Constantly did he refuse; still enduring a martyrdom at the slow fire of her enticements.
On one eventful day she grasped him, seeking to compel him to crime; but he, like a true hero as he was, said to her, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?"
Like a wise warrior, he knew that in such a case fleeing was the better part of valor.
He heard a voice in his ears: "Fly, Joseph, fly; there remains no way of victory but flight;" and out he fled, leaving his garment with his adulterous mistress.
Oh, I say in all the annals of heroism there is not one that shall surpass this. You know it is opportunity that makes a man criminal; and he had abundant opportunity; but importunity will drive most men astray.
To be haunted day by day by solicitations of the softest kind—to be tempted hour by hour—oh! it needs a strength super-angelic, a might more that human, a strength which only God can grant, for a young man thus to cleanse his way, and take heed thereto according to God's word.
He might have reasoned within himself, "Should I submit and yield, there lies before me a life of ease and pleasure; I shall be exalted, I shall be rich. She shall prevail over her husband, to cover me with honors; but should I still adhere to my integrity, I shall be cast into prison, I shall be thrown into the dungeon; there awaits me nothing but shame and disgrace."
Oh! there was a power indeed within that heart of his; there was an inconceivable might, which made him turn away with unutterable disgust, with fear and trembling, while he said, "How can I? how can I—God's Joseph—how can I—other men might, but how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God."
Truly the archers sorely grieved him and shot at him; but his bow abode in strength.