Page images

Daphne, or Stmele, Antiopa,
Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more
Too long; then lay'st thy scapes on names adored,
Apnllo, Neptune Jupiter, or Pan,
Satyr, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts
Delight not all; among the sons of men,
How many have with a smile made small aecount
Of Beauty and her lures, easily scorned,
All her assaults, ou worthier things intent!
Remember that Pollean conqueror,
A youth, how nil the beauties of the east
He slightly viewed, and slightly overpassed;
How he Burnamed of Africa dismissed.
In 'nt- prime youth, the fair Iberian maid.
For Solomon, he lived at ease, and full
Of honour, wealth, high fare, aimed not beyond
Higher design than to enjoy his state;
Thence to the bait of women lay exposed:
But he whom we attempt is wiser far
Than Solomon, of more exalted mind,
Made and set wholly on the aecomplishment
Of greatest things. What woman will you find,
Though of this age the wonder and the fame,
On whom his leisure will vouchsafe an eye
Of fond desire? or should she, confident, .
As sillmg queen adored on Beauty's throne,
Descend with all her winning charms begirt
To enamour, as the zone of Venus once
Wrought that eflect on Jove, Bo fables tell:
How would one look from his majestic brow,
Seated as on the top of virtue's hill,
Discountenance her despised, 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
Led captive; cease to admire, aml all her plumes
Fall flat, and shrink into a trivial toy,
At every sudden slighting quite abashed:
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 greatest men have oftest wrecked;
Or that which only seems to satisfy
I .awful desires of nature, not bey ond;
And now I know he hungers, where no food
Is to be found, in the wide wilderness:
The rest commit to me; I shall let pass
No advantage, and his strength as oft assay."
lie ceased, and heard their grant in loud ac-

l'hen forthwith to him takes a chosen band
Of npirits, likest to himself in guile,
To be at hand, and at hi s beck appear,
If cause were to unfold some active scene
~)f 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 remained,
NV.v hungering first, and to himself thus said.

"Where will this end t four times ten days IS»


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 praise is it to endure?
But now I feel l 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 the Son
Communed in silent walk, then laid him down
Under the hospitable covert nigh
Of trees thick interwoven; there he slept,
And dreamed, as appetite is wont to dream,
Of meats and drinks, nature's refreshment sweet.
Him thought, he by the brook of Cherith stood,
And saw the ravens with their horny beaks
Food to Klijah bringing, even and morn,
Though ravenous, taught to abstain from wha*

they brought:

He saw the prophet also, how he fled
Into the desert, and how there he slept
Under a juniper; then how awaked
He found his supper on the coals prepared.
And by the angel was bid rise and eat,
And eat the second time after repose,
The strength whereof sufficed 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 desery
The morn's approach, and greet her with his song;
As lightly from his grasav couch up rose
Our Saviour, and found all was but a dream;
Fastmg he went to sleep, and fasting waked.
Up to a hill anon his steps he reared,
From whose high top to ken the prospect round,
If cottage were in view, sheep-cote, or herd;
But cottage, herd, or s!ieep-cote none he saw;
Only in a bottom saw a pleasant grove,
With chant of tuneful birds resounding loud:
Thither he bent his way, determined there
To rest at noon; and entered soon the shade ^
High roofed and walks beneath, and alleys brown.
That opened in the midat a woodv scene;
Nature's own work it seemed, nature taught a.rt,
And, to a superstitious eye, the haunt
Of woodgods and woodnymphs: be viewed it


When suddenly a man before him stood,
Not rustic as before, but seemlier clad.
As one in city, or court, or palao- bsed,

And with fair speech these words to him addressed.

'' With granted leave officious I return,

But much more wonder that the Son of God

In ibi s 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 bondtvoman, with her son

Outeast Nebaioth, yet found here relief

By a providing angel; all the race

Of Israel hriv had famislied, had not God

Rained from Heaven manna; and that prophet


Native of Thebez, wandering here was fed
Twice by a voice inviting lum to cat:
Of thee these forty days none hath regard,
Forty and more deserted here indeed."

