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In all things, and all men, supposes means,
Without means us'd, what it predicts revokes.
But say thou wert poffefs'd of David's throne
By free confent of all, none oppofit,
Samaritan or Jew; how could'ft thou hope
Long to enjoy it quiet and fecure,
Between two such inclosing enemies
Roman and Parthian? therefore one of these
Thou must make sure thy own, the Parthian first
By my advice, as nearer, and of late
Found able by invasion to annoy
Antigonus, and old Hyrcanus bound,
Thy country', and captive lead away her kings
Maugre the Roman: it fhall be my tafk
To render thee the Parthian at dispose;
Choose which thou wilt by conquest or by league. 370
By him thou fhalt regain, without him not,
That which alone can truly reinstall thee
In David's royal feat, his true fucceffor,
Deliverance of thy brethren, those ten tribes
Whose ofspring in his territory yet ferve,
In Habor, and among the Medes difpers'd;
Ten fons of Jacob, two of Jofeph lost
Thus long from Ifrael, serving as of old
Their fathers in the land of Egypt serv'd,
This offer fets before thee to deliver.
These if from fervitude thou fhalt restore
To their inheritance, then, nor till then,
Thou on the throne of David in full glory,
From Egypt to Euphrates and beyond
Shalt reign, and Rome or Cæfar not need fear. 385
To whom our Saviour answer'd thus unmov'd. Much oftentation vain of fleshly arm,
And fragil arms, much inftrument of war
Long in preparing, foon to nothing brought,
Before mine eyes thou' haft fet; and in my ear 390
Vented much policy, and projects deep
Of enemies, of aids, battels and leagues,
Plaufible to the world, to me worth nought.
Means I must use thou say'ft, prediction else
Will unpredict and fail me of the throne:
My time I told thee (and that time for thee
Were better fartheft off) is not yet come;
When that comes, think not thou to find me flack
On my part ought endevoring, or to need
Thy politic maxims, or that cumbersome
Luggage of war there shown me, argument
Of human weakness rather than of strength.
My brethren, as thou call'ft them, those ten tribes
I must deliver, if I mean to reign
David's true heir, and his full scepter fway
To juft extent over all Ifrael's fons;
But whence to thee this zeal, where was it then
For Ifrael, or for David, or his throne,
When thou stood'st up his tempter to the pride
Of numb'ring Ifrael, which coft the lives
Of threescore and ten thousand Ifraelites
By three days peftilence? fuch was thy zeal
To Ifrael then, the fame that now to me.
As for those captive tribes, themselves were they
Who wrought their own captivity, fell off
From God to worship calves, the deities
Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth,
And all th' idolatries of Heathen round,
Befides their other worse than heath'nish crimes;
Nor in the land of their captivity
Humbled themselves, or penitent befought
The God of their forefathers; but so dy'd
Impenitent, and left a race behind
Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
From Gentiles, but by circumcision vain,
And God with idols in their worship join'd.
Should I of these the liberty regard,
Who freed, as to their ancient patrimony,
Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreform'd,
Headlong would follow'; and to their Gods perhaps
Of Bethel and of Dan? no, let them serve
Their enemies, who serve idols with God.
Yet he at length, time to himself best known,
Remembring Abraham, by some wondrous call
May bring them back repentant and fincere,
And at their paffing cleave th' Affyrian flood,
While to their native land with joy they haste,
As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,
When to the promis'd land their fathers pass'd;
To his due time and providence I leave them.
So fpake Ifrael's true king, and to the Fiend
Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles.
So fares it when with truth falfhood contends.
The end of the Third Book.