Abraham Coles.

The life and teachings of Our Lord in verse, being a complete harmonized exposition of the four Gospels, with original notes, textual index, etc online

. (page 40 of 48)
Online LibraryAbraham ColesThe life and teachings of Our Lord in verse, being a complete harmonized exposition of the four Gospels, with original notes, textual index, etc → online text (page 40 of 48)
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So He, knowing informers them to be,
Said : *' Go, and tell that fox, that I cast out
Demons, and cures perform along My route
To-day, likewise to-morrow : the third day 33.

My course completed, I will go away.
I ne'ertheless till then shall walk about,
Because a prophet cannot perish out
Of doomed Jerusalem. Jerusalem ! 34

That kill'st the prophets, and that stonest them
Who 're sent to thee, how oft I, safe from harms,
Thy children would have gathered in My arms.
E'en as the hen, when hawks are hovering.
Gathers her brood beneath her shelt'ring wing.
But ye would not — blind, fierce, and obstinate —
Now is your house left waste and desolate. 3s

As at a ruler's house He sat at meat, '^'^'' "■

Guests were ambitious of the highest seat. '^

Observing which, this Parable He spake :



DINES WITH A CHIEF PHARISEE. 21^

^' When to a wedding- thou art bidden, take ^"''^

" ' XIV. 8

Not vainly the chief seat at table, lest

There enter a more honorable guest,

And the host come to thee, and say aloud : 9

' Yield this man room ! ' And thou, who wert so

proud.
Be forced with shame to take the lowest place.
But when invited, to avoid disgrace, ^°

Go to the lowest seat, that in the end
The host may tell thee, ' Go up higher, friend ! '
Then thou'lt have honor in the sight of all —
For self descends to rise, and climbs to fall." "

He said, likewise, to him Avho was His host : ^^

" When thou a dinner or a supper dost
Provide, ask not thy friends, nor brothers, nor
Thy kinsmen, nor thy wealthy neighbors, for
These haply may thee ask in turn, and thence
Thou may'st receive a selfish recompense.
But ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, ^3
And thou a heavenl}^ recompense shalt find." ^4

One of the guests, this hearing, warmly said : ^5
" How blessed in God's Kingdom to eat bread !"
Then Jesus said to him : '' A certain man -^^



214 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

Made a great supper, on a scale and plan ^^^z.

Royal and rich, inviting many. So ^t

At supper time, he sent to let them know
All things were ready. But, with one consent, ^^

They all, preoccupied, excuses sent.
One said : ' I've bought a field which I must see-
Have me excused.' Another, for that he ^9
Had bought five yoke of oxen, and must go
To prove them, prayed to be excused also.
A third said : ' I just married am — therefore ^°-
I cannot come.' These several answers bore -^
The servant to his waiting Master, who.
Incensed, said to his servants : ' Go into
The city's streets and lanes, make search and find,
And bring in here the poor, maimed, lame and blind.'
The servants said : ' According to thy will, "
This has been done, and there 's room vacant still. '
Once more the Master said : ' Go out again, ==3
Into the highways and the hedges, and constrain
Enough my house to fill, and save from waste :
For not one bidden shall my supper taste.' " ^4

Now a great multitude, from far and near, ^^'- ^

Of publicans and sinners came to hear :
Drawn far more strongly, than with cords and hooks,.



PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP.



215



By the attraction of His loving looks, !^"^

And winning sweetness of His friendly speech.
And condescension that to them could reach.
Treated as beings of inferior birth,
Vile outcasts and offscourings of the earth,
When now One rose to tell them, though defiled,
Their Father God still loves His wand'ring child.
What wonder, that the strange and welcpme news
Should through their hearts an unknown joy diffuse :
When at this friendliness some took offense, ^

He spake these Parables in His defense : 3

" What man, the owner of a hundred sheep, +

If one, through failure with the flock to keep.
Be lost, doth not the others leave behind
There in the wold, and go the lost to find ?
And, having found it, doth not lay it there s

On his glad shoulders, and it homeward bear.
And say to friends and neighbors gathered round : ^
' Rejoice with me for I the lost have found ' ?
So a diviner joy from Heaven doth flow 7

Out towards one sinner that repents below.
Than ninety-nine self-righteous persons, who
Need no repentance or suppose they do."



