Who art Thou?

Who art Thou?

Jesus the Son of God, Himself God.

(The Gospel History, Section 79)

Dies Domini by Burne-Jones

He said therefore again unto them, I go away, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sin: whither I go, ye cannot come. The Jews therefore said, Will he kill himself, that he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come? And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? Jesus said unto them, Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning. I have many things to speak and judge concerning you: howbeit he that sent me is true; and the things which I heard from him, these speak I unto the world. They perceived not that he spake to them of the Father.

Who art Thou?

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

He spake again: “Behold, I go away;
And ye who drive Me hence shall seek in vain
For Him who came to save you; too late, when
Your hour, now running its last sands, hath passed;
And ye shall die in your sin,—whose magnitude
Would send you, stricken with dismay, from hence
To self-immolation, saw ye but the truth!
But ye are blind; having eyes, ye see not;
And where I go, there is no place for you;
What place for you in the full light of God
Where Truth alone survives? Outcast, ye go,
Lost souls in desolate wastes where I am not.”

Awed and yet obdurate, the Jews cried out,—
“What threat is this to mock us? Where goes He?
Will He kill Himself to accomplish these brave words—
‘Where I go, come not ye; ye cannot come’?”
So, sneering, spake they, half to convince the crowd,
And half themselves to assure.

Again, He spake,

(His patience as an ocean never drained),—
“See you, there be two worlds, ye are from beneath,
Of this low world where lies are ta’en for truth,
And men receive not truth because they will
Not to receive those things of the world above.
I am from above, but ye are of this world:
Can fire and water mingle nor destroy
The one, the other? Me, ye seek to kill,
And ye, ye shall die in your sins, slain of the truth:
Poor souls, have pity on your own lost state!
Behold, a door of escape I still hold ope
For him who will see the truth: e’en as I speak,
Uneasy thoughts stir in your breast; ye know;
Feeble conviction is pleading to be heard,
And fear assails: Come, listen, not to Me,
But to inner voices uttering fearful things!
At the eleventh hour of the day, I bid—Believe
That I am He of Israel’s hopes and fears—
The Promise treasured for these thousand years!
I know ye can believe, and will ye now,
At the last hour, believe, that I may save?
Else, die ye in your sins!”

At this dread word,

Terror gat hold of them: husky, they cried,
From out parched lips,—“Who art Thou, then, declare?”

“Ask ye Me now?” said the Lord; “these many times
And from the beginning have I not announced
That I and the Father are One; that I am He
Of whom your Law and your prophets testify?
Ye think to be rid of Me—that, at your hands,
The Son of Man shall die; nay, that, at the worst,
E’en should ye die yourselves, there were an end:—

“Ye foolish people and unwise, not thus
Doth Life make end! I have many things to speak
And to judge concerning you: this controversy,
Ye think to close with death, shall still go on:
But on that day ye stand before the Judge,
Lo, He shall speak; not ye. Ye shall discern,
By the Light, which to-day ye will not choose to see,
Blinding your eyes, the King ye would not serve;
Th’ inexorable Judge, who, for He must,
Pronounceth sentence: first, will He rehearse
The thoughts that give complexion to your lives,
The arrogance and hate, the greed and lust,
That blind your eyes to the truth: for ye know well
What treason ye would compass: none can hear
The voice of the Son of Man nor be convinced;
And well ye know that treason’s in your hearts—
That ye seek the life of your King, the Coming One,
Knowing that in His realm is no place for you,
For wrong and rapine wrought on these poor folk
Whom ye would rob of their God. Away with you!

“And other things shall ye hear when ye pass the bounds
Of that ye call your life: the words I speak,
Each word of Mine that hath reached you by report—
Or you have heard direct—shall sound in your ears,
For ever, without pause. Before the Judge,
Shall ye take your stand, nor ever leave the dock,
But always shall ye hear those many things
I have to speak concerning you.”

St. John viii. 21–27.

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