What think ye of Christ?

What think ye of Christ?

(The Saviour of the World, Vol I, Book III, Poem IX)

All men, of faith and unfaith, ask to-day,
Not knowing that they ask it, What think ye
Of Christ? They question miracles, the Word
As we have received it, a hundred points,
Disputable for the uneasy mind!
A deeper-seated doubt remains behind,
Doubt vital to the happiness of the hour,
To hope for future, forgiveness for the past:—
Is it that Christ indeed can change a man,
His poor, mean thoughts, his selfish, worldly ways,
All that abases him when, in the night,
Of sleep forsaken, vision he abhors,
His own false, worthless, most despisèd self
Persistently confronts him? Can Christ indeed
Change such an one, take from him all his sin,
And all his odious nature, prompt to sin,
Give him instead the meekness of a child?
This the one question that concerns mankind,
As physician with specific should concern
A city plague-struck!

Having determined,

By that first sign, His power o’er things that show,
(The servants of His hand, fulfilling His word),
Thus early in His ministry He solves
That other painful problem of the soul:
How can a man another man become—
New thoughts, new works, new loves, new fears, new hopes,—
And leave himself, the man he hateth most,
As reptile casts its slough, and goes renewed?
The things within the haunted soul of man
Are His to order also. There’s no place
Within a man, without a man, within
Some other he would reach, but Christ rules all
For them would have His rule! Herein, our hope.

Was held a council of the Sanhedrin
To discuss this Rabbi, doing many signs?
Did they commission one to go by night,
(So none should see a ruler of the people
Hold equal converse with an interloper),
And sound by subtle questionings His learning?