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THE WARNING VOICE OF TIME AND PROPHECY
O’ER all the moral world, where, otherwise,
No light would come, or through its midnight gloom
No cheering ray appear, to dissipate
The darkness, God has set a guiding star—
A luminary bright—whose rays divine
Should pierce the night—the deep’ning shades dispel,
Which o’er the earth in sullen silence brood.
Nay, more, a ray of God’s own brightness, sent
Direct to man from off his radiant throne;
That those who gladly should the light receive,
And follow where it led, should here enjoy
A glorious foretaste of the bliss of Heaven.WVTP 3.4
It is God’s Holy Word, immutable,
Through life’s bewildering maze alone can guide
The wandering traveler to eternal rest.
Without it, man were lost—lost in the deep,
Dark labyrinth of dread uncertainty—
Where doubts distract, and fearful thoughts arise—
With nought his steps to lead, save the dim lamp
Of human reason, whose misguiding flame
Would serve to make the gloom still more profound,
The darkness deeper, and more keenly felt.
But ‘twas not God’s design to leave man thus, In error’s devious paths, to grope his way;
So, through his Sacred Word, his will revealed,
And pointed out the narrow path, that bright
And brighter shines, e’en to the perfect day.
And none need err therein, nor is this world’s
Vain wisdom requisite, or judgment deep,
Or reason proud; for in their loftiest strain,
These all are nought but foolishness with God.
The least the truth may know, so plain it is,
And known and followed, leads us through to Heaven.
Our daily course defined, and duty shown,
Indebted more to mercy infinite,
In that ere His designs he consummates,
Or mighty schemes perfects, or judgments sends
Upon a guilty world—man is forewarned.
And to his chosen ones, the prophets, men
Of holiness and truth—and worthy all
Of favors so divine—he has revealed
The secrets of his purposes and plans.
Yea, in their visions, he removed the veil,
The mysterious veil which o’er the future hangs,
And bade them look far down the stream of time,
Until that stream was in eternity’s
Vast ocean lost.—E’en to the day
When this dark, weary, groaning earth, again,
In Eden glory shall rejoice anew;
The curse, the blighting curse, of sin removed,
And all its hideous progeny destroyed;
Until the righteous from all ages saved,
Rejoicing in the glory of their God,
And in eternal life through Christ the Son.
Shall round his throne their songs of triumph raise,
And then go forth—immortal forms and fair—
With shining crowns, and harps of glittering gold,
To dwell for ever on the earth renewed,
And praise for ever their Eternal King.—WVTP 3.5
And as they, wondering, gazed, and saw events,
Crowding upon events, in order come,
As the last great event drew swiftly on;
And saw mid mighty revolutions, as
They rolled around the world, kingdoms arise
And fall, as others rose and fell, in turn,
Until the last great kingdom was set up,
Which should not be destroyed, nor have an end;
Then troubl’d, asked they, when these things should be;
And then God gave them time, prophetic time,
That they might know—and so thro’ them the world—
The times that God in wisdom has ordained,
His purpose to fulfill and end his plans;
And knowing, thus, might all keep pace with truth.
But man! unthinking man! how prone to err!
And let earth’s vain allurements, like a mist,
Obscure the light, and misdirect his steps;
For when the path of truth too close becomes,
Too narrow and too strait, for worldly pride,
And gaudy trappings, vain, with which he loves
To deck his poor, frail tenement of clay,
Full soon he turns aside, to folly clings,
And in his own self-righteousness exclaims:
“I ne’er can think the Bible means, a line
So straight to draw, or standard raise so high;
As for myself, I can see nothing why I am not with my friends on equal ground,
And just as good—as well prepared for Heaven.”
And losing thus his guard, he lets his pride
Pass judgment on God’s word, and shape his course;
Makes a criterion of his fellow men,
Instead of truth, by which to judge himself.WVTP 5.1
But hear him more, though farther yet from right:
“The visions, prophecies, prophetic times,
By prophets written of old, of standing long,
We cannot comprehend, or understand;
To us they’re closed and sealed, and deep involved
In an impenetrable mystery;
Expressions figurative, denoting what,
Is something yet for man to ascertain;
Or if, indeed, in meaning literal,
Such a fulfillment we shall ne’er behold;
For what portends it, or proclaims it, what?
Why then in useless toil our strength exhaust,
On secret, hidden things, from which to draw
But idle, groundless theories, at best!
Live up to what of truth we already know;
This doing we are safe, and all is well.”
O, peace and safety! Baneful sentiment!
Siren of death to all man’s future hope;
For what in worldliness they wish might be,
They to their bosom fondly, blindly hug,
Till forced belief proclaims the phantom true.
‘Tis this oft baffles conscience, stops her voice,
And makes men slumber on the verge of death,
Nor rouse themselves to see or know the truth;
Lulled by the Siren song to calm repose.WVTP 6.1
Has God for nought his secrets, then, revealed?
For nought his word bestowed on man, to guide,
Because in mystery so deeply veiled?
And have his servants prophesied in vain,
And poured their warnings on the empty air,
Since none their meaning or their import know?
Is such God’s wisdom, or his judgment such?
Nay! ‘tis not so; false reasoning! how absurd!
God is not mocked! nor are his works in vain!
And his eternal truth will stand, unmoved,
Nor in one jot or tittle fail, till heaven
And earth shall pass. Ay, it will triumph;
And as it onward moves, majestic, high,
Sublime, and sheds afar its radiance bright
O’er the dark waves of error, sin and death,
All, all who will, may then the light receive,
All who reject, alone the guilt must bear.
But God will have a people, who, above
The world’s wild turmoil and unceasing strife,
By earth-born cares unbound, from passions free,
Shall ever on its bright unfading beams,
Their steady gaze direct, and heed it well.
And who with honest hearts, and pure, fit shrines
For his own precepts—holy, just and good—
Shall with unwearied steps, and fervent zeal,
Press ever on to where it points—to Heaven. “The wise shall understand;” there it remains,
Bright on the list of his unfailing words;
And though men laugh and mock, and fiercely strive
With worldly wisdom, vain, to prove it false— In living, flaming characters of light,
It still remains, “The wise shall understand.”WVTP 7.1
Thus spoke the Angel to the Seer beloved:
“O, Daniel, thou, the vision close and seal;
The book shut up, until the time of the end;
For increased shall knowledge be, and to and fro
Shall many run; and then the wicked shall
Do wickedly, and none of them the truth
Shall know; but ah! The wise shall understand.”WVTP 8.1
Time of the end! Time when the day draws near,
In which the finger of Almighty God,
The final period shall place to this
World’s history: when the great clock of time,
Probationary time, which now has beat,
For near six thousand years, earth’s rapid course,
Shall toll its final hour, and all merge in
The endless cycles of eternity.
Time of the end! Time then above all time,
That man the age should know in which he lives,
And throwing off the garb of worldliness,
A covering of righteousness and truth
Secure, with which to be protected then,
Will well become him in the day of His
Unmingled wrath, and awful vengeance dire,
Which day, appointed, God will surely bring.
For man to thus prepare, is wisdom true,
But folly, worse than folly, to defer.
Time of the end! When is it? Who shall know?
Who would not know, and so in time prepare For things to come? For man to strive to know,
Is wisdom too; then let us all be wise,
And for ourselves examine, if perchance,
The time foretold is not already here,
And we the very ones for whom to sleep—
On ruin’s trembling verge to sleep—is fraught
With danger awful; thus to put far off
The evil day, till like a thief it come,
And take us unawares—the harvest past,
The summer ended, and our souls not saved.
Time of the end! Momentous, solemn time!
When signs and wonders shall be manifest,
To warn a world of its approaching doom.WVTP 8.2
In the last days, saith God, shall come to pass,
That in the heavens above, and earth beneath,
Great signs will I show forth, and fearful sights,
And wonders strange, in sun, and moon and stars;
For into darkness shall the sun be turned,
The moon her light withhold, the stars from heaven
Shall fall, ere the great day, and notable,
Of God shall come—when in the clouds of heaven
Shall they behold, with power and glory crowned,
The Son of Man descending in his ire.WVTP 9.1
Now of the fig-tree learn a parable:
When yet her branch is tender, and her leaves
She putteth forth, ye know the Summer’s nigh;
So likewise know, when all these things ye see,
The Everlasting Kingdom is at hand.
