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Satan, in a speech of much flattering commendation, endeavours to awaken in Jesus a passion for glory, by particularising various instances of conquests achieved, and great actions performed, by persons at an early period of life. Our Lord replies, by showing the vanity of worldly fame, and the improper means by which it is generally attained; and contrasts with it the true glory of religious patience and virtuous wisdom, as exemplified in the character of Job. Satan justifies the love of glory from the example of God himself, who requires it from all his creatures. Jesus detects the falla y of this argument, by shotting that, as goodness is the true ground on which glory is due to the great Creator of all things, sinful Man can have no right whatever to it.—Satan then urges our Lord respecting his claim to the throne of David; he tells him that the kingdom of Judea, being at that time a province of Rome, cannot be got possession of without much personal exertion on his part, and presses him to lose no time in beginning to reign. Jesus refers him to the time allotted for this, us for all other things; and, after intimating somewhat respecting his own previous sufferings, asks Satan, why he should be so solicitous for the exaltation of one, whose rising was destined to be his fall. Satan replies, that his own desperate slate, by excluding all hope, leaves little room for fear: and that, as his own punishment was equally doomed, he is not interested in preventing the reign of one, from whose apparent benevolence he might rather hope for some interference in his favour.—' Satan still pursues his former incitements; and, supposing that the seeming reluctance of Jesus to be thus advanced might arise from his being unacquainted with the world and its glories, conveys him to to the summit of a high mountain, and from thence shows him most of the kingdoms of Asia, particularly pointing out to his notice some extra
VOL. IV. E
ordinary military preparations of the Parthians
to resist the incursions of the Scythians. He then informs our Lord, thut he showed him this purposely that he might see how necessary military exertions arc to retain the possession of kingdoms, as well as to subdue tliem at first, and advise him to consider how impossible it teas to maintain Judea against two such powerful neighbours as the Romans and Parthians, and hots necessary it would be to form an alliance with one or other of them. At the same time he recommends, and engages to secure to him, that of the Parathians; and tells him that by this means his power will be defended from any thing that Rome or Cassar might attempt against it, and that he will be able to extend his glory wide, and especially to accomplish, what was particularly necessary to make the throne of Judea really the throne of David, the deliverance and restoration of the ten tribes, still in a slate of captivity. Jesus, having briefly noticed the vanity of military efforts and the weakness of the arm of flesh, says, that when the time comes for ascending his allotted throne he shall not be slack; he remarks on Satan's extraordinary zeal for the deliverance of the Israelites, to whom he had always showed himself an enemy, and declares their servitude to be the consequence of their idolatry; but adds, that at a future time it may perhaps please God to recall them, and restore, them to their liberty and native land.
So Spake the Son of God; and Satan stood
I see thou know'st what is of use to know,
On Aaron's breast; or tongue of seers old
With glory, wept that he had liv'd so long
To whom our Saviour calmly thus replied.
They praise, and they admire, they know not what,
As thou to thy reproach may'st well remember,