« ForrigeFortsæt »
To whom thus Jesus. What conclud'st thou Array'd in glory on my cup to attend : hence?
Why shouldst thou then obtrude this diligence, They all had need ; I, as thou seest, have none." In vain, where no acceptance it can find ?
How hast thou hunger then ?" Satan replied. And with my hunger what hast thou to do? “ Tell me, if food was now before thee set, Thy pompous delicacies I contemn, Wouldst thou not eat?"_" Thereafter as I like And count thy specious gifts no gifts, but guiles." The giver,” answer'd Jesus. “Why should that To whom thus answer'd Satan malcontent. Cause thy refusal ?" said the subtle fiend.
That I have also power to give, thou seest; “ Hast thou not right to all created things? If of that power I bring thee voluntary Owe not all creatures by just right to thee What I might have beslow'd on whom I pleas'd. Duty and service, nor to stay till bid,
And rather opportunely in this place
Why shouldst thou not accept it? but I see
Of these things others quickly will dispose,
Both table and provision vanish'd quite, Troubled, that thou shouldst hunger, hath purvey'd With sound of harpies' wings and talons heard : From all the elements her choicest store,
Only the importune tempter still remain'd, To treat thee, as beseems, and as her Lord, And with these words his temptation pursued. With honor: only deign to sit and cat."
By hunger, that each other creature tames, He spake no dream; for, as his words had end, Thou art not to be harm’d, therefore not mov'd; Our Savior lifting up his eyes beheld,
Thy temperance invincible besides, In ample space under the broadest shade,
For no allurement yields to appetite; A table richly spread, in regal mode,
And all thy heart is set on high designs, With dishes pil'd, and meats of noblest sort High actions : but wherewith to be achiev'd! And savor; beasts of chase, or fowl of game, Great acts require great means of enterprise ; In pastry built, or from the spit, or boil'd,
Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of birth, Gris-amber-steam'd; all fish, from sea or shore, A carpenter thy father known, thyself Freshet or purling brook, of shell or fin,
Bred up in poverty and straits at home, And exquisitest name, for which was drain'd Lost in a desert here and hunger-bit : Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast.
Which way, or from what hope, dost thou aspire (Alas, how simply, to these cates compar'd, To greatness? whence authority deriv'st? Was that crude apple that diverted Eve!)
What followers, what retinue canst thou gain, And at a stately sideboard, by the wine
Or at thy heels the dizzy multitude, That fragrant smell diffus’d, in order stood
Longer than thou canst feed them on thy cost? Tall stripling youths rich clad, of fairer hue Money brings honor, friends, conquest, and realms : Than Ganymed or Hylas; distant more
What rais'd Antipater the Edomite, Under the trees now tripp'd, now solemn stood, And his son Herod plac'd on Judah's throne, Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades
Thy throne, but gold that got him puissant friends ? With fruits and flowers from Amalthea's horn, Therefore, if at great things thou wouldst arrive, And ladies of the Hesperides, that seem'd Get riches first, get wealth, and treasure heap, Fairer than feign’d of old, or fabled since
Not difficult, if thou hearken to me: Of fairy damsels, met in forest wide
Riches are mine, fortune is in my hand ; By knights of Logres, or of Lyones,
They whom I favor thrive in wealth amain,
While virtue, valor, wisdom, sit in want."
To gain dominion, or to keep it gain'd.
But men indued with these have oft attain'd
That seat, and reign in Israel without end.
Among the heathen, (for throughout the world All these are spirits of air, and woods, and springs, To me is not unknown what hath been done Thy gentle ministers, who come to pay
Worthy of memorial,) canst thou not remember Thee homage, and acknowledge thee their Lord : Quintius, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus ? What doubt'st thou, Son of God? Sit down and eat." For I esteem those names of men so poor,
To whom thus Jesus temperately replied. Who could do mighty things, and could contemn “Said'st thou not that to all things I had right? Riches, though offer'd from the hand of kings. And who withholds my power that right to use? And what in me seems wanting, but that I Shall I receive by gift what of my own,
May also in this poverty as soon When and where likes me best, I can command ? Accomplish what they did, perhaps, and more! I can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou,
Extol not riches then, the toil of fools, Command a table in this wilderness,
The wise man's cumbrance, if not snare ; more ap* And call swift flights of angels ministrant To slacken Virtue, and abate her edge,
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise. supposing that the seeming reluctance of Jesus to What if with like aversion I reject
be thus advanced, might arise from his being unRiches and realms? yet not for that a crown, acquainted with the world and its glories, conveys Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns,
him to the summit of a high mountain, and from Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights, thence shows him most of the kingdoms of Asia, To him who wears the regal diadem,
particularly pointing out to his notice some extraWhen on his shoulders each man's burden lies; ordinary military preparations of the Parthians to For therein stands the office of a king,
resist the incursions of the Scythians. He then His honor, virtue, merit, and chief praise,
informs our Lord, that he showed him this purThat for the public all this weight he bears.