To whom thus Jesus. "What conclud'st thou

hence? They all had need; I, as thou seest, have none."

"How hast thou hunger then?" Satan replied. "Tell me if food were now before thee set, Would'at thou not cat?" "Thereafter as I like The gsver," answered Jesus. "Why should that Cause thy refusal?" said the subtle fiend. "Hast thou not right to all ereated things 1 Owe not all ereatures by just right to thee Duty and service, nor to stay till bid, But tender all their power? nor mention I Meats by the law unclean, or offered first To idols, those young Daniel could refuse; Nor proffered by an enemy, though who Would seruple that, with want oppressed? Behold,

Nature ashamed, or, better to express,
Troubled, that thou should'at hunger, hath pur-

Prom all the elements her choicest store,
To treat thee, as beseems, and as her Lord,
With honour: only deign to sit and eat"

He spake no dream; for, as bis words had end,
Our Saviour lifting up his eyes beheld,
In ample space under the broadest shade,
A table richly spread in regal mode,
With dishes piled, and meats of noblest sort
And savour; beasts of chase, or fowl of game,
In pastry budt, or from the spit, or boiled,
Grisamber-steamed ;s all fish, from sea or shore,
Freshet or purling brook, of shell or fin,
And exquisitesL name, for which was drained
Poatas, and Lucrine bay, and Afnc coast.
(Alas, how simple, to these cates compared,
Was that erude apple that diverted Eve!)
And at a stately side-board, by the wine
That fragrant smell diffused, in order stood
Tall stripling youths rich clad, of fairer hue

[ocr errors]

Than Ganymed or Hylas; distant more

Under the trees now tripped, now solemn stood.

Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades

With fruits or flowers from Amalthea's horn,

And ladies of th' Hesperides, that seamed

Fairer than famed of old, or fabled since

Of fairy damsels, met in forests wide

By nights of Logres, or of Lyones,

Lancelot, or Pelleas, or Pellenore:

And all the while harmonious airs were heard

Of chiming strings, or charming pipes; and wind*

Of gentlest gale Arabian odours fanned

From their soft wintrs, and Flora's earliest smells

Such was the splendour; and the Tempter now

His invitation earnestly renewed.

"What doubts the Son of God to sit and eat? These are not fruits forbidden; no interdict Defends the touching of these viands pure; Their taste no knowledge works, at least of eril, But life preserves, destroys life's enemy, Hunger, with sweet restorative delight. All these are spirits of air, and woods, and springs Thy gentle ministers, who come to pay Thee homage, and acknowledge thee their Lord • What doubt'st thou, Son of God? sit down and eat."

To whom thus Jesus temperately replied. "Said'stthou not that to all things I had right? And who withholds my power that right to use? Shall I receive by gift what of my own, When and where likes me best, I can command I can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou, Command a table in this wilderness, And call swill nights of angels ministrant Arrayed in glory on my cup to attend: Why should'et thou then obtrude this diligence, In vain, where no aeceptance it can find? And with my hunger what hast thou to do? Thy pompous delicacies I contemn, And count thy specious gifts no gifts, but guiles."

To whom thus answered Satan maleontent. "That I have also power to give thou scest; If of that power I bring thee voluntary What I might have bestowed on whom I pleased, And rather opportunely in this place Choose to impart to thy apparent need, Why should'st thou not aecept it? but I see What I can do or offer is suspect, Of these things others quickly will dupose, Whose pains have earned thee far-fet spoil." W itb


Both table and provision vanished quite
With sound of harpies' wings and talons heard .
Only the importune Tempter still remained,
And with these words his temptation pursued.

"By hunger, that each other erealure tames,
Thou art not to be harmed, therefore not moved
Thy temperance, invincible besides,
For no allurements yields to appetite;

AnA all thy heart is set on high designs,

High actions: but wherewith to be achieved?

