Sunday, October 29, 2017

Charlotte Mason: "LVI 'Lest we cause them to stumble'" (from Saviour of the World, Vol. IV)



“Lest we cause then to stumble”

SILENT and sorrowful the Company went,
Pondering the Master’s word with sinking hearts
And tardy comprehension. Once again,
Their steps turned to Capernaum, the blessed,
And the Lord made His abode in Peter’s house,
High honoured to receive Him; where was she
Late raised by Christ, His grace, from fevered
Who would fain speak her love in household
Did the Lord comfort there the sorrowing Twelve,
Or sat they there with Him, as those men of old
Sate silent with stricken Job?
                                                   Peter went forth
And was accosted by those men sent out
To gather from Israelites that Temple due
The legal half a shekel. “Doth not your Lord
Contribute to the general fund?” they ask,
Surmising that, perchance, for cause unknown
He might refuse this service to religion.


“He doth,” said Peter, knowing well his Lord
Neglected no observance that became
A pious Jew. But th’ Saint went home per-
Now where should he a shekel find? Full well
He knew that Christ no money owned—though
The Son of God most high! Entering the house
With anxious brow, the Lord discerns his care,—
Speaks first to him, or e’er he told a word:—
“What think’st thou, Simon, of whom do kings
     take toll,
From their own sons, or from the subject-folk,
The strangers, not their kin, o’er whom they
“Why, sure, from strangers.” “Therefore,” saith
     the Lord,
“The King’s own sons go free and share that
The tributes of the people must support.”

Did Peter understand how the Lord had said,—
These Temple-dues are for God’s worship paid,
That th’ beauty of holiness may be set forth
By outward symbols in the Temple: See,
I and the Father are one; that worship paid
By pious souls to God, is paid to Me—
One with the Father, sharing all His dues:
Is’t fit that I contribute toward those rites
Ye Jews pay punctual to God—and Me?


“But we may not impede these men in their
Nor give them cause for anger or harsh words,
Misjudging thee and Me: so their offence
Were laid at our door who had made them sin:—
Go thou to Gennesareth and cast a hook;
Draw the first fish to land, nor pause to ask
Is’t small or great; when thou hast ope’d his
A shekel thou shalt find; that take and pay
To the men—just Temple-dues for thee and Me.”

A PDF is available here.

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