posely that he might see how necessary military Yet he, who reigns within himself, and rules exertions are to retain the possession of kingdoms, Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king;
as well as to subdue them at first, and advises him Which every wise and virtuous man attains ; to consider how impossible it was to maintain And who attains not, ill aspires to rule
Judea against two such powerful neighbors as Cities of men, or headstrong multitudes,
the Romans and Parthians, and how necessary it Subject himself to anarchy within,
would be to form an alliance with one or other Or lawless passions in him, which he serves.
of them. At the same time he recommends, and But to guide nations in the way of truth
engages to secure to him, that of the Parthians; By saving doctrine, and from error lead
and tells him that by this means his power will To know, and knowing worship God aright,
be defended from any thing that Rome or Cæsar Is yet more kingly; this attracts the soul,
might attempt against it, and that he will be able Govers the inner man, the nobler part;
to extend his glory wide, and especially to acThat other o'er the body only reigns,
complish, what was particularly necessary to make And oft by force, which, to a generous mind, the throne of Judea really the throne of David, So reigning, can be no sincere delight,
the deliverance and restoration of the ten tribes, Besides, to give a kingdom hath been thought still in a state of captivity. Jesus, having briefly Greater and nobler done, and to lay down
noticed the vanity of military efforts, and the Far more magnanimous, than to assume.
weakness of the arm of flesh, says, that when the Riches are needless then, both for themselves, time comes for his ascending his allotted throne, And for thy reason why they should be sought, he shall not be slack: he remarks on Satan's exTo gain a sceptre, oftest better miss'd.”
traordinary zeal for the deliverance of the Israel
ites, to whom he had always showed himself an BOOK III.
enemy, and declares their servitude to be the con
sequence of their idolatry; but adds, that at a THE ARGUMENT.
future time it may perhaps please God to recall
them, and restore them to their liberty and native Satan, in a speech of much flattering commenda- land.
tion, endeavors to awaken in Jesus a passion for glory, by particularizing various instances of con- So spake the Son of God; and Satan stood quests achieved, and great actions performed, by Awhile, as mute, confounded what to say, persons at an early period of life. Our Lord What to reply, confuted, and convinc'd replies, by showing the vanity of worldly fame, of his weak arguing and fallacious drift; and the improper means by which it is generally At length, collecting all his serpent wiles, attained ; and contrasts with it the true glory of With soothing words renew'd, him thus accosts. religious patience and virtuous wisdom, as ex- “I see thou know'st what is of use to know, emplified in the character of Job. Satan justifies What best to say canst say, to do canst do; the love of glory from the example of God him- Thy actions to thy words accord, thy words self, who requires it from all his creatures. Jesus To thy large heart give utterance due, thy heart detects the fallacy of his argument, by showing Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape. that, as goodness is the true ground on which should kings and nations from thy mouth consult, glory is due to the great Creator of all things, Thy counsel would be as the oracle sinful man can have no right whatever to it.- Urim and Thummim, those oraculous gems Satan then urges our Lord respecting his claim On Aaron's breast ; or tongue of seers old, to the throne of David; he tells him that the Infallible: or wert thou sought to deeds kingdom of Judea, being at that time a province That might require the array of war, thy skill of Rome, cannot be got possession of without of conduct would be such, that all the world much personal exertion on his part, and presses Could not sustain thy prowess, or subsist him to lose no time in beginning to reign. Jesus In battle, though against thy few in arms. refers him to the time allotted for this, as for all These godlike virtues, wherefore dost thou hide, other things; and, after intimating somewhat re- Affecting private life, or more obscure specting his own previous sufferings, asks Satan, In savage wilderness? wherefore deprive why he should be so solicitous for the exaltation All Earth her wonder at thy acts, thyself of one, whose rising was destined to be his fall. The fame and glory, glory the reward Satan replies, that his own desperate state, by ex- That sole excites to high attempts, the flame cluding all hope, leaves little room for fear; and Of most erected spirits, most temper'd pure that, as his own punishment was equally doomed, Ethereal, who all pleasures else despise, he is not interested in preventing the reign of All treasures and all gain esteem as dross, one, from whose apparent benevolence he might And dignities and powers all but the highest ? rather hope for some interference in his favor.— Thy years are ripe, and over-ripe; the son Satan still pursues his former incitements; and, of Macedonian Philip had ere these
Won Asia, and the throne of Cyrus held
The deed becomes unprais'd, the man at least,
Orders and governs; nor content in Heaven
Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption ; For glory's sake, by all thy argument.
