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The people's praise, if always praise unmixt ?
And what the people but a herd confus’d,
A miscellaneous rabble, who extol
Things vulgar, and well weigh’d, scarce worth the
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 extoll’d,
To live upon their tongues and be their talk,
Of whom to be disprais'd were no small praise?
His lot who dares be singularly good.
Th’ intelligent among them and the wise
Are few, and glory scarce of few is rais’d.
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 thro’ heav'n and earth, 65
As thou to thy reproach may'st well remember,
He ask'd thee, Hast thou seen my servant Job ?
Famous he was in heav'n, on earth less known;
Where glory is false glory, attributed
To things not glorious, men not worthy of fame.
They err who count it glorious to subdue
By conquest far and wide, to overrun
Large countries, and in field great battels win,
Great cities by assault: what do these worthies,
But rob, and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslave
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 the flourishing works of peace destroy,
Then swell with pride, and must be titled gods,
Great benefactors of mankind, deliverers,
Worshipp?d with temple, priest, and sacrifice;
One is the son of Jove, of Mars the other;
Till conqueror death discover them scarce men,
Rolling in brutish vices, and deform’d,
Violent or shameful death their due reward.
But if there be in glory aught of good,
may by means far different be attain'd
Without ambition, war, or violence ;
By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent,
By patience, temperance. I mention still
Him whom thy wrongs with saintly patience borne
Made famous in a land and times obscure ;
Who names not now with honour patient Job?
Poor Socrates, (who next more memorable ?)
By what he taught and suffer'd for so doing,
For truth's sake suffering death unjust, lives now
Equal in fame to proudest conquerors.
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 heav'n
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 despoil'd,
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.