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The Pentateuch, or what the Prophets wrote ;
The Gentiles also know, and write, and teach
To admiration, led by Nature's light,
And with the Gentiles much thou must converse,
Ruling them by persuasion, as thou mean'st;
Without their learning, how wilt thou with them,
Or they with thee, hold conversation meet?
How wilt thou reason with them, how refute
Their idolisms, traditions, paradoxes ?
Error by his own arms is best evinc'd.
Look once more, ere we leave this specular mount,
Westward, much nearer by southwest, behold;
Where on the Ægean shore a city stands,
Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil ;
Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
And eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
See there the olive grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long;
There flowery hill Hymettus, with the sound
Of bees' industrious murmur, oft invites
To studious musing; there Ilissus rolls
His whispering stream: within the walls, then view
The schools of ancient sages; his, who bred
Great Alexander to subdue the world,
Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next :
There shalt thou hear & learn the secret power
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand; and various-measur'd verse,
Æolian charms and Dorian lyric odes,
And his, who gave them breath, but higher sung
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer callid,
Whose poem Phoebus challeng'd for his own;
Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught
In Chorus or lambic, teachers best
Of moral prudence, with delight receiv'd
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life,
High actions and high passions best describing :
Thence to the famous orators repair,
Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democraty,
Shook th' arsenal, and fulmin'd over Greece
To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne :
To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,

From Heaven descended to the low-roofd house
Of Socrates ; see there his tenement,
Whom well inspir'd the oracle pronounc'd
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth
Mellifluous streams, that water'd all the schools
Of Academics old and new, with those
Surnam'd Peripatetics, and the sect
Epicurean, and the Stoic severe;
These here revolve, or, as thou lik’st, at home,
Till time mature thee to a kingdom's weight;
These rules will render thee a king complete
Within thyself, much more with empire join'd.”

To whom our Saviour sagely thus replied.
“ Think not but that I know these things, or think
I know them not; not therefore am I short
Of knowing what I ought: he, who receives
Light from above, from the fountain of light,
No other doctrine needs, though granted true;
But these are false, or little else but dreams,
Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm.
The first and wisest of them all profess'd
To know this only, that he nothing knew;
The next to fabling fell, and smooth conceits ;
A third sort doubted all things, though plain sense;
Others in virtue plac'd felicity,
But virtue join'd with riches and long life;
In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease;
The Stoic last in philosophic pride,
By him callid virtue ; and his virtuous man,
Wise, perfect in himself, and all-possessing
Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,
As fearing God nor man, contemning all
Wealth, pleasure, pain, or torment, death and life,
Which, when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can,
For all his tedious talk is but vain boast,
Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.
Alas! what can they teach, and not mislead,
Ignorant of themselves, of God much more,
And how the world began, and how man fell
Degraded by himself, on grace depending?
Much of the soul they talk, but all awry,
And in themselves seek virtue, & to themselves
All glory arrogate, to God give none;
Rather accuse him under usual names,
Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite
Of mortal things. Who therefore seeks in these
True wisdom, finds her not; or, by delusion,

Far worse, her false resemblance only meets
An empty cloud. However, many books,
Wise men have said, are wearisome; who reads
Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
And what he brings what needs he elsewhere seek?
Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
Deep vers'd in books, and shallow in himself,
Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys
And trifles for choice matters, worth a sponge ;
As children gathering pebbles on the shore.
Or, if I would delight my private hours
With music or with poem, where, so soon
As in our native language, can I find
That solace ? All our law and story strew'd
With hymns, our pslams with artful terms inscribid,
Our Hebrew songs and harps, in Babylon
That pleas'd so well our victors' ear, declare
That rather Greece from us these arts deriv'd;
Illimitated, while they loudest sing
The vices of their deities, and their own,
In fable, hymn, or song, so personating
Their gods ridiculous, & themselves past shame.
Remove their swelling epithets, thick laid
As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest,
Thin sown with aught of profit or delight,
Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion's songs, to all true tastes excelling,
Where God is praised aright, and godlike men,
The Holiest of Holies, and his saints,
Such are from God inspir’d, not such from thee,
Unless where moral virtue is express'd
By light of nature, not in all quite lost.
Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those
The top of eloquence; statists indeed,
And lovers of their country, as may seem ;
But herein to our prophets far beneath,
As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The solid rules of civil government,
In their majestic unaffected style,
Than all th' oratory of Greece and Rome.
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy, and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;
These only with our law best form a king."

