Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
Inspiration of the Bible
By John Dryden
 
WHENCE, but from Heaven, could men unskill’d in arts,
In several ages born, in several parts,
Weave such agreeing truths? or how, or why,
Should all conspire to treat us with a lie?
Unask’d their pains, ungrateful their advice,        5
Starving their gain, and martyrdom their price.
 
If on the book itself we cast our view,
Concurrent heathens prove the story true:
The doctrine, miracles; which must convince,
For Heaven in them appeals to human sense;        10
And though they prove not they confirm the cause,
When what is taught agrees with nature’s laws.
 
Therefore the style, majestic and divine,
It speaks no less than God in every line:
Commanding words; whose force is still the same        15
As the first fiat that produc’d our frame.
All faiths beside, or did by arms ascend;
Or sense indulg’d has made mankind their friend:
 
This only doctrine does our lusts oppose:
Unfed by nature’s soil, in which it grows;        20
Cross to our interests, curbing sense and sin;
Oppress’d without, and undermin’d within,
It thrives through pain; its own tormentors tires,
And with a stubborn patience still aspires.
 
 
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