Ten Cleansed, And Only One Remain

 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are
the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God,
save this stranger. St. Luke xvii. 17, 18.

~The Rev. John Keble


TEN cleansed, and only one remain!
Who would have thought our nature’s stain
Was dyed so foul, so deep in grain?
E’en He who reads the heart—
Knows what He gave and what we lost,
Sin’s forfeit, and redemption’s cost,—
By a short pang of wonder crossed
Seems at the sight to start:

Yet ’twas not wonder, but His love
Our wavering spirits would reprove,
That heavenward seem so free to move
When earth can yield no more
Then from afar on God we cry,
But should the mist of woe roll by,
Not showers across an April sky
Drift, when the storm is o’er,

Faster than those false drops and few
Fleet from the heart, a worthless dew.
What sadder scene can angels view
Than self-deceiving tears,
Poured idly over some dark page
Of earlier life, though pride or rage,
The record of to-day engage,
A woe for future years?

Spirits, that round the sick man’s bed
Watched, noting down each prayer he made,
Were your unerring roll displayed,
His pride of health to abase;
Or, when, soft showers in season fall
Answering a famished nation’s call,
Should unseen fingers on the wall
Our vows forgotten trace:

How should we gaze in trance of fear!
Yet shines the light as thrilling clear
From Heaven upon that scroll severe,
“Ten cleansed and one remain!”
Nor surer would the blessing prove
Of humbled hearts, that own Thy love,
Should choral welcome from above
Visit our senses plain:

Than by Thy placid voice and brow,
With healing first, with comfort now,
Turned upon him, who hastes to bow
Before Thee, heart and knee;
“Oh! thou, who only wouldst be blest,
On thee alone My blessing rest!
Rise, go thy way in peace, possessed
For evermore of Me.”