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Of other women, by the birth I bore,
In such a season born, when scarce a shed
Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me
From the bleak air! a stable was our warmth,
A manger his : yet soon enforced to fly
Thence into Egypt, till the murd'rous king
Were dead, who sought his life, anù missing fill'd
With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem.
From Egypt home return’d, in Nazareth
Hath been our dwelling many years; his life
Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,
Little suspicious to any king; but now
Full grown to man, acknowledged, as I hear,
By John the Baptist, and in public shown,
Son own'd from heav'n by his Father's voice;
I look’d for some great change; to honour? no,
But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of many in Israel, and to a sign
Spoken against, that through my very soul
A sword shall pierce. This is my favour'd lot,
My exaltation to afflictions high;
Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest;
I will not argue that, nor will repine.
But where delays he now? some great intent
Conceals him. When twelve years he scarce had seen,
I lost hiin, but so found, as well I saw
He could not lose himself; but went about
His father's business. What he meant I mused,
Since understand. Much more his absence now
Thus long to some great purpose he obscures.
But I to wait with patience am inured;
My heart hath been a store-house long of things
And sayings laid up, portending strange events.
Thus Mary pond'ring oft, and oft to mind
Recalling what remarkably had pass'd
Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts
Meekly composed awaited the fulfilling:
-The while her Son, tracing the desert wild,
Sole but with holiest meditations fed,
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 quella
The Pontic king, and in triumph had role.3
Yet years, and to ripe years judgment mature,
Quench not the thirst of glory, but augment.
Great Julius, whom now all the world admires,
years, the more inflamed With glory, wept that he had lived so long Inglorious, but thou yet art not too late.
To whom our Saviour calmly thus replied.
Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth
For empire's sake, nor empire 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 unmixt?
And what the people but a herd confused,
A miscellaneous rabble, who extol
Things vulgar, and well weigh’d, scarce 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 extollid,
To live upon their tongues and be thcir talk,
Of whom to be dispraised 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 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 heav'n 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 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 battles 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, It 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 unpraised, the man at least,
And loses, though but verbal, his reward.
Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek,
Oft not deserved P 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 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 declared :
From us, His foes pronounced, glory He exacts.
To whom our Saviour fervently replied. And reason, since 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 nothing belongs But condemnation, ignominy, and shame? Who for so many benefits received Turn’d recreárt 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 promised land,
Reduced a province under Roman yoke,
Obeys Tiberius; nor is always ruled
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 :3 he indeed
Retired 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 4 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;