In Solomon’s porch

In Solomon’s porch

The Feast of Tabernacles.

(The Gospel History, Section 77)

The Jews therefore marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus therefore answered them, and said, My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God, or whether I speak from myself.

In Solomon’s porch

(The Saviour of the World, Vol V Book II Poem IX)

Those men of letters, well equipped to deal
With heresy in subtlest guise, believe
An easy task is theirs;—this Galilean,
Unlettered peasant, how shall He withstand
The arguments of the Schools, chisell’d to point
Through age-long use of Doctors of the Law?
They hear, amazed: “Whence hath this peasant brought
The learning of the Schools He ne’er has known?
How knoweth this man letters? Literate,
Able to set forth ordered argument,
Yet having never learned—a wonder this!”
Ah me, the Light is there in noontide blaze,
But their gross darkness comprehendeth not:—
As blind men grope they, those enlightened priests!

The Lord (smiled He at their high-learned conceit?)
Spake:—“I, too, am a Schoolman; I have learned:
Not an illiterate come I to instruct:
Mine is the greatest school by Rabbi taught:
He that hath sent, instructed Me: hear Him:—

“Ye scan My doctrine, heresy to discern?
With all your searching ye shall not perceive—
Not had ye all My words before your eyes—
What is it that I teach: nor can I shew
An I would, My doctrine to your blinded eyes:
Not by much learning, not by subtle arts,
Shall men these lessons learn; the wayfarer,
Though a fool, shall not err therein; but ye,
For all your scholarship, shall not perceive:
Behold, I stand to offer every man
The knowledge that shall save him; free displayed
Before his eyes that doctrine: comes he to take?
’Tis in a casket held, inviolable,
Locked sure ’gainst all save him who hath the key:
Not the learning of the schools this key may forge;
The man who comes with desire, as a starving wretch
Craves loaf from baker’s basket, he doth will,
And he shall know of the teaching: witness sure
Shall come to him, that words so fit for his case,
Poor fainting soul, are the very words of God:
That man shall know I speak not of Myself:
But ye, who nothing lack, ye have no will,
No want, My words shall appease—how may ye know?”

St. John vii. 15, 16, 17.

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