2i6 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

" What woman with ten drachmas, losing one, ]^^^l
Lights not a lamp to aid th' excluded sun ;
Sweeps not the house, and searches not all round,
Until she find it ? And, Avhen it is found, 9

Doth not her neighbors summon, and accost :
' Rejoice Avith me, I've found the piece T lost ' ?

'' A father had two sons. The younger said, "

' Father ! of thy estate be my share paid.' "

And he allotted to each son his share.
The younger son began then to prepare ^3

For his departure — gathered all and sold —
Turning the fixed into convenient gold.
And journeyed to a country far away.
And there in endless riot night and day.
Wasted his substance. And, when all was spent, ^^
A famine there arose of wide extent ;
And he began to be in want. So deep ^s

His need, he lent himself the swine to keep :
But no man gave him aught, till he was led ^^

To crave the husks on which the hogs were fed.
Come to himself, the thought sprang into view, ^7
' HoAv many hirelings has my father, who
Have more bread than suffices, while I here
Perish with hunger, ending mad career.



PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON. 217

I will arise and to my father go, ^^^|

And I will say unto him : Father ! lo,

I 've sinned, have greatly sinned, 'gainst Heaven and

thee,
And therefore am not worthy more to be ^9

Counted a son. Make me, I am content.
One of thy hirelings.' He arose and went. ^o

Him when the father afar oflF descried,
Moved Avith compassion, he to meet him hied.
And fell upon his neck, and kissed him much,
The love and longing in his heart were such.

" With tears fast flowing, pierced with new distress.
He should have ever grieved such tenderness,
The son said, ' Father ! I have sinned 'gamst light.
Before the face of Heaven and in thy sight.
And am not worthy to be called thy son.'

" But said the father to the servants, ' Run, ^^

Bring hither the best robe — rags are unmeet —
A ring put on his hand, shoes on his feet.
And bring the fatted calf and quickly slay, 23

And let us feast, and merry be to-day.
For this my son was dead (let joy abound) ^4

And lives again: was lost, and, lo, is found.'

" The elder son was absent in the field, " ^s

So what had happened was from him concealed.



2l8 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

Returning home, he heard, as he drew nigh, ^^;}'^

Music and dancing ; and, till he knew why,

He would not enter, but remained without.

Asking a servant what 't was all about, ^^

The servant said to him : ' Thy brother 's come — ^7

Thy father gives this festive welcome home..

Has killed the fatted calf, made mirth abound.

Because he has received him safe and sound.'

When asked to enter, he refused with heat : ^^

Therefore the father came out to entreat.

" He said: ' Lo, I thee many years have served, ^9
And have from none of thy commandments swerved :
And yet thou never gavest me a kid.
My friends to pleasure ; but no sooner did 3°

This spendthrift son return, who has ere now
Squandered on prostitutes thy means, than thou
Killedst for him the fatted calf.' ' Na}', son,' 31

The father said, ^ grieve not at what is done.
Thou'rt ever with me, and all mine is thine.
Be not so foolish then as to repine.
'T was meet, that we a festive joy should spread, 32
For this, thy brother, was aforetime dead.
And is alive again — lost in the wold,
Is found at last and brought into the fold.' "



THE LOST FOUND.



219



THE LOST FOUND.

I sing the Shepherd of the sheep :
Who, for the love He bore the fold,

Did wade through sorrows dark and deep.
And freely give His life of old.

I sing the love, so strange, so sweet.
That sought the lost until it found —

With aching heart, and bleeding feet.
And flowing tears that wet the ground.-

I sing the goodness of our God,
The patient pity and the grace.

That left no dreadful path untrod
To seek and save the human race.

Great Shepherd of the nations ! Thou,
Bishop of souls, go forth to find

Thy scattered flock ! O gather now
The straying millions of mankind !



