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Recount his praises : thus he did to Job,
When to extend his fame through heaven and earth,
As thou to thy reproach may'st well remember,
He ask'd 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 who count it glorious to subdue
By conquest far and wide, to over-run
Large countries, and in field great battles win,
Great cities by assault : what do these worthies,
But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslave
Peaceable nations neighb’ring 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 conqu’ror Death discovers 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,
It may by means far different be attain'd,
Without ambition, war, or violence ;
By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminents
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,
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 murm’ring 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 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 :
Judea now, and all the promis'd land,
Reduc'd a province under Roman yoke,
Obeys Tiberius: nor is always ruld
With temp'rate 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 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.
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 should 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 tried 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, 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 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,)
A shelter, and a kind of shading cool
Interposition, as a summer's cloud.
If 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 shouldst 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,
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 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
Timorous and loath, with novice modesty,
(As he who seeking asses found a kingdom,)
Irresolute, unhardy, unadvent'rous :
But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit
Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes
The monarchies of th' earth, their pomp and state,
Sufficient introduction to inform
Thee, of thyself so apt in regal arts,
And regal mysteries, that thou may'st know
How best their opposition to withstand.
With that (such power was given him then) he took
The Son of God up to a mountain high.
It was a mountain at whose verdant feet
A spacious plain, outstretch'd in circuit wide,
Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers flow'd,
Th’ one winding, th’ other straight, and left between
Fair champaign, with less rivers interven'd,
Then meeting, join'd their tribute to the sea ;