“What is this word that He saith?”

“What is this word that He saith?”

The Feast of Tabernacles.

(The Gospel History, Section 77)

The Jews therefore said among themselves, Whither will this man go that we shall not find him? will he go unto the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? What is this word that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, ye cannot come?

“What is this word that He saith?”

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

Mighty is truth and shall with men prevail!
The man confined by the letter—of what avail
Is truth to such an one? He hears, believes,
For he needs must: but every man receives
According to his measure; can but know—
As his own limitations prove it so:

That Christ would go, evade them, they were sure;
These ways of His,—how patiently endure?
The more they think on’t, more they vex their heart,
And cry to each other, “How shall He depart,
And whither goes He that we shall not find?
In every city men fulfil our mind,
Perform our messages, further our views,—
And this man vainly thinks He can refuse
To submit Him to us! Whither will He go?
To the Dispersion among the Greeks? Soon shall He know,
So far, our arm can reach Him: to all Jews,
On the shores of the Great Sea, we’ll send out news
Of His coming, and their part; will He teach the Greeks,
Or Gentiles abhorred of the Law? (how the name reeks!)
Well may this outcast wend to such as these,—
Their heathen orgies, hap, His soul shall please,—
He who contemns the Law, nor honours God!”
And all the while they writhe as under the rod
Of His correction; cannot get away
From word—of going hence—they heard Him say;
In passionate irritation mouth it o’er,—
“What is the word that He said?” Cry they, once more,
With scornful finger-play and glance of hate;
“‘Me shall ye seek nor find Me,’—Is’t too late?
‘Where I am, come ye never’?—pray, why not?
Who, then, shall hinder us, and who hath got
The right to bid,—hence go, or, hither plod,—
To men who hold the oracles of God?”

For all their proud derision, in their heart,
They knew the Christ full surely would depart.

St. John vii. 35, 36.

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