“Consider the lilies of the field”

“Consider the lilies of the field”

Sermon on the Mount. St Matthew.

(The Gospel History, Section 43*)

And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto his stature? And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

“Consider the lilies of the field”

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

Foolish, thou thinkest, thou directest all;
But who by anxious thought can make himself
Taller, by inch, than God through Nature left?
If figure, face, the colour of thine hair,
Be not for thy determining, be sure,
All that maintains thy life, the Father’s care!
Would’st in fair garb adorn the common ways,
Go beautifully in thy house and street,
And thinkest, God knows not of this need of thine?
He keeps ten thousand spinners all the day
In eager labour for thy fair array:
For thee the Tyrian dye, the jewel rare,
Hath secreted, that thou their glories, share.
Loves He not beauty, grace and texture fine?
Nay, see the lilies, how they radiant shine!
What tincture can produce so fine a hue
As wear these blossoms, crimson, purple, blue,
That under foot ye tread the while I speak?
Not Solomon, I say, I, who have seen,
Could ever clothe him in such lustrous sheen!
And yet the flowers toil not, nor spin, nor fret!

Before their Maker grow they where they stand;
Beauty and sustenance draw from His hand:
Joy of a day, the grass, cut down and burned,—
Yet of your Father cherished while it lasts;
Say, are not ye, then, worthier of His care?
So be not anxious, what to eat and drink,
Wherewith to clothe yourselves, where shelter get;
Be ye as children, seek your meat from God;
Your Father knoweth that ye need these things.
Nothing is yours to lack, so seek ye first
Your Father’s kingdom and His righteousness;
These are for them who seek; and whoso find,
All other things are added in due kind;
So, children, be not careful for the morrow;
To-morrow bringeth its own cause of sorrow;
But day by day go on, and trust in God.

St. Matthew vi. 27-34