus theson Commun'd in silent walk, then laid him down Under the hospitable covert migh Qf trees thick interwoven; there he slept, And dream’d, as appetite is wont to dream, Of meats and drinks, nature's refreshmentsweet: Him thought, he by the brook of Cherith stood, And saw the ravens with their horny beaks Food to Elijah bringing, even and morn, Though ravenous, taught to abstain from what they brought; He saw the prophet also, how he fied Into the desert, and how there he slept Under a juniper; then how awak'd He found his supper on the coals prepard, And by the angel was bid rise and eat, And eat the second time after repose, The strength whereof suffic'd him forty days: Sometimes that with Elijah he partook, Or as a guest with Daniel at his pulse. Thus wore out night; and now the herald lark Left his ground-nest, high towering to descry The Morn's approach, and greet her with his song: As lightly from his grassy couch up rose Our Saviour, and found all was but a dream; Fasting he went to sleep, and fasting wak'd. Up to a hill anon his steps he rear'd, From whose high top to ken the prospectround. If cottage were in view, sheep-cote, or herd; But cottage, herd, or sheep-cote, none he saw; Only in a bottom saw a pleasant grove, With chant of tuneful birds resounding loudThither he bent his way, determin'd there To rest at noon, and enter'd soon the shade High-roof'd, and walks beneath, and aller, brown, That open'd in the midst a woody scene; Nature's own work it seem'd (Nature taught Art) And, to a superstitious eye, the haunt Qf wood-gods and wood-nymphs: he view’d it When suddenly a man before him stood; [round Notrustic as before, but seemlier clad, As one in city, or court, or palace bred, And with fair, speech these words to him address'd. “With granted leave officious I return, But much more wonder that the Son of God In this wild solitude so long should bide, Of all things destitute; and, well I know, Not without hunger. Others of some note, As story tells, have trod this wilderness; The fugitive bond-woman, with her son Out-cast Nebaioth, yet found here relief By a providing angel; all the race Of Israel here had famish'd, had not God [bold, Rain’d from Heaven manna; and that prophet Native of Thebez, wandering here was fed Twice by a voice inviting him to eat: Of thee these forty days none hath regard, Forty and more deserted here indeed.” To whom thus Jesus. “What concludost thou hence They all had need; I, as thouseest, havenone.” “How hast thou hunger then?” Satar replied.
as me, if food were now before thee set, Would'st thou not eat?”—“Thereafter as I like he giver,” answer'd Jesus. “Why should that ause thy refusal?” said the subtle fiend. Hast thou not right to all created things? we not all creatures by just right to thee uty and service, nor to stay till bid, uttender all their power? Nor mention I Heats by the law unclean, or offer'd first oidols, those young Daniel could refuse; or proffer'd by an enemy, though who Would scruple that, with wantoppress'd? Behold, ature asham'd, or, better to express, [vey'd roubled, that thou should'st hunger, hath purrom all the elements her choicest store, o treat thee, as beseems, and as her Lord, "ith honour: only deign to sit and eat.” He spake no dream; for, as his words had end, urSaviour lifting up his eyes beheld, 1 ample space under the broadest shade, table richly spread, in regal mode, With dishes pil'd, and meats of noblest sort nd savour; beasts of chase, or fowl of game, a pastry built, or from the spit, or boil'd, ris-amber-steam'd; all fish, from sea or shore, reshet or purling brook, of shell or fin, nd exquisitest name, for which was drain'd ontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast. Alas, how simply, to these cates compard, Fasthat crude apple that diverted Eve!) nd at a stately side-board, by the wine hat fragrant smell diffus'd, in orderstood all stripling youths rich clad, of fairer hue han Ganymed or Hylas; distant more nder the trees now tripp'd, now solemn stood, ymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades With fruits and flowers from Amalthea's horn, nd ladies of the Hesperides, that seem'd airer than feign'd of old, or fabled since ffaery damsels, met in forest wide y knights of Logres, or of Lyones, ancelot, or Pelleas, or Pellenore. nd all the while harmouious airs were heard of chiming strings, or charming pipes; and fgentlest gale Arabian odours fann'd [winds rom their soft wings, and Flora's earliest smells. uch was the splendour; and the tempter now lis invitation earnestly renew'd. “What doubts the Son of God to sit and eat? hese are not fruits forbidd'n; no interdict lefends the touching of these viands pure; heir taste no knowledge works, at least of evil, ut life preserves, destroys life's enemy, lunger, with sweet restorative delight. [springs, ll these are spirits of air, and woods, and hygentle ministers, who come to pay hee homage, and acknowledge thee their Lord: What doubt'st thou, Son of God? Sit down and To whom thus Jesus temperately replied.[eat.” Said'st thou not that to all things I had right? nd who withholds my power that right to use hall I receive by gift what of my own, When and where likes me best, I can command? can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou, ommand a table in this wilderness, nd call swift flights of angels ministrant rray'd in glory on my cup to attend: 'hy should'st thou then obtrude this diligence,
In vain, where no acceptance it can find?
The wise man's cumbrance, if not snare ; more
To slacken Virtue, and abate her edge, [apt
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise.
What if with like aversion I reject
Riches and realms ? yet not for that a crown,
Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns,
Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights,
To him who wears the regal diadem,
When on his shoulders each man's burden lies;
PAR.MDISE REGAIN ED.
