Of saving our life and losing it

Of saving our life and losing it

The great Confession. Passion foretold.

(The Gospel History, Section 71)

For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall find it. For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of man also be ashamed when he cometh in his own glory, and in the glory of his Father, and of the holy angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, there be some here of them that stand by, which shall in no wise taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Of saving our life and losing it

(The Saviour of the World, Vol IV, Book III, Poem L)

Thy life is precious to thee—would’st it save,

Live in the light of the sun?

To that end great possessions would’st thou have,

Would’st after riches run?

Nay, Child, thy life’s first law thou fail’st to comprehend,
Nor see’st how th’ life thou lov’st shall last until the end.

Thou think’st to stay thy life with pride and praise,

Fond braveries of the earth,

Fat things and fragrant would’st have all thy days,

Riches, renown and mirth?

Poor soul, a mystery be to thy fond eyes revealed—
Those choice things thou dost covet devour as a worm concealed.

Nay, would’st thou save thy life? there is one way—

A secret of great price—

Pour out thy life in loving every day:

Behold, the rare device

By which men give their all yet find the more to give;
The more themselves they impart, the fuller life they live.

This life is good, thou say’st, there’s nought beside;

Let a man take his fill:

Bethink thee; all thy joy in life, thy pride,

Come from thine own fond will:

What if those riches, joys, thou get’st with greedy haste,
Should of themselves destroy all savour of their taste?

That man lives and enjoys who hath a soul;

But, if that be destroyed,

Not all the world shall profit him,—the whole,

Into his net decoyed:—

Honours and wealth and power, all the fair things of life,
To him who hath lost his soul are weariness and strife.

But lose thy life for My sake every day,

Nor seek thyself at all,—

Thou serv’st a Master who will surely pay;

And to thy lot shall fall

To find the life thou losest; yea, of My joys to drink;
Through days uncareful, joyful, go—full glad to live and think.

But art ashaméd of the Son of man,

And of the words He spake?

The Son of God in glory thou shalt scan;

For terror shalt thou shake,

And call on Him to save thee: to all, their deeds that day
The just Lord, He shall render; and from thee turn away.”

Then spake the Lord to some disciples there:—

“Ye shall not die till Christ in glory shall appear.”

St. Matthew xvi. 25-28.
St. Mark viii. 35-38; ix.1.
St. Luke ix. 24-27.