For verily this generation—which
Shall all these wonders witness—shall not pass Till all shall be fulfilled; for heaven and earth
May pass; but my words, never can they fail.WVTP 9.2
Clear are the signs, and plainly, too, foretold;
And who, when he shall see them take, in course,
Their stand amid the records of the past;
And mark what harmony exists between
Events of Time and words of Prophecy;
Who, then, will not exclaim, “The day is near,
The end approacheth, yea, is at the door?”
But do men thus believe? Alas! for truth.
Let history the mournful facts reveal:
There let men look, and looking, be condemned;
There let them read sign after sign fulfilled—
In unison with prophecy, fulfilled—
And then seek out with their devices strange,
What cloak they may to shield their unbelief.
The day has passed, the day of terror, when
The sun his glories veiled, and dim, withdrew
Behind the thick’ning gloom; when darkness rose,
And over mid-day brightness, giant-like,
His sable mantle threw—unfettered then,
With freedom stalked, throughout a frightened land.
And when the night came on, and fair, and full,
Down from her lofty throne, the moon refused
To give her light, the pall of darkness dense,
And denser yet became, e’en to be felt.
And not far back, among the wonders rare,
Of modern times, behold, in bold relief,
The fearful night, when fell the stars from heaven;
As her untimely figs a fig-tree casts, When fiercely shaken of a mighty wind:
When all the starry hosts, innumerable,
In wild confusion seemed, and sad dismay;
And countless myriads of meteors, bright,
Shot flaming forth, east, west, and north, and south,
Marking their swift career with vivid lines
Of coruscating light, which meeting oft,
All heaven appeared a net-work, bright, of flame,
And earth with floods of dazzling brightness filled.
And what, O, Sceptic! are those northern fires,
That from earth’s icy regions fitful gleam,
And o’er the frozen zone together blend
Their fiery sheets, then to the zenith, dart
Their forked tongues, and, lambent, lick the skies?
And when at Learning’s shrine, with firm resolve,
Ye bow devoted, with inquiries deep,
For some fixed law of Nature hidden there,
By which to solve such mysteries as these,
Why is she mute, and all your search in vain?WVTP 10.1
Thus have the sun, and moon, and stars received
Their mandate from His throne, and terror-clad,
Gone forth to do his bidding; messengers
Of his firm purpose, and unchanging will,
Have they fulfilled their mission, and fulfilled
It well; for as they each appeared, mankind,
Awe-struck and pale, their utter weakness felt,
Their insignificance, and trembling saw
The dreadful warning given; and many then,
The judgment day believed, was close at hand.
Well had they cherished that belief, and taught
Their children so, then had they had the truth. But no! No sooner is the terror past,
Than they tenacious to their idols cling;
Their idols—Reason and Philosophy—
Which gods with more idolatry they serve,
Than ever heathen worshiped, wood or stone;
To these they cling for aid, and as the signs
Of coming wrath, are, one by one dealt out,
Upon a sleeping world, they straight assign,
What they term natural causes, and explain
By philosophic laws, the wonderful
Phenomena; then to the world exclaim,
“‘Tis clear, and all can be accounted for,
On scientific principles!” which means,
Interpreted, you’re safe, sleep on! sleep on!
Thus poor, proud, feeble man unwilling seems,
To own an act of Heaven’s almighty arm;
And doubts that aught within the universe
Can come, that human science cannot grasp,
Or human agency perform.
The nursery lies, of stubborn unbelief,
That springs full soon, rank and blasphemous springs,
Into its vigorous growth; this, the foul nest,
Where infidelity, undaunted, rears,
Her vile, infernal brood, which, harpy-like,
Corrupt the soul of man, blight, and destroy.
But let such learn this truth, ere time shall teach
The bitter lesson, with experience sad,
That all the theories mind can fabricate,
On human bases reared, though fortified
However much by science, or confirmedWVTP 11.1
By worldly wisdom, or adopted by
Earth’s proudest sons—have neither power to change,
Or hasten, or impede, fulfillment sure,
Of written Prophecy; and as the signs
Are given, as such, and registered in Heaven,
Though the whole human race their truth deny,
And though all literature combine to prove
Them plain events from natural causes sprung—
In the stern judgment hour, will they rise up,
And witnessing against, condemn a world.
In the day of His preparation, then, 1.
With flaming torches shall the chariots be,
And in the streets shall rage, and one against
Another, in the broadways, justle, they
Shall seem like torches, like the lightnings run.
Lo! how fulfilled! Ye, who behold upon
The iron rail, impetuous and swift,
The ponderous train, with fiery steeds, drawn on;
Or in the crowded streets, mark how the tide
Of busy action ceases, till, apace,
The heavy chariots have justled by—
Through every wheel, and bar of polished steel,
Through every breath the panting engine draws,
The Prophet speaketh, and he speaks to you.
These are the chariots, these, with lightning speed,
And flaming torches, which, unanswered, say,
That God’s great preparation day is here.
On Time’s fleet pinions borne, silent and swift
Have ages circled on, till now the lastWVTP 13.1
That this world’s varied scenes shall e’er behold,
Is gliding by, unheeded and unseen;
And what an age! How bright, and yet how dark!
Enlightened, but yet heathen! Gilded by
Th’ unclouded sun of science, ‘neath whose rays
Mankind, victorious, have onward pressed,
Till e’en impossibilities, beneath
Their well aimed efforts, totter to their fall:
And men, exalted, well nigh think themselves
Some lofty beings, all omnipotent—
Yet mantled by a gloom of night, wide-spread;
For all are slumbering to the light of truth.
Behold a Church, divided and corrupt;
Chilled and benumbed, by cold formality;
And with the world joined hand in hand, while all,
Both Church and world together, are asleep.
The signs fulfilled, they heed not, nor regard
The voice of Time or Prophecy; the one,
Loud heralding that generation here,
And swiftly passing, which events has seen,
That just precede the coming Son of man.
The other, based on Heaven’s immutable
Decree, proclaiming that it shall not pass,
Till all shall be fulfilled—but careless rest,
Unconscious of the fearful day at hand.
O, what can rouse them, ere the pent-up storm
Of fiery indignation, held in store
For an ungodly and a wicked world,
Shall on them burst in fury, and involve
In ruin, irretrievable and sure.WVTP 14.1
Lo! now an Angel robed in radiant light, 1.
And with the rainbow crowned, whose face outshines
The sun, whose feet like fiery pillars seem.
Sudden appears, with message to the world.
There on his golden wings high-poised, he quick
Surveys the dubious field, and then begins
Majestic through mid heaven his glorious flight.
His is a sacred trust, and weighty his
Commission; for to him is given, to preach
The everlasting gospel, unto them
On earth that dwell, to every nation, tongue,
Kindred and people, while in thunder tones,
From his aerial height, he heralds forth
This proclamation to a world below:
“Fear God and give him glory; for his hour
Of judgment now is come, and worship him
Who made the heavens and earth, and who the sea,
And the unfailing founts of waters made.”WVTP 15.1
Now man’s arch enemy, the fiendish prince
Of this world’s darkness, and th’ obdurate foe
Of Truth and Love—whose sole delight, and joy,
And every aim is to oppose the plans
Of all-wise Heaven; and who with schemes deep-laid
Of blackest villainy, and wily snares,
Unseen, e’er seeks to entrap th’ unwary feet
Of man, and by unhallowed arts, obscure
The plan of his salvation, and him rob
Of life eternal, and perpetual bliss—
Had come in fury down—for that he knewWVTP 15.2
His time on earth was short—and all the hosts
Of his dark legions summoned to the field.
Their final work among mankind, to blind,
Corrupt, deceive, and with satanic spell
Wide o’er them thrown, prepare the nations for
The last great battle of Almighty God.
For their foul plot already had they laid
Too firm foundation, and were weaving fast
Their complicated webs for all the world—
Of every restless passion, earthly lust,
And bold and impious pride, and selfishness,
And hate, and strife, and all that e’er can claim
Its origin of earth, or aught below—
And fast were hushing every note of truth,
With dead’ning opiates, and with siren songs,
And fables cunning of a world’s reform,
An age to come, a bright millenial age
Of peace, and happiness, and plenty, ere
The Saviour should to earth descend again.WVTP 16.1
Lulled by such groundless heresies, mankind
Were dreaming on of golden centuries
Now almost here, and worlds of carnal joys
And moral freedom, when the cry, “Fear God
And give him glory; for his judgment hour
Is come,” rang forth from Heaven’s own messenger.WVTP 16.2
Him first the Almighty on his throne above,
Foreseeing Satan’s craft—the fatal aim
And sure results of his dark policy—
That e’en, if possible, he would deceive
The very elect—before him summoned, and,
While thus he spake, his lofty mission gave:WVTP 16.3
My plans are changeless, and my promise sure;
And now th’ appointed time whereof my words,
By all my prophets since the world began,
Have been declared, that I to those who me
Should love, and serve, and honor, would restore
What man by sin hath lost—is drawing near
And hasteth greatly; but the people far
From me have wandered, and the nations all
Forgotten God; nor in remembrance hold
My promises, nor to my threats give heed.
