Jesus in the Wilderness with the Tempter

Jesus in the Wilderness with the Tempter

(The Saviour of the World, Vol I Book II Poem VII)

The wilderness shall be glad, and the solitary place;

The desert shall rejoice, its blossoms bringing,

Shall deck itself with flowers as a garment of grace

To celebrate a bridal with joy and with singing!

“The cedar-trees, the glory of Lebanon, shall be there;

The excellent forests of Carmel, the roses of Sharon;

All fruitful things the glory of the Lord shall declare,

All beauty, the excellency of our God shall make known.

“Lo I come to show the Father, who shall quicken as the sun,
Shall bring life to dry places as when the rains have begun!”

“Aye, the world shall grow goodness as the wilderness, fruits,
The shining of God quicken, as desert sun calls forth shoots!”

“Ye weak, whose uplifted hands fail, be ye strong!

Who go tottering in paths of righteousness, take heart!

Have courage, fearful souls, it will not be long

Till God save from your enemies; the Lord taketh your part!”

“The fearful and the slothful, who is it shall save them?
Let them trust in the Most High, if, indeed, He will have them!”

“In the volume of the Book is writ, the blind eyes shall see;

To the ears of the deaf shall their hearing be given;

The lame man shall leap, swift as hart shall he flee;

The tongue of the dumb shall lift praises to heaven.”

“The heart of this people is turned away from their God:
His praises shall tarry till the dumb utter word!”

“In the wilderness shall streams break out, waters in desert flow;

Pools with green grass be in the dry places of the jackal;

Springs shall issue in the land where the thirsty people go;

Of living waters shall they drink and refresh them withal!”

“What hath cool water to do with quenching desire?
Men shall spurn at their God and choose burning of fire!”

“No more shall men wander as did the tribes of the people;

A highway shall be there which the simple shall find:

The way of Holiness, it shall be for the clean, howsoe’er feeble;

The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err as the blind.”

“Every man goeth after his own way; rejoiceth in iniquity!
What to him is that holy way, where the unclean shall not be?”

“No lion shall be there, nor ravenous beast seek his prey;

Only the redeemed shall walk there, the ransomed shall return;

With songs shall they come to Sion, go with joy in the Way;

Gladness is laid up for them; never more shall they mourn.”

“The flesh-pots! the flesh-pots! What be these joys to us?
Crucify Him! Crucify Him who mocketh us thus!”

Isaiah xxxv.

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