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THE WARNING VOICE OF TIME AND PROPHECY. PART II
HAIL Blessed Hope! fair daughter of the skies!
Whose lustrous wings with holy radiance glow,
And o’er whose brow the circling halo plays;
Who, with excessive glory dipped from Heaven’s
Great fount of bliss, dimmest the things of earth,
And ever through Time’s dun and shadowy vale,
On to the glorious restitution, and
The Paradise of God—the hills of rest—
Pointest the Pilgrim’s eye, cheering the way,—
Now doubly cheer, and smooth their rugged path;
Now of its piercing sting rob every thorn,
And blunt the dart of disappointment keen;
Them stumbling raise, and drooping animate,
And to sustain each trial them assist;
With healing balm their open wounds restore,
Their weakness aid, and sinking spirits buoy,
And in their breasts untiring vigor plant,
Till they those scenes, to which thy beauty points,
Shall reach, at last, and rest forevermore.
This is the Christian’s hope; and this e’er since
By sin man first eclipsed the sun of life,WVTP 61.1
And brought up dark the heavy glooms of death,
Wrapping the earth in deepest, doleful night,—
This in the Christian’s heart, while struggling on,
Groping his way through Time’s dark wilderness,
Has ever forward to an endless day—
The glorious light of heaven—pointed serene.
With this sustained, the willing martyr, oft,
Has stood amid the fierce devouring flames,
Nor felt their pangs—in holy visions wrapt,
And pointing to the gem-encircled crowns,
That, like a glory galaxy, surround
The resurrection morn, robs the dark tomb
Of all its terror, and of victory, death.
On this relying, and by this inspired,
Supported, strengthened, cheered with courage on,
Still firm they stood, who disappointment’s shock,
Heavy and crushing had so bravely borne,
And round their faith still sacred guard preserved.
For this had they renounced a worldly name,
Honor and wealth and every earthly joy,
And moved far out, in expectation high,
To meet their King; and now when trials came,
And keen affliction’s furnace fiery burned,
‘Twas meet that to the Blessed Hope they still
Should cling; and though thick darkness for awhile
Their way encompass, and their vision close,
Keep strong their confidence in God, nor think
Him of his promises forgetful now,
Or yet, in strength, unable to perform.
And well they did thus steadfast to endure;WVTP 62.1
For soon amid the dark encircling clouds,
To cheer their hearts, and guide their steps aright,
The angel-form of Truth again was seen.
Many the paths, and devious, that, ere now,
Had been sought out; paths that led darkling on
Wide from the way of truth: these had been sought
By many, and by many entered far,
As paths of light, but leading ever on
From dark to darker, gloom to gloomier still.
And this they might have seen, and back retraced
Their steps of error; but they still pursued
Illusions vain, saying they had the truth,
And had the light; pretensions strange and wild,
Since it was but the false, deceptive glare
Of Satan’s torch-lights, shining to deceive.
And is the reason asked why thus they moved?—
Because in trial’s hour, dark and severe,
When for awhile obscurity and night
Their steps enveloped, and their pathway hid,
They leaned on earthly aid,—most needful then
Of aid, support, and guidance, from above,—
Relied on worldly wisdom to mark out
The path of truth, and henceforth lead their steps.
Not trusting, or forgetting then, that God,
Would in due time, his own expounder prove.
In his own order make all clear again;
But on the words of men depended, sole,
All that was dark to lighten, doubt to clear,
And trusted to themselves to go aright.
Thus moving, wide they erred, as likeliest was;WVTP 63.1
And missed, of truth, the straight and narrow path;
For human wisdom with contortions wild,
And ill-yoked fancies, groped through many a way
Devious and blind, and wrought strange theories out;
Nor was each way its followers wanting, or
Each theory advocates; sincere, perhaps,
But fearfully misled.
So was the band,
Once firm in unity, and strong in love,
And moving in harmonious numbers on,
Divided, now, and torn, and scattered far;
By those, who, at the first unwelcome shock,
With mad infatuation turned them back,—
Not more than by slow-paced divisions, which,
Through the short lapse of time crept numerous in,
And wrought sad fissures in their bonds of faith.
Yet still those firm, and trusting few remained,
Who, to receive aught that bore not the stamp,
The seal of living truth, firmly refused;
Patient to wait God’s own appointed time
His cause to move and lead them on again.
And soon that time drew on nor lingered more;
When, through the gloom, the angel-form of Truth,
Appearing, brought them joy, and beck’ning, showed
That on, right onward still, their journey lay.
Praise God for light ye saints! ye faithful few
For light and truth your voices lift in praise,
And ceaseless thanks; light from God’s holy Word
When all around was dark, unseen and blank,—
God’s holy Word a lamp to lighten still!—WVTP 64.1
Unerring, holy light! to break the gloom
And ever onward gild the path of truth.
Lo! now the thick’ning clouds begin to break.
Beyond which other clouds shall never rise;
Henceforward now your rising path grows bright;
The last deep gloom that ever will enshroud
Your earnest steps, or check your holy zeal,
From either hand retiring, rolls away
Its heavy folds, and leaves your future course
For ever clear; rise, then, and wend thy way
From out the vale of darkness, moving up
The hill of truth, and larger prospect there
Shall greet thy vision; there shall ye behold,
Tinged with a heavenly light, that will admit
No shade of error, all thy journeyings
Thus far, and at one view, the way-marks, all.
Upon thy pathway set.
The past is safe!
Time with his iron pen, unerring, has,
In characters indelible inscribed,
On his eternal scroll, its every act,
And move, and step in order as they were;
And those who wish t’ obliterate them now,
Or have them thought as meaningless and small,
May wish and vainly wish, and with the sands
Of error scour, and scour in vain, and strive
To blot them out; they only will bring forth
The characters more bright and clearer still.
They were not small, or meaningless, those moves
Along our journey, they were mighty moves,
Deep fraught with meaning, mighty in effect.WVTP 65.1
Which felt will be through all eternity.
Nor are Time’s records, only, seen through these,
Or his voice only heard; for Prophecy
In concert joined, and with him step by step,
And hand in hand, moved on, and there has left,
With his past scenes, predictions verified.
‘Tis not in vain that ye have toiled thus far,
Nor are your labors, known amid the past,
Useless, as things that have accomplished nought.
Much has been done, for ever done, and well;
And much accomplished in its proper time,
And proper order, once for all fulfilled.
Now wisdom learn from past experience,
And in each onward move, and impulse given,
Behold the hand of God that ordered all;
And learn through all our course, the stream of time
Has fast been narrowing down, and God’s great work
Resistless moving on,—his mighty plans
Rolling with ceaseless certainty unto
Their great fulfillment, final and complete.
Th’ appointed days expired! and think ye now,
Because to man no outward move appeared,
The words of God’s eternal wisdom failed?
His plans proved fruitless? or his purpose vain?
Not so! a great and mighty change there came,
And, in fulfillment of God’s certain will,
A mighty work, and great, was there performed.
For our High Priest, the Holiest entered then,—
The Holiest of the Tabernacle true,—WVTP 66.1
And verified God’s word, eternal, stood,
That cleansed should then the Sanctuary be.
No proof had yet been given, or reason found—
Nor was, indeed, much proof or reason sought,
Or thoroughly the question e’er discussed,
Taking for granted what they should have proved,—
Why earth, or portions, aught, of earth, should be
A Sanctuary called, a holy place;
Nor could aught in God’s sacred Word be found,
Substantial evidence, that it was so,
Or e’en a place where once it thus was named.
But while we saw it not, our learned foes,
Searching through every nook of hidden lore,
For some objection, valid, to our cause—
Some which would stand alone,—this missed withal,
Nor ever once, on this, presumed attack.
