The charge—Of fears

The charge—Of fears

Mission of the Twelve. Instructions.

(The Gospel History, Section 59)

A disciple is not above his master, nor a servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household! Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak ye in the light: and what ye hear in the ear, proclaim upon the housetops. And be not afraid of them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father: but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows. Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law: and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

The charge—Of fears

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

Would ye then go at ease, your Lord oppressed?
Nay, be ye as your Lord,—rejected, poor,
From no rude insult shielded: have they not
Confounded Christ with devils, deeds benign,—
Blasphemous, to Beelzebub ascribed?
Shall ye fare better than your Master? Go
Observed and honoured where your Lord’s condemned?
My service great estate conferreth not
On him waits My commands; go, seek ye then
Another service for a prouder pay
If Mine content you not.

But have no fear,

Electing, ye, to stay with Me and serve!
Their ways are known of God, their secret thoughts,
And private things men whisper and conceal,
Plots laid with craft, false witness cunning-taught,
And guileless men these compass to destroy—
All these shall show in the light and men shall see:
When God himself is judge, why should ye fear?
Lo, what in darkness speak I, in dead hour
Of silent night drop in your wakeful ear,
That word shall ye make known, shall cry aloud
Insistent, till men hear for all their noise;
Courageous, cry from the housetops, nothing feared
For missiles and hard words against you hurled.

My friends, there is but one whom ye shall fear;
Not them who kill the body—what of that,
Killed for My sake, alive for evermore!
There is, who worse death works—through fear or sloth,
Or selfish love of ease or greed of gain,
Bids men eschew My service—fear ye him
Who knows to kill men’s souls; none other fear!
But ye, why should ye fear? See yon small birds,
Two sparrows for a farthing, poor men’s meat!
The birds are dear to God; not one shall fall
But He takes notice: are ye less than they?
Weary you not with thought of all the world
Hanging dependent on the Father’s care,
And ye—so small, what mattereth your fate?

But understand, each one hath place with God
As stood he single in the universe!
How shall one make you know the Father’s care,
How intimate, how tender! Consider, ye,—
The very hairs of your head be numbered all,—
The finger-scratch, small ache that vexes you,
The garments of your choice, all little things—
Are noted, fatherly, by Him who made,
Sustains and wise-chastiseth. Fear ye not!

Ye men who hear My word, to you hath God
Given chance of great obedience; go, confess
The Lord ye serve before men—remembering
The day shall come when all men, gathered, wait
The judgment of the Father: then will I
Go, take him by the hand who Me confessed,
And straight before My Father in high heaven—
“This man is My own friend,” shall I declare:—
He that denies shall that day be denied.

Think not the Prince of Peace sends peace on earth;
A sword shall go before Me, sets at twain
A daughter and her mother, father and son,
Till they of a man’s household be his foes!
The son shall love the Christ, the father, hate;
And he that hateth, run to testify,—
“See, this, my son, a follower of false gods,
Of Him they call Messias! I bring him you!
The Law, look you, is more than flesh and blood,—
So take my son; nay, kill him an ye will!”
None shall be safe; relations peep and pry;
Who speaks with whom, they note, and catch stray words;
“Lo, she is of that sect, and he, and he!”
They cry to Council, delivering them to death.
Mother will plead that day—“For my sake, son,
Give up strange doctrines and obey the Law!”
But whoso loveth mother more than Me,
Father or son or daughter,—for their sake
Wills to deny his Lord,—that man, I say,
Is not found worthy of Me. Other loves
A man shall hold in My love; none prefer!
What father keeps his cherished son from risks
Attending his King’s service? Am I less,
That ye should slight and set My name aside
When perils threaten? Say ye, “Life is sore
When one’s against a household, when all vex,
Incessant argue, plead and press their cause;—
Might but a man keep silence, all were well!”
But, I say, he that loveth kith and kin,
Father or child, or his own easy life,
More than he loves his Master, unworthy, he,
To get that Pearl of price, that Sum of life—
Christ, who will give Himself to him who loves
As bridegroom gives to bride—reserving nought!

St. Matthew x. 25-37.

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