Their thoughts are bent on evil; and on earth,
Which, since the curse, hath neither part nor lot
With things of Heaven, are their affections placed.
Nor from the unerring page, whereon I’ve spread
The mighty works of my omnipotence;
That they therein might read of boundless power,
And wisdom infinite, and majesty
Supreme, do they in reverence and awe,
Lift up their hearts to him who made them all.
And e’en those who, of truth, profession make,
Have for themselves, diverging paths sought out,
And theories framed discordant, and have made,
While serving party more than serving me,
A Babel of religion, and a mock
Of my great name and worship; who alone
Am worthy to receive eternal praise,
And unfeigned homage; for a God I am,
Holy and perfect; and in unity
Of faith and spirit must that people be,
Righteous and just and pure who call me Lord;
And zealous in my vineyard, to show forthWVTP 17.1
My glory, and my praises faithful sound,
Which is but due, if they to me would be
A chosen generation, and my own
Peculiar people, worthy to be called.
With man not always shall my Spirit strive,
And but a little longer shall for him
My mercy plead; when clad with vengeance, I
Will rise and shake the earth, yea, terribly,
For lo! with fire I’ll come, and chariots
As with a whirlwind, and will render thus,
My wrath with fury, and rebuke with flame;
For thus I’ve spoken.WVTP 18.1
Thee, therefore, I ordain
The herald of my hour of judgment come;
To sound th’ approaching consummation of
My plans, the promised restitution, near.
That the disjointed Church, now Babylon,
May be restored to unity and love;
That men may wake to wisdom, and shake off
The power of Satan, and may serve
And worship me in Spirit and in truth,
And with the Lord of lords may take their stand
In the great battle-day that draweth nigh;
For if so be, that they your message heed,
And do this, then, it well shall be with them.WVTP 18.2
Armed thus with sure authority, divine,
The Angel swift was winging on his way,
And with a mighty voice accomplishing
His destined errand. Clouds before him broke
And scattered, and dissolved; and as his tonesWVTP 18.3
Reverberated through the vaulted sky
And rolled o’er earth, a thousand echoes back,
Gave deep response, a thousand voices took
The Heaven-born message and proclaimed the cry.
With newer life the moral system woke,
For now its stagnant pulse began to move,
And its long dormant heart began to beat.
And Prophecy and Revelation came,
And threw aside the mystic garb with which
They long had been enshrouded, and stood forth
In the clear light of day; and opened wide
Their volumes, and their contents bade men scan
And know their meaning; for the days
Through which ‘twas told the Prophet, that the book
Shut up, should be, the vision closed and sealed,
Were all expired, and that time now had come
Whereof ‘twas said, “The wise shall understand.”
Who then are they, and what for them to know?
That which was closed and sealed, but now unsealed.
Hear, then, the vision, ponder and be wise;
For God has shown what must hereafter be.
Thus to the king the prophet Daniel spake:
“In Heaven there is a God, who maketh known
The secrets of the heart, and now to thee,
What in the latter days shall come to pass,
Revealeth; for thy vision and thy dream,
O king, are these: 1.
Thou sawest, and behold,
Before thee stood an image mighty, andWVTP 19.1
Its form was terrible, and excellent
Its brightness; for in peerless splendor rose
The lofty head of gold: the breast and arms
A massive mould of solid silver shone:
Brass the thighs and belly were; iron the legs;
Part iron the feet, and part were miry clay.
Thou sawest till a stone no hand could form,
Upon the feet, with swift descending blow,
The image smote; and then the iron, the brass,
The silver and the gold, e’en like the chaff,
Upon the hollow winds were borne away,
And in their course no place was found for them:
The stone a mountain rose, and filled the earth.
Thy dream is told; and we before thee now
Will make th’ interpretation known thereof:
Thou art a king of kings, O king; to thee
A kingdom, power, and strength, and glory, hath
The God of Heaven given; and all the earth,
Where’er the sons of men, or beast, or bird,
May dwell, into thy hand hath placed, that thou
Should’st rule them all. Thou art this head of gold.
And after thee another shall arise,
A kingdom, but to thee inferior.
And yet a third of brass, shall o’er the earth
Bear universal sway; but to the fourth
Shall there be given the matchless strength of iron;
For even as iron breaketh and destroys,
So this shall break in pieces, and shall bruise.
But as there mingles in the feet and toes
The strength of iron, the weakness of the clay,
So shall, in part, the kingdom broken be,WVTP 20.1
And partly strong: but in the days while yet
These kings are reigning, shall the God of Heaven
His kingdom firm set up, which shall not be
To other people left, but shall consume
These kingdoms all, and stand for evermore.
The dream is certain and the meaning sure.”
In the first year of king Belshazzar’s reign 1.
O’er ancient Babylon, to Daniel came
A dream and visions of his head by night;
Then he the matter wrote and spake thereof:
“I saw, and lo, upon the mighty sea,
The four great winds of heaven fiercely strove,
And forthwith rose from out the troubled deep,
Four beasts diverse; the first, with eagle’s wings,
The kingly image of the lion wore;
Like to a bear the second seemed; the third
Was leopard-like, and from its back upreared
Four wings as of a fowl; its heads were four;
But lo! a fourth, from all the rest diverse,
And strong exceedingly, and terrible,
And dreadful to behold; great iron teeth
It had, and with its feet it stamped, and brake
The residue in pieces, and devoured;
And on its head ten branching horns it bore.
These I considered, till among them came
Another little horn—before whom three
Uprooted were—and eyes it had like men,
And had a mouth by which great things to speak.
And I beheld till thrones were all cast down,WVTP 21.1
And that High One did sit, whose garments were
Like snow in whiteness, and like spotless wool,
The hair upon whose head; whose throne appeared
The brilliant piercing flame with wheels of fire.
A fiery stream before him issued forth,
And thousand thousands to him ministered,
And lo! before him stood ten thousand times
Ten thousand, and the books were opened, and
The judgment set; the mighty beast was slain,
And to the burning flame its body given.
Then to the Ancient, came, of days, upon
The rolling clouds one like the Son of man—
And near before him stood—to whom was given
Dominion, glory, and a kingdom, that
All people, languages, and nations, him
Alone should honor, and him only serve;
For his domain is such, and such his power,
As ne’er shall be destroyed nor have an end.
One then who by me stood I near approached,
And asked—for I would know—the truth of all
These things; and of that fourth beast, hideous,
With teeth of iron, and brazen nails, and ten
Wide spreading horns, of whom three yielded to
The one that rose, more stout than all the rest—
Who, when I spake, thereafter freely told:
‘These four great beasts four kingdoms are, that on
The earth shall rise; the fourth unlike shall be
To every other, and shall fierce devour,
And all the earth in fury trample down.
The horns, ten kings are, that shall spring from out
This kingdom, and another after themWVTP 22.1
Shall rise, diverse, and three shall he subdue,
And even against the Most High God, great words
And impious, shall he audacious speak,
Himself t’ exalt, and in his towering pride,
By his own arbitrary nod, shall think
E’en times and laws to change, and ‘gainst the saints
Of the Most High, relentless hate shall urge,
And with fierce war incessant, wear them out,
Until his time, allotted, shall expire.—
To them the kingdom under the whole heaven,
And greatness of dominion shall be given,
And so shall they possess it without end.’”
“Again I saw, and lo! there met my gaze 1.
A two-horned ram, who westward pushed,
And north, and south; so that before him none
Might stand, or from his hand deliver, till
An he-goat from the west, o’er all the earth
Came furious; and high between his eyes
One horn bore notable, and in his might
The ram he smote, and overthrew, and brake
His horn in pieces, triumphed and subdued.
But his great horn was broken, and in stead,
Towards the four winds of heaven, four others rose;
Of which, from one, sprung forth a little horn,
Which towards the south exceeding great became,
And towards the east, and towards the pleasant land;
And to the host of Heaven waxed great; the stars
Down to the ground it cast, and stamped upon;WVTP 23.1
Yea, to the Prince, itself did magnify,
And crushed out truth and prospered, and was great.