But on the Word of God, firm rock of truth,
We might have laid foundation surer, far,
On which to rest our hope; and might have learned
That Heaven contained the Tabernacle true, 1.
By God, not man, a Sanctuary pitched;
Of which the earthly house, the typical,
Was but a pattern given, whose services
And ministrations all th’ example served,
And shadow of the heavenly things themselves.
Great was the change when first the type, on earth,
Its antitype, in Heaven, reached, and there,
Thenceforward, were its services performed.—
So now the change was great, when was commencedWVTP 67.1
The final work, and short, remaining, sole,
To once for all the Sanctuary cleanse,
And seal the destinies of all mankind.
Which done, will Christ a second time appear.
His saints to crown with everlasting joy.
Then has no tittle failed, tittle or jot,
So far, of God’s immutable decrees.
For man’s short foresight Time has made amends.
And taught that in the event, and not in time
Lay the mistake, corrected plainly now.
Thus far has God sustained and led us on,
His hand has guided and his Spirit cheered;
His is the glorious truth and will prevail;
More have we now, our whole belief to claim.
More to encourage, and of truth assure,
And in our hearts undying hope inspire,
Than ever yet upon our vision rose;
For we have seen, with our own eyes have seen.
Prophetic words fulfilled, and scenes foretold,
Accomplished,—all, God’s plans developing,—
Scenes, but the short forerunners of the great,
And final consummation soon to be;
And with a thrill of joy, and gladdened heart,—
Emerging from the vale of doubt and gloom—
We now behold that still our course was right,
Right in all leading fundamental truth,
And in our earnest toil, through days gone by.
In word and deed we did God’s holy will.
Two angels, forth from God commissioned, to
Make known to slumbering guilty man his will,WVTP 68.1
Have loud through heaven their messages proclaimed,
Fulfilled their mission, and their work is done.
A third yet follows them—a third and last—1.
To man a final call of mercy given—
In whose loud voice, warning of woe to come,
An obstinate, and blinded world may read,
In letters of vindictive wrath, their doom:
“If any man the beast shall worship, and
In hand or forehead shall his mark receive,
The same the wine of God’s unmingled wrath
Shall drink, wrath without mixture poured into
His cup of indignation, and with fire
And brimstone, in the presence of the Lamb,
And of the holy angels, shall he there
Tormented be, and rest not day nor night,
Who serve the beast, and who his image serve,
And of his name the fatal mark receive.
Here is the patience of the waiting saints;
Lo! here are they who God’s commandments keep,
And keep the faith of Jesus Christ the Son.”
The holy Seer, upon the lonely isle
Of Patmos, tranced in vision, saw the years,
The future years, of earth before him pass:
And ‘neath prophetic symbols spanned events,
Most prominent along the stream of time,
The mighty offspring of unceasing change,
Of revolution, anarchy, and war,
That fill earth’s catalogue of wo and death.
So has he given, in panoramic view,WVTP 69.1
Kingdoms and thrones, and empires, men of sin.
And powers of darkness working mightily,
And warring ‘gainst the saints of God most high—
Has given that men might listen, and learn, and be
Instructed of events now soon to come.
“I stood upon the sea-sands, and behold, 1
Up from the rolling sea, a beast arose;
And seven heads it had, and had ten horns,
And bore ten crowns thereon, and on its heads,
Were daring written names of blasphemy.
And unto it was given a mouth to speak
Great things and blasphemous, and bold, against
The God of Heaven, his name and Tabernacle
To desecrate and them, above, that dwell.
And power upon the saints to him was given
To wage relentless war, and overcome.
And all on earth that dwell, whose names
In the Lamb’s book of life are written not,
Shall worship him-to him the knee shall bow.”
Time in his onward march, with outline bold,
Has this destroying power (thus symbolized)
Developed in proportion strong and full.
The world beheld it, when the world beheld
The man of sin revealed, and saw the power
Of Papacy, bold and blasphemous rise,
And over all that may be called of God
Himself exalt, and raise against the saints
A bloody arm of persecution strong.WVTP 70.1
“And lo, another beast I then beheld,
Out from the earth arise; and like a lamb
Two horns he had, but as a dragon spake.
And he great wonders doeth, e’en to bring
Fire down from heaven to earth in sight of men.
And by those miracles which he had power
Before the beast to do, deceiveth them
That dwell upon the earth, that to the beast
They should an image make, and causeth all
Both small and great, rich, poor, and bond and free,
In their right hand or in their foreheads bold
To bear a mark, and none save only such
As bore his mark or name might buy or sell.”
So will the powers of darkness league their bands,
Combine their forces, and with rule most strong,
With laws and with decrees, compel mankind
Themselves t’ array against the God of Heaven.
With two horns like a lamb a beast arose—
So with two leading forms a power has risen,
Two fundamental principles, than which
In all the earth none can be found more mild,
More lamb-like in their outward form and name.
A land of freedom, pillared on the broad
And open basis of equality;
A land reposing ‘neath the gentle sway
Of civil and religious liberty.
Lamb-like in form, is there no dragon-voice
Heard in our land? no notes that harshly grate
Upon the ear of mercy, love and truth?WVTP 71.1
And put humanity to open shame?
Let the united cry of millions tell,—
Millions that groan beneath oppression’s rod,
Beneath the sin-forged chains of slavery,
Robbed of their rights, to brutes degraded down.
And soul and body bound to other’s will,—
Let their united cries, and tears, and groans,
That daily rise, and call aloud on Heaven
For vengeance, answer; let the Slave reply.
O land of boasted freedom! thou hast given
The lie to all thy loud professions, fair,
Of justice, liberty and equal rights;
And thou hast set a foul and heinous blot
Upon the sacred page of liberty;
And whilst thou traffickest in souls of men,
Thou hurl’st defiance, proud, in face of Heaven
Soon to be answered with avenging doom.
More fully, soon, shall yet this dragon-voice
Developed be, and louder yet shall speak;
More fully as the consummation nears,
And all the wicked, wickeder become,
The good more good, more holy, just and pure;
When he against the followers of truth
Shall lift his voice and vent his furious rage.
Whoe’er the beast shall worship, and his mark
Receive, the vials of God’s wrath shall drink;
Here is the patience of the saints, and they
Who God’s commandments keep and faith of Christ.
In his high daring, and exalted pride,
The man of sin in rivalry of Heaven’s
Unchanged and fixed decrees, has fabrics rearedWVTP 72.1
With his seal sealed, stamped and accredited;
For he has aimed a fierce and deadly blow
Against Jehovah’s just and holy law.
God, in the beautiful order of his works,
Guided by wisdom infinite, and love,
Supreme, to man, gave him a day of rest.
The first six days of time were all complete,
Each with its list of the Almighty’s works,
And, fair, creation stood, a monument
Of his eternal and unbounded power.—
Six days were past; the seventh came and brought
Quiet through all the earth; for her
Creator rested; yea, the seventh came,
And from a God of holiness and love,
Of purity and righteousness and truth,
Received a blessing, and by him was claimed,
Above all days, his own; and on its brow
He placed his sacred seal, and hallowed it.
Illustrious, thus, the holy Sabbath stands;
Link most divine, connecting earth with Heaven;
A sacred chain, inseparably inwove,
With man and time, God and eternity.
Illustrious, thus, the holy Sabbath stands;
Fair in its glorious origin, divine;
And to mankind a bright attendant given,
To shed o’er them its blessings through all time;
And as each weekly circle fast revolves
Down Time’s swift current, point the world to Him,
Who, from the void, made heaven and earth, and prove,
A glad remembrancer of God to man.WVTP 73.1
Nor only thus: on Sinai’s cloudy top,
The Sovereign Monarch of the universe
Came down; lightnings and rolling thunders deep,
Clouds, and the mighty trumpet’s swelling tone,
Were his majestic heralds; and before
The awful presence of its Maker, earth
From all her lowest depths recoiled and shook—
He spake: and while all Nature veiled her face
Before his mighty majesty, made known
His law to man,—his ten commandments sure.
