Six parables

Six parables

Sermon on the Mount. St Luke.

(The Gospel History, Section 43)

And he spake also a parable unto them, Can the blind guide the blind? shall they not both fall into a pit? The disciple is not above his master: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me cast out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. For there is no good tree that bringeth forth corrupt fruit; nor again a corrupt tree that bringeth forth good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Every one that cometh unto me, and heareth my words, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock: and when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it: because it had been well builded. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation; against which the stream brake, and straightway it fell in; and the ruin of that house was great.

Six parables

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

The Lord spake:—
Did’st ever see a blind man take the hand
Of brother blind man, bid him go or stand?
Full soon the two in wayside ditch would roll.
And shall a blind man see to lead the soul.
Of his blind brother to the things he ought?—
Who teacheth others must himself be taught.

Fret ye, My children, at a heavy rede?
Who follows master lets his master lead,
Nor would he go before or sit above;
So grows he perfect in his master’s love;
If I, your Master, learn and suffer long,
Is’t yours to sit at ease, and think no wrong?

Ye follow Me, ye say, but bid Me note
In thy poor brother’s eye an alien mote;
Nay, ’tis a little thing; think of thine own,
A monstrous beam is there; when that is gone,
Then wilt thou see to clear thy brother’s sight
Of every hindrance shuts him from the light.

Thou hypocrite, would’st magnify the blame
Thy brother bears,—so dost reveal thy shame!

Tree planted in the garden of the Lord,
Take heed that good, the fruit thou dost afford;
For every tree by its own fruit is known;
Thorns bear not figs, nor bramble, grapes adorn:
Word, thought, and act, each tree yields of its kind,—
Good, from the good, ill, from the evil mind.

Or, keeps a man a treasure to impart
To guests that come to him from field or mart?
Well fareth the man’s guest if he be good—
Refreshing vintage and delicious food!
But if the man be evil, barren fare
Shall spread his scanty table, victuals spare:
The heart, that closet whence man brings his store;
Of his abundance doth he freely pour:
Good words to whosoe’er brings ear to hear,
If heart be good; if that be insincere,
A miser’s shallow store, his mouth affords
Of poor and mean, of base, malicious words.

Two men bethought them each a house to build
Abutting on a river; one man willed
His dwelling on the rock to edify;
And, ere he raised a homestead broad and high,
Laboured at the foundations, digging deep
In the hard rock while idle men went, sleep;
Trench in the rock due hollowed, safe and sure
Laid he foundations there, to rest secure
Whatever violence should put to proof:
Careful, he raised the walls and laid the roof:
And, all things done, he went at ease to dwell,
Glad in reward of him who doeth well!
The summer sun dissolved the mountain snows;
Behold, the river in a flood uprose,
And brake against that house with frantic force!
The inmate sat secure; he knew no worse
Than violent beating of the turbulent wave
Should damage him and his; proved strength should save—
Foundations laid secure and solid walls—
From raging tempest, strongest heart appals!
His neighbour, zealous, too, a house to raise,
By rapid building won men’s idle praise;
The river’s sandy bank afforded site;
Foundations dug he none, but quick, upright,
His walls he raised, his roof laid on apace,
And, dwelling under cover, laughed in face
Of that slow man who took such heavy pains.
But see, the river swelleth with the rains:
The lapping water urges ’neath the wall,
The house is filled and shaking to its fall;
The winds and waves soon lay it with the ground,—
And great the ruin of that house is found!
Would’st know the meaning of the simple tale?

There be who hear My word without avail;
Well-pleased, they listen as to pleasant song,
And idly reckon them My friends among.
“Lord, Lord;” they cry, nor do the thing I say;
But, by life’s swelling river, careless play
At building house of ease, no stronger found
Than baby-castle raised on sandy ground!
The swelling river, turbulent and strong,
Beats down and carries that poor house along;
Or doubts, or loss, or grief, or passing days,
Destroy the fabric of men’s ready praise;
And the poor man who built it, lost is he,
Not having known to rest the whole on Me.
That other man—he heard and pondered deep,
Resolved each word within his heart to keep;
Laboured until, through words and acts of Mine,
Pondering, discernéd he the Truth divine;
Upon that Rock I am, his house he raised;
And henceforth, no more fearful nor amazed,
How wild be error’s, awful, passion’s might—
At ease dwells he in house he builded right!

St. Luke 6. 39-49