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Will bring me bence, no other guide I seek.
By miracle he may, reply'd the swain.
What other way I see 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 shalt thou save thy self and us relieve
With food, whereof we wretched feldom taste.
He ended, and the fon of God reply'd.
Think'lt thou such force in bread; is it not written
(For I discern thee other than thou seem'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
Moses was forty days, not eat nor drank,
And forty days Elijah without food
Wandred this barren waste, the fame I now:
Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust,
Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art?
Whom thus answer'd th'arch-fiend now undisguis'a.
'Tis true, I am that fpirit unfortunate,
Who leagu'd with millions more in rash revolt
Kept not my happy Itation, but was driv'n
With them from bliss to the bottomless deep,
Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd
By rigour unconniving, but that oft
Leaving my dolorous prison 1 enjoy
Large liberty to round this globe of earth,
Or range in th’air, nor from the heay'n of heav'ns
Hath he excluded my resort sometimes.
I came among the fons of God, when he
hands Uzzean 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;
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 lost.
Much-lustre of my native brightness, loft
To be belov'd of God, I have not lost
To love, at least contemplate and admire
What I fee excellent in good, or fair,
Or virtuous, I should so have lost all senfe.
What can be then lefs in me than desire
To see 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 should 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 disposer; lend them oft my aid,
Oft my advice by presages and signs,
And answers, oracles, portents and dreams,
Whereby they may direct their future litic.
Lnvy they say excites me, thus to gain
Companions of my misery and wo.
At first it may be; but long since with wo
Nearer acquainted, now I feel by proof,
That fellowship in pain divides not smart,
Nor lightens aught each mans peculiar load;
Small consolation then, were man adjoin'd:
This wounds me most (what can it lefs) that man,
Man fall'n fhall be restor'd, I never more.
To whom our Saviour sternly thus reply'd:
Deservedly 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'it indeed,
As a poor miserable captive thrall,
Comes to the place where he before had fat
Among the prime in splendor, now depos'd,
Ejected, emptied, gaz'd, unpitied, Ahun'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 infames thy torment, reprefenting
Lost bliss, 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 service was thy chofen task,
To be a lyar in four hundred mothus;
For lying is thy sustenance, thy food.
Yet thou pretend'st to truth; all oracles
By thçe are giv'n, and what confest more true
Among the nations that hath been thy craft,
By mixing somewhat 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 consulting at thy shrine
Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct
To fly or follow what concern'd him most,
And run not fuoner to his fatal snare
For God hath justly giv'n 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 halt thou then, thy truth,
But from him or his angels president
In ev'ry province, who themselves disdaining
T'approach thy temple, give thee in command-
What to the smallest title thou shalt fay
To thy adorers? thou with trembling fear,
Or like a fawning parasite obcy'ft;
Then to thy self 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 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 thall find thce muta.
God hath now sent his loving oracle
Into the world to teach his final will,
And sends his spirit of truth henceforth to dwell
In pious hearts, an inward oracle
To all truth requisite for men to know.
So spake our Saviour; but the subtle fiend;
Though inly ftung with anger and disdain,
Dissembled, and this answer smooth return'd.
Sharply thou hast insisted on rebuke, And urg'd me hard with doings, which not will But misery hath wrested from me: where Easily canst 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 unsay, feign, flatter, or abjure? But thou art plac'd above me, thou art lord; From thee I can and must submiss endure Check or reproof, and glad t'escape so quit. Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk, Smooth on the tongue discours'd, pleasing to th'car And tuneable as silvan 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 (since no man comes) And talk at least, tho' I despair t'attain. Thy father, who is holy, wise 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 vouchsaf'd his voice