Great acts re tuire great means of enterprise;

Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of birth,

A carpenter thy father known, thyself

Bred up in poverty and straits at home,

Lost in a desert here and hunger-bit:

Which w iy, r r from what hojie dost thou aspire

To grea'ness? whence authority derivest 1

What followers what retinue canst thou gain,

Or at thy heels the dizzy multitude,

Longer than thou canst feed them on thy cost?

Money brings honour, friends, conquest, and


What raised Antipater the Edomite,
And his sou Herod placed on Judah's throne,
Thy throne, but ,'uld that got him puissant friends?
Therefore, if at great things thou would'st arrive,
Get riches first, get wealth, and treasure heap,
Not difficult, if thou hearken tome:
Riches are mine, fortune is in my hand;
They whom I favour thrive in wealth amain
While virtue, valour, wisdom sit in want."

To whom thus Jesus patiently replied.
"Yet wealth without these three is impotent
To gain dominion, or to keep it gained.
Witness those ancient empires of the earth,
In height of all their flowing wealth dissolved:
But men endued with these have oft attained
In lowest poverty to highest deeds;
Gideon and Jeptha, and the shepherd lad,
Whose offspring on the throne of Judah sat
So many ages, and shall yet regain
That seat, and reign in Israel without end.
Among the heathen, (for throughout the world
To me is not unknown what hath been done
Worthy of memorial,) canst thou not remember
Quintius, Fabricius, Curius, Regulusl
For I esteem those names of men so poor,
Who could do mighty things, and could contemn
Riches, though offered from the hand of kings.
And what in me seems wanting, but that l
May also in this poverty as soon
Aecomplish what they did, perhaps, and more?
Extol not riehes then, the toil of fools,
The wise man's cumhrance, if not snare; more apt
To slacken virtue, and abate her edge,
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise.
What if with like aversion I reject
Riches and realms? yet not, for that a erown,
(Jol len in show, is hut a wreuth of thorns,
Brills dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless


To him who wears the regal diadem,
When on his shoulders each man's burden lies;
For therein stands the office of a king,
Itis honour, virtue, merit, and chief praise,
That for the public all this weight he bears.
Vrt bd who reigns within himself, and rules

Passions, desires, and feus, is more e. king;

: Which every wise nnd virtuous man attaint;

I And who attains not, ill aspires to rule

| Cities of men, or headstrong multitudes,
Subject himself to anarehy within,
Or lawless passions in him, which he serves.

I But to guide nations in the way of truth
By saving doctrine, and from error lead
To know, and, knowing, worship God aright.
Is yet more kingly, this attracts the soul,
Governs the inner man, the nobler part;
That other o'er the body only reigns,
And oft by foree, which, to a generous mind,
So reigning, can be no sincere delight.
Besides, to give a kingdom hath been thought
Greater and nobler done, than to lay down
Far more magnanimous, than to assume.
Riches are needless then, both for themselves,
And for thy reason why they should be sought,
To gain a sceptre, oftest better missed."



Satan, in a speech of much flattering commendation, endeavours to awaken in Jesus a ponton for glory, by panic* larlzing various instances of conquests achieved, and great actions performed, by persona at an early period of life. Ov Lord replies, by ahowing the vanity of worldly fame, and the improper means by which it is generally manned; and contrasts with It the true glory of rel;glous patience and virumn wisdom, as exemplified in thc character of Job. Sutan justifies the love of glory from the example of God himself , who requires it from all hia ereatures. Jesus detects the fallacy of this argument, by showing that, as goodness * the iron ground on which glory is due to the great Creator of all things, sinful man can have no right whatever to it—-Saian then urgm oar I/ird respecting his claim to the throne of David: tie lelts him that the kingdom of Judes, being at that time a province of Rome, can not be got possession of without much permoal exertion on his pan, and presses him to lose notinie In beginning to reign. Jesus refers him To the time allotted for thb^M for all other things; and after intimating somewhat rmpecung his own previous sufferings, asks Satan, why he should be •d solicitous for the exaltation of one, whose rising was demisd to ho his fall. Satan replies, thnt his own itajieraie sate, by excluding all hope, leaves little room for fear; and thai, as his own punishment was equally doomed, he is not Interested in preventing '.he reign of one, from whose apparent benerolence he might rather hope for some interference in his favour.— Satan still pursues his former meitenn-nu?; and, suppOBinf that the seeming reluctance of Jesus to b? lluw advanced might arise from his being unacquainted wtth the world and lts slories, conveys htm to the summit of a hlzh mountain, and from thence shows him mnnt of the kingifom* of Asm, par ticularly pointing out to hia notice some extraordinary military preparations of the Par I titans lo resist thv incursions of the Scythians, He then informs our I*nnl, that he ahowtJ him this purposely thnt he might sec how necessary mllitary exertions are to retain the possession of kingdoms, as well as to suhdue them at first: and advises him to consider how impossible it was to mimiUnn Judea nmin^t two 5urh neighbours na the Itoni.nis ainl Parthiaus, nnd how It would be to form an alliance with one or other of them. the same time he recommends, and engages to oecurs to b

