Herod murdered a village of babies rather than submit to Christ. Poet Richard Crashaw, in 1646, sorrowed for all that this blind king failed to see.

Angelo-Visconti_The-Massacre-of-the-Innocents_994x650
Detail from “The Massacre of the Innocents” (1860-61) by Angelo Visconti
Click here to see the full painting

The Suspicion of Herod
by Richard Crashaw

Why art thou troubled, Herod? what vain fear
Thy blood-revolving breast to rage doth move?
Heaven’s King, who doffs Himself weak flesh to wear,
Comes not to rule in wrath, but serve in love;
Nor would He this thy feared crown from thee tear,
But give thee a better with Himself above.
Poor jealousy! why should He wish to prey
Upon thy crown, who gives His own away?

Make to thy reason, man, and mock thy doubts;
Look how below thy fears their causes are;
Thou art a soldier, Herod; send thy scouts,
See how He’s furnished for so feared a war.
What armour does He wear? a few thin clouts.
His trumpets? tender cries. His men to dare
So much? rude shepherds. What His steeds? alas,
Poor beasts! a slow ox and a simple ass.

excerpt from “SOSPETTO D’HERODE” in Steps to the temple (1646)

One thought

  1. The gospel in action: In what ways do your fears and doubts keep you from a fuller faith in Jesus? How do you “make to your reason” and “mock these doubts”?

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