220 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

He said to His disciples : '' Hear ye too : '^^^^

A certain rich man had a steward, who,
Accused of wasting his estate, was thrust -

Out of his stewardship for breach of trust. .
As sad he mused, a shrewd thought upward flamed : 3
' I cannot dig, to beg I am ashamed
But there 's a way by which, when here I leave, ^
Some of my master's friends will me receive.'

" He called to him the debtors of his lord, s

jVnd spake to each the same sly cunning word :
^ How much,' he asked, the first, ' is it thou ow'st ?
^ A hundred baths of oil,' he answered. ' Dost ^

Thou wish 't were less ? Take back thy script, and

now
Write one for fifty.' ' How much owest thou ?' 7

He asked another, who replied : ' Of wheat
A hundred homers.' ' The amount 's too great —
Take back thy script, and write one for four-score.'
Clever the scheme, a thing to chuckle o'er. ^

His lord admired the fitness of the plan
To win the favor of his fellow man.
For children of this world, in their affairs,
Are wiser than the sons of light in theirs.



TRUE USE OF RICHES. 221



" Not worshipped as a god, but held a tool
To work the pleasure of the hands that rule,
Yourselves can carry on by Mammon even
A gainful commerce wdth the ports of heaven :
Deceitful riches can procure you friends,
When used as righteous means to righteous ends :
Can gain the friendship of the powers above,
By alms of mercy and by bribes of love.
So use your money, that when earth ye leave,
They into everlasting homes may you receive.

"He that is faithful in a little (such
The general law) is faithful too in much.
He that unrighteous is in matters small.
Unrighteous is in great things and in all.
If in low monetary trusts untrue,
Who will commit true riches unto you ?
If in another's, ye have weakness shown.
Who will believe you equal to your own ?
Ye cannot faithful and unfaithful be.
Be friends of God and serve His enemy.

Lovers of money, when the Pharisees
Heard Him declare these things, they, ill at ease,
Began to jeer, and sneer at Him, and scoff.



Luke
XV i. —



1+



222 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

He said to them : " Ye may with men pass off ^^^^
Yourselves for righteous, but God knows your hearts,
And all the lustings of your inward parts.
Self is your God, for self ye spend or hoard ;
But what 's admired of men, of God 's abhorred.
While ye can sit as princes, what care ye
Your brother pines in want and misery ?



" There was a man exceeding rich, who clad
In purple and fine linen, daily had
Whate'er could minister gluttonous delight :
While at his gate there lay, a piteous sight.
A beggar full of sores, named Lazarus,
Desiring naught of the vast overplus
Whereon to feed but sweepings of the floors :
And the dogs came and licked his undressed sores.
The beggar dying, he was borne away
To Abraham's bosom. On another day,
The rich man also died, and with parade
And haughty pomp was to the tomb conveyed.
And he, in hades, lifting up his eyes.
Being in torments, Abraham descries
Afar with Lazarus upon his breast.
Free from his sores, most happy and at rest.



19



THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS. 223

Himself a beggar now — from depths of grief ^^,^"^1

He hurls a mighty cry for some relief, 24

Across the distance, reaching Abraham's ear :

' Have pity, father Abraham, and here

Send Lazarus to dip his finger's tip

In water, thus to cool my tongue and lip.

For I'm tormented in this flame.' But he =^5

Said, ' Son, remember choice was given thee.

And thou didst have the things which thy heart would.

All bodily delights and earthly good ;

And Lazarus had his evil things below —

But now while he 's in joy thou art in woe.

A gulf impassable, moreo'er, is fixed 26

Of separation us and thee betwixt.'

The other said : ' Then, father, send I pray ==7

Him to my father's house, that so he may

Warn m}^ five brethren lest they here too come— ^^

The grave 's now silent and the dead are dumb.'

But Abraham rephed : ' iVlready they 29

Have Moses and the Prophets.' Said he : ' Nay, 30

O father, but if from the dead one went

And warned them, they, in that case, would repent.'

