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Small consolation then, were man adjoin'd:
This wounds me most, what can it less P that man,
Man fall'n shall be restored, I never more.
To whom our Saviour sternly thus replied.
Deservedly thou griev'st, composed of lies
From the beginning, and in lies wilt end,
Who boast release from hell, and leave to come
Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns. Thou com’st indeed,
As a poor miserable captive thrall
Comes to the place where he before had sat
Among the prime in splendour, dow deposed,
Ejected, emptied, gazed, unpitied, shunn'd,
A spectacle of ruin or of scorn
To all the host of heav'n. The happy place
Imports to thee no happiness, no joy,
Rather inflames thy torment, representing
Lost bliss to thee no more communicable,
So never more in hell than when in heav'n.
But thou art serviceable to heav'n's King.
Wilt thou impute t' obedience what thy fear
Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites ?
What but thy malice moved thee to misdeem
Of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him
With all inflictions ? but his patience won.
The othe rvice was thy chosen task,
To be a liar in four hundred mouths;
For lying is thy sustenance, thy food.
Yet thou pretend'st to truth; all oracles
By thee are giv’n, and what confest more true
Among the nations ? that hath been thy craft,
By mixing somewhat true to vent more lies.
But what have been thy answers ? what but dark,
Ambiguous, and with double sense deluding,
Which they who ask'd have seldom understood,
And not well understood as gooi not known?
Who ever by consulting at thy shrine
Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct
To fly or follow what concern'd him most,
And run not sooner to his fatal snare?
For God hath justly given the nations up
To thy delusions; justly, since they fell
Idolatrous. But when His purpose is
Among them to declare His providence
To thee not known, whence hast thou then thy truth,
But from Him or His angels president
In ev'ry province ? who, themselves disdaining
T approach thy temples, give thee in joinmand
What to the smallest tittle thou shalt say
To thy adorers; thou with trembling fear,
Or like a fawning parasite, obey'st;
Then to thyself ascrib'st the truth foretold.
But this thy glory shall be soon retrench'd;
No more shalt thou by oracling abuse
The Gentiles; henceforth oracles are ce
And thou no more with pomp and sacrifice
Shalt be inquired at Delphos or elsewhere,
At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute.
God hath now sent his living oracle
Into the world to teach his final will,
And sends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwell
In pious hearts, and inward oracle
To all truth requisite for men to know.
So spake our Saviour; but the subtle fiend,
Though inly stung with anger and disdain,
Dissembled, and this answer smooth return'd.
Sharply thou hast insisted on rebuke,
And urged me hard with doings, which not will
But misery, hath wrested from me; where
Easily canst thou find one miserable,
And not enforced ofttimes to part from truth;
If it may stand him more in stend to lie,
Say and unsay, feign, flatter, or abjure ?
But thou art placed above me, thou art Lord;
From thee I can, and must, submiss endure
Check or reproof, and glad to escape so quit.
the ways of truth, and rough to walk, Smooth on the tongue discoursed, pleasing to th'ear And tuneabie as sylvan pipe or song; What wonder then if I delight to hear Her dictates from thy mouth? most men admire Virtue, who follow not her lore: permit me To hear thee when I come, since no man comes, And talk at least, though I despair to attain. Thy Father, who is holy, wise, and pure, Suffers the hypocrite or atheonis priest To tread his sacred courts, and minister About his altar, handling holy things, Praying or vowing, and vouchsafed his voice To Balaam reprobate, a prophet yet Inspired; disdain not such access to me.
To whom our Saviour with unalter'd brow. Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope, I bid not or forbid : do as thou find'st Permission from above; thou canst not more.
He added not ; and Satan, bowing low His gray dissimulation, disappear'd Into thin air diffused : ' for now began Night with her sullen wings to double-shade The desert; fowls in their clay nests were couch'd; And now wild beasts came forth the woods to roam.
MEANWHILE the new-baptized, who yet remain'd
At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
Him whom they heard so late expressly call'd
Jesus, Messiah, Son of God declared,
And on that high authority had believed,
And with him talk'd, and with him lodged,'I mean
Anchow and Simon, famous after known,
With others though in holy writ nut named,
Now missing him their joy so lately found,
So lately found, and so abruptly gone,
Began to doubt, and doubted many days,
And, as the days increased, increased their doubt:
Sometimes they thought he might be only shown,
And for a time caught up to God, as once
Moses was in the Mount, and missing long;
And the great Thisbite, who on fiery wheels
Rode up to heav'n, yet once again to come.
Therefore as those young prophets then with care
Sought lost Elijah," so in each place these
Nigh to Bethabara ; in Jericho
The city of palms,“ Ænon, and Salem old.
Machærus,' and each town or city wall’d
On this sir'e the broad lake Genezaret,
Or in Peræa; but return'd in vain.
Then on the bank of Jordan, by a creek,
Where winds with reeds and osiers whisp'ring play,
Plain fishermen, no greater men them call,
Close in a cottage low together got,
Their unexpected loss and plaints outbreathed.
Alas, from what high hope to what relapse
Unlook'd for are we fall’n! our eyes beheld
Messiah certainly now come, so long
Expected of our fathers; we have heard
His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth:
Now, now, for sure, deliverance is at hand,
The kingdom shall to Israel be restored :
Thus we rejoiced, but soon our joy is turn'd
Into perplexity and new amaze :
For whither is he gone, what accident
Hath wrapt him from us? will he now retire
After appearance, and again prolong
Our expectation P God of Israel,
Send thy Messiah forth, the time is come,
Behold the kings of the earth how they oppress
Thy chosen, to what highth their power unjust
They have exalted, and behind them cast
All fear of thee. Arise and vindicate
Thy glory, free thy people from their yoke.
But let us wait; thus far He hath perform'),
Sert His Anointed, and to us reveal'd him,
By His great prophet, pointed at and shown
In public, and with him we have conversed;
Let us be giad of this, and all our fears
Lay on His providence; He will not fail,
Nor will withdraw him now, nor will recall,
Mock us with his blest sight, ther snatch him hence ;
Soon we shall see our hope, our joy return.
Thus they out of their piaints new hope resume
To find whom at the first they found unsought:
But to inis mother Mary, whe she saw
Others return'd from baptism, not her Son,
Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none,
Within her breast though calm, her breast though pare,
Motherly cares and fears got head, and raised
Some troubled thoughts, which she in sighs thus clan.
O what avails me now that ..onour high To have conceived of God, or that salute, Hail, highly favour'd, among women blest! While I to sorrows am no less advanced, And fears as eminent, above the lot