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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

St. Luke

John Samuel Bewley Monsell (1811–1875)

Good Physicians

WHEN languid frame, or throbbing pulse,

The pride of life subdues,

And colours all its roseate bloom

With sorrow’s soberer hues:

How sweet to think that he, who stands

Beside our bed of pain,

And thoughtful counts the ebbing sands

Which yet for us remain,—

Comes in the humble strength of Faith

Such comfort to afford,

As best may help the deeper work

Of his Physician Lord!

And while with skilful hand he tries

Diseases to control,

Not only sees a mortal frame

But an immortal soul:

And prays for grace to do his part

In all God’s wondrous plan,

And sanctifies his healing art

To the best good of man.

Puff’d not with pride of human skill,

With hush’d and awful breath,

He meekly comes to do Thy will,

O Lord of Life and Death:

Delay the sufferer longer here,

That he may holier be;

Or feel how well man cannot keep

One ripen’d soul from Thee.

Such simple faith, such childlike trust,

His best degree will prove,

Physician in the schools below

And in Thy school above.

O that, amid the noble band

Of those who live to heal

The sicknesses which sin hath made

More might be found, who feel—

That the sick room’s a holy place,

And the sick man is giv’n,

Not to be merely kept on earth,

But sanctified for Heav’n.

O God! on such a day as this

Let us with special prayer

All those who heal throughout our land

Commend to thy good care.

Keep them from pestilence by night,

From sickness at noon-day;

Tho’ thousands by their side may fall,

Drive noisome things away;

And make them hallowed means of good,

In all they think and do,

While truthful to their healing art,

Not unto Thee less true.

Physicians of the body, they—

By Grace’s soft control

May they become like good St. Luke,

Physicians of the soul!