And thus, in plainest terms, as is most just
To herald mightiest truth, this precept ran:
“The Sabbath-day remember: in six days
Shalt thou thy labor do, and all thy work;
The seventh is the Sabbath of thy God;
Then shalt thou rest, and all within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven, and earth,
And sea, and all therein, and on the seventh,
Rested from all his work; wherefore, the Lord
Then blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it.”
So clear has God made known his will to man;
So firm established his eternal law.
And his beloved Son, when he came down
To walk with men, on earth, in mortal form,
And offer pardon to their fallen state,
In accents mild, declared, of righteousness
And truth, “Think not that to destroy the law,
Or prophets is my aim; not to destroy,
But to fulfill, I come.” So will they stand,
God’s precepts, all, immutable, and just;WVTP 74.1
And when exhausted are the years of time,
Then coeternal with eternity,
Will they remain, throughout God’s realm adored.
Satan’s vicegerent on this sin-cursed earth,
Here aims, malicious, with his poisonous dart,
And lifts his viperous tongue, blaspheming God,
And Heaven, and loud, in lying phrase, most bold,
Proclaims to earth with all her tribes and tongues,
“Changed is the Sabbath: and no longer, now,
The seventh, but the first day shall ye keep.”
Change most absurd, most villainously false,
Satan’s most artful scheme to turn mankind
Away from God, and most successful too.
The mass of all the multitudes of earth,
O wondrous strange! have lent a listening ear,
And sanction by their works the lawless act;
Cling to the change, cling most tenaciously,
And worst of all, strangest, and most absurd,
Most opposite to reason, light and truth,
They, in their blinded bigotry, maintain,
That God has done it.
God has plain declared,
I never change. The world aloud proclaims,
Proclaims by practice which the loudest speaks,
That he has changed. He, in his truth, affirms,
I will not alter what my lips have spoke.
The world returns, by word and practice, both,
That he has altered his eternal law.
But still do they with bland hypocrisy,
Profess to follow Christ, and follow truth;WVTP 75.1
But to their own profession give the lie,
And to their God, and heap up for themselves
Treasures of wrath against the latter day:
Low to an institution of the beast
Bow down, but slight the Royal law;—intent.
In hand or forehead, to receive his mark,
But shun the seal, the holy seal of God.
So lies mankind deep buried up in sin;
So in a thousand forms of error steeped.
God in his infinite mercy, once again,
Sends them a warning ere his anger comes.
And while is heard the loud third angel’s voice,
Now rolling forth its burden on the world,
All who have ears to hear, so let them hear.
‘Tis the last call that ever shall be heard
From mercy’s lips; when this shall cease, there comes
A dismal, doleful night, in which will gleam
No ray of pardon for a fated world.
Closed then shall be, for aye, probation’s book;
And the appointed ministers of God’s
Dark vengeance, rise and execute his will.
‘Tis the last call a guilty world shall hear;
This will the straight, the separating line,
Between those who their God shall serve, and those
Who serve him not, bold and distinctly draw.—
The final gathering call, that shall search out
The lost and scattered sheep, who wander now,
Without a shepherd on the mountains drear,
That bids each soul return, where’er the flock
Were driven in the dark and cloudy day—WVTP 76.1
That shall unite in unity of faith,
A remnant, tried, and faithful to their King;
Who keep his words, his statutes and his laws;
Who o’er the beast victorious, shall at last,
Enter the City through its pearly gates,
And taste the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Ye from whose eye cold disappointment’s mist
Still shuts the light of truth; whose weary feet
Still find no footing firm on which to rest,
Nor to your honest, searching hearts find food,
Return ye, come, and heed the light of truth,
That shineth in the darkness clearly now.
Ye over whom the flood of worldliness
Again has rolled, and loaded, with its cares,
Your spirits down, and turned your vision from
The living glories of the Blessed Hope,
Arise yet once again, and to the help
Of God, against the mighty, lend your aid.
Ye who are blindly, calmly settling down,
Into a state of cold indifference,
Fast losing life, and energy, and strength,
And now perform before your sovereign King
A lame and lukewarm service—heed the call
That bids you rouse to life and onward move.
Laodiceans! hear, with listening ear,
The message which to thee the Spirit brings:
“These things th’ Amen, the true and faithful saith:
Thy works I know, that neither cold nor hot
Thou art; would that thou wert; wherefore will I,
In thy lukewarmness, spue thee from my mouth;WVTP 77.1
For that thou art, thou sayest, increased in goods,
And rich and needing nothing, knowing not,
That poor, and blind, and miserable thy case,
Wretched and naked is in sight of Heaven.
Thee do I counsel gold to buy of me,
Gold tried with fire, that yet thou mayest be rich;
And raiment, that thy nakedness be hid;
And to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see.
Be zealous and repent! Lo, at the door
I stand and knock; if any hear my voice,
And open unto me, I will come in;
And him that overcometh will I grant
With me to sit upon my throne, as I
Have overcome and share my Father’s joy.”
Ho! all ye scattered ones, who ever once
Stood on the side of God and fought for truth,
Into whatever lone and dreary path,
The cloudy day and dark has seen you stray,
Return around the standard of your King!
‘Tis the last rallying-call that bids you come!
The last recruiting officer that Heaven,
To bid men join its army, e’er shall send,
Is out upon his final mission now;
Ere, then, too late, enroll your names again,
To aid the glorious cause you once did love.
The bright remembrances of former days,
Bid ye return—thoughts of the holy joy
That filled your souls while struggling for the truth
In scenes gone by, bid ye return—the sun,
Fast counting off the numbered days of time,WVTP 78.1
Telling how swift the coming end draws near,
Bids ye return—and loud the rolling earth,
Trembling beneath its weary load of years,
Palsied and old, like one who seeks the grave,
Bids ye return—and louder still the voice
Of Heaven’s last messenger to sinful man,
Deep in its warning tone, bids ye return,
And fight the battle through and win the prize.
O that a soul should perish now, who e’er
Has borne the cross and trod the heavenly road!
Should almost reach the blissful land of rest,
Then turn, through disappointment, from the path
Should brave the conflict ‘till ‘twas almost o’er,
Then lay their armor by, and miss the crown!
Should, with the Golden City just in view,
Yea, almost on its threshold standing, turn
Away from truth to error’s poisonous cup.
Ho! all ye wandering ones, who ever once,
Stood on the side of God and fought for truth,
Who’ve borne the cross and trod the heavenly road,
Who e’er have felt the holy love of God,
Within you burn, and fed on heavenly food—
Where will ye find it now? Whence will ye draw
Subsistence for your hungry, starving souls?
Whence will ye seek it? In a godless world?
Behold it drenched in sin, alien from God,
Full of all lust, iniquity and pride,
Driving deliriously on to death!
And hope ye then for spiritual comfort there?
Whence will ye seek it? In a fallen church?WVTP 79.1
Behold it dead, a withered, lifeless thing,
Enveloped deep in shades of moral death!
O’er which the baleful fires of that most Heaven
Insulting sin, a cold formality,
Sheds its sulphurous glare, and makes the gloom
More hideous still! There will ye seek for food
And take the husks that fain the swine would leave?
Will ye protection seek, and watchful care
From those vile shepherds, who the fleece secure,
And starve the flock, to clothe and feed themselves?
