The return of the Twelve

The return of the Twelve

Jesus withdraws. Passover at hand.

(The Gospel History, Section 61)

And the apostles when they were returned, gather themselves together unto Jesus; and declared unto him all things, whatsoever they had done and whatsoever they had taught.

The return of the Twelve

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

The Twelve come back, now two, now other two,
Till all had gathered there where was the Lord,
And each bare record in sweet countenance
Of that he had done, endured, seen come to pass,
While upon God’s high errand. Each pair told
Of many villages and city crowds,
Of highways where they spoke to who would hear;
Of maimed and suffering to whom they brought
Christ’s healing grace. Not one of them said, I
Spake this or that, did such a mighty work;
I and my fellow, we—was all their word.

Each pair had disappointments—told how men
Rejected them and that blest Word they bare
As jewel in rough casket. How, the dust
Here, there and elsewhere they had shaken off
In testimony against men, refused to hear!
But, ah, of other things they told their Lord
With glistening eye, voice broken on the word!
How, here, whole city gave itself to God,
Brake into life, sudden as field in spring,
And clothed it in like beauty, fresh and sweet,
And goodlier growing as the days went on:
How, here, a stricken man, there, little child
Had seemed to see Messias eye to eye!
How, instant, hard dry souls converted, showed
The spring’s assurance of new life and joy:
How men raised hallelujahs like the birds—
Gladness and singing greeted the new day!

Was’t thus they spoke, and thus the Master heard,—
Gave grace of comprehension infinite,
Gladness of sympathy, ease of strong control?
And may fond fancy picture how each pair
Fared on that first great errand? Were it so,
Or otherwise, we know not; yet have we
Some license for thought reverent, for we, too,
Be sent on missions at the Master’s word;—
We come with joyful tears or shame of heart
To tell how we have fared: is’t well with us?
We know that He has wrought through our weak words,
And bring Him of the first fruits. Is it ill?
How have we shamed the Master whose we are!

St. Mark vi. 30.
St. Luke ix. 10.