The pilgrimage to Hermon

The pilgrimage to Hermon

The great Confession. Passion foretold.

(The Gospel History, Section 71)

From that time began Jesus to shew unto his disciples how that he must go unto Jerusalem and suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up. And he spake the saying openly. But Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. But he turning about and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.

The pilgrimage to Hermon

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

Now, see, exceeding sorrowful was the Lord;
And as they trod those stony paths, His word
Like molten drops fell on their shrinking ears;

Their hearts were full of fears.

“The Passover draws nigh and we go up
That at Jerusalem I may drain the cup,
That bitter cup the Father offereth Me;

And ye, My friends, shall see.

Your hearts are exalted, for ye heard one say,
‘Thou art the Christ of God,’ this very day;
And ye believe all power is in My hand,

To do or to withstand.

My friends, ye have yet to learn, that to endure
More than a man can suffer is the sure
Infallible sign whereby the Christ is known:

He suffereth alone:

Ye felt the smart, saw somewhat of the shame,
When false disciples did their Lord disclaim;—
Rejection is My portion; straight, we go

Where no man will Me know.

The rulers of the Jews in council met,
Scribes and chief priests and elders, all shall set
Their faces as a flint; shall Me deny;

Aye, they shall crucify.

But fear ye not; the Cross is not the end;
Though I be buried, yet shall I ascend:
On the third day God will raise up His own;

I leave you not alone.”

Thus sorrowful and very heavy spake
Our Lord who died for us: then one did take
The Christ to task that hard things He foretold;

Peter, that follower bold,

With heart uplift for Christ had given him praise;
And he—trod gaily through triumphant days;
With Him to Lord in whose hand was all might,—

Sure, every prospect bright!

So up he spake, and dared His Lord rebuke,
“Far from Thee, Lord, be this!” he cried and took
Hold of his Master’s sleeve to urge his plea,—

“This shall not be to Thee!”

His love insistent spake? Love comprehends;
Had Peter then no thought of personal ends
All frustrate should they bear this shameful thing—

Rejection of their King?

Better to raise the multitudes, go forth—
New forces joining quick, east, south, and north;—
Who then would dare the King of the Jews reject,

Or those His friends neglect?

Ah, Peter! erstwhile there was one who spake:—
“But worship me and I Thee King will make
Whom all shall haste to honour and obey.”

But Christ did say him nay.

So now He turned on Peter with rebuke
Severe as had the faithful saint forsook
The Lord he loved and served: “Get thee behind,

I know thy worldly mind;

The things of men, riches and royal estate,
E’en these thy mind hath trafficked in of late
Since when thy faith I praised: Satan, thy name,—

Would’st woo thy Lord to shame?

For how shall I the work of God forget—
Disloyal as art thou? My Father set
This heavy rood before Me; shall I then

Leave it for fear of men?

The things of God, the Kingdom and the Power,
Thou hast forgot in this the Tempter’s hour:
To-day thy name is unstable Stumbling-block,

Not now My steadfast Rock!”

And Peter—who may picture his dismay
As Christ’s word penetrated him that day,
Revealing in him the ambition, lust of gold,

For which his Lord was sold!

Good Lord forefend lest we Thy power would use
To further those vain ends we should refuse—
But thought we on the things our God doth will

Our heedless hearts should fill!

St. Matthew xvi. 21-23.
St. Mark vii. 31-33.
St. Luke ix. 22.