Thus saith the Lord; “unto the shepherds, woe,
Of Israel, who thus their charge abuse.
Ye eat the fat; yourselves ye clothe with wool;
Them which are fed ye kill; ye have not healed
The sick, the broken have not bound, nor yet
The weak made strong; nor have ye brought again
That which was driven away nor found the lost.
So saith the Lord, I am against you now;
And at thy hands my flock will I require.”
Howl O ye shepherds! for the God of Heaven
Hath raised his voice against you. Wail aloud!
For soon your day of retribution comes;
Day, when a strict account will be required,
Of all thy stewardship, and ye must speak
For all the trust committed to your charge—
How ye have led the flock the way to Heaven,
And taught them in the precepts of God’s will,
And fed them with the words of holy truth.
And when at last the dark, th’ avengeful day,
Of God’s long stifled wrath shall sudden burst
And wake them unawares to meet their doom—WVTP 80.1
Them whom your honeyed words have lulled to sleep
And cries of peace have soothed to calm repose—
How shall ye answer for your duty then?
How shall ye answer for the blood of souls
Whom ye have blinded from the light of truth?
When undeceived they find at last that ye
Have smoothed with stealthy hand the way to death,
And charmed them on with fatal, siren songs,
Have spoken pleasing words, heedless of truth,
And warned them not against the day of wrath,
Which finds them, now, all unprepared and lost—
How shall ye bear their looks of agony,
Their piercing gaze of utter, wild despair?
How shall ye bear the wail of beings lost,
Lost through your faithlessness, upon the ear
Fall heavily in shrieks of burning wrath?
How shall ye hear them, loud, with curses deep,
Upon your heads heap up eternal loads
Of unabating, everlasting wo!
O faithless, guilty shepherds, great, indeed,
And heavy, is the account you soon must meet;
Of souls unwarned to flee the wrath to come;
Of truth unsought, or yet if sought, untold;
Of warning lessons God in mercy sends,
In lying phrase smoothed o’er to words of peace.
Ye who would seek for spiritual food and life,
To feed the soul, ye will not find it here!
Whence will ye seek it? One straight path there is,
One narrow path, where, seeking, ye may find;
Where Truth a few firm followers leads along
Towards the gates of Heaven; around whose stepsWVTP 81.1
The Bible, God’s unerring word, is still
A shining light.—Lo! here are they who keep
The faith of Jesus and commands of God.
All other paths distract and lead astray;
All else upon its front, conspicuous, bears
The brands of error, deep; howe’er so much,
Satan, with all his arts, may strive to shield
The fatal impress from the public gaze,
The blazing light of truth will pierce the veil,
And all may read in no ambiguous phrase,
The clear exposals of the ways of sin.—
All else the seed and fruit of discord bear,
And mixed confusion strange around them reigns;
And from the thousand crooked winding paths,
That weave their long, serpentine courses on,
Through all the world’s great Babel, each pursued
By some charmed multitude of dreamers fond,
Rushing a thousand ways—a thousand notes,
Discordant rise, and unharmonious sounds
Fall harshly on the ear. The traveler, who,
Seeking the land of bliss, inquiry makes,
What signs of promise beam upon the way,
Hears but uncertain, contradictory notes,
And faint responses from the darkness come.
Watchman! what of the night? Alas, upon
The walls of Zion stand no watchmen now,
Faithful to duty; they who on the towers,
The high watch-towers, have stations taken, and
Should read the signs of the approaching day,
Upon their faithless watch, have fallen asleep,
And all who in them trust, are sleeping too;WVTP 82.1
Deep is their sleep that has no consciousness;
Yet as they sleep they talk—they talk of peace—
Talk, as they dream, of peace and safety sure.
Traveler, inquire again; others there are,
Who have proclaimed that day was drawing near,
That time’s dark night was wearing fast away—
Who, with the lamp of prophecy, once told
The traveler where in Time’s career he stood—
Perchance they may your wandering feet direct;
Watchmen! what of the night? Voices we hear,
A few faint voices from the ambient gloom;—
“Where once we were, we thought indeed we knew,
But ‘tis a mystery now we cannot solve.”
Watchman! what of the night? “We do not know,”
The drowsy watch replies; “that once we knew
The time of night, we thought; but we were then
Mistaken, and the matter cannot mend.”
Traveler, read’st thou aught here to cheer thee on?
To plant fresh courage in thy drooping heart?
To quell thy rising doubts, dispel thy fears,
And give thee knowledge of the coming day?
But once again inquire; around his truth
God yet has watchmen true, to shield it well;
To tell how wears the weary night away,
And mark the tokens of the coming dawn.
Them let the traveler hear, and onward press.
Watchman! what of the night? “Traveler, the morn,
The morning cometh! also comes the night!”
The morning cometh! bright, bright, glorious morn!
That ushers in a cloudless, endless day;WVTP 83.1
Morning, whose holy light, shall sweep the shades
Of sin and death away; and with them flee
Their noisome brood that in the darkness lurk:
The glorious restitution morn that brings
The weary saints all home from pilgrimage,
To rest in lovely bowers of peace and joy.
Traveler, faint not, nor slack thine onward pace;
Lo, o’er the way, tokens of that glad morn—
Gleams of its bright approach—already rise.
There cometh, too, a night; a night to sin,
A night to sinners, deep, and dark, and dead;
A moonless, starless, rayless night, that may
Not hope for morn; for morn it ne’er shall see:
Night when no sighs, nor penitential tears,
Or prayers shall gain acceptance, and avert
The threatened wrath of an insulted God:—
They shall be swept both root and branch away,
And dark oblivion evermore obscure
Their very names and memories, and blot
Their forms from out the universe of life.
Traveler, heed well thy steps! around thy way
A thousand ministers of Satan stand—
His last and desperate effort—to obstruct
Thy course; to blind, confuse, deceive, thy mind;
Around thy feet a thousand snares they spread;
Heed not their fables, though they clothe them fair,
In high and sounding phrase of comely form.
Truth seek, truth follow; that shall lead you right;
That light alone, will show you where to tread;
And O, beware, through all thy pilgrimage,
Lest on thy hand or brow the beast shall pressWVTP 84.1
His fatal mark. Keep God’s commandments, and
The Faith of Jesus; so shall you escape
The bitter vials of the final plagues,
And in the coming storm a covering have;
In troubles deep, a refuge sure; and God,
Safe to the hills of rest will bring you soon.
Here may ye find, ye worn and weary ones,
The truth of God that satisfies the soul:
May come, and with the remnant share, when they
Shall reap the rich reward of duty done.
Into the field, the Prince of darkness, now,
Brings up his last reserve; weaves his last web,
The crowning act of his deceptive scheme;
A fraud that on the sympathies of man
Takes hold, and with a fatal sorcery
Soon draws him in the snare, and binds him fast;
A deep-laid plot! that at the very roots
Of truth and true religion, strikes most deep;
That tells the world, that, in its onward march,
It has progressed beyond the word of God;
And now must wisdom learn direct from Heaven,
Which the departed spirits of the dead,
Bringing from thence, communicate to earth.
Would men but read this truth, and as they read,
Believe, believe as ‘tis most plain expressed,
That the dead know not anything, 1. a shield
They then would have against the foul deceit:
But as it is, their own belief, itselfWVTP 85.1
Erroneous, but serves to lead them on
To error, farther yet from God and truth.—
Spirits they are of devils, who go forth 1.
Unto the kings of earth, and all the world,
Working with miracles, to gather them
Unto the last great battle-day of God.
