Good works

Good works

The Bread of Life.

(The Gospel History, Section 64)

They said therefore unto him, What must we do, that we may work the works of God?

Good works

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

“What must we do, that we may work the works of God?”

Lo, there’s a stirring and the dry bones live;
The breath comes into them, they utter words;—
“What must we do to work the works of God?”
So those Jews, and so we; sincere we cry,
When quicken’d of the Spirit:—“What must I do,
Say then, what must I do, to work His works
And please Him?” Much the living soul delights
To know that there’s a work for him to do,
Him, and no other. Doth he silent wait
Until the Lord God make answer, show his work?
I trow, he answers as his will’s inclined,
Nor knows he’s his own oracle. He tries
This good work and the other; shares his bread
With hungry mouths, to sick folk ministers,
Leads the blind man, teaches the ignorant,—
To find that none lifts voice to bless his steps:
“Ungrateful these poor wretched, dull the work!”—
So, wilful, leaves he that he wilful chose:
Then,—his home shall bless him for his kind good ways;
Is he not set to work the works of God?
But, slow, they understand not, those at home,
Nor choose their blessings at his hand to take:
Then “What’s the good?” he cries; full sure, I’ve tried;
“The works of God, nay, they be not for me!”
Jesus answered;—Hold still, good soul, and hear!—
Answered the word they spake, and the thought behind;
So ever deals the Lord with the sincere soul.

St. John vi. 28.

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