tint of the Puthians; and tells him thas by this means hb power wiU he defended from any thing that Rome or Cesar might attempt against it, and that he will be able to extend hta el,,ry wide, and npecially to aecomulialv, what was parliealarlv Decenary to make the throne of Judea really the throne of David, the deliverance and restoration of the ten tibra, slill in a slate of captivity. Jean hav!ng briefly noticed the vanity of military efforts and the weak new of the arm of Dean, says, that when the lime c1nntu fur oseciuli ng his •floued throne he shall not be slack; ho remarks on Satan's •Oraordinary seal for the deliverance of the Israelites, to whom he had always shown 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 lo recail them, and restore them to their liberty and native laud.

So spake the Son of Gotl; and Satan stood
A while, as mute confounded what to say,
What to reply, confuted, and convinced
Of his weak arguing and fallacious drift;
At length, collecting all his serpent wiles,
With soothing words renewed, him thus accosts.
"I see >l.. Hi knowest what is of use to know,
What best to say canst say, to do canst do;
Thy actions to thy words aecord; thy words
To thy large heart give utterance due; thy heart
Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.
Should kings and nations from thy mouth consult,
Thy counsel would be as the oracle
tjrim and Thummim, those oraculous gems
On Aaron's breast; or tongue of seers old
Infallible: or wert thou sought to deeds
That might require the array of war, thy skill
Of conduct would be such, that all the world
Could not sustain thy prowess, or subsist
In battle, though against thy few in arms.
These go<llike virtues wherefore dost thou hide,
Affecting private life, or i.iore obscure
In savage wilderness? wherefore deprive
All earth her wonder at thy acts, thyself,
The fame and glory; glory the reward
That sole excites to high attempts, the flame
Of most erected spirits, most tempered puro
Etherral, who all pleasures else despise,
All treasures and all gain esteem as dross,
And dignities and powers all but the highest?
Thy years are ripe, and overripe; the son
Of Macedonian Philip had ere these
Won Asia, and the throne of Cyrus held
At his dispose; young Scipio had brought down
The Carthaginian pride; young Pompey quelled
The Pontic kmg, and in triumph had rule.
Yet years, and to ripe years judgmenv mature,
Uuench not the thirst of glory, hut i.ugment.
Great Julius, whom now all the world admires,
The more he grew in years, the more inflamed
With glory, wept that he had liveu stt long
Inglorious: but thou yet art not Uxt late."

To whom our Saviour calmly thus replied. 's Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth Fot empire's sake, nor empite to affect

For glory's sake, by all thy argument.

For what is glory but the blaze of fame,

The people's praise, if always praise unmixed?

And what the people but a herd confused,

A miscellaneous rabble, who extol

Things vulgar, and, well weighed, scaree worth

the praise?