Direct from realms of darkness do they come,
Though welcomed much as ministers of light;
Speak most blasphemous falsehoods boldly forth,
Received by many as unerring truth;
And in the very bosom of the Church,
Are planting now a fatal footing firm;
Yea, in the sacred desk, so firmly shut
Against all news of Christ’s approaching reign,
These emissaries, vile, of Satan, stand,
And with all lying wonders, and deceit,
Set openly at naught the Saviour’s power.
So is the Church, in her delusive dreams,
Hugging a poisonous viper to her breast;
Calmly unconscious, nursing in her midst,
A deadly reptile venomous and fierce;
Destined full soon, alas, to feel its sting.
Soon will the mighty angel cry through heaven,
Babylon the great is fallen, and is become,
A dwelling-place for devils, and a hold
Of every spirit foul; polluted cage
Of every low, unclean and hateful bird.
Such is she hasting daily to become.
And there was heard another voice in Heaven,WVTP 86.1
Saying, Come out of her my people! that
Ye of her sins be not partakers, and
Receive not of her plagues; for unto heaven
Her sins have reached, and her iniquities,
Hath God remembered; therefore shall her plagues,
In one day, mourning, death, and famine come.
Come out of her my people! yea, saith Christ,
A few names even in Sardis, yet thou hast,
Of garments undefiled, and they shall walk
With me in white; for they are worthy all.
Come out of her my people! lo, her cup
Of deep iniquity is almost full,
And now not distant, far, her plagues await.
And when they say, familiar spirits seek, 1.
And wizards, dark, that mutter and that peep,
Should not a people then look unto God?
For, shall the living seek unto the dead?
Among my true disciples seal the law,
Among them bind the testimony sure.
If not in harmony with this they speak,
Know then that nought but darkness in them dwells.
In this behold another sign to show
How surely all events are working on,
And mark how near the consummation draws;
Yet in their evil hearts, do men delight
God’s plain and certain Word to still pervert;
And from loud messages sent to proclaim
That evil cometh on the wings of wind,
They read bright tokens of approaching good.WVTP 87.1
O hypocrites! why can ye not discern
Signs of the times; and why cannot ye read
The plain hand-writing on the walls of heaven!
Ye sons of men! Ye multitudes of earth!
Traveling each way but that which leads to Heaven;
Seeking intent with fervent, tireless zeal
For everything but truth; chasing each dream,
Each phantom of the enchantments, false, of earth,
That flits across your path; now in the wild,
The mingled tumult of the giddy chase,
A moment pause, forgetting earth, the while,
And cast one honest, serious, solemn thought,
One full reflection on your blind career.
Ask if the world, with all its raging floods
Of dark iniquity, and loathsome sin,
Holding the words of God in proud contempt,
And warring hard with holiness and truth,
Can long be suffered thus to hold its course;
God, and the voice of Truth, loud answers, No!
Ask—in the wisdom of Jehovah’s works,
And righteousness of purpose, if he e’er
Visits mankind in judgments, unforewarned;
The world oft punished sore in ages gone,
For frequent deeds of guilt, will answer, No!
And answer more; that with the warning comes
Space for repentance, and beseeching calls,
And earnest, loud entreaties Mercy sends,
To urge men to accept the way of life;
That when God’s wrath descends, they perish not:
Warnings, alas, too oft unnoticed, all,
And calls of Mercy slighted and abused.WVTP 88.1
Behold the days of Noah! behold, and fear,
When God a warning sends, to heed it not.
Long with this guilty race did Mercy plead;
Long was the message sounding in their ears,
Of coming wo, and swift approaching death;
And oft were they entreated to return
From ways of wickedness and turn to God:
As oft in vain; for every warning note,
Slighted, if not despised, died on the air.
Infatuated race! they still must buy,
And sell, and plant, and build, and lay in store;
Must follow still th’ illusive charms of earth,
E’en though a flood of wrath hung o’er their heads.
They would not turn, would not accept of life;
But blindly, madly rushed on certain death.
Ill-fated race! God, faithful to his word,
Poured on their stubborn heads th’ appointed doom;
And, lo, they knew it not, e’en till the flood
Came furious down, and swept them all away.
As were the days of Noah, so, too, shall be,
The days which shall reveal the Son of man. 1.
Another instance take, of good refused;
Of love, and truth, and mercy proudly scorned;
Of warning words, mocked and forgotten then;
Instance where men have died the death of fools,
Through their own stubborn heedlessness have died,
As best they did deserve, and was most just.
Doomed were the cities of the plain, for deeds
Of grievous sin, and deep, unequaled guilt.WVTP 89.1
But not unwarned they stood, though warned in vain,
Nor unentreated, though they heeded not;
They ate, they drank, they builded, bought and sold,
And deeper plunged in worldliness and sin:
Soon came the fires of God’s fierce anger down,
And, as themselves had chosen, consumed them all.
A righteous few, a remnant, only, fled,
Fled for their lives, escaped, and so were saved.
As were the days of Lot, e’en so shall be,
The days wherein the Son of man shall come.
So at the flood, and so at Sodom’s doom,
Were men forewarned; behold, a mightier scene,
Greater, by far, than these, is at the door;
So does a louder warning tell it near.
O faithless generation! if the signs,
Which ye have seen, and which ye now may see,
To mark the last expiring years of time,
Had but been seen in days before the flood,
They had repented soon, and turned to God.
Had but the cities of the plain beheld
The half of what ye see, they all had left
Their deeds of wickedness nor perished then.
Will ye then still press on the way to death?
Still chase the illusive dreams of earthly bliss?
Still let a mote of earthly pleasure hide
Away from view, worlds of eternal joy?
Still let a few short unsubstantial days
Of fleeting time, laid in the scale, outweigh
Eternity’s long years of glory bright?
Let reason, for awhile, her long usurped
Dominion gain, and once direct your thoughts.WVTP 90.1
Let wisdom speak; true wisdom, not of earth,
Gross, unrefined; but wisdom pure, that springs,
Fresh from the fountain head of light and truth.
Think on the wondrous works and purposes
Of God! Scan from beginning earth’s career,
And see if now it draws not near its close.
Mark how she scarcely staggers on with near
Six thousand years upon her aged back;
Feeble, and old and worn, with wan disease.
Behold the scenes with which, in earnest truth,
She writes her coming end. The field explore
Of prophecy; and prophecy compare
With history; events foretold, mark well.
And what have past consider, and be wise.
Will ye not read and flee the wrath to come?
Room there has ever been, and e’er shall be,
That those who wish to doubt, may doubt; a place
Where unbelief may set its cloven foot:
So may ye now, tall structures rear against
The truth; but ah, ye’ll find too late, alas,
Ye’ve only made firm gibbets for your souls.
See ye no tokens in the present age
Of fearful portent, which, with raven wing,
Dark o’er the future cast their dismal shade?
Ay! mark them well, in glaring forms, and bold,
Of guilt and deep iniquity and sin.
With many a sounding epithet, and high,
Are fair encomiums bestowed upon
The age that is—an age of light, they say,
Of rare, unprecedented, cloudless light;
Of sciences unequaled, and advanceWVTP 91.1
In arts of every form, unknown before:
So do loud cries of progress and reform,
Swell on the air; and men are all content,
To shut their eyes and hear, well-pleased, the cry,
“The world is growing better!” and know not
That swift destruction now is on the track.
Do ye not see that ‘tis the very dregs
Of near six thousand years of filthiness?
The settlings of corruptions gone before?
Mark ye not how the powers of darkness work
With all their signs and lying wonders now?
And Satan with all modes, all forms, all ways,
Of black deception, hasteth to perform
His last, deep work of malice ‘gainst mankind?
Will ye then let the peace and safety cry,
Still lull you on, till universal death
Shall ope its hideous jaws, and quick devour?
Will ye still slumber on the crater’s mouth,
Nor heed its deep convulsions, till, at last,
Ruin’s wide vortex draws you helpless down?
