“Consider the fowls of the air”

“Consider the fowls of the air”

Sermon on the Mount. St Matthew.

(The Gospel History, Section 43*)

Therefore I say unto you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they?

“Consider the fowls of the air”

(The Saviour of the World, Vol II Book III Poem LI)

And more the Master spake:—

“Poor foolish ones,

Ye gather trivial treasures, serve false gods,
And all because upon yourselves ye take
The care belongs to Me—why, Father, else?
Wherefore, I say, let never anxious thought
For your life’s maintenance in that due place,
Wherein ye find yourselves, weigh on your heart:
Why fret with petty cares for meat and drink,
For seemly raiment, what thou shalt put on?
Think of thy life itself—how great a thing
God gives thee and maintains from day to day!
Who gives thee very life, can give the rest,
And knows the daily needs of thee and thine;
With tenderness, and soft regard, provides
All needful, beautiful and seemly things
To garb, sustain, and gladden life He gives!
See ye the birds—how gay and free are they!
No anxious care disturbs their happy mood—
Where shall they shelter? How shall they get food?
They sow not, reap not, gather not in barns,
And yet your heavenly father feedeth them:
Think you, are ye not much more worth than they?
Then do ye, like the fowls, go blithe and gay;
As men, provide; but pray, with open beak,
Your God shall fill, e’en while the words ye speak.”

St. Matthew vi. 25, 26