' Not so. If them they hear not,' Abraham said, 31

The}^ would not hear though one rose from the dead.' "



224 ^^^ LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

That he might confidence to men impart xvui^^

To persevere in prayer, and not lose heart,
He spake this Parable. '' There Avas," He said, ^

" A certain judge, of God nor man afraid,
Venal, unjust, not caring for the right,
To all but his own ease indifferent quite,
A selfish sybarite devoid of shame.
To him a widow of that city came, 3

Saying, ' Uphold, I pray, my righteous cause,
And vindicate the justice of the laws.'
He would not for a while, but afterward, +

He said within himself, ' Though I regard
Not right, lest I be battered^^ with her prayers, 5

I'll righteous judgment give in her affairs.'
Hear what the unjust judge was moved to do. ^

And will not God redress His chosen, who t-

Cry day and night to Him ! I tell you. Yea, ^

And that with speed, though there seem long delay.
When comes the Son of Man shall He find dearth
And scarcity of faith upon the earth ? "

He spake this Parable to those, who thought
They were the righteous, and all others naught :

* The literal meaning of the original Greek is " to make black and blue under the
eyes by blows."



THE PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN. 225

'' Two men up to the Temple went one day— ^^u^^io

A Pharisee and Pubhcan — to pray.

Standing apart the Pharisee began

His brag : ' O God, I thank Thee I'm a man,

Not as the rest of men, I proudly trust,

Extortioners, adulterers, unjust,

Or as this Pubhcan. 1, each week, lo !

Fast twice. I tithes of all I have bestow.'

Meanwhile the Pubhcan with heavy sighs, '^

Standing afar, afraid to lift his eyes.

Smote on his breast, and cried : ' I am undone !

Be merciful to me, the sinful one.'

This man went justified, I say to you, '^

Down to his house the rather of the two.

For who exalts himself shall humbled be.

The road to honor is humility."

Matt, xix 13-30 ; Mark x. 13-31 ; Luke xviii. 15-30.

Then they brought babes to Him, that he might

, Matt.

lay xix. 13

His dear caressing hands on them and pray :
And the disciples censured them for it.
And Jesus said : " The Kttle ones permit
To come to Me, and do not them prevent—
15



14



226 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

Essential is the childlike element, ]^^}:

Trustful and clinging", finding food and rest,
Warmth and protection on the mother's breast —
Of such God's Kingdom is. Be not beguiled ! ^^l^
Who enters it must enter as a child."
Taking them in His arms He them caressed, ^^

And laid His loving hands on them and blessed.

A ruler came to Him, while on His way, ^7

And kneeling said : ^' Good Master ! tell, I pray,
What shall I do eternal life to win ? "
He said : ^' The good is one who has no sin ; ^^

Why callest thou Me good ? Dost thou Me know ?
None 's good but God, who 's absolutely so.
Thou knowest the Commandments ; keep each one ! "^^
He said, " From my youth up, I this have done : ^
What lack I that I may be perfected ? "
Then Jesus looked on him with love, and said : ^^

*' Wouldst thou be perfect, and forever live,
Go, sell, and to the poor thy substance give ;
And come, take up thy cross, and follow Me,
Mid persecution, shame and poverty.
For My sake, thou must count all things as loss,
Thy reputation and thy riches dross :



THE DANGER OF RICHES. 227

For these thou 'It forfeit, and 't were therefore wise

To sit down first, and weigh the sacrifice.

Like one who thinks, ere he begfins a tower, ^"^

' O ' XIV. 20

Whether to finish it be in his power.

Or like a king, ere he to battle goes, 31

Considers well the number of his foes."

At this he went away with heavy heart, ^^Jj

With his possessions not content to part.