They praise, and they admire, they know not what
And know not whom, but as one leads the other;
And what delight to be by such extolled,
To live upon their tongues and be their talk,
Of whom to be dispraised were no small praise?
His lot who dares be singularly good.
The intelligent among them and the wise
Are few, and glory scaree of few is raised.
-This Is true glory and renown, when God
Looking on the earth with approbation marks
The just man, and divulges him through Heaven
To all his angels, who with true applause
Recount his praises: thus he did to Job,
When, to extend his fame through Heaven and


As thou to thy reproach may'st well remember,
He asked thee,'Hast thou seen my servant Job?
Famous he was in Heaven, on earth less known;
Where glory is false glory, attributed
To things not glorious, men not worthy of fame.
They err, whocount it glorious, to subdue
By conquest far and wide, lo overrun
Large countries, and in field great battles wm,
Great cities by assault: what do these worthies,
But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslare
Peaceable nations, neighbouring, or remote,
Made captive, yet deserving freedom more
Than those their conquerors, who leave behind
Nothing but ruin wheresoe'er they rove,
And all their flourishing works of peace destroy;
Then swell with pride, and must be titled gods,
Great benefactors of mankind, deliverers,
Worshipped with temple, priest, and saerifice?
One is the Son of Jove, of Mars the other;
Till conqueror Death discover them scaree men,
Rolling in brutish vices, and deformed,
Violent or shameful death their due reward.
But if there be in glory aught of good,
It may by means far different be attained,
Without ambition, war, or violence;
By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent,
By patience, temperance: I mention still
Hun, whom thy wrongs with saintly patienc*


Made famous in a land ami times obscure;
Who names not now with honour patient Job'
Poor Soerates, (wM next :nore memorable ?)
By what he taught, and suflered for so domg,
For truth's sake suffering death, unjust, lives no»
Equal in fame to proudest conquerors
Yet if for fame and glory aught be done.
Aught suffered; if young African lor l

His wasted country freed from Punic rage;
The deed becomes unpraised, the man at least,
And loses, though but verbal, bis reward.
Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek,
Oft not deserved? 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 glorified, requires
Glory from men, from all men, good or bad,
Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption;
Above all saerifice, or hallowed gift,
Glory he requires, and glory he receives,
Promiscuous from all nations, Jew, or Greek,
Or barbarous, nor exception hath declared;
From us, his foes pronounced, glory he exacts."

To whom our Saviour fervently replied.
"And reason; Eince his word all things produced,
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 ncthing belongs
But condemnation, ignominy, and shame?
Who, for so many benefits received,
Turned reereant to God, ingrate and false,
And so of all true good himself despoiled,
Yet, saerilegious, 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, hut 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 thoa wilt," said he, "sodeem;
Worth or not worth the seeking, let it pass.
But to a kingdom thou art born, ordained
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
Easdy from possession won with arms:
Judea now and all the promised land,
Reduced a province under Roman yoke,
Or.eyk Tiberius; nor is always ruled
With teunierate 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 Maecabeus: he indeed

Retired unto the desert, but with arms;

And o'er a mighty king so oft prevailed,

That by strong hand his family obtained

Though priests, the erown, and David's throne


With Modiu and her suburbs once content
If kingdom move thec not, let move thec zeal
And duty; zeal and duty are not slow,
But on oecasion's forelock watehful wait,
They themselves rather are oecasion 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 white!s

To whom our Saviour answer thus returned.
"All things are best fulfilled 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 deereed;
He in whose hand all times and seasons roll.
What if he hath deereed that I shall first
Be tried m-humble state, and things advene,
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 con suffer, how obey? who best
Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first
Well hath obeyed; just trial, ere I merit
My exultation without change or end.
But what concerns it thee when I begin
My everlasting kingdom? why art thou
Solicitous? what moves thy inquisition?
Knowest thou not that my rising is thy fail,
And my promotion will be thy destruction?"

To whom the Tempter inly racked, replied
"Let that come when it comes; all hope is losi
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 1wrt,
My harbour, and my ultimate repose:
Thetend I would attain, my final good.
My error was my error, and my erime
My erime; whatever, for itself condemned;
And will alike be punished, whether thou
Reiijnor reign nut; though to that gentle tiruv*
Willingly could I fly, and hope thy reign,
From that placid aspect and meek regard.
Rather than aggravate my evil state,

« PreviousContinue »