Satan, in a speech of much flattering commendation, endeavours to awaken in Jesus a passion for glory, by particularising various instances of conquests achieved, and great actions performed, by persons at an early period of life. Our Lord replies, by showing the vanity of worldly fame, and the improper means by which it is generally attained; and contrasts with it the true glory of religious patience and virtuous wisdom, as exemplified in the character of Job. Satanjustifies the love of glory from the example of God himself, who requires it from all his creatures. Jesus detects the fallacy of this argument, by showing that, as goodness is the true ground on which glory is due to the great Creator of all things, sinful man can have no right whatever to it.—Satan then urges our Lord respecting his claim to the throne of David; he tells him that the kingdom of Judea, being at that time a province of Rome, cannot be got possession of without much personal exertion on his part, and presses him to lose no time in beginning to reign. Jesus refers him to the time allotted for this, as for all other things; and, after
intimating somewhat respecting his own previous sufferings, asks Satan, why he should be so solicitous for the exaltation of one, whose rising was destined to be his fall. Satan replies, that his own desperate state, by excluding all hepe, leaves little room for fear; and that, as his own punishment was equally doomed, he is not interested in preventing the reign of one, from whose apparent benevolence he might rather hope for some interference in his favour.—Satan still pursues his former incitements; and, supposing that the seeming reluctance of Jesus to be thus advanced might arise from his being unacquainted with the world and its glories, conveys him to the summit of a high mountain, and fruin thence shows him most of the kingdoms of Asia, particularly pointing out to his notice some extraordinary military preparations of the Parthians to resist the incursions of the Scythians. He then informs our Lord, that he showed him this purposely that he might see how necessary military exertions are to retain the possession of kingdoms, as well as to subdue them at first, and advises him to consider how impossible it was to maintain Judea against two such powerful neighbours as the Romans and Parthians, and how necessary it would be to form an alliance with one or other of them. At the same time he recommends, and engages to secure to him, that of the Parthians; and tells him that by this means his power will be defended from any thing that Rome or Caesar might attempt against it, and that he will be able to extend his glory wide, and especially to accomplish, what was particularly necessary to make the throne of Judea really the throne of David, the deliverance and restoration of the tea tribes, still in a state of captivity. Jesus, having briefly noticed the vanity of military efforts and the weakness of the arm of flesh. says, that when the time comes for his ascending his allotted throne he shall not be slack: he remarks on Satan's extraordinary zeal for the deliverance of the Israelites, to whom he had always showed himself an enemy, and declares their servitude to be the consequence of their idolatry; but adds, that at a future time it may perhaps please God to recall them, and restore them to their liberty and native land,
So spake the Son of God; and Satan stood
hat might require the array of war, thy skill fronduct would be such, that all the world ould not sustain thy prowess, or subsist 1 battle, though against thy few in arms. hese God-like virtues wherefore dost thou hide, ffecting private life, or more obscure lsavage wilderness 2 wherefore deprive ll Earth her wonder at thy acts, thyself he fame and glory, glory the reward hatsole excites to high attempts, the flame f most erected spirits, most temper'd pure thereal, who all pleasures else despise, Il treasures and all gain esteem as dross, nd dignities and powers all but the highest? hy years are ripe, and over-ripe; the son f Macedonian Philip had ere these on Asia, and the throne of Cyrus held this dispose; young Scipio had brought down he Carthaginian pride; young Pompey quell’d he Pontic king, and in triúmph had rode. et years, and to ripe years judgment mature, uench not the thirst of glory, but augment. |reat Julius, whom now all the world admires, hemore he grew in years, the more inflam'd With glory, wept that he had liv'd so long iglorious: but thou yet art not too late.” Towhom our Saviour calinly thus replied. Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth or empire's sake, nor empire to affect or glory's sake, by all thy argument. or what is glory but the blaze of fame, he people's praise, if always praise unmix'd? nd what the people but a herd confus'd, miscellaneous rabble, who extol hings vulgar, and, well weigh'd, scarceworth the praise - [what, hey praise, and they admire, they know not nd know not whom, but as one leads the other; nd what delight to be by such extoll’d, olive upon their tongues, and be their talk, f whom to be disprais'd were no small praise? islot who dares be singularly good. he intelligent among them and the wise refew, and glory scarce of few is rais'd. his is true glory and renown, when God, ooking on the Earth, with approbation marks he justman, and divulges him through Heaven all his angels, who with true applause ecount his praises: thus he did to Job, 'hen to extend his fame through Heaven and Earth, $thou to thy reproach may'st well remember, e ask'd thee, “Hast thou seen my servant Job 22 amous he was in Heaven, on Earth less known; There glory is false glory, attributed • things not glorious, men not worthy of fame. hey err, who count it glorious to subdue 7 conquest far and wide, to over-run urge countries, and in field great battles win, seat cities by assault: what do these worthies, it rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslave aceable nations, neighbouring, or remote, ade captive, yet deserving freedom more on those their conquerors, who leave behind thing but ruin wheresoe'er they rove, *d all the flourishing works of peace destroy; lenswell with pride, and must be titled Gods, at Benefactors of mankind, Deliverers,
Worshipt with temple, priest, and sacrifice 2
. Equal in fame to proudest conquerors.
Yet if for fame and glory aught be done,