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accusation, counsel and destruction

Again he [Jesus Christ c. AD 30] entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. Mark’s biography of Jesus 3: 1-6

My song is love unknown,
my Saviour’s love for me;
love to the loveless shown
that they might lovely be:
but who am I,
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh and die?

He came from heaven’s throne
salvation to bestow;
but they refused, and none
the longed-for Christ would know:
this is my friend,
my friend indeed,
who at my need
his life did spend.

Sometimes they crowd his way
and his sweet praises sing,
resounding all the day
hosannas to their King:
then ‘Crucify!’
is all their breath,
and for his death
they thirst and cry.
‘Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:  the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.  And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”‘ (Matthew’s biography of Jesus written c. AD 60)

Why, what has my Lord done
to cause this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run
and gave the blind their sight:
what injuries!
Yet these are why
the Lord most high
so cruelly dies.

With cries of rage they have
my dear Lord done away;
a murderer they save,
the Prince of life they slay!
Yet steadfast he
to suffering goes,
that these his foes
may be set free.

In life, no house, no home
my Lord on earth might have;
in death, no friendly tomb
but what a stranger gave.
What may I say?
Heaven was his home,
but mine the tomb
wherein he lay.

Here might I stay and sing
of him my soul adores;
never was love, dear King,
never was grief like yours!
This is my friend,
in whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.

(Copyright: verses 1-4 and 7 in this version Jubilate Hymns)
‘About that time [AD 34] Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.' (Acts of the Apostles written c. AD 62)


Two years before writing this poem, Samuel Crossman (1624-1683) was ejected (along with 2,000 others in Britain) from pastoring his Christian flock.
Richard Syvret

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