Will ye still blindly say that since the days
Wherein the fathers fell asleep, all things
Continue as they were, and yet inquire
Where is the promise of your Lord’s approach? 1.
Behold the angry nations! lo, their wrath
Among themselves is stirred; e’en as wild beasts
Each other watch with glaring ‘vengeful eye,
And many an angry snarl, so do they cast,
Each upon each looks of resentment deep,WVTP 92.1
And sleepless jealousy; with angry brow,
Cloudy and dark with wrath, they wait to launch,
Upon each other, fierce, their bolts of death.
Have ye not witnessed Famine’s meagre form
Stalking abroad among the tribes of earth,
And sporting with their suffering and wo?
Have ye not witnessed giant Earthquakes rise,
And ‘neath their ponderous tread proud cities crush,
And raze, with proud contempt, the works of man?
Have ye not marked the Hurricane unbound?
The wild Tornado’s furious, sweeping course,
Exulting proudly in its youthful strength?
And rushing Floods and hideous Pestilence,
And Fires with towering crest blazing aloft,
Mocking the feeble implements of men?
And countless in their forms, Misfortunes, dire,
Crowding unwelcome ‘cross the path of life?
Have ye not witnessed these, as if they all
Were practicing to bear their part in some
Great, crowning, fatal, last catastrophe?
Ay, thus it is; the Son of God hath said
There shall be signs above, and on the earth,
Distress of nations with perplexity. 1.
Waves roaring, and the sea, and men’s hearts faint,
And failing them for fear, when they but look
For those things which are coming on the earth.
From all these signs draw ye no lessons then?
And know ye not that soon, full soon there comes
A time of trouble such as never was?—WVTP 93.1
And there was heard a voice thro’ heaven, aloud,
Saying, Wo! wo! wo! to earth’s inhabiters, 1.
By reason of the other voices of
The angel trumpets, which are yet to sound.
Two have already sounded, and two woes
Are past; behold the third woe cometh soon.—
With wisdom then heed well the incipient steps
That mark its swift approach; these are the paths,
The avenues that lead direct into
The great arena of the battle-day.
Dark o’er the earth, a storm is rising fast.
With lowering front it comes, gloomy and still,
In aspect terrible; as if all wrath,
All boundless fury, all destroying power,
Were all combined and centered there for some
Great work of devastation and of death.
Deep is the shade of gloom it casts o’er earth;
While now a universal hush, as still
As dwelleth in the chambers of the dead,
Waits its approach; a hush that just precedes
The awful fury of the bursting storm.
And will ye this regard, this little space
Of peace and quietness and plenty, as
A token sure of good that’s yet to come,
And calm your fears with thoughts that all is safe?
Know, then, destruction comes, ye cannot ‘scape.
A few discerning minds, lights of the age,
The great men of the earth, of judgment sound,
Of foresight strong and clear, but take a glance,WVTP 94.1
A hurried glance into the future dim,
And shuddering drop the vail; they durst not scan,
Nor meditate the scenes in embryo there;
But with foreboding looks, and stifled voice,
They say man cannot the results foretell.
Man need not do it; for the Word of God
In plainest terms thus tells the issue true:
At that time Michael shall stand up, the Prince
That standeth for thy people, and a time
Of trouble shall there be as never was.
Then shall thy people, all whose names are found
But written in the book, deliverance share.
O, sinners! ye who stand before the storm,
Heedless, without a shelter, ere it burst
In fury down, a place of refuge seek.
Heed the third angel’s voice, lest he shall close
His mission soon, ere you obey his call.
O haste, while yet our great High Priest remains
Within the Sanctuary’s holiest place,
Shortly to finish there his final work—
Haste and repent, that all thy sins may then
Be blotted out, nor find remembrance more.
And lest the voice of Mercy suddenly
Shall cease to plead, heed her entreaty now.
This know—tho’ you, tho’ all the world shall stand
All unprepared to meet the avenging day,
‘Twill not delay; for God hath purposed it,
And at the appointed time ‘twill surely come.
Lo, on the ear, at intervals, now falls
The distant murmurings; as though e’en now
The struggling wrath was but ill stifled there;WVTP 95.1
And ever and anon, the watchful eye
Sees, fearfully flashing through the dark expanse,
Gleams of the piercing fires that lay behind:
Nor will they long be stifled; earth shall feel
Their blasting fury in a sudden hour.
Oft has the Prophet’s eye, when far away
Through the long vista dim of future years
He cast a searching glance, upon this time
Rested intent; and fervently he cried,
“Alas! alas! that day! for it is great!
And like it there is none.” “O would that thou
Wouldst hide me in the grave, in secret, till
Thy wrath is past.” “Come ye my people in
Thy chambers enter, round thee shut thy doors,
Until the indignation passes o’er;
For lo, the Lord, the Lord omnipotent,
Ariseth from his place, and cometh forth
To punish sore the guilty sons of men
For their iniquity, and earth shall then
Disclose her blood, and hide no more her slain.”
O world! O devotees of fashion! O
Ye glittering sons of pride! Ye worshipers
At pleasure’s empty shrine! of what avail
Will it soon be that ye have followed here
The paths of worldly happiness? What joy
Will the reflection bring, that ye have thrown
Your years away in chasing empty dreams—
When the time comes that ye will feel the need
Of other comfort than the world can give:
When on your unprotected heads the wine
Of God’s unmingled wrath is being poured:WVTP 96.1
When ye are writhing ‘neath the withering curse,
The seven vials of the final plagues;
Without one ray of hope to penetrate
The dark horizon of your bitter wo.
How will the pangs which keen reflection gives,
Pierce thro’ your soul! while thoughts upon the past,
Like “waves of wormwood” in their bitterness,
Roll o’er your mind: thoughts of the time while yet
Mercy’s sweet voice was heard, and there was left
A way of refuge for the sinner then:
Thoughts of the oft repeated warnings given,
And earnest, long entreaties, urgent calls,
To take the way of life, to flee from death,
To leave the paths of sin, and turn your steps
To holiness and truth; and thus secure,
Against the day of wrath, a safe retreat:
Calls which ye might have heeded, if ye would,
And won the rich reward, eternal life.
How will the sad realities then rise,
The appalling sense of your condition, lost,
Before you, dark, like mountains of despair,
To sink you down in utter hopeless wo!
Thought that no act of penitence, sincere,
Can save you then, or mitigate your doom:
Thought that no prayers, however fervent breathed,
Nor sighs, in agony of spirit raised,
Nor tears, nor supplications, e’er can reach
The throne of grace; for Mercy, wearied long,
Insulted and abused, has now retired;
And Christ, our Mediator, who has stood
That men might seek repentance, and long timeWVTP 97.1
Has held the arm of righteous vengeance back,
Now pleads no more; but leaves the world exposed
Before the hot displeasure of her God.
Then shall have gone the fearful mandate forth,
“He that is filthy, filthy let him be!
He that is holy, holy may remain!”
Then shall the sword of vengeance gleam on earth,
And glut itself unsheathed in brother’s blood.
Restraining grace departs, nor longer sheds
Its holy influence through the hearts of men;
While they, abandoned to the workings dark
Of their unhallowed passions, and transformed
To demons fierce, among themselves shall do
Strange deeds of blood and untold wickedness.
Each man against his neighbor lifts his hand.
Friend looks on friend, with glaring, murderous eye,
Inveterate foes; the proud, the rich, the gay,
Who have believed the lying tales of peace,
And calmly dreamed that all was well with them,
Awake, and find, too late, their dreams were false,
And shriek for help; but shriek in vain; for they
Must drink the cup their heedlessness has filled
With bitter draughts of suffering and wo.
