The charge—Of dangers

The charge—Of dangers

Mission of the Twelve. Instructions.

(The Gospel History, Section 59)

These twelve Jesus sent forth to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And he charged them, saying,

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to councils, and in their synagogues they will scourge you; yea and before governors and kings shall ye be brought for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you. And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child: and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

The charge—Of dangers

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

I send you forth, My friends, as simple sheep,

With ruthless wolves about;

Harmless as doves in all your goings keep,

The serpent’s guile without;

But see ye learn his wisdom; quick to see

When danger comes your way;

Hunt they, wide-mouthed, upon you? turn and flee,

Nor fall, a heedless prey;

For, more than your own life guard ye with wile,

My Word is in your hand:

See that ye guide your ways with innocent guile,

And keep ye in the land!

Beware of men, I say; alert are they,

On every hand they wait;

That they may learn? Nay, watching night and day,

Then are they most elate

When unconsidered words put in their power

The lives of simple men,

My servants; before Council in that hour

They bring you; and again,

In synagogue they scourge you; stripes two score

Save one, on you are laid;

Their Kings and governors arraigned before,—

Your testimony’s made!

Nor take ye heed how ye that witness bear,

Nor anxiously forecast;

The Spirit shall Himself be with you there,

Tis He shall speak at last!

And ye, content, perceive that words have come

Beyond your power to think:

“Now, gladly would we be thus ever dumb,”

Ye cry, as low ye sink

And praise your God who hath deliverance brought

In that so perilous hour;

The Spirit of your Father, He hath wrought

Wisdom in you, and power!

But ah, My children, hate shall hem you round,

And all for My name’s sake;

Brother, his brother shall deliver bound

To them his life will take:

Nay, father with his own child by the neck

Shall come before the judge,

Witness shall bear against him, nor shall reck,

Nor blood of offspring grudge!

Now, what strange sight is this? A son draws near,

His mother in his hand;

He tells, how she the Christ doth reckon dear,

So brings her by command!

The blood of her who bore him sees he fall,

Nor groans aloud nor weeps;

Madness of hatred doth his soul enthral

And him from pity keeps!

See ye, no easy service have ye ta’en,

Who under Me would serve;

But, come ye to extremity of pain,

E’en then will I preserve!

Wise in your generation shall ye be;

When persecutions rise,

Into another city take and flee,—

For, long serves he who flies.

Ah, Lord, was ever following won by Chief
With words presaging loss, disaster, grief!

St. Matthew x. 16-23.
St. Mark vi.

One Reply to “The charge—Of dangers”

  1. Beautiful reminder of how carefully the disciples had to navigate their hostile world……and unfortunately it is similar for us still

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