Above all sacrifice, or hallow'd gift,
Glory he requires, and glory he receives,
From us, his foes pronounc'd, glory he exacts." Things vulgar, and, well weigh'd, scarce worth the To whom our Savior fervently replied. praise ?
" And reason ; since his word all things produc'd
His good communicable to every soul
The slightest, easiest, readiest recompense
Hath nothing, and to whom nothing belongs,
Yet, sacrilegious, to himself would take
Yet so much bounty is in God, such grace,
That who advance his glory, not their own,
“Of glory, as thou wilt," said he, “ so deem;
Judæa now and all the Promis'd Land, Violent or shameful death their due reward. Reduc'd a province under Roman yoke, But if there be in glory aught of good,
Obeys Tiberius ; nor is always rul'd It may by means far different be attain'd, With temperate sway; oft have they violated Without ambition, war, or violence;
The temple, oft the law, with foul affronts, By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent,
Abominations rather, as did once By patience, temperance : I mention still
Antiochus: and think'st thou to regain Him, whom thy wrongs, with saintly patience borne, Thy right, by sitting still, or thus retiring ? Made famous in a land and times obscure; So did not Maccabeus : he indeed Who names not now with honor patient Job? Retir'd unto the desert, but with arms; Poor Socrates, (who next more memorable ?) And o'er a mighty king so oft prevailid, By what he taught, and suffer'd for so doing, That by strong hand his family obtain'd, For truth's sake suffering death, unjust, lives now Though priests, the crown, and David's throne usurp , Equal in fame to proudest conquerors.
With Modin and her suburbs once content. Yet is for fame and glory aught be done, If kingdom move thee not, let move thee zeal Aught suffer'd ; if young African for fame And duty; and zeal and duty are not slow, His wasted country freed from Punic rage ; But on occasion's forelock watchful wait;
They themselves rather are occasion best; But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit Zeal of thy father's house, duty to free
Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes
Sufficient introduction to inform
And regal mysteries; that thou may'st know
To whom our Savior answer thus return'd. With thal, (such power was given him then,) he
A spacious plain, outstretch'd in circuit wide,
Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers flow'd, The Father in his purpose hath decreed; The one winding, the other straight, and left between He in whose hand all times and seasons roll. Fair champaign with less rivers intervend, What if he hath decreed that I shall first
Then meeting join'd their tribute to the sea : Be tried in humble state, and things adverse, Fertile of corn the glebe, of oil, and wine; By tribulations, injuries, insults,
With herds the pastures throng’d, with flocks the hills; Contempts, and scorns, and snares, and violence, Huge cities and high-tower'd, that well might seem Suffering, abstaining, quietly expecting,
The seats of mightiest monarchs; and so large Withont distrust or doubt, that he may know The prospect was, that here and there was room What I can suffer, how obey? Who best For barren desert, fountainless and dry. Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first To this high mountain-top the tempter brought Well hath obey'd ; just trial, ere I merit
Our Savior, and new train of words began. My exaltation without change or end.
* Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale, But what concerns it thee, when I begin
Forest and field and food, temples and towers, My everlasting kingdom? Why art thou
Cut shorter many a league ; here thou behold'st Solicitous ? What moves thy inquisition ?
