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165

Obeys Tiberius; nor is always ruld
With temp’rate sway; oft have they violated 160
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
Retired into the desert, but with arms;
And o’er a mighty king so oft prevail’d,
That by strong hand his family obtain’d,
Tho'priests, the crown, and David's throne usurp'd,
With Modin and her suburbs once content. 170
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, belt verify
The prophets old, who sung thy endless reign;
The happier reign the sooner it begins;
Reign then; what canst thou better do thewhile? 180

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 185
The Father in his purpose hath decreed,

175

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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,

190
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 195
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? 200
Know'st thou not that my rising is thy fall,
And my promotion will be thy destruction?

To whom the Tempter inly rack'd reply'd. Let that come when it comes; all hope is loft Of my reception into grace; what worse? 205 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, 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

210

Reign or reign not; though to that gentle brow 215
Willingly I could 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) 220
A shelter and a kind of shading cool
Interposition, as a summer's cloud.
If I then to the worst that can be haste, i
Why move thy feet so slow to what is best,
Happiest both to thyself and all the world, 225
That thou who worthiest art should's be their king?
Perhaps thou linger'st in deep thoughts detain’d
Of th’enterprise so hazardous and high ;
No wonder, for though in thee be united
What of perfection can in man be found,

- 230
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 234
Short sojourn;andwhatthencecould'st thou observe?
The world thou hast not seen, much less her glory,
Empires, and monarchs, and their radiant courts,
Best school of best experience, quickest insight

In all things that to greatest actions lead. • The wisest, unexperienc'd, will be ever 240

Timorous and loath, with novice modesty, (As he who seeking asses found a kingdom)

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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,

190
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 195
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? 200
Know'st thou not that my rising is thy fall,
And my promotion will be thy destruction?

To whom the Tempter inly rack'd reply'd.
Let that come when it comes; all hope is loft
Of my reception into grace; what worse? 205
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,
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

210

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