The sheep and the Shepherd

The sheep and the Shepherd

Jesus the Good Shepherd.

(The Gospel History, Section 81)

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. He that is a hireling, and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, beholdeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf snatcheth them, and scattereth them: he fleeth because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know mine own, and mine own know me, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd. Therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from my Father.

The sheep and the Shepherd

(The Saviour of the World, Vol V Book V Poem LX)

And these, My cherished sheep,—how happy, they,

Fulfilled with life, come forth and follow Me:

Sweet music, joy of living, on that day

They hear My voice, shall for these simple be:

The world is theirs, nor anything denied
To the flock that followed when their Shepherd cried.

The sheep are safe; the Shepherd, what of Him?

The sheep go full; the Shepherd, hath He need?

Poor sheep, scarce may their understanding dim

Perceive the cost; they take with little heed

The gift of His life their Shepherd, offering, holds,
That He may keep His sheep from alien folds.

See you, not thus the hireling behaves;

The sheep are not his own; when danger nears,

Beholding the wolf coming, loud he raves

And flees distract by his own coward fears;

The wolves—disaster, danger—snatch the sheep;
The hireling’s only care, himself to keep.

The hireling, what hath he of that love

Between those two who one another know?

I know Mine own; Mine own know Me; above

The world’s loud cries they hear when I speak low,

And haste to Me, their Shepherd; for their sake
I give the life those robbers think to take:

E’en as the Father knows Me, know I these,

And as I know the Father, know they Me:

Therefore roam they at large and dwell at ease;

The Truth, their generous pasture, makes them free;

And yet, love-tethered, keep they by the door
Where they go in and out for evermore.

These sheep are safely herded in the fold;

But there be others scattered far and wide

Waiting the Shepherd in the dark and cold:

These must I go and bring, nor be denied:

And they shall hear My voice, by Me be led,
And in one fold securely shepherded.

Nor think that I alone for them have care;

The Father loves the silly scattered sheep;

And He loves Me for this, that I would share

Fulness of life with these He bids Me keep:

For these, I lay down life; for these I take
My life again; and no man shall Me make:

This is the Father’s will, that I should die

For the dear flock which unto Me He gave;

And His commandment cheerfully will I

Perform to the uttermost these sheep to save:

Nor think that ye to kill Me have the power;
I give My life when He appoints the hour.

St. John x. 11–18.

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