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By my advice, as nearer, and of late
Found able by invasion to annoy

Thy country, and captive lead away her kings
Antigonus, and old Hyrcanus bound,

Maugre the Roman: it shall be

my task

To render thee the Parthian at dispose:

Choose which thou wilt by conquest or by league.

By him thou shalt regain, without him not,
That which alone can truly reinstall thee
In David's royal seat, his true successor,
Deliverance of thy brethren, those Ten Tribes
Whose offspring in his territory yet serve,
In Habor, and among the Medes dispersed;
Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph lost
Thus long from Israel, serving as of old
Their fathers in the land of Egypt served,
This offer sets before thee to deliver.





These if from servitude thou shalt restore
To their inheritance, then, nor till then,
Thou on the throne of David in full glory,

From Egypt to Euphrates, and beyond,

Shalt reign, and Rome or Cæsar need not fear.


To whom our Saviour answer'd thus unmoved:

Much ostentation vain of fleshly arm,
And fragile arms, much instrument of war,
Long in preparing, soon to nothing brought,
Before mine eyes thou hast set; and in my ear
Vented much policy, and projects deep
Of enemies, of aids, battles, and leagues,
Plausible to the world, to me worth nought.
Means I must use, thou say'st, prediction else
Will unpredict and fail me of the throne:

My time I told thee (and that time for thee
Were better farthest off) is not yet come:

When that comes, think not thou to find me slack
On my part aught endeavouring, or to need
Thy politic maxims, or that cumbersome

Milton's Poetical Works.





Luggage of war there shown me, argument

Of human weakness rather than of strength.

My brethren, as thou call'st them, those Ten Tribes
I must deliver, if I mean to reign

David's true heir, and his full sceptre sway


To just extent over all Israel's sons.

But whence to thee this zeal, where was it then

For Israel, or for David, or his throne,

When thou stood'st up his tempter to the pride
Of numbering Israël, which cost the lives
Of threescore and ten thousand Israelites
By three days' pestilence? such was thy zeal
To Israel then, the same that now to me!


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Besides their other worse than heathenish crimes;
Nor in the land of their captivity


Humbled themselves, or penitent besought

The God of their forefathers; but so died
Impenitent, and left a race behind

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Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
From Gentiles, but by circumcision vain,
And God with idols in their worship join'd.
Should I of these the liberty regard,
Who, freed, as to their ancient patrimony,
Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreform'd,
Headlong would follow; and to their gods perhaps
Of Bethel and of Dan? no, let them serve
Their enemies, who serve idols with God.
Yet he at length, time to himself best known,
Remembering Abraham, by some wondrous call
May bring them back repentant and sincere,
And at their passing cleave th' Assyrian flood,
While to their native land with joy they haste;




As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,
When to the Promised Land their fathers pass'd;
To his due time and providence I leave them.

So spake Israel's true King, and to the Fiend
Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles.
So fares it when with Truth Falsehood contends.




Satan, persisting in the temptation of our Lord, shows him imperial Rome in its greatest pomp and splendour, as a power which he probably would prefer before that of the Parthians; and tells him that he might with the greatest ease expel Tiberius, restore the Romans to their liberty, and make himself master not only of the Roman empire, but, by so doing, of the whole world, and inclusively of the throne of David. Our Lord, in reply, expresses his contempt of grandeur and worldly power, notices the luxury, vanity, and profligacy, of the Romans, declaring how little they merited to be restored to that liberty which they had lost by their misconduct, and briefly refers to the greatness of his own future kingdom. Satan, now desperate, to enhance the value of his proffered gifts, professes that the only terms on which he will bestow them, are our Saviour's falling down and worshipping him. Our Lord expresses a firm but temperate indignation at such a proposition, and rebukes the tempter by the title of 'Satan for ever damn'd.' Satan, abashed, attempts to justify himself: he then assumes a new ground of temptation, and proposing to Jesus the intellectual gratifications of wisdom and knowledge, points out to him the celebrated seat of ancient learning, Athens, its schools, and other various resorts of learned teachers and their disciples; accompanying the view with a highlyfinished panegyric on the Grecian musicians, poets, orators, and philosophers of the different sects. Jesus replies, by showing the vanity and insufficiency of the boasted heathen philosophy: and prefers to the music, poetry, eloquence, and didactic policy, of the Greeks, those of the inspired Hebrew writers. Satan, irritated at the failure of all his attempts, upbraids the indiscretion of our Saviour in rejecting his offers: and having, in ridicule of his expected kingdom, foretold the sufferings that our Lord was to undergo, carries him back into the wilderness, and leaves him there. Night comes on: Satan raises a tremendous storm, and attempts farther to alarm Jesus with frightful dreams, and terrific threatening spectres; which however have no effect upon him. A calm, bright, beautiful morning succeeds to the horrors of the night. Satan again presents himself to our blessed Lord, and, from noticing the storm of the preceding night as pointed chiefly at him, takes occasion once more to insult him with an account of the sufferings which he was certainly to undergo. This only draws from our Lord a brief rebuke. Satan, now at the height of his desperation, confesses that he had frequently watched Jesus from his birth, purposely to discover if he was the Messiah; and, collecting from what passed at the river Jordan that he most probably was so, he had from that

time more assiduously followed him, in hopes of gaining some advantage over him, which would most effectually prove that he was not really that Divine Person destined to be his fatal enemy.' In this he acknowledges that he has hitherto completely failed: but still determines to make one more trial of him. Accordingly he conveys him to the temple at Jerusalem, and, placing him on a pointed eminence, requires him to prove his divinity either by standing there, or casting himself down with safety. Our Lord reproves the Tempter, and at the same time manifests his own divinity by standing on this dangerous point. Satan, amazed and terrified, instantly falls; and repairs to his infernal compeers to relate the bad success of his enterprise. Angels in the mean time convey our blessed Lord to a beautiful valley, and, while they minister to him a repast of celestial food, celebrate his victory in a triumphant hymn.

PERPLEX'D and troubled at his bad success
The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope
So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric

That sleek'd his tongue, and won so much on Eve,
So little bere, nay lost; but Eve was Eve,
This far his over-match, who, self-deceived
And rash, before-hand had no better weigh'd
The strength he was to cope with, or his own:
But as a man who had been matchless held



In cunning, over-reach'd where least he thought,
To salve his credit, and for every spite,

Still will be tempting him who foils him still,
And never cease, though to his shame the more;
Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,
About the wine-press where sweet must is pour'd,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;
Or surging waves against a solid rock,

Though all to shivers dash'd, th' assault renew,
Vain battery, and in froth or bubbles end;
So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse

Met ever,
and to shameful silence brought,
Yet gives not o'er though desp'rate of success,
And his vain importunity pursues.

He brought our Saviour to the western side

Of that high mountain, whence he might behold

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