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Yet if for fame and glory aught be done,
Aught suffer'd; if young African for fame
His wasted country freed from Punic rage,
The deed becomes unprais'd, the man at least,
And loses, though but verbal, his reward.
Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek,
Oft not deserv'd ? I seek not mine, but his
Who sent me, and thereby witness whence I am.
To whom the tempter murmuring thus replied.
Think not so slight of glory, therein least
Resembling thy great Father: he seeks glory,
And for his glory all things made, all things
Orders and governs; nor content in heaven
By all his angels glorify’d, requires
Glory from men, from all men good or bad,
Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption ;
Above all sacrifice or hallow'd gift
Glory he requires, and glory he receives
Promiscuous from all nations, Jew, or Greek,
Or barbarous, nor exception hath declar'd :
From us, his foes pronounc'd, glory he exacts.
To whom our Saviour fervently replied.
And reason, since his word all things produc'd,
Though chiefly not for glory as prime end,
But to show forth his goodness, and impart
His good communicable to every soul
Freely ; of whom what could he less expect
Than glory and benediction, that is, thanks,
The slightest, easiest, readiest, recompense
From them who could return him nothing else,
And not returning that would likeliest render
Contempt instead, dishonour, obloquy ?
Hard recompense, unsuitable return
For so much good, so much beneficence.
But why should man seek glory, who of his own
Hath nothing, and to whom nothing belongs
But condemnation, ignominy, and shame ?
Who for so many benefits receiv'd
Turn'd recreant to God, ingrate and false,
And so of all true good himself despoild,
Yet, sacrilegious, to himself would take
That which to God alone of right belongs :
Yet so much bounty is in God, such grace,
That who advance his glory, not their own,
Them he himself to glory will advance.
So spake the Son of God; and here again
Satan had not to answer, but stood struck
With guilt of his own sin, for he himself
Insatiable of glory had lost all;
Yet of another plea bethought him soon.
Of glory, as thou wilt, said he, so deem;
Worth or not worth the seeking, let it pass.
But to a kingdom thou art born, ordain'd
To sit upon thy father David's throne,
By mother's side thy father; though thy right
Be now in powerful hands, that will not part
Easily from possession won with arms.
Judæa now and all the promis'd land,
Reduc'd a province under Roman yoke,
Obeys Tiberius; nor is always ruld
With temperate sway: oft have they violated
The temple, oft the law with foul affronts,
Abominations rather, as did once
Antiochus : and think'st thou to regain
Thy right by sitting still or thus retiring?
So did not Maccabeus : he indeed
Retir'd unto the desert, but with arms;
And o'er a mighty king so oft prevail'd,
That by strong hand his family obtain’d,
Though priests, the crown, and David's throne usurp'd,
With Modin and her suburbs once content.
If kingdom move thee not, let move thee zeal
And duty ; zeal and duty are not slow;
But on occasion's forelock watchful wait.
They themselves rather are occasion best,
Zeal of thy father's house, duty to free
Thy country from her heathen servitude;
So shalt thou best fulfil, best verify
The prophets old, who sung thy endless reign;
The happier reign the sooner it begins;
Reign then ; what canst thou better do the while ?
To whom our Saviour answer thus return'd.
All things are best fulfill'd in their due time,
And time there is for all things, Truth hath said :
If of my reign prophetic writ hath told
That it shall never end, so when begin
The Father in his purpose hath decreed,
He in whose hand all times and seasons roll.
What, if he hath decreed that I shall first
Be try'd in humble state and things adverse,
By tribulations, injuries, insults,
Contempts, and scorns, and snares, and violence,
Suffering, abstaining, quietly expecting,
Without distrust or doubt, that he may know
What I can suffer, how obey ? who best
Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first
Well hath obey'd ; just trial, ere I merit
My exaltation without change or end.
But what concerns it thee when I begin
My everlasting kingdom ? why art thou
Solicitous ? what moves thy inquisition ?
Know'st thou not that my rising is thy fall,
And my promotion will be thy destruction ?
To whom the tempter, inly rack’d, replied.
Let that come when it comes; all hope is lost
Of my reception into grace: what worse?
For where no hope is left, is left no fear :
If there be worse, the expectation more
Of worse torments me, than the feeling can.
I would be at the worst; worst is my port,
189 adverse] S. Ital. iv. 605,
· Explorant adversa viros. Dunster.
My harbour, and my
ultimate repose; The end I would attain, my final good. My error was my error, and my crime My crime ; whatever for itself condemn’d, And will alike be punish’d, whether thou Reign or reign not; though to that gentle brow Willingly could I fly, and hope thy reign, From that placid aspect and meek regard, Rather than aggravate my evil state, Would stand between me and thy father's ire, (Whose ire I dread more than the fire of hell,) A shelter, and a kind of shading cool Interposition, as a summer's cloud. Jf I then to the worst that can be haste, Why move thy feet so slow to what is best, Happiest both to thyself and all the world, That thou who worthiest art should'st be their king? Perhaps thou linger'st in deep thoughts detain’d Of the enterprize so hazardous and high : No wonder, for, though in thee be united What of perfection can in man be found, Or human nature can receive, consider, Thy life hath yet been private, most part spent At home, scarce view'd the Galilean towns, And once a year Jerusalem, few days Short sojourn ; and what thence couldst thou ob
serve? The world thou hast not seen, much less her glory, Empires, and monarchs, and their radiant courts,