Ye whom the soul-polluting sin of pride,
Forbids that ye should be the followers now
Of Jesus, and his humble servants join—
How will ye bear it, then, to find yourselves
With fiends, the vilest of the earth, most low,
Who never think of pity, mercy, love,
And peace; most miserable, most devilish; for
God’s Spirit strives no more with fallen man?WVTP 98.1
Then shall dire pestilence among you stalk,
That walks in darkness; and in noon-day’s light,
Destruction waste you down; ye shall behold
A thousand at thy side, at thy right hand
Ten thousand fall; nor shall thy hoarded wealth,
Silver, or gold, that day deliver ye.
A day of trouble and distress ‘twill be;
Of wasteness and of desolation, drear;
A day of darkness, heaviness and gloom;
And God will haste and speedy riddance make
Of all the wicked dwellers in the land.
Wroth with the remnant of the woman’s seed,
Who God’s commandments keep and Jesus’ words,
Shall be the dragon; and pursue with war;
But they, alone, will God’s protection share;
In his pavilion shall they all be hid;
Beneath the shadow of his wings abide:
His truth shall be their buckler and their shield:
Terror by night they have no need to fear,
Nor pestilence, nor noon-day’s wasting death:
Nigh to their dwelling plague shall never come:
And in the final trying hour, will God,
With his almighty arm deliverance bring.
Ho, all ye people, now associate
Yourselves! Assemble and prepare; for lo,
The battle-day of Armageddon comes!
War, with his iron heel, shall scour the earth,
And drink the blood of millions; anarchy,
Among the angry nations plants his throne,
And in the horrid discord revels wild.
Come all ye fowls that fly in midst of heaven,WVTP 99.1
Gather yourselves together, that ye may eat
The flesh of captains, and the flesh of kings;
Of mighty men; of rider and of horse;
Of all both small and great, and bond and free;
For now the Beast, and all the kings of earth,
With all their armies, have arrayed themselves
To war with him whose name is Lord of lords.
‘Tis the last conflict of the banded powers
Of darkness leagued against the Word of God.
Desp’rate and fierce ‘twill be—the wine-press of
The anger of God’s wrath—and blood shall flow
E’en to the bridles of the horses’ mouths.
Then shall the long usurped dominion which
The Prince of evil holds upon the world,
Forever cease; himself dethroned; for lo,
A mightier than he has said the word,
And He whose right it is shall come to reign.
Once did the Saviour come, lowly and meek,
To pay the penalty for guilty man,
And point the way to never-ending life.
Once more he comes; but not as then he came;
He comes a king, to whom all power is given
In Heaven and earth, and all dominion given;
With honor crowned, and in the glory of
His Father, clothed with heavenly majesty;
For flaming vengeance on the nations, armed;
And all Heaven’s holy angels him attend;
He comes victorious, he comes to reign;
To rule the nations with a rod of iron;
Descending with the loud Arch-angel’s voice,WVTP 100.1
The trump of God, and trembling earth shall reel,
And quick before the lightning of his eye,
The wicked perish and consume away.
The dead shall hear his voice, the righteous dead
Who living served, and dying, sleep in him,
Shall hear and rise, with immortality
Then clothed upon, and with the living saints,
Immediate changed, corrupt to incorrupt,
By shining angel bands be gathered up
To meet the Lord, and realize their hope.
Then shall this mortal, immortality
Put on; then shall the Lord, the righteous Judge,
To all who his appearing love, first give
The crown of life; and all the saints receive
Their harps of gold; and on the sea of glass
With fire commingled, standing, sing the song
Of Moses and the Lamb, and sound the notes
In one triumphant strain, of victory.
Then through the massy gates, each gate a pearl,
Enter the City, bright, for them prepared,
Decked with the glory of its maker God;
And like a jasper stone, the light thereof,
As crystal clear; and all whose holy streets,
With purest gold, even like transparent glass,
Are dazzling paved; which ever fair reflect
Bright back again the living gorgeousness;
And never-fading splendors ceaseless glow;
And beauty answers beauty, deep’ning still,
And grandeur, grandeur, ever leading on
Through scenes of glory, new, ineffable.
There stands the throne of God and of the Lamb,WVTP 101.1
With light encircled, unapproachable;
Whence rolls its ever pure and crystal stream,
The river of life, on whose eternal banks,
From either side, and high o’erarching stands,
Bright in possession of its living bloom,
The tree of life, in fadeless majesty:
Whose golden fruit with silvery-blended hues,
Twelve kinds it monthly yields, freely for all;
Of glorious immortality, sure pledge.
Radiant in light the holy City stands;
Nor hath it need of moon, or shining sun;
For God’s surpassing glory lightens it,
And through its gates of pearl, night never comes.
And he who sat upon the throne, hath said,
Behold anew all things do I create: 1.
Heaven hears the word, and earth, and blooms afresh
In all its Eden beauty, as when first,
At the Almighty’s will, it sprung to life;
Ere man’s revolt had breathed a blight upon
Its pristine glory and its vernal bloom.
Once wert thou fair, O Earth, in loveliness;
Once full perfection bore through all thy forms;
And vigorous stood, and fresh in youthful strength;
But ah, not long; man in his rashness seized
The fatal fruit, and trespassed God’s commands,
And broke the barrier of thy defense:
From hence thy history and thy life grew dark.
A visible pang of death through all the works
Of shuddering nature ran; all that was once
So fair, so good, so lovely, so adorned,WVTP 102.1
Beneath the scorching breathings of the curse,
Distorted, withered, faded, drooped and died.
Sky, once serene, with sombre tempests lowered,
And muttering, frowned on earth a gloomy frown,
And cast o’er all her works a dismal shade.
Among the beasts, peaceful, so late, and tame,
War sprung; and savage howls were heard; and blood
Thirsted for blood, and raged, and fought, and strove.
The birds their songs of harmony and joy,
Forgot; and at the eagle’s piercing scream,
Tremblingly heard, and quick affrighted fled.
And Peace, and Loveliness, and Beauty, took,
With sad, reluctant step, their final leave;
And some few foot-prints, faint, some shadows, dim,
Were all they left on earth; thistles and thorns,
Where once they trod, in dread abundance sprung,
As if to mock their former, glorious reign.
Man opened thus the gaping flood-gates, wide,
Of Sin and Death, who inward rushed, apace,
With all their direful retinue, deformed;
Loathsome disease, with countless hideous shapes,
And keen and racking pains, and cheerless grief,
Misfortunes, and a thousand eating ills,
That eat the happiness of life away;
These, Adam thus let in; these him destroyed;
And these, on all his offspring down the stream
Of time, have ever busy warred, and fixed
Their deadly fangs, and worn and wasted down,
Till Death, e’er active on his ceaseless rounds,
Comes in at last to gather up the spoils.
Thus do they hasten on both man and beast.WVTP 103.1
And thus all living, and all lifeless things,
Down through the crumbling alleys of decay.
And must this ever be? Must ever thus
God’s glorious design frustrated stand?
Not ever! for mankind’s Redeemer, he,
The Son of God, the Second Adam, will,
What our first parents lost, doubly restore.
He Sin and Death will conquer and destroy,
And raze each vestige of their baleful reign;
And close, for aye, their flood-gates, wide, of wo;
And Nature’s face renew, and far remove
The fetters of the curse from all her works;
And Peace, and Loveliness, and Beauty, call
Down once again from their abodes of bliss,
To range in glory o’er the earth renewed.
In youthful freedom, then will earth again
Rejoice, its fetters broken, and its voice
Long choked by Sin and Death to notes of wo,
Shall rise in anthems loud of grateful joy.
