Paradise Regained "The Childhood Shows The Man As Morning Shows The Day"

John Milton

"The Childhood Shows The Man As Morning Shows The Day"

Context: In offering temptations to Christ, Satan takes Him to the top of a mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and urges Him to free the tribes of Israel. Christ replies that Jews brought down their own destruction on themselves by departing from the one true God. Satan then shows Him Rome, which spreads its rule over all the earth. With Satan's help, Christ could depose the depraved Tiberius and become the Emperor of Rome, a more exalted position than he would gain by assuming David's throne, which He is prophesied to ascend. Christ scorns the idea, as Rome, although of great magnificence, is also the seat of a wicked, debauched, cruel, blood-thirsty people. Of His kingdom Christ says there is no end. Satan replies that he can give Him any kingdom, as they had all been given to him. He then suggests that Christ should fall down and worship him; this Christ refuses to do. Satan may have tempted Eve but he cannot tempt Christ. Satan then says that perhaps in His disregard for worldly things, Christ is more addicted to contemplation and debate than to the acquisition of material things; when He was only twelve years of age He went to the temple, where He argued learnedly with the priests, and one can tell what a man will be by what he is as a child. Satan says:

And thou thyself seemst otherwise inclined
Than to a worldly crown, addicted more
To contemplation and profound dispute,
As by that early action may be judged,
When slipping from thy mother's eye thou went'st
Alone into the temple; there was found
Among the gravest rabbis disputant
On points and questions fitting Moses' chair,
Teaching, not taught; the childhood shows the man
As morning shows the day. Be famous then
By wisdom; as thy empire must extend,
So let extend thy mind o'er all the world,
In knowledge, all things in it comprehend.