The lost sheep

The lost sheep

Joy in Heaven over Sinners that repent. The Lost Sheep.

(The Gospel History, Section 110)

Now tall the publicans and sinners were drawing near unto him for to hear him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

And he spake unto them this parable, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and his neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, which need no repentance.

The lost sheep

(The Saviour of the World, Vol VI Book IV Poem LXX)

The Lost Sheep, by Kehren

The doctrine of the Lord was hard;
Not ease and plenty His award,
But perils, loss, and strenuous life,
Uneasy days with dangers rife.
And yet the call to men appealed,—
Strange longings in their hearts revealed;
E’en publicans and sinners press
To learn of this new righteousness.

The Pharisees and scribes, repelled
By singular teaching, now beheld
The city’s dregs to Him draw near,
Nay, eat with Him at ease nor fear;
“Like unto like,” quoth they, and scoff
At One, knew not to hold them off,
The common people; “Well, we see
The kind of Rabbi this must be!”

Then Jesus told that tender tale
Which should a thousand times prevail
To bring within the Shepherd’s keep
Some silly, wilful, wandering sheep:

.   .   .   .   .

“A hundred sheep a shepherd had,
And one of these was wilful, bad;—
So when the Shepherd turned away,
He ran agate his pranks to play.

“But ere the sheep were in the fold,
The Shepherd’s eye their number told;
Lo, one was missing,—he must leave
The rest, that wanderer to retrieve;
Not carelessly, as one in haste,
He searches all the cavernous waste,
But climbs the crags precipitous,
Descends the ravines perilous,

“Hazards his life for that poor sheep,
Too wilful in the flock to keep;
How he retrieved the perishing thing,
Did on his shoulders safely bring,
Need not be told: but, happy, he
Cried to his friends, ‘Rejoice with me,
The sheep that I had lost is found,
Come, let the gleeful song go round!’

“My friends, see imaged here the love
Of blesséd souls who sing above;
And how the angels shout for mirth
When any erring child of earth
Is folded by the Shepherd, brought
Safe to the haven he scarce had sought:
Not nine and ninety righteous folk
Such joy angelical provoke!”

St. Luke xv. 1-7.