Then Jesus His disciples thus addressed : ^3

" How difficult it is for those possessed
Of wealth to enter in at the strait gate !
So prone are men its worth to overrate —
To trust in riches, and more highly prize 24

The earthly good than treasures in the skies.
'T were easier for a camel to pass through ^s

A needle's eye, than that hard thing to do."
They said, astonished, " Who then can be saved ? " ^^
'* What is not possible with men depraved, 27

Is possible with God through offered grace." ^^^l'

Peter began to say with foolish face :

*' Lo ! we've forsaken all and followed Thee —

What shall we have therefore ?" " Be sure, that ye— =»



228 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

Who Me have followed (O the grace of it !) jf^^'h

In the regeneration,* when shall sit

The Son of Man upon His glorious throne,

Subduing hearts by might of Truth alone —

Shall be My sovereign mouth, and shall declare

My royal will, and what My judgments are.

Your words inspired shall be the end of strife,

The rule of faith and guiding law of life.

Until the renovation is complete,

And the whole world comes bowing to My feet.

None have house, parents, brethren, children, wife ^^

Left for My sake, who shall not, in this life.

Receive an hundred fold, and, in the age

To come, eternal life — but not as wage.

Matt. xx. i-i6.

" For in the government of its affairs, -^-^

Messiah's Kingdom a resemblance bears,
Unto a householder, who had desire
Into his vineyard laborers to hire,

*The regeneration of the race is the regeneration of individual souls, and this we
believe is ever going on. The Son of Man is surely now sitting on the throne of His
glory, being to the right hand of God exalted, and having a name above every name.
So the Apostles (certainly ever since the day of Pentecost) have been sitting on their
thrones, with their authority so universally acknowledged down to our time, that
from their judgments there is no appeal. Here surely is ample fulfilment. Compared
with this, the glory of actual thrones, crowns and sceptres is vulgar and poor.



PARABLE OF THE HIRED LABORERS. 229

So went out early, and agreed to pay, ^";

To those employed, a penny each a day.

He, going at the end of three hours space, 3

Saw others idle in the market place,

And said to them : ' Into my vineyard go, ^

And what is right I will on you bestow.'

Fie, at the sixth hour, and the ninth, went out, 5

And did the same. Again he found, about ^

Th' eleventh hour, more standing, and said : ' Why

Stand idle all the day ? ' They made reply : 7

' Because no man has hired us.' He said then,

* Go ye also into the vineyard.' When

Night came, the owner to the steward said : ^

* Call laborers, and let their hire be paid.
Be there a penny to each one disbursed.
Beginning from the last unto the first. ^

When those hired first, received the penny due, '°
They murmured and found fault, and said : ^We who "
Have borne the heat and burden of the day, "

Working twelve hours, receive but equal pay
With those who've wrought but one.'

He one addressed
More turbulent and noisy than the rest :
^ Friend ! I do thee no wrong, for didst thou not '3



230



THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.



Agree to work for that ? Then take up what f^^^-

Is thine, and go thy way. It shall thus be.

1 11 give the last the same as I give thee.

May I not with my own do what I would ? ^^

Is thine eye evil because I am good ? '

Thus shall the first be last, who murmur blame ; '^

And the last first, because they make no claim.

Salvation is a gift in any case ;

Were it of debt, it would not be of grace.

Many are called, but most the call refuse ; ^t-

Few are the chosen, for they 're few that choose."

Luke xvii. 7-10.

Saw'st thou thy servant coming from the field ?
Wouldst thou precedence at thy table yield ?
Or say : ^ Make ready thou, and on Me wait.
Then thou shalt eat ?' Or wouldst thou rate
His lawful service as a favor ? No !
He simply did that which he ought, I trow.
So judge yourselves improfitable, when you
Have only done what you were bound to do.



Luke
xvii. 7



JAMES AND JOHN'S AMBITION. 23 1



XIX.

RETURN TO JERUSALEM THROUGH JERICHO.

Matt. xv. 17-34 ; Mark x. 32-52 ; Luke xviii. 31-43 ; xix. 1-44.



Mark
X. 32



WHILE on their way up to Jerusalem,
Jesus with steady step preceding them,
Amazement fell on them, and they were made,
As Him they followed, mightily afraid.
Taking the Twelve apart. He said to them :
" Behold, we go up to Jerusalem : 33

And, lo, the Son of Man betrayed shall be
Unto the Sanhedrim, that, presently.
Shall Him consign, whom they Ve condemned to die,34
To Gentile hands to scourge and crucify.
But He on the third day shall rise again —
For not the grave can longer Him detain."

