The Publican

The Publican

Pray without ceasing. How to pray.

(The Gospel History, Section 116)

And he spake also this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get. But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say unto you. This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

The Publican

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

How every motion of complacency
Shrinks ’neath the eye of Him Who knows th’ art
By which vain man lifts up his foolish heart,
Picks up some rag of alms to justify,
Some wilful abstinence to magnify;
Some prayer presumptuous to plead his part,
Displaying his response as at common mart.
The while it is his God he bids to buy!

But see th’ merchant man at yonder stall
Abashed before God’s Presence beat his breast;
His goods so tarnished, will he dare not call
On Him whose eye discerns the worst, the best:
A miserable sinner stands confessed
Whose trust is in God’s mercy—that is all!

St. Luke xviii. 9-14