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The Empires of the Bible from the Confusion of Tongues to the Babylonian Captivity

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    EARTH’S HEROES

    And hero-worship is the admiration of these! it is the ambition and the aspiration to be such as these! But there is a better philosophy of history than that. There is a better spirit to be imbibed. There is a better ambition to be inculcated. There is a better aspiration to be indulged. For though it be true that as the world goes and as history stands in its accepted form, there are the world’s conquerors; they are not earth’s true heroes. To know earth’s true and to partake of their spirit, to be imbued with the ambition and the aspiration to be like them, never results in hero-worship: it draws rather to the worship of God, whose Spirit alone in His work and in His purpose can make true heroes.EB xxvi.2

    “They are coming this way!” he said,—the angel who kept the gate,—
    “They enter the city here. Would you see their cohorts? Wait.
    Within is a great feast spread, and the air with music stirs;
    For the King himself shall sit this day with the banqueters.”
    The heroes of earth! For these, in their march up the aisles of palm,
    I would wait: from within came forth the surge of a swelling psalm.
    At thought of the nearing hosts, I shrank in awesome dread -
    Chief captains and mighty men, who should pass with their martial tread.

    Then, slowly, out of the mists up the way whence I looked to see,
    With glory along their crests, and light on their panoply,
    The warriors, splendor-shod, with whose names Time’s annals ring -
    Came a bank of pilgrims; worn as from years of journeying.

    Slowly, with halting steps, they come; their unsandaled feet
    Are bruised by jagged stones, are scorched by the desert’s heat;
    Their faces are white, and lined with vigil and patient pain;
    Their forms are beaten and marred by the storm and the hurricane;

    But the stronger uphold the week—and their leader upholds a cross.
    Impatient, I look away down the slopes where the palm plumes toss;
    Impatient, I turn to him, the angel who keeps the gate,—
    “But the heroes ? Where are they, for whom you bade me wait?”

    For answer, the gate swings wide, and dawn streams out on the night;
    And that way-worn band pass through, their raiment white as the light.
    For answer, I hear a voice from the heart of the halos say,
    While the veiled angel bows: “Earth’s heroes ? These are they!” 40Emma Herrick Weed.

    Of these are Abel, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David Daniel, Paul;
    the long line of Christians of the primitive church and of the Dark Ages;
    Militz, Conrad of Waldhausen, Matthias of Janow, Wicklif, Huss, Jerome,
    Luther, of the Reformation period -
    these, and such as these, are earth’s heroes and the world’s true conquerors.
    For this is the victory that conquers the world, even faith.
    And he that ruleth his own spirit is greater than he that taketh a city. It is upon this philosophy of history that has been constructed the Empire Series—“The Empires of the Bible,” “The Great Empires of Prophecy,” “Ecclesiastical Empire,” and “The Great Nations of To-day.” The events that have marked the experiences of the peoples and nations of this world have occurred, these events have been recorded, and the record stands. These events have occurred without any relation whatever to what any man might think; and without any reference whatever to any views or theories that any man might frame. These events have occurred in a certain order, and in no other order. The aim in the Empire Series has been solely to follow this order of events and to gather from the most authoritative sources the facts exactly as they have occurred. And when these facts have been gathered in the order of their occurrence, and have been placed in their true setting in the light of the Bible, they teach their own lessons: and what these lessons are is easy to be seen, and is of unmistakable import.

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