Assyria, and her empire's ancient bounds,
To whom the tempter, inly rack'd, replied. And oft beyond: to south the Persian bay,
Of that first golden monarchy the seat,
There Babylon, the wonder of all tongues,
As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice
Judah and all thy father David's house
Ecbatana her structure vast there shows,
There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream,
The great Seleucia, Nisibis, and there
Artaxata, Teredon, Ctesiphon, if I then to the worst that can be haste,
Turning with easy eye, thou may’st behold. Why move thy feet so slow to what is best, All these the Parthian (now some ages past Happiest, both to thyself and all the world, By great Arsaces led, who founded first That thou, who worthiest art, shouldst be their king? That empire) under his dominion holds, Perhaps thou linger’st, in deep thoughts detain'd From the luxurious kings of Antioch won. Of the enterprise so hazardous and high: And just in time thou com’st to have a view No wonder; for, though in thee be united Of his great power; for now the Parthian king What of perfection can in man be found, In Ctesiphon hath gather'd all his host Or human nature can receive, consider,
Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild Thy life hath yet been private, most part spent Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid At home, scarce view'd the Galilean towns, He marches now in haste; see, though from far, And once a year Jerusalem, few days' (serve? His thousands, in what martial equipage Sport sojourn ; and what thence couldst thou ob- They issue forth, steel bows and shafts their arms, The world thou hadst not seen, much less her glory, of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit ; Empires, and monarchs, and their radiant courts, All horsemen, in which fight they most excel; Best school of best experience, quickest insight See how in warlike muster they appear, In all things that to greatest actions lead
In rhombs, and wedges, and half-moons, and wings." The wisest, unexperienc'd, will be ever
He look'd, and saw what numbers numberless Timorous and loth ; with novice modesty, The city gates out-pour'd, light-armed troops, As he who, seeking asses, found a kingdom,) in coats of mail and military pride ; irresolute, unhardy, unadventurous :
In mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong,
Prancing their riders bore, the flower and choice From Egypt to Euphrates, and beyond, of many provinces from bound to bound; Shalt reign, and Rome or Cæsar not need fear." From Arachosia, from Candaor east,
To whom our Savior answer'd thus, unmov'd. And Margiana to the Hyrcanian cliffs
“ Much ostentation vain of fleshly arm Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales ;
And fragile arms, much instrument of war, From A tropatia and the neighboring plains Long in preparing, soon to nothing brought, Of Adiabene, Media, and the south
Before mine eyes thou hast set; and in my ear, Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven.
Vented much policy, and projects deep
My time, I told thee, (and that time for thee
When that comes, think not thou to find me slack Chariots, or elephants indors'd with towers On my part aught endeavoring, or to need Of archers; nor of laboring pioneers
Thy politic maxims, or that cumbersome A multitude, with spades and axes arm'd
Luggage of war there shown me, argument To lay hills plain, fell woods, or valleys fill, Of human weakness rather than of strength. Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay
My brethren, as thou call'st them, those ten tribes With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke; I must deliver, if I mean to reign Mules after these, camels and dromedaries, David's true heir, and his full sceptre sway And wagons, fraught with útensils of war. To just extent over all Israel's sons. Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
But whence to thee this zeal ? Where was it then When Agrican with all his northern powers For Israel, or for David, or his throne, Besieg'd Albracca, as romances tell,
When thou stood'st up his tempter to the pride The city of Gallaphrone, from whence to win Of numbering Israël, which cost the lives The fairest of her sex Angelica,
Of threescore and ten thousand Israelites His daughter, sought by many prowest knights By three days' pestilence? Such was thy zeal Both Paynim, and the peers of Charlemain. To Israel then; the same that now to me! Such and so numerous was their chivalry : As for those captive tribes, themselves were they At sight whereof the fiend yet more presumid, Who wrought their own captivity, fell off And to our Savior thus his words renew'd. From God to worship calves, the deities
“ That thou may'st know I seek not to engage Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth, Thy virtue, and not every way secure
And all the idolatries of heathen round, On no slight grounds thy safety ; hear and mark, Besides their other worse than heathenish crimes; To what end I have brought thee hither, and shown Nor in the land of their captivity All this fair sight: thy kingdom, though foretold Humbled themselves, or penitent besought By prophet or by angel, unless thou
The God of their forefathers; but so died Endeavor, as thy father David did,
Impenitent, and left a race behind
Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
Who, freed, as to their ancient patrimony,
Headlong would follow; and to their gods perhaps Between two such inclosing enemies,
Of Bethel and of Dan? No; let them serve Roman and Parthian? Therefore one of these Their enemies, who serve idols with God. Thou must make sure thy own; the Parthian first Yet he at length, (time to himself best known.) By my advice, as nearer, and of late
Remembering Abraham, by some wondrous call Found able by invasion to annoy
May bring them back, repentant and sincere, Thy country, and captive lead away her kings, And at their passing cleave the Assyrian food, Antigonus and old Hyrcanus, bound,
While to their native land with joy they haste; Maugre the Roman : it shall be my task
As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft, To render thee the Parthian at dispose;
When to the Promis'd Land their fathers pass'd: Choose which thou wilt, by conquest or by league: To his due time and providence I leave them.” By him thou shalt regain, without him not,
So spake Israel's true king, and to the fiend That which alone can truly re-install thee Made answer meet, that made void his wiles. In David's royal seat, his true successor,
So fares it, when with truth falsehood contends.
Satan, persisting in the temptation of our Lord. These if from servitude thou shalt restore
shows him imperial Rome in its greatest pomp To their inheritance, then, nor till then,
and splendor, as a power which he probably Thou on the throne of David in full glory,
would prefer before that of the Parthians; and