The Bread of Life.

(The Gospel History, Section 64)

All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.


(The Saviour of the World, Vol IV, Book I, Poem XX)

“All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

The Lord. All that the Father giveth Me shall come!

One of the crowd. Why, what strange doctrine’s this? The Father gives,

Gives Him the souls of men, and lo, they come!

Another. Aye, but observe, He gives not every one;

God hath His favourites, and those, He gives:
I hate all partial ways; a father, here,
Fosters some sons, neglected leaves the rest—
Why, what a parent that, to choose ’mongst those
Whom equal nurture owes he, equal love!
And would ye say that God is such an one?

Another. Two parties be there to all contracts; see,

They whom the Father giveth, they shall come:

The choice is theirs, to come or not to come.
Wouldst know that God had chosen thee? Go to Him,
The prophet,—so shalt prove the choice of God:
Nay, ’tis a subtle net this Rabbi casts—
Who come to Him, why, they’re the chosen of God;
Who, sportive, in the deep prefer their part,
Aliens are these.

Another. But all sons may reject

Or take their father’s counsel, favour, gifts;
This, no new thing; the Very God must deal
With men as men shall will. Now, if I go,
Say to the Rabbi, “Master, I am come,
Do Thou Thy service of me”—who’s to prove
’Tis not that God Himself hath drawn me thus?
But, hark, the Master’s voice! He speaks again.—

The Lord. And him that comes to Me ne’er cast I out.

The Last Speaker. Ah, that’s the word for me! these many months

I’ve hung upon His lips, but dared not come,—
Say, “Lord, for Thy disciple take me now!”
For, see, I know mine own unstable mind,
How this day’s choice, to-morrow I may hate;
And the behests He lays are very hard,
“Do this,” flesh hates; “that,” spirit shrinketh from:
But, if He undertake, I may be bold;
If He will never cast me out nor let
My spirit fail him, my proud flesh deny,
Lo, I will take that single service calls
My spirit to obedience,—I am His!

St. John vi. 37.