‘How long the vision?’ (I their voices heard,)
Spake one saint to another, who replied,
‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days;
And cleansed shall then the Sanctuary be.’
The two horns which thou sawest, of the ram,
The rulers of the Medes and Persians, are;
And the rough goat, of Grecia is the king,
Whose one great horn the first great king denotes.
And now, whereas, that broken, four stood up,
So shall four kingdoms from his empire rise.
Then shall a king of countenance most fierce,
And understanding phrases deep and dark,
Mighty in power, arise, and shall destroy
The holy people, and himself in heart
Shall magnify, and e’en stand up against
The Prince of princes; but he, without hand,
Shall soon be broken, and his rule destroyed.”
Thus Prophecy, with quick perceptive eye,
Scans the whole future; and with one survey,
This world’s existence; marks each forward step
In Time’s swift journey, till he comes, at last,
Drooping and weary to his journey’s end.
And earth’s great kingdoms as they proudly stand
Successive on the way, has plain marked out,
Like mighty mile-stones on the road to Heaven;
That we, “poor pilgrims,” we who ever tread
Th’ invisible line which separates the dim,
Approaching future from the wrought out past,WVTP 24.1
Might, with our faithful Chart, the Word of God,
Viewing the ages Time has left behind,
To see what has been, know what is to be.
And ascertain our true position in
The world’s career, how near, or how remote
From that fifth, universal kingdom, which,
The King Eternal promises shall be.
Where then are we in the prophetic chain?
How much has been fulfilled, how much to come?
Time’s record stands; what therefore he has proved,
Is proved indeed, and mortals may not doubt,
Nor dare deny what he has marked “fulfilled.”
Hear, then, his voice, while he, infallible,
Expounds, and clear, the words of Prophecy.
“High-ranked, and first, among the nations, who
Have ruled the world sole monarchs, and have swayed
With undisputed scepter all its tribes,
And multitudes and people, small and great,
The golden throne of proud Assyria stands.
From limit unto limit, far away,
Of farthest earth, from bound to distant bound,
Where’er man’s dwelling rose, or form was seen,
All owned her power, herself their only queen.
And this was that to whom the Prophet said,
‘Thou art this head of gold,’ 1. the lion,
Of the prophetic vision—but the words
Of Heaven are firm established ne’er to fail;—
This, therefore, yielded to the next that rose,
The Medo-Persian, which the kingdom took,WVTP 25.1
And (plain the Angel states) the two-horned ram. 1.
Thus trebly sure with threefold witness has
Th’ Omniscient Ruler well confirmed his truth,
Which man may not presume to overthrow.
The third great empire now begins to rise,
Grecia; slow like some stripling young at first,
But soon, at length, e’en like a strong man armed,
Through fire, and smoke, and blood, and battle dire,
It reached the acme of the world’s renown,
And took the throne that ruled the nations all.
Thus speaks the Prophecy: ‘A kingdom, third,
Of brass shall rise, and o’er the earth bear rule.’
Behold it now! and in its rapid rise,
Mark well the four-winged leopard, and recall,
While yet you gaze, the Angel’s words direct,
‘The rough goat which thou sawest is the king
Of Grecia, and its one great horn denotes
The first great king, which broken, there shall rise
Four kingdoms in its stead.’ And thus it was;
For Macedonia, Thrace, and Syria, sprung,
With Egypt, into life, each by itself,
When Alexander died. But they, too, passed,
And, thus, with them the world’s third ruler fell.
But in the image, iron succeeds the brass,
The leopard yields but to a fourth great beast,WVTP 26.2
More terrible and fierce than all the rest,
A fourth great kingdom yet on earth must rise,
From all diverse; which, where do we behold?
Far westward lo! another dawn of power,
Another nation into being comes,
And plants on seven firm hills, its pillars firm,
The fountain of its strength; then onward moves,
Encircling nation after nation in,
Its rising course, increasing as it goes,
Till like a mighty avalanche, at last,
It sweeps, resistless, to the ends of earth,
And high in every clime, victorious, waves
The soaring standard of imperial Rome.
Of this fourth beast, each land had sorely felt
The crushing might of its great, iron teeth,
And heavy imprint of its brazen nails.
Ten toes the image had, ten horns the beast,
Fulfilling which, forsooth, ten kingdoms rose
From Rome’s vast empire, three, indeed, of whom,
Uprooted were by that one little horn.
Yea, even that ‘man of sin,’ none other than 1.
The bold, blasphemous rule of Papacy.
Thus does it correspond in nicest deed
To its prophetic symbol; this is he
Who fain himself would magnify above
All that is known of God in Heaven or earth,
Celestial honors does the Pope usurp,
And clothes himself with robes of deity.
And he has thought e’en ‘times and laws’ to change,WVTP 27.1
And ‘gainst the saints relentless war has waged.
And now, where’er Catholicism lives,
Among the kings of earth, his power is felt,—
The iron amid the clay.—
Thus far I’ve gone;
Four universal kingdoms have I seen
Arise and fall, and of the last, behold
The crumbling fragments, only, now remain;
And but for one more kingdom can we look,
The endless kingdom of the God of Heaven.
The image have I followed, till we stand,
Even now upon the ends of its ten toes,
Full well matured and ready to receive
The fatal blow of that great ‘Stone,’ which, as
It grinds the whole to powder, fills the earth—
And next in order comes.
And I have seen
The lion, bear, and leopard all expire;
And now the body of that fourth great beast,
Waits but to perish in the burning flame.
The ‘little horn’ has risen, and in the face
Of Heaven has flung defiance; but his time
Is almost o’er, yea, his dread doom draws near.
Then to your Chart, and search the future well;
For that which is to come is no less sure
Than that which has transpired; I only speak
Unvarnished facts, and they can never lie.”
Such is the voice of Time; and thus does he
And Prophecy e’er to each other call:
What this predicts, he hastens to fulfill.WVTP 28.1
Such was the triple staff with which they bore—
Who took the message as it sounded forth—
Aloft the Advent banner, and unfurled,
To catch the passing breeze, its ample folds,
From which, in glittering characters, far shone
These thrilling statements brightly gilded there;
“The Lord is coming! Soon will he appear,
In flaming fire revealed from Heaven above,
The well-ripe harvest of the earth to reap—
His ransomed children all to gather home—
Who his appearing love and joyous hail—
But vengeance take on them that know not God.
That fearful day is near, and hasteth on,
That like an oven shall burn, when all the proud,
Yea, all that wicked live, shall be as stubble—
When earth and all the works that are therein,
Burned up shall be, and e’en the elements,
Themselves, shall melt with fervent, glowing heat.”
Which to sustain, full many a proof had they
Decisive drawn, straight from the word of God;
And hist’ry all combined to prove it truth;
But high o’er all, illustrious, brilliant blazed,
These doubt-dispelling words, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Around this standard there were gath’ring fast,
A fearless, faithful band, to bear it on.
Men paused and listened, and forgot awhile,
In mute suspense—while on their ears the loud
Alarm-notes fell—their fav’rite phantoms each;
And ceased awhile to dream their darling dream,
Of happy ages yet on earth to dawn.
Satan’s whole fabric of deception, vast,WVTP 29.1
From base to summit shook, and promised well
To crash in ruin down; the Fiend saw this,
Alarmed, and trembled lest the world should all,
His foul, deceptive plots detect at length,
And flee his clutches safe; and fearful saw
Mankind awake around, and one by one
Break from his meshes, and themselves unite
With that devoted band, who Truth, alone,
Now sought to follow, and who, though they came
From sects diverse, all differences forgot,
And ‘round their hearts drew firm the cords of love
And unity, and in one common cause,
To serve their coming Lord, united all,
The more to swell the warning o’er the world.
All this the Devil saw, from his high stand,
Where he o’erlooked the field, and gnashed his teeth,
And to himself, in quivering rage, thus howled:
“O, hateful band! O, most enraging foe!
Who thus should rise to thwart my prospering plans!
And intercept my best laid schemes! and wake
The world to their condition, and expose
My deep designs, and rob me of my prey!
Who thus should thrust their miscreated forms
Among mankind, and warn them of their state!
And so the fervent, strenuous efforts, all,
Of my most faithful emissaries balk!
And cheat me of revenge—ay! but revenge
I’ll have; even on this odious band itself,
I’ll wreak my direst vengeance; and will blow
My fiercest blast;—but not too openlyWVTP 30.1
Must I the storm begin; else, all my plans
Will but themselves defeat, and only prove
A trap to take myself in; but I’ll move
Beneath disguise most deep, that surest is.