All shall be Eden, all be paradise,
The garden of the Lord; abundantly,
With joy and singing shall the desert bloom,
And blossom as the rose, and Lebanon’s
Bright glory share, and Carmel’s excellence.
The solitary places shall be glad; 1.
For in the wilderness, thus saith the Lord,
The cedar will I plant, the shittah tree,
The oil-tree and the myrtle, and will set
The fir-tree in the desert, and the pineWVTP 104.1
And box together, that they all may see,
And know, and understand, that I, the Lord,
The God of Israel, have created it. 1.
The signet of the curse, thistles and thorns,
Now seen no more, shall be forgotten; and
Fair in their place the fir-tree shall come up.
And for the brier, the myrtle tree shall grow;
And streams of laughing joy, shall fresh break forth
Within the desert, and a smiling pool
Shall the parched ground become; the thirsty land,
Well-springs of living water gushing forth.
No poison-breathing swamps, nor marshes foul,
With noxious breath pollute the crystal air;
Nor dark sulphurous tempests rend the skies;
But all shall lovely be, all shall be pure.
The trees shall clap their hands, and fields shall smile,
Bright in the cloudless sunshine of their God,
And fear no blasting storms, nor fear decay.
No turbid waters in the streams shall flow,
But fountains, pure, make glad the face of earth.
All with abundance swells; in tree and flower,
And shrub, and creeping vine, and clustering fruit
And lawn and fertile field, behold no lack.
Thus to its primal purity restored,
Thus glorious and beautiful shall be
The earth renewed, the saints’ eternal home.
And then shall be the tabernacle of God
With men; and he himself shall dwell with them,
And be their God and they his people be.WVTP 105.1
There shall all tears from every eye be wiped;
Sorrow and crying there are never heard;
There death comes not, and pain shall be no more,
Nor sin shall ever there an entrance find;
For lo, the former things are passed away.
Haste then, O Earth, haste and fulfill complete,
The appointed circles of thy gloomy course.
Time in his warning voice, proclaiming loud
That his last trembling sands are falling now,
Has a sweet tone for thee; it tells, thy years
Of mourning, wo and grief are closing fast;
It tells thee that the deep, dark stains of blood,
With which, from age to age, thy soil has been
Disfigured, shall be washed away; that thou
Shalt shortly lay aside thy garments old,
And stiff with gore, and stained with many a scene
Of man’s foul deeds, iniquity and crime;
And soon ‘mid crowning scenes of war and blood,
Of fire and smoke, thy dark career shall close.
Then Prophecy takes up her golden harp,
And rolls enraptured numbers o’er the theme,
The matchless glories of thy second birth,
When Christ shall reign and God be all in all.
Ye raging Storms, that rend the sky in wrath,
And hurl your thunderbolts of death upon
A world below—with all your strength rage on!
Soon comes the time when ye shall be no more.
Ye Earthquakes strong, gaunt Famine, Pestilence,
Disease and Death—perform your wasting work
Of desolation yet a little while;
For on you soon eternal night shall fall.WVTP 106.1
Ye blighting Breaths that creep o’er Nature’s face—
Ye pestilential Airs, that fix your grasp
Upon earth’s fairest spots, and rankle there—
Ye old Waste Places, who delight to hold
In sullen gloom your solitary reign—
Enjoy your cheerless work while yet you may;
For soon your places shall be known no more.
Ye hosts of Evil Passions, who have reigned,
Offspring of Sin, within the hearts of men—
A little space is left you yet, to rule;
To urge men on in wickedness; but lo,
Your days are numbered, and your tomb prepared.
In the great, final day, all these shall die
A death that has no hope of life again.
So will earth’s Great Restorer renovate,
And overturn and purify, till not,
In all his wide domain, one lingering scar
Of Death’s defacement stays, or mark of Sin;
They with their works for ever, now, destroyed,
And in the universe renewed, for them
Will ne’er a secret lurking place be found.
Thus will at last, the dire effects, in full,
Of man’s first disobedience, be repaired,
And all that then was lost, doubly restored;
God’s great design fulfilled, that earth should be
The bright abode of man sinless and pure;—
For then will all, all the redeemed of men,
Through Christ the Son, to God be reconciled,
And never more, in word or act displease;
But crowned with songs, and everlasting joyWVTP 107.1
Upon their heads, reign with their glorious King;
For in his beauty, as he is, shall they
Behold him there, and to his glorious form,
Fashioned, be like him then. Corroding fear,
On perfect joy that every bosom swells,
Wages no war; for Peace, in heavenly garb,
Wide o’er the earth her holy wings shall spread.
Blood thirsts no more for blood, nor enemy,
Crouches to man in beast or serpent now.
The poisonous tooth and deadly sting, shall here
Be known no more; and on the aspic’s den,
The infant child unharmed shall gleeful play.
Peace with her golden scepter rules the world:
The lamb fears not to see the wolf approach;
The leopard with the kid shall calm lie down;
The calf, the fatling, and the lion young,
Together; and a little harmless child
Shall lead them all; for nought shall there destroy
In all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.
Hail Earth renewed! Celestial Paradise!
Fit dwelling place, with all thy loveliness,
Thy long reproach for ever wiped away,
And fairer now than when at first thy God
Pronounced thee good—fit dwelling place, so pure,
So beauteous, so adorned with smiling peace,
For all the saints, all the redeemed of men;
Who through thy gates, immortal City fair,
Thy gates of pearl, will freely enter in,
Where violence and riot never come,
And walk thy bright and dazzling streets of gold;WVTP 108.1
And to the stream of life, the crystal stream
Fast by the throne of God, have access free;
And from the tree of life, high arching o’er,
Pluck the eternal fruit and eat and live;
And in thy glad’ning smiles, O King of saints!
Glory unspeakable possess; for in
Thy presence bright, there fullness is of joy,
At thy right hand, pleasures for ever more.
Lift up your heads, and shout aloud for joy!
Ye heirs of glory! your redemption comes!
Your day of glorious triumph draweth nigh!
Ye on whose brow already care has worn
His furrows deep, fresh courage take; for soon,
A crown of life shall shed its lustre there.
Let hope spring up anew to cheer you on;
For you are taking now the last sad steps
Within this wilderness of darkness drear.
O Church of Philadelphia! Christ hath said,
Before thee have I set an open door, 1.
And none can shut it; for thou yet hast left
A little strength, and thou hast kept my word
And not denied my name; lo I will make
Them of the synagogue of Satan, who
Profess that they are Jews, while they are not;
And they shall come and worship at thy feet.
And that thou hast my word of patience kept,
Therefore will I preserve thee from the hour,
The strong temptation hour, which soon shall come,
On all the world to try the sons of men.WVTP 109.1
Lo! I come quickly! Hold fast what thou hast
That no man take thy crown; for unto him
That overcometh, will I grant to be
A pillar in the temple of my God.
Then lift your voices loud and sing ye saints!
Sing honor, praise, and glory unto God,
Who gives us foretaste of the coming joy
To cheer our weary way; who grants so great,
So precious prize to crown so short a race.
Soon in the holy City shall we strike
Our golden harps, to glory’s anthems tuned.
Earth’s toil will then be done, earth’s care all o’er.
Its woes, its griefs, its passions and its tears,
All gone and all forgotten; while we raise,
With seraphim and high arch-angel joined
In silver tones our hallelujahs, loud,
Wide o’er the fields of bliss; and Heaven shall ring
With high hosannas, and sweet notes of joy;
While we ascribe, glory, and power and might,
All power, all glory, and all majesty,
Blessing and honor to our God, and to
The Lamb, who hath redeemed us by his blood,
To reign with him in glory evermore
And share his blessing, ages without end.WVTP 110.1