So spake the Son of God; but Satan, now
Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent,

Thus to our Saviour with stern brow replied.

“ Since neither wealth nor honour, arms, nor arts, Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor aught By me propos’d in life contemplative Or active, tended on by glory or fame, What dost thou in this world? The wilderness For thee is fittest place ; I found thee there, And thither will return thee; yet remember What I foretel thee, soon thou shalt have cause To wish thou never hadst rejected, thus Nicely or cautiously, my offer'd aid, Which would have set thee in short time with ease On David's throne, or throne of all the world, Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season, When prophecies of thee are best fulfill'd Now contrary, if I read aught in Heaven, Or Heaven write aught of fate, by what the stars Voluminous, or single characters, In their conjunction met, give me to spell, Sorrows, and labours, opposition, hate Attend thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries, Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death; A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom, Real or allegoric, I discern not; Nor when; eternal sure, as without end, Without beginning; for no date prefix'd Directs me in the starry rubric set.' So saying he took, for still he knew his

power Not yet expir’d, and to the wilderness Brought back the Son of God, & left him there, Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose, As day-light sunk, & brought in lowering night, Her shadowy offspring; unsubstantial both, Privation mere of light and absent day. Our Saviour meek, & with untroubled mind After his aëry jaunt, though hurried sore, Hungry and cold, betook him to his rest, Wherever under some concourse of shades, Whose branching arms thick intertwin'd might shield From dews & damps of night his shelter'd head; But, shelter'd, slept in vain : for at his head The Tempter watched, & soon with ugly dreams Disturb’d his sleep. And either tropic now 'Gan thunder, & both ends of Heaven; the clouds, From many a horrid rift, abortive pour’d Fierce rain with lightning mix’d, water with fire In ruin reconcild: nor slept the winds

Within their stony caves, but rush'd abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell
On the vex'd wilderness, whose tallest pines,
Though rooted deep as high, & sturdiest oaks,
Bow'd their stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts,
Or torn up sheer. Ill wast thou shrouded then,
O patient Son of God, yet only stood'st
Unshaken ! nor yet staid the terror there :
Infernal ghosts and hellish furies round (shriek'a,
Environ'd thee, some howl'd, some yell’d, some
Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou
Sat'st unappallid in calm and sinless peace !
Thus passed the night so foul, till morning fair
Came forth, with pilgrim steps, in amice grey;
Who with her radiant finger still’d the roar
Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, & laid the winds,
And grissly spectres, which the fiend had rais'd
To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
But now the sun with more effectual beams
Had cheer'd the face of earth, & dried the wet
From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds,
Who all things now beheld more fresh & green,
After a night of storm so ruinous,
Clear'd up their choicest notes in bush & spray,
To gratulate the sweet return of morn.
Nor yet, amidst this joy & brightest morn,
Was absent, after all his mischief done,
The Prince of Darkness ; glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came;
Yet with no new device (they all were spent),
Rather by this his last affront resolv'd,
Desperate of better course, to vent his rage
And mad despite to be so oft repell’d.
Him walking on a sunny hill he found,
Back'd on the north & west by a nick wood;
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,
And in a careless mood thus to him said.

“Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God,
After a dismal night: I heard the wrack,
As earth and sky would mingle; but myself
Was distant; & these flaws, though mortals fear them
As dangerous to the pillar'd frame of Heaven,
Or to the earth's dark basis underneath,
Are to the main as inconsiderable
And harmless, if not wholesome, ás a sneeze
To man's less universe, and soon are gone;
Yet, as being ofttimes noxious where they light

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