Of Life

Of Life

Jesus’ defence. He is the Son of God, and Judge of the world.

(The Gospel History, Section 38)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgement, but hath passed out of death into life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself: and he gave him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of man.

Christ’s Defense

3. Of Life

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

Yet more hath He to speak: “Hard doctrine,” say ye,
“Give us the simple Gospel tale we know!”
Is it indeed so simple? Not too hard
For simple sincere soul who earnest hears;
But hard, too hard, for lighter thought of the learned,—
This single lore concerns a man to know;
A lore, takes a man’s life to comprehend
E’en its first elements!

He spake of Life,—

Unhindered, exquisite, that mounts and sings,
Glad as a child and careless as a bird!
But, life to them who heard? A weary moil,
Incessant struggle for some bauble joy
When not contention for the bread they ate!
“In Him was life,”—nay, what was that to them?
Life of their hand was all their thought embraced,
And that they had for getting. Quick to see
They knew not what He said, Christ turns to that
Familiar theme which points the lives of men,—
Death, the dread period of our days. “In truth,
“The life I tell you of is that same life
“Ye know in daily living; death, that death,
“That perishing in darkness of the grave,
“Whereof the awful fear haunts souls of men.
“That ye may see what meaneth death and life,
“Behold, the hour is near when senseless souls,
“Those ye name dead, even those shall hear the Voice
“Of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live!
“Ye marvel at this, but, lo, that hour draws nigh
“When all the dead, the dead of ages past,
“Shall hear that Voice, obey that potent cry,
“From the Son of Man shall issue.”

All come forth,

The good and ill alike; those, have done ill
To face the ill they did—the judgment, hear!
The Dead who well have done—to return at will,
Unseen, unheard, unfelt, all unperceived?
(What sense has flesh a spirit to discern,—
Shall clumsy rites and tricks in darkness serve?)
Enter they as they will all joys of Earth—
All knowledge and all beauty, cast abroad,
Too small, too high, remote, for man’s poor eyes?
And all the help they meant and could not bring,
This, their reward? Their service to the King?

St. John v. 24-27