The Gratitude of men

The Gratitude of men

Ten Lepers cleansed. One gives thanks.

(The Gospel History, Section 114)

And it came to pass, as they were on the way to Jerusalem, that he was passing through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, saying, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw 
them, he said unto them, Go and shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they
 were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, with a loud voice glorifying God; and he fell upon his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were not the ten cleansed? but where are the nine? Were there none found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger? And he said unto him, Arise, and go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

The Gratitude of men

(The Saviour of the World, Vol VII Book I Poem XIII)

“Kind deeds with cold[ness still] returning
Alas! the gratitude of men
Hath oftener left me mourning”

– Wordsworth [from the end of the poem “Simon Lee”]

Chance boons indeed wake gratitude,

But what of loving labours

Wrought for us hour by hour by those,

Our intimate hearth-neighbours?

The grace of sunshine, of green fields

Of flowers among the grasses,

Of singing birds, of sunset skies,—

These a man takes, and passes!

What is’t to him that God is good

And, fatherly, devises

To tune his spirit; wake his heart,

With tender sweet surprises?

Perchance he cries aloud to Him

Of some portending sorrow,

God hears his prayer, relieves his fear,

And he forgets tomorrow!

We see that miserable file,

Ten wretches come for healing:

Christ speaks the kingly word; they go,

Relieved and all unfeeling!

Think of the leprous flesh made whole,

The pure blood freely flowing;

Sure, so their thankfulness must course,

In grateful speech outgoing!

Not so; they want their ways made glad,

Freed from afflictions hateful;

Nine went elate with newborn hopes

But only one was grateful!

And Christ observes “Were not ten cleansed,

And only one returneth?”

Ashamed of gifts I had forgot

My heart within me burneth!

Soul, see thyself! I hear the word,

Am by the late convicted:

Is’t in the nine or in the one

My soul, thou art depicted?

Open mine eyes, my Lord, that I

May know how Thou dost bless me,

May read of Thy laws messages

In all loves that caress me!

St. Luke xvii. 11-19