The World to Come (The Disciple)

The World to Come (The Disciple)

Jesus’ defence. He is the Son of God, and Judge of the world.

(The Gospel History, Section 38)

Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done ill, unto the resurrection of judgement.

The World to Come (The Disciple)

(The Saviour of the World, Vol II Book II Poem XIX)

A child will play all day at what he’ll do,—

“When I am big!
“Great hunter will I be!
“That field I’ll dig!”

His parents look on smiling while he plays,
And with bewildering changes shapes his days.

And we, poor foolish, when we dream and say,

“Thus shall it be,—
“Our Father worketh yet,
“And shall not we?

“Not eager, we, for crowns or crystal seas,
“Or harps or singing or eternal ease;

“We would be doing as our Father doth!—

“We have no fears;
“With all our puny might
“Would roll His spheres!”

Sure, not for this severely will He chide,
Our Father, who for love of us hath died!

“Ye shall go before your brethren and help them, until the Lord hath given your brethren rest.”

O the dear world, sweet life, congenial joys!

How give them up?
Though all be sin-defiled,
Where find we else

The promise we believe our longings hold,—
What work for us in any other fold?

All bright may glow the joys of other spheres,

But this, our home!
And would we barter it
For any gain,

Poorer, less constant, had our substance grown:
Jesus, in separate joy, were less our own.

Continuance, sure, belongs to higher life;

All fickleness,
All change, with Death must pass,
And leave us true:

Less a new life than utmost scope in this,
With help laid on us here, ah, hope of bliss!

Jealous are we, with jealousy unreasoning,

Over their joys;
For their gain, sadly bear
Unbidden loss:

With Him;—in Him;—there all the promise ends:
Ourselves, not Christ, do banish our sweet friends.

Sure, the dim kingdom where we seat our Dead

Is of the world:
The heaven of Christ is ruled
By other laws:

Not cumbrous change in circumstance and place,
But the enraptured vision of His face!

Death opes not heaven’s gate; for long ago,

Soon as the King
Shone in upon the soul
Did heaven begin:

A blessed state, a lifting up for ever;
Not some far seats when soul and body sever:

Two fuller consummations be there yet

To this full bliss:—
Our holy dead have reached
The second life,—

Where pure eyes see the King in beauty fresh,
And service bears no dragging clog of flesh.

Then to live out all possibilities

Of love and help,
Of counsel and support,
That now but mock

These slow unloving wills: to be unseen
Among our own beloved, a ghostly screen,

And love them with love purely purged from self,

That, as an air
Tender, should wrap their lives,
Nor ever fret

With any waywardness: to lay their cares,
And with pure spirit-promptings, help their prayers,—

What life were this! Nor only for our own

Would we have help
Laid on us, but for all
Whose pain now moves,

Whose thoughts inspire,—all life that any way,
If only in fond dream, on ours doth play.

And not unowned, or self-imposed, our tasks;

Ever bidden
By the dear Word of God,
Willing His will,

In the low rest of meekness, were our ease:
So, working, should we yet from labours cease.

*     *     *    *     *

Poor, ignorant and foolish, what know we

If this may be,
Or other, better life?
We trust in Thee!

Our Father, wilt not smile on us and say,
“’Tis but my silly children at their play?”

St. John v. 29