The mother of the sons of Zebedee 35

To Jesus came, and asked, on bended knee,

He would one favor grant. He said : " Explain ! 36

What wouldst thou?" She replied: ''That in Thy

Reign, ^7



232 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

One of my sons may sit on Thy right hand, ^^

The other on Thy left, in high command."

But Jesus, all forseeing, sadly said : 38

'' Your fond request is ignorantly made —

Ye know not what ye ask. Do ye then think

That ye can drink the cup that I must drink ?

And with My baptism be yourselves baptized ?"

They said : " We can do all therein comprised." 39

" These ye, indeed, shall do and undergo ;

But that, ye ask, is not Mine to bestow 40

On human grounds of personal regard —

Essential fitness governs the award."

And when the ten heard of it, every one 41

Felt indignation against James and John.

But Jesus, having called them to Him, said : 4=

'' Ye know the Gentiles have their princely head —
Rulers to rule and great ones to bear sway —
Not so with you. Ye 're taught to put away, 43

As best befits meek learners in My school,
All winged ambitions and proud thoughts of rule.
Who would be great, therefore, let him be small : ++
Who would be chief, the servant be of all.
The Son of Man e'en came to serve, and give ^^5

His life a ransom, that the slave might live."



BLIND BARTIMEUS.— ZACCHEUS. 233

As Jesus entered Jericho, along ^^^6

With His disciples and a numerous throng
Blind Bartimeus by the wayside sat,
Begging. When he was told by some one, that ^i
Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
Losing no time, he straight began to cry :
" O Lord, Thou Son of David, pity me !"
When some rebuked, and bade him silent be, ^^

He only cried the more : " Have pity, Lord '
Thou Son of David, pity me afford !"
Jesus stood still and said : '' Call ye him here." 49

They to the blind man said : " Be of good cheer —
He calleth thee." His mantle thrown aside.
He sprang up quickly and to Jesus hied, 5°

Who said : '' What wouldst thou have Me do to
thee ?" 51

The blind man said : '' Rabboni, make me see.
'' Go !" Jesus said, "thy faith hath given thee sight."5^
Straightway he saw, and praised the Lord of light.



Passing through Jericho, a well known man.
Rich, named Zaccheus, a chief publican,
Sought to see Jesus, but this could not do,
Because the crowd His person hid from view.



Luke
xix. I



234 THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

He, being of low stature, ran before, ^^

And climbed into a spreading sycamore

Along the route, to see Him as He passed.

When Jesus reached the tree. He stopped, and cast s

An upward look, and said, as him He spied,

'' Come down, Zaccheus, for I must abide

Within thy hospitable doors to-da}^"

Surprised, he, coming down without delay, ^

Received Him joyfully. The multitude t

Beholding this, with grumblings Him pursued.

Saying : " He 's gone with one that 's under ban —

An outcast Jew, a hateful publican —

To lodge, and eat, and thus Himself defile."

But in Zaccheus there was wrought meanwhile ^
A mighty penitence. He stood and spake :
'' I, Lord, a gift of half my goods now make
Unto the poor. If I have, heretofore,
Taken aught wrongfully, I will restore
Fourfold." And Jesus said : " In truth I say, 9

Salvation to this house has come to-day :
For that the Son of Man, at His own cost, '^

Has come to seek and save that which is lost."

Seeing they listened. He went on to tell "



PARABLE OF THE TEN POUNDS.



235



Th' expectant multitude a Parable — ^J^l

Who thought, because Jerusalem was near,

He in His Kingdom straightway would appear.

" A nobleman — preparing to resort ^^^

To the far city of th' Imperial Court,

To take to him his kingship and return —

That their trustworthiness he so might learn, ^^



Online LibraryAbraham ColesThe life and teachings of Our Lord in verse, being a complete harmonized exposition of the four Gospels, with original notes, textual index, etc → online text (page 40 of 48)