Full well the way I know in which they have
Begun their journey, and it leads to those
Bright seats of bliss, from which ‘tis my sole aim
To keep all beings—but the path is steep,
The mark high-laid, and narrow, which remains
For them to travel, better, thus designed,
To suit my purpose; since they only make
True progress while on that, alone, they move;
Hence, with all arts unceasing, will I strive
To keep them down below; or, if they still
Will rise, a helping hand I’ll lend
And push beyond; if they’re but off the mark,
It matters not which side, my end is gained:
Of their condition then, in just such ways
Will I advantage take, as only I
Know how, and drag them down.
Now, then, has come
The crisis. Where my batteries now to aim,
I well perceive, with this unwelcome crew,
Henceforth, is all my battle, all my wrath.
This truth I then must haste t’ oppose—but how?
For well-laid plans alone can claim success;
First, ‘neath the guise of reason, I will brand
‘Delusion’ on it; then will I incite
Earth’s mighty ones and great, against it firm
Themselves to place, and when they arguments
Have all exhausted, (and, indeed, they’ll findWVTP 31.1
A small supply,) heap ridicule upon,
And, thus, the people prejudice and blind.
These causes well established, what effects
Can come, but that unpopularity
Should gather thick around, then scorn arise,
Contempt and mockery, and finally,
Uncovered persecution, unrestrained,
And make men deaf to every warning given.
But more than this—I e’en will dupe the Church
Into my service; yea, the Church; to me
Offenceless now; for though of godliness
The form they have, ‘tis all, and what care I
For that? Nay, rather that delights me most;
For ‘tis a mockery of the Great Supreme—
But ‘tis the power I hate, ‘tis that torments
Me.—I around them strong the bands have knit
Of worldliness; in that I well have done.
That is the cord by which I’ll hold them down;
For I will strengthen now their love of earth,
Its pleasures and its forms, its pride and show,
Its luxury and wealth, and vain esteem—
And who but knows, if they this truth receive,
All these forgot must be? By stratagem,
I thus will take them, and they in my power,
A firm support will prove to all my plans;
For I will join professors and divines,
Church-men and worldly-men, drunkards and thieves,
And every being, vile, both heart and hand,
In one grand mass, to crush this rising truth.
Now will I go, and give instructions clear,
To all my legions; for my time is short.WVTP 32.1
And what I would, I quickly must perform.”
This said, he straightway started to fulfill.
Meanwhile, their march the pilgrim band took up,
And higher raised their warning banner, bright,
And in a louder tone the message gave:
The earthquake rockings ran more violent
Through all the public mind, increasing still.
But now began t’ appear alarming signs,
And unmistakable, that Satan his
Design was fast effecting, and among
The multitude was kindling fast the fires,
The baleful fires, of opposition ‘round.
And now appeared great men, and high, far famed
For wisdom excellent, and judgment deep,
Who thought this growing move to quell at once,
With reason—nay, with common sense alone;
In this deceived they soon ran high ashore,
And as they floundered there, sung ridicule,
Themselves the most ridiculous of all.
And, ever and anon, the gath’ring frowns
Of that strange idol, Popularity.
Betokened coming storms, nor far away;
But nearer as they came, more firmly bound,
This body-guard of Truth, their armor on,
And with a firmer step their way pursued,
And with their broad two-edged sword, dealt off
Full many a blow mid error’s advocates;
But still the shadows thicken; all around,
Commotion reigns, and views conflicting rise,
And mingling cries upon the air swell forth.WVTP 33.1
Delusion and fanaticism, all:
Some fight the truth, but yet a few defend,
And file away to join that company,
Who, heedless of the swelling waves around,
Proclaim, “Prepare! for the great day of God,
The day of wrath and vengeance is at hand.”
But why, O Church, art thou indifferent?
Why, silent, gaze on movements such as these?
Does now the thought of that bright Coming One,
Professedly thy King, thy Lord, no joy
Or gladness to thy bosom bring? Is now
The message that he will so soon appear,
And recompense his faithful followers, all,
To you a joyless message? You, who are
Professedly his followers and his friends?
Is such the proof of all your love to Him,
Whom ye, with all your hearts, profess to love?
Or does the shadow of the gath’ring storm
Too dark appear, and ominous, to brave
Its rising fury; but bethink thee now,
Back to your predecessors look, and see
How fared they on their journey ages gone!
Mark! how the rack, the scaffold and the stake,
Stood thick along the thorny path they trod!
And think’st thou, then, on “flowery beds of ease,”
To reach the goal? Or has the world, at once,
So good become, that it will bear thee on,
Upon its shoulders, safe, to realms of bliss?
Or hop’st thou, thus, by mingling with the world,
It to convert? Be not deceived! The worldWVTP 34.1
With truth and holiness wars ever, and
Against the power of God will ever rise!
And if ye, to convert it, would presume,
Convert at first its Prince, the Devil, then
There may be hope to bring the subjects in.
But know, O Church! thou now art Babylon!
Thy many sects, unlike, parties diverse,
Denominations strange and multiform,
Creeds opposite, conflicting theories,
And party zeal, and party spirit strong,
But ill comport with His plain words, who taught,
All his disciples one to be in him; 1.
Or with that Spirit, pure, of unity,
Which, in the heart of every Christian true,
Dwells paramount, and every action rules.
No such confusion reigns, no Babel, such,
‘Mong those who follow Christ, and him alone.
“He that hath ears to hear, so let him hear,
What to the Churches saith the Spirit now.
Unto the Angel of the Sardis Church,
Thus write: These things, who hath the seven stars,
And who, of God, the seven Spirits, saith;
Thy works I know, and know that still thou hast,
E’en while thou yet art dead, a name to live;
Nor perfect are thy works before thy God;
How, therefore, thou hast heard, and how received,
Remember, and repent; and strengthen yet
What things remain, lest they shall also die;
For if thou wilt not watch, thief-like I’ll come,WVTP 35.1
And take thee in an hour thou knowest not.”
Such is thy state, O Church of Sardis! Now
Wake! therefore, and prepare to meet thy God.
This truth, alone, will thy dissensions heal,
This, to the unity of faith will bring,
This, only, lop the branches of thy pride,
And break the bands that bind thee down to earth;
Which severed must be now, or never be.
Now clearer still, the effects of Satan’s plans,
Themselves develop, and the symptoms sure,
Of ultimate success, accumulate.
Now Popularity herself arrays
In open opposition, and draws forth
Her votaries all against; now turns adverse,
The sweeping tide of public sentiment:
A world all unprepared to welcome Christ,
Unwilling, all its pleasures to resign,
Its fabled dreams too readily resume,
And side away with Satan’s mustering host;
Whom to arrange, he, crafty, now begins,
With art consummate, and well-practiced skill.
Many there are who hear the notes of truth,
“Start up alarmed,” and fain would well regard;
But when their fellow-men they see oppose—
Whom more they fear, than fear to incense Heaven—
Their moral courage fails, and back they fall,
An easy prey to Satan’s wily schemes.
Others there are, for whom earth’s treasures shine
With attributes of deity; who gold,
That glittering dust, and lands, more value, than,WVTP 36.1
They value truth with all its promised joys;
All such with golden chains, Satan binds down,
To his infernal purpose. But behold
Yet others, who of themselves no root possess,
Nor yet belief, on principle well based;
Fickle; who, ere they for themselves reflect,
In matters new, trust to the word of man;
So, when some high-ranked one, respectable,
Upon the truth “delusion” brands, they straight,
With insolence unutterable, give vent
To jeering mockeries; o’er all such dupes,
And many such there are, foolish and proud,
Satan hangs fond, and with triumphant leer,
Leads them away among his company.
Another class there is, the very dregs
Of all humanity—unfit for Heaven,
A gross disgrace to earth, who of the low,
Are lowest; of the vile, the vilest; these—
As most congenial to their nature is—
Of their own will the hosts of Satan join.
Thus, some in one way, in another some,
Innumerable and various as mankind—
Unto the subject suiting well the means—
The Arch-Deceiver lures along his prey.
With this promiscuous host, where, well defined,
Reigned every trait of human character,
Where sins, the grossest and most glaring sins,
That ever planted in the heart of man
Their putrid nests, brooded and multiplied—
Where black corruption, ‘neath exteriors fair,
Rooted and rankled—even as sepulchres,WVTP 37.1
Whitened without, contain but dead men’s bones.—
With such a mass the Church, at last, chimed in,
T’ oppose the message of her coming King.
A mass of men against the truth of God.
Thus with the Church, thus, but too fearfully,
Had Satan his designs accomplished now—
Too fearfully fulfilled his fiendish threats;
And in a fatal moment had he cast,
Too strong a snare, around her careless step.
Wandered from God! Deep, ay, too deep had struck,
And rank, the growth of pride and worldliness;
Even as some gnarled oak, its massy roots,
Far in the bosom of the solid earth
Strikes down, deriving strength invincible.—
Wandered from God! Their gaudy dress this proved,
And this, their love of show, and rich display,
And this, the gilded ornaments that hung,
Costly, but useless, in her synagogues.
And all the loves, ambitions, and desires,
And fears, and passions, base-born, of the earth,
With stealthy pace, into her midst had crept,
And sown their poisonous seeds, which wide around
Had shot pernicious root, innumerable,
Innumerable in size, and form, and strength,
And in the course they took, innumerable;
Each crossing each, and crossing others still,
Wove out their web, most complicate and thick,
Most strong, and most entangling, o’er the Church,
And thus was she close matted down to earth.
But long continue thus, the Church of God
Cannot; for Truth slacks not her onward pace—WVTP 38.1
Truth is not bound by earthly fetters down,
And he who follows Truth, must break them too;
So came the crisis—so the message came;
A cleaver by the Angel brought, direct
From God, her fettering bands to cut apart,
And her set free again; a medicine,
From Heaven sent down, which, if received, would purge
Free from her veins, the stagnate influence
Of Satan’s opiates, and give new life,
New strength and vigor to her system give;
An incense, which, if offered in her midst,
The dead, corrupted air would purify,
Which now she breathed to suffocation near.
Such was the message, and its office such,
Would they the proffered gift but humbly take;
But ah! with one consent, they all began
Excuse to make, and pass the subject by;
The overwhelming flood of worldly cares,
No time or place for weightier subjects left;
Thus, soon they, as a body, closed their ears,
And shut their doors, and barred the message out.
At this denial of their faith, at this
Unchristian act, Truth turned away and wept—
A long, low, chuckle did the Devil give,
Of satisfied success; this was the act,
The trait’rous act, that sealed her destiny;
This rose to Heaven, and incensed Heaven, full soon,
With speediest messenger pronounced her doom;
He, following the first, wide through mid heaven,
This second message to the world proclaimed;WVTP 39.1
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen!” 1. dread words,
With solemn import full, and terrible
In meaning; message fearful, to proclaim
A fearful end; a sad description of
A sadder state: but forth the accents rolled,
Swelling in tone, and farther echoing,
They penetrated all her temples fair,
And from the gilded galleries where rose,
In worldly pomp, the measured anthem, deep,
Now beating back in mournful notes, and slow—
To which the vaulted ceiling, high, returned,
In corresponding tones, the notes again—
These startling words fell heavy on the ear:
Babylon is fallen, is fallen! At once,
With simultaneous impulse, thousands rose,
And broke, with her, their bonds of intercourse;
Left the dull place where they no food received,
No spiritual benefit, no life, no light,
Left and unshackled, free, themselves declared;
Free from her sects, unfettered by her creeds;
And they were free; for Truth had made them so;
She led them forth into the liberty,
To life, and light, on higher, holier ground;
And then they saw the moral wastes from which,
Their timely ‘scape, they happily had made.
There stood her fanes of formal worship grand,
Her towers of wealth, her monuments of pride,
‘Gainst which as fell the deep, portentous sounds,
The message of her fall, they trembling rocked—WVTP 40.1
As though some slumbering earthquake, far beneath,
Had sudden waked, to fierce convulsions given—
Would it had shook more mighty, till each soul
Was shaken from the lethargy that bound,
To see its true condition; but not so,
In Satan steps, with artifice most sly,
Advantage takes, and rocks them all asleep.
Lo! now on all her shrines there settled down
The speedy gath’ring death-mould, thick and fast;
A death-damp issued forth in all her aisles,
And all her lamps of piety and love,
Of godliness and truth, for ever quenched.
Behold, through all her courts, now reigned alone,
The blackest, moral darkness, deep and dead;
By one most fit described, as thus he sung,
“Silence how dead! and darkness how profound!”
As erst the Jewish Church, when they refused
The true Messiah to own, on earth had come,
At his first Advent, were rejected all—
So for denying that plain message now,
That he the second time would soon return,
God from the Gentile Churches turned away;
Withdrew his Spirit and forsook their midst.
Him they refused to own, he, therefore, them.
A moral change came o’er them, which, the most
Perceptive of their numbers soon perceived,
And in desponding accents thus deplored:
“On every breeze are borne the dolorous sounds,
As chilling as the northern iceberg’s blast,WVTP 41.1
And like an incubus fast settling on
The timid, and the weak depriving of
Their energy, that lukewarmness wide-spread,
Division, desolation, anarchy,
The borders now distress of Zion’s hill.
Nor long ago, and all the whole extent
Of our broad land, rang with triumphant peals
Of joy and victory, from christian hearts.
And is the scene so wholly changed become?
It is a fact, lamentable, from which,
Our eyes we cannot shut, that moral dearth,
And spiritual barrenness, alarming broods
O’er all the Church; such coldness as prevails,
Was never known, such lack of piety;
As worldly prospects, bright’ning, fast arise,
And manufactures grow, and commerce spreads,
So worldly-mindedness makes even strides,
Through all denominations equally.”
Such is the testimony of themselves
They give; such the impression that was made
On some of her own members; thus were some,
At her sad destitution, well alarmed;
But conquered soon their fears, and, with the rest,
Fell in perpetual sleep—so Satan aimed.
Ah! when their state they saw, and thus bewailed,
Why fled they not themselves to join the band,
Of God’s true worshippers, with whom was life,
And Christ’s true Church? for such, indeed, he had—
To whom we now delight to turn again.
Thus, separate from the world, with all its charms,
And false allurements, spread but to deceive—WVTP 42.1
Thus having sundered all the cords that bound,
Within the precincts of a fallen Church,
The Advent Band still held its onward course,
Straight in the path of Truth: a glorious band,
Humble, devoted, true, their God, alone,
Striving to please, and trusting in his word,
That what he promises he will fulfill.—
That zealous band, to whom the Saviour speaks:
“Ye of the world are not, but from the world
I’ve chosen, ye therefore will they hate.—”
And who from those who have of godliness
The form alone, while they the power thereof
Deny, obeying the divine behest,
Had turned away; of this full well assured,
That all who in Christ Jesus godly live,
Shall persecution suffer, willing, then,
If aught they might endure for him their King.
But not from worldly malice, wrath and hate,
And open persecution, fiercely waged,
Are they, alone, sharp trials to receive;
Others there are, of sorts more fiery still,
Experience must prove; which e’en will make
Of their belief the firmest pillars shake,
And to their faith a test more searching prove,
Than simply to withstand the world’s vain scorn.
Nor long for such will their experience wait,
Whose shadows now begin to dim the way.
Based on prophetic times, interpreted
As best they then perceived, firm trust had they,
That ere Time registered that year entire—WVTP 43.1
Then swiftly passing, they their fondest hopes
Should see fulfilled, and heaven would then reveal,
Throned on a golden cloud, the King of kings.
But Time paused not, to realize to them
Their expectations, which unanswered stood;
Hence, Doubt, fell canker-worm of Truth, crept in,
And striking boldly at the inmost roots
Of their belief, there gnawed assiduous.
Now in their path, with thorns already set,
This other thorn, blank disappointment, sprung.
And many who the world’s assaults had borne
With strength heroic, this could ill sustain,
And, well nigh falling, staggered on the way.
And many, gazing vacant, wavering stood,
As some ship’s canvass, idly fluttering, hangs,
When two opposing winds strive opposite.
Nor were there wanting some, who, quite aside,
Turned from the path, to join the world again.
And darkly lowering, o’er them settled now,
A chilling mist, uncertainty, which left
Them all at loss, unsettled, undefined;
Checked their bold zeal, and damped their ardor quite,
And dimm’d their vision, dubious with gloom:
While, multiplied an hundred fold, and strong,
The bland allurements, artful heaped around,
Betokened, sure, the ceaseless vigilance
Of their grand Foe, to turn them from their course.
Such, now, was their position; and while, thus,
Time swept along, a heaviness crept on
And weighed their spirits, till they all began
To droop and slumber—such as oft is wontWVTP 44.1
Upon the phys’cal frame to hold its sway.
Weary with watching, when the midnight hours
Stilly approach;—but destined now not long
T’ assert dominion; for the hour draws on,
Which shall dispel all doubt, all heaviness,
Uncertainty and fear.
The hour came on,
And with it came, as on the whirlwind borne,
“Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out 1.
To meet him!” Then, swift as the lightning shoots
From cloud to cloud, quick as the thunder bursts,
Deaf’ning through all the air—so quickly ran
The spirit of that cry throughout the land,
So quickly utterance found in one great shout,
That, rising, shook, throughout, heaven’s lofty dome,
“Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out
To meet him;” nor could a shock, electric,
Sooner have roused to life a faltering band,
Who now immediate from slumber sprung,
And with full many a cheer, rallied again,
With ten-fold vigor ‘round their standard bright,
Now brighter, far, than ever, gleaming forth,
The Lord is coming, while all doubts and fears,
And ghostly shadows gath’ring fast around,
Scattered precipitate, with headlong route.
And Prophecy raised high her gilded page,
From which blazed forth, at once, redoubled light,
Clear as the sun, and unmistakable;
But most conspicuous, this, ‘bove all the rest;WVTP 45.1
“Unto two thousand and three hundred days;
And cleansed shall then the Sanctuary be.”
Then, waving her bright wand, time definite,
She pointed to, and said, “On the tenth day,
The seventh month, of eighteen forty-four,
This period shall end.”
Now once again
List to the voice of Time, while he confirms
This statement, and her words establishes:
“The vision ye have heard, wherein was given
The time determined, and th’ appointed days—
Two thousand and three hundred, at whose end
Cleansed should the Sanctuary be—unto
The Hebrew Prophet, Daniel, well-beloved:
To whom, while yet he understood it not,
Gabriel came swiftly flying, and thus said: 1.
‘Thee understanding have I come to give,
And skill, O Daniel, that thou may’st perceive
The vision, and the matter understand.
Lo! seventy weeks upon thy people, and
Upon thy holy city, are cut off;
To finish full transgression, and to make
Of sin an end, and for iniquity
A reconciliation bring, and seal
The vision and the prophecy make sure.
This, therefore, know, that from the time wherein
The going forth commandment dates its birth,
Jerusalem to build, and to restore,WVTP 46.1
From that time shall there be unto the Prince
Messiah, seven weeks, and three-score weeks,
And two; and one week he, with many, shall
The covenant confirm; but soon shall cause,
In midst of this, the sacrifice to cease.’
Thus on the track are we directly set—
The track of Prophecy—with no false guide.
Thus to our hand is given, a giant-hold
Of the great chain, prophetic, whence we know
Where it begins, where, therefore, it must end.
While Artaxerxes, reigning, now had passed
Six times the measured space that spans, entire,
The four revolving seasons, and was yet
Within the seventh, then the decree went forth,
Jerusalem to build, and to restore.
Here, then, the point is, well defined and clear;
Here is the starting-post, deep-set and firm,
Whence to pursue our reckoning. Following down,
Along my course, the chain of Prophecy,
Through seven weeks, and threescore weeks, and two,
(Which my all demonstrating march has proved
Clearly to be prophetic weeks, of years;
Hence argues how the whole to understand,)
Behold, concurrent with the Angel’s words,
The Prince Messiah, who the covenant,
Now to confirm, begins accordingly:
But farther on, three circling years and half,
(Of this last week the midst,) the sacrifice,
Behold, he makes to cease, himself for sinWVTP 47.1
Offering a sacrifice upon the cross.
Henceforth, an equal space, the week to end,
As from beginning to the middle reached,
Th’ apostles still the covenant confirm;
‘Till by the Jews rejected formally,
Lo! to the Gentiles, then the gospel turned,
And ended now the seventy weeks their course.
Here pause, and of our journey back, thus far,
Taking a retrospect, mark how we stand.
Lo! at th’ appointed time, from the decree,
In order as foretold, see all fulfilled;
The Prince revealed, the sacrifice annulled,
The covenant its given time confirmed,
The Jews rejected, and the gospel turned
Unto the Gentiles; and of Prophecy,
At th’ appointed time, ne’er can occur
A false fulfillment. Thus, then, may we know;
Rightly, at first, is fixed the starting point;
Since this, alone, will the conditions serve,
And satisfy the terms revealed therein.
This, then, the vision seals, and makes it sure;
This is the scale Eternal Wisdom gives—
That we fail not to understand the times
That God designs his purpose to fulfill—
By this fixed rule, to this established point,
What now remains, adding, conclusive gives,
When the appointed days shall terminate,
And cleansed shall then the Sanctuary be.
What further learned would be, from this now learn.
And the atonement type, where shadowed forth,
The cleansing of the Sanctuary stands,WVTP 48.1
The tenth day of the seventh month, heed well;
For this, that day, its antitype shall meet,
As at their times, others have done before.
True, then, we’ve found the voice of Prophecy,
When waving her bright wand, time definite,
As definite she spoke; this much is given,
For every honest heart enough to know;
For if men this reject, despise, and scorn,
And say that none can understand, then know,
Though from the dead one rose, they would not hear.”
Much proof that these plain testimonies, thus
Given by Prophecy, confirmed by Time,
Deeply had had effect, abundant rose.
And to the seventh month, each eager eye
Now bent its steady gaze, as there it stood,
Like some bright beacon on a lofty height,
Lighting a dubious way; thither the band
Now bent their eager eyes with steady gaze,
Thither their earnest steps, with fervent zeal:
While yet the cry, tornado-like, swept on,
“Behold the Bridegroom cometh!” borne
Sheer through the land on every swelling gale.
The Press upraised its voice to speed it on,
And bounteous scattered, with unsparing hand,
Its winged messengers to swell the theme,
Free as the flying leaves of Autumn, sere.
And as, with lightning speed, went flaming forth
The Chariots of Nahum, speedily
They bore it forward on their destined way,
And left its echoes all along their course.WVTP 49.1
The lightning flashed along the wire, where, chained,
It waits on man the herald of his will,
And wrote it out in characters of flame.
Borne on the wings of wind, or steaming forth,
It rode across the ocean’s crested waves,
And on to every clime its message bore.
Thus rose the Midnight Cry, thus spread, afar,
Through cities proud, and towns remote, and fields,
And listening woods, and unfrequented vales,
Which heard, and hearing, might have heeded too.
Firmly the followers of Truth pressed on.
Lowly and reverent-as now drew near
The day where centered all their faith and hope,
Where they reposed their confidence entire,
That this would close, for aye, the scenes of earth,
And consummate their hope, and crown their faith
With glorious success, and usher in,
Upon their view, scenes of eternal bliss.
Lowly and reverent, as this drew near,
Before their Sovereign King, prostrate they fall,
Of him to gain acceptance, and themselves
Prepare to meet him, now so soon to come.
More wholly, thus, they their affections wean
From things of earth; all controversies heal,
All wrongs forgive, and of themselves, and all
They may possess, a consecration make,
Total to God, and his ennobling truth
For who but saw, with but a hasty glance
Over the past, that all those days wherein
Blank Disappointment, cold and gloomy sat,WVTP 50.1
On every brow, were but a dash between
Prophetic words, to make the meaning clear?
Think not indifferent all this while aloof
The foes of truth, calmly beheld the move,
Or let it silent, or unheeded, pass;
Malice and hate, deep seated, and intense,
Lit up within their hearts, their scorching fires,
Which raged ungovernable, and thro’ them wrought
Full frequent acts of violence and shame.
So when God’s children, oft, for worship met,
To lift their hearts to him in prayer and praise,
And speak that Spirit forth, with which he filled,
To overflowing, their devoted souls—
For he his glorious cause did freely own,
With such out-pourings of his Spirit pure,
And of the Holy Ghost such rich descent,
As rise o’er every age above compare—
While thus assembled to adore their God,
In concord sweet, and unity and love,
The fierce demoniac yells of Belial’s crew,
Rang ‘round discordant, o’er the songs of truth.
And as they journeyed on, from every side,
Fell on their ears the harshly mingling din,
Of scoffs and mockeries, ridicule and scorn;
Which weapons only to their foes remained;
For in the open field, in contest fair,
Based on the testimony of God’s word,
Long since their ablest champions silenced were,
With ignominious route; the two edged sword,
So bravely wielded by these pioneers
Of truth, whose blade with subtlest keenness pierced,WVTP 51.1
They quailed before, unable to endure;
Nor wished but once its naked edge to tempt:
Glad if they might but reach some distance safe,
To shield themselves, and be content to urge
The rabble on, to open deeds of hate.
All this but served to strengthen in the faith,
These candidates for life eternal more;
Who ever bore in mind, that perilous times,
In the last days, shall come; 1. when men shall be
Of their own persons lovers, covetous,
Blasphemers, boasters, proud, from parents due
Obedience withholding, and of all
Natural affection shorn, incontinent,
Unholy, thankless, and accusers false,
Breakers of truce, and fierce, of all the good
Despisers, heady, traitors to their trust,
Of pleasures greater lovers than of God;
Who have of godliness, the form, but all
The power deny-from such, turn ye away.
When such as these they numberless beheld,
And waxing worse and worse, seducers saw,
And evil men deceiving and deceived—
Heedless their warnings-while unnumbered signs
Thickened around, and rose upon the way—
Signs, such as Inspiration’s pen defines,
As certain tokens, and precursors, sure,
Of the great day of God—then on their faith
Stepped they entire, to wait the near result.WVTP 52.1
Up to the seventh month, meanwhile, the world,
Under Time’s rapid hand was rolling on,
Nearing th’ appointed day; the warning notes,
“Behold the Bridegroom cometh,” closing up,
Speedy and faithful, now, their destined work;
A company to summons forth, prepared
And waiting, longing, for their Lord’s return:
And works, than which nought louder speaks, their faith
Now seconded, and gave their witness in.
Wide spread throughout the land, ungathered fruits,
Ready long since to swell the Winter’s store,
Than words could do, louder, by far, proclaimed,
“The Lord is coming;” while the fields, unreaped,
Nodded their heads of yellow grain, and sere,
As if t’ affirm, “The Lord is at the door.”
Such was the faith, through deeds made manifest,
That all things common made, and with the world,
All dealings closed, and only did prepare,
And only looked to the appointed day,
When they for better scenes the earth should leave.
Such was the faith, through deeds made manifest,
Enraged the wicked, and condemned the world;
Whom mixed emotions ruled, of doubt, and hate,
Suspense, and rage and fear—as near’d the day,
More anxious waited as more near it drew—
For proof, they could not answer, that the Lord
Then would appear, had plenteous been given;
And on the tables plain the vision had
Been made, 1. that even he who runs might read—WVTP 53.1
And for th’ event, a band preparing now,
They saw, their faith by works revealing, and
Themselves, they saw, well warned and faithfully.—
Not so, whom faith and hope led on, the saints:
They, with full confidence assured, and bold,
With glorious hope, and expectation high,
That from foreknowledge spring, and living faith
That they should then receive their rich reward,
Joyous awaited the approaching hour.
Meantime the distance shortens; weeks depart,
Weeks, intervening, dwindle into days,
Which soon alone remain, while brighter burns
Hope and the love of God, among the saints,
And from their ranks, songs of thanksgiving rise,
And shouts of praise, up to their glorious King,
Whom they so soon caught up will be to meet.
In such proportion, so much fiercer, burns
‘Mong all the wicked, malice, wrath and hate,
Though fearful, lest the warning yet be true.
To hours are days reduced—to moments hours—
Fast sifting through the ceaseless glass of Time;
Till dawns at last the much expected day;
In dead suspense and breathless stood the world.
The wise prepared it found, and waiting then
To make their exit to their glorious home;
But ah! it passed away, and, waiting, still,
Left them all here; no King from heaven appeared;
The world breathed easier and calmly Time’s
Great wheels moved on, unstopped, and undisturbed.WVTP 54.1
Now other sights than unity and love,
Prepare to see, and other sounds to hear,
Than songs of praise, and harmony and peace;
For saddening sights now crowd upon the eye,
And on the gale now saddening sounds go forth.
The time pass’d by, but bro’t no outward change!
Heavy the blow came down, with crushing weight,
On that devoted flock, as if ‘twould send
Hope, reeling, to its grave; and faith destroy;
And to destruction scatter all belief;
And blot out trust in truth or prophecy.
Through every trusting heart, like some keen shaft
With triple barbs it pierced: and tore away,
A shield from off their breast, and from their grasp
An anchor wrested; while they stood exposed,
E’en as shorn lambs to the bleak, wintry blast.
This Satan saw, and glad, and with a howl,
Of joy, in part, at their defenceless state,
And part in hope of desperate revenge,
Goaded his legions on to furious charge.
Ah! then how from their wrathful eyes of sin,
Glared horrible the demon; how they hurled,
How spitefully and venomously hurled,
At holy innocence their poisonous darts,
Of sin-constructed calumny and lies.
Ah! then with what malicious insolence,
From their foul lips they breathed their bitter taunts,
And sneeringly, “not gone up yet?” inquired.
But how upon their open fronts fierce blew
The raging hurricane of worldly scorn,WVTP 55.1
Revilings, and reproach, and falsehoods foul—
Which, even the Father of all lies himself
Ashamed would be to own, but these his imps
Most greedily devour—pass by; for these
Were weapons, not the worst—would they had been,
But they were not, as shortly will appear.
As one, who, heavy stunned, confounded stands,
Bewildered, speechless, so the band now stood;
But thus not long; for their condition, soon,
They to examine narrowly, begin;
The cause to search, why thus forlornly left
In this, so sudden, unexpected, state,
Shieldless, defenceless, and unmailed against
The direst blow of Disappointment’s dart.
Of all the past a retrospect they take,
And close examine all the way they’ve come.
The grounds of their position they review,
And re-review; and all the causes sound,
And sound the reasons of their bold belief.
Yet nought to militate against the Word,
Do they discern, or yet, the hidden cause
Of their sad disappointment ferret out.
Perplexing thoughts, perplexing queries rise;
Are then the days whereof the Angel spoke, 1; .
Rightly commenced, or rightly followed down?
Now hist’ry, searched most thoroughly at first,
Was searched again, more thorough than before.WVTP 56.1
The Word of Truth was searched, and prophecy
With prophecy compared, and side by side
With history, and history all proved,
And prophecy all proved, that all was right.
There stood the days, a mighty pillar, firm,
Grounded secure upon eternal truth,
Nor can it hence be moved, though ‘gainst it all
The battering-rams of Satan fiercely play—
Rightly commenced, and therefore ended now.
If ended, then, why do the wheels of Time
Still roll along; and why no King appear,
Flaming from heaven to close the scenes of earth?
Who can this mystery solve? Satan makes haste,
And answering this, thus whispers in their ear:
“This is a mystery never will be solved;
Wholly astray, thus far, have ye been led,
Deceived by lying teachers; time has proved
Your views all groundless, and your theories false;
And that the prophecies man cannot read.
Come back, then, to your station, where remain—
If ye’ll but turn, and give these idle tales
Up to the winds—respectability,
And wealth, and honor; nor thus longer make
Yourselves ridiculous before the world.”
Ah! then, that grisly demon, Treason, burst
Wide through their ranks, and furious havoc wrought,
While grim, old Unbelief, with awful front,
And hideous visage, with his war-club made
Most murderous assault; and far aroundWVTP 57.1
His hateful daughter, Doubt, insidious crept,
To poison truth, and stir sedition up.
Then wild, wild, work was there in an evil hour.
Many with sacrilegious hand, and rash,
(What madness seized!) their garb of righteousness,
Spotless and pure, to countless fragments stripped,
Stripped from themselves, then blindly back again
Into the mire of worldliness deep plunged.
Others, rash hands, nor sacrilegious less,
Upon their own belief laid violent,
And wildly tore it into ruin down;
Then from the sad remains as wildly turned,
And gave themselves up to the world again.
And many too, (say of what fiend possessed?)
With impious daring trampled to the ground
All faith, and trampled hope, and cast aside
All confidence, and raised their voices, high,
To censure now the way they once had praised,
And call it error’s path, delusion-paved;
And urge, with gestures vehement, the rest
To turn with them, nor longer be deceived.
But yet a few, a faithful few remain;
Whom Treason cannot move, nor Unbelief,
Nor Doubt corrupt, nor Satan’s glossy lies;
Who, as becomes the humble saints of God,
Without a murmur, to their trust prove true;
Who, from the wasting sights around, now turn
Their sorrowing eyes, and from the fearful sounds,
Their ears, and, with a saddened heart, still cling,WVTP 58.1
Firm to their glorious hope, and look to God.
Thus hold, a little while, ye sons of light!
For God will soon, as ye shall hear anon,
His own expounder prove, and make all plain;
For ne’er will he his people thus lead forth,
To disappoint and let them perish then;
But yet, a second time, his hand will set,
To save a remnant of the scattered flock.WVTP 59.2