Page images

Will bring me hence, no other guide I seek.
By miracle he may, reply'd the swain.
What other way I fee not, for we here
Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd
More than the camel, and to drink go far,
Men to much misery and hardship born;
But if thou be the son of God, command
That out of these hard stones be made thee bread;
So fhalt thou fave thy self and us relieve

With food, whereof we wretched seldom taste.

He ended, and the fon of God reply'd.

Think'ft thou fuch force in bread; is it not written
(For I difcern thee other than thou feem'st)
Man lives not by bread only, but each word
Proceeding from the mouth of God? who fed
Our fathers here with manna; in the mount
Mofes was forty days, not eat nor drank,
And forty days Elijah without food
Wandred this barren waste, the fame I now:
Why doft thou then fuggeft to me distrust,
Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art?

Whom thus anfwer'd th’arch-fiend now undisguis’d. 'Tis true, I am that spirit unfortunate,

Who leagu'd with millions more in rash revolt
Kept not my happy station, but was driv'n
With them from bliss to the bottomless deep,
Yet to that hideous place not fo confin'd
By rigour unconniving, but that oft
Leaving my dolorous prifon I enjoy

Large liberty to round this globe of earth,
Or range in th' air, nor from the heay'n of heav'ns

[ocr errors]

Hath he excluded my resort sometimes.
I came among the fons of God, when he
Gave up into my hands Uzzcan Job

To prove him, and illustrate his high worth;
And when to all his angels he propos'd
To draw the proud king Ahab into fraud,
That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring,
I undertook that office; and the tongues
Of all his flattering prophets glibb'd with lyes
To his destruction, as I had in charge,
For what he bids I do; though I have loft、
Much luftre of my native brightness, loft
To be belov'd of God, I have not loft
To love, at least contemplate and admire
What I fee excellent in good, or fair,
Or virtuous, I should so have loft all fenfe.
What can be then lefs in me than defire
To fee thee, and approach thee, whom I know
Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent
Thy wisdom, and behold thy God-like deeds?
Men generally think me much a foe

To all mankind: why fhould I? they to me
Never did wrong or violence, by them
I lost not what I lost, rather by them

I gain'd what I have gain'd, and with them dwell
Copartner in these regions of the world,

If not difpofer; lend them oft my aid,
Oft my advice by prefages and signs,
And anfwers, oracles, portents and dreams,
Whereby they may direct their future life.
Envy they fay excites me, thus to gain


Companions of my mifery and wo.

At first it may be; but long fince with wo
Nearer acquainted, now I feel by proof,
That fellowship in pain divides not smart,
Nor lightens aught each mans peculiar load;
Small confolation then, were man adjoin'd:
This wounds me most (what can it less) that man,
Man fall'n fhall be restor'd, I never more.

To whom our Saviour sternly thus reply'd: Defervedly thou griev'st, compos'd of lyes From the beginning, and in lyes wilt end; Who boast'st release from hell, and leave to come Into the heav'n of heav'ns: thou com'ft indeed, As a poor miferable captive thrall,

Comes to the place where he before had fat
Among the prime in splendor, now depos'd,
Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, shun'd,
A fpectacle 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, reprefenting
Loft blifs, to thee no more communicable,
So never more in hell than when in heav'n.
But thou art serviceable to heav'ns king.
Wilt thou impute t' obedience what thy fear
Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites?
What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem
Of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him
With all inflictions? but his patience won.
The other fervice was thy chofen task,
To be a lyar in four hundred mothus;

For lying is thy fuftenance, 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 fomewhat true to vent more lyes.
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 good not known?
Who ever by confulting at thy shrine
Return'd the wifer, or the more instruct
To fly or follow what concern'd him most,
And run not fooner to his fatal fnare?
For God hath justly giv'n the nations up
To thy delufions, 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 prefident

In ev'ry province, who themselves disdaining
T'approach thy temple, give thee in command:-
What to the smallest title thou fhalt fay
To thy adorers? thou with trembling fear,
Or like a fawning parasite obey'st;
Then to thy felf afcrib'st the truth foretold.
But this thy glory shall be soon retrench'd;
No more fhalt thou by oracling abuse
The Gentiles; henceforth oracles are ceas'd;
And thou no more with pomp and sacrifice
Shalt be enquir'd at Delphos or else where,
At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute.

God hath now fent his loving oracle
Into the world to teach his final will,
And fends his fpirit of truth henceforth to dwell
In pious hearts, an inward oracle
To all truth requifite for men to know.

So fpake our Saviour; but the subtle fiend;
Though inly ftung with anger and difdain,
Diffembled, and this answer smooth return'd.

Sharply thou haft insisted on rebuke,
And urg'd me hard with doings, which not will
But mifery hath wrested from me: where
Easily canft thou find one miserable,

And not inforc'd oft-times to part from truth,
If it may stand him more in stead to lye,
Say and unfay, feign, flatter, or abjure?
But thou art plac'd above me, thou art lord;
From thee I can and must fubmifs endure
Check or reproof, and glad t' escape so quit.
Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk,
Smooth on the tongue difcours'd, pleasing to th' ear
And tuneable as filvan pipe or fong;

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 (fince no man comes)
And talk at least, tho' I despair t'attain.
Thy father, who is holy, wife and pure,
Suffers the hypocrite or atheous priest
To tread his facred courts, and minister
About his altar, handling holy things,
Praying or vowing, and vouchfaf'd his voice

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »